Simon Clark covers it here.
And the Bolton Smokers Club covers it in numerous posts here, here, here and here. (I think I got all of 'em.)
I don't like blogging about stuff others have already covered, but I'm going to now because I think I have something to add to this discussion.
So here's the thing. We treat animals better than we do smokers. Free-range pigs have shelters from the elements. So why can't people have shelters as well? I mean, are smokers so despised by the health nazi elite that we don't deserve to be sheltered when we are forced to step outside to smoke a cigarette? I'm guessing that must be the case.
Actually, I'm not guessing. I know it to be true. Here's a private Facebook conversation that a good friend sent to me in respect of how smokers are somehow a burden to the NHS. This is a small excerpt from a much longer conversation, but there's nothing taken out of context here. It is what it is:
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"People are not best placed to know what is best for them because in general, people are stupid. The average person cannot be trusted to have too many freedoms otherwise they abuse them."
Holy fucking wow! Can you believe that shit? The "average person cannot be trusted." We're talking average here, which one presumes means the majority of people. We're not even talking about immigrants. No. Average British folk. And you're all stupid according to this person. Well, well, well... the person who wrote that "people are not best placed to know what is best for them" is definitely a cunt. Curiously, that person is also a UKIP supporter and despises socialism, according to that person's Facebook profile.
What? You thought UKIP supporters were all pro-smoking? You'd be very wrong if you did. Truth is, anti-smoking crosses all political boundaries and parties. Anti-smoking is not exclusively Labour or Lib Dem, although one must concede that a huge plurality of those twats are certainly more anti-smoking than others. But nope. There are many Tories and UKIPs who also despise smokers. You cannot trust any party to do right by you.
Folks, the problem with politics isn't the parties. Voting for any of them means voting for the status quo -- being told how to live your life. Each party has a different view, some have merits, others are insane. But you have to decide to accept that party's stance if and when you vote for somebody. The problem with politics is that it is by design utterly corrupt. The people who want to be politicians are those who should never be in charge of anything... ever. And that's true of all parties. All of them. The only solution to the party problem, which is also fraught with unworkable issues, is to abolish the party system. Since that's a piss-poor solution in itself, then it's pretty clear that what we need is a "benevolent tyranny." And someday I will write a post about it. Today, is not that day. Instead I'm writing about Bolton -- I apologise for the digression.
So, back to Bolton. The question isn't whether the hospital should reinstall smoker shelters. The question is whether anybody in Bolton has any humanity? Like I said, we treat animals better than we treat other people. The humane thing to do is to put up the shelters.
It's not illegal to smoke anywhere outside on the hospital grounds. They just don't want you to smoke there. They want to make an example of you. So the hospital has a serious enforcement problem. They can only cite people for littering (and seriously people, carry a portable ashtray to avoid the fines and the unsightly litter), but you cannot stop the people from smoking anywhere on the hospital grounds. Since it's not illegal to smoke outside, then why wouldn't you put up shelters to protect those patients, staff and visitors from the elements? It's a compassion thing. It's not a legal thing.
Well, there's a poll on the Bolton News website, and the hospital trust has agreed to abide by the results of the poll. With this in mind, the first thing you ought to do is go vote YES on that poll. Because then the shelters will be built and that's the right thing to do of course.
But there should never have been a need for a poll such as this in the first place. Good people, decent people, humane and caring people would build shelters regardless. They wouldn't have a goddamn poll for fuck's sake! They would do it out of compassion for their fellow human beings. Like Ikea did. Only evil tobacco control fuckpuppets from the hell that is the New Inquisition would want smokers to suffer in the cold, windy elements.
And that's all I have to say about it.*
(*Actually, I have a lot more to say about it, but I've said enough for now.)