I like to smoke from time to time, but it's always when I'm alone or with like-minded friends. I recall the days when going out for a beer or three meant coming home reeking of smoke--whether or not I smoked--and every place was like that. Here in Seattle, smoking isn't banned in bars, and I hope that never happens. Some places allow it all over; some ban it; and some (like the one I tend to drink in) has a smoking area. Seems to work fine.
While I understand the argument that people who work in bars shouldn't have to be exposed to smoke, it seems to me there are ways to minimize that without banning it entirely. But absolutism is the American way, isn't it?
Where I live, smoking is banned in restaurants and inside most buildings.
Bars are next.
I think it is nonsense to say that people can choose whether to go into smoky bars, or not - since ALL bars are smoky!
I become ill if I am around smoke - get sinus infections - this means I am unable to enter bars, in effect - and I almost never do. This, in turn, means a huge area of normal social life is denied to me. I don't whinge about it, but I think it is pretty unfair. Lots of people become ill if exposed to smoke - I am far from alone.
As for the poor workers! Again, I think it nonsense to say that people can choose whether to work in smoke or not. Youth unemployment is very high here - and these jobs are also a traditional way to work yourself through uni. People are NOT in good positions to say "no".
I also think the personal freedom argument is nonsense. Nobody is saying you cannot smoke. We are saying you cannot smoke in enclosed spaces with other people. Would you use paint and solvents and other dangerous substances in small enclosed spaces and force other people to inhale them, too? Would you strew asbestos fibres about in the same circumstances?
Here, even the smokers seem pretty happy about the restaurant ban, now. I suspect the bar ban will be greeted with the same carry-on as the restaurant one was - doom, bankruptcy and the like - restaurant takings have actually INCREASED here since the ban! I imagine bar takings may well do the same - I will be able to go to bars, for instance!
dlowan- Funny you mention sinus. In my community, the complete ban on smoking in restaurants starts 7/1. I went to my community breakfast, where we sit at a long table. Usually I sit in the middle somewhere, but today I sat at the head.
All of a sudden I felt my nose stopping up, and started to feel very uncomfortable. Then I realized that the smoking section was right behind me. I have not felt that that wonderful since this morning, and have taken more than my usual dose of antihistimines.
Don't talk to me about smoker's rights. Don't my sinuses have any rights???
LOL! Sinuses are not a mega-multi-billion dollar industry - and nobody is aware that they are addicted to healthy sinuses - until they aren't healthy any more!
Sinuses also do not have billions spent on them rendering them sexy and desireable to people!
Let us hear it for the sensual sinus!
D'Art, I was just thinking along those lines myself. I think if people had a few smokes here and there things would be easier to deal with. But for whatever reason, americans are extremists. To smoke (to most) is to smoke heavily. And none more heavily than while drinking.
Right, littlek. It's all or nothing for us! Shades of grey just don't compute...
I think that it is more oral fixation!
Slappy, the snow is a plus for me.
phoenix, I read that as moral fixation!
Craven... Chicago. Snow, smoke everywhere.
Hmmm - we can take drinks outside here - unless it is one of the known major trouble spots, where footpath drinking is banned. I can see Craven's point - people DO like a drink and smoke...
Here, there are often outside areas that are part of the premises, where smoking and drinking occur at the same time - beer gardens and such they are called.
Come to Oz, Craven! Oh - nah - waaaaay too hot.
dlowan - we have some bars with outdoor drinking areas, but the outside is usually only open for 4-5 months of the year.
When I first moved here (Chicago) I was pregnant and it seemed like everyplace downtown was saturated with smoke. Well, bars especially (didn't drink but we were interested in getting together with people and that seemed to entail going to bars), but seems like restaurants, too. Definitely some of the bars+restaurants.
Bah, I spent too many years self-inflicting the smoke, I'm staying out of the smoky bars as much as possible.
Okay, first: while in the military I smoked two and sometimes three packs a day (27 cents a pack, Chesterfield Kings.) after I got out I played a lot of bars. A cigarette was part of my act, I timed jokes around drags, I did the Josh White thing and hung one on the end of one of my guitar's strings so that while I sang "good morning, blues," it would bob along with the music. My right middle and forefinger were yellow with nicotine and I often lit one cigarette from the end of the one I was finishing. I have a picture of me sitting at a desk with this lovely halo of smoke surrounding me. .............
It took me two years to quit. (Dec 31, 1973)
Second: We now know tobacco will kill you. No fooling. The tobacco companies know they make a product that, even if you use it correctly, will kill you AND a minimal amount of exposure to the smoke by even non-smokers will kill them. Smokers cost the American economy immense amounts of money in lost time through illness, lost time through those interminable breaks they must take six times in a eight hour day and (I really hate to say this) the length of time they take to die after contracting a terminal disease. (While some smokers are still in denial regarding the facts, others acknowledge the truth and smoke anyway, but I understand addiction. It's hard.)
Lastly: We like going to restaurants here in the city. We eat out three or more nights a week. (Yes, and order-in about half of the rest of the nights. Not much cooking at our house.) Walking through the smoke in order to get to a table, or worse, waiting in the bar till the table is ready, has caused us to leave several places over the past years. We are really looking forward to going back to some of those to see what they are like without the haze.
So far it has been great. We were at Luxia (pasta and Manhattans) last night and The Chelsea Grill tonight (great burgers!). No smoke at the bar and everyone seemed to be having a good time except the poor duff outside the Chelsea sucking one back in the freezingass cold.
Is there some grumbling? Oh yeah. So what? Now that we know the tobacco companies are in the business of knowingly killing people, we have a duty to say "Not in the places where the public is present." to do otherwise would be the same as allowing some of the patrons in a bar to fire off a couple shots from their .357 every once in awhile.
Thank you for listening.
SATIRE: Old people cost the American economy immense amounts of money in lost time through illness, lost time through those interminable breaks they must take six times in a eight hour day and (I really hate to say this) the length of time they take to die after contracting a terminal disease.
I propose a ban on old people.
We now know living will kill you. No fooling.
I propose a ban on living.
I'm kidding, somewhat, I do recognize that snoking is prejudicial. And that, more importantly, it is prejudicial to ones other than the smoker.
But it is a folly to call smoking a .357. It's more like a BB gun that would take hundreds of thousands of shots to finally kill someone and even then only after many years.
But even with such low probabilities I agree with the right of the nonsmoker to live smoke free. I go to great lengths to afford them this.
But most smokers are not in denial, they recognize the dangers and due to addiction or decision accept the risks. It's a risk they should not share with those who do not assume this risk, but the legislation goes further than that.
It should be a matter of choice. Non-smokersgo to places where they can enjoy smoke free time, and smkers opt for the non-smoker free place.
The laws do not seek to segregate, only to restrict.
My only argument with you Craven is that, here, being a sensitive non-smoker currently stops you from attending ALL bars! Is this fair?