Join 3,497 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

Tags:

Smoking
May 3, 2005 1:46 PM   Subscribe

Conversation about Smoking: a skit for three actors
"Did you hear they banned smoking in restaurants? Next thing you know, they'll ban smoking in your car." "I don't care if they ban smoking." "I think smoking bans hurt business." "Well, that's just, like, your opinion, man." "Did someone say smoke, dude?" "Shut up, you crazy pothead." "You shouldn't smoke, especially around the children." "I'll smoke where and when I want!"
Exeunt.
posted by goatdog (85 comments total)

 
Tobacco : The Next Marijuana

From the "Pothead" link: if I hear that "More kids are seeking treatment for pot than for alcohol" crap one more time, I'll puke.

Let's see... concentrate on busting more kids for pot, give them the choice of treatment or jail, which causes more kids in treatment for pot, which you use to promote pot as the EVIL WEED, which justifies busting more kids for pot, which etc.

Your tax dollars at work.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 2:01 PM on May 3, 2005


I just voted in Austin against the smoking ordinance. Not that I think our city has much chance - even Spain is trying to ban most public smoking. I don't recall a single place I didn't see someone smoking there.
posted by blendor at 2:03 PM on May 3, 2005


This thread should be fun.

From the "business" link:
Sales fell 0.3 percent and 0.1 percent in the two quarters following the ban, but in the period from March 2004 to May 2004 sales rose 0.2 percent to $169.6 million.

Statewide sales rose 1.1 percent in 2004's June-to-August quarter, the last quarter included in the report.
Hmm. Sales are up in the summer. Who'd a thunk it?
"Maybe the numbers haven't changed because we're just splitting up the customers from all the bars that have closed," he said.
Could be...
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:14 PM on May 3, 2005


There is no reason for anyone to smoke, save addiction and Hollywood.

Smoking stinks. And kills.
posted by fenriq at 2:14 PM on May 3, 2005


Seems to me if it can pass with relative ease (and be implemented with success) in Ireland it can work anywhere.
posted by dublinemma at 2:15 PM on May 3, 2005


There is no reason for anyone to drink, save addiction and Hollywood.

Drinking stinks. And kills.
posted by blendor at 2:21 PM on May 3, 2005


...and gets you drunk, which is fun. Lung cancer isn't fun, I've heard.
posted by item at 2:24 PM on May 3, 2005


Hmm. Sales are up in the summer. Who'd a thunk it?

I remember how in New York when they first passed the ban the New York Post did an "expose" on the "crippling effects" of the first six weeks of the smoking ban, by noting how drastically sales and bar attendance dropped after the March 31st ban went into effect- which clearly had nothing to do with March being the month of both St. Patrick's Day as well as the NCAA Finals.

After moving from New York (full ban) and New Jersey (soon to be passing a ban) to DC (no ban at all) I'm amazed at how bothersome the smoke really is.

blendor, I think there's a slight difference, unless you don't mind your friends spewing the exhaust from their alcohol intake directly into your face just as much as the exhaust from their cigarettes.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:26 PM on May 3, 2005


...and gets you drunk, which is fun. Lung cancer isn't fun, I've heard.

No, but smoking is.
posted by Specklet at 2:32 PM on May 3, 2005


Lung cancer isn't fun
Neither is cirrhosis of the liver. Or any number of long-term effects.

I think there's a slight difference, unless you don't mind your friends spewing the exhaust from their alcohol intake directly into your face just as much as the exhaust from their cigarettes.
I do mind when they get in cars and spew their exhaust on people after running over them.

Why don't we let mommy government take away all the naughty things so we can be happy little boys and girls. Oh wait, because we're adults, and we can choose to be responsible with alcohol or suffer the consequences; we can choose what bars and restaurants to visit.
posted by blendor at 2:32 PM on May 3, 2005


Tobacco : The Next Marijuana

How many people do you know struggling with a Marijuana addiction that they really want to be free of? How many people do you know who lost family members to Cancer and still can't quit smoking weed?

Tobacco is far worse then Marijuana in terms of addictiveness. Weed isn't dependency forming at all, as far as I know. It's just fun, and like all fun things people sometimes can't quit. But nicotine is worse then even heroin in terms of addictiveness.

A girl, holding a cigarette in her hand, talking about how she wants to quit and how her dad died of lung cancer six months ago tells me all I need to know about the drug.

Look, if a city can ban drinking in a park to prevent people from being obnoxious, why not ban smoking in a park to keep people from smelling obnoxious?

At least if people were smoking weed in bars, it would only take a few hours to air out my clothes rather then a few days.

(of course, I don't think nicotine should be banned, but I'd like it if cigs were banned in public places)
posted by delmoi at 2:36 PM on May 3, 2005


I won't miss smoke filled bars once they are gone. And last time I checked, people didn't go to bars just to smoke.
posted by furtive at 2:37 PM on May 3, 2005


MeTa
posted by casu marzu at 2:38 PM on May 3, 2005


blendor, I think there's a slight difference, unless you don't mind your friends spewing the exhaust from their alcohol intake directly into your face just as much as the exhaust from their cigarettes.

Drinking dosn't stink. It's the throwing up afterwards :P
posted by delmoi at 2:39 PM on May 3, 2005


Man, I don't know about the rest of you, but I personally can't wait until the bars and restaurants I visit are free of the nuisance of smokers and their laughably low self esteem over-inflated by a century long campaign by the tobacco industry.

The nuisance of the smoke is, shall we say, secondhand.
posted by item at 2:40 PM on May 3, 2005


A girl, holding a cigarette in her hand, talking about how she wants to quit and how her dad died of lung cancer six months ago tells me all I need to know about the drug.

It tells me all I need to know about the girl.
posted by GeekAnimator at 2:41 PM on May 3, 2005


I'll agree with you, delmoi, a smoking ban in public places such as parks would be acceptible. But there is a huge difference between public and private establishments.

