Hamish Champ: Day one of the smoking ban

By Hamish Champ

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Smoking ban, Smoking, Caribbean

So, how was it for you? After a very enjoyable day watching England trounce the West Indies at Lord's yesterday I entered a nearby licensed premises...

So, how was it for you? After a very enjoyable day watching England trounce the West Indies at Lord's yesterday I entered a nearby licensed premises to see how the new fangled smoking ban was going down.

Actually, that's a ridiculous distortion of the facts: I popped into the Warrington in Maida Vale to have a few beers, but in so doing I was able to witness at first hand whether there had been rebellion in the streets, with much throwing of heavy objects and breakdown in the rule of law, or a tacit acceptance of the new rule.

It appeared to be the latter. The interior of the grand old Victorian pub - which has apparently been bought by one G. Ramsay - had doubtless seen it fair share of smoke billowing about the place over the years, but yesterday there was not one wisp. True, there was a distinct odour of stale fag smoke, but then maybe the operator hadn't had time to do the ol' steam clean bit.

Overall the pub was busy enough. Smokers and their non-smoking friends - including me - crowded the outside area, resplendent with 'jumbrellas' and the next target on the climate change lobby's hit-list, the patio heater.

Inside the pub was just as busy. A few people watching the TV screens relaying the Concert for Diana, while the rest got on with the business of drinking their drinks and talking their talk.

As I placed my order at the bar I asked one of the staff whether they'd had any 'issues' with recalcitrant smokers. Not a bit of it, he replied. 100 per cent compliance, he added. What a law-abiding lot we are, I thought, though I'm sure there were a few boozers throughout the land where the level of obedience was not so water - or smoke - tight.

As I collected my round of drinks and headed for the door to meet my smoke-inhaling chums outside I heard the same bar person ask a customer for some proof of age.

Perhaps my question on the smoke ban had alerted him to the fact I might have been a snitch from the local council. Of course I wasn't, but it was still comforting to hear the bloke doing his job…

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