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Smoke Free Gaming and Living; The Time Has Come

by Roy Winston |  Published: Oct 05, '09

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I was invited to a poker game last week and I asked, as I usually do, who is playing, what are the stakes, what games are being played, and is it a non-smoking game? Now I am going to do my next blog on what to think about in house games, but for the moment I’m going off on a bit of a tirade on a topic I feel very strongly about. So if it’s poker you want, tune in next time.

I have recently returned to living in New York City full time having moved away in 1988 after finishing my internship in Surgery. Although I have spent a lot of time here over the past 20 years, visiting and living somewhere are different. As a resident, I have an issue, which, I believe bears action. Walking around Manhattan is one of the truly great things about this city. It is one of the few cities in the world that you can actually walk most places you go with ease. What has now made that walk somewhat less inviting, is the number of people outside almost every large commercial building and storefront, on a smoke break. The dangers of second hand smoke are no longer a debatable issue. In a recent study by James Lightwood of the University of California-San Francisco in the Journal of Circulation, heart attack rates dropped 17% in the first year and as much as 36% after 3 years when smoking bans are put in place. Even many of the outdoor public walkways in Hong Kong are now smoke free. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, long-term exposure to secondhand smoke can raise heart disease rates in adult nonsmokers by 25 percent to 30 percent. Second hand smoke kills an estimated 46,000 Americans according to the CDC every year from heart disease alone. This is without the pulmonary disease also caused my second hand smoke.

It wasn’t long ago that smoking was permitted on commercial airlines, and in bars and restaurants. The rights of smokers where always touted as the reason for allowing it to continue. Owners of bars and restaurants were under the impression that their business would suffer. Somehow we moved forward and now smoke-free flying and dining is the norm.

Enough is enough, if people want to pollute their own space at home without impacting anyone else, that’s one thing, but for the rest of us non-smokers to have to walk through clouds of smoke along the New York City streets has to stop. The cigarette manufacturers have run a campaign to addict as many people as possible in what is the single most preventable health risk, not to mention costing approximately 100 billion dollars per year. They target children and have perpetrated what must be the most heinous corporate conspiracy ever. More Americans have died as a direct result of cigarettes than all the wars and terrorist attacks combined, truly astonishing. Here is a tangible healthcare issue, with little or no cost that will improve quality of life, save lives and money. I hope the time has come for what should be a simple step forward.

Don’t even get me started on smoke free gaming, that’s a no brainer. Nevada is the only state in the nation, and perhaps only place in the world that has recently relaxed anti-smoking laws. The time for a smoke free world is now; smoking should only be permitted in designated areas that are isolated from the rest of us.

Roy Winston finished 16th in 2007 Card Player, Player of the Year race. He won the WPT Borgata Poker Open and finished the year with well over $2 million in tournament poker winnings. Roy plays online exclusively at Full Tilt. For more information on Roy Winston, you can visit his website: www.oraclepoker.net or send an email to: winstonpoker@yahoo.com with your questions or comments. The contents presented herein on this blog are purely the opinions of Roy Winston, and are not intended to reflect or promote the opinions of any other person, group, or entity. If you like what I write than thanks for reading, and if not well, thanks anyway.

 
Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of CardPlayer.com.
 

Comments

pa16
8 years ago

The last time I checked you can still legally purchase cigarettes in the US. I'm ok with losing my right to smoke indoors at restaurants/bars/clubs/casinos/etc. Now you're saying we shouldn't be allowed to smoke outdoors either? What is your solution to that then?

 
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danmac78
8 years ago

Even the American Heart Association says that there is no evidence second hand smoke increases the risks of heart disease. I don't mind you getting on your soap box but at least get some accurate information "doctor".

PS... I am smoke free and advocate smoke free environments indoors but believe the choice should be up to the business owner.

 
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thegreatwhitedope
8 years ago

Screw you Roy. I can live with indoor smoking bans, but now you want bans on smoking OUTDOORS? That's just ridiculous. Indoors you can argue that you're in an enclosed area with harmful smoke, but outside the smoke isn't trapped in your immediate vicinity (heat rises).

