THINGS TO EMPOWER NONSMOKERS
Whenever you are in a public place with unbearable smoke pollution count the smokers in that place. You will be surprised at how few smokers it takes to pollute a room. You will also be surprised at how many nonsmokers there really are. Smoke has been used for centuries to help create illusions. Many people believe there are more smokers than nonsmokers because smoke is so pervasive in many cultures. The most empowering knowledge a nonsmoker can be given is to know that we are a huge majority. If we speak up we will get what we want. The biggest problem with tobacco smoke pollution is the unwillingness of nonsmokers to say it is unacceptable.
The biggest problem with tobacco smoke pollution in subways, trains and on platforms and in stations is enforcement of existing no smoking areas. We must make certain demands in order to solve this problem. There should be huge signs at the entrances to all nonsmoking areas that say, "Absolutely no smoking beyond this point!" There should be a huge ashtray to make it clear that cigarettes should be extinguished at this point. Within no smoking areas there should be no ashtrays, no tobacco advertising, no tobacco shops, plenty of no-smoking signs, fines for smoking in these areas, and people to impose the fines and to enforce the ban. There should be no smoking allowed on train platforms even when they are outside! This is unfair to nonsmoking passengers who are forced to wait in this area. Smoking on platforms also makes it more possible to get into a train or subway car with a lighted cigarette. Employees who refuse to enforce the smoking ban because they are themselves smokers should be reprimanded or fired.
In Germany secondhand smoke is called passive smoke. It is a mistake to give such benign term to such a destructive substance. We should use the terms secondhand smoke or tobacco smoke pollution. When describing the victims of tobacco smoke pollution we should refer to them as involuntary smokers, not passive smokers! Nonsmokers need to be less passive if we want to stop tobacco smoke pollution.
The nonsmoking movement in Germany is too invisible. We need people willing to go out into the streets and post notices that nonsmokers can see. When I have done this I have been overwhelmed by the positive support I have received from other nonsmokers. None of them had ever heard of an organized effort to change the cultural acceptance of tobacco smoke pollution in Germany. If we are going to institute change we need to reach people, not wait for them to find us. Please make signs from the examples in the documents entitled "Poster Suggestions" and post them in conspicuous public places. Please include the Nichtraucher Revolution Deutschland web address at the bottom of each sign.