Is It Possible to Compare \"Peanut Free\" to \"Smoke Free\"

Posted on: Wed, 07/23/2003 - 1:36pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Okay, here's something that we've talked about before here when Momma Bear raised the question about how many people were smokers on the board. There was a lot of discussion (and very few smokers), but I was thinking about this to-day for some reason. Please allow that this may actually involve some debate or circular thinking because I'm just kinda throwing thoughts out there.

A lot of people seem to think that having a "peanut free" environment is next to impossible. Even requesting one is considered not okay. Not only people that aren't dealing with PA but people that are.
Now, of course, there are semantics involved as to whether the environment is *truly* "peanut free" or not, just as there will be in my discussion of "smoke free".

I have a peanut/nut free home because I have a PA son. I also have a smoke free home, despite the fact that both DH and I are smokers because both of my children have asthma.

Recently, in Belleville, our city became "smoke free" meaning that you can't smoke in restaurants or other public places. What you can do, if you are a bar patron (which I'm not) is go out on the patio. I experienced the same thing yesterday when I went to a coffee shop. I was able to sit out on the patio and have a cigarette with my coffee because I was outside of the establishment.

If you smoke in any public place that has been declared "smoke free" (as all of the public places have been here in Belleville), you will be fined if caught. Now, I don't get out a lot, but I have yet to see anyone in a coffee shop trying to light up a cigarette in the "smoke free" shop. Why bother?

We, as smokers are ostracized and IMHO we should be. Why? Because it has been proven that we are endangering not only our own health but the health of others.

(Oh, if you do look in the smoking thread, I think I may even have said that comparing "smoke free" and "peanut free" was like comparing apples and oranges, not clear on that, but obviously I'm still thinking about the original question and I also saw a news bulletin for tonight's news somewhere in northern New York State, close to us, that is going "smoke free" at midnight which also got me thinking).

In asking for "smoke free" public places, the health of both adults and children is protected. In asking for "smoke free" bars, the health of solely other adults is concerned.

So why is it so difficult to achieve "peanut free" when we're talking, in schools specifically, about children at risk rather than say adults in bars or adults and children in public places? And the children are at risk of immediate death rather than perhaps getting the assorted diseases related with second-hand smoke.

As river talked about in her original post in her *morals* thread (you can tell I've also been thinking a lot about that particular thread), we are talking about children. Children that are our most vulnerable members of society.

So, if large cities are able to achieve "smoke free" for their whole communities, why are we not able to achieve "peanut free" for certain very specific things that our children do require - i.e., "safe" school, camp, just regular living stuff, nothing extraordinary?

Now here's where I throw somewhat of a curve but not a big one, I don't think. Do I feel ostracized? Yes. Should a child that brings a peanut product into a "peanut free" classroom feel ostracized by having to sit in the office to eat his snack/lunch (as all of Jesse's classmates that brought peanut products had to do this year because of an inept teacher)? No. But they did have to for the sake of the life of my son.

And in saying comparing smoking and eating peanuts is like apples and oranges, is that not true? Or isn't it? Is an addiction the same as a food choice?

Okay, here's the equation I'm going to make although I'm talking about an addiction and I'm talking about a food choice (two very different things, or, again, are they?). If I am not allowed to smoke because I can possibly affect other people's health in the long run, what is so objectionable about asking other people (albeit children, although it's only the children bringing what the adult packed) to not bring peanut products into a classroom, school, playgroup, day camp, whatever for the length of time during the day that they will be sharing time with a PA child. Their food choice can be even more deadly to my child than my cigarette smoking.

I don't know the percentage of smokers in Canada anymore. I know that it is below 50%. I suspect that with the cost of cigarettes rising in Ontario within the last six months to over $8.00 a pack (yes, Americans, please read that, $8.00 a pack and we're talking Canadian dollars here). So, a minority of people.

And the percentage of PA children in our schools? I think it has been said that it's 1%. I suspect it's higher. Definitely qualifies for a minority though.

OMG, I have finally raised my first circular thinking post on PA.com. I am NOT poking fun at anyone who has always raised this type of question. I am just totally surprised and shocked that I was even able to think of it and get it down in words, hopefully words which make sense and can be understood. And dog gone it, it's a debate type question, a *morals* question, and I believe a *circular thinking* question. (The Invasion of the Body Snatchers has occurred [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img] or simply another question has popped into my addled brain that I have been struggling with to-day).

So, what do you think? Barking up the wrong tree?

Oh, and to add to that, both tobacco and peanuts are huge industries backed by a lot of dollars and a lot of lobbyists. One is a filthy habit. One is a food choice.

Many thanks and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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Posted on: Wed, 07/23/2003 - 1:55pm
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Quote:Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
[b]
In asking for "smoke free" public places, the health of both adults and children is protected. In asking for "smoke free" bars, the health of solely other adults is concerned.
[/b]
I just wanted to clarify the reasoning behind going smoke-free in adult establishments is for the employees - the waitstaff and bartenders - who are exposed to smoke where very few other workers are anymore. So, yes it's an adult protection, but the basis of it is workplace safety, not the safety of the bar patrons. Ironically, many of the waitstaff and bartenders smoke...
Many places (darthcleo's YMCA; Cayley's entire school, etc.) are "peanut free" and people just comply with that directive. IMO, it's been easier to argue for peanut-free than smoke-free here in Canada - does anyone agree or disagree with that statement? I mean, I've been affected by both "rulings" - first of all my son's school went peanut-free before Cayley was even diagnosed, and then I quit smoking because I didn't smoke in my house and I couldn't smoke in any establishments outside my house so I figured what's the point?
Yet the peanut-free arguments have, for the most part I think, died off in Canada - yet the smoke-free arguments still rage, especially because it impacts the bottom line of many establishments. The bottom line is the one reason why the debate still rages in the US, I am sure of it. The one difference between the two debates is that it doesn't matter which school goes peanut-free - kids must attend the school in their cachement area or apply for an exception. But it DOES matter if one bar goes smoke-free and the other doesn't - it's all or nothing.
Interesting question...
Carolyn

Posted on: Wed, 07/23/2003 - 1:59pm
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OK, Alt to M,
[i]in through the nose, out through the mouth[/i] this type of thinking gets easier with time. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
Right off the top of my head?
First, I have to think in terms of "Defineable". I gotta know [i]what[/i] is being asked. What do I mean when I ask for "Peanut Free".? I gotta be able to write it down.
Second, I now have to think in terms of "Achievable". Can I accomplish what I wrote down. How can I accomplish this. How can I relay this information to parties involved that are [i]essential[/i] in achieving my definition.
Third, I'm thinking: "Enforceable". If, for one reason or another, compliance is lacking, what "Motivation" is there to create purposeful change?
Just off the top of my head.
(I am so excited!!!----And no, I'm not being sarcastic) In honor of linear thinkers, I was hoping persons may be willing to post their 504 plans, or the like in a thread and then update those threads periodically with events related [i]specifically[/i] to the implementation of those plans. Specifically. Little blips even related specifically to those plans and how they are working out. Right from the development of the plans and any updates to them.
Thoughts?
MommaBear [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
PS: I have some more to add but will return later to do it.
edited again to add: When I ask "Thoughts"? it is in relation to Defineable, Achievable, Enforceable and these 3 in relation to "Smoke Free" and "Peanut Free". Not the "504" thingie. The "504" thingie was just sort of a thing that entered my mind while posting. Threw it in there as a token of my appreciation for the "circular thinking" gesture (so in a way [i]connected[/i] to this post. I don't really expect it to materialize in this post, since past that connection, it is somewhat unrelated. Although some thingies I throw in posts aren't. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
[This message has been edited by MommaBear (edited July 24, 2003).]

Posted on: Wed, 07/23/2003 - 2:01pm
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Joined: 04/14/2003 - 09:00

You raise a lot of good points and are making me have to think. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] I think there are similarities and differences. Cigarette smoke is bad for everyone. PNs are not. I think this is the big difference. No one will dispute that smoking is bad for you, we all know this. As for PNs, although it can be fatal for an allergic person, a good majority of people have pb as a healthy staple in their lives.
Society will frown upon a smoker and smile upon child enjoying a pb/j sandwich. For the most part there is nothing wrong with this picture unless this child is mine or yours or another pa child or near a pa child.
Where it comes down to similarities with pn-free/smoke-free is that I believe if you have an area where pn is not allowed (peanut-free)you might be able to feel that for the most part this will be honored and have a somewhat "safe" zone. As far as smoke-free areas the same applies, although I would think it would be much easier to know if a smoke free area was being violated by the smell of the smoke and a may contain could easily be brought in to a peanut free area without detection.
Just my thoughts [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Maggie

Posted on: Wed, 07/23/2003 - 2:10pm
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Joined: 04/14/2003 - 09:00

In my area many places went "smoke-free" many years ago. At the time that this was all starting there were many debates and upset smokers. You would drive by any office building and there were clusters of people outside having their break. I guess over time we have become accustomed to this change. Public buildings for the most part are smoke free. This was a big change, but was quite a while ago now and I think most people are used to it, might not like it, but are used to the fact that they cannot smoke in many places.
Maybe with some time and a lot of education we may be able to look back and say, "Do you remember when kids used to bring pb/j sandwiches to school?" [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Maggie
[This message has been edited by maggie0303 (edited July 24, 2003).]

