Thursday, 17 April 2008

Crisis Talks with MPs

The Shields Gazette reported that many social clubs in South Tyneside and elsewhere in the region have been suffering under the smoking ban.

Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn met with local club officials for an hour long meeting at the Elmfield Social Club in Hebburn, to debate the issue.

Club owners said they expected support from the government, as the club culture has rapidly been declining since the ban.

Mr Hepburn said: "I was pleased to meet with representatives from working men's clubs and took on board their concerns.

The MP is a member of one the clubs himself.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Beijing Bars Stay Strong

reported that the Chinese smoking ban will not include bars and restuarants.

Beijing had planned to ban or restrict smoking in most public places for the upcomming Olympics. However after Chinese restuarant owners voiced major concerns over the impact this would have on their business, the idea was rejected.

Bars and restaurants will instead have designated smoking areas.

Only hospitals, schools, sports venues, museums and government offices will be made designated no-smoking areas.

The Chinese are one of the worlds most enthusiastic smokers, making China a hotspot for tabacco organisations. Resistance to the proposed restrictions on smoking has been fierce.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

More Prosecution Threats

The Lancashire Evening Post reported how club manager, Donna Stevens, has been threatened with prosecution, if members at Fishwick Ramblers Working Men's Club, in Preston, light up again.

But Ms Stevens, boss of the Mornington Road club, defended herself, saying pubs and members clubs are being crippled by the July ban.

Preston Council said two people were issued with £50 fixed penalties since the ban came into force.

Jail Bars
Originally uploaded by Stephen Kropp

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Russia Surrenders

The Earth Times reported that Russia's lower house ratified the World Health Organization's convention against tobacco on Friday.

The 2003 WHO tobacco control convention aims to help national governments introduce smoking bans.

The head of Russia's State Duma healthcare committee, said the ratio of smokers in Russia is double as high as that of Western Europe.

Russia has never issued any anti tabacco legislation, and lawmakers are allowed to smoke freely in their offices, and the halls of government buildings. Remember those days?

Anti-tobacco campaigners blamed tobacco lobbyists for the slow move toward tobacco regulation in Russia, which has profited immensly from investments as companies face increasingly tough markets elsewhere.

The cabinet took the first step in January when it endorced a ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorships.

Present law forbids radio, television and outdoor tobacco advertising, but glamourous smoking advertisements still fill the metro as well as magazines.

Russia only taxes tobacco producers 3% compared with some 50% in Western Europe, according to the WHO. A pack of Russia's cheapest cigarettes cost less than 30 US cents per pack.

Within a five year period, the WHO convention aims to ban smoking in public places.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Ban Blights Property Value

24 Dash reported that a couple is claiming their house, the Old Lodge, which is situated next to a pub, has lost value since the smoking ban came into effect.

They are claiming £50,000 for the effect the ban has had on its value.

Neil and Rachel Mutter moved out of the one-bedroom property behind the Silverton Inn, in Silverton, Devon, because their house can only be reached via a partially covered yard beside the pub.

Pub owner, Shane Radmore has since turned the yard into a smoking area. The yard accumulates up to 15 people smoking throughout the pub's opening times and sometimes past midnight.

Mrs Mutter claims she moved out because of the noise, smell, cigarette butts, and smoke.

The Mutters bought the house in the summer of 2004 for £175,000, and often used the facilities at the pub. But when they tried to sell it for £185,000 they claimed they were unable to because of the situation which followed the smoking ban.

When they put the property on the market, estate agents told them they could raise no interest, with viewers having to negotiate smokers, furniture, noise and music.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Drivers Beware

The Evening Telegraph announced that Kettering enforcers are targetting businesses and drivers, after finding that more than four in five motorists are breaking the law by smoking in company vehicles.

Last July's smoking legislatioin banned smoking in company cars, business vehicles and public transport, for drivers and passengers.

Last week Corby Council health improvement officers checked 100 vehicles at random and found 86 breaking the law.

From this week, anyone caught without signs will be ordered to pay a £200 fine which could, however, be dropped to £150 if paid within 15 days.

Sign of at least 70mm in diameter must be displayed in each compartment of the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle can be fined, as well as the owner, if signs are not correct.

The law covers work vans, company cars and even private vehicles which are used more than half the time for work.

Taxis, mini-buses and other vehicles used by members of the public are included.

No Smoking in Cars with Kids

The Orillia Packet and Times reported that local politicians in the borough of Orillia, in Ontario, Canada are supporting a proposed anti-smoking legislation which would ban smoking in automobiles when children under 16 are passengers.

If passed, the bill would mean amending the Smoke-Free Ontario Act.

There have been various complaints from people arguing the legislation would be a human rights violation.

The automobile ban could eventually lead to banning smoking in homes while children are present