It was about 13 years ago when I and my then fiance (now husband) flew to Japan to attend a friend’s wedding. Although I am Asia, this was my first trip to Japan and my first close contact with Japanese people. Our flight was co-chaired by Air France and Japan Airlines. I was so surprised but also annoyed that on the plane, the demarcation between smoking and no-smoking areas were not respected by the passengers. I have been on many intercontinental flights before but this was the worse when it came to cigarette smoking. I was to learn that many Japanese, despite their well-known discipline in work, cleanliness among others, were practically helpless against nicotine addiction.
In the same way, it was very surprising for everybody that the supposedly less disciplined Southern Europeans (Italy, Spain; and France) managed to get their anti-smoking regulations in place 4 to 5 years ago while there supposedly more disciplined northern neighbors are still playing catch up. Germany only implemented the law last year. In Switzerland, the law is in place in some areas but in others and Austria still has to decide which way to go.
In this post, I give you a couple of YouTube videos to look at to see how times have changed (definitely for the better) in terms of cigarette smoking. It also gives us an idea of how little did we (we being everybody including doctors) know about the serious health effects of cigarette smoke.
1949: More Doctors Smoke Camels Than Any Other Cigarette
Steve McQueen cigarette commercial
Smoking On Airplanes – What were we thinking?
“What Were We Thinking?” — Doctor’s Office