Skip to comments.No Smoking (UK experience)
Posted on 08/10/2008 3:03:15 AM PDT by Jakarta ex-pat
After just returning from a 2 week holiday to my home country, I can sadly conclude we Brits have become obsessed with public smoking.
I can understand why people shouldnt smoke on trains, but even in the outside of a train station, as long as it is covered, NO SMOKING!
At Heathrow airport, NO SMOKING! (Even Changi Airport in Singapore has had the civility to keep smoking rooms available for those inclined.)
In every pub, NO SMOKING
In every hotel, NO SMOKING
Thank god I live in smokers paradise.
What’s more there are often more punters drinking outside the pub than inside, though I got the impression it became far fewer during the winter :-)
Ironically, the Japanese do not discourage smoking. They realize the savings in health care costs from smokers dieing prematurely and factor that into their economy. They must laugh at how Americans discourage it at their own peril in long term health care costs.
Used to be that way, my friend. But not anymore. Smoking is being relentlessly snuffed out in Japan as well.
20 years ago when I came to work here, smoking was allowed in every office space and people came around in the morning to empty the ashtrays on everyone’s desks.
Now, virtually all offices are non-smoking and the most you can hope for is a smoking room on your floor — if your lucky.
You can’t even pop outside the building for a smoke in most districts of Tokyo now. Walking with a cigarette in your hand is a 2,000 yen fine in most central Tokyo areas. Taxis are now non-smoking.
Smoking cars are being eliminated from trains. Smoking areas in restaurants are getting smaller and smaller, and on the station platforms, and only on a few lines, there are small three meter square smoking areas always located wayyyyyyyyyyy down at the very end of the platform.
I’ve pretty much switched to Swedish snus during the day. I smoke at home in the evenings and on weekends.
When everything is added up does the typical smoker cost a nation's health care system less that a non-smoker? Yes,smokers tend to die young but many of them (most,in fact) use up a ton of health care $$$ in the last 5...10...20 years of their lives.My Dad and my cousin are two examples.My Dad stopped smoking in his 70's after substantial,but not overwhelming,damage had been done to his lungs.He spent **lots** of time in the hospital and in doctors' offices....tests,X-rays,pills,etc,etc...in the last 10 years of his life.Except for his lungs he was in very good shape for a guy his age.
My cousin was even worse.She was a respiratory cripple for the last 10 years of her life.In the hospital more than she was out.She died young (65) but she did *not* die cheap.
On the other hand I have an 89 year old aunt that has smoked for probably 75 plus years. She has outlived 5 of her 7 children, all non-smokers and other than birthing children has never spent a day in the hospital. She's in excellent health and extremely active.
Your points are valid. However, I wonder where it stops. A neurologist friend of mine states without qualification that alcoholism is FAR more expensive on the medical side alone (the patients tend to be sick, but not die right away, and expensive organs [e.g. liver] are most affected.) He stated that a trip to any VA hospital will make it clear.
Some are already arguing that obesity and even being overweight costs as much or more.
I am a lifelong non-smoker, and my dad got lung cancer at 35 (it was caught earlier and beaten with surgery). I am still uncomfortable with the government making so big a fuss over it, even though I am no libertarian.
When the argument shifts from “interfering with other people in public places” to managing health-care costs, I see no logical argument angainst government controlling nearly every aspect of our lives.
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