Off Topic Messages

Mon Apr 17, 2006 5:29 am

TJ wrote:Smokers contribute vast sums to the UK Government via taxation every year. This tax revenue exceeds the estimated cost to the National Health Service of smoking-related illnesses by a massive margin. Obesity is in fact a much greater burden on the NHS, so perhaps the next step is to ban or tax the hell out of fatty foods?


Here's the answer T.J.: Have the fat a$$es start smoking! The benefits are twofold. 1.) They'll slim down from putting a cigarette in their mouths instead of food. 2.) They'll die from lung cancer and not be a drain on your health care system. :twisted: :)

Mon Apr 17, 2006 5:36 am

If you're eating a hot dog you are only harming yourself, not the person sitting 10 seats away!!!


8)

Mon Apr 17, 2006 7:35 am

If the owner of a place wants it that should be fine with anyone. If you have to go out of your way to be in the way of the smoke you don't have a right to complain even if that person is right next to you or ten spaces away.

I think by the way the idea that a casual diner can be damaged by exposure to smoke an hour or two per month is a leap. I was in a diner once where the smoking section was just basically a puff of smoke. The non-smoking was in another section of the building and you couldn't even tell there was smoking going on. It was distasteful to me to walk through the smoking section to get to the non-smoking section but it lasted 10-15 seconds tops. And this smoking section was an extreme example. You mean to tell that 10-15 seconds is going to give me a cancer. Even over the course of a lifetime, it can't be more than a few hours. This is where we cross the line from caution to hysteria.

And as a consumer you're free to use your ultimate power. Don't go there. Tell the manager that's why you don't want to go there. I have been in many, many establishments in my life that prohibit smoking. It's not as if you have to endure it. You just don't and there's know way anyone can slice the cards and make it not seem like a choice to endure smoke.

Mon Apr 17, 2006 7:45 am

We were at Maccas this morning, having breakfast outside under a roof type setting. The smokers did the right thing and went out from under the roof to have a smoke. Still the smoke was blown in under the roof and was not nice to put up with.

Smoking does no one any good. Not the smokers and not the non smokers.

8)

Mon Apr 17, 2006 8:09 am

likethebike wrote:If the owner of a place wants it that should be fine with anyone. If you have to go out of your way to be in the way of the smoke you don't have a right to complain even if that person is right next to you or ten spaces away.

I think by the way the idea that a casual diner can be damaged by exposure to smoke an hour or two per month is a leap. I was in a diner once where the smoking section was just basically a puff of smoke. The non-smoking was in another section of the building and you couldn't even tell there was smoking going on. It was distasteful to me to walk through the smoking section to get to the non-smoking section but it lasted 10-15 seconds tops. And this smoking section was an extreme example. You mean to tell that 10-15 seconds is going to give me a cancer. Even over the course of a lifetime, it can't be more than a few hours. This is where we cross the line from caution to hysteria.



What you say has a lot of merit. There has been a long and inconclusive debate about the precise level of cancer risk associated with passive smoking, but really no evidence that anything other than long-term and very regular exposure can have an impact. Studies generally involve those whose partners smoke, and even then the risk of developing lung cancer tends to be estimated as anything from 2 to 10 per 100,000. There is just no risk from occasional exposure of the kind you described LTB. That's not to undermine Sam's point about it being irritating of course. It certainly is for some.

Mon Apr 17, 2006 5:54 pm

Why would I smoke even knowing this is bad for my health??? :?

Tue Apr 18, 2006 1:28 am

Renan wrote:Why would I smoke even knowing this is bad for my health??? :?


There's no reasonable answer to that, other than people do stupid things. Why would anyone drink heavily? Why would anyone eat too much? Why would anyone take part in dangerous extreme sports? :) The problem with cigarettes is that once you start, it's extremely difficult to stop, particularly for those with a strong dependence.

Wed Apr 19, 2006 1:11 am

Interesting discussion, folks, and I'm glad to hear from my fellow non-smokers that something's amiss in this move to ban smoking.

I'm no fan of tobacco (in my family, if you smoke cigarettes, you're genetically very likely die early with brain and lung cancer) but I still don't buy the hysteria about second-hand smoke, most has which has been proven inconclusive.

And like the failed attempt to ban the demon rum in the American prohibition in the 1920's, there will spring up a black market for cigarettes if you ban them. People will always smoke, unfortunately, and yes, take a delight in it, no matter how dumb that is. Already, the per-carton tax-bill alone for cigarettes has built up a worldwide black market on the internet and inter-state here in America.

Bike is correct about "over-reach" on this subject. The notion that "government is telling you what to do" seems a bit off, however, as in most cases this is being done reasonably democratically, although I've yet to see a referendum as a rule. I could be wrong on that, however. It does seem like more of a post-election mayoral decree in some cases.

