From the 26th March smoking in public places in Scotland will be banned. No cigarettes. No cigars. No tobacco. Smoke free, clean air.
From my point of view this is not before time. I am a non-smoker and have lead a very active, sporty life without being tempted to smoke by social peer pressure. For me the smoking ban in Scotland will mean going to the pub in the evenings, or on a night out and come home smelling smoke and tobacco free. But rising above all the political talk of saving lives and improving Scotland's woeful health record (what's wrong with a black pudding supper??) it is also likely to have a profound financial effect on pubs. Debate has been raging for months about whether pubs will survive the smoking ban. The truth is pubs will close and jobs will be lost. Being realistic though smokers will have to embrace the ban - they have no choice. Besides how are folk like me able to tell if a pub is busy or not from now on? Just check the number of smokers huddling outside!
This was a great way of pub spotting when I was in New York, which has had a smoking ban for many years.
Although I have a feeling talking about the smoking ban in Scotland and actually conforming to the ban may be the real talking point.
I was talking to a taxi driver who had a great point about working mens clubs. Guys well over the age of 70 have been going to working mens clubs for a pint and a cigarette for years. Now - is the same barman who has been serving these guys for years now going to tell them they have to go outside for a smoke? No chance!
I think the same can be said for many other pubs and clubs too. Enforcing the ban may be the real issue.
Nonetheless, I am going to enjoy a smokeless Scotland! If the Irish can do it...We'll just wait and see how long England takes to catch up!