The argument that "I don't like it and welcome the ban" however, I can't agree with. Is that how you want our laws to be written, regardless of principle and rights of individuals?
posted by blendor at 2:48 PM on May 3, 2005


Something tells me I should leave this thread alone.
posted by sjvilla79 at 2:49 PM on May 3, 2005


Let's all leave this thread alone.
posted by puke & cry at 2:54 PM on May 3, 2005


Never!
posted by item at 2:59 PM on May 3, 2005


I find it amusing that in 98% of smoking-ban-debate threads (not just on MeFi, but across the web), the pro-ban forces don't even bring up on of the strongest arguments (certainly stronger than any of the more common arguments) in favor of a ban.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:59 PM on May 3, 2005


*leaves thread alone...
posted by item at 2:59 PM on May 3, 2005


I find it amusing that in 98% of smoking-ban-debate threads (not just on MeFi, but across the web), the pro-ban forces don't even bring up on of the strongest arguments (certainly stronger than any of the more common arguments) in favor of a ban.

aaaaand... apparently you don't want to bring it up either? :) Or am I missing something?
posted by GeekAnimator at 3:01 PM on May 3, 2005


Why don't we let mommy government take away all the naughty things so we can be happy little boys and girls. Oh wait, because we're adults, and we can choose to be responsible with alcohol or suffer the consequences; we can choose what bars and restaurants to visit.

Christ, do cigarettes make you whine like that? Go smoke outside, stinky. The air in here doesn't belong to you.
posted by fleacircus at 3:02 PM on May 3, 2005


As an asthma sufferer with an asthmatic child, smoking in restaurants is always difficult to deal with. The smoking section pretty much always intrudes into the non-smoking section, especially when you are put right next to it. Even a little bit of smoke can make life miserable. I try to be understanding of those who want to smoke, but is it too much to ask for an environment to eat in that doesn't include smoke?

Not to mention the fact when you have a busy night, there are a lot more people waiting for the non-smoking half of the restaurant, while the smoking section is either 3/4 full or has 'first available' customers.
posted by UseyurBrain at 3:06 PM on May 3, 2005


The air in here doesn't belong to you.

The air doesn't belong to you either.

But it does belong to the owner of the establishment, who should be alloud to set the rules for his own property without government intervention.
posted by harryh at 3:07 PM on May 3, 2005


I smoked for over ten years and then finally gave it up after a long expensive struggle.

Now that I'm smoke free (for two years) I can't bear the smell of smoke. I don't know how I stood it for so long.

I welcome a smoking ban so that I can go out to bars again. I remember them fondly as being rather fun.
posted by Sheppagus at 3:13 PM on May 3, 2005


But it does belong to the owner of the establishment, who should be alloud to set the rules for his own property without government intervention.

So do you think every government safety standard should be repealed then? No worker protection laws?
posted by GeekAnimator at 3:14 PM on May 3, 2005


As an ex-smoker that quitted last december after 10 years of smoking, I feel for all the fellow smokers. Try quitting it's hard but not impossible , you'll save money and health.

That said, fuck the anti-smokers...start blaming the smoke instead of the smoker and help the smoker overcome the addicition instead of telling he shouldn't smoke.... remember you're not perfect.
posted by elpapacito at 3:14 PM on May 3, 2005


No worker protection laws?

Some worker protection laws are perfectly reasonable, but when they start interfering with the fundamental aspect of the business I think things have gone too far. And for a lot of people smoking is part of the fundamental enjoyment of going to a bar.

Furthermore, I believe that the worker protection argument is primarily used as an excuse to get these laws passed. Just look at this thread. How many people brought up worker saftey in comparison to "I hate the smell of smoke"?
posted by harryh at 3:17 PM on May 3, 2005


Is that how you want our laws to be written, regardless of principle and rights of individuals?

please explain to me how i still maintain my right to not smoke when i enter an establishment where people are smoking. by being in an enclosed space with smokers, i end up smoking myself. it seems to me they are infringing on my right not to smoke. the only argument i can see is "you have a right not to go into a restaurant where people smoke". fine, be that way then, and hopefully my favorite menu in town isn't in a smoking restaurant.

for me it's a matter of courtesy and common sense. under no other circumstances (i can think of) may i enter public spaces and 1) expose people's lungs to smoke, and 2) stink up the clothing, skin, and hair of a room full of people.

someone tell me how i'm not making sense and i'll reconsider. by not smoking i'm not messing with other peoples body (lungs/skin) or property (clothing). how does someone getting to enjoy a cigarette trump smoke invading my personal space?

i even smoke cigarettes occasionally, but the argument against smoking bans, "because we like to smoke", just doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
posted by chowder at 3:19 PM on May 3, 2005


how does someone getting to enjoy a cigarette trump smoke invading my personal space?

Because it's not *your* personal space. No one should be allowed to enter into your home and smoke without your permission. Similarly you shouldn't be able to enter someone else's home and tell them they have to stop smoking. Similarly, whoever owns the bar/restaurant/etc. should be allowed to set whatever smoking policy they want. Their space. There rules. Don't like it? Don't visit their establishment.
posted by harryh at 3:22 PM on May 3, 2005


Smoking stinks.

I like the smell of cigarette smoke. Have as long as I can remember. I just wish there were non-toxic cigarettes - I'd be a smoker for sure. Is it a universal human reaction to cigarettes that they smell bad, or is that a recent development? I'd be interested to see studies of countries where cigarettes don't have the stigma they have in the US, or if we could go back 50 years, studies in the US, to see if the smell of cigarettes is/was widely considered unpleasant.

The problem with allowing property owners to choose is that generally they seem to think allowing smoking is more profitable than banning it, and so they almost all allow smoking unless the G bans it.

