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'Officially, the church doesn't condone breaking the law'
July 5, 2007 5:03 AM   Subscribe

England is now the largest nation in the world by population to have a complete indoor smoking ban. Some people aren't too happy about it, though. The Reverend Anthony Carr walked into a police station and lit up his pipe. "I said to the officer 'I want to report a crime'..." Video [Previously] via rhodri
posted by chuckdarwin (284 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
smokr
posted by chuckdarwin at 5:12 AM on July 5, 2007


Look, cigarettes are a tool that can be used either for good or evil. When cigarettes are outlawed, only outlaws will kill people via secondhand smoke, ruin their dining experiences and make everything smell gross.
posted by DU at 5:12 AM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Do smokers not realize how much they stink?
posted by spotty_dog at 5:14 AM on July 5, 2007


God, this smoking ban is annoying. Formerly quiet addicts that were privately obsessed with their habits have now become screaming incandescent balls of rage with inflated senses of entitlement and they won't shut up about it.

No, it's not a breach of your human rights to be banned from polluting other people's lungs. No, the UK is not turning into a fascist state in protecting public health, and no, this ban is not going to be overturned. So many people in this country need to deal. The government was very brave to bring in this legislation.

It's very odd that a vicar, someone who is supposed to stand for morals and ethics and the righteous path, would behave like that. He's not only going against the law of the land, but the word of God in one fell swoop. Endangering other people's health + polluting your body isn't exactly very Christian.
posted by saturnine at 5:25 AM on July 5, 2007 [7 favorites]


spotty_dog, no they don't know how bad they smell, as a rule (although I'm sure there are exceptions).

I am repeatedly amazed by the pong of my smoker friends' clothes and homes, but I distinctly recall that when I was smoking myself I barely noticed it at all. I even imagined I could get away with having a crafty cig without anyone guessing that that was what I was up to, which is laughable.

I went out to a bar on Monday and, putting all the tangled and tedious public health and liberty issues aside for a second, I have to say it was just really nice to come home not reeking like a tramp.
posted by tomsk at 5:26 AM on July 5, 2007


I personally quit smoking some time ago now, and am better off for it, but I've somehow evaded being assimilated into the shrill "stigmatize-smoking-at-all-costs" brigade. I guess liberty is more critical a priority for me than escaping from the evils of unpleasant smells, or grasping at that 0.0000001% extra chance of living forever if only I can keep the Deadly Second-hand Smoke of Doom away from me 24/7.

Smoking bans have long since reached the point where they are curtailing civil liberties, ones which wouldn't be so readily relinquished if we substituted most anything else for 'tobacco products'. It's pretty disappointing to see that people who are otherwise relatively consistent in their support of fundamental liberties being curiously OK with any and all blanket restrictions on smoking, even when they inarguably cross over into the worst kind of nanny-state intervention (which it is, imho, as soon as you start telling private business owners that they must have completely smoke-free environments). This is one case where I will definitely align myself with the free-marketeers: if there are enough non-smokers who consider a 100% non-smoking environment to be an essential criteria for visiting a bar or a restaurant, let them boycott the ones that don't provide that. Since it's so clearly the democratic will of the people that no establishments should allow any smoking whatsoever, the businesses that do allow smoking should be out of business right quick, yeah? Sure.
posted by blackberet at 5:28 AM on July 5, 2007 [21 favorites]


It's very odd that a vicar, someone who is supposed to stand for morals and ethics and the righteous path, would behave like that.

Some people might even call him names like idiotic buffoon, sanctimonious wanker, or complete tit.
posted by chuckdarwin at 5:32 AM on July 5, 2007


Giving up those evil mofos was definitely the best health-related thing I ever did.

Now who's for a drink? Anyone got any pot?

posted by Wolof at 5:32 AM on July 5, 2007


Smoking bans have long since reached the point where they are curtailing civil liberties, ones which wouldn't be so readily relinquished if we substituted most anything else for 'tobacco products'.

That's because "most anything else" doesn't involve people around you inhaling toxic chemicals, damaging their health. Aside from the benefit of other people in a pub not breathing 2nd hand smoke and having their clothes reek, the staff in pubs and clubs will benefit a lot from not having to inhale smoke throughout their shift. Surely it's a human right not to have to work in an environment that damages your health?
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:34 AM on July 5, 2007 [5 favorites]


You know, Wolof, it may just be me, but I've noticed a lot more pot smoking going on outside pubs since the ban came in... I think people feel less worried about it since they're outside.
posted by chuckdarwin at 5:36 AM on July 5, 2007


People are always going to complain, some will be tossers like that minister, but they're not going to get the law changed. So I agree with saturnine - anyone annoyed by it just has to deal with it.

The ban's been in place in Scotland for a year and in Ireland for longer. Some bars have reported dropped profits, but they're in the minority. Most places have seen profits rise because they're nicer places to be now that the smokers have been kicked outside.

If someone wants to smoke that's their choice. I'm not anti-smoking. I just like to enjoy a dram in peace and smoke-free quiet, in the company of friends and not smell like I've got a 40-a-day habit.
posted by Nugget at 5:36 AM on July 5, 2007


Smoking bans have long since reached the point where the are curtailing civil liberties,

Funny, most non-smokers would probably say that - at long last - their civil liberties are finally being respected. Smokers have no natural right to expose non-smokers to the harmful effects of their nicotine habit.

