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Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Standard member shavixmir
    Guppy poo
    12 May '09 12:23
    As most Europeans will know (and I believe our American cousins have had anti-smoking laws much longer), most European countries have banned smoking in public. And of late in restaurants and pubs (bars) as well.
    The Netherlands is not much different.

    Here in Holland (which really is only one province, but it’s so much easier to type) there’s some irony in the new laws though.
    For example: Coffee shops. Or, as anyone who’s been to Amsterdam will know, marijuana bars. Marijuana obviously doesn’t fall under the tobacco laws, so you can still smoke marijuana in these coffee shops. Just no tobacco. So, the punters just smoke pure marijuana instead. Well done rationality.

    Anyways, what you hardly hear about are the amount of bars which have had to close because of the smoking ban throughout Europe. Declines in sales range from 5% to 10%. Especially the smaller sized and rural pubs are hard hit. This is generally because larger / richer pubs can afford to build special smoking zones or have outdoor facilities.
    Not to speak of restaurants who have lost the whole profit-part of the after dinner smoke (and quite frequently the dessert to boot).

    Now something interesting has happened. Here in Holland, no less (the country Marx once said of: “There will be revolutions, but they won’t be in the Netherlands.&rdquo.
    Small pubs without employees (only the owner and / or co-owners waiter in these pubs) have won a courtcase which was brought them in against them in Breda (lots of pubs have continued to allow smoking despite the ban and the government is cracking down on them, probably because they’re easier to find than Taliban targets).

    The anti-smoking laws are in place to protect the workforce (not the punters; it being there choice as to where they reside) and the court decided that since there was no workforce as such, the law shouldn’t apply to the small pub.
    The government brought it to a higher court (obviously not wanting to cave in) and the higher court has upheld the lower court’s ruling, albeit it on a slightly different ground.

    Now the debate:
    - Could this ruling have an international effect (especially considering either party could actually escalate this case to a European ruling)?
    - Is the anti-smoking lobby just one nanny-state-step too far?
    - What are the implications of this ruling for other groups, businesses or individuals who don’t agree with a particular law (breaking the law to change it; i.e. direct action)?

    I’m interested in your opinions.
  2. Standard member Thequ1ck
    Fast above
    12 May '09 13:12 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by shavixmir
    - Could this ruling have an international effect (especially considering either party could actually escalate this case to a European ruling)?
    - Is the anti-smoking lobby just one nanny-state-step too far?
    - What are the implications of this ruling for other groups, businesses or individuals who don’t agree with a particular law (breaking the law to change it; i.e. direct action)?

    I’m interested in your opinions.[/b]
    It's blinking ridiculous! If a person doesn't want to be exposed to smoke don't
    go to a coffeebar on the leidseplein. If a person doesn't want to see sex pics
    in shop windows, stay out of the RLD. There are plenty of other places to go,
    namely, the rest of the not-so-free world.

    A lot of local pubs have had to close in England too. Pubs that pretty much
    exclusively served smokers. It's reminds me of those sad f*****s that say
    'sorry I don't smoke' when asked for a light. Did I ask for your life story buddy?
    No. Did I ask if you needed a light? No, I don't think I did. Now either spark me up or shut the hell up.

    The implications for this law are that it will now be that bit easier to pass other
    laws of equal or greater stupidity.

    The only satisfaction I have gleaned from this miserable agenda is watching
    the non-smokers now having to share their once sparse seating areas and
    moaning quietly as the smokers squeeze past them to get to the door.
  3. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    12 May '09 13:17
    Originally posted by shavixmir
    I’m interested in your opinions.
    As an ex-smoker with a tendency to suffer from lung congestion during the transition from wet season to dry season, I am always very relieved when I find that I am in a smoke free environment.
  4. 12 May '09 13:23 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by shavixmir
    Now the debate:
    - Could this ruling have an international effect (especially considering either party could actually escalate this case to a European ruling)?
    - Is the anti-smoking lobby just one nanny-state-step too far?
    - What are the implications of this ruling for other groups, businesses or individuals who don’t agree with a particular law (breaking the law to change it; i.e. direct action)?

    I’m interested in your opinions.
    I admit that I'm torn about this one. On the one hand its nice to be able to go out to a pub and not come home reeking of smoke but I don't want pub owners to have to go out of business because of it.

    When I was visiting Bamberg, Bavaria last year a couple of the pubs had found a way around the law. One of them that I frequented declared itself a smoker's club. You had to sign in upon entering the pub and give the bar owner 1 Euro for a one year membership (incidentally he waived the 1 Euro fee in our case since we were just visiting for the week). Then you could stay and smoke if you want. The owner was adamant that most of his customers were smokers and he would go out of business if he had to enforce the ban.
  5. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    12 May '09 13:35 / 2 edits
    One second.

    Did you say that the smoking ban doesn't apply to smoking marijuana?

    Basically, you can smoke any kind of grass you want, as long as it's not tobacco?

