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Dancers Who SmokeWhy do they put their life at RISK?


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#211 Drew

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 10:14 AM

I don't know what more to say, as I think this argument reached an impasse or rather several, several pages ago and if my posts have become silly or specious at times it's due to frustration if nothing else.

BUT it won't kill you, it's not harmful that diluted, especially with all the other junk in city air, it's a transient moment and it will be over very very quickly.

I'm not getting into another argument over perceived civil liberties, I've made my feelings quite clear on that we'll have to agree to disagree.

I do think that Nanarina's original post should have been treated far more censoriously, with a quick swift "none of your business".


I tend to agree with the need for sensible compromise on this issue, but I do want to correct one impression that may have been created by the discussion--that for non-smokers who catch a whiff of smoke outside, the discomfort passes"very, very quickly." If I catch a whiff outside, I likely get a migraine -- extreme pain and nausea that passes in 3-4 hours if I'm lucky, 24 hours if I'm not so lucky -- and in either case involves a lot of heavy duty medication that it's better not to take. I happen to be migraine prone and in much the minority and I do NOT think public policy should be dictated by my peculiar constitution. I also think smokers should be allowed to smoke outside, but it does bother me a bit when people assume that the "irritation" to non-smokers is just a few minutes unpleasantness. If we non-smokers are not always sufficiently conscious of becoming "moralistic" and "judgmental" etc., then I think it can fairly be added that smokers (and their advocates) sometimes are not always sufficiently conscious of the levels of discomfort involved for passers by.

As for Nanarina's original post--she was not commenting on something she saw the dancers do in private but something she saw on film, a film they knew was being made. I think it likely that as you (Simon) commented earlier, they did not give a second thought to lighting up, but anything one does in front of a film-documentary crew is something that may reasonably be commented on and reflected on by the public who sees the film (and from all different perspectives as this thread attests). Censoriousness about smoking is not the only kind of censoriousness that can get out of hand.

#212 dirac

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 10:54 AM

Iím not sure I understand all of what youíre saying, but it's intriguing. What do you mean when you say that what I've described as practical liberty doesn't exist? Iím talking about whether smokers are free to smoke in certain public places or non-smokers are free to enjoy them as they wish to, without breathing smoke. Both freedoms, both liberties, canít exist at the same time. The law decides between conflicts like this all the time. There are noise ordinances, upkeep of property ordinances, and ordinances that restrict panhandling and picketing to certain areas. There are eminent domain seizures. There are laws against various types of behavior on the grounds that they cause harm, and as has been pointed out, smoking bans are based on what is believed, rightly or wrongly, to be harm. Do you oppose all these philosophically, is that what youíre saying?


You've mixed together a lot of apples and oranges in your list IMO. Some of those ordinances are just as debatable as the ones we're discussing here. As mentioned earlier it's not a balanced playing field when smokers and non-smokers are concerned when it comes to these restrictions.

I think this is quite reasonable. The goal is to share space, not stamp out smoking or drive out smokers


I also think Simon's view is reasonable. But I'm also sure that underlying the ever increasing restrictions is the intent by some of stamping out smoking and drive out smokers. Often proponents are pretty open about this. If all smoking ended tomorrow I would be delighted, but as mentioned I'm not in favor of what I view as the more excessive bans and means that we've seen in recent years (and that dancers only need to dance well for us).


Anti-smoking laws have almost without exception been sustained by the courts, which have taken the position that the people, through their government, have a legitimate public interest in this matter. This public interest in this case trumps most smokers' claims of personal choice.


That is one view of the matter, bart, but not everyone agrees with all parts of that statement, hence this thread. :)

Censoriousness about smoking is not the only kind of censoriousness that can get out of hand.


Very true, Drew.

#213 JMcN

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 11:32 AM

I'm not a smoker, I've never been a smoker and I've never even wanted to try! One of my closest friends friends died of lung cancer last year - she had never smoked in her life, although I have subsequently heard that her Mum was a chain smoker.

What I find most offensive is the amount of smoking casually shown in British television dramas of the soap variety. Some of them make non-smokers seem in the minority!

Thia ia the fastest growing thread I have ever seen on Ballet Alert!

