I guess I am really naive, but I have to say I was surprised when I parked behind restaurants and saw staff (including chefs) puffing away out behind the kitchen/dining room. I would EXPECT that they'd wash their hands before returning to work. It's news to me that sometimes waitstaff apparently aren't required to.
I, too, am old enough to remember when smoking in restaurants as well as bars was the norm. My mother was a smoker, and that was part of her routine. Even as a child, I hated it. She smoked in the car, too. When we went on roadtrips, I always felt carsick, and never had breakfast in the motel restaurant because I always felt nauseated as soon as we walked in. When I was a senior in high school, and went to the Coliseum in Indianapolis early one morning for my graduation rehearsal, some of my classmates were smoking in the foyer. The smoke hit me - WHAM! - and I finally realized that my nausea all those years was caused by a combination of active and stale cigarette smoke, both in the car and in the restaurant. I guess I was better able to tolerate it later in the day, as I don't recall a similar problem at dinnertime.
The thing that astonishes me, in retrospect, is that smoking was allowed on airplanes for so many years. No matter where you sat, you couldn't avoid the smoke, especially on long international flights.
In Britain, up until a few years ago, smoking was allowed in cinemas, in designated smoking sections.
<message edited by rumaki on Wed, 10/26/11 11:45 AM>