Ban on smoking in pubs
Madam, - The analogies presented by two correspondents arguing against the proposed ban on smoking in pubs are superficially attractive. They don't, however, stand up to scrutiny. If I were to sit opposite someone wearing a bright red jumper, I may indeed offend his good taste, but the essential point is that I am not thereby forcing him to wear a similar garment. Likewise, if I tuck in to my steak and chips beside a committed vegetarian, I am not forcing her to partake of animal flesh. Lastly, if I drink several litres of beer in the presence of a non-drinker, I am not forcing him to abandon his abstemious principles.
But if I light up a cigarette, then I am immediately forcing everyone in the vicinity to become an unwilling participant in this health-damaging activity. That is the essential difference. This is not about whether you have a right to smoke or not, but whether you have a right to force others to do so, which is an entirely different matter. - Yours, etc.,
TOM WADE, Blackrock, Co Dublin.