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Don’t Smoke Em, If You Got Em

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Last week, within days of each other, all the cruise lines under the Carnival Corporation umbrella announced new policies dramatically restricting where smoking will be allowed on their ships. These new policies are fairly similar to those in place already on Royal Caribbean International ships (Royal Caribbean and Celebrity). The Carnival Corporation ships have banned smoking in passenger cabins, with Princess Cruise Line extending the ban further to include private balconies.

From the details released it seems each ship will have a minimum of one indoor lounge onboard where smoking is allowed, as well as an area outside on deck where smoking will be allowed. To date Carnival Corporation ships have not announced a ban on smoking in their casinos, as already exists on Celebrity Cruise and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.

In these generally tumultuous times, where few people can rarely agree on anything when it comes to rules and regulations or social behavior policies (whether government or private companies), it’s more acceptable to propose bans on smoking than it is to suggest plans for world peace. Even the world’s most zealous libertarians, who want to see no rules for anyone’s behavior, are in favor of banning smoking. These days being anti-smoking is probably the most acceptable cause on can take up.

Depending on what studies you refer to, only 18-20% of the North American population smokes. Outside of a rather wealthy tobacco industry, that’s not much of a group to put up much of a fuss. And those that do still smoke do so almost ashamedly; accepting their ostracizing, because they’ve been convinced it’s an “ugly” and unattractive activity. Oh… and there’s the health issue too.

This is where I have to admit I’m one of them; a part of the leper colony. I’ve smoked for 45 years. During that time, because of the prospective negative health issues I’ve attempted to quit a number of times. I’ve tried many of the means of assistance touted as stop smoking aids. I’d manage alright for a bit, but I was in the bar business, and I’d go to work, and then bars were havens for leper smokers. At least that was/is my excuse.

I get it that to non-smokers it stinks. I get it that my clothes smell of tobacco. My problem is I like to smoke cigarettes. I enjoy smoking cigarettes.

The more of a “cause” it has become, the more militant I’ve become about my right to smoke. Aside from what you may say, I do have a right to smoke. Why? Because it remains a legal activity.

I find the banning of it in all kinds of places that have now become socially acceptable; like city streets, parks, beaches, etc. to be hypocritical. If it is such a serious problem to society that it needs to be banned, why is it not simply made illegal?

Remember when marijuana was illegal? You might say it still is, but the reality is medical marijuana is being more universally accepted, and possession of marijuana is now nothing more than a misdemeanor – like jaywalking–if that. That despite the fact that today’s marijuana is 20 times the strength of the marijuana available “in my day”– when simple possession meant jail time, and it was considered “Satan’s weed”.

Every day there’s new hazards to our health being discovered, and regulatory bodies moving to control them or ban them. Over the last several weeks I’ve been reading about studies done, stating that using cellular telephones could be carcenogenic. Because of these warnings is everyone going to quit using their cell phones? HA.

It’s a similar situation to cigarettes really. There were warnings for many, many years about the harmful affects of cigarettes. Yet, for many, many years it was socially acceptable to smoke. I would be visiting at friend’s homes, and start to step outside to have a cigarette, and they would insist it was fine to smoke in their home (I didn’t, and insisted on going outside). But today, because it’s a socially acceptable “cause” they would never make that offer. What changed? Perspective . So, don’t be taking out your land line telephones yet. That, or some other odd obscurity may be the next universal “cause”.

I really do get it though! And I understand the cruise lines are reacting to the demands from their clientele (though the clientele can go chase their nose, if they demand they be allowed to bring their own alcohol onboard). The movement for the cruise lines to “support the cause” has grown, and not unexpectedly.

It’s now time for me, and other members of the leper colony, to decide if we want to accept the restrictions, and give our financial approval to the decisions that have been made by those sectors of the industry.

Smoker’s of the world would unite, but we can’t see each other through the haze.

– A View From The Kuki Side Of Cruising –

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Comment from Tim Butler
Time June 29, 2011 at 1:21 am

As smokers leave cruising, lets see if the onboard revenue stays up or if the cruise lines will need to raise fares to cover the lost on board revenue.

Comment from homeatlast
Time June 30, 2011 at 7:20 am

I am a non smoker. Always have been. Both my parents smoked so I figured I had enough second hand smoke to last me a lifetime. Here is the thing. I usually cruise HAL. And to be honest with you I rarely had an issue with smokers but then again I am not a casino fan so don’t tend to go there. However it is obvious when you have to walk through the casino to get to the other parts of the ship that the smokers are high in number in there. If second hand smoke was not harmful, I would just say “it is my issue and I will just avoid those areas” but it is a health issue not only for the smoker obviously but for those of us who choose not to smoke and still have to walk into areas where smokers are. So the real issue is health not just a dislike of the smell itself.

Comment from Ryan
Time July 1, 2011 at 4:04 am

I’m a non-smoker, a member of the boards here, and a cruiser with over 100 sailings under my belt. I travel with my mother, who smokes and who, alongside myself, has experienced the evolution of smoking restrictions at sea.

In light of these new decisions, I feel that it would only be fair for cruise lines to also restrict the consumption of alcohol and presence of persons consuming it to select locations onboard. Intoxicated passengers are a health and safety risk, and alcohol poses nearly as many health problems as smoking.

Unfortunately the cruise lines will never take action against drinkers…why? They generate too much onboard revenue.

On a recent cruise on the Allure of the Seas, greed was evident as bartenders kept patrons tabs open until they had consumed so much that security became involved. Lets face it, if ships made the revenue on cigarettes that they did on alcohol they’d consider different actions. After all, the modern cruising experience is all about nickle-and-diming passengers and cruise lines aren’t about to affect their bottom line over a social squabble.

Comment from Don
Time July 4, 2011 at 6:39 pm

I’m glad to see the ban. Cigar smoking on an adjacent balcony is unbearable. Why should we have to suffer?

Comment from Donna
Time July 6, 2011 at 10:01 am

I am a former smoker and know its bad for me and thoses around me…so ,,I choose to go on cruiselines that forbid smoking in cabin or balcony..such as Regent,,,vote with your pocketbook and slowly the bigger lines will wise up and only allow it in certain areas..really the best of all worlds,,smokers can smoke in designated area and non smokers can avoid them…

Comment from Ben
Time July 7, 2011 at 5:18 pm

I have to agree with Don, nothing worse than being “smoked” off your balcony by the passengers in the balcony next to you.

Comment from Kenneth Eden
Time July 14, 2011 at 5:29 am

Just returned from 2 weeks in Nieuw Amsterdam – ship stunk everywhere from smokers smoke –

Smokers have every right to smoke, maybe not in public, say, and they will find their places on ships, don’t think they won’t.

Comment from Ryan
Time August 8, 2011 at 9:51 am

I think it should be about respect and understanding on BOTH sides.

Whether it’s smoking, excessive drinking, foul language, etc…we all pay the fares and have the right to enjoy our vacations in the way we choose, but not at the expense of others who have that exact same right.

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