Another day, another smoking ban. Let’s play a game: Which of these is a public place? Restaurant, Shopping Mall, Grocery Store, Dance Club, My House, Your House, Ice Cream Store, Bowling Alley, Law office, Bus Station…
If you answered “none of the above” you’re right! Each is a private establishment. So what, specifically, gives the government the right to ban smoking on this privately-owned property? Each of these places is owned, fully, by a person or a group of people. You may argue that they are public accommodations, but they are only so to the exent that government granted itself the power to classify them as such. You go into these places by choice, and (subject to anti-discrimination rules, of course) at the pleasure of the owner. If you smell cigarette smoke at Kroger, turn around, walk out, and shop at the nasty Piggly Wiggly up the street.
An example: At Atlanta’s Red Chair Bar, you could smoke outdoors, but inside the air was clean. At no time inside this establishment was any patron allowed to smoke. And guess what? It was one of the most popular bars in Atlanta (before they moved, and I haven’t been there since.) They took a lot of market share because of their self-imposed smoking ban. They didn’t need government to wield its considerable power to force them to do it. Just like you have a right to invite whomever you please into your home, businesses have every right to cater to any clientelle they please. And if that clientelle is also one that engages in what is a perfectly legal (albeit disgusting) activity, then so be it.
I’m extremely happy to walk into a bar or restaurant and not have smoke blown in my face. And as happy as I am not to come home stinking of smoke, I’m even happier when I know that people – including the people that own bars, restaurants, shopping centers, office buildings and bowling alleys – are allowed to exercise their right to cater to whomever they wish. Yes, governments have banned smoking in these private places. That does not mean they have a right to.
‘Tis the libertarian in me, I suppose. I absolutely agree with the end result. I just don’t agree with the method, because the method sets a dangerous precedent. If the government can ban smoking in a private establishment, they can ban it anywhere. Smoking always gets a pass because it is extremely unpopular, but do you really want the government regulating what you do in your own home?
But what if the terrorists are plotting to give us all cancer? THEN would you support government bans, Osama lover?
So you’re opposed to fire codes, then?
I mean, really, private businesses are regulated in a zillion different ways. What’s different about this one?
No, but it might be fun to watch smokers being waterboarded. The faint wheeeeeeze coming from underneath the cellophane would be comedy gold!
why stop now?
Smoking bans are as much for workers as for anybody else. Don’t the workers at Krogers deserve to not get cancer? Would it be okay for Krogers to allow asbestos in its buildings in the name of free choice?
Simple: don’t work at an establishment that allows smoking.
Piggly Wiggly: boy does that bring back memories. I miss Atlanta. How much rain did you get last night?
August J. Pollak
Gonzo, I’ll warn you in advance that you’re just going to get the generic “if they don’t want to get cancer, they can just not work there” response. Which is kind of exactly the point to the conflict over this. If you don’t understand why that’s a jackass argument, even if it’s a logical and legally valid one, then the conversation isn’t going to advance anywhere.
August J. Pollak
On preview: And we’re off!
Then we should toture cigarette smokers by adding exotic toxins to cigarettes.
I hate smoky bars and restaurants, but I agree this is a poor place for government intervention. However, while still opposed to such bans, if they happen at the city/county/township level then you get into the local mores issues. If a group of people wants to live somewhere and make sure its smoke free more power to them. I know I hate not being able to open my apartment windows because someone else smokes outside to keep the cigarette smell out of their apartment.
I thought we had a filter to prevent PaulTards from posting? Or has RedState not sent the software to us for that?
Michael, that is the reason so-called libertarians come off as callous little shits. “Don’t work at an establishment that allows smoking.” Right…..what if that place is the main employer in town and there AIN’T any other jobs?
Would you say the same thing if the employer decided to not control for asbestos, exposure to lead, or whatever? Hey, so what if our workers have a higher exposure to cancer-causing materials–Not Our Problem. They can “always go elsewhere.”
The same argument can be used for putting housing on top of toxic waste dumps, not monitoring benzene and other stuff in the water, and similar. After all, the people “should have known better”, right?
Do you feel the same way about government imposing other health laws and worker safety laws on restaurants and other workplaces?
Also, it’s nice to think that the market would produce plenty of smoke-free establishments on its own, but it’s had lots of time to do that and the number of smoke-free bars remains insignificant in any place where the law has left the market alone. There’s some sort of market failure going on there.
Where do you draw the line? Would I have to quit my job if my employer found asbestos insulation in the walls of my office and refused to remove it?
If there’s one phrase that makes me want to slap libertarians, it’s “Well, why don’t they just get another job?”
They might as well tattoo “I’ve got mine, and I can’t understand why you are struggling to feed your family” on their foreheads. Next time you’re in a restaurant, ask the watress why she didn’t go to law school instead, before your food arrives, and see how happy you make her.
I’m in favour of universal smoking bans. If you want cancer, you can chew or sniff or inject nicotine, as long as you aren’t affecting other people.
I don’t know why I commented. Is there some reason to believe that this thread will contain any argument that hasn’t already been made endlessly in the hundreds of blog discussions about this topic? Why not start a nice conversation about how abortion is wrong or gun laws are an outrage?
Not to mention that racial discrimination is illegal at all of these private establishments. You’re aware of this, right? You’d think banning smoking was the first time anyone had tried to regulate private business.
You had me until bus station. What am I supposed to do if I don’t want to get my ticket in a smoke filled lobby ? Stop whining and walk ?
Either outlaw smoking or give up the for the worker argument. If its bad enough that people shouldn’t work around it, people shouldn’t live around it.
Are you saying that we should be smoking aborted fetuses? Or shooting cigarettes out of guns?
Big diff. I know within seconds of entering a smoking estaby that I’m doing so…my nose and eyes say so. But I wouldn’t know until it was too late if the building only had one exit, blocked by fire. They’re not the same thang.
While we’re getting bar laws changed, can we please sneak in some mandy minnys (say, 5 yrs?) for those guilty of obnoxious bar fights?
Somethin’ around here is simple all right.
Christ, I’m one of the last smokers I know and I really don’t get the whining over this. Should the government have the right to control auto emissions? What about during a drought? How dare the government tell me not to water my lawn! Hey, I’m opening a restaurant and I want to serve booze and I’ll be damned if I apply for and dang permit.
if you don’t like the smoking ban, i can only imagine your hatred for other health codes.
There was a lot of hyperbole and exageration during the tobacco wars, second hand smoke was the worst examples. “Smoking makes my clothes smell funny, that’s not a good enough reason to force a ban so I’ll say it also is killing me and you and your unborn child’s nephew.”
Smoking kills smokers.
But what if it’s discovered that exposure to cigarette smoke over time can greatly increase your risk of, say, lung cancer, and thus, is a public health concern? Oh, wait…
Also note: Radioactivity in Cigarette Smoke. No, really:
So you can put down that cigarette now, thanks.
New Mexico recently instituted a complete ban on all indoor smoking, even in bars. I thought that was carrying it too far; New Mexico first required entirely separate areas for smoking and non smokining in all buildings, including bars, which was fine with me as long as the areas were completely unconnected and had separate venting systems.
So this new ban seems to go too far, as I’m sure lots of non-smokers like me would agree (so long as employees had the right to refuse to work in the smoking areas without risking termination) Now let’s carry the “private property I can do whatever the hell I want with it” all the way. What if every grocery store, theater, etc. permitted smoking in all accessible areas?
Smoke literally makes it impossible for me to see (my eyes are very dry and all the eyedrops in the world don’t help) and make my nasal passages swell up (vasomotor rhinitis.) These are incurable conditions and make it impossible for me to be anywhere around cigarette smoke.
I can avoid most places that allow smoking (though in Arizona, for instance, there has in the past been absolutely no separation between smoking and non-smoking areas in many restaurants, especially in small towns where there is little choice of where to go if you need to eat.) I don’t object to restaurants, bars, etc. that provide separate smoking and non-smoking areas so long as the areas are completely separate. Let’s say we eliminate those separate areas. Should I stop shopping at grocery stores? Going out to restaurants? Going to movies?
Smokers remain in the minority. They are the ones producing something that can harm others (and no, I don’t wear perfumes because they also create the same problems for me that smoking does, which is why I can’t stand women who load up on scent.) Don’t tell me that I have to suffer health issues in places I must commonly visit becuase their smoke should be able to take over an entire building.
I’ve said till I’m blue in the face, but smokers are the easy target. Once they get rid of them, there will be some other public health scourge (I’m in favour of banning vehicular traffic in downtown areas. Breathing in the crap they spew out literaaly makes me ill and light headed. But then I live a pretty rural area, I know clean air. City dwellers don’t even notice the crap they are breathing in anymore.)
I think the one that gets me is banning it in bars. ALL bars. If someone wants to open a bar called “All Smoker’s Welcome” I don’t have a problem with this. Smokers can have their highballs (did I just date myself?) and cigs in peace and non-smokers will know that they can go to the bar next door called “No Smoking allowed”.
They are fucking bars for Christ’s sake. People are not going to them for their health.
Many of the same people who are very harsh on smokers don’t accept that their own life style choices are bad for others either. But it’s easier to bag on the evil smokers than to honestly address the much greater problem of air pollution, etc..because THAT would require them to give up something as well.
I remember once, some guy minding his own business in downtown Portland, stopping for a cigarette…some woman walks by on the way to her car and rips him a new one in that special way that people feel is appropriate to the evil smoker. Then she gets in her big ass vehicle and starts it up, crap spewing out of the exhaust pipe…the guy also goes on his way..on his bicycle.
but do you really want the government regulating what you do in your own home?
I don’t need the government for that, I have Michelle Malkin.
I can’t abide smoke, and my kids are asthmatic, and I don’t really see the difference between requiring private establishments to meet health codes and banning smoking. It’s a public health issue, for heaven’s sakes, it’s not like banning gum chewing or something.
That said, I will now offer the wisdom of the incomparable Eddie Izzard: New York has banned smoking in bars. And soon, no drinking and no talking.
Well, I’m sure as hell not going to them to breathe in other people’s smoke, and I’m glad I no longer have to do that just to enjoy a drink or two with friends (something that’s not damaging my health at all).
I could care less about bans in restaurants but I do think it’s complete and utter bullshit that there are laws barring people from smoking in their own homes or on a freaking sidewalk.
Yes, yes I know all about how stinky it is to walk past someone who is smoking out in public, I quit myself and have been quit over a month and believe me I know it stinks to high heaven. But you know what else stinks? The smell from the hundreds of cars that drive up and down the streets spewing a helluva lot more pollutants than the guy I just passed.
Now company’s are firing employee’s who smoke, giving them a month or so to quit or they are fired. Other employer’s are penalizing employees who smoke, as one employer said there’s no law saying that, that is discriminatory so he’s justified in doing so.
Next up all the foods you eat since we have such an “obesity” epidemic according to study’s funded by pharmaceutical companies pushing diet drugs. Or maybe it will be barbacue manufacturers since charring meat produces carcinogens that increase your risk of cancer too. We all know Hostess, Little Debbie and other snack makers will be out of business soon thanks to laws made by people who think they know what is best for the rest of us.
I’m praying for the “fat-chick-in-thong” ban in bars….and work….and health clubs….
I really don’t understand the visceral and angry reactions to this post.
It isn’t like he suggested torturing people or anything. he just said if your employer allows a legal behavior you don’t like, work somewhere else. Is that really all that appalling?
Restaurant, Shopping Mall, Grocery Store, Dance Club, My House, Your House, Ice Cream Store, Bowling Alley, Law office, Bus Station…
If you answered “none of the above” you’re wrong.
My House, Your House (and maybe Law office) are the only ones that qualify.
It’s simple, to all smokers; I need to breath air to live you do not tobacco to live, you just need it because you’re a junky. So why the hell should I risk disease (I don’t care how slight the risk is) because you’re addicted to poison? Why should I even have to stink of the crap because you’re stupid and or weak? If one of us has to stay home I say it’s the drug addict.
Smoking is a public nuisance / hazard and it’s good that municipalities are treating it as such.
Grumpy Code Monkey
do you really want the government regulating what you do in your own home?
Do you really want your next-door neighbor building a nuclear reactor in his garage?
I would have had more sympathy for smokers were it not my many, many years of going to places and watching smokers light up wherever they pleased, oblivious to “NO SMOKING” signs.
Smokers acted like jerks for years, then suffered the backlash. Boo hoo.
The other reason for controlling smoking–especially in small, contained locations with recycled air–is that smoke particles can act as vectors for diseases by carrying bacteria, viruses, whatever from the smoker to everyone else around. One reason supposedly why smoking was banned on international flights. Airline companies became worried about the liability.
It does seem kinda silly. Living on the Santa Monica border a couple of years ago, we used to go to two bars regularly, Schatzi and Rick’s Tavern. Schatzi had created an outdoor, covered area, about the size of the indoor restaurant, in which smoking was allowed. Rick’s simply opens up the entire front of the bar to a tiny fenced-in area where smokers can crowd. They’re both following the letter of the law, but they’re certainly not places to go if you’re irritated by smoke.
Don’t you get it? Libruls don’t want the government to invade our private lives. They want privacy. No warrantless wiretaps, no checking our library cards and for Christ’s sake stay out of our bedroom! It’s about freedom man. He who gives up liberty for security has neither…
Oh wait a minute, they are for smoking bans? The libruls want the government to raid my house at gunpoint just to snatch my Marlboro Menthol Light from between my lips? They want to ban something I do because it may harm others? Well, fuck it man, color me confused. There seems to be a disconnect.
I think the government should ban McDonald’s and all fast food restaurants because high calorie, fat soaked foods definitely harm others. I think Bush should take Ronald McDonald and tie him up naked, put electrodes on his balls and take lots of pictures.
Alright, let’s play that game. First off what is defined as “public”? Well… there are to kinds of public: “Public property” (streets, public parts, government buildings, etc.) and then there are “Public Spaces“. Of the places you listed only two, your and my home, aren’t considered public spaces.
The answer is simple when you think about it: if a place is open and available to the general public it is bound by pubic law. Do whatever you want in your house, but don’t think that as a private business owner who caters to the public your property is above regulation.
Yes, it is. That argument has been made by employers for centuries to justify awful working conditions.
Grumpy Code Monkey
The problem is that it’s not that simple. What if there are no other jobs available (at least that you are qualified for)? What if any other jobs that are available have the same workplace health issues? What if any other jobs come with a pay cut that you cannot afford?
“Get another job” is a useful answer the same way “stop being sick” or “stop being poor” are useful answers.
August J. Pollak
Because like most of the pseudo-political rhetoric that stems from libertarian arguments, Michael’s case revolves around being a selfish prick. “Everyone else, the government included, should conform to what makes me personally happy” is an antithesis of democracy. The Constitution does not have a footnote saying its job to provide the general welfare of the American people is temporarily suspended when they enter your sports bar.
A lot of bus stations are owned by municipalities or other quasi governmental agencies. So, none of the above hardly qualifies.
John Cole, the reactions are in part because of the patronizing nature of Michael’s post. Gotta take as much as you give out, right?
I suspect this all hinges on how much one believes this to be a health risk vs. a nuisance or inconvenience. Unless you’re willing to tackle that, you’re ignoring the basis of the law.
As someone pointed out above, you’re not going to be OK with someone building a nuclear reactor next door in their garage, and I suspect you would be concerned if a next door neighbor imported cockroaches and let them run free in their house as pets. (no, not pests, pets)
It sounds like you (Cole and Michael) don’t believe there is a health issue. Other people do. In the public debate, the latter has won out.
Free Market Rulez Baybee!
A private employer can make all sorts of decisions about what it will/will not allow its employees to do. That’s not the governments’ fault. The fact that your employer can’t make you work 90 hours a week while flogging you, THAT’S the government’s fault.
Sounds to me that banning something you don’t like on someone else’s private property is the model of being a “selfish prick” demanding that everyone “conform to what makes me personally happy.”
Simple: don’t work at an establishment that allows smoking.
Wow–that’s fucking brilliant! Pardon me while I roll my eyes for the next twenty minutes at the stupidity of that comment.
I’m in favor of universal alcohol bans. Drunks are public nuisances and it does nothing but kill your liver anyway.
I’m also in favor of universal driving bans. Car emissions are smelly and turn inner cities into smog-havens.
On top of that, I’m in favor of universal fat bans. You’re killing yourself by overeating and creating a drain on our public health resources, so its off to the government fat farm for you, tubby!
Wonder no more: People who advocate banning smoking in a fucking bar are assholes.
I said nothing (when I was a smoker) and I could no longer smoke in a coffee shop. It sucked, but it made sense. But to ban smoking in a bar is assinine, and anyone who advocates for such is an idiot and selfish prick.
Hunh? I certainly think cigarette smoke (firsthand and secondhand) is a health issue. And I have no problem banning it in public places such as government facilities, etc. Bans in private establishments (bars, restaurants, bowling alleys, etc.) seem more problematic.
Right; this is in the same set of arguments made by libertarians who are in favor of everything being privately owned. Want to get from one place to another but are banned by the owner of the road? Drive on a different road. Want to eat in a restaurant but you’re of the “wrong” race? Eat somewhere else. The free market will sort everything out.
The Other Steve
WOO HOO! This is like when I had to read To Build a Fire by Jack London in college. I get to reuse a rant.
We shouldn’t have smoking bans! We should leave decisions like this to the market, because it’s smarter. The free market always works!
Ok, smarty. If the free market always works, why is it that for the past 15 years when I walked into a restaurant and they asked “Smoking or non?” when I inquired “How long is the line?” the inevitable maitre’de response was “One hour for non-smoking, but I can get you in now in the smoking section.”
The second statement that always came out was “Don’t worry about smoking section. Nobody over there is smoking anyway.”
So the market had demanded. Consumers had been shouting for years… “I don’t want to wait for a table!” Consumers had been shouting for years “I WANT TO EAT AT YOUR RESTAURANT, THAT IS WHY I AM IN LINE!”
So why did the market make consumers wait in line, when they had space, and they had tables?
