Smokers in Germany

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Yes PP it is an interesting topic, and it's pretty incredible how virulent the pro smoking factions views are, even when faced with the question 'why do so many Germans smoke?' As if just raising the question of the act of smoking is akin to the Gestapo knocking on peoples doors (see Airwave's use of the Martin Niemöller poem)

For a Brit who was born in the Britain of the NHS (not the privatised, semi-functional version we have today) living in a country where the dangers of smoking message doesn't seem to have got through is just antithetic to the whole ethos of public healthcare. I know the healthcare system here is different, but I can't help but be shocked by attitudes to general health.

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Interestingly, these OECD statistics show that there are even more people who smoke every day in the UK than in Germany.

 

I can't account for this. It doesn't make any sense. Everyone here seems to have a cigarette in their hand when they walk past me in the street, even friends and relatives comment on how rife it is compared to the UK, when they visit.

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As if just raising the question of the act of smoking is akin to the Gestapo knocking on peoples doors (see Airwave's use of the Martin Niemöller poem)

It's not your questioning of the act of smoking (of which I fully agree it's not a healthy habit and it costs a lot), it's the high horse position you're taking with regard to people, in the end, doing something which is legal and which they enjoy. You're unhappy with it? Form a party, win elections, set up a tobacco prohibition law. Oh wait, didn't someone try that with alcohol?

Calling smokers "disgusting" is tantamount to calling vegans, casual beer drinkers or fans of French cuisine "disgusting" - now let's think if you dared doing that. Each of those has a potential of ruining one's health in the long run and/or if done excessively, how come you're not campaigning against them? I mean, if you're for the public good and all that, you would be expected to take a stand against all public dangers, not just against those who personally disturb you. Otherwise, Niemöller logic stands valid.

 

Live and let live. It's not a police state, if it's not banned then it's permitted. You don't like it, fine, feel free to step aside when you see a smoker coming your way. And, in good standing to your upright position, do consider telling him/her, in a normal voice, that he/she is disgusting and should be put away so that good healthy citizens like you can enjoy a nice living environment.

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The last few months, whenever I went to visit a relative in hospital, I had to walk past a huge number of terribly sick looking people smoking near the entrance of the hospital. These people were on drips and in wheelchairs.

 

I understand that it is hard to quit, maybe even more so when you are faced with the psychological stress of a serious disease, but how can the hospital simply accept this? Wouldn't it be possible to help these people quit smoking while there are in hospital, with 24 medical care to ease possible withdrawel symptoms?

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Have seen this too, lived right next to a hospital for a few years when I first moved here. My guess is these patients don't want to be "cured" of their habit, and neither do the hospital staff that you'll usually see in equal numbers puffing away around the back of the hospital, where they think no one can see them.

 

The well educated and ought-to-know-better head doctors are usually among them.

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I just got home from the hospital yesterday. I still giggle when I see patients pushing around their IV poles with a bottle of beer in the other hand. Saw one patient outside smoking with a plastic bottle of Aldi beer. She brought her own.

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It's not your questioning of the act of smoking (of which I fully agree it's not a healthy habit and it costs a lot), it's the high horse position you're taking with regard to people

 

'High horse'? Nah, I'll just chalk that up to the typical smoker mentality, i.e. he or she knows their habit is likely to kill them, so they just tuck that nagging worry away at the back of their mind, allowing it to only register when they see a statistic on the news, but woe betide anyone who dares to remind them of the fact.

 

 

 

Calling smokers "disgusting"

 

I didn't call smokers disgusting, I called the habit disgusting. Big difference.

 

Look, I was a smoker, I know how hard it is to give up - but I'm presuming you don't want to still be puffing away at the age of 60 (unless you've already reached that age) because you'll know that you're quite likely to get a diagnosis from your doctor that you weren't expecting the next time you go and see him for a cough that won't go away, or if you start losing weight unexpectedly.

 

If you assert your right to blow smoke in the faces of people who hate the smell of it, or even non-smokers who are indifferent to it, then I assert my right to tell you not to be an inconsiderate jerk.

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Look, I was a smoker, I know how hard it is to give up -

 

For some people it is harder than for others to quit smoking. My uncle had been a heavy smoker, but he got headches from it. So he used insane amounts of painkillers - which in turn damaged his kidneys. So he stopped smoking (and didn´t need painkillers anymore). But even after 5 years he said still had that burning desire for cigarettes and couldn´t bear it anymore. He started smoking again and died at age 65.

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It is easier for men to quit smoking. My doc told me this a while back and it is backed up with internet searches. Many studies have been done.

 

It doesn't mean anything. Just a fact.

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Somebody messed up the translation of the table. Click on the link at the bottom of the page there and you'll see a different graph - India has about 10%, not 1% and the average is about 20% not 10%. That's probably a graph of something else, or somebody got mixed up with their decimal points and commas.

