Smoking etiquette


Tommy. S. Watson

Hello. Just a couple of questions.

1)Were passengers aloud to smoke in any other public rooms other than the Smoking Room? (i.e Dining Saloon, Lounge, Parisian Cafe?)

2)What about young smokers? Was it ok for 15-16yr olds to smoke in 1912? How about consuming alcohol?

Thanks, Tommy

It seems that passengers were allowed to smoke in quite a few places. I'm sure they were free to smoke in their cabins, bathrooms and various public rooms and decks. I know for a fact that people also smoked in the Reception Room on D deck. The port side Verandah Cafe was the smoking side, while the starboard Verandah Cafe was strictly non-smoking ... needless to say that this room was often deserted (at least on Olympic) with the port side (the smoking side) often overcrowded.

I'm sure the B deck Reception Room and Cafe Parisien were also 'smoking-friendly ' areas. I don't know about the dining rooms and restaurants. I think people generally ate there and then retired to a smoking room or lounge (like the reception room) for their cigars/cigarettes and after dinner tea & coffee.


PS. Welcome aboard.
Regarding 'young people', keep in mind that children were thrust into the adult world a lot earlier in those days. In the UK most had left school and started a full time job by the age of 13, and it was only very recently that society had begun to accept that children were especially vulnerable and in need of protection by law. Before changes in the Law which were enforced from 1909, it was perfectly legal to sell tobacco and strong drink to a child of any age who came into a pub or shop with the necessary funds in hand, and that gives some idea of the level of social acceptability of smoking and drinking by those of tender years.

Under the new Laws which were still something of a novelty in 1912, tobacco products could not be sold to a child under 16, unless (and this was a big loophole) there was no reason to suppose that the child intended the weed for personal consumption ("It's for my Dad". "Fair enough"). Persons under the age of 14 were excluded from licensed premises like pubs which were in business mainly or wholly to supply strong drink, but the law did not disapprove of children drinking alcohol elsewhere unless they were under the age of 5. I imagine that the same sort of restrictions (and freedoms) would have applied on board British-registered ships.

Paul Rogers

Re licensed premises and children:

A policeman friend of mine tells me that the licensing laws relating to children only apply inside public houses. For example, I can buy my kids alcohol, and they can legally drink it, in the beer garden of the pub. As far as I am aware, there is no age limit of any sort that applies in this situation.

I remember being left in the car (aged about 12) whilst mum and dad popped in to a pub for a quick half, on the way home from day trips to Brighton. My dad very kindly sneaked out a bottle of Guinness for me. It never did me any harm (hic!).
It's still illegal in the UK for anyone, anywhere (even in the home), to give alcohol to a child under 5.

Paul, we can understand why that performance was necessary when you were 12, but you're 93 now and we think it's about time you came into the pub and bought a round like everyone else.

Paul Rogers

Ah, but I don't look my age, Bob. They won't let me in until I can prove I'm over 18 so I'll have to go home and get my pension book.

How about sneaking me a Guinness for the walk home? I'll owe you one.

Paul Rogers

Below is a transcript of the famous Newsnight interview between Jeremy Paxman and Bob Godfrey. The interview is widely recognised as the critical moment when Mr Godfrey's reputation in the Dog & Duck was irretrievably damaged, leading to a landslide vote by the patrons to finally call it a night and visit the local kebab shop for a large döner with extra chilli sauce.

PAXMAN: "Did you offer to buy a round?"

GODFREY: "I think you'll find the problem here is the definition of the word 'round'.."

PAXMAN: "Did you offer to buy a round?"

GODFREY: " Well, I think we need to nail down exactly what is meant by 'offer'.."

PAXMAN: "Did you offer to buy a round?"

GODFREY: "The question is irrelevant when one considers the opportunities for drinking that existed at the time."

PAXMAN: "yrrrsssss... There's something of the night about that gentleman! Where's Paul? He'll get us one in, even though we'll have to drink it in the car park."
Yes, that's much as I remember it, Paul. Mr Paxman told me privately that you did indeed get one in on that memorable occasion, but added that he and your friends were expecting one each. He was, however, impressed at your dexterity in getting 43 straws into a half pint glass.
Brigitte: The crew were not permitted to smoke while on duty, at sea or in port. When off duty, they were allowed to smoke except in non-smoking areas which included the main decks, near hatches that were not closed, and in most cabins. The officers had their own smoking room on the aft starboard side of the officer's quarters which they used when off duty.

sashka pozzetti

I have been reading a general @hints and Wrinkles' book from the 1930's and there is a section about health which acknowledges the risk of cancer, even then. Did anyone realise the dangers of smoking in 1912. I know there are the usual stories about people thinking it would be beneficial, but was there anyone who even then knew the truth about how bad it is to smoke?