Smoking etiquette


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Tommy. S. Watson

Guest
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
 
Dec 7, 2000
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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.

Daniel.

PS. Welcome aboard.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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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.
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Paul Rogers

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Nov 30, 2000
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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!).
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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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

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Nov 30, 2000
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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.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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No, Paul, I'm sure it's your turn. I bought a round in 1979. Don't say you've forgotten - it was in all the papers and on BBC Newsnight.
 

Paul Rogers

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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."
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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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.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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But credit where due, Paul - you did pay for the food also. Paxo tells me he enjoyed his crisp so much he could have eaten another.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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www.titanicology.com
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.
 
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sashka pozzetti

Guest
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?
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Back in 1604, none other than King James I described smoking as "a custom loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs, and in the black stinking fume thereof, nearest resembling the horrible Stigian smoke of the pit that is bottomless." He wasn't far wrong. What a pity we didn't listen! The first supporting views from the medical profession came not long after, but these were never more than suggestions that smoking might be harmful. Believe it or not, it was in 1912 that an American surgeon was the first to suggest a possible link with lung cancer. But it would be another 40 years before scientific evidence was available to establish the connection beyond much doubt.

Until then, few people believed that smoking was a major health risk, though everybody was familiar with the reality of the 'smoker's cough' and it was generally agreed that tobacco was potentially harmful to children; in England in 1912 it was illegal to sell it to a 'young person' under the age of 16. But a few years later during the Great War vast quantities of cigarettes were officially supplied as part of soldiers' rations, and even in military hospitals they were readily available as a morale booster.
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May 27, 2007
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Could women smoke on Titanic in 1912. In some states in the USA it was illegal for women to smoke I believe and was also considered unladylike as well. Just curious. So could they or did they have to sneak around?
 
May 27, 2007
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Thanks Bob,

We Americans sure were a bunch of prudes back in the day. Not letting women smoke. Funny story my great-grandmother caught my dad smoking when he was 13 years old and said to him "I'm gonna do with you what my dad did with me when he caught me smoking." She made him smoke to packs of non filter cigarettes in a row non stop. It was four years before my dad ever touched a cigarette again. Smoking wasn't considered bad when my great-grandmother was young so I guess that as she was a woman or girl smoking was what upset her father.
 
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sashka pozzetti

Guest
I have a lovely postcard of Lily Elsie in a Lucile gown, smoking a cigarette. I wonder if there was different etiquette about women smoking in different classes. ?
 

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