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Re: Just Curious.....

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  • Wyatt James
    To continue the non-thread about smoking (and let s drop it after this, except maybe refer to it as accepted practice in GAD times!)... There are so many
    Message 1 of 10 , Apr 3, 2004
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      To continue the non-thread about smoking (and let's drop it after
      this, except maybe refer to it as accepted practice in GAD times!)...

      There are so many things screwed up in today's world, basically
      because of over-population and the increasing demand for I guess you'd
      call them middle-class amenities, such as cars, one-family suburban
      houses, shopping malls, health insurance, and tax-deferred pension plans.

      Smoking is an easy target for politicians and is a scapegoat issue
      really. Air pollution in the workplace or bar caused by second-hand
      tobacco smoke? Come on! Why is so little being done to reduce the
      emissions caused by cars and trucks and power plants? Those same
      politicians who want to victimize smokers are the ones that deny that
      there is a Greenhouse effect, because my goodness, to close the car
      factory would mean loss of jobs in the constituency. Is it Japan where
      they have coin-in-the-slot oxygen mask machines on the street? My
      brother went to Peking not long ago and said the air pollution there
      was unbelievably bad and is supposedly getting worse because the
      Chinese are now into cars for everybody and they have virtually no
      regulations about what their power plants put out into the atmosphere.

      England (London, anyway) banned coal fires, basically all fireplaces,
      in houses in the late 1950s, and yes it really did partially mitigate
      the famous London fogs. Most American cities, even suburbs, now ban
      the burning of tree leaves in autumn. Well, fine, but I really miss
      that wonderful smell of a leaf fire, find London a duller place
      without its fogs (bad as they were for bronchitis sufferers). But
      measures like these do not really address the issue of atmospheric
      pollution on a global basis.

      PS. The NY smoking ban has resulted in a loss of custom, up to a third
      of previous revenues, no matter what you read (the pols include the
      expansion of fast food restaurants, where you could never even smoke
      before the pub ban, in their statistics -- however, FF places are the
      new target for the health Nazis). Smoking is harmful, as are a lot of
      other things, but I choose to smoke anyway and that's my business,
      nobody else's. I will accommodate for non-smokers by not lighting up
      in their presence, but don't think it's fair to be shut out of places
      where smoking would not be objectionable to the people that go there.
      [In case you are in any doubt, I'm a Libertarian and believe heroin
      addicts should be allowed to indulge as long as they don't rob people
      to pay for their habit.]

      --- In GAdetection@yahoogroups.com, "Tony Medawar" <tonymedawar@b...>
      > And there's a school of thought that suggests the bans on smoking
      gradually being introduced throughout Western societies will increase
      the incidence of cancer globally: on the one hand the hardy few who
      carry on in the West will increasingly be driven to smoke in their own
      homes, which is bad for any children they might be still able to
      produce; and the tobacco companies will abandon research into
      non-carcinogenic tobacco and focus on selling "the real McCoy" to
      "third world" markets (which of course is already their priority and
      why there are now Formula One grands prix in China and Bahrain and,
      from two years time, Russia).
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: alanjbishop1
      > To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Saturday, April 03, 2004 8:16 AM
      > Subject: [GAdetection] Re: Just Curious.....
      > --- In GAdetection@yahoogroups.com, "Wyatt James" <grobius@s...>
      > wrote:
      > > This is off-topic in a way, but do any of you GAD members still
      > smoke?
      > > (I still do, having started at the age of 14 -- I'm now 60 -- and
      > > having quit many times but never keeping up the abstinence up for
      > more
      > > than a few months at a stretch.) You will have noted that modern
      > > mysteries spend a lot of time going over the agonies of their
      > > detectives (police or other) in either giving up smoking or having
      > to
      > > sneak a smoke in the parking lot. Probably shades of the authors'
      > own
      > > problem, although it is improper to project an author's private life
      > > as an aspect of his/her book or detective. In GAD novels, nearly
      > > everybody smoked (or if they didn't, it was a clue to their being
      > > eccentric enough to be a suspect -- plus, there was often a clue in
      > > what they DID smoke, cf Sherlock Holmes). King James I of England
      > knew
      > > it was an abomination that long ago, possibly one of the reasons he
      > > had Raleigh beheaded, but really, all these smoking bans are making
      > it
      > > harder and harder to have any sort of social life when public
      > smoking
      > > is considered anti-social.
      > >
      > > [They just started enforcing an NYC Draconian smoking measure in
      > > Ireland, and I can't imagine not being able to smoke in a pub. We
      > > can't smoke in bars here in NY anymore, so I just don't go to them
      > any
      > > more. If they do that in Britain, I just won't be able to go there
      > any
      > > more and expect to have a good time, and I have a long-delayed trip
      > > there to check out the latest at Jacubowski's book store, and
      > > incidentally visit family I haven't visited in a long while.]
      > I gave up smoking about four years ago, after having a thrombosis
      > (which may/may not have been connected to smoking) but my wife still
      > smokes. While I don't nag her to give up - it would make me
      > unbearable - it does concern me. However, since no one is forced to
      > become an addict of any drug, it is up to the individual to choose to
      > quit, but being given as much help as possible in the attempt. I don't
      > subscribe to the fashionable idea that addicts are victims!
      > In watching old films during these "enlightened times" the amount
      > people smoked is noticable! Remember that the Victorians recommended
      > smoking to relieve asthma and other lung disorders! Science is
      > constantly improving methodology and techniques of analysis and so
      > something we might consider safe one day might become a danger on
      > another. It doesn't mean it was safe a long time ago.
      > While non-smoking in public is a contentious issue, with "poor"
      > smokers huddled together outside offices in the snow and other trite
      > images, it boils down to differing social styles. It was recently
      > reported that the smoking ban in NY hadn't affected trade in bars and
      > so other governments have used these reports in their considerations.
      > I don't know about the Irish but here in the UK smoking and pubs are
      > always linked - not always pleasantly. However the attitude of "Brits"
      > to social or pub drinking is entirely different to the American
      > attitude (the Europeans are constantly, and rightly, horrified at our
      > habits) so it's erroneous to compare possible trade effects between US
      > and UK bars.
      > A change in social smoking is coming, is already noticable, but the
      > change must be smooth and appear to be publically demanded and not
      > governmentally enforced or the UK public will automatically kick
      > against it. The seatbelt law had very vocal opponents but now no one
      > in their right mind would question it now. Smoking (and its hazards)
      > will go the same way.
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