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Smokers in Scots pubs will face £3600 fine

 
 
Reply Sun 7 Nov, 2004 03:33 am
Quote:
http://images.scotsman.com/2004/11/07/0711fagb.jpgSmokers may soon have to pay for their habit - £3,600 worth. Picture: Robert Perry
Smokers in Scots pubs will face £3600 fine

EDDIE BARNES POLITICAL EDITOR


SMOKERS who light up in pubs and restaurants face fines of up to £3,600 each, Scotland on Sunday can reveal.

First Minister Jack McConnell is expected this week to press ahead with a full ban on smoking in all public places, including bars and restaurants, in a bid to improve Scotland's dismal health record.

It is understood that ministers will make smoking in public places an offence punishable by fines up to a maximum of £3,600. This would apply both to those who smoke in pubs and to licensees who allow patrons to light up on their premises.

The penalty would be far harsher than in Ireland, which introduced a ban on smoking earlier this year, where the maximum penalty stands at 3000 or £2,093.

The severity of the proposed fine last night drew an angry response from licensees and opponents to the ban, who said that smokers who lit up in pubs would be getting heavier penalties than drunk drivers or anti-social thugs. Revelations about the harsh penalty are sure to add to the controversy over the proposals, which will be decided by the Scottish Cabinet at a meeting on Wednesday.

More than 50,000 people have replied to a consultation on the plans, with the vast majority believed to have backed some form of restriction.

However, the pressure on McConnell will increase today, as new polling data, commissioned by the Executive, reveal the majority of the public are opposed to a ban on smoking in pubs.

Only half of those polled believe a ban should be imposed, and among those who do, a large proportion believe pubs should be exempted.

Nevertheless, the First Minister is understood to be determined to press on, convinced that Scotland's high rate of smoking needs drastic attention. Adult smoking in Scotland is higher than in all other parts of the UK, with nearly one in three admitting to lighting up.

Figures out last week showed that almost a quarter of 15-year-old girls were regular smokers, compared with 14% of boys the same age.

However, there are serious doubts over who would enforce the fines, as senior police officers have already warned they do not want any direct role in enforcing or monitoring the plans.

This leaves open the prospect of fines being handed out by health board monitors, as is the practice in Ireland.

Rather than face fines, a recent survey found that 97% of pubs in Ireland have now complied with the ban. Nine out of 10 pubs also display the required no-smoking sign.

But penalties have already been issued across the country. Last month, owners of a pub in Galway who led a rebellion against the ban were handed out fines worth £6,000 for multiple offences after they encouraged their customers to flout the ban for four days in July.

While it is widely thought that McConnell has already made up his mind, a source close to the First Minister was insisting last night that no decision had yet been made.

However, he added: "Ministers have got a leadership role and will be listening to the level of public support, but there will be a need to take into account the public health grounds as well."

A spokesman for Against an Outright Ban, the umbrella group representing licensees, last night hit out at the severity of the proposed fine.

He said: "If the government introduces a blanket ban on smoking in public places, including in licensed premises, then clearly it will be unpopular.

"To impose fines of £3,600 for both the licensee and the offender seems Draconian, particularly when you compare it with fines which are imposed on thugs and yobs who brandish weapons or on people who are putting lives at risk by reckless driving," he added.

A spokesman for the Conservatives said: "The government doesn't seem to be able to grasp the basic point that making smoking a criminal offence is not the way to deal with this.

"It is an attack on civil liberties. A voluntary code is by far the best way to proceed. The fact that the police are running a mile from wanting to enforce this speaks volumes."
Source


3,600.00 £ = 6,685.17 $ = 5,152.33 €
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,518 • Replies: 21
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Thok
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Nov, 2004 03:43 am
Re: Smokers in Scots pubs will face £3600 fine
Walter Hinteler wrote:

3,600.00 £ = 6,685.17 $ = 5,152.33 €


I know, this is a very high penalty. Probably equatable with a heays damage to property.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Nov, 2004 06:56 am
Re: Smokers in Scots pubs will face £3600 fine
Thok wrote:

I know, this is a very high penalty. Probably equatable with a heays damage to property.


