I must declare an interest before venturing into the subject of cigarette smoking because I have
hated it ever since I was regularly kippered in the back of a 1936 Austin 12 on the long journey from
Farnborough in Hampshire to East Ham in the early 1950s. My father died of lung
cancer a few days after his 68th birthday. Even now I cross the road to avoid a young female neighbour
who is constantly shrouded in cigarette smoke and stinks to high heaven.
The prevalence of smoking in Bexleyheath’s Broadway has been noted here before and so it doesn’t surprise me one bit that the borough does not do too well with its smoking statistics in comparison with other London boroughs.
Bexley’s anti-smoking crusade has been as good any and it has persuaded more than most to come off the weed but far too many smokers have proved to be resistant and prefer to pay dearly for a painful death. Their choice so long as it does not impact on others but too often it does.
Bexley Clinical Commissioning Group should perhaps take a little time off from preaching to smokers and turn their attention to the council’s Planning Department who presumably passed the plans for the new Premier Inn in Albion Road.
The hotel’s management, with cavalier disregard for anyone passing their door, has dedicated a small recess in their facade as their Smoking Area. As you can see, it is not even a metre deep and will likely turn the footpath into a stinking health hazard. It’s bad enough when nicotine addicts congregate outside offices but for any company to actually encourage the practice must surely have a negative impact on its reputation. More Pestilential Inn than Premier.
If Bexley council doesn’t take action on it there will be some who will assume that Regeneration and Development takes precedence over Health and Wellbeing. Money usually takes precedence over everything in Bexley.