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Sir Psycho Sexy
post Jun 22 2007, 09:52 AM
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In a little over a week, England will follow the rest of the UK in banning smoking in all enclosed public spaces and work places. I don't imagine this is a particularly big issue for most people, but being that I work behind a bar in a pub where about 80-90% of the customers smoke, I'm kind of forced into defending the non-smokers perspective, what with being the only non-smoking member of staff. So it's been occupying my mind quite a bit.

I've heard some hilarious arguments against the ban, some of my favourites include the government losing out on the tax revenue they gain from cigarettes, igoring for a moment that they're NOT banning smoking out-right and the potential savings to the NHS on treating smoking related diseases.
Another one, raised by someone I work with (though I suspect someone else put this in his head), where he argues that it would infringe on the personal rights of smokers. Which right he's refering to, I'm not entirely sure of and I don't think he knows either, because when I asked him, he said he was sure there was probably one somewhere, though I'm not convinced that someone does have the right to inflict carcinogenic fumes on other people.
Possibly the one valid point that does get raised is that pubs could lose out on trade, though when you consider that, as stated in government pamphlets (or propagana), that up to 75% of the population don't smoke, there's surely the potential to make much more money, assuming that these people can be persuaded into pubs and clubs, which I'll agree is a rather large if.

Anyway, enough waffle. Any other points of view? Anyone else want to join me in pointing and laughing?


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Pixelgoth
post Jun 22 2007, 10:48 AM
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I'm currently a smoker and definitely all for the ban! I'm a social smoker and the less places I can smoke the less temptation there will be to keep smoking.

Smokers rights are no different from non smokers rights. I have a right to smoke the same way you have a right not to. I don't believe in inflicting my smoking on others however and if someone asks me, politely I might add, not to smoke near them then I will. However, if I'm on the street and I want to smoke I don't usually ask everyone I walk past whether they mind laugh.gif If I'm in a place where I can smoke (i.e. pub/cafe/restaurant) and I'm with a non smoker I will NEVER smoke when they are eating and always ask if they mind. Most people are fine about it as they appreciate my right to smoke and it's not like I'm blowing it in their faces biggrin.gif

I've been to the doctors and got my nicotine replacement and hopefully the smoking ban will help me with my attempt to quit. It's not easy and I hope that non smokers realise this.


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Daria
post Jun 22 2007, 11:01 AM
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I can't wait for it. I'll be able to go to gigs and not have to wash my hair when I come home because it smells like an ashtray! I can sit in a pub and not have my sinuses swell and become painful because of the smoke! I can get off trains at trainstations and not have people suddenly lighting up because they haven't had their fix for the last fifteen minutes and can't possibly wait the five more minutes that it would take to get out of the station.

I still think there should be more laws on people smoking in the presence of children, but this is a step towards a better breathing and smelling populace.


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Forever Unknown
post Jun 22 2007, 11:18 AM
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QUOTE (Daria @ Jun 22 2007, 12:01 PM) *
I can't wait for it. I'll be able to go to gigs and not have to wash my hair when I come home because it smells like an ashtray!


Well, yeah. But you're still gonna stink of other people's sweat, so you best shower anyway.

Anyway. As a smoker at first I was pretty put out by the smoking ban, but I've gotten used to it. No point fighting it, eh? Of course, I'm not looking forward to it at all, but it's prompted me to thinking I'll give up by the end of year.

What I do hate is people's attitudes to it, especially the "har! F**k you!" self-righteous attitude of the non-smoker, which I've seen a lot when this issue is discussed. Y'know. Like this:

QUOTE
Anyone else want to join me in pointing and laughing?


You get how rude that is, right?

My only issue with the smoking ban is that it eliminates choice for businesses. All pubs have had the choice to go non-smoking since forever, and have made the choice not to - because it would actually damage their revenue. It's all well and good saying that 75% of people don't smoke, but that's still 25% left who do and who may well feel pushed out of pubs. Why go somewhere, spend 20 on a few drinks and be forced to smoke outside when you can stay home, stay warm, and get plastered for less? I suspect that pubs will suffer as a result.

Also other points to bear in mind is that people will now be dropping their cigarette butts outside, and although this new law also imposes a fine on that, I don't think that will be heavily enforced. Anyway, that's more litter. On the news recently they bought up the point that more people outside in the winter will call on more patio heating, thus adding to global warming.

And as a final point. My step-grandparents are smokers, but they also run a B&B. They'll now be banned from smoking in their own home. Which is absolutely bloody ridiculous, really. I feel somewhat slighted that the law hasn't made any exceptions, despite the original assertions that it would. Private clubs and places like B&Bs should be exempt, and banning smoking in work vans (!) is also pretty silly.

