Smoking is allowed

To begin with, I must say that I do not smoke and that I do not like the smell of tobacco, period. I have nothing more to add. But on the other hand I have to say that certain smokers seem attractive to me just because of the attitude they have and the style of smoking. I refer to those who have a personal savoir faire and who take the time to enjoy their addiction with elegance and pride. As I write it, Don Draper, Alain Delon or Marlene Dietrich come to mind.

However, I get disgusted and reject people who get into the smoking cabins of airports. These specimens, for me, satiate their addiction in a desperate way, as people unable to control themselves, because, let’s face it, nobody dies for not entering a space enclosed full of smoke.


Tobacco and food hygiene are poorly associated, but not dissociated. We all know that to be a cook, kitchen assistant, pastry chef or waiter, it is not a requirement not to be a smoker, on the contrary, in this sector many are. Also, I do not know why many restaurant kitchens overlook streets or dark alleys, where food arrives and take out the garbage (a poor combination). That entrance and exit is often also the place where many cooks and kitchen assistants go out to smoke.


When I had to walk through these streets and see the workers who come out to pause and take their stuffs, I see faces in twilight and crestfallen, as if hiding in tired bodies and avoiding the eyes of potential bystanders. This scene always leaves me with a feeling of distrust and a question in my head: Was that the person, with the attitude of a criminal, who prepared the delicate carpaccio of tuna with the asparagus cojonudos of Segovia and the homemade mayonnaise, which I just ate ?

Noooooooooooo !!!

Irving Penn Portaits: Barnet Newman

Other cases are those that cross the street to not be associated with the place where they work, but you recognize them because they totally disengage with the business in front, and because they wear the uniform with the embroidered insignia (logo) of the place where they work.


In Marburg, now my adopted city, I frequent a restaurant where the waiters, and those who work in the kitchen, go out to smoke in front of the premises. At the entrance they even have a small high table where they can be seen pausing with their cigarettes, often with a respective glass of wine. All without exception, are allowed to stay and use that place for that specific purpose. They are recognized as workers by clothing, but if not, judging by their presence, they would pass perfectly by hosts or guests of a party. Many customers who go out to smoke are seen talking to them in a tone of one to one. There is no darkness, no shame, no weird movie sets.


Giving your place, feeling good about yourself, with what you do reflects a security that others perceive and that stimulates communication, as well as establishing the tone of the relationship, between the interlocutors. Many times by hiding something inappropriate, an image of inferiority or shame is projected that detracts respect and credibility from the place, brand or business. By this I mean that the right attitude fits in all places, does not offend anyone and does not create distance between people, just the opposite.

I suggest to my clients that when they hire someone, they take into account their attitude and their habits, and that they value that they are self-confident, that they know how to adapt to each situation, and as appropriate, whether they smoke or not, and if it does that it has presence or style.


What do you think? Have you lived an experience something that has to do with this topic?

Until next time!

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