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Old 19th February 2010, 08:43 PM   #21
Londoner_at_heart
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On the other hand I do truely prefer a state of personal responsibility and choice as mentioned above.
Well, we've been hearing for over 3 decades now that second hand smoke harms those around you, and still smokers' responsibility doesn't result in people not smoking in enclosed spaces, does it? I also wish we wouldn't need a ban. But this thread proves we do.

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I hope good wine never goes on the list of bad things like smoking.
The big difference is that wine on its own, used as it's meant to be used (you know, no cars involved, etc.), does not harm other people's health. Whereas tobacco does, using it as it is made to be used, on its own, harms others. And it kills others. The only way to minimise that damage is banning it in enclosed spaces. Smoking areas are not an option, as it's been more than proven that smoke cannot be kept at bay -plus workers are not protected this way either. Honestly, these are the arguments the tobacco industry have been using and implanting on our minds for years on end. Don't let them manipulate you! Just listen to doctors and scientists. Smoke-free enclosed spaces are the easiest, fastest, cheapest way of reducing dramatically smoke-related illnesses and deaths, especially in non-smokers. Not to mention the reduction in the number of kids / teenagers taking up smoking. Remember the tobacco industry needs replacement smokers to replace those who give up or die. Keeping smoking as a "normal", "social" habit is where their money and their interests lie.
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Old 19th February 2010, 10:43 PM   #22
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Well, we've been hearing for over 3 decades now that second hand smoke harms those around you, and still smokers' responsibility doesn't result in people not smoking in enclosed spaces, does it? I also wish we wouldn't need a ban. But this thread proves we do.

The big difference is that wine on its own, used as it's meant to be used (you know, no cars involved, etc.), does not harm other people's health. Whereas tobacco does, using it as it is made to be used, on its own, harms others. And it kills others. The only way to minimise that damage is banning it in enclosed spaces. Smoking areas are not an option, as it's been more than proven that smoke cannot be kept at bay -plus workers are not protected this way either. Honestly, these are the arguments the tobacco industry have been using and implanting on our minds for years on end. Don't let them manipulate you! Just listen to doctors and scientists. Smoke-free enclosed spaces are the easiest, fastest, cheapest way of reducing dramatically smoke-related illnesses and deaths, especially in non-smokers. Not to mention the reduction in the number of kids / teenagers taking up smoking. Remember the tobacco industry needs replacement smokers to replace those who give up or die. Keeping smoking as a "normal", "social" habit is where their money and their interests lie.
In general I agree with you, and as well having spent my youth working in restaurants and bars I agree with that as well (back before the laws existed here).

With respect to alcohol, in most cities in the US and Especially in Los Angeles most like those who have been enjoyed drinks with dinner or what ever will be doing so behind the wheel afterwards. Granted people are more concious about this than in the past. Yet I could see an equal ¨rational¨ argument made for its ban in public places to taken place as well (hence my fear).

I abhor the smoking industry and how it has done its business.

Is there some more creative way of dealing with this besides the all out bans? Seriously I am just wondering, are there other creative solutions to this issue besides a simple all out ban everyone.

Thanks

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Old 19th February 2010, 11:43 PM   #23
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I wish there were. But, honestly, I don't think there are. And neither do the most prestigious tobacco control experts all over the world. Nor the WHO. The only effective measure is banning it in public enclosed spaces. The problem we have here in Spain is precisely that the law is complicated and full of exceptions and different possibilities for smoking areas. When it comes to enforcing the law, this just means that a) nobody is really sure where it's banned and where it isn't and b) that people see normal smoking in some places so they don't understand why they shouldn't smoke in others -it is just widely ignored. It makes breaking the law increibly easy. All you have to do is have a look at bars and restaurants in Spain. Or take a survey and ask people, say, whether it's banned in clubs. 90% will say "no", and in fact it is. Discos and clubs may (voluntary, not compulsory!) dedicate up to 30% of their space to a smoking area. Now, try going clubbing in Spain without inhaling tobacco smoke!!!

You can also check out the forum of www.nofumadores.org, and read about non smokers' experiences and their constant frustration at the current state of things (and practice some Spanish in the process ). Smokers defend smoking areas and then don't respect the ban where it is in place. They've had 4 years (coming on to 5) to prove that separated areas work -they claim they defend "tolerance". Well, they've been proving it to us, day after day, that they only mean tolerance to THEIR adiction, not to our health.

