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Pangloss

Short Exposure to Second-Hand Smoke

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I don't think anyone wants to ban smoking anywhere that isn't your own home.

 

apart from in the uk, where noone is allowed to smoke in an indoors public place from this summer onward. including pubs.

 

I have never had an exhaust pipe bellowing fumes at me throughout the course of a meal.

 

as i said, go to a restaurant with a decent no-smoking area. i don't particularly like people smoking whilst i eat, so i go to non-smoking restaraunts. or smoking restaurants with people who are nice enough to ask before smoking during the actual meal.

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The banning of smoking in indoor public places is hardly everywhere. Doesn't that leave the entire great outdoors for smoking?

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Here in the UK the government has introduced legislation that will prohibit smoking in pubs and clubs in a couple of months time. They are not doing this because smoke annoys people. They are doing it because the people working in those pubs and clubs are being unnecessarily exposed to toxic chemicals while they are at work. Personally, I don't think people should have to put up with being poisoned at work for no good reason. I also accept that, while cars do produce pollution, they also provide a substantial benefit.

By the way, I have seen many restaurants with no smoking areas; unfortunately the smoke seems unable to read the signs. As someone once pointed out, "Having a non smoking area in a cafe is like having a no pissing area in a swimming pool."

 

Of course, if someone wants to say "passive smoking for just 20 mins might be bad for your health" then it's only fair to ask them to provide the evidence. If they cannot prove their claim is true (or at least reasonable) then nobody will trust them next time. This will not help their career.

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We used to have a great system around here: bars could have separate indoor smoking sections with isolated ventilation systems. If drinks were dispensed in the smoking area, employees couldn't be forced to work that bar: it was opt-in.

 

This system was a wonderful compromise! Unfortunately a few years later state law came along and banned even these.

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yeah, we were getting along ok in the uk, too. lots of pubs had uber-air-conditioning around the bar, and no smoking at the bar itself.

 

soon, tho, even those places wont be allowed to let you smoke in the pub :rolleyes:

 

(iirc, bar = pub in the US. in the uk, bar just means the counter where the drinks are actually served, not the building itself)

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Human urine is safe to drink. It is nearly always sterile, and contains substances that are just not very toxic. However, I were at a pub with a mug of beer, and someone came and pissed into it, I would be seriously annoyed.

 

In the same way, second hand smoke is largely safe. Human lungs are wonderful filters. If someone inhales cigarette smoke, what they blow out has had the greatest part of all toxins very efficiently removed. They now line the smoker's lungs.

 

If you do not believe me (remember, this is the science forum), here is an experiment you can do. You need cigarettes and matches, a cigarette holder, a flask, rubber and glass tubing, a two hole stopper for the flask, and a person who is idiotic enough to smoke.

 

Set the flask up with some water inside, and two glass tubes through the stopper - one going to the bottom of the flask, and one just going through the stopper. Attach rubber tubes to the glass tubes out the top of the flask.

Attach the cigarette holder and a cigarette in the holder to the tubing attached to the long glass tube. Light the cigarette and get the sucker to inhale through the other rubber tubing. The smoke will bubble through the water. You will see that, after just 3 cigarettes, the water has gone quite brown with tar. This give you the control part of the test.

 

Now repeat the test. This time reverse the connection of rubber to glass tubing. Forget the cigarette holder. Instead get the sucker to inhale smoke from 3 cigarettes, and blow the smoke through the rubber tube leading to the long glass tube. This blows smoke through the water. See how brown the water is after 3 cigarettes.

 

You will find that the control darkens the water, and the experiment does it only to a very minor extent. That is because the sucker who inhales the smoke, filters most of the nasty crap out of it before blowing it through the water.

 

In spite of the fact that second hand smoke, having been so effectively filtered by the lungs of the sucker, is low in toxins, it is still nasty smelling and unpleasant. Like the person who pisses in my beer, leaving second hand smoke in the air that I breathe is just plain nasty.

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I laugh at some of the "arguments" of the smoking crowd.

etc

And as a smoker, so do I. In fact I find many smokers to be rude and inconsiderate in their smoking habits, but like most people they are hardly going to expend all of their intellectual capacities on explaining the deepest roots of their behaviour to a po-faced inquirer.

As a responsible smoker I challenge anti-social smoking habits by openly pointing them out, using my voice and my reasoning. Usually the offending smokers see the error of their ways and are better for it, because believe it or not I can actually be quite diplomatic IRL.

 

I am with you on this issue: nobody should have to tolerate someone else's cigarette smoke while they are eating. But if you can't come up with decent arguments for it, just don't bother trying. It's a bit embarrassing. Please also don't try to recite any more alleged "smokers' arguments", because they were just moronic. I don't care if they came from smokers you know; if I want to hear from a moronic smoker, I'll go find one. They are ten-a-penny.

What I am saying is that if you want to prove a point, you need to successfully attack the actually good arguments that come from the opposition, not mess about with trivia. In this case the only arguments worth a damn are going to be the ones that deal with the civic and legal ramifications of laws that will tighten the screw on civil liberties.

 

Up to one in six people are smokers. This means that by passing a "smoking law" to make it unlawful to smoke in certain areas, the government is handing a rod to the majority and asking them not to spare it. But this is unnecessary - all you really have to do is ask people to stop smoking. They refuse to stop smoking in a restaurant? The management already have the discretionary right to ask them to leave. It's that simple.

So why the law? Because it makes 5/6 of the population smug and happy that they now have the upper hand over the "annoying" smokers, placebo though it may be. It's social manipulation, plain and simple, and it's really very transparent if you know what you are looking for.

 

 

Really? I figured it was more the lame people.

Well, it is of course a combination. Clearly with just laws and no people there wouldn't be much action at all.

 

It is illegal to be in public naked, naked people don't harm others, naked people don't cause long term health risks, and it seems like people could just politely ask a naked person if they minded putting on some clothes at the restaraunt.....but some silly people passed anti-naked laws that are making our society crumble...

I don't know about the specifics in the USA, but in the UK simply being naked in public is not unlawful. However, we have the Public Order Act which acknowledges (among other things) that a complainant can legally be considered "harmed" by alarm, harassment, or distress. So yes, public nudity can harm people, and that harm is chargeable under Section 5 Public Order Act 1986 (and possibly crimed as a sexual offence, depending on what the intent is).

Believe me, I see enough of these cases every day to know exactly how much police, CPS, and court time is wasted just because people don't know how to behave in public, or because they are (not surprisingly) ignorant of all the thousands of minor and trivial offences it is possible to commit without actually killing anyone, blowing anything up, or stealing something worthwhile.

 

You may have heard Brits complaining about the "Nanny State". This is basically the term given to a government which legislates away the personal accountability of the citizenry. This is the problem we currently face in the UK - the majority continue to fuel the crazy fires of the nanny state because, quite frankly, they'd rather mortgage a bit of personal freedom and the future of the society than shoulder a little responsibility of their own. I am quite sure similar effects are observable in the USA.

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yeah, we were getting along ok in the uk, too. lots of pubs had uber-air-conditioning around the bar, and no smoking at the bar itself.

soon, tho, even those places wont be allowed to let you smoke in the pub :rolleyes:

(iirc, bar = pub in the US. in the uk, bar just means the counter where the drinks are actually served, not the building itself)

 

I think the popular name for the new laws in the UK is something like the "pop outside" law.

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and a person who is idiotic enough to smoke.

This is not an acceptable reference.

SFN rules Section 2 Part 1©: Slurs or prejudice against any group of people (or person) are prohibited.

 

You know better.

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But the question is would you ban it because it's annoying or because "the science says it's dangerous"?

 

It may sound like hair-splitting, but I think these situations are important because stuff like this undermines the credibility of science over the long haul. Between overinflated importance assigned to statistical studies that clearly don't account for all the variables, and scientists who are willing to sell their credibilty for increased income, the perceived value of scientific research has taken a beating.

 

It comes down to burden of proof. My attitude on global warming, for example, is that given the consequnces of being wrong we should err on the side of having a low carbon footprint where possible. I couldn't hope to analyze all of the studies and consensus can be wrong; nonetheless, the basic idea that we shouldn't muck around with the constituents of the atmosphere in any material way is common sense. This basic idea must bow to some extent to practicalities.

 

In much the same way, I try to avoid breathing fumes from burning substances even where I'm not really familiar with the science involved. Suppose I'm a official in charge of giving out permits for use of a public park. A group applies for a permit to burn a 10' tall stack of old computers which would send clouds of smoke of an indeterminate character up the nostrils of the other users of the park. Should I be required to have iron clad scientific evidence before I say this is a bad idea and refuse the permit?

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A group applies for a permit to burn a 10' tall stack of old computers which would send clouds of smoke of an indeterminate character up the nostrils of the other users of the park. Should I be required to have iron clad scientific evidence before I say this is a bad idea and refuse the permit?

That's a bit of a loaded example, to be fair.

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Sayonara said :

 

This is not an acceptable reference.

SFN rules Section 2 Part 1©: Slurs or prejudice against any group of people (or person) are prohibited

 

Actually, I disagree with you on this. I did not call any person or persons idiots. I referred to a particular type of behaviour (smoking) as being idiotic. My own experience is that most smokers actually agree with me.

 

If I were to say that drink/driving is stupid, I think most would agree with me. This is not different.

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Firstly I don't think drink-driving is quite as addictive a behaviour as smoking, but that is somewhat beside the point. More importantly, drink-drivers are stupid (and irresponsible, and callous, and self-serving) for engaging in a stupid behaviour. I would think most of those people who you assume to agree with you would also agree with that.

 

However that is not even what you meant. The implication of "a person who is idiotic enough to smoke" is pretty clear; you are proposing that one must be an idiot to smoke. It is hardly ambiguous.

Given that idiots are traditionally linked with exhibiting idiotic behaviour, you can't seriously expect now that someone has taken offence to be able to change tack and say that you were "talking about behaviours rather than people". Particularly considering the fact that you were actually, if you remember, talking about people. Or I presume they are people, since on the subsequent four occasions you mention the smoking assistant in your experiment, you refer to them as "the sucker".

 

You have been warned without infraction points ("verbally", you might say) because it was obviously an off-the-cuff comment. I don't intend to labour over this any further and I am not interested if you "disagree" with me or not.

Learn from the mistake of assuming that you are free to take pot-shots at a group you perceive to be universally unpopular, and move on. I know that you are quite capable of making your points without needing to flaunt petty prejudices.

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I think the popular name for the new laws in the UK is something like the "pop outside" law.

 

hmm...

 

weren't there also discussions of laws stopping people smoking immediately outside of pubs? maybe i'm thinking of eirland?

 

anyway, I shouldn't have to have to. if it's a non-smoking pub, fair enough, i would (or i'd go to a smoking pub). i just object to the requirement of all pubs to soon be non-smoking.

 

I wonder how much hassle there'll be enforsing this law? I'm kinda hoping it'll just be ignored on such a large scale that it's effectively legal. which would humerously prevent any pubs from being non-smoking :D

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weren't there also discussions of laws stopping people smoking immediately outside of pubs? maybe i'm thinking of eirland?
I think the pop-outside law covers smoking right in the doorway.

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hmm...

 

weren't there also discussions of laws stopping people smoking immediately outside of pubs? maybe i'm thinking of eirland?

Iirc in the UK it will be "in enclosed public spaces and within 10 metres of an entrance to the same", or something.

 

anyway, I shouldn't have to have to. if it's a non-smoking pub, fair enough, i would (or i'd go to a smoking pub). i just object to the requirement of all pubs to soon be non-smoking.

Yes, it is a bit heavy-handed. Very unnecessary too, seeing as there are already pubs with total non-smoking policies through the mutual choice of the management and regular punters, and it doesn't seem to bother people that much that they can either go in pubs A through E and smoke, or go in pubs F through H and just hold on for a bit (or - woah - go outside).

The pub I go to every other Friday after work with chaps from the nick is non-smoking, incidentally.

 

I wonder how much hassle there'll be enforsing this law? I'm kinda hoping it'll just be ignored on such a large scale that it's effectively legal. which would humerously prevent any pubs from being non-smoking :D

Enforcement will differ between different police forces. In my area, the council is paying for civilians to basically be hall monitors (like the "street wardens" who have popped up in city centres), stomping about looking for any filthy smokers they can tell off.

 

I think that particular job might just become very unpopular, very quickly.

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i like the smoking ban up here in scotland. you can actually breathe in some of the clubs and pubs.

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i like the smoking ban up here in scotland. you can actually breathe in some of the clubs and pubs.

It's definitely a good thing in terms of health and having an enjoyable time. OTOH, there is something to be said for allowing people the choice of which kind of venue they want to visit or work in.

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Iirc in the UK it will be "in enclosed public spaces and within 10 metres of an entrance to the same", or something.

 

so, not just pop outside, then.

 

at least it seems you can still smoke in pub gardens

 

 

Yes, it is a bit heavy-handed. Very unnecessary too, seeing as there are already pubs with total non-smoking policies through the mutual choice of the management and regular punters, and it doesn't seem to bother people that much that they can either go in pubs A through E and smoke, or go in pubs F through H and just hold on for a bit (or - woah - go outside).

The pub I go to every other Friday after work with chaps from the nick is non-smoking, incidentally.

 

I think one of the main arguments is the protection of the pub workers, not the patrons.

 

but still, they could have said 'get decent air con and ban smoking at the bar itself, or ban smoking in the whole pub'.

 

Enforcement will differ between different police forces. In my area, the council is paying for civilians to basically be hall monitors (like the "street wardens" who have popped up in city centres), stomping about looking for any filthy smokers they can tell off.

 

I think that particular job might just become very unpopular, very quickly.

