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November 16, 2006 7:36 PM   Subscribe

Ban of all Bans? is this really all about health?
posted by brandz (189 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I think banning smoking is great!
posted by MythMaker at 7:43 PM on November 16, 2006


I suspect it's mostly all about health, yep!
posted by thirteenkiller at 7:44 PM on November 16, 2006


Did someone say ban?
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 7:49 PM on November 16, 2006


I fucken hate smokers... I say ban them and ban their children's children and their children's children's next door neighbours. Then ban some more until there is nothing left that can't be banned.
posted by strawberryviagra at 7:52 PM on November 16, 2006


I quit 3 days ago: grrrrr!
posted by taosbat at 7:54 PM on November 16, 2006


Does this include banana peels?
posted by luckypozzo at 7:56 PM on November 16, 2006


This is ridiculous. (post and concept)
posted by aliasless at 7:57 PM on November 16, 2006


He lit the cigarette and smoked it down to the filter in one breath. He silently thanked the cigarette company for being thoughtful enough about his health to include a filter to protect him. So he lit up another. This time he didn't exhale the squeaky-clean filtered smoke, but just let it nestle in his lungs, filling his body with that good menthol flavor. Some more smokers knocked on his door and they came in and all started smoking along with him.

"How wonderful it is that we're all smoking," he thought.

Everyone smoked and smoked and after they smoked they all talked about smoking and how nice it was that they were all smokers and then they smoked some more.

Smoke, smoke, smoke. They all sang "Smoke That Cigarette" and "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes." Then the smokers smoked one more cigarette and left him alone in his easy chair, about to relax and enjoy a nice quiet smoke.

And then his lips fell off.

(credit: Steve Martin)
posted by fleetmouse at 8:01 PM on November 16, 2006 [2 favorites]


I'm not a smoker, but I am constantly amazed at the intense vitriol that many non-smokers (and especially ex-smokers) heap and spew at them.
For every person claiming smokers are rude in their behaviours, I see a hundred anti-smoking folks treating smokers as though they were less-than-human.
posted by nightchrome at 8:02 PM on November 16, 2006 [5 favorites]


(Congratulations, taosbat! I quit last year, and 72 hours is no small feat.)
posted by icosahedral at 8:03 PM on November 16, 2006


Thanks, icosahedral, I'm chewing that gum...chewing, chewing, chewing...
posted by taosbat at 8:06 PM on November 16, 2006


If there's one thing that doesn't surprise me about Mefites anymore it's their ability to summon up intense vitriol at the drop of a hat.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 8:09 PM on November 16, 2006


I'm confused. How is this NOT about health? They must have hidden that hidden agenda real good this time.

They tried to ban smoking in the complex where I live. I called a lawyer friend about whether or not they could enforce the ban. He came round. During our half-hour chat in the courtyard, he smoked seven cigarettes, then said "If they try it, call me. If you want to take it to court, you'll win."
posted by bunglin jones at 8:10 PM on November 16, 2006


“We have a tremendous opportunity here. We need to pass as stringent a law as we can, I would like to make it illegal,” said Councilman Dave Warden. “What if every city did this, image how many lives would be saved? If we can do one little thing here at this level it will matter.”



We're talking about people smoking cigarettes! They act like they're confronting a crack cocaine epidemic. Lighten up.
posted by Liquidwolf at 8:10 PM on November 16, 2006 [1 favorite]


Yeah totally. What you do in your home or your car or in a back alley is usually not something Leviathan needs to be ticketing you for. Sheesh.
posted by Firas at 8:12 PM on November 16, 2006


Ok, smoker here. I'm all for banning smoking in any public place. I think I speak for a lot of smokers when I say that banning is a good thing. We have compassion just like the rest of you non-smokers, y'know...

So banning is good. But this law is talking about banning it in your own car(!). And if a multiplex is so badly constructed that you smell your neighbor's cigarette smoke, you shouldn't blame the smoker, that's an issue with building management (and how they should've built a better building). They're blurring the lines between "public" and "private".
posted by zardoz at 8:13 PM on November 16, 2006


But nightchrome, they stink, their fingers are yellow, their breath smells like arse, they end up with cat's anus mouths, they fling their butts everywhere - how can you love something like that?

There are fewer and fewer people we are allowed to hate these days, so ironically we need smokers - we should ban them only to later resurrect them so that we can ban them all over again.

I keed.
posted by strawberryviagra at 8:16 PM on November 16, 2006


mmmmmm,

mmmmmm
,

good?
posted by caddis at 8:22 PM on November 16, 2006


I love this, really. I've choked on the fumes of inconsiderate people of every color, creed and religion, and baby-sat in enough smoke-filled houses to know that the positives of something like this outweigh the negatives for me. I'd rather people smoke pot, for crying out loud. At least then I don't have to feel like I'm behind a garbage truck every time I inhale.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 8:23 PM on November 16, 2006


Why not ban smoking everywhere? After all, prohibition has been such a successful technique for combating societal ills, right? The beasts of alcohol and drugs have certainly been tamed by the legal crack of a whip, haven't they?

Unenforceable laws like this just breed more and more contempt for law in general. There may be a way to shake people free of their vices, but legislation certainly isn't up to the task.

And for the health benefits crowd, consider - smokers tend to die young, thereby sparing society the costs of prolonged medical care that even the healthiest lifestyle folks often accrue as time goes by.
posted by John Smallberries at 8:23 PM on November 16, 2006


It's OK - the French can fix cat's bum mouth. Strike that off my damning list.
posted by strawberryviagra at 8:29 PM on November 16, 2006


I don't think it's totally about health, and I'm a non-smoker who is very in favor of inside-all-public-buildings bans (like the one just passed in Ohio). When I voted for that ban, it was about health, but I think for a lot of people, it was about getting back at smokers for all the times they've smelled their smoke, and keeping the air nice for them.
posted by pinespree at 8:30 PM on November 16, 2006


And for the health benefits crowd, consider - smokers tend to die young

No, they don't. They rack up huge medical bills that non-smokers will end up partially funding.

What you do in your home or your car or in a back alley is usually not something Leviathan needs to be ticketing you for.

First they came for the prostitutes, then they came for the tokers, then they came for the drinkers, and now they're getting the smokers. This is what you get when you don't stand up for everyone's freedom. More lawbreakers and less respect for the law. I can possible understand the concern about multiunit residences, from first-hand experience, but it seems a bit strict to me still.

What I don't understand is why didn't the business crush this idea down somehow? Or are there no businesses in Belmont aside from retail? Banning cigarettes is like banning caffeine. Think of the productivity loss.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:30 PM on November 16, 2006


must remember ... the preview button exists for a reason
posted by mrgrimm at 8:31 PM on November 16, 2006


I don't smoke, I think it's stupid, but the ban is just nanny state self righteousness. Damn I miss the spell checker.
posted by Iron Rat at 8:39 PM on November 16, 2006


While we're at it, let's ban diesel fuel.
posted by owhydididoit at 8:43 PM on November 16, 2006


No, they don't. They rack up huge medical bills that non-smokers will end up partially funding.

Wrong:
If people stopped smoking, there would be a savings in health care costs, but only in the short term. Eventually, smoking cessation would lead to increased health care costs.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 8:44 PM on November 16, 2006


Until they put all drugs of equal harm and addicive potential on the same plane the pro-cigarette people can cry me a river. So your drug of choice is being somewhat restricted, BFD. Millions of people are in prison for purchasing *their* drugs of choice, that's what oppression looks like. Being required not to annoy others by stinking up their air is not oppression.

Personally, I can't understand why people want to use any drugs, but obviously many people do. I have a friend who has quit smoking, and cocaine. He said that the coke was easier to quit than the cigarettes... This implies that our legal system is pretty massively insane with regards to drugs.

Note that our language participates in this. A person who is in an altered mental state due to any drug except alchohol is "high", or "stoned", or whatever. But alchohol gets its own special, PC, term "drunk". Similarly when people talk about "the drug problem" they explicitly exclude alchohol and nicotine which are covered completely separately.

So, yeah, a city in California is going to mandate that my air doesn't stink of tobacco and people are getting their panties in a twist? Call me when they make possession of a gram of tobacco a federal offence, then I'll care.
posted by sotonohito at 8:45 PM on November 16, 2006


I'm not even gonna read the comments, I'm just gonna spout off.

I've been a smoker, on and off, for years. And I wish someone would just go ahead and make it illegal. It's addictive as hell, it's a total crutch, a guilty pleasure, a lover and a mortal enemy.

I can't count the number of times I've thrown away the pack and said, "it is over and done with"... just to go and buy another pack a couple of hours later.

It's not about being weak, or lacking fortitude - it's about an industry that does everything it can to KEEP you addicted to something that everyone knows will kill you.

There is no such thing as 'smoking in moderation'. You can't apply the social constraints of drinking to smoking. It's just BAD for you, no matter how you cut it.

In my twenties I would have told you to sod off and that I can quit whenever I want to, but pushing forty I look at smoking as one of those things where I secretly admit I wish society would just go ahead and make a difficult decision for me by outlawing smoking alltogether.

Now cigars... that's a different story.
posted by matty at 8:46 PM on November 16, 2006 [2 favorites]


“We have a tremendous opportunity here. We need to pass as stringent a law as we can, I would like to make it illegal,” said Councilman Dave Warden. “What if every city did this, image how many lives would be saved? If we can do one little thing here at this level it will matter.”

A tremendous opportunity, I agree fully. A tremendous opportunity to show once again how law enforcement should be answer to all and every problem - the average man does not like it? Outlaw it. The doctors don't like it? Outlaw it. The God people does not like it? You guess, outlaw it. The feminists don't like it, the academics don't like, Mrs Jones from the 62 does not like it at all - the answer can't be other than outlawing every outlawable behavior out there. In the end, your former land of the free and home of the brave will make true the old joke about Germany: everything that's not forbidden will be mandatory.
posted by nkyad at 8:49 PM on November 16, 2006


Out of my dead, stained hands...
posted by Hicksu at 8:49 PM on November 16, 2006


I wonder if anyone has ever even considered what banning smoking outright would do to the suicide rate. Or the number of "gone fucking postal" incidents.


