Scotland set to become smoke-free

by Volker Weber

Simon says:

First part of the UK to enshrine the right for us to go out to a pub or restaurant without being forced to breathe smoke from selfish, suicidial smokers. People who think a right is being removed by this need their heads (and lungs) examined.

I can very well remember being terrorized by smokers on trans-atlanctic flight only ten years ago. Some airlines started banning smoking, other did not. And they lost business to the clean airlines until everybody agreed to ban smoking.

smoking

I am waiting for our legislators to wake up. Smokers won't. They very well know how suicidal they are, and try as best as they can to ignore all warnings. They also demand tolerance from those that don't. This has got to stop.

More >

Comments

Fully agree.

Olaf Boerner, 2006-03-27

I don't get your point -- smoking on airlines has been banned by market forces, just as you point out, without legislation, hasn't it?

(Disclosure: ex-smoker, clean for two years know.)

Stefan Tilkov, 2006-03-27

Including myself, I know quite a lot of people who quit smoking because they wanted to and not because of legislative pressure. Your "Smokers won't" nonchalantly ignores this group. Personally, I find the militant non-smoker on a mission far more annoying than the habitual smoker. (And while we're at it, let's do something against unfiltered diesel car engines, too.)

Haiko Hebig, 2006-03-27

Ich rauche und ich rauche gern. Wenn mich Nichtraucher bitten, nicht zu rauchen, dann lasse ich es. Ansonsten gilt das hier.

Thomas Cloer, 2006-03-27

Yeah, even more legal pressure. Good idea. As if we don't have enough yet. And as if there were no alternatives (smoker/non-smoker bars, smoke-free days, smoker/non-smoker areas, ...). But no. We need more bans. Ban everything that is unhealthy. Ban meat. Ban cars. Ban UV light.
Don't get me wrong, I also feel very annoyed when people smoke in places I _have_ to be like planes. But in places I _want_ to be I'd still prefer to have a choice.

Dirk Oppelt, 2006-03-27

2 phrases come to mind:

1) You're always a smoker, you just don't smoke any more.

2) You don't smoke, the cigarette smokes, you're just the sucker on the end.

Ben Rose, 2006-03-27

Banning ciggies? Yeah, good idea. Ask our politicians what they think about the idea to loose tax yields.
Besides that: it's my g*d damn right to smoke. It's my health, it's my lung, it's my life. And it's not your business to care about. You don't want to breath smoke? Go where the air is cleaner. Why do I always have to pay attention? Why do non-smokers think they have more rights than I have?

It's pretty well known that loud environments are as harmful as any other stress to the human body. So, why don't ban little, hysterically crying children and their parents that don't do anything to stop them from public places? Ooh, I see. It's called anti-authoritarian education. It's supposed to be a good thing to let children do whatever they want to do. But it's a bad thing to have adults do what they want to do. Damn it. I wish i were 12 again. Life's been so much easier...

Ralf Stellmacher, 2006-03-27

And it's not your business to care about. You don't want to breath smoke? Go where the air is cleaner.
Exactly that's the problem. The ruthless smoke-suckers, taking others with them into death.

Martin Hiegl, 2006-03-27

This month I'm smokefree for a year. I was a heavy smoker (2 packs/day) for more than 30 years. And I don't regret it a single day. It really wasn't difficult to give up.

Do it. Don't think about it.

Cem Basman, 2006-03-27

Cem, you faced death. And thus your decision was easy. Continue smoking, or continue to live.

Read some of the drug addicts above to see how far one goes to look the other way. I am not asking them to stop. It is their life.

Volker Weber, 2006-03-27

@Thomas: danke. Bei all dem Smoker Bashing ist das mal eine schöne Aussage. Steh ich voll dahinter.

Schade das ausgerechnet bei diesem Thema auf einmal Leute militant werden, die ansonsten immer bemüht sind den Schein des "toleranten Menschen" zu wahren.

sollen Sie halt in den Nichtraucherbereich gehen - mittlerweile gibts fast überall Restaurants und/oder Plätze mit Raucher und Nichtraucherbereichen.

cheers
Ingo

Ingo Harpel, 2006-03-27

"Banning ciggies? Yeah, good idea. Ask our politicians what they think about the idea to loose tax yields.
Besides that: it's my g*d damn right to smoke. It's my health, it's my lung, it's my life. And it's not your business to care about. You don't want to breath smoke? Go where the air is cleaner. Why do I always have to pay attention? Why do non-smokers think they have more rights than I have?"

