Vice Squad
Friday, May 21, 2004
Fifty-Plus Days of Smoke-Free Irish Pubs

Friend of Vice Squad Will Pyle helps our cause even while he engages in survey work in Russia. Will brings our attention to this Slate article talking about the effects of the public smoking ban that went into effect in Ireland not quite two months ago. There's the usual crowding just outside the door -- an area now marked by extensive cigarette butt litter -- which at least has provided opportunities for flirting. Occasionally someone who claims to be stepping outside for a smoke skips his check. Compliance with the smoking ban is fairly high, it seems, though far from perfect. Here's a brief excerpt from the linked Slate article:
Wizened old men who look like they grew up with a Guinness in one hand and a toitini in the other huddle forlornly in dark pub doorways for a furtive puff as their pints go flat at the bar. Pubs where smoke was previously a three-dimensional wallpaper now boast (almost) Everest-clear air, allowing the various aromas that the Marlboro Man and friends obscured—vomit, urine, yesterday's lunch special, spilled Smithwick's Irish Ale—to reek pungently in their full glory.

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