*lights up stinky dark Halfzware shag filterless handroll*

Suck it, bitches. I'm going out like Mark Twain.
posted by loquacious at 8:51 PM on November 16, 2006 [3 favorites]


I still think it's a stupid idea, and I still don't understand how this is not about health. Because it's about getting back at smokers? Really? Are people that mean?
posted by bunglin jones at 8:55 PM on November 16, 2006


Banning cigarettes is like banning caffeine.
Every time I sip my Diet Coke, I do so inconspicuously. I walk away from people I'd otherwise greet with a "Good afternoon, how are you?" when I'm getting my fix of Diet Coke. When I'm done, I smell bad, but because the Diet Coke damages my ability to smell, I can't tell. And those commercials about what's really in Diet Coke? What is it these days? 600 chemicals that would otherwise be receive a poison label are ingested whenever you drink it? And every morning, the first thing I do, no matter what, is roll out of bed, crack the seal on a fresh Diet Coke, and spend the five most irritable minutes of every day enjoying the cool, crisp flavor of Diet Coke.

Okay, so maybe there's some truth to those last two comments, but, yeah, smoking and coffee or smoking and energy drinks? They're the exact same thing.
posted by sequential at 9:01 PM on November 16, 2006


Are people that mean?
Ha! . Where have you been?

I wish someone would invent a foolproof quit smoking aid that gets rid of the damn tingly-pressure everywhere withdrawal symptoms and provided a good substitute. Like methadone.
posted by IronLizard at 9:03 PM on November 16, 2006


No, it's not only about health. This is the new Puritanism.

The original Puritanism was about banning as many things as possible because they might lead to sin. The new Puritanism is about banning as many things as possible because they might conceivably pollute someone's body, or harm mother Gaia.

It's been said that Puritans are continually haunted by the idea that someone, somewhere, is having a good time. That applies equally well to old and new.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 9:03 PM on November 16, 2006


By the way, the word "Puritan" derives from the word "purify". The old Puritans wanted to purify everyone's souls. The new Puritans want to purify everyone's (and everything's) bodies.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 9:05 PM on November 16, 2006


I say we take off and nuke them from orbit. That's the only way to be sure.
posted by qvantamon at 9:08 PM on November 16, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'm a big fan of bannin' shit, but even I think this is overboard.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:11 PM on November 16, 2006 [1 favorite]


I can't believe anyone would genuinely advocate the prohibition of tobacco (or any other substance).

I'd be delusional to imagine that a saying something along the lines of "you've got to be kidding if you think that this is anywhere near the realm of the responsibilities of government" would change any minds here, wouldn't I?

People may be in favor of this, and this is a democracy after all, but this type of law adds to an unsettling precedent already maintained by anti-sodomy laws and drug prohibition. This is the involvement of the federal and local governments in our personal decisions.

I'm in favor of designated areas for behaviors when they can potentially harm others. It seems as if the evidence regarding second hand smoke may point towards this, and perhaps the same can be said for the behavior of people drinking alcohol (which you can't consume outside of bars/residences/licensed businesses).
posted by Matt Oneiros at 9:14 PM on November 16, 2006


Ban it like the img tag.
posted by Eideteker at 9:22 PM on November 16, 2006 [1 favorite]


Jesus Christ, people.

Can't someone propose the regulation of a behavior harmful to the health of others without someone getting all fucking looney and going Prohibition on it? I quote--
We need to pass as stringent a law as we can, I would like to make it illegal.
Why?

Why do people so easily cross from stopping harm to others to nannying people for their own good--and why do they think hurting them with fines and police records is a good way to save them?

I am all for restricting smoking in public places, in the same way I'm all for stopping people taking a shit in a public place, or ejaculating all over park benches, or caking waitresses in bloody phlegm. But the smoker has the right to kill himself however he sees fit, and I don't see how killing himself in his car is anyone's goddamn business.
posted by adoarns at 9:27 PM on November 16, 2006


Why stop there? Let's ban fatty foods, mp3 players, mountain climbing, extreme sports, and reality TV.
posted by caddis at 9:27 PM on November 16, 2006


and sedentary pursuits such as video gaming, blogging, general internet surfing, and oh, reading.
posted by caddis at 9:28 PM on November 16, 2006


children shall wear helmets at all times, not merely when riding bicycles and skateboards, both of which are now banned anyway.
posted by caddis at 9:29 PM on November 16, 2006


OK, adults shall wear helmets as well.
posted by caddis at 9:29 PM on November 16, 2006


How about a ban on World of Warcraft?
posted by dopamine at 9:30 PM on November 16, 2006


Let me add one more to my "cry me a river" rant. Until my lesbian cousin can marry her partner, don't talk to me about how smokers are being oppressed.

As for Steven C. Den Beste that's an utterly false comparison. I don't give a damn what *you* do to your body, I just don't want you stinking up my air or inflicting it on *my* body. To paraphrase "your right to smoke ends where my nose begins". You want to smoke in a manner that doesn't make me smell it or possibly harm me due to second hand smoke? Go for it.
posted by sotonohito at 9:31 PM on November 16, 2006


Ban it like the img tag.


( )
)(
_______________ ( )
()__)____________)))))

posted by b1tr0t at 9:33 PM on November 16, 2006 [2 favorites]


Why stop there? Let's ban fatty foods, mp3 players, mountain climbing, extreme sports, and reality TV.
posted by jmd82 at 9:35 PM on November 16, 2006


Oh, and this is not about health. It's about your freaking butts everywhere. Sure, you don't do it. "Not me!" you shout. But no invisible Family Circus character will save you this time.

So if you smoke, and you see a butt?even if you always deposit yours in a trashcan?pick it up. Otherwise, this could happen to YOU.
posted by Eideteker at 9:37 PM on November 16, 2006 [1 favorite]


Fucking ridiculous. This is punitive, not about health (as many keep squawking without taking a split second to think about it). If it was about health, they would limit the ban to areas where there is a reasonable likelihood someone else would be breathing it in. But inside your apartment or your own car demonstrates that the ban is overreaching. The only explanation is that the city government wants to punish people for making a legal choice and want to curtail their freedom. Milton Friedman is spinning in his freshly dug grave.
posted by Falconetti at 9:38 PM on November 16, 2006


Actually in the merc they say cars are OK, too.

As a left-libertarian I could care less when & where you smoke, as long as you don't externalize the cost and the stink.

My #1 peeve in Japan was smokers strolling down the sidewalk. I wanted to invest in an airsoft solution for that sooo bad.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 9:43 PM on November 16, 2006


*laughs at Steven C. Den Beste*

Drinking, that's a good time. Pot, good time. Masturbation, real good time. But I don't really see smokers experiencing the kind of abject joy found in the other three frowned upon vices... sure it helps you relax, but I just don't get the feeling us "anti-smokers with a reason" (I guess they'll call us asthmonazis) are killing anyone's buzz.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 9:45 PM on November 16, 2006


except for single-family detached residences

Okay, so homeowners can smoke, but not renters. Nice.

I live in an ooold building right next door to two granky old chain smokers, and I've never smelled anything over here. And if I did smell something, from a different apartment it would be at most an odor rather than some kind of health-deteriorating "second hand smoke."
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 9:47 PM on November 16, 2006


Freedom of choice
Is what you got
Freedom from choice
Is what you want
posted by strawberryviagra at 9:47 PM on November 16, 2006



What a pile of shit. If this was all about health, why wouldn't we enforce stricter emissions standards, or see that incineration plants and other extremely toxic industrial facilities won't be built near (usually) poor neighborhoods, or ban the use of toxic chemicals in food and household products, or the use of high fructose corn syrup, or McDonalds, etc. etc. Let's be consistent, people. The police has no business giving somebody a ticket for smoking a cigarette - there's much more to be dealth with than that. What an empty, sterile, asocial society we're turning into. Granted, it's not easy to defend smoking, I just see this as part of a larger pattern - look at England. If people can get shit faced at a bar, if in Texas you can get a daquiri in a drive-thru (it's true), if corporations and industries can poison me in the pursuit of profit, I should be able to walk down the street and smoke a fucking cigarette.
posted by bukharin at 9:56 PM on November 16, 2006 [1 favorite]


Heywood Mogroot Unfortunately the still do smoke on the sidewalks in Japan, I passed one this morning. And in the train stations, and in the taxis, etc. At least they limit smokers to just one car on the trains.
posted by sotonohito at 9:59 PM on November 16, 2006


Belmont is set to make history by becoming the first city in the nation to ban smoking on its streets and almost everywhere else.

Wrong. Thanks for playing.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:00 PM on November 16, 2006


I think there's one thing we all can agree with...


Smoking looks really cool.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:02 PM on November 16, 2006


I have a friend who has quit smoking, and cocaine. He said that the coke was easier to quit than the cigarettes... This implies that our legal system is pretty massively insane with regards to drugs.

It certainly is, but it also just might imply that there are far more environmental cues for the smoker than the cocaine addict. You don't walk into a bar assailed by cocaine being sniffed off every table, find cocaine ads in every glossy magazine, etc.
posted by dreamsign at 10:02 PM on November 16, 2006


If this was all about health, why wouldn't we enforce stricter emissions standards, or see that incineration plants and other extremely toxic industrial facilities won't be built near (usually) poor neighborhoods, or ban the use of toxic chemicals in food and household products, or the use of high fructose corn syrup, or McDonalds, etc. etc. Let's be consistent, people.

Are you saying that we don't want to deal with these other things, or that in order to be consistent, we need to create some kind of solution to all of them at once? Cause that's a good list and I think we should get on it. But apparently we can't start somewhere without being "inconsistent".
posted by dreamsign at 10:04 PM on November 16, 2006 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: I'm not even gonna read the comments, I'm just gonna spout off.

Smoking bans mean people smoke less, are healthier and business thrive.
posted by gottabefunky at 10:05 PM on November 16, 2006


You don't walk into a bar assailed by cocaine being sniffed off every table

No THAT would be some bar!
posted by Pollomacho at 10:06 PM on November 16, 2006


Dammit, forgot the links:

...smoke less, are healthier...
posted by gottabefunky at 10:07 PM on November 16, 2006


The thing that gets me is the quote in this article about "courage," when in fact this isn't the ban to end all bans. That milestone would involve prohibiting the sale of cigarettes in the United States. Wouldn't this be the ULTIMATE ban? If the anti-smoking lobby really wanted to go for the jugular, why not go all the way?

Oh yeah. There's a little thing called the tobacco lobby. Oh yeah. Many mom and pop convenience stores rely upon the sale of cigarettes to keep their businesses afloat. Oh yeah. The whole idea is that you keep the cigarettes in stores so that people will...wait for it...BUY them and SMOKE them. And, most importantly, then you can tax them. Because this is really all about two goals: taxation and appeasing non-smokers.