Nobody has an answer. The Free Market failed to respond to the demands of the consumer. In some restaurants, like McDonalds, they recognized reality and changed to non-smoking everywhere.
And lost no business from the change.
So why not the rest? Tradition I guess. They were afraid of retraining there hosts to stop asking the question “Smoking or non?”? Nobody really knows. There was no public discussion, or debate. Restaurants seemed to be more concerned about whether they should take your plate the minute you put down the fork, ask first, or just wait until you left. The wait staff seemed more concerned with finding new ways to annoy you by asking every five minutes “Is everything ok?”. Nobody thought to ask “Why are we wasting 30% of our restaurant with empty booths when we have a line out the door?”
The Free market failed to respond.
The consumers got mad, they got angry, and they do what consumers always do when they are mad. They called up their Government representative. And the Legislature looked at the problem, talked about it for many years, really encouraging the entertainment industry to address the problem, and when they did not they made up an excuse as to why the Government could ban smoking. It’s for the children! It’s for your health. We care about the air you breath, even as we’re loosening coal burning pollution standards.
Smoking bans are non-partisan. Polling shows 80% of the citizenry either want it really bad, or don’t care because they don’t smoke and you know come to think of it, it’d be nice not to smell like an ashtray. Anything that polls at 80% support is a win-win for the politicians.
And that’s why we have smoking bans. Because the fabled free market didn’t work.
Actually, John, he *is* suggesting torturing people. In particular, he’s suggesting torturing *me*.
I’m asthmatic. You know those jokes about why I don’t drink? Yeah, well, they’re funny — but they’re not made up. So, when you light up your cancer stick at the bus stop, I have two choices: not go to work, or not breathe. It really is that simple.
So you should take the whole libertarian BS and put it back where it came from. It isn’t “your air”, it’s “our air”, and as long as that remains so, I don’t feel any particular reason to let you harm me.
The Other Steve
I’m particularly proud of that version of my rant. It’s one of the truly original thoughts I’ve ever had, and it makes so much sense in the context of this stupid debate.
I just quit smoking two months ago. Before that I couldn’t understand why someone would be such a (get ready, cause I’m gonna use the N word) Nazi about smoking bans.
Now I’m smoke-free. I’m happy. But when I go to bars, I usually move the ashtray off my table. I don’t want a reminder. I also hope that a smoker doesn’t sit next to me. I’m fearful the sight and smell of someone else smoking will trigger a craving.
But I don’t ask that person to put out his cigarette. I also don’t support smoking bans. Because it was MY choice to being smoking. It was MY choice to stop. I don’t expect the world to revolve around choices I make – good or bad.
People who expect to be able to go into a smoke-free bar want to world to revolve around them because they are weak and unable to deal with the repercussions of their choices. And those people can go to hell.
You can’t realistically call a restaurant private property when you invite the public to come into it. Hell, you’re begging the public to come in, and you’re employing people to service them once they do come in.
Banning smoking in a person’s private residence is going too far, as is banning smoking outside in public places, as far as I’m concerned. Smoking bans are for–Michael’s inanity aside–the protection of workers who are often left with few choices when it comes to employment. We have OSHA to protect us (and don’t get me started on the crappy job they do) when it comes to toxic fumes in chemical plants–how is that different in type from protecting bartenders from cigarette smoke in a bar?
August J. Pollak
You seriously think this way? Jesus.
Let’s ignore, for a moment, the entire Fourth Amendment, because that would make pointing out how foolish you are just a tad too easy. Are you seriously arguing that an act of the government against citizens that violates existing law is actually the equivalent of regulating the actions of citizens against each other by legislative process? Seriously?
The similarity between “government spying” and “banning smoking” is, essentially, that both things have the letter “o” in them.
I actually understand why this is a valid argument, which I suppose sort of undermines your cutesy attempt to suggest it’s ludicrous. But ignoring the affects personal bad health has on public health costs for a moment, I’m curious why you didn’t explain how an individual consuming food is the same as a person generating carcinogenic smoke in a confined area. I’m guessing it’s because even you know they aren’t.
How to Argue From Bad Faith, Part XIV:
Take a given situation, for example a new smoking ban in bars.
Claim it will lead to the government banning that behavior in private homes.
You of course will not be able to support this contention because there are currently a large number of things you can’t do in public that the government does not attempt to regulate in homes.
Hope no one notices your sleight-of-logic.
Firstly, about the “If you don’t like it, quit” comment: Its reminiscent of the argument against sexual harassment laws – Well, if you don’t want to sleep with your boss, maybe you shouldn’t be working there. Sex is perfectly legal, and there’s no law against asking someone for a quicky in the men’s room, so I don’t see why I can’t go around hitting on every skirt in the building without the government getting involved.
Secondly, if cigarettes were a pill or a drink, you’re right, it wouldn’t be a problem. No one is proposing regulations against drinking soda or chewing gum in public settings. But while I’m not forced to eat your food or drink your drink, I am forced to breath your air. Smoking is obnoxious, because its pervasive and intrusive.
If your next door neighbor dumps all his garbage and cooking grease on the edge of his lawn and it starts killing your grass, you shouldn’t be forced to move your house. If your local power plant dumps toxic waste in the town lake, everyone suffers equally. Smoking is no different. It’s air pollution. If you can’t figure out why you shouldn’t be allowed to polute the air as much as you want, audit a civics course and get a hint.
I didn’t see if anyone else made this point – the question wa swhether it was acceptable for the government to regulate smoking in a private establishment.
It’s pretty clear that the government (at all levels) can regulate commerce, so once you open up your private establishment, whether it be a home or a business to commerce-related activities, then you are subject to regulatory measures, which would include things like bans on smoking, meeting OSHA requirements etc. The justification is really not that difficult.
I hope you’re spoofing, but just in case you’re not, allow me to point out that not one person here has suggested banning smoking in your own home. You will have to do quite a search to find more than a tiny handful of people who support what you claim. “Libruls” support a ban on smoking in your own home the way social conservatives support a ban on make-up.
The Other Steve
you don’t understand. It’s not that I want it all banned.
It’s that I don’t care if it’s banned, because it has no negative effect on me. Actually it has a tremendous positive effect on me, so you know maybe I am for it.
You forgot the “ing.” What are you, some kind of commie?
I’m a reformed smoker, so you know what they say about us.
I’m glad smoking is getting banned in public/private places. I hate it when I go out for a beer and come home reeking, with a clogged up nose. I’d like to think I have the right to be able to go to a bar or restaurant and be able to breathe relatively clean, healthy air. I don’t see why a minority of people have the right to ruin things for the majority. I also read somewhere that business actually goes up for places that ban smoking. Of course, it’s all about me, but that’s the way things are these days.
I also read somewhere that business goes down for places that have smoking bans put on them, so YMMV.
The Other Steve
The other positive impact I’ve noticed…
The strip clubs banned smoking, so now the girls have to go out on the sidewalk to smoke.
Result: GREAT ADVERTISING!
August J. Pollak
That’s because apparently “endangers public health” sounds to you like “doesn’t like.” (And “public welfare” sounds like “selfish.” Perhaps ear candling is in order)
Reframing the argument like that is pathetic and you know it. No one wants to ban smoking because they just like being mean to smokers, no matter how fucked-up the nicotine withdrawl is making one imagine things.
Well golly, Billy, why don’t you just not go to that bar anymore?
(See how assholish that sounds, kids?)
I actually am a former smoker (17 years with a few pauses in between) and hate the smell of smoke, just as an FYI.
Or not, depending on the strip joint.
The Other Steve
Local Pizza Parlour saw something interesting…
The smokers started ordering takeout, the non-smokers started staying there to eat. Whereas before, it was the opposite pattern.
But non-smokers have more money, and ordered more drinks and desserts and other extras.
Which is as incidental as me saying, “I stopped dumping nuclear waste in Cambodia six years back, but I still don’t see anything wrong with it.”
The Other Steve
But as a consumer, I get to check the talent before I pay the cover fee. :-)
The Other Steve
I noticed nobody has responded to my free market theory. Apparently the evidence is too strong, they prefer arguing against the strawmen. :-)
Your town has fucking bars? Where do you live, Banghkok?
Except that its not solidly proven that SHS endangers public health.
No. The real question is, if you found out that most muslims were asthmatic would you take up smoking to make sure they would likely have an asthma attack if they walked by you and thus be unable to carry out their terrorist plots?
Actually, if I’m trying to get laid, I must admit I’d much prefer not stinking of smoke to the heartwarming feeling of constitutional rights blah blah. Call me a fascist if you will.
You brought up anti-discrimination laws. Would the libertarian in you also eliminate these laws? That way, you know, McDonalds could refuse to sell to Arabs, for example.
What capelza said.
Smokers must be stopped from polluting the air as much as they want, but industry has free reign because I need a job. Every major city has a “carcinogenic smoke” problem. It’s called smog and it cause hundreds more health problems that a stranger passing you on the street smoking a cigarette. Maybe if those so concerned with enforcing smoking bans were also relying on public transportation as their main means of getting around I’d have a little more respect for their position.
Some perspective on the “IT’S A PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE” holier-than-thou types would do you good. My God, the public health issues this country faces are massive, but I hardly think second hand cigarette smoke in a bar is one of them.
Its not as simple as that – you missed the lobbying by the ALCA, plus how the tobacco industry managed to skillfully and artfully turn public support for them around 180 degrees.
For all of you who claim there won’t be any bans on smoking in your own home, when was the last time you saw someone freely light up a blunt or snort a line of coke in their own house?
Are you trying to outdo Lambchop in bad faith arguments?
Banning smoking in bars and restaurants is not going to reduce smog. Seriously.
Sorry, there was supposed to be a block quote of KCinDC’s abortion and gun control comment.
Several cities in California are in the process of banning smoking in your home/apartment, Beverly Hills has made it illegal to smoke outside (even on your property). Calabassas (sp?) has done so as well. Several cities are looking to do the same. The anti-tobacco campaigns are running commercials featuring a guy smoking in his house, the smoke goes through the vents, out of the house and towards a little kid on a bike. Tell me they aren’t trying to get it banned period.
My friends don’t snort coke, so far as I know, but I’ve seen them light up joints or fire up a pipe more times than I can count. Yes, it’s illegal. It’s also exceedingly rare for cops to bust down your door simply for using.
Really? Cecil Adams from almost 8 years ago is the best you can come up with?
I’ll see your Straight Dope column and raise you a well sourced fact sheet from the American Lung Association (15 footnotes, as well as a reference to the morbidity and trend data that they keep on their web site).
These aren’t Ann Coulter “footnotes” either (where the linked to item doesn’t actually confirm or reference the text in question).
Smoking causes cancer. Second hand smoke also causes cancer.
“Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins.”
You have a right to smoke. You do not have the right to poison the air I’m trying to breathe. You say if I don’t want to be around smokers I should go someplace else? Fuck you — you want to smoke, you go someplace where you won’t bother anybody. Someplace away from people who do not want to be assaulted by your secondhand smoke.
I’m a former smoker, and I go back to the days when you could smoke at your desk at work. I understand now what kind of damage I was doing to the people around me, medically and quality-of-life wise. It was wrong to have allowed that then, and it’s wrong to allow that kind of assault on people now. “Find a job somewhere else”? Fuck you. No one should have to have toxic waste in the eair their breathing as a “function” of their job.
If someone wants to set up a smoking bar, and everyone going into the operation (including the employees) have their eyes wide open and know what they’re getting into, I have less of a problem with that — that’s the place “where you won’t bother anyone”. But don’t give me that “libertarian” bullshit that no one’s getting hurt unless they want to. Someone’s going to die from that shit.
Okay another homespun tale. I worked at a research facility with w public wing. You’d be amazed at how many smoker’s there are in a university setting.
Anway, one of them was outside on the stoop of their back door of their office. I was inside with a group of fifth graders…now keep in mind, there was no way the smoke could get into the public wing, and some kid simply saw the smoker and banged on the window and shook his finger at the smoker very rudely.
Both I and the teacher reprimanded the kid, but it is the attitude encapsulated, that I see or rather hear or read underlying a lot of the attitudes.
Kids are being brought up to be rude little fuckers, and are given permission in some way when it comes to smokers. That was about 15 years ago. That little jerk is now an adult.
Again, why is it so hard for bars to be either smoking or none smoking? I’ll tell you the excuse one virulant anti-smoker told me. It would be possible that the smoking bar would get the better music and he wanted to be able to go wherever the hell he wanted, when he wanted and he shouldn’t have to “suffer” because his non-smoking bar didn’t have music he might like as much.
So there IS an intolerance that goes beyond public health issues. It is THAT that I find really disgusting.
And everyone chweing Michael out for his callous opinion. If the main industry in a town is some tavern filled with drunk fishermen (my main experience along the west coast) then that town has bigger issues than a smoking ban in the work place.
Please don’t get me started on bullshit MADD.
There it is. They know what’s best for us. the right went from government is the problem to ‘Government! Fuck Yeah!’
Regarding MADD..I am not pro-drunk driving, but they have moved beyond that now because everyone pretty much agrees that drunking driving is bad.
Big Pharma spends billions to get tobacco restricted, taxed, badmouthed and ultimately outlawed. They want to replace it with prescription drugs at ten prices. Period.
They don’t give a damn about your health. They don’t care if your sweaty clothes stink of smoke, They don’t care how much medical insurance costs . They don’t care about butts on the ground. They don’t care about examples for children.
It’s sickening how many a—–are willing to cheer these bastards on. How much Pharma loot are YOU getting?
It’s called “liberal parenting”, I believe. And you’re completely right.
Life is precious. Suck it.
Fine. How about this Hit ‘n Run from last year that even cites an American Cancer Association report?
But what do they know? Smoking Is Bad. We must take it away from you for your own good.
Okay, I’ve been called holier than thou and my righteous fury must out! :0
Of course there are other public health issues. And I have opinions about government regulation regarding other public health issues that affect my asthmatic children. The obesity epidemic does not affect my asthmatic children because I do not feed them crap and they play outside. So feed your kids McDonalds, I don’t care. But when you smoke next to them and I may be looking at a trip to the ER as a result, you have kinda gotten into mama bear’s space, you know?
Heck, in places where there’s enough tourism (like in Zermatt), there HAVE been bans against smog. Zero-emission vehicles only.
If enough people get together and vote to have no-smoking regulations for a particular community, I honestly don’t see why Libertarians should get all pissy about it.
After all, they can just move to another community, right?
I believe the places you site come under the heading of “places of public convenience” and can be regulated.
But if you want smoking back in bars I’ll support it under one condition. Every so often I get to pour some of my scotch over a smoker’s head.
They get their smoke on me I should be “free” to get my scotch on them.
“Moooooooooon Riverrrrrrrrr! Wider than a mile……”
Ok, so there was some slight hyperbole. Regardless, the point stands. Smoking = Air Pollution. That’s basically the beginning and the end of the story.
Riiiiiight. I buy the first one but not the second one. It takes a daily smoker years to get cancer and that’s with them pulling huge chunks of smokey air into their lungs hundreds of times a day. Simply catching the vapors of uninhaled smoke from someone elses cigarette in passing won’t kill you. But it will scare you into to believing it’ll kill you and then you’ll go along with banning what you don’t do anyway.
That’s a fine consolation to the guys who’re in the joint for lighting up in their own home or car.
No one has ever died of secondhand fat, as far as I know.
Obese people take up more of the nation’s medical resources and drive up insurance rates for everyone. We must ban obesity for our own good.
See where we’re going here?
“[T]he vapors of uninhaled smoke from someone elses cigarette in passing”. Nice little trick, there. Try tending bar in a place where half the people are smoking. I guarantee that you’ll be doing the equivalent of a couple packs a day for each shift you work.
I stand (or sit) corrected, but it sounds like a fairly fricking easy court challenge:
Your honor, under this law we will also need to ban fire places and outdoor barbeque pits since these activities also release harmful smoke into the air. Furthermore, we need to ban all heavy vehicles that emit (whatever ppm) of CO…
Maryland was going to enact a ban that would have controlled how much you could use your fireplace or otherwise create smells that made your neighbors cough but it was halted when someone pointed out it could be used to harrass smokers. Looks like the folks in Cali just need to be shown where the hell they’re going before things get are reduced to the absurd.
There is no proof. Period. And all the laws based on this incontrivertible “fact” are wrong.
P.S. Yes, I believe in Penn & Teller
No, because none of this is based on science or clear thinking. It’s a witch hunt, pure and simple. Drinking is next, as well as fatty foods.
I think this statement is the crux of the issue. I believe the reason this thread has got such a visceral response is that it highlights one of the few things that most people dislike about Libertarianism: taken to the extreme the free market does not adequately account for public health and safety. Sure you may stop going to Jack in the Box after twenty folks die of Salmonella poisoning, but that is cold comfort if you are one of those twenty folks.
I think the analogy is apt here. Every space, including private space, that caters to the public is subject to health and safety regulations, be that smoking bans , fire-codes, or health inspections. I don’t think any legislature has considered banning smoking in your home (correct me if I am wrong). While it may be legal to smoke cigarettes, handle vegetables after handling raw chicken, or having the best asbestos insulation money can buy in your own home, those activites do not expose a large section of the potentially unaware public to danger.
That, I believe, is the difference. So to take it a step further, does John and Mike feel that all public health and safety regulations (including worker safety and food inspecitons) should be abolished in favor a fre market system of regulation?
My god, am I ever with you on that. I would happily and whole-heartedly support a public transportation system that doesn’t suck, here in Houston. Light Rail is a disaster, but a salvagable disaster. The Metro Buses continue to be a work in progress. And between the price of gas and all these god-damn toll roads, I would be more than happy to take the bus to work or to my local bar or wherever, like I used to do in Austin when I was in college.
Sadly, public transportation takes a degree of communal effort that you only ever see rallied together to push smoking bans.
Umm, from my experience, there’s plenty of ways around the bans for things like hookah joints, cigar bars, etc.
