Smoking ban in Berlin

224 posts in this topic

 

Johnsoda - the study basically examined health care costs.

 

It wasn't completely perfect, as it didn't take into account costs drawn out on public pension schemes, lost productivity due to time off work, informal caretakers, etc.. I mean, if you really wanted to go in depth, you could draw out the portion that the smokers paid in cigarette taxes to offset health costs, etc..

 

But I think you're mixing apples and cigarettes, by combining the cost of health care plus the cost of cigarettes to get your total, which I don't think is the right equation.

 

My only point was to throw caution on using the "health care costs" argument.

I've been a bit skeptical of that study because from what I understand it also didn't include extended health care costs like dental, which can also add up. My dad has been dealing with teeth problems and gum disease for years because of smoking.

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so if you take a job at a restaurant, bar, cafe, hairdresser (yes, they smoke it up at the hairdresser in Berlin), bakery (smoking cafe sections), pizza delivery, döner stand ...its your fault if you get lung cancer because you made the choice? Think of all the broke 20 somethings in school just trying to make a few extra bucks. Nobody wants to sign up for lung cancer.

Ya I hear you on that one! It's not like there are a wide variety of jobs that you can do during school, because of the time you need to spend in class and studying. You need something fairly casual and flexible. Also waitressing earns you some tips (even in Germany), which makes it miles better to do during school than retail.

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Roman from Toronto ... you don't "have to pay for (my) inflated health care bills ", I'm a UK citizen, we have a National Health Service. So quit the suffering martyr pose. The taxes on cigarettes more than equal out any costs. Plus we pay income tax and national insurance. I'd be quite happy to recoup the taxes Governments spend on pointless, endless wars and rocketing military budgets, and ring-fence it wth the health service to use later!

For what it's worth, I agree with you on the smoking ban in restaurants. Most smokers would agree with you also. That wasn't the point.

Secondly, if you start attacking other people as "weak-minded" because of an addiction or a "vice", well, where do you stop? Should fat people be able to get health care ... when they are presumably so "weak-minded" they can't stop stuffing their mouths with food? Should those that are so "weak-minded" that they can't be bothered to get themselves to a gym twice a week be looked after? How about drinkers? Car-drivers? Wow, I thought Canadians were tolerant!

And re" the "smokers are more interesting" thing ... sure, it was a little tongue-in-cheek, but you deny quite a lot of artists, musicians, philosophers, teachers and writers smoke? Whilst quite a lot of boring Yuppies play squash, go jogging and rant about others' vices? Chill out, man ...

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Whilst quite a lot of boring Yuppies play squash, go jogging and rant about others' vices? Chill out, man ...

You say Canadians are supposed to be tolerant, a generalization. You say non-smokers are boring, another generalization. Most of my friends are non-smokers, no yuppies, don't play squash, don't rant about other's vices and are more fascinating, artistic and interesting than anyone I have met with a cig hanging out of the corner of their mouth. My first job here in Berlin was in a lab where 70% of the workers smoked and were allowed to on the job. These smokers took more sick days than the non-smokers forcing the non-smokers to pull up the slack...all the time. On average, a smoking employee was at home coughing up a lung so often that we were almost never at full strength. That's lost revenue for the employer (paying a smoker to stay at home more often...less than three days sick is not covered by health care) and lost time and wages for the other employees who enter a higher tax bracket through overtime hours, not to mention the added stress and the second hand smoke making us all sick too.

All this so that someone can sit back and smoke a cigarette.

Just seems a high price to pay for a simple toxic little stick.

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it hasn't been your experience to encounter smoking at bars, restaurants and cafes in Berlin? I'm going to let this one go with a long hard chuckle.

Not one. Maybe I frequent better establishments which respect the rule of law?

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Roman, you worked in a lab where 70 per cent of your fellow workers smoked? What were they, beagles?

Sounds you like had an awful job, and this has somehow got turned into an illogical hatred of smokers. How can you prove that your colleagues took time off " because they were smokers"? Did you check? Maybe they had stomach bugs, or migraines, or depression? Maybe they had family crises, hangovers, a sense of utter boredom with their dead-end job? Diarrhoea, broken limbs, rampaging colds, exotic viruses?

Maybe ... they JUST FANCIED SOME FREE TIME!

And really were not that bothered that they had just ( shock, horror) propelled someone into ( gasp!) " a higher tax bracket ".!!!

The impulse to prohibit seems to go hand-in-hand with a certain humourlessness. And Berlin doesn't need puritans. Had 'em before, remember?

Smokers aren't " weak-willed" ( what, as opposed to ubermensch?). We simply follow Oscar Wilde: we can resist everything except temptation. Or like Morrissey " we're hoping for / an early death ". !

 

Sweden, Canada, California ... early adopters of non-smoking legislation ... vapid cultural deserts.

Paris, Berlin, Rome, London, Madrid, Barcelona et al ... almost entirely covered in nicotine... birthplaces of culture, dangerous, alive, and vibrant.

A mismatch if ever I heard one. :)

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i have to say this thread has given me the best giggle in ages, on an otherwise dull post-bank holiday tuesday.

Kudos to Jim Cross and King Billy for particular entertainment factor and hard-to-refute arguements. As a smoker (lapsed, ex you could say) i can see the pros and cons on both sides but the holier-than-thou arguements of the anti camp p*ss me off endlessly. I was geared up for bringing in the morbidly obese point until Jim C beat me to it... obesity is fast becooming the biggest health risk in the western world and will soon be the biggest drain on healthcare systems, but we can't even address the issue with fat people becuase it makes them feel insecure or something... anyone else smell the b*llshit?

 

Also, a little addition to the passive smoking sources - i suggest those of you who have to reach for the hyperbaric chamber at the mere whiff of cigarette smoke bear in mind the carcinogenic effects of wood burning stoves, oil heaters, gas barbecues, bush fires, a volcanic eruption, a dust storm or the neighbor's open wood fire.

 

Anyway i say embrace the smoking ban. It silences the incessant yapping of the anti camp and in Dublin has led to the evolution of a nice little sub culture outside the bar.

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Sweden, Canada, California ... early adopters of non-smoking legislation ... vapid cultural deserts.

Paris, Berlin, Rome, London, Madrid, Barcelona et al ... almost entirely covered in nicotine... birthplaces of culture, dangerous, alive, and vibrant.

A mismatch if ever I heard one.

Sweden, Canada and California are vapid cultural deserts? Wow, you really are ignorant.

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Smokers aren't " weak-willed" ( what, as opposed to ubermensch?). We simply follow Oscar Wilde: we can resist everything except temptation. Or like Morrissey " we're hoping for / an early death ". !

Not early enough!

What do you call someone who can't resist the urge to do what everyone else is doing because they have been convinced its cool? There is nothing interesting about doing exactly the same thing as all your peers. "Hey look, he smokes so I will too...than I can be as cool as he is". Now that's a vibrant, dangerous and alive culture...masses of people doing exactly the same thing because they don't want to feel left out...very original.

If your culture told you that ugly pink poka-dot track pants were in style, I'd bet you'd be the first to wear a pair.

Go ahead Jim...be a follower.

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Sweden, Canada and California are vapid cultural deserts? Wow, you really are ignorant.

So,in comparison to Paris, Berlin, Rome and London how are Sweden, Candan and California not vapid cultural deserts?

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Paris and Berlin are my favorite cities, but I'm not going to say that San Francisco, Vancouver and Montreal are not great cultural centers, and I think it's ignorant to say that one culture is better than another. All those cities have thriving arts scenes, beautiful architecture and landscapes, and cool people. I've never been to Sweden but I've heard great things about Stockholm and the city has a rich history.

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VenusinFurs ( great name ... the Velvets thought California was a vapid cultural desert, didn't they?) ... are you SERIOUSLY saying Sweden and Canada are globally renowned for their contributions to culture!!!? in comparison to the European capitals I mentioned? ( By the way, I love Canada, lived in Vancouver for a while, and in comparison to the nutcase bully beneath them, the place is a beautiful oasis of sanity, friendliness etc. Just, um, a little safe and well-meaning.) And yes yes, please don't bother to post that Canada produces great writers and that California gave us the odd half-decent Beat, I know, I know). Still pales in comparison to all those filthy European smokers though, what with Freud and Picasso and Van Gogh and Francis Bacon and Beckett and virtually every French and English writer that EVER LIVED chuffing away on their little cancerous tubes of delight...

Roman, I can't get into a debate about the definition of culture ... not with someone who frets about their tax bracket and worker absenteeism. It would be like trying to persuade my great-grandfather that modern music wasn't "just noise". And I'll have you know I would almost certainly look MAGNIFICENT in a pair of pink polka-dot trousers!( or whatever the hell you were gibbering about.)