You crackheads go and find yourself a plastic bubble to smoke in.
posted by three blind mice at 5:36 AM on July 5, 2007 [7 favorites]


I think banning smoking in bars/restaurants has as much or more to do with the health of the staff, who would be exposed to second-hand smoke throughout their shift.

Granted, employment is at-will, and, like customers, people should feel free to refuse to work at places that allow smoking. The tricky thing is that people need to work in order to survive, and can't always be so choosy about where they work.
posted by MsElaineous at 5:43 AM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Since it's so clearly the democratic will of the people that no establishments should allow any smoking whatsoever, the businesses that do allow smoking should be out of business right quick, yeah? Sure.

Not that free-market economics works perfectly at the best of times, but this argument is completely spurious where a pharmacological addiction is concerned. Surveys show massive numbers of smokers want to give up, and a huge proportion support the ban as a way to help them.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 5:43 AM on July 5, 2007


Oh yeah, pubs are expecting another problem to arise from the smoking ban:
sweaty people, stale beer, vomit and toilets.

I noticed this last year in a couple of places, but at least I won't die from it..
posted by Nugget at 5:44 AM on July 5, 2007


Laws like this wouldn't even be necessary if smokers (in general) displayed any consideration for the people around them to begin with. But the fact is that if smoking is allowed in an environment at all, then you find that environment is generally full of smoke. I have never known a single smoker who has looked around an environment in which smoking is allowed but has decided not to proceed in deference to others in the room. "No, this room is already borderline smoky, I don't want to make it downright inhospitable."

People lose all sense of what is appropriate, polite, and healthy because of their nicotine addictions. I'm all for inappropriate, impolite, and unhealthy, when it's an expression of one's personality, but ending up there because of a self-indulgent addiction is craven and disappointing.
posted by hermitosis at 5:48 AM on July 5, 2007 [7 favorites]


I continually marvel at the reaction Brits have to the smoking ban as a civil rights issue but don't seem to care at all that they are under constant surveillance, which really is a civil rights issue.
posted by DU at 5:50 AM on July 5, 2007 [12 favorites]


they're nicer places to be now that the smokers have been kicked outside.

As a fairly heavy smoker, I can only agree - pubs are much more pleasant without smoke, and the chatty camaraderie you get with fellow smokers outside is nice, even when it's pissing it down. (On the downside, nightclubs now reek of stale sweat and rancid farts parped from the tangled guts of ecstacy users. Also, I find it really hard to dance without a fag in my hand.)
posted by jack_mo at 5:50 AM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


They had an indoor smoking ban in my hometown and there were a few bars and restaurants that spent a lot of money cornering off a section of their facility and installing an expensive filtration system. Then every month they would pay a fine for allowing people to smoke in their building.
I wonder if other places (in other countries) can get away with something like that or is it because it's in podunk Georgia?
posted by czechmate at 5:51 AM on July 5, 2007


I've noticed a lot more pot smoking going on outside pubs since the ban came in... I think people feel less worried about it since they're outside.
That's how it went in Canada - you're so much less conspicuous when all the tobacco smokers have to go outside too.
posted by Flashman at 5:54 AM on July 5, 2007


On the one hand, smoking is a terrible health risk (to smokers...the rest of you probably have more immediate concerns to worry over); on the other, the anti-smoking bridgade seems so replete with self-righteous whiners (and in this case, apparently, sore winners) that, if anything, they only make most smokers want to smoke MORE. I'll be honest: If you drink so much that secondhand smoke in bars is really a legitimate health risk for you, you probably have a bigger problem, and that would be alcoholism. And if you eat in restaurants so often that secondhand smoke drifting over from the smoking section to infect your precious little lungs is a legitimate health risk for you, perhaps you should think about spending more time sharing meals with your gloriously smoke-free family. Just sayin'. For my smoking UK friends, I feel only sympathy -- you live in a prohibitionist nanny state. But then again, I live in a state ruled by George Bush, so really, your lives could be a lot worse.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:55 AM on July 5, 2007 [9 favorites]


"I want to report a crime"

Wasting police time?

But seriously, I don't think there's all that much serious opposition. Most smokers are in favour of the ban in restauraunts and a third of smokers favour the ban in pubs.
posted by dodgygeezer at 5:56 AM on July 5, 2007


I am in the midst of quitting myself - I am all for the ban and it's also encouraged many people I know to stop smoking. Now if only I can get my fat friends to stop declawing cats and performing circumcisions we'll all be doing fine.
posted by longbaugh at 5:56 AM on July 5, 2007 [4 favorites]


nightclubs now reek of stale sweat and rancid farts

Promise it wasn't me!!
posted by spotty_dog at 5:57 AM on July 5, 2007


Anyone living in a city has zero fucking right to complain about the health effects of second-hand smoke.

Living in the centre of Oxford is as deleterious as smoking 3 packs a day. The best quality air in the UK is equivalent to smoking 10 cigarettes a day. 20 minutes on the tube let you breathe in the contents of 1 cigarette.

So disliking the smell is fair enough, but bitching about the <1% extra pollution from smokers and yet not living in the countryside just reveals you as either ignorant or a sanctimonious hypocrite twat.

