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Smoking ban (Read 209613 times)
kirstin...oh yeah
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is that legal!?!?

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Re: Smoking ban
Reply #150 - Jul 19th, 2006 at 5:09pm
 
I don't think I quite understand what you are trying to say about the child breaking his arm?

If Dublin is anything to go by, then pubs will more than survive, they have seen a huge increase in takings since the ban came into force.
Your right, its a shame about the bingo halls, but it could have been prevented very easily...
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Re: Smoking ban
Reply #151 - Jul 19th, 2006 at 6:33pm
 
Better to break an arm than break his spirit is quite simple.
Similar to it's better to try and fail than never to try at all. 
Simple obedience to rules is an enemy to creativity, invention and personal development. A designer quite some years ago told me that the best designers in his company didn't come from art college; they were punks, people who kicked against society's rules.
People have free will, they like to explore, take risks etc in order to learn and stretch their realities.
A Ban based on risk but goes against public opinion and in the case of the smoking ban hits what most people think of as legitimate valuable recreation cannot be good. Many people looked forward to their simple pleasure of going to the 5 Bingo Halls that closed in Scotland but many now sit at home with that pleasure gone. This is damaging their spirit.
What's the point of carrying on if pleasure has gone.

What people would have willingly accepted was better ventilation or similar which may not have been the 'total' solution demanded by ASH etc but it would have helped, smoking would continue to fall and become less of the norm.
A total ban is too much like the big stick just so a minority can have their total way and commonsense tells us that people, communities and society will suffer unnecessary damage.
The ban in Ireland has resulted in rising smoking levels and even pro-ban people have sympathy with and happily accomodate smokers.
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Belinda
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Re: Smoking ban
Reply #152 - Jul 19th, 2006 at 6:48pm
 
Kirstin

No doubt some Irish pubs have done well but I am not sure that the overall picture for the licensed trade is good. Even more serious is the upturn in cigarette sales following the ban in Ireland, where they were declining before. This was reported in March when our ban came in and continues to be reported. See http://www.sadireland.com/cigarett1.htm. And yes Sadireland is a smokers' advocacy group in Ireland but they are quoting trade figures and these are independently verifiable. You also have to bear in mind that many Irish people go out of their way to buy cigarettes overseas when they go on holiday (to escape the ban) and the upturn in Irish tobacco revenue as a whole does not take this into account. So if the intention of the ban was to discourage smoking it has failed, and if it was to limit so-called passive smoking it has probably also failed since so much social smoking still obviously goes on.

What was your easy solution for the bingo halls?
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Belinda
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Re: Smoking ban
Reply #153 - Jul 25th, 2006 at 2:42am
 
This question was put by MEP Catherine Stihler in response to a query about Philip Tobin (smokers need not apply). She sent me the answer today (see below). This is quite horrifying and needs a response.

WRITTEN QUESTION E-2369/06
by Catherine Stihler (PSE)
to the Commission

Subject: Smoking and discrimination

The EU has valuable anti-discrimination legislation in place.

Would an advertisement which appeared recently in Ireland (which has a workplace smoking ban) with the heading 'Smokers need not apply' breach this legislation?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

E-2369/06EN
Answer given by Mr Spidla
on behalf of the Commission
(18.7.2006)


EU anti-discrimination law (Directives 2000/43/EC and 2000/78/EC ) prohibits discrimination on grounds of racial or ethnic origin, disability, age, sexual orienation and religion and belief in employment and other fields.

A job advertisment saying that "smokers need not apply" would not seem to fall under any of the above mentioned prohibited grounds of discrimination.

The Commission strongly supports banning smoking in workplaces as a measure to protect smokers' and non- smokers’ health. It has also the indirect impact of helping people to stop smoking.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
----

Quite apart from recent recorded increases in Irish tobacco revenue there are at least two serious problems with this answer.