 
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rigac27
8 years ago

Well in that case since I ride a bicycle to work I think they should have designated areas for people who drive cars around away from the rest of us. It has been proven that vehicles pollute your air and mine way more than second hand smoke. Land of the free to do what we want when we want, whether it be online poker, live poker, smoking, or eating fast food so we can become the fattest folks on the planet.

 
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7718billy
8 years ago

The guy who made the point about automobiles is dead on. You walk around NYC and your health concern is the second hand smoke?

Lets ban internet poker and casinos and file a multi-billion dollar law suit against internet poker sites for targeting minors. After all Full-Tilt uses cartoon caricatures the same as RJR used them. But I guarantee you would argue this point.

 
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brunell0407
8 years ago

Because playing poker online doesn't directly harm our health..? or others? do you think before you post?

and Danmac78, you say the American Heart Association says secondhand smoke Doesn't increase the risk of heart disease?? Please, show me where you have read this... as it is completely false : P

 
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dc_
8 years ago

lol. that is one paranoid pedestrian!

 
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rigac27
8 years ago

brunell0407 its all about doing what you want, smoking poker, gambling, driving, wearing tanktops,eating fast food, wearing improper shoes,swimming in the ocean, don't you understand they all have their downfalls but who are you or anyone in the the united states to deny me my right to do any of of those? if you can't deny me those you can't deny me smoking, driving a car, having certain pets, or any of the above.

Lets focus on the more important issues if we are going to ward off smoking ok. like women and equal rights, but they have womens poker tournaments, and womens soccer and womens pool, and womens tennis. Lets focus and those because they are much bigger than smoking in public. you want communist move your ass to russia. so much bullshit in this world and people worry about smoking outdoors,lmfao grow up and get a life. i worry about all the people collecting welfare and buying beer and ciggarettes and driving beamers, hows is that possible?
fix all the big shit before you worry about this trivial shit.

listen to this shit 2 years ago my buddy made 7400 dollars in a year working and he got 7800 back from earned income credit and other bullshit, that's unreal and should never happen, i didnt mess his life up but since i make 85k a year and get back 9k i am supposed to b ok with it?
and ur worried about smoking,lol grow up and look at the world u live in.

 
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rigac27
8 years ago

This week the House voted 298 to 112 to give the Food and Drug Administration the power to regulate tobacco along with food and drugs. Ted Kennedy will soon introduce his version of the bill in the Senate. The White House supports the bill: "Tobacco use is a major factor driving the increasing costs of health care in the U.S.," said a statement by the Office of Management and Budget, "and accounts for over a hundred billion dollars annually in financial costs to the economy."

here is what u said--The cigarette manufacturers have run a campaign to addict as many people as possible in what is the single most preventable health risk, not to mention costing approximately 100 billion dollars per year.

but here is what i found-Really Fat People Costing U.S. Economy $117 Billion A Year

u said single most preventive so i guess people cant control what they eat? i can go copy shit too from other sites. i think eating costs more as my numbers state that fact, any questions?

 
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seamarfan269
8 years ago

Smoked for 14 years. Quit for 18 months now. Not to sound too corny but, if i had one wish for the world it would be to rid the planet of cigarettes/cigars/pipes. For those that argue "it's your right to smoke, etc"...i hear ya. I used to feel the same way. I made all the excuses why i smoked. You are hooked on NICOTINE and it's gonna take an act of GOD to get you to quit. I applaud Roy (this time, lol) for wanting to get rid of the 2nd hand smoke and for writing about something so sensitive it was gtd. to get back hate-mail. Keep em talkin Roy!!! SmokeFree World!!!! Nuff Said.

 
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diamondgirl1954
8 years ago

I very much agree with Roy. We all have a right to be able to breath smoke free air...inside and out. Everyone knows that second hand smoke is harmful to your health. I shouldnt have to breath someone's cigarette smoke walking down a public sidewalk.

 
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njrich520
8 years ago

There are two sides to every street.
make one smoking and the other non-smoking.
simple lol.