Smoke until you get cancer and die for all I care. Just don’t do it next to me.
I doubt they’ll ever go after drinking. Not as long as there’s the 18th and 21st Amendments.
You know, cigarette companies said there was no provable link between first hand smoke and cigarettes for decades. Simply playing the “Denial” card won’t win you any points in that argument. You’d have better luck denying Global Warming. That, at least, has a following.
They ALREADY ban smoking anywhere… of pot anyway.
FAP…clearly you haven’t spent time in the local bars I used to frequent. The night wasn’t complete unless you wound up with someone’s else drink on you.
I’d come smelling of cigarette smoke AND beer.
And as someone mentioned above, the figures cited for deaths related to obesity have now equaled or surpassed those for smoking. So as a public health issue, again, there has to be an honest recognition of what’s going on in this country.
And as for bartenders, again, most I know smoke. It is a choice to work in a bar. It can be a thankless job for a lot of reasons beyond smokers. I’ve been one, and between breaking up fights and listening to whining regulars…but again I belong to a sub-culture in the US…
Um, right. Last I checked, there was a greater scientific consensus behind global warming than there was behind the dangers of second-hand smoke.
Well, shit. Then I guess Global Warming must be true and 2nd Hand Smoke must be false. You’ve got me totally sold. Pick up your paycheck from RJ Reynolds at the door.
That’s the major difference between regulation–which is trying to stop problems before they occur–and the tort system–which allows you to go after a business if they “do something wrong.”
As said, bringing a lawsuit is extremely cold comfort if your kid is one of the 20 who’s been killed by salmonella poisoning because the &%^$*!! restaurant couldn’t care less about the hygiene of their cooking methods.
Michael D., The precedent for this has been very long in place and is very well established: OSHA guidelines are set to protect the most vulnerable, not the least vulnerable. This is best illustrated by the status of pregnant women in chemical related jobs–it has been ruled that reassigning them to other duties during pregnancy is discriminatory.
In other words “Go work someplace else” is not a viable compliance strategy. As an employer I am restricted as to how much CO and particulates I can expose my workers to if it comes out of a tailpipe, why not the lungs of smokers?
I am not trying to state that smoking or second-hand smoke are not contributing risk factors regarding the development of cancer, as clearly they are, but I fail to remember any study claiming smoking CAUSES cancer.
If I am wrong, please let me know.
Zinfab already quoted this, but it bears repeating.
Why is childhood asthma on the rise? And it certainly is. Good grief, I can see the acrid yellow haze of any city of any real size and people don’t think that’s a public health crisis? The PDX issues air quality advisories and THAT is not a public health crisis?
I think that is what drives me up a freaking wall. I wish some of the venom spewed at smokers would be aimed at something like that.
Stop being a semantic dickhead. You know what he means.
Ok, I came into this way too late.
In monkey county, MD, where I live they have decried that property has oversight from the goobermint.
So, in effect, we’ve lost.
And to quote the Libertarians’ comments back at them: “if you don’t like it, just move!”
capelza I’ve been to plenty of bars where I ended up wearing part of drinks. I was 21-25 but I did it.
My thing is not about health, I’ll let everyone else argue that point, it’s about my right not smell like a chimney. The right of you to swing your fist ends at my nose so why doesn’t your right to smoke end at my person. The same way I’d be liable if I poured a fifth of scotch on you?
Smoke all you want (more SS for me then I hit 90:) ) just keep the fumes off of me.
Ok, let me take off my super-libertarian cap and try to speak with some rationality here.
Tobacco smoke is bad to inhale. This is science fact. Once you inhale it, bad stuff gets dumped in your lungs and blood stream and that’s no good. However, the smoke that gets blown out after inhaling now, by that same science fact, has far less bad things in it. Dispersed into the air, its far less toxic than the stuff the smoker just inhaled. Now, while a few wisps here and there would be harmless, massive hanging smoke clouds will be problematic. This is why I have no problems with smoke-free groceries, malls, theaters, et al.
Here’s the thing. Cultural norms have congregated smokers together at bars, pool halls, and other places that are socially known as smokers’ havens. That’s America, insert your favorite John Cougar song here. Banning smoking in these places is where I drop off the smoke-free bandwagon and start to wonder just where its heading. Its crossing the line from public health to For Your Own Good, and that’s what troubles me.
Does this come with English subtitles?
Right, which is why taking the route that if you ban X for public health reasons, you have to Ban Y, would be so much fun. I’m sure I could pull from somewhere stats that show smoke from fire places, outdoor grills, fumes from people who wear too much cologne are HARMFUL TO THE CHILDREN!! It would force people to decide between giving up something they want to do (if they really love the kiddies) while showing up their dumb shit for what it is.
I actually wish someone would get ambitious and try to push a ban on smoking, fatty foods and booze. After the riots ended we’d have a return to sanity. As it is, I think it will take a bit longer.
What’s this? Should I be glad I moved to PG, home of the 10 minute wait for a response to a 911 call?
Several jurisdictions (including NYC) have banned, or are working towards banning, trans fats for use in public restaurants.
The food is healthier and no one is the wiser. So far, no riots.
Tempest nails it above:
Michael, you’d be well advised to check out some actual legal opinions before saying that the government doesn’t have a RIGHT to do anything. Frankly, what a government does or doesn’t do is not a matter of RIGHTS, anyway! “Rights” are invested in individuals by the amendments to the Constitution that prevent the government from doing certain things. There is lots of case law out there that clearly delineates which areas are “private” and “public,” and what the government can and cannot do in each.
And, frankly, thank GOD government can regulate restaurants. Try going to a country where health and safety laws are NOT fully enacted or enforced, and check for rat droppings in yer food…
Doug H., thank you for your sober and wise words on this matter.
Have you seen what MADD is up to lately? In Texas, they come into bars and arrest you before you even leave if they think you’re drunk. IN A BAR. Because, you know, you might drive somewhere.
You fuckers get testy when someone gets out of lockstep.
And no. Something being a contributing factor is vastly different from something causing something. It isn’t just a semantic difference. If wingnuts said unprotected sex causes Aids, what would you say? If I pointed out that no, in fact, it doesn’t, but having unprotected sex can increase your risk of catching AIDS, would I still be a “semantic dickhead?”
I believe most libertarian restauranteurs consider rat droppings “organic seasoning”. If you don’t like it, eat somewhere else.
Fair enough. Substitute “pedantic dickhead” if it makes you feel better.
Nope basically it’s under public nuisance laws and if I smoked (which I quit) while in those cities I would be fined. If I smoke on a sidewalk in beverly hills I am fined. You mention that these laws would be easily challenged. Sorry but many here have already stated (myself included) that there are far worse things than cigarettes which should be banned but won’t be and our arguments are called illogical because they would mean giving up conveniences.
Oh and this is California, pricks abound who’d call the cops to bitch about someone smoking in their home.
The govt. has an obligation to intercede on the behalf of the employees who have to breath that shit day in and day out.
I would like to point out that this is not a purely hypothetical construct.
John, there are a great many studies which yes, claim that smoking CAUSES cancer. Go look up “nicotinic acid carcinogen” on Google — or, since everybody knows that Googlers are lefty-statist thugs, go to Live.
Now, here’s a syllogism for you: exposure to a carcinogen *causes cancer*, nicotinic acid is a carcinogen in all animal tissues. ergo, exposure to nicotinic acid causes cancer. Here’s another: inhaling the smoke of N. tabacum entails exposure to nicotinic acid. ergo, inhaling the smoke of N. tabacum causes cancer.
The only a posteriori claim in those syllogisms is the claim “nicotinic acid causes cancer in all animal tissues”. That’s a well studied effect.
And, no — second hand smoke is not free of the poisons. It’s actually often worse than the stuff the smokers pull in, because it isn’t filtered on the way by.
Good to know. Personally, I think it is reasonable to assume that smoking does in fact cause cancer, but I have not seen the scientific evidence and treated smoking as a significant risk factor.
I’d hesitate to generalize from efforts in California–many of which seem, well, brain-damaged. California’s pretty weird.
I know that there are places in New England that have banned burning of leaves because of the contribution to smog. You think “oh, it’s only one small pile of leaves”, but the problem is, if everyone in a suburban area burns their leaves, it definitely does contribute.
That’s the major complaint we have about a lot of so-called “libertarian freedom”. Far too often, it’s simply people acting like assholes and shoving the damage off on other people.
And John–your argument sounds suspiciously like “well, we can’t prove that the benzene dumped by this company into the drinking water actually CAUSED this guy’s bladder cancer, so we can’t do anything about it.” I’d prefer to live in a community that works together to expose people to as few cancer-causing materials as possible.
I also note that you have not addressed the question of smoke particles acting as vectors for disease, nor their role in increasing radon exposure.
You know, I used to think banning smoking was a silly idea, that smoking in bars and restaurants was OK. I was a bartender for years, and a waitress before that, and though I didn’t smoke, I didn’t think it bothered me.
Now I have COPD, and so do a lot of the waitresses (who were non-smokers) that I worked with.
It’s about a “common good” but I don’t think libertarians belive in that.
I’ll remember that the next time I see a car wrapped around a tree with various body parts strewn all about the place because the driver with his 0.12 blood/alcohol level couldn’t negotiate the turn.
And, as for tobacco, as long as it remains the easiest tax hike to pass and as long as the governments are raking in tons of cash both in tax revenues and its politicans in tobacco lobby donations, there will never be a ban on the product, in spite of its evident detriment to society. We’ve decided that 400,000 deaths per year is a small price to pay for all the money it brings us. We are a wondeful society, aren’t we…
It really is annoying that so far no one has been dumb enough to say “We want the a law that bans smoking AND butter AND beer.”
Damn you Pearl Clutching Brigade!
And that’s how a stupid idea becomes a stupid law. Through the courts is how dumb shit regs get reversed. I’m just curious, do you know if a defendant has challenged the fine in court?
And yes, that’s batshit insane. But – for all its worth – that’s not the evil old ladies from MADD so much as the crazy ass cops from the Austin PD. And they’re a bunch of dicks anyway, so you’re just shit out of luck.
There was a serious rash of drunk driving accidents in the University Area and the school/community/government had a collective freak-out. To my knowledge, none of those arrests actually stuck.
That said, no one is suggesting we throw you in jail for life because you lit a cig in a bar. There’s a difference between regulation and persecution. A number of cities, Austin included, have moved towards full-blown anti-smoking bans. Business hasn’t suffered. People cough less. And last I checked, there weren’t any parades of brown shirted thugs goose-stepping down 6th street.
People still smoke in apartments and dorms on a regular basis. They even smoke a fair amount of pot. Go figure.
I have never made any such argument. I am simply stating that there is a difference, and an important one, between something causing something and something being related to and/or being a factor in something.
Sadly, I have not. I can also state, without hesitation, that I do not recall having ever used the word “vector” other than to reference a particularly memorable series of quotes from Airplane.
That’s why I love coming here.
Pay attention — they banned trans fats. Butter is not (thank the gods) a trans fat.
However, should it ever become an issue, I would be all for a law that would make it a crime to shove butter up someone else’s nose.
Personally, I thought that the “smoking section” was a pretty good compromise, as long as it was properly ventilated. (Anybody remember restaurants of our youth where the smoking section was divided from the non-smoking section only by an invisible arbitrary line?)
I’m an ex-smoker, with two coworkers who smoke. If we’re in my car, they don’t smoke or I toss them out the car. If we’re in their car, they can smoke all they want – I just roll down the windows and deal with it. Banning smoking in bars was a bit of a tough pill to swallow, but for the workers’ sake, I can see why it was done. The bars were NEVER going to ban smoking on their own. And, people seem to have adapted pretty easily to heading outside to the sidewalk to smoke. And if we can do it here, in freaking January, then anybody can, really.
Here in Colorado, they do regulate the days when I can burn my wood fires, and it’s dependent on air quality. Since I’m married to someone who has asthma, I appreciate this, and I’m glad that Colorado has managed to clean up our air as much as we have.
Hm. It sure seems to me, once you remove the mutual hostility between the more strident members of each side of the debate, that the issue is the air quality.
There was bar in Southern California I went to a couple times, well after the no-smoking laws had passed, that was kind of a smoking-speakeasy. They had these very large air purifiers (I believe, in fact, they were called “SmokeEaters” or something like that) mounted on the ceiling that were phenomenal. A friend who is extremely sensitive to second-hand smoke was amazed by the fact that he wasn’t being affected at all, and the place was loaded with smokers (as you might imagine the only smoking bar around might be).
So, if it’s an issue in the same domain as food safety, or building safety codes, why does the argument always come down to “smokers are assholes” vs. “non-smokers can suckit”. How have we not gotten around to talking about what quantifiable level of ventilation would make it acceptable to license a place to allow smoking indoors?
I mean, yeah, I know, it’s way more fun just to yell at each other…
It’s not about first-hand smoking. These laws are all bsaed on the faulty assumption that second-hand smoke causes health problems.
If someone can’t drive with a .12, they need to just avoid cars period – drunk or sober. Used to be .15 was the legal limit before MADD got all up in dat shit. This .08 shit is ridiculous. I can blow a .08 from looking at a glass of wine.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think NYC’s smoking ban in restaurants pertained only to restaurants that have employees that are not also part-owners of the business. So the reasoning behind it wasn’t for the public’s “own good” so much as it was protecting workers from an unsafe working environment. Restaurant owners who wanted to permit smoking could, as long as all people working in the place were also part owners of the business. Wasn’t that it?
The NYTimes did an article a year or so after the smoking ban was enacted. What I found amusing is many smokers were okay with the ban because their drycleaning costs had gone down and, most importantly for many of the guys, having to go outside to smoke became a great way to meet girls (who were also smoking). Now if Bloomberg had only sold the whole thing like THAT (“Ban smoking! Get dates!”) I don’t think people would have objected so much.
1. It was Dallas (might’ve been Austin, too, I dunno)
2. MADD pushed the cops into it. I’ll google for the article.
No kidding. At how many other blogs could you call the proprietor a pedantic dickhead without getting banned?
But margarine, the “healthy” replacement-butter, is. Which is half the joke.
Just so long as they don’t ban both guns and butter. Cause then economists won’t be able to make those neat little graphs.
These guys all believe global warming is a “fact”. There’s really no point in bringing up things like proof and the scientific method here.
The solution to pollution is dilution. And who the fuck has vents in their house that suck air out?
If it was determined that air pollution from auto emissions was the leading cause of childhood asthma and other respiratory illnesses and disease, would you be in favour of a ban on automobiles? Or at least severely curtailing the use of them?
I am serious here. If public health is the major concern, why is this big huge elephant in the room not addressed? And yes, smoking is bad, I really don’t like it, but I also hate people who are drunk. But that’s just me, I stay out of bars.
And when someone quotes 400K as deaths from smoking, then they have to be honest and quote the 400K from obesity.
Btw, I drive my car perhaps once a week at the most. I walk to the grocery store and have constructed our lives in a way that our “work” is within walking distance the vast majority of the time. So yeah, I walk the walk, literally.
Peter JOhnson made a funny!
The War on Drinking.
Uh yeah, I’m aware of that as well as the fact there is no beer ban or attempt to enforce one. My point is that if people got carried away with Public Health Concerns and tried to ban several things at once the majority of the population would require people to chill the fuck out a bit.
Yes, quite obviously, the question doesn’t really merit that kind of faux discussion.
Cigarette smoke is toxic, obtrusive, and unpleasant.
People are free to smoke in private, but not around me if I am stuck in a public place with no place to which I can escape and avoid the fumes.
As for whether “government should do it,” that’s pretty obvious too. How else could a meaningful ban be created other than by government? And …
But that’s just another expression of some kind of faux libertarianiness. If a material is potentially harmful, why wait until the bodies pile up in order to take action? That’s just stupid.
The attitude that appears to be embedded in your blurb is going to lead to tolerating all manner of crap in food, beverages, and other products, just because proof can’t be produced that the disgusting shit won’t, by itself and unambiguously, kill you. Sorry, I need a little higher standard than that.
That is incorrect.
Smoke blown out of the lungs has far more carbon monoxide in it. Not to mention the unfiltered smoke that is coming off the tip while you ain’t sucking on the thing.
You drive a car at least 52 times a year? How do you live with yourself, you disgusting murderer?
I’ll need to see a reference on that one.
John, what’s the record for most comments on a single thread?
Not reading the 160+ comments already there. Just going to say:
Federal goverment ban — hell no
State government ban — no
City ordanance — yes
Zone specific city ordinance — hell yes
The smaller the government entity, the more they get to play in the public/private spaces.
My guess is 2-3 times, minimum, what you have here now.
Peter–if GW isn’t a fact, how come the goddamn polar ice caps are melting?
(I wonder what sort of evidence will be needed to convince GW denialists that it’s actually occuring. Maybe we should just put them all on a low-level island and wait a few years.)
That’s … idiotic. What rationale supports this crazy assertion?
Would you propose that food safety standards be brought down the local level? If not, why do it for air?
John – I spent 5 years working at a cancer research center. Smoking is both a risk factor and a cause for cancer. Please read the fact sheets from the American Cancer Society.
It’s unequivocal. The key words are causes and is responsible for.
Of courses, there are cancers that are not caused by smoking, environmental or other lifestyle factors. And even the ones that are, you can get without smoking. Genetics plays around a 30-40% role in your propensity to get cancer in general.
That doesn’t negate the fact that smoking causes cancer.
BTW (not directed at John Cole) why don’t we just let restaurants divide into “we serve blacks” and “we don’t serve blacks”. Why not let the market decide that?
Small “l” pragmatic libertarian here.
My take (basically a Utilitarian argument): regulation of private property is potentially ok, but as it is inherently coercive/an abridgment of my property rights the bar is set pretty damned high. That is, you must present an extremely compelling case demonstrating the good of your regulation outlaws the inherent harm you cause me.
