Banning / quitting smoking

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Should smoking be banned in public places like in Ireland and NYC?

Poll ended at Thu Jun 24, 2004 1:10 pm

Yes
14
74%
No
2
11%
Monkey!
3
16%
 
Total votes: 19
Stewsburntmonkey
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Postby Stewsburntmonkey » Tue Jun 29, 2004 2:54 pm

Almost anything can be addictive. Just look at how many hours are wasted every day on video games. Just look at the masses who continue to flock to McDonalds, etc dispite the health issues. There are currently a great many aids to help break the addiction to smoking, while other destructive behavior has relatively little aid associated with it. If you say people cannot smoke period that is definitely an infringement of their rights.
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Postby Darksun » Tue Jun 29, 2004 3:20 pm

So, you believe all drugs should be legalized then?

Yes, it is possible to become 'addicted' to anything, but smoking is physically addictive, which makes it harder to give up that, say, playing computer games

Edit: I don't believe smoking should be banned full stop, but I do think smoking in public places should be banned, and, more importantly enforced. It may be someone's right to smoke, but it's also my right not to
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Postby Stewsburntmonkey » Tue Jun 29, 2004 3:54 pm

I think banning any drug is infringing upon a person's rights, however many times that is justified since their use of the substance in turn infringes upon others rights. Hardcore drugs produce dangerous changes in the body that cannot be controled to a degree that guarantees public saftey so they have to be banned outright. However tobacco (and some might argue pot as well) can be easily regulated in such a way as to preserve the rights of the individual while at the same time protecting the rights of the community as a whole. Since this is the case I feel a full ban on tobacco would be an unwarranted violation of personal liberty.
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Postby NeoTheOne175 » Tue Jun 29, 2004 4:00 pm

Darksun wrote:Edit: I don't believe smoking should be banned full stop, but I do think smoking in public places should be banned, and, more importantly enforced. It may be someone's right to smoke, but it's also my right not to


Stewsburntmonkey wrote:I think banning any drug is infringing upon a person's rights, however many times that is justified since their use of the substance in turn infringes upon others rights. Hardcore drugs produce dangerous changes in the body that cannot be controled to a degree that guarantees public saftey so they have to be banned outright. However tobacco (and some might argue pot as well) can be easily regulated in such a way as to preserve the rights of the individual while at the same time protecting the rights of the community as a whole. Since this is the case I feel a full ban on tobacco would be an unwarranted violation of personal liberty.


Both of you make excellent points (this is about where I stand on these issues), and I think that is why, at least in the United States, tobacco is not illegal and other drugs are. However, I must agree with what Darksun said and what others have essentially reiterated: If other people want to kill themselves by smoking, fine. Just don't make me have to be near them if I don't want to. Why fix what isn't broken? :)
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Postby da_zeg » Tue Jun 29, 2004 9:29 pm

I don't smoke, so I don't know how relavent this is, but I have drank shitloads of coffee during exam times. And Caffine withdrawal hurts like hell, sore head, no energy, shaking and an unexplicable craving for coffee.


There is a "good reason" why tobacco is not banned, our governments make a shitload of money from taxation, more than it costs the health service to treat smokers.

Other drugs ie. canabis are illegal as it is so easy to grow that the government could not possibly tax it.
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Postby Darksun » Tue Jun 29, 2004 9:53 pm

If you have a full, multinational legalisation of cannabis, the amjor cigarette/tabbaco companies would probably sell it, and there would be taxation
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Postby Flamekebab » Tue Jun 29, 2004 10:04 pm

I suppose it is just me that doesn't have a problem with some sort of "Big brother" state. Cigarettes are really bad for you, they are illegal.
What's the problem?

As long as we don't let it get out of hand and only outlaw things that are justifiably too damaging, I don't have a problem with it.

I might have a caffeine addiction..

I'm not sure, I don't tend to go more than a few hours without tea so I don't have withdrawal symptoms..
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Postby Stewsburntmonkey » Tue Jun 29, 2004 11:03 pm

Well left to their own devices most politicians would ban most video games (Uplink included). Democracy is very sensitive to issues like this. If you allow the government too much unchecked power to deny people of their freedom you end up with things like the Holocaust. Part of being in a democracy (and life) is putting up with things you may not like but know that they must be allowed because the consequences of oppressing them is much much worse. People have a tendancy to not worry about things that don't affect them directly. Most people didn't worry about the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany because they were not Jews so why should they care. While this particular issue may not be as severe as the Holocaust, the same basic principle applies. Freedoms must be defended no matter how insignifigant they seem.
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Postby RDevz » Wed Jun 30, 2004 1:50 am

OK, first of all a disclaimer: I registered 25 minutes ago. I've spent a good part of the interviening time typing. This post may be too long. Please jump up and down on me if I'm commiting a faux pas. I'm also British, 20 and a moderate cigar and pipe smoker, and a bloody student as well. Read into that what you will.

elDiablo wrote:Movies and games might lead to voilence, remember? So surely they should be banned!


