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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The UK bans public smoking

You know, I am not a smoker (smoke Shisha but that's about it), but when I see things like that happening, I can't help but think that these are facist moves. If people want to have smoking in their private clubs, they should be allowed to have smoking in their private clubs. And If the people working there are so afraid for their health, than they shouldn't work there. End of Story! Freedom of choice and personal responsibility. They are not hard concepts.

24 Comments:

At 2/15/2006 01:12:00 AM, Blogger Crazy Girl said...

smoking is gross but come one how many people really die of second hand smoke..They passed that dumb law here in Fl whare you can't smoke in resturants anymore.. Bored people all I have to say..

 
At 2/15/2006 01:18:00 AM, Blogger Suzanne said...

Well. I disagree. You can bet that except in asthma and pregnancy private clubs smokers will demand their right to smoke and deny the right of others to inhale fresh air :P

I do agree though that specific private clubs dealing with smoking (cigar clubs or whatsoever) should - doh - be exempted from any prohibition. And if other non-smoking-specific private clubs are willing to make an extra smoking chamber, that would be fine as well.

It's a big step. Especially for smokers. And I feel sorry for them that they became a victim of this addictive habit and drug. Any restrictive regulation will be like hell for them. But when eventually such a regulation came through, the majority of people is relieved. I guess, it's worth it. If only for the smoker's health (perhaps it would be a reason to try to quit harder) and that of mine, the non-smoker.

 
At 2/15/2006 01:54:00 AM, Blogger The Sandmonkey said...

Suzanne,

You know, my apartment in Boston was the only place any of my smoking friends were allowed to come and smoke as they please. Their non-smoking roommmates would hve nothing to do with it, and since I didn;t have roommates (love living by myself),I never had to deal with anyone telling me what to do. They were glad for me, cause the only other choice was to stand outside, in the cold, or in the snow, like abused animals, so they can have their cigarette. And the nonsmokers didn't like that either, because they stood next to the doors, which meant they might be "exposed" to smoke for like a second, and even that was too much for their healthy lungs, which they only persevred to smoking weed.

I would like to start a bar that would only cater to smokers. Where the worlkers are smokers, and the guests are smokers, and non-smokers wouldn;t be allowed in. You wouldn't get IDed, you would have to show you pack of cigarettes in order to get in. The non-smokers would have to stay out. Let's see how they like getting discrimianted against.

Chances are, they will sue me for access to the place, cause god knows it will have all the fun people, who they wanna hang out with. Hmmm....

I don't know. I can just see them starting laws in a couple of yearsthat limit the number of alcoholic drinks a person can have in a bar, cause, u know, drunk driving kills as well. And soon we will all lead healthy sterile lives and go to libraries to have a good time.

Hmm...

 
At 2/15/2006 02:11:00 AM, Blogger Blogspat said...

Having asthma I must applaud this decision that increases my freedom of movement – I can have a more social life now! I’ll never forget sitting at a restaurant next to a couple of chain smokers having a romantic dinner. Their love was actually killing me. As a simple request didn’t work I had to start singing love songs (I am addicted to singing although I can’t).
Even though I enjoy not having to sound like Darth Vader (Sort of gives the wrong impression during pick-up lines) – I will miss the smoggy conditions. I guess it’s just one of these no win situations.

But here is an idea for a smoker’s comeback. Make smoking a religion; thereby you can raise the issue to UN level!!

 
At 2/15/2006 02:26:00 AM, Blogger Blogspat said...

Sandmonkey,

That't the thing isn't it. Smokers feel descriminated but what about the descrimination of people who don't want smoke around them? It isn't a question of banning smoking - but dessignating spaces for smoking. Why should it be free to smoke anywhere you choose? Or play loud music? Or play with fireworks? Or sing?

 
At 2/15/2006 02:29:00 AM, Blogger Blogspat said...

"I don't know. I can just see them starting laws in a couple of years that limit the number of alcoholic drinks a person can have in a bar, cause, u know, drunk driving kills as well."

Sounds like the argument one hears about weapons in the US..

