What's new

Welcome to Japan Reference (JREF) - the community for all Things Japanese.

Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

Tokyo: eateries finally smoke-free

thomas

Unswerving cyclist
Admin
Joined
14 Mar 2002
Messages
10,797
Reaction score
2,117
Barely noticed over all the Coronavirus news, Tokyo has finally banned smoking in restaurants and bars.


 

nice gaijin

Resident Realist
Moderator
Donor
Joined
8 Aug 2005
Messages
5,804
Reaction score
942
When I'm in Aichi I stay with friends who are very odor-sensitive, and we've had to choose our seats carefully. Sometimes I'd have to watch them tense up as other patrons would enter and sit down nearby, and hope they wouldn't light up. We've had to leave our favorite restaurants at times, rather than to confront the smokers, who weren't doing it out of spite or breaking any rules in doing so.

When I worked for the government, we had a policy against strong fragrances and perfumes for this reason... Some might see this as an excessive restriction when they're only thinking of themselves, but poisoning others isn't a matter of personal freedom, and as we're learning from all the research about the spread of airborne particles it's become pretty apparent that indoors we are sharing a lot more than the space with others. If you must smoke, don't force it on others.
 

Mark of Zorro

先輩
Joined
4 Oct 2012
Messages
2,427
Reaction score
315
My earlier posts were deemed "rants" and deleted. Plus I was temp banned and I don't know if it was for the deleted posts here or something else.

So I will simply ask if I am allowed to have the opposite opinion of you three or are you or one of you threatened by an opposing opinion on this too greatly to allow me to speak?
 

bentenmusume

やれやれ
Contributor
Joined
12 Oct 2004
Messages
1,009
Reaction score
733
I'm of two minds about this, really. On one hand, I don't smoke, nor do I care for the smell of smoke, so this new law only has positive benefits for me, personally.

That said, even before the law went into effect, 90% of the places I frequented had long since gone non-smoking, especially quality 日本酒 places, wine bars, etc. where the proprietors wanted people to be able to enjoy the aroma of the drink and the food without it being smothered out by smoke. (Many of these places also banned excessive perfume, as nice gaijin alluded to above.) Many chain-type izakaya, too, I believe (I rarely if ever patronize such places) had also made a similar decision to cater to non-smokers and international customers (who by and large prefer non-smoking establishments).

Meanwhile, there are older 大衆居酒屋 type-places where a great majority of the clientele smoked and no doubt found it comforting that there were still establishments that catered to their preferences. Forcing these places to go non-smoking might hurt their business, especially if that was a draw or selling point in an age where there were increasingly few "oases" (oasises?) for smokers.

The "devil's advocate" side of me can't help but ask: is it so terrible offering people a choice? Eateries that don't want to cater to smokers can make that choice, and people who don't like smoke can patronize those places (and not others). Places that want to cater to smokers (an increasingly diminishing number) can do so, and smokers can choose to go to those places.

I know some people are happy to demonize all smokers and say they don't deserve any consideration at all, but smokers smoking in an izakaya that has specifically made a decision to cater to a smoking clientele doesn't strike me as something that needs to be "morally legislated" out of existence. Fortunately for the smokers (and the old-fashioned individually-run izakaya who want to cater to them), the law as it exists now allows for a number of exceptions and loopholes, though I can definitely see those being closed up as time goes on.
 
Last edited:
Joined
5 May 2013
Messages
880
Reaction score
351
the law as it exists now allows for a number of exceptions and loopholes, though I can definitely see those being closed up as time goes on.
The trend is clear, smoking will be outlawed everywhere. First no indoor smoking in public establishments, then no smoking in public, then no smoking in private locations that are not physically separated (e.g., no smoking in cars on public roads, or in apartments/rowhouses, only in detached houses). Rules against smoking indoors in your private detached house I believe are currently only implemented by 'homeowner's associations' and aren't exactly laws (but you can still be fined and/or forced out of your home), but laws are likely inevitably going to follow.

Once there is nowhere you can legally consume tobacco, outlawing tobacco would be inevitable, and would inevitably result in a black market that increases the wealth and power of organized crime as with alcohol prohibition and all other illegal drugs.

I expect this will take decades to play out, although it's becoming extremely difficult politically to support the right to smoke as a politician or a corporation so it could happen much faster. There is no substantial public will to support a right to smoke, not in the way that results in campaign contributions at least, so it's all but decided in everything but timeline.
 

mdchachi

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
6 Mar 2003
Messages
3,837
Reaction score
1,236
I'm of two minds about this, really. On one hand, I don't smoke, nor do I care for the smell of smoke, so this new law only has positive benefits for me, personally.

That said, even before the law went into effect, 90% of the places I frequented had long since gone non-smoking, especially quality 日本酒 places, wine bars, etc. where the proprietors wanted people to be able to enjoy the aroma of the drink and the food without it being smothered out by smoke. (Many of these places also banned excessive perfume, as nice gaijin alluded to above.) Many chain-type izakaya, too, I believe (I rarely if ever patronize such places) had also made a similar decision to cater to non-smokers and international customers (who by and large prefer non-smoking establishments).

Meanwhile, there are older 大衆居酒屋 type-places where a great majority of the clientele smoked and no doubt found it comforting that there were still establishments that catered to their preferences. Forcing these places to go non-smoking might hurt their business, especially if that was a draw or selling point in an age where there were increasingly few "oases" (oasises?) for smokers.

The "devil's advocate" side of me can't help but ask: is it so terrible offering people a choice? Eateries that don't want to cater to smokers can make that choice, and people who don't like smoke can patronize those places (and not others). Places that want to cater to smokers (an increasingly diminishing number) can do so, and smokers can choose to go to those places.

I know some people are happy to demonize all smokers and say they don't deserve any consideration at all, but smokers smoking in an izakaya that has specifically made a decision to cater to a smoking clientele doesn't strike me as something that needs to be "morally legislated" out of existence. Fortunately for the smokers (and the old-fashioned individually-run izakaya who want to cater to them), the law as it exists now allows for a number of exceptions and loopholes, though I can definitely see those being closed up as time goes on.
This analysis ignores the occupational safety hazard aspect of smoking.

I’m not well read on this topic but I believe when these bans went into effect in the USA there was all kinds of doom & gloom about loss of business that never came to pass

Intellectually your argument makes sense. Personally I’m happy that my kids aren’t growing up in the world I did. If I take them bowling the air isn’t full of smoke and hazy like it was when I was a kid.

The trend is clear, smoking will be outlawed everywhere. First no indoor smoking in public establishments, then no smoking in public, then no smoking in private locations that are not physically separated (e.g., no smoking in cars on public roads, or in apartments/rowhouses, only in detached houses). Rules against smoking indoors in your private detached house I believe are currently only implemented by 'homeowner's associations' and aren't exactly laws (but you can still be fined and/or forced out of your home), but laws are likely inevitably going to follow.

Once there is nowhere you can legally consume tobacco, outlawing tobacco would be inevitable, and would inevitably result in a black market that increases the wealth and power of organized crime as with alcohol prohibition and all other illegal drugs.

I expect this will take decades to play out, although it's becoming extremely difficult politically to support the right to smoke as a politician or a corporation so it could happen much faster. There is no substantial public will to support a right to smoke, not in the way that results in campaign contributions at least, so it's all but decided in everything but timeline.
I doubt this will happen in Japan or USA in my lifetime. Too much Big Money in tobacco.
 
Joined
5 May 2013
Messages
880
Reaction score
351
This analysis ignores the occupational safety hazard aspect of smoking.
One could pass laws about outside ventilation volumes instead of prohibiting smoking. Commercial kitchen vents can suck out enormous amounts of smoke; just because such ventilation isn't normally installed in seating areas doesn't mean it couldn't be. The intention of those advocating for such laws, however, is not really to just stop second-hand smoke health risks, it is to stop smoking.

I’m not well read on this topic but I believe when these bans went into effect in the USA there was all kinds of doom & gloom about loss of business that never came to pass
Where smoking restrictions went into effect across an entire state (or nation), there's nowhere else to go and overall restaurant and bar business didn't decrease. When restrictions were more localized, individual businesses did suffer even if the industry as a whole didn't. People can and will go to the next town, but they aren't going to go hundreds of miles or stop going out altogether.

When broad restrictions do come in, individual business that catered to smokers are likely to individually suffer even though the industry may flourish. People who previously went out of their way to go there will stop doing so. That may be made up by local non-smokers finding the location convenient when it becomes non-smoking .... or it may not. It all depends on the fortunes of an individual business's location and circumstances.


I doubt this will happen in Japan or USA in my lifetime. Too much Big Money in tobacco.

Every time an anti-smoking law is passed, anti-smoking advocates have won against tobacco, further reducing the actual and potential earnings of tobacco companies. The increased sentiment against tobacco is also why tobacco companies have been spun off as their own entities again, separate from snack foods. No one wants to be left holding the bag on a dying industry, so it's not feasible anymore to keep Lay's potato chips and Marlboro under the same roof.

Meanwhile, The Truth Initiative has nearly a billion dollars in assets, though both spending and fundraising are "only" in the tens-of-millions of dollars annually. I'm not sure why they raised much less money in 2019 than in 2018, but they are not in any danger of going broke anyway, and they are only one anti-tobacco initiative.

So far, the tobacco industry is putting up a good fight and only losing slowly ; they have made up a lot of ground financially by spreading into 3rd world markets. But they are running out of places to grow into to make up for the places they are losing. As they financially weaken, there will come a time when they cannot lobby effectively, but anti-smoking lobbyists can. It might take 50 years, but it also might only take 10. As soon as the lobbying money is decisively one-sided tobacco will be outlawed very swiftly.
 
Last edited:
  • Thread starter
  • Admin
  • #9

thomas

Unswerving cyclist
Admin
Joined
14 Mar 2002
Messages
10,797
Reaction score
2,117
My earlier posts were deemed "rants" and deleted. Plus I was temp banned and I don't know if it was for the deleted posts here or something else. So I will simply ask if I am allowed to have the opposite opinion of you three or are you or one of you threatened by an opposing opinion on this too greatly to allow me to speak?

Your posts were removed because of their hostile and disrespectful tone, not because of your opinion. You were warned in the past and therefore given a temporary ban. In the future, please consider your demeanour before posting a reply. If you have any questions or remarks, reply to our Private Conversation (PC), not to this thread. Thank you.
 

Mark of Zorro

先輩
Joined
4 Oct 2012
Messages
2,427
Reaction score
315
Tone and respect are two words that seem totally subjective to me. And in lieu of evidence or example it seems like demanding I paint in the correct shade of red next time or suffer the consequence, and that's all I get. Maybe I should take this one sentence at a time as two posts at a time did not work prior. I shall start in the next post.
 

Mark of Zorro

先輩
Joined
4 Oct 2012
Messages
2,427
Reaction score
315
Banning restaurants and bars from practicing their business model as they wish, exercising their own freedom of choice whether to allow smoking or not in their establishments, is a total and horrific affront to the freedoms I hold dear.
 

nice gaijin

Resident Realist
Moderator
Donor
Joined
8 Aug 2005
Messages
5,804
Reaction score
942
Coming from a public health background, I have nothing but disdain for the tobacco industry; the public health implications of tobacco use were so great that there was a whole branch set up to discourage it. I wasn't directly involved with those programs but from what I saw it's been a long slog clawing away at the foothold the industry had carved for itself, from the days of spreading misinformation about the health implications of smoking and running ads with men in lab coats praising the health benefits, and getting actual doctors to suggest their patients to take up smoking. There are some truly appalling ads from the pre-digital age that go to show that they would literally say anything to get a cigarette in your mouth. That spirit is alive, though it's now veiled and held in check by the accountability watchdogs. Celebrity endorsements and product placement in TV and film were probably the most effective advertising technique, but the stuff targeting kids was as shameless as it was effective; getting young smokers loyal to your brand was the name of the game, a smoker for life, even if it was a shortened life. The most heinous thing was that the industry had done the research into the health effects of tobacco use, but buried it and then lied about it. There's a lot of blood on their hands.

Let's be honest, tobacco companies' real product is nicotine and its addiction. They deliver nicotine now in just about every form except suppository (don't fact check me on that, I am probably wrong), and now they're buying into vaping technology and spreading misinformation about that in order to hook a new audience; teen vaping numbers have gone through the roof, and it was discovered that Juul, after being bought up by Altria (formerly Philip Morris of Marlboro fame), had been running workshops in high schools under the pretense of talking about addiction, and using it to promote vaping to teenagers, all before we had a good idea of the effects of vaping. No wonder they're up to their old tricks of finding "replacement smokers," and now with "advanced nicotine delivery mechanisms" that are more appealing and discreet, not to mention easily flavored to make nicotine addiction more palatable to kids.

Meanwhile, the tobacco lobby has done such a good job of convincing people that it's their right to poison themselves, they have unpaid actors and regular folks--even non-smokers--defending it. Is smoking a right? I suppose it's one thing to say that it's everyone's right to put whatever they want in their bodies, but is it a well-informed decision when there's an entire industry lying about their product? Are we allowed to make those decisions that also have an effect on the people around us, who don't get a say? Are the waitresses working in smoking sections getting hazard pay? I guess there's nothing stopping us from eating Tide Pods either, but that doesn't make it any less of a public safety concern. At least eating laundry detergent doesn't also poison your family.
 

Mark of Zorro

先輩
Joined
4 Oct 2012
Messages
2,427
Reaction score
315
If you would not go to a Chinese restaurant expecting pizza, then you should not go to a smoking restaurant and expect clean air, nor work at one with similar expectations.
 
Joined
5 May 2013
Messages
880
Reaction score
351
Juul, after being bought up by Altria (formerly Philip Morris of Marlboro fame), had been running workshops in high schools under the pretense of talking about addiction, and using it to promote vaping to teenagers, all before we had a good idea of the effects of vaping. No wonder they're up to their old tricks of finding "replacement smokers," and now with "advanced nicotine delivery mechanisms" that are more appealing and discreet, not to mention easily flavored to make nicotine addiction more palatable to kids.

Vaping pre-dates Juul and flavors are not exclusively for children. I used vaping as a tool to quit smoking, and consider flavors to be very important actually. I went from cigarettes to 'flavored tobacco' vapes (tobacco+cherry, tobacco+vanilla, etc.) to pure flavors (berries, melons) ; I've always avoided 'buttery' flavors because of risks of a certain flavoring agent.

Vaping non-tobacco flavors means that tobacco stops smelling "good" and stops being associated with nicotine addiction, which prevents relapse. Then, because I vape juice-in-tank not those stupid cartridges, I can reduce my nicotine level arbitrarily low. It's quite nearly zero now... I dilute my 0.3% juice (the lowest they sell) about 10:1 for a >0.03% juice. (It's essentially placebo, but early on I relapsed to cigarettes when trying to switch to 0-nicotine too soon, so.)

Very few people in the shops I frequent are young, except the one shop that also sells marijuana paraphenalia -- and the kids aren't there for the vapes.

Now, as for the cartridge systems -- they're terrible. They're overpriced, taste terrible, do not have low or zero nicotine options. And yes, they market to teenagers and have been bought by tobacco firms (they acted like tobacco firms before anyway). IMO, the cartridge vape industry is taking a safer, cheaper, less addictive (0-nic if you want!) smoking alternative and trying to make it as expensive and addictive as possible, with no regard to health or safety. Oh, the vaping health crisis? Appears to entirely be caused by bad cartridges. Possibly defective, old, or black market, or some combination it's not entirely clear -- but it's entirely cartridges and seems to be mostly black market thc cartridges. (Well if the black market cartridges were the culprit maybe it wasn't the legal industry at fault this time, but those reports of unquestioningly selling questionable cartridges inspire no confidence).

So what's the response? To ban flavored juices, across the board. 0-nicotine juice for tank systems included. So now I have to go out of state to get my zero nicotine juice that I use as a means of staying away from cigarettes...

That's great. How about ... controlling what additives are allowed to prevent things like popcorn-lung? How about limiting the max nicotine for cartridges? How about forbidding vapes from being sold in shops that admit persons under 18? If they weren't in every gas station and corner store, do you think high-schoolers would vape? They're starting to do something finally on nicotine levels, but first priority was of course to make sure ex-smokers couldn't have mango vape.

The fact is, nobody cares about adults using low- or no- nicotine as smoking cessation or smoking alternative. We don't buy the overpriced product and we don't make dramatic campaign fodder. Neither side actually cares about people or health, only about dollars and votes, so, they do things that are insane public policy but very rational with those goals in mine.

all before we had a good idea of the effects of vaping

We have no idea about the effects of vaping, scientifically. We have one mysterious outbreak of bad catridges -- that says nothing about vaping in general. I will tell you, anecdotally from myself and all the other low- and no- nic vapers: our breathing is fine, our chests don't ache, we don't cough up weird stuff. The data is not in, but it certainly feels far better than smoking cigarettes, and rationally speaking, it should be better. There's no tar. There's no carbon monoxide. The nicotine level (which numbs the lungs and prevents them from self-cleaning) is drastically lower. As long as you don't use popcorn-lung causing artificial butter or a handful of other terrible chemicals, there's no reason it should be very bad for you. You'd breathe more oil working the fry station and as much fruit essence stepping into Yankee Candle for five minutes.

But we won't regulate out just the dangerous chemicals or clamp down on cartridge safety generally, or the black market cartridges particularly, because it's not actually about people or public health, it's about dollars and votes. "the truth" has had vaping in its sights since day one, and of course tobacco is in the vape game now, lobbying dollars everywhere, and meanwhile there's tax revenues -- cigarette stamp taxes are falling along with cigarette use. Tobacco companies aren't the only ones looking to make up lost revenues with vaping. Who's on what committee and which lobbyist is paying them off and what makes good campaign fodder are all that matters here.

they have unpaid actors and regular folks--even non-smokers--defending it
Look in the mirror. Your post was littered with talking points that have been pushed by the anti-vape lobby. Money is on every side here.
 

nice gaijin

Resident Realist
Moderator
Donor
Joined
8 Aug 2005
Messages
5,804
Reaction score
942
Hi @SomeCallMeChris, thanks for your response and you make some solid points. I'll definitely say that for some people vaping was a good path to quit smoking, and while I wouldn't call it safe it certainly does seem less unhealthy, on the whole, than smoking combusted leaves (with or without additives). I don't think the blanket bans successfully serve their intended purpose, which was mainly to keep nicotine products from targeting minors. More to your point, they certainly aren't without unintended consequence, and like you said, may pave the way for a black market of even less regulated products. Seems like cause and effect doesn't always follow a logical path when we lack all the info, but it's also difficult to say for sure what would happen if this or that circumstance were different, as we can only speculate.

I can see how the bans have negatively affected you and weren't well thought through; they were clearly rushed into place to stem what appeared to be a growing wave of addicted youth, suddenly capped with dead teenagers. There are definitely zealots on both sides, who either treated the emerging market like the wild west where someone hit the reset button on tobacco regulations, and others who were more like the prohibitionists who my father would (derisively) call the "true believers" of the public health charge... others might call them proponents of the nanny state. There may be a few of them who would support an all-out ban, but I don't think that has any real chance of happening, nor would I support it myself. And I doubt there'd be much point in nailing the coffin shut if tobacco products and their use were pushed so far to the fringe that they fall completely out of public favor, for the reasons you cited. It seems ironic that we're seeing tightening restrictions on legal drugs, while trending towards loosened schedules for some illicit drugs; the history of all this is quite wild, and the needles swing in both directions as time goes on.

I didn't really intend for this to get too off topic and make this about vaping, I just mentioned it as an example of another mechanism through which the tobacco industry was peddling nicotine, and targeting young people to get them addicted. I personally dabbled briefly as a non-smoker, and clearly you have some experience here and know more about it from your perspective as a former smoker and I value that perspective; there's much to say on the subject. Perhaps these posts will peel off into a separate thread if we'd like to focus solely on that.

Bringing it back to the smoking ban for businesses, I think when you look at the trend it comes down to whether you are empathizing with the smokers, or the people around them, or just making an argument as a matter of principle in order to prevent some slippery slope from occurring. At any rate, it seems that the tide is turning against tobacco, and smokers are feeling more boxed in (literally, in some cases) and on the fringe, while they used to be the accepted norm. I can see this as being jarring for the smokers themselves, who are now caught in the trap of addiction either willingly or unwillingly. Whether you see this new law as a good or bad thing depends on the perspective you choose to take; staunch smokers and their supporters may see it as an erosion of their rights, but would you go so far as to call smoking in public venues a right? I see it as a privilege that was the norm, and now it's being peeled back.

As for the libertarian approach of "let them do what they want and let the market decide," I mean, yeah I guess that sounds good and freedom-loving and all, but that really comes down to "let's sort out the damage after it's been done," rather than moving the solutions further "upstream" to prevent those health risks from coming to fruition, as my former colleagues would likely say. This attitude is quite common in public health spheres, and is used to talk about a variety of concerns that one might consider a matter of personal freedom, but are on the PH radar because they have major health implications for the individuals directly involved, the people in their orbit, and society at large. Just off the top of my head this would include things like the opioid crisis, interpersonal violence, self-harm, domestic violence, gambling addiction, and vaccine refusal. Particularly in this pandemic situation, the ethical debate of how far personal freedom can go before you're allowing people to endanger others around them, and how far you can legislate personal behavior in concern for public health, has become amplified in the public sphere, and I think it's an important discussion to be had.

Saying that both sides are in it for the money doesn't really jive when you have one side shooting their supposed profit-generation in the foot. A blanket ban doesn't serve the anti-nicotine interests if their money is coming from taxes on those products. This kind of smacks of the "doctors are more interested in treatment than a cure" argument, which I feel reduces the medical profession's motivation to profit rather than the idea of helping and healing people... I've heard a lot of kids say they want to be doctors or nurses when they grow up because they want to help the sick; I haven't heard any say they wanted to join the medical profession because they want to keep people sick and make money off them... Although there's an element of truth in the admonishment of hospitals being run as businesses as we do in the American private healthcare system, I have yet to hear a kid say that they want to grow up to be a hospital administrator.

I see that cynical attitude of "follow the money" being applied equally to the companies and opposing health interests as a symptom of being tumbled around this system that puts profits over people, so it feels like it must hold true that both sides are guilty of profiteering and have no ethical ground to stand on. Having connected with and discussed the subject a bit with the actual "true believers" in Public Health, I know that they aren't in this for the money. And I can't speak to all the NGOs, but the Truth Initiative you cited was set up with money from the Master Settlement Agreement of 1999, in which the US government settled with big tobacco firms to refund some of their profits to pay for infrastructure and education programs. You can see their financial statements and annual reports here. Compared to the tobacco lobby, this seems a trifle by comparison.
 

Mark of Zorro

先輩
Joined
4 Oct 2012
Messages
2,427
Reaction score
315
As for the libertarian approach of "let them do what they want and let the market decide," I mean, yeah I guess that sounds good and freedom-loving and all, but that really comes down to "let's sort out the damage after it's been done," rather than moving the solutions further "upstream" to prevent those health risks from coming to fruition, as my former colleagues would likely say.

I certainly don't want to sound like a hard-core free market capitalist, because I am not in a lot of ways. It just seems to me that if enough people really cared enough about smoke free bars and restaurants, they would abound because 1) establishments would be opened to cater to them and 2) smokers would be a small demographic not generally worth catering to. Of course it takes time for that pendulum to swing and I guess some people are just too impatient.

I am all for pro-active solutions, but generally speaking (<-- vital qualifier there) bans are the brainchild of simple minds and dangerous extremists. If bars and restaurants install equipment (by law perhaps) that keeps cigarette smoke away from those who hate it so intensely, or fear it or have some real medical issue, then there is no real problem. Heck, peanuts literally kill people within hours but there is no general ban on peanuts.

As I have said many times, life is risk. Also, we are all going to die. Anything coming from someone who acts like those two things are not true, such as in "there is no other cancerous smoke out there making breathing risky" and "if not for cigarettes I would live forever", well that someone's opinion is just rubbish and probably actually borne of just a (common) desire to hate and oppress some subgroup out-of-hand for the joy and superiority kick of it (cause you can't hate gays and other races anymore).
 
Last edited:

Mark of Zorro

先輩
Joined
4 Oct 2012
Messages
2,427
Reaction score
315
teen vaping numbers have gone through the roof,


Society has done a good job taking more healthy, more natural fun away from teenagers, handing them unnatural stress, and then turning around and whining about how they wind up dealing with it. Most if not all cannot legally smoke cigarettes or marijuana or drink alcohol (18-21?). Sex is kept from them as much as possible with restrictions on porn, marriage and ages of consent. And the ages for the rights to all the above just keep going up. So some teens have turned to vaping as a substitute (or meth, or crack, or any number of things). Hey, I don't like it either, but you reap what you sow. Deride hippies as I do, the world being as it is and not how they want, if I had my way the world would be a hippie utopia and the freedom haters and the violent would be the outcasts instead of the rulers. Vaping never would have come to be for pot brownies.
 

nice gaijin

Resident Realist
Moderator
Donor
Joined
8 Aug 2005
Messages
5,804
Reaction score
942
I think there's a "chicken or egg" argument about what order of conditions would lead to a decline in smoking or a change in restaurant policy, or vice-a-versa; a policy change like saying no smoking in bars and restaurants is definitely an attempt to further stamp down on smoking, but I don't see that as nearly as extreme a move as banning people from smoking and walking down the street... I don't think we even do that in California, though we do have a new law banning smoking in state parks and on the beaches...

It is quite clear that the tobacco/nicotine interests have done all they can to continue peddling their drug, minimize or hide the hazards of its use, and seek to promote it to as wide an audience as they can, including impressionable youth. They used to get away with a lot, so putting the squeeze on them, much like the perception of the encroachment of the historical privileges of smokers, comes off as an overzealous approach, or an attack on supposed freedoms. For a century or more, public health interests have been kept on their heels by an aggressive industry that puts their profits over the health and well-being of their customers. I see this as those interests finally growing some teeth and learning how to use them, however awkwardly.

Society has done a good job taking more healthy, more natural fun away from teenagers, handing them unnatural stress, and then turning around and whining about how they wind up dealing with it. Most if not all cannot legally smoke cigarettes or marijuana or drink alcohol (18-21?). Sex is kept from them as much as possible with restrictions on porn, marriage and ages of consent. And the ages for the rights to all the above just keep going up. So some teens have turned to vaping as a substitute (or meth, or crack, or any number of things). Hey, I don't like it either, but you reap what you sow. Deride hippies as I do, the world being as it is and not how they want, if I had my way the world would be a hippie utopia and the freedom haters and the violent would be the outcasts instead of the rulers. Vaping never would have come to be for pot brownies.
Again, there's the ideologies of personal freedom and choice butting up against protecting people from themselves, but with the added layer of protecting young people who may not be able to make an informed decision, or who may be susceptible to advertising techniques, or peer pressure, or other forms of manipulation. I think you're conflating a lot of different issues but since you were responding to the statement about teen vaping, are you saying that a rise in vaping is a response to other restrictions on their behavior, or would you consider vaping to fall into the the category of "healthy, more natural fun" as well? I think it's true that the harder you repress something the more attractive you'll make it for rebellious teenagers, which is why I don't believe in abstinence-only policies, as they tend to repress informed consent about those substances and behaviors. That being said, young people do need to know the real dangers of getting into drinking, smoking, sex and drugs, which are amplified for young people. If we adults have done a good job with that education, they'll be able to make an informed decision and not stunt their development or careen down a destructive path.
 

Mark of Zorro

先輩
Joined
4 Oct 2012
Messages
2,427
Reaction score
315
the added layer of protecting young people who may not be able to make an informed decision,

I have to laugh at this idea, though it may be popular and sound good, to me its clearly rubbish. For one, a ban is NOT really a " layer" of protection. Its an attempt to end an activity in a one shot absolutist sense and not as a layer. A seatbelt is a layer of protection; it does not end driving and there are other protective measures in a car. A condom is protection; it does not end sex and there are other protective measures to be had.

As for "informed" that is just such a complete joke. Go ask any smoker to name just three chemical additives in cigarettes and just one health effect of each one. Informed? Please. All they were told is that smoking is bad and causes cancer and its basically the same from grade school to the grave.

And its all just as bad when it comes to teenagers and sex. Information is literally withheld from them and then to turn around and say we need to protect them because we intentionally kept them in the dark is pure rubbish.

Then we have the simple and easy fact that sex has never been safer in human history, yet the age of consent is the highest its ever been in human history. Rubbish.

Then we have the fact that all this (faux) concern about their physical health and financial stability comes at the expense of their mental health. America I believe is the most ardent zealot when it comes to stopping teenagers having sex and what's the reward? According to what I have dug up America is the first world leader in teen runaways and rapes and second only to Canada in teen suicide. But back to physical health and financial stability, the most teen moms, pregnant teens, teen STDs, kidnappings and again, rapes. Come on man. Surely you can see this? This whole situation is a complete farce. And I am intentionally leaving other things out because its all off topic.

So anyway, now we have vaping. How well are people informed on that? Just the fact its new screams "not nearly enough". I have said it a million times, but life is risk. Denying people their right to take risks is denying them life. That just makes them walking dead.
 
Last edited:

Mark of Zorro

先輩
Joined
4 Oct 2012
Messages
2,427
Reaction score
315
That being said, young people do need to know the real dangers of getting into drinking, smoking, sex and drugs, which are amplified for young people.

Yeah. But they also need to know the real BENEFITS of drinking, sex and even drugs and yes, maybe even smoking as some have been claimed and even studied. But we don't get that in school, at least not in my schools. In fact, my sex ed teacher very clearly told us he wanted to say more but was specifically barred from doing so.

SomeCallMeChris had to really nail the point about the benefits of vaping because Anglo culture is really grossly over-focused on (potential) negatives to the point people are offended and trying ban everything. Please hang on to the lesson of his post about positives in this sea of negativity about everything.
 

nice gaijin

Resident Realist
Moderator
Donor
Joined
8 Aug 2005
Messages
5,804
Reaction score
942
I have to laugh at this idea, though it may be popular and sound good, to me its clearly rubbish. For one, a ban is NOT really a " layer" of protection. Its an attempt to end an activity in a one shot absolutist sense and not as a layer. A seatbelt is a layer of protection; it does not end driving and there are other protective measures in a car. A condom is protection; it does not end sex and there are other protective measures to be had.
The "layer" I referred to was in the ideological battle between personal freedom and protecting people from themselves; not that the policy itself was a "layer of protection." I'm sorry this wasn't clear.

As for "informed" that is just such a complete joke. Go ask any smoker to name just three chemical additives in cigarettes and just one health effect of each one. Informed? Please. All they were told is that smoking is bad and causes cancer and its basically the same from grade school to the grave.
At least then they can make the decision to smoke, knowing that it definitely is carcinogenic, what it can do to their bodies, and how it can affect others. There have been attempts to inform the public about the specific additives put in tobacco products; those programs are less effective because it all gets jumbled together and ultimately isn't memorable compared to someone talking out of a hole in their neck. Informed decisions don't require the person to be able to identify the additives, but knowledge of that specific information does make us better informed, particularly when it reveals that several of those chemicals are included to enhance the effects and addictiveness of nicotine, and increase the appeal to young smokers...

Instead, perhaps you should ask any smoker if they think smoking is good for them; you don't have to put the burden on them of knowing the individual ingredients if they understand the overall risks. Can you name some benefits of smoking, right now, without any research? All I can think of off the top of my head is that it's an appetite suppressant, which is less a benefit and more a side effect that some people (like professional dancers) use as chemically-aided anorexia. Even in regards to vaping, @SomeCallMeChris was talking about the benefits of vaping as a smoking cessation aid and alternative. It was his oxycodone, or perhaps more apt, his kratom, to ease himself off his addiction.

Again, we can't make the decision for anyone and I already said I'm not advocating for a complete ban or pretending that making something illegal will stop the behavior. No one is arguing that a seatbelt stops people from driving, if you're going to try to use metaphor as a rhetorical device you're going to have to try harder. If you insist on the example, a seatbelt isn't going to stop an accident from happening (regardless of who is at fault), but it can help mitigate the injury it causes. Smoke-free zones are only like seatbelt laws in that it makes it less likely for law-abiding citizens to hurt themselves, but they also can help avoid damage to others through secondhand smoke. By introducing these laws, you are trying to build a buffer between people and the reckless behaviors of others who make unhealthy choices for themselves.

Lastly, restrictions on where smoking is allowed is not an all-out ban, although I'm seeing some slippery slope arguments regarding where these laws may lead. We're talking about the specific legislation making these businesses smoke-free environments. By talking about a complete ban, you are conflating two different policies, one that is not happening or even being discussed. By bringing up unrelated issues like teenage sex, you're muddying the discussion and I'm not going to engage them any further in this thread. I'd like to point out that so far I've seen:
  • slippery slope
  • strawman
  • anecdotal
  • genetic
  • appeal to nature
  • personal incredulity
I'll avoid making the fallacy fallacy myself, but you're resorting to an awful lot of rhetorical devices and trying to draw parallels with off-topic metaphors.

l1.jpg
 

Mark of Zorro

先輩
Joined
4 Oct 2012
Messages
2,427
Reaction score
315
By bringing up unrelated unrelated issues like teenage sex, you're muddying the discussion and I'm not going to engage them any further in this thread.

If you don't like analogies, or that one, that's your personal problem. One thing that makes the analogy stick is that teenagers are banned from smoking with similar results of them doing it and some specifically because they are not allowed.

Instead, perhaps you should ask any smoker if they think smoking is good for them

We have all been trained to think its bad period.

I was speaking of the idea of being INFORMED. Being able to grunt "This good. That bad" is hardly something I would label as being "informed". If you do, well, you can either reconsider or not. You don't have to berate me about it.

Can you name some benefits of smoking, right now, without any research?

Mental stress relief. I know that in the face of that people like to bring up biological effects such as artery constriction which seems the opposite of stress relief, however the psychological effect of stress relief is still there. Also there was a study that smoking and drinking coffee together may reduce the odds of certain types of cancer.

But I find that challenge to be a bit ridiculous. First I contend that people are not being given the full picture (including myself obviously) and then you present a challenge which will show I don't have the full picture. Of course I don't. I don't smoke, I don't want to smoke and I don't have a horse in this race in some other way either. Why would I have taken the time to not only look for but also memorize smoking benefits?

No one is arguing is arguing that a seatbelt stops people from driving, if you're going to try to use metaphor as a rhetorical device you're going to have to try harder

The fact that seatbelts don't stop people from driving was my very point. See, when we speak of them we are talking about only one belt per person. Now imagine 10 belts per person...so many belts it made it hard to drive a car. So many belts it made it easy to miss one and get ticketed by cops for it. You think that might drive some people to walk and ride bicycles instead?

But anyway, you obviously read my seat belt example wrong. And not that I even approve of that restriction, but the fact the restriction does not make it overly difficult to drive a car was part of the point. Banning smoking in bars and restaurants will give smokers an excessively hard time.

By talking about a complete ban, you are conflating two different policies, one that is not happening or even being discussed.

Since you didn't quote me I don't what I said that makes you make that accusation.

But I will say that banning smoking everywhere but a tiny number of places is obviously going to cause nicotine addicts a LOT of problems. I think I called it a "back door" ban somewhere above, and yes, that is what it amounts to.

Here is a another fun analogy for you: Its legal to own a firearm in Mexico, however there is only one place you can legally buy guns, its an unmarked building, it does not advertise, and its location is not printed in newspapers or magazines. You need months of background checks to get a gun there. Clearly Mexico has a backdoor ban on firearms and Mexico's low levels of legal public firearm ownership prove it.


I submit that this is exactly what smoking opponents are trying to enforce by instituting a bar and restaurant ban on smoking and not even hearing options of installing smoke removing equipment or allowing private businesses to choose for themselves.

Oh yeah, you can still buy cigarettes, but where can you even smoke them anymore? Nicotine addicts need their fix like every hour or something.
 