#214 bart

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 12:26 PM

Anti-smoking laws have almost without exception been sustained by the courts, which have taken the position that the people, through their government, have a legitimate public interest in this matter. This public interest in this case trumps most smokers' claims of personal choice.



That is one view of the matter, bart, but not everyone agrees with all parts of that statement, hence this thread. :)

The more opinions the merrier. But my feeling is that discussions of opinion are most valuable when they take place when there is an understanding of, and agreement about, the most important facts, specifically the legal context.

My post was an attempt to summarize briefly and as objectively as possible the current position of U.S. anti-smoking law, as I understand it.

I suppose this does constitute my "view," but I was actually trying to avoid bringing in my own thoughts about the rights and wrongs of public smoking by focusing on what what can be verified objectively. Court decisions, whether you personally agree with them or not, are objective and verifiable. They are a matter of public record. In the matter of smoking, they are remarkably unanimous.

#215 kfw

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 12:42 PM

You've mixed together a lot of apples and oranges in your list IMO. Some of those ordinances are just as debatable as the ones we're discussing here. As mentioned earlier it's not a balanced playing field when smokers and non-smokers are concerned when it comes to these restrictions.

Yes, I think they’re all debatable. My point is that there is precedent for legal adjudication in cases of practical liberty, to balance the playing field.

I'm also sure that underlying the ever increasing restrictions is the intent by some of stamping out smoking and drive out smokers

.
When I wrote “the goal is to share space,” I meant “the goal should be to share space,” i.e. to preserve as much practical liberty as possible while taking sides in the conflict. Sorry to be unclear. Probably some people have more drastic goals, but that shouldn't preclude restrictions predicated on good ones.

Anti-smoking laws have almost without exception been sustained by the courts, which have taken the position that the people, through their government, have a legitimate public interest in this matter. This public interest in this case trumps most smokers' claims of personal choice.

I think bart makes a good point here. To build on that point - not to presume to put words in bart's mouth - in a democracy there are winners and losers on particular issues, and if the democracy is functioning as such, despite the routine complaints from groups and parties out of power, to lose is not by definition to have been treated unfairly.

#216 bart

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 01:54 PM

One interesting aspect of this situation is the fact that laws intended to change behavior are not always permanent. Just because smokers are having a tough time now, that doesn't mean that things cannot be reversed. Remember Prohibition?

A trivial example: Just a few years ago Florida was one of a majority of U.S. states with a law requiring motorcycle drivers and passengers to wear safety helmets. A few years ago, a large, well-organized demonstration of several thousand bikers (many of them doctors and attorneys, the kind who ride expensive BMW's and Harleys) descended on the state capital and persuaded the legislature to repeal the helmet law.

The coalition supporting repeal included libertarians, on the grounds that this is a matter of personal choice, and many who worry about the nanny state and anything they deem to be "politically correct."

Thanks to the repeal, it is now once again common to see bikers speeding bareheaded down the Interstate. Because it gets hot down here, it is also quite common to see them wearing shorts, tee shirts, and flipflops. A female companion, similarly clad, often clings to the rider's back.

The Florida Legislature acknowledged that this kind of personal freedom does have its risks. No one wanted an injured motorcyclist, or his victim, to become a financial burden on the state. So, the revised law requires motorcyclists to carry insurance. The amount? $10,000. Alas, even in Florida, this will not get you very far if you require brain surgery or end up on long-term life support.

The moral of this story: Things you don't like can always be changed. For better or for worse. Depending on your point of view. :wink:

#217 dirac

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 03:58 PM

Anti-smoking laws have almost without exception been sustained by the courts, which have taken the position that the people, through their government, have a legitimate public interest in this matter. This public interest in this case trumps most smokers' claims of personal choice.



That is one view of the matter, bart, but not everyone agrees with all parts of that statement, hence this thread. :)

The more opinions the merrier. But my feeling is that discussions of opinion are most valuable when they take place when there is an understanding of, and agreement about, the most important facts, specifically the legal context.

My post was an attempt to summarize briefly and as objectively as possible the current position of U.S. anti-smoking law, as I understand it.

I suppose this does constitute my "view," but I was actually trying to avoid bringing in my own thoughts about the rights and wrongs of public smoking by focusing on what what can be verified objectively. Court decisions, whether you personally agree with them or not, are objective and verifiable. They are a matter of public record. In the matter of smoking, they are remarkably unanimous.