 
At 2/15/2006 02:46:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quote: smoking is gross but come one how many people really die of second hand smoke..They passed that dumb law here in Fl whare you can't smoke in resturants anymore.. Bored people all I have to say..

Well, in Denmark 11.000. people dies every year from smoking. We have a population of 5 million, so the figures kind of makes 9/11 look like a minor detail. Remember the US invaded two countrys because of 9/11.

So it is not a small deal. But the main issue is who the smoke kills - if cigarettes only killed/harmed the persons using it, then please go ahead - less Pensions to pay in long run. But smoke really doesnt care if you are the one who payed for the cigarette.. you get the damn smoke in your lungs, smoking or not smoking.

Why am I so pissed? I was running my own disco for 5 years, had a great time - but also managed to fuck up my lungs in the process (I am non-smoker). Now I get astma whenever I sit in a smoking enviroment, I sounds like god damn darth wader after a night out drinking.

And please dont give me the drunkdriving / drinking analogy.. it sucks.

If drinking alkohol, you harm your self.. please go ahead.
Drunk driving, you risk harming others.. so please fuck off

 
At 2/15/2006 02:53:00 AM, Blogger Angelsiiighs said...

Ireland got the same law and weeeelll... we had that law here for a while... (Norway) and i must say that i believe people are adult enough to choose whatever they wanna smoke or not, and as for my self I enjoy my coffee with a ciggi...(i got no plans quitting though i know all the unhealthy stuff about my bad friend)
Anyway People are standing out in the cold snow smoking, and some restaurants and bars have made some kinda tents with a heating system inside so people can sit outside all year... tzzzzzz.... ( I'll try and take a pic one day)
OK... all in all I do accept they make smoke free restaurants where people are eating, but I do think they could let people have a free choice and make some bars "smoke free" and some "Smoked"


and nice site :)

 
At 2/15/2006 03:21:00 AM, Blogger The Sandmonkey said...

Tobber,

if the argument was "let's have smoking bars for smokers and nonsmoking bars for non-smokers", then I would be all for it. I am opposed to non-smokers being exposed to smoke, the same way I am opposed to smokers not getting exposed to smoke. But that's not what the people who put up such bans advocate, which is why I am opposed to them.

The people who do advocate such bans have the attitude of "We are going to bans smoking cause we know what's best for you". I don't think there is anyone who is oblivious to the harm that smoking will cause at this day and age and there is no shortage in tools, support organizations and alternatives to help people to quit smoking. Yet some people continue to smoke anyway. Why? Well, they like it, and they are not very concerned about all the statitics and information on how harmful cogarettes are to them. They want to do it anyway. It's their choice.

But that isn't enough for the non-smoking population, because they don't like smoking period, and they want everyone to quit. So they go after the smokers everwhere. In Universities, in workplaces, in restaurants and now in all bars and private clubs, and that's not right. Let them have their own bars and restaurants, kinda like the little see-through cages in airprots they call "smoking quarters" and have them enjoy ruining their health. It may not be smart, but goddamn it, it's their right, and the government should not be allowed to take that away from them.

And the reason why I used the drinking analogy, it's because I can see that same concept being used (and no, this is not like the gun debate.)to limit drinking for helath reasons. Bceause, again, the government cares for you, and wants what's best for you, and what's best for you is not to drink lots of alcohol. Alcohol is bad too, right? I am sure we can get enough people to back that one up. After all, 3 drinks should be enough for anybody, right?

Anon, it sucks for you, it really does. But you ran that disco, and you could've made it a non-smoking disco, but you didn't. You know why? Cause you would've lost customers. You didn't want to lose customers, and now you have lost your voice. But sure, blame them.

angelsiiighs: Exactly my point. Me agrees completely!

 
At 2/15/2006 05:52:00 AM, Anonymous Andrew Brehm said...

Smoking in public buildings is forbidden in Ireland. I never heard that it was forbidden in private clubs.

Open a private club and you can smoke. Open a public house and you cannot. It's your choice.

Smoking at work places is forbidden and I am quite happy about it.

I never quite understood why everybody is forbidden from harming other people except smokers.

You can argue that second-hand smoke is no big deal, but why can you make that decision for me?

