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Sound Off: Smoking at WHL 4

Posted on 1 August 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).

Terry ‘non-smoker’ Weaver: First it is no smoking in offices then its no smoking in pubs etc, now it’s no smoking in the open air - its all a load of PC-nonsense!

Simon Buckingham: I am 13 years of age and the last thing I want is to go to A game and have to breathe in that smell of smoke. I think that there should be a smoking and non smoking area. Why should children our age breathe in smoke?

Mr PM: There are obviously a lot of loyal Spurs fans who cannot enjoy a game without lighting up, but there are many others like me who would like to enjoy our football without smoke in my face. It would make sense to designate part of the Lane non-smoking, that way we those who like me don't want to be forced to become secondary smokers just because we cannot miss a game at the Lane can have enjoyment of the game.

Mark Hurn: I don't smoke, and never have. It's something I wouldn't want to do to my body. That said, if someone else wants to do it, what gives me the right to stop them? I feel it's one of society's major problems these days that we've become a nanny state, and that if you don't like something it should be stopped. Get on with your life, then you might enjoy it. How can you seriously complain that smoking is damaging the air quality in London?

Ted Lewis: I speak for my family (four season ticket holders) and support a smoking ban in the stadium itself, with smoking allowed in the concourse for those unfortunate people who are unable to go without tobacco for forty five minutes. I suffer from bronchitis and my wife has asthma and tobacco smoke causes us considerable distress.

Yvonne Murphy: If a smoker chooses to smoke that is their choice, but non-smokers do not choose to have it blown in their faces throughout the game. The smell on the clothes is awful when you are not used to it. There are 3 members from this family all non-smokers and do not wish to have smokers around them. Surely smokers can go without for 45 mins have a quick puff at half time in the refreshment area, then sit until full time before lighting up outside.

Paul Child: Surely the best compromise to make smokers and non-smokers happy is to have smoking/non-smoking areas in the ground. After all, we all start out by being in the 'fresh air' which for non-smokers definitely becomes unpleasant (ie when I had a chain-smoking woman in front of me at the Stockport game last season). That way we can ALL enjoy following the Spurs. Sorry Jim M. but it's not only one or two moaning minnies - most of the population don't smoke. Compromise is best.

Stuart Ashman: Smoking should definitely be banned. It can only detract from the overall enjoyment of the game, especially the enjoyment of children. We are there for the beautiful game and not for a cough and the haze of smoke.

Matt Stanley: Over the last few years the quality of entertainment provided at the Lane has made it increasingly difficult to justify the season ticket price. I'm not just moaning about the lack of success, but mainly about even having the ability to challenge. To ban smoking in the ground would just be a further nail in the coffin in alienating many supporters. Could you imagine the ground being 30% empty at any one time as people got up to have a smoke outside and the disruption this would cause? It is about toleration on both sides. If you are asked by someone sitting next to you not to smoke then have respect and don't, and consider moving seats next year if it bothers you that much. But the non-smokers have to consider if they are sitting in an area where the majority are smokers whether it is better to show some toleration or for them to change their seat next year. Anyhow who would police such a policy, the stewards? Would it apply to away supporters? Would it apply in the corporate areas? Get real Spurs, this club has enough problems on and off the field, it doesn't need to stir up another hornet's nest. Leave the anti-smoking lobby to campaign in the proper forum and gain legislation from Government.

Roy Montgomery: Please do not ban smoking at WHL. I smoke 3 or 4 cigarettes per game and blow the smoke up into the air to avoid it going into anyone's face. The stadium is in the open air and the wind is always present in England, so that helps everyone.

Ben Gibbons: Who cares if the stadium is full of smoke as long as Spurs are winning.

Marc Pepperman: As a non-smoker I would very much welcome the ban on smoking within the stadium. I do appreciate that this would upset a few of our fans so would it not be possible to have the refreshments areas of the ground designated as areas where smoking is permitted.

Alan Cudmore: As the stadium is an open-air area, I would like to see segregation of smoking and non-smoking sections. This would not be difficult to introduce. I also think that a total ban is a way to lose supporters.

Mr Non-Smoking: You ban smoking at WHL you’ll lose customers. And if we’re getting beat 3-0 at half-time people are going to be annoyed as it is — and if they can’t satisfy their craving they’ll be ten times worse. Trust me.

Doug Elliott: Smoking should be banned in the seated area of the stadium, with certain refreshment areas set aside as smoking areas. Most smokers are considerate of others and understand that when seated in an auditorium, it is not fair to inflict their smoke on people who have no choice but to sit and suffer or miss the game. Many people try to avoid conflict and therefore do not feel comfortable asking someone that they may have to sit next too for the whole season, not to smoke. Most smokers can go 45-50 mins without a cigarette. I think that a partial ban would be the best compromise.

Joe Griffin: Regarding the issue of smoking I feel a complete ban should be introduced in anywhere that seats Junior Spurs and Family members. Subjecting young fans or indeed any fans of the future to an unpleasant and disgusting health risk is no way to encourage the future generation to support our club. I favour a complete ban inside the stadium though understand that perhaps certain sections of the stadium should be reserved for those too weak to kick the habit. Arsenal and Chelsea have already introduced bans regarding smoking. We already lag behind these clubs in terms of player resources. Let’s at least match their commitment to a healthy and enjoyable environment to watch football.

Phil Prout: I am a smoker but I mainly agree with the non-smokers on this one, whilst in the seating area of the stadium I always refrain from smoking. The reasons are simple, I like many others have a little boy who does not smoke but also enjoys watching his team. What I do is wait until half time and have a smoke where it does not affect others. I think banning smoking from the stadium would cause an imbalance but a possible ban on the terraces themselves might be a reasonable compromise! Come on smokers is 45 mins really too long to wait to have a drag?

Darren Auty: Basically, smoking is not illegal, some find it sociable and others not, so how can it be banned? Is it not being prejudice towards smokers, is the reason because some don’t like the smell? Well what happens if the person next to you smells, are we going to discuss banning them to?

Gary Parker: If it does not offend anyone in the close vacinity then fair enough, but if people object then you should have the courtesy not to light up. Personally I could get through half a packet when we played the gooners, but hardly ever smoked at any other game. It would be nice to still have a choice.

Andrew Derrick: I am a smoker but actually think it might be a nice idea to ban smoking whilst actually watching the game in your seat but allowing it in the bar/toilet/betting areas. Many smokers are fully aware of the discomfort that smoking causes others, and are normally quite considerate, but with some of the games at the lane last season I felt like I needed to "Light up" every five minutes just to calm my nerves! If smoking is totally banned from the ground THFC will suffer as more and more people will want to wait until the last minute until they enter the ground therefore not buying beer and food from THFC resulting in less profit. With regards to the health aspect, I think that until the lane is moved out of London (I am not suggesting that it should by the way!) we are never going to be breathing in clean air so I don't think that a bit of cigarette smoke would make a lot of difference. If we have to ban smoking where would it stop; banning alcohol so people didn't swear so much and get aggressive, banning singing as someone "might" get a headache.

Sharon Kamen: As a season ticker holder and smoker, I would hope that no ban is instigated - as others have commented, consideration is the key. We are all seated in the open-air, not in a confined space and I believe effects of smoke to be negligible. A previous survey (last year I think) mentioned the possibility of banning smoking in the seats, but allowing it in the bars/concourses under the stands - which seems strange as smoke would gather rather than disperse, adding to the already odious smell of frying burgers! Also - imagine the tension of a vital match without being able to light up!