    Is smoke from marijuana cigarettes any less harmful to one's lungs than smoke from tobacco cigarettes?

    What if you're given a ticket for smoking and claim it's a marijuana cigarette? Does the police officer take a drag to determine what it is?
  6. Standard member Thequ1ck
    Fast above
    12 May '09 15:44 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by FMF
    As an ex-smoker with a tendency to suffer from lung congestion during the transition from wet season to dry season, I am always very relieved when I find that I am in a smoke free environment.
    How exactly do you 'find yourself in a smoke free environment'?

    What do you pass out en-route and just hope? Or just kinda
    head out looking for a place you're likely to be in? Explain please.
  7. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    12 May '09 15:47
    Originally posted by Thequ1ck
    How exactly do you 'find yourself in a smoke free environment'?

    What do you pass out en-route and just hope? Or just kinda
    head out looking for a place you're likely to be in? Explain please.
    You don't know what a 'smoke free environment' is?
  8. Standard member Thequ1ck
    Fast above
    12 May '09 15:56 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by FMF
    You don't know what a 'smoke free environment' is?
    Yes. I also know what a shark free environment is.

    I'm not pleased when I find myself in a shark-free environment particularly.

    I would however be quite hard on myself should I 'find myself' in a shark-
    infested environment. I'd probably think to myself 'this is my own stupid fault'.

    Is it then more sensible to ban the sharks from all water or the swimmers from
    some areas?
  9. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    12 May '09 16:01
    Originally posted by Thequ1ck
    Yes. I also know what a shark free environment is.

    I'm not pleased when I find myself in a shark-free environment particularly.

    I would however be quite hard on myself should I 'find myself' in a shark-
    infested environment. I'd probably think to myself 'this is my own stupid fault'.

    Is it then more sensible to ban the sharks from all water or the swimmers from
    some areas?
    Mmmm. "Cogent".
  10. 12 May '09 16:17
    Originally posted by shavixmir
    As most Europeans will know (and I believe our American cousins have had anti-smoking laws much longer), most European countries have banned smoking in public. And of late in restaurants and pubs (bars) as well.
    The Netherlands is not much different.

    Here in Holland (which really is only one province, but it’s so much easier to type) there’s some irony ...[text shortened]... lar law (breaking the law to change it; i.e. direct action)?

    I’m interested in your opinions.
    Is the anti-smoking lobby just one nanny-state-step too far?

    absolutely.

    What are the implications of this ruling for other groups, businesses or individuals who don’t agree with a particular law (breaking the law to change it; i.e. direct action)?

    the tobacco industry will suffer greatly, and the stop-smoking industry will benefit.
    Individuals will be marginalised and will have to go to places like Holland in order to live in peace, or they'll just have to smoke at home.

    Marijuana obviously doesn’t fall under the tobacco laws

    great!

    does that mean I can know smoke joints in public?
  11. 12 May '09 16:37
    Originally posted by Thequ1ck
    A lot of local pubs have had to close in England too. Pubs that pretty much
    exclusively served smokers. It's reminds me of those sad f*****s that say
    'sorry I don't smoke' when asked for a light. Did I ask for your life story buddy?
    Well we wouldn't be so sad if you clowns didn't always look at us like we have 5 heads when we say we don't have a smoke...most smokers seem to persume the next person beside them automatically smokes!

    Personally i'm absolutely delighted with the ban as it's wonderful to not have to leave a pub stinking of fags and never having someone smoke near me when I'm eating, but do I think the ban is fair?

    The ban is definitely not fair, I don't know how theirs not been a lot more protests about the bans as pubs are closing down everywhere and most of those that are not are noticing a sharp decline in customers. It's funny when you look at smoking areas crammed full of people and you go inside and the place is almost empty. Perhaps smokers are the only people in society that don't have rights!
  12. 12 May '09 17:03
    I think smoking should be banned in public places like city halls, libraries, etc. But I don't see the point of banning smoking in bars, really, and certainly not of banning smoking in coffee shops, since you don't need to be there if you don't want to.
  13. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    It's only business
    12 May '09 18:30 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sh76
    Is smoke from marijuana cigarettes any less harmful to one's lungs than smoke from tobacco cigarettes?

    What if you're given a ticket for smoking and claim it's a marijuana cigarette? Does the police officer take a drag to determine what it is?
    Yes. Marijuana is less dangerous to the lungs than tobacco.

    Marijuana is far less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco. Around 50,000 people die each year from alcohol poisoning. Similarly, more than 400,000 deaths each year are attributed to tobacco smoking. By comparison, marijuana is nontoxic and cannot cause death by overdose. According to the prestigious European medical journal, The Lancet, "The smoking of cannabis, even long-term, is not harmful to health. ... It would be reasonable to judge cannabis as less of a threat ... than alcohol or tobacco."

    http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=7305


    In 1972, a Congressionally created commission called the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, whose members were appointed by then-President Richard Nixon, completed one of the most comprehensive reviews ever undertaken regarding marijuana and public policy. Their report, "Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding," proclaimed that "from what is now known about the effects of marihuana, its use at the present level does not constitute a major threat to public health," and recommended Congress and state legislatures decriminalize the use and casual distribution of marijuana for personal use.