Concerned about your health? Great, lobby to ban cars in towns, I'll be at the front of the demonstration. Oooh, less popular and politically correct than having a go at smokers, isn't it?
posted by Spanner Nic at 6:00 AM on July 5, 2007 [27 favorites]


blackberet: "...or grasping at that 0.0000001% extra chance of living forever if only I can keep the Deadly Second-hand Smoke of Doom away from me 24/7. "

Actually, second hand smoke increases your chances of getting lung cancer by about 25%, and the overall five-year survival rate for lung cancer is only 14%. If allowing non-land-owners to vote made it that much more likely that I (and all of those around me) would die a painful death relatively soon, I'd be willing to curtail those rights, too.
posted by Plutor at 6:00 AM on July 5, 2007



Surely it's a human right not to have to work in an environment that damages your health?


Oddly enough there are tens of thousands of people who don't get a reprieve on working in an environment that damages their health.
I worked at a very large factory feeding parts to the Big Three, and the stockroom guys needed to wipe down the magnetic labels on their shelves every week, since they'd become utterly obscured by black metallic dust. Every month or so, someone lost an extremity despite relatively reasonable safeguards - 10 fingers was a rarity after a few decades. I know people working around really noxious chemicals all day long - noxious chemicals which leave your lungs nice and burning at the end of the day, and which make the threat of some second-hand smoke in a restaurant seem just a wee bit overblown. I had a friend literally crushed to death in a fairly dodgy shop. Of course, these factories and shops all pass no-doubt stringent government health and safety checks. Forgive me if I shed no tears for the waiter who has to take in a bit of second-hand tobacco smoke - many people work in exponentially more dangerous environments than a goddamn bar with some wafts of tobacco smoke, but don't have the benefit of your advocacy since they're safely stashed away on grotty factory floors you'll never see.

Sorry, how is it that separate rooms w/ strong ventilation standards wasn't sufficient? Because it isn't enough for the anti-smoking brigade to be free of smoke - they need to see the smoker stigmatized, skulking around out in the rain. Like a mob of puritans, you want unwholesome vices purged, and the vice-ridden punished. And Polly Q. Waitress is the straw-woman who masks that base drive underlying it all.

You crackheads go and find yourself a plastic bubble to smoke in.

I'd thought that stating that I'd quit in the first sentence of my reply was clear enough, but this is what's to be expected in any argument about draconian smoking legislation - alot of very emotional argumentation. Predictably, this thread will be absolutely filled with smoke - coming out of peoples' asses.
posted by blackberet at 6:02 AM on July 5, 2007 [17 favorites]


Granted, employment is at-will, and, like customers, people should feel free to refuse to work at places that allow smoking. The tricky thing is that people need to work in order to survive, and can't always be so choosy about where they work.

Sure, employment is at-will, and it's up to the employee to decide whether they want to work in a particular environment - but the employer still has a legal duty of care to ensure his employers are working in a clean and safe environment.

Say, for example, you are the owner of a building site and you fail to provide safety helmets. When a brick falls on someone's head, you can't just turn around and say "Well they chose to work here, they knew what it was like."

What's the difference between that and a bar worker who gets lung cancer or heart disease? People seem much more willing to say "Well they worked in a pub, everyone knows pubs are smoky."
posted by afx237vi at 6:05 AM on July 5, 2007


They should have handled smoking the way they handled buying, selling and publicly consuming alcohol. Places wanting to sell cigarettes should have to apply for a license. Pubs, clubs, public spaces should have had to apply for a license to let their patrons smoke.
posted by xpermanentx at 6:08 AM on July 5, 2007


Anyone living in a city has zero fucking right to complain about the health effects of second-hand smoke.

First smoking advocates tell us that we have no right to breath clean air, now you're telling us we have no right to even want clean air? I don't think that word means what you think it means.
posted by grouse at 6:10 AM on July 5, 2007 [3 favorites]


As a very, very occasional smoker I must first declare an interest this matter. I thought that the original proposals for a blanket ban everywhere except a handful of rooms in pubs was quite a reasonable compromise. My freedom would be heavily curtailed, but less offence would be caused to a majority of my fellow citizens. However, this total ban really does not stand up to much scientific or economic scrutiny and is just another example of empty gesture politics in the UK, which is sad. When you think of the seas of vomit and blood many of our high streets become by Sunday morning, caused by alcohol just on its own, one wonders if a quiet smoke with a pint from time to time should be a cause of concern to the state. I hope legal challenges create some flexibility so that I can have the odd fag with my drink in peace.
posted by The Salaryman at 6:12 AM on July 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


Not a smoker, love dive bars, and I think anti-smoking legislation is invasive as fuck. If that is what people want, let the establishments decide for themselves rather than leave it up to detached and generally hypocritical politicians to use as a pandering issue. Not only that, but anti-smokers (not non-smokers, mind you) are exactly the type that eat this pandering up.

"Oh, you're a smoker? Your opinion doesn't matter because clearly you have trouble making effective life choices to begin with." Replace cigarettes with twinkies and tiny-airplane-seat-spillover, like longbaugh hinted at, and it's a totally different perspective here in the blue.
posted by GooseOnTheLoose at 6:12 AM on July 5, 2007


many people work in exponentially more dangerous environments than a goddamn bar with some wafts of tobacco smoke, but don't have the benefit of your advocacy since they're safely stashed away on grotty factory floors you'll never see.