Just to prove who's winning with the separated areas thing, guess who's lobbying and promoting the Spanish model everywhere -yeah, you guessed right, the big tobacco companies.

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Old 20th February 2010, 02:14 AM   #24
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One of the points that the law stated was that in bars where smoking is permitted, no children under 18 are allowed in. That is blatantly ignored.

Also, last month I went to a village in the Picos the Europa and as I walked into a bar I saw 5 notices stating "Prohibido fumar". There were 7 people smoking at the time. I asked the owner what was all this about. He explained he had been visited by an inspector and, as his bar is also the entrance to a hotel and children are allowed in, it has to be non-smoking, so he had to put the notices up and take the ashtrays away in order not to encourage smoking. But the breaking of the law was apparently up to the customer and all the smokers were happily ignoring the notices.

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Old 20th February 2010, 09:06 AM   #25
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They definitely apply the maxim "Rules (or laws in this case) are for the guidance of wise men and the blind obedience of fools".
I wouldn´t want to work there though!
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Old 20th February 2010, 09:44 AM   #26
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One of the points that the law stated was that in bars where smoking is permitted, no children under 18 are allowed in. That is blatantly ignored.

Also, last month I went to a village in the Picos the Europa and as I walked into a bar I saw 5 notices stating "Prohibido fumar". There were 7 people smoking at the time. I asked the owner what was all this about. He explained he had been visited by an inspector and, as his bar is also the entrance to a hotel and children are allowed in, it has to be non-smoking, so he had to put the notices up and take the ashtrays away in order not to encourage smoking. But the breaking of the law was apparently up to the customer and all the smokers were happily ignoring the notices.
I believe that in the UK the landlord is responsible for keeping the bar smoke free - so if people do smoke then you can report it and the landlord can be heavily fined. It seems to work.
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Old 20th February 2010, 09:49 AM   #27
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I believe that in the UK the landlord is responsible for keeping the bar smoke free - so if people do smoke then you can report it and the landlord can be heavily fined. It seems to work.
What this guy told me is that he would not be fined but the person smoking. He just had to discourage smoking, but he was not supposed to be policing the place.
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Old 20th February 2010, 11:09 AM   #28
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What this guy told me is that he would not be fined but the person smoking. He just had to discourage smoking, but he was not supposed to be policing the place.
Actually, the law is very clear and the landlord is responsible here too, and suppossed to be fined. But the number and quantity of the fines are so insignificant the law is blatantly ignored.

So this is how this famous smokers' tolerance works: not about others' health, not about workers' rights, not about respecting the law. It only comes into place in order to avoid huge and frequent fines. Which is why this law doesn't work and needs to be reformed.
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Old 20th February 2010, 11:17 AM   #29
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I was in a Chinese restaurant in Guardamar last year with three others. There were four people on a table close to us and one (or was it two?) of them lit up.

Guess what was on the wall right next to us? A sign saying `no smoking.`

Educating people not to smoke is a worthwhile goal, and with some it works. But we all know that some smokers KNOW it could kill them, KNOW it harms others, yet simply `enjoy` it too much to give up. That`s why it must be banned.
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Old 20th February 2010, 11:31 AM   #30
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When the 2006 rules were introduced it pleased me because I could have a cigarette without worrying that I was annoying a non-smoker. Like Pippa, I too have noticed that the no admittance to under 18s is ignored. Recently I was having a coffee, with accompanying ciggy, in a small café and a couple wheeled in their tiny baby, parked him less than a metre from me and both proceeded to light up. I will admit I was not happy with that situation. It's this sort of behaviour that gives us smokers a bad name, which I like to think in my case, is ill-deserved.
LAH's complaints of smokers ignoring the rules about smoking in desinated non-smoking places is, I am afraid, one that I have seen too. There are some of my number who flagrantly disobey the rules. They do our cause no good, as can seen by Pippa's and LH's complaints.
All I want is somewhere where I can have my coffee or caña with a cigarette without annoying others. I am grateful to Gary for saying I am not an intrusive smoker - I try not to be, but do enjoy a smoke.
There are some places that have excellent smoking areas where the system is designed to keep the smoke contained. This is something to do with air pressure and was explained to me by an architect. VIPS have these and work effectively. My local Chinese on the other hand, simply deliniates its smoking and non-smoking areas with a row of potted palms, which is silly.
But there can be tolerance. I am fortunate that I have non-smoking friends with whom I will enjoy a meal in a smoke free restaurant and it is they who suggest we take our coffees where I can have a smoke. I try to be considerate and none of them have ever complained.
Am I being naive in thinking that there is room in this world for both sides of the arguments?

