Smoking outside may be bad for your health
AFTER a year of clean air in our workplaces, we could have reasonably expected the Office of Tobacco Control to report a fall-off in hospital admissions and huge drops in cancer and coronary heart failure rates.
We were, after all, led to believe that environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) was (maybe) the biggest killer.
But instead they state that carbon monoxide (CO) levels have fallen by 45% in pubs. Statistics like these are designed to impress but on closer examination, they are meaningless. Carbon monoxide is present in low levels in the air everywhere. Open flames are the most common source of carbon monoxide and motor vehicles are the most common cause of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Cigarette smoke contains only tiny amounts and it is the smoker, not those around him, who is affected. A drop in CO emissions, while welcome, is probably caused by factors other than cigarettes.
The reality is that nothing has changed on the health level. Hospital waiting lists grow longer, record numbers of patients are being treated (or not) on trollies and the health service is a shambles.
While CO levels have fallen in some pubs, levels are rising in the streets outside due to increased exhaust fumes from more cars on the road. In this context, forcing smokers out could actually be quite dangerous,