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smoky Dec 11th, 2001 08:48 AM

Europeans: What is YOUR attitude about smoking?
We've read countless posts on this forum about how much Americans hate the fact that there are few no-smoking rules in Europe. <BR><BR>So, Europeans, what is your defense? You have a right to do what you want, incluiding making others uncomfortable? Or ar Americans just a bunch of trivial complainers?<BR><BR>Just want to hear what the other side has to say. (Americans: If you're tempted to post about how much you hate smoke -- go start your own thread.)

Marco Dec 11th, 2001 09:52 AM

I don't smoke and I'm not that happy when I breath somebody's else smoking, but nevertheless I am kind of tollerant (or rather fatalist...), I try to avoid when possible but I'm not obsessed by the fear of smoking around me. I think we only live ONCE, and that soon or later we ALL have to die, and the factors that are risky for your health are SO many (polluted air, unhealthy food or diet, alcohol, sunshowers or verycold weather for your skin, too much sport, not enough sport, stress, and many many more...) that it is practicly impossible to avoid them all. So I try to live a reasonable balanced life without obsessing myself in avoiding sistematicly all of those risks. I prefer focusing more on the quality of my life (which is also but not only a health question) than focusing on its longevity.

Florence Dec 11th, 2001 09:52 AM

OK, I'll play. <BR><BR>First, I don't smoke, and I perfectly understand those (not just Americans) who complain about the lack of enforcement of anti-smoking rules in public places. In my opinion, smoking is a useless, unpleasant and dangerous way of giving good money that to fat cats who deliberately poison the World. I sincerely do hope that I'll see the day when smoking will be considered as pass&eacute; as using patchouli perfume (aargh! just thinking of it makes me suffocate).<BR><BR>What irks me is the tone of some of the complains: Given the fact that most tobacco companies are American and are actively lobbying our governments and now Third World countries for freedom to advertise and sell substances they perfectly know are toxic and addictive, the vilification of smokers and foreign (read "not Californian") governments is hard to swallow. We know that the whole of America doesn't follow Californian laws on smoking (I was in Arizona last October, do they smoke everywhere there!), that those laws are viewed as extreme in many parts of the US (we read American press), and just good at hiding the problem, no at solving it (making smokers stop !). At the same time, we know that smoking is dangerous and costly to society as a whole, that your rights to do what you want should stop at inconveniencing others, that restrictions will have to be enforced, and that our governments will have to put OUR money where their mouth is.<BR><BR>What amuses me is the number of people who swear they are immediately on the verge of dying of suffocation if they only see someone smoking on the other side of the road ... <BR><BR>OK, now I'm ready to be flayed alive for being "anti-American". It's true, as Sacha Guitry used to say, "Je suis contre, tout contre ..." ("I am against them, very close against them") <BR><BR>

xxx Dec 11th, 2001 09:58 AM

Smokey,<BR><BR>You hit it right on. Americans are just a bunch of trivial complainers. As long as things are "our way", we are great. If it goes against anything "I think", look out. <BR><BR>What continues to amaze me, is the visciousness of the complaints. <BR><BR>If you don't like it, don't go and don't bitch!<BR><BR>xxx

Punk Dec 11th, 2001 10:40 AM

mmmm Patchouli, leather & clove cigarettes! Yummy.

DellVecc Dec 11th, 2001 10:58 AM

I'm an American and I smoke. I LOVE IT when I go to Europe and I can smoke and no one can say a damn thing!! Smoke on the trains, in airports in bars, it's great!!!

Leslie Dec 11th, 2001 11:00 AM

I smoke. And, I respect others that don't smoke. I don't smoke in my office, because it's prohibited. I take the time to go outside and have a cigarette with the rest of the people who are addicted to this filthy habit. However, I respect non-smokers, I would just hope that for those of you that don't smoke that you are at least tolerant of us that do. <BR><BR>I certainly don't smoke in places that prohibit smoking -- some restaurants, planes, hospitals, all US airports, etc.<BR><BR>Now, there are non-smoking rooms available in hotels in Europe. I have always been asked whether I want a non-smoking room or not. Actually, last time I was in London, I stayed in a hotel that prohibited smoking in the hotel rooms, but I chose to stay there, and I had advance notice.<BR><BR>Smoking is prohibited in many places in Europe, just as it is in the US. You won't see people smoking in museums, on metros, or in theatres, or practically any other venue I can think of. You will see people smoking in restricted sections of trains and in restricted areas in European airports. <BR><BR>If you go to Europe and you can't tolerate the smoke in restaurants, go to cafes or restaurants that have outdoor seating. <BR><BR>But, please don't lecture.