Leaving aside the "objectively" part, bart, as I said much earlier in this thread: Smoking, or the smoking debate, is a lot of things. The legal aspect of the debate is only one aspect and consideration. Some of the others have been discussed in this very long thread.

to lose is not by definition to have been treated unfairly


Not by definition, no. In individual instances it happens all the time.

I would hope we would be able to agree to disagree at this point, but I can carry on if need be.....

#218 kfw

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 04:21 PM

I would hope we would be able to agree to disagree at this point,

Sure. I can't think of what else could need to be said by now. I started to argue a larger point a few posts back, but then I thought maybe everyone would rather take a break. :P

#219 Amy Reusch

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 07:39 PM

Facetious answer: so that they have an excuse to carry around that beautiful van Cleef & Arpels Swan Lake cigarette case on display at the Cooper Hewitt?


But honestly I wish no one smoked.

#220 Mashinka

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 02:44 AM

One thing not mentioned so far is the fact that smokers actually work fewer hours on a pro rata basis than non-smokers Ė all those fag breaks really stack up.

Also conspicuously avoided so far is the post-coital light-up, surely I canít be the only non-smoker to have endured that?

Here in Britain we donít actually ban much at all and apart from smoking I can only think of the fox hunting ban, though Iíve a feeling the latter will be reversed before long. Back on the UK smoking ban front, plans are in motion to ban smoking in cars, something Iíve a lot of sympathy with because as a child I was regularly sick every time I got into a car with smoking adults. I was told I was a bad traveller and I never set foot on either a ship or a plane until my mid 20ís when I was very surprised that I experienced not a twinge of nausea, indeed I once crossed the Channel in a force 11 gale and from the state of the corridors when I disembarked, I think I was the only passenger that hadnít thrown up. Children need to be safe from the ill effects of smoke so I hope this extension of the ban really happens.

The only down side of the UK smoking ban that I can think of is the rapid closure of traditional pubs, though to be fair the availability of cheap booze in supermarkets probably plays a big part in the closures and the reason the pub nearest to where I live has closed I think has a lot to do with the rapidly changing demographics of the area, for example I bet the burkha-clad woman four doors down from me never set foot in that pub.

The smoking issue is one that I have very ambivalent feelings about, but Iíve never bought into that role model scenario.

#221 Simon G

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 02:55 AM

Also conspicuously avoided so far is the post-coital light-up, surely I canít be the only non-smoker to have endured that?



Surely it's better than "mid"?

But seriously, folks, I agree the smell can be pretty repellent. Even when I did smoke I found smoking rooms unbearable, the stench from a day old ash tray was vile and I'm more aware now of the stink from clothes. But there are times when I catch a whiff of smoke and am instantly taken back to nostalgie de la boue.

Can I also just clarify, yes I agree that Nanarina had every right to express her concern and distaste for Gillot and Dupont, where it and the conversation became a bit odd and why I took umbrage was the notion of role models, the intense criticism that was being levied at the two.

Anti smoking animosity has really reached new heights or lows in the past several years as the blanket wide smoking bans have been set in the big cities of the West and I think that perhaps the dissenting voices can get a tad hysterical.

I'm not making a case for smoking as a benefit for health, I never would, but you know what it is rather enjoyable sometimes.

#222 GoCoyote!

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 09:51 AM

I would just like to chip in with the observation that in many places of work the ancient tradition of the 'fag break' is really the only time employees can really get to know each other, swap work gossip, bond, share cigarettes (I know it's a dirty habit but it's still sharing!) ..... and obviously have a 10 minute break as well!

This may seem trivial but when you add up those 15-20 minutes a day, 5 days a week ... it actually adds up to an awful lot of valued getting-to-know-each-other time. This can be especially valuable if your job does not allow for much interaction among employees during actual work time (such as call centres for example). And such brief daily interaction can really 'make or break' a job which is in all other respects suicidally depressing/ demoralizing work!

And typically fag break gossip is as much work related as it is personal, and as such it can provides extremely valuable information especially to low paid employees with, for example, short term contracts in companies where staff are fired and hired on a constant basis.

We already live in a age where it is apparently acceptable to 'tag' warehouse staff with RFID chips so that their every movement can be tracked to the nearest metre (including going to the bathroom) and monitored for any slight 'drop in efficiency' as if they are merely moving parts in a machine. And this is in the western world.

