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How many of you smoke?
Old 08-31-2010, 01:27 PM   #1
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How many of you smoke?

I don´t know if this is too personal a question. But I am curious, because we, in Spain, think that smoking is something of the past there in the USA. Reports from California or New York lead us Spaniards to believe that smoking is for you something akin to a crime/rude behaviour.
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Old 08-31-2010, 01:30 PM   #2
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I smoked cigarettes for a number of years, say from about 15 to 30. Have been quit for around 10, I guess. Expensive habit these days, from the prices I see in the stores.
Most of the smokers I see (gross generalization alert) are poor people, very little middle class smoking around here. Most public places ban indoor smoking in our area.
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Old 08-31-2010, 01:44 PM   #3
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With the exception of 1 person, no one in my circle of middle to upper middle class college educated friends smoke (mostly in their late 20's, early 30's). The one guy that smokes only does so when drinking, and does so outside, and won't do so if it disturbs the people he is with.

Some extended family (that fit Sarah's stereotype above) continue to smoke, but most have quit.

Our state bans smoking in virtually every public indoor place such as government office buildings, restaurants, and bars (the latter two places coming under the ban Jan 1 2010).

I think it is still a grudgingly tolerated behavior among many who don't smoke. I'll see a few people smoking outside the entrances to shopping centers, malls, walmart, office bldgs, etc. The funniest place is outside the state Department of Air Quality building where the smokers take their smoke breaks. Air Quality indeed!

However as IBWino mentions below, Nevada had a lot of smokers (Las Vegas casinos).

More esoteric tobacco use, like pipes or cigars are "cool" to some who eschew cigarette smoking.

I wonder if the number of marijuana smokers outnumbers the number of tobacco cigarette smokers?
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Old 08-31-2010, 01:44 PM   #4
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Smoking is definitely on the decline. I live in California, and smoking indoors at public places, restaurants and businesses is now illegal. Even smoking in public places outdoors is frowned upon and increasingly rare. Some cities have now gone as far as making it illegal to smoke indoors in one's own apartment/condo because of the "risks" of second-hand smoke infiltrating adjacent residences.

My wife and I go to Nevada occasionally to visit friends and relatives, and we are always taken aback by all of the smoking (both indoors and out) that we encounter there.

That being said, I occasionally smoke (and greatly enjoy) a pipe or cigar at home, always outdoors, and usually in the evening after dinner.
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Old 08-31-2010, 01:55 PM   #5
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I used to smoke when I was in my immortal years. I quit 35 years ago. I know lots of people around here lining up for their 'script for medical marijuana. Funny how things have changed since the paranoid 60's & 70's!
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Old 08-31-2010, 02:05 PM   #6
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I used to smoke when I was in my immortal years. I quit 35 years ago. I know lots of people around here lining up for their 'script for medical marijuana. Funny how things have changed since the paranoid 60's & 70's!
At age 11 (end of 5th grade) I went to grammar school and the new friends I made did not smoke, so I gave up smoking then. However, since my parents were always very heavy smokers and the family of 6 lived in a 4 room house, I got plenty of secondary smoke until I left home at age 18 in 1973.
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Old 08-31-2010, 02:14 PM   #7
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The Spanish are very heavy smokers.

I remember interviewing someone in Spain. We met in a small office, just big enough for a desk and chairs, no windows. Came in, shut the door, sat down and lit up. I almost suffocated.

On the return trip to Miami about 2 hours out of Madrid the pilot got on the PA and asked the smoking section (only 8 rows) to stop smoking for 60 minutes - they had overwhelmed the air circulation system. The remaining passengers broke out in spontaneous applause.

Smoking in the US has declined. Much of it continues but has moved out of public view. In the NE, especially NY, it is extremely expensive.
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Old 08-31-2010, 02:18 PM   #8
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PHP Code:
At age 11 (end of 5th gradeI went to grammar school and the new friends I made did not smokeso I gave up smoking thenHoweversince my parents were always very heavy smokers and the family of 6 lived in a 4 room houseI got plenty of secondary smoke until I left home at age 18 in 1973. 
Yes, on a serious note, second hand smoke is toxic, especially for children. There are other ways of inhaling second-hand smoke: vis a vis coal burning plants, cars, wood-burning stoves, etc. etc. As far as I am concerned I hope that the awareness of the smoke issue extends beyond our personal habits.
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Old 08-31-2010, 02:25 PM   #9
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At age 11 (end of 5th gradeI went to grammar school and the new friends I made did not smokeso I gave up smoking thenHoweversince my parents were always very heavy smokers and the family of 6 lived in a 4 room houseI got plenty of secondary smoke until I left home at age 18 in 1973. 
Yes, on a serious note, second hand smoke is toxic, especially for children. There are other ways of inhaling second-hand smoke: vis a vis coal burning plants, cars, wood-burning stoves, etc. etc. As far as I am concerned I hope that the awareness of the smoke issue extends beyond our personal habits.
I grew up in a small coal mining town so we also had open coal fires as the only form of heating, as did the vast majority of houses, so you couldn't escape smoke from coal fires inside or out.
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:26 PM   #10
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I grew up in a small coal mining town so we also had open coal fires as the only form of heating, as did the vast majority of houses, so you couldn't escape smoke from coal fires inside or out.
Sounds like both my parents families, especially my fathers. Coal mining and mills, coal heating, most of them smoked until middle age. In spite of that and not-so-good nutrition, they all made it past the avg (mid-70's) and some are in their 80's or soon to be. Genes still count.

As to second hand smoke, I know for a fact it is real. My first rock concert I was exposed to quite a lot, and it made quite an impression on me.
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:27 PM   #11
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The difference from 30 years ago to today is enormous. When I was a kid and through college every room in every house had multiple ash trays as did every table in every restaurant. My parents both smoked. I smoked two packs a day. The tide started to turn strongly in the 80s and by the late 90s smoking had nearly disappeared among white collar workers. It remains popular (although at low volumes) among college kids. I don't think I have seen an ash tray in anyone's house in the last ten years. Even those who smoke, go outside.

But, in response to your perception, I don't think most Americans find smoking abhorrent - we simply don't want it imposed on us in close quarters. Thus many Americans became intolerant of anyone lighting up near them in a bar or restaurant to the point that it has been outlawed almost everywhere. This causes problems for American travelers in Europe where smoking is common. I have been embarrassed by companions who were prepared to complain to diners at other tables who were smoking. In a couple of cases I told people I was with to zip it or I would leave
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:28 PM   #12
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I miss smoking even after 35 years. Maybe I'll start again when I start taking SS--that might cover the cost of cigarettes.

Cell phones are the new cigarettes, by the way--when people used to light up, now they check their messages. When people used to play with a pack of cigarettes, now they flip their phones around. Cells and a pack of cigarettes are even almost the same size. And they're equally addictive.
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:38 PM   #13
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Sounds like both my parents families, especially my fathers. Coal mining and mills, coal heating, most of them smoked until middle age. In spite of that and not-so-good nutrition, they all made it past the avg (mid-70's) and some are in their 80's or soon to be. Genes still count.
That's what I'm hoping for as well My Dad lived to 84 and his Dad lived to 78 despite all the smoking, coal fires and being underground coal miners for over 40 years apiece. (my Dad went down the mines age 14 in 1939).

One of my great grandfathers had all those disadvantages plus he was gassed twice and shot in the arm during WW I and then fell down a mineshaft in 1938 shattering both legs and having to have one of them amputated. (I knew him quite well as he lived to 92 and was still mentally pretty sharp).

However, one of my grandfathers only made it to 55 (heart and lung issues - Black lung) and my mother died at 62 from thyroid cancer, so it very much depends on what life's lottery gives me.
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:43 PM   #14
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Cell phones are the new cigarettes, by the way--when people used to light up, now they check their messages. When people used to play with a pack of cigarettes, now they flip their phones around. Cells and a pack of cigarettes are even almost the same size. And they're equally addictive.
...and just as danerous when it comes to "second hand smoke". Coming back from the gym this morning a young guy makes a left turn and is accelerating head-on towards us on the wrong side of the road before I honked to make him look up and swerve to avoid us. (he was looking down and then raised the phone to his ear just as I honked, so I guess he was dialling or looking to see who was calling).
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Old 08-31-2010, 04:06 PM   #15
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Never tried it, couldn't get past the stink.

Both my parents smoked and my house had clouds in it. I spent most time in my room so I could breath. Mom died of Lung Cancer, Dad died of a heart attack before the Cancer could get him. I guess we all gotta go though, one way or the other. Well, at least I wont stink when I go.
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Old 08-31-2010, 04:30 PM   #16
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Both parents smoked, so I started at age 14. Father died of a heart attack at age 50. I quit a week later - I was 21.

Funny thing about quitting - I had become an expert at it....having done it many times before. The thing I didn't realize at the time was that quitting meant "not smoking ever again". Each time I quit, I would have "just one cigarette" at some point (1+ years later...) and I was immediately hooked again. The last time I quit, I knew it was the last time I would ever touch another cigarette. I finally figured out what "quitting" meant.

Fast forward to 30 years later and I have a hard time being around people that smoke. The smell makes me physically ill now. I am not judging them - I have been there - I understand the attraction. But I do expect them to be courteous of me. Most are - some aren't. I was visiting some old friends I hadnt seen in years a few weeks ago. Four of them, and they all chain-smoked the whole time we were in a small room. I left as soon as I politely could. I was nauseaous the rest of the evening. Could I have asked them to not smoke? Probably - but we were at one of their homes and I would have felt very awkward. I really don't think they even realized how bad it was for a non-smoker. How/Why would they? They have never been in that situation.

I just try to avoid smokers now. Our restaurants and work places are all smoke-free today and I have few (none?) current friends who smoke, so it isnt too difficult.

I do think smoking is on the decline from when I was younger. None of my kids' friends smoke. Other than these old friends, I can't think of any I know that smokes any more.
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Old 08-31-2010, 04:56 PM   #17
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I smoke a premium cigar in the evening, after dinner, with a glass of bourbon outside on my deck (weather permitting). I do not inhale. In the winter, I enjoy a very small cigar & coffee after lunch in my truck at a park with the windows open and the heat on.
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Old 08-31-2010, 05:46 PM   #18
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This causes problems for American travelers in Europe where smoking is common. I have been embarrassed by companions who were prepared to complain to diners at other tables who were smoking. In a couple of cases I told people I was with to zip it or I would leave
In the last 2-3 years, many European countries have rolled out smoking bans: total in UK/Ireland/France/Italy, fairly comprehensive but wth some quirks in Germany/Spain. I was in a restaurant in Austria last year and surprised that you could still smoke there - my clothes stank at the end of the evening, like they used to... everywhere. (These days, DW - an ex-smoker - and I have apparently become so sensitive that we sometimes avoid sitting outside on a terrace in summer to eat, because there will be smokers near us.)

Me? I've never felt the need to place anything in my mouth which was on fire. It just seemed like common sense.
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Old 08-31-2010, 06:23 PM   #19
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I quit 4 1/2 years ago after smoking for 34 years. I'm fairly tolerant of people smoking around me except in confined spaces or when I'm eating.

Damn happy I put that nasty drug addiction behind me!
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Old 08-31-2010, 06:39 PM   #20
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Ummmmm...smoke what?

Yes I smoke cigarettes. So shoot me.
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