Are you serious? I'm not sure this in an argument?

"Banning sex? Yeah, good idea. Ask our politicians what they think about the idea to loose tax yields on condoms.
Besides that: it's my g*d damn right to have sex. It's my health, it's my sexual organ, it's my life. And it's not your business to care about. You don't want to watch me have sex? Go where it's dark. Why do I always have to pay attention? Why do virgins think they have more rights than I have?"

Although my example is bad, because no one else can end up getting cancer from watching someone else have sex, well I don't think so?

Carl Tyler, 2006-03-27

Passive smoking is endangering non-smokers health so don't ask us for tolerance! I show ZERO tollerance for smokers' ignorance. As Volker states: "They also demand tolerance from those that don't. This has got to stop."

I SOOOOO AGREE!

Markus Dierker, 2006-03-27

Ralf - You've got a right to do what you want, provided you don't harm or inconvenience others. That includes the right to stay out of Scotlands public spaces :-)

But hey, sod the debate! I'm looking forward to enjoying a small one and a large one without needing to stick all my clothes in the washing machine and getting a shower the moment I get home!

Mark Smith, 2006-03-27

(And while we're at it, let's do something against unfiltered diesel car engines, too.)
And lets not forget the average German's favourite after his car - the woodburning stove. Why I should have my oil boiler checked by a licensed chimney sweep every 12 months, when our neighbours are all burning all manner of junk in their stoves and never have the emissions checked is something I have never understood!

:-)

John Keys, 2006-03-27

On the other hand I do believe in freedom of choice for business-owners. If I open a restaurant or a pub it should be MY choice, whether I allow smoking or not. As well it is the coice of any customer to visit my restaurant or not.

Mike Hartmann, 2006-03-27

> > And it's not your business to care about. You don't want to breath
> > smoke? Go where the air is cleaner.
> >
> Exactly that's the problem. The ruthless smoke-suckers, taking others
> with them into death.
>
Bus drivers are taking others to death when they're overtired and drive the bus into another car. Farmers are taking others to death with hormones in the pork or pesticides in the corn. Drivers of Diesel cars are taking others to death. Suicide bombers are taking other to death. But I definitely don't do.
You want me to keep out of public places like bars, cinemas, discos? Sure. I don't need it to spend money where I'm not welcome. I don't need it to discuss with arrogant, selfish, ignorant not-a-single-dime tax paying health campaigners. Think positive: in a few years there's maybe another smoker less bothering you.

Ralf Stellmacher, 2006-03-27

"You want me to keep out of public places like bars, cinemas, discos? Sure."

Not true. You're welcome, just not welcome to smoke. This is not a ban on smokers, this is a ban on smoking. That's a big difference.

Carl Tyler, 2006-03-27

I will start a war against all that unhealthy junk food overweight (quote) suckers eat, and how it kills said suckers.... taking a big chunk out of medical insurance spending nationally and internationally. Hey, imagine me starting to speak to the guy next table "Have you ever thought about what harm you are doing to my eyes with your wobbly, greasy existence? Stop eating right now, you´re hurting my eyes!"

/*irony off*/

Our politicians are so busy doing things which polarize instead of the things they should be doing, and thus distracting the public from the real problems, and their inability to solve them.

What about unemployment? Waste of government money on ineffective administration? That´s the stuff everybody should be busy with, the smoking and non-smoking population can sort it out between everybody. There is no need for this kind of politics.

Armin Roth, 2006-03-27

Right, it's not a ban of smokers.

> Why do non-smokers think they have more rights than I have?

@Ralf: why do you think you have more rights than the non-smokers?

I would like to have a chance not to smell like a cigarette if I leave a restaurant or bar etc. But even in non-smoking areas you just can't avoid the smell and the passive smoking. And it can't be the solution to avoid these places. What you do with your life that's not my business, but what you do with my life without asking me, that's my business. And all the other rubbish of bus driver, diesel car drivers, crying kids, pesticides etc. seems that you (and others) run out of arguments.

