Smoke-free Prague

This may come as a surprise to anyone who knows me: I sincerely hope that the Czech Republic adopts a proposed law that will ban smoking in public places. And I hope that this law is effective at the beginning of next year, which, according to various sources, may be the case.

No Smoking
(Possibly) coming soon to a Czech pub near you: No Smoking

I love to smoke. From that first cigarette with my morning kickstart cup of coffee, through breaks during a day of intense translating, to the sidekick butts that accompany half-litre after half-litre of the crisp cold liquid gold that is Czech beer. And as much as I enjoy performing, I tend to chain-smoke before and after shows – blame it on pre-gig jitters then chalk it up to rewards for a job well done (or, at least, survival).

But it doesn’t stop there. I’ve been trying real hard not to puff away during the ten-minute walk from my flat to the Blackbridge (Cerny Most) metro station. Easy to do in cold weather, but since the temperature has been on the rise and the skies have been clear, chewing gum just doesn’t cut it. And the gym hasn’t really reinforced my resistance to cancer sticks – at this time I’m already two smokes into the day despite the fact that I plan on going to the gym in a couple of hours.

Reading or listening to discussions on the issue tend to be on par with watching a dog chase its tail. Interesting for a while, but then they get dizzying, then they get boring, possibly even annoying.

Non-smokers have a growing number of options in Prague when it comes to restaurants and cafes that are either completely smoke-free, or at least have a non-smoking section. However, I am not aware of any such pubs, and most of the smoke-free restaurants (not including fast-food joints) cater solely to vegetarians.

It’s most likely that waiting for the ban is just another excuse to hold on to my nic-sticks for another year. However, when I’m dining out, I find myself getting irritated by smoke in restaurants. For the past month, I’ve managed to do without my post-meal smoke, so that’s a start, I guess.

Mar 21, 10:41 (Filed under: , Prague pubs, restaurants and cafes )

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  1. Even when I did smoke, I found it increasingly difficult to enjoy going out – to add to the matters you mention, venues in this city have lousy ventilation. No matter how large the club, I still come home from gigs (and even dinner in a restaurant) smelling as if I’ve been smoking too.

    Congrats on all your efforts to cut out the rakovnikovy tycinky. (Two words: Allen Carr – he’s the man.)
    Bishop    Mar 21, 11:40    #
  2. Thanks, but I wouldn’t be so quick to congratulate me – I’m not quite over the stix yet.

    I’ve heard of Allen Carr, but I’m mighty skeptical – I firmly believe that it comes down to a personal decision not to smoke. No gum, patch, or pro is going to do it for you. Both my parents quit completely and cold turkey, as did my girlfriend.

    I’m a realist about this – I sincerely doubt I’ll ever give them up entirely, which, I suppose is the battle lost right there. But I would like to at least cut back, and not leave a dining/drinking/dancing/coffee-sipping establishment with that smokestink clinging to my clothes.
    Patrick    Mar 21, 14:44    #
  3. I find that a little expert reinforcement went a long way, but I was ready to give them up for good. I found I was all or nothing about it and Carr’s approach worked towards that.
    Bishop    Mar 21, 15:48    #
  4. I’ve downloaded some really disturbing pictures from the web that illustrates the effect smoking can have. These include a man’s mouth with cancerous growths pouring out of it, and a guy with all four limbs amputated. He is still smoking with the help of a coathanger. I’ve started using these images as wallpaper on my computer so I’m seeing them everyday. It’s unpleasant but the method is working. The images make me feel sick. Once I know the addiction has passed (give it 6 months), I’ll take them off.
    Caz    Mar 27, 22:59    #
  5. Thanks for the tip, Carron. In Canada we’ve got very graphic warnings about the dangers of cigarette smoke on the packs themselves. I wouldn’t be averse to seeing them here in the CR.

    Mind you, I feel rather hypocritical making such comments – due to work and social factors, my smoke consumption has recently peaked again…
    Patrick    Mar 28, 01:22    #