Friday, June 03, 2005

How to seriously piss people off.....

Let me get one thing straight before I start to let off steam....I am a non-smoker, I loathe cigarette smoking with a passion and actively avoid places where I know I will be breathing in vast amounts of cigarette smoke and leave smelling like an ashtray.

When I was younger, my father used to smoke about 60 John Player unfiltered a day (if he had to smoke cigarettes with filters...he would break the filter off). When I left home and used to drive to visit my parents I knew I had a getaway should the air in the house become unbearable, my brother would do the same...eventually it got to the point when my father realised that it was either the cigarettes or some semblance of a family life....he chose family life...I have since had a few boyfriends who were smokers...that also became a major issue for me and contributed to the relationships ending.

Reading the above, you will get the general message that I am a definite non-smoker. In light of that I would love to have the entire world as a non-smoking bubble...restaurants, bars the lot...however, I also realise that this is not feasible but I am not going to go into the's a free world...everyone should have a choice etc etc, mainly because I am feeling a little unreasonable today!

Anyway, what triggered this post was Stephen Vines' article in today's Standard. In summary, Clear the Air have decided that from now on all applications for liquor and restaurant licences will should be blocked unless the outlets become non smoking. As a result when Stephen Vines applied for a liquor license for a restaurant he recieved a letter from Clear the Air would block the application given that he allowed smoking on his premises...only problem was that they don't check first whether the outlets are smoking or non-smoking, unfortunately for them the outlet in question is non-smoking...then the fun began...

To be fair they apologized, but then suggested that we should pretend that we had adopted a no-smoking policy as a result of their licensing obstruction campaign and that we could attract favorable publicity as a result.

When, finally, we managed to get the zealots to send a letter withdrawing their objection they had the temerity to state that our company had agreed to their conditions and given them undertakings that we at no time gave.

Classy behaviour!!

My problem is this, I believe strongly in having all non-smoking restaurants and bars, however, behaviour like this does nothing to further the cause and actually makes the whole issue and organisation a laughing stock. If they have managed to irritate such a strong anti-smoker as myself (which they most definitely have)with their behaviour, then I can't imagine what luck they will have with the pro-smoking lobby.