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Kotoviki

Rikishi smoking

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I'm rather surprised that some here feel this is outside the purview of a shisho to regulate. Rikishi can't drive, can't live on their own unless they're sekitori -- they can't even marry without permission, for God's sake! Relatively speaking, this is nothing.

I'm fairly sure (most of) the people who voiced that opinion were speaking against the notion that it should be banned by the Kyokai - at least that's the position the initial "rikishi are allowed to smoke?" question and your approving follow-ups insinuated to me. Given that all the other regulations you mentioned for comparison are also fixed at the Kyokai level, I seem to sense a little goalpost-shifting going on in the above statement. (Also, even a couple of days later I'm still staring blankly at how "the ozumo lifestyle" of all things was supposed to justify the idea of a ban on smoking. If anything it does the exact opposite as several subsequent posts have demonstrated.)

Not that it matters, but the number of cigarettes I've touched in my life is exactly zero, and nobody in my immediate family smokes either (which I'm quite glad for). I'm still happy to co-sign YBF's "down with health fascism" statement in regards to the issue of smoking.

OK, fine. At the Kyokai level then. It really doesn't matter from my point of view.

By the "ozumo lifestyle" I meant that rikishi live highly regulated lives, with rules governing how they do a great many things other people make their own decisions about. Given that, a ban on smoking is certainly not out of the question were there merely the will to do it. Going back to the original comment you found so puzzling, if there was enough awareness by the Kyokai about just how bad an idea it is, they certainly have the power to ban it. It's even a reasonable thing to do.

Actually, "several subsequent posts" have demonstrated nothing of the sort. There's heavier smoking in Japan than the US at all levels of society. "Manliness" has nothing to do with it.

Call it health fascism if you like, but bans on public smoking are driven by actual scientific data on the effects of second-hand smoke, not some kind of puritanical, prohibitionary impulse. There's nothing fascistic about that.

Edited by Kuroyama

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Call it health fascism if you like, but bans on public smoking are driven by actual scientific data on the effects of second-hand smoke, not some kind of puritanical, prohibitionary impulse. There's nothing fascistic about that.

And then, as always in this certain field of discussion, it boils down to the definition of "public". Is, for instance, a restaurant a "public" place? "Yes", the Sheriffs of Nosmokingham say. And they are wrong of course. Nobody is forced to go to a certain restaurant.

Yes, I am a smoker. I am against smoking in really public places like public transport, community buildings, you name it. To expect more regulations is wrong, IMHO. Tendencies like forcing private owners of private eating/drinking/whatever establishments to enforce prohibition is a way into repression. I hear of cases where funding money on movie productions where dependent on the fact the the movie won't show any cigarettes. That is, again IMHO, already a way into what I like to call health fascism.

Quite off topic now from the original notion. Nevertheless, this is a topic of importance, and not only for me, but obviously also for non-smokers like Asashosakari, whose unsolicited solidarity I value. Fortunately, he is not the only one of his kind. I have a friend (non-smoking) who offered the opinion that he would start now, just to protest against further restriction of (private and considerately applied) personal freedom.

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Nevertheless, this is a topic of importance, and not only for me, but obviously also for non-smokers like Asashosakari, whose unsolicited solidarity I value. Fortunately, he is not the only one of his kind. I have a friend (non-smoking) who offered the opinion that he would start now, just to protest against further restriction of (private and considerately applied) personal freedom.

Why am I reminded of a former colleague (in teaching) who had recently lost his wife of many years to lung cancer? "There seems to be no rhyme or reason," he observed mournfully, "and no justice -- here I've been smoking like a chimney for over 30 years and I'm still perfectly all right; my wife never smoked a cigarette in her life and yet she's died of lung cancer." The danger of second-hand smoke was only beginning to be understood at the time.

I myself was a fairly heavy smoker for over two decades, having started in the days when taking up smoking was a normal sign of growing up; but when the medical evidence became clear I gave it up -- and went through hell for months. Looking at it from both sides, I am entirely in favour of setting aside smoking places for those who wish to exercise their freedom to smoke; but if any place open to the public, such as a restaurant or a cinema, permits smoking throughout its premises, then I would undoubtedly exercise my own freedom not to patronise it.

Orion

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While you don't have to eat in a restaurant, people have to work in it! The same can be said for rikishi who must train in the keikoba while the oyakata smokes. You can choose not to eat in a smoking restaurant or not to go watch keiko while the oyakata smokes but the restaurant workers and rikishi cannot. That is why they are not truly private places. Your own home is private, and your car though your spouse and kids must share the second hand smoke too...

For weight gain reasons I'm really perplexed as to why Harumafuji doesn't quit smoking. He'd probably gain 5-10 kilos, I know I did.

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aw are rikishi allowed to smoke??

Glad to see that they are.

Down with health fascism!

;-)

This is a clear proof how smoking atomises brains. (Neener, neener...)

Make sure to flush your eyes with disinfectant after reading and quoting my post.

Smoking even compromises humour! (I am not worthy...)

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[Heavy British accent, preferably with a monocle on the left eye] Setting aside a designated smoking area in the corner of a restaurant is much like setting aside a roped peeing area in a public swimming pool. [/Heavy British accent, preferably with a monocle on the left eye]

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Call it health fascism if you like, but bans on public smoking are driven by actual scientific data on the effects of second-hand smoke, not some kind of puritanical, prohibitionary impulse. There's nothing fascistic about that.

And then, as always in this certain field of discussion, it boils down to the definition of "public". Is, for instance, a restaurant a "public" place? "Yes", the Sheriffs of Nosmokingham say. And they are wrong of course. Nobody is forced to go to a certain restaurant.

Of course they're public places. That's how they do business: they serve the public. The only reason anyone would say otherwise is to justify some kind of cockamamie argument like this.

Do you have any idea what kind of regulations restaurants already operate under; what laws already operate there to protect public health? Adding "no smoking" to them is utterly trivial. It's the cheapest, least burdensome health measure a restaurant is expected to enforce.

Yes, I am a smoker. I am against smoking in really public places like public transport, community buildings, you name it. To expect more regulations is wrong, IMHO. Tendencies like forcing private owners of private eating/drinking/whatever establishments to enforce prohibition is a way into repression. I hear of cases where funding money on movie productions where dependent on the fact the the movie won't show any cigarettes. That is, again IMHO, already a way into what I like to call health fascism.

"Private eating establishments"? We call those "houses". Otherwise, there's no such thing.

It's hilarious that, on the one hand, you cry out for the freedom of owners of so-called "private eating establishments" to allow smoking, but on the other hand, when a private individual or investment group declines to invest in a film if it promotes smoking (and make no mistake -- admired film stars smoking does promote it) then that freedom somehow becomes fascism. Ridiculous.

There's a reason for this. A few years ago, it was noted that characters in films smoked a hell of a lot more often than the public did. This was not infrequently a form of advertising: cigarette companies would pay for product placement. Now tell me: why is it fascist to accept money on the condition that characters not smoke, but somehow not fascist on the condition that they do?

That didn't account for all of it, as at least some if it was lazy writers adhering to outworn tropes. But it was hardly justifiable if the idea was to reflect real life, and whether the result of paid placement or not, it did promote smoking. So there are investors who want that to stop? Well guess what. They're exercising their right to invest their money where they choose. It takes real tunnel vision to label that fascist.

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[Heavy British accent, preferably with a monocle on the left eye] Setting aside a designated smoking area in the corner of a restaurant is much like setting aside a roped peeing area in a public swimming pool. [/Heavy British accent, preferably with a monocle on the left eye]

Now, wouldn't THAT be convenient! ;-)

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"Private eating establishments"? We call those "houses". Otherwise, there's no such thing.

