Monday, January 23, 2006

Ex-smoker laughs at smoking ban

Denver Post editorial today: "Time has come for a state smoking ban."

Public opinion polls suggest that most Coloradans favor a statewide ban on smoking tobacco in bars, restaurants and other public places. It's a matter of health and comfort.

We hope state lawmakers will heed the sentiment and pass a bill introduced last week by Republican Rep. Mike May and Democratic Sen. Dan Grossman and co-sponsored by 24 other lawmakers.

The measure would ban indoor smoking in private and public buildings, except for cigar bars, special enclosed lounges at Denver International Airport and 25 percent of hotel and motel rooms . . . .

May has pointed out that when smoking was banned on elevators, people kept taking them. When it was banned on airplanes, people continued to fly.

Um, Mike?

Here's a pertinent quote from "Air Rage": Disruptive Passengers. The Causes and the Cures! (exclamation point sic!), a masters degree dissertation (pdf) by Peter Rolfe on the Aerospace Medical Home Page:

Banning smoking is another factor in the chain of events leading to an incident. Smoking in a toilet accounted for 36% of all incidents described in the DETR Survey of April-October 1999, which is indicative of the level of craving. Any or all of the symptoms described above can lead to a person attempting this sometimes dangerous pastime. A cigarette end thrown down a toilet can result in an uncontrollable fire, which could destroy ultimately the aircraft.

What's more,
[t]he ban on smoking and the stresses of flying can lead passengers into taking another form of drug "therapy", freely available alcohol. A passenger may turn to alcohol in order to "drown" the nicotine craving, should it arise.

Should it arise? Anyway, Mike May is right, people kept flying. They also started pounding "freely available alcohol," stumbling down to the head and and trying to blow up the plane.

Swingin' (at the) flight attendants

Sorry, had to use that subhead even though I have nothing else to say except that smokers probably are. Swinging, that is. At flight attendants. More often. Man, I need a cigarette.

Update: It's so cute how Peter Rolfe says a cigarette "end" could "destroy ultimately the aircraft." Wasn't it Churchill who said, about Time's style of writing in the '30s, "backward ran sentences until reeled the mind?" No, I see it was Wolcott Gibbs in the New Yorker. Why would Churchill have anything to say about Time, aside from the fact he was on the cover a time or two? Then I guess maybe it was Churchill who said, "This is the sort of English up with which I will not put." Dammit, no again, or at least, probably not. There goes my budding career as the new Mr. Language Person.

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