I used to enjoy a cigarette after a meal. And for smokers, cigarettes go awfully well with booze and coffee for some reason. Even though I don't smoke anymore, I'd rather have smoking allowed in bars, at least, but I think this is one area where majority should rule. As for banning smoking in cars... that still strikes me as absurd, but just wait, we'll probably all accept it sooner or later.
posted by Amizu at 3:27 PM on May 3, 2005


aaaaand... apparently you don't want to bring it up either?

I wanted to see if anyone would get it here...and in fact you did:

No worker protection laws?

In most online debates I see, the pro-ban groups focus on "smoking is unpleasant for non-smoking customers" with occasional forays into "smoking is dangerous for non-smoking customers" to which the anti-ban folks respond with the classic libertarian argument, "well, no one's forcing them to go there." And the two sides keep saying the same things back and forth and getting nowhere.

A much stronger argument--but one which I rarely see brought up by pro-ban folks, for unknown reasons--is that a smoke-filled environment is dangerous for the employees. Now, the standard libertarian response here is "no one's forcing them to work there." Which is true enough, and consistent with the libertarian philosophy. But society has already pretty much settled on the fact that employers do have a duty to provide safe working conditions for their employees, and that government has a role in overseeing that and specifying exactly what constitutes safe conditions. The die-hard libertarians will still reject the general concept and stick with "if they don't like the working conditions they can quit", but few people outside that small group would reject the general working conditions principle. Once that is accepted, it's not a huge step to say that a smoke-free environment is part of a safe workplace which owners ought to provide for their employees.

On preview: Furthermore, I believe that the worker protection argument is primarily used as an excuse to get these laws passed. Just look at this thread. How many people brought up worker saftey in comparison to "I hate the smell of smoke"?

Heh. In fact, that's part of what I find so amusing about the rarity of the employee safety argument: the usual failure of pro-ban forces to bring it up emphasizes that the motives of most of them are purely selfish, IMO.

However, just the fact that the motive of most people in favor of a ban is selfish--and that some people who do make the employee safety argument have ulterior motives for doing so--does not constitute a refutation of the employee safety argument.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:34 PM on May 3, 2005


i understand your point and i knew you were going to say "don't visit their establishment". that's unfortunate. i don't feel outraged or anything, just think it's inconsiderate.
posted by chowder at 3:35 PM on May 3, 2005


I am sick and tired of you people demonizing the products and culture of the great Native American civilizations.


Racists.
posted by hackly_fracture at 3:39 PM on May 3, 2005


does not constitute a refutation of the employee safety argument.

But what about the argument that dealing with smoke is an essential element of the job? Certainly it is dangerous for a fireman to charge into a burning building, but he shouldn't be able to complain about workplace saftey issues just because he is asked to do this. It's an essential part of his job.

Is dealing with some amount of smoke in a bar an essential part of being a bartender?
posted by harryh at 3:41 PM on May 3, 2005


Certainly it is dangerous for a fireman to charge into a burning building

lol, certainly we can come up with a better metaphor than that.
posted by chowder at 3:46 PM on May 3, 2005


The air doesn't belong to you either... But it does belong to the owner of the establishment
... who shouldn't have the right to allow the air to be filled with noxious harmful smoke and run a bar or restaurant out of it.

Their space. There rules. Don't like it? Don't visit their establishment.
Not how it works. (though IANAL). I don't think you'd like the results of completely de-regulating businesses. But that's okay, you can hold your pow-wow on laissez-faire capitalism outside. Lots of places even have little open beer/smoking gardens. Use that lovely free market force of yours on those establishments, why dontcha?
posted by fleacircus at 3:46 PM on May 3, 2005


I've worked in nightclubs, a lot of my friends still work in nightclubs. The "protect the workers" excuse was particularly annoying, as we all smoked like fiends. Now when I go outside for a cigarette I can chill with the bartenders, bouncers and DJs between their shifts, and even meet the bands!

Some bouncer friends have said that, since NY banned cigarettes, they've noticed a lot more fighting. No idea if it's connected, but I thought it was an interesting observation.
posted by Kellydamnit at 3:50 PM on May 3, 2005


Is dealing with some amount of smoke in a bar an essential part of being a bartender?

No. It's not. Sorry. Dealing with alcohol and drunks is an essential part of a bartender's job. I've been in plenty of non-smoking bars, and guess what? They operate exactly like smoking bars. People still get drunk. People are still obnoxious and depressed and happy and loud and flirtatious and mean and stupid and all the other things people are in bars.

Dealing with smoke, however, is part of a fireman's job. Ne'er the twain should meet.
posted by item at 3:51 PM on May 3, 2005


But what about the argument that dealing with smoke is an essential element of the job? Certainly it is dangerous for a fireman to charge into a burning building, but he shouldn't be able to complain about workplace saftey issues just because he is asked to do this.

Actually, that's a wonderful analogy. The fireman is provided by his employer with specialized equipment so he won't have to breathe smoke. Would you be willing to accept a compromise where a bar owner could either ban smoking or provide all his employees with similar equipment?

A little more realistically, perhaps as a compromise we could have a law where bars could either ban smoking or install powerful ventilation systems to rapidly wisk away smoke, preventing the air from smelling of smoke. We could have maximum levels for particulate matter in the air which could be tested from time to time. Would that be OK with you? Be sure to consider the business impact of that alternative: do you think many customers will come to the bar that allows smoking but has a 40mph wind blowing through it at all times?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:52 PM on May 3, 2005


Dealing with smoke, however, is part of a fireman's job.

You understate the argument. Dealing with smoke, yes. Breathing smoke is not part of the job, even for a fireman, let alone a bartender!
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:57 PM on May 3, 2005


Would that be OK with you?

Actually, this is exactly the kind of compromise solution I favor. It's obviously not strictly libertarian, but the libertarians aren't running things in these parts these days so who really cares.

