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Travel Health / Rants / Travel Hell / Smoking / Cigarettes / → All Tags
Famed Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek tells us to be very suspicious of anti-smoking campaigns. Often what's at work has very little to do with improving individual and public health, and everything to do with just kind of making smokers miserable. Under this line of thinking people don't want to ban smoking because they're allergic to smoke or whatever - although some people undoubtedly are. What they're after is the thrill of denying smokers their fix. As non-smokers they don't enjoy nicotine in any way, so why should anyone else be allowed to?
Nonsense, you say? The people behind smoking bans are the most objective of public health professionals, driven purely by epidemiological data and not at all by an obnoxious busy-body urge to "protect the public" from anything they don't themselves personally like? Fair enough. But then please explain this travel health idiocy.
Rental Cars / Dollar / Thrifty / Cars / Smoking / Cigarettes / → All Tags
We know smoking is bad for your health, and we hardly recommend it, but we do kind of feel for those looking to sneak one here and there—especially on vacation. Well it seems that your rental car is just one less place that you can light up, as a couple more rental car companies have shut the ashtray on its renters.
Thrifty and Dollar—they’re kind of the same company anyway—have just completed putting the final sheet of no smoking stickers in its rental car fleet. Other rental car companies like Avis and Budget have done the same thing over the past few months, and now Hertz is really the only car company that offers a smoke-filled rental car experience. The only issue with them is that all you can do is request a car where smoking is allowed, so it’s hardly a guarantee.
Airports / Cigarettes / Smoking / Airport News / CVG / TPA / DEN / IAD / ATL / → All Tags
We’re not here to give you a lecture on what’s best for your health, as we realize after a stressful flight the only way to make things better might be with a cigarette. Smoking is a big no-no at most airports across the US, but there are still some where smoke in the terminal doesn’t require a police investigation. Here are five airport smoking lounges where you can still light up:
· Denver International Airport:
Colorado seems like a pretty healthy place, but they still have a spot for cigarette smoking at the airport. Don't hesitate to bum a smoke off a fellow passenger at The Aviator's Club on the west side of Jeppesen Terminal. If that’s not convenient for your layover, there’s the Mesa Verde smoking lounge within the A gates on the mezzanine level of the airport. The B gates have a smoking lounge as well, and the Smokin’ Bear—awesome—is located in the center of the C gates. Just keep track of time if you decide to try out more than one lounge, as your flight is not going to wait.
· Tampa International Airport:
Airports in Florida have the best smoking areas in the United States, as they usually have outside options so you can get some kind of fresh air at the same time as you ruin your lungs. We’ll pick Tampa International Airport as the best, since it boasts observation decks that double as smoking lounges on the airside of A, C, E and F. There are plenty of benches and ashtrays to make you more comfortable, as well as plenty of taxiing airplanes to check out. Although we're non-smokers, we kind of want to check this one out on or next trip to the Sunshine State.
What are made in Germany, exported from Gibraltar, only used at 35,000 feet and sold onboard Ryanair and bmibaby flights? That's rightthey're Smokeless Cigarettes, designed to satisfy the cravings of heavy-smoking airline passengers who can't go without for more than a few hours and are willing to pony up 6 Euro for a box of ten substitute sticks.
We first announced that Ryanair was bringing the Similar brand Smokeless ciggies onboard back in September, and we finally had a chance to hop a flight and purchase a pack ourselves.
So what are they and how do they work? Find out after the jump!
Rental Cars / Avis / Cars / Smoking / Travel News / Road Trips / → All Tags
Anytime we have rented a car in recent memory, we were reminded early and often not to smoke in the careven if it was just a PT Cruiser. We’re pretty sure that we had to sign something, and there was always that no smoking sticker right by the lighter where we plugged in our iPod. Apparently, smoking in your rental car is a vacation luxury that we missed out on, and now our time is severely limited.
On October 1, Budget and Avis will become the first two rental car companies to ban smoking in their rental fleet in North America. If you’re caught puffing away, you’ll get nailed with a cleaning fee of up to $250. Too bad they won’t ban fast food in their cars, as we are sick of soda stains in the seats and fries in every nook and cranny of the center console.
