Take a deep breath because now you can - without choking on second-hand nicotine fumes.

Non-smokers have waited a long time for the opportunity to go out in public, and then return home not smelling like an ashtray, so the ban comes not before time.

The smokers, of course, defend their actions, saying that a ban is an infringement of their freedoms -despite the fact that forcing lung cancer on an innocent bystander has to be the greatest violation of a person's civil liberties imaginable.

Of course there's always the argument that alcohol, a legal, addictive substance, causes heartbreak and misery for innocent victims, too.

But, while maiming someone when driving under the influence, or assaulting them in a drunken frenzy are illegal and punishable at law, killing someone with your second-hand smoke has always been a legal consequence of lighting up.

Others, including non-smokers, complain that the law is yet another example of the nanny state telling people how to live their lives.

Of course, this misses the most obvious point; the legislation hasn't been introduced to force smokers to give up their vice, after all, smokers are significant contributors to the treasury.

The ban on smoking in enclosed public spaces has been introduced to protect the health and wellbeing of the non-smokers.

The law doesn't say don't smoke' it just says don't smoke near me'.

However you look at it, smoking damages your health and the health of those you care about, prematurely ages you, costs an absolute fortune and will now force you outside into the wind and rain to light up.

Why would anyone consider starting, let alone not stopping?

At last a law that's quite literally a breath of fresh air.