That's right! Let's not make any progressive and humanitarian changes to society unless we can make it perfect all in one go!
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 6:12 AM on July 5, 2007 [10 favorites]


2.8 This report, which was based on an analysis of 37 epidemiological studies of lung cancer in women who were life-long non-smokers living with smokers

Does this even require further comment? Why do people relentlessly equate visiting restaurants or bars, or even working in one (which to be quite frank is probably not a very permanent arrangement if you have education / prospects / etc), with spending the better part of your life living with a smoker? Dodgy and superficial readings of scientific literature abound in this arena.

Yes, tobacco smoke is quite clearly linked to cancer - who denies that? Yes, it's idiotic to smoke in your residence and subject family members to it around the clock. But there's a very big and logically unbridged chasm between that and having a rationale for the ever-more-aggressive and intrusive laws that are being enacted throughout the western world.
posted by blackberet at 6:13 AM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


And Polly Q. Waitress is the straw-woman who masks that base drive underlying it all.

Polly makes a a lot less money than Milo H. Factorydrudge, though, that's for sure.

When I was a waiter, there were nights when you couldn't even see the back of the room in the smoking section. About once a week I had truly epic allergy attacks. It got to the point that even my house often smelled like cigarette smoke unless I did my laundry very regularly.

Most people who assume physical risk on the job are compensated for it. Servicepeople aren't.
posted by hermitosis at 6:16 AM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Plus, in the US, service jobs almost never include health benefits.
posted by hermitosis at 6:17 AM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Replace cigarettes with twinkies and tiny-airplane-seat-spillover, like longbaugh hinted at, and it's a totally different perspective here in the blue.

Hm. I have had a terrible problem lately of having people who are sitting next to me and eating Twinkies spontaneously turning and REGURGITATING THE TWINKIES INTO MY MOUTH. It's rather distressing, really, and seems like it should be against the law.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:19 AM on July 5, 2007 [15 favorites]


Funny, most non-smokers would probably say that - at long last - their civil liberties are finally being respected. Smokers have no natural right to expose non-smokers to the harmful effects of their nicotine habit.

Wrong. It is now illegal to operate a business staffed and frequented exclusively by smokers. The only thing more ludicrous than a nonsmoking bar is a nonsmoking tobacco shop. This is in fact discrimination against smokers, not parity or equality for the nons.

Smoking bans are as blatantly discriminatory as they come. Don't try to fool yourself otherwise.
posted by davelog at 6:19 AM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


"I said to the officer 'I want to report a crime'

let's take up a collection and send him to hot springs, arkansas with a skateboard
posted by pyramid termite at 6:21 AM on July 5, 2007


They ought to allow pubs to build a smoking section with a glass wall separating it from the rest of the building. Give it its own door to the outside (or a negative pressure airlock of sorts into the nonsmoking section), its own toilet, and a small revolving door to transfer cash and glasses from the smoking section to the bartender and back. Have a way to quickly blow all the smoke out, maybe a big, loud, heavy-duty ventilator that is only run when needed, so employees could announce "Last smoke, you stinky fuckers!" and clear the air before entering to clear up.

Now only voluntary smokers would inhale smoke as they drank. And they would pay a good price for the pleasure, easily enough to pay for the extra rooms in some pubs, and they would be willing to put up with the airlock shit if it was the only alternative to no smoking in the pub. If you told smoking customers to keep things clean and peaceful on their own (even down to wiping their own tables) or they'd have to put out their smokes to allow staff to come in, I think they'd police themselves pretty well.

This might not keep employees away from 100 percent of customer cigarette smoke, but probably 99.99 percent or more, and there is a little smoke and stink and danger in a lot of jobs that aren't outlawed. Just working in a pub around (reeking, staggering, slobbering, lecherous, temporarily insane, frequently violent) drinkers all day, every day has to be quite hazardous to your health.
posted by pracowity at 6:22 AM on July 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


It is worth noting that being drunk in public, and selling intoxicating liquor to a drunken person or habitual drunkard are also offences in England in Wales.
posted by grouse at 6:24 AM on July 5, 2007


For that matter they are offences which carry much stiffer penalties.
posted by grouse at 6:25 AM on July 5, 2007


> First smoking advocates tell us that we have no right to breath clean air, now you're telling us we have no right to even want clean air? I don't think that word means what you think it means.

What word?

Or do you mean 'disingenuous', the one I am thinking of now, reading your post? You seem to say that eliminating second-hand smoke is going to give you clean air. It won't, not by a long shot; the proportion of its pollutants in the total a city-dweller breathes in a day is very, very small. Anyone serious about clean air should push for a car ban in towns, which would eliminate 70 to 80% of the problem. THAT would be a measurable effect. Would it inconvenience you?

Blackberet is right - the ones cheering the loudest at the ban are the vice-purging Puritans, and the only public good it affects is 'morals'.
posted by Spanner Nic at 6:28 AM on July 5, 2007


When California banned smoking in workplaces in 1994, bars and restaurants got a three year exemption, and when the ban finally came into force in 1998, it was ignored by many bar owners until their workers started to complain. Turns out that bartenders and servers and buspeople weren't so big on lung cancer, and that health improvements were basically immediate after the ban went into place - even those employees who did smoke were healthier.

