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Marilynn May 17th, 2002 02:01 PM

Is there any hope for someone who is very allergic to cigarette smoke in Italy or do people just grin and bear it?

xxx May 17th, 2002 02:12 PM

What do you mean by "hope"?

Graham May 17th, 2002 02:27 PM

If you are only allergic to cigarette smoke in Italy, I would suggest that you find someplace besides Italy to travel to.

smoking May 17th, 2002 03:02 PM

It's not just Italy but most countries in Europe (where people smoke in public places - in the line at the bank, restaurants, etc.). But if you visit in summer season, most restaurants for example, have outdoor seating which might help you. But if "grin & bear it" means there is any chance of asking people not to smoke on your behalf... than -no- that's probably not gonna happen.

Carol May 17th, 2002 03:29 PM

I'm mildly allergic: I definitely get bad headaches after exposure to smoke, and if I'm exposed for more than about a half hour I usually get a mildly productive cough for the next day or two. I get asthma-like problems breathing only if I'm really close to a smoker or if there are a lot of smokers around, and usually I can avoid both of those situations. So I wouldn't say I'm VERY allergic, but I am at least either mildly allergic or extremely "sensitive" to it. For me, it is a slight problem in Italy, not a big one. I did not find the presence of smoke as overwhelming in Italy as it was in Greece, for example. I do, however, check the smoke levels before deciding on a restaurant, and on rare occasions, I've left after being seated but before ordering after realizing that the smoke was worse than I thought. The smoke is not as bad in the airports and train stations as it was in Greece. One thing that I find is helpful is that if I have been exposed to too much cigarette smoke, I should try to avoid too much exposure to vehicle exhaust the same day; i.e. do some rural walking in fresh air instead of hanging around a town with a lot of cars and trapped exhaust fumes. This is easier to do if you are spending time in smaller towns, rather than in Rome 9which I haven't visited in about 30 years).

Alpha Girl May 17th, 2002 03:44 PM

Agree with the above. On nice days, we would eat outside and if it was crummy, we would order whatever to go and go back to our hotel. I remember on the AVE from Sevilla to Madrid, we did not book until late and they only had smoking accomodations. This truly was not a problem for most of the ride and we thought we were in the clear until after lunch was served. We ended up spending the rest of the ride in the area between the cars! But I would not trade my experiences for anything; smoking is a small inconvenience and you learn to deal with it when you are somewhere where the culture is different. Take some non-drowsy Benadryl with you and enjoy Italy!

carol May 17th, 2002 04:23 PM

Actually, I don't learn to deal with it. I just avoid it as much as possible. I would not feel comfortable taking an antihistamine eveery day fro a two or thre week trip. I absolutely could not tolerate being exposed to heavy smoke all the time, but for as long as it's possible to avoid it, a trip can be very enjoyable. I'm also not sure that I'm willing to view it as just part of the culture. I grew up long before it was acceptable in the US to object to smoke, and it bothered me years before it became "safe" to complain. Smoking was part of US culture, I suppose, but I thought even when I was 10 years old that it was not nice for someone to smoke in a car with someone who was feeling sick from it, but was trapped. Smoking is also accepted in many places at home. I avoid those places. By the way, I've been on walking tours in both Italy and France in which the guide, local people (in Provence and in Tuscany), were nonsmokers and in one case more outspokenly anti-smoking than the Americans in the groups.

nonsmoker May 17th, 2002 04:24 PM

all the smoking is one of the most unfortunate aspects of Europe. smokers won't care that you're allergic to smoke so you'll have to try to avoid places where they are or else just grin and bear it.

DB May 17th, 2002 07:18 PM

Hotel Des Artistes in Rome is non-smoking. As for the dining, forget it.

Smokey the bear May 18th, 2002 02:01 PM

with all the fags being lit, I'm surprised Italy hasn't burned itself up. babies are born with fags sticking out of their mouthes. EVERYONE sucks those cancer sticks. Italy is a beautiful country except for the people! you're in for a heap of trouble if you go, sorry to say.

Barbara May 20th, 2002 11:40 AM

Just returned from two weeks in Italy and was amazed at the number of places,(cafes and resturants) that had no smoking signs and they were being followed. Of course this was in Bologna, Orvieto, Turin, and that was not the case in the south. But a real big improvement in the last year. Much better situation than in France.

Mike May 20th, 2002 11:46 AM

I'm allergic too...whenever I'm in a bar and around someone smoking I always break out and go buy. Break out my wallet and go buy a pack that is.<BR><BR>On my recent trip to London I was shocked at how many people were smoking and where they were smoking. Even as smoker I found it somewhat annoying. The worst/funniest part was when my non-smoking wife and I boarded a train for York and realized very quickly that it was a smoking car. Oops

Dan May 20th, 2002 11:48 AM

Italy is getting much better. Years ahead of France and Switzerland. The worst county though is Ireland. If you are not smoking in an Irish pub, about a dozen people will knock you to the ground and put three lit cigarettes in your mouth.<BR>

Carolyn May 20th, 2002 12:21 PM

Carol:<BR><BR>Why are you uncomfortable taking an "antihistamine every day for a two or three week trip"?<BR><BR>There are a number of prescription, non-drowsy, antihistamines available that can be safely taken for 2-3 weeks.