1. Discrimination in employment is not desireable, because it implies that an arbitrary judgment has been made about somebody's suitability for employment based on irrelevant considerations. The Commission's response suggests that except in the case of the above mentioned groups discrimination is acceptable and I don't believe this was intended by the legislation. The groups mentioned are in other words examples of groups that have been discriminated against in the past, not the only people that anti-discrimination laws are meant to be applied to. It is not intended to imply that discrimination is acceptable at all. If this is not the case, the Commission should explain on what grounds discrimination is considered to be good practice.

2. The fact that smoking is discouraged at work is not a justification for refusing smokers employment. This kind of provision fosters an atmosphere of distrust between employers and staff.

If anyone agrees with the above I would suggest protesting to your MEP (easily found by entering in search engine). You should have a number of European representatives. I am appalled that they are approaching the legislation in this way ie let's discriminate by denying that smokers are part of a specific group – NO ONE should be subject to discrimination.
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Princess Analia
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Re: Smoking ban
Reply #154 - Jul 27th, 2006 at 2:24pm
 
I am perhaps playing devil's advocate here Belinda, but what if the advert stated 'alcoholics need not apply' or 'drug addicts need not apply'   Would this be discrimination also??  I have to say that when I was working full time I got rather peeved at all the 'smoke breaks' that smokers would have - breaks which I never got.  It's not as if the non-smokers could mosey on outside for a wee walk a couple of times a day.  So basically the smokers were earning the same as I was for less work.  If you add these breaks up over a reasonable period of time, they are significant.   Smokers are also more prone to health problems than non smokers.  Perhaps employers are trying to reduce the risk/cost of absences and ad hoc breaks.  I agree that what you do outside work is none of your employer's business if it doesn't affect your work but there may be some valid arguments for employers not wishing to employ smokers.

One final point.  I get a little rankled hearing about 'discrimination' of smokers.  Women can be discriminated against.  Chinese people can be discriminated against.  Muslims can be discriminated against.  None of these groups of people can change who or what they are, they are powerless in the face of the discrimination. Smoking is a lifestyle choice, like drinking or drug taking, not something that the smokers just 'are.'  I can't in all good conscience have the same sympathy about them being 'discriminated' against.  Nobody is stopping anyone smoking.  Just in public places.  Seems a little trivial compared to race hate or religious prejudice.  

I haven't posted on here for a while and I have to say that it seems this debate has got a little out of proportion.  It's like there's some great big conspiracy theory that the non smokers and the government have against the smokers and that this is wrong, evil and has it's roots in some kind of vindictiveness.  Smoking is bad for people!!  You might not agree with the means of reducing it's harm but look guys, there's no conspiracy, the result that is wished for is better health and less needless death for smokers.  I've said this before and others have too.  I don't hate smokers, they're all individuals and as worthy and important as non smokers. It's smoking I hate and I would love to see less people smoking as I don't want to switch off any more ventilators attached to COPD patients who wish they'd never started the rotten habit in the first place.
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Belinda
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Re: Smoking ban
Reply #155 - Jul 27th, 2006 at 4:26pm
 
Hi Princess, nice to see you again and I am sorry if you think we are getting fanatical and unbalanced! Thanks for your comments anyway.

With all respect I think you missed the point about discrimination. The legislation is against discrimination in principle rather than encouraging it with exception to certain groups. Also if you feel choice in general can be used as an excuse to discriminate, this might undermine the value of choice in society, which I believe Tony Blair is now defending.

I am not sure about excluding addicts and alcoholics from employment, you may very well find that that they are covered under disability. However the main criterion should be suitability to do the work in question. Smoking is irrelevant. People work at different speeds. For all the time spent at a desk, a smoker can be much more efficient than a non-smoker (not necessarily of course) and when I was office bound the issue of smokers taking breaks was never a problem for me. I just trusted that they would get through their workload and I would get through mine, and their breaks were none of my business. Finally lots of employers don't see smokers because many of them are self-employed too and you can't do that if you are sick all the time.

Excluding smokers from employment opportunities will do nobody any favours. It certainly won't stop them spending money on tobacco!

