Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Poland to ban smoking in public?


Don’t hold your breath.

Law makers, some within the ruling Law and Justice party, have proposed a bill in parliament to ban Poles smoking in public places.

The move comes as England is preparing to do the same on July 1.

But will the Polish government support such a fashionable, but still draconian, law?

No. Not this government. Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski has questioned if ‘democracy’ and restricting freedoms such as having a smoke in the pub are compatible.

Quite apart from the fact that PM Kaczynski’s view of sovereignty over our own bodies is rather….well, selective, he has a point.

The health fascists would answer that smoking harms others too – look at all the passive smoking that bar tenders, or non-smoking customers, have to do in pubs.

Others would retort that the evidence of how dangerous passive smoking is, is a little hazy, to say the least.

But banning smoking is not just about health. The UK government, for instance, is using smoking – just as it is urging us to ‘reduce our carbon footprints’ – as a new kind of pseudo-morality. Smoking is not just bad for our health; it’s a sign of ‘bad morals’, too (in western, relativist societies that are not really sure what a ‘bad moral’ is anymore). Smoking has become an easy issue to make a pseudo-moral consensus from.

But not all European countries will be as keen to follow the UK or Ireland’s example.

Polish politicians are scared of the voting power of smokers – they wouldn’t even dare to put a high tax on cigarettes (a pack of 20 is still only a couple of dollars).

And in Germany the last government to make such a law was the Nazis – so modern governments don’t want to go there.

And what about the Dutch government? I am just back from Amsterdam, and it is clear that if a Dutch government banned smoking (Jamaican cigarettes) in ‘coffee bars’ then they would watch a rather huge chunk of their tourist revenue go up in smoke.

69 comments:

michael farris said...

Another thing to consider is that when everybody smoked, nobody minded the smell because it was ... well, everywhere, in non-smokers' lungs too. But once non-smokers can create unstinky environments they have less and less tolerance for the smell anywhere. That is the more non-smokers can be free of tobacco stench the more they _want_ to be free of it.

As for me, I'm no fan of smoking as I dislike the smell of tobacco (wild understatement). And cigarettes seemed to be expressly designed to induce addiction without the high that tobacco probably originally delivered (many people continue to smoke to prevent withdrawal symptoms rather than for any pleasure it gives them).

But ... I do realize that there is a self-medication aspect to tobacco as well. It does seem to help people with a certain kind of nervous, unhappy psyche, perhaps preventing them from worse habits.

beatroot said...

But ... I do realize that there is a self-medication aspect to tobacco as well. It does seem to help people with a certain kind of nervous, unhappy psyche, perhaps preventing them from worse habits.

????????

Pierre de Vos said...

A very interesting Blog. Reading it reminds me a bit of living in South Africa in the 1980s. Now we have gay marriage and abortion is allowed on demand. Viva the revolution!

Anonymous said...

Beatroot,

Do you smoke?

Monika

beatroot said...

Errrrr...maybe.

europejczyk said...

I feel, let the smokers smoke, but not in a room where it bothers other people or may be generally hazardous. Smokers should understand this, and if they won't, even a ban can be necessary. In many cases, one can rely on the good will of the smokers. For example, my wife and I don't smoke. When we have guests who smoke we ask them to go out for a cigarette on the balcony or - in winter - on the stairwell. It works without problems.

Smoking is prohibited at many places of work, not only where explosive (or potentially explosive) material is handled, but also where - for technical reasons - highly sensitive fire-alarm devices are installed or where the smoke particles may be hazardous to the product. There are, BTW, people who feel that a human lung deserves the same protection as a silicon chip.

The problem with smoking is that it indeed affects the close environment of the smoker(s). I for instance seldom eat out in Poland since here smoking is allowed in nearly all restaurants. How can you enjoy the delicate flavor of a well-cooked menu or a good wine, if it is superimposed by tobacco smoke coming from the neighboring table?

Anonymous said...

Well here in the UK - (where very shortly - 1 Jul in fact) all the pubs, clubs and restaurants are going out 'hell for leather' to accommodate smokers - outside sheds, gazebos, outdoor heaters etc are rapidly appearing - it won't stop people smoking just move them outside - err to be more unsociable! (tongue in cheek she says who admits to having the odd one - err and no more thx - don't want to be seen as unsociable;-)

I just came back from Dublin where this has been imposed for a number of years now - people still drink but now they also congregate outside to have a quick puff or two - is it working? stopping the smokers? no! just moves them to another place for a while.

bfn
Issie

michael farris said...

beatroot: ????????

me: you really haven't heard of self medication or you don't believe in it?

a couple of quick links (beware of wraps)

http://www.cfah.org/hbns/newsrelease/attention11-19-01.cfm

http://www.ash.org.uk/html/policy/menlitrev.pdf

http://209.85.135.104/search?q=cache:unHQmA97MtIJ:www.innerbody.com/text/drug11.html+self-medication+tobacco&hl=pl&ct=clnk&cd=8&gl=pl

Anonymous said...

That's it Beatroot - your number is up now!!

'the beatroot is two years old today. I thought I would do it for a year, just to see if'

??

Sorry your number is up mate - celebrate no more!!

(This will teach you to go on your jollies to Amsterdam:-)

You have been 'outed!!

Owted? as they say in leafy Lancashire;-)

But even so - discovered for the vile smoking occasional? - disgusting person that you are!!

Guess that's it then

See you under the gazebo and heated lamps - make mine a ?

L&B ? but am not that fussy:-)
:-)

bfn
Issie who gave up in your absence and is so whiter than white:-) puritanical? almost:-0

Anonymous said...

Notice that similar law already exists in Finland and Estonia. And I am for it. Smokers (śmierdziele) should smoke at home. I am sick of smelling smokers (śmierdziele) in my office. In my work there are 5 non-smokers and 3 'śmierdziele'. And they terrorize us every day.

regards,
Maciek sp2qbn

Anonymous said...