    Since then, researchers have conducted thousands of studies regarding marijuana’s health impacts. None of these have revealed any findings dramatically different from those described by Nixon’s 1972 Commission.

    A review of some of this literature is available below...

    http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=3471

    Cannabis smoke contains many of the same carcinogens as tobacco smoke, including greater concentrations of certain aromatic hydrocarbons such as benzopyrene, prompting fears that chronic marijuana inhalation may be a risk factor for tobacco-use related cancers. However, marijuana smoke also contains cannabinoids such as THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), which are non-carcinogenic and demonstrate anti-cancer properties in vivo and in vitro. By contrast, nicotine promotes the development of cancer cells and their blood supply. In addition, cannabinoids stimulate other biological activities and responses that may mitigate the carcinogenic effects of smoke, such as down-regulating the inflammatory arm of the immune system that is responsible for producing potentially carcinogenic free radicals (unstable atoms that are believed to accelerate the progression of cancer).

    Cannabis smoke – unlike tobacco smoke – has not been definitively linked to cancer in humans, including those cancers associated with tobacco use. However, certain cellular abnormalities in the lungs have been identified more frequently in long-term smokers of cannabis compared to non-smokers. Chronic exposure to cannabis smoke has also been associated with the development of pre-cancerous changes in bronchial and epithelium cells in similar rates to tobacco smokers. Cellular abnormalities were most present in individuals who smoked both tobacco and marijuana, implying that cannabis and tobacco smoke may have an additive adverse effect on airway tissue. The results suggest that long-term exposure to cannabis smoke, particularly when combined with tobacco smoking, is capable of damaging the bronchial system in ways that could one day lead to respiratory cancers. However, to date, no epidemiologic studies of cannabis-only smokers have yet to reveal such a finding. Larger, better-controlled studies are warranted.

    Cannabis consumers who desire the rapid onset of action associated with inhalation but who are concerned about the potential harms of noxious smoke can dramatically cut down on their intake of carcinogenic compounds by engaging in vaporization rather than smoking. Cannabis vaporization limits respiratory toxins by heating cannabis to a temperature where cannabinoid vapors form (typically around 180-190 degrees Celsius), but below the point of combustion where noxious smoke and associated toxins (i.e., carcinogenic hydrocarbons) are produced (near 230 degrees Celsius). Because vaporization can deliver doses of cannabinoids while reducing the users intake of carcinogenic smoke, it is considered to be a preferred and likely safer method of cannabis administration than smoking marijuana cigarettes or inhaling from a water pipe. According to the findings of a recent clinical trial, use of the Volcano vaporizing device delivered set doses of THC to subjects in a reproducible manner while suppressing the intake of respiratory toxins.

    http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=6891



    Marijuana is green. Tobacco is brown. They smell different and marijuana smokers get red eyes (though this is easy to fix with eyedrops).

    When in doubt, they can take the cigarette and/or the person to the station for additional testing I imagine. They probably confiscate the cigarette at least.
  14. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    12 May '09 20:08 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Yes. Marijuana is less dangerous to the lungs than tobacco.

    Marijuana is far less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco. Around 50,000 people die each year from alcohol poisoning. Similarly, more than 400,000 deaths each year are attributed to tobacco smoking. By comparison, marijuana is nontoxic and cannot cause death by overdose. According to the tation for additional testing I imagine. They probably confiscate the cigarette at least.
    Interesting.

    Why do you suppose marijuana is illegal in many countries while tobacco is legal?

    I know... "the tobacco lobby"

    But, there's got to be a better answer than that.

    Personally, I can't imagine either is very good for your lungs. There's a reason that you instinctively recoil when you breathe in smoke. Smoke is bad for the lungs.

    As for the ban, you do have to weigh the privacy rights of the smokers against the rights of ordinary citizens to avoid dangerous second hand smoke. In a private indoor bar, I personally don't see any reason to prohibit smoking. People who don't like it can go somewhere else and employees who don't like it can get another job. In a common area or promenade or public building or (especially) an airplane, however, I don't mind smoking bans. In fact, I'd encourage them. the more, the better.
  15. Standard member Bosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    12 May '09 20:10
    Originally posted by sh76
    Interesting.

    Why do you suppose marijuana is illegal in many countries while tobacco is legal?

    I know... "the tobacco lobby"

    But, there's got to be a better answer than that.

    Personally, I can't imagine either is very good for your lungs. There's a reason that you instinctively recoil when you breathe in smoke. Smoke is bad for the lungs.

    As for ...[text shortened]... however, I don't mind smoking bans. In fact, I'd encourage them. the more, the better.
    Smoking bans are a bit of a joke without drastically cutting vehicle and industrial emissions. But they give people something to do.