The constructive HH smoking thread

Yeah, well, thanks for that, and I know you’re concerned about it too, as an ex smoker :bravo: , but we DID head for the outdoor seating last time, and found 15 smokers gathered there, and absolutely no refuge from the smoke except the sidewalk 50 meters away, at which point we were forced to just say bugger the cat, and left early. :s

For all the talk I hear (by foreigners) of foreigners being the ones who are most conscious of the environment, and for all of the bigoted drivel about locals being the rude and uncultured ones, from the perspective of a foreigner who needs to breathe clean air (I had chronic bronchitis and pneumonia 3x as a child, and the smoke really fucks my bronchia up, which harm lasts for about 2 weeks), I find that it is the gaggles of chain smoking foreigners in bars around Taipei who are the very worst offenders; perhaps not intentionally, on an individual basis (many are very cool and polite! :bravo: :notworthy: ), but they seem to hang out in more concentrated fashion, resulting in, well, chemical warfare, IMO.

Unfortunately, this appears to be just as true of Forumosans as other foreigners. So, although a number of F’ers have been quite kind an polite, asking ‘do you mind if I smoke’ when next to me in a happy hour setting, the lack of real partitioning and the sheer volume of chainsmokers simply makes happy hours intolerable for some of us. I mean, if I tell sb. it does bother me, but the other 75 smokers in the joint weren’t so kind as to ask, then what’s the point in even saying it bothers me?

I’m the vocal one here at this point, but there are other folks who don’t like to make a fuss, and so, simply don’t attend; I’ve gotten PMs from a number of them, – folks who never attend HH, just due to this.

I really don’t like always complaining, but I really feel there’s a widespread problem here, regarding lack of social awareness and lack of caring for the feelings of others. Not to mention many a Forumosa’s eventual agonizing death from lung cancer. :astonished: (One friend’s father died last year of it. Another’s doesn’t have long to go.)

Alleycat has kindly mentioned, repeatedly to me, that the Neihu branch is non-smoking, but given this the behavior of the foreigner bar-going crowds so far, and the lack of any attempt at partitioning at the Alleycat’s grand opening, I somehow doubt real partitioning is gonna ever happen at a Forumosa Happy Hour. Back room - non smoking; front room - smoking simply doesn’t work. Physics 101. Smoke doesn’t obey imaginary boundaries, and as much as I love the food/drink/owner, neither Alleycat’s location has adequate ventilation to deal with scores of chain smokers.

Taipei Sports, with its open front window was tolerable re: smoke. Not ideal, but tolerable.

Sorry to bitch so much, but I strongly feel Forumosa is lagging behind the general trend of awareness and PC action on this particular issue, and for me, it’s pretty much at the point of having to choose whether or not to socialize in person with y’all. Which is pretty regrettable, no?

There are other Forumosan events in which to participate, although none as frequent or widely attended as Happy Hours. Look, we’re not always going to be able to accomodate everyone. Happy Hours are held in bars/restaurants. Recovering alcoholics might not feel comfortable there. People (especially mothers) who have to tend to their families might be distressed at the time - (why can’t we have Happy Hours mid-day, when the kids are in school?) And people who are particularly sensitive to smoke, as you are DB, might have a rough time of it. Which means you have to choose your venues, and your location in those venues carefully. It’s just a fact of life. I don’t smoke either, but I accept that people in bars do. And Happy Hours are definitely a “bar” phenomenon.
If we ever have Forumosan Afternoon Tea & Crumpets, you can probably expect a different ambience. :wink:

There are other Forumosan events in which to participate, although none as frequent or widely attended as Happy Hours. Look, we’re not always going to be able to accomodate everyone. Happy Hours are held in bars/restaurants. Recovering alcoholics might not feel comfortable there. People (especially mothers) who have to tend to their families might be distressed at the time - (why can’t we have Happy Hours mid-day, when the kids are in school?) And people who are particularly sensitive to smoke, as you are DB, might have a rough time of it. Which means you have to choose your venues, and your location in those venues carefully. It’s just a fact of life. I don’t smoke either, but I accept that people in bars do. And Happy Hours are definitely a “bar” phenomenon.
If we ever have Forumosan Afternoon Tea & Crumpets, you can probably expect a different ambience. :wink:[/quote]
Maoman,

I respect your efforts to make this work for everyone, but reducing this to something that would only bother a tea and crumpets person is patronizing, even if you don’t intend it that way.