Anyway. Yeah, there are downsides to it and I'm certainly sympathetic to that as a smoker, but ultimately I can see why they're doing it, so there we go.


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Witless
post Jun 22 2007, 12:36 PM
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I think the reason the smoking ban is coming in is because the government wanted to relieve pressure off the NHS.. and have done for a while. The reasons they gave for the smoking ban and the reasons they want it are different things.

I believe they'd find ways of curbing unhealthy eating too if they could think one up that people would accept.


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Wookiee
post Jun 22 2007, 12:36 PM
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QUOTE (Sir_Psycho_Sexy @ Jun 22 2007, 10:52 AM) *
I work behind a bar in a pub where about 80-90% of the customers smoke, I'm... the only non-smoking member of staff.


So, what you're saying is, despite being in the minority, you expect everyone to change to benefit you? And what exactly are you doing working in an environment like that if you find it so detrimental to your health?

QUOTE (Sir_Psycho_Sexy @ Jun 22 2007, 10:52 AM) *
I'm not convinced that someone does have the right to inflict carcinogenic fumes on other people.


Yes, I see your point here. Smokers only smoke to poison other people! It's true! I swear when Kim buys her fags, she's thinking, "I can't wait to inflict my smoke on Pete when we get home!" It's probably just as realistic to suggest that all those non-smokers are just hanging 'round the smokers to get a fix without having to spend a fiver on a pack of B&H.

QUOTE (Sir_Psycho_Sexy @ Jun 22 2007, 10:52 AM) *
Anyone else want to join me in pointing and laughing?


I will if you're going to carry on thinking you're clever.

QUOTE (Witless @ Jun 22 2007, 01:36 PM) *
I think the reason the smoking ban is coming in is because the government wanted to relieve pressure off the NHS.. and have done for a while. The reasons they gave for the smoking ban and the reasons they want it are different things.


That's just silly. Aside from the fact the NHS has wound up with a sizeable budget surplus this year (of course, they could have spent that money paying nurses properly, or actually improving standards of hygeine), banning smoking indoors will achieve bugger all to that end. As Paddy pointed out, they're not banning it outright, so smoking-related illnesses will still occur. Also, as you mentioned, obesity is on the rise, not to mention alcohol related illnesses and violence. Motoring accidents weigh heavily on the NHS, but no-one (apart from Ken Livingstone) is going to ban cars.

Besides, with the tax on fags, smokers pretty much pay for themselves on the NHS, and each other, and could probably support the beginnings of a healthcare system in the USA, and catapult Africa into the twenty-first century.


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Witless
post Jun 22 2007, 12:52 PM
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QUOTE (Wookiee @ Jun 22 2007, 01:36 PM) *
That's just silly. Aside from the fact the NHS has wound up with a sizeable budget surplus this year (of course, they could have spent that money paying nurses properly, or actually improving standards of hygeine), banning smoking indoors will achieve bugger all to that end. As Paddy pointed out, they're not banning it outright, so smoking-related illnesses will still occur. Also, as you mentioned, obesity is on the rise, not to mention alcohol related illnesses and violence. Motoring accidents weigh heavily on the NHS, but no-one (apart from Ken Livingstone) is going to ban cars.


Well like I said, they'd ban a lot of things if they could get away with it. But they can't but they can and are getting away with banning smoking. I always get suprised when people don't realise quite how underfunded the NHS is. It's one of the most underfunded health services in all Europe. It's budget is a fraction of most europeon companies by a long way (I know because I researched it after having to deal with 2 family members in long term care).

Relieving pressure off the NHS is and has been a goal of the government's for a long time. Just it's rather hard to do. Smoking is still the biggest premature killer in the UK (though obesity is catching up). Takes up more beds, and costs more nhs money than anything else except old age.. and as far as I'm aware, it's rather hard to ban people getting old.


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Pixelgoth
post Jun 22 2007, 01:55 PM
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I heard a rumour that they weren't going to enforce this ban properly for the first few months. Has anyone else heard this??


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Wookiee
post Jun 22 2007, 02:02 PM
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QUOTE (Witless @ Jun 22 2007, 01:52 PM) *
as far as I'm aware, it's rather hard to ban people getting old.


Unless you encourage more smoking, drinking and eating chips.

At any rate, banning things simply is not a solution. It's barely even a stop-gap measure.
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Daria
post Jun 22 2007, 02:36 PM
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QUOTE
Well, yeah. But you're still gonna stink of other people's sweat, so you best shower anyway.

