Unintended Consequences

We know that when the state intervenes to improve our behaviour that there are consequences no-one had thought of. Take the smoking ban — the BBC made dire predictions that it would possibly increase the number of people who smoke; adversely affect global warming through the installation of patio heaters to comfort puffing pub-goers (which has come to pass); inflict more passive smoking on children as more parents smoked at home; and other unthought of downsides.

But if their was an undoubted upside to the ban as it was sold to us by HMG it was that smoke-free pubs and clubs would be fresher, brighter, cleaner places in which to spend a pleasant, tobaccoless evening. Sadly the reality is somewhat different:

The disappearance of cigarette smoke has left many drinkers at many popular nightspots having to put up with the smell of beer and body odours.

Manchester Evening News

This unintended consequence has been confirmed by Miss P who was on the town last night to celebrate a friend’s birthday. One of the things she reckons cigarette smoke had masked all this time was the smell of blokes farting. She is now convinced that men spend most of their waking (and sleeping) moments breaking wind, and if you read Jeremy Clarkson regularly, she could well be right.

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3 comments… Add yours
  • Yorkshire Pudding 30th July 2007

    There is nothing wrong with the smoking ban – it’s long overdue and it is civilising. Miss P is wrong about farting – it’s women who are always doing it but they let theirs out cunningly and secretly – unlike we men who are quite happy to be honest about our wind and fart it out like jazz trumpeters.

  • Mosher 31st July 2007

    Funnily enough I was talking to a girl a couple of weeks ago who said much the same thing – the smoke had been masking the smell of the pubs. I can’t recall where she was from, but it was somewhere that had the ban put in place a few years ago – Oz or NZ possibly.

    Still, you can’t catch the Cancer from bottom burps. Yet.

    Incidentally, that charity walk thing I’m being mad enough to do starts tomorrow/today (1st Aug) depending on your time zone. And my tent’s lost in the flipping French postal service. Arghl.

  • Shooting Parrots 1st August 2007

    Hi Yorkie and Mosh. Glad to see I;m not languishing in a forgotten backwater of the web. (Okay, so I am!)

    Yorkie, while agree that the smoking ban is a ‘good’ thing, I have a sneaking antipathy to changing behaviour by introducing new laws. It worked with seat-belts, but that was a different time. Better to take people by hearts and minds rather than the wallet.

    Whisper it softly though, I think you’re right about women’s botty burps. I think the exhausts of men and women are designed differently. Theirs are the pristine put-put variety while ours sound like the back box has gone.

    And Mosh, no you don’t get cancer from farts (although the jury’s still out where our dog, Jack, is concerned) but them cows and methane? Well there’s climate change and too much sunlight for you!


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