Would you kick a flight attendant in the face? Would you give a supermarket checker a wipe with a TB-covered tissue? Why, then, is it OK to slowly do the same to some service workers and not others? Is it the fact that responsibility can be spread to all smokers...and therefore all smokers can absolve themselves of any personal responsibility beyond their infinitesimal "contribution"?

It's not about those who smoke and enjoy it - they've got the freedom to go smoke where it won't bother others; it's about those employees, and their kids and their relatives and their friends and the people they share a car or a bed with and their life insurance companies, who don't have the choice to not serve the smokers and who have to deal with it 40 hours a week.

And really, this ban was not suddenly rammed though Commons under cover of darkness - it's been phased in for years in the other UK nations and neighboring countries; a total rather than a partial ban (smoking sections, more ventilation) was proposed by the owners of bars and nightclubs themselves; in the official public consultation with 57,000 participants, 9 out of 10 respondents wanted a total ban; it was even a free vote in the House of Commons and passed with huge majorities.^ You can claim "discrimination!", but you live in a democracy, you had years to organize and petition - without having to take time away from you working longer hours to pay for your health care like others do - and you lost. Sometimes your team loses. You still have, you know, everywhere outside the building, and patios, and decks, and your car, and your house, and anywhere you might be other than inside your office or in a bar. I think you'll be OK.
posted by mdonley at 6:29 AM on July 5, 2007 [9 favorites]


It is worth noting that being drunk in public, and selling intoxicating liquor to a drunken person or habitual drunkard are also offences in England in Wales.

These are people I hate, so naturally I'm all for this type of legislation. The brawling, obnoxious trustafarians who live in my apartment complex get shitfaced every damn weekend of the school year and raise havoc in the parking lot outside my window till sometimes two, three in the morning. And growing up in an age of anti-smoking rhetoric means none of them smoke (cigarettes), so all of these annoying assholes will live forever. To the stocks with them!! *cough cough*
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:30 AM on July 5, 2007


When you think of the seas of vomit and blood many of our high streets become by Sunday morning, caused by alcohol just on its own one wonders if a quiet smoke with a pint from time to time should be a cause of concern to the state.

Alcohol doesn't cause violence. Addled wankers who can't handle their liquour do. Poor alcohol... always getting a bad rap.
posted by psmealey at 6:33 AM on July 5, 2007


Spanner, don't live up to your name. I can only speak for the "measurements" taken in Oxford for that study you cited, but they were done on the High Street, right next to a rank of bus stops where there tend to be at least three buses idling at any one time during the day. No one stands there all day.

The very fact that the study claims Oxford to be the worst affected by car pollutants signals it as a dud study - the centre of Oxford is largely pedestrianised, and the bits you can drive in are part of a labyrnthine one-way system that isn't worth driving into.

As for the notion that the ban could have been anything other than total - that could never have worked. Smoking bars would have had smoking and non-smoking patrons. Non-smoking bars would only have had non-smoking patrons. Where's the incentive to become a non-smoking bar?
posted by The Ultimate Olympian at 6:34 AM on July 5, 2007


Would you kick a flight attendant in the face? Would you give a supermarket checker a wipe with a TB-covered tissue? Why, then, is it OK to slowly do the same to some service workers and not others?

Oh, holy fucking horseshit. Melodramatic much?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:35 AM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


the anti-smoking bridgade seems so replete with self-righteous whiners

I love hearing this from a bunch of people who do nothing but whine now that the rest of us have decided we no longer need to tolerate your filthy, disgusting, pathetic addiction everywhere we go.
posted by bondcliff at 6:36 AM on July 5, 2007 [8 favorites]


This is in fact discrimination against smokers, not parity or equality for the nons.

Smoking bans are as blatantly discriminatory as they come. Don't try to fool yourself otherwise.


Wrong. You are confusing a behavior with an identity. This is no more a ban against "smokers" than prohibitions against playing excessively loud music on a boombox in public are bans against "listeners." Smokers are still allowed to go wherever they want and do whatever they want, except smoke in public.

We can argue the merits of whether this behavior should or shouldn't be banned, but don't fool yourself into thinking this rises to the level of "discrimination."
posted by googly at 6:36 AM on July 5, 2007 [7 favorites]


TB is more treatable than cancer. As is a kick.
posted by Plutor at 6:38 AM on July 5, 2007


I love hearing this from a bunch of people who do nothing but whine now that the rest of us have decided we no longer need to tolerate your filthy, disgusting, pathetic addiction everywhere we go.

You're right -- there's nothing remotely self-righteous about what you just said; I've completely mischaracterized you, and I heartily apologize.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:38 AM on July 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


Smoking bans have long since reached the point where they are curtailing civil liberties, ones which wouldn't be so readily relinquished if we substituted most anything else for 'tobacco products'.

Please provide a list of substituted products that the public is allowed to light with a match and carry burning into public places.
posted by flarbuse at 6:38 AM on July 5, 2007


Please provide a list of substituted products that the public is allowed to light with a match and carry burning into public places.

Mimes.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:39 AM on July 5, 2007 [15 favorites]


You're right -- there's nothing remotely self-righteous about what you just said; I've completely mischaracterized you, and I heartily apologize.