I think he's referring to the difference between a privately owned business and say a state/nation owned park/school/library/whatever. As an example we can use privately owned and operated restaurants. I'm not a smoker, but it seems like if someone wants to run their own restaurant and allow smoking within, there should be no problem. If someone really has so much of a problem with getting second-hand smoke, then they should take their business elsewhere. If a worker doesn't like the smokey work environment, they can just find a job at a different restaurant. This should really be the decision of the restaurant owner. A restuarant owner could also decide to ban smoking, but the decision shouldn't be forced either way. It's a whole different story for public (and I mean truly public) places.

This entire debate isn't exactly applicable to the issue of smoking in the sumo-beyas anyway, as you don't really have the choice to go elsewhere once you're tied to a stable which is completely different from a restaurant. Hm.. I think this thread has become less and less about sumo..

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I think he's referring to the difference between a privately owned business and say a state/nation owned park/school/library/whatever.

Context suggests otherwise. He seems to think that a public place is one people are "forced" to go, since his reason for dismissing places of public accommodation like a restaurant as "public places" is that no one is forced to go to them. No one is forced to go to a park or library.

In any sensible jurisdiction, restaurant-associated health hazards are treated as public health hazards. That's why they're so heavily regulated.

If a worker doesn't like the smokey work environment, they can just find a job at a different restaurant.

I know of no other business where anyone would consider saying to a worker exposed to unnecessary health hazards, "Don't like it? Work somewhere else!" That's not even remotely reasonable.

Yes, some hazard is inherent to just about any line of work, and can't be avoided even when all reasonable precautions are in place. In such cases, those who are unwilling to cope with those hazards should be in another business. Not everyone is cut out to be, say, a coal miner or on the crew of an oil rig. However, there's nothing inherent to the restaurant business about second-hand smoke. It's eminently avoidable.

Really, the only reason we're having this argument is the insistence by certain people that those who say we should not be exposing workers to this unnecessary hazard are somehow fascist thereby. Although the word was not even used in that context to start with. It was at the mere suggestion that a professional athlete in an environment so highly regimented that he's not even allowed to dress how he wants, might be forbidden to smoke. Methinks they do protest too much.

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Do you have any idea what kind of regulations restaurants already operate under; what laws already operate there to protect public health? Adding "no smoking" to them is utterly trivial. It's the cheapest, least burdensome health measure a restaurant is expected to enforce.

"Private eating establishments"? We call those "houses". Otherwise, there's no such thing.

It's hilarious that, on the one hand, you cry out for the freedom of owners of so-called "private eating establishments" to allow smoking, but on the other hand, when a private individual or investment group declines to invest in a film if it promotes smoking (and make no mistake -- admired film stars smoking does promote it) then that freedom somehow becomes fascism. Ridiculous.

I completely agree with your point about movies. Statistically, smoking has been on a continual decline here in the UK, and it doesn't seem far fetched to view the ban on cigarette advertising and the disappearance of 'tobacco cool' from movies as part of the reason. Even as a smoker, I view this as a good thing.

But I think you're missing the point on 'private establishments'. For example, the smoking ban in the UK meant that a number of private cigar clubs were forced to close. Are you seriously telling me that anyone would go to or work at a cigar club without knowing and accepting the risks?

The ban on smoking in restaurants doesn't bother me, but the overall BLANKET nature of the ban does. Why is it unreasonable, in the days of extremely effective smoker removers/air purifiers (like the ones used in the smoking areas of Japanese railway stations. Nothing escapes them!) to accept that some offices could have smoking rooms, for example?

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But I think you're missing the point on 'private establishments'. For example, the smoking ban in the UK meant that a number of private cigar clubs were forced to close. Are you seriously telling me that anyone would go to or work at a cigar club without knowing and accepting the risks?

I have no idea what you're doing in the UK. Even in California it's still legal to smoke in tobacco shops and cigar lounges. It makes no sense at all to ban smoking there. We were talking about restaurants, and whether this particular best practice for professional athletes is something the Kyokai might be expected to enforce.

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