In other countries like France or Italy it has shown that even the smokers like the non-smoking athmosphere in restaurants etc. And also business there has improved because of more people going out. Why is it so difficult to do this in Gemany?

Oh, I forgot the tax yield argument. As long as the government spent agriculture aids to plant tobacco in Europe there won't be a big loss in income. And don't forget the money that has to be spent for all the "because of smoking"-ill people.

Frank Stangenberg, 2006-03-27

Alcohol kills. Ban drinking!

Moritz Schroeder, 2006-03-27

Moritz, alcohol is already banned, where its consumption would harm others. The most obvious example is that you are banned from operating a vehicle after drinking alcohol. There is a very low tolerance level so you don't have to refrain from driving for 24 hours after drinking a few glasses of beer.

At home you can drink as much as you want. The consequences however will still be held against you.

Volker Weber, 2006-03-27

drivers waste gas kills - ban drivers !

Ingo Harpel, 2006-03-27

What baffles me each and every time is the number of non-arguments showing up in this kind of debate. So far I accounted for: meat, (diesel) cars, UV light, hysterically crying children, woodburning stoves, overtired bus drivers, hormones in the pork, pesticides in the corn, suicide bombers, overweight, unemployment, ineffective administration, alcohol.

What is supposed to be the message of all this? "Get TF rid of all that meat, (diesel) cars, ... [you name the rest] in the first place and after that I will instantly quit smoking"?

Well, I might think about restarting smoking if that would guarantee me leverage against hysterically crying children. :-)

Robert Dahlem, 2006-03-27

I am a ex-smoker, but I think there is no need for an discussion like this. We have smoking and non-smoking places in restaurants/bars/airports/official places/etc. We all have to respect others(!) and better pay attention to a better world for our children.. and there are many more important things.... ;)

People do not stop smoking, if you tell them to stop (discussion, big warning on the pack, tax).... people do stop smoking after they decided that it is better for their life.. but it is a personal thinking process.. and it must be a free thinking(!)

Markus Lachnit, 2006-03-27

I think the important part here is that pubs, restaurants etc. are also work places. We've had laws for years that require employers to protect employees from hazardous working conditions. It's been deemed that working in a smoky atmosphere is hazardous; therefore the employee should be protected.

Personally I was in favour of a system whereby any method that would show that employees are protected in a particular establishment would suffice. For example you could have a smoking room, mostly sealed, kept at a slightly low pressure (big extractor fans) that staff could not enter without wearing a particulate filter. Patrons enter at there own risk, warning signs on the doors etc. However, I also accept that this would be confusing to the general public, difficult to enforce and expensive to implement.

I'm not a smoker, never have been and am looking forward to smoke free pubs in London. Most of the people I drink with, given the choice between a non-smoking pub and a smoking pub and everything else being equal, would choose the smoke free one, unfortunately the pub trade doesn't seem to want to offer me the choice.

Kerr Rainey, 2006-03-27

Smoking kills people. Some might argue, but in the end, it's a plain fact. The only thing that canfight smoking in the long run is making it less socially accepted. Banning smoking in public areas is one important step towards this goal.

Joerg Richter, 2006-03-27

Smokers could do what they like to do, unless they harm others.

Passive smoking harms, smoke harms when someone wants to enjoy his meal/drink, smoking harms, because it increases the laundry bill of other people, smoking harms the conductor´s health in a train with smoking/non-smoking compartments and (this one is still to be proved) it harms innkeepers, because of all the "militant" non-smokers, picking up their meal for take-away and enjoying their wine at home.

And @Ingo, this "sollen Sie halt in den Nichtraucherbereich gehen - mittlerweile gibts fast überall Restaurants und/oder Plätze mit Raucher und Nichtraucherbereichen." is selective perception IMHO. I have to admit, that in many public environments, I don´t take the heart to tell smokers, that I would like them to refrain from smoking.

What is so special about this conflict, that it makes me, as a confirmed liberal, to look forward for a legislation?

