Tuesday, February 28, 2006

No butts

This Greek girl I met in the pub last week told me that she was staying in England to make a short film. I asked her how long for. "Until they ban smoking," she said. I laughed, but she was dead serious.

Although the ban of smoking in public places in England is now on its way, it's not just the politicians who are down on cigs; they're becoming pretty demonised all round. Last night, one of my friends was telling me how he'd recently been freebasing cocaine (it's a short step from crack apparently). Shortly afterwards, he politely asked me if I'd hold my cigarette in my other hand to keep the smoke away from him.

If we're scared of cigarettes now, imagine what we'll be like in 15 years. The days of smoking on planes are long long gone. Series 12 of 24 will probably feature Jack Bauer desperately trying to stop terrorists who are holding 20 Mayfair Lights and a box of matches. "Yes Mr President: and they plan to smoke them today."

The ban will be good for me - I usually only smoke in pubs and clubs, so I'll probably be forced into quitting, although I'll still whinge on about the infringement of civil liberties, they start with the little things, and before you know it you're Winston Smith/Bernard Marx etc. Really I'll be benefitting, but I do feel I've been slightly brainwashed into coming to this conclusion; the problem with the whole debate is that the pro-smoking arguments have been lost in the melee. So, here are two which I like, both articulated by people who are cleverer than I am.

The first is about as pretentious as this blog will get, as it's a quote from philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre: "Smoking is the symbolic equivalent of destructively appropriating the entire world." What does this mean? I may be wrong, but I think it's akin to saying, "You smoke because you don't give a fuck."

The second comes from Alexander Chancellor's Guardian column from Saturday: "There is something attractive about people who don't regard their own health and longevity as the most important things in the world."


zohguy_saiyajin said...

I just have quit smoking, about a month ago. It was not a decision. I was sick and hold at the hospital, for 18 days, time that I was not aloud to smoke.
Sunday I went to a pub where everybody was smoking, and I ... hang up with a girl who's smoking, I've kiss her alot and stuff... It was pretty nice. Anyway, I didn't feel, anytime, like lighting a cigar. Actually the taste and smell of this are very repugnant for me now. And I have been smoking for 10 years (since I was fourteen) and I used to smoke 2 packs (40 cigars) everyday.
It's not really hard to quit after the first 2 weeks.
After a month it would be really hard to smoke again. And I didn't used any medication or something like that.
Quit smoking will be good for you and is good for everyone.

alyceclover said...

When I started smoking "4 out of 5 doctors that smoked, smoked Durals" and cars were manufactured with Ashtrays as standard equipment. Everyone that smokes does not get lung cancer and die from it. Many non-smokers get lung cancer and heart disease is another one that obese people are prone to & eater's of red meat, but those things are not banned. Have you ever stood behind a bus? Wonder about that 2nd hand smoke and air pollution but let's blame it all on the over taxed smokers. How many times have you heard "Smoking Driver Kills Innocent Bystander's" How many family's lives have been destroyed due to alcohol consumption. But one would never think to ban alcohol. Didn't work in the US in the 20's. Do I condone smoking? No. Those that have the habit are criminals now, even tho' some of the best employee's are smokers and many do not rape, murder, rob or steal. There is no good reason to smoke, nor one to drink, nor to overeat, nor to eat red meat, nor to spend one's life in front of a tv set, or start riots over a ball teams loss or win.

Grandma Jeannie said...

Heh, heh...you've got some good takes on smoking going on here!:) Just thought I'd drop by and let you know that if you decided to quit I'd be one of your supporters if you'd like.

I've gone cold turkey and made it through my first week without smoking!

Nice site too!

Phu said...

I managed to quit for a while, about three glorious months I think. Then my life was dragged back into the murky world of the local boozer and I wake up with the foul aftertaste of tobacco in the morning.

and yeah, what she said - good site.