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Tough on Smoking Or Tough on Its Ban?

Discussions in German to follow smoking bans in Ireland, Norway and Italy drew a mixed bag of reponses from DW-WORLD readers.

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Thou shalt not smoke?

The following comments reflect the views of our readers. If you would like to have your say, click on the feedback button below. Not all reader comments will be published. DW-WORLD reserves the right to edit for length and appropriateness of content.

This law is undemocratic! Is this a part of our new constitution? "Thou shalt not smoke, or thou shalt be excluded from society."? Down with the EU, down with the EU Constitution, down with the Euro! Long live freedom, long live happiness! -- Joop van Dijk, Amersfoort, Netherlands

I live in California, USA, where smoking bans have resulted in a great deal of lost business for bars and restaurants, and lost jobs for people who used to work there - as well as discomfort for many of us who still choose to smoke. The hordes of non-smokers who were supposed to gratefully patronize the newly-smokeless bars and restaurants failed to materialize. I'm more scared of those who would curb my 'vices' in the name of, than in the possible long-term harm from using tobacco. Prohibition has not worked in the past, it only bred crime. It is not likely to work now. -- Terry

Germany's hotel and restaurant association's Director Ingrid Hartges admits that restaurants and bars in Germany have been dealing with declining sales in recent years. Many representatives of restaurant and bar associations in the United States were under the same influence of the tobacco industry until government tax receipts proved that smoking bans increased business in many instances. Smoking in German restaurants and bars is so excessive and oppressive that it is the topic of discussion of many returning tourists. As the rest of Europe wakes up to the threat of public smoking habits, more tourists will gravitate to countries that institute total bans and German tourism will continue to decline. I am a German-American who enjoyed many of the aspects of my mother country. I have not returned since 2000, because of repeated serious respiratory infections and asthma attacks brought on by tobacco smoke exposure. -- Robert Starkey, Hawaii

I absolutely do not support smoking bans in public places, autos, homes, or out of doors. A business open to the public should be allowed to make the decision that is best for their own business, it should not be mandated by law. There is no conclusive evidence proving second-hand smoke is harmful, but smoking bans have repeatedly proven to be most harmful. When will the press have the courage to challenge the lies being told from the United Nations on down about this issue? -- Maryetta Ables, United States

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  • Date 17.02.2005
  • Author Compiled by DW staff (dre)
  • Print Print this page
  • Permalink http://p.dw.com/p/6GER
  • Date 17.02.2005
  • Author Compiled by DW staff (dre)
  • Print Print this page
  • Permalink http://p.dw.com/p/6GER