Olav Behrens, 2006-03-27

Deja Vu… this thread looks like a discussion on Fidonet just 20 Years ago.
Isn't there somebody on eBay selling real lives?

;-)

—Karsten (Non-militant not-anymore-smoker since last year)

Karsten W. Rohrbach, 2006-03-27

live and let die....

Heiko Müller, 2006-03-28

I'd like to know if people really think there are that many non-smoking bars/clubs around. Where I live, "normal" places (popular with people in their 20ies and 30ies) are all smoking - so what chance do I have as a non smoker? Just stay at home?

Legistlation for everything isn't the right way, but here I see no other way, unless you force non-smokers to be very selective in where they go.

Helmut Naughton, 2006-03-28

Where I live, "normal" places (popular with people in their 20ies and 30ies) are all smoking - so what chance do I have as a non smoker? Just stay at home?
Exactly. Market forces have failed, the sure indicator that society needs to intervene via the law. This is not about banning smoking. It's about preventing anti-social, exclusionary behaviour by a part of society made selfish by an addiction. Smokers are still welcome to smoke. Just not in places where people either have to breathe the smoke to earn a living, or where people only have the choice to put up with it or stay away.

Simon Phipps, 2006-03-28

Simon, you've touched an interesting point there, speaking of market forces.

All the pros and cons of smoking aside, it's a sad fact that smoking was not only accepted but actively promoted as long as politics and industry could make a lot of money out of it. This went on until someone found out that the - by then long known but never quite openly published - serius illnesses that smoking can cause were a major source for the dramatically increasing costs of public health care. So politics (well, at least in Germany) joined side with insurance companies, both for their very own reason to get rid of the newfound devil smoking.

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't say that smoking is good, should be allowed everywhere as it used to be not so long ago and what else may be said in favor of smoking. None of that.

The only thing that I'd like to point out is that it's also a matter of changing times and changing conditions. At the moment, the whole world is talking about smoking as being anti-social, is brandmarking smokers as being "bad people".

At the same time, we're actively installing technologies the risks of which are yet to be learned. A major example for that would be wireless technologies on the whole scale. Being it the ominpresent cell phones, wireless networks, wireless home entertainment. Almost noone right now does have an active interest in really researching the effects the ever increasing barrage with microwaves does or will have on us. What for, there's a lot of money to be made, the (side)effects are mostly unknown, opposing research is played down and the only thing that's actively promoted is that it's convenient for the user.

Do we see a pattern here? Maybe in ten to fifteen years all of us who run a WLAN will be publicly crucified for irreversibly damaging the neighbours kids. But hey, microwaves do have at least one advantage: you can bathe in them as long as you want, you won't stink from cigarette smoke ;)

So, will it be a nicer world, if smoking is globally abandoned? For sure. Will it be a healthier world? I really doubt this. It's just that smoking is a very convenient and very visible target right now. So, in a sense, it's the literal smoke screen for other things that should get our attention, too.

Stefan Rubner, 2006-03-28

Again, the point is not that you need to stop smoking. You can continue to do that. You can also continue to impose your smoking on your own child. Been there. My late father used to smoke until he had his first heart problems with 40 years. He never cared that it made us sick in the car.

Until he learned what he was doing. He quit his addiction the same day, and he felt sorry ever since. Not only for what he did to himself, but also for what he did to us.

The current generation no longer has the luxury of innocence. You know what you are doing.

Volker Weber, 2006-03-28

> Again, the point is not that you need to stop smoking.

I didn't say that I'd have to or would even feel pressed to. I didn't even want to take sides. Although being a smoker makes me somewhat biased I try to stay objective as much as I can for I *do* see the good reasons non-smokers have to protect their health. On the other hand, there are many reasons to shake one's head in disbelieve and outright astonishment about how blind a sensible topic like smoking can make people who are otherwise quite open-minded.

Take for example the health issue. Listening to the hardliners of the non-smoking faction you could easily get the feeling that smoking is the ultimate cause for all deseases. Would I have the chance I'd feel hard pressed to explain that one to a childhood friend I lost to lung cancer at age 14 who came from a non-smoking family (and didn't smoke himself). So are there other causes for deseases? Sure. Does it really matter in a discussion like this? No. Because smoking is so visible a threat, all others are easily pushed aside. See no evil, hear no evil.

