Monday, 24 July 2017

Smoking

By lunchtime today it was a pleasant day here in North Yorkshire.   Perhaps a little too much breeze and from the North West, which made it a little chilly,   but it was a great improvement.   Now, at 8.03 (isn't the time indicator in the corner of the computer screen handy?) the wind has dropped, the sky is clear and blue and the sun is shining.

Walking round town just after lunch I saw that there were many holidaymakers here and most of them were sitting outside pubs and restaurants having lunch.   I noticed one pub in particular - tables outside and people eating fish and chips, pie and chips, mountains of food - well it is holidays after all, although I did notice that most of the folk eating were rather overweight.   But what horrified me was how so many of them were smoking (they were outside, not in the restaurant) and then coming on to the forecourt to stub their cigarettes out on the top of an upturned plant pot and then poke the rest down the hole.

There was a time when it really was socially acceptable to smoke - in fact it was very sophisticated.   My Aunt Nell in the thirties and forties considered herself to be a very 'modern' woman.   In her mushquash coat and her beautiful hat (her sister was a milliner) she was a smoker par excellence.   Never outside of course, but after lunch out would come her smart orange box of du Mauriers and her elegant cigarette holder - I used to think her the bees knees.   (coincidentally she did die of lung cancer at quite an early age).

Now, visiting hospital, it is quite usual to see really ill people outside the door in their wheelchairs having a smoke.   What are they thinking of?   Or is it me who is a killjoy?   I would like to know what you think.   Are you happy to 'live and let live' or does it worry you to see people killing themselves after all the medical evidence?

51 comments:

Meanqueen said...

I think it is totally bonkers to pay a lot of money to kill yourself. Each one is another nail in the coffin.

Frugal in Essex Tania said...

The amount of young women who are in the 20stone category shock me. As for the vaporiser cigarette things, the cloud of stuff they give off is unreal! Moan over! 😱

Mac n' Janet said...

My Mother smoked and it eventually killed her. When I was in my 30's and saw what it was doing to her I quit smoking. My two sisters continued to smoke and now they both have COPD and can hardly walk. It's sad.

crafty cat corner said...

My Mum and Dad smoked like chimneys, goodness knows how I have managed to get to 71 as our house was full of smoke when I was at home. Myself I tried one once when I was 15 and hated it and have never been near one since.
Both of my parents died of smoking related illnesses and my mum was on oxygen at the end.
I believe that our hospital is actually banning people smoking on the grounds and so that will put paid to inmates sitting in wheelchairs smoking outside.
I would like to ban smoking completely.
So, no, you are not a killjoy.
Briony
x

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Giving people the facts about health risks does no good at all, otherwise you wouldn't see overweight nurses, doctors drinking alcohol or indeed speeding policemen. You even see staff from the Cancer Research Centre in Cambridge standing around outside smoking. What hope is there!

donna baker said...

It is very addictive. I guess we all choose our poison. I certainly don't want to smell smokers. My father died from smoking, having quit for many years earlier and my husband had throat cancer from smoking. Though his life was saved, he still suffers from the effects of the treatments 16 years later.

justjill said...

Have to confess and why not I smoked from the age of 11. I now have COPD. No longer smoke but I do vape, its the only thing that worked I tried everything to stop smoking. Unless I get run over by a bus I will die from COPD. Vaping does not hurt me nor anyone else. Nowadays it is rare to see anyone smoking. Our hospitals are all smoke free outside as well. You are encouraged to use a nicotine replacement. When I was a smoker I would never smoke near other people. When I was younger and visited the doctor he smoked. It was the norm. Everyone, everywhere, smoked. Please dont blame. That doesnt help.

Wilma said...

It is pretty silly to take up smoking these days, knowing what we know. But it is very difficult for most people to quit, even when they want to. See Justjiil's comment above. It took my husband 4 very dedicated tries to finally stop smoking after we got married. I think many older smokers figure they have already done the damage, so why stop now when they do get some pleasure from it? However, the medical evidence has shown that no matter how long you have smoked, there is still a health benefit if you quit. That said, I don't like to be around smokers and am happy with the laws in the US and other places that ban smoking inside public buildings.

jackie said...



WE SHOULD NOT JUDGE OTHERS




cumbrian said...

Live and let live.

Gail, northern California said...


Not quite the same subject but somewhat applicable. I live in the Emerald Triangle of northern California==known for being the largest producers of cannibis.

My husband: "But, Babe, they're just trying to make a living like anyone else."
Me: "I know but it's all cash transactions, they pay no taxes and it's illegal."
My husband: "The voters of California have just voted to approve the growing/recreational use of marijuana."
Me: Yep. And every time the neighbors decide to process another batch for shipment, it smells like 50 skunks under our house."

OK. Two years hence and my daughter is diagnosed with cancer. Guess who had to swallow her pride, compromise her principals, and sing the praises of medicinal marijuana? It was the only thing that gave her temporary relief and not as additive and harmful as prescription drugs.

KARMA. Sometimes life has a way of coming back and biting you in the butt.

Tom Stephenson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fairtrader said...

Oh this is not an easy question, Pat. I agree with you that it's hard to understand why people are still smoking to that extent even today, when we really know all there is to know. In my family we've had two cases of lung cancer, mortal, and I for one got my asthma because of my mothers smoking. So did my husband. We have got new laws against this, no smoking on caf'es and restaurants, no smoking even on outdoor settings. No smoking in schoolyards and no smoking close to hospital entraces and off course not on buses or trains, not even by the tracks. The smokers considder themselves hunted and illtreated. I wish there could be a stop for this . Everything smells, bad health comes from it and I see more and more children and teenagers starting to smoke. But people do decide for their own lives, only smoking goes beyond. We are involved either way if people in our closest areas start smoking. Smoking is no private matter, I'm afraid.

A Brit in Tennessee said...

I've never been a smoker, tried it, didn't like it, at age eleven I might add.
My cousin and I used to do errands and oftentimes were paid in ciggies, which we sold to our neighbor man.
That being said, I hate, yes hate, the smell of cigarette smoke. It literally takes my breath away.
My step mum died of smoke related symptoms, she smoked all of her life, tried giving it up, but couldn't stick to the plan.
Our hospitals are now smoke-free grounds. I see people running to their cars, in order to have a quick puff.
*Sigh*.
~Jo

A Heron's View said...

I smoke a pipe and have done so for many years. Two years ago I had a T.I.A. was hospitalised for a few days, during which time they did loads of tests including scans and x-rays of my heart and lungs and both were totally clear.
Similarly, one of my grandfathers was gassed in WW1 invalided out of the army and smoked 30 cigarettes a day he died at he age of 85.
One significant detail is that like him I regularly take a herbal remedy of Ivy-Thyme.
I have read all of the comments above and not one of you has mentioned the wonderful uses of herbs, so I can only presume that you have never thought of caring for yourselves.
Today the world is gradually copping on to the benefits of Marijuana, another herb and herb that has been given a bad press by the ignorant. Fortunately people are now learning about it's great benefits. I know of another herb that when smoked actually cures laryngitis.

Billie said...

Yes, it does bother me, but with all the information available I'm at a loss as what else can be done. If people are terminal, what does it matter? My boyfriend years ago was dying from cancer & that was what he said. Sad. People in the U.S. are also terribly overweight. The saddest sight is when an entire family walks past & even the children are obese. I think we are unhappy & choose to console ourselves with food.

Helsie said...

We are always shocked and surprised at the huge number of smokers we encounter on visits to Europe. It makes sitting outside in cafes impossible as you are surrounded by smokers. Australias anti smoking campaign of high priced cigarettes seems to be working when compared to this.

Chris Elliot said...

I must say that I very rarely see people smoking in public any more so I think society in general is catching on to the adverse effects of smoking. Now, how to get the young folks to stop trying it out and getting addicted? That is a problem.

Frugal in Derbyshire said...

Hi Weave! My husband and I both smoked for years. When I think of how we subjected our children to hours of smoke filled travelling I feel really bad. I tried to give up several times and finally gave up by going "cold turkey" My friend who gave up at the same time as me really struggled and used patches etc. When she found out that I had 4 cigarettes in a packet in the drawer, which had been left over she harassed me about them until I threw them on the fire of front of her. What many people, who have never smoked don't understand is that it is a very powerful drug and difficult to give up. The same people understand that you are unlikely to be successful if you ask a heroin user or an alcoholic to stop.
Giving up smoking was the best thing I ever did. it is like being out of an abusive relationship.
David gave up smoking before I, fortunately, as he has since had two serious illnesses (not smoking related) and coming around from surgery as a smoker is a pretty nasty experience and he values his health so much more now.
My youngest daughter smokes and I am waiting for her to be ready to give up. I know that nagging her will not help, but am ready to support her in any way I can, when she is ready.
Love to you Weave
Gillx

John Gray said...

Let them smoke pat! I hate it, i get annoyed... But let them, its their choice

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I hate cigarettes and cigarette smoking with a vengeance. The habit has been promoted and encouraged by profit hungry tobacco companies but governments don't help much. They are happy to collect the duty. In recent years it has been great to watch the decline in smoking.

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

I grew up around many smokers. My father did eventually quit, but died of pulmonary fibrosis (don't know if smoking was totally to blame). I think it interesting that you mentioned obesity and smoking in the same post. I think many people, at least here in North America, have health problems due to the food (and the quantity of food) that they eat. People have their vices and I know that nicotine is extremely addictive and hard to stop. I also know that making good food choices is also hard with all the temptations in stores and restaurants. All we can do is be responsible for our own decisions and choices. -Jenn

angryparsnip said...

My lungs are so bad and I never smoked, just Valley Fever. Terrible terrible pain and what it has done to my health.
I despise when I see all the people smoking and I have to breath in the garbage and marijuana. The smell makes me sick.
If they want to kill themselves it's OK by me just as long as my tax dollars does not go for any kind of medical help for them.
I take so many drugs and none of them fun and I work so hard at trying to be healthy, that when I see these people smoking and killing themselves i get very upset. What I would give for a day without pain and no pills and be able to enjoy just one day.

As for Gail's comment. . . medical marijuana is different from "let's grow pot and make money" and get into some cartel wars like here in Tucson. We have so many shootings over pot and drugs.
I hope your Daughter survived.

cheers, parsnip




Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

My youngest daughter smokes and it breaks my heart.

Cro Magnon said...

I smoked for many years, then gave-up one morning about 20 years ago. I hardly ever see anyone smoking these days, but when I do I'm often quite shocked. Luckily no-one in my family smokes.

Derek Faulkner said...

As a life long non-smoker I have always hated smoking - not because I had a problem with people doing themselves harm by smoking, that's their choice, just as I drink wind and beer, but I hated smoking when I had to share it with them. To be anywhere in the old days where there were smokers and you inhaled the smoke with them and came home reeking of it yourself. Smokers in a pub used to say to me as they blew smoke all over me and my clothes, it's my choice and I used to say to them but I don't pour my beer over you as you are to me with your smoke. The balance is right now, if smokers want to smoke they have to on their own and not among others.
As for Tom's comments about what Pat should and shouldn't be writing about on her blog, well that is surely her choice and not for us to tell her what to do and she should write about whatever takes her fancy.

Librarian said...

I agree 100 % with what Derek says about Pat choosing her own blog's topics; as it is her choice of topic, so it is our choice to read and/or comment.
Besides, what she is asking for here is what we think - always a good thing, isn't it, asking what others think and let discussion flow.

Now back to topic :-)

My Dad has been smoking ever since he was a young man. Much heavier when my sister and I were little than in recent years, but it is certainly not doing him good; he coughts, he has many other health problems, and of course it smells. He has stopped smoking in the house many years ago, which is an improvement.
Like many others here have said, if people choose to smoke, that is their choice, and it is not for us to judge them for it.
BUT as we all know, one person's freedom ends where the next one's begins - and when smoke encroaches on someone else, who does NOT want to have it wafting around their nose, for instance while having a meal at an outdoors café, then that is definitely not a case of "live and let live". Out of consideration for others, smokers should not be smoking where other people are affected by their smoke.

My late husband smoked, but ever since he died (not of smoking-related causes) almost 8 years ago, I have lived in a completely smoke-free home and now can not imagine ever kissing a smoker again.

Athene said...

It's addictive - many smokers would love to give up, but can't. The government has made it more and more expensive to smoke, and perhaps that is right, but if you're addicted to something (and it IS a genuine addiction) then that's very hard.

As said above, everyone used to smoke; the armed forces used to give out cigarettes, I can recall going to the doctor as a child in the 1960s and seeing him smoking at his desk; cigarettes were promoted as 'soothes the throat' and similar. Film stars smoked. Sportsmen smoked.

I don't smoke, I don't like the smell of it, I grew up in a smokers' household and when we cleared the house after my mum died everything was lightly coated in sticky brown residue. But nonetheless - live and let live. These people (in the UK at any rate) are already paying huge amounts of tax for it.

And 'live and let live' applies to people's blogs, too. If you don't like it, don't comment - go and read something else.

thelma said...

Fascinating replies, don't smoke myself but always feel sorry for people who have to smoke outside, almost like outcasts. But of course it is wrong to smoke in public places. The balance reached may be uneven, obesity is another cause that follows cigarette smoking. Too much fatty food on offer, so what do you do? Suddenly I realise there are no answers except a war of attrition on the makers.

Heather said...

Smoking is a worry and my husband was a heavy smoker until he was in his 50s. He had severe lung problems later in life. I didn't realise how unpleasant the lingered smell of tobacco smoke was until he gave up smoking and can now detect on smokers' clothes. Never having been a smoker it is easy to judge others, but it is a powerful habit and addiction of sorts, and must be so hard to give up. Having said that, I hope I would have the courage to stop smoking knowing how dangerous it is. I have problems with a hearty appetite and would like to lose weight, but find that difficult too.

Gerry Snape said...

I'm smiling here...mum was very proud of her mushquash coat...we cut it down in the 60s..Rosie and me...and wore it til it fell apart!! Happy memories...no smoking though.

Yarrow said...

A very provocative post! Generally, most people's comments seem to be of similar opinions and I tend to agree. I don't like it, but we all make our own choices in life. I dabbled with cigarettes when I was 20ish and it gave me terrible bronchitis, I gave up immediately as I couldn't cope with the pain in my chest. Some people learn, others are too addicted.
BTW, post what you like, I love your blog and your opinions.x

Rachel said...

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. I am live and let live.

Devon said...

Interesting post and comments. I generally agree that people should be allowed to live and let live, making their own choices for themselves. So if a person chooses to smoke, they do raise the likelihood of developing chronic lung problems as well as cancer. We all pay for healthcare and share the burden of cost.
I also have the perspective of just having watched my 55 year old sister die an incredibly painful death from cancer last week. She has smoked her entire life even up to the day she lost the ability to walk and speak. So yes I agree with Pat that people can and do make their own choices, but I am entitled to my sadness when I see others smoking as I have personal experience knowing what a horrible future awaits many smokers and their loved ones.

Gwil W said...


Some people will smoke vile smelling cigars in crowded restaurant gardens and take great delight in doing so.

I stopped smoking 30 years ago, and I've never regretted doing so. My local pub landlord gave up smoking only to be told he'd left it too late.

Tattooing of young people should be outlawed. Some really pretty girls, maybe aged 16, going around with horrible artwork they'll never get rid of. Summer shows it. It seems to increase exponentially every year.

Joanne Noragon said...

I quit smoking nine years ago. Too expensive.

jinxxxygirl said...

Well to go thru life and not judge others.... well I guess i'm just not that big of a person... However I would not voice my judgement to that person... just think it to myself... so all the righteous people are going to have to be happy with that because thats all this flawed person can offer......

It does amaze me Pat all the people i see STILL smoking....... My father had emphysema and would still smoke although he tried for years to quite he never succeeded... My entire family smoked.. mom,dad, two older brothers.... I'm the baby of the family and i never smoked... My husbands two brothers, one sister smoked hubby also the baby of the family never smoked.. 2 of his siblings have had heart bybass surgery and continue to smoke...His mom smoked for years... met his stepfather who told her he would never ask her to quit but he didn't like it and she threw away her pack of cigarettes and never smoked again... That smoking addiction must be a real dragon and i'm very happy it was a habit i never had to kick myself.....

The ones that surprise me the most are the younger generation still smoking...if we're being honest here... I thought they were smarter than that...Hugs! deb

Ruth said...