 

:D

 

ah, i'm just gonna ignore it. I didn't pay attention to the 'must be 18 to drink in a pub' law when i was 14, and i found enough pubs willing to accomodate my rebeliousness; I'll just pop down the local 'dont care if you smoke' pub, and stub out if a pig comes in.

 

----

 

tbh, i think people just want to ban smoking entirely (fair enough) but are too weak to actually do it, so are trying to windge untill smoking away.

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so, not just pop outside, then.

Well, no. But that's what it is getting called nonetheless :D

 

at least it seems you can still smoke in pub gardens

Until people start using their children as weapons against smokers.

 

I think one of the main arguments is the protection of the pub workers, not the patrons.

Absolutely, but this legislation is just one of several options, and it's the one option that detracts from civil liberties.

 

but still, they could have said 'get decent air con and ban smoking at the bar itself, or ban smoking in the whole pub'.

Quite. Almost every bar and pub where I live already has this in place, and it seems to work very well.

 

tbh, i think people just want to ban smoking entirely (fair enough) but are too weak to actually do it, so are trying to windge untill smoking away.

People who jump on the persecution bandwagon so rarely realise that the same things can be done to them, once they have helped to establish the social precedent.

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ah, i'm just gonna ignore it. I didn't pay attention to the 'must be 18 to drink in a pub' law when i was 14, and i found enough pubs willing to accomodate my rebeliousness;
The fact that you went out of your way to find pubs okay with serving minors shows that you didn't ignore it and that the law made a difference, at least so far as you made an effort to hide what you were doing thus not being such a bad influence.

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the fact that it was trivial to find said pubs shows that there are ample licenced premices willing to let you break the law on their property. hopefully we can rely on them to show the same lack of caring for the no smoking laws.

 

Quite. Almost every bar and pub where I live already has this in place, and it seems to work very well.

 

same here, tbh.

 

People who jump on the persecution bandwagon so rarely realise that the same things can be done to them, once they have helped to establish the social precedent.

 

heh. y'know, in some places, hooded tops were actually banned from the town centre :rolleyes:

 

I might pick something random to complain about, and see if i can get it banned :D

 

hmm... I think we should enforse a 'mobile phones switched off in public' law. y'know, even tho they only generate trivial noise pollution, and people allready put up with cars. no one phones me, so I don't see why other people should be phoned in public, or why i should be expected to tolerate something that kinda bugs me a little bit. and there is evidence about them being dangerouse, and they were involved in the made-up phenomena of happy slapping. :rolleyes:

 

grumble grumble moan, stoopid people and their stoopid faschism.

 

[/hissy fit]

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I understand that, so far, where the ban has been brought in (Scotland Ireland, France and others) it is accepted and complied with.

It's interesting to note that most of the smokers I know are quite happy with the ban. They know they should give up or cut down and this is a great incentive to do so. If they get that desparate for a smoke they can always go outside. (Incidentally many of them only or mainly smoke when they are out drinking so this will be a major reduction in their overall exposure to smoke.)

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It's interesting to note that most of the smokers I know are quite happy with the ban. They know they should give up or cut down and this is a great incentive to do so.

 

I'm not a smoker and I can't stand the ban. It's an annoyance law. That's all it is. I can understand cracking down on non-smoking areas, or perhaps requiring certain construction features, ventilation requirements or something for the smoking areas - including making it an area that isn't required for someone to work in. Or, perhaps that can be discussed and negotiated upon hiring - like a pay differential for working in that area.

 

But none of that was considered - it was banned entirely. That's crap. That's the majority trampling on the freedoms of the minority. "We don't smoke, and we don't think you should smoke". That's what the law is, nothing more.

 

Personally, fat, grease, sugar - all unnecessary ingredients that kill you. To look at fat people eat makes me sick and some of them have odor. Teaches my kids bad eating habits too. There should be a fat-free section of the restaraunt, or a ban on all unhealthy foods in restaraunts. These foods are horrible for people, and more people die from them than smoking.

 

I think most people will welcome the ban. They know they should quit eating junk food and this would be a great incentive to do so. If they get that desparate for a bag of chips or some kind of junkie food they can always go outside.

 

I'm sure many people only eat when they're out and anxious, so this will be a major reduction in their overall exposure to junk foods.

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Personally, fat, grease, sugar - all unnecessary ingredients that kill you. To look at fat people eat makes me sick and some of them have odor. Teaches my kids bad eating habits too. There should be a fat-free section of the restaraunt, or a ban on all unhealthy foods in restaraunts. These foods are horrible for people, and more people die from them than smoking.

 

I think most people will welcome the ban. They know they should quit eating junk food and this would be a great incentive to do so. If they get that desparate for a bag of chips or some kind of junkie food they can always go outside.

 

LOL! Have a Ronald McDonald with his hands out, saying "If you are wider than this, eat a salad"

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