Thursday, 15 November 2012

You'll Never Take Me Alight, Copper!

I haven't dipped into the hilarious ASH document Myths and Realities of Smokefree England for a while. For the uninitiated, this is a comedy item produced in the run up to the 2007 smoking ban just to give us all a few much-needed laughs.

Well, that isn't how it was originally drafted, of course. It was written in all seriousness, but considering all their "myths" have now been proven to be true since 2007 - offering a lot of fun along the way - it's well worth a read.

These 'myths' were specifically relating to a ban on smoking in enclosed places, but I do believe I might have stumbled across the first recorded incidence of a myth being debunked for outdoor smoking too.

Here's ASH's original gag.
Myth: There will be heavy handed enforcement with undercover officers and covert filming.
Yes, we all know this has happened for real many times since 2007 to prosecute pub owners, but get this.
NHS Tayside has employed an ex-policeman to patrol hospital grounds and search for staff flouting the health board's smoking policy. 
It has been claimed that the smoking liaison officer is using heavy-handed tactics to stop workers lighting up. 
Patrick O'Hara has been given the authority to demand credentials and trigger disciplinary action against staff who refuse to stub out cigarettes, including those using in-patient smoking shelters.
Heavy handed indeed, but I'm sure he's a dedicated and competent professional.

Sadly, there isn't a smidgeon of scientific evidence that any of these nurses are harming anyone whatsoever. But hey, it's never been about health, ladies and gents.

If we're laughing about an ASH 'myth' towards indoor tobacco use which is so inept that it is also easily debunked outdoors too, could the look on our amused faces be termed a second-hand smirk?

OK, I'll get my coat ... and watch out for the undercover ex-copper on the way out.

1 comment:

Mark Wadsworth said...

Splendid post title :-)