The Scotsman in quotation above wrote:
It is understood that ministers will make smoking in public places an offence punishable by fines up to a maximum of £3,600. This would apply both to those who smoke in pubs and to licensees who allow patrons to light up on their premises.



Seems that more likely both, the customer/pub visitor and the landlord/licensee are punished/"criminalist", than someone thinks of the damages to the property.

(Damages to health should be in foreground, IMHO, per se.
Besides, I don't believe that government will take care about the pub's interior damages by smoking pub goers, especially, since the restaurateurs themselves are in opposition to that proposed law.)
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Nov, 2004 07:03 am
It seems that the anti-smoking faction is now piling one absurdity on top of another. To wish to protect the public's health by banning smoking is one thing. To impose ridiculously outrageous fines to accomplish that end is quite another. I always thought it was only the Americans who customarily over-react to every problem. It seems they can't hold a candle to the truly bizarre posturing of British/Celtic lawmakers.
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Nov, 2004 07:03 am
It seems that the anti-smoking faction is now piling one absurdity on top of another. To wish to protect the public's health by banning smoking is one thing. To impose ridiculously outrageous fines to accomplish that end is quite another. I always thought it was only the Americans who customarily over-react to every problem. It seems they can't hold a candle to the truly bizarre posturing of British/Celtic lawmakers.
0 Replies
 
Thok
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Nov, 2004 07:39 am
I forgot to add that I'm a nonsmoker,so actually it is good that there is ban on smoking.

btw, MA your signature should mean Denuone Latine [...].
0 Replies
 
Grand Duke
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Nov, 2004 07:47 am
Thankfully I have heard little of a ban extending down into England. I can totally see the point in having no-smoking areas in pubs, in proportion to the number of non-smokers in the population. That, to me, would seem the fairest way of handling this.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Nov, 2004 07:55 am
The first reported smoking "ban" was executed against one of tobacco's original western users: Rodrigo de Jerez, who sailed on the Santa Maria with Christopher Columbus. When de Jerez returned on the Nina to his hometown of Ayamonte, Spain, bearing tobacco he'd been given by natives of the New World, neighbors saw smoke emerging from his mouth and nose and assumed devil possession was the most plausible explanation. The elderly sailor was promptly imprisoned by the Spanish Inquisition for several years.

During the next century, restrictions were hardly less stringent. In the 1600s, Czar Alexis of Russia created severe penalties for puffing: By some accounts whippings, slit noses, one-way tickets to Siberia, and, on second offense, execution. Sultan Murad IV of Turkey also ordered tobacco users executed as infidels, and the Emperor of China discouraged tobacco use with decapitation.

In 17th-century England, some argued that tobacco use was a panacea for many bodily ills, prompting King James I, commissioner of the King James Bible, to publish his famous polemic, A Counterblaste to Tobacco, which called smoking "a stinking suffumigation ... the black fume thereof nearest resembling the horrible stygian smoke of the pit that is bottomless."

Rather than ban it, however, the King simply raised tobacco import taxes by 4,000 percent.

Source: an article in Toledo Blade
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Nov, 2004 08:58 am
I seem to recall a story (perhaps apocryphal) of a servant dousing Sir Walter Raleigh with a bucket of water when the servant saw smoke curling from his master's lips and nose and assumed the noble knight was on fire.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Nov, 2004 09:13 am
Your memory is working fine, Andrew :wink:

T h e B a l d w i n P r o j e c t
0 Replies
 
Portal Star
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Nov, 2004 10:25 am
When did it become the government's job to tell you that you aren't allowed to hurt yourself (upon penalty of you paying them money or going to jail?)

