I was listening to the radio yesterday and there a was an item about smoking in prisons. The presenter said that there was a suggestion of forbidding the practice. I, personally, as an ex-smoker myself, do not think this is a fair idea. Smokers cannot go outside to smoke as they can in the free world. There was a suggestion of giving them nicotine patches. Since when has a patch been a substitute for a cigarette? It isn't just about the nicotine, is it? It's the whole experience.
Having said that, in support of those who do not want this ban, I am fully in favour of the ban on smoking in public places. While, as I said, I am an ex-smoker, I have not smoked for more years than I can remember, so I usually consider myself to be a non-smoker. I have heard people saying that it is a violation of their human rights to prevent them from doing something that is their free choice to do-i.e. smoke; and that they should be able to smoke when and where they like: in pubs, restaurants, cinemas etc. I disagree with them most strongly. I remember going into pubs and restaurants filled with smoke. Even as a smoker I disliked it! The staff-room at one school where I worked was always full of smoke. There was a little staff room for non-smokers, but it was the old biddies who went in there.
To all those who think that banning smoking is a violation of their human rights, I would say that the right to clean, unpolluted air outweighs that. It is known that passive smoking is harmful! I also heard an item that stated that the number of children admitted to hospital with asthma has gone down dramatically since the ban. I'm sorry that I cannot remember the exact percentage. I am also sure tht many people will have give up smoking since the ban, rather than go and stand outside in the cold and rain, and sometimes even snow, although I have no evidence to base that on.