Last edited:

Mark of Zorro

先輩
Joined
4 Oct 2012
Messages
2,427
Reaction score
315
I'd like to point out that so far I've seen:
  • slippery slope
  • strawman
  • anecdotal
  • genetic
  • appeal to nature
  • personal incredulity

If you cannot or will not specifically cite each example then you are denying me the chance to defend myself from those accusations. That's pretty damn rude and petty. You misinterpreted several things I said above and it seems that is where you are drawing your conclusions of logical fallacy.
 

nice gaijin

Resident Realist
Moderator
Donor
Joined
8 Aug 2005
Messages
5,804
Reaction score
942
If you don't like analogies, or that one, that's your personal problem. One thing that makes the analogy stick is that teenagers are banned from smoking with similar results of them doing it and some specifically because they are not allowed.
I like analogies; I think they can be really useful to illustrate how you think about a subject, and to relate one issue to another. Your analogy doesn't hold water because 1) sex is a natural urge for most (but not all) people once they go through puberty, while smoking is not (at least not until addiction has set in), and therefore, 2) regulations regarding sex and smoking are not the same, either in form or in function.

The initial demand for smoking is the result of manipulative marketing; if it weren't for decades of propaganda designed to get people hooked on their products, smoking wouldn't be such a widespread public health concern, worthy of so much attention from policymakers. The problem is that you're drawing parallels between smoking and teenage sex on this thin shared veneer of "society doesn't want kids doing it." The analogy is bad, and the fact that you keep obsessively returning to it tells us that you are more interested in talking about teenage sex than the subject at hand.

Mental stress relief. I know that in the face of that people like to bring up biological effects such as artery constriction which seems the opposite of stress relief, however the psychological effect of stress relief is still there. Also there was a study that smoking and drinking coffee together may reduce the odds of certain types of cancer.

But I find that challenge to be a bit ridiculous. First I contend that people are not being given the full picture (including myself obviously) and then you present a challenge which will show I don't have the full picture. Of course I don't. I don't smoke, I don't want to smoke and I don't have a horse in this race in some other way either. Why would I have taken the time to not only look for but also memorize smoking benefits?
How is my challenge any more ridiculous than demanding a smoker list the chemical additives and their effects, in order to be considered "informed?" The burden of information is far lower, and I would imagine that someone who is probably constantly on the defensive about their habit would have at least one good thing to say about it.

You may not have a horse in this race, but you are participating in a discussion about the topic; whether you actually believe what you're typing, you seem determined to play devil's advocate for any number of unpopular opinions.... since you've rejected the premise of my challenge, you're free to go research the health benefits of smoking and its additives, and make a compelling refutation of "smoking is bad for you." After all, if that notion is purely the result of anti-smoking propaganda being beaten into us from cradle to grave, surely the truth must be out there somewhere. I tried looking it up myself and found some weird random correlations, but no where did it say that these benefits outweigh the health risks of smoking, nor would any doctor recommend someone take up a cigarette addiction for these reasons.

The fact that seatbelts don't stop people from driving was my very point. See, when we speak of them we are talking about only one belt per person. Now imagine 10 belts per person...so many belts it made it hard to drive a car. So many belts it made it easy to miss one and get ticketed by cops for it. You think that might drive some people to walk and ride bicycles instead?

But anyway, you obviously read my seat belt example wrong. And not that I even approve of that restriction, but the fact the restriction does not make it overly difficult to drive a car was part of the point. Banning smoking in bars and restaurants will give smokers an excessively hard time.
Yet, you are equating each restriction as an additional physical restraint keeping people from doing something many of us (particularly in America) a necessity to daily life. The imagery it evokes is comical but the analogy would be better suited in talking about actual rules about driving, like not being allowed to drive on the sidewalk, as it puts bystanders in harm's way. Why should the driver inconvenience themselves and sit in traffic when there's a perfectly good sidewalk... if they don't like it, pedestrians can just dive out of the way!

Your other analogy about peanuts is also quippy but rhetorical and misleading. Peanuts are food, and are only "poisonous" for the ~1% of people who are allergic to them, while smoke and secondhand smoke is a poison for everyone, albeit a slow-acting one. And unlike peanuts, early exposure doesn't lessen the chance of developing an "allergy" to smoke.

To credit your analogy in regards to the "free market" approach, we are grateful for restaurants that spell out on their menus which dishes contain ingredients that trigger common allergies, and I haven't seen any demands to ban peanuts and other allergens from the menu. But there's a big difference between specific ingredients used at a restaurant, and patrons blowing smoke at each other. My dad doesn't need to ask someone at the next table to put away their pad thai because it has peanuts on it. At best people "don't mind" if someone else is smoking, but that doesn't magically negate the health implications for anyone inhaling the smoke. Sure, life is risk, but you don't have a right to take risks for anyone else.

If you cannot or will not specifically cite each example then you are denying me the chance to defend myself from those accusations. That's pretty damn rude and petty. You misinterpreted several things I said above and it seems that is where you are drawing your conclusions of logical fallacy.
I figured it would seem even more petty to list everything so I didn't. However,

As I have said many times, life is risk. Also, we are all going to die. Anything coming from someone who acts like those two things are not true, such as in "there is no other cancerous smoke out there making breathing risky" and "if not for cigarettes I would live forever", well that someone's opinion is just rubbish and probably actually borne of just a (common) desire to hate and oppress some subgroup out-of-hand for the joy and superiority kick of it (cause you can't hate gays and other races anymore).
This right here is a pretty classic straw man. You're misrepresenting the anti-smoking argument to make it sound extreme and idiotic so you can more easily dismiss it. You're also assuming the reason someone would have these hypothetical beliefs, and projecting a desire to hate on and oppress subgroups for kicks... because it's out of fashion to be racist or homophobic? Seriously dude, what the heck.
 
Top Bottom