In which our intrepid hero protests at having smoke blown up his butt.

I’m really not happy with the direction that anti-smoking laws are taking in New South Wales. From the NSW Department of Health:

NSW Smoke-free Environment Amendment Act 2004

The Smoke-free Environment Amendment Act 2004 came into effect on 4th January 2005, and has 3 phases to remove the current exemptions for smoking in licensed venues by 2nd July 2007.

From 3rd January 2005—3rd July 2005, there is to be no smoking at bar counters, and there must be a designated non-smoking area within all licensed venues.

From 4th July 2005—2nd July 2006, smoking will only be permitted in one room or no more than 50% of the enclosed premises in licensed venues.

From 3rd July 2006—1st July 2007, smoking will only be permitted in one room or no more than 25% of the enclosed premises in licensed venues.

From 2nd July 2007, all enclosed licensed premises must be non-smoking, with the exception of the private gaming room in Star City Casino.

Firstly, perish the thought that the wealthy gamblers in the high-roller room of Star City should have to go without a cigarette. This is one law for the rich, and one for the rest of us.

Secondly, if all these non-smoking drinkers are so concerned for their health, what are they doing going to bars and destroying their livers in the first place?

I have no problem with giving non-smokers 50% of the bar; that’s fair. But forcing smokers—in many cases—out onto the footpath is only going to cause problems with public safety.

Furthermore, banning smoking in pubs is seriously going to undermine the income of the hotel industry, which is fighting high taxes on poker-machine revenues in the first place.

The nightlife in Sydney is already pretty woeful. It will only get worse under these laws.

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