Smoke gets in your eyes?

Smoke gets in your eyes?

How many of you are annoyed by smoke at your local sessions?

I’m just home from one of mine, & although the landlord has improved the ventilation, my eyes were still stinging afterwards. It’s so hatefull to get up next morning, & find all your clothes ponging of old stale cigarette smoke. How do folk kiss a smoker? If there wasn’t an alterior motive to the exercise, they would never do it.

How is it that so many lung men, ie Flute & Whistle players, still smoke?

I hear lots of rumours about a land, far off to the west, where smoking is banned from all public places, & how your not even allowed to smoke in some streets. Is that true?

I long for the day when we don’t have to put up with someone else’s dirty habit. How is it, that that guys smoke always blows towards you?

Sorry, I don’t mean to be insensitive but if there are any smokers out there reading this, please just do us all a favour & give up. That old shit can really spoil our evening, not to mention your life.

To harp back to a previous thread, maybe we could start a trend in anti smoking names for tunes. eg. The, ‘Put that cigarette out or I’ll stick it up yer a**e Reel!

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I thought you were talking about the tunebook at first. Smoke is one of those things you either don’t care about or hate. It is a damn shame that some bars are so smokey that it stops some musicians from turning out. Maybe you could complain to the publican & ask him to install more smoke-eaters, or at least crack the door. In Boston they have banned smoking from some bars, it’s a touchy subject of civil liberties however. I think if the publican wants to go smokeless that’s his decision - but I don’t think the gov’t has a right to dictate what goes on in a private business. That is the decision of the owner. All american civil-liberty issues aside - I do agree that most bars are too smokey. Through my experience I usually find that smokers are courteous & if you let them know that the smoke is bothering you the will usually quickly move to make you more comfortable.

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I’m in a pipe band where I live, and christ, these guys all smoke up a storm; I have no idea how they’re able to keep playing the pipes when their lungs are all screwed up. However, they are starting to put out whenever i’m around; they’ve become very courteous about it, etc. because it really bothers me, my throat chokes up or something; so all you have to do is ask politely

oh, by the way, are there ever outdoor sessions anywhere? like in some park’s gazebos or something? that would be fun. and people can smoke as much as they want.

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You can always
a)ask the smokers to step away to smoke (since most people don’t play and smoke at the same time, this should be no real sacrifice)
or
b)find a non-smoking venue and see if people will come out to play there.

As a working musician, I can tell you that non-smoking bars clear out an hour or so earlier than the smoke-friendly joints, and that makes a big difference to the bottom line of the club. If more non-smokers were to go out and drink ‘til closing time, you’d see a lot more non-smoking bars!

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That’s certainly true out here in the land of no-smoking in public venues, and the bar owners & management know it, Jon. The People’s Republic of Boulder is most strict about it, especially. And suddenly all of the nightclubs and many of the bars in Boulder went out of business or changed their demos. Most of the bars round here have special smoking rooms.

‘Course, if you’re a popular player amongst your fellows, one or two early leavings with "sorry, but I seem to be getting more allergic to the smoke, I don’t know why, but it’s just bothering me more these days" will often prompt more smokers to put out or to step away.

Outdoor sessions—I’ve been to ‘em, and even enjoyed some of them, but they just feel….off kilter to me. 🙂

Zina

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Quite right Brad, I agree that the old Govt. shouldn’t dictate, & I’m sure they won’t as long as they’re raking in the tax from the ciggies.

Yes, most smokers are obliging, but can anyone tell me why they light one up, stick it on the side of the ash tray, play a set of four reels, & then get one quick drag before it goes out? Meanwhile, the smoke has wafted round everyone during the whole set.

I’m quite happy to ask smokers to move away, or waft their smoke in another direction, at my own sessions, but less comfortable about it, when visiting a session.