 
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trigs
8 years ago

it's always a touchy subject when someone wants to "limit" people's "liberties" as in this case. i, for one, strongly agree that people should be able to do pretty much whatever they as long as they are NOT HARMING OTHERS (a large and important stipulation in my opinion). second hand smoke does harm others. i don't think anyone can deny that.

however, not allowing people to smoke outside is a little overboard. if you are going to ban smoking outside, then there must be rooms or locations built everywhere for smokers to use. otherwise it is really taking away their choice to smoke.

once people are granted a "right" to do something it is almost impossible to take that "right" away because it is seen as stealing their freedom or liberty. just consider the NRA for example.

very touchy subject. do i agree with roy? yeah people shouldn't smoke because it does harm non-smokers. do i think smoking should be banned from outside? sure, if smokers are given a place to smoke instead of outside. will smokers be given a place? highly unlikely imho.

 
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mtfr56
8 years ago

I'd say a couple of things. First, if everyone quit smoking, almost every state would be broke since they tax the heck out it. Second, if you're going to go off on this, how about sharing your thoughts one what will be the greatest challenge to this country, obesity. It is driving up health care costs like crazy and there are no taxes to discourage the lifestyle nor provide the government with a way to pay for the costs of those without insurance.

And is it fair for those of us in good health to be paying the same premiums as obese people, since they incur health care costs at a much higher rate? If you get insurance, they ask if you smoke. When are they going to start asking how bar stools does it take to hold you off the ground?

 
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hithenose
8 years ago

Wow is all i can say. I have played with you at Bellagio and Borgata, and think you are a nice person, and i thought you were an intelligent person up until I read this article. It is wrong on every level. And this is coming from a non-smoker.

 
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danmac78
8 years ago

brunell0407:

I urge you not to take my word for it, just go to their website and see for yourself. You can also check out the episode of Penn & Teller's tv show called "bull$hit" that deals with all the fallacies and fantasies about second hand smoke. According to them there are NO scientific studies that conclude that second hand smoke is a direct cause of heart disease or even lung cancer.

I love how Roy decides that "The dangers of second hand smoke are no longer a debatable issue." I guess they are no longer debatable because he says so! ROFL!

 
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trigs
8 years ago

okay, maybe i'm just stupid but how can you say second hand smoke is not dangerous? yes i don't have a study to back up my opinion, but let's just use some simply logic here:

first hand smoke is dangerous. studies have obviously showed this. first hand smoke is filtered (somewhat) for the smoker. second hand smoke is exactly the same smoke as first hand smoke but it has not been filtered at all. how is it possible that second hand smoke is not dangerous at all? am i missing something here?

i still disagree with roy's suggested actions however, unless smokers are given alternative places to smoke, which i don't think they will be. so until then, i don't think it's right to outright ban smoking outside.

and just for the record i am a non-smoker.

 
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JohnnyOnTheSpot
8 years ago

"I love how Roy decides that "The dangers of second hand smoke are no longer a debatable issue." I guess they are no longer debatable because he says so! ROFL!"

People think that because they say there isn't, there isn't. It dumbfounds me. I've read about second-hand smoke in Skeptic magazine and also saw that episode of Bullshit. From the sounds of it, no one who has studied it thinks second-hand smoke presents any health risks, only the lobbying groups and the public thinks so, which means the lobbying groups are doing an excellent job shaping public opinion.

Don't get me wrong, I'd still rather people didn't smoke around me, but it's their right to smoke in a private establishment that allows it and outdoors in public places.

 
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thegreatwhitedope
8 years ago

"Ted Kennedy will soon introduce his version of the bill in the Senate. "
That seems unlikely.

And no, seafarman, I'm not addicted to nicotine. You're too quick to generalize. I enjoys cigars as an occasional pleasure, not as a nicotine fix.

 
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seamarfan269
8 years ago

whatever greatwhite!! i lied to myself for 14 years too, like i said earlier. CONGRATS, you smoke a pipe, that makes you a better human being than me. idiot! Nuff Said.

 
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