So, for instance, requiring restaurants to perform proper sanitation and food preparation passes muster, because there’s a compelling case. Food born illnesses are a very real threat, and moreover, there’s a real issue of information asymmetry. I have no way of knowing if that burger is chock-full-o-e.coli short of eating it and getting sick. Hence, the good of preventing people from unwittingly making a bad choice and dying due to vendor negligence outweighs the harm you do the vendor by regulating them.
I have a harder time regulating smoking in bars. First, there is no information asymmetry. The minute you step foot in a bar you can tell if people are smoking. Second, you have to look at the nature of the business. People go to bars to engage in already unhealthy behavior. Second hand smoke exposure only increases your health risks marginally. I contend that this marginal increase in health risks is too small to matter, in the case of a bar. Same argument regarding lack of information asymmetry applies to working at a bar, and I think we’re all adult enough and knowledgeable to decide if it’s worth the risk. Sure, hypothetically the bar could be the only place you could work, but that’s such an unlikely hypothetical I don’t think it makes a good basis for determining law, especially at a statewide level. Sorry guys, I don’t consider going to a smoke free bar to be a right. If the market isn’t providing one for you, that’s too bad.
OTOH I can see the merits of regulating smoking in grocery stores, bus stations, etc, because second hand smoke exposure does meaningfully add to your health risks in those establishments (ie the nature of the business isn’t inherently unhealthy to begin with), and I don’t think its unreasonable for people to expect they can engage in every day activities without adversely impacting their health.
ThymeZone: I meant to say carbon DIoxide. Sorry.
There’ve been a few that have gone over 500, methinks.
Or. Or. Or. You could mandate better mufflers! Kinda like how you don’t have to choose between no burning coal and no electricity, even though burning coal in a giant messy tub with no vents or filtration produces energy.
I do like chiggins’s SmokeEater, and I would be more than happy to see regulations on air quality in eating establishments. If you can smoke and I don’t have to breath it, then by god, smoke away!
Way more than this. He’s had a few pushing 400.
You’re clearly biased against smoking. I can’t take anything you say seriously.
Darwin, bitches. And not a moment too soon.
You’re wrong. Laughably so. Please fucking learn to use google before looking so foolish. Hence:
Teh Stoopid is strong on Thursdays, apparently.
Margarine is the cheaper replacement for butter. Who thinks it’s healthier?
While I don’t smoke and hate coming home smelling like stale smoke, I don’t understand why these localities with smoking bans don’t instead have smoking licenses, similar to liquor licenses. Apartment buildings would be either all-smoking or all-non-smoking, restaurants ditto, and so on. Make non-smoking the default and smoking the special circumstance, just like serving alcoholic beverages. Why is that so hard?
There was one (topic I can’t recall) that was easily over 500.
To follow up: So, Smoking Causes Cancer: This Is News? — The New York Times, 10/27/96.
Also, Michael D., if you don’t like smoking bans, you could just move; I recommend Cambodia.
That’s not really an answer, even in the context in which you (apparently, allowing for spoof and/or scarcasm) meant it.
If childhood ashtma were in face being principally caused by auto emissions, we’d need to see rather dramatic reductions int he exhaust components leading to the problem.
I speak to you as a former sufferer of the condition, and I tell you, once you have turned blue from it, your attitude about it changes a little.
So hopefully we are in agreement that the blurb you cited which hypothesizes “banning cars” is a worthless argument. In fact, we would have to “ban cars that produced the toxic emissions.” Which is, in fact, what we’ve been doing the last 30 years or so. You can’t license a car today, except maybe as an antique, that produces the kinds of emissions that we had 30-40 years ago. That’s a ban, pure a simple, and a completely necessary one.
We’re not even close. You have to go back to the Darrell era to get anything approaching a record.
What does that have to do with what I said? Drunk driving is already illegal. But if we want to follow the logic of some of those arguing against smoke-free laws, it would be unreasonable to ban drunk driving because alcohol is legal, and if you were going to ban it you’d have to ban it everywhere under all circumstances.
Margarine with quality oils, without trans fats, and/or with added plant sterols are in fact healthier than butter unless all recent research into fats and health are to be judged invalid. You know, like evolution has been. By some people, I mean.
Butterfat is pure animal saturated fat. I can arrange for you a visit to my cardiologist if you don’t understand the risks of eating butter.
Zinfab, yeah there are things called mufflers..and yet, yet, when I enter the Portland Metro area, sometimes I can’t even see Mt. Hood, and rarely do I see the sky without that yellow/brown haze.
And as I said, when I am in downtown Portland, the smell of exhaust is very strong, uncomfortably so for me. So when people get as worked up about that as they do about some poor schlep smoking a fucking cigarette in public, then I’ll give them more credence.
But they won’t, because it will involve them giving up something they want. It is hypocritical to say the least. And because it is easier to point the finger at a small group than themselves.
I just looked it up. It has FIVE TIMES the amount of Carbon Monoxide
When dietary Cholesterol became the big health scare of the late 70s (eggs kill!) margarine was marketed as low-cholesterol and thus a healthy alternative to butter.
‘No cholesterol! Made from polyunsaturated vegetable oil!’
Margarine has no cholesterol, which people used to argue made it healthier than butter at 33mg / oz. The debate on which was healthier – margarine or butter – raged back and forth in my mother’s kitchen for most of the late 80s, so I have personal experience in the matter. I got to see my mom empty the butter cabnet in the fridge no less than four times in two years as one study after another declared either butter or margarine to be the lethal mixture.
Finally we just threw up our hands and switched to olive oil.
Um, yeah, that has to be a badly written blurb. I think they meant five times the CO of air, not of inhaled smoke.
You’d have to explain a way to add huge amounts of CO in the lung transpiration exchange, and then not kill the smoker.
Keep looking Michael.
Ahh, good times. Like when he spent 12 hours insisting that governments had no powers to regulate corporations… Never one to back off from a ridiculous position.
Please read up on the relationship between saturated fat, and cholesterol. It is the fact that butterfat is a saturated animal fat that makes it contribute to cholesterol.
TZ, no doubt there is some margarine that’s significantly healthier than butter, but saturated fats and trans fats produced by hydrogenation don’t magically remain healthy just because they came from plants rather than animals, and having those sorts of fats is generally how you get something that’s margarine rather than oil.
Cholestrol has NINE TIMES the amount of second-hand margarine as Carbon Monoxide! BAN IT!!!
The Other Andrew
Let’s break it down into gender: Daddy Statism and Nanny Statism. One is Authority Figure Smash!, the other is For Your Own Good.
We’ve seen the former with the current administration (torture, war as the first option rather than the last, superficial “toughness” that’s more about PR), while the latter is mostly relegated to libertarians’ and conservatives’ nightmares. Some forms of both can be necessary, at times, and some forms of both can be overkill.
Personally, I’d be fine with a nationwide smoking ban, with “smoker-friendly zones” or not. The bottom line is that we already protect people from their own stupidity–seatbelt laws, anyone? (Another libertarian favorite!)
Look, if you want to kill yourself immediately or over a long period of time, that’s absolutely your right. (I imagine there must be some pro-smoking, anti-assisted-suicide people, though, heh.) The only problem is when it starts affecting someone else. Yes, that brings up a lot of tricky issues, but we’re a civilization, and I’m sure we can find some reasonable, consensus-based way of getting through them.
The right and the left both want to regulate private or semi-private behavior. The difference is that the right usually wants to attack imaginary ills (No gay mariage! Brown people are destroying our white culture!), while the left usually wants to attack real problems (global warming, secondhand smoke).
Let’s be honest–there’s no real threat of Nanny Statism. The current Democratic leadership is approving fuzzy-on-torture nominees and bankruptcy bills. They’re center, center-right on most issues. If they go even a teensy step too far to the Nanny side, they’ll be pulled back immediately. Whereas the right has the inmates running the asylum.
Ultimately, I don’t think there’s going to be much support for an “I have the right to poison myself and everyone around me, and if they don’t like it, they can go somewhere else!” candidate. If I were a smoker, I’d be acting meek and cooperative, right now, as the public mood isn’t exactly with you, and being ornery could only result in spankings from Nanny.
I’m quite familiar with whole fats story. I said, above,
I’ll stand on that, except to say, the fact that good heart-healthy margarine is healthier than butter doesn’t make it “healthy.” No butter or margarine at all is probably the healthiest possible diet in terms of cardio health.
But if you have to choose between Promise
, say, and butter, my advice would be to use a heart healthy product.
For example, plant sterols are a direct replacement for cholesterol in the body, so adding these to such products materially reduces cholesterol levels.
In any case, considering that I eat maybe a teaspoon per week of butter on average, I don’t think there’d be much point in switching to margarine — especially since margarine generally tastes lousy enough that there’s no point in eating it in the first place.
Alright I went a googling about childhood asthma…as of last year 1 in 10 American children have it, the rate more than doubling since 1980.
So while smoking has declined dramatically in that same period, everyone wants to get all shrill on the smokers, yet something that is effecting our children, now 10% of them really doesn’t get examined with such high dander.
And it isn’t just car exhaust that is causing it, but our whole lifestyle. As other nations industrilize and urbanize and adopt the western way of life, they are seeing the same trends.
But dammit..it’s all the smokers’ fault!
Nice strawman, there.
Because the people that typically push smoking bans don’t really give a crap about fairness, compromise or science. They tend to be self-righteous assholes that will lie through their teeth for the “greater good”. In many states, bar owners tried to compromise by offering to put in separate ventilation systems. But that wasn’t good enough. It has to be no smoking at all.
What I love about the entire ETS discussion is the enormous level of bad faith the science is presented in. After studying the issue for a few decades, the best the anti-smoking zealots can come up with is a few hand waves over statistical noise and all of a sudden ETS is the biggest health risk facing our country.
Here’s a gem from the zealots: “Just thirty minutes of exposure to secondhand smoke can cause heart damage similar to that of habitual smokers.”
The zealots actually say this crap with a straight face (and worse, other people believe them!).
So please, cut the crap about health issues. If everyone was so concerned about health issues, we’d all be driving electric cars. Smokers are a hated minority so they are an easy target to pile on. But don’t worry if you are a non-smoker. Once the zealots have enacted a de facto ban on smoking, they will find some vice of yours and come after you next.
Hm. If you say so. You don’t appear to eat much in the way of buttery spreads at all, if I take your post at face value, therefore, assuming you are eating quality oils like olive oil, you are probably eating a very heart-healthy diet. (No whole milk, no cheese, no prime rib, no chicken salad with added schmalz? You know, anything that tastes good?)
Michael, that link was from the Lung Association, for crissakes! Don’t you have a link from the American Tobacco Association? I’m sure they have a fair an balanced take on the dangers of secondhand smoke.
My mother smoked for 50 years and she did not die of lung cancer. She died of COPD (look it up), fairly horribly. I sincerely hope that the data about secondhand smoke are wrong, because I’m sure I inhaled a great deal of it as a child.
That said, I don’t get banning smoking in bars, at all. If you want to drink, but you don’t want to inhale secondhand smoke, stay home and drink, it’s safer for everyone.
You’re right, Perry. Even though cigarettes are killing millions worldwide as we speak, we’ll rue the day that we gave up our freedom to smoke them anywhere we like.
Really, great argument. I think you should run for office as the pro-smoking candidate.
Jesus Christ in a handbag.
I don’t cook or bake with much of either and I don’t want to be bothered to remember to soften the butter before I use it–for me it isn’t so much a “taste” concern as it is a “laziness” concern!
Just leave my fucking bourbon alone, you bastards!
This post is not your best work. Let’s see the rate of asthma among nonsmokers, in the households of smokers, compared to the rate in the households of nonsmokers.
Then we’ll talk.
Bombadil..is it really?
Look at the attitude here towards smokers by many..and yet, as I said, 10% of American children have asthma now, double the rate 30 years ago. Where’s the alrm and outrage and self-righteous condemnation? Where is the calls for banning whatever is causing this?
It really should be alarming…but again, actually addressing our lifestyle choices would be too much. So, once you’ve rid the world of the evil, stinky smoker will you all expend as much energy on the greater threat to our children…our own way of life?
I wasn’t aware that marijuana and coke were outlawed piecemeal, zone by zone until it finally was completely illegal, rather than banning them all at once. Also, I wasn’t aware that they were banned for well-supported health concerns; I always thought it was because of (among other things) concerns about the mental states they induce. Also, I wasn’t aware there were billion-dollar industries revolving around them. Unless all that is the case, the comparison doesn’t seem relevant.
The Surgeon General has some information.
I think this is just about the most commonsense precaution I’ve seen in a long time.
Uh, Michael, workplace safety codes apply to privately owned businesses.
Just thought I should point that out. Pity you wasted ssuch high dudgeon on an issue you barely iunderstand. Really.
Where are you? Do they have a pulmonary rehab clinic in your area?
Hang around there for a few weeks and get back to me.
Seriously, maybe get yourself a volunteer gig there and then let’s see how your argument feels to you.
Watch a few people gasping for breath. I watched a neighbor (literally, watched right out the window) keep smoking up to the very day that he died from emphysema. Pretty sight. His attitude reminded me of yours, really. Nice guy.
I think the key word here is “cheap.” If you’re buying a two-gallon tub of yellow goo for a buck and thinking you’re making a healthy choice … sorry.
We eat some sort of Omega-3 fish oil based blah, blah, blah on our toast. For most cooking we use olive oil. For baking, if any one can suggest a real substitute for butter, I’d like to hear about it.
This is one of the most absurd threads I’ve seen in a while. The question was
The answer is yes – every single layer of government from municipalities up through the federal government, has the right to ban smoking. You can ban it under the banner of workplace safety. You can ban it under the banner of pollution/emission standards. This is preposterously non-controversial, unless you decide that the only thing that matters is personal choice which is a ridiculous over-simplification of things.
If you think smoking bans are controversial, that’s not your inner libertarian speaking, it’s your inner anarchist. This is a basic purpose of governments.
ZOMG, people are dying everyday? NO WAI!
You know what sucks about life? It’s 100% fatal. You know what sucks about statistics? They are easy to manipulate.
Here’s an anecdote for you, but one that is currently being studied in one of those sciencey things we’re all so fond of. There’s a Chinese-American doctor that works in NY and has a heart disease clinic in China. China has seen heart disease cases increase dramatically in the last decade or so. Now, a lot of Chinese have been smoking like chimneys for years. Centuries, even. Heart disease has recently become a major problem though.
But Perry, they smoke!!!111eleven Of course they have heart disease!!!onehundredeleven
Actually, the incidence of heart disease wasn’t a huge deal until…wait for it…a western diet was introduced. There’s also the issue of increased pollutants from factories, cars, etc.
Now, is it more likely that tobacco just started causing heart disease all of a sudden? Or did something change that has caused heart disease to become one of the top killers in China.
Again, this is just anecdotal right now since the issue is still being studied. Here in the US, if a person ever smoked and they die of heart disease, then it was a smoking related illness. But if the person was stuffing their face with three Big Macs a day, it’s not a Big Mac related illness.
Amazing what a powerful lobby can do.
I agree 100% with your OP. Well done, Michael. It’s good to know that you can be rational. I now have much more respect for you. And I mean that sincerely. This is a snark free comment. Thumbs up.
You are talking about diagnosed illness, not illness.
Who kept stats on this when I was a kid, and turning blue and getting adrenaline shots to get me breathing again? Don’t recall. Don’t remember any mentioning that I lived in a house with three smoking adults. I doubt there was ever an hour of the day when the three were at home that there wasn’t a cigarette going in the house.
But anyway, the more I read your posts, the more puzzled I am. It’s obvious that asthma is aggravated by air pollution. Smoke is pollution, but it’s not the only pollution. What exactly is your point?
You are either trying your hand at spoof, in which I’d say, okay, enough is enough, you suck at it … or else you are just incredibly stupid on this issue.
Really, that statement is so idiotic that it fails the spoof test on the grounds of not being believable.
Wow. That’s powerful, powerful stuff. It almost made me forget you haven’t a leg to stand on here.
Nobody’s saying smoking isn’t bad. I doubt you can find someone to take that side. It’s a matter of personal rights vs. those who would wet their pants and give up everyone’s rights to tack on an extra 30 seconds to their lifespan. In fact, we’re talking about the same people who wouldn’t mind surveillance cameras on ever corner if it keeps the brown people from blowing up any more stuff.
The thing about smoking bans is that everyone is terrified over them before they pass, but once they do, even the smokers prefer it to the old situation. I’ve seen the whole “DOOM! DOOM! Oh wait, things are better now.” cycle happen 6 or 7 times now.
I love this hackneyed argument regarding smoking, as if a smoking ban in workplaces is the last frontier on the road to complete government takeover of our private homes.
“Don’t work at a place that allows smoking”…so work places can have any old thing they want and it’s a worker’s choice to be there or not? So “don’t work at a place that has asbestos” or “don’t work at a place that doens’t meet fire code” or “don’t work at a place that emits toxic fumes with no protection” or “don’t work at a place that has 24 hour shifts” is a matter of worker choice? After all, they’re private establishments, so they get to do what they want, right?
This is an old argument, and the evidence to the contrary is well-documented. Light up and read some of it.
The WHO ETS study showed a decrease in the incidence of lung cancer for the children of smokers (the only statistically significant portion of that study). If you’d like to dig up the statistics (with the RR and CI pleasekthx) regarding children, ETS and asthma, we can all discuss it.
btw, is anyone here that is trying to protect the childrens from the horrors of second hand smoke also working to abolish homes next to highways? Or is it okay if the childrens get asthma from car pollution?
You know what, man? This is not funny. You are either pretending to be stupid, or else you are in fact incredibly stupid. But the point is, you are spreading false information.
If you don’t think that the basis for treating smoking as a causative factor in heart disease is valid, then you need to examine the science, and talk to a cardiologist.
And meanwhile, even if you are joking, STFU. I mean it.
Oh yeah, smokers LOVE standing outside in 120-degree or -20-degree weather. Me personally, I loved how 3 or 4 times a day I had to stop what I was doing, walk almost ten minutes to the parking garage, smoke in usually lousy weather, then walk back almost ten minutes inside just to keep from killing everyone I work with. LOVED IT!
Funny, Perry, we were talking about asthma.
STFU man. Really, if your schtick is supposed to be funny, trust me, it’s not.
Note how the linked page defines second-hand smoke: the smoke the smoker breathes out, PLUS the smoke coming off the end of the cigarette that the smoker never directly breathed in the first place.
So all kinds of other horrible stuff tends to get sucked up the cigarette into the smoker’s mouth, but mostly the CO streams off into the air. This doesn’t sound impossible.
Either way, though, this seems pretty irrelevant. Carbon monoxide is among the least harmful thing given off by cigarettes. Carbon monoxide is dangerous because it looks like normal air (looks like, smells like, chemically bonds like, whatever), but cells can’t actually use it, so if the room is full of CO you can suffocate and not notice it until you get lightheaded. However, the room has to be full of CO for that to happen. It’ll kill you in a few minutes or hours if you’re breathing it to the exclusion of normal air, but as far as I know it doesn’t
causecontribute to cancer. I’d be much more worried about the nicotinic acid someone mentioned upthread, the heavy metals, etc.
I am currently undergoing radiation treatment for cancer (which does not appear to be related to smoking, just for clarity). I go to my appointment each day in the late afternoon. Yesterday, as I was leaving the hospital, I had to pass someone — a patient, in hospital johhny and slippers, with his IV rack still connected to his arm, on the sidewalk outside the hospital, in front of a “no smoking” sign, lighting up a cigarette. “Stupid” does not come close to covering it.
Uh no, that’s why we have air quality standards. Which are not high enough, IMO.
But please, keep up this ugly diatribe against health and common sense.
He’s got a point. The “Western Diet” is as big, or a bigger, threat to health than smoking. I see no reason for him to STFU. In fact, I invoke the power of rubber and demand that YOU, in fact, STFU.
If any of you get a chance to try Olivina margarine, go for it. Any margarine tastes okay on a piece of bread. But Olivina passes the toast test.
Then you should just find a job where they allow smoking.
There are cardiologists studying the issue in China right now. And where did I say that smoking is not a causative factor? Reread the post.
Yes, the WHO study is the one I remember off the top of my head and it discussed lung cancer. If you want to discuss asthma in children, cite the research. I’m going to do your work for you.
And if you are trying to dodge the issue by being a prick, it’s working. Trust me.
There are a lot of issues surrounding ETS that people cite as the God Given Truth based on crap they’ve heard over the last two decades. A lot of it is flat out wrong and based on junk science. But it pushes an agenda and it feels right. Mmmm, wingnutty.
Of course diet is a big factor, did you miss the conversation above about fats and diet?
Smoking is a huge causative factor in heart disease. As well as lung disease.
What is your point? That those risks are being exaggerated? because if that’s your point, then if I were the blog owners I’d take down your posts. You are spreading toxic misinformation here.
Ummm, there is no such thing as a U.S. Citizen’s Right to Inhale Carcinogenic Toxins.
Contrary to uninformed public opinion, this is not a Bill of Rights or privacy issue. It is a public health and welfare. Doh!
Bombadil, man…hope you’re doing okay.
Then WTF are you saying, Perry? That the health risks of smoking are exaggerated?
That people who decry these risks are somehow misguided?
Say what you mean, if can do it without making your inane wisecracks, and tell me what you really believe the institutional public health posture about smoking should be.
Oh yeah, the other thing you are forgetting is that to ban smoking in one’s own home would essentially be declaring cigarettes illegal and that will never happen as too much tax revenue is generated from tobacco products.
Chickens, commence reattaching heads.
But, but, but, TZ! If subject A is worse than subject B, we shouldn’t be policing either one!
If hamburgers damage your heart AND smoking damages your heart, banning the smoking of cigs in restaurants is the exact same thing as waterboarding anyone who eats a french fry! We also know that 2nd hand smoke never ever hurt anyone because of five decades of research by tobacco companies. And if you ban smoking in restaurants then, logically, you’re going to ban smoking in my house – in much the same was as prohibiting dogs in restaurants has lead to the government abduction of Scruffles, my five year old Terrier, from off my front porch! In a no-knock raid at gunpoint! Where does it end?!
What? No right to privacy?
That’s the kind of bunk that passes for argument around here.
You are actually watching some supposedly intelligent people here saying things like “well, overeating is a health risk, should we outlaw that too?”
Um actually, if overeating caused a cloud of food to be thrown over bystanders and made them sick ….. then yes, we’d have to control it.
Or how about this brilliant argument: “Well, cigarettes aren’t the only thing that kill people!”
Amazing, really. You can’t make this shit up.
No, smoking is very bad for you. It is good to warn people about the dangers of smoking.
People should be warned about the dangers of smoking based on sound science. Unfortunately the entire anti-smoking movement has gone way overboard on the issue and is arguing in incredibly bad faith now (like MADD). In fact, they often flat out lie, have admitted as much, and are okay with that. I’m perfectly fine with discussing how nasty smoking is — or how bad a fatty, meat filled diet is for you — but what that discussion can do without is the hyperbole and flat out falsehoods that people have been pimping over the years.
If people want to ban smoking, then they should say it. I’m sick of this slow encroachment of the state that is afraid to give up the revenue it gets from killing people. The anti-smoking lobby should be honest and say they want to stop people from smoking, period. And they should petition the government to do so, based on good faith arguments. But they aren’t doing that anymore, and they haven’t been doing it for some time.
I don’t think anyone except maybe Perry is forgetting common sense here.
Did you see me advocate banning smoking in the home?
In fact, however, I think that a law that bans smoking inside an closed space that contains other people is probably on the horizon, and while I tend to be as faux libertariney as the next person around here, I am not sure that such a law isn’t inevitable and necessary. I smoked for years … outside. Never smoked in my own house. Not that big a deal. There’s no practical reason why smoking has to be done in the same enclosed space as other people, and I would argue that there is no inherent right to it either. We’ll see how that develops.
But the kind of smoking bans you are seeing now are become the rule, not the exception, and will continue to spread, as they should. A basic principle of self-government is that people can successfully choose to govern themselves in their own best interests. I think this is a good example of that, and I support its general, sensible spread.
As for the counter arguments seen here in this thread? I’m ebarrassed to be associated with the people who are making them, honestly. Of course, given the amount of spoof here, one always has to allow for that. But in this case, spoof about a basic health issue is toxic spoof AFAIC.
Um, Perry? Have you followed the recent history of anti-smoking laws in this country?
It’s here, it’s spreading, it ain’t going away, and it has a lot of public support.
Give it up, man.
Dreggas, can you give us some background in this area? It sounds like something up or at least around your alley.
Um, PP, where’s the legislation banning the production and sale of tobacco products? Where’s the petitioning to makes tobacco a Schedule 1 substance? Tobacco has no accepted medical use. The anti-smoking zealots should be honest.
Perry, I love you man, but you are really wrong on this one.
But meanwhile, light up and take a deep drag on that cigarette. You’re young.
Your argument appears to be that since the law allows the sale of tobacco, it is wrong to ban its use anywhere, anytime.
Fuck, dude, not even the 2nd Amendment gets that kind of goofy treatment. You can buy and own and even carry a gun. But you can’t bring one into the courthouse unless you are a sworn law officer. Try it and the court security folks will give you a demonstration of how fast you can be slapped in a jail cell. It’s pretty impressive, really. You would be in a striped suit so fast you wouldn’t know what hit you.
This isn’t rocket science, compadre. Really.
What we have here is a classic case where rights conflict*. Purist** libertarians have a hard time understanding rights can conflict, let alone coming to any sort of sane mediation of said conflict.
*Assuming you accept second hand smoke causes real harm. ie, assuming you accept the science.
Alright..let’s have a thread where we talk about whether it is right to ban or severley restrict food products, cleaning products, anything that is INCREASINGLY causing harm to our children and I hope to see the sam elevel of “fuck them, it’s a public health risk, etc, etc…and oh yeah, personal bubble, fuck them”.
I’d be really shocked to see the same level of vitriol and THAT is what bothers the hell out of me. Because ALL these things are used, eaten or driven by the vast majority and that’s getting too close to personal. But God Damn those smokers,…really I don’t know why is this perplexing to you all.
TZ, I think you are a bit old to be included in stats that began being taken in 1980.
And TZ, you find the rate yourself, but consider this…smoking has DECREASED dramatically since 1980..I think we can agree on that. Yet the asthma has DOUBLED. Is that not obvious? If you were trying to find a correlation between smoking and asthma in this case, I’d think you’d certainly have to see an INCREASE in smoking to make your argument or implication.
Instead, you all will have to admit to other lifestyle factors that are leading to the increases in asthma and allergies, etc. Why all of a sudden it seems is there this big increase in peanut allergies, etc?
There’s irrationality here, but it ain’t me. I fully recognise that smoking is bad for you..just as eating a crap diet is bad for you (as was pointed out earlier obesity deaths are matching and starting to surpass smoking deaths…but we can’t point to fat people and hiss..it just isn’t polite…).
It’s the Scarlet S I find disgusting. Because there are SO MANY things that are killing us…or making us very sick, but again..those require EVERYONE to change..and that ain’t going to happen.
Thanks, Krista. So far, so good. Living in the Boston area, I have access to some great medical facilities and terrific doctors. I’m a quarter of the way through radiation, and am slotted for surgery sometime in January. So far, I get tired fairly easily and have had some minor nausea, but knock wood, it’s going swimmingly otherwise.
Cite? I’m not saying that the government shouldn’t be able to ban smoking anywhere. The utter lack of sense and patent dishonesty emanating from the anti-smoking side is very annoying. While Zifnab launches some poorly formed snark:
There are cities in California doing that exact thing. And sadly, the people pushing the anti-smoking agenda are doing it based on lies and half truths. Hell, they admit to lying and they are okay with it.
Warning to the next person that argues banning smoking is for the children: Bill O’Reilly is going to send Fox security over to your house and have you arrested for stealing his copyrighted shtick.
Considering I believe people have a right to protest in Grocery Stores and Shopping Malls etc. as long as they don’t prevent the customers from shopping there (peer pressure does not count) I am perfectly fine with considering certain areas public places. So I guess I’m about halfway. Restaurants are a bit different than shopping malls after all.
Someone I know failed to quit smoking even after pregnancy. It’s tragic.
Neocons and “other crazies” advocate government force to no end in order to regulate peaceful behavior, as against the legitimate function of preventing criminal behavior – whacking someone on the head for their money, getting values from others in a fraudulent contract by not disclosing dangers or threats (such as smoke), etc. They create all kinds of rationalizations to create the more perfect society enforced by government guns. For example, it is bad for researchers to take an embryonic stem cell (no brain, no nervous system, no anything much different than the millions of ordinary skin cells that die on a person every day) and try to cure all kinds of diseases with it. The “other crazies” say it is bad for people to understand and judge risks and tradeoffs themselves – e.g. smoking, (and eventually fatty diet, etc.). These crazies advocate bloated, regulated, inefficient mixed Socialist/Capitalist societies that use government guns to take wealth by force and give back healthcare, education, etc. with the “correct values” (Plantation owners in the antebellum South did the same thing with their negro slaves). They blame the lack of economic choices resulting from massive government created regulatory and entitlement overhead on free markets and then argue for more regulation/expansion to ever greater bloat. Instead of acting peaceably to create the value options they desire for themselves (e.g. smoke free restaurants, bars, etc.), they want instead to put government guns to everyone else’s heads. See North Korea for a more consistent practice of this philosophy and the end of this road.
What if second hand smoke caused you to turn gay? Would wingnuts be able to ban it fast enough?
Probably. I’m wondering if the CIA is forcing terrorism suspects to sit in smoke filled rooms. After all, breathing second hand smoke is torture. Maybe it will get the terriers to talk.
Well, I WAS a bartender! (rimshot)
No, as I said earlier but apparently must spell out again, more carefully so that you can see it through your rant-induced state of mind:
The rate of diagnosis has doubled. We don’t know what the previous rate of illness was, or is now, for that matter.
If you asked me … a lifelong asthma sufferer, and a very profound childhoold asthma sufferer (imagine me blue, if you will) … why the rate has gone up, it’s because our ability to diagnose the illness has improved dramatically, while at the same time, causative factors are likely to be on the increase at the same time. Asthma is a weird, tricky illness, much has yet to be learned. But one thing we know pretty well:
Air pollution makes asthma worse, and smoking is air pollution.
That’s it. You don’t need to know much more than that. It’s so completely a no brainer, I can only wonder where you think you are coming from with your argument.
If a risk factor which has absolutely basis in necessity in terms of life or health can be abated, then this is what you get:
Congratulations, capelza, you win. High fives all around. Really. Good for you.
Well, two things:
One, where, then?
And two, so what? The law, as driven by the wishes of the people, will probably go farther. I support that, it can’t happen fast enough for me.
Your noble defense of smoking will be something you can tell your grandkids about. If you live long enough.
Sorry. My bad. I apologize. I should’ve known better than to engage a troll with excess time on their hands. I take it all back. I just hope the “blog owners” don’t take down THIS post, as well!
I hereby officially REPEAL my previous statement that “The “Western Diet is as big, or a bigger, threat to health than smoking. Thank you, TZ for pointing out this toxic misinformation.
But it’s for a good cause! Lying is okay when it’s your side that is doing it. Even shame faced lying. It’s weird the few issues that will turn otherwise clear thinking non-wingnuts into just that. If I really wanted to stir up a hornet’s nest I’d post a diary at Kos on the Israeli/Palestinian problem. I think it’s the only one that can top the smoking debate.
Indeed, if California wants to try it, then they’ll try it. And I hope such a law gets struck down, as it appears to have gone over the line. However, drawing the line at public eating establishments doesn’t strike me as unfair at all. No less than banning smoking in buses or movie theaters.
The argument I keep hearing is “If they do it in place A, they’ll do it in place B, and its unfair if they do it in place B”. This is a nice strawman and a good dodge, but doesn’t go to the heart of the question – the basic premise of the post – does the government have the right to prohibit you from smoking [i]in public[/i]. It does. They can. And as long as the majority of Americans find smoking offensive, the issue will continue to be a winner on the ballot.
Wow, “biased against smoking” because I worked in a cancer research center? One devoted to curing cancer? One that actually conducts research proving the causitive links between various activities and/or genetics and cancers? One that invented bone marrow transplants? Big insult there buddy.
No one is under any obligation to keep a mind so open one’s brain falls out. Being “biased” against an activity that is known to cause cancer is the only intelligent response.
Regardless of whether you support smoking bans, being in favor of smoking is unequivocally stupid.
I also love when someone starts talking about “sound science” and calling people who aren’t in favor of smoking (kills 400,000+ people/year) “zealots”. 70+ years of sound scientific research only seemed like it wasn’t overwhelming supportive of the link between tobacco/nicotine and cancer because of 50 years of lies and obfuscation by the tobacco companies.
Bombadil – Every day I saw more than one nurse at the cancer center where I worked outside having a smoke break. My wife’s mom, who spent 5+ years nursing her emphasema-ridden father through the last miserable years of his life, smokes.
Those are equally stupid.
Sure, fine, someone will go too far in the banning of smoking (they’ll ban thinking of smoking, or being “smoking hot” or whatever). The ban will be repealed and O’Reilly will have a joke to run with for another year.
But smoking is going to go down as one of the dumbest voluntary health threats we supported/promoted in (I dunno), forever.
That was meant to be humour.
It is toxic. It suggests that somehow or other, smoking is a lesser health threat because … what? …it arguable kills fewer total people?
Even though any fool can see that everyone eats, whereas about 25% of people in this country smoke ….. if you can find a pulmonary specialist or cardiologist in this country who doesn’t say that smoking, for those who smoke, is in the top three risks to the health of their patients, then you should probably have the guy’s license pulled.
Your suggestion is pure craphead material. This is a thread about banning a public behavior that has no basis in necessity whatever. Nobody needs to smoke. Comparing the practice to eating a bad diet has no place in this discussion, because the question has no bearing on the real issue, which is, should the government ban smoking?
Of course it should. If government can’t control a noxious and dangerous behavior, then what good is government?
Another point probably too obvious for you to grasp is, your eating of butter and cheese does nothing to degrade my health and doesn’t annoy me. Your smoking in a public place, does annoy me and does potentially degrade my health.
The two are hardly comparable. But thanks for turning a matter of health into a battle of snarky slogans. Really, you’ve performed a great public service.
I assume you are a Republican.
Oh? Not everybody. I don’t drink any more and never smoked, but yet I occasionally go to a bar and have a non-alcoholic beer or two and shoot the shit with a very good friend who is the bartender. The only “unhealthy behavior” I engage in at that bar is being around drunks. I can generally deal with that by avoiding arguments with those I consider volatile or packing heat. If they allowed smoking I would have to either suck it up or leave. Since cigarette smoke makes my nasal passages swell and gives me a headache (and makes my clothes and hair stink) I would choose to leave.
Why should I have to make that choice? Was I doing something wrong? Explain, please.
That’s right, capelza …. speaking out against smoking is just totally dishonest. Bless you for standing up for it.
Watch your back. Fox security is on its way.
I agree that we should always be looking for ways to stay healthier, but note that smoking is currently responsible for approximately 100x more deaths per year than is asthma. Were those numbers reversed, or even in parity, you’d definitely have a point there. However, you could make some of the same points regarding heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the US. Of course, some of that is attributable to smoking, too… :)
Same here, and instantly. So much so that the smoke from a car near me on the road, exhaled out his window and taken into my air vent, has that effect on me at a stop light.
What gets me is that the defenders of smoke here are using some kind of twisted “freedom” argument … as though I haven’t a right to freedom from your frigging smoke in a public place!
It reminds me of the argument we used to make to the Second Amendment crowd: I’m not taking a bullet for your gun rights. Either make me safe, or I will attempt to use the law to do it for me. Make me safe, by regulating use, by regulating safer products, whatever you have to do. Just do it.