Is 'the stinker' a good translation for 'śmierdziel'?

Maciek
sp2qbn

Korakious said...

Smoking was banned in public places in Scotland 1 1/2 year ago. I have been happy to go out ever since.

beatroot said...

I have lots of sympathy for all you non smokers and there should be a lot more places to go and escape people like me puffing away in cafes, bars etc.

There should be lots more smoke free places. And if these places would be so popular then they would do very well on the market.

I also think employees should have the right to influence whether an establishment is a smoke free zone or not.

I also never smoke in non smokers homes – that’s nasty.

But across the board blanket bans are draconian. This is not an area where the state should interfere. Especially in private clubs. It’s simply none of the state’s business.

JS Mill would turn in his grave.

Jake said...

I'm absolutely all for a ban on smoking in public places. I'll declare my bias - I'm a non-smoker.

To claim that the evidence on the dangers of passive smoking is hazy is on a par with the American offical line that climate change is just a theory with no credibility. These arguments are only advanced with any real force by those that have an interest in smoking/burning fossil fuels etc.

This is to say nothing of the unpleasantness for non-smokers of being in a smoking environment. I find the attitude of many smokers on the whole distinctly arrogant.

An example, that has long been the social norm in Britain and elsewhere, is that if you go out to a restaurant with a group of people, if there is even a single smoker in the group, then you generally sit at in the smoking area.

beatroot said...

None of the above is an argument for a total ban on smokinjg in public places. It's an argument for smoke free pubs and cafes - something I would strongly support.

As to the To claim that the evidence on the dangers of passive smoking is hazy is on a par with the American offical line that climate change is just a theory with no credibility. These arguments are only advanced with any real force by those that have an interest in smoking/burning fossil fuels etc.

....is just complete nonsense. So I am the dupe who has fallen for the 'special interests' of big business, whilst Jake has not been influenced, one little bit, by human hating tree huggers who want us to go back to the dark ages...

Of course he hasn't...

Jake said...

I don't claim that you have fallen for the special interests of big business. But it is convenient to you to repeat their dubious claims to back up your argument.

I don't think my position has much to do with that of tree huggers - if it does, its coincidental.

My point is that until smokers show more tolerance for non-smokers, and people's right to a breath of fresh (-ish) air, it seems that unfortunately legislation is the only effective route.

Smoke-free pubs do not do particularly well in the free market, because smokers generally seem to think that it is more important that their wishes to smoke indoors are respected then the non-smokers desire to breathe more pleasant air, so a mixed group of smokers and non-smokers will head for the place where the smokers can indulge.

As far as I am aware, the smoking bans in Ireland, Scotland and Wales have generally had overall support and approval, despite severe reservations beforehand.

beatroot said...

If smokers disrespect you as a non smoker then you have my sincere apologies.

But the point of my post is about the limits of the state. It seems to me that the ‘politics of personal behaviour’ is just about the only politics left in the UK. And that means that the state seems to think it can enter areas hitherto not open to it.

In Poland there is some real politics left and the state is not seen as a tool of social engineering in the same way as it is in London.

The Brits are learning to love Big Nanny.

pawel the health terrorist said...

well i think this is a very very good idea, but I AM SURE THAT EVEN IF THE BAN IS PASSED IT WON'T BE EXECUTED

this is partly because of the fact that law in Poland is commonly disrespected. In the City where I live, local council has banned smoking from public institutions, and bus/tram stops. people still smoke, and what can you do? When they are more polite, they would go two or three metres away, but the smoke cloud or the smell will still reach you.

at my university, smoking is banned inside. but outside, just before the entrance there are hoards of smokers indulging themselves to a brake-time fag, and you can't enter the building without being terrorised with the awful smell...

so i think, no one will execute this law even it if comes into effect. although it would have been great to go to a club and not come back with your clothes and hair stinking of ciggies.

Jake said...

Unfortunately it is true that in many ways Britain is going too far in 'over-protectionism' of citizens/subjects.

However, the term 'nanny state' is applied solely based on the perspective and background of the speaker, and often policies that are seen as 'nannyism' by one group of people can seem completely innocuous to others.

For example, the issue of gun control in the States is highly sensitive, with many people feeling that a tightening of restrictions is an infringement of personal liberties. Across Europe, only a small minority have any objection to the controls here, and see it as sensible protection for all, rather than infringing on their right to do what they like.


The actions of the 'nanny state' are generally "justified" on the grounds that they are trying to protect people from their own harmful behaviour, assuming it knows best. I believe the state should be trying to protect people from other people's harmful behaviour, particularly where there is overwhelming independent evidence that such behaviour is harmful/degrading/etc.

'Nanny' actions such as censorship and content regulation are not normally justified, nor do I feel that recreational drug use should be banned. But gun ownership and smoking in public have greater potential to affect others detrimentally, and the state has a right/duty to intervene for the good of all, if otheer methods of dealing with the issue are unsuccessful

pawel said...

btw, one question to more experienced bloggers

there is one guy, "anonymous-john", who keeps posting hateful and racist comments on my blog

i added him to spam list, and now i have three more of his comments and should decide what to do with them: publish or delete.

and i don't really know what to do. publishing his crap won't make the discussion go anywhere, although he encourages many other people to reply:)

what would you do?

eulogist said...

There should be lots more smoke free places. And if these places would be so popular then they would do very well on the market.

Well, it depends what the starting point is, apparently, as the experience in Italy, Ireland and California seems to be that pubs become more popular after the introduction of a public smkoing ban.

I am not convinced that J.S. Mill would disapprove of a smoking ban actually - being a utilitarian ("the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people").

There is also the widely accepted principle of "Your freedom ends where mine begins" which I think applies here. Or even the more activist "Entre le fort et le faible, c'est la loi qui libère et la liberté qui opprime".