Yes Jon, I tried that a few years ago. I managed to persuade the owner to let me move a weekly junior session I ran, to a room upstairs, which was just four walls. I stuck up No Smoking signs, & we had no smoke. We had big crowds too, throughout the summer, & I think folk were happy to comply because of the kids, but no way was the atmosphere right for a proper session. It was like playing in yer mum’s back room.
We also found folk cleared off home earlier, but in our case, they were tourists who just have to get tae bed early tae get up early, & get as much in as they can, which was fair enough, so we played for as long, but just started earlier to suit.

Zina, in Boulder you conjure up an image of the ‘Smoke Easy’ den, down a dark back alley, with a wee door hatch sliding open, & some big bruiser wi’ a broken nose asking for the password, before your allowed in to the cellar full of agitated, furtive smokers, that you can barely make out through the fog. Sounds like some of the session pubs I used to play, in the 70s (sorry, theres that zimmer showing again)

Outdoor sessions. yip, a few tunes in the street at a festival when you bump into an old friend, for the crack. A session in a beer garden, or Barbecue, on a pleasant summers evening, very nice, but not if Mark’s Pipe Band are on a march past. No Bagpipes, just kilts swaying as they march past, pipes in their gobs billowing great clowds o’ reek in their wake - what an image. Bet you wouldn’t see that in Boulder!

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I know the perils of that session well Dick and it can be ket! Smoking is a horrible habit and as you say the smoke invariably straight to those of the clean lung. If the smokers would just f off outside and join all normal people gettin stuck into a wee cajay then there’d be nae borr.

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We just go outside for a smoke, it being illegal (but soon to be decriminalised)

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Why do flute players smoke? Because of the cool trick of making the smoke spiral out of the flute.

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Smokers have a diminished capacity to absorb oxygen but they have an increased lung capacity. Yep - those lungs are all stretched out. More wind, more blowing.

A little twist - I would not have had a single cigarrette this year if it were not for the sessions. Ohh well, I am sure you are are sobbing for me by now.

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Nobody makes you go to a session in a smoky bar. If you want somewhere with no smoke then organise your own session in a smoke free zone.

I have had enough of puritanical smoke police in every other part of my life without the last refuge of the public bar being closed to me.

Yes I am a flute player and smoker!

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Actually, two weeks from now is the Estes Park Highlands Festival, and we will indeed be swamped with pipe bands from around the globe, and quite a few of them (at least in past years) have been smokers. Most of the performers come in this week to do various performances (Lunasa performs near me Monday night, but damn, I have to work — I am taking a lesson on Tuesday, though.)

I know smokers who have become rather militant about their right to smoke. I know non-smokers equally militant about their right to breathe non-carcinogenic smoke-free air. (And let me add here that smoke doesn’t bother me particularly much, as I grew up around smokers, and I’m not particularly allergic, although I find it ironic that I’m probably more harmed by the second hand smoke than the smokers are by the smoke.)

The main argument, of course, is that smokers won’t die of not smoking, and non-smokers don’t really want to die of second-hand smoke. In the interest of being fair, Breandon, I’m going to point out that public places aren’t supposed to be refuges from other people, they’re where we have to try harder to get along with other people. If you don’t smoke at home to spare your wife and kids, why shouldn’t perfect strangers object to what you spare your nearest and dearest from? It’s a bit like invoking the Nazi Principal, though (see Will’s past thread).

Trouble is, for most smokers, cigarettes aren’t about the ingestion of carcinogens and even the addiction (although both things exist, sometimes to a greater degree, sometimes a lesser). They’re about the atmosphere that they feel the cigarettes create, the state of mind that they’re in when they smoke, which is why a smoker can take one puff off the cigarette, leaving it to smoke in the ashtray the rest of the time. Logically, the reasons for the addiction are why the addiction exist, but we’re not logical creatures — I know people who smoke a cig only after sex and don’t enjoy it as much if they know there’s no smoke at the end.

Really, the main trouble is that we’re talking about a right to one’s own addictions that slops over onto other people’s lives and *their* rights.