I think it quite wrong if employers are allowed to discriminate against smokers supposedly in the interests of their business, but if they feel that it would be in the interests of their business to supply a smoking room, that would be illegal.

WE ARE NOT PRO-SMOKING – please understand this. The intention of the legislation may have been to protect people from smoking and to discourage smoking. Firstly we feel that the dangers of passive smoking have been exaggerated out of all proportion, and two we have noted that Irish smoking revenues, after an initial dip, have risen. This means that both smoking and passive smoking have increased.

We were at a meeting in Fife last night where licensed premises have suffered devastating losses. This means that people will lose their social amenities in a former Urban Aid area, the result being more social isolation and more anti-social behaviour as people smoke and drink more at home.

Conspiracy or not, this legislation will not meet its stated objectives.

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Belinda
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Re: Smoking ban
Reply #156 - Jul 27th, 2006 at 7:02pm
 
Also the way to resist discrimination is not to wish you were something else, and you imply that the way to stop being discriminated against as a smoker is to stop smoking. Is the way for a Chinese person to avoid discrimination to avoid looking Chinese, or a woman to pretend to be a man? No it is to say I may be a Chinese woman who smokes but I can do my job as well as you do your job.

Discrimination is making judgments based on irrelevant information and that is why there are laws against it.
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kirstin...oh yeah
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Re: Smoking ban
Reply #157 - Jul 31st, 2006 at 2:43pm
 
Here here Princess Analia!! Nice to hear some sense for a change!
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Belinda
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Re: Smoking ban
Reply #158 - Aug 1st, 2006 at 4:53am
 
The whole of human history seems to be filled with struggles against arbitrary ill treatment, and now we get this astonishing backlash. Human rights legislation is meant to protect against discrimination: against arabitrary judgments that affect people's civil rights and ultimately livelihoods. The European commission is interpreting it to mean that discrimination is absolutely acceptable – except on grounds of race, disability or gender. So you can make up any other excuse you like, and people have realised that they can pick on people who smoke.

And that is just what discrimination is: the employer, you say Princess, may wish to save costs resulting from sickness. That is prejudicial. They might be ruling out employing somebody with exactly the right skills and temperament required for the needs of the company and working with its other employees. How is that sensible?
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Re: Smoking ban
Reply #159 - Sep 27th, 2006 at 4:08am
 
When you say there is no conspiracy going on guys Analia I'm afriad you couldn't be more wrong.  You are indeed not well researched nor well informed preferring instead what seems to you like an easy explanation.

I suggest strongly therefore you challenge your preconceptions and visit:

http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/

This is the web blog of Dr Michael Siegel.  Siegel is in fact a tobacco control advocate and  is now a Professor of Social and Behavioural Sciences at Boston.  Siegel is now so dissillusioned with the tobacco control movement and its excesses and lies that he has decided to expose their activities.  As a result he has been persecuted extensively but has nevertheless persevered with remarkable courage. 

Take a good look at this blog Analia and scan through its archives.  What is revealed is a catalogue of abuse and mendaciousness which may be hard for some people to comprehend, yet it is truly happening.

Same goes for you kirsten... oh yeah for at the moment you are very good on the throwaway comments and using words like "common sense" whilst in fact knowing nothing.  So let's see if you really have any backbone!
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Re: Smoking ban
Reply #160 - Oct 24th, 2006 at 6:38pm
 
...

Print it, post it as many places as you can!
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Re: Smoking ban
Reply #161 - Oct 31st, 2006 at 10:43pm
 
Quote:
I am perhaps playing devil's advocate here Belinda, but what if the advert stated 'alcoholics need not apply' or 'drug addicts need not apply'   Would this be discrimination also??