I do agree with you, beatroot, that there should be a choice. But the fact is that there is not one right now. Despite the fact that apparently (cf. a.o. the experiences in Italy and other places that introduced a ban) a considerable part of pub customers (perhaps even a majority) would prefer to piss themselves in a smoke-free environment, smoking pubs still have a monopoly. The market incentive for pubs to become smoke-free on their own (in sufficient numbers) clearly is not strong enough, perhaps because choosing a pub is a choice one does not make independently of others and because smoking policy is just one of many factors influencing that choice.

Like beatroot, I am against the state legislating for the individual's moral space. But that is not what we are talking about here. In the public space, which pubs are part of, somebody else's smoking affects my health as well. With nearly 100%, smokers monopolise that space to the detriment of the rest. That warrants state intervention promoting the greater happiness of all. Freedom is not the absence of any rules.

(As for disclosing my own bias in this discussion, I am and have always been a non-smoker. I think smoking smells disgustingly. I would go to pubs more often if they were non-smoking.)

beatroot said...

I'll come back to the smoking/Nannyism debate a bit later. Pushed for time.

But Pawel. If you are bothered by one of these creeps then the best thing to do is

1. Get your self statcounter or like software (it's free from statcounter.com).

2. Tempt 'anonymous john' back to your blog.

2. Isolate his ISP etc.

3. Put a block on him entering your site.

It's easy once you have identified which computer is coming to your site/

End of anonymous john....

I hate having to do that kind of thing, but as you say, if the guy is not interested in debating then
what is the point in giving morons acess to free forums? It's your blog, and you can do what you want with it.

szu-szu II said...

Being a social shitter by my own free choice -- it's part of my freedom of expression -- there's no more painfully poignant commentary than a triple-coil in a hotel bed or sink -- how dare any one try to impose lawful limits on my shitting in public spaces!

beatroot said...

Szu szu (Mr pee pee)

I do not think that the nasty habit of smoking is analogous to coprophilia (spell check doesn’t like it…)!

I am not saying that people have a ‘right’ to smoke. I am saying that the state in the UK has entered into areas that it previously never dared to. Why?

Jake
However, the term 'nanny state' is applied solely based on the perspective and background of the speaker

OK, so this is my ‘perspective and background’.

Was a left winger – before that kind of politics disappeared and nanny liberals took over.

The left was always about genuinely empowering people - equally. It was communities solving their own problems, not leaving them up to the authorities (because the authorities acted in the interest of the ‘ruling class’ and their allies).

But that was then.

These days most of the left ‘project’ seems to be about empowering the state to intervene in more and more areas, that JS Mill, for instance (a genuine liberal) would be appalled by.

Now the big question today is: why and how this political and cultural shift happened.

Any answers then please put on them on a postcard and send to the usual address.

szu-szu II said...

I do not think that the nasty habit of smoking is analogous to coprophilia (spell check doesn’t like it…)!

No, it's probably worse. If I see a pile of shit, I can opt to walk far around it or even clean it up if I so choose. Or add another pile.

But if I see someone smoking in a space where it's legally allowed, there's nothing I can do aside from ask the person to refrain. If he or she opts to continue, I have to breathe the cancerous fumes and endure what is for me a disgusting smell. My shit does not stink.

Also, since we all know that smoking causes cancer, and assuming there is some form of public health system, I will have to pay through my pocket to pay for smokers' health treatment some day. Even if there is no public health system, my private insurance rates will go up because of smokers' health treatments.

Jake said...

Beatroot

I agree that the so-called left in power in Britain have become too authoritarian and interventionist. I agree that one of the roles of the state should be to empower people.

However, this surely applies to the non-smoker too? Your argument doesn't demonstrate that a ban on smoking in public places is overly interventionist and not overall for the public good.

Your response to 'szu szu' is basically implying that the state shouldn't intervene now, because it never has before. If that's your argument, then why bother with an ongoing legislative body at all? For example, we should have never legalised homosexual acts because they weren't legal before?

Public opinion in the UK has been turning regarding smoking, so finally something can be done, with broad support. I see it as a long way off in Poland, however, as a higher proportion of smokers means that such a law will be considered desirable by fewer people.

Pawel said...

thankfully wordpress collects IP from everyone posting a comment so that was easy:) I just wondered whether censoring posts was the right thing to do... as one of those idealists, you know:)

but coming back to smoking bans and nanny state.... smoking ban is not the only way western democracies try to influence lives of their citizens. same with restrictions on fatty and processed foods. great britain is a good example... or bans for skinny models in spain...

this seems to be a government reaction to the huge power international companies have over our lives. they spend millions advertising products that ale actually harmful to citizens, not taking care of what will happen later: and governments have to, later, face the consequences: fat population (with many health and mental problems), increase in medial services and obesity-related deaths, social problems, problems in behaviour of children fed with sugar-filled products...

governments are then finding ways to stop the negative tendencies, using the measures that are at their disposal...

although imho is poland want to promote healthy lifestyle, it should start with funding sport infrastructure, bicycle routes, playgrounds, swimming-pools, parks, etc.

beatroot said...

Pawel
I was one of those idealists until recently – but the intelligent folk that read blogs like yours and mine simply do not want to read that shit. Its entertaining every now and again…but once they move in and stay – just get rid of the wankers.

Szu Szu
But if I see someone smoking in a space where it's legally allowed, there's nothing I can do aside from ask the person to refrain.

There is another option, pee pee: go somewhere else…

Jake
Your response to 'szu szu' is basically implying that the state shouldn't intervene now, because it never has before. If that's your argument, then why bother with an ongoing legislative body at all? For example, we should have never legalised homosexual acts because they weren't legal before?