We are not going to solve this social dilemma here at The Session, and this has merely been a listing of the various facts of the situation to demonstrate my keen grip on said facts. *grin*

But I’d like to point out that both sides of the argument have a right to their side, and I hope we’re not going to descend into dogma, rudeness, and hurt feelings. Smoke at a session can indeed divide groups of players into the smokers and the non-smokers, but isn’t that a shame that people can’t get along a little better than exclusion? A little courtesy on *both* sides will help everyone to play together and enjoy themselves more.

Zina

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Two years ago, at a session at the Plow & Stars in San Fran, I was shocked to see that very few people were playing (and I heard there were some mighty sessions there). I was told that several session players had moved to Boston when California passed laws banning smoking in pubs. It’s an interesting story, but they could have been having a joke with me too. Any smoking refugees from California at your sessions Zina?

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You could go to England and try that. On your "asylum seekers" application form you could tell Jack Straw that if he sent you back, you would be murdered by secondary inhalation

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With respect. It’s arguable that some non music lovers may object to their local being overrun by a bunch of noisy folk once a week. So it’s not just smokers that could be seen as the nuisance. Session players are equally as capable as taking themselves elsewhere as smokers are. Go find a non-smoking pub!

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In the final analysis it should be up to the landlord to decide what happens in his ‘house’ and anyone using his premises should respect that. I wouldn’t like to think that someone would come into my house and tell me what to do!

If I went to a smoke free session then I would respect that - I expect the same of non smokers in a smoking bar.

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Breandan has given us the final analysis.
Very generous of him don’t you think.
So here’s the Postcript

I particularly enjoyed your contribution Zina. I love that notion, that it’s the atmosphere the cigarette smoke creates that is the main reason for all them fags being puffed in pubs. If so, then terrific, I have the answer, get the publican to bring in a dry ice machine, result - a smokey pub, and no carcinogens.

What do you think Breandan? You bring your Flute, leave yer fags at home, I’ll bring the dry ice machine, we’ll get Michael on Guitar, & have a mighty session!

Oh, by the way, I’ve never smoked cigarettes, & am sure I would hate to, but I would smoke one, & do my best to enjoy it, if someone promised me sex at the end of it! No not you Breandan!

Thanks everyone, I really enjoyed that, frivolous & fun, but with a serious side to it too - a bit like life really.

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I’m a generous soul!

I’m willing to try anything once, Dick. How about trying it out in the back room of Johnny Joe’s or the House of Mc Donnell some night? The dry ice, that is, not the sex!!!!!

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Heh. Well, you know, it’s a known fact amongst club owners that if the place is too well lit, no one will dance. Atmosphere has a lot to do with everything in bars and clubs.

But what I actually meant was that it’s the atmosphere in the smoker’s mind that the cigarettes (and the act of smoking them) create. If you smoke to relax or relax when you smoke, then how fun to be playing the music and feeling pleasantly relaxed, yes?

I was once working on a movie set where they couldn’t find a Roscoe fog juice machine for some fog and were reduced to using a bee smoker. It became a joke among the crew, since usually they’ll yell for "Roscoe!" a few minutes before the shot to fill in the "fog" — the shout would always go up for "bee smoke!" instead. After a while, it became code for a cigarette break as well. So now when I walk into a smoke filled bar, I always have a tiny little mental smirk because some wee AD somewhere in my head yells "bee smoke!"

Kevin, we’ve lots of refugees from CA in CO, but insofar as I know, no one moves here simply because of being able to smoke in public places, because it’s against the law here too — although i’ve always noted that smokers will go to any lengths to get their break in — standing in rain, fog, blizzards to do it.

Zina

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Its only smoke, deal! If you dont like it then dont go to sessions in pubs. Why get so uptight and offensive, mayb if the non smokers smoked a bit more theyd b more chilled. Thats wat sessions r about: relaxing and havin a tune.