But eating butter and cheese (at least what we call butter and cheese in this country) degrades the health of the person consuming them, causes a drain on our public resources and is annoying when you have to sit next to an obese person on a plane or a bus or a subway car. So I ask you, if government can’t control a noxious and dangerous behavior, then what good is government?
Hey, it looks like you and the wingnuttosphere can agree on something after all!
Just one thing to say to you, numbskull: Helmet laws for motorcycle riders, and seat belt laws for automobiles. Those laws have saved lives, and saved the cost of repairing injuries that would have otherwise been caused. Of course the government exists to pass such laws. Get a frigging clue.
People will either govern themselves in accordance with their perception of their interests, or they will seek new government. Smoking is going away in public places, and private ones are next. The sooner, the better.
Don’t like it? Move to Mexico.
Is that all you got left? That kind of lame shit?
You lose. Go away.
Sorry, I mean lame feces.
Oh Pb, don’t get me wrong. Smoking is bad. But it has been made public enemy number one when as has been said above, ovbesity is killing just as many people now.
I’ve spent years to keep harmful chemicals, foods, and materials out of my kids home…including cigarettes…I was less successful with Cheetos and pop, but happily the kids got over that…but none of the kids wound up overweight.
The point I am making about childhood asthma is that it is in a way, a canary in a coal mine. Even as smoking is decreasing, we aren’t getting healtheir, in fact we are getting sicker. Thankfully asthma deaths are down. I have a younger brother who has asthma and allergies. I am not just picking on asthma for a reason. Diabetes, etc…take your pick.
So again, the thing is why is it that smokers are an “acceptable” target for incredible rudeness yet if someone was to tell an obese person, “You are fat, you’re costing me a bundle in insurance rates…quit eating so much, you fat pig..and oh yeah, you stink.”…that would be met with censure. Not that I would ever do that. I would never dream of it.
Do you support a government ban on fatty foods? Obesity is a major problem in this country and obesity related deaths are rapidly increasing. If your concern is the health of your fellow citizens, then I would have to assume you support government legislation banning fatty foods. Dangerous behavior and all that.
(re: helmet laws. I loved living in New Mexico due to their lack of helmet laws. I almost always rode in full leathers with a helmet, but it was nice to take a ride without a helmet every once in a while.)
You are trying to legislate my interests and call them your interests. I don’t expect the government to protect me from myself.
I’ll let you know in a week, after I get back from Mexico. At least I can get real Coca-Cola there.
Let me try it this way.
You are absolutely right TZ. I believe the government has the right to legislate everything that can possibly cause harm to a person and especially things that annoy me. Many people have wheat allergies so I am going to support legislation banning products with wheat in them. Many people have peanut allergies so I am also supporting legislation banning any products with peanuts in them.
While I’m at it, I am highly allergic to perfume. Time to ban that. I’m also very allergic to cats. No more cats. (this is fun) You know what else I don’t like? Noisy kids. I’d suggest a fine for any family that has kids that are too loud. The level of loudness is based on my mood at the time.
Alcohol is bad, so let’s ban that. Driving kills numerous people every year, so it’s time to ban cars. You don’t have a right to speed around in a 2 ton death machine. Cheetos are bad for you and they fuel the Keyboard Kommandos. Ban those. And what’s up with Cheez Whiz? No right to eat Cheez Whiz. Ban it.
Sitting for extended period times is bad for your health. I would suggest a government mandated health regimen. Every 2 hours you have to exercise for 15 minutes. It’s for your own good.
Anything else you want to add? You seem to have a good idea of what’s acceptable for other people, and you are perfectly willing to use the force of government to implement it. Let’s get a list together and we can go petition the government.
ZOMG it’s illegal for me to perform an impromptu strip tease at my local Crapplebees! This must end, or next the gov’mint will outlaw nekkidness altogether, even in the privacy of your very own home, even while bathing!
ZOMG these libruls are out of control!
/second demimondaine. I’m asthmatic, if I’m around someone smoking or even someone who has smoked recently, it can trigger an asthma attack. I resent it when smokers try to make me feel like an asshole if I politely ask them not to smoke around me, even though their cig can, and has, sent me to the ER.
But apart from that, one of the downsides of civilization is that we all have to give a little to get along together, and part of that getting along is recognizing that when the vast majority of people in any community want their environs a certain way, they’re pretty much going to get what they want. If 80% of people think it’s a good idea to not have nightbane particles floating around in the air, then that 80% will pretty much get what they want. This business of smoking apologists dismissing non-smokers’ health concerns out of hand and characterizing non-smokers as preachy holier-than-thou authoritarians is not only insulting, it’s fundamentally stupid. The non-smokers are winning, and they’re going to keep on winning. 80% backing is enough to make a Constitutional Amendment, if it comes to that.
So if you want to keep getting your libertarian backs up and forcing the issue with legal challenges to incremental, localized bans, go ahead. Screw yourselves rotten.
I already told you – you’re right and I’m wrong. About everything. EVERYTHING! What more do you want from me? Go intellectually wank in front of someone else.
Assume whatever the fuck you want.
Yes, Smoking has been moved front and center as a Public Health Issue. This is not a mistake, but rather an appropriate action. This does not mean there aren’t other Public Health factors that need to be addressed. Auto emissions, for example, are important, and in fact HAVE been addressed to a fairly large degree…as someone pointed out earlier in the thread these emissions have been drastically cut within a generation. When I was ten I used to look down from the hillside home we lived in and see a literal pool of brown inversion layer over the L.A. basin. I can visit that old neighborhood now and while it is not perfect, there no longer is a brown pool. There is still more work to do there, though, and I hope our lawmakers can put some reasonable rules in place to do so. We would all benefit.
If this were done, would you be less upset about the smoking restrictions? Why?
The object of Health and Safety rules are to make us, well, healthier and safer. Reasonable steps need to be taken so that people are not UNNECESSARILY and involuntarily subjected to things that may harm them. Cigarette smoke happens to be one of those things. That other harmful things are not as strictly regulated does not mean that cigarette smoke restrictions are wrong.
…then at least they’d be honest Glibertarians, not afraid to speak their minds?
Is smoke the only thing that triggers your asthma attacks? If not, are you supporting bans on everything else that triggers your asthma attacks?
Well, anyone that tries to make you feel like an asshole for that is an asshole and incredibly rude.
Tax Analyst, i am not even that upset about the retrictions to be frank.
But I am bothered, as I have said over and over again, that the same people who will pitch a keening fit over smokers will not do so about any of the other things that will kill us. It’s the witch hunt thing and the permission it seems to give people to be self-righteous dicks. Not to mention the lying. If it is so bad (and I agree it is), then why the fuck do they have to exaggerate as Perry pointed out.
And to be honest, I really do not like the hypocrisy of mostly the same people using taxes on smokers to fund health care for children etc. Because it requires 2 things…that smoking continues and a complete lack of balls to actually just fund the damn programs. Or tax Cheetos and Sobes…
I voted against the measure here in Oregon because I don’t want a fucking specific vice enshrined in the State Constitution.
First they came for the smokers..you know the drill.
So hard to tell these days, what with the whole “joke 2.0” thing.
Isn’t this general line of thinking a “false dilemma”? Just a red herring? Or Both?
We understand smoking and its ill effects very well. Let’s make sure we minimize its impact on American health. The deaths and illnesses from smoking are 100% preventable, and compared to many other things, fairly simple to prevent (unlike “crime” for example).
After that (or in addition to that), let’s take on obesity.
We can multitask here. Like working to improve the quality of our food supply so people don’t die of salmonella poisoning, botulism or e-Coli, while simultaneously reducing smoking a lot.
Wow, capelza, it takes real cajones to turn Rev. Neimoeller’s call for action against one of the greatest evils of our time into a rallying cry for people who partake in undeniably death-causing (to themselves and others) behavior.
I call Godwin’s law right fucking now.
This is the kind of hyperbole I’m talking about. You know what? People die. Every day. We are all going to die at some point. If a person is happy smoking, drinking, and eating a double pepperoni pizza every day, why the hell should I care? As long as people know the risk associated with their behavior, they should be free to do it. So they live until 60, instead of 70. Do you really care? If so, why? What business is it of yours?
I’m deathly allergic to shellfish. I deeply resent it when people who eat shellfish do it in my vicinity – even when I politely ask them to stop eating that lobster. Seriously, even the steam it emits can cause me to go into AS. You have no idea how many epi-pens I’ve gone through.
This is not my story. But it is the story of a friend of mine. Should we ban shellfish because it might send you to the ER? How about peanuts (which I was deathly allergic to, although I seem to have grown out of it.)
Whenever I walk into a club and smell a strong scent of cologne or perfume, my sinisus immediately close up. Should they ban that? Same with strong smelling deodorants.
Whatever…like I said, when I begin to see the same venom towards smokers (fuck them) turned towards people who have eaten themsleves into MY plane seat or have weight related diabetes or heart surgery, etc..then I’ll back down.
I really think it’s disgusting for supposedly “liberal” people to have a whipping boy. And that is what smokers are to so many. It goes beyond health issues into having someone to kick around.
And it is true. Once the smokers are gone (and I think they will be) there’ll be someone elsee to sneer and gloat at. Or try to legislate out of existence, but not before they put a sin tax on whatever it is they are eating or doing. If you don’t think that will happen, then you just aen’t paying attention.
Actually, PC, the question of other things is very much a live one to me.
My employer is famously “dog friendly” — and guess what the other thing which triggers attacks for me is? Yeah, you got it: dogs. Now, here’s an interesting example where there really is a choice; I don’t have to work here, and I could go any of several other places locally. So the team makes accomodations for me — no dogs in meetings I attend, and we try to keep dogs out of conference rooms and public spaces. Other than that? It’s my problem, not theirs. I knew about the issue when I came here, and I chose to work here anyway.
OTOH, if you try to force any other asthmatic into a situation which will inevitably cause an attack…I’ll tell you in no uncertain terms how illegal that is. :)
So far, it’s only cig smoke and the mold in our bathroom we found the landlord had painted over.
Look, I get your point – are we going to ban peanuts because some people have legume allergies and all like that – but tobacco companies are actively trying to foster an adversarial attitude in their customers (thus they’re more than willing to fund the “can someone tell us why smoking isn’t stupid” commercials that has even me hating non-smokers for trying to preach to me about my choice to have a – hey, I don’t smoke!) And that attitude is going to fuck over the smokers more than it does anybody else. You can argue Libertarian ethics all you want, and whether it’s reasonable for the government to force all businesses to offer a popular product to its customers that the free market has failed to widely supply (cross apply to airbags here). At the end of the day, power is the supreme fact. Non-smokers have it. Stop pissing us off.
I should add that I have come upon this with my own kids…one got the full dose at school and was being very rude to people smoking, not near him, but across the damn street, outside.
I boxed his ear (verbally) and told him to never be that rude to anyone, because there will come a time when he is doing something that others don’t approve of and how would he like it if they were being as big a jackass as he had just been.
According to TZ, we should legislate against pets in the workplace then. After all, you shouldn’t be forced to choose between your health and other people’s completely voluntary behavior.
Perry, the “great evil of our time” is a comment that Rev. Neimoeller’s words referenced the Nazis. For capelza to turn those words into some blithe commentary about “smokers” is just pathetic.
Smoking bans != Nazis.
And, as Godwin’s law clearly states, the moment when you compare one side in an argument to the Nazis, you have lost the argument.
Michael D., that is what you just said to me. When you bring a dog into my presence, I can quite literally feel my lungs close up. It is no less uncomfortable than what I would feel when a new brown belt was first learning the four major neck chokes, and I was the teacher upon whom he was practicing — in fact, it is more uncomfortable.
Stop and think about what you just said there jenniebee. Take out the smoking part and put in Dick Cheney. See why I don’t like this attitude?
I would not get a bit of work done. I’d be too busy squealing in delight at all the puppitude. Wanna trade employers?
Let’s ban dogs!
At the end of the day, power is the supreme fact. People who are against gay rights have it. Stop pissing them off!
Yes, if a substantial number of legislators are elected on the promise of banning shellfish, cologne, etc. The smoking bans aren’t an indication of some creeping totalitarianism, they are a function of popular government working exactly as it was intended to.
Bans have been passed by state governments, municipal governments and the feds to my knowledge. That they are still on the books is a testament to their overwhelming popularity and to nothing else whatsoever.
Seriously, there is literally nothing that should be controversial about this. Don’t like it? Run for office on a platform of reversing smoking bans.
If you don’t get the difference between having to avoid Red Lobster – which most of us try to do anyway – and having to avoid all smokers, then there’d be just no talking to you. I think you do get it, you just desperately like your fantasyland where nothing you do really affects your neighbors, so you can do anything you want and anybody who objects is just a preachy busybody. Add a pony and what else is there to wish for?
Sorry. Tyranny of the Majority is NOT the function of government.
No. You have to avoid all the nice restaurants, conferences, parties, cookouts, the Sea, cruise ships, etc.
Or what? You’ll ban smoking in restaurants? You’ll ban it in bars? In stadiums? In cars? On th sidewalk? On the beach? In parks? In the home?
Sorry. All of those have been done. Just remember, the nannies are never happy. When they are done with smoking they’ll need a new cause that is “one of the greatest evils of our time”. If the government isn’t allowed to legislate what goes on in your home, you could build a nuclear reactor!
Nothing says fun like a bar full of asthmatic smoking ban proponents.
Any waterfront, like mine, where shrimp and crab shells are laying around by the truck load, liquid trailing behind them full of wonderful crustaecean goodness.
Seaports in general bad idea for the seafood allergic.
A friend of mine in Canada has the epi pens on hand at all times. I was amazed at the things she can not eat. Chocolate! because it also sometimescontains ground nuts.. Now THAT is a tragedy. Choclate could kill her.
Actually, they don’t. They’re slipping and they know it. That’s why they’re so vehement about it.
But if you want to talk about the short term then it still applies. Do you want to convince the next 5% of people who aren’t quite sure about whether gay marriage is a good idea and whose last qualms are because they think it would mean that their preacher would be forced to perform gay marriages that they should come over to the side of freedom? Which method do you think would work better for that – framing the argument to reassure them that their fears are unfounded, or framing it to tell them that they’re bigotted asswipes for thinking the way they do? Hmmm?
Ok, while you’re at it, why aren’t you ranting about noise ordinances? Shouldn’t I be allowed to blast Metallica at 2am to my heart’s content? How about building codes – how can it be ok for the “government” to tell me it’s not ok to build a 10 story behemouth blocking out the sun for all my neighbors?
If a smoking ban is not ok in your book, how can you justify those? Don’t like the health angle then fine – it’s also a public nuisance and an irritant.
I’m not a chocolate fan, but I imagine my mother would kill herself if she found out she was allergic to chocolate. :-)
And btw, since when was being a smoker determined genetically? Or is it your contention that being gay is a habit, an addiction, a lifestyle choice?
Well, there’s no Constitutional right to eat shellfish, so I say we ban it.
So what the hell is the answer, then?
Smokers feel that they have every right to smoke in public places. Non-smokers feel that they have every right to not have to be subjected to smoke in public places. I don’t think that the free market is the answer. When I was in Halifax, all the bars were smoke-friendly until there was actual legislation, making them provide ventilated smoking areas, with the rest of the building being smoke-free. Personally, I think that’s where they should have stayed — it may not have been the perfect solution, but I think it was the best one. Now, with the smoking bans, I will admit that public places are much more pleasant to me. On the other hand, our local nursing home got rid of their smoking room, and I can’t help but think that it’s really kind of mean to make an 89-year old woman either go outside and freeze her ass off, or quit smoking, which is likely the only real pleasure she has left.
No easy answers. While my gut instinct is that my pulmonary health trumps your right to indulge your addiction, I do wonder if we’re being a bit too black-and-white about the whole thing.
BTW: It’s my 38th birthday today, and I may go out for chocolate covered lobster and cigars!
Happy birthday. I’ll go snort some ground kittens in celebration.
I’ll show noisy kids how to blow smoke rings.
No, you aren’t doing anything wrong. Neither are the bar owners imo. We live in an imperfect world, unfortunately, and we can’t all have everything we want.
You are completely welcome to disagree. All I said was I have a hard time justifying extending smoking bans to bars, because in that specific case I think the public health case outweigh the harm you cause bar owners by taking away their choice to run their bar as smoking or non.
My point is the issue isn’t so clear cut here. Rights are in conflict (your right to live your life without being forced to breath poison; my right to allow perfectly legal behavior on my property). To me, the two major positions boil down to minimizing one right or the other, and I’m not willing to go there. That leaves us with imperfect compromises and an attempt to do the least bad.
Sorry if my lack of zealotry for either side offends.
Michael..it was an eye-opener for me. While heavy exhaust and smog bug the hell out of me and make me light headed and feel pukey, I have NO food allergies. I can eat anything with pleasure and always do when I travel.
We couldn’t go to Chinese or really any Asian food restaurant because of the peanut oil. And when I came out of the grocery store with those wonderfil little gateaus that Canadians can buy in the grocery store (I am in awe) all excited she sadly informed me that she couldn’t touch them. I felt terrible.
She was going to university at Lethbridge and couldn’t move into the school facilties because they couldn’t accommadate her allergy in the meals.
For it to be “Tyranny of the Majority” you’d have to show that the majority is acting out of a whim or concern trolling and not in its own self-interest. What you’re arguing is that the self-interest of the vast majority of people isn’t real, or if it is real then it isn’t as important as the self-interest of a small minority. In some cases that might be true – if the self-interest of 80% of people would be served by putting 20% of the population into slavery then the interest of that 20% would be compelling indeed. In this case however, the 80% is concerned about their health and the 20% is concerned about its convenience.
And, apparently, its ponies.
I think a lot of people would be happy with a solution like that. Or as someone else suggested, make a smoking license for public establishments, just like a liquor license. And make sure that smoking establishments are well marked. Don’t want to be around the smoke? Don’t go in.
Of course, that isn’t enough. No amount of compromise is okay. And if the smokers keep complaining about it, just remember, “at the end of the day, power is the supreme fact.”
