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There is no way to win today when only about 25-27% of people still smoke. Yet. Yet. Only 30% of the residents in New England wanted to declare independence from merry old England, too. They won. What I object to is the flat out damn lies and junk science that say there's extensive damage from second hand smoke. I have read of no controlled smoking research that included a complete analysis of all other factors including having a gas stovetop in your kitchen or gas heating. California has gone so berserk about this that in my town, you can't smoke on any public property or at the beach. No smoking on sidewalks in front of restaurants or on bus benches. And at businesses, you can't be within xx feet of an openable window or door. Now I hear rumors of laws being proposed for absolutley no smoking anywhere at anytime if a child is present. And another proposal is no smoking allowed, period, in multple unit buildings like apartments or attached wall condos. You must live in a single family detached house without children to smoke. The merits and costs have been discussed elsewhere and previously at MFF. What happened to all those lovely reports that said smokers were kinder, more creative, more productive, more intelligent and gregarious than non-smokers? And ADD and Schizophrenic men function much better if they are smokers and 92% are. Oh, but they now must be medicated on heavy anti-depressant pills instead. Oh, Wilfrid, I loved your pink pig neighborhood walk this morning. Didn't see any outside chairs/tables or smoking areas, though. Some of the places were kinda scary looking, but enjoyed it very much. Thanks for your measured words here about smoking, too. :lol:

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The point has been made a couple of times that non-smokers tolerated tobacco smoke in bars for years before the ban was imposed. Well, yes, we were all raised from birth to live in a world where it was perfectly fine for smokers to light up anytime they felt like it. The practice became accepted as normal and we just lived with it. That didn't mean we were happy - there just didn't seem to be any ready alternatives outside of vastly reducing the number of places we could go to have a drink.

 

Over time society's views on the subject changed. Smokers have been a minority for a long time and it gradually dawned on us that what we took as a normal practice - that they were free to blow smoke around whenever they felt like it - was in fact a tremendous imposition. That change took over 20 years to come about as the number of places where it was acceptable to smoke was gradually reduced. No more smoking in the workplace, no smoking on airplanes, and finally in restaurants and bars. The idea that non smokers had a right not to have smoke inflicted on them took hold.

 

We can play logic games and pretend that the smoking ban might be eliminated and then extrapolate the consequnces. That's all good fun but lets be real - it ain't gonna happen. We might as well talk about whether pigs would vote Republican or Democratic if given a chance. It's got the same connection to reality.

 

Once people get exposed to the pleasures of a smoke free environment they realize just how good it is. That's the new norm and it's never going to change. Call it progress.

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What happened to all those lovely reports that said smokers were kinder, more creative, more productive, more intelligent and gregarious than non-smokers?

You have that mixed up. The report said that drinkers were nicer people than those tight ass joyless teetotalers.

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Perhaps it's just a question of the balance of costs and benefits. Although banning small boats would save a lot of lives, the economic costs are high (and the quality of fish would suffer). Even though banning smoking may have negligible health benefits, there are few if any costs.

 

 

"Your employer has a duty under the law to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, your health, safety and welfare at work." Emphasis added.

 

"What does 'reasonably practicable' mean?

 

This means that you have to take action to control the health and safety risks in your workplace except where the cost (in terms of time and effort as well as money) of doing so is 'grossly disproportionate' to the reduction in the risk. You can work this out for yourself, or you can simply apply accepted good practice."

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That may be annoying, but I am confident that there is zero evidence that exposure to second-hand smoke outdoors poses any health risk whatsoever.

How confident are you? Just living in LA affects people's lungs. I believe there's evidence of that. Being cooped up with smokers can't be beneficial.

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That may be annoying, but I am confident that there is zero evidence that exposure to second-hand smoke outdoors poses any health risk whatsoever.

How confident are you? Just living in LA affects people's lungs. I believe there's evidence of that. Being cooped up with smokers can't be beneficial.

I remember as a young girl in Burbank (and when I drove down to LA recently for the MFF lunch), when I breathed deeply I'd feel a hitch in my lungs from the smog. My father was a 4-pack a day unfiltered Camel smoker. My mother kept all the windows closed and drapes pulled to protect the furniture from fading. She died in her sleep at age 91. So much for second hand smoke, though it did develop a beautiful sheen on the Monterey furniture.

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That may be annoying, but I am confident that there is zero evidence that exposure to second-hand smoke outdoors poses any health risk whatsoever.

How confident are you? Just living in LA affects people's lungs. I believe there's evidence of that. Being cooped up with smokers can't be beneficial.

Not only is Wilf right about outdoors, it's pretty much the same as indoors. The latter clearly has a high nuisance value, but there is no research evidence that suggests that second-hand smoke is any more significant a health hazard than walking in the street inhaling exhaust fumes. The UK government sponsored a series of research studies, then distorted the results (in typical Blair fashion) with much judicious misuse of the English language, until people assumed that the research proved what the government had wanted it to prove.

 

Going back to the nuisance question, Daniel's earlier suggestion is spot on. There should be smoking flights and non-smoking flights in a ratio of two to one. Same with restaurants, bars and everything else. To introduce a blanket ban is an infringement of individual freedom, and (especially with the authoritarian government we have in the UK) a dangerous step in the wrong direction.

 

Alcohol is next on the list - this government would dearly love (I suspect) to ban alcohol anywhere outside private homes. I object to the smell of alcohol in bars, golf clubs, restaurants, everywhere in fact. I object to urine and vomit in the streets. I object to drunk drivers killing and injuring people. I object to the abusive and often violent behaviour of people who have been drinking. So the government should protect my freedom not to have to endure these things.

 

For me, freedom of the individual is the only issue here. Personally, I shall be delighted if the smoking ban persuades millions of people to quit smoking and thereby improve their own lives ... but all my experience says that won't happen. In fact, the likelihood is the reverse. Smokers will be obliged to force-feed their addiction at home, in shorter time periods, and their health will suffer badly for it. I prefer a smoke-free environment, and for 99.5% of my life (pre-ban) I succeed in finding it; I don't go to smoking restaurants or bars, and I have hardly ever found that hard to achieve. I'm content with that.

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Not only is Wilf right about outdoors, it's pretty much the same as indoors.

Wilf may well be right about outdoors, but how could anyone ever prove otherwise? There are two many variables. But indoors, I think it's a problem for sure.

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Not only is Wilf right about outdoors, it's pretty much the same as indoors.

Wilf may well be right about outdoors, but how could anyone ever prove otherwise? There are two many variables. But indoors, I think it's a problem for sure.

Yes, I accept that. But to create such legislation based on a wild hypothetical supposition is surely not a proper use of governmental power.

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There is some evidence for increased cancer risk for second hand smoke in the most extreme case -- non-smoking wife of a smoking husband and so on. Not a very large increased risk, but it seems solid.

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Is there also a "right not to bathe?" Are you OK with someone ripe and funky sitting on the bar stool next to you? What about 5 or 6 people in the bar who haven't showered in the last 2 weeks? I don't think there's a constitutionally protected "right to stink."

There most certainly is. Try ejecting the homeless from your local public library because they stink, which they do. They always win in court.

 

I feel badly for the folks who have to clean the library chairs in my town. Yecch.

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Not only is Wilf right about outdoors, it's pretty much the same as indoors.

Wilf may well be right about outdoors, but how could anyone ever prove otherwise? There are two many variables. But indoors, I think it's a problem for sure.

Yes, I accept that. But to create such legislation based on a wild hypothetical supposition is surely not a proper use of governmental power.

Since when did we start worrying about "proper"?

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