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Tuesday, 12 December 2017

2018 Austrian smoking ban to be scrapped

This is a post about freedom, not an encouragement to smoke tobacco. Myself, I am a committed tobaccophile - I'm just taking a very long break from smoking. If I make it to 70, I intend to start smoking again. I like the smell of smoke and am lucky having local friends who smoke - so my house is still furnished with ashtrays. I've also got some cigars which they will have to smoke for me over Christmas, whilst I bliss out on Colheita Port, Samuel Gawith snuff and the heady scent of best Havana leaf smoke. But because of the health disbenefits, I wouldn't encourage anyone to start.

Austrians however are firm believers in the rights of citizens to injure themselves in any way they wish. There isn't a week goes by without the local paper reporting in a matter-of-fact way another farmer crushed under his tractor, lady kicked to death by a horse, driver heading off a steep ravine or carpenter sawing his arm off. In fact, carpenters here wear their lack of fingers as a badge of honour - good carpenters, they reckon, must have lost at least two fingers. And there is no, I repeat no, whiny wailing in the media that 'Something must be done!' or that 'They must stop this happening!' after each death. Very philosophical they are about such things, here.

It reminds me of a train crash in Ghana in which several passengers had been killed. Our local Accra paper reported that the Transport Minister had visited the scene - not to call for an inquiry, or make vacuous promises, but simply to pour a libation of palm wine to appease the spirits of those killed. A policy at least as sound as, and possibly more so than, UK practice.    

One of the things here I particularly enjoy is my clothes reeking of smoke after a session down at the gasthaus. Sometimes, if I sniff deeply enough, I can still get a hit three days later. The current law does require bars over a certain size to offer a non-smoking room, usually a cold, empty room at the back somewhere, for anti-smokers. From next year all bars and restaurants where food is consumed would have been obliged to ban smoking - but Austria's new political coalition is putting an end to that. The FPOe - the Freedom Party -  is insisting the ban is scrapped. So those of us who really don't mind eating and smoking in the same room can carry on being as sociable as before.

It's a small win, but proof that there's still a libertarian tolerance in places. 


jack ketch said...

Strange how a sovereign nation can decide to makes/scrap it's own laws at will despite being in the EUSSR. Doesn't Austria have it's laws IMPOSED on it by Brussels? Do Austrian politicians not pay homage to Juncker on bended knee?

Moose said...

You obviously chose your new home well!

And, as Jack says above...... how is it that the Austrians (and other EU members, when it suits) can simply ignore EU rules and impositions?

jack ketch said...

how is it that the Austrians (and other EU members, when it suits) can simply ignore EU rules and impositions?

Might be because the EU has no real power to impose or enforce anything on sovereign nations? It can only rule via quislings agreeing to it's terms (the E-Cigs directive a classic example). Surely can't be that? That our own democratically (more or less) elected members of a sovereign nation's parliament have been happy to blame their own shortcomings on those nasty, sneaky, foreigners in Brussels for the last 30 years or so? Roll on March 2119 and Brexshite (and no, there are no typos in that last sentence).

Poisonedchalice said...

"Far Right" Freedom party?? Sorry? Did I read that correctly? That "far right" equals freedom? And just whose right is it to proclaim that any individuals insistence on their rights to self-determination is a far-right concept? Oh... hang on, that must be the "extreme left".

jack ketch said...

""Far Right"

That'll be the German/Austrian MSM definition which sees anyone to the right of what we, in the UK, might call 'centre' as 'right wing'. Usually when they say 'far right' they mean 'nazi' but can't say it for legal reasons.

It surprises people here to learn that a large chunk of the EU regard our own dear PMT.May as 'far right', akin even to Erdogan.

Anonymous said...

Christmas comes early to Austria:

Veil-Wearing Muslims Leave Austria as the Niqab Ban Kicks In


anon 2 said...

Sorry Radders - but I'm allergic to smoke. It nauseates me to vomiting point.

Now it's fine by me it you and other addicts want to poison yourselves and destroy your lungs - so long as I don't have to watch you fighting for breath as my old Dad did, while gasping that he'd "enjoyed every cigarette." I also no longer have to treat the bronchitics and the carcinoma victims on the NHS, so the wages of 'pleasure' are all theirs.

I do object, though, that your lot force your noxious fumes on people like me: even if you 'reserve' smoke-free rooms, the filth still reaches us through the air conditioning systems.

Of course, it's natural enough that the euSSr will allow it by hook or by crook. They want to destroy us, whether we like it or not.

jack ketch said...

"but I'm allergic to smoke. It nauseates me to vomiting point. "-Karl Astel

And I'm sure I speak for many here when I say you have my deepest sympathy for your disability. How awful for you to never know the pleasure, the taste, the aroma of a post coital cigarette. Never to know the satisfaction of a fine cigarette after an even finer meal. Never to watch a woman of real class smoke, every mouthful a promise of delights to come. Never to feel how your blue hazy muse enters the room and inspires you. I can't imagine how it must be to live such a 'life' sounds awful. I thank God for the gift of tobacco in all it's forms.

john gibson said...

I am booking my holiday in Austria very soon after reading your post.
John Gibson

Anonymous said...

anon2: "I do object, though, that your lot force your noxious fumes on people like me: even if you 'reserve' smoke-free rooms, the filth still reaches us through the air conditioning systems."

Here's a deal offered in good faith.

You keep your verbal vomit to yourself, and I'll promise not to smoke around you.


mikebravo said...

I shall pack some of my Havanas when I go skiing in Hinterglemm in January.
The bar staff were telling me last yer that it was being banned this year but as in so many things in Austria, they have had a break out of freedom.

Don,t hold your breath for anything similar in HMPUK.

Anonymous said...

Do you also accept full responsibility & refuse all state assisted health care for any tobacco connected cancers, emphysema & heart diseases? What about people who get lung cancer from 2nd hand smoke - is it justtgeir fault for breathing the air in the same space as you & your friends?