The number of smokers in Greece has decreased over the last five years, however, the non-implementation of a smoking ban in enclosed public places has irritated the public, which calls it “cultural degradation,” writes European affairs website euractiv.com. The European Commission generally advises Greece to implement the smoking ban which was voted in but never fully implemented.
It’s the smoking bans that bring the real cultural degradation. What’s more degraded than having smokers exiled to the outdoors?
Smoking bans destroy communities, shatter friendships, and bankrupt pubs and cafes and clubs. They create a waste land.
Smoking bans destroy culture. They destroy a genial and convivial culture that has existed for centuries, in various slightly different manifestations, all over the world – from the English pub to the French bistro to the Spanish cantina.
When I visited Japan in 2005, and stepped out on the streets of Fukuoka, I was delighted to find a cosy little bar full of Japanese reading newspapers and eating rice and drinking beer and smoking cigarettes. I couldn’t understand a word that any of them said. But it didn’t matter, because it was as convivial as any English pub or French bistro.
It was a universal culture. And now it’s being deliberately and systematically smashed.
Nobody should be too surprised now if geniality and conviviality is disappearing not just from public bars, but also from public life. Nobody should be surprised if the whole character of public discourse is getting uglier and meaner. Once the arenas of easy and affable discourse have been closed to the smokers who once occupied them, nobody should be surprised if discourse ends, and distrust and misunderstanding multiply. What else is going to happen when people cease to meet?
At least the bastards in the EU recognise that it’s “cultural.” Because this has always been a cultural war. It’s a cultural war that has been launched on an old and stable culture by demonising the products that the culture used – beer, cigarettes – to sustain its convivial character. If it had been a cultural war launched upon churches, they would have banned candles instead, and for the same pseudo-epidemiological reasons.
It’s a cultural war as ferocious as that conducted by Mao in China, back in the 1960s, when much of China’s cultural heritage was smashed to pieces. And it’s probably being conducted by Maoists in the West. Wasn’t Manuel Barroso, one-time President of the European Commission, once a Maoist?
According to a new survey conducted by ΚΑΠΑ Research and published last week (12 January), the number of smokers in the country has significantly decreased.
Particularly, 27.1% of the population today says it smokes compared to 36.7% recorded by researchers in 2012. This decrease within five years is a record on an EU level, analysts highlighted, adding that this is the smallest prevalence of smoking ever in the Greek population.
In addition, most Greeks said they opposed smoking and 88.1% consider it a national goal to reduce it.
The survey also focused on the issue of passive smoking in enclosed public places, with 83.8% of respondents claiming that the non-compliance with the law is a cultural degradation.
Moreover, 76.1% of Greeks are angry about the fact that the country is one of the few EU countries that allow smoking in enclosed areas, exposing its citizens to passive smoking.
If 76% of Greeks are angry about the absence of any real smoking ban in Greece, wouldn’t that be something that would be influencing Greek bar owners, as they lose 76% of their customers?
This reminds me of all the hordes of non-smokers who were going to show up in UK pubs once smoking was banned in them, but never did – because the hordes didn’t exist. And if UK landlords had been left to run their pubs they way they wanted, UK pubs would still be as smoky as any Greek taverna. For nobody much wanted to change UK pubs, apart from a few zealots.
So I doubt if many Greeks want to change Greek culture. It’ll only be a few Maoist zealots who want to smash it all up.
The survey must be fraudulent. But then everything conducted by the antismokers in Tobacco Control is always fraudulent.
But don’t ask me. Ask Nisakiman. He has lived in Greece for many years.