Why Do Dancers Smoke?

Discussion in 'Dance Articles' started by BodiesByBija, Feb 17, 2005.

  1. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Fist things first…FWIW, coming from a smoker… Michelle and Fascination, I am very sorry for the loss of your parents. I hope that some day you will be able to find peace.

    Michelle--

    "Yeah, I'm the first person to admit I'm hostile about smokers. I think it's absolutely one of the worst things you could do to yourself -- your family members, co-workers, friends, pets, etc. It's hard to believe how many people still smoke when the information about its dangers is everywhere."

    Your hostility accomplishes nothing other than to induce those on the receiving end to dig in their heels and tune you out. Strong opinions are one thing, activism is one thing, and both are good. But hostility is pointless.

    Furthermore, as Fascination pointed out, everyone engages in risky, self destructive behavior. And all risky, self-destructive behavior has an impact on those around us. Most everyone knows of the risks, and most everyone does those things anyway. Smoking isn’t any different. Many, if not most, decisions that people make are not based on rational self-interest.



    "Smelling of cigarette smoke or smelling of curry are such very different things that they can't even be compared. Last time I checked no one ever died from long term eating of curry. You're pretty off base with that analogy, it doesn't compute at all."

    The idea of anyone dying from long-term curry exposure is completely preposterous, obviously. The seriousness of the implications of one smelling like curry versus smelling of smoke are, of course, completely different. However, the point I was making had nothing to do with the degree of lethality of the smell-producing habit. Instead, I was making a point regarding others’ actions in response to an offensive smell.

    To that end, I seriously doubt that exposure to someone smelling of smoke will increase the risk of cancer. So, at that point, we’re no longer talking health implications—we’re talking about nothing more than an unpleasant smell. It’s my point that spraying a Mr. or Ms. Stanky with hideous perfume is inexcusable under any circumstance, regardless of what the offensive odour actually is.




    "Should I have to suffer or be uncomfortable because someone *has* to smoke? Should I have to breathe in second hand smoke? No, I shouldn't.

    As far as reasonable accommodations are concerned, how far should the world go to allow people to slowly kill themselves and, probably, those around them? Don't I have a right to reasonable accommodation? Why should someone else's bad habit infringe upon my health?

    I take good care of my body, I don't eat junk food, exercise and eat as healthily as I can. Why should I let some smoker screw that up?"

    I absolutely will talk about reasonable accommodations. Yes, you’re entitled to reasonable accommodation as much as me, and I think that balance has been found in a lot of places. Smoking is generally prohibited indoors. More and more places are moving to ban smoking in all bars and restaurants, as well. Some places go so far as to mandate that outdoor smoking be a reasonable distance from doors. I’d like to see legislation tackle the issue of underage exposure to secondhand smoke, but I don’t see a good way to go about it.

    So, at this point, I fail to see how you are being made to suffer. It’s not allowed in most workplaces, or most indoor buildings, you can choose where you eat and go drinking. At some point you have to accept or find your own way of dealing with the little bit you’ll get walking down the sidewalk. I ask again, short of the utopia of having absolutely no smoking in the world, what else do you want?

    …and don’t even go down the road of allowing people to slowly kill themselves…we, as a world, are perfectly happy to allow that to happen…



    "Sorry for the rant, but seriously the argument is so out of line."

    No apology necessary. But out-of-line-ness is subjective, and things look vastly different from my angle.
     
  2. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member


    Smoking that is carried out in a manner which is selfish and thoughtless is, I agree, selfish and thoughtless. Such as smoking around non-smokers, children in particular. But I take umbrage with the idea that smoking is, in and of itself, necessarily selfish and thoughtless, and that smokers are, by definition, selfish and thoughtless. That’s painting with a rather wide brush, don’t you think?

    Like I said in a different post, I’d love to see legislation tackling the issue of smoking around kids. As to smoking while pregnant, I don’t know how I feel about it because of the slippery slope of the legal ramifications. I’d be curious to see how the law treats drinking while pregnant…
     
  3. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member


    Actually, I used to be the same way. I evening spent in a bar or club would make me nauseous after a bit.

