If readers wish to raise their own subjects for discussion, then I'm very happy to help. One of our regulars, CS of Westgate, has asked if I might gauge your opinion of his argument on the present smoking legislation as it affects 'host families' something we have quite a number of in Thanet. He writes:
"As is known the law changed July 1st 2007 making all enclosed public places and workplaces in England smoke free. As has been highlighted in the local press and on the News several people have been fined for breaking this law, even whilst no visitors/paying persons were in the premises. If one owns a Pub/Hotel/Guest house receiving paying guests etc., no smokers including the owner’s weather they have guests or not are allowed to smoke in the premises.
An anomaly appears in the law.
If one receives foreign students into ones home (they being young and mature students) they are paying guests. This income is taxable. Based on this it is an income and classed as a business.
It has been stated that the law doesn’t apply to host families surely one is doing the same if one has a taxi. One is plying for trade. If one has a pub/hotel etc one is inviting visitors to come and stay therefore the same should apply to host families.
I agree legislation needs to catch up. By being a host family you are inviting /accepting people to come and stay with you this apparently is regarded as a private domestic arrangement. But entertaining family and friends in a pub after it is closed should this not also be classified as a private domestic arrangement?
I must assume that the law also follows for a shopkeeper who owns his own business and smokes in the business when the business is shut. They are liable for a fine just the same
The law is an ass, because a student can be in the same room as a chain smoker or even a couple of chain smokers causing damage to the young person’s health but the couple can be safe in the knowledge that they cannot be prosecuted or fined."