Let everybody who wants to smoke do so in their own house, or in private when allowed by the respective owner.

But my house and all public buildings are venues where I must have the right to be without being harmed, if it can be avoided.

 
At 2/15/2006 06:04:00 AM, Blogger Blogspat said...

SandMonkey,

Now you actually sound like someone else I've heard a bit from in the recent past. smokeophobics are persecuting smokers! - It just ins't like that. O' yes there be extremists even in that camp, but what is being limited is the space where you can smoke not the right to smoke (even though there is a hope that smoking will deminish). It is boring to hear smokers seing themselves as victims.

When it comes to public spaces there in my mind is not that big a question - it is a public space and that has to be respected. It is a question of having rules. Cars kill - one reason to have traffic rules.

In the good old days when smoking was permitted on planes, traveling was a scary business for some of us - I mean the non-smokers seat could be one row in front of the smokers.
Which reminds me.
You are a person that doesn't like hypocracy. Well tell me why a major part of smokers on the Danish trains choose to sit in non-smoker seats and then walk to the smokers wagon to take a smoke? Perhaps because while they like smoking they prefer a cleaner environment to actually sit in? They are infact just puching the point - we need designated places for smoking. Want to drive fast in your car? - go to a race course.

In Sweden the ban of smoking inside restaurants and bars has been in action since last summer. Even most smokers have turned out to be positive despite earlier protests (and the income for owners have in average actually increased - despite arguments for the opposit). In fact the whole thing has become a non issue.

I won't however contest your comment on the right to have places to smoke. I agree. Like it is anyone's right to get drunk - but not to get drunk and drive.
(appart from that the Nordic countries -not DK- aren't that liberal on alcohol.. :-)
A smoking club? OK - but get a permit.

Well there are in fact groups working for restrictions on alcohol. Then again there are groups working for legalisation of harder drugs. It's sort of a democratic process of what society will accept.

No, this is not like the gun debate, but your comment was. The thing is - you are allowed to get drunk - but working machinery under influence isn't. You can smoke but have to avoid effecting others who don't want to be effected.

Why are people standing out in the snow while smoking? -Because the alternative is for the owner to instal a ventilation box.

 
At 2/15/2006 06:16:00 AM, Blogger Prup (aka Jim Benton) said...

Again, three cheers for yhe SandMonkey. (Sandy, if things ever get too dangerous for you there and you decide to come to Brooklyn, 'I'll be a monkey's uncle' and give you a place to stay till you get settled. That's a serious offer, the only rule is you have to like cats.)
I'm a smoker. My wife has mild asthma but accepts me smoking, but my brother-in-law, who lives upstairs, complains so much that I have to limit my smoking to my bedroom, with an open window during the summer and an air purifying machine -- which at least he bought -- the rest of the time.

The 'second-hand smoke' paranoia is so bad that smoking is even banned in outdoor stadiums, where the concentration is too low to hurt anyone. And I wouldn't mind special sections, or a rule that you can't smoke in an office, in your own enclosed room, if there were a certain number of complaints, but it isn't allowed to smoke if the whole office signs a petition that they don't mind it. You can't smoke indoors in an office building, period.

What was Mencken's comment about Puritans?

Btw, 'shashi?" another word for that fine green leaf that studies have just shown does NOT give you cancer if you smoke it?

 
At 2/15/2006 06:35:00 AM, Anonymous Amay said...

Nope Prup,
*Shisha* is just flavored tobacco smoked in a hooka pipe.

 
At 2/15/2006 07:28:00 AM, Anonymous AhmedT said...

Sam,
I smoked for 15 years and the public smoking ban here in Ontario really helped me quit. When Smoking is vilified everywhere (as it should) and there's no place to smoke but in the street (at least 15 feet away from any public entrance) people, like me, find incentive to quit :-)

Cheers,
AT

 
At 2/15/2006 07:41:00 AM, Blogger aliandra said...

I can understand the banning of smoking in public places. Smokers do tend to throw the butts whereever. Maybe other people are getting tired of having to clean up the mess all the time.

 
At 2/15/2006 09:14:00 AM, Anonymous Melissa in NorCal said...

