Nick Hogan, the British pub manager who lost his job and was sentenced to prison for six months after failing to pay £10,000 in fines for violating the smoking ban, has been freed thanks to voluntary contributions gathered online:
Speaking outside the prison, Hogan said: ”I’m devastated to be sent to jail. The smoking ban has cost me my pub, my job and my liberty.
”I’d like to thank everyone who donated money to get me out of jail, and all the well-wishers who sent me cards and letters while I was behind bars. I can’t thank them enough.
”It’s wonderful to know that so many people feel as strongly as I do about the smoking ban and its impact on ordinary working people.”
Blogger Anna Raccoon said: ”Nick Hogan is free because ordinary, hard-working members of the public, smokers and non-smokers alike, dug deep in their pockets to raise the money to return this man to his wife and home.
”The fact that so many people responded is a powerful message from the voting public that politicians would be well advised to heed.”
Congratulations to Hogan, and hopefully the publicity from this case will help raise the profile of opposition to smoking bans.