Frequently in this space, we will consult a different entry in the 1987 book The Modern Man’s Guide to Life to see how the advice therein has aged. Last week, we talked VCRs; today, we’re discussing smoking etiquette.
The ’80s were like Las Vegas, in that you could smoke anywhere you want; these days, you can hardly do it anywhere. So the Modern Man’s Guide passage on smoking etiquette is in need of some edits:
When not to smoke: Near a “no smoking” sign; in church or at religious ceremonies, including funerals and weddings; anyone’s home or office if you see no ashtrays; in theaters; at formal dinners; in hospitals or sick rooms; when dancing; on city transit vehicles; in stores and supermarkets; in someone else’s automobile; in a restaurant, unless you first ask permission of those seated next to you. If you aren’t sure, ask.
Fast-forward to now, when as of this month, 28 states have bans on smoking in enclosed spaces. According to Americans For Nonsmokers’ Rights, more than 81 percent of the population “are covered by a 100-percent-smoke-free provision in non-hospitality workplaces, and/or restaurants, and/or bars, by either a state, commonwealth, territorial, or local law.” Also, in April, New Orleans enacted a smoking ban in its bars, making it one of the last major U.S. cities to do so. On top of that, ANR says 281 places have started to ban smoking in beaches and parks, too. Sidewalks may be the last sanctuary left for smokers. Which is fine, because most people aren’t exactly waxing nostalgic for a time when smoking in places like airplanes and hospitals was fair game.
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