I seldom think about the smoking ban in pubs and restaurants across Europe. It’s mostly when I’ve spent some time in a smoky pub in Prague that I look back and feel pretty pleased that I usually can drink my beer without the nicotine.
Sure, I understand the arguments against, and libertarian reflexes tell me that this is just another attempt to limit personal freedom.
But it’s hard to argue with success. I enjoy going to a pub or club, either just for the beer or to enjoy a concert and not having to hand in my jacket to the cleaners the next morning. And, looking abroad, it seems to be the only law the Italians are obeying.
My main point is that I thought this discussion was dead now. That people enjoy cleaner pubs and restaurants even if braving winter storms underneath an umbrella might be a bit uncomfortable.
Tandleman opened the discussion on his blog a week ago. So far there are more than a hundred comments, with anonymous anti-ban commenters dominating with their not-too-subtle arguments.
I didn’t know, for example, that the British fought WWII for us to be allowed to keep smoking indoors. Or that the ban has cost 100 000 jobs in Britain, not to mention families starving in the streets.