Apology accepted.
posted by bondcliff at 6:42 AM on July 5, 2007


Please provide a list of substituted products that the public is allowed to light with a match and carry burning into public places.

cats
posted by pyramid termite at 6:42 AM on July 5, 2007


Mimes, cats... vicars?
posted by chuckdarwin at 6:47 AM on July 5, 2007


Anyone serious about clean air should push for a car ban in towns, which would eliminate 70 to 80% of the problem. THAT would be a measurable effect. Would it inconvenience you?

Your reasoning is specious and relies on questionable statistics produced by a liquified natural gas supplier accused of conducting their study so as to make the best case for their own product. Regardless, I am currently very happy to live in an almost car-free city centre pedestrian zone protected by rising bollards (see my previous post on the subject).

As someone who has strongly advocated for car-free zones in the past and has actually moved into one, am I now ideologically pure enough to advocate for smoke-free pubs as well? Or do you still believe you can decide what public policies I have the right to support?
posted by grouse at 6:49 AM on July 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


Please provide a list of substituted products that the public is allowed to light with a match and carry burning into public places.

candles
posted by popkinson at 6:50 AM on July 5, 2007


Olympian: Sure, I don't know Oxford. There were many, many more studies poiting to the same conclusions in the search I could have included, if this one is a dud.

I note it is called 'High Street', though. I'll then assume it is a major shopping area. If it's not, London's King's Road certainly is. A major shopping area has shops, and patrons. Patrons can spend hours shopping; employees stay all day there. How are we going to protect them against involuntarily breathing in a pack of cigarettes every day?
posted by Spanner Nic at 6:50 AM on July 5, 2007


How are we going to protect them against involuntarily breathing in a pack of cigarettes every day?

Make the packs bigger?
posted by popkinson at 6:51 AM on July 5, 2007 [5 favorites]


"Managers at Nexus say cigarette smoke currently masks body odour and the smell of stale beer, vomit and toilets. In preparation for the smoking ban the club has installed fragrance systems which pump out smells including strawberry, chocolate and vanilla."

How about mopping?
posted by kirkaracha at 6:52 AM on July 5, 2007


Please provide a list of substituted products that the public is allowed to light with a match and carry burning into public places.

Pictures of Queen Victoria?
posted by patricio at 6:52 AM on July 5, 2007


If you drink so much that secondhand smoke in bars is really a legitimate health risk for you, you probably have a bigger problem, and that would be alcoholism.

Or, you know, I might work in a bar/pub/whatever. Or go to pubs/clubs and not drink.

Oddly enough there are tens of thousands of people who don't get a reprieve on working in an environment that damages their health.

So? Your argument doesn't make much sense. We can't improve a bad situation because somewhere else there's a worse situation? Your argument amounts to going into a thread about homelessness and drug abuse in the UK and saying "WHO CARES??? THERE ARE PEOPLE IN THE THIRD WORLD DYING FROM HUNGER!! THIS IS IRRELEVANT!". Yes, your factory situation sounds pretty fucked up (so report it to the authorities already!), that doesn't mean we can't try to improve another, admittedly less serious, bad working environment.

Why do people relentlessly equate visiting restaurants or bars, or even working in one (which to be quite frank is probably not a very permanent arrangement if you have education / prospects / etc), with spending the better part of your life living with a smoker?

Because working in a smokey pub involves 8 hours a day in a room with multiple smokers. Living with a smoker involves less hours a day in a house (with many rooms) with 1 smoker.

And what if it IS a permanent arrangement? What about a pub landlord? What about bar staff who don't have an education or prospects? Does it not matter if they get lung cancer?
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:52 AM on July 5, 2007


the ban has NOTHING to do with health and EVERYTHING to do with control.
posted by brandz at 6:59 AM on July 5, 2007


The "OMG CARS POLLUTE" argument would almost hold water if cigarettes, I dunno, teleported you the fuck across town.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:04 AM on July 5, 2007 [8 favorites]


the ban has NOTHING to do with health and EVERYTHING to do with control.

Just like the ban on spraying aerosolised anthrax into the air, right? What other pollutants and carcinogens do you have the right to pump into the air for no productive purpose?
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:06 AM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's either illegal or it isn't. If all the anti-smoking zealots really feel that way about cigarettes, they should just outlaw them altogether. I'm sure you'd have the support of a lot of the insurance sector. And no one will shed a tear at R.J. Reynold's passing. So just get a bunch of signatures and get rid of them already.

Personal opinion: the pre-smoking ban Boston had initiated (before they went whole-hog) was really the best solution in my mind. No mixing of smoking and dining, essentially. Anywhere you offer smoking, you have to offer the same thing for non-smokers. More than a few bars installed separate entrances, floors, ventilation systems... all to segregate the offending smoke from the poor pink lungs of the non-smokers. They even said to their employees, "If you have a problem with the smoke, you can work the other half of the place." Unfortunately, to the consternation of anti-smoking folks, it worked wonderfully. Oh well.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:06 AM on July 5, 2007


What about bar staff who don't have an education or prospects? Does it not matter if they get lung cancer?

