Clarkson: The Weekly Times Comment Column by Jeremy Thread

That American Girl

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I think i am the only person in the world who is over the age of 12 and never tried a fag.

Nope, that makes two of us then.

And my mother who lives with me, has serious health issues now due to smoking..and still smokes. I make her go outside to smoke, and she'll do it.

In the rain, snow...cold and all that.
 

MacGuffin

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The problem with smoking is, that for decades it was considered the normal thing. In bars, restaurants or at parties smoking and thick air was considered an essential part of Gem?tlichkeit. Any objection to it was considered an attack on personal freedom.

People -- especially the smokers themselves -- need to learn and understand, that not smoking is actually the normal behavior and not vice versa. Smoking has to be stigmatized as bad social behavior, as impolite and inappropriate, when smokers mix with non-smokers.

Last year we threw a goodbye dinner in a restaurant for a pregnant colleague, who went into her maternity leave. The ones organizing the event made sure, that they'd get a table in the smokers' room for it...!!!

The smokers' room! To say goodbye to a highly pregnant woman! And nobody even said a word, until I brought it up.

A major change has to happen in the heads first.
 
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shesquint

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Last year we threw a goodbye dinner in a restaurant for a pregnant colleague, who went into her maternity leave. The ones organizing the event made sure, that they'd get a table in the smokers' room for it...!!!

The smokers' room! To say goodbye to a highly pregnant woman! And nobody even said a word, until I brought it up.

:jawdrop:

You have got to be joking. How can anyone have thought that was a good idea?!

You're right about the change needing to happen in the heads first. Most of the smokers I know (myself included) will not smoke in the presence of a child or a pregnant woman, or even someone who has a cold or asthma. We try to be aware of where we are and who's around us at all times for that very reason. I can't believe other people don't. Clearly their heads haven't caught up to our heads. May I please go find the people who organized this party and scold them very loudly and with lots of profanity?
 

That American Girl

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Where I work at, we make a drug that's used to treat COPD. Also knows as 'smokers cough'.

Even in this economy, we can't keep up with demand and the company is raking in record profits from this. The thing is; once you get to the point where you have emphysema, it's almost a lifelong condition at that point.

Unable to catch your breath, walk down the street, live long enough to see your grand kids grow up, spend the years of your life in appalling condition, generally hooked up to an oxygen tank.

All for the 'pleasure' of smoking and looking cool.
 

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I think someone should do a study on smoking and criminality because I work with prisoners and I'd say about 90% of them smoke which is clearly way above the normal percentile by a mile. Now I'm not saying that all smokers are criminals but clearly the majority or criminals are smokers. In my opinion that's more than is encompassed by the whole addictive personality thing because other drugs, even alcohol, don't run to that kind of percentage.

Prisoners are now only allowed to smoke inside their cell in prison and nowhere else, not in corridors, police stations, court cells, probation, visits, etc. Prisoners still tell us that we're abusing their human rights by not allowing them to smoke. I inhale more tobacco smoke now than before the ban because they 'plug it' (smuggle it by putting it where the sun doesn't shine to get past a strip search). My thinking is if you need to smoke so badly that you'd conceal it up your arse then you've earned it. That's not the policy line though just to clarify!
 

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I think someone should do a study on smoking and criminality because I work with prisoners and I'd say about 90% of them smoke which is clearly way above the normal percentile by a mile. Now I'm not saying that all smokers are criminals but clearly the majority or criminals are smokers. In my opinion that's more than is encompassed by the whole addictive personality thing because other drugs, even alcohol, don't run to that kind of percentage.

It can also be chalked up to just plain bad judgment. I had that in abundance at 15, which is when I started. Some people just never learn to have better judgment.
 

suggsygirl

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It can also be chalked up to just plain bad judgment. I had that in abundance at 15, which is when I started. Some people just never learn to have better judgment.

Sure, I mean you can add peer pressure to that but I don't think that tells the full story. I think it's probably a combination of all the factors. Also a quite high percentage of my colleagues smoke and you could say that's due to the high pressure environment but they all smoked before they got the job, maybe there's something in the job that attracts smokers? I don't know but I find it interesting.

The prisoners scream their heads off when you deny them a cigarette because it's their human rights to smoke (in their mind) but alcoholics don't expect to be allowed booze in custody, drug addicts don't expect heroin... I've been in actual fights with prisoners over cigarettes.
 

shesquint

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Sure, I mean you can add peer pressure to that but I don't think that tells the full story. I think it's probably a combination of all the factors. Also a quite high percentage of my colleagues smoke and you could say that's due to the high pressure environment but they all smoked before they got the job, maybe there's something in the job that attracts smokers? I don't know but I find it interesting.

The prisoners scream their heads off when you deny them a cigarette because it's their human rights to smoke (in their mind) but alcoholics don't expect to be allowed booze in custody, drug addicts don't expect heroin... I've been in actual fights with prisoners over cigarettes.

*sigh* It wasn't even peer pressure. It started as a stupid, stupid prank.

It'd be interesting if someone did a study on smokers' personality traits. Is there some common thread among us that draws us to stupid decisions and/or high-stress environments? I'd be really, really curious to see the results of such a study.

And, um, no. Smoking doesn't quite fall under the heading of human rights. If other addicts can't have their fix, smokers shouldn't be able to, either. So there.
 

mneiai

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I've never smoked myself, but I've always been surrounded by people who do. I remember when I was living in Italy (and hanging out with Italians and central/southern Europeans), it was considered rude to ask someone for a cigarette, partially because they were so expensive (especially as compared to the US cost and thus the custom of "bumming a square" from whoever). Does the UK generally have a lower cost for cigarettes than other European countries? Or, I guess, Clarkson could be having this problem because people (naturally) assume he can afford it.
 

iam-nobody

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I've never smoked myself, but I've always been surrounded by people who do. I remember when I was living in Italy (and hanging out with Italians and central/southern Europeans), it was considered rude to ask someone for a cigarette, partially because they were so expensive (especially as compared to the US cost and thus the custom of "bumming a square" from whoever). Does the UK generally have a lower cost for cigarettes than other European countries? Or, I guess, Clarkson could be having this problem because people (naturally) assume he can afford it.
This tells you how much tax they charge you in the UK.
http://www.the-tma.org.uk/page.aspx?page_id=42
 

suggsygirl

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*sigh* It wasn't even peer pressure. It started as a stupid, stupid prank.

It'd be interesting if someone did a study on smokers' personality traits. Is there some common thread among us that draws us to stupid decisions and/or high-stress environments? I'd be really, really curious to see the results of such a study.

And, um, no. Smoking doesn't quite fall under the heading of human rights. If other addicts can't have their fix, smokers shouldn't be able to, either. So there.

I tell the prisoners exactly what their human rights are but they're all convinced they have the right to Playstations and Sky channels. In fact one complained that his human rights were being infringed in the prison because he only had the Freeview channels on the TV in his cell.
 

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One of the most pitiful things I've seen is patients outside my local cardiac hospital, in their pjs and dressing gowns, still connected to their drips as they stand outside to smoke. OK, I'm a non-smoker now (nearly 20 years) but my husband carried on until he had a major heart attack. He stopped immediately, and I can't understand anyone who could continue after a warning like that. The heart damage killed him in the end, but at least he had an extra 5 years that I'm certain he wouldn't have had if he'd gone back to smoking.
 

iam-nobody

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One of the most pitiful things I've seen is patients outside my local cardiac hospital, in their pjs and dressing gowns, still connected to their drips as they stand outside to smoke. OK, I'm a non-smoker now (nearly 20 years) but my husband carried on until he had a major heart attack. He stopped immediately, and I can't understand anyone who could continue after a warning like that. The heart damage killed him in the end, but at least he had an extra 5 years that I'm certain he wouldn't have had if he'd gone back to smoking.

My hospital made the whole site a no smoking area and there a big car park between the buildings and the exit so only the able body patients can have a crafty fag.:twisted:
 

shellygrrl

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Yeah; there was no column or car review this weekend. In regards to the latter, there wasn't even someone filling in.
 

suggsygirl

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Yeah; there was no column or car review this weekend. In regards to the latter, there wasn't even someone filling in.

I say give the job to Francie while Jeremy's away, unless she's with him and then... erm, give it to Gill I suppose!
 
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