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Opening Arguments

Up in smoke

Nothing but good consequences from bans on public smoking? Let's check in on Australia:

SMOKING bans could spark an increase in drink-driving and underage drinking as traditional pub clientele turn to backyard establishments, a hotelier has warned.

Tasmania, the first state to place a blanket ban on smoking in bars 12 months ago, has experienced a rise in illegal pubs, a situation hoteliers say is likely to spread.

Sly-grogging in sheds, garages and backyards had been reported in about 30 towns across Tasmania, with up to two or three unlicensed premises per town, Australian Hotels Association, Tasmanian manager Daniel Hanna said today.

Most reports were from regional or country areas, although some "shed drinking'' was occurring in the suburbs, usually in areas with a large proportion of traditional clientele, such as smokers not interested in gaming facilities.

Anybody want to talk about the effects of secondhand smoke vs. the effects of drunken driving?


Bob G.
Tue, 01/16/2007 - 7:27am

I'd have to lean towards drunk-driving as being a more "clear and present danger"....

And we all KNOW you can't check EVERY SINGLE house for those who imbibe and choose to take to the highways....(yet).

(Tasmania has nothing on the streets & alleys of America)



Tue, 01/16/2007 - 7:33am

I agree. I can at least see a smoker and avoid it if I want to. Can't do that with a drunk driver-you don't know they are drunk until after they hit you.

Jeff Pruitt
Wed, 01/17/2007 - 8:38am

Surely you jest Leo...