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Thread: Smoking in the 1990s

  1. #1
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    Smoking in the 1990s

    As a lifelong non-smoker I reached the age of 13 back in 1990 (30 years ago) and from then onwards it seemed as if smoking rates were on the increase, despite the health risks already being well-known by then, and even awareness of risks concerning passive smoking was already a thing by then, but it seemed that most people didn't give a damn, and more teenagers and young people seemed to be taking up the habit than ever before during the most part of that decade (apart from me, of course). It really used to cause me great discomfort and inadvertently anxiety having to be in the thick of it all back then, almost always with no choice. Even many non-smokers, although obviously disapproving of the habit in the grand scheme of things seemed a lot more blasÚ about it all, particularly when letting visitors who smoked light up in their houses, vehicles, etc, and I even recall some fully-grown adults who had previously never touched any tobacco products in their entire lives suddenly started to smoke, typically citing stress as the foremost reason for doing so.

    I often wonder if the economic crisis of 1990-93 was one of the major factors for the seemingly sudden upturn in smoking rates during the first half of said decade?
    Perhaps it could have also been the 'keeping up with the Jones's' thing, especially being the norm in pubs, clubs, restaurants, etc, and still even many workplaces.

    When we had the last major economic crisis in this country in 2008-11, I don't recall any upward trends in smoking rates, though of course (for better or worse), smoking had been outlawed in pretty much all indoor environments and workplaces since July 2007, coupled with increasingly tighter restrictions being able to purchase tobacco products ever since, which probably helped.

    Did anyone else on here think that smoking (counting only conventional tobacco products and not illicit drugs, etc) seemed disproportionately prevalent during the decade of the nineties, and possibly why?

    Don't get me wrong, this thread is in no way intended as an out-and-out bash at smokers in general, as I am sure the vast majority of them nowadays indulge in their habit appropriately and responsibly when and where it is still permissible.

  2. #2
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    Re: Smoking in the 1990s

    I think you would need to look further back. It was common to get on the fags at young ages in our parents and grandparents time. And well beyond.
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    Re: Smoking in the 1990s

    Quote Originally Posted by MyNameIsTerry View Post
    I think you would need to look further back. It was common to get on the fags at young ages in our parents and grandparents time. And well beyond.
    Yes I am well aware of that Terry.

    What probably skewed my perception of the smoking situation in the UK back in the early-mid nineties was the fact that due to me 'growing up', not only was I suddenly becoming more aware of certain 'adult' issues and generally discovering the wider environment around me most of which previously went over my head, I was suddenly more able to visit more places where smoking was commonplace, such as pubs, which in most cases back then you had to be at least 14 to enter them provided you weren't purchasing or consuming any alcoholic drinks (though many did often slip through the net).

    Also the now-ubiquitous Internet/WWW didn't really start to become a 'mainstream' medium until after about 1997 or so (as I can recall from my own personal memory), so pretty much all info related to official stats and the like was basically restricted to books in the local library which were often already out-of-date, and general personal day-to-day observations, which like I said, can often be skewed against true reality.

    But as far as school kids and smoking were concerned back then, it just seemed as if teachers/school staff had an 'oh let's just leave them to it' type of attitude. Same with shopkeepers who still persisted in selling both fags and booze to underage kids, despite the warning notices on display in most shops.

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    Re: Smoking in the 1990s

    With this morning's news headline about the govt's proposed war on obesity in the UK, it reminded me of this thread I started back in late March about the perceived smoking epidemic during the first half of the 90s, and the fact that much of society was seemingly caught napping over the potential health hazards associated with said habit, especially with those in the food industry fearing potential loss of revenue if so-called 'junk food' TV commercials are outlawed pre-watershed, and of course the 'human rights' brigades also getting indignant, which of course happened during the anti-smoking campaigns from the late 90s through the mid-2000s, and constant complaints about the so-called 'health fascists' and 'nanny state' sticking the knife in, and the proverbial 'never did us any harm' when they were younger.