You are not comparing like with like. De-criminalizing homosexuality was actually making one less law, one less state intervention into people’s lives. It was anti-authoritarian.

Criminalizing smoking – for that is what this is – is the opposite. Instead of getting the state of people’s backs (literally in the gay sense – sorry, couldn’t resist) this is adding another layer of intervention to the private sphere.

My friend had to go to court in London to prove he had been to ‘parenting courses’ because his daughter is a teenage nutcase who gets in trouble with the cops.

Just what the fuck is going in that country?

beatroot said...

p.s I was a teenage nutcase, who got in trouble with the cops. Parents were not pleased. Was punished by state, school and parente.

Didn't get caught doing it again...don't do it now. Didn't need some judge telling my dad to go on state parenting classes.

nemeczek said...

Pawel: Why block the guy from your blog? He was not that controversial - just angry. BTW 'Anonymous john' as a nickname was probably not the best choice...
As to the smoking ban..."Others would retort that the evidence of how dangerous passive smoking is, is a little hazy, to say the least". Well, maybe it is a bit hazy because all the smoke. Let the smoke subside, and the evidence will be clearer. A Wikipedia entry on 'passive smoking' quotes numerous studies on its adverse health effects. To put it bluntly, smokers cut non-smokers' lives short, so it is not a matter of mere politeness. Besides, it is not non-smokers that should make an effort to avoid smokers while they are at it. It should be the other way round. If smokers are not civil and considerate enough to refrain themselves from putting others in danger, then the law needs to butt in. And private clubs should not be exempt (such exemptions were argued for in some US states that imposed a smoking ban), as people employed there would also be forced to be passive smokers. Look at the Irish – after the initial uproar, the ban seems to be working just fine.

szu szu II said...

There is another option, pee pee: go somewhere else…

Why should I have to find another job, or another pub, or another tram stop? And still, what about the health costs that have to be bourne by the wider public because some folks are insistent on being masochistic and/or suicidal?

beatroot said...

There has been no new evidence since this article was written – how small is the risk of passive smoking?

http://www.precautionarytales.net/2004_06_27_archive.shtml

And here is another perspective

http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/printable/2072/

Jake said...

People need to be sent on parenting courses in the UK because frankly, these days, so many people are shit at it. That's not particularly a reflection of the effects of the nanny state; its down to all sorts of factors, particularly regarding individual and social responsibility - or lack thereof. So many parents these days seem to believe that discipline and education of their children is solely the responsibility of schools. I don't think this can be blamed on the 'nanny state'.

Using this example to compare with a ban on smoking (just in public places, remember; it is not a complete ban) is not comparing like for like.

Beatroot, are you in favour of speed restrictions on the roads? Gun controls? If so, why is smoking in public different?

eulogist said...

There has been no new evidence since this article was written – how small is the risk of passive smoking?

http://www.precautionarytales.net/2004_06_27_archive.shtml


http://eurheartj.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/27/20/2468

nemeczek said...

The linked-to blogger writes:
"The absolute risks are also worth noting: at the end of the study, 82 per cent of heavy passive smokers, now between 60 and 79 years old, had not suffered a major heart disease event. Among the light passive smokers, the figure was 88 per cent. This is by no means a tiny difference. But even if everything reported in this study were true, is it really worth adding further to the burden of legislation so that a small number of people can have an extra couple of years on the geriatric ward?"

I find the punch line rather cheap. Besides, the author plays with the numbers in a rather dishonest manner. 88% vs. 80% seems significant but not dramatic, OK. But 100%-88%=12% and 100%-80%=20%, and then the comparison between 12% and 20% shows the essence of the problem. It means the heavy passive smokers are TWICE as likely to suffer from a serious heart problem than the light passive smokers. And this is just about the heart. What about the lungs, liver, kidneys, blood, skin, quality of life, etc. Combine all the effects, and you will get the picture. How many heavy passive smokers died prematurely? The study was concerned with the passive smokers who made it past 60. I would also like to see the studies that compare heavy/light passive smokers with folks who have not been exposed to tobacco smoke at all. While at university, I shared a room with a heavy smoker who exercised his 'freedom' to the fullest, so I am probably less tolerant of such individuals than people w/o such an experience.

geez said...

On a side note, it certainly looks like Putin made an ass of Bush re. the missile shield (although it certainly can be argued that for Bush it comes naturally and doesn't involve any make over.

And BR, just stop smoking already. We love you, man. You gotta realize how many nasty chemicals you are putting into your body (and other peoples and dogs)!?!

jannovak57 said...

It’s all about money! The cost of looking after people directly and indirectly made ill from cigarettes is massive; with an aging population it strains limited resources. Therefore the governments of many countries have been happy to legislate restrictions, which by them selves don’t stop smokers. But in combination with social pressure and an atmosphere of utter inconvenience many people quit out of frustration more than anything else. Therefore legislating restrictions on where you can smoke is often more effective then other measures.

It is laughable to have smokers demanding their rights when they are consciously hurting them selseves and those around them. There is no civil right to smoke or more clearly to be tolerated running up medical bills from self inflicted wounds. There is no reason to accommodate stupidity.

Poles are prolific smokers and rank near the top for cigarette consumption in the developed world. Its simply good financial management to squeeze the offending individuals into submission.

Anonymous said...

jannovak57 said...

It’s all about money!

Correct!!

Anyone who lives in the UK - knows that the 'Nanny state'has gone completely mad here!

We are now under constant surveillance for litter, speeding, walking the streets with tannoys telling us how to behave, our recycling efforts or lack of them, drinking, and yes smoking (which I don't have an issue with really:-)

Next I suspect they will levy a charge on us breathing fresh air.

