It is a few years since England passed legislation regarding smoking in public places. Whilst for people like me it is now lovely to drink in a smoke free pub, for example, for people like Hubby who still smoke it is a pain in the posterior.
We all know that smoking is not good for us, period. Pretty it up how you like but there is no getting away from that fact. However it is not illegal in the UK. In truth the Government still rake in plenty of Duty on all things smoking. Lobbyists would have you believe that the cost of caring for those who become ill from smoking related diseases far outweighs the Tax benefits. That may be so. However smokers in the UK still pay the same taxes as other citizens and smoke within the law.
The provision of a "smoke" hut is not generally allowed at a place of work. Some work places do however make sure that there workers have a place to enjoy a cigarette during their break times.
Waiting on York train station today, for our home journey, this blogger came up close and persona;l to the nonsensical side of the legislation and how some companies have reacted.
Waiting on the platform for the train Hubby light a cigarette for a few puffs before the smoke free train arrived. Quick as a flash a member of staff pulled him up. As he told Hubby the Station is a smoke free area. The fact that we were in the fresh air not under cover did not matter. The whole station is a smoke free area.
Whilst you may "good on" the job's worth who challenged Hubby you have to wonder why? Was he about to damage someone's health with his filthy smoke? Of course a couple of drags on a cigarette could lead to everyone joining in. However don't trains emit fumes? Don't cars emit fumes? Isn't traffic one of the worst source of pollution on the planet.
As this blogger said it made no difference to her but it did bring some thoughts to mind.
Working for a hospital she well knows that those sites are "smoke free". Whilst that may e as it should be what about a distressed relative who really needs a cigarette? Is it fair, perhaps in the middle of the night, to make them go outside of the Hospital boundary, onto a main road, just for a much needed smoke? We seem tobe far more understanding of an addicts or alcoholics needs and problems.
Two final thoughts spring to mind. Firstly a nurse was killed during a shift when she went off site for a smoke. She was stabbed to death. Secondly we may all know that smoking is not good for sure but many members of nursing teams smoke. Ward Sisters end up either leaving the site for a crafty smoke or hiding around corners outside, wearing a long coat to hide their uniform. Both instances are wrong.
Surely it would be better working practice for a staff room where smokers could go, to still be available. Prior the legislation this is what tended to happen. As it is now, members of staff in effect leave their place of work for ten minutes or so at a time which must be a poor working practice, especially for a hospital.
Back on York platform this blogger was left listening to one irate Hubby berating traffic, its fumes, the legislation and so much more. Dare I tell him that next year further legislation is planned? No, not right now. From 2012, it will become an offence to display cigarettes in any shop; they must all be kept hidden under the counter. I ask you?
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog