Good Lord! They Never Stop!

I'm off on holiday on Thursday and I'm really looking forward to it. I damn well deserve this one, as does Mrs Bucko. It's been a busy year and we would both benefit from some time to relax and unwind

The one thing that bugs me about going on holiday is getting there. It's not just that I'm terrified of flying (seriously, I'm a big girls blouse in a plane), but the whole experience is one big, often quite stressful, waste of a day

We seem to have got the routine to a point where we can avoid all the stress and make the most of it though. The biggest trick avoiding airport stress is to turn up nice and early, dump your bags at the check in before the queue starts, do security before that backs up and then avail yourself of the bar facilities to kill the next couple of hours

We're smokers though and always fly from Manchester due to it's proximity to us. Manchester does not have the best facilities for smokers, but they do have a smoking area, so you can pop off for a fag as you please. We've flown from some airports (Or Manchester Terminal 3) which have no smoking facilities at all. In those cases, we turn up as late as possible, smoke ten fags on the car park, then enter the cattle market in full flow
Due to the fact that flying, even short distances, can use up the best part of a day, using an airport that does not cater for smokers does not simply mean you can't have a fag for a few hours, it affects the whole experience and turns a day that could easily be made to form part of the holiday, into a continuous nightmare you'd rather avoid

According to an article linked over at Simon Clarks place, airport smoking lounges are the next target of the anti-smokers. Apparently smoking should be completely eradicated from all airports, even though the smoking facilities that do currently exist are so controlled that there's no possibility of them ever affecting a non-smoker in any way

Of course, according to the anti-smoking busybodies:
To implement it wouldn’t be about ruining anyone’s fun or curtailing freedoms.
Of course it wouldn't. Because they're 'helping us'

Why It’s Time to Ban Smoking in Airports For Good

It isn't. It really isn't. Aside from maybe prisons, airports are one of the worst places to consider a smoking ban
Duty Free remains a haven for Big Tobacco and secondhand smoke still permeates many a terminal. Wouldn't we be better off banishing adverts, goods and cigarettes themselves?
I'm not sure why it's a haven for big tobacco. It's just another place where tobacco can be sold, like a supermarket and tobacco advertising is just as banned in UK airports as it is everywhere else in the UK and correct me if I'm wrong, but the same applies over Europe and America
I’ve always loved airports. The glittering sparkle of the tiles in Duty Free, the high-fidelity billboards, the travelators shifting you gradually, inevitably towards a happier place. They are the only environment where buying an egg and cress sandwich from an outlet provides a frisson of excitement. They can transform an otherwise egregiously early pint in a manufactured pub vibe from a sombre sight to an act of jubilant celebration.
These arseholes don't half come out with some shite. Getting through flying day is usually an exercise in mitigating everything that airports are and do. It's definitely not getting excited about spending in excess of five pounds on a mediocre sandwich or admiring the tiled floor on a duty free shop packed with other commuters just trying to get through the experience in their own way

The only thing that rings true in that paragraph is the pint in an over priced bar. But as a smoker, you always want a fag with your pint. Banning smoking would simply take away the one tiny pleasurable thing in the whole depressing debacle
But despite all of my wonderment, they suck. Amid the gleaming white concourses and day-glo donut stands, they can be under-regulated havens for Big Tobacco, where anachronistic advertising of cigarette companies often stand out, while shoppers are encouraged to purchase large hauls of cheap fags at Duty Free.
Obviously not a smoker, but this persons flying day is apparently ruined by the fact that Big Tobacco is not heavily regulated enough

It seems to me that if you go in the duty free section at Manchester, it's obvious that tobacco could not be more heavily regulated without an outright ban. You have to go into a tiny back room to even look at the tobacco. It's as though you're entering an old time porn shop and have to look both ways before you enter, just to make sure there's no-one in the vicinity who might recognise you. It's certainly not advertising and definitely not encouraging
It's not quite as bad in Europe. At least the fags are on the shelves and you can have a good browse through them before making your selection, but contrary to what the anti-smoking brain boxes will tell you, having fags on display is not advertising

I never buy my tobacco in the UK because of the extortionate taxes, but I never use duty free either. I can't be arsed with that nonsense while waiting for a plane, I just buy all my stash in a local shop when we get to our destination
At this point you may be thinking, “are you serious?!”. Calling for more regulation might seem like yet another nanny state intrusion into the fading patience of smokers who already struggle to make it through long-haul flight and security queues.
I'm not thinking that, as I know damn well that you are serious and you are about to try any justify your stupid proposal with some seriously demented double think. What I'm actually thinking is how it's becoming harder and harder to keep to my pacifist nature; how if I actually met you face to face, I would more than likely do the unthinkable and drop a sock on yours
As recently as July, Atlanta City Council voted for a total smoking ban that will extend to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport as of January 2, 2020. (Pub quiz point: that’s the busiest airport in the world.)
*Crosses Atlanta off list of possible destinations for next USA visit*
But yes, even this is not enough. Research in 2017 found that of the 50 busiest airports in the world, fewer than half prohibited smoking in all indoor areas.
Fewer than half? Oh the humanity! We could actually say though, almost half of the 50 busiest airports provide no facilities for smokers and need to improve
And even airports which are smoke-free indoors can harbour second hand smoke (SHS) in their outdoor spaces, especially if these places are partially enclosed. Designated smoking areas positioned just outside terminal buildings can fall foul to microclimates where cigarette smoke lingers in the air.
And so the batshittery begins. Second hand smoke now lingers in the open air and causes harm to people who pass by. It almost magic, isn't it
A study of US airports published in February 2019 concluded that “Secondhand tobacco smoke exposure in the airport setting represents a significant public health hazard”.
I'm not even going to bother looking that one up, it will be total junk, just like the rest of them. Early studies in second hand smoke, before the days of free money for tobacco control, proved that SHS is totally harmless. Since tobacco activism migrated from being a part time hobby for bored housewives and became a global industry shitting taxpayers money, it's now a significant public health hazard. You know that any study using such language can be safely ignored
Another potential issue is the drift of cigarette smoke indoors into the main terminal area, though studies on this are scant.
I'm sure you can get a grant for one. As long as you agree to prove it's a 'Significant Public Health Hazard'
The jury also remains out on whether this is the case (or not) for indoor smoking lounges, which could leak air pollution into the main terminal space. The case has been made that they do, which seems likely, though not definite.
But don't let that stop you.
A 2012 report from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention found air pollution levels outside smoking areas was five times higher than in smoke-free airports, according to the American Nonsmokers Rights Association.
What did the America Smokers Rights Association have to say?
What is clear is that smoking lounges are considered by many to be undesirable places to spend time, even for smokers. “They're incredibly gross,” says Liv, who describes her smoking as ritualistic and tied to alcohol consumption. “Your entire being smells like cigarettes if you go into them. I usually feel very sorry for the people who need to use them.”
Absolute tosh. It all depends on where you go and how well they are maintained. I can only think of one I've been in that was pretty unpleasant (Frankfurt), the rest have been fine. Clean, well ventilated and in the one I went to in Nashville, free coffee
If a smoking room is unpleasant, it's because it isn't being looked after. Taking it away completely will not make any smokers feel better about the situation
George appreciates the lounges’ drawbacks but feels it’s not up to him to infringe on others’ ability to use them. “They definitely remove the glamour of smoking,” he says. “They stress me out but who am I to take away peoples’ free will to do that to themselves?”. Yas is more blunt: “They are gross!”
I speak to Ros, who shares his disdain. “I used one in Poland coming home from Poznań and it was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever been in,” she tells me. “Never again. It was so, so small, like a hotbox, with ghostly figures crammed in next to one another in silence wreathed in fumes. So depressing, so servile, that we would put our bodies through that in the name of nicotine.”
So improve the facilities. You're not making a good argument for a ban here, only better smoking lounges
It seems that many people these days view smoking lounges as a sad testament to the desperation of addiction, but not everyone shares this tone.
I certainly don't. I view them as giving smokers the opportunity to enjoy something they like doing in an otherwise stressful surrounding. Unfortunately sometimes, at the cost of a little of their dignity, as smokers are no longer allowed to have anything nice
“Smokers, unfortunately, your days of carefree travel are numbered, but there are still large airports that happily support your nicotine habit,” reads an article on the website of Skyscanner, a leading fare aggregator that is used by 60 million people every month. “Smokers are welcome” reads the website for Zurich Airport, which boasts of 22 “special, modern” lounges.
Good. So what you're saying is that airports should modernise? Of course not, you simply hate the fact that others are quite happy to tolerate something which you personally despise, even if it doesn't interfere in your life in any way
Duty-free sales run counter to the tax hikes governments introduce to try and discourage smoking, fuelling the harmful idea that travelling should be an exceptional time when it comes to smoking.
I'm not sure on the law here, but are Governments actually allowed to tax products sold airside in airports, or is that classed as international territory? As far as the prices go, you're often not spending any less than buying your tobacco locally, particularly when travelling in Europe, as you still have to pay the local tax
Britain’s biggest airport shopping chain put duty-free cigarettes in cordoned off areas in 2013 in anticipation of an oncoming total ban, but that ban has never materialised. It’s not too late.
Wasn't that for the display ban? Which did materialise
To implement it wouldn’t be about ruining anyone’s fun or curtailing freedoms.
Yes it absolutely would, you total cretin. that's exactly what it would be about
Cigarette addiction still exists and can’t be ignored, but we need to be supporting smokers to quit, not incentivising them to buy cheaper packs of cigarettes.
Ruining flying day would definitely not be any way to 'support me to quit'. Duty free does not incentivise me to buy cheaper fags, UK taxes do. You're full of shit and saying that you're doing this for the good of the poor addicted smokers who need your help, just shows you up for the total authoritarian shit you are
Ultimately, we should look at our futures and ask which side of the glass we’d like to stand: outside where the air is cleaner, or inside the smoking lounges of old.
Stand wherever the fuck you want, just don't try to dictate where I'm allowed to stand
If we work together we can take that step. Then, finally, we can get on with our holidays.
'We', obviously doesn't include people who like to smoke


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