Infallible dogma? — 30 Comments

  1. I am a smoker, a drinker and one time partaker of other recreational substances(ORS) and like you say the smoker and the ORS user are attacked at every corner. For some reason misuse of alcohol is seen as socially acceptable. I have seen the carnage in A&E over a weekend and the sheer economics makes you wonder why as a society we attack smokers and drug users, yet the ever expanding circle of violence and anti-social behaviour fueled by alchohol goes uncontrolled.

    I can see how the smell of smoke is unpleasant, and there may be a risk of secondary smoke inhalation, but I do not smoke in enclosed spaces where this will be an issue. However I contribute more in tax than a non-smoker which will help to fund their healthcare when they eat too much cake, call it a syndrome and have coronary heart disease at the age of 45.

  2. King Bob – I am baffled. I can understand a move against some OCRs but the tolerance of the alcohol fueled mayhem is amazing. Personally, I cannot stand the smell of cigarette smoke, but that is my problem. I also have a very low tolerance for scents and perfumes, and some give me sinusitis, yet I don’t ask for them to be banned.

    I have yet to hear one singe coherent argument for the smoking ban. If someone can prove to me that it has contributed in any way to the health of the nation, I would love to hear it.

  3. I like the fact that I can go to the pub and not end up smelly and with sore eyes, both of which I used to get in the past. I didn’t campaign to ban smoking but I do enjoy the fact that it has been relegated to the (now quite comfortable) ‘outdoor’ areas. I’m not a fanatic, but I feel my life is a bit nicer as a consequence of the ban, beforehand I was inconvenienced, now the smoker is. Swings and roundabouts if you ask me. I have no interest in the health risk aspect, it just suits me better. I agree some people over-do it and frankly, I like the smell of a pipe, it’s all other forms of smoking that bother me.

  4. Thrifty – That is my whole point. Smokers have been victimised because they were ‘an inconvenience’, not for any other rational argument. I too end up smelly with a sore nose, but that is from going into pubs where the air is now saturated with so called ‘freshener’. Where are my rights?

  5. Ah, that’s my point, I didn’t make the situation, but I’m glad I’m not the one being inconvenienced. Same as you didn’t invent tobacco, but would prefer not to be inconvenienced. And the Sandyford House has no truck with any of that ‘freshener’ business. Though I believe one of the staff allegedly got chucked lately for allegedly being on allegedly the fiddle.

  6. Thrifty – When you look at the effect of the ban on litter in the streets, the pub trade and worst of all, the effect on the social life of the old fellas in the Wesht, is it worth it for the sake of a minor convenience?
    Sandyford House always reeked. I must get around to burning that place down one of these days.

  7. Grandad,

    I’m not a smoker and I’m glad to be in an environment free of cigarette smoke when I go out, though I cannot understand what was wrong with designated rooms.

    It’s my Protestant conscience that prompts my objections to the persecution of smokers – why should the State tell people what to do with their own lives? Didn’t Ireland spend long enough being told what to do in private – and it wasn’t just the Catholic Church, there were plenty of fundamentalists in the North who would chain up kiddies’ swings and tell you that you couldn’t get a drink on a Sunday.

    I wouldn’t mind if there was not so much hypocrisy – ban smokers, tax them, make them social pariahs, but what about communities that mistreat their children? Ah, don’t speak about them, that’s ethnic identity.

  8. It never ceases to amaze me how smokers consider their butts to be ‘not litter’. I know many smokers who are quite avidly environmental, but chuck the ends of their cigarettes on the ground willy-nilly.

    If the ban were not there I’d probably not bother my hole going to the pub. I don’t buy into your arguments against the ban to be blunt, perhaps that is pure selfishness on my part, but then I could argue that it is selfish of someone to smoke beside me while I am trying to enjoy a pint, or a meal.

  9. Ian – I wonder if there is a way of getting an ethnic identity for smokers? Once again, you have hit the nail on the head – it is all a matter of principle. I have no objection to conveniencing non-smokers and I’m sure I speak for the majority of my ethnic group. Here we have the Nanny State targeting a relatively benign group just for the sake of political correctness, while ignoring the groups who do all the damage. Maybe it is my ancestry catching up on me, but I really resent being told what to do, for no other reason than political oneupmanship.