    I appreciate your understanding and compassion, that much more so since you’ve recently lost your mother. Although, I'll be the first to admit it's undeserved. I know the risks, I chose to begin smoking, and I choose now to continue smoking.

    As I’ve said before, I’m truly sorry for your loss. FWIW, as a smoker.
     
  4. Whirling Dervish

    Whirling Dervish New Member

    Interesting idea, tackling legislation on smoking parents. I read once where someone was trying to make it a punishable child abuse offense to have an obese child if it wasn't for a medical reason (like a metabolic disorder).

    What do you guys think about that?
     
  5. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    Without reading the whole topic, could it be that percentage of smokers among dancers is higher because a lot of them come from Easter Europe, where smoking rates are something like 75% of adult population, if not more?
     
  6. Whirling Dervish

    Whirling Dervish New Member

    Yet I have to say I have never seen a ballet dancer from Eastern Europe who smokes.

    Actually, I've never seen a ballet dancer smoke. Hmm. Maybe someone else has.
     
  7. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    I don't know any ballet dancers personally. So can't comment on that. But I do know that smoking rate in Russia is quite high (as non-smokers, my family was actually a bit of exception there), so as a consequence of that smoking rate is higher among immigrants from Russia compared to the rest of population.

    Smoking rates are higher in Europe in general, because there was none of these anti-smoking campaigns there, which we have in U.S. I wonder what the current trend is, but last time we were in Europe, it was kinda hard to have lunch or dinner without having to smell the smoke. Not to mention all the cigarette butts on the ground (I guess trashcans were only for American tourists).
     
  8. hepcat

    hepcat New Member

    I had started to draft this exact same response, almost verbatim. At first I was wondering in fact if you were quoting me, but then I rememberred I'd gotten distracted and hadn't actually posted it. :lol:

    I don't think you're going to get very far with this argument unfortunately. The category of "health nut" is more prodigious these days. If people are cutting out fast food, taking vitamin supplements, eating organic foods, getting acupuncture, and the like, they're obviously not willing to compromise their health in the smallest degree. Who's to say your exposure to smoke isn't cumulative and that every little bit isn't damaging. All scientific data shows smoke is harmful and there's no qualification about the amount of exposure.

    I'll agree with that, although I'll admit I enjoy a certain ornery satisfaction from hearing about it (sorry to say). :eek:

    I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting a utopia. There is a place for strong opinions. They serve to shock people into acting on an issue, even if it is a tempered response. That's why I think there's a place for people like Rush Limbaugh (sp?) and Dr. Laura. I may disagree vehemently with them, but if no one spoke out passionately, who would ever be swayed to consider an issue if everything was put in terms of compromise & moderation. It's just not as interesting. People are attracted to controversy. They get fixated on accidents and disasters. That's the only way to grab a lot of people's attention. So I don't think we should question whether or not someone should be making an unattainable stance on an issue. That's an attempt at censorship. Just argue the other side if that's what you believe.

    True. Everything's relative.
     
  9. hepcat

    hepcat New Member

    It's really hard to prove the cause of obesity. There was a case of an obese child who was taken away from his parents in Albuquerque even though the parents claimed to have him on a diet and seeing a physician. I seem to remember he was returned, but I'm not 100% sure about that. Smoking on the other hand is another issue. If parents smoke around a child, it's 100% provable and has undeniable negative impact. I think it's completely appropriate to prosecute on the basis of child abuse. I can't even begin to imagine a compromise. I can't see a way where a parent can smoke and not expose the child to it. It's the same thing as drinking or being on drugs when pregnant. It's inexcusable IMO.
     
