Thursday, January 15, 2009

Food For Thought Might Do Well As Pub Grub

We have much in common with our friends across the Pond. One is enjoying the camaraderie to be found in an English Pub or, in our case, a local bar. Like "Cheers", often every one knows your name and if you're a stranger when you enter you are not when you leave.

Hub and I have a favorite or two we visit whenever we're in the neighborhood. One is gone. The gentrification of Whitechapel, Jack the Ripper territory, has caused many to close including our favorite, The Alma.

Another is for the same reason many of our local establishments are thinking of applying for bailout money. The smoking ban. The health police are telling us it's for our own good and cite the hazards of inhaling second hand smoke. I don't know. I don't smoke. Haven't for years and as an adult, if it worries me that much I don't have to enter. Somehow a bar without a smoky haze just isn't a bar. It's a generational thing I suppose.

Europeans seem to smoke a lot more than we do and the ban has been devastating to the pub business and its workers! According to a letter in the Financial Times the smoking bans can kill pub workers! While true many workers may have been spared the "possibility" of getting lung cancer 40 years down the road, research is showing that the stress from job loss is causing severe consequences now!

It is pointed out that with 50 pub closures a week, each employing about ten, results in a five year loss of 100,000 or so jobs. A study several years ago found for each 1% difference in income resulted in 21 deaths per 100,000 per year. It went on to point out that if those 100,000 had their incomes cut by 50% for the five year period, that would result in over 1,000 extra deaths per year.

The statistical claims rationalizing the smoking ban was 100 lives possible saved 40 years down the road.

Statistical fluctuations no doubt apply, but the thrust of the letter is that the smoking ban in England and Ireland is killing the very people it was meant to save. To add to an already grim story, it is suggested that the politicians who voted the ban in were well aware of the studies and what they showed.

It would seem politicians abroad are as inept as our own when it comes to looking at the full picture before passing legislation. It's a continuation of the mind set revealed in my post from yesterday about recalling all the toys not certified lead free. It is no comfort to share that commonality!

It makes me wonder if our lawmakers were aware of these studies in their rush to ban smoking. If you excuse them for not knowing because the studies were not American studies, think again. The gentleman who wrote the letter is Michael J. McFadden, Philadelphia, PA, US - author of Dissecting Antismokers' Brains.

I wish he'd write one entitled, Dissecting Politicians' Brains!


Margie's Musings said...

I don't think any anti smoking ban could convince me that it's unfair after watching my mom die of pulmonary fibrosis and my step dad die of lung cancer.

When I was young, the place to hang out was the drug store with the soda fountain. I've never entered a pub or a bar myself.

Hughes ap Williams said...

On the other hand, there are those of us who previously avoided smokey establishments who will now go into bars and bowling alleys because there is no smoking.

Dogwalkmusings said...

My point is whether or not legislators are considering all the ramifications of their actions or in their rush to "do something" consequences are being over looked.

And whether or not they should be legislating what are adult choices in the first place.

Rinkly Rimes said...

It seems impossible to find a single 'improvement' that hasn't got a dark side!