I was in a bar the other day watching football on the TV. Then, a chap came in and pulled out a cigarette. Within a few minutes, he spoilt the air with cigarette smoke. So, I stood up and asked for the manager of the establishment.

I told her to please politely ask the smoker to step outside and finish his cigarette, so the rest of us could have fresh air to breathe! To my surprise, she declined and said she could not ask a customer to leave.

Then I said, “Just ask him to step outside, finish his cigarette and then return, no problem.” She refused to do that also.

Smoking in public places
Smoking in public places is now banned in many countries. Smoking is banned inside all airports, government offices, health clinics and workplaces in Australia. Restaurants and shopping centres in most states and territories are also smoke-free zones.

The sale of tobacco products has been banned throughout the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. It is believed to be the first country to have done this. The authorities in Cuba are seeking to curb damage to people’s health and help bring about a change in public attitudes. The Cuban leader Fidel Castro – a cigar aficionado in the early days of his left-wing revolution – kicked the habit in 1986 for health reasons.

The Federal Ministry of Health must prohibit smoking in public places. Our hotels, bars, restaurants, government offices and other public places should be ‘No Smoking’ zones. Enact the law and let it be enforced by public opinion and by members of the public.

If I had the right to ask the smoker to please go out, then I would, supported by the manager. It’s that simple. Preventing a few people from killing us all should be uncomplicated. It should make sense, especially in a country where poverty is rife and access to good medical care is not even a lottery.

The funny thing is that she and her staff are passively smoking all the time – even if unknown to them. They cannot leave and are subject to the ill effects of cigarette smoke perhaps even more than the individual smoker. Just how stupid that is! I felt sorry for her and wished I could drill some common sense into her thick skull. I could leave and take my business elsewhere; so my friends and I left the establishment instead.

Hell must be a great place to smoke
Smoking is addictive and smokers are always looking for other people to infect with the disease. If possible, smokers should be imprisoned for corrupting children and adults alike. Establishments wanting to allow smoking should have designated, closed-off sections, with specially-designed ventilation, where no food or drink can be served. Just for smokers alone!

Sadly, second-hand smoke can spread from a smoking area to a non-smoking area, even if the doors between the two areas are closed and even if ventilation is provided. Only 100 per cent smoke-free environments provide effective protection. Therefore, the best we can hope for right now is that smokers should proceed to hell.

Smoking is free in hell and hell must be a great place to smoke.