Questions and Consequences — 17 Comments

  1. You've got a convincing point there. Strong propaganda by government and  health experts has not brought down the smoker statistics. Decisions not to smoke need to be voluntary and not engineered by a barrage of propaganda. Irish people seem to resist or ignore quangos and government sources that go on and on about some things. That we the public can't be thoroughly brainwashed by information overload is a sign that democracy is not in imminent danger of being toppled. But propagandists don't give up; they still have a big war chest to draw on. Eternal vigilance gentlemen…

    • My theory is that there is a "base level" of smokers who enjoy smoking and have no intentions of quitting.  Ireland seems to have reached that level and no amount of legislation, coercion or bullying is going to change that.  Quiet the opposite in fact – treat people like children and they will act like children and rebel.

  2. I realize my view will be a minority one on this blog, but here goes. I hate the smell of tobacco smoke. My father was a long time smoker he died of multiple cancers, lung, bladder, and bone. Previous attempts at non smoking sections in restaurants and bars were a joke. Even if the ventilation was adequate, the odor clung to the clothes of the wait staff. More then once, I simply had to leave. Sometimes simply turning away as soon as I opened the door and was assaulted by stench.  

    I am all for making public areas smoke free. Since smoking in restaurants and bars was outlawed, I enjoy going out with my wife to dinner or to have a drink with friends far more then I did before.

    If you want to smoke in your home, that's up to you. You want to smoke in your car, go ahead. You want blow smoke in my face, go to hell.  

    • I have no problem with opposing views! 

      The "stinking clothes" argument is one of the most common that I have come across.  In all honesty though, can that justify the negative affects of the bans?  Could you seriously walk up to a bar owner who has just lost his business, look him in the eye and tell him that it was for a good cause because your clothes now smell a little fresher?

      In an ideal world, all the petty rules, laws and regulations would be repealed back to pre-2004, and the public would be treated as adults once more.  But surely the very least that could be done is to allow the owners of the various premises to decide for themselves whether to go fully or even partially smoke-free?

      I too hate the smell of cigarette smoke, not to mention most perfumes and air "fresheners" but I wouldn't dream of encouraging any legislation against them.

    • I too dislike the smell of cigarette smoke, which was one of the reasons I switched to cigars many years ago, before finally deciding to quit in January 1999.

      HOWEVER, as an ex-smoker I fully understand the pleasure that smokers get from their chosen relaxation habit and would not want to legislate against smokers in any way. In the UK it seems to be about one quarter of the population that is now currently being discriminated against just because they choose to smoke. I too am appalled at the carnage which has resulted from the 2007 ban, two local pubs I used to favour have closed, one permanently as it was bought by a developer and promptly demolished leaving a hole in the ground which has now been there for five years.

      Why do politicians blindly follow the demands of the puritanical gobshites who are insisting on greater and greater 'denormalisation' measures against smokers? The 25% of 'outlawed' smokers here seem to have decided that if they're not wanted in public, then they won't go anywhere and in consequence HAVE STOPPED SPENDING MONEY, not just in the Pubs/Clubs but everywhere. We don't have the 'return to economic growth' spouted by the politico's and we won't, so long as they keep sending the message to 25% of the population to fuck off as they're not wanted.

    • How about letting the bar and restauarant owners operate a 'smoking house' or 'non smoking house' policy?

      Then smokers, non smokers, hell even the rabid anti smokers can grace whichever establishment is commensurste with their views. Please do not whine about 'the smell'. Try cracking a year old crust on a sewage pit and then spend the next couple of days showering in an effort to the 'pong' off your body. Doesn't matter how much 'protection' you wear it still gets through.

      In your case you and your good lady could frequent the non smoking establishements. If your smoking friends chose to go to a smoking establishment for the next meal then it's your choice as to wether you go with them.

  3. Jim C.



    Could I add my voice as a smoker and ask you to reflect on your comments here. I regret that you felt you had to leave restaurants before the smoking ban came in, but may I point out now that I am not welcome in any of them as a smoker. Business owners would have voluntarily created the facilities for non-smokers in the past if they had sensed any demand for it. However at the moment, those same business owners know there is a pent up demand for enclosed indoor smoking rooms and are forbidden from providing them. When I argued the case for a separate comfortable smoking room some time ago, a non-smoker phoned me to complain that if there were one, it would always be full and all the fun would be in there so he would feel the need to go in as well, hence his opposition to it. That attitude borders on extreme phobia and requires immediate medical help.

    • Well said, agree entirely. It would appear that many anti-smokers share this mindset, they want their cake and eat it.

      I don't know why the Irish/Brits can't be more like the French/Spanish/Italian in attitude – Pass an unsociable or unwarranted law or regulation over there and it is simply ignored.

    • I honestly can't see any argument against allowing business owners deciding for themselves.  If there is a market for smoking as well as non-smoking establishments then both sides win.  Let the market and not the Bully State decide.

  4. Jim C

    I too, am a non smoker. You seem to make a big deal of the fact that your father, a long time smoker, died of multiple cancers. Was it therefore written on the death certificate that the cause of death was smoking? Thought not, since a link between smoking and cancer has never been proven. As far as your comments go about smelly clothes, I can say that having been around smokers I have never experienced this, since I always wear clean clothes and use a gadget known as a washing machine. Your comments are just classic neurotic anti smoker propaganda and all your arguments have been demolished time and again.

    • In fairness to Jim C, he commented here knowing that his views might not be popular and I respect that.  Debate is good and healthy, but try to avoid ad hominem attacks please.

      • There were no ad hominem attacks GD, at least none were meant. As far as I am concerned I just stated what I believe to be the truth, albeit in a slightly sarcastic manner I admit. As a non smoker who has a lot of smoking friends all I can say is that I have never experienced smelly clothing and certainly never had smoke blown in my face. Jim C's comment looked to me to be a good opportunity for him to insult smokers.

        • Borderline!  😉

          I agree entirely that the "smelly clothes" excuse is possibly the most feeble I have ever heard, and it does annoy me whenever I hear it.  However, I defend the right to free speech [within the standard boundaries, of course].  I was once accused of deleting all arguments I disagreed with which infuriated me at the time.  To the best of my knowledge, I have only deleted two comments a very long time ago when an argument got very personal.

    • <i>I have never experienced this, since I always wear clean clothes and use a gadget known as a washing machine.</i>

      You can't put a worsted suit in the washing machine every day!  

  5. The night before the ban came in in Ireland Richard Littlejohn hosted a programme from Dublin. He asked the logical question, why couldn't the owners/landlords decide and have smoking and non smoking pubs, hotels etc. He got the only honest answer I have heard that the smoking pubs would take all the custom and that wouldn't be 'fair'. I simply don't understand the fanatic anti smokers, it is still a legal product and was perfectly normal until a very short time ago. If there were any truth in the claims all old lifelong smokers would be dead, even the non smokers our age as they grew up surrounded by smoke anyway. I must have smoked 60 cigarettes in hospital going through a very bad labour, happy days! How did a small group of very strange fanatics get such influence over our lives and freedoms.

  6. Yeah, its a sad day when there is more personal freedom in Chinese pubs than in Ireland

    When I'm back in Ireland I don't bother to go to pubs anymore 

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