  10. hepcat

    hepcat New Member

    Sub-topic: You know, they say that a benefit of smoking is it keeps you thin. :lol: No, it keeps you gaunt. Yes, smokers are thin, but it's not an attractive thin. They may look good when they're young, but after some time, their cheeks are sunken, their ribs and hip bones protrude. Their skin has an aged look (as that of a decrepit old person). Their hair is typically drab. The skin around their eyes is dark. They're not attractive at all. They honestly look as if they've got one foot in the grave. Perhaps they don't notice it because the change is gradual. Then maybe once they do notice it, they take another drag to forget about it.
     
  11. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    EVERYONE deserves compassion, and at least an attempt at understanding IMO...when I conquer all my addictions and compulsions and behaviors that are harmful to myself and others, I'll let you know...while many of us are passionate about this issue for very justifiable reasons, and while none of us should be unduly subjected to other's actions that are harmful to us, you were simply honest and forthright, and getting by...just like the rest of us...I'm sure I have hurt as many people in the past week as you have...hug...having said all that, think seriously about the dice you roll, and I will too...nother hug
     
  12. Whirling Dervish

    Whirling Dervish New Member

    Okay, we could probably use a group hug, yeah? (Someone should make a smilie for hugs.) Aside from our addictions we all make sacrifices of various kinds daily, too.

    I had to think seriously about the dice recently myself. I passed on buying the motorcycle. Sigh. :cool:
     
  13. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    except some people aren't huggers...and that's okay too...lol...but for all those interested...consider yourself hugged
     
  14. hepcat

    hepcat New Member

    *squirm* *squirm* *push* *gasp*. "I can't breathe mom!"

    I remember those days! Ah, but I like being hugged now! I even tease my sister for giving "grandma hugs". I suppose it's dancing that has changed my stance on hugging.

    -hepcat
     
  15. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Hepcat--

    "I don't think you're going to get very far with this argument unfortunately. The category of "health nut" is more prodigious these days. If people are cutting out fast food, taking vitamin supplements, eating organic foods, getting acupuncture, and the like, they're obviously not willing to compromise their health in the smallest degree. Who's to say your exposure to smoke isn't cumulative and that every little bit isn't damaging. All scientific data shows smoke is harmful and there's no qualification about the amount of exposure."

    I’m sure the effects of even very small amounts are cumulative. So are the effects of broccoli and coffee which, last I knew, were also carcinogenic. That point aside, however, the fact of the matter is that unless you live in a bubble you’re going to have to accept some modicum of risk. Living in/around/with others, which everyone does, must involve compromise on all ends. That’s just the reality.



    "I'll agree with that, although I'll admit I enjoy a certain ornery satisfaction from hearing about it (sorry to say)."

    He he…I understand completely. I’ve got certain revenge fantasies of my own regarding what I feel to be obnoxious behaviour in which I indulge from time to time! Most of mine, though, revolve around either other drivers or my in-laws!



    "I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting a utopia."

    I agree completely. Just because we’ll never achieve perfection—in anything—is not an excuse to throw up our hands and quit trying. But, I think we should be mindful of reality and should keep in mind that utopia will never be achieved, and so is best not to trample to much on others in our pursuit.


    "There is a place for strong opinions. They serve to shock people into acting on an issue, even if it is a tempered response. That's why I think there's a place for people like Rush Limbaugh (sp?) and Dr. Laura. I may disagree vehemently with them, but if no one spoke out passionately, who would ever be swayed to consider an issue if everything was put in terms of compromise & moderation. It's just not as interesting. People are attracted to controversy. They get fixated on accidents and disasters. That's the only way to grab a lot of people's attention. So I don't think we should question whether or not someone should be making an unattainable stance on an issue. That's an attempt at censorship. Just argue the other side if that's what you believe."

    Hmmm…not so sure I completely agree. Yes, those with strong opinions and the courage to speak passionately about them are rare and valuable. And yes, they do serve to shock people into action. Yay, action! And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with someone taking an unreasonable stance on something—everyone’s entitled to their opinion, and even when the opinion makes me sick I’d defend their right to express it.