Personally, I don't like smoke blowing in my face but I've also noticed that people today are quite over-the-top in their objection to smelling even the faintest amount of cigarette smoke on their clothes or in the air.
The whole "i'm allergic to smoke" argument (usually from people in their 20s and 30s strikes me as a bit rich. I'm no fan of smoke but I'm not allergic to it. I usually can position myself away from it and most smokers are today very careful in some cases about where they smoke even in a bar.

I personally thinks bars (tavern, pubs, etc.) in particular serve a social and cultural role and this has in some cities proved a way for middle and elite snobs to finally do away what is often a working-class habit. Quite a few long-time neighborhood joints have found that some customers are grabbing a six-pack of beer at the corner market and heading home where they can smoke in peace, or so I've heard.

And this might be strange to some but I don't like the "leper"-like treatment of smokers. I rather like seeing everyone unwind together a bar and most today have well-designed anti-smoke ventilation units.

You haven't really been out if you don't come home without a whiff of some smoke!

I guess we'll all get over it and I'll not play the violin for tobacco for reasons stated. But as someone who likes smokers (family and friends), I find the whole thing a bit ungenerous and overly alarmist.

It seemed to start in California (of course!) and then surprisingly was picked up in Boston and New York and now New Jersey and even Scotland and Ireland.

We're very far from the 20th century, aren't we?

Wed Apr 19, 2006 1:19 am

What I like about a lot of smokers (Friends and Family) When they feel the urge it is automatic to go outside and have their fix. It has become natural to not do it in the house, even there own house.


8)

Wed Apr 19, 2006 6:51 am

sam wrote:If you're eating a hot dog you are only harming yourself, not the person sitting 10 seats away!!!


8)


Sam........you're not considering the inevitable methane emissions that result from eating a hot dog.

I say we start agitating for a "No Fooling" section in all restaurants that serve hot dogs. :lol:

Wed Apr 19, 2006 4:52 pm

We're turning into a culture of pansy's! A person wants to go to a bar, have a drink and smoke that's fine by me. That's what bars are for. I can understand to a certain degree the anti-smoking argument for restaurants, but most, if not all restaurants have non-smoking sections. Many restaurants have bars, and a ban on smoking in these restaurants impacts these bars. Jeeze, what's next banning alcohol at bars? Forcing them to serve carrot juice cocktails and mineral water? Being reasonably health conscious is one thing, but at the rate we're going we're becoming a society of California, hippy-dippy, health-food guru jag-offs.

Wed Apr 19, 2006 5:14 pm

Pete Dube wrote: Many restaurants have bars, and a ban on smoking in these restaurants impacts these bars.


I don't think it has had this effect you speak of. I think it has had the opposite effect.


8)

Wed Apr 19, 2006 5:21 pm

sam wrote:
Pete Dube wrote: Many restaurants have bars, and a ban on smoking in these restaurants impacts these bars.


I don't think it has had this effect you speak of. I think it has had the opposite effect.8)


There were predictions of dire consequences when Ireland banned smoking in public places.

Pubs and restaurants would close through lack of custom etc.

It never happened.

People either gave up smoking, gave up while they were out, or stayed home.

But for all those who stayed home, there were others who started going out now that the places were smoke-free !

Life went on.

Wed Apr 19, 2006 5:51 pm

elvissessions.com wrote:I don't want people smoking at the table next to me any more than I want them climbing up on that table and taking a squatter on the centerpiece.


OH FOR GOD'S SAKE!!!!

How many times do I have to apologize for that. I told you I was drunk!! Geez, will you please let it go!

Tom

Wed Apr 19, 2006 5:55 pm

I still say it's over-kill and Pete is right.

Many American city has much cleaner air than in 1969, but I still think there's plenty of fumes to be had on the streets as well as some industrial occupations, as LTB pointed out.

There's something inherently "precious" and self-absorbed about the desire to outlaw every last vice in one's midst. In the like of modern ventilation systems and enforced / genuine smoking and non-smoking sections, there's is something very Taliban about the idea of sending smokers into the street - or home.

***********************************

Incidentally, a state of Texas program recently attempted to make it illegal to be drunk even in a bar while not operating any machinery and not hurting anyone else. The woman behind it created a national firestorm until it was recently suspended for the time being:


Texas alcohol commission stings draw fire

DALLAS, April 15 (UPI) -- A Texas program to monitor intoxicated people and bartenders who continue to serve them has been suspended until a legislative committee holds a hearing.

