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Death sentence for smoking diners.

May 22, 2014

Smoke, smoke, smoke those  mealtime cigarettes as fast as you can…You’ve got just two years before the mixed pavement pleasure of nicotine and nosh will be illegal.

Tucked away on page two of  today’s “Advertiser” is a three-paragraph news item that spells the closure  of the final loophole for those  outdoor diners who enjoy a drag on a fag with their meal. And a logistical disaster for a few eatery owners.

To quote the news item:

“Health Minister Jack Snelling  said that smoking would be allowed in outdoor drinking areas but only where no food was served. The industry two years would allow the industry to adapt.

“The Government also reinstated $1.5million in funding for anti-tobacco advertising, which was cut last year, after figures showed smoking rates in SA have jumped from 16.7 percent to 19.4 percent in the past 12 months”. (So much for all those horrific TV ads showing X-rated pix of rotting teeth and diseased gums!)

Meanwhile, with time on his hands and the interest of local eateries at heart, “Grumpy” took a lunchtime stroll down King William Road today to suss out the situation and the views of smokers and eatery owners..

The result?. Only one of the seven establishments I visited  had any qualms about the new legislation, with all the others saying that either they had very few smoker customers, or those who did smoke moved away (in the case of Cibo’ s) and used the adjacent Boffa Street car park.

Meanwhile, can someone enlighten me on how it will be policed? Specially uniformed upholders of  the law armed with cameras?

All of the above reminds me of that wonderful monologue of  American humourist Bob Newhart(?) interviewing Sir Walter Raleigh, who was credited with introducing the western world to  tobacco. It went something like this…

“What’s that, Walt? You shred some  leaves, dry them out, then roll them in a piece of paper? OK, what then?

“You put it in your mouth and then what?

“Oh, you set light to  them! Wow!

” Sorry Walt,  but I don’t think it will ever catch on…”

P.s. I have never been a cigarette addict. Maybe I should have been. It could have stunted my growth and I wouldn’t have shot up to an at-times awkward two metres.

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