So as long as these pernicious cancer sticks remain an offering in the stores, I simply cannot comprehend a citywide ban. It smacks of a considerable hypocrisy and it does nothing to help nicotine addicts. If 70% of smokers truly want to quit, then why not develop a plan that helps them?

So you're a city. You want to collect the tax revenue you place on the cigarettes. And then you want to collect money from nicotine addicts again by ticketing them if they light up on a street corner. You're happy to double-dip, but you really couldn't care less about removing the source of the problem entirely, the option that would likely save the most lives and prevent the dissemination of cigarettes in the first place.

Look, cigarette smoke is nasty and gets in your clothes and hair. But as long as cigarettes can be purchased from behind a counter, I find this form of criminalization cowardly and craven. This is nothing less than a scam to tax a group of people who are already killing themselves, the majority of whom desperately want to quit. And it does nothing to help them (like say providing for anti-smoking treatment or providing free nicotine patches, etc.).

I cannot understand how a nation that goes out of its way to provide wheelchair access and handicapped parking spaces simultaneously introduces these batty halfway forms of legislation that seek to prey and persecute rather than helping addicts give up their addiction.

And don't the Belmont police have better things to do? Such as investigating domestic violence or murder or rape or robberies? Oh yeah. Not much in the way of revenue there.
posted by ed at 10:08 PM on November 16, 2006 [4 favorites]


You know what? I'm smoking right now. And with each inhale I am thinking about how much I love smoking. I love the smell, I love the taste, and (oh yeah,) I love how cool it makes me look. You non-smokers can climb on your soap-boxes all you want but deep down inside, you know that Bogart got the hotties.

To go one step further, I'm drinking tonight too. Yep, Jack and I are having a family reunion.

People: our vices are our own. Honestly, I can't smoke indoors anymore, and I've accepted that. I freeze my ass off so I don't offend the sensibilities of my coworkers. And thats fine. But come on. Let me harm myself how I wish in the privacy of my own home and car.

[Here I'm willing to admit that I would take whatever drug would make me stop smoking, but let's be clear, I like to smoke. I like it a lot. When I quit it will be because I want to save money.]

[And soon I hope to develop the will power to not need a drug, the Wife gave me a challenge: Quit smoking and you can buy another motorcycle. That is an incentive that could actually make me want to quit.]
posted by quin at 10:08 PM on November 16, 2006



dreamsign, I agree with that. But why is cigarette smoking the place to start, when a lot more could be achieved elsewhere? Honestly, how much damage does second-hand smoke do outdoors? Very few places are pedestrian anymore. It doesn't really make any sense. It criminalizes yet another behavior that a minority of individuals participate in with a relatively small benefit to the public. Yet I see much less of a passionate crusade to bring to justice the irreparable and much more catastrophic harm caused by, say, automobiles, which not only take tens of thousands of lives through accidents, but even more by the side effects of their emissions (cancer rates, etc. - note that those who live by highways suffer disproportionately from respiratory ailments and other things) and the potentially civilization-ending consequences of global warming. We're piddling over an issue like this - and taking away yet another right of choice from individuals - while Rome burns.
posted by bukharin at 10:13 PM on November 16, 2006


Another point is that we live in a world where you once in a while have to butt up against the puiblic-at-large. In the public sphere you have to put up with things you don't like, like rude people, or loud music, or people sneezing, or being jostled on the sidewalk, or someone hollering about something inane, etc., etc. I love the mess that is the public square, but the overzealous nanny state wants to turn it into some sort of sterile, pristine Singapore meets Gattaca.
posted by Falconetti at 10:13 PM on November 16, 2006



Hear, hear, Falconetti.
posted by bukharin at 10:16 PM on November 16, 2006


Honestly, health effects are a terrible reason to ban something, so is addictiveness. Once we stop buying into the mentality that these laws exist to protect people we'll have a much saner policy. The problem with, say, crack is that it has a negative effect on the entire community. This is partially related to addictiveness, and partially related to the fact that it just messes up how people interact with people around them.

It's much more complicated than "It's my body" or "Drugs are bad for you." Society has no legitimate interest in forcing you to keep yourself healthy, it does have a legitimate interest in keeping you from engaging in the kind of anti-social behavior associated with hard drug use. Bottom line in my book: If a drug is likely to destroy a given community(Meth, Crack, etc.) ban it.

This is not true of cigarettes, it's not true of alcohol, and it's not true of pot. Drawing this line is frequently hard, but that's the way to draw the line, not looking at health effects, or addictiveness or whatever.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:16 PM on November 16, 2006



If a drug is likely to destroy a given community(Meth, Crack, etc.) ban it.

Then you run into the problems associated with prohibition. What's more destructive to a community - crack, or the temptations and consequences of the black market? What's done more harm to, say, the African-American community - crack, or hundreds of thousands of black males imprisoned for selling it, because working for $4 an hour at McDonald's doesn't cut it when you can make thousands dealing? These addictions are a sickness, they should be treated like one.
posted by bukharin at 10:22 PM on November 16, 2006


And don't the Belmont police have better things to do? Such as investigating domestic violence or murder or rape or robberies?

You've obviously never been to Belmont. They export all their real crime to Redwood City.
posted by doctor_negative at 10:23 PM on November 16, 2006


Also: You might be asking yourself what can we do to appease the tobacco companies if we pursue a ban of cigarettes. Well, we ban cigarettes and replace them with marijuana cigarettes. The tobacco companies switch their facilities over to the production of marijuana cigarettes, the nicotine addicts get to enjoy (along with the rest of the population) affordable pot, and "smoke break" takes on a whole new meaning, with nine-to-five smokers less on edge during their morning and afternoon breaks. Factor in a SWITCH campaign along the lines of the Apple advertisements sponsored by the government (perhaps offering a six-month time window when both tobacco and marijuana are legal, so that people can get adjusted) and I think you'll find that this is a more palatable alternative.
posted by ed at 10:23 PM on November 16, 2006 [3 favorites]


ed: I would shit my pants if such a policy and ad campaign was implemented. That is a great, albeit completely unfeasible, idea.
posted by Falconetti at 10:25 PM on November 16, 2006


Wow. That's a city that's taking things waaaay too far. Hell, can they even stand a chance of having it upheld in court?

Don't smoke near me, that's all I ask. I expect to be at home, in my car, on the bus, on the sidewalk, in a mall, in a restaurant, in a movie theatre, in a pub. Keep the public environment smoke-free for all our benefit.

Theoretically it should be left to business establishments to determine their own smoking policy, provided certain employee health standards are met. Realistically, this requires an outright ban of smoking in business premises: there's a huge concern from restaurants and pubs that banning smoking is akin to Armageddon.

(In my town, upon the anti-smoking law being revoked as regards pubs, all the pubs chose to remain smoke-free. How interesting that, neh? Once the hurdle is jumped, it seems that it may stay jumped.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:27 PM on November 16, 2006


ed for supreme leader! vote ed!
posted by five fresh fish at 10:28 PM on November 16, 2006


Ha! . Where have you been?
As it happens, I've been to the deli to buy a pack of Marlboros. And I guess I was being naive to think this was actually only about health issues.
posted by bunglin jones at 10:33 PM on November 16, 2006


"Let me add one more to my "cry me a river" rant. Until my lesbian cousin can marry her partner, don't talk to me about how smokers are being oppressed."

That is truly a horrible road to tow.

Because one group is oppressed does not mean that we should turn a blind eye to new and upcoming forms of overt public intervention in private lives. Yes, certainly, pursue the issues closest to your own heart. But please don't denigrate valuable struggles in other arenas because they are not the issues that you care about.

We can be pro-gay marriage and anti-prohibition. You can be involved in one fight and not the other, you can be involved in both. That's alright, but I would hope you can see that any issue which deals with government involvement in personal decisions is essentially an extension of the same larger fight to maintain the rights we have and to gain the rights we should have.

We can simultaneously work to better the lives of all peoples. We can argue against one abrogation of rights without dragging the arguments of others through the mud.
posted by Matt Oneiros at 10:40 PM on November 16, 2006


ed: The tobacco companies switch their facilities over to the production of marijuana cigarettes, the nicotine addicts get to enjoy (along with the rest of the population) affordable pot, and "smoke break" takes on a whole new meaning, with nine-to-five smokers less on edge during their morning and afternoon breaks.

My name is Thomas Topham, and I endorse this message.
posted by Brave New Meatbomb at 10:42 PM on November 16, 2006


Similarly when people talk about "the drug problem" they explicitly exclude alchohol and nicotine which are covered completely separately.

On the various medical/job forms they ask 'do you use drugs' I always answer yes. Then I list alcohol, caffeine, chocolate and if I feel radical - high fructose corn syrup.

Only once was I asked 'how much' and then they heard about my double expresso once a month habbit!
posted by rough ashlar at 10:46 PM on November 16, 2006


Is the Belmost homeowners association behind this? I'm having visions of homeowners charging smoking non-homeowners to step inside & light up.
posted by treepour at 11:09 PM on November 16, 2006


Hell, can they even stand a chance of having it upheld in court?

The Friendship Heights ban was first ruled unconstitutional but the ruling was overturned on appeal. The village pulled the law rather than fight the susequent final appeal.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:12 PM on November 16, 2006


Yeah, but - I hate smoking pot. It makes me throw up.

And I looooooove cigarettes. My god I love smoking so much. I'd be smoking a cigarette every second of every day if it wouldn't bankrupt me. I know I'll probably die of lung cancer, but I promise I won't take a dime out of the public healthcare coffers.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 11:20 PM on November 16, 2006


But why is cigarette smoking the place to start, when a lot more could be achieved elsewhere?

It’s not. You make a fine argument. It happens though for various reasons. I remember while working for Greenpeace people would hurl animal rights causes at us. Well, that’s fine. Those causes need work. But they’re not our causes. Focus is a good thing. So claiming that “they” should be working on more important things is a bit off. Some people have expertise on second hand smoke research and a mandate or funding to try to do something about it. Others have auto emissions. Others industrial waste. You aren’t seriously suggesting that the same people should be responsible for tackling all of them, are you?

Honestly, health effects are a terrible reason to ban something, so is addictiveness.