On another point, it is not the sight of adults smoking in public that encourages the young to take up smoking. The example comes from their much closer aged peers. Neither my ex or I ever smoked around our children, if fact they assumed we were non smokers, but both now have the habit. Ditto here where in my landlady's family none of the older generation smokes, but the children do. As do all their friends.

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Old 20th February 2010, 11:50 AM   #31
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What I really can`t understand, admittedly as a non-smoker, is WHY anyone has to smoke while they are eating? Surely you can go some time without having to have a cigarette?

When we used to allow smoking in restaurants here in the UK it was one of the gripes most non-smokers had. The fact that some people can`t go without a cig while having a meal.
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Old 20th February 2010, 12:08 PM   #32
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I believe that in the UK the landlord is responsible for keeping the bar smoke free - so if people do smoke then you can report it and the landlord can be heavily fined. It seems to work.

Yup - the pubs are pretty empty these days...
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Old 20th February 2010, 01:27 PM   #33
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.....There are some places that have excellent smoking areas where the system is designed to keep the smoke contained. This is something to do with air pressure and was explained to me by an architect. VIPS have these and work effectively. My local Chinese on the other hand, simply deliniates its smoking and non-smoking areas with a row of potted palms, which is silly.
But there can be tolerance. I am fortunate that I have non-smoking friends with whom I will enjoy a meal in a smoke free restaurant and it is they who suggest we take our coffees where I can have a smoke. I try to be considerate and none of them have ever complained.
....
In these cases who looks after the interests of the staff who work there each and every day? Should they all be equipped with breathing apparatus if they have to go into the smokers area?
Sorry Richard, it's a bit like having one lane of the motorway without any traffic rules, when something went wrong it would affect everyone.

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Old 20th February 2010, 09:37 PM   #34
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The pubs that are successful are those where they are willing to adapt. The days of the old fashioned public house are possibly numbered.

The ones that convert over to providing good pub grub are the ones that`ll do well. That`s the way things are going as more and more customers look to family entertainment.
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Old 22nd February 2010, 12:56 PM   #35
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When the 2006 rules were introduced it pleased me because I could have a cigarette without worrying that I was annoying a non-smoker. [...]

All I want is somewhere where I can have my coffee or caña with a cigarette without annoying others. I am grateful to Gary for saying I am not an intrusive smoker - I try not to be, but do enjoy a smoke. [...]

But there can be tolerance. I am fortunate that I have non-smoking friends with whom I will enjoy a meal in a smoke free restaurant and it is they who suggest we take our coffees where I can have a smoke. I try to be considerate and none of them have ever complained.
Am I being naive in thinking that there is room in this world for both sides of the arguments?
I'm afraid the problem here is not whether or not others are "annoyed", but whether their health is being affected by second-hand smoke. Which, in enclosed spaces, it is, as it's been known for decades.

I know you may have friends who, either are ill-informed, or, more likely, they know at some level it can harm their health but prefer not to think about it and/or assume it won't happen to THEM. There's so many non-smokers like that. It's normal because, if you really want to have a social life, there's really no other choice (at least not in Madrid). But what happens if one day one of them suffers from a smoke-related illness (I really hope it doesn't happen!)? How will you feel? Will you really be able to convince yourself that the smoke from your cigarettes had nothing to do with it, that it was somebody else's smoke or some other circumstance? Same with the waiter or barman that brings you that coffee, what if one day you ask why he's not at work and you're told he's at home with bronquitis, or worse, having chemo? Does it really not bother you at all? I've been lucky enough to have met you in person and, even though I don't know you very well, you certainly seem to be a very intelligent, well-travelled and worldly individual. I really cannot believe that you don't care at all about other people's health. I know we've all gone through decades of not knowing about it and being fed propaganda, but now that we do know about second-hand smoke, can we afford to ignore it? It really worries me that smokers can happily ignore what it does to others. Just as happily as they ignore what it does to them. Please enlighten me. How is this even possible? Even the most caring people keep using this argument of their freedom as oppossed to others' health. It unsettles me no end.

