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Smoking

Mar 8, 2010


Kells
almost nine years ago

Firstly, I am much like Dave (UK), I used to smoke. I didn\'t quit, I stopped, with little intention of starting again. Having said that, I am also a \"New Yorker\" and I HATE walking to my office through the cloud of cigarette ass (not ash, ASS).
I like knowing I can go to a bar and not be required to smell like that by the end of the night. So now I get to walk into the smoking crowd huddled BY the door, rather than the smoking fishbowl IN the bar. But I think the stance of leaving the choice of the ban to the business owner is unrealistic because of the sheer marketing implications. Most importantly though is one of the primary reasons for the bars to ban smoking: It wasn\'t for the patrons, but for the employees. Sure, the owners can decide their bottom line is better without the smoking ban, but what about the waiter, who can\'t get a different job in this shit economy, who is subjected to the carcinogens? OSHA anyone?
In any other work environment, people are not subjected to it...why should restaurant/bar employees not be allowed the same standards? Don\'t claim employment CHOICE. If you have rent to pay and kids to feed, you will work where you have to...be it in the smoke or a mine shaft.
But I understand Lando\'s POV, albeit extreme (but not paranoia, that\'s Joe\'s mac article above). Eddie Izzard said it best, \"and next there will be no drinking, and no talking\" in bars.
It\'s not the microcosm of banning smoking, it\'s the implication that a ban of any kind in society, can open the legislative doors for other bans: free internet, books, drinking, the random clove/cigar in your front yard...

Big Dave (OZ)
almost nine years ago

I work with a guy who quit smoking about a month ago, he now has an understanding of just how far second hand smoke can travel. We work in a warehouse, with a very big door, people smoke outside, and if the wind is blowing in the wrong direction, it blows right in, and it stinks. He thought I was joking when I would start coughing inside from the smoke. Now he knows just how far it can travel. Sometimes I can smell it if the person driving the car in front of me is smoking.

The other thing that he\'s noticed is all the shit he\'s now coughing up. Everyday he\'s coughing up more and more tar and other chemical shit out of his lungs, and everyday he\'s feeling better.

Dave (UK)
almost nine years ago

I wish I coughed up all my past smoking. Either I never inhaled or the crap in London\'s air is keeping it all down.

Addendum: Smelling marijuana smoke outside really pisses me off. I don\'t need that shit. It\'s like swallowing random pockets of alcohol. No need for it, keep it indoors or away from the public FFS!

Lando
almost nine years ago

It\'s time to decide what you think the word \"freedom\" means. I don\'t like smoking, and I don\'t smoke, but, when we start banning things. Right now its cigarettes and smoking. What happens when people not liking soda and suddenly drinking soda gets banned. You say outlandish. People use to smoke on planes and no one bat an eyelash, now you have to smoke at home under a blanket with the lights off. We love when the banning goes our way, but in the process we give that machine a lot of power to ban other things. What will your mood be when they ban something you like to do? Sure, the health arguments are far and wide and I have no dispute with them. But, what does freedom mean to you? There are plenty of things I like to do that are unhealthy. When will the state start taking those away from me? I remember when they passed the law that bicycle helmets were mandatory, I was past the age to have to wear one, but it bothered me. I\'d ridden my youth away on a bike with my hair flying. My kids wouldn\'t know that feeling. Sure, they\'d be safe, sure. What did Carlin say about evolution and eating marbles...Smoking is bad. When will they ban the choice to even have them in the privacy of your own home? What happens when they ban drinking in bars as well? I get this feeling we like the extremes when it\'s in our favor. So yeah, I\'m the asshole. I wonder when they\'ll ban that in public place.

Joe
almost nine years ago

In this respect Lando and I part ways. I don\'t have that much paranoia about losing freedoms. I have always felt that you should be free to do anything, unless that action harms others. I think it\'s near undeniable that exposure to second hand smoke ain\'t good, and in that light it\'s something that should be confined to your home or any business that desires it. In that, I don\'t like the NYC law that banned it from all bars. That\'s the decision of the business owner, not the city. And sure enough, rather than accept what was a bad law, the bar owners who wanted smokers allowed them. Good for them. A good article that offers a smarter approach: http://ny.eater.com/archives/2009/11/the_return_of_smoking.php

Crescendo
almost nine years ago

I live in Queensland, which is a state of Australia. In Queensland smoking is banned in clubs, pubs, restaurants, workplaces, and in most public outdoor areas. The same mostly applies to all other states and territories with some variation.

I am of the opinion that these bans are reasonable, and this is obviously supported by the legislature. I have two reasons for holding this opinion: health risks, and unpleasantness.

My understanding of the scientific consensus is that second-hand smoke is a well-supported risk factor of lung-cancer with a known mechanism. The problem is that the risk is small and difficult to measure accurately, and it is practically impossible to quantify an individual’s exposure to second-hand smoke over long periods of time. Heart disease is more tenuously supported. So there is a legitimate, but small public health risk. As to anti-smoking activists, they lost a lot of credibility when they extrapolated from poor data and made grossly inflated claims that passive smoking causes tens of thousands of cardiac deaths year (in the US).

The second issue is the unpleasantness of smoke. I think most people would agree that smoke is unpleasant. The smoke itself smells bad, it causes physical reactions in people that are not smoking and do not want to smoke, and it permeates clothes, furnishings and spaces in general and makes them smell bad too.

If I\'m doing something in public that has an effect on other people against their will and changes the local environment, then that is something that ought to be addressed. To use a relatively tame example, there are laws against playing your music too loud at night, and laws against littering. It is and should be the same for smoking.
When you combine the above nuisance with a small health risk, I think it\'s perfectly valid to ban smoking in public places.

Dave (UK)
almost nine years ago

Yeah, we\'ve been here before. I can\'t remember much of what I said so I reserve the right to contradict myself. I have no problems with people smoking. I do now object to smoking indoors in public places. It is akin to trying to impose a \"No Pissing\" section in a swimming pool. Smoking in pubs before the U.K. ban was acceptable to me. Having said that, I used to smoke.

I have not quit, I have stopped. To quit and start again means failure. To stop and start is not a failure, just a resumption. There was no pressure for me to stop. I felt like it one day and that was that (nearly two years ago - easy).

I do get pissed off in the mornings on my 10 mile cycle ride to work. As I pass bus stops all I can smell is fag smoke; really annoys me as there is no escape from the shitty smell of London and this does not improve it. Having said that if you\'re going to ban smoking outdoors you should really place a nuke under the HQ of Monsanto, but that\'s another story...