Am not joking here - yet we have virtually no NHS dentists!! (Am off abroad next week for dental treatment which is gonna cost be 0000,s less than here) and a NHS system that is crumbling as I type and GP's earning an absolute fortune over the last 3 years - for doing less and not dealing with out of hours patients anymore - but fobbing them off to some tin pot - call service!! who aren't able to dx patients symptoms - err well it's hard to over the phone!

They are - our nanny state(well soon) already employing inspectors to visit our homes, our gardens our plants to see if they can screw anything else out of us!

Gits!!

Issie - anon - but am happy to be here:-)

Pawel said...

anonymous,

if yo were planning visiting the dentist, doctor or having a tatoo

i recommend www.visittorun.pl
they'll make all arrangements for you:))

Pawel said...

ooops wrong address:)

here: http://www.toruntrips.co.uk/

eulogist said...

Hmm, I don't know Jannovak. There seems to be research suggesting the total lifetime health care cost of smokers roughly equals that of smokers because smokers die younger.

Health costs should not be an argument in issues like this because it opens a box of pandora you'd rather keep closed. What about the health costs created by all sorts of other activities or lack thereoff then? Should the state start prescribing regular exercise, healthy food etc.? As far as I am concerned, that would be way over the line of infringing on individual liberty.

The point with smoking really is not the smoker's health (it's his own choice after all), but the health damage done to non-smokers during ordinary activities (which include going to the pub).

YouNotSneaky! said...

It’s all about money! The cost of looking after people directly and indirectly made ill from cigarettes is massive;

Except this isn't true, at least for US. #1 Taxes on cigs are way high.#2 Smokers die early so they never collect all the money they put into Social Security. If I remember correctly the average estimate is something like for every 50 cents in additional medical costs per smoker, the tax revenue is a dollar and then another dollar from the social security thing. So we're actually more than paying our way. We're subsidizing you intolerant, ungrateful bastards.

It could differ though by country, by cig taxes and by the pension system.

Anonymous said...

pawel said...

ooops wrong address:)

here: http://www.toruntrips.co.uk/

Hi - thx for this - have spent the last 12 months researching dental treatment - been to Poland,three times in the last 9 months)

Rip off England, (to numerous to mention - Spain - and am going to none of those:-)

I will if 'Beatroot' allows;-)

Report back on this in the next 2/3 weeks - after my escapades in another country

Love Issie

jannovak57 said...

To start with I have to take exception to the notion that smokers contribute more than they consume when looking at cigarette taxes versus medical costs incurred as a consequence of smoking. The shear numbers of people ill and dieing would eat up the tax revenue rapidly.

Having said that there is a Dutch study that does make the argument that not smoking or stopping smoking and living longer will amount to the same outlay of financial resources. This of course speaks to dealing with an aging body over a vastly longer life span. What it fails to address is that not smoking is the only real option as cessation of smoking is not a real option. For those who stopped smoking after a prolonged period of smoking, longer term health risks are lessened but not that dramatically as the damage is already done. This study’s conclusions were at variance with almost all other studies on the issue.

The problem lays with the inconsiderate smokers them selves who rather then exiting rapidly die a slow lingering death using up a lot of scarce medical resources in a vein hope of survival. With advances in today’s medical technologies this process is even getting longer and therefore more costly notwithstanding the end result is the same.

If this is to become an issue of individual liberty, then we must isolate this addiction’s effects only to those who consent to use cigarettes. There would be no chance of exposing anyone to second hand smoke and the smoker must pay a premium for his or her health coverage as they already do for their life insurance. Under that scenario smoke to your hearts content.

“Inhaling cigarette smoke is the closest thing to suicide other than jumping off a tall building. From a logical, reasonable, public health point of view, cigarettes should definitely be outlawed.” …….At present if you are found to be in the habit of consuming a poisonous substance by choice a judge could order you confined to a mental institution for your own protection consequently the “liberty” argument is rather weak.

Harry said...

Hi Piss piss,

Good point, why should you need to find another bar because some people smoke in the non-smoking area? You should not have to. If a bar owner decided his bar is non-smoking it should be non-smoking. Non-smokers can go there and smokers can not.

But why should everywhere be non-smoking? Here's the deal: you don't complain about people smoking in smoking areas and I won't complain about people whining about smokers in non-non-smoking areas. You can have half of all spaces: but no more than half. How about equality? Or is that not what you Nazis want?

jannovak57 said...

How do you organize a pub on a half and half basis without a physical partition and separate ventilation system?
Sounds like a very costly way to operate plus what’s coming next is the whole issue of the pub’s employees and work safety legislation soon to include something like a mandatory smoke free work place.In the long term even separate will be difficult to operate.

szu szu ii said...

Nazi?

Well, smokers can have 1/2 the areas as long as they don't recieve health care that is somehow paid for by me.

And as long as the smokers provide jobs for workers who opt not to work in a smoking environment.

Otherwise, you're the fascist. And a murderer. Just like the tobacco companies that profit off people's misery. Running capitalist dogs!

szu szu ii said...

Smokers die early so they never collect all the money they put into Social Security.

Yes, please start smoking at least three packs a day and save us even more money.

YouNotSneaky! said...

"To start with I have to take exception to the notion that smokers contribute more than they consume when looking at cigarette taxes versus medical costs incurred as a consequence of smoking. The shear numbers of people ill and dieing would eat up the tax revenue rapidly."

You can take all the exceptions you want, but them's the numbers. I can try and look up the cites to some studies later but it's a pretty common finding in both medical and economic literature that we pay more than we take. Obviously that sheer number of people ill and dying, smoked a sheer number of cigarettes in their lifetime and as a result paid a sheer number of taxes and pension contributions which they won't be seeing.

How do you organize a pub on a half and half basis without a physical partition and separate ventilation system?

There are pubs in London which are smoke free, and they advertise it. Not many but some. Here (in my secret location) about half the bars let you smoke and half don't. Perfectly sensible equilibrium. Why monkey with it?

siu siu,
you gonna gimme back my tax money?

eulogist said...