If people want to go to non-smoking bars, let them go! Conversely, if people want to go to smoking bars, let them go.

On a side note, secondhand smoke is a great deal less damaging than first hand smoke. Also, if people are there to get their livers and kidneys messed up, why are their lungs sacred? It makes no sense. Sounds like the government needs more money to me.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Nov, 2004 12:06 pm
Portal Star wrote:
When did it become the government's job to tell you that you aren't allowed to hurt yourself (upon penalty of you paying them money or going to jail?)


Well, in the USA, e.g. in 1934 that original ABC Act stated that the legal age for purchase, possession or consumption of any alcoholic beverage was 21 years of age.

But long before that, the "gin epidemic" ravaged the poorer English-Ameican districts at least until 1751, when a vexed government stepped in and placed controls on sales.

And more recently, Ms Jamieson (the Scottish the justice minister [to come back to the original article]) said: "Scotland has always had an uneasy relationship with alcohol. It may provide us with our national drink but it also provides us with real national problems.
That is why our licensing laws need to support efforts to improve the nation's health and help break the link between excessive drinking and crime."


(I know, this is not about smoking, but Portal Star asked more generally.)
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Nov, 2004 01:20 pm
Portal Star has hit the nail right on the head, however. This sort of protectionism is reminiscent of a 1984 society where suicide is a crime because it robs the country of a potential worker. I'm also against mandatory seat-belt laws. If I don't choose to wear a seat-belt when driving, I'm a danger to no one e3xcept myself.

Regulating the drinking age is a different matter. Laws that protect minors from their own mistakes are enacted because a person is hardly able to make informed and reasoned decisions until one reaches a certain age. My former home state of New Hampshire has it right -- seat-belts are mandatory only for children under the age of 14.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Nov, 2004 01:58 am
Quote:
Scottish ministers in unanimous vote to ban public smoking
By Paul Kelbie, Scotland Correspondent
11 November 2004


Scotland followed Ireland's pioneering anti-tobacco stance yesterday with a total ban on smoking in all public buildings. The unanimous decision by Scottish ministers to press ahead with the legislation, in the face of stiff opposition from the licensing industry, was announced by First Minister Jack McConnell as an important step in shedding Scotland's image as the "sick man of Europe".

One in four of deaths in Scotland is said to be directly attributed to smoking-related illnesses, with some 13,000 deaths a year, 35,000 hospital admissions and an annual financial burden on the health service in excess of £200m.

Now, under new legislation to be launched before Christmas, the Executive hopes to have a ban by springtime. After that, publicans or employers face fines of up to £2,500 if they fail to enforce the law. Licensees who persistently offend will also face the ultimate sanction of having their licence withdrawn.

Individuals who smoke in enclosed public areas will face fixed-penalty notices - enforced by environmental health and local licensing standards officers - with a maximum fine of up to £1,000 for persistent offenders. "Too many people smoke, and too many people die or fall ill from cancer, stroke and heart disease," Mr McConnell said. "The single largest cause of preventable premature death in Scotland is smoking."

A public consultation on smoking, which produced 54,000 replies - more than any other of its kind - and research by Aberdeen University which showed the economy would benefit from a ban. Huge savings could be made to businesses from less absenteeism, fewer cigarette breaks and lower fire damage and redecoration costs which would more than compensate for any loss in business suffered by pubs, clubs and restaurants.

But tobacco manufacturers, and many pub and restaurant owners claim the ban will destroy consumers' freedom of choice, lead to the closure of up to 1,000 family-owned businesses and up to 10,000 job losses if smokers are driven from pubs, clubs and restaurants. They say it could also causer more house fires as smokers are forced to entertain at home.

Tim Lord, chief executive of the Tobacco Manufacturers' Association said a UK-wide poll of 10,000 people by Populus, showed 77 per cent were not in favour of a total ban in pubs, clubs and bars. "Our organisation is shocked by the Executive's determination to bulldoze this piece of legislation through Parliament," said Paul Waterson, chief executive of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association.