Posted on: Wed, 07/23/2003 - 2:50pm
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I edited my last post to clarify what I was asking for "Thoughts" on. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Wed, 07/23/2003 - 3:07pm
MommaBear's picture
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Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:
[b]"And dog gone it, it's a debate type question, a *morals* question, and I believe a *circular thinking* question.[/b]
Hoping to see opinions related to all these topics [i]plus[/i] any legal aspects? (Although personally, it is not the only aspect I view it from.)
I'm off to think about questions posted by "Alt to M" in the original post.

Posted on: Wed, 07/23/2003 - 3:42pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Wow, I may have gotten myself over my head with this question but I'll try my best. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Cayley's Mom, great post and I do have several questions, as I probably do of each person that did post (and Momma Bear also added her questions as well).
And being the linear thinker I am (which I will not repeat in this thread, I promise, because then it comes off as sounding sarcastic which I do not mean to be), I am going to have to whittle away at each question by OMG, posting post after post after post.
(This really stands as a warning that this may not be a thread suited to everyone and that there may be a lot of muck to wade through).
Cayley's Mom, you posted:-
Many places (darthcleo's YMCA; Cayley's entire school, etc.) are "peanut free" and people just comply with that directive.
Okay, in darthcleo's YMCA case, do people "just" comply with that directive? Or have there been hurdles? Have there been hoops that had to be jumped through to finally get the status/label of "peanut free"?
In Cayley's entire school, do people "just" comply with that directive? Has it really been that easy?
Speaking only from my personal experience with Jesse's schools, I have not found, especially this last year that people "just comply with that directive". What I found, to my horror, after Jesse successfully having a "peanut free" classroom for three years and little or no backlash from the communities (both in Stayner and Belleville, so it's not a Belleville specific problem this last year), was that this year people did not "just comply with that directive". People were up in arms. Parents called the superintendent of the school board. Parents chose to continue to send "may contain" products (not supposed to be allowed into the "peanut free" classroom as per Jesse's written school plan) right up until the last day of school. And children, who in Grade 2, for the most part can read (although I'm not clear I would expect a 7 year old to read labels unless they had to like our children) could see that they had things that said "may contain" on them (again, that's a little much for me to say because ultimately it was the parent buying and the parent packing - at an older age I would expect/assume that the child might say something to the parent about how certain foods were not okay to send into the "peanut free" classroom). The whole school year, as posted about extensively here, was basically about non-PA parents that did not want/care or comply with this directive (i.e., "peanut free" classroom).
On the other hand, in smoke free environments, I do see smokers complying with the directive (okay, and I'm getting mixed again - they may actually comply but not going into the smoke free environment - that's what I do). But if they do enter the smoke free environment, I have not seen one person NOT comply with that (but then there's the patio thing I spoke of where I could smoke at the coffee shop and people can smoke if they go to bars).
That was the one question I had for you right off the top of my head, Cayley's Mom. I am sure there are more, but another thought just popped into my head.
When a town/city goes "smoke free" in it's public places (bars, restaurants, etc.) it does affect business. I'm not clear if it affects business for a period of time and then smokers get over it and start patronizing the bar, restaurant, etc. again. Perhaps there are stats somewhere to be found on this. But initially, certainly, it does affect business. Business is a pretty important thing in a town/city. What happens when businesses fail, etc. well, we don't need to go there (unemployment, etc.).
Yet, towns and cities are going "smoke free".
Not just Canadian ones. As I say, one of the reasons why I posted this question was because of another city in America I saw tonight on the news going "smoke free".
But aside from the logical loss of business for two snacks and one lunch a day at a school, there is no business to be lost by having a "peanut free" classroom or school.
Nope, probably not true or we wouldn't see Nestle and their "safe" line of chocolate bars thriving and Chapman's ice cream doing so well (but then, that's not just for school hours, is it?).
I think you can kinda see where I'm coming from.
The dollars that would be lost by local businesses becoming "smoke free" would be much greater than the dollars lost to peanut product manufacturers because a whole school board district could not have peanut products for two snacks and one lunch throughout the school year.
You know what? I may have opened a can of worms here that I can't even continue to post in because, as I've posted on the board this week, I'm just beginning to understand "circular thinking" and the postings of "circular thinkers". I'm not quite there yet. So, I may not be able to participate in the discussion before I'm worn out and banging my head against the wall. However, the question came to me regardless and I thought, okay, raise it, see what happens.
I have to go to bed.
Many thanks and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Wed, 07/23/2003 - 10:38pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Cindy, when you need a break - take one. When you feel like joining in - do it. And, this is not the first time you've raised a topic so *open* to circular discussion - but this time you saw that it was. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
So much has been said here, so I'm only commenting on a bit of it. Let's see - the financial impact sounds like a good place to start.
Here we've been *smoke-free* for quite a while. Examples of people ignoring the ban are usually forgetfulness. e.g. Someone walks in to a coffee shop with a lit cigarette, realizes their error and walks out. Very rarely will argue to be served while holding the cig, but I've only seen that once.
(Did I say I was talking about finance?) I watched as coffee shop after coffe shop went out of business. A lot have. The ones that managed to keep their head above water have either *drive through windows* (like Tim Horton's) or *fish bowls*. Now, fish bowls are very expensive - they have to have a ventilation system that won't recirculate the air into the regular part of the coffee shop, and they have to be properly sealed, and they have to have an emergency exit. That costs a lot of money. Now, the city has decided - fish bowl or not, everyplace will be smoke-free. (Totally unfare to business people who thought they would be able to stay in business long enough to cover the expenses they went to.)
Is there an expense for a business to be peanut-free? Ask Alex. He is trying to keep Philly Swirl peanut free, [b]but[/b] will he be able to (forever) if his choice becomes include peanuts or close down?
The following might be just MHO (I think I read it somewhere, but I'm not sure. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] ):
Nestle was well known for being *allergy aware* *peanut-free* etc. They gave lots of notice that peanuts were going to be run in all plants - therefore - there would no longer be a large supply of peanut-free candy in Canada. The pa-community was up in arms. I received a letter from Nestle, and one from Medic-Alert. We all contacted Nestle, but I think that's not the only reason they decided to remain peanut-free. They had helped produce literature and a film about food allergies (maybe specific to peanut allergy I'm not sure), and their name and logo were all over it. They would have to pay to re-do everything. This became which is more expensive? So, I do believe it was a large part of the deciding factor (though not the only one).
A company producing peanut free (and advertising as such) has to get written guarantees from their suppliers (make sure chocolate it peanut free). Does this mean they have to pay more for their products? (just asking, but I would assume it does some times)
OK - so I've compared a smoke-free area to a peanut-free products. Not exactly apples and oranges -- more like apples and cabbages.
However, I'm trying to do a quick run of the boards, then, I'm really busy. I'll try to pop back in later.

