LETTERS: Let’s not make smoking bans too draconian

Have your say

I am interested by your article ‘Play park smoking ban on a swing and a prayer’ (News, September 15).

I am not usually a supporter of imposing bans on people doing things, however I can accept the council banning smoking near children’s play areas. It is certainly not wise to be smoking near children or encouraging them to be taking up this filthy habit.

I do hope that this is as far as any ban will go and that there will be no attempt to impose a wider ban on outdoor smoking.

I would consider myself a non-smoker, however I respect the right of those who do smoke to do so, and particularly outdoors, with minimal interference from others.

I certainly could not support a ban on smoking in places such as big open parks, beaches and similar places. Any ban on these would be a step too far and draconian in my opinion.

The city council should be careful in how it implements a ban. I can fully understand a ban near children’s play areas and even on school premises, but there is also mention of car parks, courtyards and entrances to city-owned buildings.

Unless these are implemented sensibly, I fear this could end up alienating staff and harming employee/employer relations.

I don’t see any harm in someone having a cigarette in an open car park or courtyard. It is, perhaps, a bit more controversial near entrances, particularly if the public have to walk through a cloud of smoke to enter the building. But if that is a problem, then a reasonable employer should be coming up with a sensible solution to solve it while still allowing staff their right to have a 

Mr Alastair Macintyre, Webster Place, Rosyth, Fife

Bogus anti-smoking campaigns go too far

As a lifelong (very long!) non-smoker, I have closely followed the various campaigns against the habit and I find them to be almost universally bogus.

Ash Scotland’s approach is typical, with wild claims advanced devoid of supporting evidence.

With considerable personal experience of the subject, I don’t believe any such problem exists. Instead of producing statistics recording both incidence and proven danger, Professor Alison McCallum of NHS Lothian states “the health risk associated with breathing in second and third-hand smoke are well known”. On what evidence? The only detailed research I’ve come across involved 118,000 Californians over a 30-year period, which indicated no significant increase in cancer risk, however intense or prolonged the exposure.

The present proliferation of pensioners often quoted as a ‘problem’ expense on the taxpayer, survived exposure to enclosed smoke at home (some people even smoked in bed, exposing non-smoking relatives to 24-hour smoke) and work and in buses, cinemas, phone boxes and restaurants. Remember ‘Auld Reekie’?

I dislike being exposed to cigarette smoke as much as anyone else, but extending a ban to open air areas is a step too far. In any case I believe it would be more acceptable – and more successful – if notices simply asked the public to desist near children’s play areas, out of respect for their comfort.

Robert Dow, Ormiston Road, Tranent

Vote no to Colinton boundary split

In suggesting a proposal to split Colinton asunder, as a 30-year resident and voter living in the area which the Boundary Commission proposes be split off and placed in Pentland Hills ward, one can only assume that the commission is totally unaware of the 900 years of history which makes up the existing Colinton village community (‘Protesters draw the line at splitting Colinton in half’, News, September 15).

I question how this proposal, therefore, conforms to the aim of the changes, which is to align natural communities.

To split a naturally evolved 900- year-old community, as is proposed, is nonsense and the commission will receive my objection shortly. I hope everybody else in the village will do likewise.

Colinton must be protected as the village community it is. If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it. Colinton is quite happy together, as it has been during my residency here.

Chris J Moorey, Lanark Road, Colinton

Referendum re-run pressure is tedious

People like Alex Orr and others are trying to push another referendum on us less than a year after the last one (‘Corbyn victory brings independence closer’, Letters, September 15).

I voted No last time and nothing has happened to make me change my mind. The case for No is even stronger now, following the collapse of Scotland’s oil industry and the subsequent loss of revenues.

Of course, Mr Orr and many others like him are now dismissing this fact by claiming it is irrelevant and any oil revenues would have been a bonus!

Quite laughable really when you consider the Yes camp, pre-referendum, was telling us how rich Scotland was and how the oil would pay for everything. Now we are supposed to believe in the SNP’s Brigadoon 
economic predictions and vote Yes anyway.

This is only one reason why I will remain a No voter. There are many more, including we would end up in the euro which would be a disaster for Scotland. So to the Yes camp I would say, “gie’s peace”!

David Smith West Windygoul Gardens, Tranent