Sjoerd Dec 11th, 2001 11:13 AM

I don't smoke. But smoking is a fact of life and I don't complain if others smoke in bars or restaurants. After all, there are trucks, factories, refineries, etc., etc. which produce much more smoke than all European smokers put together.

hoy Dec 11th, 2001 12:02 PM

Leslie and DellVec, are you Europeans? The original poster asked only for Europeans to respond. I'm a Geordie, think that makes me Euro ;-) but no drama. I understand Americans who hate smoke. Too many restaurants have lousy ventilation. Smoke just hangs about like a drunken swot next to you in a pub who won't leave you alone.<BR>Leslie, those restricted parts of trains are a joke. A bad joke. On many trains, the difference between smoking and nosmoking is a thin piece of plexiglas that doesn't go up all the way. Big help, that. Or the door between s/ns compartments won't shut.

Capo Dec 11th, 2001 12:55 PM

Just thought I'd toss this in here...<BR><BR>Here's an old (December 10, 1998) but interesting article entitled "Despite some anti-smoking laws, it's still a smoker's world", which mentions a number of European countries.<BR><BR>

Sally Dec 11th, 2001 01:00 PM

We spent six months in the US some years ago. Although we are neither of us 'real' smokers (my husband smokes a cigar now and then and I smoke one or two cigarettes a month if someone offers them - I never buy any and can do without them quite well), the American attitude towards smoking drove us crazy. It seemed that anything (hit-and-run driving, child pornography, whatever) was considered to be a lesser evil than smoking. When my husband wanted to smoke his (very occasional) cigar, we had to go to a special place to do it, and we felt like we were shooting up on heroin or something! Totally ridiculous! When we got to Britain after that, it was such a relief just to see a cigarette machine in the very first pub we entered. I went and bought a pack of cigarettes (which I never do) just for the heck of it! So yes, as a European I do feel that Americans have totally gone overboard on this matter, and that they should take a look at the real issues (such as their total dependence on automobiles!).

American Dec 11th, 2001 01:09 PM

Thank you, Sally.

non-smoker Dec 11th, 2001 01:20 PM

This is a relly interesting thread. I do believe in a smokers right to choose his own poison just as long as I'm not forced to take it with him. My sin is bourbon, but I don't make the person sitting next to me partake as well.<BR>As far as cigars are concerned, I'm sure you wouldn't mind if I sat next to you in a restaurant and enjoyed a good long after dinner fart.

why Dec 11th, 2001 03:19 PM

I can't understand why Americans hate tobacco yet keep growing and selling it.<BR>When you buy a pack of cigarettes in the UK it says VIRGINIA TOBBACCO on it.<BR>Perhaps if they don't wan't to smell it they shouldn't send it here.

Capo Dec 11th, 2001 03:36 PM

"why", Americans are not monolithic. Some Americans grow tobacco, others sell it (and none of those *necessarily* smoke), and still others smoke it. <BR><BR>On the other hand, many Americans do none of the above. <BR><BR>I, for one, am disgusted that the U.S. government helps tobacco companies promote their products overseas, often geared toward growing markets of women and children. Interesting that while the U.S. fights a "War on Drugs" at home, it's busy pushing the addictive drug nicotine overseas.

SoQuit Dec 11th, 2001 03:49 PM

I think that the American cigarette companies will continue to grow tobacco and sell cigarettes as long as there is such a market for it.SOrt of like drugs from South America-while there is a market,they will sell it.No one is Making you smoke.

Maxie Dec 11th, 2001 03:58 PM

It's ever so amusing that the same Americans who rage over tobacco smoke drive around (alone, with no passengers) in SUV's that are gas guzzlers and spew carbon monixide into the air. The should be far more concerned about unnecessary air pollution than second hand tobacco smoke. It's ever more amusing to watch a seriously overweight person go ballistic when someone nearby lights up. As if that little bit of smoke is going to have a significant effect on THEIR health.

Walter Dec 11th, 2001 04:10 PM

I'm curious, what tobacco do most European cigarette companys use? Isn't Turkey the finest producer of tobacco in that area? <BR>Regards, Walter

sandi Dec 11th, 2001 04:48 PM

That is what irks me..people who go outside to smoke at work (often and regularly) and leave all the work to those inside suckers. And they should have $10 a pack prices, with about 6 of those dollars for insurance to pay for their operations and cancers when the time comes. Not fair that the rest of us must pay. Since smoking is not just a 'filthy habit' but a real health concern to others, as much as themselves, I think smokers should be banned from all public places. And yes, it is coming to that is Europe too.

BLAH Dec 11th, 2001 04:49 PM

Americans can go ballistic and get overwrought on any subject, except that which concerns them directly...their SUV's ,abortion, whatever ... Just a national characteristic.<BR><BR>Your freedom to do what you want is never as important as what they want!<BR><BR>So smoke all you's your choice and mine .and leave them to stress themselves over what they can't change!They'll probably die sooner from worrying and stress!

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