Today, May 31st, is World No Tobacco Day. Wonder how many participated? I sold just as many packets this morning as I always do....
May 31st also sees a new era beginning for smokers. From May 31st, smokers will no longer be allowed to smoke in the grounds of Public Hospitals and Health Clinics. Smokers must leave the grounds and go out to the footpaths. I don't know if any of you readers have seen, or been to, our Royal Adelaide Hospital, (RAH), but the main footpath there on North Terrace, is quite narrow in places due to large trees and numerous bus stops along its length. There are always people crowding or queueing to catch a bus, to have this area now be more crowded with visitors and patients alike, some in wheelchairs, would make this footpath impossible to walk along. What happens in the future when smokers are no longer allowed on the footpaths? Where do they go? What of those who are ill at home and have health workers come in daily or weekly to assist them? From May 31st, these people are no longer allowed to smoke in their own home or garden while the aide is there. What if the health worker is a smoker too? Do they both ignore the rules and enjoy a smoke together in the garden and hope no-one dobs?
Futuristically speaking, as more and more places ban smoking, will we at some point be such a divided society that whole towns become non-smoking areas? Leading to those who can't or won't quit packing up and moving to towns where smoking is allowed? What would happen to families where some members smoke (parents)and others don't (children)? Will they have to live in separate accomodation? Let's not forget that not all children will follow in their parents footsteps here. Both of my parents smoked from an early age. I have a sister and three brothers, none of us smoke. I married a smoker. Of my four children, bth boys smoke, the girls don't.
None of these isolating (discriminating) measures addressses the added problem of the stale smoke which clings to the clothes, skin and hair of heavy smokers. (Not to mention the foul breath). Sometimes, at the checkout, this is bad enough to make me stand as far back as possible from my customer, once the situation was so bad as to bring on a coughing fit so bad that I had to leave my position and get my inhaler from upstairs. In my experience it's this stale smoke that is so much worse than a little smoke drifting around. The old smoke tends to hang around in doorways and around seats, under trees where people from any particular workplace congregate to have their cigarettes. These places must be avoided by people such as me, with allergic reactions, when out walking. Easy enough for me, but if too many people complain to councils, the smokers will be made to move on. Where to? There are few enough places left. There surely must be a better (probably more expensive) solution. Perhaps buildings could have dedicated smokers rooms, with superman strength extraction fans to remove the smoke and smell from their clothing before they come back to work?
It's a very touchy situation for sure and there will be no easy solution.
One Last Note
5 minutes ago