A couple of points:

1) There won't be a 40mph wind. I've been in quite a few places with air handlers that remove smoke and it doesn't cause any sort of other uncomfortable situation in the room.

2) Air handlers will, however, provide an additional expense to property owners. So they'll have to make their own decision on whether the expense will lead to enough increased business to justify them. Some will go for it, others won't. Market's at work! Yay!
posted by harryh at 3:58 PM on May 3, 2005


Hmm...I used to bartend at a billiards hall in MO, we had three industrial ionizers and an industrial fan (radius about 4 feet) going full bore during business hours. And it still smelled of smoke. I now live in Southern CA, where there is no reason at all to complain about having to smoke outside (smog on the other hand.) Now when i want a nicotine fix (or an oral fixation cessation), i go to the neighborhood hookah cafe, it tastes better.
posted by schyler523 at 4:01 PM on May 3, 2005


Actually, this is exactly the kind of compromise solution I favor. It's obviously not strictly libertarian...

...but you've already admitted that some workplace safety laws are appropriate, so you've already abandoned the strict libertarian position. :)

Yay! Harryh and I agree. I wonder if the other pro-ban forces here would find this an acceptable compromise?

On preview: I used to bartend at a billiards hall in MO, we had three industrial ionizers and an industrial fan (radius about 4 feet) going full bore during business hours. And it still smelled of smoke.

In fairness to harryh, I've been in places that have allowed smoking and have had good ventilation systems which made it not-at-all-smoky as well. But the system has to be well designed, with that goal in mind. Ionizers don't work all that well to start with (regardless of the claims made by the people selling them), and just having a fan in and of itself won't reduce the smoke--if it's not appropriately situated it'll just blow the smoke around the room, rather than removing it, no matter how large the fan.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:08 PM on May 3, 2005


Go ahead and smoke in your cars, but what gives you the right to flick your butts out the window? Heh. He said... Do i get to follow you to your home and take a dump on your lawn?
posted by jaronson at 4:11 PM on May 3, 2005


It's obviously not strictly libertarian, but the libertarians aren't running things
Which is why things are running.
posted by fleacircus at 4:17 PM on May 3, 2005


To clarify, the fan replaced a window, blowing out, so it wasn't just blowing smoke around the room...it doesn't matter how good your ventilation system is, if 175 out of 200 people in a bar are all smoking at once, it will be smoky.

jaronson: how else are you supposed to set forest fires from the freeway?
posted by schyler523 at 4:18 PM on May 3, 2005


When did smoking become illegal? Until it does, the government should shut up and continue to collect it's ill-gotten tax booty without infringing on the rights of business owners and patrons that want this service.

As for the ones that don't, they can visit establishments that have made the conscious decision to offer smoke-free environments. The government tells us it does not adversely effect business so then let the business decide. You like the menu at the smoking restaurant but hate the smoke? That's a shame. I like the menu at this local diner but hate all the fat content. Do I legislate their menu too?

Fleacircus, your point is moot. Asking not to add, yet another regulatory harness to small business is not deregulation.

If the government was so damned concerned about your health, they would make it illegal. They pull pills from the market after only one or two deaths yet that tax cash from tobacco is just too sweet to pass up. Please.
posted by j.p. Hung at 4:22 PM on May 3, 2005


As much as I have a feeling that it's a bad idea to legislate private property in terms of banning smoking, I have to say, as a smoker in New York (who wishes he would hurry up and fucking quit already), that, in human, not philosophical terms, I don't mind the smoking ban, in the end. Cause I stink less, smoke less and because it really isn't nice to the non-smokers (nice, not fair, fuck fair). Smoking is a stupid thing and a lovely thing, a form of slow suicide and an awesome way to pass the time. But frankly I can live with having to go outside to smoke if it means that the common areas of the world are more enjoyable to the greater number of people. I support it, not on legal or moral terms but on terms of making nice with my fellow humans. I wish there was a way for me to wear an I smoke and I support the ban button and not feel like a total tool.

And as said above, if it can happen in Ireland, it can happen anywhere.
posted by Divine_Wino at 4:31 PM on May 3, 2005


I'm in Brisbane, Australia. We banned smoking in restaraunts years ago. We're in the process of banning smoking in pubs and clubs. We've banned smoking in cars. We've banned smoking within 10 meters of childs play equipment and within 4 meters of an entrance to any building except private dwellings.

I don't think we've gone far enough yet.

My brother in law goes to hospital if he accidentally breathes someone else's cigarette smoke. He's a severe asthmatic.
posted by Jerub at 4:33 PM on May 3, 2005


A much stronger argument--but one which I rarely see brought up by pro-ban folks, for unknown reasons--is that a smoke-filled environment is dangerous for the employees.

Probably because it's not settled science, by any stretch.
posted by Kwantsar at 4:34 PM on May 3, 2005


I don't think we've gone far enough yet. My brother in law goes to hospital if he accidentally breathes someone else's cigarette smoke. He's a severe asthmatic.

Maybe we should ban peanuts. And water. And the sun.
posted by Kwantsar at 4:38 PM on May 3, 2005


I’d put it the other way around, as in steps kicking habit abstinence is a must. Which involves staying away from even seeing it or where places you used. So will say cigarettes could be less addicting than heroin if it was more illegal. As most people will not go broke or sink to rock bottom in their lives by smoking a cigarette everyday? Never heard anyone say that about heroin. Why I will say for most heroin is less addictive in it is harder to obtain, as a cigarette can be bummed off most smoking strangers. Which then makes staying away from having a cigarette harder in the addiction world thus breaking the bad habit.

smoking bans, "because we like to smoke", just doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

I checked, people didn't go to bars just to smoke.

Totally wrong. Because new smokers mostly smoke when, "only when I’m drinking & socializing which as I said above can be easily obtained at a bar full of strangers.
Cheap dates will go to a bar for that reason too.

