Cruise-line tobacco police

As many of us have known for years, the Nanny State is alive and well — and growing; especially at the federal level.  It is also well-known that tobacco and the demonization thereof at the hands of Uncle Sam (especially the FDA, which now enjoys statutory power over tobacco products) is a flash point for government regulators.  Clearly, federal, state and local tobacco police will not rest until every cigarette, cigar and pipe has been doused permanently, and every pinch of chewing tobacco destroyed. 

Now, at least one cruise ship line — Carnival — is considering marching side by side with the government nanny-staters.  The cruise line is actually going one step better than the government killjoys.  Carnival has announced it is “testing” the idea of banning smoking in cigar bars on its cruise ships.  That’s right, if the cruise-line busy bodies have their way, passengers hoping to enjoy a stogie in the cigar bar, will no longer be able to do so.  One proffered defense for the nonsensical proposal is that non-smokers have to endure the torture of passing by the cigar bar en route to an eating or drinking lounge, and in so doing might suffer irreparable harm from detecting a whisp of cigar smoke.

Perhaps next, the sea-borne nannies will prohibit alcohol in the on-board bars, or ban eating desserts at the 24-hour dessert bar; because after all, government regulators already are casting a longing regulatory eye at alcohol consumption and obesity as national crises.  The question is, why should people be permitted to enjoy themselves beyond the 12-mile limit, when doing so is becoming increasingly difficult on dry land?

46 comments Add your comment

son of liberty

July 30th, 2010
7:14 am

Perhaps some Washingtonian jerks will decide to outlaw the plant that results in 0 deaths a year in order to protect the profits from another plant that kills millions world-wide yearly. Of course, you must also protect the alcohol producers (alcohol kills 150,000 Americans yearly – no, not in car wrecks, just the alcohol itself).

Dagood

July 30th, 2010
7:21 am

I hope they don’t close the smoking areas down in the airports. I enjoy walking by those glass cages and seeing all those uptight morons sitting inside and sucking down smoke like the nervous dregs they are.

JesusFreak

July 30th, 2010
7:27 am

Why would anybody in their right mind want to start smoking? The ones that are addicted already have a hard time quitting but knowing that you are sucking on a cancer stick, what is so good and enjoyable about cigarettes? Too many loved ones have died as a result of smoking, let’s get rid of it once and for all. They turn your teeth and fingers yellow, wrinkle up the skin around your mouth, stink up your hair, give you a smoker’s cough, stink up the car and house, oh yeah, that’s enjoyable alright. The more public places that are no smoking zones, the less people will be encouraged in their unhealthy habit. Seconhand smoke is no walk in the rose garden, either so let’s stop exposing those that are smart enough to avoid this. My sister in law finally came to her senses and quit after suffering a heart attack at the age of 50. My father eventually quit his 2 pack a day habit, but not until after I had developed respiratory problems and asthma from years of inhaling it in the car and house. My husband quit his one pack a day habit after getting sick with pneumonia and seeing the brown goo draining out of his lungs as a result of his smoking. Smokers, please think of your loved ones if not yourselves. This is kind of like the seatbelt laws – people who are not smart enough to prevent their own deaths and those of others (yes, you kill other people in the car when you are unrestrained as you become a projectile) need a nanny state to tell them what to do. Sad, huh?

Joel Edge

July 30th, 2010
7:30 am

Dagood 7:21
I hope that was some attempt at humor. If not, it was a sad and stupid comment, it said more about you than it ever says about smokers.

David S

July 30th, 2010
7:39 am

The simple, market based answer is to boycott Carnival and let them know you are doing so and for what reason. It is possible that they have received complaints about the cigar bar and are looking to meet those customer’s requirements. Be heard. Use the power of your consumer position.

DW

July 30th, 2010
7:43 am

This is old news.. I was on a Celebrity cruise in May and it was already banned except for ONE outdoor deck area. Cigar bar was just a piano bar

RambleOn84

July 30th, 2010
7:59 am

JesusFreak,
The dangers of tobacco consumption are known by all…the issue is personal FREEDOM. If someone wants to significantly shorten their life in exchange for the pleasurable feeling they get from smoking, it should be their decision. Who are you to tell others what they can or can’t do to themselves?

Perhaps you feel this way because you have no desire to smoke…but what happens when “regulators” decide to stop you from doing something YOU enjoy?

Stand up for the rights of your fellow man, for in doing so you stand up for your own rights as well.

neo-Carlinist

July 30th, 2010
8:35 am

appples and oranges. Carninival number crunchers may have the data to suggest they can book more fares, or operate a more profitable business in the cigar bar location on their ships. this is Business 101 and you should celebrate that Carninaval is taking “risks”. were Carnival to demand, or the FDA to provide subsidies or tax credits to Carnival for being “tobacco free” then there might be a column, but as I read this; I salute Carnival for doing what it feels it needs to do increase market share and remain competative, even if I believe an occassional cigar or cigarette – especially on a cruise/vacation to be no different than a shot of whiskey or after dinner cordial.

RambleOn84

July 30th, 2010
8:40 am

Interesting point, neo-Carlinist, but do you really think there is a large (or even small) contingent of people out there who are only not going on cruises due to the fact that some people are allowed to smoke in specially-designated areas?

RambleOn84

July 30th, 2010
9:01 am

And as a libertarian, I do agree with you that Carnival, as well as any other private business, has the absolute right to make their own rules.

But the issue of the attacks on smoking go far beyond Carnival or any other private business.

The whole thing stinks of so much hypocrisy. The only people who suffer from all of this “regulation” on smoking (or drinking, or the prohibition of cannabis and other illicit drugs) are consumers (AKA addicts).

To people addicted to cigarettes, cigarettes are not a luxury. They are a necessity. So when Congress decides to “stick it to the tobacco companies” by adding a 50-cent tax to every pack, all this does is make smokers a little poorer. An addict doesn’t suddenly become un-addicted because they can’t afford it. People can work at quitting, and some have success, but it is much harder than you think.

And for the record, the tobacco companies are not hurt by any of this legislation. When they are “fined,” they usually have to spend that money on creating “Anti-Smoking” ads. Yes, the same companies that created highly addictive and dangerous products are trusted to make ads to dissuade people from buying their product. Conflict of interest??? This is why most of these ads are absurdly silly, often using facts from decades ago, to create a sense of detachment from the current practices of the companies. (For the record, tobacco and alcohol companies also fund the “Above the Influence” anti-cannabis ads)

Why should the tobacco companies be hurt by the regulations? They are often the ones writing the bills anyway, as facts show that they are among the largest group of lobbyists in DC.

As for banning smoking in public (or private) places, this also actually works in the tobacco companies’ favor. When people are disallowed from doing something they want to do (or from “getting their fix”), it can cause mood swings, depression, and anxiety. All three of these actually are associated with people smoking even more.

http://psychcentral.com/library/depression_smoking.htm

I know I have gone on for far too long, and you may think I’m contradicting myself by saying “let people smoke” as I tell you how awful the tobacco companies really are.

But my point is this: the more we “regulate” smoking, the more you increase profits for the big tobacco companies and the more you hurt smokers (the vast majority of whom are working-class or below the poverty line).

I am not a smoker. I think it’s a disgusting habit. But like I said, we should stand up for each other, because “regulators” might decide to come after something YOU enjoy next.

Jeff Mouttet

July 30th, 2010
9:26 am

Jesus Freak,

What about when the government comes after your religion? Who is going to stand with you then? I mean, come on, Christianity has killed many, many more people than tobacco, it must be dangerous to our heath, therefore, it must be regulated/banned.

Personal freedoms, people, personal freedoms.

Oh, and if anyone can show me one statisically valid second hand smoke study, I’ll eat my cigars from now on.

neo-Carlinist

July 30th, 2010
9:46 am

RambleOn84 – I was simply suggesting that the FDA/Nanny state and Carnival Cruise Lines are mutually exclusive. If the FDA mandates that cruise ships must post the Surgeon General warning in all cigar bars, or if the FDA prohibits the sale of tobacco to minors (regardless of where the ship is flagged), then you have a “nanny state intrusion”. but someboday at Carnival thinks they can become more profitable by closing cigar bars (in lieu of other vices; say a “scotch” bar or an expanded casino – or what about an Amsterdam like “hash bar”? if they’re in international waters, who has jurisdiction?). as I said, if the FDA or Federal government is plying cruise lines with tax breaks or anti-smoking stipends, then this is a nanny state issue. otherwise, I have been on one cruise in my life, and it was one too many. in fact, I spent the bulk of my free time in the cigar bar, or enjoying Cuban run and cigars from a deck chair on a the fantail in the early evening. that said, it’s Carnical’s call.

