DOZY’S RAMBLES: Banning smoking on the beach may be a step too far

Mike Mendoza
Mike Mendoza

A recent proposal to stop people smoking on the beach is, in my opinion, a step too far.

I am no fan of smoking or smokers, and I am sure that many of you know I was one of the faces of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), the campaign to stop smoking in enclosed places such as pubs, clubs and restaurants.

I was delighted that the ban was introduced because I am living proof to the dangers of inhaling others filthy smoke.

For many years I was a club DJ, and many nights I would return home with my eyes streaming and stinging and usually ended up with a heavy cough – at one time I caught a serious lung disease, all due to inhaling other peoples smoke.

As far as smoking in the street, on the beach or in other public places, although I find it quite disgusting, I would defend people’s right to smoke (themselves to death) in an open space.

No matter what the signs are, no matter how much tax is placed on the cancer sticks, people will ignore all the signs until it is too late.

Don’t forget they tried to ban smoking in all public places and outdoors in France and it didn’t work.

Here in the UK, how often do you see van and truck drivers smoking in their vehicles?

The ban doesn’t work everywhere!

• They may look daft and always open to ridicule, but those men and women who prance around with bells on their legs, holding handkerchiefs and smacking pieces of wood together had an amazingly good time in Shoreham last weekend for the Morris Dancing Festival.

Just how much fun did the public have watching them?

They were colourful, they enjoyed themselves, they caused no problems, they left no rubbish in the streets and they raised a lot of money for charity at the same time.

I spent far more time watching them on Saturday than I intended.

I look forward to seeing them again soon.

I noticed that those taking part in the Morris Dancing Festival camped on Adur Rec.

What a great idea and very well organized. Maybe this can be taken on board by those organising the music festival at Shoreham airport next year (if it happens).

• I didn’t realise that, in West Sussex, more people are at an increased risk as a result of their drinking compared with the national average, and last year there were more than 16,000 admissions to hospitals in West Sussex due to alcohol-related harm.

It’s important to know that harm from alcohol can happen over time without you noticing the impact until more serious damage is done.

The council has now come up with a way to help those concerned about their own drinking habits, or those of a friend or loved one.

‘DontBottleItUp’ will allow you to work out whether your drinking is risking your health and provide personalised advice and support.

It will also give you information about where you can get face-to-face support in West Sussex, should you need it.

• Last Sunday afternoon I sat for a while at the Harbour Club in Shoreham and was thrilled to see so many families just enjoying the beach, water and everything else.

So great to see so many just enjoying life as a community, just like ‘the good old days’.

This also made me think of Adur and Worthing councils ‘Playing Out’ campaign.

Although what I witnessed at the Harbour Club did not involve kids playing in the street, it did make me think of councillor David Simmons recent statement where he said: “This is a most welcome opportunity for neighbours, who frequently don’t know each other, to get together and develop the self-help and community spirit that is so valuable in society, while at the same time encouraging young people to play in safe outdoor environments and improve their own health and well-being.”

This is virtually the norm as far as Shoreham Beach is concerned!

What has happened to sleepy old Shoreham, the town where nothing happens?

The past few months have been amazing and looking ahead to August and September you won’t need to go far for a fun fix.

River Fest, Air Show, Dragon Boat Racing, the ever-present award-winning Farmer’s Market, plus a lot more will be there to entertain and thrill you.

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