Perhaps it is more important that they get an education and some prospects -- and, if this is something they cannot do without help, maybe THIS is where the politicians should be focusing their energies, not on grandstanding measures like this one that don't really benefit anybody but do make people feel as though they've been benefitted.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:06 AM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


What other pollutants and carcinogens do you have the right to pump into the air for no productive purpose?

You ever sucked on the end of a tailpipe? Plenty of nasty shit in exhaust fumes, but you don't see anyone out staging a sit-in and holding hands around the Chrysler plants. I don't know about the Rover plants, but I'm guessing they're still in operation, as are BP and their ilk.

You should come to sunny Los Angeles sometime during the summer and see what "health conscious" people are willing to put up with in their air.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:08 AM on July 5, 2007


...waits for "Oh, but that's different."...
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:10 AM on July 5, 2007


grandstanding measures like this one that don't really benefit

Except, you know, the newly nonsmoking workplace employees who become substantially healthier once the ban comes into effect and they're no longer spending eight hours a day inhaling secondhand smoke.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:10 AM on July 5, 2007


spotty_dog writes 'Do smokers not realize how much they stink?'

Do self-righteous, moralizing prigs not realize how profoundly unattractive their personalities are?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:10 AM on July 5, 2007 [3 favorites]


Civil_Disobedient, you're deliberately ignoring the phrase (which you included in the quote, bizarrely enough) "for no productive purpose". You're also ignoring the fact that I've already, just one comment above the one you're quoting, noted that smokes would be analogous to cars only if they teleported you across town.

Pollution's bad, sure, but a certain level of it is an acceptable tradeoff for something productive. Smoking creates pollution without any positive outcome whatsoever.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:12 AM on July 5, 2007


Do self-righteous, moralizing prigs not realize how profoundly unattractive their personalities are?

Just try kindly asking one of them to refrain for a bit while you are around.
posted by GooseOnTheLoose at 7:13 AM on July 5, 2007 [3 favorites]


> Your reasoning is specious and relies on questionable statistics produced by a liquified natural gas supplier
No, it's not specious. I pointed to two different studies (by accident; I didn't notice the similar dates on the two first items). The second one comes from UCL Bartlett, hardly a third-rate university. I could have quoted two dozens more, looking through Google Scholar or Pubmed. Search for 'air pollutants effects', 'second hand smoke effects', and compare.

> am I now ideologically pure enough to advocate for smoke-free pubs as well
Why, yes, actually. If you go back and read my first post, you'll find it was railing against hypocrites, not denying that smoking is harmful in the absolute.
posted by Spanner Nic at 7:15 AM on July 5, 2007


There isn’t any moral argument worth its weight that can be mustered against the ban—in this case, as, alas, so often, the new Puritans are exactly right. I only ever smoked cigarettes for a few years, but still feel unreasonably sad that the next generation will be denied the fine pleasure of enjoying a Benson & Hedges with their Guinness in the corner of a dingy pub.
posted by misteraitch at 7:19 AM on July 5, 2007


Plutor writes 'Actually, second hand smoke increases your chances of getting lung cancer by about 25%, and the overall five-year survival rate for lung cancer is only 14%. If allowing non-land-owners to vote made it that much more likely that I (and all of those around me) would die a painful death relatively soon, I'd be willing to curtail those rights, too."

The studies you refer to are talking about the level of risk of people who live with smokers for the whole duration of their lives, *not* for people who have casual contact with tobacco smoke in bars and restaurants.

Are you suggesting that the state should now start regulating who people can and cannot marry for the good of their health, as well?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:20 AM on July 5, 2007


Are you suggesting that the state should now start regulating who people can and cannot marry for the good of their health, as well?

I'll put you down as opposing incest bans, then? Teachers marrying students? You're okay with this?
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:22 AM on July 5, 2007


Except, you know, the newly nonsmoking workplace employees who become substantially healthier once the ban comes into effect and they're no longer spending eight hours a day inhaling secondhand smoke.

The same workplace where they spend eight hours a day on their feet, being harassed by a drunken public and making third world wages for their trouble? It's not as though society has ever given a shit about these people before; I'm sure they're all very comforted by the idea that everyone's looking out for them in this abstract fashion, but if you actually knew anyone who worked in the service industry, you might wonder whether something like this addresses any of their actual, like, problems.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:23 AM on July 5, 2007


GooseOnTheLoose writes 'Just try kindly asking one of them to refrain for a bit while you are around.'

But the condition is infectious and they're damaging to our psychological health. Not to mention the increased risk of violence and public disorder when somebody can't take any more and bops one on the chin.

I suggest we ban them from all public spaces immediately.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:23 AM on July 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


I suggest we ban them from all public spaces immediately.

Well, you've got my vote.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:25 AM on July 5, 2007


Pope Guilty writes 'I'll put you down as opposing incest bans, then? Teachers marrying students? You're okay with this?'

When did they make it illegal for teachers to marry students?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:25 AM on July 5, 2007


The same workplace where they spend eight hours a day on their feet, being harassed by a drunken public and making third world wages for their trouble? It's not as though society has ever given a shit about these people before; I'm sure they're all very comforted by the idea that everyone's looking out for them in this abstract fashion, but if you actually knew anyone who worked in the service industry, you might wonder whether something like this addresses any of their actual, like, problems.

None of which changes or invalidates the fact that smoking bans benefit them and the patrons of their establishments.

