Non Smoking Europe?...opinions, pls

Old Oct 4th, 2002, 03:53 PM
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Non Smoking Europe?...opinions, pls

I am very allergic to any smoke, and I was advised by many friends / acquaintances who have travelled from Norway / Sweden to the U.K. to Russia to the Mediterranean that there's no where to escape smoke of any kind - cigarette, cigar, or pipe. I was told that restaurants, outdoor cafes, and other places that usually do not allow smoke in the U.S., allow smoking.

(of course, I stay out of taverns, pubs, lounges-have to do that in the U.S.; can't even go to Las Vegas).

I am NOT flaming smokers, so I'd appreciate not being flamed with this post. I just need some input, because even if I go past a bar with smokers to get to a dining area, I wind up in respiratory distress.

I would love to visit the U.K. (especially Ireland/Scotland) but 1 well-traveled couple that we know advised to stay in the castle type lodgings because they usually do not allow smoking.

Please let me know your opinions/ recommendations.

Thanks very much.
Old Oct 4th, 2002, 04:03 PM
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Finding non-smoking lodging (rooms) is quite easy anywhere.

How and where you spend the rest of your time (re: venues with not a lot of smoke) is entirely up to you.

Just curious, what was the battery of tests you took when you were diagnosed as allergic to smoke? I mean - what was involved, how long did it take and how were other allergens ruled out?
Old Oct 4th, 2002, 04:13 PM
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I am on my way to Scotland very soon, and noticed when looking for accomodations that many guest houses in Edinburgh specifically state on their websites that they are strictly non-smoking establishments.

I think you may run into trouble in most restaurants, though. There are many people on this board with lots of knowledge about Ireland and Scotland who'll no doubt be able to answer your question with more specificity.

Based on my personal experience thus far, I think you would have a difficult time in London, Italy and France. The concept of the completely non-smoking restaurant does not seem to exist in the Europe I've seen, with the exception of a few scattered vegetarian places.

Best of luck!
Old Oct 4th, 2002, 04:39 PM
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"even if I go past a bar with smokers to get to a dining area, I wind up in respiratory distress."

If this is true how do you plan on walking on the streets, let alone finding smoke free restaurants? There are many non smoking B&Bs but very few completely non-smoking restaurants/cafes. And places like theatres for instance - the auditoriums are mostly non-smoking now but all of the bars/lounges have smoking.

And while many non-smoking areas in the States are now separate rooms - in most Irish and UK venues the non-smoking area is simply a few tables next to the smokers.
Old Oct 4th, 2002, 07:13 PM
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You are not alergic to cigarette smoke. There is no such thing. Ask your doctor.

You can hate it.
You can say it stinks.
You can say it's a filthy habit.
You cannot say you're allergic to just isn't medically true.

Best wishes for a fun trip.
Old Oct 4th, 2002, 08:19 PM
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Thanks for those who've replied with input.

For 'Rick' and 'Steamer' - I've been to Immunology and Pulmonary specialists, who made the same diagnosis (I live in the NYC area & went to specialists from renowned Medical Ctrs; this is not my own personal diagnosis). It's a terrible condition, because I also have a hiatal hernia that gets irritated while coughing so severely, causing more problems.

I understand that for the most part major hotels offer non smoking rooms. My problem, as Lesli and Janis noted, is going to the restaurants or even just walking around doing site-seeing. In the theatre district, I just ask the ushers if there's another way to avoid going out directly into the crowd of smokers, and they're very helpful and understanding for the most part.

Thanks very much to Lesli, who backed up what others have stated about London, Paris, etc.; and for the input on Edinburgh accommodations that advise their non-smoking policy. I'll try that board for suggestions.
Old Oct 4th, 2002, 09:54 PM
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GM -

Thanks for your thanks! Although I'm not allergic, I'm not crazy about being enveloped in smoke and I was curious, so I did a bit of searching on Yahoo/Google.

Here's a website you may find helpful:
I noted that there are actually quite a number of restaurants, cafes, and even a bar or two listed in Edinburgh. Not all of them are completely smoke-free (though several are); some just have non-smoking sections.

Now that you mention that you live in/near NYC, I think you might be able to manage better than I'd originally thought. Seems like smoking is more or less a way of life there!
Old Oct 4th, 2002, 11:14 PM
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You are probably 80 pounds overweight and want to blame all your health problems on smokers. Get a grip on reality. Obesity is the cause of your major medical problems. Stop blaming other people for the problems you have caused yourself.
Old Oct 5th, 2002, 12:59 AM
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Why don't you use a mask?
Old Oct 5th, 2002, 01:32 AM
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When you are really allergic to cigarettes, cigar and pipe,I think the best way to go on vacation is to rent a house or an appartment.Make your own dinners and avoid restaurants or pubs.

You won't have an easy time of it.
Old Oct 5th, 2002, 05:03 AM
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GM's post just goes to prove the saying that the mind can play many tricks.

Old Oct 5th, 2002, 05:35 AM
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Chances that GM is actually "allergic" to smoke are very slim. Chances that smoke is a pulmonary irritant for GM are pretty good, though. Being allergic to something means that you have a specific sort of immunologic reaction to it. But there are lots of other sorts of adverse reactions a person could have, and GM may well have a problem with smoke, particularly high levels of cigarette smoke.

