In my journeys to Mallorca, over about five years, I have noticed a distinct change in fashion among the youths who go there and parade around in the early hours of the morning. Some five years ago, the fashion was that the pretty young girls pottered around on ‘the strip’ in high heels. In Magalluf, the strip is the main street where most of the night-time activity takes place – lots of bars and discos. A bit at a time, over the last five years or so, fashion has changed. At first, not many girls had decided that high heels were not appropriate, but, gradually, more and more of them abandoned high hells in favour of ‘flatties’. The curious consequence is that girls wearing high heels look a bit silly. A further consequence has been that that these girls display their natural height. I have no idea how this ‘fashion change’ came about, or what motivated the fashion change.
I went to the pub tonight as is my wont on a Friday night. It was surprisingly busy, with lots of young people around the age of twenty five or so. They were all very jolly, chatting and playing pool, and such, but what struck me as odd was that almost all the pretty girls were wearing stilts on their feet. I’m talking about shoes with soles at least 1″ thick or more and heels around 5″ tall or more. The weird consequence is that they look a bit weird. Their bodies are weirdly elongated and a bit unnatural.
Fashions change with remarkable rapidity among the young, and something has happened on the enjoyment of tobacco front. At least 50% of these youths went outside from time to time to enjoy tobacco. I saw one guy with an e-cig (outside for some reason – the manager does not object to people using e-cigs indoors). I saw him offer a puff to another guys. He was the only one. All the rest were smoking. Not only that, but they seemed to be quite happy to discard a cig half-smoked.
So what is going on? These youths did not seem to be particularly well-off. I wonder if it would be correct to assume that they are social smokers? That is, they would not normally smoke during the course of the day, but do so, socially, at weekends and on nights out. I have no idea, but it makes sense. The cost of a packet of cigs is quite high due to Government theft, but, if smoking is only part of a night out, then the cost is acceptable just as the price of a pint of beer is acceptable or the cost of a taxi is acceptable. That is the way it works for youths with X amount of spending money.
Is it not true that the statistics which the Zealots are fond of quoting negligently miss the social aspect of smoking and drinking? They assume that a youth who smokes twenty one cigs per week smokes them at the rate of three per day. What is the health effect of smoking on only, say, two days per week (say, Friday and Saturday)? Where are the statistics? There are none. All smokers are assumed to smoke in a precise, scientific, average way daily. To some extent, that is true. It is certainly true for me – I enjoy tobacco hour after hour, day after day. But that is not always so. For example, I do not wake up in the middle of the night desperate for a fag; on airline flights, I am not bothered. Manchester airport has smoking areas inside the security area, which I use – but only a little. On the flight itself, I am not bothered at all.
A horrible thing happened on my latest trip – my favourite pub was closed down. Thankfully, I have another pub which you might call my ‘second favourite’. I know the proprietor fairly well. I went to that pub every afternoon for lunch and every evening. It was quite busy, but almost entirely outside. There is a singer on every night. If the singer performed to the people inside, he/she would be wasting his time, so he/she steps outside, sort of. A few years ago, that pub was pretty busy inside. It was not easy to get a seat. Now, it is empty inside.
So fashions change. The Health Zealots cannot change fashions. All their blather is no more than hot air. The Tobacco Control Industry is a worthless, unproductive, waste of money and time.