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Old 18th February 2010, 11:59 AM   #1
Londoner_at_heart
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Default About the (hopefully) upcoming smoking ban in Spain

Wish List Letter on the Spanish Tobacco Law

16 February 2010

Joan B Soriano, Director CIMERA, Esteve Fernández, Julio Ancochea, Manel Nebot, Rodrigo Córdoba, and Juan Antonio Riesco Miranda

If we want to help people to stop smoking we need to do more than just tell them that it is bad for them,[1] but any calls from Brussels have to be implemented at the national level.[2] Spain is considered the tobacco shop of Europe,[3] where the street price of a Marlboro pack in Madrid, Barcelona or elsewhere here is less than 3.5 euros; that is just three quid!. Sadly, European smokers get their value for money for their airplane tickets to sunny Spain, bargain hunting for our unbeatable prices of tobacco. Meanwhile, almost one third of adult Spaniards are smokers,[4] and our outlier teenager rates (40% and up) have just began to decrease.[5] Four years ago we asked for smoke-free regulations, and we were granted a smoking law (Law 28/2005) in place since January 1st, 2006,[6] which included a ban in workplaces. It was good, but not good enough, as stated elsewhere.[7,8] The ban is still only partial in bars and restaurants, as those venues of less than 100 m2 might choose not to go smoke-free (and 80% of them did), and smoking rooms are still allowed in venues greater than 100 m2. Law 28/2005 produced some benefit, but it is now considered largely outdated,[9] and even this "Spanish model" is being used by tobacco-industry to undermine total smoke-free legislation in other countries, for the sake of tolerance.[10,11] An unexpected, nice surprise came up last summer, when the new Spanish Health Minister promised a new law for 2010, which would actually protect all non-smokers, including hospitality workers, by extending the restriction of smoking to all workplaces without exceptions, in accordance with our European neighbours.[2,11] While we are still waiting for the draft of the new law, the public debate for and against extending the ban in bars and restaurants has already started. Following the lead of others elsewhere,[13] as individual citizens we feel empowered to action. Therefore, we kindly drafted a wish list to improve the current Law 28/2005, by considering the following topics:

Decision-makers in Spain should know that 70% of Spanish citizens agree with smoke-free policies,[14] and that we want a new law in agreement with the WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control, ratified by Spain in 2005.[3] The new law should contain no exceptions to smoke- free workplaces and protect the nearly one million workers in the hospitality sector in Spain. Similarly, exceptions in prisons, social centres and even in hospitals (for mental health services and asylums) should also be avoided. Moreover, smoke-free campus policies might be introduced by means of this new law, perhaps with an extended 50-meter no- tobacco safety perimeter around schools and health centres, hence pointing Spain as a new leader in tobacco control policies worldwide. The new law should limit sale-points of tobacco to existing licensed places, while disallowing new tobacco-machines in bars and restaurants or unsupervised by their owners. It would also make a most wonderful gift to smokers that the Spanish National Service would cover smoking cessation treatments, at least for the less favoured social groups. As hundreds of studies have proven, an increase of taxation in all tobacco products may discourage a substantial proportion of smokers to continue smoking, and discourage our youngsters to starting with this habit.[15]

Spain holds the Presidency of the European Union up to June 2010, and we should be model citizens. Should any of the BMJ readers think of any other ways to improve this legislation in Spain or internationally for the benefit of all, please let us know. Thanks indeed.

Yours,

Joan B Soriano, MD
Director, Program of Epidemiology and Clinical Research, CIMERA
Recinte Hospital Joan March, Carretera Soller Km 12
07110 - Bunyola, Spain
Email: [email protected]

Esteve Fernández, MD, PhD
Director, Tobacco Control Research Programme,
Institut Català d’Oncologia, Barcelona, Spain
Email: [email protected]

Julio Ancochea, MD
Scientific Coordinator of the COPD National Strategy
Hospital La Princesa, Madrid, Spain
Email: [email protected] and [email protected]

Manel Nebot, MD PhD
Agència de Salut Pública, Barcelona, Spain
Email: [email protected]

Rodrigo Córdoba, MD
Departamento de Medicina y Psiquiatría,
Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain
Email: [email protected]

Juan Antonio Riesco Miranda, MD
Neumología. Hospital S. Pedro Alcántara. Cáceres, Spain
Email: [email protected]

References

1. Treasure T, Treasure J. Smoking cessation. BMJ 2010;340:b5630. doi: 10.1136/bmj.b5630.

2. Stafford N. EU calls for uniform action against smoking in public places across all states. BMJ;339:b5431.

3. World Health Organization. WHO Report on the global tobacco epidemic, 2009. Implementing smoke-free environments. Geneva: WHO; 2009. [Accessed 14 Dec 2009] Available at: http://www.who.int/tobacco/mpower/2009/GTCR_2009-web.pdf .

