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GudGawd Jun 13th, 2002 09:11 AM

Why don't I care if you smoke?
I’m not a smoker, though I do enjoy an occasional cigar. I’m somewhat baffled by the behavior of some of my countrymen, particularly when they travel. Recently in a pub in the town of Gloucester, I watched a toad of an American woman with a honking, obnoxious Jersey accent loudly ask to be moved twice because she was “allergic” to the smoke which was, by the by, minimal and contained to the bar area.<BR><BR>Now, when I grew up in the 50’s/60’s smoking was very much in fashion. At the average party I would think it safe to say that smokers outnumbered non-smokers 2 to 1. I don’t remember EVER hearing of anyone being “allergic” to smoke until the mid 80’s when it apparently became a national epidemic (or, if you like, a form of mass hysteria.)<BR><BR>As of today smoking is not illegal. Anyone over a certain age has every right to go into a shop, buy cigarettes or cigars, and smoke them. (Granted, there may be fair limitations as to where they can smoke.)People need to learn to get over it because, as it stands, that’s the reality of the situation. <BR>Of course now the cause du jour is to stamp out all smoking everywhere! (The duplicity of someone sitting at a bar sucking down vodka martinis while simultaneously complaining that the smoker across the room is endangering their health seems to escape many of the Society Police.)<BR><BR> American society is based on the Puritan ethic, which is basically a fear that someone, some place, is having fun, and/or enjoying themselves. Face it, half of the whiners about people who smoke are based on the fact that the person is smoking whether or not it is actually bothering the complainer.<BR><BR>The idea of some cow visiting another country and loudly complaining about how they run their pubs, cafes, and bars is the height of contemptuous ill-mannered behavior. Rather than banning smokers, I’d much rather they’d ban people of that ilk. I think everyone in the place would have supported the management had they had the guts to tell her to leave. Of course then she would have come back to the States telling everyone who would listen how rude those English louts really are.<BR>

I hear ya Jun 13th, 2002 09:20 AM

Amen! I am much more offended by loud, obnoxious, self riteous people than I am smokers. Stay home!!<BR><BR>PS: I'm an American non-smoker.

elam Jun 13th, 2002 09:22 AM

GudGawd<BR><BR>You need a day job.

elaine Jun 13th, 2002 09:38 AM

Geeze. You sound like a frustrated puritanical preacher 'wannabee'. People who don't like smoke have a right to their opinion (I am one of them) but in a London pub, or in most foreign counries, your opinion is in the minority, and thus, you should stay out of those places. Can't fight city hall, you know.!!!!

Lisa Jun 13th, 2002 09:38 AM

GudGawd, you obviously have no idea what it is like to be allergic to smoke. Now I have NEVER been loud mouthed and obnoxious, but I take great offense to you saying that there is no such allergy, check with a medical doctor, there is and it is very real. I do not condone people that make a big fuss and draw attention, but I am sorry if the smoke is bad Im going to ask to be moved. And anyone that thinks there is no such allergy is a real idiot, try not being able to breath for a while and see how it feels.

Suzy Jun 13th, 2002 09:42 AM

Sometimes Americans forget that they are guests in other countries, and really shouldn't criticize local customs no matter how obnoxious they find them.<BR><BR>We had a wonderful 3-week trip to Britain last summer, but never entered a pub. We're very sensitive to cigarette smoke and knew it would be unavoidable in pubs. So we dealt with it, there were plenty of other wonderful (smoke-free) things to do!

Smoking Puritan Jun 13th, 2002 09:46 AM

Double Amen!! Too bad that American toad hadn't complained instead about our porous borders & visas for anyone; intolerance in that direction would have prevented 9-11 by keeping the "bad guys" out. <BR><BR>This anti-smoking pro-"diversity" attitude is NOT a Puritan thing -- it's a Clinton/yuppy/80-90s thing. 9-11 would never have happed in the late 40s/50s -- the FBI/CIA were not hamstrung then by the "rights/ liberties" groups, who actually deny native-born USA citizens their right to live as they chose in a secure nation.<BR>

RnR Jun 13th, 2002 09:50 AM

Take it on the curcuit, do, GudGawd. You only need the box.<BR><BR>But don't tell me about some woman with a jersey accent unless you're willing to be more exact. Which exit? Is that too much to ask? Accents vary, you know.<BR><BR>Other than that, what a rant. Look, I grew up in the 50s/60s too - please somebody, tell me I don't sound like that!

Suzy Jun 13th, 2002 09:53 AM

Um, another reason that the anti-smoking movement wasn't off the ground in the 40s and 50s was that very few people realized how bad it was for you. In that era, movie stars and physicians often appeared in advertising, promoting cigarettes. <BR><BR>The medical link betwen cigarette smoking and lung cancer was established in 1963, and television advertising of cigarettes was banned a year later.

