Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Monday, May 31, 2010

smokers-where do they go?

Today, May 31st, is World No Tobacco Day. Wonder how many participated? I sold just as many packets this morning as I always do....

May 31st also sees a new era beginning for smokers. From May 31st, smokers will no longer be allowed to smoke in the grounds of Public Hospitals and Health Clinics. Smokers must leave the grounds and go out to the footpaths. I don't know if any of you readers have seen, or been to, our Royal Adelaide Hospital, (RAH), but the main footpath there on North Terrace, is quite narrow in places due to large trees and numerous bus stops along its length. There are always people crowding or queueing to catch a bus, to have this area now be more crowded with visitors and patients alike, some in wheelchairs, would make this footpath impossible to walk along. What happens in the future when smokers are no longer allowed on the footpaths? Where do they go? What of those who are ill at home and have health workers come in daily or weekly to assist them? From May 31st, these people are no longer allowed to smoke in their own home or garden while the aide is there. What if the health worker is a smoker too? Do they both ignore the rules and enjoy a smoke together in the garden and hope no-one dobs?
Futuristically speaking, as more and more places ban smoking, will we at some point be such a divided society that whole towns become non-smoking areas? Leading to those who can't or won't quit packing up and moving to towns where smoking is allowed? What would happen to families where some members smoke (parents)and others don't (children)? Will they have to live in separate accomodation? Let's not forget that not all children will follow in their parents footsteps here. Both of my parents smoked from an early age. I have a sister and three brothers, none of us smoke. I married a smoker. Of my four children, bth boys smoke, the girls don't.
None of these isolating (discriminating) measures addressses the added problem of the stale smoke which clings to the clothes, skin and hair of heavy smokers. (Not to mention the foul breath). Sometimes, at the checkout, this is bad enough to make me stand as far back as possible from my customer, once the situation was so bad as to bring on a coughing fit so bad that I had to leave my position and get my inhaler from upstairs. In my experience it's this stale smoke that is so much worse than a little smoke drifting around. The old smoke tends to hang around in doorways and around seats, under trees where people from any particular workplace congregate to have their cigarettes. These places must be avoided by people such as me, with allergic reactions, when out walking. Easy enough for me, but if too many people complain to councils, the smokers will be made to move on. Where to? There are few enough places left. There surely must be a better (probably more expensive) solution. Perhaps buildings could have dedicated smokers rooms, with superman strength extraction fans to remove the smoke and smell from their clothing before they come back to work?
It's a very touchy situation for sure and there will be no easy solution.


  1. One reason not to smoke is that half the cost of gaspers is Big Excise straight to the government.
    I have seen patients in their dressing gowns, standing outside hospitals smoking.
    It seems silly to be in a hospital trying to fix and ailment, while actively nurturing a future ailment.
    Yours sincerely, Seniors Card Holder Who Has Never Ever Smoked A Cigarette.

  2. I reckon the Melbourne smokers all live next door to me - every one of the twelve balconies seems to have at least one person out there either coughing up phlegm (very loudly!) or smoking.

    ....sometimes even our washing, when taken off the line, has a smokey smell to it!

    I like your suggestion of super powerful smoking rooms. As Sapph has pointed out to me recently, there are 'techno toilets' (those silver boxes where everything is automatic and you get ten minutes before an alarm goes off and the door slides open), so why not have some for smokers - five minutes a go?

  3. Ann ODyne; my dad left his hospital room regularly to go outside for a cigarette. He had lung cancer and died a week later. He figured at this late stage there was no point in quitting.

  4. Kath; techno smokers rooms, with the typr of air extraction that's built into those space stations orbiting earth perhaps.
    The biggest problem for me is the homeless crowd, who live, sleep and smoke in their clothes.
    Sometimes the "green" shopping bags of heavy smokers are really bad too. The fabric absorbs the smoke....

  5. I was approached by a young woman asking if I had any spare change for bus fare and her with a packet of cigs in sight and one in her mouth. I said I only had enough for my taxi and walked off.

  6. I think they're tackling it the right way actually. I don't think anyone really 'wants' to smoke. It's curtailed my habit big time. Not only is it unaffordable but I feel like a social pariah if I smoke anywhere but on my own verandah!

  7. My mother would light-up a cigarette as soon as she got off the breathing machine, and died of lung cancer, and both of her sisters did too, and none of them quit in the face of it. morons all.
    With smelly clothes.

  8. "once the situation was so bad as to bring on a coughing fit so bad that I had to leave my position and get my inhaler from upstairs."

    Really? Just from standing near a smoker who wasn't even smoking? How would you go in a bus then, or a train? Sounds like neuroses to me.

    This anti-smoking vogue, like many other "good works" goes back to the 18th century when gin-drinking among the poor was condemned. It's all bullshit, a pious resentment at commoners getting some fun from life. And a laugh to me how the most anti-religious are also the most sanctimomious.


  9. RH; No neuroses, just an allergic reaction similar to asthma. This particular customer was one of those really heavy homeless smokers who has the smell reeking off his clothes and his breath. He stood outside smoking his last cigarette then came in to buy another packet. I turned from stocking the shelf to serve him and got a lungful before I backed away. He's a regular and if I see him coming, I'll ask another assistant to serve him. Buses are generally okay with the airconditioning and usually I'm travelling in the middle of the morning or afternoon, a time when most of the homeless are already wherever they're going for the day.

  10. PS; I have a similar reaction to female customers who wear Patchouli oil as perfume.

  11. Good stuff. It is interesting to read comments. Thanks.