On July 1st England is going smoke-free in public, enclosed places. That means no smoking in pubs, clubs, tubs (public, enclosed tubs that is), restaurants, hospitals, churches, museums, taxis, giant robot suits, garages, crack dens, brothels, Burger Kings, supermarkets, oxygen tents, etc.
Some people in the country are up in arms, coughing furiously and spitting cancerous phlegm at anyone who can tolerate their stench enough to stand nearby, whereas other people are smiling smugly and sniffing flowers or newborn bunny rabbits. It’s divisive, this smoking ban.
One group of people who are particularly annoyed are "people who own buildings and stuff". For this unfortunate group there is an additional minor hardship to contend with in lieu of the new rules: no smoking signs must be displayed prominently everywhere.
Their argument – which I happen to agree with – works like this: the smoking ban doesn’t just apply to a select few locations, it applies everywhere, thus making the need for signs both pointless and expensive for taxpayers who are the ones footing much of the bill for all this. Not only that, but some places that have never had a problem with smoking – churches, for instance – will still have to put the no smoking signs on display. Just in case. Since Jesus at no point said "Thou shalt not have a crafty fag" it must therefore be okay in the eyes of those of the religious persuasion to have one and this bureaucratic lunacy enforcing against the will of Jesus is the sort of thing that draws ire and the sound of many biros penning letters of displeasure to free local newspapers.
Still, the smoking ban is coming – take heed you touristy people with intentions of visiting for a smoking break! – and the signs, as useless as they are, are going up.
And they’re not the only signs that all places will be forced to display too. You’ll also soon be able to see: