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The law of unintended consequences Sep 05

"There are things I will not tolerate: students loitering on campus after school, horrible murders with hearts being removed… and also smoking."

As the Government’s confused partial smoking ban trundles closer, it seems that the number of exempt pubs could rise by a third as they stop serving food to escape the new restrictions. The proposal to ban smoking in pubs where meals are served is based on the well-known scientific fact that second-hand smoke is more harmful if you are eating.

Meanwhile, GNER trains are now entirely non-smoking following the abolition of designated smoking coaches. According to GNER, this is

in direct response to passenger wishes and follows detailed research which showed that more than 90% of GNER passengers do not smoke and that most wanted smoking on trains to be abolished.

You can be sure they carried out this predictable research after spotting the problem of East Coast Mainline trains passing from England, where smoking carriages would be permitted, to Scotland where, from next year, they would be illegal.

The unintended consequence? Judging by my experience last night, smokers are now saved the effort of traipsing to coach B for a fag: they just light up wherever they’re sitting. And as there are no ashtrays in coach D, the smoker in question blew his tobacco detritus onto the seat opposite. Charming.

3 Responses

  1. Couldn’t you have just, you know, punched him in the face?

  2. 2

    I was in the No-Punching-In-The-Face Coach.

  3. I hate that carriage.