I don’t know about that. I think my (provincial) government did a great disservice permitting the place to be overrun with video lottery terminals, for example, and now they’re so hooked on the coin that they can’t let it go. They are victimizing the weak, period. I suppose you could draw a line there between permitting victimization and actually being the predator, but isn't a ban the ethical thing to do when you know something is harmful? Everyone is focusing on the right of choice of the smoker, and whether others are harmed by it. You are actually fighting for the industry's right to prey on the weak and be free from government intervention in the process.
posted by dreamsign at 11:21 PM on November 16, 2006


Matt Oneiros : That is truly a horrible road to tow.

I don't disagree with any of your points, but the pedantic in me has to take issue with this comment. You may been trying to be sarcastic or ironic, but this statement "a horrible road to tow." bothered me to no end. I'm assuming you were trying to say "a tough row to hoe" because anything else would be silly.

Towing a road would be really difficult. I'm not saying it couldn't be done, but you would need a really big truck.
posted by quin at 11:25 PM on November 16, 2006


I promise I won't take a dime out of the public healthcare coffers.

Too late, you already have.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:38 PM on November 16, 2006


I won't take a dime out of the public healthcare coffers.

Do you live in the US? If so, will you inform as to where these public healthcare coffers are?

(or did you mean healthcare coughers?)
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:43 PM on November 16, 2006


strawberryviagra: "I fucken hate smokers... I say ban them and ban their children's children and their children's children's next door neighbours. Then ban some more until there is nothing left that can't be banned."

Yeah, right. It's *all* about health. Posts like this make that abundantly clear.

Guns, on the other hand, have nothing to do with health at all.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:43 PM on November 16, 2006


Lets just pretend it was a really clever way to say "to do something impossible."

*cough*
posted by Matt Oneiros at 11:51 PM on November 16, 2006


Bulgaroktonos: "Bottom line in my book: If a drug is likely to destroy a given community(Meth, Crack, etc.) ban it.

This is not true of cigarettes, it's not true of alcohol, and it's not true of pot. Drawing this line is frequently hard, but that's the way to draw the line, not looking at health effects, or addictiveness or whatever.
"

You don't even need to do this. Not every crackhead or meth fiend is destroying their community. Most are just destroying themselves and their family. Much better, in my view, to regulate and enforce the laws that perpetuate the anti-social activity. So, ban dealing, ban using in public, enforce petty crime laws, etc.

Interesting that these small-town Mussolini's decided that they'd ban smoking, rather than passing a law that banned the selling and transportation of cigarettes.

And btw -- your favourite recreational drug sucks.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:58 PM on November 16, 2006


Exhaust gases smell bad and are carcinogenic, so if the smoking ban is about health issues caused by second-hand smoke, driving cars in public should be made illegal too.

on preview, ohwhydididoit got the idea first
posted by ikalliom at 12:15 AM on November 17, 2006


public places: Others have a right to be there too, but are subjected to toxic and painful smoke in the vicinity of the smoker. Smokers use more than their share of clean air and deprive others. Externalities justify regulation.

apartments: You can avoid fires by not smoking, not using candles, not leaving the oven on, etc., but you can't control the neighbors, and if they start a fire it burns down your unit too. Stopping the tobacco-smoking doesn't remove the whole danger but it reduces it.

cars: It's an enclosed space, therefore smoking should be illegal if minors are present. There's no justification for a ban of smoking in cars when only consenting adults are present.

detached houses: Again, the law should prohibit minors being exposed to smoke. Otherwise no problem.

private businesses: Employers should not be allowed to require that employees be exposed to smoke as a condition of employment. If there were smoking areas with fans that would draw the smoke away so effectively that only the smoker would have to be exposed, this would not apply.

health costs: Smokers do not impose any costs on anyone by giving themselves diseases. Policies that require A to pay for B's healthcare impose those costs. Maybe those are good or bad policies but let's speak accurately.

other drugs: same principles as above: so far as the activity invades other people's physical space, or affects minors, regulation is justified; otherwise not.

"The problem with, say, crack is that it has a negative effect on the entire community. This is partially related to addictiveness, and partially related to the fact that it just messes up how people interact with people around them. ... It's much more complicated than 'It's my body' or 'Drugs are bad for you.'"

No, it *is* only the physical effects on others that should drive laws. You're not entitled to have your neighbor be a good person, or a socially healthy person, or anything about him be the way you would like, except that he does not coercively invade your physical well-being or property rights.
posted by jam_pony at 12:23 AM on November 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


I think my (provincial) government did a great disservice permitting the place to be overrun with video lottery terminals, for example, and now they’re so hooked on the coin that they can’t let it go.

Christ, yah.

Cigarettes smell absolutely foul. That alone is reason enough to ban them from enclosed public space, just like drunken hobos and dogshit.

I personally could not give less of a care what you do within the confines of your own home to you and informed, consenting adults. Smoke like a banshee, fire up a crack pipe.

But don't dare come into my space and claim I should have to suffer the clinging stench of your filthy fucking habit. I'll tolerate it outside and I'll tolerate it (once) if you invite me into your home, but keep it out of my face. I don't give a damn that you feel hard done by: life's a bitch. We non-smokers are in the vast majority, and unlike colour of skin or sexual preference, you do have a choice about where and when.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:27 AM on November 17, 2006


driving cars in public should be made illegal too.

With some necessary exceptions (ambulances, delivery trucks, postal vehicles) I'd love to see such a ban. (Going hand-in-hand, of course, with the necessary creation/expansion of public transportation) That'd be great!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:27 AM on November 17, 2006


Smoke like a banshee

Y'know, I bet they don't smoke, those banshees... At least, not in multi-unit dwellings.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:29 AM on November 17, 2006


Does anyone have trustworthy links to info on the real effects of second-hand smoke? I thought there were a few studies recently which showed the effects were negligible at best. Studies not funded by the industry, that is.
posted by nightchrome at 12:54 AM on November 17, 2006


and I'll tolerate it (once) if you invite me into your home, but keep it out of my face.
If you didn't like it when someone came into your space and forced you to suffer their misgivings, then how can we take you seriously if you feel justified to go into someone else's space and tell them they should suffer yours?
unlike colour of skin or sexual preference, you do have a choice about where and when.
Because in the end, that's what addiction comes down to: people choosing to be addicted.
posted by sequential at 1:00 AM on November 17, 2006


This is fucking ridiculous. I can't believe any right thinking person would advocate making smoking illegal. I smoke. I like smoking. My second hand smoke when I'm walking down polluted city streets, that you might encounter for 10 or 15 seconds, is not going to kill you. It might annoy you, but so does the dude on the street asking for change, or the obnoxious suit in the elevator playing with his fucking blackberry the whole way up. Banning smoking indoors in public establishments is one thing. Make it completely illegal is ridiculous.

Fundamentalist evangelical holier than thou Christians get my goat more than my smoking annoys you. Can we make them illegal too?
posted by braksandwich at 1:19 AM on November 17, 2006


and sedentary pursuits such as video gaming, blogging, general internet surfing, and oh, reading.

oh my god, PLEASE ban blogging... PLEASE?!?!?!
posted by braksandwich at 1:22 AM on November 17, 2006


The idea that smoking doesn't harm anyone other than the smoker unless it's actually proven to cause disease is a moral fallacy. You could probably manage to beat on someone with fists or soft objects and not cause lasting damage, nor even leave bruises - does this mean it is acceptable to do so and the law should not restrain such battery?

The fact that smoking causes physical discomfort and stinky clothes for anyone nearby is sufficient to justify laws. The health effects issue is only about the degree of harm, it is not necessary to show health effects to show harm from smoke.
posted by jam_pony at 1:27 AM on November 17, 2006


We non-smokers are in the vast majority

Man, I can't for the life of me think of a situation in this country's history where the 'vast majority' didn't jibe with what is actually the right thing to do.

...


...

Except for that slavery thing. And maybe the Patriot Act. Possibly Japanese Internment. Maybe Prohibition. I dunno, it doesn't happen that much, you and your majority are probably right on the money here. Let's ban fucking, because it leads to unwanted pregnancies and STDs and people calling each other sluts. Let's go crazy. Fuck it. Let's ban everything.
posted by braksandwich at 1:29 AM on November 17, 2006


It might annoy you, but so does the dude on the street asking for change, or the obnoxious suit in the elevator playing with his fucking blackberry the whole way up.

Mobile phones, dude.

Whenever I travel to London, I do so in the quiet car, so I can read. If I were to spark up a cigarette, you know that within seconds I'd have the hoardes baying for my blood. But said hoardes feel perfectly free to disturb my peace and quiet with their inane, nonsensical bullshit -- despite the fact that the whole of the rest of the train is free for them to do that stuff.

These days, I light up in retaliation. As soon as people complain, I respond with, 'Oh, I'm sorry. I thought it was a fucking free-for-all. Well, as soon as that arsehole puts away his mobile phone, I'll put out my cigarette.'
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:30 AM on November 17, 2006


brak, if you can quit tomorrow, then good for you. Lots of people can't. If you want to pursue the "free choice" angle, then at least follow it up. Addictiveness is most certainly part of the picture, so the smoker saying "but I want it" isn't quite the answer you make it out to be.

And of course, if we're talking about countries other than the States, the health care system has to be part of the picture, too. I'm not sure why I should pay for someone else's risk-taking. Or subsidize an industry profiting off of suffering.
posted by dreamsign at 1:31 AM on November 17, 2006


But don't dare come into my space and claim I should have to suffer the clinging stench of your filthy fucking habit.

I wouldn't have thought there'd be much chance of that. I tend to avoid joyless, sanctimonious, self-righteous fuckers whenever possible.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:32 AM on November 17, 2006 [3 favorites]


The fact that smoking causes physical discomfort and stinky clothes for anyone nearby is sufficient to justify laws.

and the fact that guns cause people to bleed to death doesn't justify laws. I love this country and its grand hypocrisy. This is amazing. Your stinky shirt, after hanging out in a bar that you knew was not non-smoking, is actually legislation-worthy, yet we can't muster up decent environmental law, firearms restrictions, GM Food restrictions? The American people have their priorities straight. Go US and A.
posted by braksandwich at 1:34 AM on November 17, 2006


dreamsign, I don't know why you're singling me out here. I'm against banning smoking, and I do realize how hard it is to quit, I've tried and failed.

It's not a matter of just having the will to quit one day, you have to maintain the will to quit, at the same level of zeal, every single day for the rest of your life. It's a near impossible task.

