Smoke-free zone

I made the mistake of leaving it late to book my hotel for this week, with the result that I have ended up having to take a smoking room. As a non-smoker with a very sensitive nose, this week has not been a pleasant experience to say the least. The room is clean, but there doesn't seem to be any way of getting rid of the stench of stale smoke, short of re-painting the walls and replacing all the soft furnishings. On the first night I emptied an entire spray can of Oust into the room, covering everything - ceiling, walls, carpet, curtains, bedding, the lot. The effect lasted for about 10 minutes before the stench began to fill my nostrils again. Don't get me wrong, it's not a particularly strong smell, but it is there - it is noticeable, and it is bugging me!

I've tried each night to move rooms but I seem to have chosen a week when everything is booked solid. If I was staying in the UK I'd definitely consider building a business case to open up a new hotel in Manchester as there's clearly a shortage.

Smoking is yet another reason on the long list why I can't wait to move to Australia.

I already new that smoking was banned in pubs in Oz but I wasn't aware of the extent of the smoking ban in Queensland until I read this post by a Brit family in Oz talking about their visit to see Robbie Williams play Brisbane, where he (Robbie) was fined $150 for lighting up on stage.

I'm now extremely pleased to discover that as well as eating and drinking venues, smoking in Queensland is banned in 'outdoor public places where people gather as groups, and particularly where children are present', including:

  • Patrolled beaches
  • Artificial beaches
  • Major sports stadiums
  • Children's playground equipment
  • Building Entrances

I love the fact that it is illegal to smoke within 4 metres of a non-residential building entrance. So not only do smokers have to go outside, they have to smoke away from the entrance so we don't have to walk through it when entering or leaving the building.

Full details are here

I went on a stag weekend to Dublin shortly after the ban was introduced there and it was so nice to be able to go out on a drinking session and wake up the next morning not smelling of smoke.

The Wetherspoon chain of pubs in the UK has already made 146 of its 673 pubs non-smoking, and many of its other pubs have non-smoking areas inside. I used to think Wetherspoon pubs were crap because they don't play music, but now being a thirty-something I actually find it quite nice to be able to have a pleasant conversation (cringe!).