thebadPoll: Smoking in public

ducados-1The other day, Ben at Notes From Spain published a self-styled ‘rant’ about not being able to find a smoke-free restaurant near his house in Madrid. Ben, along with many other English commentators here, is firmly ‘anti-smoke’ and makes the case for a further tightening of anti-smoking legislation in Spain, partly because the current legislation seems to be so poorly enforced. Ben’s post soon attracted numerous comments including one from myself and several from some rather vociferous pro-smokers.

As someone who likes the odd smoke, I’m not really bothered by having a bit of it around when I’m eating. Obviously, the finest restaurants we go to don’t allow smoking inside – and this is also fine by me.

So the first poll of 2009 is about smoking in public. What do you think about it? As usual, you can answer the poll to the left >>* and feel free to leave a comment as well.

Updated:  sorry, I forgot the link to Ben’s blog post.

Updated again: *And no, this was not some mind trick. I meant to the right, but I was thinking about the left sidebar. Too much smoking, perhaps

9 thoughts on “thebadPoll: Smoking in public

  1. I don’t care much one way or the other. Since I’m an ex-smoker, I find I tend to look at people who smoke with pity. Funny that, when I smoked, I used to look at non-smokers as boring.
    Which is no doubt what I have become.
    I’ve been visiting a hospital here in Madrid every day for the past few weeks (ill family member) and I notice groups smoking in the stairwells. So I’ve voted for Nº (2) – which is – gentle enforcement of existing rules.
    Mind you – who the Hell has the right to tell us which way to kill ourselves…?

  2. I don’t think it should be banned. And I am not a smoker. Why not just allow pubs and restaurants to ban it if they want to? I tell you why, because the whole world is turning into a nanny state. I am genuinely worried about what will happen next. Mark my words, in 20 years time, they’ll be trying to limit the amount you can drink in a night to 5 pints even if you are not driving. If that sounds far fetched, think about how far fetched a smoking ban seemed in the late 80’s. What they’ll do before that is brainwash us all into believing that we ‘need’ it (as they did for the smoking ban) and then we’ll all just lap it up.
    I am going for a pint… while I still can 😉

  3. Jim’s got a good point. One of the reasons that I chose to live in Spain was that it wasn’t a nanny state. I used to be able to grab a beer from a vending machine on the platforms of Atocha station and enjoy it on the Cercanias while reading the paper. Now I can’t even buy it if for some reason I want one after 10 from a corner store!? …and yet the Botellon it was supposed to end continues and binge drinking among the young is rising.

    I’m no fan of having smoke blown in my face but the question can and should be asked, where is it going to end?

    A few years ago I was in Canada and saw the most ridiculous sign. Coming out of a park, there was a sign on the footpath, it read, “Caution Hill.”

  4. >> … and binge drinking among the young is rising.
    Or so we are told! I think this is all part of the scare tactics the governments are using on us to soften up for the next round of drinking laws.
    I don’t think todays youngsters are drinking any more than my generation did in the early nineties.

  5. lucky bastards in spain,, i would gladly have this kind of problem. unfortunately most of us living in other eu states dont have any choice at all.

    consequently cafes most definitely became boring places to be.

  6. Jim, were you in Spain in the early 90’s? I ask because I have hazy memories of Madrid at the time. From what I do remember (yes there was a lot of drinking going on) we mostly drank beer from litronas and calimochos on the streets…however when you check out a botellon these days I see a lot more hard liquor being drunk (call it binge drinking?). Could be foggy memory…Not trying to troll here, but asking a serious question, does anyone else share similar memories?

  7. Alright Troy, yes I was in Spain many times in the early nineties. From 1990 onwards. Believe what you want. Maybe my memory is getting a bit foggy also but I tell you mate, we are being lied to.

  8. Agreed Jim, the ‘problem’ surely isn’t as bad as it is portrayed and there is no one more than I who misses that after work beer on the train thanks to to the nannies. But really, it wasn’t a troll question, what do you remember people drinking in the botellon way back when?

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