Cigarettes are different from drugs or alcohol as there's no impairment associated with their use. No one is rendered unable to work because of a recent nicotine fix.
So perhaps a better comparison would be; what if the company insisted that only tee-totalers applied and that drinking alcohol in the privacy of your own home in your own time became a sackable offense?
Or how about if the company insisted you maintained your body mass index below a certain level or face disciplinary action.
This may sound a little far fetched just now but no more so than the current situation with smoking would have appeared 15 years ago.
Smoking is just the thin end of the wedge. The government is ALREADY shifting its focus towards drinking, with a senior advisor of the Scottish parliment suggesting legislation to impose a "three-drink-limit" in pubs. I also have confirmation that MPs are currently discussing a "fat tax" of some description. But I'm digressing.
Back to the point in hand. I would defend the company's right to not employ a smoker BUT if that person should start smoking after they begin their employment that is not sufficent reason to sack them (providing they don't smoke during working hours).

Quote:
Smoking is a lifestyle choice, like drinking or drug taking, not something that the smokers just 'are.'  I can't in all good conscience have the same sympathy about them being 'discriminated' against.


Alcoholism is a lifestyle choice? That's what you were compariing smoking to at the beginning of your post. Can't have it both ways. Either its a lifestyle choice, in which case it is NOT within the governments scope of power to discourage people from making this choice, or its an addiction, in which case smokers should not be discriminated against when it comes to things like medical treatment.

Quote:
It's like there's some great big conspiracy theory that the non smokers and the government have against the smokers and that this is wrong, evil and has it's roots in some kind of vindictiveness.  Smoking is bad for people!!  You might not agree with the means of reducing it's harm but look guys, there's no conspiracy, the result that is wished for is better health and less needless death for smokers.  I've said this before and others have too.  I don't hate smokers, they're all individuals and as worthy and important as non smokers. It's smoking I hate and I would love to see less people smoking as I don't want to switch off any more ventilators attached to COPD patients who wish they'd never started the rotten habit in the first place.  


Point is, assuming its a lifestyle choice, that its none of the government's business. Anymore than cutting down the needless deaths due to hillwalking or wind surfing, or boating or any of the other miriad of choices adults make that wind up getting them killed.
Pressure groups want tobacco banned, they're usually quite open about this and each successive piece of legislation takes us one step closer to a total ban and therin lies the conspiracy, it might not be intentional, but it doesn't matter. If thing keep on going the way they are then the £8 billion in revenue current gained from tobacco tax is going to turn into an £8 billion deficit from fighting illegal importation and non-smokers the country over get to watch their annual tax bill climb even higher.
And even IF there's a total ban, smoke related illnesses will STILL continue to climb as they have unabated despite the proportion of smokers dropping by 2/3rds.
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Choice or Addiction
Reply #162 - Nov 2nd, 2006 at 11:47pm
 
Hi all

Just thought I'd wax about whether smoking tobacco is a choice or an addiction.  I think it is both in different amounts in different people.  In no small measure dependent on some genetic material.

It becomes a choice however because it exists.  Put another way a legal choice because it is legal (different but similar statement).  If it was illegal it would be a different choice dependent on the same and some additional genes, which influence our tendency towards illegal behaviour.

No doubt the tendancy towards liking smoke or smokers has some genetic basis as well as indeed being an anti-smoking lobbyist must have some flawed genetic trait.  Also the likelihood of being harmed by tobacco has some genetic basis whereas the likelihood of being harmed by passive smoke has no genetic basis other than the genes governing gullibility and unfavourable personality traits.

It would appear that something within those prone to depression and other forms of mental illness are more likely to chose to smoke..genes again.  This is rewarded by the relief of the symptoms of mental illness, particularly anxiety.  Arguably it becomes less of a choice in these individuals.  So the choice angle is complicated enough and not easy to simplify for the case of legal arguments.

It would apear that a substance in tobacco can produce a state of craving that substance..Nicotine.  So smoking is labelled as addictive.  The habit of putting something in one's mouth is thought to have some psychological addiction. I would rather explain this simply by habitual behaviour.

Addiction perse is not a problem unless the addict wishes or must stop the habit so can only be used as a relevancy in those people.  Morphine, which I prescribe on a very regular basis, is said not to be addictive when used to treat pain.  The proof for that is easily available.  It does however cause withdrawal symptoms in these people when the drug is no longer necessary.  Withdrawal symptoms are a physical reaction by the body to the absence of the substance and occur in addicts but are not synonymous with addiction.