I haven't been able to do it. And I get pissed off at pollyana motherfuckers who don't understand a.) quitting is a lot harder than you will ever understand and b.) I still feel like, if I chose to never want to quit, that I should be able to smoke for the rest of my life.

I like smoking, but I don't like knowing that I may one day die from it.

What most non-smokers don't understand is that you CANNOT quit smoking if you don't want to. I don't care what kind of crazy bullshit law you enact, its an addiction. I have to really fucking WANT to quit to be successful doing so. And your ridiculous bans don't make me want to quit, they just make me think you are a bunch of whiny bitches.
posted by braksandwich at 1:39 AM on November 17, 2006


Yep, I get it brak, and have seen it enough times to know what it takes to quit (really wanting to, not thinking it's a good idea). And I agree that attacking the users is the wrong idea. It's ridiculous that the industry exists and it shouldn't. Period. It's ridiculous to think that some other poison could have gotten a little history under its belt and people would be defending their right to use it.

Way to do the industry's work for it.

And all the whining (and wheezing) these days is coming from the smokers.
posted by dreamsign at 1:49 AM on November 17, 2006


Great sales job by BT, though.

It's about CHOICE, people!
posted by dreamsign at 1:49 AM on November 17, 2006


What most non-smokers don't understand is that you CANNOT quit smoking if you don't want to. I don't care what kind of crazy bullshit law you enact, its an addiction.

Ex-fuckin-actly. I smoke, quite a lot actually, and I WANT to quit. But apparently I don't want it quite enough because every attempt to kick the fags* has failed so far. Just banning smoking will not stop people smoking, it's as simple as that and all these city officials are doing is creating another unenforcable law.

* Obvious UK-ism.
posted by NeonSurge at 1:53 AM on November 17, 2006


You non-smokers can climb on your soap-boxes all you want but deep down inside, you know that Bogart got the hotties.

This ex-smoker would like to note that Bogart died at age 57, in a coma, weighing just 80 pounds, after cancer forced the removal of his esophagus and various other body parts. Imagine trying to live without your esophagus. Gulp? Nope. Gulping is the last thing you could do.

If he could do it again, I think Bogart would choose not to smoke. (Though I'm sure the heavy drinking didn't help, either.) You can't treat your throat like a factory pipe forever.
posted by pracowity at 2:07 AM on November 17, 2006


"and the fact that guns cause people to bleed to death doesn't justify laws. I love this country and its grand hypocrisy."

The cigarette and the gun are inert objects that don't do anything to anyone. The proper objects of regulation are the human actions of doing something with them. Selling these objects, and smoking, and shooting people are, or ought to be subject to laws, and the laws are mostly good ones. Shootings are indeed treated more seriously than inflicting smoke on unwilling bystanders.
posted by jam_pony at 2:24 AM on November 17, 2006


what about banning all the diesel trucks and busses that spew nasty ass gasses my way?

carbon emissions are a much greater health risk than second hand smoke. not to mention, that, thing, what was it.., it was in the news the other day... global warming?

this is not about health. if it was, then we'd be tackling bigger things. this is about righteousness and differences in aesthetic taste.

i'm probably more offended at the smell of someone who wears too much perfume than someone who smokes.
posted by localhuman at 2:53 AM on November 17, 2006


Just banning smoking will not stop people smoking...

It is true that some people will crawl into the bushes at midnight in a winter snowstorm to smoke if they have to. If hanging were made the punishment for smoking, at least one desperate bastard in every town would still claim he couldn't quit. Fine.

But some people will quit due to social pressure (everyone scorns smokers). Some will quit due to inconvenience (no bloody cool or comfortable places left to smoke). Some will quit because it's too expensive. Some teens will never start smoking because (A) there's no place cool left to smoke and (B) everyone (including the other hot teens they want to bonk) scorns smokers, and (C) they can't afford it anyway. Eventually, smoking will be like chewing tobacco -- not exactly a big problem in most places, not a great social problem.

The law will save lives, reduce painful chronic illness, reduce general health expenses, reduce legal liabilities, and make life more pleasant for most people. And the punishment is not hanging. It's a fine, isn't it, like for speeding? Another thing people should stop doing but some people won't. So they will continue to pay fines.

I'm with you on the mobile phones. I think noise pollution is as bad as nose pollution. Mobile phones should be made more cylindrical so as to make it easier to shove them up people's asses.

And the above suggestion to ban cars (with certain exceptions) is also good. Make all streets one-way, eliminate on-street parking, and convert the extra space into bicycle and bus lanes.

And ban religion. And Elton John.

There. Have we mixed up all the possible thread topics that will get a post deleted? What did I forget? Iraq? Dawkins? Should Richard Dawkins be allowed to smoke while talking on his mobile phone to soldiers in Iraq? Not if he's riding his bike without a helmet!
posted by pracowity at 2:53 AM on November 17, 2006


"I think for a lot of people, it was about getting back at smokers for all the times they've smelled their smoke,"

And this is what it's REALLY all about...SMELL. There have been times when perfume and body odor have gagged me, so maybe we should outlaw channel #5, and require all humans to shower daily and use deodorant?

This is also about non-smoker's desire or need to inflict their philosophy on others, kind of like religios fanatics. It would be interesting to see a psychological assesment of what this says about such people.

I smoke, and I understand and respect non-smoker's preferences. I'm saddened that they cannot respect my choices.

These people really need to worry about themselves and not the choices of others. When confronted about smoking outside, that is out of doors, I politely invite the complainer to hold their breath and pinch their nose, that way they won't have to smell OR breath in the deadly fumes...while they jog along the side ot the road concentrating carbon monoxide fumes in their lungs...may we should outlaw internal combustion engines, too.

Rant over, I feel better...time for a cigarette.
posted by GreyFoxVT at 3:17 AM on November 17, 2006


I'm not a smoker, but I really despise these laws. No smoking in public places, sure.... that may cause harm to others. But no smoking in your apartment, or outdoors? Bullshit.

Part of freedom includes the liberty to do stupid things that other people don't like.

Seems like an awful lot of folks here believe in freedom only when it's convenient and cheap.

On preview: Greyfox, as a non-smoker, if I'm in an outdoor place first, a smoker shows up, and the wind blows his/her smoke on my group, I feel that it's okay to ask them to move. But if they were there first, we've got no gripe coming; we can move or suffer.
posted by Malor at 3:26 AM on November 17, 2006


The fact that smoking causes physical discomfort and stinky clothes for anyone nearby is sufficient to justify laws.

.
posted by effwerd at 4:27 AM on November 17, 2006


As others have pointed out this is cannot be exclusively about health otherwise pollution of all kids would be banned. We don't "need" to drive SUVs. It's an addiction.

You'll bitch about your poor lungs being defiled by a brief encounter with a smoker on the street but the shit spewing from your trucks and factories?

Hypocrites.
posted by twistedonion at 4:34 AM on November 17, 2006


pollution of kids should be banned... fucking stinking nappies... heh

of course, I meant pollution of all kinds
posted by twistedonion at 4:39 AM on November 17, 2006


We don't "need" to drive SUVs. It's an addiction.

You'll bitch about your poor lungs being defiled by a brief encounter with a smoker on the street but the shit spewing from your trucks and factories?


Watch who you're calling a hypocrite, paleface.
No truck, no car, no motorbike. Bicycle, foot, and bus.

Take your SUVs AND your smokes and go suck on them.
posted by dreamsign at 4:44 AM on November 17, 2006


but the shit spewing from your trucks and factories?

Um... who is this "you" that you're referring to here? No doubt the enormous number of MeFites who own trucks and factories?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:45 AM on November 17, 2006


hey, as long as i can fart wherever i want ...
posted by pyramid termite at 4:50 AM on November 17, 2006


No truck, no car, no motorbike. Bicycle, foot, and bus.

That's fantastic dude, seriously. Well done. I'd be more than happy for a ban on smoking (I smoke maybe 3-4 rollups a day, in the privacy of my own home, a ban I could live with). And a ban on private polluting transport woud be fantastic.

I would love to be proven wrong but I'd say the majority of people bitching about smokers would be up in arms about a ban on other pollutants that they are addicted to. That's who I'm calling hypocrites... the lawmakers who are picking on easy targets and the anti-smokers who don't look at the bigger picture.
posted by twistedonion at 5:00 AM on November 17, 2006


Um... who is this "you" that you're referring to here? No doubt the enormous number of MeFites who own trucks and factories?

You know exactly what I mean. Don't play stupid. I'll rephrase:

"but the shit spewing from your trucks and factories and cars and motorbikes and your central heating and your arses?"

If our health was the issue we shouldn't be delighted with this law. It's a joke.
posted by twistedonion at 5:06 AM on November 17, 2006


I hate the fact that I still smoke. I especially hate self-righteous individuals that want to ban something because they don't like it. I guess you wanna pick on my coffee drinking next huh? My energy drinks? You suck, life is all about happiness and although my smoking is detrimental to my health, it IS my choice. It's a bad choice no doubt. Still MY choice. I'll bet if you look inward you will find a habit that YOU have that is probably not the best choice either. That will be the next thing to ban. Then I will come on here and sandblast YOUR dirty little vice. Smoking is BAd for you. Fucking with smokers ain't the healthiest of activities either. Reaches for the lighter. Fuckers.
posted by winks007 at 5:15 AM on November 17, 2006


I smoked at least half a pack a day for 13 years. I saw a picture from a party I was at of a woman in half profile with a cigarette in one hand and I thought, wow, she looks trashy - and then I realized it was me. That was a year ago, I haven't smoked since. I have no idea why it was so easy, I think I am just extremely lucky.

Anyway - when I smoked, I never smoked within 20 feet of anyone else outdoors, never when walking down a sidewalk, always field-stripped the butts and saved them to throw away at the next opportunity rather than throw them on the ground, and I never smoked in a bar or restaraunt (no matter how smoke-filled) without asking everyone at my table if it was alright - and, even in a smoking section, even if their parents, grandparents, and older siblings were smoking with both hands, I never smoked near children.

Yes, smoking is stupid and harmful, but the problems addressed by this law lie with assholes who smoke, not smokers in general. The assholes who blow smoke in my face at the bus stop tend to be the same assholes who are annoying with their cell phones and just rude in general. The solution is not about laws, it's about the quiet majority of non-assholes getting some balls (or ovaries, whatever) and speaking up against the minority who play crappy tinny music out of the speakers of their cell phones on the train and trail smoke on crowded sidewalks like little locomotives. People get away with this stuff because we let them.