Depends what kind of gig it is... and how disgusting I am feeling tongue.gif


The whole "smokers are a drag to the NHS" thing is not just smokers themselves, but people who get affected by the secondary smoke. Hence the whole ban in public areas. FU's example of the B&B does seem a bit ridiculous as it isn't really a public place. I think there should be an exemption of certain places, such as hotels/ B&Bs and other places you choose to go and stay at. Yeah, I know you choose to go to a pub or a bar, but you might just as well go in one when there are no smokers, and then a smoker comes along, rendering you with two options- get up and leave, or stick out the smoke. If B&Bs advertised that it was either Smoking or Non-Smoking then you could know before you stay there.

I do think the ban is an excellent move forward, but as I said above, I think more should be done to stop children being in the presence of smoke, rather than adults who can deal with it by leaving the premises.


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Phyllis
post Jun 22 2007, 04:38 PM
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QUOTE (Daria @ Jun 22 2007, 12:01 PM) *
I can get off trains at trainstations and not have people suddenly lighting up because they haven't had their fix for the last fifteen minutes and can't possibly wait the five more minutes that it would take to get out of the station.

I don't know if I'd count on that one. Derby station (and all other Midland Mainline stations, for that matter) has been a non-smoking station since...hmm..January? Possibly longer than that. I can't remember/can't be bothered to look it up. Doesn't stop people from smoking on the platforms, even though the ENTIRE station is non-smoking. It's generally not enforced very well. I'm not really convinced that will change after the ban, to be honest.

I don't really have strong feelings one way or the other about the ban. It will obviously benefit me, because I'm a non-smoker and don't like being around smoke...but beyond that I'm sorry to say that I'm just not that interested in it. Maybe because I've sort of done all this before and saw that it worked out okay. Oregon has a partial smoke ban -- you can smoke in bars, but not in restaurants. I think that hotels are still allowed to have smoking rooms, though. Everyone there seemed to transition pretty well, but that might be because it's only a partial ban. California has a stricter ban, though, and I'm pretty sure that bars there are still doing the same amount of business as before.


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Daria
post Jun 22 2007, 04:54 PM
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I'm the kind of person who will point out a No-Smoking sign to a smoker and do so until they put out their fag, I'm afraid. I never, ever get people to put it out if they are not in a non-smoking area, only if there are signs around them.


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Mata
post Jun 22 2007, 05:54 PM
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QUOTE (Wookiee @ Jun 22 2007, 01:36 PM) *
So, what you're saying is, despite being in the minority, you expect everyone to change to benefit you? And what exactly are you doing working in an environment like that if you find it so detrimental to your health?

If you fancy being argumentative and slightly pedantic (which you clearly do), here's a couple of possible answers:

Why should he expect them to change? Because they are poisoning him, or how about because it'll be the law, or perhaps the key is really in the second part of your question, 'you expect everyone to change to benefit you'. I could have sworn that encouraging people to stop smoking is actually a good thing. Not only would the people enjoy better health, they wouldn't get twitchy when they haven't smoked for a few hours, but they would also have more money.

What's he doing working in that environment? How about... Working? Y'know, that thing that people do to earn money. If he enjoys working down a mine but the floor was constantly flooding then it would be resonable for him to expect that the conditions were improved by the management getting in a decent pump. Maybe some, or even most, of the miners currently enjoy having wet ankles, but they may find that they enjoy having dry feet even more. He works in a bar, it's made less pleasant by a preventable issue, and he is looking forward to it changing.

I do appreciate that there are many reasons that people smoke, stress-relief being probably the best one; however, I doubt that when people are settling down in a pub for an evening that it is a situation that could often be described as stressful.

As you can probably gather, I'm in favour of this move, although FU's example of the B&B is an eye-opener. That's a very tough situation - it's a public space (albeit one that is hired), but it's also a private space. My neighbours across the hall sometimes smoke with their front door open and it makes our flat smell, so I can see why the government wants to prevent all smoking in B&Bs, but in that example it really does seem to have infringed too far on the rights of an individual in their own home.

As a side-note, previous places to have put this law through have reported that businesses have continued to do very well, some even improving through non-smokers going out more often.


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Snugglebum the D...
post Jun 22 2007, 06:25 PM
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QUOTE
I do appreciate that there are many reasons that people smoke, stress-relief being probably the best one;


Although, unless I'm talking shite which is quite likely - hasn't it been proven that smokers are actually more stressed than non smokers due to the whole quick fix and then inevitable crave 20 minutes later?