At present if you are found to be in the habit of consuming a poisonous substance by choice a judge could order you confined to a mental institution for your own protection consequently the “liberty” argument is rather weak.

That depends - if it is just poison, perhaps. But if it is poison that also gives pleasure (like tobacco, alcohol, cannabis or other drugs) using it should be permitted.

You can have half of all spaces: but no more than half. How about equality?

Introducing apartheid in the name of equality? Granted, that is how they used to defend it in South-Africa too. The point is however that going to the pub (like life in general, in the SA case) is a social thing. People go there to meet other people. Assuming that applies to smokers and non-smokers alike, it seems to me that asking the smokers to go outside or to a different room temporarily when they need a cigarette constitutes a rather smaller infringement on individual liberty than the alternative of expecting the non-smokers to accept premature death.

(That said, I would of course have no objection to the establishment of limited numbers of special 'smoking café's' after the example of the Dutch 'coffeeshops' for cannabis smokers)

Or is that not what you Nazis want?

Godwin, anyone?

szu szu ii said...

you gonna gimme back my tax money?

Yes, if you agree to a complete ban on smoking in public places, a ban on all tobacco adverstising, and remove yourself from my having to pay for any of your health care benefits.

C'mon. Why are you guys so adamant about something you know is killing you and increasing others' health risks as well?

Smoking:

It stinks. It's dirty.

It profits a few and victimizes many.

It's an addiction. It's infantile. It's narcissistic. It's masochistic. It's suididal.

At least be like the Beatroot and be embarrased by it. That's the first step to recovery.

szu szu ii said...

no objection to the establishment of limited numbers of special 'smoking café's' after the example of the Dutch 'coffeeshops' for cannabis smokers

And let's call them, in the memory of Kurt Vonnegut Jr., "Ethical Suicide Parlors."

eulogist said...

And let's call them, in the memory of Kurt Vonnegut Jr., "Ethical Suicide Parlors."

I have news for you: Living kills you too.

I have no moral issues with smoking. I just have moral issues with smokers insisting they have the right to kill me when we happen to share the same room.

Harry said...

^ If you don't want me to kill you by us sharing the same room, don't come into the rooms where I'm smoking. Pretty fucking simple really. I don't think that I have the right to smoke in every room, why do you have the right to tell me what to do in every room we might both be in?

But that's even if we agree that my smoking in the same room as you kills you. The man who published the first research which linked primary smoking to cancer, Professor Sir Richard Doll, says that 'The effects of other people smoking in my presence are so small it doesn't worry me.' Why might he say that? Maybe because the World Health Organisation published research from a seven-year international study showing that a non-smoker's chances of getting lung cancer is 0.01% and that a non-smoker who constantly breathes other people's smoke has a 0.01165% chance.

Piss Piss: in the UK smokers pay £7 billion in tax. The NHS spends £1.5 billion treating "smoking-related" illness. Poland will be much the same but I can't be arsed to dig out the figures. Fact is that you are having healthcare which is paid for by the taxes on my cigarettes. It's fine for you to consider smoking to be exceedingly unpleasant and a waste of resources, I think that you are exceedingly unpleasant and a waste of resources. The difference is that I'm not trying to ban you and I don't need to lie in order to support my case.

eulogist: the Nazi reference was due the Nazi government of Germany being the first government to ban smoking tobacco.

nemeczek said...

"the Nazi reference was due the Nazi government of Germany being the first government to ban smoking tobacco"

Reductio ad Hitlerum, huh? So let's not build highways in Poland, because Hitler was the first to build them in Germany.

What a dumb argument.

strudel said...

In Italy smoking in public was banned a couple of years ago. We, the Italians, are not famous for obedience to law and its implementing. But guess what? we simply aren't smoking in public anymore, and much less in private. May be I oversimplify the problem because I quit smoking many years ago, errr..

szu szu ii said...

Harry you unpleasant waste of a Nazi Fucktard (I don't really mean anything by that other than to serve back a bit of echo): I do not have a smoking related illness. I do not live in the UK, but in the US. You live in Poland from what I've read. So either way, your taxes do not pay for my healthcare. In the US, cigarette taxes are used for all sorts of things, and not exclusively health care. I'm sure the tobacco industry has found all sorts of twits to show that second-hand smoke isn't a health hazard. Common sense tells most people otherwise. Nonetheless, thank you for not wanting to ban me. I don't want to ban you either. Just your stinky hazardous tobacco.

Anonymous said...

Go for it - ban it in areas (inside and enclosed outside areas) where smoking is irritating to non-smokers. I live in Britain and it's no big deal to step outside for a puff so as not to stink the place out, give others cancer, or make their clothes stink. My local is even busy now and no longer about to close - presumably because there are more non-smokers than smokers these days.

BTW: Puff - not Pouf, or your Tinky Winky police will jump on you.

YouNotSneaky! said...

"When we ran the world, we let you have your smoke free rooms" -- Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead.

There's a reasonable compromise to be had here but crazies like szu szu ain't having none of it now that they have the power (and my money).

Principles aside (the "business owners should be able to decide how to run their own freakin' business" one) I actually much prefer smoke free restaurants and even pubs (as long as there's a patio or something where one can sneak out for a drag without the hassle of getting back in). I like to smoke but that don't mean that I like it when I'm eating.

So. How about we'll give you all the restaurants, pubs, and public buildings. We'll happily pay the 200%+ tax and chip in for your retirement. In exchange, you non-smokers will quit your whinning, and give us a freakin' smoke room at every airport around the world.