Then, there's the issue of addiction. Quite offhandedly smokers are marked as being addicts. And for sure they are. But whereas other addicts are accepted as "real" addicts, smokers aren't. Maybe that's because smoking drivers tend to kill far less people than drunken drivers and don't commit as much crimes to get the money for their addiction as drug addicts. So, in a quite morbid sense, they're not seen to be as dangerous as other types of addicts and thus they're not really treated as addicts. As the public image goes, they can just use their nicotine plasters and get over with their addiction. Or not, as long as they don't smoke in public, nobody will care. See no evil, hear no evil. In fact, whenever the term "addict" is used in combination with smoking, I never have the feeling that it's meant as a description for a person's state but instead that it's just used as an insult. I can't help myself but in my opinion that's quite unfair.

So, to sum it up: As I said, I *do* see the good reasons non-smokers have. My guess is that most or at least many of the smokers do. Unfortunately, this kind of understanding is a one-way street. Non-smokers tend to care about their health and their health only while at the same time not seeing and not even trying to understand the problems smokers might have. Non-smokers tend to just don't care because their cause is just and smokers just have to see the light. Which is quite ok with me. Just don't expect any smoker to listen to you if you're unwilling to listen (or maybe even help) him. And no, bashing and snapping at people doesn't count as help. Which is another point many non-smokers tend to forget.

Stefan Rubner, 2006-03-28

Ralf Stellmacher wrote:
> I don't need it to discuss with arrogant, selfish, ignorant
> not-a-single-dime tax paying health campaigners.

So you have a problem with non-smokers not paying taxes on tobacco? Ridiculous.

Martin Neubauer, 2006-03-28

Excellent posting, thanks Stefan.

Haiko Hebig, 2006-03-28

Smoking can be good for your health. Why?

If you travel through Germany, if you come to cities you don’t know, if you try to find a place to eat in a smoke-free environment, in most cases you’ll end up at McDonalds. Simply, because there is no alternative, no other restaurant with a non-smoking section anywhere near.

Living smoke-free means going on a burger diet.

(Hint: Polemic is the art or practice of inciting disputation or causing controversy.)

Stephan Meyer, 2006-03-28

My, my, my. This would only prove that you can neither use an online dictionary nor Google.

Stefan Rubner, 2006-03-28

Stefan,

Very good post. I think that non-smokers take such an aggressive stance because they feel that since smokers are just trying to keep a bad habit that's killing them, there's no need to be mindful of smoker's rights or feelings or anything.

I am an ex-smoker and can see the way smokers feel, but I can also understand how non-smokers feel. They think that since you're killing me with second-hand smoke, you don't get an argument at all.

Stephan,

LOL- it's been a long time since I've been to Germany (late 80's), but I remember even then being struck by the idea that EVERYBODY in Germany smoked. It was much more acceptable there, even at that time. That was great for me at the time, since I smoked. I guess if it's anywhere near as pervasive now as it was then, it's got to be hard to quit if you live there.

Tom

Tom Nichols, 2006-03-28

Stefan/Tom,

I think it's actually simpler than that:

A large number of smokers are inconsiderate, they just light up without asking and if you complain they just tell the non-smoker to go somewhere else. A large number of smokers think their right to smoke is more important than the right of others on a smoke free environment.

These smokers create the bad image smokers have for most non-smokers. Which in turn leads to most non-smokers taking a fairly agressive stance against smokers as they simply feel not being taken seriously otherwise anyway.

I've taken a different approach: As far as possible I simply don't go to places with a lot of smoking, as I can't stand the smoke. I enjoy my beer at home instead, as that's what a large majority of smokers think I should do. And when I did go I put up with the smoke and the stench.

Now the tables are turned. I'm looking forward to being able to go to a pub in Scotland and soon here in England and breathe normally. And I expect the smokers to stop moaning and get on with it.

Armin Grewe, 2006-03-28

Armin,

Just out of curiosity: What makes you think it's "a large number of smokers"? I'm inclined to believe that this is caused by the phenomenom that's responsible for the "loudest" group to be considered the biggest. Works the other way round, too, I know.

