We know smoking is bad for us. We know there’s a link between smoking and lung cancer. Hell, we know that other people’s smoke makes our clothes reek after a night in the pub.

For the first two reasons, but almost certainly not the last, governments are perpetually tying to wean us (well, not me. I don’t smoke) off the evil weed. Of course, they don’t try too hard, becuase the huge tax revenues from cigarettes are at risk. Oh, and the hospitality industry squeals that their profits will take a nose-dive if bans on smoking in public places are introduced.

Well, that theory’s being put to the test. Ireland has settled on a date to introduce a smoking ban in public places. So, one way or another we’ll find out if the hospitality industry was right.

I don’t have any particularly strong feelings one way or another about smoking in pubs, to be honest. I’m not keen on it in restaurants, but few allow it or have the sections well enough segregated that it’s not a problem. I’m just interested to see both how the practicalities of such a ban can be enforced and if the main arguments against it stand up. One to watch.