Imagine this:
“You know, we try to accomodate everyone, we know that people have different opinions, and everyone needs to get where they’re going. However, this is a bus environment and so we have to accept that white people sit up front and black people sit in the back. That’s just the way it is on buses.”

People can always find reasons not to change things that are convenient for them, but troublesome for others. Just because it is a certain way, doesn’t make it right. Even Lexington, Kentucky has this issue figured out and they are the #2 tobacco producing area in the U.S.

Yeah, Happy Hours originated in bars. I agree. Here, though, it is a bit more, I think. It is a general social event that might appeal to a larger group who wouldn’t frequent bars. I’d like to come to these events, and other similar things, but I often stay away because of the smoke.

Sharing jokes at HH’s isn’t a problem. Laughing isn’t a problem. Drinking a beer together isn’t a problem. Being from different countries and cultures isn’t a problem. Sharing meals together isn’t a problem. Only smoking is a problem. Why not simply remove this one problem?

It just seems silly for something like this to keep people apart. Especially in a small community like ours.

Also, if the proprieter of an establishment has the foresight to establish a “non-smoking” policy, then he/she should also have the fortitude to consistently approach any smokers and politely insist that they abide by the policy. This isn’t just a matter of taste or opinion – it is a matter of health and of the ability of quite a number of people to enjoy an activity.

Hats off to Dragonbones for bringing this up, to Alleycat for taking a good first step with a “no smoking” policy, and to those smokers who volunteered to go outside.

Seeker4

Are you trying to “out” smokers?

:slight_smile:[/quote]

Naw. There has just been a lot of discussion/ arguments about this issue. It would be interesting to find out what the majority of people here actually think about it. The majority opinion could be used to set policy for future events. If the majority don’t want smoking, then there shouldn’t be any allowed. If the majority are smokers, or tolerant of the habit, then continuing to have smoking allowed at events seems reasonable. I just think it should be put to a vote so we know what most people think about it. I, for one, would be willing to respect the majority point of view.[/quote]

Well, judging from the Tavern HH, the only one I have attended, the smokers seemed to outnumber the non-ers.

The poll should be detailed: starting with…

Do you go to HH? How frequently?
Do you smoke?

As what the non/smokers who do not attend think really doesn’t matter much does it?

I of course fully respect Alleycat’s right to set his own restaurant policy. Since his all-smoking announcement yesterday, we already arranged another appointment and now can’t be there tonight, although we were looking forward to seeing you all. We’ll be happy to eat and drink there at other times, when there isn’t a large throng of smokers, and we wish him all the best with his new branch.

We would like to take this opportunity, as well, to thank all of those extremely kind and considerate smokers who have offered to take it outside. :notworthy: If that works well, we’ll definitely be attending in the future. Thank you very much for that.

Finally, I’d like to make an attempt at poll questions, since the issue has already been mooted:

  1. I smoke, and would not attend Happy Hour if there were physically separate areas for smoking, such as outside only.
  2. I smoke, and would attend Happy Hour even if smoking was outside only.
  3. I don’t smoke, and would attend Happy Hour either way, but would prefer segregation.
  4. I don’t smoke, and would attend Happy Hour either way, but would prefer no segregation.
  5. I don’t smoke, and would attend Happy Hour only if the smoking area was physically separate.

Note that physically separate means an actual barrier to the smoke, rather than simply having smokers sit on one side, and non-smokers on the other, which doesn’t work when there are large numbers of smokers, as the entire restaurant inevitably fills with thick smoke.

Note also that you don’t have to post to answer (right?), so there isn’t any outing. Although we could theoretically collapse the questions to the preference portion only, we lose information that way.

If you all agree that these questions cover the whole gamut, then someone please go ahead and run it as a poll. I don’t want to, because I’ve already had my full say and don’t want to become a broken record. Over and out.

Really surprised the idea of a poll was vetoed so quickly and out of hand. I was also at the Tavern happy hour as well as the Sports bar one. Don’t agree that the majority of people at either were lighting up. Doesn’t really matter, anyway. I just think the matter of smoking versus non-smoking could be put to rest if there were a vote on it. It would also be the most fair way as any policy concerning smoking would reflect the majority opinion, not the opinion or preferences of a few on either side of the issue. It’s too late for tonight’s HH, but a poll to set policy for future ones would be a good idea, IMO.