I'm a little fired up (haha) about this because, just this morning, I was walking down the sidewalk behind a smoker who stepped into a vestibule and threw his cig behind him as he went in the door-right down the front of my coat. Luckily, it slipped through onto the sidewalk without burning me. I pressed the buzzer at the door so I could yell at him, or his boss, or someone, but no one answered.
posted by cilantro at 5:17 AM on November 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


No no no no no no. This trend had better not take off. As a smoker, albeit a courteous one, it's bad enough that any non-smoker or ex-smoker off the street can feel compelled to lecture me about the dangers of smoking (while I was employed, it would happen at least twice a day). Sure, smoking is a vice, but humans seems to need vices. If we get rid of smoking, people will turn to something else, if we get rid of all the vices we have, people will create new ones. Why not just stick with the ones we have, that have been around for millenia?

And that's my mini-pre-coffee rant.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 5:45 AM on November 17, 2006


Eh, my diplomacy is seriously on the wane tonight and it's not because of this thread. Apologies to all for the hot head, and night.
posted by dreamsign at 5:48 AM on November 17, 2006


If someone wants to explain to me why they think that the FDA would approve an identical product if it came on the market today, then I am all ears.

The FDA bans prescription medication that has proven health benefits to most people because it kills one or two people. No warnings. They ban it. Then they allow a product that kills millions of people and has no health benefits.

I don't agree with a city banning smoking. But I have no problem with the FDA doing so. In fact, I find it wildy hypocritical that they don't.
posted by flarbuse at 5:59 AM on November 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


twistedonion wrote:You know exactly what I mean. Don't play stupid.

Actually twistedonion, no, I didn't know exactly what you meant. The tone of your comment was harsh ("You'll bitch about your poor lungs being defiled ", etc.) and it read as some sort of blanket indictment against any and all people who might find such a ban to be a good idea. I personally think the proposed law is draconian, and I wouldn't want to see such extreme laws in effect, but I would say that the effort to protect the non-smoking public from unwanted cigarette smoke is essentially a good one. And the fact that trucks, factories, etc. are not being banned doesn't seem to me a reason not to do more towards insuring that non-smokers don't have to breathe cigarette smoke. Personally, I'm in favor of a wholesale reduction of the use of private automobiles, in particular, which is something I mentioned just a while ago in this very thread. And it wasn't clear just who you were calling a hypocrite.

Now, as far as spewing out the arses, perhaps you'd like to take that up with pyramid termite.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:03 AM on November 17, 2006


they'll take my can of beans from me when they pry them from my cold dead hands ...
posted by pyramid termite at 6:12 AM on November 17, 2006


Smokers are the new black(s).
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:15 AM on November 17, 2006


Can we at least agree that both smokers and non-smokers tend to be total pricks about the subject.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:20 AM on November 17, 2006


"maybe we should outlaw channel #5"

Yeah. Fuckin' NBC. Ban their asses.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:26 AM on November 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


Can we at least agree that both smokers and non-smokers tend to be total pricks about the subject.

Agreed 100% (and I include myself in this).

I'm an ass over this issue because it's a personal vice that is being targetted. Thing is... as much as I detest fast food I would never want it legislated against.

Education rather than legislation is the answer. Allow people to choose and encourage society to discourage anti-social behaviour (smoking in someones face being a prime example).

TBH I don't know what the fuck I want. I want society to protect the indivual from others but not themselves. Parents should never smoke in front of their kids. People should not smoke in public places... but their own homes? Their car?
posted by twistedonion at 6:37 AM on November 17, 2006


I think we should all go have a beer now.

Smoking bar? Non-smoking bar?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:41 AM on November 17, 2006


Can't even smoke in your car? That's just stupid. Someone is trying to get into the nat'l spotlight here.

PS: As a reformed smoker, my opinion should carry more weight than everybody else's opinions on the subject.
posted by Mister_A at 6:45 AM on November 17, 2006


I would trade my cigs for the lawful permission to 420. My wife thinks like you non-smokers. She would rather a ban on cigs and legalize the MJ. For the record, my father NEVER smoked and died at the age of 53 from lung disease. I guess my biggest problem with the ban is that I think we don't need/want any more legislation.

Also...bukharin....those daq shops in Tx won't sell you a daq on a Sunday morning. Ya gotta come over here to Louisiana to get a Long Island Iced Tea Daquirie or 190 OCTANE daquirie at 8:00 am on a Sunday morning.
posted by winks007 at 7:12 AM on November 17, 2006


The fact that smoking causes physical discomfort and stinky clothes for anyone nearby is sufficient to justify laws. posted by jam_pony

Cabbage. Cooking cabbage should be outlawed in multi-family dwellings. (Have you smelled the hallways after a boiled dinner?) Fish should never, ever-- under pain of termination and public flogging--be nuked in the break-room microwave. Avon should be banned along with all those $3 bottles of smelly crap that you find at Target that claim that they are similar to Opium or Chanel or whatever. Fish sauce--for the love of all things holy--I'd rather smell a 50 cent cigar than fermented fish. Children who are not housebroken should not be allowed into public.
posted by leftcoastbob at 7:23 AM on November 17, 2006


"If in Texas you can get a daquiri in a drive-thru (it's true),.."

Actually I believe the Daquiri Huts are in Louisiana; and if you stick the straw in the lid of your daquiri cup and they see you, they'll call the cops on you for drinking and driving. Of course, all you have to do is drive around the corner and then put the straw in.

(La. people correct me if I'm wrong...never actually SEEN a Daquiri Hut...)

We DO have gigantic drive through beer barns in Texas, though, but usually they load the beer into your pickup truck bed, so it's harder to drink and drive. But of course, all you need for that is some alchohol and a lidded "coffee mug".

I wonder if we will make cigs illegal someday. I remember going on international flights as a preschooler, and everyone smoking. No telling how much tar got into my little lungs. What the hell were grownups thinking?
posted by emjaybee at 7:59 AM on November 17, 2006


nightchrome writes "For every person claiming smokers are rude in their behaviours, I see a hundred anti-smoking folks treating smokers as though they were less-than-human."

I've often thought that is because so many smokers are incorrigable litterers. And the litter is so persistant. In Canada at least litter is a big deal and now that practically all indoor public places are smoke free there is always a fan of filters around entry doors.

ed writes "So you're a city. You want to collect the tax revenue you place on the cigarettes. "

Do cities in the states levy vice taxes? That is the domain of provinces and the feds here in Canada.

bukharin writes "But why is cigarette smoking the place to start, when a lot more could be achieved elsewhere? Honestly, how much damage does second-hand smoke do outdoors? Very few places are pedestrian anymore."

The Anti Cigarette lobby has momentum. Think back to 1970 when people smoked everywhere regardless of what they were doing. Barbers would smoke while cutting hair. People would smoke in classes and during exams. Preachers would smoke during sermons. Guys would smoke while putting gas in the car. Look at the footage of Mission Control during the moon shots. Some places even installed electric cigarette lighters on desks. Considering the progress they've made the new targets are getting sparse.

nightchrome writes "Does anyone have trustworthy links to info on the real effects of second-hand smoke? I thought there were a few studies recently which showed the effects were negligible at best. Studies not funded by the industry, that is."

I don't think anyone who doesn't smoke needs studies to tell them second hand smoke is a problem. Any non smokers who has been to a bar/club/smoking resturant and had their throat be sore and raw the next day can tell you it's bad.

The Great Big Mulp writes "If we get rid of smoking, people will turn to something else, if we get rid of all the vices we have, people will create new ones. Why not just stick with the ones we have, that have been around for millenia?"

To be fair smoking as we know it has only been around for 500 years.
posted by Mitheral at 8:04 AM on November 17, 2006


apartments: You can avoid fires by not smoking, not using candles, not leaving the oven on, etc., but you can't control the neighbors, and if they start a fire it burns down your unit too. Stopping the tobacco-smoking doesn't remove the whole danger but it reduces it.

This is a weak proposed justification for an intrusive law.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 8:05 AM on November 17, 2006


The fundamental difference between smoking and most other drugs is that there is an inherent harm in doing so to other people.

If a restaurant allowed children in, and made it mandatory for every drink glass to have a small shot of alcohol in it, every time you had a refill, everyone was given a shot. Even people who were on the wagon, even kids -- and even the waiters and waitresses. It wouldn't take a rocket scientist to say that this was illegal, even if you made a special "drinking section" where people were well aware that there would be a shot of alcohol in everyone's drink.

Yet in a smoking section of a restaurant, everyone gets exposure to smoke.

If a parent offered alcohol to his or her children in an automobile as a condition of riding in it, it'd be not only illegal but abusive in ways that would make many people shudder. But exposing children to second-hand smoke in cars with the windows up and no ventilation, that's a-okay.

The reason these examples are silly is that you'd have to go out of your way to offer everyone a shot. You don't have to do so to expose minors and others to secondhand smoke.

While vehicle emissions may be another part of the problem, and that sucks, I think no mefite would say "hey, well, smoking is a big public health issue so no one should try reducing emissions until that's gone." Saying that you can't resolve any public health problems until they are all resolved is approximately the level of logic of a third grader who shouts "but it's not faaaaaaaaair!"

Now, frankly, I think that chewing tobacco is disgusting. But if people chewed tobacco in a restaurant, or their car, or wherever, I'd have no objection to it other than "well, I think that's icky," which is no reason to ban something, only a reason to look away.
posted by InnocentBystander at 8:06 AM on November 17, 2006


"First they came for the prostitutes, then they came for the tokers, then they came for the drinkers"

Oh fuck the drunks and the potheads. We need more legalized hookers in America! More sex = less stress. Less stress = fewer wars. More hookers = lower prices. It's a great idea! Nevada hasn't fallen into the ocean yet. Hrm.. but maybe that's because California is in the way..
posted by drstein at 8:11 AM on November 17, 2006


It'll just make it go underground, you know? You have to go to your dealer to buy a carton of crap-ass cigarettes imported from Columbia...

For some people, just banning the whole thing will just make it sexier.

For me, I'll be happy to not have to smell that noxious shit.
posted by MythMaker at 8:24 AM on November 17, 2006


“What if every city did this, image how many lives would be saved?"