And by the way, it's not you who is being intrusive, it's the smoke. Which, even if you want to, you can't control. Nobody can.

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There are some places that have excellent smoking areas where the system is designed to keep the smoke contained. This is something to do with air pressure and was explained to me by an architect. VIPS have these and work effectively. My local Chinese on the other hand, simply deliniates its smoking and non-smoking areas with a row of potted palms, which is silly.
"Excellent smoking areas" do not exist. They might dissipate the smoke and reduce (slightly) the smell. But they do not eliminate the risk to other people's health. This is unanimously accepted by scientists -not so much by the tobacco industry, of course . Not to mention that they don't protect workers. And the doors are always open. Again, nobody can control smoke. These areas are not a valid alternative, sadly.

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On another point, it is not the sight of adults smoking in public that encourages the young to take up smoking. The example comes from their much closer aged peers. Neither my ex or I ever smoked around our children, if fact they assumed we were non smokers, but both now have the habit. Ditto here where in my landlady's family none of the older generation smokes, but the children do. As do all their friends.
I'm sorry but again I disagree. I cannot believe that your children didn't know that you and your ex smoked. I really don't mean to be rude, but tobacco leaves a noticeable smelly trace... trust me, you can't keep it from anyone, least of all from someone who is close to you. And yes, children learn by imitation. Even if they are not imitating you directly, their peers are imitating what "adults do". Taking smoking away from bars and restaurants has been proven as one of the most effective mesures (along with huge increases in prices) to reduce the number of youngsters (kids too) starting up.

One last thing. I think we can all agree it's not a "habit", but an addiction. And a serious one at that. If it weren't, people would be able to give up anytime and wouldn't need to have a minimum "fix" of nicotine each day in order not to feel anxious and unwell. Which obviously isn't the case. In fact, doctors say smokers don't smoke to feel "pleasure" as they themselves think, but to kill the "unpleasantness" of nicotine withdrawal. Maybe Pippa can correct me if that's not accurate?

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Old 22nd February 2010, 01:00 PM   #36
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Yup - the pubs are pretty empty these days...
The tendency of pubs closing down in the UK was already in place before the smoking ban and has nothing to do with it, but rather with changes in consuming patterns and trends as expatsinspain points out. However, the number of licenses has been increasing MORE since the smoking ban came into place.

Bans have a neutral effect (if anything slightly possitive) in the HORECA industry (hotels, restaurants, catering), as it's been demonstrated in countries all over the world with very different cultures and economies. This old argument has been promoted by the tobacco industry in every country before a smoking ban came into place, and they've been proven wrong each and every single time. They'll be proven wrong in Spain too, if we ever manage to get the ban.
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Old 22nd February 2010, 01:29 PM   #37
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Euranet has taken a look at how the smoking bans have affected a number of countries. This page looks at the ban in Belgium, which came in gradually.

http://www.euranet.eu/eng/Today/News...f-into-the-ban

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A la mort subite is one of Brussels’ most renowned bars and was made famous by the late Belgian singer Jacques Brel. The performer, who died of lung cancer at the age of 49, used to spend a lot of his time there puffing on a cigarette. But the bar also serves food meaning smoking is now banned. Network Europe’s Vanessa Mock visited the bar.

One patron called the ban “absolutely absurd,” adding, “to have to keep going outside is both humiliating and irritating.” While another customer agreed with the ban saying: “In the time of Jacques Brel people didn’t think about cancer, it was there way of living.”
I just don`t see any valid argument for allowing smoking in public places like bars and restaurants. It stinks, is offensive to many others who are forced to breathe the smoke in, or get it on their clothes, and it has been proven to damage non-smokers` health (passive smoking).

In fact I`m slightly amazed at some of the arguments that some-certainly not all-come up with when they talk about their `rights` to smoke where and when they want.
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Old 22nd February 2010, 02:17 PM   #38
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The tendency of pubs closing down in the UK was already in place before the smoking ban and has nothing to do with it, but rather with changes in consuming patterns and trends as expatsinspain points out. However, the number of licenses has been increasing MORE since the smoking ban came into place.

