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Friday, November 12, 2004

Pepero Day 

Well it's Pepero day in Korea. How that comes about is that it's the 11th of the 11th and so kids and girlfriends and boyfriends buy each other these chocolate covered biscuit sticks which the day gets it's name from. 11/11. Maybe you get the picture. If not then I can't be bothered explaining it.

I was given more than enough and had to give half them away.

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In less significant news Yasser Arafat is dead. John Howard has said that history will judge him harshly. I'd like to think the same would apply to Howard but I think he's a cocky enough prick to get away with it.

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Unemployment is at an 18 year low. I wonder how National and the rest of the right will try to spin that news in a bad light? Perhaps they'll claim that it's all because of their policies last time they were in power way back in 1960 something.

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Poll at stuff.co.nz
┬╗Do you support the new smoke-free laws banning smoking in bars and restaurants?
Yes (4971 votes, 78.7%)
No (1343 votes, 21.3%)

That seems fairly clear. Though as I've complained in the past, the internet community in NZ is not necessarily a great cross section of NZ society on a lot of issues.

As a non-smoker who still goes home from bars in Korea wreaking of cigarettes which I can still smell in my hair the next day even after washing it, I'm happy with the law changes.

Here's something slightly offbeat I wrote bleeding ages ago about farters rights which kind of sums up how I feel about it all.

Right, I'm off to try and understand some soppy Korean drama on the tellie and then talk the missus into playing some hilarious pommy gangsta game (or "gungpei gae-eem" as they might say in Korea) on the PS2.

Comments:
I'm against the smoking laws, for the simple fact that if people truly cared about their health on this matter, then specially marketed smoke-free bars would already exist and be taking clientelle from the nasty, dangerous, sinful smoky bars. Sure, smoking is unhealthy, so why haven't we clamoured for smoke-free bars before? Why haven't we voted with our patronage? Maybe because all the hottest chicks smoke? (I jest, I jest)

I'm a non-smoker, by the way.
 
Smoking girls are traditionally far more predisposed to putting out; especially orally. That's a well-known fact.

It's another puratinism by stealth measure, being embraced with vigour in theocracy states like USA, Iran and the Republic of Ireland.
 
Scotland announced yesterday that it would ban smoking in enclosed public spaces. See

http://society.guardian.co.uk/publichealth/story/0,11098,1348183,00.html

I'm doubt you would count Scotland as a theocracy, although I guess there is the semi-established Church of Scotland.

Following bluebeardnz, it's an interesting question as to why there has been such spectacular market-failure around the provision of smoke-free bars, given pretty clear evidence of consumer demand. Perhaps it's not entirely easy to express this demand.

Following see-moan, the Scottish press were mixed in their attitudes towards the ban, but comments along similar lines to yours included:

Scotland on Sunday. "Ideologically, the move smacks of the nanny state; on a practical level, it will make criminals of thousands of Scots who cannot or will not adhere to the law." While the paper applauded Mr McConnell's desire to improve the nation's health, "it would be better to achieve it through consensus rather than diktat."

The Daily Telegraph echoed that view, noting that two-thirds of the Scottish population are against a ban. "Over-mighty politicians, in Scotland as in the rest of the country, need reminding that they are elected to do the will of the people, and not to cure our bad habits," it said.

There's some truth in that, but one of the strongest arguments for these bans is not about public demand (or lack thereof), but worker safety. No employer has the right to expose his or her employees to a known carcinogen, irrespective of the 'voluntary' nature of that employment. e.g., Even if you chose to be a construction worker, your employer can't knowingly expose you to asbestos.
 
Well, most people aren't smokers, and most people support the ban.

So that's clear enough for me. It's not like it's some horreendous thing where they are going against 90% of the population.

I think a problem is that if you have a group of 6 people going out drinking and 3 are smokers and 3 are non-smokers, who's going to be the ones compromising? The non-smokers I would suggest.

We have a culture where non smokers are forced (if they want to have any kind of decent night out) to have to put up with smokey rooms.

Let's just see what happens with the laws I say.

Another reason for the ban worth remembering is providing smoke free work environents for bar staff. And that's basically the nail in the coffin of the whole issue...
 
I also wonder how many people picked up the smoking habit because of all the smoking in bars? All the social smokers out there. And all the 'if you can't beat em' join em' type situations that have occured.
 
Also has anybody ever heard of smoke free bars or nightclubs that were marketed as such in NZ? Just curious.
 
A bar tried to go smoke-free in Wellington about 2 years ago.

Despite the fact that it was studiously frequented by certain PC types, it went into receivership 6 months later.

It was the most soulless drinking establishment I have ever been into, and that includes behind the original Iron Curtain.

NZ's (and Scotland's) anti-smoking laws are now almost the equivalent of the previous leaders in this area; 1930s Germany.
 
I say if you are going to be a bartender, you should expect to be exposed to cigarette smoke. Just like teachers of Korean children are more predisposed to facing bratty little children that want to dong-chim you.

And how janitors are exposed to potentially dangerous chemicals.

And how sportsmen are exposed to serious injuries. Do you suggest that rugby goes touch, because the work environment is unsafe out there for the All Blacks.

I seriously think that this is a matter for the free-market to decide. You say three smokers and three non-smokers go out, chances are the non-smokers are the ones that compromise? It's about time the non-smokers got some backbone.
 
I admit, I'm totally compromising my freedom of choice mentality.

But I just think there are greater issues of public health, work environment etc involved.

If I work in an office where most people smoke does that mean I have to look for a new job if I don't like it? Can i go and spit on smokers shoes, fart on them or poo in their coffee cup? If I am teaching at high school and all the 6th and 7th formers are sitting there smoking what do I do? Find a non-smoking class?

Bars are smokey places and the alternatives can't be found (at least I've never heard of them). I'd be happy to try out smoke free bars if there were such a place.

Market failure perhaps? It doesn't always work.

Also reading about it a bit it seems that bars can still have smoking customers just so long as they have open areas for them. seems like a reasonable compromise. There's nothing stopping smokers from stepping outside for a few minutes anyway.
 
There is in Wellington.

It's called wind
 
What's it like? Many customers? Dead?

Right, I'm out the door. Have a good night/day folks.
 

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