And how about we lower the speed-limit to 5 miles-per-hour everywhere, too? Just think about the lives that will be saved!
posted by thekilgore at 8:37 AM on November 17, 2006


The law will save lives, reduce painful chronic illness, reduce general health expenses, reduce legal liabilities, and make life more pleasant for most people. And the punishment is not hanging. It's a fine, isn't it, like for speeding? Another thing people should stop doing but some people won't. So they will continue to pay fines.

How paternalistic.
posted by caddis at 8:47 AM on November 17, 2006


I live in a city where smoking is allowed in bars, restaurants, on the street, in your car, in your home ...

You can smoke in the halls of my office building (which houses an alternative newspaper [my job], an insurance company, a real estate office, and a classifieds newspaper).

Where is this smoker's paradise? St. Joseph, MO. Riots would ensue here if smoking bans were enacted. Which brings me to this: What about out-of-towners? Visiting a city with the strictest bans? Is it fair to fine those who are (understandably) clueless about such a ban?
posted by HerArchitectLover at 8:48 AM on November 17, 2006


And I mean, of course, those smoking in their cars and on the street. Anyone lighting up in a restaurant or bar that is clearly smoke-free is an ass.
posted by HerArchitectLover at 8:53 AM on November 17, 2006


I'm gonna say what I always say: When you outlaw kids in public, babies on airplanes & private vehicles, we can talk. Till then, the more you complain, the more I'll direct my smoke at your head.
posted by dame at 9:02 AM on November 17, 2006


I'm a smoker. And like others, I have a love/hate relationship with my little white sticks of doom and stress relief.

But I have zero problem with antismoking laws. I have the right to put the crap in my body. You have the right not to--and as the person with the carcinogens, it's incumbent upon me to keep them away from you.

And frankly, I like coming home from the bar not reeking of smoke. We don't even smoke in our apartment--we go outside.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:08 AM on November 17, 2006


What's hysterical is that bans like this are counterproductive if the goal is to force people to quit...which really, is the goal of legislation like this. It's local government saying that they don't want citizens to partake of a legal product, and will therefore punish anyone who does.

But, from a psychological standpoint, what it does is make smokers more defensive about a habit that is harder to break than heroin. It creates an "us against them" meme where the "us" is the smoker and his cigarettes and the "them" are the puritans who are disgusted by the habit.

Lets be honest. Bans like this have nothing to do with health. They have nothing to do with helping smokers quit. They exist only because some people don't like smoke or smokers and it's easy to discriminate against a class of people who have an obnoxious, albeit completely legal, habit.

And yes, it is discrimination. I find most perfumes to be unbelievably obnoxious, they make me sneeze and my eyes water...I suffer very real effects from being trapped in an elevator with the marykay people. But you don't hear anyone trying to ban stinky allergen laden big haired women, do you?

Have you ever smelled a drunk? Dear god. Bleh. But you don't see anyone trying to ban booze.

This nanny state, totalitarianist, we know what's best for you, government is the scariest thing to ever happen to a free society. And some of you are cheering it like it's the best thing since slice bread.
posted by dejah420 at 9:15 AM on November 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


Smoking will never be banned because the Imperial Federal Government gets too much revenue from the taxes. Sorry non-smokers.

The last number I read (and maybe someone can confirm) was that in 1995, Fed and local governments collected about 13.1 Billion in cigarette taxes.

Since cigarettes began being taxed by the government in 1863, the Fed has collected over 300 Billion in taxes from cigarettes.

And now it's time for my smoke break...
posted by tadellin at 9:27 AM on November 17, 2006


Here are my biggest pet peeves about smoking.

- I hate the fact that when Vancouver has one of its six sunny days each year that I can't enjoy the patio of my favourite pub cuz thats where smoking is allowed

- When a smoker walking down the street decides he or she is going to stop into a shop, the cigarette is just thrown on the ground - occasionally stepped on. Yes smokers - the world is your fucking garbage can.

- When I have to walk through a plume of smoke when I enter any office building downtown.

Why do we continue to accommodate smoking in this province? Only 15% of the population uses cigarettes!
posted by SSinVan at 9:34 AM on November 17, 2006


dejah420 writes "But you don't hear anyone trying to ban stinky allergen laden big haired women, do you? "

Sure you do, visit a hospital or many office buildings.
posted by Mitheral at 9:42 AM on November 17, 2006


Here's the plan. Round up all smokers and force them to wear armbands identifying themselves as such. Eventually, restrict them to living in certain areas with other smokers, so they don't infect the rest of the (righteous) population.

Then, that's where it starts getting ugly...

This sort of all-encompassing ban has nothing to do with health. This is about denormalizing smoking and marginalizing the segment of the population that engages in it.
posted by clevershark at 9:53 AM on November 17, 2006


mitheral: I don't think anyone who doesn't smoke needs studies to tell them second hand smoke is a problem. Any non smokers who has been to a bar/club/smoking resturant and had their throat be sore and raw the next day can tell you it's bad.

You may have missed the part where I said I'm a non-smoker. Despite being a non-smoker, and not being particularly fond of the smell of smoke, I don't inherently feel it is "unhealthy" just because it smells bad. I don't go into coughing fits when exposed to it. I think many non-smokers play up their reaction to smoke in order to bring attention to the fact that they dislike it.
And I didn't ask about studies showing second-hand smoke is a "problem", but ones showing it is indeed dangerous to your health.
posted by nightchrome at 9:58 AM on November 17, 2006


flapjax at midnite : Y'know, I bet they don't smoke, those banshees... At least, not in multi-unit dwellings.

You are probably right. But I hear they still make shitty neighbors, what with their all night karaoke sessions keeping up the whole block.

Bastards.
posted by quin at 10:03 AM on November 17, 2006


I actually live in Belmont, which is a sleepy bedroom community down the road from San Francisco. Prior to this, I think Belmont's cheif claims to fame were 1) being mentioned in passing in a Phillip K. Dick story (The Man in the High Castle), and 2) being the original the city in which Oracle had its first offices (they are now across the freeway in Redwood Shores).

I am not a cigarette smoker, and I don't particularly like cigarette smoke, but I think this ban is waaay over the top. I voted for the clowns in the current city council to preserve our open space -- specifically, to stop the infilling of homes on our hillsides -- and to not line their pockets with public funds. As someone who actually VOTED for the council members who are endorsing this ban, I am embarrassed and disappointed. The funds they are going to need to fight the ensuing lawsuits could be better spent on other things.

Grrrrrr.....now pass me one of those joints from the "Land O' Smiles" pack, so I can relax...
posted by mosk at 10:06 AM on November 17, 2006


I object to this ban on a your-home-your-business level, but I can't measure up that much outrage on smoking bans. There are public health effects to smoking--from the health costs we have to pay to the second-hand smoke non-smokers have to inhale. No, your fifteen seconds of smoke isn't going to kill a passerby then and there, but if that passerby has to continue inhaling that fifteen seconds of smoke again and again from people just like you (as if cities weren't polluted enough), if they can't go into a bar without coming out smelling like they crawled out of a fireplace, if your kids have to grow up with asthma and a higher risk of cancer because you can't bring yourself to put the cigarette out around them, then there's a point when we as a community have to take a serious look at your habit and decide whether or not you get to be selfish to the detriment of everyone around you.
posted by schroedinger at 10:20 AM on November 17, 2006


Once upon a time I would have been outraged at this sort of protectionist bullshit. That was before I officially gave up on reversing state insanity and still believed marijuana would eventually be legalized. I've lost that youthful optimism and have become increasingly embittered towards my fellow man.

I, for one, am really looking forward to when they start throwing smokers in cages for tobacco.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 10:28 AM on November 17, 2006


We don't smoke in public facilities like hospitals and city hall because you said we can't. Fine. We don't smoke in shops because you said we can't. Fine. We don't smoke in restaurants because you said we can't. Fine. We don't even smoke in bars anymore because you said we can't.

One side of this whole smoking ban story is intransigent and intrusive. The other makes do with what it has left. Consistently. Y'all can keep demonizing smokers all you want. Frankly, we practically only have the outdoors left, and frankly we no longer care what you bunch of whining ninnies think. Sure, you can't go two fucking blocks without starting up the SUV but it's my cigarette that's causing all the problems in the world?
posted by clevershark at 10:29 AM on November 17, 2006


The real risk of secondhand smoke is for people who are exposed to it on a long-term, daily basis. This is not you walking down the street or sitting in the smoking section at a restaurant. This is you being the non-smoking spouse or child of a smoker who lights up indoors. It's a matter of dose and length of exposure.

It is far more dangerous for your pulmonary health to walk down a street next to the exhaust fumes of cars and buses.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 10:32 AM on November 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


Until somebody in this thread can show me a study that indicates that just smelling cigarette smoke (not living with a smoker for 10 years) is any risk at all to their health they can suck my big, fat, Churchill.

You could pay us to smoke and it would be a net gain for society.


1 year of Cancer is cheaper for everybody than 15 years of Alzheimers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by Megafly at 10:42 AM on November 17, 2006


I hate cigarettes. I've gotten used to the smoke so it doesn't bother me (well, except now that I'm on a medication that makes anything and everything in the air bother me). But I hate that its a ticking time bomb for most people.

I hate it because I worry about my husband and worry about him getting lung cancer.

I often wish there would be a ban on cigarettes because it would force him to quit. How convenient? But you know what, if there every was that opportunity, a bill to vote against smoking, I would vote against it. Because lets be frank, its a violation of your rights, just like the rest of prohibition. The government has no business saying what you can do to yourself, even though they certainly think they do.

Smoking is ichy, smoking is deadly, but smoking is as American as apple pie.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 11:21 AM on November 17, 2006


Wow, great conversation. This is my first post here and it's on a subject that I've studied for a long time. I think I have a few things to add that haven't been talked about yet.

A lot of people are asking whether these smoking bans are about health...or about something else. It's a great question to ask because it goes to the heart of whether it's "ok" to harm another's physical health vs. whether it's "ok" to annoy/irritate other people's sensibilities with one's actions. Either subject is worthy of debate, but they're not same when it comes to justifying government intrusion into the matter (at least, I hope not).