An Italian May 20th, 2002 12:38 PM

I have just returned from a trip from the US and was amazed that you allow to publicize cigarettes,(illegal in Italy) I was also amazed by the idiotic behaviour many citizens have against smokers(even in the streets)as if these people are the responsables for the pollution in your cities. If you put all the efforts you put in to preventi people smoking into getting your politicians to sign the Kyoto agreement maybe we could start achieving something important for the enviroment. Unfortunately the US is now the most polluted country in the world as well as the biggest polluter. Wow they really manage to brain wash you in your country!! Start walking and buy smaller cars if you want clean air.<BR>Oh by the way I am a non smoker

Mike May 20th, 2002 01:09 PM

Hey Greaseball,<BR><BR>We aren't concerned about cigarette smoke because of the pollution. All we're asking is that when we leave a restaurant we come out smelling like we did when we entered. Not like a stinking frigging ashtray.<BR>

Capo May 20th, 2002 01:15 PM

Hi Marilynn. If by "hope", you mean you can travel in Italy even with all the smoking, sure. <BR><BR>But don't expect establishments, and especially smokers, to go out of their way to accomodate you. <BR><BR>You could, of course, "fight fire with fire" and spray an aerosol can with some kind of noxious substance into the air where people are smoking but, ironically, they'd probably find that offensive and ask you to -- or demand that you -- put it out.

Carol May 20th, 2002 01:24 PM

Carolyn: Even if you are an MD or an RN I might be skeptical of your comment, because mainly doctors (not mine) are a bit too quick and careless about recommending drugs as Antihistamines, including the "safe" ones, are not without side effects. I don't take medicines lightly. I also think that my reaction to smoke can be taken as a warning, and that avoiding exposure to the toxins is safer and better than dulling the temporary symptoms of exposure.

laura May 20th, 2002 02:23 PM

Why dont all you non smokers get a life. Im so tired of reading about how smoking affects you. Im a non smoker and I cound't care less what other people do.

Tara May 20th, 2002 02:45 PM

<BR>Well said, Laura! I'm also a non-smoker who has had it up to here with this wimpy whinging. These people need something better to worry them.

Capo May 20th, 2002 02:58 PM

Yeah, me too. I especially hated it when wimpy whining nonsmokers helped get smoking banned on airplane flights. <BR><BR>I long for the good old days of flying when I could inhale some nice smoke along with my meals. And to think that the smokers provided all that smoke for free and didn't even think to charge us for it!

yyyyyy May 20th, 2002 06:45 PM


aaa May 20th, 2002 06:57 PM

As an American who spends lots of time in Europe and lots of time with Europeans in America, all I can say is that Americans are obsessed with this issue, and are major hypocrites when it comes to health issues. There are more people who've developed allergies to cigarette smoke in America than there are people throughout the world who have allergies to anything. You'd think that citizens of the greatest nation on earth would have something a tad bit more pithy to kvetch about. It's just another way for Americans to assert their superiority - yes, it's a health issue, but there are SO many other health issues that Americans are completely oblivious to - like food, for example!!! Do you see Americans coming home from Europe whining about "the sausages in Germany! I thought I was going to DIE from the grease!!" NO, because the same people who decry smoking are busy snarfing up fries and burgers and grease on every continent they visit. I can't stand a whiff of smoke and it's going to cause brain damage to my next three generations, but give me the triple Whopper with a Biggie Fries and a chocolate milkshake. Get over it. Europeans in general are far healthier than you are, so sort out your health priorities and stop preaching!

nmm May 20th, 2002 07:20 PM

Just grin and bear it Marilyn. I have asthma and sucked up my inhaler like it was water while visiting. Just be prepared, benadryl helps and I carry 2 small room deodorizers.

aaa May 20th, 2002 07:57 PM

Prove my point, nmm. I'm surprised you didn't need a full-time psychotherapist. How DID you survive in Europe? Did you breathe a lot easier when you got back to the clean-old USA? You guys are beyond the USA is "clean air land." NOT!!! Get over it! Jeez- what if you had to travel to China, God forbid!! You'd die, right????

nmm May 20th, 2002 08:10 PM

Boy are you an idiot aaa. What do you want me to prove? That I have asthma and couldn't breathe? My husband is a cardiologist and takes care of me quite well thank you. I know from years of being sick (had it since childhood) how to take care of myself and don't let it stop me from visiting beautiful countries. I just go prepared and expect to have asthma attacks. You know absolutely nothing about asthma or health for that matter. You don't see the people that are dead from lung cancer you moron.

bbb May 20th, 2002 08:32 PM

Gee, thanks for the info. I bet the husband is going after the young intern, based on your replies.

Liam May 20th, 2002 08:36 PM

Whoever it was, who mentioned Greece is right. I'm a smoker, and one day while waiting for a plane at the Herakleon airport for 5 hours, I literally had to go outside to have a cigarette since the air inside was a dense wall of smoke! Not sure why I was bothering to light my own, actually.... Italy wasn't half as bad.

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