In The Scientist verscheen een aardige analyse over de anti-roken situatie in Europa.
Anti-rokers zullen het in veel Europese landen moeilijk hebben omdat anti-roken wordt gezien als een vanuit de VS binnendringende bedreiging van de lokale cultuur. Ook komt de diversiteit van culturen aan de orde als het om de rookgewoonten van landen in de EU gaat.
In its eagerness to portray this habit as harmful and antisocial wherever it takes place, the medical community must guard against sending in the wolf of propaganda disguised in the sheep’s clothing of scientific “evidence.”
As of March 28, smoking has been banned in public places in Ireland, while the Swiss are puffing away as heartily as ever. Within the Jury Hotel, renamed the James Joyce Tavern, the air remains thick with smoke. The spirit of Swiss hygiene does not extend to the air, while the social attitude remains one of lighting up first and asking questions afterwards. Joyce himself would have enjoyed the apparent reversal of attitude signified by the Swiss disdain for antismoking campaigns, as well as the sight of Irishmen entering this eponymous pub to escape Dublin’s prohibition on a habit he himself indulged in heartily throughout his life.
It remains to be seen how successful the no-smoking ban in Ireland will prove to be. Elsewhere in Europe, the American antismoking trend is also rearing its head, but primarily through legislation only. In France, smoking bans so far have been widely ignored, and tobacco shops have lobbied hard against government-imposed price increases of 40% over the last year. Some tobacconist proprietors have stood on a pro-smoking ticket in local elections, often winning the seat as a result.
Even children have taken up the metaphorical cudgel and stayed home from school in protest against “outrageous” smoking bans in several school playgrounds near Paris. In the United Kingdom and elsewhere, children accepted smoking as a clandestine activity during school hours long ago, when the habit still retained social acceptability among adults. But in France and some other continental European countries, the antismoking lobby has had to tread more carefully, because it’s been perceived as an instrument of American cultural imperialism.
While the medical case for the World Health Organization’s increasingly forthright campaign for a global smoking ban is undeniable, there is plenty of local resistance yet to be overcome, and sensitivities to be negotiated. Hypocrisy must be avoided, as must false witness in the shape of exaggerated claims over the dangers of passive smoking. In its eagerness to portray this habit as harmful and antisocial wherever it takes place, the medical community must guard against sending in the wolf of propaganda disguised in the sheep’s clothing of scientific “evidence.”
Artikel The Scientist (gratis registratie noodzakelijk)