Dr. Pangloss

July 30th, 2010
10:16 am

Gosh, Bob, you got past the first comma before you said “the nanny state.”

Since the cruise line is private enterprise, what do its decisions have to do with the state? I thought private companies could do as they pleased on their own turf according to Libertarian dogma.

Maybe if smokers hadn’t been so obnoxious for so many years, we wouldn’t be sticking them with all these restrictions.

neo-Carlinist

July 30th, 2010
10:30 am

Dr. Panglos, your first two paragraphs make perfect sense. Your jab at “smokers” in paragraph three is weak. I hope you were being facetious. PEOPLE (Americans) with opinions are generally obnoxious to those who do not share the opinions. ever meed a “wine snob”? how about a vegetarian at a omnivorous dinner party? a person’s decision to occassionally consume tobacoo nothing to do with where he/she registers on the a**hole meter. were I to be “obnoxious” I might suggest you are proof of this theory.

Bubba

July 30th, 2010
10:30 am

Jeff Mouttet,

Here’s a study for you: http://www.epa.gov/smokefree/pubs/etsfs.html.

And here’s a summary for quick review: http://www.epa.gov/smokefree/pubs/etsfs.html.

Hope it helps.

Bubba

July 30th, 2010
10:31 am

Oops! Here’s the full report: http://www.epa.gov/ncea/ets/pdfs/acknowl.pdf. Sorry about that!

Bubba

July 30th, 2010
10:38 am

And if you’re really interested, Jeff, you can just start with Wikipedia’s entry on Passive Smoking. It actually links to some good data: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive_smoking. Again, hope it’s helpful to you.

Mail reporter

July 30th, 2010
10:39 am

Carnival ships do not have cigar bars.

johnj

July 30th, 2010
10:47 am

as a 30 year old man who has said much the same thing about the nanny state and people hounding me for being a smoker – i’ll say now that i wish i had listened to them.

i just found out that i have emphysema. the sight and the smell of tobacco smoke is not only revolting to me but contributes to worsening my condition. non-smokers have a right to be left free of tobacco smoke because there are so many other pollutants and chemicals in the air we breathe that individuals such as myself can expect to have a worsening of our disease that will eventually kill us.

people who choose to purchase vacation packages on Carnival can also choose to go on vacation with others. so go f’ yourself on this one Barr.

barking frog

July 30th, 2010
11:34 am

Carnival can do any legal thing they want, inside or outside the 12

mile limit.

Rockerbabe

July 30th, 2010
11:35 am

We all breathe the same air, even on cruise ships. Maybe a good alternative would be to put the cigar lounge outside on a deck away from the rest of the ship’s passengers and limit the times when most passengers are inside or at the pool.

This isn’t nanny state meddling; smokers have increased respiratory problems and cleaning up the mess from tobacco is expensive. And, like I said we all breathe the same air. Eating food and drinking alcohol doesn’t have the same second-hand consequences. Mr. Barr missed this one altogether.

nelson

July 30th, 2010
11:49 am

I want everyvody to go to their front door, open it, and shout”I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore”, That is what Peter Finch, the broadcast journalist in “Network” said to do. And it worked, the listeners did. Only now, everyone should say, I am mad as hell and if I want to smoke I am going to. If I want to eat a big juicy 3000 calorie snack I am going to do it. The Constitution says the individual has rights, do what is for you, I am not going to have the “nanny state” tell me what to do one more time, I have a right to seek happiness in my own way, I am not going to take it any more, we all have rights. Enough is enough, I am not going to live in a polluted environment, I want to live my life and the government, GET OUT.

Hillbilly Deluxe

July 30th, 2010
11:57 am

It’s their cruise line and nobody is making you use it. I think Bob has jumped the shark….again.

jconservative

July 30th, 2010
12:30 pm

Cute column.

ATF

July 30th, 2010
12:57 pm

I agree with regulating smoking in public places. Smoking is dangerous to non-smokers as well as smokers.

But, I do think that companies should be able to set aside smoking areas for those who want to smoke, as long as the space is clearly identified so non-smokers will know to avoid it. And, as long as deadly “smoke” doesn’t leak into public areas.

Just like I think drug users should be allowed the drugs they crave and a few other freedoms that most of the folks here probably would not agree with.

We need to get out of each other’s lives.

[...] Here’s a great write-up by Bob Barr in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which originally alerted me to this totally bizarre news; Cruise-line tobacco police. [...]

Just Curious

July 30th, 2010
3:22 pm

I’m an ex-smoker—quit instantly the day a respiratory therapist who administered a spirometer test told me that I had a choice of giving up smoking or carrying a portable oxygen tank around with me. I’m down to around half the normal breathing capacity.

Still, I think the smoking police have gone too far. Businesses and entertainment enterprises have abandoned setting aside a place for smokers to indulge, even when such places do not create a danger of second-hand smoke. Some businesses even treat the evidence of tobacco in the blood as a firing offense or a cause for not hiring.

If you’re that opposed to smoking, then advocate for laws to outlaw smoking altogether. Don’t exercise your prejudices by supporting increasing taxes on tobacco (and the cost to consumers) or treating smokers as pariahs. Certainly, it’s a filthy habit. But smokers are human beings too. Start recognizing that if smoking is the current target, the next one could be something you enjoy doing. Freedoms start disappearing a little at a time.

Whiz

July 30th, 2010
3:48 pm

I only smoke when I’m really drunk. Is that a problem?

No More Progressives!

July 30th, 2010
6:00 pm

Jeff Mouttet

July 30th, 2010
9:26 am
Jesus Freak,

What about when the government comes after your religion? Who is going to stand with you then? I mean, come on, Christianity has killed many, many more people than tobacco, it must be dangerous to our heath, therefore, it must be regulated/banned.

The Crusades were over in 1291 ( there were 9). Please explain how Christianity has killed people. I really, really want to hear how you can justify “banning” a religion in our great Republic.

Ever read the 1st Amendment?

What do you think about the Muslim terrorists that beheaded Daniel Pearl?

whoever

July 30th, 2010
6:19 pm

No More Progressives! asks “What do you think about the Muslim terrorists that beheaded Daniel Pearl?”

I think they may have prevented him from dying of second hand smoke inhalation.

david wayne osedach

July 31st, 2010
8:38 am

Here in Southern California they ban smoking in parks, on the beaches, and even at bus stops.

It is a no brainer that they will ban it on cruise ships too!

Hank Williams Jr.

July 31st, 2010
10:24 am

I’ll smoke whatever and whenever I damn well want to !!

That includes me, the band and my boys………

Get voff my friggin A$$………………

TimD

July 31st, 2010
1:15 pm

Mr. Barr exaggerates the story about, I think the over-dramatization off stories is another problem all together. Just like exaggerating the dangers of second hand smoke or the dangers of enjoying a cigar. For most cigar smokers the enjoyment is a choice and not an addiction, the average cigar smoker enjoys less than 1 cigar per day and it’s not likely you’ll find them hanging in the smoke rooms at Hartsfield.

Carnival is banning smoking in some of their cigar bars because non-smoking patrons have to walk THROUGH the cigar bar to get to cafes or internet lounges. Understandable. It would make more sense IMO to move the cigar lounge but perhaps this is a temporary solution.

I’m of the mindset that we need to give and take on this one. As long as cities, states, etc. leave us some cigar shops and lounges to smoke in and allow a restaurant owner to decide whether he or she chooses to allow smoking for adults that choose to do so then you can have your non-smoking everything else.

No More Progressives!

July 31st, 2010
3:00 pm

whoever

July 30th, 2010
6:19 pm
No More Progressives! asks “What do you think about the Muslim terrorists that beheaded Daniel Pearl?”

I think they may have prevented him from dying of second hand smoke inhalation.

I bet you think you’re really cute, you juvenile, callous, impertinent ass.

Hank Williams Jr.

July 31st, 2010
7:56 pm

I think Dagood and Jesus Freak nedd an a$$ whipping, I do.

My nose

July 31st, 2010
11:14 pm

What ever happened to your rights end where my nose begins? If they want their nicotine that bad, by all means let them take it in pill form or injectable form, where their actions don’t impede on the rights of others.

Bu Bar

August 1st, 2010
10:57 am

my nose is right in front of me and I can see it , pick it or slap it….

Others need to do the same. If I choose to smoke, I will.

Bu Bar

August 1st, 2010
10:58 am

Hank at 7:56 is sooooooo right, also.

Rex Luscat

August 1st, 2010
11:57 am

I cruised the Baltic on the Norwegian Sun. Having happily read the glowing on-line accounts of its cigar bar, the Havana Room, I was looking forward to perusing their inventory of Cuban fruit.

I walked in, approving glanced at the large overstuffed leather chairs, the photos of famous cigar smokers, including Zino Davidoff.

I sat down and proceeded to clip and light an Oliva Serie V double toro. I attracted the attention of the bartender who flitted my way. Great! Time to order a nice brandy to go with the smoke.

“Sir! It is not allowed to smoke in the Havana Room!”

Frank

August 1st, 2010
2:35 pm

I’ve cruised on Carnival and really enjoied it. But if they do this I will not be cruising with them again. The one thing that is good about this is that the cruise line is doing it because they want to rather than smoking bans in which businesses are told by the govrenment you can’t allow people to do this legal thing in you own business because we say so.

Also for all of you anti second hand smoke people I understand that you don’t like smoke and thats why you believe the lies about SHS without doing any research.

But is smoking bad for those that do it? Yes. Is second hand smoke (also known as ETS enviromental tobacco smoke) bad for you? No.
Read and learn.
http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/326/7398/1057
http://www.smokingaloud.com/et9810.html

Lee

August 1st, 2010
3:33 pm

Okay, Carnival is a private enterprise and if they want to bar customers from smoking on THEIR ships, it is well within their rights to do so. If it makes you mad that you can no longer smoke on THEIR SHIP, call them, write them letters, stand out on the docks with a protest sign, withhold your business – which are all within YOUR rights to do so.

Mexico Bob

August 2nd, 2010
8:38 am

Hey Gringo, I smoke whatever, whenever and where ever. Adio Muchachos!

SouthernGal

August 2nd, 2010
8:46 am

If the government was serious about ” the perils of tobacco”…they would ban the manufacture of all tobacco related products! Problem is they would have to replace the tax revenue they would lose!

Duh

August 2nd, 2010
11:23 am

I see the “perils” of second-hand smoke but what’s the deal with chewing tobacco or snuff? How do you ingest that stuff second-hand?

Cruises

August 2nd, 2010
11:27 am

As far as I can gather Carnival Cruise lines where only trying out this new scheme on three of their ships. They have reverted back to the original policy according to http://www.cruises.co.uk it all started off with a comment on John Heald’s blog because customers where complaining they had to pass a cigar bar to get into a restaurant. Maybe cruise lines ought to pay more attention to the interior design of the ship.

Keith

August 2nd, 2010
5:53 pm

@Bubba have you actually read any of those studies? I mean truely read word for word? There are no conclusive studies showing that cigarette smoking exclusively causes cancer, let alone second hand smoke.
I have read through numerous studies from the EPA, CDC, American cancer society, The heart association , ect. every one of them state the same so called ‘facts’.
-The estimates of how many deaths (do you understand the meaning of estimate?).
-The ‘fact’ that smoking is a ’significant factor’ in the progression of lung cancer
-Or some of my favorites like where the CDC states that second hand smoke causes SIDS, in their
pamplet on second hand smoke, they state this 3 times, then in the description of SIDS they state
“we don’t know what causes the brain and heart to stop functioning in the infants”
-Or how about the CDC’s ‘fact’ that second hand smoke causes 158Mil in medical costs each year,
their footnote refers to figures from a published study, which in this ’study’ of other published
’studies’ they state that “second hand smoke cause 158mil a year in medical costs according to
the CDC” (Isn’t this where the CDC got their info from?)
- The CDC also states “we don’t know what causes one person to develope cancer while another
doesn’t” and that smoking cigarettes “damages cells in the lung which allows the cancer to start”
not that the cigarettes cause the cancer, but that they create the correct environment for it to
develope. Same as not getting enough sleep runs your immune system down and creates the
perfect environment for a cold to start, but the germ comes from somewhere else, not the lack of
sleep

-Here’s something to consider, lung cancer has been on a decline since the early 80’s when we started losing large numbers of manufacturing jobs. China’s lung cancer rates have been on the increase since the mid 80’s, as their manufacturing has increased. Hmmmm
-California’s lung cancer rates have not changed since their extreem bans on smoking were put into effect. Hmmmm
-Do you realize that if the Government/Health industry can blame all cancer/heart disease on smoking it will take decades to get the full support of the people to totally ban smoking. It will take another 65 or so years after the abolishment of smoking before the sheep, I mean public, begin to realize that people are still dying at the same rate from lung cancer even though the demon cigarettes have been long gone. In the mean time the true culprits that are killing us with cancer for their own corporate greed will be long gone. Hmmmmmm