Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The smoking ban

is being debated today

It looks like the government is going back to a partial ban on smoking (BOOOO!), meaning bars and clubs that don't serve food will be exempted. While I realize that things will be a lot better than they are and there will be a lot more smokefree places, i can't help wondering:

1) 'Concert halls' are supposed to be completely smokefree. What is a concert hall? Does that include live rock venues? At least bigger venues, say, Brixton Academy, are definitely halls where concerts take place, however the wording worries me. An extensive websearch so far has not brought clarification. Okay, I love going to gigs but I find that a good live show has nothing to do with cigarettes and in my case it often spoils my evening. A lot of venues are extremely smoky as they're packed and people seem to think it's okay to smoke in spaces like these. The air is really thick with smoke wafting through the air once the headlining act does its thing. Trying to avoid smokers at gigs makes enjoying gigs quite difficult for me these days. It's been a nightmare for me for years, and a weekly dilemma, as I tell my music loving friends I'm not into going to see Melt Banana (for instance) at the Garage, not because I wouldn't want to see Melt Banana, but simply because I hate the Garage, and I hate the Garage simply because I hate the fact it's too fucking smokey in there for me. I'm too old for this shit! I make exceptions once or twice a week and often regret it. There are a few smokefree places in London now for live music, and some places have okay ventilation, but the majority of the venues are really bad. Even a partial ban in live venues, say just an area where no smoking would be permitted in a large space like Brixton (right now even on the balcony people smoke like no tomorrow), or halls that are smokefree but allow smoking in a separate bar area would be better. Again, for me live music and a good rock'n'roll show has nothing to do with cigarette smoke.

2. Gay bars and clubs don't usually serve food, do they? Hmmm. They are usually no - go areas for me these days. Gay guys smoke far too much!

3. Why stop with food? Sure, if you sit down at a restaurant and someone lights up next to you it's difficult to just change tables, but apart from that i never understood why the presence of food should go less with smoke than just a drink.

Oh well, at least something is happening. I'm looking forward to it, and in the meantime keep watching the changing landscape here in London, where more and more smokefree places exist already.

rant over!

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