For a why people smoke? It can be a calming time in having a break from the day. Which brings me to this comment.

Weed isn't dependency forming at all, as far as I know.
Looking at dependency signs your wrong because breaking the law to obtain something especially repeatedly is a why it is an addiction. Which proves you need treatment. Because following the law is normal which addictions are not.

Speaking of blowing smoke, pot is smoked liked a cigarette so arguing on one side over the other is dumb. Also, regarding “butte” “butte” cigarettes will kill you; get a life - realizing that “no humans leave this planet alive.”
posted by thomcatspike at 4:45 PM on May 3, 2005


thomcatspike - it was the Mormons that started the legal ball rolling on Pot back in the early 1900's. It was a religious and largely racist act as it sought to punish the Mexican population at the time. I have respect for the law but I have yet to see evidence that pot is more dangerous or anymore worthy of being illegal than smoking or booze. Combine that with the laws 'suspect' origins and it's kind of hard to nail someone as an addict because they disagree (with good reason) the current law on the books and decide to smoke some ganga. I don't think they need treatment, they just need their government to wise up.

My basic understanding of addiction is the inability to give up something harmful to yourself. Not saying pot isn't harmful in ways but your not an addict because you disagree with some legislation.
posted by j.p. Hung at 5:11 PM on May 3, 2005


When did smoking become illegal?
You mean in restaurants and bars? The answer varies. It's also illegal, for example, to sell cigarettes to children in some places. Other substances have other various degrees of regulation because of their addictiveness or impact on the public good. I'm not buying your "if it ain't outright totally illegal everywhere it cain't be regulated woohoo *bangbang* *tire squeal*" argument.

Fleacircus, your point is moot. Asking not to add, yet another regulatory harness to small business is not deregulation.
I can barely understand your sentence. Someone was arguing from unfettered right of the business to do whatever they want, therefore the evil gubment must not forbid smoking -- what does it think it is, the will of the fucking people? If you insist "their business, their rules" case-closed, that's what you're arguing. We can agree that this does not answer all issues and go into this particular one. But your backup argument isn't any good either. Shouldn't the law allow for individual choice, up to the point of hurting others? Won't this result in things that are not completely illegal, but not usable without restriction?
posted by fleacircus at 5:13 PM on May 3, 2005


Well, I hope David McSwane cuts off his penis and enters a swim competition as a woman. And I also hope he never ever compromises his morals as a business man in order to gain profit.

I could write more about higher input towards the subject, but it is not worth it. Salespeople must sell to survive. I hope he had his fun times with the same people that saved the world in 1917 and 1944; and I hope that when the current mess is over; David can drop to his knees and say his graces should he EVER need the United States to be there to support his pansie high school persona.

SGT Nelson
posted by buzzman at 5:44 PM on May 3, 2005


Jerub: We've banned smoking in cars
SAY WHAT? Please elaborate -- cetainly you can't mean ALL cars, right? Perhaps taxis, rental cars, buses, etc?
posted by davidmsc at 6:02 PM on May 3, 2005


Well, since smoking hurts actual people and smoking bans hurts adolescent libertarian idealism, I'd say weighing the two, the choice is pretty simple.

adolescent libertarianism: giving a shit about smoking while the republicans are in charge and threatening your actual human rights.
posted by Space Coyote at 6:10 PM on May 3, 2005


I'd have to say banning smoking in cars is a great idea. No more throwing flaming refuse out into foliage.

Personally, I'd be more willing to compromise on my anti-smoking views if cigarette smoke didn't make me choke up dangerously, leave a horrible lingering smell worse than mold, and cigarettes weren't a fire hazard, as well as an environmental scourge.

The habit has downfalls wherever you look, and a lack of benefits. If someone goes about in public with a rancid stench, most people keep serious distance and think quite ill of that person. Why should the stench of tobacco be an "acceptable" stench? Sure, not everyone hates the smell. Some people like the smell of boiled cabbage, some people enjoy the smell of skunk musk. They don't go around smelling like that, and if they do, they're ostracized.

I know prohibition doesn't work, but that doesn't mean we need to tolerate it in public. Alcohol is restricted to one's home and a handful of specific bars/venues. Why not smoking? After all, you can't say you're not a little distracted, when you have something in your hand that is on fire.
posted by Saydur at 6:25 PM on May 3, 2005


i know the smokers vs. nonsmokers rights has been beaten to death, so i won't go there. but have you ever noticed that the bathrooms are always in the smoking section?

as an asthmatic and severely allergic to most irritants - that was always my biggest pet peeve. that and people who choose to smoke immediately around or in front of the entrance/exit of an establishment.

i have also have concern about the "smoking in cars where children are present" - especially those who somehow manage to do it with all the windows rolled up (or open only the tiniest crack). otherwise, i have a right to not breathe the smoke, and they have a right to breathe it.
posted by snack at 7:05 PM on May 3, 2005


Ever since I stopped smoking I noticed that many people stink. This offends my delicate nose. Can't we ban B.O. in public places too? While were at it, no one with a high white blood cell count is allowed to come to work or to use mass transit. I mean, hey, people spewing airborne virus and disease should be quarantined to protect the rest of us.

And Mr. or Mrs. Fatso, I don't care if its 'glandular' you are driving healthcare costs through the roof for us all with your unhealthy obesity. Next up, were putting an extra tax on your food if you are over the legal weight for your height. Lucky for you, were giving the proceeds to the states to manage so you'll be sure to benefit from it. Oh, and if your fat ass can't fit in a single movie/airline seat you need to pay for two! /rude, semi-sarcastic rant
posted by HyperBlue at 7:13 PM on May 3, 2005


I do mind when they get in cars and spew their exhaust on people after running over them.

