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Sound Off: Smoking at WHL 3

Posted on 31 July 2001  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Ben Read: Smoking should stop at all games because my son suffers with asthma and there’s nothing more irritating than him having to breathe in smoke which could trigger it off.

Jon de Vries: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ban smoking in the ground (all areas of the ground - including under the stands) I am really sick of people who light up and let the smoke drift straight into my face and that of my children. On the occasions that I have politely asked them if they would mind keeping the smoke away from me I have been met with a torrent of abuse. However - WHEN you ban it please make sure the stewards enforce the ban - there is meant to be a ban on obscene language and racist chanting but it goes on all the time while the stewards stand around in groups of 2 or 3 seemingly watching the game for free.

Lisa Wilkinson: I think smoking should be banned. Can't smokers manage to sit through 45 minutes without having to have a fag. I understand freedom of choice, but what about my freedom of choice in not having to breathe in someone else's smoke. I enjoy my visits to the Lane and would enjoy them more if smoking was banned.

Keir Brady: What's next? Beer, bagels. Come on, if I sat near a smoker and didn't like it, the same for a foul mouth racist, I would asked to be relocated, no problem. I smoke and I’m aware of other fans that don't. Last season if I didn't smoke 5 in each half to calm myself, I would have ejected from the ground.

Jay Vickers: To be fair, I am a non-smoker and do get the chance to see a fair few games. I hate smoking but in my opinion I can put up with it for 2 hours because it is the open air and it doesn’t really hurt anyone. The only thing I worry about is watching the game, and to me, the smell of smoke adds to the reality and atmosphere of the game. Smoking should be allowed.

Dave Gallagher: I would be wholeheartedly in favour of a ban on smoking throughout the ground. Complaints from smokers that it would represent an infringement of their liberties are inevitable. But, when selfish arguments about a right to smoke are weighed against the right of everyone else not to have their health put at risk or have to put up with someone else's reeking smoke drifting in their faces for two hours - the smokers' position is just insupportable in my view.

It was not regarded reasonable or fair that people travelling via public transportation should be forced to breathe polluted air, or that the prices they paid should have to reflect the cost of cleaning up the filth left behind. And what applies to people on buses and trains applies to spectators at football games as well. Never mind any nonsense about the 'open air'. If you are sitting cheek-by-jowl with half a dozen smokers, it makes no difference about 'the open air'. How many parents avoid bringing their children (the future bedrock of support for the club) to games because they find the unwelcome intrusion of some chain-smoker's foul, carcinogenic stink too unbearable?

What about individuals with respiratory problems? The present policy, whereby people are supposed to think about extinguishing their cigarettes if it is obvious that they are causing discomfort to others is unsatisfactory. The onus should not be upon non-smokers who are experiencing discomfort to have to express the fact and request that somebody put their cigarette out. A person making such a request may simply be ignored, but at worst, they run the risk of an aggressive response. The responsibility rests with the Club to provide a simple, black-and-white rule, which above all safeguards the health and well being of all its supporters.

John Attfield: I think that smoking should definitely be banned at the ground. I sit near someone who smokes a Cigar, and not only does it smell bad but the clouds of smoke spoil your view of the game. These people are politely asked to stop but still persist in DAMAGING, yes damaging, the health of others and should think about that before the selfishly light their Cigarettes and Cigars. If these people cannot stop smoking for ninety minutes then there is something wrong with their will-power!

James Moore: Smokers are by definition inconsiderate people. They seem to think that everywhere is their own personal ashtray and that being able to damage other people's health whilst actively trying to kill themselves is their God given right. The evidence of this is all around us. Where does the cellophane from a new packet of fags end up seconds after its purchase? Where does the piece of foil end up a few moments after that? What happens to the match used to light said fag? And finally, what do they do with the dog end once the 'enjoyment' is over? That's right, they all end up on the ground for someone else to clear up. I sit in the North Upper stand. The no smoking signs are clearly visible and yet the number of ingnorants who light up each home game is stunning. If you lot want to smoke then great, go ahead. But 'encouraging' people like smokers to not do it where is affects other people who would rather not be affected by it, is a complete waste of time. Why? Because smokers are, by definition, inconsiderate. I say blanket ban now and any dissension should result in a fine and immediate ejection from the stadium.

Martin Saunders: Regarding the non-smoking issue, I would prefer the stadium to be non-smoking. However, if this wasn't to be the case then perhaps a ban DURING play. I agree with comments that when I am sitting there with my son it is very unpleasant for him as he is mildly asthmatic. But I would also say that when I have asked those around me that light up if they would mind not smoking after they have finished the one they have lit they have always obliged. Let's face it, not to smoke for 45 minutes is not unreasonable, many smokers have to go up to two hours when in the cinema without a smoke!

Jack Davis: Ban smoking, think of our young fan's health please and make the right decision. People can smoke before and after the game so let's have a smoke free stadium.

Brian Leveson: As an ex-smoker, I understand the compulsion attached to cigarettes. However, it is not mere coincidence that more and more concerned organisations are banning smoking within their buildings. Neither is it some trendy whim. The evidence on secondary smoking (even in open arenas) is overwhelming. For every cigarette your neighbour smokes, you are getting a significant percentage! So of course smoking should be banned. Smokers can of course congregate in the stairwells at half time to fuel their addiction, leaving us and, more significantly, our children to breathe the air that we richly deserve. Surely it's not asking too much to ask smokers to grant us our freedom for a couple of hours!

Evan Richards: Considering all smokers would want to smoke during a game and non-smokers would prefer them not to smoke during the game for their own sake...then why not put all smokers in one area of the stadium and all non smokers in the other! Saves arguments between us fans and the stewards doesn't it? And say for the family stand, just ban the smoking in that area for the children’s well being!

Robert Patterson-Smith: I do not believe that smoking should be banned at WHL. Philips Wallace's comments regarding Bradford are not valid. WHL is a thoroughly modern stadium and the fire risk is minimal whereas the Bradford stadium was an old wooden stadium and the risk of fire was far, far greater. I would suggest that smoking is banned in the seats but allowed in the refreshment areas under the stands so that fans have a choice.

Mike Lee: Sorry, but I think smoking should be banned in the seating areas. If fans what to smoke in the lobby then so be it. I think that is not a bad compromise.

Rod Davidson: Daniel, Please ban smoking at WHL. Surely the smokers can manage without one for a couple of hours, in order to spare the majority the dangers of passive smoking and pollution of the air and clothing.

Tony Fearon: As research shows passive smoking to be equally as harmful as active smoking, I believe it should be banned from The Lane and, indeed, all other public places.