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Old 03-29-2004, 05:52 PM   #1
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Ireland bands smoking in the Pubs!

Ireland's Workplace Smoking Ban Starts


Mar 29, 1:50 PM (ET)

By SHAWN POGATCHNIK


DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) - Smokers hid in toilet stalls Monday as Ireland's ban on tobacco in the workplace - including the country's 10,000 usually smoky pubs - began its first divisive day.

Over lunchtime pints, Dublin friends and work mates argued over the merits of outlawing cigarettes indoors - until the smokers ducked outdoors for a chilly smoke on city sidewalks choked with exhaust fumes.

Health Minister Micheal Martin, who pushed for three years to ban workplace smoking, celebrated with anti-smoking activists at Bewley's tea house in downtown Dublin. He predicted other European nations would soon follow Ireland's example.

Ireland's sweeping nationwide ban is the world's strictest and goes well beyond statewide measures such as those in California and Delaware, which prohibit smoking in bars and restaurants

In the blue-collar pubs of north Dublin, Martin's crusade provoked both joy and fury.

"This is the worst idea any Irish government's ever had," said Gerry O'Connor, 32, a prison guard sitting sullenly in a corner of John Doyle's pub. He'd just been busted trying to sneak a smoke in the pub's lavatory.

"He stayed in the loo (restroom) too long. I smelled smoke, went in and could hear him puffing, puffing, puffing behind the door," said barman John Golding, who ordered the offending butt extinguished.

"I think this ban's a great idea. Until now I've gone home from work with a hacking cough and a sore throat from the smoke," said Golding, 21. "The ban means there's going to be a lot more people quitting. No more peer pressure over a pint."

Ireland's airwaves and barstool discussions have been dominated by debate over the rights and wrongs of smoking - its role in the easygoing pub atmosphere, versus the cancer and other deadly diseases it causes.

A government National Smokers Helpline has been inundated with calls from people seeking nicotine patches, counseling and other break-the-habit aids. A second line, opened Monday, fielded calls from people reporting pubs and other businesses violating the ban.

A few publicans vowed Monday to ignore the ban, saying they couldn't afford to turn away loyal smoking customers. The government has warned that its 41 environmental health inspectors will mount undercover inspections if pubs ignore the law, which carries a maximum fine of $3,700.

Opinion polls suggest a strong majority supports the ban in this country of 3.9 million, where about 30 percent of adults smoke. Feelings run deep on the issue.

The moment O'Connor started to bemoan the oppression he was suffering, his prison guard colleague Sean Donaghue, sitting at the next stool, bit his head off.

"You're talking a load of bollocks, Gerry. This is the greatest day Ireland's ever seen," said Donaghue, 55.

"I've already had one bypass operation, a coronary stent in an artery, I've got diabetes - I'm living proof that cigarettes are killers," added Donaghue, who quit five years ago.

He said the smoke in pubs had forced him to give up his favorite recreation, playing guitar and banjo in a traditional band. "My surgeon told me I was inhaling so much smoke in the pubs I might as well be smoking myself," he said.

O'Connor defiantly insisted cigarettes were blamed for too many ills.

"My dad died last year of lung cancer, and he only smoked once a year at Christmas," he said. "There's probably more cancer-causing chemicals in the air outside the front door."

That comment drew a disbelieving roar from a neighboring table - a group of workers from Dublin's overloaded Beaumont Hospital, where patients sometimes wait for hours, even days, on emergency trolleys for a bed.

"Practically everybody we see in the hospital is suffering from something to do with smoking," said hospital pharmacist John Byrne, 50, a lifelong nonsmoker. "I love the pub, and I'm really pleased that I'm going to enjoy clean air seven days a week - there's nothing worse than that smoke."

The ban includes a few notable exceptions. Rooms in hotels and bed-and-breakfasts, nursing homes, psychiatric hospitals and prison cells can't be covered by the ban because, legally, they are also private residences. That means prison guard O'Connor can't smoke at work but the convicts can.

"I want my smoke firsthand, not secondhand," he complained.
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Old 03-29-2004, 08:48 PM   #2
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sounds good. there's no good reason not to have the ban.
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Old 03-29-2004, 11:17 PM   #3
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I thought from the title it was going to be pictures or stories of Irish BANDS smoking in bars.

I think the ban is crazy but oh well.
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Old 03-30-2004, 07:27 AM   #4
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I think the ban is a little much as well. I've said this before but I'm not a chain smoker or anything...I like to have a ciggy with some drinks and I did that all the time in Dublin and lots of people smoked. I mean it's good on one part that people that don't smoke would benefit but on the other hand...it would totally suck to have to go outside in the cold to smoke.

LOL I had to crack up at the guy smoking in the loo....people at my old office do that all the time
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Old 03-30-2004, 07:34 AM   #5
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If health reasons are the main driving factor, then this is hypocritical.
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Old 03-30-2004, 07:46 AM   #6
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Yes Thank you! Like Drinking doesn't affect your health as well?
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Old 03-30-2004, 08:30 AM   #7
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But- I know they were also talking about the health of the people who work in pubs. They're working, not drinking. So the ban is to protect their health, and I don't think that's hypocritical.
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Old 03-30-2004, 08:42 AM   #8
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Its valid for sure. Smoking is a health risk. I wonder how many people up until this point have worked in a pub knowing they're either consientiously against smoking or have had concerns about the health risks. It's like working in an old fashioned paint factory and being worried about lead.

