Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Prohibition, The Sequel

Easy to have predicted too:

A number of illegal "smoke-easies", reminiscent of the speakeasies set up in the United States during the Prohibition era when alcohol was banned, have sprung up across Scotland.

Forest, the pro-smoking lobby, said such "lock-ins" had started up in Ireland and New York after their smoking bans were imposed.

Latest figures from New York, which implemented a ban in 2003, show that the city's health department issued 601 'violations' in the 12 months to May to premises operating "smoke-easies".

One smoker, who has been invited three times to join a selected group after closing time in his local pub in the east of Scotland, said: "We tend to sit and wait to be given the signal. Then the door was slammed and locked and the ashtrays came out. I think the manager drew the curtains as well.

"There was about ten-12 of us, men and women from ages about early 20s to their 70s, and we had another couple of drinks and a smoke.

"It felt like such a treat. I think in a way it's nostalgic for me because I associate pubs with the smell of smoke and beer. Although in general I think the ban is a good thing, it will be horrible for people being forced to go outside on cold winter nights."

No comments: