As a non-smoker myself and having a lot of non-smoking friends (but all gorgeous, of course), I tend to notice when people around me smoke because it affects me. I don’t enjoy being stuck somewhere like a restaurant, bar, airport or casino where people can smoke because it really irritates my eyes (they start to sting and water) and I know my clothes are going to reek of smoke and that when I take a shower the smoke is going to pour out of my hair; not to mention the proven health risks of second-hand smoke.

Simply put, I notice smokers. And, I’ve noticed that, as a whole, there are a lot of smokers in Europe. Now, whether, statistically speaking, it is more or less on par with the US, I don’t know. At any rate, big news in Ireland right now is a recent no smoking ban in the workplace. The Pubs were especially worried about this and all feared having to close down for lack of business (none of this has come to fruition on the scale it was feared, by the way.)

Perhaps the smoking tide is turning in Ireland (unlike Germany that has been making headlines for its “harsh” anti-discrimination laws but lack of any anti-smoking laws (The Economist, March 19th-25th, 2005, page 37)). 93% of the Irish population thinks the smoking ban was a good idea, although a survey conducted by Nicorette shows that a third of adults in Ireland smoke (an increase of 6% in the past 6 years).

What really prompted me to write to you about all this, though, is the Irish government’s barefaced warning to its smoking population. Good luck finding a pack like this:

or this:

In the US. Phillip Morris would just die (technically, a smoking related death – oh, the irony)!

Hey SMOKING KILLS, man. Or didn’t you know?

2 Responses to “SMOKING KILLS”

  1. maria_c Says:

    In Italy they have the same bold warning labels on their cigarettes. My favorite one was something along the lines of “smoking will kill your baby”. You’d think that it might make a difference…but the locals don’t even notice the label anymore. (Heck, I stopped noticing after two months!) But, if you don’t trust me, just ask the old man down the street, you know the one with the raspy voice, you’ll probably find him out smoking in front of the tabacco shop he runs.

    On the up-side of this, I heard on the news today that the number of kids that smoke in Washington state has dropped by 50% over the past five years. Maybe someone is paying attention…

  2. JoyLuck Says:

    It bet the warning to mothers was in ALL CAPS too, so the government is literally losing its voice yelling at people to STOP SMOKING OR DIE and no one is paying any attention.

    Hey, Shma, you should have writen a blog while you were in Italy. I wish you had. I still haven’t seen your pictures from that trip yet.

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