Thank you for non-/smoking

Dear Reader,

Once in a while the issue of smoking comes up here at diablog. As a regular reader you know, Glynsky, Pete, and I smoke. In case you have not noticed, tobacco even has a label here. As you can see, with just 11 posts including this one, it isn’t that all important.

Smiles doesn’t smoke. And he is concerned about our health and encourages us, to stop smoking. Thank you, Smiles. No offense, can I settle that issue?

Tobacco is a drug.
Nicotine is a poison.
Tobacco is as addictive as heroine and cocaine.
Cigarettes contain nasty things:

Smoking kills.
We know that.

With that out of the way, I would like to point out, that up until the mid to late 90s, smokers and non-smokers lived side by side pretty peacefully.
At all civilized dinner parties and meals, there was no smoking, until we had finished eating. Thereafter, the smokers went for a smoke into another room. Unless everybody smoked, or the non-smokers did not mind us staying at the table.

In the 90s NYC had the most reasonable smoking laws.
Smoking was prohibited anywhere near people having a meal. I welcome that. Who wants to have the taste buds bothered by smoke while eating?
Most restaurants, pubs and bars had separate smoking rooms or smoking sections. The common question from hosts and hostesses was: “Smoking or non-smoking?” Perfect.
Smoking was prohibited in most public buildings, planes, and all other public rooms, where it might bother and would have an impact on non-smokers. There were separate compartments for smokers in trains. Absolutely fine.
My freedoms end, where they start limiting yours.

Then politicians started a campaign.

Yes, you read correctly, politicians did, not the non-smokers. Funny, isn’t it?
Let me explain.

You are somewhat familiar with vegetarianism?

Then you know, that at least since the 80s, vegetarian dishes found their way onto most menus in restaurants. There was demand. And this demand grew so much, that since the 90s you can find vegetarian restaurants in every decent city.

The magic word is “demand”.

Can somebody explain to me, where the demand for smoke-free restaurants, pubs and bars had been? As vegetarians have proven, if there is demand, the market delivers. And there have been way more non-smokers, than vegetarians.

So, where are/were all the non-smokers, looking for smoke-free restaurants and bars?
Guess what, they did not and still do not exist.

In my experience, the majority of non-smokers do not go out often. Even today. (Yes, Smiles, I know, you are an exception.) But why then are the smoking sections (aka sidewalks) in front of restaurants and bars so crowded?

Talk to owners of a restaurant or pub or bar, who have been in business long enough. They will tell you.

So, why all the boo-hey about smoking? Ask yourself: “cui bono”?

This campaign allowed politicians to raise taxes on tobacco products even more. Since the 90s the prices for a pack of cigarettes in NYC went from ~US$2.20 up to ~US$15.00. Besides the crazy law suit settlements, this is largely due to tax increases. In NYC we are paying combined taxes of ~$5.85 per pack. Granted, the tobacco companies sneak in a prize increase every time the politicians are reaching even deeper into our pockets.

This additional tax income gives politicians more money, meaning more power.
Now the non-smoking campaigners are being joined by people, campaigning for higher taxes on “unhealthy food and beverages”. All to fight obesity. Or more accurately, to give politicians more tax income/power.

Think about it, the next time the shmock of Mayor, Bloomberg, claims to make NYC the healthiest city on earth. No politician gives a damn about your health. If in doubt, check legislation regarding pollution, atomic waste, environmental protection, health care, etc. Or in regards to tobacco killing people, think a bit about our wars.They must be very healthy, with the many supporters they have.

With that one settled, there are two things, I kindly ask for.

Would anti-smoking people have the courtesy to get off my back?
Am I inquiring about your weight every day? Or the happy pills you are swallowing? Funny how anti-depressants are the best selling drugs. Or the drinks you had? Your carbon emission?
I am aware of what I am doing. Thanks for your concern.

And the bigot, secret smokers, sneaking in a cigarette whenever they can, while condemning smoking in public, please stop bumming cigarettes off me and grow a pair. I gladly share with smokers. But those “occasional smokers” can %$#! off.

Thank you,
Engine Room

12 thoughts on “Thank you for non-/smoking

  1. Had I realised that my small comment would generate such a lecture, I would have kept quiet.
    When I invite friends for dinner at a restaurant, I ALWAYS choose a no smoking or the non smoking room in a restaurant, even if it upsets some of the guests like Mr and Mrs Wuss, who are smokers. Since the non smoking law has been introduced, I can happily go out and return home without my jacket, pullover etc stinking of stale smoke. My home has always been a non smoking home and guests are welcome to go out in the garden, particularly when minus 20 degrees and some do. I am very interested what will happen in Russia in June, when the no smoking law comes into force.
    I have never had a regular girlfriend who smoked as I just do not like kissing a dirty ashtray.
    When I used to drink heavily, smokers used to say “but you drink alcohol” and my answer was that my drinking only harms me and not others around me.
    Remember the stupid ruling on aircraft when you could smoke, sometimes divided by the aisle or sections. Terrible !!!!
    I am sure that my comment will generate more comments but that is the reason for the diablog.
    Smoke if you want but not near me !!!!!!!!
    PS. Glynsky, Pete and ER, do not expect to be kissed when we meet next.