As a life long asthmatic, intensely allergic to animal dander, I empathize with GM. When I travel in Europe I routinely have to use a "rescue inhaler" above and beyond my usual meds. It may be that I'm allergic to something else in the air (but only in inside air, apparently, as I've no trouble when outside), but it does seem to be the cigarette smoke.

And in case you're wondering I'm both thin and fit.
Old Oct 5th, 2002, 05:40 AM
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Cigarette Smoke

Did you know that cigarette smoke contains approximately 4000 harmful chemicals? Smoking has been proven to be extremely dangerous for anyone, but for those who have asthma, the combination can be deadly. Being exposed even to second-hand smoke can have extremely negative health effects. If you have asthma, consider the following:

Smoking damages the cilia in your lungs, those little hairlike structures that move foreign materials and irritants from your lungs. When the cilia are damaged, you are much more likely to get lung infections, which can make your asthma worse.
Smoking makes your asthma worse by increasing your chances of having attacks, making it harder to control symptoms, and causing permanent damage to airways.
If you smoke while you are pregnant, the chemicals are transported to your baby’s developing lungs, increasing your child’s chances of developing asthma.
Smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke has been linked with the development of asthma and an earlier onset of the disease.
Children exposed to smoking have more upper respiratory infections, which are known triggers for asthma.
Studies have shown that your risk of having an asthma attack decreases the moment you stop smoking.
If you or a friend or family member have asthma, stay away from tobacco smoke! Here are some strategies for avoiding smoke-related attacks:

DO NOT SMOKE! If you do smoke, begin a supervised Smoking Cessation Program immediately. It may save your life, or the life of a loved one with asthma.
Request non-smoking areas in restaurants, or frequent restaurants or other public areas that are smoke-free.
Prevent others from smoking in your car or home, or around you and your family.
Avoid bars and other smoky environments.
Select smoke-free work environments. You are at your office or area of employment for long periods during the day. Being exposed to smoking all day can be extremely dangerous.

This is take directly from this website, so the person that says people are not allergic to smoke do not know what they are talking about.
Old Oct 5th, 2002, 05:54 AM
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I'm also VERY senitive to smoke, if I come in contact with smoke I start coughing uncontrollably, don't know if its allergic reaction or what but its sure not any fun. Thanks, Hatessmokers great info, IMO, people can smoke if they want, just please don't subject me to it.
Old Oct 5th, 2002, 07:27 AM
Get a life
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Donna, GM and all you other purists: What are you doing on the European Board??????

Facts: People smoke in Europe!!!!

Facts: In some places in Europe, people smoke A LOT!!!!!!!

You can either purchase a NASA type space suit, don't go to europe, or quit bitching and live with the culture of other people when you are visiting in THEIR country.

No....I don't smoke. I just have no patience with people who keep sniveling about smoke and smoking.

Get a life
Old Oct 5th, 2002, 08:07 AM
Stephanie P.
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I am not 80 lbs overweight (113 lbs.) and have an allergic reaction to smoke. If cigarette smoking is too close to me my eyes water and I am constantly sneezing. I feel I should not be inconvenieced because I have made the choice not to smoke. Everyone has a right not to inhale cigarette smoke whether they have allergies or not.

Old Oct 5th, 2002, 08:30 AM
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If you can't even stand a small wiff of smoke, then hold your breath when you walk into restaurants to inquire whether or not they have no-smoking sections, because you may have to walk through the smoking area to get to them.

Most restaurants are wisening up to the fact that lots of people like to eat in a smoke-free environment, so you will very likely find something in your daily restaurant search that is bearable.
Smoke in restaurants in Europe never bothered me until recently, now I appreciate eating in a smoke-free environment.
Old Oct 5th, 2002, 09:23 AM
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I find the US people to be nuts, suddenly they are all allergic to cigarette smoke, now I can't believe that these people risk to die if they pass someone who is smoking a cigarette but then they are immune to all the pollution that they breathe in their super world record polluted cities. I just wonder how you can Americans be so silly!
Old Oct 5th, 2002, 11:05 AM
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You are 1000% correct (yes 1000%). The American people are the biggest bunch of whiners and snivelers you can imagine. They are also the greatest people on earth in many ways. in the States, EVERYTHING has to be so Politically Correct, it is really at the STUPID stage. Our way or not at all. Everybody else is wrong..we are right.

I found europeans to be very refreshing. Kind of a you do your thing, I'll do mine. No problem. Europeans don't seem to have a law for every little thing you can imagine. They seem to respect the other persons "right of way". It shows.

We are a very young country with LOTS to learn.

Old Oct 5th, 2002, 03:30 PM
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I know there is no advertising here, but we stayed in a self-catering flat that would be perfect for you. It's in a totally non-smoking building, has a shared roof-garden overlooking the city and has several smokefree restaurants within walking distance. There is no air-conditioning but we left the windows wide open for fresh breezes. You can see the building in the lower center foreground of this picture. Write me for more info.

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