I recall hearing about additives to tobacco by the industry in order to make the addiction even more powerful. I stopped smoking in 1986, but by this time the addiction is apparently even worse for those who foolishly take up smoking. Here is what I just found on Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_additives_in_cigarettes

So in all fairness, I guess we should sympathize with smokers, most of whom would gladly give it up if only they could.

Elise Griffith said...

I'm a smoker and ashamed of it. I've quit twice in the past 20 yrs. Once for about 4 months, and one for 6 months. I don't EVER smoke around other people. Never smoke in the house. The only time I smoke anywhere public is in designated smoking areas. I know the dangers to myself and others. I never toss cigarette butts anywhere but in a designated container and understand I'm unusual in that way. It's a daily struggle. Trust me. I'm glad (for many reasons) that the taxes have increased so high. It's incentive. Do I know people judge me? Sure. Which is why I've always kept it to myself; can't believe I'm admitting it here!

Here's the thing: I've got some friends & family members who drink far too much, and a few others with bonafide eating disorders (NOT overeating, I might add). One dear friend has been diagnosed with congestive heart failure brought on by severe malnutrition. Those and so many other things aren't judged as harshly even when they also contribute to medical costs/taxes. I say live & let live.

Today it's perfectly acceptable as well as commonplace to be rude. Or what would have been considered rude 40 yrs ago. People today feel entitled to openly criticize anyone and anything online or in person... even strangers or struggles they know nothing about. Don't we all have (each of us) enough on our own plates to focus on? I know I do.

The Weaver of Grass said...

What interesting replies - and by golly I have really set the cat amongst the pigeons haven't I?
My answer to those who complain that I shouldn't have written about the subject is to say that you don't have to read what I write. I write it because that is what I feelon that day and I want to get it off my chest. If you don't like it, don't continue reading it. Simple as that!

Derek Faulkner said...

This live and let live quote was not acceptable in my book when I was having the effects of smoking forced upon me by smug people who enjoyed filling a room etc. with smoke knowing darn well that a lot of people disliked it. Now that they have been prevented from doing that I'm quite happy to live and let live and couldn't give a toss how much they smoke or how they kill themselves.

Tom Stephenson said...

The main point is that a government cannot legislate against an addiction. It's as simple as that. All the stupid stuff about restaurants and public places can - and is - legislated against very effectively in Germany of all places, so ignore ignoramuses like Mr Faulkner.

angryparsnip said...

Pat write what you want it is your blog.
If anyone doesn't like it they can just not read it or reply.
Easy-peasy.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I certainly have stirred up a wasp's nest of feelings - just let's leave it at that shall we - and agree to disagree about the whole thing. At least I generated a lot of feeling, which suggests the whole subject is only just below the surface Thanks for contributing. And let's all - and I mean all - spread love about and have good vibes for the next day or two.

Rafe's Hotel said...

Weave, I didn't take it that you were being accusatory. I too wonder, in the face of medical evidence, why people do a lot of things (smoking among them). Doesn't mean I'm condemning them -- just wondering. Addictions are addictions, hard to fight, and I sympathize.

For what it's worth, the only thing I object to is secondhand smoke, and for that reason I have no problem with bans in public places. Secondhand smoke is nearly as fatal as firsthand, and while it's fine to make your own health decisions, it's not fine to intrude on someone else's.

And your blog is your blog. :) Write anything you like. You sure stirred things up. But anyone who has read this blog knows that the last thing you are is judgemental and unkind.

Ruth said...

Amen, Rafe!

I hope you continue writing with never any hesitation about subject matter! It's your blog to write whatever you fancy - I'm sure even the naysayers read this post because they love reading your blog. Everyone must feel a little lighter now with their pet peeves off their chests.

You can have no idea how much I look forward to reading your blog every day!! xoxoxoxox

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

I quit 36 years ago and am so happy that I did. I think you may write whatever you wish in your own blog! Sadly, people do many things considered unwise, and who can be sure what is wise or unwise these days. Well, I am sure smoking is unwise.

Gail, northern California said...

To angry parsnip....bless you. My daughter is doing very well. Thank you.

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phann son said...

I recall hearing about additives to tobacco by the industry in order to make the addiction even more powerful. I stopped smoking in 1986, but by this time the addiction is apparently even worse for those who foolishly take up smoking. Here is what I just found on Wikipedia:

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