I hate smoking. Always have. Back in the late 1980s I was regarded as being completely unreasonable if I asked that just one colleague smoked at a time in a staff meeting held in a small room. It was about individual freedom of choice, I was told, although no consideration was given to my freedom to choose not to work in a smoke-filled environment.
How things have changed.
However, the proposal from Professor John Middleton from the Faculty of Public Health, who has said that tenants moving into social housing should have a no smoking clause in their tenancy agreement. His intentions are very worthy – to protect children from second-hand smoke.
There will, inevitably, be the freedom of choice argument against Prof. Middleton’s proposal. There is also the legality. Without primary legislation, I cannot see how such a clause in a tenancy agreement can be enforced. Smoking might be disgusting, it might be anti-social, it might har, the smoker and those around them, it might be inconsiderate. But it is not illegal to smoke …. Unfortunately. Policing what a tenant does, beyond the legal terms of the tenancy agreement and the law, is not the role of landlords.
But good on Prof, Middleton for raising the debate.