    Thrifty – There are lots of things that inconvenience us. I would like to see umbrellas banned [far more dangerous than smoke], and cars should drive past my place as quietly as possible. As I said, I would be on for a ban on all artificial scents, iPods and mobile phones on public transport etc etc. As for eating in a smoke free environment – I totally agree. I have no problem with non smoking restaurents and any self respecting smoker wouldn’t smoke while others are eating anyway [unless it is outdoors].

  10. As a self respecting smoker I have always hated walking into a smoke filled pub – particularly as the stuff they sell in those establishments is not worth the money I pay, and loud mouth drunks who frequent these places really p**s me off!!!

    As a consequence I rarely go to a pub – and that was before the ban – preferring instead to enjoy a nice glass of wine or lager, with or without a cigarette, in my own garden with the company of whoever I choose – much better!

  11. It’s the principle of the whole thing, Kate. Why should I [or you] be victimised when there are swathes of society causing havoc and getting away with it? My argument is that smokers are relatively harmless compared to other sectors who seem to wreak havoc with impunity.

  12. Given that my mother has smoked since I was young (although stopping when having my little sister) – I’ve not liked having to go out just to find that the place is filled with cigarette smoke.

    I have no problem with people smoking, but I prefer if they were to do it amongst themselves and not around those of us who don’t smoke. If we wanted to have to deal with all the fumes in the air and the tobacco smell, we’d smoke ourselves!

  13. There are always people who get away with murder (quite literally) and I’d get more wrinkles than I already have if I let it all get to me. The only people who make money out of all this are the government and the people who don’t need money.

    I think I could quite easily become a recluse – I won’t evade the tax man but maybe some of the madmen!

  14. we just passed a “city ordinance” that you can’t smoke anywhere in public in the entire city. it was amazing to me that they can’t come together in a reasonable amount of time on anything else but they got this passed with the first vote on the first try. oh, they did leave us our hole-in-the-wall bars 🙂 this was just fine with me ’cause those are the only places i’m going anyway. i really wanted to go to the vote and rant about how every morning i nearly get killed but some stupid person in an suv talking on a cell phone…gggrrrrrr

  15. You are all talking about ‘convenience’, ‘irritations’, ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’. These are all personal preferences [which I respect], but none of that warrants the stigma that has been attached to smokers. What galls me the most is the way the public accept these bland statements and slogans by the ‘authorities’ and treat them as Gospel. Smoking does not kill. It never has. It does reduce life expectancy, but that is different. Yet people treat smokers like plague carriers who must be shunned and thrown out the back yard at all times. Why?

  16. Well Grandad. Up to four years ago I smoked 40-60 Camel a day – God knows how many more when I visited the Office. I loved loved my fag. (btw I started nicotine, and specifically Camel to hide the smell of weed – back 30 yrs ago few knew the difference in the smell! So it does lead to harder drugs – nicotine in my case).
    So I was hynotised. It worked on my feeble brain – never smoked nor wanted one since. You ask about the health benefit – I no longer splutter into action in the morning like a clapped out diesel. My fingers don’t look like smoked cod.
    But I have no problem with smokers – especially pipe smokers. What blend do you use?
    The biggest problems with non-smoking in the Office are cheap perfume, feckin Lynx, body odour, and farting. And that’s just me and the lads. Damn Guinness.

  17. It’s the Salem mentality, Grandad – I mean Salem Mass, not Salem the fag. Smoking Kills. Global Warming. It’s witchcraft. Shamanism. Smokers are an easy target. Like SUV owners. (remember ?). Smoke away pops. It’s your lungs.

  18. Kerryview – Another case in point.. Which would you rather? To inhale someone else’s smoke, or to breath gas that has come out of their arse?!!

    I’m a Condor man myself. If you want to send a crate, that’s fine. I can mix my own home-grown additives myself.

