I quite like the Smoking Ban in public places and venues in Scotland, although I understand why many smokers won’t agree. The atmosphere in pubs and restaurants is much better. However the ban on performers lighting up on stage is crazy, particularly when it infringes on a theatrical work of art.
I can stand on a stage, and give a speech on the benefits of smoking, and that would be OK. But if I was playing a character who smoked, lit up a cigarette, and later in the play, died of cancer, I can be fined. Even herbal substitutes aren’t allowed. What’s the point of this?
Theatre companies are finding ingenious ways round the legislation. The best one was during a performance of Tom Stoppard’s play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
Rosencrantz attempts to roll a joint, but is told by Guildenstern that smoking is banned. Rosencrantz's response is to throw down the joint he has just rolled in disgust. He picks up his powder box and delivers the same speech as a cocaine-induced rant.
So a Class-A drug is fine for the stage, better than cannabis or nicotine!
Despite repeated requests from theatre companies to amend the legislation to make smoking on stage legal when it’s important for the performance, the Parliament have refused to budge.