  2. Now that, Smiles, is why I invited you to replace Pete here at a time I thought he had thrown in the douche bag.
    Never keep quiet and thanks (despite my being a smoker) for a well stated case with much truth.
    As usual ER pontificates (in every sense of the word) as being the only one on whom the light has shone.
    Bollocks like ‘You can only be cool/civilised/etc if you get up late’, ‘how I start my weekend’ (why should any one else care?) bla bla implies a very self centered person. Oddly, he cares a lot – but can’t, honestly can’t, grasp certain concepts:
    There is life beyond a computer screen.
    There is grey as well as black and white.
    Others are usually as right as I am.
    Live and let live.
    There’s more but enuff for now. Quite honestly I like smoking, the smell etc – but I hate the stink on my clothes!
    As an aside, the gathering of smokers outside or wherever has created a new social class, and is incredibly sociable. You speak to all sorts you would never have met.
    I agree with ER on the maximising of taxes argument (though I think it invests politicians with too much guile), but feel that there are so many ways of giving both sets of people their own space in the same area.
    For what it is worth, I believe that 20% smoke in the UK – I have no idea for else where.
    Well done, thought out and written Smiles.

  3. Dear Smiles, I so agree with you!
    I have astma and are alergic to smoke and after the smoke law I can now do what everyone else does, like going out for dinner, on a club, ride the train and so on…
    I grew up with a smoking father that smoked the entire car ride back and forth to his place every other weekend (1,5 hour), the colour on my face were pretty much green while he sat in the front seat smoking! It was horrible, I have never even tried to smoke my self after that experience!
    I wish everyone could just stop smoking as it is not good for them or anyone else, and I constantly ask people I care about to quit! All I get is a rude reply so I should probably stop that as it is not working, but as long as I care I will try ;)

  4. Dearest Iren,
    How sad – about your dad. Did you never tell him? I bet he would never have smoked with you again – despite his wierd music choices!
    I have not smoked infront of my family for years – they know I do, but not when, which I try to limit to certain days of the week.
    I apologise for another story, but I think it very funny.
    I took 3 small boys (sorry Smiles!) to watch Arsenal. We had to walk passed a pub with hundreds of smoking fans. As we got near the oldest said ‘look, it is the Grim Reaper pub. We must stop breathing or we might like smoking and it kills’.
    I turned to ask where they had got this from but got no reply as all 3 sucked a lung full of air and refused to breathe or talk til we had passed!
    Smokers hate being told not to smoke – you are wasting your time.
    I find it strange that some have stinking breathebut others not.
    I hope you will have a very funny start to your week!??!

  5. Well Glynsky, I was very young at this age, and to be honest, my dad didnt pay that much attention anyway!
    Doesnt matter now, at least I never take my kids to places where people smoke! I know you guys hate being told that, as I said…I get some pretty rude answers when I tell people to stop smoking…Haha! Anyway, I wouldnt bother if I didnt care :) It is the same thing when someone tell you to drive safe, you wouldnt bother if you didnt care, right!?!

    To smoke or not is a personal choice everyone have to make for them selves, just dont expect a kiss :) I have to agree with Smiles, ashtrayes doesnt do it for me either :)

    I think this week will be great!
    The sun is here and I hope it stays and if the ice would go away soon it would be much easier to take the dogs for long walks, and that is my goal for this week. Out in the sun and enjoy long walks again. My astma pretty much keeps me inside in the winter time because of the cold air! Now it`s my time to shine again! And if I want to fit into my bikini this summer I better start walk/run/lift wights ASAP!
    Will you guys have a nice week?

  6. That, Iren, is a classic woman’s comment:
    ‘I have shouted/slapped you for smoking/eating the wrong food/looking at other women/dressing badly only because I am the one who cares about you’
    Love them all.

  7. Dearest Glynsky!
    My boyfriend can look at others, dress how he wants (I only demand he dress decent when he wants to go somewhere with me), eat what he want and smoke if he wants, actually he does pretty much whatever he wants to :) I don`t think I`m that unfair ;) But the special ones in my life that smokes is getting some comments when they smoke while talking to me ;) But only cause I care, and I bet they know that :)

    Have a great St.Patricks Day and don`t drink too much :) See??? I care :)

  8. Dear Iren. You are almost as tolerant and understanding as a girlfriend, as I am as a boss. A good week next week as I am in Vienna until Saturday and the secretary is on holiday.

  9. Dear Smiles!
    You need to let that secretary go…. Sounds like an impossible situasion working with someone you are happy is away!
    Maybe you are too kind to her!?! ;)

  10. Maybe but she has been with me 25 years and she does her job very well. Actually, today I do not need a secretary. I need only somebody to handle the bureaucratic work. As I have a week in Vienna, I will find time to do things for myself eg haircut, training, shopping (not for shoes), meet some friends etc.

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