Why don't we let mommy government take away all the naughty things so we can be happy little boys and girls. Oh wait, because we're adults, and we can choose to be responsible with alcohol or suffer the consequences; we can choose what bars and restaurants to visit.

Wait, huh? You attacked the ban on smoking by sarcastically asking why not ban alcohol too, using drunk driving as an example... So you're saying, what- drunk driving should be legal? That's your example of the "mommy state?"
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:46 PM on May 3, 2005


"Man, I don't know about the rest of you, but I personally can't wait until the bars and restaurants I visit are free of the nuisance of smokers and their laughably low self esteem over-inflated by a century long campaign by the tobacco industry."

Well someone thinks highly of him/herself.
posted by clevershark at 8:05 PM on May 3, 2005


Probably because it's not settled science, by any stretch.

Kwantsar, you've referenced a Judge (Osteen) who happens to be a former tobacco industry lobbyist. No pro-tobacco bias there, I'm sure.

And Sullum, who wrote the Reason article also linked, is "one of the most vociferous defenders of the tobacco industry in print today". Again, no reason his citings would at all be biased.
posted by jareha at 10:13 PM on May 3, 2005


You know, for all the badass, macho "oh-yeah-I'd-flick-the-cigarette-right-out-his-mouth-and-slowly-draw-my-katana" rolleyes bullshit in here, I have never been asked by some shrill athsmatic fop to put out my cigarette. Why are you so vocal here but so quiet in public?

Also, I find it extremely surprising that about half of the people in this thread apparently die instantly when exposed to cigarette smoke, since I have never seen someone keel over or pass out or even have a horrific coughing fit because of second-hand exposure.

Personally, I'd be more willing to compromise on my anti-smoking views if cigarette smoke didn't make me choke up dangerously [. . .]
posted by Saydur at 6:25 PM PST on May 3


If ninety-year old ladies with lung cancer (yes, from smoking, here's a cookie) can inhale the smoke directly from its source, yet you can't handle merely passing someone smoking on the street, it's time to find a new planet, Mary, because this one is clearly too rough for you.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 12:21 AM on May 4, 2005


We've banned smoking in cars.

But the cars themselves are apparently allowed to roam free, spewing their poisonous exhaust into the air.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:27 PM on May 4, 2005


Smoking is fun and it makes you look cool.
The only complaint I have about second hand smokers is they don't pay me for the lovely smoke I send their way. I mean, come on, I'm practically doing you a favour here.

Plus, as smokers, we're doing our bit to relieve the pressure on the looming pensions crisis. I don't see anyone patting our backs about that one.
posted by seanyboy at 12:35 AM on May 5, 2005


Also, I find it extremely surprising that about half of the people in this thread apparently die instantly when exposed to cigarette smoke, since I have never seen someone keel over or pass out or even have a horrific coughing fit because of second-hand exposure.

You had me until the horrific coughing fit - it's called asthma, and myself and many others have experienced it.

I'm not commenting on the ban either way, but for asthma sufferers, smoke can be just that awful.
posted by agregoli at 7:23 AM on May 5, 2005


We should ban things that other people do and that we don't like. We have superior knowledge to them. They should be grateful as we are doing it for their own good.
posted by caddis at 7:43 AM on May 5, 2005


That's what Bush said prior to invasion.

/too subtle?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:14 AM on May 5, 2005


But nicotine is worse then even heroin in terms of addictiveness.
I’d put it the other way around. As in the steps for kicking a habit, abstinence is a must. Which involves staying away from even seeing it or where places you used which is impossible for cigarettes, unless you’re blind.

So will say cigarettes could be less addicting than heroin if it was more illegal. Most people will not go broke or sink to rock bottom in their lives by smoking a cigarette everyday? Never heard anyone say that about heroin. Why I will say for most heroin is less addictive in it is harder to obtain, as a cigarette can be bummed off most smoking strangers. Which then makes staying away from having a cigarette harder in the addiction world thus breaking the bad habit.
posted by thomcatspike at 9:33 AM on May 5, 2005




Combine that with the laws 'suspect' origins and it's kind of hard to nail someone as an addict because they disagree (with good reason) the current law on the books and decide to smoke some ganga. I don't think they need treatment, they just need their government to wise up.
j.p. Hung, Made the comment as several comments up eluded to; in a bar pot is great but a cigarette being evil is ok to ban.

Regarding addictions, there is a fine line here. Most bad addictions will become visible when a person's life is ruled by it. The needed treatment will reveal the addiction to the people around them. But, an addiction is not solely based by a rehab treatment being needed. It is human nature to have them and if you can control it, then you have a controlled addiction and as it is titled, you are in control over it.

but for asthma sufferers, smoke can be just that awful.
Anyone know the facts about the treatment history of asthma?
There was a supposed treatment used in the 50's and further back that claims taking a few hits off a joint stopped an asthma attack. The claim also includes this treatment for the young and old. It may sound true, because pot is a stimulant. Though the smoking part does not make sense as you inhale smoke in the lungs and pot was made illegal from 1937 until the current law changes in medical usages.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:26 PM on May 5, 2005


I welcome a smoking ban so that I can go out to bars again. I remember them fondly as being rather fun.

Have you considered going to a bar where smoking is not allowed?

Christ, do cigarettes make you whine like that? Go smoke outside, stinky. The air in here doesn't belong to you.

The air doesn't belong to you, either, and quite frankly the stench of your hypocrisy is bothering me, stinky. Does the lack of cigarettes make you whine like that? Or is it just the lack of a well-developed argument?

please explain to me how i still maintain my right to not smoke when i enter an establishment where people are smoking. by being in an enclosed space with smokers, i end up smoking myself. it seems to me they are infringing on my right not to smoke. the only argument i can see is "you have a right not to go into a restaurant where people smoke". fine, be that way then, and hopefully my favorite menu in town isn't in a smoking restaurant.

someone tell me how i'm not making sense and i'll reconsider. by not smoking i'm not messing with other peoples body (lungs/skin) or property (clothing). how does someone getting to enjoy a cigarette trump smoke invading my personal space?