California has banned smoking at work, any bar, restaurant, club and within 20 feet of any government building as far as I know. Oh, and you can't smoke on the beach either. It has been this way as long as I can remember. Sucks to have to smoke shisha outside in the rain or when it like 40 degrees out. The shisha bars lose a lot of business.

 
At 2/15/2006 09:26:00 AM, Anonymous Mohamed said...

SandMonkey, AhmedT's absolutely right, one of the greatest things here is that cigarette smoking's more stigmatized than pot smoking. So if you come from heavy smoking areas like europe and the middle east, most probably you'll have to quit eventually, somehow this doesn't work for the chinese and the koreans though.

 
At 2/15/2006 01:24:00 PM, Anonymous democracy for palestine said...

> And If the people working there are so afraid for their health,
> than they shouldn't work there. End of Story!

Brilliant.

The same is valid for the chosen sqatters.

If they are afraid of their health, they should leave,
like the 130.000 "liberators" in Iraq.

NOTE: Looting, raping and robbing is dangerous for
your health.

 
At 2/15/2006 01:57:00 PM, Blogger Sigurdur said...

Sandmonkey writes:
< if the people working there are so afraid for their health, < than they shouldn't work there. End of Story!

Funny that.

Any other professions you wish to subject to this "put up with this or get out!" policy?
Is there no obligation on behalf of the employer to provide his staff with as healthy a working place as he can?

 
At 2/15/2006 02:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I'm saying aloud here is what no one else has said here so far because it's not PC.

I strongly support the ban on smoking in bars (would still make private clubs an exception) and why I support this is just because I hate getting home after a tour of local bars stinking like Hell and not being the owner of an Imelda Marcos size fashion collection, having to suffer from stinking coats and trousers the following day. That just adds insult to the hangover injury. Call me an egoist but at least I'm not trying to cover my selfishness with such terms as freedom, tolerance, economy and so on.

Where I live we have so-called non-smoking and smoking sections in bars which are big enough. The reality, however, is that if there's a group of both non-smokers and smokers in the bar, I'm yet to experience a night out where we'd be in the non-smoking section. It's always so that a mixed company caves in to the smokers, not vice versa. The same would apply even more in the situation we were to have non-smoking and smoking bars separately. A kind of dictatorship of the vocal stinking minority, so to say.

The ideal solution is what has been proposed: separate smoking, hmm, chambers in bars where you only go for a smoke with no alcohol or serving allowed.

Of course smokers oppose all of this and some bar owners are painting visions of bars going bankrupt en masse but we can easily laugh at this propaganda. In my case, I, a proud member of the moral majority, would go out more if bars were smokefree. And what is most important, think how it used to be. Smoking on flights, separate smoking compartments on trains, workplace, university, local transportation and so on used to be the norm. Anybody knows anyone who changed jobs or refrains from flying because one can't smoke there? I do doubt.

 
At 2/15/2006 05:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate smoking, hate the smell, hate what it does to the smoker's health and other people's health, but a business owner should have the right to say if smoking is allowed in his or her establishment. Non-smokers (like me) can go to a smoke-free resturant and spend our money there. The less government interfers in our lives, the better. sis from the usa

 
At 2/16/2006 09:59:00 AM, Blogger Blogspat said...

A little late in the discussion - but it is quite funny.

A smoker that is the owner of a small black smith company in Denmark has an add out for wanting to employ 4 smokers.

Here is the link though in danish. The Employer agrees with SM as to smokers being targeted in many workplaces.
Smokers preffered(The newspaper that had the cartoons)

It perfectly legal - smokers aren't considered being a part of an ethnic, religous, sexual, age, sex group...

 
At 2/21/2006 09:29:00 AM, Anonymous Andrew Brehm said...

"a business owner should have the right to say if smoking is allowed in his or her establishment."

What about other things that harm people?

Should the business owner also have the right to say if shooting people is allowed in his establishment?

Perhaps the law should say whether we are allowed to physically harm other people in public places, rather than their owners.

Here in Ireland smoking in public spaces has been illegal for some time. And pubs are still doing well. People just smoke outside or in beer gardens.

 
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