It’s time smoking was banned in all public places – Zella Compton

Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, has banned smokers from the huge site

Queen Alexandra Hospital has banned people smoking on its site. About time too.

It’s so gross to walk through people puffing away, whether that’s in the streets, at festivals or going into buildings.

Under-funded NHS workers must hate walking through big clouds of  cancer-causing smoke to get to work. 

The sooner we ban smoking in all public places, the better.

As an ex-smoker I know full-well how galling that’ll be for smokers to read, but take it from me, your habit impacts on other people.

Carry on in your own home but don’t make the rest of us suffer. Second-hand smoke should be relegated to a thing of the past.

Not all teens are on the look-out for thuggery

Last weekend I was rather surprised when my youngest daughter appeared – she’s 14 – without the party decorations she and her friends had cycled off to buy. 

They’d headed to The Range, only to be denied entrance. Groups of teenagers are banned, as is apparently anyone under the age of 16 unless accompanied by an adult.

This surprised me as I had no idea such draconian practices were in place. Surely all businesses’ reason for existence is to encourage consumerism? My daughter and friends are about as edgy as satsumas (to steal a favorite phrase from The Mighty Boosh).

But that’s a wider societal problem, isn’t it, one that just won’t go away? We regard teens with such angst, especially if there’s more than one of them.

I suspect it’s one of those situations, a spiral of fear, where we think of a group of teens as malicious, and throw looks at them which suggest that.

They feel the looks given, resent that and thus start to stare back with full-on shade (I’m not so confident with that phraseology, so forgive me if I get it wrong.)

However you say it, it’s even worse if the teens are wearing hoodies.

The thing is, my teens wear hoodies when they’re cold, and they put the hoods up to cover their ears.

Perhaps it’s something about staying warm, and not about disguising themselves ready for a bit of opportune thuggery?

They hang out in groups, sure, because they’re still social beings and have not learnt to stay at home and hate all people like some of us have.

And as to lingering in unsocial places, well, where else are they supposed to go? Where are the cafes that will welcome them in the evening like in old American movies?

I don’t know what The Range is so afraid of – perhaps groups of teens joyriding through the aisles on mini-scooters, or reclining in the furniture displays. 

But I expect that it’s shoplifting and, if that’s the case, it’s really sad. It taints a generation with an unsavoury sticky label.

Seeing is not believing in the land of reality television

I sat down to watch Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls and gritted my teeth throughout.

You’d think contestants would watch a few survival shows beforehand to get an idea of what was coming and learn some skills?

That was just the start of it though, swiftly followed by the realisation this was manipulative TV at its worst. 

Contestants had to jump into the rocky sea and swim to the island as there was no boat access. 

Yet, when the first person wanted out, funnily enough Bear’s team discovered they could drive the boat straight up to a sandy shore.

It’s this twisting of the truth which leaves a sour taste in the mouth, over and above the limpet soup.

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