Thursday, March 30, 2006

Smoking ban 'will lead to muggings and date rape'

Guardian Unlimited

Scotland's smoking ban, which came into force this morning, could lead to a rise in date rape and theft, campaigners claimed last night.

The warning came after several pub chains announced plans for a 'bar tag' that would let smokers leave their drinks unattended while outside having a cigarette. Critics condemned it as 'stupidity or insanity' and an open invitation to criminals who spike drinks with drugs such as Rohypnol, GHB or Ketamine.

'This is far more serious than many people might imagine,' said Graham Rhodes, founder of the Roofie Foundation, Britain's only specialised agency dealing with this issue. 'It is like putting on a flashing light. It might send a message to bar staff not to take the drink away, but it also alerts criminals to it, lets them know that the owner is away for a few minutes for a smoke.

'Anyone who uses this is basically asking to have their drink spiked. I find it hard to believe that pub owners are effectively encouraging their clients to leave drinks unattended.'

The enforcement and side effects of the ban are being watched closely in England, where similar, less stringent restrictions are to be introduced next year.

Several hundred venues in Scotland have applied for smoking shelters, canopies or beer gardens, but the vast majority of the country's 5,000 pubs have not because of planning restrictions, location or space. Most pubs will direct smokers outside to the pavement.

Because by-laws prevent al fresco alcohol consumption in Scotland, several chains have introduced other measures. Maclay Inns, which has venues across the country, will provide a V-shaped tag smokers can hang over the side of a glass or bottle. It is printed with the message: 'Please don't take my drink, it's spoken for. I've just popped out for a cigarette.'

Marketing manager Lynn Lovelock said: 'We decided to introduce these as a bit of fun for customers who wish to nip out for a cigarette.'

Pub group Wetherspoons said it was producing beer mats for smokers to place on top of unfinished drinks. But critics highlighted the growing problem of drink spiking.

'Only 30 per cent of all drinks that are spiked are related to drug rape,' said Mr Rhodes. 'Our research shows that the other 70 per cent are either a sick joke or to commit robbery. Men might not think twice about leaving their pint unattended, but more and more of the calls we get now are from people who have had their drinks spiked in bars or clubs and [are] then robbed of their cash, credit cards or mobile.'

There are other concerns the ban could be in disarray as early as Tuesday when council workers are expected to strike in a dispute over pensions. Local authority environmental health staff are responsible for enforcing the ban, which imposes a fine of £50 on any individuals breaking the law and up to £2,500 for licensees. Police chiefs have insisted that enforcing the ban is not a job for their officers.

Patrick Browne, chief executive of the Scottish Beer and Pub Association, predicted chaos on Tuesday. 'Enforcement officers have been given £6 million over the next three years to enforce the ban, yet go on strike two days after it is introduced. This means bar owners and staff are going to have to try to enforce it without any support.'

Health professionals and politicians, though, were hoping for a new dawn in a country that bears the 'sick man of Europe' tag and suffers some of the highest cancer and heart disease rates in the world. A BMRB study showed three-fifths of adults in Scotland and England wanted smoking banned in public places.

Jack McConnell, Scotland's first minister, said: 'In the years ahead people will look back on today as the day that Scotland took the largest single step to improve its health for generations.'

By Lorna Martin

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Drink Detective™ Introduced To Las Vegas Market

Internet marketing and PR firm, LJP Marketing, introduces drink spiking detection kit to Las Vegas merchants in conjunction with Drug Rape Awareness Campaign

Las Vegas, Nevada April 3, 2006 — WayPoint Biomedical, Inc. (Other OTC: WYPH.PK) is announcing that their drink spiking rapid test that detects over 60 different drugs commonly used for date rape and robberies is now available in Las Vegas.

Joe Perez, President/CEO of LJP Marketing, LLC discovered the Drink Detective™ rapid test kit while researching Canadian Retail Pharmacy Chains for a client. The kit manufacturer, WayPoint Biomedical, Inc., had just received orders for test marketing the Drink Detective™ in Canada. “I was so impressed by the product that I immediately contacted WayPoint for additional information,” states Perez, a life-long resident of Las Vegas, “Las Vegas is a playground for sexual predators and thieves who use these now detectable drugs and methods of drink spiking, to perpetuate their crimes.” Perez continues, “It is time for Las Vegas residents, and especially tourists, to become more aware of this danger and to also provide them with a defense.”