Bad Ideas / Ryanair / Airline News / Smoking / Smoking Bans / → All Tags
Well, we didn't have to wait very long for Ryanair to think up another crazy and controversial money-making scheme. Want to know what it is this time, now that they've already talked up paying to pee? Wait for it...wait for it...it's smoking on the plane!
That's right, one of the top behavioral rules of modern day air travel is being turned on its head by Ryanair, who are piloting the idea with their own brand of "Smokeless Cigarettes." What kind of crap are they trying to pull, exactly? Well, it seems that Ryanair took a survey of their passengers, according to USA Today, and found that some 24,000 professed an interest in smoking during flights. It did not however specify how many passengers were surveyed; 24,000 could be like a very low percentage, we have no idea.
We've heard a lot about how DC is getting hip, but it's left us wondering why most Washington events we read about are still along the lines of Congressional cocktail parties and power-lunches. Just because they're Democratic now doesn't make them all that hip.
But DC has a lot more going on than just Obama-mania, so we're gonna start taking a look at Apolitical DC: the best ways to spend a weekend in Washington with minimal risk or stumbling into a heated late-night debate about the federal budget.
First up is the antithesis of the cigar-chomping, smoked-filled room, good ole boys clubs: hookah bars. Cigarettes at bars are long gone in DC, but these specialty purveyors still have an exemption.
We all know the drill: no smoking on the aircraft, there are smoke detectors in the toilets, blah, blah, blah. What we didn't know is the kind of punishment you might get for lighting up a cigarette if you happen to be flying Saudi Arabian Airlines at the time.
A guy flying from Qurayyat in northern Saudi Arabia up to Jeddah last week got caught smoking--police arrested him when they landed and he ended up in court. And he was sentenced to receive 30 lashes.
The passenger apologized and told the court he was going to a clinic to get help with quitting, but that didn't dissuade them from the 30-lash thing. So in case you needed it, that's one more reason to pack your cigarettes in your checked baggage.
We've been tracking new smoking bans the past few months, as India, Kenya and Niger all stubbed out cigarettes. So to help keep track of where you won't find smoky cafes and cloudy bus terminals, we've put together a Worldwide Smoking Ban Map.
As it stands now, your best bet for a tobacco-free trip is in Europe, where many countries prohibit puffing. But the former British Empire is also a good choice, with Bermuda, Hong Kong and Singapore on the map along with Kenya and India.
Any countries we missed? Let us know.
Worldwide smoking bans continue to menace kayaks as the hot newness, and this time it's India that's stubbing out cigs in all bars and offices--and even in public places like bus stops. The ban goes into effect tomorrow.
Of India's 1.2 billion people, an estimated 250 million smoke, and health authorities are worried more might light up as the country's middle class grows. But the 200 rupee ($4.25) fine for rule breakers won't be stopping at least one smoker the UK Times spoke with:
The authorities aren't organised enough to prevent people smoking. I'll pay a bribe if they try to stop me. Or perhaps I'll just stay at home.
US Marshals have apprehended Christina Szele, she of the alleged in-flight outburst involving a cigarette, some swearing and a jab to the jaw of a JetBlue flight attendant.
According to authorities, she tested positive for cocaine *twice* while awaiting trial and was slapped with a charge of misdemeanor assault in Queens after a fight with her roommate.
The attorney's office in Denver, which decided to let Szele enter a plea in a New York court, now wants to prosecute its case back in Colorado. Since Szele's been banned from commercial air travel, she'll have to fly back with marshals on a government plane.
It'll be just like "Con Air," except she's innocent until proven guilty in court!
People caught lighting up in public places or on public transport can be fined anywhere from $10 to more than $2,000, and jail sentences are apparently also on the table. Businesses that let patrons smoke can have their licenses revoked.
The BBC reports that there may be a little bit of a de facto grace period for puffers in the country since the government has only now decided to start enforcing the ban, which was originally approved in 2006.