I am certainly not advocating smoking, just recognizing the fact that a society that rids itself of smokers also rids itself of the 'smoking break' which I assume for millions of people will mean means losing up to an hour a week of contact with fellow workers, where they can talk frankly and share company news and gossip as well as just get to know each other - and welcome new employees etc.

I am sure one group who are welcoming the steady eradication of smoking and 'smoking culture' are employers who's only interest is profit margins and efficiency and who care very little for their workers.

Like I said, I'm really not advocating smoking per se, but I do think the inevitable loss of the traditional twice daily 'smoke breaks' at work is worth pointing out. Maybe such smoke breaks is just a UK phenomenon - I don't know .... I'm just throwing it out there.

#223 Helene

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 09:56 AM

I would just like to chip in with the observation that in many places of work the ancient tradition of the 'fag break' is really the only time employees can really get to know each other, swap work gossip, bond, share cigarettes (I know it's a dirty habit but it's still sharing!) ..... and obviously have a 10 minute break as well!

Where I used to work we spent hours in meetings to bash out solutions and agreements, but we all knew that minutes after the smokers finished convening that we'd get the email with the final decision or approval.

#224 4mrdncr

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 09:07 PM

One thing not mentioned so far is the fact that smokers actually work fewer hours on a pro rata basis than non-smokers – all those fag breaks really stack up.

Also conspicuously avoided so far is the post-coital light-up, surely I can’t be the only non-smoker to have endured that?

Here in Britain we don’t actually ban much at all and apart from smoking I can only think of the fox hunting ban, though I’ve a feeling the latter will be reversed before long. Back on the UK smoking ban front, plans are in motion to ban smoking in cars, something I’ve a lot of sympathy with because as a child I was regularly sick every time I got into a car with smoking adults. I was told I was a bad traveller and I never set foot on either a ship or a plane until my mid 20’s when I was very surprised that I experienced not a twinge of nausea, indeed I once crossed the Channel in a force 11 gale and from the state of the corridors when I disembarked, I think I was the only passenger that hadn’t thrown up. Children need to be safe from the ill effects of smoke so I hope this extension of the ban really happens.

The only down side of the UK smoking ban that I can think of is the rapid closure of traditional pubs, though to be fair the availability of cheap booze in supermarkets probably plays a big part in the closures and the reason the pub nearest to where I live has closed I think has a lot to do with the rapidly changing demographics of the area, for example I bet the burkha-clad woman four doors down from me never set foot in that pub.

The smoking issue is one that I have very ambivalent feelings about, but I’ve never bought into that role model scenario.


I agree about lost work time by smokers due to "fag breaks" (something I still see at my work) and of course the consequent illnesses resulting from smoking generally. And though, as another poster said, I am sure those smoke-breaks are also a means of meet/greet/gossip between employees, there are other means to do that--eg. plain old "coffee breaks?" Or "water-cooler" talk? Though my experience is that email & instant messaging/texting have taken over much of that.

Anyways, your post brought back a lot of memories...I, too, would get sick in a car with smoker(s) and have to crack the window and lean out like a dog just to breathe. (I use to detest the carpool with the mother of one of my fellow dancers because she chain-smoked the entire 1.5hr trip up and back, while I was dying in the back seat wondering how I was going to take class without vomiting when we arrived.)
I also avoided pubs when I was at school in the UK, or clubs when home in the US because of my physical inability to tolerate smoke. (I was almost a teetotaler anyways, so didn't miss that aspect as much--but the comraderie of fellow students/new acquaintances was curtailed because of it.)
I also spent a ferry Channel crossing on the deck during a storm because the smoking inside the cabin was making me more sick to my stomach than any waves/wind/spray outside. (We had some big waves, lots of white-caps, and a very strong wind, but do not think it was a Force 11--you were very brave.)

#225 Quiggin

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 10:02 PM

I also spent a ferry Channel crossing on the deck during a storm


Travelling between Greek islands over rough seas the best place to be was on deck where you could keep your eye on the horizon and feel the spray on your face. Downstairs all the passengers were lying on the floor next to their backpacks while the crew were carrying plates of the richest food and gleefully eating it up.


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