Monday, 4 December 2006

No smoke without fire

The debate over the smoking ban has come to Home Park. With public areas due to go 'smokeless' from 1st July 2007, speculation over whether Argyle will ban smoking within its stadium is rife (at least on PASOTI it is).

Under the ruling Sports Stadia are included in the criteria for 'public place':
"Does this legislation cover sports stadiums?
Many sports stadiums are already smokefree. When smokefree legislation comes into force, only those stadiums that are enclosed or substantially enclosed will need to be smokefree."

(Smokefree England)

Argyle currently ban smoking within the seating areas, leaving the Mayflower terrace, the lane behind the Grandstand and concourse areas smoking areas. This causes is a juxtaposition whereby anyone in the Devonport, Lyndhurst or Barn Park has to go into an enclosed area, instead of remaining in the open air. The result is a build up of fumes at half time causing an unpleasent atmosphere for the non smokers.

Micheal Dunford has already banned smoking by staff on Home Park property at the beginning of this season, and this would suggest that come July (or even early), Argyle will be a completely smoke free environment. However is Home Park "enclosed or substantially enclosed"? The wording suggests that as we only have 3 completed sides and a terracing area, that Home Park is neither enclosed or substantially enclosed. This could mean that smoking could legally return to the seating areas (except the grandstand, due to its age).

But it would seem that, and would indeed in the long term be easier for, Argyle to go completely smoke-free next year. Unfortunately the way that Argyle play sometimes, it will be extremely hard for some to go 2+ hours without a drag. I suggest that the superstore should start stocking Argyle branded nicitine patched and Polo mints.

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