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Puffed-up nonsense

Happy new year from Scots politicians, who’ve decided to extend the forthcoming smoking ban to include the great outdoors. Local authorities are being urged to ban smoking in public parks and other “areas where children are likely to gather” because it will “discourage young people from being influenced by what they may see as an ‘adult’ activity”. No sign of councils cracking down on other adult activities that set a bad example, such as spending £48,000 per day on food and booze for themselves and their pals.

Scottish smoking ban rivals California – Newspaper Edition – Times Online

Update, 8 Jan

One of the key bits of guidance from the Executive is that firms should under no circumstances provide smoking areas, such as outdoor shelters, for employees or visitors. The reason? It undermines the anti-smoking message. So…. you’ll never guess which Scots organisation is about to spend £20,000 on such a shelter. I’ll give you a clue. It begins with “S” and ends in “cottish Executive”. The Sunday Times reports:

POLITICIANS who voted for a ban on smoking in public buildings have given the go-ahead for a £20,000 shelter at Holyrood that will allow them to continue to light-up at work — in breach of their own guidelines.

The executive’s guidance argued against smoking shelters outside public buildings, including councils and hospitals, stating that clamping down on smoking at work would make people more likely to quit or cut down.

“There is equally strong evidence that the provision of any smoking area for staff — including external smoking shelters, undermines this potential health gain,” the guidance states. “In terms of health and wellbeing a smoking area does little to benefit either the staff or the organisation in the short or the long term.

I’m reminded of the building in Glasgow’s St. Vincent Street that has plastered its street-level windows with posters stating “only idiots smoke here”. I’m finding it very hard to resist the temptation to create my own version – “only ****s work here”.