Well, I'm out of London again today, so I'll leave all the clean-air non-smoking pubs to those smug Time Out reading metrophiles to enjoy.
As the view from Hampstead Heath (above) published in the Mail shows, London is set for another suffocating smog today. It's not only the particulates - PM10s and PM2.5s - but the NO, and particularly the carcinogenic PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) levels that Londoners will be breathing today - a rich soup. So bad in fact that if the 2003 smog mortality figures are a guide, several hundred Londoners will die today.
It's estimated that particulates alone kill 29,000 a year in the UK. Cancers and birth defects from the PAHs, and particularly the BaPs, could kill as many again. Geoffrey Lean outlines the causes in the Telegraph; no, not filthy smokers, but cars.
Cigarettes of course also produce particulates, NO and PAHs. This was the reason the banners wanted them banned. If you were locked in a small 3m2 chamber with a smoker who smoked an entire cigarette, the air inside would only have a PAH level of 0.5 - 8 ng/m3 . Today in London, levels on the roads will reach something like 120 ng/m3 . Even on normal days, PAH levels on London roads are around 35 ng/m3 . And you're breathing this with every single breath, every minute, every hour, for days on end.
So let's admit it, shall we? Banning smoking has absolutely nothing at all to do with the actual health risks of passive smoking, and everything to do with bigotry, prejudice, twisted science and spite. So suck in the smog, you Hoons, and enjoy.