Monday, April 02, 2007

A Pint and a Fag?

Okay, here's my quote of the month: "A pint and a fag have gone hand-in-hand for generations."

See this story for the smoking ban which just went to effect in Wales.

Well, it's happening once again. I remember when they banned smoking in public places in California. Years later I would visit Massachusetts, and marvel that restaurants and bars would be veritable dens of tobacco clouds. Shortly after we moved to Massachusetts the full ban on smoking in public places followed us. Now when I visit the UK, I will find the same smoke free environment I enjoy here in the states.

I tend to hack when I am in the presence of smokers, but I am not particularly happy about the movement to ban smoking in public places. I am thankful when fewer people smoke, and health increases. I perhaps would be happier if the ingredients in cigarettes were monitored by the health industry, but there just seems to be something wrong with this kind of governmental Big Brother activity to me. Am I wrong here?

i ddarllen y stori yn Gymraeg (to read the story in Welsh)


Anonymous said...

Nicotine addiction is a huge tragedy but I'm not so sure I agree with the smoking ban in bars and restaraunts... even though I enjoy a smoke free environment.

cern said...

As a smoker I understand how this makes sense (frustrating as it will probably turn out to be when it kicks in in England in July). There will be a fair amount of revenue lost if it leads to lots of people stopping smoking. But that will probably be made up in savings to our health service.

But Big Brother tactics.. yep.



Anonymous said...

I was a smoker when the ban went onto effect here in Mass. It did not bother me to step outside to have a smoke. I only wished I could have brought my drink with me. Now, I don't smoke but work as a bartender part time in a club were smoking is allowed, and I HATE the smoke. In a 6 hour shift I must inhale the smoke of 50 cigarettes. I smell when I go home and have had an occasional astham attack. (left over from my own abuse, but aggrivated by the smoke in the club)

While I hate to see peoples' rights hindered, (is the freedom to die a slow painful death a right?) I am glad to go out and enjoy a meal or a drink in a smoke free venue.

Pastor Phil said...

What a cool set of responses!

Carl - a non-smoker who also feels strange about the Big Brother like tactics off the government over personal tobacco use, Mike - a smoker who understands the governmental prohiobitions for health reasons, an Jane - an ex-smoker who appreciates working in a smoke-free environment, but also dislikes the hindered freedom.

Thanks for replying! This sure highlights the tension such actions establish in our souls, and makes us realize that occasionally defining what is right is more difficult than we know.

Makeesha said...

I'm not sure how I feel about smoking bans. It's a tough thing on many levels...and the "comfort" of the smoker is the least of them.

I smoke cloves on occasion but in a "smoke free" city like where we live, it's pretty useless to try to smoke in any sort of public setting.

I am concerned with legislation that is an attempt to change behavior because that rarely works. However, because of the proven hazards of second hand smoke, more than just one person's choices is at stake.

It's sort of like having laws that protect children. Those laws don't necessarily change the parents at any sort of base level but they are necessary because the child is helpless to defend him/herself

I would be totally against those laws if second hand smoke was proven to be harmless.

Makeesha said...

I also have to say that I still can't get over twittering about your title - - fag is just not something I can bring myself (an American) to associating with cigs.

Pastor Phil said...


I live in the not sure how I feel zone as well. And yews, it is funny to hear the word "fag" used properly. So - good for them Brits who still know what the word means.

David said...

I like a good clove now and then.
Just a thought, because I too don't want big brother bossing me around, but I also understand the risks involved with second hand smoke...and kids mostly.

So, my conclusion would be to take public family establishments and make them non-smoking or have the smoking section be in another closed off part of the building entirely. And then allow pubs and night clubs use their own discretion. Then adults can decide if they want to enter a smoking establishment whether they want to smoke or not.

Viva la..

Webb Kline said...

I quit 21 years ago next week. Actually, God supernaturally delivered me because I made a vow to Him that I could never have kept on my own. all the years I smoked, at least I tried to be sensitive to non-smokers.

I look at it this way--if push comes to shove, the person who is not only offended by, but endangered by the act of another should have rights which supersede the rights of the one who is committing the offense. Smoking never should have been allowed in public in my opinion. For one, it would have made it more difficult for me to become an addict. Secondly, it stinks and the odor affixes itself to everything around it, not to mention everyone's lungs.

Any self-respecting person who also respects others would not fart in front of other people, so why smoke? Farting is far less damaging.

There a several nonsmoking bars around here that have done very well. But, since hanging out in bars is part of my missional purpose, and since I am a musician, I have to put up with going places where people are allowed to smoke. I doesn't keep me out because my mission outweighs my concern, but I still would rather not have to deal with it.

Anonymous said...

Some good comments. I smoke and thought I appreciate the reasons for the upcoming ban in England, I don't know why we can't have smoking and non-smoking bras and give people the freedom to choose.
I don't get the govt being so concerned with the health issues around smoking, yet they've brought in late drinking licences and 24 hr bars... Defo a bit Big Brother ish to me.
I think more and more people will just chill with friends at home.
Caz x

Anonymous said...

oopsy, that was meant to be bars not bras. :)

Webb Kline said...

I suppose my wife would have one of them there smoking bras. ;-D

Pastor Phil said...

Hey Webb,

I do find that you ex-smokers are the most radical when it comes to this issue, and I understand the position completely, but I still find myself worried about Big Brother dynamics.

Pastor Phil said...

Hey Caz,

I was wondering what a smoking bra might look like.

Shannon said...

I too am grateful for non-smoking establishments of any kind; bars nightclubs or whatever.

I go to a local bar here in my town to hang out some so it's really nice not to have to worry about second hand smoke while there. :) Yes it's all about me..didn't you know? ;-)

Webb Kline said...

I'm not for the big brother thing at all, but who else is going to stop the pollution?

Pastor Phil said...

Hey Webb,

I am of the opinion that it would be simple smoke of a burning plant if it weren't for the additives in the tobacco - that makes it real pollution. Perhaps if everyone smoked a pipe, we wouldn't have the same debate, at the same raging level. People don't go on about cancer from boyscout campfires. Just methoughts.

Pastor Phil said...

Hi Shannon,

So we've got a group of pub-trolling Christians here! Cool.