Don't butt out Thailand
Replies: 104 - Last Post: Jan 30, 2013 3:07 AM Last Post By: sirjonker
Mar 8, 2012 8:10 AM
Don't butt out ThailandThis topic concerns smoking tourists I observed in Thailand.
I was actually on a ferry carrying me over the gulf waters from Koh Phangan to the mainland to catch a bus to Surat Thani. It was one of the faster smaller ferries and I was riding on the deck because it was 50 baht to sit inside and I liked being on the deck.
I did not like the cigarette smoke though. It seemed no matter where I stood or sat a tourist would show up with his or her duty free cheap cigarettes and light up. The ferry trip is a joy and has great views but what i saw on the smokers faces was a scowl of non recognition, of self loathing in the utter lack of any real sustained pleasure in the smoking act.
It isn't pleasant for the non smoker either, and I wish to point out here, and I hope I wont be moderated for doing so, that smoking is a useless pointless thing to do anywhere, but especially when you are traveling in an absolutely gorgeous exotic holiday destination like Thailand. Why the need for it, doesn't - 'it doesn't get any better than this' ring any bells for these people?
Finally what disgusted me most of all was the way the smokers, 95% of the time did not butt out in the large bin that was provided on the deck. They discarded them overboard into the sea. No thought for birds foraging to feed their young, no thought that the sea, the very thing that provides the environment to frolic free on holiday and shed off the stress of the growling cities they've escaped, the sea, well it's a living thing, dig? Peoples lives are entwined with it. How about in return treating the place that gives so much to you with some better care?
As the line in the song by Australian band The John Butler Trio goes, "Smack you upsidedown on your head - you better treat your Mother with respect". What do you say?
Mar 8, 2012 8:30 AM
1You're lucky you came now. They used to allow smoking in bars and restaurants only a few years ago. That really sucked. It's not just tourists who are completely disrespectful with smoking (Thais do it absolutely everywhere too) and that's a shame. I have always thought that if you are going to partake in something that has no benefit whatsoever- whatever silly excuse you make for doing it- as idiotic as it is, it's your own body. But, don't do it around me. I was at a waterfall a couple weeks ago and watched some people put their cigarettes out and leave them right on the rocks next to where the water was flowing. There were wastebaskets all around.
The best thing to do is politely ask the person to stop smoking. It's as easy as saying that you don't appreciate it and would rather breathe fresh air. Most people are too oblivious to even realize they are offending anyone.
Mar 8, 2012 8:33 AM
2It's great that smoking is no longer allowed in bars, in Thailand and in many other countries. It's one of the things that helped me to quit 5 years ago.
I also never understood how people can throw their butts in the sea, or on the ground in beautiful areas .... it makes me very sad and angry to see people doing this.
Mar 8, 2012 11:28 AM
So you're saying that smokers should somehow not feel the need to smoke because they're in beautiful surroundings? Sorry, but that doesn't make any sense. And surely the effect of smoke when you're on the deck of a fast boat is fairly negligable? This just sounds like another rabid anti-smoker sounding off. You guys have had plenty of major victories in the war, but that just isn't enough, is it? But I do agree about flicking butts into the sea - it's not hard to use a can as an ashtray.
And BTW, expect a long thread to open up here ... :)
Mar 8, 2012 12:11 PM
Mar 8, 2012 12:36 PM
Mar 8, 2012 12:50 PM
6Sit toward the front of the deck then, if you really get that hysterical about it. And you should probably avoid Bangkok as well - an hour outside there is a hell of a lot worse for you than someone having a fag on a boat.
Mar 8, 2012 1:47 PM
7As a smoker, I agree that we need to be a bit more respectful of non smokers and our second hand smoke. Don't ruin someone else's day because you can't smoke downwind from them, or wait for a bit until you're out of their range. I understand it's unavoidable sometimes, especially on a crowded boat, but try and be considerate. And non smokers shouldn't feel bad about asking us to move away from them. Don't demonize us, or give us the after school special about the dangers of smoking (because we already know that) but any civilized human being should feel guilty when a non smoker tells them their second hand smoke is blowing right in their face. As for butts into the water, seriously that's a tragedy and completely disgraceful when there's ashtrays all over the place. Don't be so lazy!
Mar 8, 2012 1:51 PM
8I do avoid Bangkok. The longest I've spent there in over a year has been taking a taxi from train to bus station or getting to the airport.
Sam makes the right point. A smoker is making the effort to smoke. It's not a non smoker's job to compensate their habit. The smoker should be respectful and do it in a way that it doesn't effect other people.
You can move to the back of the boat. But, even if I'm standing in front of you, I'm going to smell it. Is it really that hard to not smoke for an hour? Talk about lack of self control.
Mar 8, 2012 2:08 PM
9I don’t smoke and wish not to be around smoker with cigarette stench. I think the boat ferry should setup a designated area for smokers-in the back of the boat.
The Thai locals (worst offenders) and traveling foreigners should learn from Japanese-how to discard cigarette butts properly.
Remember the old days of 747's smoker section in the same plane! What a joke.
Mar 8, 2012 2:17 PM
Mar 8, 2012 2:30 PM
11No, if it's not blowing at me and I don't have to smell it, smoke all you want. If it is, then don't smoke a cigarette. A person who smokes a cigarette in a public place around loads of people just because they can't control their habit is the one suffering from 'it's all about me' syndrome more than the 99% of us who aren't smoking. Me not smoking doesn't affect anyone, you smoking around a bunch of non smokers does.
Once again, is it that hard to not go an hour without a cigarette? Anyone who flies on an airplane can go that long.
Mar 8, 2012 3:14 PM
12DS, I smoke (obviously) but I'm fairly considerate about it. I don't blow smoke in people's faces and if I notice that my smoke if drifting near other people then I'll do something about it. But there's a difference between "smoke" and "smell". The world is full of smells that one person or another finds offensive, or simply doesn't like. I might not like your deodorant (or lack thereof), the Starbucks vanilla choca-mocha which you think smells lovely, or the lingering whiff of the Rogan Josh you had for dinner last night. If I can smell something that I don't like, I just move away from the source of it. Simple. I don't get all Jennifer Lopez about it.
And in any case it's not like the anti-smoking brigade will stop whining after the "hour long" boat ride is over. It's a crusade for them. They'll keep moaning on the jetty, in the street, on the beach and everywhere else. Which is why smokers get sick of them and just ignore it.
Mar 8, 2012 3:45 PM
13You might be considerate about it, but many people are not. With a cigarette, smelling it implies you are inhaling the fumes from it. It would be offensive to go in a crowd of people who are forced to be around you after you haven't showered for days as well. But, a little deodorant isn't going to travel as far as a cigarette. A coffee from Starbucks definitely won't (especially for you if you smoke). When you are on a boat, especially a small one, crowded with people, you can't simply walk away from it.
Would you get upset if somebody was constantly loud. If you were sitting on a bus and the person behind you was speaking so loud that you couldn't sleep or read, would it annoy you? If you were in a hotel room and you had the same problem, would you want them to stop? I think you would. People have a choice to be quiet and you would expect them to be respectful and make that choice. People have a choice to be respectful about smoking and they should make that choice as well.
You don't need to smoke. You choose to. That shouldn't affect anyone else.
Mar 8, 2012 4:07 PM
14Fair point, but the fact remains that if smokers were to stay at the back of the boat (which I'll concede would be a fair compromise) then there is no way that the fumes are reaching anyone forward of that area. You say you can still smell the smoke, which is debatable. That would kind of contradict the natural instinct of predatory animals to stay downwind of their prey, wouldn't you say?
Actually, I do. I'm addicted to nicotine. :)
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