The exemption is ridiculously narrow. No children can be present (as ever, I urge you to think of the children) and no members of the public are allowed to watch the scene being filmed. The exemption will only apply if "the artistic integrity of the performance makes it appropriate for the performer to smoke."
The swivel-eyed professor of nowt has, of course, gone ballistic.
BBC lobbying to weaken Welsh smokefree regulations: Yes, this is real.
From Glantz's vantage point way down the rabbit hole, the BBC is a pro-smoking organisation.
...one wonders what else is going on in the shadows. After all, there is a long history of collaboration between Big Tobacco and the movie industry.
There is absolutely no evidence that any movie production moved from one place to another because they couldn't smoke.
But the BBC is saying exactly that, Stanton, and that definitely counts as evidence. As the consultation document states...
The exemption for performers ... would make Wales a more attractive place for programme making and would remove current costs involved with taking smoking scenes on productions being filmed in Wales to England. The smoking ban has been a major issue for a number of productions that have been filmed in Wales, especially period dramas set in a time when smoking was commonplace.
This means that you can believe one of two things. Either the Welsh Assembly and the BBC are lying because they're engaged in some kind of pro-tobacco industry plot to undermine the smoking ban, or they are telling the truth and the smoking ban is deterring the Beeb from filming more shows in Wales. If you look at the output of both the BBC and the Welsh Assembly in recent years, I think it's pretty clear that if they are are engaged in a pro-smoking conspiracy, it has been phenomenally well-camouflaged.
Glantz continues to rant on about his theories in his usual illiterate style...
Are we really to believe that the BBC has ignore [sic] the fact that it just opened a major new production center in Cardiff, Wales to take advantage of lower labor costs that exist in London just so they can favor actors [sic] generate secondhand smoke? I think not.
A prize to anyone who can explain what the hell he's babbling about.
It gets better...
Moreover, there would be nothing to stop BBC [sic] from having an actor wave around an unlit cigarette, cigar or pipe, then put the smoke in with CGI.
Yes, that's a much simpler solution, Stan, you old fruitcake.
The only beneficiary of this change would be the tobacco industry.
That's not quite true, is it now? If the BBC is lobbying for this unutterably trivial amendment, it would strongly suggest that they stand to benefit from it—by, for example, not having to spend hours pissing around with CGI. Companies don't generally lobby for policies that won't benefit them, y'see. The tobacco industry, on the other hand, is not lobbying for it and stands to gain—at best—the sale of a couple of packs of cigarettes to be smoked in some god awful period drama.
If the BBC wants to lobby to get smoking laws changed, they should be lobbying the government in London to remove the exemption that allows actors and other film makers to be poisoned by secondhand smoke at BBC studios in London.
Yes, yes. But as I've just explained, they're not going to do that because (a) they would not benefit from it; au contraire, they would be damaged by it, and (b) if they wanted to stop actors being, ahem, "poisoned by secondhand smoke at BBC studios", they would do so voluntarily. I know, Stan, that you struggle to comprehend the difference between public and private action, but not everything in life needs to be dealt with through repressive legislation.
I do hope someone at the BBC comes across Stan's blog. It might give them an idea of the type of crack-pots they've been giving such credulous coverage to all these years.