I know a couple of folks have brought it up, but I’m suprised that no one has linked to anti-smoking proponent Dr. Mike Siegel’s assertion that the most popular anti-smoking activists have ‘crossed the line’ by presenting misleading or outright false ‘science,’ just like the tobacco industry they fight. It’s linked on the Huffington Post, and Siegel just published a paper about it, apparently. He’s for workplace bans, but argues that the SHS evidence is greatly exaggerated, and that the more fervent proponents of bans use real science instead of exaggarations. A good point, I think.
My boss has a pup here at work…I’m not really a “dog person” but it is a cute little thing and does no harm. Poodle…you should see her race around the rows of cubicles in the center of the place.
But I’m really pissed off…the Seasonal Temp employees just started this week and we had a meeting of Full-Time staff – The boss told us we needed to stop fucking swearing (among other things). We’re supposed to set, you know, a good fucking example or some type of shit…
I’d be really upset if I thought that it was gonna last more than about a week…
Oh, yeah…I’m probably not supposed to be surfing on-line right now, either. Eh…they love me anyhow. Must be my work (when I do any), cause it ain’t my good looks.
That’s the guy I was thinking of, but there’s no point in bringing it up. Somehow if you criticize the anti-smoking lobby you are a shill for big tobacco. It has nothing to do with not liking the skewing of statistics or the flat out lying the anti-smoking lobby does.
Happy 38th, Mike! And… wait, did you say chocolate covered lobster? See, now that should be illegal.
For the record, I don’t think today there is a lot of false science on smoking. I’m sure there is SOME out there, but there is no denying that smoke is dangerous.
Also, full disclosure, I smoke occassionally. But I NEVER smoke indoors. Even in a bar where smoking is permitted, I go outdoors. I hate the smell of smoky rooms. So, while I smoke, I don’t feel I have a vested interested in the topic I wrote about. I actually prefer establishments that have non-smoking policies.
SELF-IMPOSED non-smoking policies. My issue is with government imposition on a legal activity, not with the end result.
Hmmm…”Smoking restrictions” = “Tyranny”…hmmm…I’m missing the “Tyranny” part here, Michael. I still see people smoking and not one of them has been hauled off to a gulag. But maybe you can point it out to me, I’m almost always willing to be enlightened by Greater Minds.
Interesting. Should dogs be barred from workplaces?
What about service dogs? We have them where I work, and people have had issues.
Michael. Never Mike. :-) Thank you though! I’m celebrating by writing a research proposal. Fucking pathetic, huh?
Michael when I worked as a waitress a few decades ago, our restaurant always welcomed the puppies that were being trained to be service/guide dogs. it was great for them, because they learned how to deal with crowds and were very well behaved.
And yet, there were customers who complained. Not for allergies but because they were offended that dogs were in the room period. People will always find something to be offended about…
I have to laugh at these morons who hate smokers. Go ahead, hate us. When we are gone, there will be a new crowd of people to hate, and you can bet on it. How about fat people in movie theaters? If there is a fire, they could end up blocking the exits, so ban them for safety reasons. I am sure the pc police will come up with some other doozies too.
My wife works at a subsidiary of Krogers, and it is funny that you would mention outlawing smoking at work. My wife is a non-smoker, yet she takes her breaks in the smokers area. Why? It could have something to do with the dead rat in the ventilation system that they refuse to dig out. The smokers area has a fresh air inlet that does not have that problem.
The air quality at her store is horrible. You go in there to shop and within 15 minutes your eyes are burning. There are rats, birds and cockroaches in the store. You think breathing rat, cockroach and birds feces is healthy?
Kroger’s sure don’t give a shit. Can’t open your window (to let in automobile exhaust fumes) because of the smoker who is outside his place smoking and stinking your air up?
How about banning mountain climbing or hiking? People get lost, and sometimes people who look for them get lost and/or killed too. How about banning bicycles? I saw a bicyclist that caused an accident by cutting out in traffic. Nobody was killed, but it sure messed some lives up still.
I could go on and on with this. I am sure that if intolerance is encouraged against smokers, one day you too will be the target for your bad/risky habits.
Alright you militant non-smokers, cue your derisive laughter now.
Oh and Happy Birthday, too! Have some Gateau!
Look, if these bans are out-of-line for government from your point of view, then how could you possibly justify zoning regulations, noise ordinances, building codes? Each of these regulate perfectly legal activities – defining them as sometimes acceptable and sometimes not, based on the popular will of the citizenry.
How are these any different than smoking bans from the standpoint of government intrusion on legal activities.
Happy 38th – you’re 2/3 of my age. Ronnie Reagan was just finishing up his 2nd term when I was your age.
Now you get the stories about how I had to walk to school through horrific weather, etc., and all that other bullshit.
Oh my fucking god! Is there a “pro-smoking lobby?” Other than the tobacco companies, I mean?
Nobody in their right mind is pro smoking. What the hell are you “for” that you think attracts unwarranted derision to you? As much as I think your work on this thread is not even good enough to qualify as second rate spoof, I have read it with as objective an eye as possible, and I can’t find that you are “for” anything that is useful or practical. Show me the error of my ways, if you can.
Whatever it is, it is probably going away, and the sooner the better.
Not that many years ago, movie theater armrests had ashtrays built into them. Nobody would have believed that smoking would become the pariah activity it has become now. But more to the point, do you think that ashtrays are going to come back into movie theater armrests?
Only a few years from now, people will look at the argument you’ve made here today and shake their heads and laugh.
You should know better than to put phony words in my mouth, Perry. I’ll ride you like a pack mule.
When you want my opinions, you can ask for them, you don’t get to make them up.
If shellfish and peanuts floated in the air and fell down your nose and throat while you were in the middle of a restaurant? Yes.
We don’t allow people to run around discharging pepper spray into their faces in public settings. We don’t allow people to drive around in pick-up trucks paint balling each other. Or tossing sacks of trash into each others’ lawns.
Cigarettes haven’t been the rule, they’ve been the exception to the rule, for years, simply because so many people used to smoke that it was assumed everyone else should just suck it up.
And as for you “Alcohol is next!” fatalists, ever heard of a dry county? Oh noes! They done regulated da alcohol! Between this and the four horsemen riding through town, I suspect the end is near!
You are right. Yet, the dog is more important than the people who complain. If someone doesn’t like the dog because he or she is allergic, leave.
Oh jesus, NMYM. I would never have dreamed that you would make a concern troll post.
Black and white? Can you list all the good things about smoking, please? Hey, the thread hasn’t reached record status yet. Maybe you can help it get there?
Just a dozen or really good reasons to smoke, and subject other people to smoke, if you will. You all should be able to cook that list up in about five minutes, eh?
You can find the answer to that question by looking at the Civil Rights Movement for African Americans. Were most Caucasians in America convinced that their fears were unfounded when desegregation kicked in, and, was there any way to convince the majority that their fears (which included rape and mayhem) were unfounded before desegregation kicked in?
Nope, they had to see that allowing their kids to go to school with black kids did not result in dogs and cats living together.
Actually, in Tipping Point, Gladwell points to evidence that addiction to nicotine is influenced by genetics. It has also been linked to chronic depression (another thing you might get from your parents). That’s why you get some people who can smoke a couple every week for their entire lives and never get hooked while others keep the tobacco tycoons in yachts.
As I said earlier, you’ve shown me the light. Let’s get together and figure out all of the things we should get the government to ban. I started a list and I was hoping that you would add to it. Of course, we could make it simple and just say that anything that isn’t good for you is bad, and we should ban everything that is bad. The legislation would be much simpler that way.
So tempting. Will you bring the wet suits or should I?
Um, having lived through the period and marched in civil rights marches, my recollection is that most Caucasians in America didn’t fear desegregation much at all. My recollection is that most Caucasians in America looked at the fearful people and thought, what the hell is the matter with you?
I’d prefer not to get together with you, having seen this embarassing spectacle you’ve made today. But in any case, if someone is dumb enough to start a thread with the topic you suggest, we can have at it there.
But since you are into lists, why don’t you list the things I have said I would ban, with specifics, and argue against them? Take all the time you want.
If I were you, I’d bring your list of really good reasons to defend smoking. As the Great Champion of Smoking Rights, I’d expect you to have such a list at the ready.
Are you saving it for later, or …?
Who is “the government” pray tell? I could be wrong here, but I don’t think these bans have been passed by diktat from the central committee – these are elected representatives representing their constituency if not public referendums.
If you don’t like smoking bans, or you want to ban something eles, then vote accordingly.
Unless you are talking about some generalized form of “the law”, and not the law about banning smoking, I’d say that.
Pot has a number of legitimate medicinal uses.
It’s legal and people enjoy doing it.
Cue comments about sex, urination, etc.
Right. If that was the case it means a small but obnoxious minority was able to balls things up for a portion of the population, and if the SC and legislators had waited for that subset to pull their heads out of their ass people would still be waiting.
Before TZ converted me, I would have said pot should be legal. With my new found clarity of mind, I think we should ban all pots. And pans. They are dangerous. They can be used as weapons, dropped on your foot, people put them on stoves and they get really hot!
Won’t someone please think of the children?!
The Other Steve
Repeat after me. The Free Market failed.
That is why the people demanded the govt ban smoking. Not only demanded, but WIDELY supported it.
It’s really just that simple. This is not a Civil Rights issue. Nobody is being mean to you by preventing you from blowing smoke in their face.
Besides, you can always buy some nicotine gum and get your fix.
That’s your whole schtick, isn’t it?
“We shouldn’t ban smoking, because other things are bad too.”
Seriously, do you work for Philip Morris? You have powerful folks on your side.
Public Sex = not legal
Public Urination = not legal
just thought I’d mention it.
Actually, by the mid-50’ss, open discrimination was limited to the South, and was frowned upon almost everywhere else in the country.
Hidden discrimination has followed suit, slowly, but surely.
The idea that “most Americans” were afraid of desegregation is just false. Since the GOP fear machine was just getting its sea legs, most Americans in those days were afraid of the Russians and flying saucers.
South Carolina? You think SC represents America?
The state of tobacco, and religious nuts?
Trust me, I would not waste my time with that.
So, to you, smoking is the same as essential bodily functions?
Why the f&*k have I wasted my time arguing with you then?
You’re an idiot.
The thread is not about pot. Do you know people who smoke 20 to 40 90mm marijuana cigarettes a day?
What is really twisted is that non-smokers love smokers enough to try and cover health care for poor kids and their families by dumping the burden of it on the backs (or lungs) of smokers. How fair minded of them.
“Don’t smoke! I can’t breathe!”
“Smoke! The poor need healthcare! Do you hate poor people?”
I am glad the Oregon version of S-CHIP expansion died a swift death at the hands of the voters. But there was 40% support for it, and you can bet most of those people are non-smokers. As an estimated 18% of Oregonians smoke, it is clear that even half of the non-smoking public think that dumping this on the back of smokers is unfair.
Want S-CHIP? Then have everyone pay for it. Want government to stay out of your life? Then keep them out of mine.
Wet suit getting tight?
Jim Crow wasn’t flying around north of southern VA and you might not run across any cross burnings outside of the Hot Zone (Indiana excluded), but bullshit still abounded. I suppose it could all come down to what you consider “hidden.” If a motel owner suddenly doesn’t have any rooms when a black family shows up is that hidden discrimination or just being a dick?
Psst. Look at the word right before “SC” and assume I have a basic grasp of grammer.
Shh … was that a Hee-Yaw I just heard?
Sure, if only you could spell it.
SC educational system?
Bullshit abounds now, in case you have been asleep for the last seven years. But that doesn’t mean that “most Americans” buy into it. Most Americans are into fairness, at the end of the day.
Of course, I hadn’t considered the possibility that you could be a Republican.
Actually, if you knew anything about the healthcare access issue, you’d know that what we’re after is health care for all kids.
You don’t have to be poor in this country to be without access to health care.
Pretty much the whole model of guaranteed healthcare access is based on having “everyone pay for it.”
That’s sorta the whole point. Unless I missed something, it’s more or less the basis of any insurance scheme, isn’t it? Shared risk?
You must be a woman. That or you always use the stalls in the mens room. Ahh, nothing like the lineup in a mens room. We all get to stand in line, hanging it all out, and nobody can arrest us!
I was in the mens room the other day, and while standing at the urinal doing my business, a bit of wee from the guy next to me splashed on my shoes. All day long I kept smelling ‘other guy wee’, and I want something done about it. Will you please introduce a bill to ban all urinals from mens rooms? You know, germs and all.
The service dog question is an interesting one. My solution is to sit on the other side of the room, and cut meetings as short as possible, or, even better, to hold teleconferences. It’s amazing how understanding people with service dogs tend to be about disabilities.
Funny thing that.
Puh-leez. Sure, it would be nice (if wishes were ponies) for people to support straight up income tax increases to fund the programs, but while they don’t, who cares if they tax smokers, drivers, property owners, etc. That’s just the way the modern-day tax system works (thank you Republicans for poisoning the debate on taxes).
For now, while there are smokers they seem as innocuous (ha) a population as any to tax to fund children’s healthcare. Plus, perhaps the increase in price will get you to quit.
If you do, bonus for you, and they’ll have to find another source of funding. I’ll bet they will, and you’ll be better off. Everyone wins.
Fine – try taking a wizz on the counter of a McDonald’s the next time you’re there. Maybe I’m wrong and they’ll just toss you out the door, but I wouldn’t be shocked if they involved the cops too.
Get back to me & let me know how that works out.
Like I’ve said many times, when you can’t tell who the spoofers are, the stupid people lose.
I think CL’s previous post has reached that line.
Oh yeah, and Oregon has no sales tax, so there goes another place they can raise taxes on “everyone”.
Don’t strain yourself, you’ll get their eventually.
Not me, but if you’re trying to tell me that the majority of the majority being fair (in speech and deed) about race issues by the 50’s/60’s I could make the same suggestion.
Party of Lincoln and all that.
Uh, guess what, CL? Yup, that dead rat would be a “Health & Safety” issue. If Kroger’s is aware of it and won’t get it removed perhaps your wife or perhaps another interested party might consider calling the HEALTH & SAFETY people about it. I’m reasonably certain they would take steps to get Kroger’s to remedy the situation. A dead rat in the ventilation system has the potential for a lot of nastiness beyond just the wretched smell. It’s not a joke and it shouldn’t be ignored. Although I suppose eventually it will be eaten by maggots or just rot away on it’s own. I would encourage the telephone call (or perhaps e-mail these days), though.
You see, it’s not really that hard. There’s no intelligent reason for your wife to take her breaks in a smoke-filled room…unless she likes or wants to.
Yes, you idiot, that’s why huge marches were held in protest of the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, a direct descendant of the act of 1957. Of course, anyone could see that giving blacks the right to vote was just a tricky way to keep them out of the restaurants.
WTF? You are just getting paid by the post now, for churn on the thread?
I gotta say, to Perry and Jake, you guys have rolled onto your backs and taken the worst ass whipping I have EVER dished out here. I mean, by a wide, wide margin.
Really, I can’t thank you enough. I wasn’t feeling all that well today and you really brightened up my afternoon.
Good god. You guys are terrible at this. Honestly. I say this in the most nurturing way possible, but you really stink at this.
Thanks guys! Gotta run.
jcricket, take a long walk off a short pier. And don’t return, please. I don’t need your nanny stating ways to tell me how I live my life, and if I want to smoke, I will. You want to be a smartass who likes to tell others how to live? Please come tell me this to my face. I really would like that.
Shit, both sides say they want government out of our lives. Except for …
Two sides of the same coin. One pile of shit smells just as bad as the other. That is why I am praying for another 4 years of gridlock in 2008. Heaven help us if either side gets absolute control again.
Again with the teasing. Got the second wet suit on now?
ThymeZone is the resident broken record here. If you are here long enough, you will find that TZ probably has a collection of copy & paste answers to choose from for the latest outrage (as TZ sees it). The best thing to do is just ignore TZ. They won’t go away, but at least you won’t waste your time talking to a brick wall.
Trying to discuss anything with TZ is like pissing in the wind. I think jcricket is TZ’s alter ego, and I think that they are both channeling the ghost of Darrell, only inverted.
I am sure that ThymeZone, reasonable and civil as he is, speaks for the anti-smoking Carrie A. Nation types, so ask one simple question. Other prohibitionists can chime in if they wish (and the pp man grants permission).
One in four bars in each city may allow its patrons to smoke if they so wish. Reasonable?
And this is decided how? Assuming there might be an advantage to the bar that allowed smoking (not necessarily so, though, but just assuming for argument’s sake here), which “lucky” one-in-four gets to allow smoking? The “Free Hand of the Market” is out of play here, since we’re regulating that only one lucky bar-owner gets to be groped by it. So how is it decided? Bribes? Draw straws? Biggest Dick?
Oops…can’t wait for your answer, time to go home. I’ll check back tomorrow, though.
Uh oh, TZ bravely ran away. Going scuba diving?
Depending on the city, there are x number of available licenses for serving alcohol. If you want to serve alcohol and all the licenses are gone, then you are out of luck. Why not do the same with smoking?
Ahh, right. No compromise.
Christ, I don’t have time to read this whole thread. I’m just going to assume it’s another lefty circle jerk where you all commune with the Ultraliberal Hivemind and sit around agreeing with each other.
I find it interesting that jcricket had to let me know what a fool I would be to throw my vote away in the 2008 elections by voting for Snoopy instead of one of the lame candidates from either side. ‘We’ have to beat the repugs, ya kno! Can’t let them have control anymore, right? Now jcricket thinks that taxing me to supply healthcare for the poor is just fine, even though I am against it. And they think that my being forced to quit smoking by taxes and/or laws against smoking is just fine.
This is the hallmark of a true nanny stater. They would decide my life, my vote, my anything, all to make sure that I live the best life I can (as they define it).
That and wet suits.
Happy Birthday Michael D.
Wonderful post and some damned entertaining comments.