King Billy, I salute you. And you're right, the one cool thing about the ban is that it has created a little subculture. I guess the same occurred in the Prohibition era...speakeasies etc. I bet alcohol is the next target for our priggish health tsars...every pint glass or bottle of wine you buy will have a photo of a diseased liver and a ALCOHOL RUINS YOUR HEALTH sign on it. I'm not even joking ... the British Government has already debated this. Funny how in times of environmental meltdown, global economic crisis, terrorism and unjust wars, the Government wants us all to go about reporting each other to the smoking/drinking police. Very convenient, no? And as the Stasi era shows, there's always plenty of our fellow citizens quite happy to follow their wee agenda.

So King Billy, we will have to meet for a beer sometime, and blow our smoke-rings up toward the beautiful moon. As opposed to out of our tight little asses.

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Forgot to answer ... Venus, New York didn't used to be a cultural wasteland. But now, with its spiralling rents and moral agenda, it's becoming one. Why do you think half of NY's artists seem to be living in Berlin!!! For the graffiti, smoking, late bars, darkrooms, sex clubs, musical and artistic cauldron... it reminds 'em of a time when New York was interesting!

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Congratulations everyone, this is officially the dumbest debate on Toytown:

 

Whether or not smoking bans passed decades after the death of "Picasso, Freud, and Van Gogh" are to blame for those individuals not living in such cities.

 

Everyone knows George Gershwin moved temporarily to Paris in order to be surrounded by an atmosphere of thinking that would be friendly to smokers decades longer after his death.

 

Perhaps one day, the raw creativity contained in cigarettes will be distilled into concentrated form. Then citizens can bravely line up for their mandatory “creativity patch

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Let's bring back heroin too while we're at it, seeing as Miles Davis used it then it mustn't be that bad, right?

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VenusinFurs ( great name ... the Velvets thought California was a vapid cultural desert, didn't they?) ... are you SERIOUSLY saying Sweden and Canada are globally renowned for their contributions to culture!!!? in comparison to the European capitals I mentioned? ( By the way, I love Canada, lived in Vancouver for a while, and in comparison to the nutcase bully beneath them, the place is a beautiful oasis of sanity, friendliness etc. Just, um, a little safe and well-meaning.) And yes yes, please don't bother to post that Canada produces great writers and that California gave us the odd half-decent Beat, I know, I know). Still pales in comparison to all those filthy European smokers though, what with Freud and Picasso and Van Gogh and Francis Bacon and Beckett and virtually every French and English writer that EVER LIVED chuffing away on their little cancerous tubes of delight...

Roman, I can't get into a debate about the definition of culture ... not with someone who frets about their tax bracket and worker absenteeism. It would be like trying to persuade my great-grandfather that modern music wasn't "just noise". And I'll have you know I would almost certainly look MAGNIFICENT in a pair of pink polka-dot trousers!( or whatever the hell you were gibbering about.)

King Billy, I salute you. And you're right, the one cool thing about the ban is that it has created a little subculture. I guess the same occurred in the Prohibition era...speakeasies etc. I bet alcohol is the next target for our priggish health tsars...every pint glass or bottle of wine you buy will have a photo of a diseased liver and a ALCOHOL RUINS YOUR HEALTH sign on it. I'm not even joking ... the British Government has already debated this. Funny how in times of environmental meltdown, global economic crisis, terrorism and unjust wars, the Government wants us all to go about reporting each other to the smoking/drinking police. Very convenient, no? And as the Stasi era shows, there's always plenty of our fellow citizens quite happy to follow their wee agenda.

So King Billy, we will have to meet for a beer sometime, and blow our smoke-rings up toward the beautiful moon. As opposed to out of our tight little asses.

Canada and the US haven't had as LONG to establish as much culture as Europe so I find your argument empty.

 

All those artists and writers you listed existed at a time when people didn't know the health risks of smoking. A lot of famous artists and writers were also addicted to opium. Does that mean that we should all just start shooting up heroin? There are lots of interesting people that do not smoke. It's a silly argument.

 

I don't care if the Velvets hated California. I love their music but it doesn't mean I take everything they said or did to be absolute truth and perfection either.

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Forgot to answer ... Venus, New York didn't used to be a cultural wasteland. But now, with its spiralling rents and moral agenda, it's becoming one. Why do you think half of NY's artists seem to be living in Berlin!!! For the graffiti, smoking, late bars, darkrooms, sex clubs, musical and artistic cauldron... it reminds 'em of a time when New York was interesting!

If you equate 'smoking' with 'interesting' I feel really sorry for you. Are there no other interesting aspects of your personality that don't have anything to do with smoking?

 

To me, it stinks of 'crutch.' It's like when people have to drink to have fun. Sure most of us enjoy drinking, but we could have fun without it. A select few people seem unable to entertain themselves without alcohol, cuz they need the crutch. Either that or they're just really, really boring.

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