 

The English language page has the correct graph.

http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/sites/factbook-2011-en/12/02/01/12-02-01-g1.html?contentType=/ns/StatisticalPublication,/ns/Chapter&itemId=/content/chapter/factbook-2011-107-en&containerItemId=/content/serial/18147364&accessItemIds=&mimeType=text/html

 

Also it's not clear whether it's the UK or Great Britain that's referred to. The spreadsheet says UK but the graph GBR.

 

21.5 United Kingdom

21.9 Germany

so the difference doesn't look to be significant.

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And additionally, while I'm in geek mode, the percentage drop in the population smoking was about twice as big in the UK as in Germany over the 10 years 1999-20093

 

http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/sites/factbook-2011-en/12/02/01/index.html;jsessionid=1qt0pqlgut1gc.delta?contentType=/ns/StatisticalPublication,/ns/Chapter&itemId=/content/chapter/factbook-2011-107-en&containerItemId=/content/serial/18147364&accessItemIds=&mimeType=text/html

 

So the UK (or GBR) had more smokers (as percentage) but more gave up in the past decade and now they have about the same.

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I am an ex smoker. I kicked the habit over a decade ago, but I think people have the right to choose what they do to their bodies. Noone bangs on about alcohol like they do about smoking, and alcohol does more damage.

 

The problem here is PASSIVE smoking. I do not wish to breathe in someone else's smoke. It is slowly changing in Germany to protect non smokers from passive smoking, especially people who work in bars and restaurants all day or evening, they should not have to constantly breathe in smoke from other people's cigarettes.

 

As for smoking itself, people know what it does to them, just like alcohol, and what about energy drinks? No age restriction on them. Live and let live I say. People should have the choice, but NON smokers need to be protected from passive smoking.

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And this is where the incorrect table comes from - it's actually the litres of alcohol per year consumption table.

 

http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/sites/9789264125476-de/12/02/02/12-02-02-g1.html?itemId=/content/chapter/9789264125469-107-de

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There are millions of closet smokers - even in California and Seattle.

 

That's progress and an indication of stigmatisation.

 

Would be great if fast food outlets were restricted to something similar to a red light district where people would not want to be seen by friends, neighbours and colleagues.

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I am an ex smoker. I kicked the habit over a decade ago, but I think people have the right to choose what they do to their bodies. Noone bangs on about alcohol like they do about smoking, and alcohol does more damage.

 

The problem here is PASSIVE smoking. I do not wish to breathe in someone else's smoke. It is slowly changing in Germany to protect non smokers from passive smoking, especially people who work in bars and restaurants all day or evening, they should not have to constantly breathe in smoke from other people's cigarettes.

 

As for smoking itself, people know what it does to them, just like alcohol, and what about energy drinks? No age restriction on them. Live and let live I say. People should have the choice, but NON smokers need to be protected from passive smoking.

 

Yeah, at the risk of going off-topic, alcohol should carry a health warning by rights, it's a contributory factor in all sorts of cancers and people don't necessarily know that but the emphasis is usually on binge drinking.

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but how can the hospital simply accept this?

 

Because anything else will be unconstitutional. Do you know that any surgery is a bodily harm? The only reason why surgeons are not persecuted for bodily harm is because a patient gives permission for that.

 

That's also the reason why anti-smoking laws are called Nichtraucherschutz, "laws protecting non-smokers", because you simply aren't allowed to prevent smokers from dying if they want to, so all non-smoking legislation is to protect non-smokers from smokers.

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Junk Food Now Kills More People Than Smoking, Says UN Expert

http://www.designntrend.com/articles/14164/20140519/junk-food-now-kills-more-people-thank-smoking-says-un-expert.htm

 

or this one: http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2013/07/poor-dietary-habits-are-killing-people/

 

Smoking, drinking, junk food, lets face it, people will always do something that annoys other people and/or is bad for their health, but that's part of living in the "free" world. We make our own choices, good and bad, and sometimes that choice annoys somebody nearby.

 

I agree, people should be more aware of others around them, whether it be smoking, playing loud music, throwing rubbish out the window of the car (now that really does annoy me!), but I can's see it changing any time soon.

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I see what you mean, yourkeau, but it still think it is so ironic to see severely ill people chain-smoking in front of hospitals. Wouldn't it also be the best time to help them quit this habit when they are in hospital anyway? It would certainly improve their health and their chances of recovery. It just makes me sad and I think a complete smoking ban around hospitals would actually help.

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Smoking, drinking, junk food, lets face it, people will always do something that annoys other people and/or is bad for their health, but that's part of living in the "free" world. We make our own choices, good and bad, and sometimes that choice annoys somebody nearby.

 

"small" difference is that after I chewed my junk food I don't spit it at other people. The same applies to beer. I would tolerate small smoke emitted by cigarette itself if smokers would keep the smoke inside their lungs.

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