Although the legislation is likely to come under fire from opposition Tory MSPs, who oppose a blanket ban and cite a lack of evidence to substantiate dangers of passive smoking, the move is also being backed by the Scottish Nationalists.

"I do believe the time has come for a ban on smoking in public places," said SNP Holyrood leader Nicola Sturgeon. "There is a wealth of evidence to suggest it will cut deaths from passive smoking and make giving up a great deal easier for the 70 per cent of smokers who want to kick the habit."
Source
0 Replies
 
gozmo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Nov, 2004 03:38 am
Merry Andrew wrote:
Portal Star has hit the nail right on the head, however. This sort of protectionism is reminiscent of a 1984 society where suicide is a crime because it robs the country of a potential worker. I'm also against mandatory seat-belt laws. If I don't choose to wear a seat-belt when driving, I'm a danger to no one e3xcept myself.

Regulating the drinking age is a different matter. Laws that protect minors from their own mistakes are enacted because a person is hardly able to make informed and reasoned decisions until one reaches a certain age. My former home state of New Hampshire has it right -- seat-belts are mandatory only for children under the age of 14.


By not wearing the seat belt you are also more likely to become a burden to society.
0 Replies
 
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Nov, 2004 04:23 am
Ach see yon nae-smokin' ban? It's a loatta havers. If I ah cannae hae a puff o' a dout urr a cheroot when ah'm oot, thurrz nae justice, so therr isnae.
We aye smoaked likk lums in oor howff, so we did an' it nevvir did ony a' uzz ony herm. Well, them that's no deid areddies, ah mean.
0 Replies
 
Portal Star
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Nov, 2004 08:21 am
gozmo wrote:
Merry Andrew wrote:
Portal Star has hit the nail right on the head, however. This sort of protectionism is reminiscent of a 1984 society where suicide is a crime because it robs the country of a potential worker. I'm also against mandatory seat-belt laws. If I don't choose to wear a seat-belt when driving, I'm a danger to no one e3xcept myself.

Regulating the drinking age is a different matter. Laws that protect minors from their own mistakes are enacted because a person is hardly able to make informed and reasoned decisions until one reaches a certain age. My former home state of New Hampshire has it right -- seat-belts are mandatory only for children under the age of 14.


By not wearing the seat belt you are also more likely to

become a burden to society.


You could charge the deceased for the clean up! Anyways, that's what taxes are for. Someone like that would be stupiding up the economy anyways.
0 Replies
 
blueveinedthrobber
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Nov, 2004 08:38 am
McTag wrote:
Ach see yon nae-smokin' ban? It's a loatta havers. If I ah cannae hae a puff o' a dout urr a cheroot when ah'm oot, thurrz nae justice, so therr isnae.
We aye smoaked likk lums in oor howff, so we did an' it nevvir did ony a' uzz ony herm. Well, them that's no deid areddies, ah mean.


You brought back memories of my mother and made me smile.....
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Nov, 2004 01:46 pm
Gozmo wrote:
By not wearing the seat belt you are also more likely to become a burden to society.

Using that criterion, I suppose, all anti-smoking, anti-alcohol and anti-anything laws are justifyable. Bearing in mind that we don't want society to have to bear the burdens of prolonged health-care for irresponsible behavior, we could outlaw skate boards, all contact sports, roller skates and anything else which might conceivably harm one and thus make that person 'a burden to society.' Please!!! The government's job is to protect me (and you) from others, not from myself.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2006 10:49 pm
Changes in licensing laws have reduced binge drinking and created a more relaxed atmosphere in pubs, a trend likely to be accelerated when Scotland's ban on smoking is extended to the rest of the UK next year, pub operators said yesterday.

http://i10.tinypic.com/2qs2vlk.jpg

Report in today's The Guardian: Smoking ban eats into trade at pubs with no food
0 Replies
 
 

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