Welcome to the Dog Inn, Ewyas Harold, Herefordshire, which is, apparently, the last bastion of the great, smelly English smoker.
For it's Landlord, a certain Anthony Blows, supporter of the daft UK Independence party, contributor to The Big Debate web site (current postings, erm about 9) and server of fillet steak and onion rings (do people really still do that to fillet steak?), has decided that he is in a mood to defy the smoking ban that came in today across England.
At a potential £2500 fine a go, this is no mean thing to decide. But he is being supported by the rather disgraceful Freedom 2 Choose lot, an outfit of bad losers who really can't get their heads round the fact that they have, umm, lost.
Mr Blows is quite verbose on the subject, according to Auntie:
"I'm doing it for the simple reason that this is my home. My wife and I work 200 hours a week in this pub. It's private property and there's no way they can stop us doing it.
"Pubs have been smoking for goodness knows how long and you just can't do that. It's been brought in on the back of a pack of lies."
A pack of lies? Let us try that again: A pack of lies. And which pack of lies would that be? The one that says that 600 lives could be saved each year across the country? Or the one that says all those people who are dying of smoking related diseases caused through other people's smoke are just delusional?
Or perhaps Mr Blows believes that this is a freedom of speech issue? Well okay, I defend his right to make a fool over himself about lung cancer and it's incredibly strong links to passive smoking, but I do not defend his right to blow smoke in my face while he is doing it.
To help him along, I hive stolen a few links from Wikipedia's very informative article:
- WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control; First international treaty on public health, adopted by 192 countries and signed by 168. Its Article 8.1 states "Parties recognize that scientific evidence has unequivocally established that exposure to tobacco causes death, disease and disability."
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General", 2006; One of the major conclusions of the Surgeon General Report is: "Secondhand smoke exposure causes disease and premature death in children and adults who do not smoke."
- California Environmental Protection Agency: Air Resources Board, "Proposed Identification of Environmental Tobacco Smoke as a Toxic Air Contaminant" (June 24, 2005); on January 26, 2006, the Air Resources Board, following a lengthy review and public outreach process, determined ETS to be a Toxic Air Contaminant (TAC).
- WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer "Tobacco Smoke and Involuntary Smoking" IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, Vol. 83, 2002; the evaluation of the Monograph is: "There is sufficient evidence that involuntary smoking (exposure to secondhand or 'environmental' tobacco smoke) causes lung cancer in humans. [...] Involuntary smoking (exposure to secondhand or 'environmental' tobacco smoke) is carcinogenic to humans (Group 1)."
- "An individual male never-smoker living with a current or former smoker is estimated to have an approximately 9.6% chance of dying of ischemic heart disease by the age of 74 years, compared with a 7.4% chance for a male never-smoker living with a nonsmoker. The corresponding lifetime risks for women are 6.1% and 4.9%." Passive smoking and the risk of heart disease, The Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 267 No. 1, January 1, 1992
The Dog In is a very pretty, if empty, little pub, going by the photos on Tony Blow's website, and I am sure it would be a very popular place to visit.
But I wonder how many people don't go there because it is a very smoky environment?
Apparently, the Director for the Institute of Ideas (which sounds a pretty bad idea in the first place), one Claire Fox will say the ban is sign of our "small minded times."
"These new modern puritans demonise our behavior and preach illiberalism."
That would be the 80% of the English public who back the plan, then. That would be 48 million people to your, well, one. You lose!
Look guys, let's face it. You have been blowing smoke in our faces without giving a damn for several hundred years. I know, I was a selfish smoker too, once. Now it is the turn of the people who think you can take your silly little arguments and shove them right up Worrel-Thompsons back side!
Please note, if any sad people from Forest or Freedom 2 Choose, or their daft, mislead supporters want to comment on this tirade - don't bother. Since I believe that you all now resemble the primary school bully who has been turned on by the rest of the school, I will take teachers advice and simply ignore you.