I smoke. Lots. The fundamental smoker in me is ranting and raving about the ban. There are lots of infringment of human rights issues whizzung around.

However, the ban itself doesn't actually bother me at all. As long as somewhere is set aside for smokers to go, which I understand pubs and such are obliged to provide, I'm quite happy. I tend to be quite considerate of non smokers anyway so it seems courteous really.


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Pixelgoth
post Jun 22 2007, 06:28 PM
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QUOTE (Snugglebum the Destroyer @ Jun 22 2007, 07:25 PM) *
QUOTE
I do appreciate that there are many reasons that people smoke, stress-relief being probably the best one;


Although, unless I'm talking shite which is quite likely - hasn't it been proven that smokers are actually more stressed than non smokers due to the whole quick fix and then inevitable crave 20 minutes later?

I smoke. Lots. The fundamental smoker in me is ranting and raving about the ban. There are lots of infringment of human rights issues whizzung around.

However, the ban itself doesn't actually bother me at all. As long as somewhere is set aside for smokers to go, which I understand pubs and such are obliged to provide, I'm quite happy. I tend to be quite considerate of non smokers anyway so it seems courteous really.


Oooorrrr you could try giving up? Just a question, have you considered it? I'm going to as I just think now it's going to be the best time for me. I am quite horrified at the thought of having a million and one smokers giving up that day! Can you imagine the stress that'll cause? laugh.gif


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Snugglebum the D...
post Jun 22 2007, 06:52 PM
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Hehehe - I can imagine a million newly non smokers killing their bosses. smile.gif

I tried to give up after my Dad popped his clogs last year. I lasted 4 days before having a huge barney with the other half and away I went. I was feeling really good as well. I was using the inhalator which makes you look a bit of a dick but mimics the act of smoking. I know that my smoking is more habitual over addictive so it probably would have worked if I wasn't such a wuss. smile.gif

I would like to give up some day but I just have so much going on at the moment that I just don't have the heart to put something else on my plate. Apart from which - I'm prone to getting a little thick about the waist and the very sad fact is that I don't want to put weight on.


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Forever Unknown
post Jun 22 2007, 08:37 PM
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Oh, bums. The following post was made by Wookiee disguised as Forever Unknown.

QUOTE (Mata @ Jun 22 2007, 06:54 PM) *
QUOTE (Wookiee @ Jun 22 2007, 01:36 PM) *
So, what you're saying is, despite being in the minority, you expect everyone to change to benefit you? And what exactly are you doing working in an environment like that if you find it so detrimental to your health?

If you fancy being argumentative and slightly pedantic (which you clearly do), here's a couple of possible answers:

Why should he expect them to change? Because they are poisoning him, or how about because it'll be the law, or perhaps the key is really in the second part of your question, 'you expect everyone to change to benefit you'. I could have sworn that encouraging people to stop smoking is actually a good thing. Not only would the people enjoy better health, they wouldn't get twitchy when they haven't smoked for a few hours, but they would also have more money.

What's he doing working in that environment? How about... Working? Y'know, that thing that people do to earn money... He works in a bar, it's made less pleasant by a preventable issue, and he is looking forward to it changing.


Oh, I'm always for being argumentative!

I'm sure the pub's clientele and staff were smokers before Paddy started working there. I'm sure it came as no surprise to him that the pub was full of smokers. I'm sure there are jobs he could do that don't involve him being surrounded by cigarette smoke, even if it's just working in one of the many non-smoking pubs already in existence.

Encouraging people to stop drinking is probably a good thing. Admitting the National Curriculum is f*&@ed and re-evaluating the state of education in this country is surely a very good thing. I'm also pretty sure encouraging people to exercise the right to make their own decisions is a good thing, and not any of this nanny state crap. So far businesses have had a right to decide for themselves whether to operate a non-smoking policy or not, and that seems perfectly sensible to me.

I'm actually not a smoker, but I still think this law is utterly ridiculous. It's a small, petty issue that's been absurdly inflated; wasting valuable time in government on national and local levels, resources (have you seen the information packs? Not to mention the TV ads), and serving as a massive distraction as the media froths about it and the public w&#king on in newspaper letters columns and on internet forums.

... oh.
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Mata
post Jun 22 2007, 10:36 PM
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QUOTE (Wookiee @ Jun 22 2007, 01:36 PM) *
I'm also pretty sure encouraging people to exercise the right to make their own decisions is a good thing, and not any of this nanny state crap. So far businesses have had a right to decide for themselves whether to operate a non-smoking policy or not, and that seems perfectly sensible to me.