[quote=“Dragonbones”]Finally, I’d like to make an attempt at poll questions, since the issue has already been mooted:

  1. I smoke, and would not attend Happy Hour if there were physically separate areas for smoking, such as outside only.
  2. I smoke, and would attend Happy Hour even if smoking was outside only.
  3. I don’t smoke, and would attend Happy Hour either way, but would prefer segregation.
  4. I don’t smoke, and would attend Happy Hour either way, but would prefer no segregation.
  5. I don’t smoke, and would attend Happy Hour only if the smoking area was physically separate. [/quote]

Unless you can find several establishments that are non smoking, or have physically separate areas then the whole thing is somewhat pointless.

I personally would be quite happy with 2 as long as it was not raining cats and dogs at the time concerned.

Bit late on that score :laughing: :laughing:

[quote=“Dragonbones”]1. I smoke, and would not attend Happy Hour if there were physically separate areas for smoking, such as outside only.
2. I smoke, and would attend Happy Hour even if smoking was outside only.
3. I don’t smoke, and would attend Happy Hour either way, but would prefer segregation.
4. I don’t smoke, and would attend Happy Hour either way, but would prefer no segregation.
5. I don’t smoke, and would attend Happy Hour only if the smoking area was physically separate.[/quote]

My vote’s with option 6: I don’t smoke and would attend Happy Hour either way but would prefer a good ventilation/filtration system.

At the happy hours, I have been to, Forumosans have made up the largest number of patrons in the venue on that given night. Their choices and behaviour re: smoking have the largest effect on the air quality. It would not be a pointless excercise to make some accomodations for non-smoking members, therefore, even if there are a few other patrons around.

Is Dragonbones (alone) just trying to get his way? Likely not. But who can blame him, anyway, if he were. Only one way to find out for sure, though: put it to an open vote. I have already said I respect the majority point of view on the issue. But perhaps we need to discover exactly what the majority opinion on this actually is.

[quote]Well, judging from the Tavern HH, the only one I have attended, the smokers seemed to outnumber the non-ers.[/quote]I can see 2 explainations for this.

  1. Forumosans are more likely to smoke than non-Forumosans.
  2. Non-smoking forumosans didn’t go.

Considering not even Taiwan has a 50% smoking rate, which is more likely ?

I’m at odds to get involved in this, but screw it, I’ll add my 2 cents worth.

The way I see it, HHs are pub events, so I liken them to going out to any other pub in town for some beers except that there are a bunch of friends there.
If I wasn’t into smokey pubs, then I wouldn’t go to the pub - HH or no HH. I’d be more into the food club, game club or whatever else.
I’ve noticed that there are a bunch of 'mosans that smoke at HHs. If they were made smoke free then the atmosphere (no pun intended) would be completely different.
I’m not a smoker, but I can deal with it once every month or so.

I saw ash trays somewhere someplace that had some kind of suction device installed. The air from them was vented straight outside. Anyway it seems like a lot of establishments need even more powerful ventilation devices than they already have. Alleycat, at that location, can’t tell everybody to smoke outside and there is something truly perverse, most would admit, about asking them all to smoke inside. If smokers could make some effort to smoke a little less or to do so outside there shouldn’t be such a problem. Or is there some way to super ventilate some part of the interior space that could be designated smoking? Some combination of the above?

(Not a well structured post I realize. Sorry.)

Alleycats - I also applaud this move and will go so far as to say you’ll be getting more business from me (on Mondays) because of it. :bravo:

I have to admit the smoke at past HHs has bothered me considerably, and even made me a bit ill after being in it for 5-6 hours. I didn’t go to last night’s, but folks at other recent HHs have been considerate in trying to smoke “around” me. But in a smoke-filled environment, I only want to hang around an hour or so. That’s not to point fingers or blame anyone. That’s just a fact for me, and it does (and will) strongly impact where I hang out on a regular basis.

I know quite a large number of Forumosans smoke. What I’d like to see is HHs at suitable locations where the interior is smoke free at all times and folks smoke outside. I understand Alleycats is not suitable, but maybe we can find a place that is. I’d certainly attend for longer periods of time and bring folks with me if this were the case.

