I just contributed to a little debate over at about why there are so few smoke-free bars in Copenhagen.

I feel pretty strongly about this. Smoking is the most pathetically futile, anti-social activity ever invented and it should be outlawed, never mind banned.

Clearly that will never happen but the ban which is coming into force over here in April is long overdue.

Copenhagen has some great restaurants and cafes but all too often you emerge smelling like an ashtray. I fucking hate it.

Danes smoke in between courses as well, which makes me feel sick. Christ they still have smoking carriages on trains here.

It’s one of the most forward-thinking countries in many ways but it’s totally backward when it comes to the death-sticks.


17 Responses to “Chimneys”

  1. 1 Lars K Jensen January 13, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    Hi Aaron

    Actually you’re not allowed to smoke in any of the DSB trains now. The ban started this Sunday, January 7th…

    But apart from that, I agree 🙂

    // Lars

  2. 2 aaron78 January 14, 2007 at 8:42 am

    Ha ha, cheers Lars! What’s a few facts between friends!

  3. 3 Tolchard January 14, 2007 at 10:04 pm

    Ahmmmmm. Your gonna get told of now. Enter Ms Rosie Young!!

  4. 4 Rosie January 14, 2007 at 11:06 pm

    “Smoking is the most pathetically futile, anti-social activity ever invented and it should be outlawed, never mind banned.”

    I think you mean fascism, not smoking, darling.

    What a terrible time you must have experienced when you stayed in my warm and loving smoke-friendly abode.

    The Great Bill Hicks: “I smoke. If that’s a problem, taken a look at the world around you and shut your fucking mouth.”


  5. 5 Rosie January 14, 2007 at 11:10 pm

    Damn, I made a typo! “take” not “taken”

    I love the sound of your cafes in Denmark – here in Oz they are so white and sterile I’m never sure whether I’ve come in for coffee or a hysterectomy.


  6. 6 Rosie January 14, 2007 at 11:12 pm

    “Complaining about smoking is the most pathetically futile, anti-social activity ever invented and it should be outlawed, never mind banned.”


  7. 7 Rosie January 14, 2007 at 11:13 pm

    Ah, well, darling, my today’s blog entry is a bit anti-journalist so touche!

  8. 8 aaron78 January 15, 2007 at 8:57 am

    Hahah!! I’m scarred Rosie. When I was a young boy I wore a uniform to school. One morning I got into class and two boys started holding their noses and telling me I smelt disgusting. It was because my blazer smelt of my parents’ cigarette smoke. It turned me against it for life. I have also watched one of my grandparents die from a smoking-related illness. I abhor it and make no apologies for that. 🙂

  9. 9 Rosie January 15, 2007 at 10:26 am

    Ah, aaron, the childhood emotional traumas! Quite the reverse for me – whenever I was upset I would go to where my father’s jacket hung on the peg and cuddle into it and breathe in the smell of tobacco to comfort myself – it represented protection and well-being. Anyway, darling, you non-smokers are in the majority now and can make all the rules – I have put myself under house arrest so that I can puff away in peace and not annoy anyone.


  10. 10 aaron78 January 15, 2007 at 11:32 am

    I know I come across as a fascist sometimes. I remember once when I was backpacking across Europe I got stranded in a train station in Sofia. No-one seemed to speak English and I could not find out which train to get on. I walked back to my friend, absolutely fuming, and announced that ‘Hitler had a point, STANDARDISATION!’

  11. 11 Colville-Andersen January 22, 2007 at 2:15 pm

    Generally speaking, despising upwards of 40% of the Danish and European population is hardly a healthy attitude towards life.
    If smoking rules are to be successful it will take a generation or two. Until then, respect those who choose differently than you.

    And while you’re waiting, get actively involved in lobbying for a ban fatty foods [obesity is a far greater financial burden on health care systems in the western world] and alcohol [the greatest blight on mankind ever created].

    Ranting is fine if it A. makes sense, B. doesn’t sound like whining and C. is backed up by intelligent action.

    Don’t worry, there’s still time to work on C.

  12. 12 aaron78 January 22, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    Where do I say despise smokers? I hate the act of smoking. I hate that people, often people I love and respect, choose to pollute their bodies, shortening their own lifespan, and, all too often, those of the people around them. What is there to respect in that?

    I’m sorry if it sounds like whining but excusing your own folly by pointing to other examples of human weakness is specious. I was talking about smoking because that is the issue that Lars raised in his blog and it’s something I feel strongly about.

  13. 13 Mikael January 22, 2007 at 7:49 pm

    I don’t make excuses for my “folly”. I support restrictions on smoking. I merely believe that people shouldn’t be looked down upon because of choices they make.
    You call it anti-social. You say it makes you ‘sick’. Instead of attacking the individuals with whom you share a society, vent your rage at the governments and the tobacco companies instead. Actively. Constructively.

    And since you feel so strongly about this, the natural extension is that you despise the destructive, anti-social drinking culture inherent in England, as well as Denmark and elsewhere. That you ‘fucking hate it’ when fat people gorge themselves on fast foods right in front of you.

    I’m merely seeking the thread here. You cannot possibly be against smoking and FOR the other issues I’ve mentioned and others that can be compared with it. You can’t possibly hate smoking and people who smoke but actively support the production of society-wrecking fatty foods and alcholic beverages. That wouldn’t make sense.

    Personally, at the end of the day, if I had to choose between smoking and disrepecting my fellow citizens and the choices they’ve made… I’d choose smoking.

    Hey, maybe I have integrated into the tolerant Danish mindset after all!

  14. 14 Mikael January 22, 2007 at 7:51 pm

    Oh, I thought I could edit… anyway… just wished to say that my charm and wit may not always shine through text written on a blog. I’m merely playing the Devil’s advocate and having a go.

  15. 15 aaron78 January 22, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    It’s a good debate and I certainly don’t want to come across as a small-minded bigot. But I feel you have confused my distaste for smoking for disrespect for the people who smoke. All I said was I fucking hate smelling of smoke. I have done since I was a child. Smoke wafting across the dinner table at a restaurant makes me feel sick.

    I have a blog, and I make observations and invite responses. I’m glad you have added to it. You’ve certainly made me question whether I should be doing something more constructive than venting my spleen on an internet site!

    I guess the problem is the extent of my personal disgust at cigarettes and the damage they do, and are doing to people – particularly my friends and family. It blinds me to the nuances of the debate.

    As for my observations about Danish cafes, I think they stand. The sooner bar and cafe staff don’t have to breathe second-hand smoke the better.

  16. 16 Mikael January 22, 2007 at 9:07 pm

    I think you should seek medical advice about that spleen of yours. My grasp of biology’s finer points is vague but I’m quite sure that they shouldn’t be able to vent.

  17. 17 Rosie January 23, 2007 at 6:56 am

    Re. damage caused by cigarette smoking, this a worth a read:

    and why is it that countries with high rates of smoking have the long life expectancy? Surely we couldn’t have been subjected to some propaganda?


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