    I just think that those who whip others into action via passionate, extreme arguments are detrimental to progress. I REALLY don’t like all-or-nothing ways of going about things, and feel that we, as a society, need to remember and bring back the art of compromise and moderation. No, it’s not sexy the way that controversy is sexy. But it’s the way to get ahead, because getting people all riled up and dug into their own stance doesn’t get anyone anywhere. Besides which, as time goes on attitudes change and issues can be revisited and a new compromises can be had. I’d rather see incremental change resulting from compromise than nothing at all because no one is willing to budge from their pursuit of the idea.

    And now we’re right back to were we started with hostility! Lol.
     
  16. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member


    I absolutely agree that parents exposing children to second-hand smoke is inexcusable. Like I said, I’d love to see some sort of legislation. Some aspects, though, are easier than others—I’d like to see children under 18 banned from smoking sections/bars/restaurants. I’d like to see parents smoking in cars with children present dealt with. That’s fairly simple.

    The difficult part, IMHO, is when you start getting into where to draw the line. I’d like to see smoking inside a private residence in the presence of non-smokers (those under 18 should be automatically classified as such) be made illegal, but to me it runs into the problem of enforcement, prioritization of scarce resources, and the social/financial consequences. I don’t think I’d classify it as abuse, particularly since the ramifications of that kind of terminology could be so far reaching.

    Smoking while the family is in the backyard? Legislating against that makes me nervous. Likewise with smoking while pregnant. Abhorrent, but the legal ramifications—which I absolutely won’t go into on this forum—scare me greatly. Greater education seems to be a reasonable key to all of it.
     
  17. hepcat

    hepcat New Member

    There's a fundamental difference however in your example. I choose to ingest broccoli and coffee whereas I sometimes don't have a choice to inhale others' smoke.

    I'll agree if they're directed at an individual. It's an affront and provokes an opposing response despite the validity of the argument. However, where I think such a tact is effective is when it's spoken in general terms to no one in particular. Although making an example of someone, while it could negatively affect that person, it may get others thinking. However it could also backfire. I agree that moderation and compromise are the sought after result, but it may be arguable that you may not get there in a timely fashion without passionate debates. I don't like absolutes and black and white either, but I see a place for those who proffer those views.

    -hepcat
     
  18. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Hmmm…I seem to be having a hard time communicating my points today…

    Of course there’s that fundamental difference. I mentioned coffee and broccoli only as examples of other substances which are carcinogenic to a very small degree (parallel to smells on a smokers clothing or smoke wafting on the breeze). I’ve just always found it kind of amusing that those 2 substances are carcinogenic.

    But you’re right, there is a difference. My main point was just that compromise is only possible up to a certain point, where acceptance of risk has to take over.




    I definitely think there’s a place for those people, and I’ll agree that timeliness in making progress can be compromised. I guess maybe I have a different arguing style—abandon inflammatory rhetoric, identify and disclose what things you’re unwilling to compromise on (which will determine if further negotiation is even possible), identify goals which can be agreed upon, and find ways to get to that goal. So, while passionate debate is a good thing to get people thinking, I find it untenable when applied to real world situations.

    Or, perhaps I should say that passionate is good; extremism is counterproductive. IMHO.
     
  19. Merrylegs

    Merrylegs Well-Known Member

    I am so confused. Since when is broccoli a carcinogen? I've been skimming this thread today so I may have missed something vital........

    BTW, I used the word hostile to describe my emotions but perhaps a better word would be passionate, or anxious about.

    When you watch your mom die it tends to piss you off a lot.
     
  20. PasoDancer

    PasoDancer New Member

    Another temp hijack:
    Huggers.

    I grew up in a family essentially phobic of hugging one another, and I think it "stunted" my hugginess. Does anyone else like hugs, but because of the way they were brought up, feel odd about it, if that makes sense?

    Well, cyber hugs aren't so hard, so here's my first cyber hug to anyone and everyone, Lol.
     

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