Just to add a bit of perspective - Games CLub is always held at smoke free places. When foks want to smoke, they go outside. There’s really nothing to it, and I can’t recall a single time a smoker or non-smoker has complained. Everyone has a good time, and it’s a pretty good model for group meetings, if you ask me.

I don’t like the tone of this thread and the way it pits smokers against non-smokers. Forumosa is full of folks who want to hook up and hang out. There’s no need for a polemic or holy war over the issue of smoking. What’s needed is a simple solution that will allow everyone to get together and hang out without complaint. As Mr He and others have mentioned, the model that best facilitates this is the inside/outside model. Nobody complains and everyone’s rights are respected.

It seems to me (at this point) that the major issue is not the appropriate model for HHs, but the appropriate location. The last place didn’t work for various logistical reasons. But that doesn’t mean the model can’t work elsewhere.

We’re having so much fun over in the other thread about smoking at happy hours, what with all the name calling and mud-slinging, that we seem to have lost sight of the original purpose. (If there ever was one.)

Please make any suggestions for the logistics of future happy hours here. Propose venues, codes of conduct, and so forth here but PLEASE, pretty please (with sugar on it) keep the debate about who is right and who is wrong in the other thread.

Thank you.

A concerned individual. :sunglasses:

Beat you by two minutes Loretta. :wink:

j/k – See my 11:56 a.m. Moderator Note in the other thread. Many useful things (and some not so useful things) were being said – and I agree with you that it is in everyone’s interests to separate the issues in order to facilitate constructive discussion.

OK, here’s my preferred option:

Happy hour to be at whatever venue seems most acceptable, with no smoking permitted anywhere on the premises until say 10:30pm. That way I don’t have to fight my way through clouds of smoke to go and find Traveller so I can buy him a beer.

After 10:30 it’s a free-for all.

(On a related note, perhaps more suited to [url=http://tw.forumosa.com/t/happy-hour-possibilities/17199/1 thread about happy hours in the feedback forum[/url], I should add that I personally prefer HHs to be events where we get together and practise the long lost art of conversation. Pool tournaments broadcast over the PA system, big screens showing sports events, quizzes, etc. tend to detract from what I see as the prime purpose of HHs. This is only my opinion, and secondary to reaching a consensus on the smoking issue.)

Interesting. In between the mudlsinging there have been some very good ideas raised in the other thread.

Some have been: alternating smoking and non-smoking happy hours, smokers going outside when in a venue where this is possible, non-smokers occupying outdoor patio seating at venues where this is available or some form of more effective physical separation of smoking and non areas.

Some of the ideas have come from the smoking side. I’m glad that some are willing to help out their non-smoking friends.

I tend to favor the outdoor cigie break where venues allow for it.

[quote=“Loretta”]OK, here’s my preferred option:

Happy hour to be at whatever venue seems most acceptable, with no smoking permitted anywhere on the premises until say 10:30pm. That way I don’t have to fight my way through clouds of smoke to go and find Traveller so I can buy him a beer.

[/quote]

Untill 10:30??? Man that’s late, considering how the HH’s are on weekdays. I believe people begin to leave about that time. How about we have the next HH at a beer garden-I suggest at the Taiwan Bewerey(sp) on Bade rd. It’s open air, has beer and seems like both parties will be happy.

Sorry, I’m usually one of the sad bastards who stays until 1am so 10:30 seems reasonable to me. 10pm? Thoughts anyone?

I don’t know if anyone has looked out of the window recently, but I don’t think that an exclusively outdoor event is a good idea. Things may be better in June, but given the way things have been so far this year…

Also, some people don’t drink beer. Do they have other drinks? Wine? Hard stuff?

I guess location is also important. The last HH was pretty sparsely attended and it seems that we need to be reasonably central.

I think Loretta’s suggestion sounds reasonable, but we smokers should still be allowed to go outside for a cigg before that time - keep the inside air nice and clean when people are eating and digesting, and the outside neighbours happy because the noisy smokers dissapear indoor before bedtime.

I think JB’s should be a good candidate for a mixed smokers/non-smokers HH venue. Non-smoking downstairs and smoking upstairs, so the non-smokers don’t have to pass the smokefilled area on their way in or out. In addition, they have a pretty efficient ventilation system to suck the smoke out.

I don’t understand the suggestion for having smokers inside and non-smokers outside, as mentioned in the other thread.