There's a difference between inhaling second-hand smoke and smoking. Once you nullify that difference, you set up mutually exclusive and non-existent rights. Watch: I assert a right to smoke cigarettes. You assert a right to not smoke cigarettes. The only way either one of us can violate the rights of the other is by the use of force. Then, you define "smoking cigarettes" as inhaling cigarette smoke. Now, my "right to smoke" interferes with your "right to not smoke" not only when you are actually not smoking, but any time I am within a certain distance. The only way to resolve the situation is for one of us to relinquish our "rights". Furthermore, what you're actually saying is that you have a right to not inhale the airborne particulate matter resultant from the burning of tobacco. You've now asserted a right to control the atmosphere in which you exist. Good luck.

The problem with allowing property owners to choose is that generally they seem to think allowing smoking is more profitable than banning it, and so they almost all allow smoking unless the G bans it.

In my experience, a good 1/3 of establishments don't allow smoking. Have you talked to the other ones? Have you stopped frequenting them and told them why? There are non-legislative ways to change these situations.

I genuinely feel for the people that have allergic reactions to tobacco smoke, and I don't quite know what to say about that. People with allergic reactions to perfume, ragweed, dogs, and cats don't seem to be pushing for any new laws, though; how are they getting by? Does vehicle exhaust trigger a similar reaction? I have friends that have asthma and smoke, how does that work? I certainly wouldn't mind a reduction in the number of smoking-allowed establishments, but I think there should still be a way for some places to allow it. When I'm out with people that don't smoke, we sit in the non-smoking section, even when I'm given a choice. I think it's imposing for me to subject them to my smoke during the meal, but I also think it's quite a bit more imposing for complete strangers to disallow me the option of ever smoking at a privately-owned establishment.
posted by nTeleKy at 1:07 PM on May 5, 2005


...Does vehicle exhaust trigger a similar reaction? I have friends that have asthma and smoke, how does that work?...

Asthmatics have particular "triggers" or sensitivities that trigger asthma attacks. Cigarette smoke is a common one, but it isn't universal. In my case, smoke triggers asthma (as does breathing shellac and paint thinner fumes), but car exhaust doesn't seem to cause much trouble, though of course I avoid it when possible anyway because it isn't pleasant nor is it particularly good for me. :) So your friends may have asthma, but smoke isn't a particular trigger for them. (Still, it probably isn't helping.) So they are willing to feed their addiction in spite of the asthma.

The thing about asthma triggers is that they can lead to just a minor attack, a few coughs easily controlled with an inhaler, or they can lead to a day in the hospital or worse. And quite likely to a course of prednisone, which has its own nasty side effects, including immuno-suppression. Supposedly those with mild asthma are the ones most likely to die from this kind of attack, because they are the most likely to not have their meds with them, to take chances around their triggers, etc.

Having developed nasty pneumonia a couple of times after exposure to my triggers, I am really really gunshy about further exposure to them, as I imagine many people are. So this is part of the reaction you see. We know that exposure -- even in relatively small amounts -- can kill us if our lungs choose to have that extreme defensive reaction. So we avoid smoke, period -- and you can see how in this situation one might begin to see smokers as inconsiderate at the very least, and potentially life-threatening.
posted by litlnemo at 3:15 PM on May 5, 2005


I'm honestly shocked at the anti-smoking ban arguments I've read here. I can't understand why anyone thinks they should have a right smoke a cigarette in public...I mean, bowel movements are absolutely not illegal, but we're not allowed to do that in open public spaces, are we.

Though according to the arguments around here, I suppose we should change that law. Apparently people wouldn't mind sitting in the excrement of the people who sat in their chair before they arrived. Or getting a hint of that excrement in their hair, their food, or in their mouths as they carry on a conversation.

Personally, I'd rather stay in my smoke-free pubs and restaurants here in Toronto.
posted by Hildegarde at 6:15 PM on May 5, 2005


Well reasoned, nTeleKy. But I fear reason will fall on deaf ears.

So we avoid smoke, period

The loud thuding sound is that of a million smokers hitting their heads against the wall, trying to wrap their brains around this one very simple question:

What is the problem with allowing the bars to choose for themselves? There are clearly enough non-smokers around to justify a completely smoke-free bar, right? Why can't there be both smoking and non-smoking bars peacefully coexisting with each other?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:22 PM on May 5, 2005


(Um, that last question was the head-thudding one.)
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:22 PM on May 5, 2005


I was going to answer C_D's question but I remember that I went over this before, in one of the many previous smoking threads, and it is basically impossible for me to participate in these smoking threads without getting highly pissed off -- so I think I will stop now before injecting any actual opinion into this, for the sake of my own mental health. There is enough opinion to go around without my contribution.

I am sure someone else will be unable to resist the temptation. ;)
posted by litlnemo at 11:57 PM on May 5, 2005


litlnemo - Don't know if you'll be checking in again, but thanks for the asthma info.

Apparently people wouldn't mind sitting in the excrement of the people who sat in their chair before they arrived. Or getting a hint of that excrement in their hair, their food, or in their mouths as they carry on a conversation.

Don't use public restrooms, eh?

I can't understand why anyone thinks they should have a right smoke a cigarette in public...