And games which simulate breaking into computer systems and deleting files/infecting them with viruses/generally being nasty leads to a direct increase in the number of security breaches. We should therefore ban any game which simulates this. (I'm loathe to use the word hacking here, due to the fact that by the true definition of hacking it isn't.) Wait... :p


The question of whether we should force pubs and restaurants to become entirely non-smoking is an interesting one. One the one hand, there's the argument that non-smokers should be able to gorge themselves and drink themselves into oblivion without having to inhale smoke at the same time. This is a very powerful argument - there are often people saying that they don't go to $pub or $restaurant because of the smoke.

Which leads me to my next point. If there is such a demand for pubs and bars to be smoke free, why isn't a large proportion of the market catering as smoke-free bars? In the city where I'm at university (Oxford), we've had one bar try to become a smoke free establishment. This happened in October 2002. In the year 2002-2003, the bar stopped making money. It went from making tens of thousands of pounds profit per year to losing tens of thousands of pounds per year. The customers simply upped and left to the pub next door that allowed smoking. Acknowledging that a sample size of one isn't brilliant, it appears that there isn't necessarily as big a market as one might have initially thought that there was.

Now, moving on. The obvious solution to the problem of smokeless bars losing custom is to make all bars smokeless. This, unfortunately, argues with my sense of civil liberties. Bars and pubs, despite their name, are private establishments. The landlord is able to admit whoever he sees fit, and ask you to leave if he doesn't like your haircut. You have no {God,$deity}-given right to be in the bar. If you're going to allow smoking in one's own home, where they are free to invite in guests, and ask people to leave if they are throwing a party, why are you going to outlaw it in someone's private property just because they allow paying members of the public in to drink? There's a parallel here, and I can't find a moral justification for it.

The last common point I'd like to argue against is the common one where we cite the bar staff's health as the reason for banning smoking. I've got one very simple answer here: The bar staff knew what the working conditions were going to when they signed up for the job. If they object to the working conditions that they signed up for, its their own damn fool fault, and I've go no sympathy for them whatsoever. [Insert Mr. Pink speech from Reservoir Dogs here.]

Soulkeeper wrote:The thing I often wonder, is if tobacco had been discovered at the same time as canabis etc, would it still be legal in the first place.


Probably not. But it's currently legal while cannabis and the ikl aren't (I know, I know, class C controlled substance in the UK), so this isn't really relevant to whether or not you should be allowed to smoke in public.

Oh, and prohibition isn't going to work. The US tried that with alcohol which is similarly bad for you, and that fell flat on its face, leaving instead a nation whose youth goes abroad and gets plastered off half a pint of weak shandy. ;-)

OK, I think I've babbled enough. I'll shut up now. :-)
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Postby Stewsburntmonkey » Wed Jun 30, 2004 2:22 am

Interestingly in New York State where smoking is banned in bars and other places of public the few bars that have applied for and received exemption (ie they are smoking bars) have also tanked. While some of this may be the cultural difference between the UK and the US, it seems in general that the few people who stray from the path pay for it smoking or not. :)
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Postby jim_the_coder » Wed Jun 30, 2004 9:00 am

Anyone read The Guardian in the UK? Headline today: Labour to ban smoking in public places :o Coincidence? I think not! Tony must be reading the forum :lol:

Yes, admittedly, it's only a policy under consideration and only if he gets his third term, but still. It would be similar to the legislation in Northern Ireland apparently.
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Postby Darksun » Wed Jun 30, 2004 10:51 am

RDevZ, you make some good points. So what about smoking in the street? One thing that particularrily annoys me is people smoking when I'm at the bus stop. I can't go somewhere else, because I need to catch the bus.

