When the ban on smoking in bars, restaurants and workplaces was proposed more than a decade ago all the usual voices warned that such a measure would have profound consequences. How right they were, even if for all the wrong reasons. Some publicans, restaurant owners predicted that their businesses’ viability would be jeopardised by anti-smoking legislation. They could not have been more wrong. Irish people and tourists too, office workers as well, now enjoy a smoke-free environment where there was once a fog of nicotine. The success of the measure means that only the unhinged might propose its reversal.
However, the final frontier has not yet been conquered. An environmental group, the Sandycove Clean Coasts Group, has appealed to local authorities to ban smoking on beaches. The call does not focus on passive smoking but rather the littering of our beaches and the increasingly destructive pollution of our seas.
It is more than difficult to think of even one good reason not to act on this entirely valid, progressive proposal.