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Thread: Smoking in the 1990s

  1. #1
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    Mar 2020
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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 blasť 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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  3. #3
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    Mar 2020
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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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