March 31, 2004


In the letters pages of The Age, Australian John Stewart applauds Ireland’s smoking ban:

Well done to the Government of the Republic of Ireland who had the political courage to impose a smoking ban on all workplaces as of last Monday - including pubs and clubs.

Having spent some time in Ireland, and being aware of the almost ubiquitous pub culture there, I find it somewhat amazing that they have been able to do it without a massive backlash from patrons and publicans alike.

The backlash is already beginning:

"I won't be enforcing it, and I won't be telling my staff to enforce it, simple as that," pub owner Danny Healy-Rae said of the ban, which takes effect Monday. The law applies to any enclosed workspace: more than 10,000 pubs, as well as billiard halls, private clubs, home offices, even a lone trucker's cab.

And also politically:

One of Waterford's most famous and busiest pubs is calling on its customers not to vote Fianna Fáil in the local elections in protest at the smoking ban.

Posted by Tim Blair at March 31, 2004 03:15 AM

Death to the O'Taliban!

Posted by: Murpho at March 31, 2004 at 03:32 AM

American culture consumes another victim!

Posted by: nofixedabode at March 31, 2004 at 03:48 AM

nofixedabode, that's one aspect of American Culture I wish to disown.

We had similar statements from restaurant and bar owners here in California, but the backlash was short-lived: the anti-smoking nazis won the day. Now they're banning smoking in public - outdoors! Public parks are out (exposing children to second-hand smoke, you see), and now the City Council of the Peoples' Republic of Santa Monica has banned it on the beach and boardwalk (making the ludicrous claim that the largest source of litter was icky cigarette butts).

Posted by: Spiny Norman at March 31, 2004 at 04:01 AM

On the plus side it should bugger up Sinn Fein's distribution of counterfeit and smuggled cigarettes.

Posted by: Ross at March 31, 2004 at 04:27 AM

Speaking of butts, what is it about smokers that they think they can throw butts wherever they like?

Go for a walk along Bondi Beach after the weekend and the sand is full of them. Plenty good enough reason for smoking to be banned on a beach I reckon.

Posted by: fubar at March 31, 2004 at 06:34 AM

The San Fran health dept. stopped going around to "inspect" bars after a couple of the inspectors cars got trashed. Well, they started having the cops "escort" them for a while first, but I guess the PD has better things to do because they stopped.

Posted by: mojo at March 31, 2004 at 06:37 AM

fubar, there's always a "plenty good enough reason" to ban damn near anything interfering nannies can dream up.
How about we ban babies from beaches? I've seen mothers changing nappies at the beach, cover the dirty nappy with sand and then walk away from their garbage.
Ban beach babies!

Posted by: keith at March 31, 2004 at 07:54 AM

Ban mothers!!

Posted by: amortiser at March 31, 2004 at 08:59 AM

Bag your butts at home, take em to the beach and leave 'em there unbagged. Same thing with old phrangers, old Tampax, anything nasty. If 25% of the adult population isn't allowed to enjoy the beach, make sure the pricks can't use it either?

Posted by: superboot at March 31, 2004 at 11:46 AM

Anyone who litters is a prick. Just seems to be that alot of smokers are litterers, ergo they are pricks.

Posted by: Fabian at March 31, 2004 at 12:04 PM

If you don't want litter put the bloody ashtrays back in cars.

And the cigar lighter.

Plus, you die a lot quicker falling asleep at the wheel than by tobacco.

As children, we were driven everywhere by my chain-smoking - and alert - father in an EH Holden filled with smoke; school, shopping, annual holidays, trips around the countryside, you name it. You opened the doors and out it billowed out like a blue nuclear cloud.

Seven children. No ill effects.

Posted by: ilibcc at March 31, 2004 at 12:17 PM

Pricks? You bet. Such a prick that if the war against smokers doesn't stop, I'm going to start shooting koalas. Lay off my weeds or Kimba dies!

Until then I'll chew tobacco. Killjoys don't like smoke and butts, let's see how they cope with big streaming gaubies of 'baccy juice all over everything.

Posted by: superboot at March 31, 2004 at 12:50 PM

Quote from The Age, 20 Feb:

The ban had been delayed due to implementation problems in prisons and police detention centres.

Those areas will be exempt, as will hotel bedrooms, and nursing homes.

Here's an opening for an enterprising Irish pub owner -
change the name of the Lounge Bar to the Bedroom Bar,
and anyway, when you get arrested for smoking in the bar, you can have a drag down the Garda station.

Posted by: peggy sue at March 31, 2004 at 01:03 PM

Due to one of the few exceptions of the new regulations, the only people allowed to smoke in police stations are prisoners banged up in the cells. Officers have to step outside the premises

Who said the Irish have no sense of the ridiculous?

Posted by: peggy sue at March 31, 2004 at 01:15 PM

Spiny Norman: Disavow all you want to. At the top of your lungs, even. Even you admit that the anti-smoking nazism is now deeply entrenched in American culture. It may have started in la-la land, but now it's nationwide.

Seems the best chance the Irish, or any other people, have in defeating this movement is to declare it "Americanism". That should dim the support. Hell, give it a try in California. That state is every bit as anti-American as any European or mid-east country!!!

Posted by: nofixedabode at March 31, 2004 at 01:52 PM

That is a dastardly clever plan, nofixedabode. :)

Posted by: Sortelli at March 31, 2004 at 01:58 PM

Thanks, Sortelli!!!

Posted by: nofixedabode at March 31, 2004 at 02:08 PM

Fubar: How about just making it illegal to discard cigarette butts?

Oh, wait...It already is.

Posted by: Yobbo at March 31, 2004 at 02:14 PM

I find it objectionable that America is supposed to be the source of Ireland's bad ideas. Have any of you even been there? I'm a New Yorker who lived in Ireland for years and I call Ireland "the Republic of Virtue". I say this not to defend silly things in the US, but because the Irish got that way all on their own. And it doesn't take long to figure out how.

Posted by: Sweete at April 1, 2004 at 01:02 AM

Sweete: Don't you know that America is the source for everything that's bad in the universe?

Posted by: nofixedabode at April 1, 2004 at 10:12 AM

Not to mention, the habit of smoking tobacco is a purely native American practive that we have gotten the entire world hooked on. All your lungs are belong to us! Bwahahaahahaha!

Posted by: Andrea Harris at April 1, 2004 at 11:59 AM

That's "practice." I could fix it but I'm too lazy.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at April 1, 2004 at 12:00 PM