Petitions and activism
Ban smoking at London's bus stops - petition!
SmokeFreeStops · 04/01/2015 13:51
As someone with bad lungs, I find it really difficult to breathe when people are smoking at bus stops. I've tried asking people to stop smoking at bus stops - but often they say it's their legal right to smoke there. And you can't just move away from them because often it's raining or you might lose your place in the queue.
Some adults can drive and not use buses - but our kids are forced to stand there and inhale all this smoke if they need to use buses to get to school/friends. It's not good if they have asthma or cystic fibrosis.
So here's our petition calling for a ban in smoking at all London bus shelters - bit.ly/tflsmoke
Please sign if you find smoking at bus stops a problem or are worried about your kids breathing in second-hand smoke.
The English public smoking ban doesn't extend to bus shelters that aren't more than half enclosed i.e. most bus shelters in London. However, TfL can ban smoking and mandate 'No Smoking' signs in all London bus shelters. Many cities do this in their own areas.
This matters because 3 years after the public smoking ban, a study showed there were ~6,800 fewer hospital admissions for childhood asthma. The public smoking ban now has widespread support – a 2012 poll revealed 78% of adults were in favour. There has been a 2.4% national fall in hospital admissions for heart attacks as a result of the ban - equivalent to 1,200 fewer annual admissions.
Hopefully we can get smoking stopped at bus stops in London - making it better for children with lungs that don't respond well to passive smoking.
Thank you for reading this :). bit.ly/tflsmoke
(PS: I apologise if this is inappropriate here - I had a look at the forum rules and it just rules out commercial posts, rather than grassroots campaigns. Please delete if I've done something wrong!)
vanhelsing · 07/01/2015 21:10
Hmmm I do notice people smoking at stops in London quite often. I also have somewhat dodgy lungs (annoying asthma, never smoked myself) and my chest becomes really tight when I have to stay around smokers. It’s one thing bumping into some cigarette smoke on the street – but at the bus stops, in London you do have to queue and I do notice the effect on my lungs then.
Air/car pollution: also bothers me and my lungs yes (along with other things like pollen which I can’t control) but doesn’t mean I wouldn’t welcome some action on smoking. It all contributes and you can start small, not throwing up hands in despair because it seems too huge!
To the people saying step away/get umbrella:
- What if there’s more than one smoker? One at each end? Shelters aren’t that big.
- As others have said…isn’t it up to the smoker to step away and get wet/go to the back of any queue if they want a ciggie? I feel it’s up to people whether they smoke but they should be considerate about it and forcing someone to either breathe it in (even if they don’t have dodgy lungs) or get wet/step out of the queue seems a bit unreasonable to me. Why am I the one who has to do that rather than the person choosing to smoke?
PlentyOfPubeGardens · 07/01/2015 21:11
Nobody has queued for buses in London since 1995 when the law was repealed. Before that there was a £2 fine for those who would not "wait in line or queues in an orderly manner" (London Passenger Transport Act 1938).
I'd love to petition to bring back a queueing law, it would make my commute so much less stressful and would add to the common good so much more than this vindictive little campaign. I know it would be unenforceable though, so for now I just sharpen my elbows like everybody else.
PlentyOfPubeGardens · 07/01/2015 21:46
vanhelsing - 1)What if there’s more than one smoker? One at each end? Shelters aren’t that big.
No they're not. Usually there are 4 or 5 people under the shelter and about 15-20 outside it. What makes you special?
2)As others have said…isn’t it up to the smoker to step away and get wet/go to the back of any queue if they want a ciggie? I feel it’s up to people whether they smoke but they should be considerate about it and forcing someone to either breathe it in (even if they don’t have dodgy lungs) or get wet/step out of the queue seems a bit unreasonable to me. Why am I the one who has to do that rather than the person choosing to smoke?
This is confirmation bias, as is pinkfrock's comment - I have also never seen a smoker show any social awareness of how their smoke is a nuisance to others at the bus stop. (sorry pinkfrock if you think I'm picking on you but you have posted some tosh)
Every smoker I know DOES step away and get wet, does go to the back of the scrum queue, just as they quietly went outside in 2007 and began the long slow process that has culminated in smokers apologising for breathing in the presence of others (yes I did on occasion apologise quite sincerely for breathing in a lift after going out for a fag).
