From a purely personal perspective I'm pleased that the smoking ban in public places in England came into force on Sunday 1st July. I guess I've been fortunate in never having had a desire to smoke but I'm very conscious of the smell resulting from the habit and am increasingly concerned about the possible health effects from inadvertently inhaling other people's smoke.
Much has been made by some of the smoking lobby of supposedly another infringement of people's liberties. But what about the rights of the non smoking fraternity? It had been suggested that pubs could choose whether to be 'smoking' or 'non-smoking' so you had a choice. This might work in a town but not in a great many villages where there is just the one pub. Yes I realise that for many smokers who regard a fag to go with their pint in the same way I think of bacon and eggs - just isn't right if one of those magic ingredients is missing, being deprived of their fix spoils their drinking experience. But this is one instance where I think those concerned with health and wellbeing have got it right.
On the minus side this is yet one more law that is demanding on those who have to administer it. In this case it is our hard pressed councils; will this mean more staff are required? And I'm sure that there will be some anomalies so we can expect some clever solicitors exploiting loopholes. With so much complex legislation around these days it is inevitable that some folk will get caught out even though they don't intend to break the law.