Bans have a neutral effect (if anything slightly possitive) in the HORECA industry (hotels, restaurants, catering), as it's been demonstrated in countries all over the world with very different cultures and economies. This old argument has been promoted by the tobacco industry in every country before a smoking ban came into place, and they've been proven wrong each and every single time. They'll be proven wrong in Spain too, if we ever manage to get the ban.
You do your cause no good at all by stating every thing you believe is fact, and every the other side states is false.

For example :

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/to...cle6722488.ece

Quote:
The rate of pub closures is accelerating, with 52 going out of business every week at a cost of 24,000 jobs over the past year, figures show.
Almost 2,400 pubs and bars have vanished from villages and towns in the past 12 months, according to research for the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA). Local pubs serving small communities have been the worst hit, the association said.
The number of closures represents the steepest rate of decline since records began in 1990 and has risen by a third compared with the same period last year, when 36 pubs were closing every week.
Now most people would be willing to accept that there are many reasons for the increase in pub/bar closures (different leisure activities, the smoking ban, the recession etc.) but please don't get so strident on your side and start bombarding us with "number of licenses" etc. The people who live here can see all the local pubs closing down and the detrimental effect on the local communities. I'm actually a non-smoker, but I've seen no real evidence that the opponents of a smoking ban can been proven wrong. In fact you can easily argue they've been proven right - local bars/pubs have closed down (although I'd be willing to accept there are other reasons for this). The number of licenses to sell alcohol is a complete red herring - it could be a license to sell wine in the sushi bar or even cider in the leisure centre, and doesn't reflect the very real purge of traditional pubs.
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Old 22nd February 2010, 03:13 PM   #39
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You do your cause no good at all by stating every thing you believe is fact, and every the other side states is false.
If I sounded arrogant, I apologise as I didn't mean that at all. But I am fairly sure of what I'm stating, for a very simple reason. Every single time I've heard that smoking bans have a neutral effect on businesses, the information came from scientists or medical organisations, who have no financial interests in the issue. Every time I heard it hurt businesses, the information came from HORECA associations (not individual businesses, employers or workers, those have a variety of opinions depending on their own circumstances, experiences, what they know about bans in other countries, etc). The big tobacco companies have proven they like funding HORECA associations and making them do their dirty deeds. I don't know whether in other countries they bother to hide it. But in Spain they're pretty damn obvious about it. You can see Phillip Morris logo in FEHR's website (FEHR is the Federación Española de Hostelería): http://www.fehr.es/ As you can see all the other sponsors and backers are from suppliers of HORECA businesses (food, drinks, cleaning products...). And then this ramdom product that has nothing to do with the actual business (food, drinks, music) of this industry.

As for my sources re neutral effects on business, I know there's more, but for the time being here's this study from the WHO website:

http://www.who.int/tobacco/mpower/20.../en/index.html

I'm afraid I can't open your link. In the case of the UK, I was there for a few years before the ban and the year and a half after that. In my personal experience, there wasn't any change in whatever tendency was there before the ban. Yes, maybe some traditional pubs were suffering. And probably the smoking ban is but another sign that times are changing in a way that affects their business model. What I mean, and granted, maybe didn't express properly, is that the smoking ban ON ITS OWN, without other circumstances being involved, has a neutral effect on businesses. And I stand by it. It is my opinion, which I am well aware it's not everybody's.

Having said this, even if it had a negative effect on businesses, which it won't, that just doesn't justify harming workers' and clients' health. Health & Safety regulations may be a pain in the a**e for employers, yet they are there for a reason. And this one is not an annoying, useless "make this sticker bigger so it can be seen properly", this is a cheap, easy-to-enforce measure that has a huge impact on people's quality of life and life's expectancy. Don't forget tobacco is one of the biggest, absolutely avoidable, killers all over the world. All I'm saying is, you can smoke it as much as you want, but please don't make anybody else inhale it. So please do it outside. That's all I'm asking. Is it too much to ask? Really?

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Old 22nd February 2010, 03:36 PM   #40
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If .....
Don't forget tobacco is one of the biggest, absolutely avoidable, killers all over the world. .....
Interestingly the other is probably alcohol (and it may even overtake tobacco in the UK). Now banning the consumption of that would certainly hurt the pubs' survival rate. I guess we need a major re-education process over many years to change our attitudes to a lot of things. Meanwhile as I don't smoke or drink very much, I'll go on eating myself to death - I don't want to screw up the economy by living on a pension for too long.
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