The program, which was designed to reduce drunk driving, has been in effect since 2001 -- but it was little noticed until March when two people were arrested for public intoxication at a hotel during a sweep of Dallas-area bars.

The state alcohol commission stepped up the program last fall after getting funding from the Texas Legislature to hire about 100 new employees, The Los Angeles Times reported.

In the six months ending in February, the commission issued 2,281 arrests or citations for public intoxication, for continuing to serve an intoxicated person and for serving those who are underage -- a 95 percent increase from the same period a year ago.

Convention boards and chambers of commerce have been worried the program would drive away tourists and hurt the economy, but have been assured by the alcohol commission that visitors will not be targeted, the newspaper said.

Texas lawmakers are scheduled to hold a hearing on the matter Monday.

United Press International

Wed Apr 19, 2006 6:06 pm

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:
There's something inherently "precious" and self-absorbed about the desire to outlaw every last vice in one's midst. In the like of modern ventilation systems and enforced / genuine smoking and non-smoking sections, there's is something very Taliban about the idea of sending smokers into the street - or home.


I can't agree. It's much nicer with the smokers having to feel guilty and sneak outside for a smoke.
Just imagine if people could smoke wherever they wanted to.
It would be impossible to shop in comfort, or go out anywhere. YUK !!!

what a thought!!! where's the puke emotican!!!

:wink:

Wed Apr 19, 2006 7:35 pm

Hey, I'll admit to enjoying seeing some of the tables turned when I first saw smokers huddled in doorways as they have't always been so kind with their pollution...

But if anything, they're humbled and we do have the technology to accomodate everyone.

There's a municipality or two in the US that has actually banned smoking outside on sidewalks....

I even heard about it being banned in some private apartment buildings, housing senior citizens no less...

Talk about Good intentions running amuck!

I'm not always sure how well-intended it is, either.

Wed Apr 19, 2006 7:58 pm

Smoking is good for:

The tobacco barons & those who make, distribute & sell the related products.

The government, by way of taxes.

Smoking is bad for:

Everyone else.

No contest, really.

Wed Apr 19, 2006 11:29 pm

It's not a question of good or bad for to me Colin. It's about the government's ability to make my decisions for me.

Wed Apr 19, 2006 11:43 pm

likethebike wrote:It's not a question of good or bad for to me Colin. It's about the government's ability to make my decisions for me.


They aren't saying you can't smoke !

Just trying to stop you doing it where you can harm others !

Nothing wrong with that, surely ?

Thu Apr 20, 2006 12:06 am

"Harm others"? Annoy, maybe, but public health threat - in bars, no less?
On health reasons, we may as well ban alcohol and fattening foods while we're at it...! And annoying? Where do we start that "banned" list?

Colin, in the past even I've been accused of being an anti-smoking zealot, even before I saw people die from it in my family, but the science is still not there that "second-hand smoke" actually is the killer they portray.

We may not like smoke, but it doesn't mean it's killing people.

While I won't mourn too loudly for cigarette smoke, but neither do I like seeing friends and strangers being made lepers of a sort.

Thu Apr 20, 2006 12:24 am

About a year and a half or so ago there was a thread about Playboy that morphed into a debate about pornography. Bike and I were the main debaters, and we were on opposite sides of that issue. Well, that debate stayed, or rather preyed on my mind for a few weeks, but I eventually came to the conclusion that LTB was right. No matter how much I think porn is destructive, prohibition is not the answer (save for child porn, which is out & out evil with a capitol E!). And it's the same here with smoking.

Besides, I cannot for the life of me picture ol' blue eyes havin' one for his baby without a cigarette to go with his drink. :)

But seriously folks, life is meant to be lived. Look I want to prolong my life as much as the next person. I go to a gym 3-5 days a week, and try to eat a reasonably balanced diet. But I enjoy good wine or a decent ale, fine Italian food or a thick steak. And the occasional expensive cigar. Life is meant to be lived! If I wanted to be a tee-totaling vegetarian I'd become a 7th day Adventist. :lol: And I damn sure have no desire to be Jack LaLane when I'm a senior citizen, pulling tugboats across bays and all that.

Thu Apr 20, 2006 1:24 am

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:"Harm others"?
Annoy, maybe, but public health threat - in bars, no less?


Passive smokers get a bit more than 'annoyed':

http://www.ash.org.uk/html/factsheets/html/fact08.html

And think of the poor bar staff.

Thu Apr 20, 2006 1:45 am

Image

Like I said, the verdict on the science is still out:

http://www.forces.org/evidence/files/pas-smok.htm

http://www.junkscience.com/feb01/perske.htm

Thu Apr 20, 2006 2:02 am

Greg -

But your linked articles are yonks out of date !

My one is from March, 2006 !