Posted on: Thu, 07/24/2003 - 12:19am
MommaBear's picture
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Alt to M,
I want to thank you again for raising this thread. Because, quite honestly, I think if it came from me, it wouldn't be received this well. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] It's a place "I want to go". Mainly since I'm still struggling with it myself.
(I still want to answer your questions, but have some items I would like to see integrated early on in this discussion as input will better help me provide that answer.)
"Smoke Free". Does it basically mean "No Smoking"? Pretty easy to define, if it does. I have to ask myself this question: Does it also mean if the "No Smoking" section is next to the "Smoking section" and smoke just happens to waft over, it is considered a natural consequence and therefore uncontrollable? Or does it mean an airtight area completely devoid of tobbacco products and their products of combustion?
Could say the same of the term "Peanut Free". That the PA parent doesn't necessarily mean what the term literally implies. But do our actions as PA parents necessarily speak that thought?
Then, I guess I have to wonder about "risks" involved if a violation occurs. Risks to "non-smokers" as well as smokers themselves. (Regarding "Smoke Free" or "Peanut Free")Relatively and Literally Speaking.
No doubt, financial considerations are there. Smoking related illnesses take up countless healthcare dollars.
MommaBear

Posted on: Thu, 07/24/2003 - 12:22am
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adding to my previous post:
No doubt, financial considerations are there. Smoking related illnesses take up countless healthcare dollars. On Both Sides. You gotta ask yourself: "Is smoking harmful to EVERYONE?"

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