What you're noticing is the odd wanker who doesn't give a shit. There will always be wankers who do stuff to piss you off. No law can prevent that. If it's not smoking it'll be something else. You won't be noticing the vast majority of smokers who have moved far away from you because ... they've moved far away from you!
SmokeFreeStops · 07/01/2015 23:21
Thank you for the responses.
A few points:
- No they're not. Usually there are 4 or 5 people under the shelter and about 15-20 outside it. What makes you special?" - Because the people under the shelter might be there because they are old/frail/have breathing problems/have kids with buggies. Secondhand smoke may or may not be associated with lung cancer - but it is known to trigger asthma attacks. These can be quite severe.
Ideally other smokers will be considerate and stop smoking when they see them. But there's also people who appear healthy at first glance and aren't, but may not want to ask someone to stop smoking. (I often feel I can't tell someone to stop smoking once they've lit up because then they'll have wasted their fag if they put it out. You feel bad speaking up for yourself if you're affected by someone's smoke.
Whereas if there's a sign saying don't smoke, you've been warned before you risk lighting a ciggie that someone else may ask you to put out because it affects them. Also useful for old ladies and gents who may not feel able to speak up to a young strapping youth, no matter how kind-hearted he/she actually is.)
- MzTake - thanks for signing.
As for enforcement - you don't need to actively police bus shelters. You just need council officers or PCSO's to do random spot checks every now and then to get the message out. Also, what's crucial is that there's a sign saying it's not allowed, that's it's banned. It EMPOWERS people affected to tell smokers, "please don't smoke here because you're not allowed" - easier to do. Otherwise most people wouldn't say anything even if a smoker's smoke was affecting them, because you feel like you're imposing yourself when you ask for someone to stop smoking.
- The photo on the petition page is staged, not real. We were very careful to not breach anyone's privacy, and we have written permission to use the photograph. They're not under the shelter because it's hard to get a shot of a cigarette and a bus shelter in the same shot.
AWholeLottaNosy · 07/01/2015 23:30
I've recently moved from London to the Midlands and OMG the difference in the quality of the air is really noticeable! I really think if you want to improve people's quality of life in London, campaigning against air pollution would make a much bigger difference. People smoking at bus stops is a red herring IMO.
PlentyOfPubeGardens · 08/01/2015 09:47
Because the people under the shelter might be there because they are old/frail/have breathing problems/have kids with buggies. Secondhand smoke may or may not be associated with lung cancer - but it is known to trigger asthma attacks. These can be quite severe.
Oh come on! If this was what you were really concerned about you wouldn't be farting around with this stupid little non-problem you'd be campaigning about traffic pollution which causes as many as 60,000 deaths each year. Several roads in London have already breached EU limits for the whole of 2015 in a matter of days. The government have been taken to the EU Supreme Court over it (and lost) and still Boris is dragging his heels.
The photo on the petition page is staged, not real. We were very careful to not breach anyone's privacy, and we have written permission to use the photograph.
From your campaign page:
Dr Mohsin Khan
7 Dec 2014 — If you have any examples (or relevant photos/videos) of how smoking at bus stops has affected you, please drop me a line at smokefreestops at mail dot com or DM me on our Twitter page at @smokefreestops
- Dr Mohsin Khan @thedoctorkhan @smokefreestops
vanhelsing · 10/01/2015 01:09
Also, to the people those saying move out of air pollution zone London... I could move out of London I guess, except for the part where I have a life/job here. I suppose if it got really extreme I’d have to consider it but right now, bit tied to the capital and its smoky, smoky air and transport. (And yes, as a middle class girl I probably have more options than lots of others in London re moving).
I also think it makes it easier to ask smokers to stop or move away if there is official back up, even in the form of a sign – don’t have to expect ‘social awareness’ but you have some force behind you because it’s not actually allowed if you do ask them to stop. It helps.
Eg if I am in a non-quiet carriage on a train and someone is being annoyingly loud on their phone I’d find it hard to ask them to stop because it’s annoying but not actually banned. If we’re in the quiet carriage I feel able to stand up and point to the sign because it’s not just me being a sensitive flower etc (yeah, I’m one of those people but hello, there are plenty of non-quiet carriages and the times it’s happened to me the train was nowhere near full!)
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