Fair point about the nanny state, but we've had the choice for ages and we're still killing ourselves. Businesses are afraid of change, especially in such an old trade as pubs, so they will always play with the devil they know. If there's something simple that the government can do to improve the lives of millions of people (in the long run) then it seems sensible that they do it.


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Calantyr
post Jun 22 2007, 11:27 PM
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The main argument for a smoking ban in public places like bars has been workers rights. Every employer has to, by law, provide as safe as possible working environment. That means builders wear hard hats, window cleaners get harnesses, and road workers get highly visible clothing. Why should those who work in bars be exempt from this?

The fact is that not everyone can get the choice of where they work. If you are poor, uneducated, etc, bar work (for example) may be the only job you can get. And there's a hell of a lot more people than available jobs... These are also the types of people who generally can't afford to deal with serious lung-related illnesses if they end up with them.

That's why I tend to support the ban. Yeah it's annoying for smokers and that's a pain, but nowhere is it said that smokers have a right to poison people.

From what I understand it's actually pretty easy to get around this ban anyway. Make the bar a private club. Simply make everyone sign up as a member the first time they go there, and ID themselves every night thereafter. A place I'm a regular does this pretty easy with a fingerprint detector.... not sure what the staff feel about it though.


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Wookiee
post Jun 23 2007, 11:31 AM
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QUOTE (Mata @ Jun 22 2007, 11:36 PM) *
Fair point about the nanny state, but we've had the choice for ages and we're still killing ourselves.


The important thing is not the choice we make, but the fact we're allowed to make it.
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Forever Unknown
post Jun 23 2007, 11:39 AM
Post #21


Microwave your children
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QUOTE (Calantyr @ Jun 23 2007, 12:27 AM) *
If you are poor, uneducated, etc, bar work (for example) may be the only job you can get.


What's that you're saying about Paddy?

QUOTE
From what I understand it's actually pretty easy to get around this ban anyway. Make the bar a private club. Simply make everyone sign up as a member the first time they go there, and ID themselves every night thereafter. A place I'm a regular does this pretty easy with a fingerprint detector.... not sure what the staff feel about it though.


'Fraid not. Private clubs aren't exempt from the ban, although they were originally going to be. The club my parents attend in Winchester is a private club with paid membership, and they're still having to ban it. It's all workplaces - a complete blanket ban.


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trunks_girl26
post Jun 24 2007, 05:46 AM
Post #22


o_O
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QUOTE (candice @ Jun 22 2007, 12:38 PM) *
Everyone there seemed to transition pretty well, but that might be because it's only a partial ban. California has a stricter ban, though, and I'm pretty sure that bars there are still doing the same amount of business as before.


What I find somewhat amusing is that many bars in the NY area have been getting more business since the ban came about, when the biggest argument against the bad was the loss of income they would have.



QUOTE (Snugglebum the Destroyer @ Jun 22 2007, 02:25 PM) *
QUOTE
I do appreciate that there are many reasons that people smoke, stress-relief being probably the best one;


Although, unless I'm talking shite which is quite likely - hasn't it been proven that smokers are actually more stressed than non smokers due to the whole quick fix and then inevitable crave 20 minutes later?


Actually, nicotine is a chemical that simulates all the biological responses of stress release (ie: non-restricted blood flow, reduced heart rate, etc.)- which is why it's so addicting. It's not that the smoker is physically more stressed when they want a cig, it's that they're mentally stressed, much like a person is more mentally addicted than physically addicted to them. (Sorry if this doesn't make sense, it's 1:45am here and I'm a bit tired happy.gif; ).


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Sir Psycho Sexy
post Jun 24 2007, 07:55 PM
Post #23


Technically a giant, intellectual midget.
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QUOTE (Wookiee @ Jun 22 2007, 01:36 PM) *
QUOTE (Sir_Psycho_Sexy @ Jun 22 2007, 10:52 AM) *

I work behind a bar in a pub where about 80-90% of the customers smoke, I'm... the only non-smoking member of staff.


So, what you're saying is, despite being in the minority, you expect everyone to change to benefit you? And what exactly are you doing working in an environment like that if you find it so detrimental to your health?



No, that's not what I'm saying. Your interpretive skills are lacking.


Would you like to try again?


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Wookiee
post Jun 24 2007, 08:47 PM
Post #24


Punching the sky in the big banana.
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No, I'm happy judging you. Thanks, though!

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Sir Psycho Sexy
post Jun 25 2007, 10:06 PM
Post #25


Technically a giant, intellectual midget.
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Yay! happy.gif


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