Italy goes non-smoking -- maybe

Old Jan 10th, 2005, 06:21 AM
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Italy goes non-smoking -- maybe

Somehow I had missed the news that a smoking ban in restaurants was going into effect in Italy today (Jan 10).

But from the CNN article:
http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/europe...king.ban.reut/
it appears that it will likely be a law more honored in the breach than the observance.

I was interested in the statistic, quoted in the article, that only 18 million out of a total 58 million Italians are smokers. I would have thought it was higher, although it does seem to me that smoking has gone down in the 10 years that we've been visiting Italy.
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Old Jan 10th, 2005, 11:35 AM
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If only 18 million Italians smoke, the other 40 million must stay at home!
I grant you that 1 Italian smoker can blow enough smoke for 10 people, but just walking down the street, it sure seems to me like more than 30% smoke. I guess by the time you subtract children out of the 58, lets say we reduce it by a conservative 10 million, we are left with 18 out of 48 million which is still less than 40%.

I will believe that 65% of adults in Italy smoke.
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Old Jan 10th, 2005, 11:40 AM
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PS. A fuming Italian friend of mine tried to convince me that cigarette smoking was not harmful, and that being obese was a sign of enjoying life. At 5-8 and 245 lbs and a heavy smoker and drinker, he did not make it much past 50 until the doctors gave him two alternatives. Eat less, quit smoking, drink less OR die.
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Old Jan 10th, 2005, 11:48 AM
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Being obese <i>is</i> a sign of enjoying life. Same goes for smoking and drinking.

&quot;<i>Ah, mon vieux</i>. It is not the <u>quantity</u> of life that matters most, but the <u>quality</u>&quot;. - Hercule Poirot
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Old Jan 10th, 2005, 12:26 PM
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&gt;...the doctors gave him two alternatives. Eat less, quit smoking, drink less OR die.&lt;

So, when did he die?
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Old Jan 10th, 2005, 12:29 PM
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A relative who smokes sent presents this holiday, clothes, and we had to fumigate and dry clean every piece! Yes, smoking is such a classy habit, so enjoy!!
 
Old Jan 10th, 2005, 01:45 PM
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He lost 55 pounds, quit smoking, and cut from a half gallon of wine per meal to one normal bottle. Still alive. And in shape to do quite a bit more than sit, smoke, and eat. He now takes his dog for a romp and both enjoy it.

I think he also rediscovered that his wife is still an attractive lady.

He also became more productive at work and got a nice pay raise. So weighing less, not drinking and not smoking do have their up side!!
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Old Jan 10th, 2005, 01:51 PM
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Face it: eventually everyone stops smoking so why put off the inevitable?

It is hardly a &quot;maybe&quot; in Italy..like Ireland it is going to happen, perhaps not quickly, but ultimately.
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Old Jan 12th, 2005, 08:11 AM
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This is such good news, now all they have to do is inact this in France!

http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/01/10/news/smoke.html
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Old Jan 12th, 2005, 08:21 AM
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I also just read that the UK isn't far behind....
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Old Jan 12th, 2005, 08:45 AM
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Why not just let the restaurants &amp; bars owners decide for themselves? If it's more profitable to run a completely smoke-free establishment, the owners/managers will follow. The market's always right. I met an Irish pub owner a year ago who allows smoking. He said if he follows the law, he goes out of business &amp; if he gets caught breaking the law, he goes out of business, so either way he's screwed.
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Old Jan 12th, 2005, 09:52 AM
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Oddly enough the majority of Italians DO NOT smoke so they may actually increase their business by banning smoking.

Why should those of us who don't smoke be offended by the smell of a smoker?

This all seems so tramatic once its first implemented but things will calm down once people get use to it.

Studies in California and NYC who both ban smoking in public workplaces, restaurants and bars both showed that it had no negitve impact on the business.
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Old Jan 12th, 2005, 10:06 AM
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That may be the case, but isn't it a bit like Communism.
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Old Jan 12th, 2005, 10:10 AM
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The stereotype is that Italy is choked in a cloud of cigarette smoke, but if that used to be true, I did not find it so now. I don't recall any restaurant, cafe, or bar that had much if any noticeable smoke while I was just there. Similarly in Paris this summer. Of course I did see the odd Roman policeman smoking while on-shift, which isn't something I see at home.
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Old Jan 12th, 2005, 10:25 AM
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Richard: Many downtown bars (Soho, Nolita, Tribeca, W. Village, E. Village, Lower East Side) DID in fact have a substantial initial downturn in business after the smoking ban when into effect. They now seem to have recovered a bit. I have a friend that owns a bar and a restaurant in Nolita and LES respectively, and he says that buisness in the bar is really not what it once was (many people approached him and continue to approach him to state their dissatisfaction with the smoking ban)but business at the restaurant is up. Go figure.
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Old Jan 12th, 2005, 10:44 AM
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Yes I know at first it was an issue, but it self recovers. People still like to eat out!

As far as bar business, well... no business in the USA is what it &quot;once was&quot;.
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Old Jan 12th, 2005, 10:48 AM
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My main problem with the smoking bans is that if an owner wants to allow smoking that is his choice, it is in fact his restaurant. If you are a non-smoker and offended by smoking, then don't go there. If it was that big of an issue &amp; everybody quit going to the restaurants that allowed smoking, then those owners would quickly make their place strictly non-smoking (ex: market fixing itself w/out gov't intervention.)

Eventually we'll have it here in the US. Gov'ts making ridiculous laws &amp; smoking bans is just a way for them to flex their muscles.
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Old Jan 12th, 2005, 10:55 AM
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Where have you been? We already have it here in the U.S. -- California and NYC to name a couple of places.
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Old Jan 12th, 2005, 11:27 AM
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I don't think it's over-regulation at all. The government acts on behalf of the people (the doctrine of &quot;state interest&quot, and the public health certainly falls under that rubric.

It's why narcotics are controlled, quack medicines are outlawed, and seat belts and air bags are mandatory.

Cigarettes emit toxins into the space, and people should be able to drink or dine out without being subjected to poisons.

I think the best solution would be to allow establishments to permit smoking, but only if the smoke is kept away from the non-smokers. Adequate air-handling equipment can do it without even separating the clients.
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Old Jan 12th, 2005, 11:42 AM
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Gimme a break ... The gov't also says that gambling is bad, but they have lotteries.

If they truly felt they were protecting the public then why not just ban the production of cigarettes &amp; tobacco &amp; other harmful products. Why don't they, because they make too much money taxing it.
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