A 24-hour stay in Central London makes you suck in enough pollution to equal 30 cigarettes. Starting 1 July 2007, smoking will be banned from restaurants, pubs and offices, getting all of us cleaner air.
Less smoke means more enjoyment
This is great news for the 24.5 million visitors to London each year. The ban is calculated to reduce the number of UK smokers by 600k from the current 10 million. Overall, it means cleaner air for every single pub, restaurant and concert visitor.
If it goes like the Irish ban, we'll see much cleaner air. In Ireland, the ban resulted in an 80 percent decrease in airborne carcinogens for patrons and staff. Effectively,
"If all European countries were to adopt a similar policy, she estimates that between 5 to 10 million premature deaths from smoking could be prevented over the next generation. " Of course, some pubs may chose to flout the smoking ban in England too.
Of course, the smoking ban did also change the outdoor smoking areas into chat up hot spots. A quick drag could replace speed dating as the urban hook up shortcut of choice.
What it means for you as a tourist
For those of you visiting from countries where smoking is already banned, it's great news. No more second hand smoke and no stinky clothes. Tourists from New York, Scotland, Ireland and so on are set to be pleased. Greek and Portuguese not so much.
An immediate side effect is that you're less likely to get sick while visiting London and England. Cigarette smoke lowers your immune system immediately and makes allergies worse.
So, this smoking ban is great news for visitors and locals alike. It can't start soon enough for this writer. What do you think about the English smoking ban?
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My last reservations going away
As even jazz musicans are showing their support for the ban - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/6656965.stm - I'm losing my reservations about it.
Bring on the smoke free gigs!
Jack on 15 May, 2007