As it currently stands I can only smoke when I am alone driving my truck or when I go out at night to let the dog piss. My wife raises more hell about smoking than the government.
I expect that the day will come when if I am caught with more than 3 Kool Filter Kings in my possession I will be tasered and my property confiscated. But until now at least my dog has not complained.
I smoke because I believe it is of the utmost importance that everybody do at least one thing that is socially unacceptable.
The last glowing ember of an actual individual.
Gotta go. The dog needs to piss.
Here’s my two cents.
I am an occasional smoker who has lived in both New York and California — both of which have banned smoking in public places.
Personally, I have no problem with getting up and walking 10 feet outside to smoke a butt. Frankly, it’s common courtesy to your fellow citizen. And, besides, the other bad-eggs hanging out on the “smoker corner” are usually friendly and fun to talk to.
One certainly has the right to smoke tobacco and I would even go so far as to argue that citizens have the right to smoke, snort, drink, inject, or rectally consume any substance they like. It is not the government’s place to regulate an individual’s consumption of substances and there is a world of difference between “using” a substance and “abusing” it. But that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms.
One does NOT, however, have the right to smoke in a confined space where there are other individuals present be it the hospital, grocery store, bar or restaurant. Smoke is a carcinogen — on that we (hopefully) all agree. If I walked into a bar with an aerosol can of benzine and arsenic (both of which are found in cigarette smoke) and started spraying it into the air, I would be shown the door post haste and rightfully so. My right to smoke tobacco does NOT trump anyone else’s right to breathe. As someone said upthread — “Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins”. I agree wholeheartedly and THAT is the crux of the smoking ban argument.
The government certainly does have the right to tell business owners that their patrons can not smoke inside in much the same way they tell businesses that they can not emit toxic fumes or other carcinogens. As others have said, that is the roll of government.
I do feel, however, that there should be exceptions for businesses that sell tobacco products like hookah bars or cigar bars. If the establishment is clearly aimed at the smoker niche, they should be able to apply for a tobacco license similar to a liquor license.
In New York, the bar and restaurant owners were all doom-and-gloom before the ban took effect. “It’s going to kill our business! The horror! The horror!” When the ban finally did take effect, sales dropped initially as the smokers “protested”, but bounced back almost instantly. As it turns out, people still like to eat and drink even when smoking is prohibited. Go figure. The only difference was that the smokers had to walk 10 feet outside to smoke a butt. The horror!
The part that really irritates me, however, is the push to ban smoking outside — on the sidewalk, on the street corner, in your car, etc, etc. California is notorious for this kind of nonsense. Bullocks, I say! If you’re outside — it’s fair game! Smoke ‘me if ya got ’em!
How dare you, you insensitive clod! There could be people walking by that don’t want your death stick shoved down their throats!
Oh, and TA? The wife (and her workers) have said more than enough about the rat in the vent (and the birds in the store, and the roaches, and the rats, and the bad air) that if they say any more, they may not have jobs. I know that if you were the corporation behind her job, you would take care of it right away. Right?
Well, in a small town with few jobs that have any benefits, you take what you can and bear with the crap. I told my wife what you said, and she laughed her ass off at it.
Some people have no concept of what reality is for those who have to live in it. She chooses to sit with the smokers because their area is designed to isolate it from the rest of the store (and its air). Since there is no food in there, there are no rats, cockroaches or birds! Just smokers.
Go ahead, shop away non-smokers! All is well! We got those nasty smokers out of your air. Breathe deep!
You can bet this happens throughout America. It is not just one store.
Hell, a boat plant I worked at banned smoking but you had to breathe methyl-chloroform, styrene, benzene and all other kinds of crap all day, every single day. There was no way any ventilation system would get rid of all of it. In the time I worked there, two people died from lethal concentrations. OSHA came in, changes were made and life went on until the next person died.
Ever work in an electroplating shop? Cyanide, acids, alkali, fine powdered dolomite and more. I won’t even go any further in to that one. Think it would be ok for me to smoke there?
Life is full of hazards. Get over it. Don’t expect the government to protect you from everything you demand. If it did, one day you would surely regret it.
Then keep walking (har har har). I don’t want to be harassed by homeless people, shit on by pigeons, videotaped by the surveillance cameras, or forced to hear Johnny Baggadonuts celphone call but that’s the risk one takes when walking on a public street. It’s a mean ole world out there — bring a helmet!
Well, if the workers don’t like it they can go work somewhere…hey, wait a minute!
I wasn’t concern trolling, my darling. And there is nothing at all good about smoking.
However, I used the example above of our local nursing home. They used to have a smoking room. It was well-ventilated, and allowed the residents to indulge in what was probably their sole remaining pleasure. Was it hurting anybody else? No, not really. So why make the poor old farts go outside in the cold, or go through the stress of quitting smoking at age 92?
If they have properly ventilated smoking rooms in bars, are the people smoking in those rooms hurting me? No, they’re not. So smoke away, Stinky.
So I’m not being a concern troll, and you can untwist your underwear before you hurt yourself — my position is that if your smoking doesn’t affect nonsmokers, then I really don’t give a sweet damn if you smoke. Or, if I’m in your house or your car, I’m not going to say anything if you smoke, ’cause I’m in YOUR space. But in shared space, or my own private space, I don’t want to have to breathe that crap.
Oh, and Happy Birthday, Michael!
Nice reasoning Krista. I am polite in my smoking too. I don’t even smoke in my own house! I have relegated myself to the garage (which I am in this moment, having a cigarette!) so my non-smoking wife and kids don’t have to deal with it.
Not all smokers are the rude ones. Like everything else in life, a few bad eggs spoil it for everyone else.
And *cough*cough*hack* Happy Birthday Michael! *cough*
In family court judges’ order parents not to smoke in their home/car while their children are present all the time. Those orders have the force of law and prohibit smoking on private property. If government can make smoking marijuana illegal then it is an illusion to believe that the government cannot make smoking illegal. Unfortunately we do not respect personal liberty and freedom in this country.
So these huge marches to protest the CRA in the 60’s were attended by the small number of people who were still against civil rights because most people were for civil rights by that time?
But never mind, giving Af-Ams the right to vote made everything hunky dory, largely stamped out discrimination except for a few pockets in the Deepest South and TZ no longer had to walk uphill both ways to school in the snow while fighting off bears with his lunch pail.
Or something like that.
Behold the myriad powers of TZ. Not many people can whip an ass when the ass in question is being lain upon. That’s what I like about him. Even when the odds (and logic and basic human physiology) are against him, he keeps on, no matter what.
He can also mangle cliches like nobody’s business and then, just when the heat is greatest, make a swift get away in his CodgerMobile, leaving only a trail of prune pits to mark his presence…
Has anyone ever seen John McCain and TZ in the same room?
Smokers should be honored and thanked for their participation in the largest social scam in the world. See, we have this global scheme in place where 30% of the population pays twice the taxes during their lifetime, and gets to drop dead of an incurable disease three years after retiring, and hence does not collect on it and helps keep the system afloat for the rest of us who plan to live to 90. It’s wonderful, and the best thing is… they PAY to participate. Bwa hahahahaha!
This argument, and the way the War on Smoking has been handled in my lifetime, makes me Goddamned ashamed to be an American.
We’re talking about a product that roughly 100 million Americans enjoy that is potentially dangerous (I don’t personally believe that the science on the danger of secondhand smoke is solid, but I’ll spot you non-smokers on it). So where’s the call for tobacco companies to develop and market a safe cigarette? Where’s the demand for a cigarette that doesn’t emit smoke when it’s not being dragged on, with levels of carcinogens maniuplated to be out of the danger range, if not eliminated entirely?
But not a single person here has suggested that research into safer cigarettes might be the best solution for everyone. Probably didn’t even think of the idea. Instead we get, “Fuck you, smokers! Go out behind the dumpster and die!”
In America now, we don’t look at carcinogens in smoke as a problem that we can try to fix. At what point, as a country, did we decide that the solution to a difficult scientific problem was to hire lawyers?
I don’t know a single smoker who wouldn’t happily change to a brand named “Cancer Free”, and I don’t know a single ex-smoker who wouldn’t gleefully start lighting those bad boys up. But we won’t get that, because it’s more lucrative to file lawsuits, and “Your secondhand smoke is a health hazard to me!” is a lot more satisfying to say than “Your secondhand smoke is stinky and I don’t like it.”
RobR, very good point!
I am against abortion. I think it’s disgusting. But I will die defending a woman’s right to choose in this (personal) matter. It’s her business, not the government’s… and certainly not any of her idiot neighbor’s business!
I am a smoker. I think it’s disgusting. But it’s one hell of an addiction (please refer to dictionary if you are clueless to the definition if addiction is). I have NO PROBLEM WHATSOEVER with not being able to smoke in places where non-smokers can, and do, frequent. I don’t even smoke in my own home. I want my visitors to enjoy their visit without having to smell the lingering aroma of smoke on my furniture, drapes and carpet.
It’s all boils down to everyday courtesy. I would never stand on a busy sidewalk with a cigarette hanging from my lip. But I’d appreciate it if y’all wouldn’t limit my rights and freedoms on some empty strip of sidewalk someplace else, (or in my own back yard even). Thank you.
But, I can’t say that I truly fault you in this. There’s always going to be those that refuse to be courteous. And, to those, the rest will have to suffer.
OK, we just have to hit 400!
I don’t wish to sound condescending, but I guess your short answer is: “No, nobody has ever called the Health Authorities because we exist in a plantation-like condition and dare not question or offend our Masters, lest we lose the dismal pittance they deign to allow us.”
Harsh? Yeah, but you gripe about these miserable conditions, someone who doesn’t know you from Adam offers a REASONABLE SUGGESTION that you contact a responsible government agency to try and address an abominable situation. If you won’t do anything to help yourselves out of fear that’s sad…if it’s because you just like whine it’s pathetic.
Oh…BTW, in my younger years I worked for a while in Termite Pest Control and can sympathize with someone holding a job involving constant exposure to dangerous toxins…I had a hose burst on me one time and drench my entire body in a known carcinogen(chlordane)that has since been banned from use. I crawled under houses fetid with the smell of animal (and sometimes human) excrement, dead animals, vermin…I mention this not to martyr myself, but so you know I am aware of how it is to work in stinky, dangerous conditions. Hard and no fun…you get no disagreement from me on that. I’m grateful and glad I don’t have to do it anymore and I do empathize with folks who have to deal with it.
OH…I’m not a “corporation”, but I have been a business owner in the past. I did not and would not subject my employees to unfair or unclean working conditions. When problems of that sort came to my attention I took steps to correct them. Some corporations do indeed have a callous disregard for their worker’s well-being. Some, but not all. It is possible your situation is due to neglectful and poorly-trained local management and that main corporate would not approve and would remedy the situation if they were made aware of it.
That said, I don’t live work there, I don’t live in your town, I don’t have to figure out how to pay your rent or your mortgage…or health care or anything else. It doesn’t make me happy that you consider yourself in a tight spot. You seem to consider yourself persecuted over your smoking and it’s clearly a “hot-button” item for you. We pretty much all have our particular areas like that. You are entitled to feel that way, but just be aware that I don’t wish to stop you from smoking if you want to, as long as I don’t have to breath it.
I don’t expect government to protect me from “everything”. That would be an absurd expectation. But there ARE things they are, if fact, SUPPOSED TO PROTECT you from, and when government has a publicly accessible agency designed to deal with Health & Safety issues citizens SHOULD bring these matters to their attention. After all, that’s what we pay taxes for. If you won’t use the resources available to you address your concerns and then you complain about your Tax burden or ineffective government agencies then you are intentionally perpetuating your problems and probably should just stop complaining about them. If you try and get no help, then you’ve got a legitimate complaint.
My Mother used to “suffer in silence” about things. I noticed it did her absolutely no good, so I generally choose to be pro-active when I have a grievance. It’s served me well for the most part, but that another long story and I’m already taking up a lot of space here in what’s probably a dead thread anyway.
Someone cue the glibertarians — it’s time for them to tell your wife to get a new job if she doesn’t like breathing bad air with rotting rat fumes.
But the suggestion was that “1-out-of-4” would get the “smoking allowed” license. That presumes pre-existing bars would be included in the allocation of licenses. Since the licenses do not exist yet, none of them are “gone” when such a system gets instituted. So my question, however pointless and rhetorical, still lingers like stale cigarette smoke hovering above the urine-soaked bar carpeting of this BJ thread.
I’m bar owner “X”. I want one of the new-fangled “smoking allowed” license designations, but so do bar owners, W,Y & Z. We all apply (or want to). Who determines who gets it, and what criteria is used?
Yeah, I know…it wasn’t even your suggestion, Perry. I just have this thing about impractical solutions being tossed around with no thought given to real-life situations. I guess I like the idea of stopping pooly thought-out ideas before they can spread.
Well, in fishing, when limited entry and permits are introduced, often it is maesured in “window years”..a certain set of years are picked for whatever reason and the total catch for those years is the criteria for who gets, say in dungeness crab fisheries 500 pots versus 300.
Or some people, in some fisheries, if they weren’t fishing during the window years, don’t get a permit at all.
I suppose if something like this were introduced for bars..the one with the oldest license…
Of course it would be a knock down drag out, and court cases…because if the bars actually wanted to go non-smoking they already would, but they know that smoking customers are good for business.
We do have a non-smoking bar in my town. It’s a great place to go for trysts or private conversation, etc, because it it is pretty damn dead. And it’s right on the water with great views, even.
The smoking bars on the other hand…much busier.
Not adding much at this point, but different views on the principle function of government is a core reason that all this debate likely changes no minds. Our government should enforce free and peaceful behavior and not the value systems of either the God worshipping right or the Government worshipping left. Smokers have a right to make their own value judgments, i.e. whether for them the pros of smoking outweigh the cons, as long as they do not truly force it on anyone else. A restaurant owner, for example, generally works like a mule to succeed. He forces no one’s patronage. It is the height of dictatorial arrogance for others to believe they have the right determine his peaceful policies. On the other hand, smokers do not have the right to smoke in public buildings, and do not necessarily have the right to pollute the air of public parks and side walks, for example.
capelza, Thanks! That’s a good overview of how such a system might work.
As far as whether business declines when a bar is forced by law to go “non-smoking”, it’s likely true that they would suffer an initial decline, and maybe a pretty hurtful one…it’s easy for folks to say, “Well, it will only be a temporary drop”, but small business owners often have very little cushion between their operating capital and their “nut” (regular, non-fluctuating expenses). A couple months of seriously reduced revenue would put some people out of business.
Actually, the “smoking in bars” issue is not a real big one to me personally. I prefer non-smoking because my body, specifically the parts in my head, just can’t handle breathing any of it in. But I don’t go to bars much anymore anyway. I believe second-hand smoke IS harmful…I have people tell me that it’s not been proven definitely and perhaps that’s true, I don’t know. But I do know it affects me adversely, so I choose to avoid it where possible.
Tax analyst…glad to help. That was a very simplified overview, but I’m glad you go the idea.
I am also glad that you understand the very thin margin a lot of small business owners, especially in restaurants and bars and taverns. I think it also depends on the area and the customers of taverns and bars. Where I live, on the waterfront a lot fo fishermen..and a lot more of them smoke than the normal population and they go to their own bars. It is an insular community and the taverns and bars depend on them, especially in the winter when there is nil tourist dollars.
I think that it is them that I am so angry for. They are minding their own damn business and outsiders will come and force a change they do not want on them. “For their own good”…because regular people do not come down and hang out with the fishermen and their friends in their stinky beer soaked bars. Of course for yet another fishing related business that closes down, yet another tacky shell shop will replace it…
That’s why I find that non-smoking bar so interesting. It has great views and is a classy joint attached to a nice resort/condo thing. One would think that all the people who want to go to a bar and have a drink or a beer would flock there because of the views alone..but as I said it is honestly quite dead.
The fair city I inhabit enacted the ‘no smoking in public places’ ordinance early this year. People bitched and people moaned, but we still had plenty of ozone/pollution warnings this summer.
TA, they contacted the state (several state departments, in fact) about the rat (and the live rats, birds and roaches) too. The state is not interested in it, not in the least. Though they did offer to test the air if she (or the other employees) would pay for it.
That was nice of them, wasn’t it? They passed on the offer.
You might want to get out in to the real world more often. Everything is not peachy, nor will government jump at every chance to solve your problems. If business can get away with it, they will.
Such are the ways of American business (or most any business for that matter).
CL, may I ask what State this is happening in? I’d ask what City also, but I don’t want to get too personal, since it’s really none of my business in the first place. It boggles the mind that the State is so unresponsive.
I’m fairly acquainted with the real world, and yes, as the Rolling Stones said, “You can’t always get what you want”, and I have certainly run into that myself on occasion. Believe me, I am aware of this, however, I never start from that stance when I feel something needs to be done and can be done. My position is to find who I believe should be helping me and going, “Here is my situation and here is why that is no good, and this is what I need done. How are you going to help me?” But sometimes that doesn’t work and you get to a certain point, throw up your hands and say, “Fuck it”, although you really shouldn’t have to do it. Sometimes it can just become too onerous to weave through all the levels of indifference.
Improvement in essential governmental services should be a fairly big priority, and to me “Health & Safety” are about as big as they come. If you don’t have your health it really doesn’t matter what else you do have, because you are fucked. If your workplace is not safe you can lose everything you work so hard for in one pointless moment.
I’m truly sorry that I don’t have a solution or any additional pragmatic suggestions to offer. What I do in my job is mostly about “Problem solving” and I take it very seriously and happen to think it’s what I am best at; I enjoy helping people move past issues so they can get their work done on our software or pointing them in the right direction with a Tax issue they need help understanding, and I also get a sense of satisfaction if I can offer positive advice to folks outside of my work situation. The “Anal” part of “Tax Analyst” is not particular fond of being unable to do so.
My apologies if I have seemed somewhat abrasive here, outside of being immensely opinionated I’m also a wise-ass who prefers bluntness to shadow-dancing. I just wanted to check and see if you were aware of your options. Take care.