Other things that annoy me an none-enforcement of no-smoking areas. Again, busses are a good example of this. If any laws like this came into power, how strictly would they be enforced?
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Postby Soulkeeper » Wed Jun 30, 2004 2:44 pm

RDevZ wrote:The last common point I'd like to argue against is the common one where we cite the bar staff's health as the reason for banning smoking. I've got one very simple answer here: The bar staff knew what the working conditions were going to when they signed up for the job. If they object to the working conditions that they signed up for, its their own damn fool fault, and I've go no sympathy for them whatsoever. [Insert Mr. Pink speech from Reservoir Dogs here.]


{Smiles sweetly} Hi RDevZ, I work in a bowling alley, which also doubles as a mini fast-food restaurant and a small night-club. Funnily, it has an on-premises license for its bar, and funnily enough, I usually work behind it. I'm not entirely sure RDevZ has worked behind a bar before (I find a fair number of students have had *some* work experience in a bar/food establishment) but the health reasons of the staff is not the only reason for it.

"If they object to the working conditions that they signed up for, its their own damn fool fault, and I've go no sympathy for them whatsoever." I find somewhat annoying, as despite the fact that we are well aware of the working conditions, they're still somewhat unpleasant and it is in our employer's interest to make the work-place as comfortable as possible for the staff, who on a Saturday night are running their asses off trying to keep up with customer demand.

The main reason why a bar is a no-smoking area is because the bar itself is seen as a 'food-surface'. Although there are no laws _against_ smoking in eating areas, companies like to emphasize they have a good head on hygiene practice.

Darksun wrote:Other things that annoy me an none-enforcement of no-smoking areas. Again, busses are a good example of this. If any laws like this came into power, how strictly would they be enforced?


I usually find non-smoking rules on buses are upheld quite effectively - the noteable exception being school buses where a bunch or retards sit at the back of the bus and insist on being 'rebelious': Good going kids! You're getting yourselves addicted so you can throw £1000's at the Government in ten years time; rebelious indeed!
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Postby Darksun » Wed Jun 30, 2004 3:36 pm

jim_the_coder wrote:Anyone read The Guardian in the UK? Headline today: Labour to ban smoking in public places :o Coincidence? I think not! Tony must be reading the forum :lol:


The government have denied planning this, or making this part of their manifesto for the next election
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Postby RDevz » Wed Jun 30, 2004 4:06 pm

Sod, I didn't mean to capitalise the Z in my name. Teach me to register and post at 2 in the morning. *cough*

Soulkeeper wrote:I'm not entirely sure RDevZ has worked behind a bar before (I find a fair number of students have had *some* work experience in a bar/food establishment) but the health reasons of the staff is not the only reason for it.


Only in my college bar. I never did get a "real" service industry job - I jumped straight into programming for a local company. I'm probably lucky in this respect. I wasn't trying to argue that the health of the bar staff was the only reason, but in the many debates I've had with people about smoking in bars, this seems to be the one recurring theme that is banded about.

I find somewhat annoying, as despite the fact that we are well aware of the working conditions, they're still somewhat unpleasant and it is in our employer's interest to make the work-place as comfortable as possible for the staff


But did you or did you not sign up to work there knowing the smoking policy and working conditions?

The main reason why a bar is a no-smoking area is because the bar itself is seen as a 'food-surface'. Although there are no laws _against_ smoking in eating areas, companies like to emphasize they have a good head on hygiene practice.


Complain! Complain! It's a drink surface, and drinks are handed over in open-topped glass containers. I understand why the bar itself is often no-smoking, and I can cope with that. It's not too much effort to balance a cigarette/cigar/pipe in/on/by the ashtray and get a drink without smoking at the bar, but ashtrays are provided at tables, and they're usually a good distance from the service area.

jim_the_coder wrote:Anyone read The Guardian in the UK? Headline today: Labour to ban smoking in public places


Good thing I'll never vote Labour then, isn't it? :-)

Darksun wrote:So what about smoking in the street? One thing that particularrily annoys me is people smoking when I'm at the bus stop. I can't go somewhere else, because I need to catch the bus.


I suppose you could stand upwind of them, so the smoke blows away from you. This probably wouldn't work if you're queuing though. Feh.

Other things that annoy me an none-enforcement of no-smoking areas. Again, busses are a good example of this. If any laws like this came into power, how strictly would they be enforced?


Dunno, but if smoking is banned on the street, I'm up for some mass civil disobedience outside the Palaces of Westminster. Too large a proportion of the population smokes to make banning it really enforceable. Compare it with prohibition in America. That worked well, didn't it?

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