I hate travelling by plane. Not a fear of flying or anything but the extreme frustration associated with checking in, worrying about missing a flight, being treated rudely by the airlines, standing in lines that make Poland '82 kolejkas look like epitomes of efficiency, the idiotic security procedure, the delays, the cramped seats, the blatant price gouging (and, as an economist, when I say "price gouging" it means I'm really serious), the masses of humanity (which is always better in small doses) and all the other things that insipired that South Park episode.
At least let me deal with all that stress and get my nic fix!

szuey said...

crazies like szu szu

Never claimed to be sane, but I'm still not so craaaaaaaazeee as to smoke.

Nic fixes can be had with chewing gum, patches, etc.

And there are better drugs for calming down.

Seriously, younotsneaky!, why do you like to smoke?

eulogist said...

So. How about we'll give you all the restaurants, pubs, and public buildings. We'll happily pay the 200%+ tax and chip in for your retirement. In exchange, you non-smokers will quit your whinning, and give us a freakin' smoke room at every airport around the world.

Seems reasonable to me. I am a bit surprised even that not every airport already has one.

beatroot said...

I am with Mr Sneaky on the airport stress thing, and for all the same reasons. I have tried to not get stressed but do. I also have to work out when I am gonna have me last ciggie before I get on the plane. This is difficult as airports all have different rules. In Warsaw there is nowhere to smoke after you get past passport control. In Amsterdam you can smoke in the cafes.

Abd eulogist has informed me that Holland really will be banning smoke in public places from summer next year – BUT COFFEE SHOPS WILL BE EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE!\

I thought he was joking!

So does this mean that coffee shops will be crowded out with nicotine fixers when some poor hippie is trying to roll up a joint?

eulogist said...

So does this mean that coffee shops will be crowded out with nicotine fixers when some poor hippie is trying to roll up a joint?

Actually, coffeeshops tend to draw less of an elderly hippie relict crowd than you might expect. Customers are a little on the alternative side of course, but most of them are under 30 as people tend to have given up cannabis by the time they reach that age.

I don't expect coffeeshops will get flooded with smokers from next year on, for the very same reasons non-smokers are not flocking to non-smoking pubs right now: Going to the pub is a social thing that doesn't combine well with apartheid. Smokers will take the drawback of having to smoke outside or in a separate smoking cabinet for granted, just like non-smokers have been taking for granted the drawback of having to inhale the tobacco fumes until now.

The fact that the number of coffeeshops is fairly limited compared to the total number of pubs (and will remain so due to strict regulation) will aid as well.

Anonymous said...

I don't smoke, ( Anymore ), however I feel that the smokers have been given a raw deal. I understand that non-smokers have a right not to breathe in the smoke of others however I also feel that smokers have a right to smoke, in comfort in a pub. There should be different types of pubs, those for smokers and those for non-smokers, everyone has a choice then.. or split the pubs in half with good extraction fans.
I think this government has been a little over zealous on, Environmental and health issues and are scaring people to keep them in line. The whole carbon footprint things is BolL*cks, and the proce of oil has went up to pay for the last two wars on Afganistan and Iraq... don't believe all that is on the news and in the papers.. Time to Wake up Humans

Anonymous said...

miley cyrus nude miley cyrus nude miley cyrus nude

Anonymous said...

[url=http://www.friendface.org/pg/profile/buy_augmentin]augmentin doses[/url] A small number of lectures may be desirable to introduce topics or provide an overview of difficult subject material in conjunction with the PBL scenarios. [url=http://www.netknowledgenow.com/members/buy_5F00_bactrim.aspx]bactrim sinus infection[/url] Further guidance on how to design web based assessments for online courses can be found at www.ltsn.ac.uk and www.ltss.bris.ac.uk [url=http://srandolph.communityserver.com/members/Buy-Cialis.aspx]Cialis libidus[/url]

Anonymous said...

Greetings!
Prefer look our cheapest prices for SOMA. Wealthiest offer guarantied. Self-indulgent Delivery
[url=http://vmtoolkit.com/members/Buy+motrin+in+Michigan.aspx]soma records minneapolis[/url]
[url=http://vmtoolkit.com/members/Doxycycline+buy+generic.aspx]what is the pill soma[/url]
[url=http://vmtoolkit.com/members/Acyclovir+pharmacy+insurance+approval+overnight.aspx]soma galleries[/url]
[url=http://vmtoolkit.com/members/Acyclovir+prescription+cod.aspx]find cheap soma[/url]
[url=http://vmtoolkit.com/members/Buy+doxycycline+in+Maine.aspx]buy soma from mexico online[/url]
[url=http://vmtoolkit.com/members/Nolvadex+cash+buy.aspx]soma honkanen portland oregon[/url]
[url=http://vmtoolkit.com/members/Buy+augmentin+in+Missouri.aspx]cheap cod online soma[/url]
[url=http://vmtoolkit.com/members/Levothyroxine+next+day+cash+on+delivery.aspx]soma waterbed parts[/url]
[url=http://vmtoolkit.com/members/Zovirax+online+purchase.aspx]how addicts take soma[/url]
[url=http://vmtoolkit.com/members/Zithromax+free+fedex.aspx]what are somas[/url]
[url=http://vmtoolkit.com/members/Buy+aldactone+in+Arkansas.aspx]what is b soma b[/url]
[url=http://vmtoolkit.com/members/Phentermine+buy+generic.aspx]san francisco soma travel lesbian[/url]
[url=http://vmtoolkit.com/members/Shipping+buy+overnight+buy+lexapro.aspx]generic soma without prescription[/url]
[url=http://vmtoolkit.com/members/Buy+tetracycline+without+credit+card.aspx]williams soma[/url]
[url=http://vmtoolkit.com/members/Zocor+buy+generic+physician.aspx]the soma[/url]
[url=http://vmtoolkit.com/members/Buy+altace+in+New+Hampshire.aspx]soma florida[/url]
[url=http://vmtoolkit.com/members/Mexico+shipping+cheap+nolvadex.aspx]agusta medical soma[/url]
[url=http://vmtoolkit.com/members/Mexico+fedex+cheap+ativan.aspx]soma uk sales[/url]
[url=http://vmtoolkit.com/members/Delivery+nextday+biaxin.aspx]brookstone soma pillow[/url]
[url=http://vmtoolkit.com/members/India+buy+canadian+lamisil.aspx]soma workout[/url]
[url=http://vmtoolkit.com/members/Consult+cheap+tamiflu.aspx]cheap soma online order soma now[/url]
[url=http://vmtoolkit.com/members/Motrin+next+day+cod.aspx]sheraton soma bay resort[/url]
[url=http://vmtoolkit.com/members/Overnight+no+consult+fluconazole.aspx]soma champaign[/url]
[url=http://vmtoolkit.com/members/Buy+topamax+in+Idaho.aspx]drugs soma[/url]
[url=http://vmtoolkit.com/members/Delivery+generic+synthroid.aspx]soma smoothie frame[/url]
[url=http://vmtoolkit.com/members/Overnight+cod+accepted+cephalexin.aspx]soma nyc diesel[/url]
[url=http://vmtoolkit.com/members/Phentermine+doctors+UK+where.aspx]soma and blood pressure[/url]
[url=http://vmtoolkit.com/members/Aciphex+prescription+cod+free+fedex.aspx]uses of soma[/url]
[url=http://vmtoolkit.com/members/Escitalopram+buy+generic.aspx]recognizing soma addiction[/url]
[url=http://vmtoolkit.com/members/Overnight+cheap+hydrochlorothiazide.aspx]manna and soma[/url]
[url=http://vmtoolkit.com/members/Buy+fluoxetine+in+Connecticut.aspx]ups buy soma[/url]
[url=http://vmtoolkit.com/members/Buy+effexor+in+San+Antonio.aspx]soma tablets round white pills cor103[/url]
[url=http://vmtoolkit.com/members/Buy+clomiphene+in+California.aspx]testimonials soma[/url]