So nicotine withdrawal causes cravings and withdrawal symptoms but that does not mean the individual is addicted to nicotine.

Addiction is usually diagnosed on the presence of addictive behaviour an it is diffficult to apply this thinking to tobacco users in my opinion.  Perhaps when it is illegal to smoke it will be easier as addictive behaviour will be easier to recognise.  Going on the game to fund your tobacco habit for example.

Smoking for me is a choice and I do it because I enjoy it.  I don't see myself as addicted to it because it isn't a problem to me.  I do so in full knowledge of its potential to harm me and not to harm others.

Oh and by the way, I have just read something in New Scientist. This is only tenuously connected but worthy of note...
Professor of Medicine of the University of California, Drummond Rennie has coined the term "Astroturf" rather than "Grassroots" to describe organistions that practice the business of "Disguising an orchestrated campaign as a spontaneous upwelling of public opinion".  This term fits well with ASH.  Is this an illegal activity?
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Re: Smoking ban
Reply #163 - Dec 2nd, 2006 at 4:47am
 
Can anyone hlep please?

We bought a number of wall mounted ashtrays for our business from on online retailer http://www.cigarette-bins-direct.co.uk a few months back, but now a lot of the employees are complaining about there not being enough shelter.

All the smoking shelters I've seen are either too expensive or look awful!! Can anyone recommend a decent shelter compny?

TIA
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Re: Smoking ban
Reply #164 - Dec 16th, 2007 at 11:41pm
 
Belinda wrote on Oct 22nd, 2005 at 5:36pm:
I am interested in the question whether a smoking ban can be said to contravene human rights legislation.

The case is as follows. There is much recent research about the dangers of passive smoking. I have done a few calculations that demonstrate that the risk from passive smoking is neglible as reflected in the mortality statistics for the UK. This risk seems to underpin the legislation in the perception of most people.

Assuming my figures to hold water (I will supply details if anyone is interested in this thread) my feeling is that the ban contravenes rights of association in European and other human rights law. Smoking is not illegal, and smokers who want to be in company in public places now risk being in contravention of the law. The fact is that millions of UK citizens are actually social smokers, and smoking is an addictive product.

I foresee enormous difficulties for smokers in maintaining social relations, both in general and especially in groups such as people with mental health problems, former prisoners, asylum seekers who have left home in fear of their lives. Free association is not free if people are in fear of the law when they pursue lawful activities.

I find it hard to see that there is an imminent threat to public safety or order by allowing smoking.

To summarise the figures I worked out, if you take the mortality figures and compare them with the number of 'exposed' non-smokers dying from four major smoking-related conditions you get about 1.5 percent in total, and there is only a link: no proven causation. In addition, two thirds of deaths across the whole UK occur over the age of 75, including smokers, with respiratory conditions killing three-quarters and strokes four-fifths. Only lung cancer kills more than two-thirds (actually about a half) of its victims under the age of 75.

I would be interested in any opinion on this question. Thank you

Belinda




Belinda

I have not read all the anti-smoking comments, but does any expert question why someone live`s quite happily  till well into his 80`s smokes and drinks.. He dies, we all got to die sometime.
None of his aliments are diretly attrubuted to smoking, just old age.

Meaning if he had not smoked he could of live another 10-20 years being super fit.
Yes some peope get cancer smoking  cigarettes but their genes and other environmental factors play a part.
The combine effect of chemical (Nanoparticles) and electropollution is perhaps the real reason.
Internal radiation, was disregard as a hazard until resently.
But if small particles of chemical cross the cell membrain and cause cancer, those particles are just as likely to be in the environment from industy, even your office air conditioning unit.

In treatment for some cancer doctors inject small particles of Gold: Then apply apply radiation to kill the cancer.. Cigarettes or smoking the weed was a cure for ills.... Its all things in moderation:











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