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We often have open-air sessions in the Southern U.S. (Spring, Summer & Fall). So smoking is almost a "non-issue"…unless it’s raining and we have to move indoors.
I can’t cast stones, I’m a "social" smoker….smoke when I drink.
But I do empathize with Ptarmigan…..long ago I played in a southern rock band….by the time the gigs were over, my eyes were so red and swollen I couldn’t sleep!
We’ve opened a sensitive issue tho as far as banning smoking, I’m NEVER heard a report of a driver killing a bus-load of school kids because he was smoking…..but that’s a pretty common issue with alcohol. Do we want to reinstate prohibition?
Everyone’s got a vice (or two, or three….), we’ve just got to find some common ground.
Smoking and non-smoking zones have made things much better now…..smoke still drifts into the NO-SMOKING areas, but at least you don’t have to cut it with a knife!

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Its not really an issue here or in ireland, the banned smoking I mean. But there is a festival on around easter with a non-smoking area and a smoking area, I dont know why but the sessions in the non-smoking area are really bad! Isnt that weird -even tho most of the really good muso’s around are totally non-smokers and hate smoke, they all choose to sit in the smoking area! I would have to agree with the comments made before - if you dont like smoke either deal with it or find yourself a non-smoking session. Which in a way is a bit of a pity cause then youre missing out on some fab muso’s just cause they smoke. Most pubs have an extracting machine, so its usually not that noticable.

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I’m an ex-smoker (the worst kind…nearly militant). I do respect someone’s right to the toxin of their choice, and especially the god-given right to mix a moderate amount of alcohol with a moderate amount of nicotine. Here in the States it isn’t too bad until the punter behind you decides to light up a cigar, which I find WAY beyond tolerance in a public area.

In Ireland, uniformly, the smoke was beyond all comprehension, and we found that we couldn’t do two nights in a row, especially with my husband’s bronchitis. It isn’t the smokers that I blame though, it was the utter lack of ventilation. No air conditioner (I’m not talking about cooling, I’m talking about filtering), no fans, no windows…Four pubs in three different counties, same situation. How on earth do you do it?

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Cigar smoke is pretty gross, it seems the cheaper the cigar the more rank the smoke. On the other hand, when I smoke a pipe at sessions people often go out of their way to tell me it smells great. Maybe more folks should smoke pipes.

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Depends on what you’re putting in that pipe Brad…. 🙂

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Blimey Brad, should we waer arran sweaters too

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Just Cavendish, but I’m not saying for sure.

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Hey, Brad, I was just reading a book (on an entirely different subject) and discovered along the way why pipe smokers’ smoke might be more popular than cigarette smokers’smoke among the non-smokers, or at least, i assume this is why:

When manufacturers make cigarettes, they add a bunch of stuff, from the pesticides (such as acetonitrile) used during cultivation to the chemicals (cadmium, lead, arsenic, cyanide, dioxin, and nickel) added during the manufacturing process. They also add tars and such. Most of this helps the cigarette to keep burning (which is why if a cigarette smoker doesn’t keep smoking the cigarette, it still keeps burning and if he doesn’t keep up, the cigarette burns up). The smoker doesn’t get the brunt of the chemicals and heavy metals (although they do get some) because of the filter on the thing. Second hand breathers of the smoke do, however, since they don’t get it through a filter. And the chemicals are mainly what cause the cigarette smoke to smell bad as well.

Pipe smoking tobacco, on the other hand, is closer to the way that tobacco has been grown and smoked for centuries — especially if it is not sugar-cured, or if the growing and drying process (rapid flue or kerosene heat in the case of most cigarettes) is "organic," if you will — that is, the tobacco is naturally grown and dried. Most pipe tobacco goes out if you don’t keep the air drawing through it — no added chemicals to keep it burning.

Just thought it was interesting. 🙂 No wonder I like pipe smoke better than cigarette smoke.

Zina

P.s.

The book didn’t say anything about the cigars though — so I don’t know why cigar smoke smells so icky!