Ashtrays and bans
This anti-smoking thing has become too much – it’s even threatening Krakow’s cultural viability.
You can no longer smoke at bus and tram stops, even though you can still find ashtrays there.
Sixty-nine Krakow bars and pubs have banned smoking.
Some, mainly rightwing, politicians even want to ban smoking in privately owned cars.
I often hear that Krakow is losing its identity as a city of artists and poets. And, you know, it just may be linked to the anti-smoking campaign.
You see, a cigarette is a valuable artist’s accessory. It is widely believed to relieve stress and let you concentrate on creating.
The Canadian Leonard Cohen has written all his books, poems and songs while smoking.
Because of the recent smoking ban, we may have to abandon hope that we will produce a Leonard Cohen in Krakow. No city resident will be able to come up with the idea for a great piece of art at a “no smoking” bus stop.
Britain’s great Oscar Wilde, who wrote the masterpiece “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” smoked – and was proud of it. He wrote that “a cigarette is a perfect type of a perfect pleasure. It is exquisite and it leaves one satisfied.?
Maybe artists should be allowed to smoke anyplace they want in Krakow so the city doesn’t lose its creative types.
Our city is often described as the cultural capital of Poland. And it’s easy to name smokers who became famous authors and painters. If we are to remain the cultural capital, then logic would dictate we allow artists to smoke.
Opponents of smoking in public point out that passive breathing of cigarette smoke is more dangerous than smoking itself. If that’s so, then maybe the local authorities should begin promoting smoking so that everyones smokes actively.
Just think: If everybody were a smoker, there would be no “passive smokers.” That should greatly improve people’s health.
It is sad to see that Krakow is becoming an oppressive city where basic freedoms are being lost.
I dread to think about what would happen to me if I ever smoked at a bus stop. I would be so jittery about the thought of a police patrol or squad car descending upon me that my blood pressure would go up.
The stress I would experience would be much more dangerous to my health than any cigarette.
I hope members of the local government put that thought in their pipe and smoke it.