I don't know if you're talking about public buildings, like ones owned by the government. Where I live those are all non-smoking and no one objects. Maybe you're talking about public space outside? I'd have to see some evidence that the amount of smoke inhalation by bystanders was enough to cause significant harm, but if so I could go with that. I think, though, you're talking about privately-owned establishments. They appear public because the owners let most people in, but they're owned by private citizens and thus have different regulations. Take a bar, for instance. After a certain time people under 21 can't enter. Why are they allowed to practice this disturbing ageism? Because it's a privately-owned establishment. And, similar to your poo analogy, although we wouldn't allow limitations of public space based on age (minors being an obvious exception), it's certainly alright in private establishments. Would it be OK if they had to put a sign on the door that said "WARNING: THIS ESTABLISHMENT ALLOWS SMOKING. SECOND-HAND SMOKE INHALATION HAS BEEN LINKED WITH CANCER. BLAH BLAH BLAH."? Because I would have no problems with that. I'm certainly open to having some restrictions but an outright ban is at the very least inconsiderate and, I think, contrary to the notion of a free country.
posted by nTeleKy at 9:26 AM on May 6, 2005


I'm a chain-smoking asthmatic and I understand there are varying degrees of severity for asthma. I oddly don't mind smoke but if someone is wearing too much perfume or cologne I'll collapse into a wheezing and coughing fit. Can we outlaw perfume wearing in public for the same reasons asthmatics wish to ban smoking?
posted by phrostine at 11:33 AM on May 6, 2005


nTeleKy:
The air doesn't belong to you, either, and quite frankly the stench of your hypocrisy is bothering me, stinky.
I don't see the hypocrisy you're pointing out. Sometimes I have a cigarette, and when I do, I go outside, and I like how inside doesn't reek of accumulated stinkiness. And when it's the air I'm breathing, I think I can assert some rights on it that you can't.

Does the lack of cigarettes make you whine like that? Or is it just the lack of a well-developed argument?
What a witty turnaround. There is an argument is already out there: second hand smoke is obnoxious, and enough of it causes cancer, heart disease, whatever, and studies show this. The swining of your fist is hitting other people in the face, especially employees in these places, and therefore subject to curbing. A sign reading: "warning, air in this restaurant causes cancer" (what do you wanna do, turn the world into your cigarette box?) wouldn't help employees, for example. You can try to develop some better thing, but I think the simplest solution is not to stink up the place, and I don't see the need to go crazy defending your freedom to burn cancer-causing materials inside shared spaces.

That's one argument, and I think it's been plenty hashed about. Kwantsar's first link maybe pokes holes in one report (though the page has a strong air of quackery), but there are more reports, by other organizations. The second link itself admits that there's a +20% lung cancer risk.

I'm having a bit of fun making a more invasive argument, out of politeness, like a good samaritan law.

You don't want to be inconvencienced in your smoking. I don't want to be inconvenienced in my choice of restaurants and bars, or by being unable to avoid the net effect of your convenience. The difference is that your convenience stinks and kills, whereas my convenience merely makes you whine and moan about how the MAN says you sometimes have to get off your butt and step outside to light up your coffin nail. I'm asking you to walk 30', you're asking me to go somewhere else entirely or not at all if no such choice exists. Whose cookies are tougher?

It can go either way. When I'm in smokey places, I don't complain. Sometimes I don't even mind it, nor do I mind going outside for a breath of fresh air when I feel the urge to exercise my right not to breath your exhaust. Usually there's no choice of a non-smoking place. So I prefer the effect of the default-no-smoking laws.

They appear public because the owners let most people in, but they're owned by private citizens and thus have different regulations. Take a bar, for instance. After a certain time people under 21 can't enter. Why are they allowed to practice this disturbing ageism? Because it's a privately-owned establishment.
I think the original poster meant "in public" in the sense of "one should not masturbate in public." And I think your example works against your own point. Bars would love to serve drinks to 20-year-olds; it's the government telling them they can't, because of that whole public interest thing. Some places do have "under 21" nights, and that's wholly their choice and their right, but they still are responsible for providing a safe environment.

Speaking personally, even if they prove tomorrow that SHS can never harm anyone, I prefer the law that leaves bars and restaurants less stinky, and I hope to be forgiven for not really caring so much about the freedom of smokers from a pretty damn tiny inconvenience. Smoking isn't free speech, nor is it a race or creed. It's an actual nuisance, dude.
posted by fleacircus at 12:23 PM on May 6, 2005


I don't see the hypocrisy you're pointing out.

Hypocrisy perhaps wasn't the right word. I was merely commenting on the fact that you derided a "whiny" poster by whining about them and making childish insults. The paraphrasing of your original comment was not meant to be witty as much as it was meant to provide you with greater insight as to the gist of your comment ("You are stupid and smell.") by framing it from a contrasting viewpoint.

You know, deep down inside, I'm really not all that concerned about losing my smoking-in-private-establishments benefits. I guess it all comes down to the fact that I think it's just a little fucked up that you'd turn a nuisance into a criminal action. I think perfume is generally nasty, and I've had to deal with some unbelievably smelly people in my day, but do I think they should be fined or jailed for inconveniencing me? No. Apparently you do. Apparently anything that is an annoyance or possible health risk should be made illegal. Apparently I can't choose what's in the air I breath unless I'm on my own property and not within 100ft of another human being that I don't have the proper signed consent form from. But fuck, what am I even bitching about, we're already fighting a war against some of the most beneficial and historically important plants we know of and simultaneously pushing very dangerous chemicals to the populace...I really need to stop expecting things to make sense. Go ahead, take away smoking anywhere except private property, it's the least of my fucking problems right now, just please, please, don't make it illegal altogether.
posted by nTeleKy at 3:43 PM on May 9, 2005


The laws in England are currently:
No smoking in restaurants
Smoke in pubs/bars if they say you can
Smoke in public
No smoking in shops
No smoking in shopping centres
No smoking in hospitals/schools/libraries, etc.

In Ireland though, they've banned smoking in public.

Is the US the place you're all located? Someone may have to explain the laws there to me. Or I could backtrack. I'm lazy. Sue me.
posted by malusmoriendumest at 12:21 AM on May 18, 2005


« Older does he think we really care??...  |  Not just for hard rockers, app... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments