Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Friday Forum

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Friday Forum

Article excerpt

Byline: By Fay Tinnion

Hallelujah for the smoking ban and for the MPs who rejected the watered down compromise.

Whatever the arguments about publicans losing money or the rights of smokers to slowly kill their insides, the ban will turn out to be one of the most widely appreciated pieces of legislation this Government has introduced. For non-smokers form the majority of the population.

What I, as one of them, am most looking forward to is being able to have a drink in a smoke free pub. We non-smokers will no longer have to breathe in other people's smoke on nights out.

No longer have to put up with the foul smell. Gone will be the days of washing our hair and clothes for a night out, then washing them again the very next morning because they stink.

On a more serious note, bar staff and those who work in currently smoky environments will no longer have other people damaging their health.

Social smokers may well end up cutting down or giving up because they can't light up without having to stand about outside looking a bit pathetic.

Those who, despite the risks, insist on smoking are welcome to. They just won't be able to inflict their addiction on the rest of us.

The smoking lobby might be shouting loudest but in reality this ban is popular. I, for one, am only sorry we have to wait until 2007 for implementation.

AS I write, the Government has got its controversial Education Bill through Parliament with Tory support.

The 52 Labour rebels mean that if the Tories pull the plug on the third reading, the bill will sink. In many ways that is a shame, for there is much that is to be commended in it.

Unfortunately, these things are obscured by the issue of who governs schools.

The root of the difficulties is that the Bill would pave the way for more schools like Emmanuel College in Gateshead. …

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