  19. there’s a difference? what’s worse is saturday night at the Office when it’s bring your wife for a drink night. Scent is bought and applied by the gallon down here. Not to mention yer man’s spray deo. Time for home and the spuds.
    Ahhh that’s not condor.

  20. Bloody hell! If you can’t tell the difference between smoke and a fart??
    I just can’t enter any place that is full of scent. I prefer things to be natural [apart from flatulence].

  21. Fart smells don’t last as long as cigs, assuming you don’t suffer from follow through. At least mine don’t, anyway. And I use the crystal deoderant that has no smell (works a treat too).

  22. I have smoked all my life. I am a nicotine addict. Yet I am under no illusion about the danger to myself and the enormous burden placed on health systems resulting from it’s long term effects. Yes, smoking is a really pointless and stupid occupation. Tell me one benefit. Pipes? You don’t even inhale and get the drug. So, what’s the point? Do pipe smokers smoke when they are not being observed?

  23. TT – Pipes are a completely different thing from cigarettes. Of course there is nicotine intake, but it is considerably less. Also the tobacco is pure and doesn’t have all those horrible chemicals added [saltpeter is the most obvious]. The whole nature of pipe smoking is more relaxing – you take time to clean, fill and light the pipe. The smoking is relaxing in a way that cigarette smoking isn’t. It is cleaner [no butts, or ash dropping off] and is far more pleasant for people around. Convinced?? Try it!!

  24. I picked up a guy who had been smoking a pipe, he put it out and stuffed it into his jacket pocket………… stank to high heaven….like a giant stubby

  25. Roy – Maybe his pipe needed cleaning, or maybe he was using some crap tobacco. Most likely though, he set his pocket on fire.

  26. You raise some good points. I don’t smoke and I don’t want to have to inhale the second-hand smoke or smell like a nasty pub just to join mates for a drink or two.

    Here in my city, the argument for non-smoking bars has been the health of the employees who must inhale it for hours on end. Yes, they could just get another job but other jobs aren’t always easily available.

    Just like I don’t want to endure others smoking, I like wise don’t want to endure watching others snogging in the bar. So what is wrong with taking one’s optional ‘pleasures’ home?

  27. Welcome, Conundrum. I worked for years in the city centre in a ‘smoke free’ environment. My health was abysmal, and only improved when I relocated further out from the city. My point is that the whole city environment is extremely unhealthy. In fact I would argue that breathing city air has more proven dangers than breathing secondhand smoke. The City Fathers, in their wisdom don’t ban cars and buses from the city though, despite the proven dangers to health.

    I appreciate that cigarette smoke can be a major irritation to a non smoker and I respect that. I maintain that it would have been very simple to establish separate areas for smokers/non smokers. Unlike the majority of other enclosed spaces, bars are places to relax and enjoy a civilised drink at the end of a hard day. To many, a quiet smoke is part of that relaxation.

    The main thrust of my argument is that smokers have been demonised way beyond any danger they may pose.

  28. Drat!
    I tried to comment yesterday on this, and my computer must’a ate it… Once again: as a non-smoker living in a state where smoking has now been outlawed in every public building and even w/in 15 ft of many of them, I do enjoy the fresh air much more than I used to. But I’m torn about the rules; I understand that when you really enjoy something, it’s hard to give it up except for a few hours in your own home daily (however, those who enjoy sex have been putting up with that for years)… I know that if they banned coffee from public places, I’d be running around strangling people! It’s also extremely ironic — yesterday the air in the entire valley was a nasty orange color… because they were burning grass fields! Does anyone in the state capitol see this as just a little daft? So nice to breathe smoke-free air… cough, cough… So I have to agree with you, grandad — smokers are being targetted because they are easy targets. We tried alcohol, and from what my grandparents said, it was a pretty wild time over here!

  29. Cathy – Maybe your computer has been sucked in by the anti-smoking brigade? I was tempted to mention Prohibition. That was an attempt to tackle something that is a major problem in society. As you may have gathered, I’m fond of a pint [or three] myself, but I would be the first to say that alcohol is one of the greatest dangers to society. However, Prohibition didn’t work so it was scrapped. Smokers are a soft target though, so they get the hammer.

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