Nearly all the most common drink spiking drugs can cause partial or total amnesia. This makes apprehending these predators very difficult for law enforcement. Victims of drink spiking are often unable to recall details of the attacker, the crime and when or where it occurred. In many cases, the victim has no idea a crime was committed and wrongly assumes they were over intoxicated by alcohol and may have just exhibited poor judgment.

The Drink Detective™ is an easy to use, rapid test kit that can detect the presence of over 60 date rape drugs in seconds. Drink Detective™ kits are credit card sized, to remain discreet, and include a dropper for administering the test on 3 separate strips that test for different drugs. The drugs identified by the kit include gamma hydroxybuturate (GHB), ketamine (Special K), and more than 60 drugs in the benzodiazepine group, such as Rohypnol®, Valium®, Xanax® and Clonopin®.

According to WayPoint Biomedical President, Bret Hendzel, “We are extremely excited about what Mr. Perez has brought to the table in a very short period of time. He is currently coordinating a Drug Rape Awareness campaign in the City of Las Vegas for the entire month of April, which is nationally recognized as “Sexual Assault Awareness Month”. During this campaign, posters will be placed throughout town in establishments that serve alcohol, and drink safety cards will be distributed at public locations and in major hotels.” Mr. Hendzel adds, “In conjunction with WayPoint’s current Global Drink Spiking Awareness Campaign, a survey of 5,000 women will be conducted in local bars and nightclubs to ascertain additional drink spiking statistics.”

LJP Marketing will begin distributing Drink Detective™ rapid test products to Las Vegas hotels, bars, nightclubs and retail stores on April 3rd, 2006. Currently, there are no vendors of the Drink Detective™ in the City of Las Vegas. During pre-sale stages, LJP Marketing has confirmed over 10,000 units requested and reports daily requests for high volume purchases. Perez explains, “The reason I chose to distribute this product was because my mother was a victim of drink spiking, so this hits home for me. We are excited about the early sales projections, but more so, very excited to be able to make a difference in the prevention of these crimes.”

About WayPoint Biomedical, Inc.
WayPoint Biomedical, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of WayPoint Biomedical Holdings, Inc. (Other OTC: WYPH.PK), is an innovative biomedical technology firm, specializing in diagnostic tests and devices for screening and monitoring human health, fitness and environment. The Company develops and markets cutting-edge disposable rapid tests that offer both a preliminary diagnostic screen to specific conditions, along with a future path for consumers, medical providers, and first responders to follow regarding their health status or environmental condition. For more information on WayPoint Biomedical visit www.waypointbiomedical.com, www.drinkdetectiveusa.com.

About LJP Marketing
LJP Marketing, a Nevada corporation, specializes in effective internet marketing strategies and is dedicated to optimized public relations. LJP Marketing represents clients in various industries and is the exclusive distributor of the Drink Detective™ in Las Vegas. For more information on the Drink Detective in Las Vegas please go to www.drinkdetectiveLV.com.

Source: WayPoint Biomedical, Inc.
Dennis Shepherd, 714-848-3200
E-mail: dshepherd@waypointbiomedical.com

Source: LJP Marketing, LLC
Joe Perez, 702-898-LJPM (5576)
E-mail: jperez@ljpmarketing.com

4/02/2006 11:43:00 PM  
Anonymous roy said...

Hello

Hurray, I'm so glad about this latest smoking ban.
It compares with Hawaii, lovely news!
Since the ban has been put into effect on Hawaii it means that I can vacation there without having to pre-book a room.
Now I just turn up and take my pick of any of the hundreds and hundreds of empty, lovely, sweet smelling non-smoking rooms I choose. In the past Hawaii used to be crammed full to bursting point with hoards of nasty, smelly tourists, but not any more.
Thing have changed for the better, the majority of tourists who used to visit Hawaii have changed destinations and are going to places like the Bahamas, where they can smoke as much as they like.
This island nation is obviously a very backward one, can you imagine this?
Who in their right mind wants to pay to stay in a place where they are allowed to do whatever they feel like doing?
I say good riddance, glad to be rid of them, after all, we don't need them spending their dollars here if they are going to smoke those nasty cigarettes...... do we?

Another thing that makes me really mad is the fact that some people are actually trying to promote hotels who give their guests a choice between smoking and non-smoking rooms, this is a website where hotel owners can actually advertize to attract some of the 46 million people in the US who smoke cigarettes, see http://www.smokingwelcome.com
I think this is wrong and should be stopped, the government should ban any form of choice and freedom whatsoever, and effect total control over what used to be known as "personal freedoms".


Roy (the blatant advertizer....... tongue placed firmly in-cheek)

4/28/2007 12:35:00 PM  
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