I'm personally all for banning smoking everywhere except for pubs. Even encouraging non smoking pubs if enough people really want that. They'll fill up and get their regulars too. Just leave a few places, and a bar is as good a place as any, where it is ok.
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Old 03-30-2004, 10:30 AM   #9
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A smoke ban makes bars and pubs much, much more enjoyable to those who don't smoke. The smell of cigs after a night at a pub lingers in clothes. The smoke itself makes many (including myself) cough, and of course the health of those working there is a huge concern.
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Old 03-30-2004, 11:04 AM   #10
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from wnbc.com (nbc's new york affiliate)
Report: Smoking Ban Hasn't Hurt Business

POSTED: 7:42 am EST March 29, 2004
UPDATED: 11:08 am EST March 29, 2004

NEW YORK -- In the first 10 months after the city instituted a ban on smoking in public places, tax receipts from bars and restaurants jumped 8.7 percent, according to a report by several city agencies.

From April 2003 through January 2004, the city collected about $17.4 million in tax receipts from bars and restaurants, compared with $16 million in that period a year earlier, said the report, to be issued Monday by the Departments of Finance, Health & Mental Hygiene and Small Business Services and the Economic Development Corp.

The city said the findings indicate that concerns the smoking ban would choke restaurants and bars were unfounded.

"One year later, the data are clear," the report said. "The city's bar and restaurant industry is thriving and its workers are breathing cleaner, safer air."

Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed the smoking ban into law a year ago, stamping out smoking in most public places.

Some opponents of the ban say their establishments are suffering as a result of the no-smoking law. Owners of nearly two dozen hookah bars recently requested an exemption from the law, saying their businesses have been hurt by the ban. A hookah is a kind of pipe with a tube for drawing smoke through water in a bowl.

Currently, cigar bars, designated hotel and motel rooms, tobacco retailers and membership associations operated by unpaid volunteers are the only establishments exempt from the law.

Yet, the city said the indications for the industry were generally strong. The city's report found that the number of workers employed in bars and restaurants averaged 164,000 in 2003, the highest number in at least a decade. The industry added a seasonally adjusted 2,800 jobs between March and December 2003.

The number of bars and restaurants in the city remained unchanged between third-quarter 2002 and 2003, the most recent time for which statistics were available.

At the end of 2003 the city had 9,747 active liquor licenses outstanding, a net gain of 234 from 2002.

The city said that 97 percent of the 22,000 bars and restaurants inspected between April 2003 and February 2004 were in compliance with the ban, meaning that no patrons or workers were seen smoking, no ashtrays were present and "No Smoking" signs were properly displayed.

The city also found a six-fold reduction in air pollution levels in bars and restaurants where smoking was once permitted. And levels of continine, a nicotine byproduct, declined by 85 percent in samples collected from nonsmoking bar and restaurant employees, the report said.
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Old 03-30-2004, 11:15 AM   #11
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baisicly from those who i've talked to who are in the business... busy times for bars, i.e. happy hour, thursday, friday, saturday nights, are up significantly, while the bar down time, pre happy hour day time hours & weekday nights without major sporting events, are down significantly.

so baisicly bars are losing the "neighborhood crowds," but gaining in the "party crowds." and seeing as the happy hour and weekend night crowds drink more and stay longer, the added numbers in those crowds are negating the lost day-time neighborhood norm and cliff crowd.
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Old 03-30-2004, 11:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mullen-Girl
Yes Thank you! Like Drinking doesn't affect your health as well?
You can go to a pub and not drink; most pubs have food and non-alcoholic drinks as well as liquor. But you can't help breathing in other people's cigarette smoke, as it permeates every square inch of air in the room.

Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem
I'm personally all for banning smoking everywhere except for pubs. Even encouraging non smoking pubs if enough people really want that. They'll fill up and get their regulars too. Just leave a few places, and a bar is as good a place as any, where it is ok.
The main reason I don't go to bars or nightclubs is that I cannot stand smoke. I understand people like to unwind with a drink and a cig, but we nonsmokers would like to unwind, too. I'd love to enjoy some live music or go dancing, without having to deal with smoke. I'd definitely support non-smoking nightclubs, if there were any in this culture-forsaken wasteland I live in.
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Old 03-30-2004, 01:19 PM   #13
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You can't smoke in bars on restaurants where I live but several establishments have outdoor seating areas where you can go out and have a smoke. I am a non smoker and let me tell you, it's great to go out to the bar and come home not smelling of smoke.
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Old 03-30-2004, 04:32 PM   #14
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I think the pub culture will win out. I can't see this changing a social institution, they'll get over it.

I am a social smoker, but I think I prefer non-smoking bars. Here in Spain this type of legislation is a few years away, but it would be very nice.

May I also add, I don't think drinking affects your health on the same level as smoking does. No one complains about second hand alcohol. It's not a good comparison.
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Old 03-30-2004, 05:39 PM   #15
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May I also add, I don't think drinking affects your health on the same level as smoking does. No one complains about second hand alcohol. It's not a good comparison.
I just read somewhere that one drink a day will not compromise your health, but one cigarette a day will.
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