There are mountains of studies out there on the health hazards of SHS, so on some sort of empirical level they must be mostly true, right? I used to think so too. But it turns out that every one of these studies is based on the science of epidemiology - which I have no problem with - but hang in there with me for a second... Epidemiology (in these studies) uses questionnaires to gather memories of SHS exposure over a period of decades from a broad cross-section of the population. That data is then cross-referenced against the incidence of known smoking-relating diseases among the group to determine if there is any evidence of elevated risk for such diseases. Look here for a layman's (and pretty amusing) introduction into the principles of epidemiology:

http://www.forces.org/articles/linda/linda-k.htm

Epidemiology isn't a "hard" science because it relies on people's unverifiable memories and it can be compromised if other confounders aren't taken into account (i.e. exercise, diet, drug/alcohol consumption, etc.), but it is THE science that drives our understanding of SHS nevertheless.

The problem with all these studies is that virtually none of them can detect a meaningful risk ratio (RR) from SHS exposure (and many of the bigger, better-funded studies can detect no risk whatsoever). According to the research community as a whole, anything below a risk elevation of 200% (RR 3.0) is way too small to matter. Well, guess what? Every study about SHS combined can only show an average RR of between 10% - 30%. And the fact is, we'd have to ban every substance and every activity on earth if we used that low an RR as our yardstick for public health policy . Oh, and btw, here's a list of every single one of those SHS studies, along with their risk ratios:

http://www.forces.org/evidence/study_list.htm

So. Why then, are we so convinced that just seconds of SHS exposure will rob us of years of productive life - if not result in our immediate deaths? (No, I'm not kidding, unfortunately:
http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2006/10/anti-smoking-advocate-claims-that.html) Good question, and the answer isn't about health...it's about something else.

It is no accident that draconian smoking bans are sweeping the entire globe right now, and it isn't happening because non-smokers have simultaneously risen up as a group to protest against secondhand smoke (SHS) - though it's understood that they're in agreement with the direction of this movement.

I'll have to come back in a while with a part II on who funds and orchestrates these bans - and why. Here goes my first post...hope the links work!
posted by TruthOnly at 11:32 AM on November 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


nightchrome writes "And I didn't ask about studies showing second-hand smoke is a 'problem', but ones showing it is indeed dangerous to your health."

So if people aren't struck dead it isn't unheathy? As a non smoker you are probably familiar with that road rash feeling your throat gets after a few hours heavy exposure to cigarette smoke. It's a pretty unpleasant harm to me and prevented me from seeing much live music. It is so much nicer now that most indoor places are smoke free. Sucks for the smokers and no doubt some of them stay away. However, they are the ones with an antisocial habit.
posted by Mitheral at 11:58 AM on November 17, 2006


No truck, no car, no motorbike.

Not a single luxury? Like Robinson Crusoe, as primitive as can be?
posted by dr_dank at 12:40 PM on November 17, 2006


Thank you TruthOnly for collecting a very nice collection of links.

I look forward to your next post regarding the funding.
I hope it's not aliens. And if it's Freudians I will shit a brick.
posted by daq at 12:52 PM on November 17, 2006


Look around and count the spittoons you see. They used to be everywhere because people chewed and spat. Now you just don't do that. How many people do you see chewing tobacco?

Ash trays, places you are allowed to smoke, and smokers themselves will be that rare very soon, at least in Europe and North America.
posted by pracowity at 1:30 PM on November 17, 2006


LOL, I promise no aliens are involved daq! OTOH, an in-depth discussion of the Freudian interpretation of all of this could be very interesting on another thread someday;0))

Before I go on, I really want to activate my earlier links. Netscape kept crapping out on me so my first post had to come through Safari. I'm back on Netscape now - trying to use the link function - here goes:

Epidemiology 101



Secondhand Smoke Studies through 2006

http://www.forces.org/evidence/financial-ties/index_cardio.htm

Just Looking at a Pack of Cigarettes Causes Heart Failure! (only kidding :))

http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2006/10/anti-smoking-advocate-claims-that.html
posted by TruthOnly at 1:59 PM on November 17, 2006


Okay, I give up on how to make an active link here. Maybe it's because I haven't made it through the 1-week probation period.

Epidemiology 101 should have been this:

http://www.forces.org/articles/linda/linda-k.htm

The other two are right above if someone else want to post them properly.
posted by TruthOnly at 2:06 PM on November 17, 2006


For TruthOnly:
http://www.forces.org/evidence/financial-ties/index_cardio.htm
http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2006/10/anti-smoking-advocate-claims-that.html
http://www.forces.org/articles/linda/linda-k.htm

TruthOnly, type the text you want for the link, highlight it, then click the little link button below the text posting window and put the url into the box. If your browser doesn't show that button (Safari, I think) then search Google for "html cheat sheet."
posted by caddis at 2:43 PM on November 17, 2006


I'd just like to say that as a smoker, my libertarian values start at "don't tell me what I can and cannot do to my own body." I fully support banning smoking in bars and restaurants; I don't want to make other people sick with my habit.

However, banning smoking EVERYWHERE just doesn't make any sense to me. This looks like it's more about a violently vocal minority trying to control the behaviour of a group of people they detest.
posted by tehloki at 3:14 PM on November 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


Thank you caddis for the guidance, I'll try it right now with a test link.

If it looks like a working link, please click on it! It's not about smoking (I'm punched out for the day on that subject), but it's just about the coolest thing ever if you love music (nothing for sale here). If this is a repeat for you, then sorry. If it isn't, then please enjoy!!!! Here goes again...

pandora.com
posted by TruthOnly at 3:24 PM on November 17, 2006


WOW - what a discussion! I'm quite heartened to see so many non-smokers standing up for my rights. Having said that...

I am a very considerate smoker. I smoke in my vehicle and in my garage (with cable TV and heater). Once in a great while, I will visit the designated outdoor smoking section at work. I always give myself a little spritz of some scented body-spray and chew on some gum or mints, and most people that I encounter do not know that I smoke. My goal is not to hide my smoking - my goal is to NOT OFFEND. In fact, I'm quite proud of my smoking - I take *great* pleasure in it, and as a poster remarked above, I would smoke non-stop if I could afford it and had a job that allowed it.

Look, I understand that many people don't want to smell cigarette smoke, and I will accommodate them if they ask. If I'm standing outside of (for instance) a clothing store enjoying a cigarette while the wife is inside shopping, and another person comes outside to wait for his wife and asks if I would mind putting out my cigarette, I would almost surely oblige. It's common courtesy.

When I moved to Montana 4+ years ago and entered a steakhouse, I was stunned to hear for the first time in many, many years these words: "Would you like smoking or non-smoking?" I almost cried, I was so happy -- being able to smoke in a restaurant? Truly one of my greatest pleasures in life. But Montana last year enacted a no-smoking rule for most restaurants, which has definitely affected my dining choices. In another couple of years, when the ban goes into effect for bars and casinos, I will likely weep.
posted by davidmsc at 4:21 PM on November 17, 2006


.
posted by caddis at 6:25 PM on November 17, 2006


The thing I hate about cigarette smoke is that clinging stanky smell that permeates every fiber of cloth and every hair on my body. And it makes my eyes red and itchy.

So if you light up next to me, I'm going to smell stink on myself for the entire day. It's like a punch in the face: a pain that lingers.

Which makes it quite unlike any other vices and sins listed in this thread. None of them have the same immediate result and all-day physical presence.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:13 PM on November 17, 2006 [1 favorite]



I didn't smoke until about a year ago, and the entire time I was a non-smoker I never experienced any of these noxious second-hand effects so described.
posted by bukharin at 7:32 PM on November 17, 2006


Look around and count the spittoons you see. They used to be everywhere because people chewed and spat. Now you just don't do that. How many people do you see chewing tobacco?

quite a few ... they use empty pop bottles and cans now ... unless they're in the great outdoors ... i don't see them in restaurants and bars, but ...

you must travel in different social circles than i do ...
posted by pyramid termite at 7:45 PM on November 17, 2006


Tis funny how there is such a crack down on smokers and the most smokers I see are students outside the college dorm down the street. But, with the worst smell from the kids smoking joints in the park across the street.

Being against Smoking, seems like the "in" things these days. Smoking is offensive, and 2nd hand smoke can cause health damages for those exposed to it long-term (like a barman in a bar).

But, aren't there more important things to worry about? Such as the 14 and 15 year olds shooting, stabbing, and killing each other every weekend on the other side of town? And the countless number of lives in this country wasted due to drug abuse?

I do smoke and miss smoking when I'm out at night. But, I don't miss having my clothes reek the next day, and don't think I could go back to going into bars & clubs so full of smoke that my eyes would water.

I would prefer it if smoking was just made illegal and opposed to this gradual social out-casting that is going on.
posted by zaphod at 9:57 PM on November 18, 2006


Making smoking illegal is not a solution. It just drives the fulfillment underground, enriching criminals.

Legalize everything, and punish behaviours that threaten the property and personal safety of others. And set up kick-ass rehab and education campaigns.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:50 AM on November 19, 2006


Here's another case.

What's interesting here is that the couple are such heavy smokers that the pollution from their habit permeates others' homes — even after the others took steps on their own initiative to reduce the smells.

Seems to me that in this case the nuisance laws are just and proper. You can do what you want in your own home... but when what you are doing gets inside others' homes, it's time to stop.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:31 AM on November 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


five fresh fish:

We smoker's don't want to smoke in YOUR house. We just want to be able to, say, smoke in the park, or on the street. If you think passing by a smoker for 3 seconds is going to give you lung cancer, you need to seek counselling for paranoia.
posted by tehloki at 11:24 PM on November 19, 2006


Oops. I have committed sins against the english language in the form of the posessive/plural apostrophe. Now nobody will take me seriously.
posted by tehloki at 11:25 PM on November 19, 2006


tehloki: Please read what I wrote instead of using your imagination. Not. A. Single. Word. of what you wrote comes even close to representing what I actually said. FOAD.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:29 AM on November 20, 2006


Sorry FFF, in my hasty browsing I assumed "another case" was the end of a post by another user and thought your remark was just a bizarre and out-of-context jab at smokers in general. After R'ing teh F'ing A, I understand the situation you're talking about, and agree with you on the matter.
posted by tehloki at 7:57 PM on November 20, 2006


Thanks for clearing that up.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:21 PM on November 20, 2006


>Making smoking illegal is not a solution. It just drives the fulfillment underground, enriching criminals.

five fresh fish: If smoking were illegal and I couldn't easily get cigarettes I would find it easier to stop smoking. But, I do agree that making substances illegal does enrich criminals and send users to jail.
posted by zaphod at 8:27 PM on December 1, 2006


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