4. Encuesta Europea de Salud en España. Avance de resultados del segundo y tercer trimestre de 2009 (as of December 29, 2009)
http://www.ine.es/prensa/np582.pdf .

5. Ministerio de Salud y Política Social. Encuesta Nacional de Salud. Madrid: Ministerio de Sanidad y Política Social; 2009 [Accessed 16 Oct 2009]. Available at:
http://www.msc.es/estadEstudios/esta...ional/home.htm .

6. Ley de medidas sanitarias frente al tabaquismo y reguladora de la venta, el suministro y la publicidad de los productos del tabaco. Ley Nº 28/2005 (27 diciembre 2005) [Accessed 20 Nov 2009]. Available at :
http://www.boe.es/g/es/bases_datos/doc.php?coleccion= iberlex&id=2005/21261 .

7. Fernández E. Spain: going smoke free. Tob Control 2006;15:79–80.

8. Riesco JA. [Why do we need a new anti-smoking law in Spain?]. Prev Tab 2008;10:123-4.

9. Galán I, López MJ. [Three years with "Tobacco-control law": cleaner air but not clean enough]. Gac Sanit 2009;23:87-90.

10. Schneider NK, Pötschke-Langer M. The "Spanish Model" of non- smoker protection in hospitality venues: a failed approach. Heidelberg: German Cancer Research Center; 2008. [Accessed 29 Nov 2009]. Available at:
http://www.tabakkontrolle.de/pdf/AdW...Model_engl.pdf.

11. Muggli ME, Lockhart NJ, Ebbert JO, Jimenez Ruiz CA, Riesco Miranda JA, Hurt RD. Legislating tolerance: Spain´s national public smoking law. Tob Control 2009 (in press, available online 21 oct 2009).

12. The European Lung White Book: The First Comprehensive Survey on Respiratory Health in Europe. Brussels: ERS; 2004.

13. Brandt AM. FDA regulation of tobacco--pitfalls and possibilities. N Engl J Med 2008;359:445-8.

14. Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas. Tabaquismo y nueva normativa antitabaco. Estudio Nº 2627. Madrid: Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas; 2008. [Accessed 12 Dec 2008]. Available at:
http://www.cis.es/cis/opencm/ES/1_en...p?estudio=5058 .

15. Editorial. COPD-more than just tobacco smoke. Lancet 2009;374:663.

Competing interests: None declared
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Old 18th February 2010, 01:52 PM   #2
richardksa
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So once again non-smokers think they can take the high moral road regarding smoking. The 2006 law, in the true spirit of democracy, gave people a choice. Now that democratic choice is being eroded. Why do non-smokers think that this intolerant behaviour is acceptable? Why should they have all their own way? We live in a world where people lead different lives and make informed choices. Yet one group feels it has the right to impose its beliefs on others. This is hardly acceptable in a free world.

Standing by to receive the flack!
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Old 18th February 2010, 02:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Londoner_at_heart View Post
...Sadly, European smokers get their cheap airplane tickets to sunny Spain, bargain hunting for our unbeatable tobacco prices. Meanwhile, almost one third of adult Spaniards are smokers,[4] and our outlier (not sure what this means - underlying?) teenager rates (40% and up) have just began to decrease.[5] .......
including hospitality workers, by extending the restriction of smoking to all workplaces without exceptions, in accordance with our European neighbours.[2,11] While we are still waiting for the draft of the new law, the public debate for and against extending the ban in bars and restaurants has already started. Following the lead of others elsewhere,[13] as individual citizens we feel empowered to action. Therefore, we kindly drafted a wish list to improve the current Law 28/2005, by considering the following topics: ....

... The new law should limit sale-points (points of sale) of tobacco to existing licensed places, while disallowing new tobacco-machines in bars and restaurants or those unsupervised by their owners. It would also make a most wonderful gift to smokers that the Spanish National Health Service ..... and discourage our youngsters from starting with this habit.[15] ....
Hi Londoneratheart - not sure if you translated this but well done if you did! Some parts read a little strangely. See the coloured bits above.

I still swing a bit to either side when thinking about this. As an ex-smoker I understand both sides of the argument. It certainly would be nice to wipe it out one day, but draconian laws may just make it more attractive to some parts of society, including the teenager component. Certainly the smoking areas in some establishments work from other customers viewpoint, but not the staff's I guess. Enforcing a 50m zone round schools should be an interesting exercise - and the kids then go home to 2 or more smokers in the house.

As an overweight anciano, I hope the same methods aren't extended to solving that area of medical concern
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Old 18th February 2010, 02:18 PM   #4
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I admit to having sympathy with both camps on this one. Let me first say I am not, nor ever have been, a smoker. I have actively discouraged my children from taking up the habit. However, if, knowing all the associated health issues, Richard wishes to smoke I neither have any objection to him doing so nor any wish to embark upon a crusade to stop him. Indeed, having been in Richards company on a number of occasions, I have never actually noticed that he was in fact smoking as he is considerate enough to keep his cigarette to himself. True, an issue arises when lots of smokers are in the same confined space and sufficient extraction is not employed. In England the law was applied and everyone abided by it, but pubs are dying in their feet.

[rant]

Tonight is Thursday and my friend Col and I will be travelling to another town not far away to consume in excess of three pints of beer probably in more than one bar. This is technically binge drinking and the government wants to stamp it out.

In 2004 my colesterol level was 5.6 and this was fine - in 2007 it was 5.6 and I was told it needed to be below 5. Last week it was 4.6 and now I,m told it needs to be below 4.

Last year I could only safely consume 22 units of alcohol per week, now its 28 units.

Eggs were the devils own food 12 months ago and now they're okay.

Fruit was good for you but now too much affects your dental health

Dont get me started on the global warming scam....

You cant move for goalpoasts zipping past. I am sick of being nannied and told what to think by holier than thou, well intentioned do gooders of all persuasions. The nanny, brainwashing state has gon wild...

When I die put me with the smokers, the drinkers and the rockstars, jazz and blues players - thats where the fun wil be!!

[/rant]

Last edited by gary; 18th February 2010 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 18th February 2010, 02:19 PM   #5
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Hi Greytop,

No, I didn't do the translating. I only dare translating from English to Spanish But thanks for the comments!

Richardska, I'm afraid this has nothing to do with freedom -that's what the tobacco industry wants everyone to think. Workers cannot choose, they have to breath a known carcinogen whether they like it or not. You might have seen in the news this week that about 1000 hospitality workers die in Spain each year due to smoke-related illnesses. That is plainly, MURDER. Not freedom. I think we have to agree to disagree on this one

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Old 18th February 2010, 04:10 PM   #6
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Totally agree L-A-H...see another thread I started a few months ago. I also saw the statistics reported last night on the news. On a personal level, I can't wait for the ban, for reasons I've already gone into before.
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Old 18th February 2010, 04:11 PM   #7
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This is an interesting website too, which I saw referenced in the paper the other day:
http://www.porquenosotrosno.com/web/
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Old 18th February 2010, 05:00 PM   #8
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Ok, LAH, but if we ban smoking in bars, can we also ban loud music, which must also be bad for the environmental health of the employees? Actually, I like to eat my food in a smoke free environment, but I like my drinks with a cigarette. It should not be difficult to accomodate both camps. It's the intolerance I find intolerable.
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Old 18th February 2010, 05:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richardksa View Post
Ok, LAH, but if we ban smoking in bars, can we also ban loud music, which must also be bad for the environmental health of the employees?
Loud music doesn't kill 1000 workers a year, nor 55000 clients -I do agree that it should be regulated so that it doesn't harm people's hearing or acustically contaminate over acceptable levels (which are somewhat subjective, of course).

Quote:
Originally Posted by richardksa View Post
Actually, I like to eat my food in a smoke free environment, but I like my drinks with a cigarette. It should not be difficult to accomodate both camps. It's the intolerance I find intolerable.
It's not difficult at all. In the UK they give you plastic glasses so that you can take your drink with you when you go outside to have a cigarrette. Tolerance has nothing to do with this. I tolerate that you smoke. I do not tolerate that you make me (or anyone who doesn't want to) smoke. I'm defending my freedom not to smoke. That's all. There are pregnant waitresses out there. A lot. Think of them. There's 20% unemployment rate in this country. You cannot leave health & safety issues up to employer's choice, 'cause their priorities lie with their businesses profits. Health & safety has to be regulated by the authorities, otherwise people DIE and GET ILL for the sake of other people's big fat incomes. And that's a fact.
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Old 18th February 2010, 05:40 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Londoner_at_heart View Post
That is plainly, MURDER.
... err not murder - a deliberate premeditated act - though it may be your opinion that the deaths of the people in the hospital is tantamount to murder. the problem is that we let our emotions run away with us when we feel passionately about a topic.

Playing devil's advocate I would need to know how many of the 1000 were certified non smokers for life and how many of them were actually coerced into working in the hospitality industry.

You would also find it hard to make the case that the unfortunate victims had no social life and never spent any nights out among smokers and also that neither of their parents nor immediate family smoked in the house when they were children....

Statistics, as you see, are really only as valuable as a lamp post to a drunk - more for support than illumination.

We have been round this a few times on the forum and in the end no one with an entrenched position is ever swayed - I do like it better that there is no smoking in UK pubs but I am also happy to spend an evening out with Richard which may or may not place me "in harms way".

Having spent 20 years working in the entertainment industry, on stage elevated several feet into the blue haze in the days prior to the smoking ban, I am,up to present, unscathed - though I am aware that the UKs beloved Roy Castle did not.

Last edited by gary; 18th February 2010 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 18th February 2010, 05:53 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Londoner_at_heart View Post

Loud music doesn't kill 1000 workers a year, nor 55000 clients -I do agree that it should be regulated so that it doesn't harm people's hearing or acustically contaminate over acceptable levels (which are somewhat subjective, of course). It's not difficult at all. In the UK they give you plastic glasses so that you can take your drink with you when you go outside to have a cigarrette. Tolerance has nothing to do with this. I tolerate that you smoke. I do not tolerate that you make me (or anyone who doesn't want to) smoke. I'm defending my freedom not to smoke. That's all. There are pregnant waitresses out there. A lot. Think of them. There's 20% unemployment rate in this country. You cannot leave health & safety issues up to employer's choice, 'cause their priorities lie with their businesses profits. Health & safety has to be regulated by the authorities, otherwise people DIE and GET ILL for the sake of other people's big fat incomes. And that's a fact.
Statistics again.... remember that the 55000 clients chose to be in the smokey environment - what about the children of smokers...suffering in the home and the car... surely your crusade would be better tatgeted at parents that are smokers and would have a more beneficial effect long term... or are the freedom issues here maybe too difficult to tackle?

To truly defend your freedom not to smoke you maybe could vote with your feet or better still open a venue for like minded individuals... surely theres a business crying to be started up here?

PS... they let you take glass glasses outside in most pubs.. no self respecting bloke will drink beer out of plastic...

PPS - Health and safety is in the hands of the authorities in the UK - with the result that I am not allowed to use antiseptics or sticking plasters in school - trust me once you give Health and Safety to the jobswoths and dont look after youself things get silly.
Quote:
  • A tree swing that children had played on for many years was deemed too dangerous by officials.
  • Models from egg cartons, something long used by every child and once a staple of Blue Peter, were banned because of the risk of salmonella from the eggs that had been there.
  • Teachers were not allowed to apply sunscreen to pupils for fear they'd be accused of child abuse.
  • A lifeguard instructor and her husband were prevented from taking their three children into a swimming pool for toddlers because the healthy and safety rules ordained that there must be one adult for every child.
...see what I mean

Last edited by gary; 18th February 2010 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 18th February 2010, 06:47 PM   #12
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Gary, belive me, I'm not health & safety mad. But smoke is a huge killer and it can be very easily, and cheaply, controled (never completely, of course). It is the first avoidable death cause in the world -by far.

My crusade is not against tobacco. It is only about smoke. The problem here is that smoke is everywhere here. I am a passive smoker even if I give up my social life entirely. I hardly ever go out anymore -and I'm a very social person, believe me, it's hard to have to choose between one's health and one's party time. But even if I choose to stay home every night, I still have to suffer second hand smoke every single day in the train station -where, by the way, smoking is banned. Because people see it as "normal" it is hard to enforce the ban, even where it is in place already. And smokers talk about tolerance.

So, those 1000 workers, WERE passive smokers. Even if they did smoke themselves, they were still being forced to smoke 10 times more than they willingly did. Even if they didn't care about their health (which they obviously didn't if they smoke), that doesn't justify their employers stuffing known carcinogens into their lungs that obviously sped up their passing away. FYI, if the levels of tobacco smoke we suffer in bars happened on the street, health alarms would be issued and everyone would have to stay home.

Plus, the argument of "they can work somewhere else" is hardly defendable in a country with 20% unemployment rate and a thriving hospitality industry, with more bars and restaurants than stars on the sky. Most of those workers are only educated to a certain level and cannot afford to change their career paths at a whim. Even if they were only a minority, it is absolutely unfair that they are made to harm their health in a way that is absolutely unnecesary. You cannot be a minner without the risks of working in a mine. But you sure as hell can be a barman or a waiter without tobacco smoke.

I know of a man (non-smoker) who is now suffering from lung cancer from his years of inhaling second-hand smoke at his work place (hospitality industry). Plus, have you heard of Heather Crow? She was only exposed to tobacco smoke at work, and there, she died of smokers' lung cancer. Seriously, if you want to risk it and smoke, it's your right. But if you don't want to, why should you be made to?

I truly cannot understand that, knowing second-hand smoke harms others around you- people would defend smoking in enclosed spaces. It's harmful. Just don't harm others, smoke outside as much as you want. It really is as simple as that.

That's before even thinking about what the presence of tobacco in bars and restaurants does to kids -it tells them it's normal to smoke when you're an adult. Taking smoke out of these places is the most effective measure to reduce the numbers of youngsters taking up smoking.

Sorry I got emotional. Latin blood playing up. But science and common sense are on my side this time!

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Old 18th February 2010, 07:11 PM   #13
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Former heavy-smoker-turned-social-smoker (but trying to quit that as well) weighing in...

One of the biggest problems I have with living in Madrid is that I can't go to a bar for a caña or two without coming home stinking of smoke. It's in my hair, on my thick winter jacket (that I have to wear to work tomorrow cuz you know, it's cold) and dammit, it's even in my nostrils.

The whole affair has made me a bit anti-social actually, so I would really like to see some non-smoking bars and restaurants around.

Btw, most of the English reads fine to me (non-UK variety, that is) with just a couple of corrections. And "outlier" is a word - an extreme deviation from the mean - as well as the title of Malcolm Gladwell's latest book.

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Old 18th February 2010, 07:40 PM   #14
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I wonder how much damage to health all those cars are causing?

The real killer of course is stress. People are getting ever more stressed out about being able to earn a living and provide for their families. If you're lucky enough to have a job you've got constant pressure - will the company fold? will it outsource the work to Asia? will the company be bought up by an overseas firm and then closed? All this globalisation and de-regulation is benefitting big bosses, some bankers and politicians, and yes a few people able to sell their skills on the net can also find openings. But for a great deal of the population life is getting harder and more stressful - hence you're seeing a disturbing number of incidents where a parent kills themselve and their children. If governments were really concerned about the health of their populations it'd be looking after the economy a bit better.

For what it's worth I'd be in favour of a tweak in the Spanish system - keep allowing large premises with separate rooms to allow smoking, but force smaller bars to have an area open to the fresh air (roof permitted) if they want to allow smoking. Anything more than this is a witch-hunt imo.
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Old 18th February 2010, 07:49 PM   #15
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I can't stand the clothes and hair stinking of smoke. It has got to the point that if I go out after work, I have another coat to go into bars, so the coat I take to work does not stink of tobacco

...and I won't get into the health question, I agree entirely with LAH.
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Old 18th February 2010, 08:36 PM   #16
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[QUOTE=gary;86628
Having spent 20 years working in the entertainment industry, on stage elevated several feet into the blue haze in the days prior to the smoking ban, I am,up to present, unscathed - though I am aware that the UKs beloved Roy Castle did not.[/QUOTE]


One of the things I like most about the smoking ban in the UK has been how I can go to concerts and not come out smelling of smoke at the end. Something that still happens at gigs in Spain. But the place where I notice it most is at football matches. I have a season ticket at Middlesbrough where smoking is banned (firstly in the seats and nowadays throughout the stadium), but the last two times I went to watch Mallorca at the Son Moix the guys in front smoked cigars thoughout the whole 90 minutes. Try dodging smoke from people sitting less than 2 feet away for an hour and a half. (Not a problem at Middlesbrough these days as virtually nobody goes )


I'm more than happy to be in the company of smokers. If we go to dinner, they don't normally light up while we are eating. If I'm in a bar, you have a bit of freedom to move around but at concerts and football it's the proximity that gets to me.

I know a lot of the bar owners are forecasting bankruptcy and financial ruin, and I'm sure there will be an economic impact, but I find in the UK I now go out to drink more often because I know I won't come home with my clothes needing to go to the cleaners!
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Old 18th February 2010, 09:36 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richardksa View Post
So once again non-smokers think they can take the high moral road regarding smoking. The 2006 law, in the true spirit of democracy, gave people a choice. Now that democratic choice is being eroded. Why do non-smokers think that this intolerant behaviour is acceptable? Why should they have all their own way? We live in a world where people lead different lives and make informed choices. Yet one group feels it has the right to impose its beliefs on others. This is hardly acceptable in a free world.

Standing by to receive the flack!
It works both ways. Smokers claim their `rights` but what about the rights of those who are employed in bars and restaurants to work in a safe environment? What about the rights of non-smokers to go out for a drink or meal without having to inhale the smoke of others? The right to go out and not come home stinking of smoke?

If a smoker wants to damage his own health that`s one thing, but expecting others to be sympathetic another.
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Old 18th February 2010, 09:44 PM   #18
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The ideal scenario would be to have some bars that allow people to smoke and others that don't - so people have a choice. At the moment we are going from one extreme to the other.

At the moment virtually all bars are forced (or believe they are forced) into allowing people to smoke, otherwise they think they'll lose the business. If the authorities had introduced a smoking license then the landlords might have thought twice before letting people smoke, and we might have seen more of a balance.
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Old 18th February 2010, 11:29 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richardksa View Post
So once again non-smokers think they can take the high moral road regarding smoking. The 2006 law, in the true spirit of democracy, gave people a choice. Now that democratic choice is being eroded. Why do non-smokers think that this intolerant behaviour is acceptable? Why should they have all their own way? We live in a world where people lead different lives and make informed choices. Yet one group feels it has the right to impose its beliefs on others. This is hardly acceptable in a free world.

Standing by to receive the flack!
Its up to the majority of the country to decide and its the governments job to decide what is best for the country. Why should the 70% of people who dont smoke, have to put up with second hand smoke from the 30% that do smoke.

Yes we non smokers shouldnt say you cant smoke, but we should be able to say we dont want you smoking in our face!

Since England went smoke free, nights out are so much cleaner (clothes dont stink the next morning), people save more money, less people smoke and potentially less people die from cancer of the whatever!

That is the one thing i really dont like about spain - going out into bars and restaurants and having smoke everywhere!
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Old 19th February 2010, 07:52 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gary View Post
I admit to having sympathy with both camps on this one. Let me first say I am not, nor ever have been, a smoker. I have actively discouraged my children from taking up the habit. However, if, knowing all the associated health issues, Richard wishes to smoke I neither have any objection to him doing so nor any wish to embark upon a crusade to stop him. Indeed, having been in Richards company on a number of occasions, I have never actually noticed that he was in fact smoking as he is considerate enough to keep his cigarette to himself. True, an issue arises when lots of smokers are in the same confined space and sufficient extraction is not employed. In England the law was applied and everyone abided by it, but pubs are dying in their feet.

[rant]

Tonight is Thursday and my friend Col and I will be travelling to another town not far away to consume in excess of three pints of beer probably in more than one bar. This is technically binge drinking and the government wants to stamp it out.

In 2004 my colesterol level was 5.6 and this was fine - in 2007 it was 5.6 and I was told it needed to be below 5. Last week it was 4.6 and now I,m told it needs to be below 4.

Last year I could only safely consume 22 units of alcohol per week, now its 28 units.

Eggs were the devils own food 12 months ago and now they're okay.

Fruit was good for you but now too much affects your dental health

Dont get me started on the global warming scam....

You cant move for goalpoasts zipping past. I am sick of being nannied and told what to think by holier than thou, well intentioned do gooders of all persuasions. The nanny, brainwashing state has gon wild...

When I die put me with the smokers, the drinkers and the rockstars, jazz and blues players - thats where the fun wil be!!

[/rant]
Agree with Gary with the exception of his global warming rant. But I leave that for another day.

I do like it that I can go to general public facilities and not get knocked out by smoke. On the other hand I do truely prefer a state of personal responsibility and choice as mentioned above.

I hope good wine never goes on the list of bad things like smoking.


Cheers
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