I left Taiwan back in 1999 a smoker. I have since become a non-smoker (over a year now, there’s no going back). As with all converts, religious or otherwise, I am a zealot–I will be the first to accost a smoker if he or she is puffing in an area where he or she shouldn’t be, especially since my wife now has asthma and other fairly debilitating health problems.* Luckily enough, the province of Ontario in Canada, where we now live, is non-smoking across the board when it comes to restaurants and bars. But this comment in another thread caught my eye:
So are non-smoking areas in restaurants in Taipei becoming popular? Dare I ask, are there any completely non-smoking restaurants or pubs? On a recent trip to Spain we found a non-smoking restaurant in Madrid, and it was completely empty while the places around it were packed to the gills–Spaniards still like their tobacco.**
*If you’re wondering: She used to be a smoker but quit years ago, and I hadn’t smoked indoors within her vicinity since about, well, 1999 or so.
**Some 2,000 people crowded the streets at the recent “swan parade” in the town we live in here in Ontario, and I recalled my astonishment at one point when I smelled tobacco smoke, it was such a unique event. The offending smoker was standing toward the back of the crowd and had a guilty look on his face. Smoking really does seem to have been relegated to the mullet demographic here.