14 thoughts on “Video: Madonna berates concertgoers for secondhand smoke”

  1. Whether you like it or not, people have sought to smoke or ferment things since the dawn of time. The art lies not imposing either upon others, much as it lies on not imposing the wishes of a totalitarian ministry-of -we-know-best upon those that chose to smoke. Anymore than I would tolerate the vexatious behaviour of a drunk in public, I would not necessarily care to be exposed to smells I do not chose – whether noxious BO, cheap perfume or aftershave, cigarette smoke, un-tuned diesel motor exhaust.
    It’s all very simple. It has little to do with mandated public health and so much to do with mutual respect and manners.

  2. Gene, the Indians, (of whom the cowboys left only a few), valued tobacco so much that to use it outside of special occasions was considered a crime. And if you have ever been around a woman bearing the scent of patchouli oil, you need to control your “base instincts of pleasure” as they used to say in the Oxford Union.

  3. Biggles, I am familiar with the broken rationale system of a smoker. “Smoke is beautiful; it makes me popular; it helps me relax and it empowers my brain”. My dad was a smoker until the year I was born. Now, fifty years later, he tells me he still fights the urge to smoke when he smells the stuff.

    But I can’t see how any smoke can be beautiful to a healthy person, and the same goes for ladies’ perfumes. They are all obnoxious. Nobody in my environment smokes or uses perfume, so I enjoy a pretty clean air ordinarily, thank you very much. But changes to it are never welcome.

    You see, our noses have two main functions: detect whether our food is edible and whether we need to run from danger. Good stuff is not supposed to stink. Same for taste: we have 20+ different receptors for toxic stuff that all report bitter, and only a couple for sweet stuff and just one for amino acids. This tells me that detecting danger is far more important for survival (at least it had been until we stopped evolving) than detecting beneficial stuff. Everything that does not poison you instantly is assumed to beneficial, so no need wasting our brain capacity on it.

    Same can be said about everything that smells. We quit using our noises to hunt for prey a long time ago. You will hear talk about pheromones, but no evidence they play a role in primates. So any “good scents”, if they did exist for our ancestors, are lost on us. We do see some humans develop attraction to certain irritants, but that is abnormal, rather than normal. For most of us, there is no good smell.

    Since I am close enough to wild type, everything that hits my nose alarms me and I have to fight the urge to do something about it. It is very frustrating when the stuff hitting my nose happens to be a false alarm. I don’t want the now rudimentary safety device I possess to be clogged and upset with non-information-carrying signals.

    Telling you all this so you understand that there is a rational base for hostility towards smokers. It’s not like we “simply don’t like them”. Our bodies are wired to reject them. They are a nuisance, and they must realise that.

  4. Well Gene, I guess we’re gotta pull a lot of questionable smelling perfumes off the ladies – what will they say to that? And what about the obnoxious smell of the takeaway food you eat. All that overcooked animal flesh. Tobacco smoke is beautiful, even though I no longer smoke, I LOVE the
    smell of it – Like aeroplane fuel. Get a life Gene. Ex-smokers who become wowers are a pain in the ass too. Tobacco smoke is beautiful – so long as it is good quality Virginia, or Dutch/German cigars. Once upon a time EVERYBODY smoked – it was sheer bliss.

  5. Cigarette smoke leaves what is, to many, an unpleasant odor. Being the performer and the host of the evening, they can ban cigarette smoking if they please regardless of actual effects..

  6. Whether or not there is proven harm from smoke, it is obnoxious. And in that, there is harm. If a man is exposed to an irritant he can’t control and has no escape from, he ends up killing himself with the toxic stuff his own body generates. Even worse in the case of cigarette smoke because its production is deliberate and thus avoidable. Knowing that causes anger, and anger suppression has a health cost. It can’t be good.

  7. Oooh. I smelled cigarette smoke and I’m going to die. Always looking for something to be intolerant of and for which enough people will think more of you for your intolerance.

    There’s quite a bit of that from musicians. I saw a bluegrass band at an outdoor festival complain to people down in front. And they get high while at least one of them smokes.

  8. I can’t believe I am actually going to side with Madonna (thought this would never happen) but having grown up around smokers I can’t breath around them (for some reason cigar smoke not only doesn’t bother me but I smoke one about once a month). Having said that; she’s an idiot if she thinks that she can get cancer from second hand smoke.

  9. Ah … I really miss the wonderful smell of my Senior Service, Sobranie and Luckies .. if only people had known the benefits and the (no) drawbacks…

  10. It is perfectly acceptable for Madonna to require no smoking at her concert venues. A no smoking requirement is almost certainly in her contract. Performers frequently specify requirements in great detail. You want a big star the play a gig for you? You’re going to pay them well and supply all of the picky stuff and conditions they ask for. That’s just the way it is.

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