MHS Jun 13th, 2002 10:01 AM

I grew up in the 40/50s -- and not 1 student in my high school of 300 had asthma or was "allergic to smoke". Indeed, a national news program discussed this recently; apparently the "clean air" we now have has actually impared our immune systems resulting in an marked increase in asthma etc.

Capo Jun 13th, 2002 10:17 AM

GudGawd, you're absolutely right about the American puritan ethic. The problem is not so much when this puritan ethic prompts people to express their disapproval of some behavior. The real problem becomes when this puritan ethic prompts people to support and pass *laws* actually prohibiting people from engaging in what they see as "vices." <BR><BR>Tobacco smokers may be prohibited from smoking in certain places -- e.g. airplanes, offices, etc. -- but they are not prohibited, per se, from engaging in their "vice." <BR><BR>On the other hand, marijuana smokers are. Now, how many tobacco smokers do you think support *laws* against marijuana smoking? Anywhere. Even in the privacy of a person's house. Quite a few I'd guess. Talk about flaming hypocrisy. Talk about not wanting other people to have fun. <BR><BR>

soap box Jun 13th, 2002 10:18 AM

All drug usage should be legal - be it nicotine, cocaine or heroine - not much difference- it's still a dependence upon a foreign substance so as to relax ( how pitifully weak and needy )

Karloff Jun 13th, 2002 10:27 AM

I think that, rant and all, Gawd’s point is valid and well made. If indeed you suffer allergies, phobias, whatever, why expect the world to change for you? The American toad in this instance should have hopped off to another place rather than complain. Personally I’d much rather smell a GOOD cigar or a pipe than the smell of some American man who’s just bathed in Avon’s Wild Country or his wife’s Wal-Mart musk. Personally I don’t like the smell of cooking meat so I stay out of hamburger stands and BBQ joints. I don’t make it a point of going in then demanding that everything around me be changed to suit my tastes. This is a particularly irritating “American thing,” it is all about “me, me, me.”<BR> Smoking for the most part is a perfectly legal, adult pastime, like it or not, and until that changes, tough luck. Sure it’s harmful to the smoker and (perhaps) to those in the immediate vicinity. But then so is car exhaust, heavy alcohol use, and leaky microwave ovens. <BR>

Turtle Jun 13th, 2002 10:31 AM

"it's still a dependence upon a foreign substance so as to relax ( how pitifully weak and needy )"<BR><BR>Soapbox: EVERYONE has a crutch. What's your denomination?

Capo Jun 13th, 2002 10:33 AM

Soap box. There's a big difference between drugs like heroin and nicotine, and marijuana, however. Marijuana, to the best of my knowledge, has never been shown to be physically addicitive, like nicotine and heroin. In my opinion, drugs that actually get people hooked physically are far more insidious than those which do not. <BR><BR>GudGawd, personally smoke doesn't bother me unless it reaches a high saturation point in places like music clubs. But are you suggesting that people being allergic to smoke is some kind of fiction? (I will say that some people may use the term "allergic" when, in fact, what they really mean is they they simply don't like smoke.) <BR><BR>As Sue alluded to, the reason smoking used to be very much in fashion in the United States was because many people were honestly unaware of the health risks involved. Remember when the tobacco industry fought those warning labels on cigarette packages? (Now, of course, they *use* those warning labels as a defense in court when they're sued by people who get cancer from smoking, saying, in a sense, "Hey, we warned you smoking could be hazardous to your health!")

BetterGawd Jun 13th, 2002 10:43 AM

GudGawd, calling someone a toad and a cow is another example of contemptuous ill-mannered behavior. What animal best describes your wife?

GudGawd Jun 13th, 2002 11:02 AM

My wife passed away 2 years ago, thank you for asking.

Lillian Jun 13th, 2002 11:06 AM

Too bad you haven't joined her.

xxx Jun 13th, 2002 11:08 AM

Do you suppose if the founders of this country had been pot farmers instead of tobacco farmers, that pot would be sold at every gas station today and tobacco would be the illegal and harmful drug? <BR><BR>It all depends upon who is earning the profit as to whether a drug is deemed legal or not. Tobacco and pharmaceutical drugs? Legal of course, because corporations profit.

Duh Jun 13th, 2002 11:14 AM

I'm still awestruck at the popularity of and amount of knowledge gathered by MHS. He/she knew every single one of his/her schoolmates well enough to know that not one of them had asthma. Now, that's togetherness!<BR>Cut the crap,hm?

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