Anyway. I like your statement about you not being able to stand the smoke. It's a lot more honest than those non-smokers who are raving about how all those smokers threaten everyone's health while those same non-smokers happily use their cars to threaten the health of every other innocent citicen with equally toxic exhaust fumes, too. Exactly as willingly and knowingly as they accuse smokers to be. With the little difference that driving a car hardly is an addiction.

Now, again, please don't get me wrong. I can fully understand your unwillingness to smell the smoke in the restaurant, to have your clothes stink after having been out. If you're complaining about the non-smoking sections in many or even most of the pubs and restaurants being a bad joke for in the worst case you're sitting back to back with the smokers, I'm on your side.

However, I'm not with all those who are - at least in my opinion - just selfishly trying to get the most out of the current notion to bash smokers. I won't believe anyone who's living in an overpopulated city and driving his car there, who is feeding himself with chemically treated and genetically manipulated food to really care about his or her health. You may not me among those but I know enough people who are.

And, btw, since I told you what I like about your post, I might as well tell you what I don't like: It's the part where you write "Now the tables are turned.". That heavily smells of revenge. A very undue and also very unfair thing in my opinion. It may well be that you feel that you've been treated unfair by smokers in the past. Most likely you have been. But you in the first place should then know how many smokers who already did take care in the past may feel now. I wouldn't be proud of myself if I found me repeating the wrongs made by the other side.

Stefan Rubner, 2006-03-28

i love smoking!!!!!!!! keep it!!!!!!!!!,,l,,(*.*),,l,,

Mike Terd, 2006-04-24

I can't stand the stench!
A smokers right to smoke ends where my body begins!
Smokers do have the right to smoke but not where the smoke would be forced upon others.

A sight I found that may interest the non-smokers.

Mark

Mark Allen, 2007-04-30

Recent comments

Volker Weber on Marshall Monitor II A.N.C. :: Erste Eindrücke at 08:13
Maikel Maes on Marshall Monitor II A.N.C. :: Erste Eindrücke at 07:58
Jochen Kattoll on The Neighbor’s Window :: Oscar Winning Short Film at 22:21
Harald Gärttner on Microsoft Office app on Android and iOS at 15:09
Volker Weber on App-Store-Interna: Apple geht gegen Buchveröffentlichung vor at 14:55
Oliver Stör on App-Store-Interna: Apple geht gegen Buchveröffentlichung vor at 13:42
Volker Weber on Microsoft Office app on Android and iOS at 13:02
Harald Gärttner on Microsoft Office app on Android and iOS at 12:56
Volker Weber on Marshall Monitor II A.N.C. :: Erste Eindrücke at 08:07
Thomas Cloer on Marshall Monitor II A.N.C. :: Erste Eindrücke at 07:57
Matthias Lorz on The Neighbor’s Window :: Oscar Winning Short Film at 12:47
Volker Weber on The Neighbor’s Window :: Oscar Winning Short Film at 11:54
Fabio Peruzzi on The Neighbor’s Window :: Oscar Winning Short Film at 11:48
Fabio Peruzzi on The Neighbor’s Window :: Oscar Winning Short Film at 11:45
Horia Stanescu on The Neighbor’s Window :: Oscar Winning Short Film at 07:04
Martin Funk on The Neighbor’s Window :: Oscar Winning Short Film at 00:00
Sven Bühler on I am not ready for a foldable phone at 22:03
Andreas Imnitzer on The Neighbor’s Window :: Oscar Winning Short Film at 21:48
Roland Dressler on I am not ready for a foldable phone at 15:02
Daniel Seiler on I am not ready for a foldable phone at 13:51
Roland Dressler on I am not ready for a foldable phone at 12:55
Hubert Stettner on I am not ready for a foldable phone at 10:51
Matthias Welling on Tools and Weapons #nowreading at 09:05
Ingo Harpel on You may secretly be a Bing user at 20:01
Amy Blumenfield on Tools and Weapons #nowreading at 19:44

Ceci n'est pas un blog

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

vowe

Contact
Publications
Stuff that works
Amazon Wish List
Frequently Asked Questions

rss feed  twitter  amazon

Local time is 15:17

visitors.gif

Paypal vowe