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    Re: Smoking in the 1990s

    Quote Originally Posted by Lencoboy View Post
    Did anyone else on here think that smoking (counting only conventional tobacco products and not illicit drugs, etc) seemed disproportionately prevalent during the decade of the nineties, and possibly why?

    Don't get me wrong, this thread is in no way intended as an out-and-out bash at smokers in general, as I am sure the vast majority of them nowadays indulge in their habit appropriately and responsibly when and where it is still permissible.
    No, IMO it definitely fell compared to the 70s and 80s. My parents both smoked twenty a day each and I remember schoolfriends asking me if I smoked too because of the smell on my clothes. Father stopped in '77 after his first heart attack, Mother in '82 when it was having an effect on her breathing.

    I can remember when the full ban on public transport was introduced a group of... well, it's hard to be PC about it but let's just say they came across as inbred cretins got on a train and started smoking, because in their view "90% of people smoke". Numerous complaints were made to the guard but as always, they do nothing because they want to avoid conflict.

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    Re: Smoking in the 1990s

    Quote Originally Posted by Pamplemousse View Post
    No, IMO it definitely fell compared to the 70s and 80s. My parents both smoked twenty a day each and I remember schoolfriends asking me if I smoked too because of the smell on my clothes. Father stopped in '77 after his first heart attack, Mother in '82 when it was having an effect on her breathing.

    I can remember when the full ban on public transport was introduced a group of... well, it's hard to be PC about it but let's just say they came across as inbred cretins got on a train and started smoking, because in their view "90% of people smoke". Numerous complaints were made to the guard but as always, they do nothing because they want to avoid conflict.
    That's the trouble isn't it, the easiest option has always been to just give in to the rule-breakers, in order to 'keep the peace'.

    Probably one of the main reasons why shopkeepers and bar staff in pubs used to just serve under-agers booze and cigs regardless of it being illegal because they didn't want to be on the receiving end of abuse and retribution had they refused to serve them, coupled with the fact that they were obviously in pursuit of ús at the very same time, and youngsters have for eons been attracted to booze and cigs, possibly due to the 'forbidden fruit' syndrome!!

    Definitely never for me though!!

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    Re: Smoking in the 1990s

    Quote Originally Posted by Lencoboy View Post
    That's the trouble isn't it, the easiest option has always been to just give in to the rule-breakers, in order to 'keep the peace'.

    Probably one of the main reasons why shopkeepers and bar staff in pubs used to just serve under-agers booze and cigs regardless of it being illegal because they didn't want to be on the receiving end of abuse and retribution had they refused to serve them, coupled with the fact that they were obviously in pursuit of ús at the very same time, and youngsters have for eons been attracted to booze and cigs, possibly due to the 'forbidden fruit' syndrome!!

    Definitely never for me though!!
    Funny, the pub we lived next door but one to (our house was built on the pub's land by the son of the publican at the end of the 19th century) when I was a kid had a little 'offy' - and I can remember being sent there aged seven or eight to get forty fags for my parents. Malcolm the landlord knew they were for my parents.

    I did try a cigarette aged eight, under the watchful eye of my mother - and no, that was enough! Shrewd move on her part, I guess. I can remember being offered them again by schoolmates when I was thirteen or so, and declining. Never, ever felt the need or desire.

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    Re: Smoking in the 1990s

    Sounds like your mom was rather lenient in letting you experiment with an oily rag back when you were 8.

    I bet if that was today the Social Services would probably be having a field day!!

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    Re: Smoking in the 1990s

    I buy those herbal fags

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    Re: Smoking in the 1990s

    Pretty sure the intention of cigarettes was to cull the population at the same time as making money from taxing them. Kissinger and his pals have been caught out many times. Mass genocide. Too many of us.

    I sit here while smoking a cigarette. The b*****ds got me.
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