Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Warning: Smoking can cause lack of cabin pressure.

With the government considering a total smoking ban across Britain, it’s interesting to note how Australia deals the problem of people smoking on public transport.

A BBC news story tells how a French tourist recently admitted that she tried to open an aeroplane door during her flight to Brisbane, to have a cigarette. The 34 year-old woman, who suffers fear of flying, had drank alcohol with sleeping pills to cope, and could not remember the incident.

Fortunately, the memory was still fresh in the minds of her fellow passengers (who I suspect now also have a fear of flying ) leading the Brisbane Magistrates Court to issue her with a £429 good behaviour bond - which she will only have to pay if she commits another offence. I wonder what the penalty would have been if she had actually lit the cigarette.

It seems that on a holiday to Australia you can be drugged up to the eyeballs and endanger the lives of a plane full of people and pretty much get away scott free. If anyone can find the name of the tour operator she was using, I’d love to give them a go.

The story finishes off by saying that the woman was travelling with her husband, who was obviously too busy reading the instructions on the vomit bag to keep an eye on what she was doing.

So nearly a candidate for an esteemed Darwin Award - where the most stupid smoking-related death seems to be when a group of soldiers in the Ukraine decided to take a fag break while guarding a, wait for it, ammunition dump. The result was a series of explosions that lasted a week, debris tossed 25 miles away and amazingly only one fatality. Read more here.

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