Anonymous said...

Greetings!
Please look our cheapest prices for SOMA. Most proposition guarantied. Connected Articulation
[url=http://blogs.opisnet.com/members/Buy+augmentin+in+San+Jose.aspx]coumadin[/url]
[url=http://blogs.opisnet.com/members/Viagra+tramadol+cialis+tablets.aspx]soma westward pharma[/url]
[url=http://blogs.opisnet.com/members/Order+cialis+generic+viagra.aspx]soma san francisco[/url]
[url=http://blogs.opisnet.com/members/Carisoprodol+buy+generic.aspx]soma 350 mg muscle relaxer[/url]
[url=http://blogs.opisnet.com/members/Saturday+cheap+percocet.aspx]soma phentermine[/url]
[url=http://blogs.opisnet.com/members/Buy+effexor+in+New+Mexico.aspx]nu soma[/url]
[url=http://blogs.opisnet.com/members/Order+sildenafil+without+rx.aspx]soma forum[/url]
[url=http://blogs.opisnet.com/members/Buy+zovirax+in+Tennessee.aspx]caribbean world soma bay[/url]
[url=http://blogs.opisnet.com/members/Proscar+cod+overnight+overnight+cod.aspx]eths soma review[/url]
[url=http://blogs.opisnet.com/members/Cialis+pharmacy.aspx]order soma online[/url]
[url=http://blogs.opisnet.com/members/Overnight+cod+norvasc.aspx]what pharmacy ships soma to texas[/url]
[url=http://blogs.opisnet.com/members/Tetracycline+order+delivery+generic.aspx]buy soma online online pharmacy[/url]
[url=http://blogs.opisnet.com/members/Fluconazole+cod+overnight+overnight+cod.aspx]soma cruises[/url]
[url=http://blogs.opisnet.com/members/Fluconazole+free+fedex+medication.aspx]what drug company makes soma[/url]
[url=http://blogs.opisnet.com/members/Synthroid+india+discount+cheap.aspx]kevin salem soma city lyrics[/url]
[url=http://blogs.opisnet.com/members/Motrin+india+discount.aspx]i took 7 soma carisoprodol[/url]
[url=http://blogs.opisnet.com/members/Delivery+purchase+amoxicillin.aspx]soma bike frame[/url]
[url=http://blogs.opisnet.com/members/India+buy+valtrex.aspx]soma puzzles solutions[/url]
[url=http://blogs.opisnet.com/members/Saturday+cheap+tamoxifen.aspx]soma buses san francisco[/url]
[url=http://blogs.opisnet.com/members/Phentermine+no+prescription+for+sale+with+no+prescription+requir.aspx]soma data products[/url]
[url=http://blogs.opisnet.com/members/Hydrochlorothiazide+shipping.aspx]soma sujanani[/url]
[url=http://blogs.opisnet.com/members/Without+rx+ciprofloxacin.aspx]image of soma[/url]
[url=http://blogs.opisnet.com/members/Where+can+i+buy+bactrim.aspx]soma online[/url]
[url=http://blogs.opisnet.com/members/Buy+dilantin+in+Connecticut.aspx]soma compound overdose symptoms[/url]
[url=http://blogs.opisnet.com/members/Rx+cheap+zoloft.aspx]that's soma pig[/url]
[url=http://blogs.opisnet.com/members/Buy+levaquin+in+Tennessee.aspx]what is soma[/url]
[url=http://blogs.opisnet.com/members/Hydrochlorothiazide+stock+cheap.aspx]soma rugs[/url]
[url=http://blogs.opisnet.com/members/Buy+lamisil+in+Colorado.aspx]soma buses san francisco[/url]
[url=http://blogs.opisnet.com/members/Physician+ultram.aspx]soma herb or medicine[/url]

Anonymous said...

Hello! Can you tell me how i can register mail at google [url=http://google.com]google[/url] http://google.com