Christ, you're like the people who spent decades arguing that feminists fighting the glass ceiling and pay inequality were hypocritical scum for not devoting all their attention to fixing other cultures' patriarchy problems. The existence of multiple problems does not make the solving of particular problems wrong.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:25 AM on July 5, 2007


When did they make it illegal for teachers to marry students?

It's pretty much against the law in most places for such relationships to exist, let alone marriage.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:26 AM on July 5, 2007


That's why I only sleep with my teachers.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:27 AM on July 5, 2007


I may have an odd view on it, but I think I'd be willing to let smokers smoke anywhere, as long as they actually threw the butts anyway instead of dropping them on the ground or tossing them out their car windows. I used to work downtown (Louisville, KY), and in a one block walk, I counted 63 butts. You don't see people doing that with half-eaten fruit pies or sodas.

Furthermore, if we can get folks to admit that maybe secondhand smoke isn't good for people, then maybe we can move on to harder targets like vehicle emissions, great pollution-gushing factories or pig farms.

On preview, better wages for waitstaff wouldn't be bad either. Especially if I could then start tipping less than 20%.
posted by BeReasonable at 7:27 AM on July 5, 2007


I am currently very happy to live in an almost car-free city centre pedestrian zone protected by rising bollards

that's better than rising bullocks, isn't it?
posted by pyramid termite at 7:28 AM on July 5, 2007


Are you suggesting that the state should now start regulating who people can and cannot marry for the good of their health, as well?

Don't they already do that? Or was my sister just trying to let me down easy?
posted by bondcliff at 7:28 AM on July 5, 2007


You don't see people doing that with half-eaten fruit pies or sodas.

Well, sure. It is impossible not to finish a fruit pie. I have tried.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:29 AM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Christ, you're like the people who spent decades arguing that feminists fighting the glass ceiling and pay inequality were hypocritical scum for not devoting all their attention to fixing other cultures' patriarchy problems.

No, what I'm like is someone who is annoyed by this "oh, think of the poor plebes!" argument coming from people who have never once thought of the poor plebes before, and will quite happily never think of them again now that their smoking ban is established. I'm not placing you in that group, because I don't know you...but I do know that if all these people who suddenly have this huge concern and respect for the working classes had not just adopted it fifteen minutes ago, when they realized paying lip service to it could keep cigarettes out of their atmosphere, the plight of the working class would long since have been rendered...well...much less plighty.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:31 AM on July 5, 2007


You don't see people doing that with half-eaten fruit pies or sodas.

you've never walked through a poor neighborhood in america, then
posted by pyramid termite at 7:32 AM on July 5, 2007


kittens for breakfast, perhaps we could appreciate the fact that their support for the bans benefits the workers, rather than screaming at them and calling them names for not being 100% devoted to the cause?
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:33 AM on July 5, 2007


I have never known a single smoker who has looked around an environment in which smoking is allowed but has decided not to proceed in deference to others in the room.

I've done that.
posted by marxchivist at 7:33 AM on July 5, 2007 [3 favorites]


I think the issue is that smokers have no idea how foul their habit is, and, if they do, they just don't care.

It's summer. How come, if you go to a bistro or a pub, the outdoor patio is the exclusive domain of smokers?

An outdoor smoking ban on bar patios, etc just went into effect in my town. So now all restaurants and pubs are smoke free. It's great!
posted by KokuRyu at 7:33 AM on July 5, 2007


There seems to be the mistaken belief that the key focus of these sorts of bans is the health of patrons. It's not. We have a similar ban here in Queensland, and it's been clear for the outset that this is aimed at improving the working environments of the waiters, glassies, bartenders and bouncers who work in the pubs and clubs and who have no choice about what they do and don't breathe. Arguments about whether the "casual consumption" of second-hand smoke for a few hours a week by patrons are missing the point, as are people who claim that the bar staff should just get better jobs. There is always going to be a need for someone to serve you your beer. Get over the fact that this person probably doesn't want the myriad of problems with their health that your grotty habit will bring.

Furthermore, cigarette smoke is foul, and the vast majority of cigarette smokers don't realise exactly how bad a smell they trail around with them. There are considerate smokers out there that will move heaven and earth to ensure their habit, but they are far and few between. As tomsk mentioned, smokers seem incabable of recognising that is it a filthy habit that leaves ash and butts everywhere and stinks up the spaces that people smoke in. If I walked into a pub carrying a fresh dog turd in a bowl I'd get booted out for stinking the place up. Previously I'd come home from a gig or a club and have to wash my hair to get the smell of cigarette smoke out, and it's nice now to come home not smelling like an ash tray. The ban makes good sense from a publican's point of view, too - non-smokers are becoming the majority, and a lack of smoke makes a venue more attractive.

It's not that hard to go outside for a ciggy. It's not as if you are being denied the right to light a cigarette ever again. Just don't do it around people who don't want to smoke your cigarette with you.
posted by Jilder at 7:38 AM on July 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


psmealey writes 'Alcohol doesn't cause violence. Addled wankers who can't handle their liquour do. Poor alcohol... always getting a bad rap.'

Tobacco doesn't cause cancer. Poor specimens with inadequate genetics are to blame. My grandfather smoked five grams of crack a day, every day of his life and he lived to be 103.

The employees at the string of neighbourhood massage parlours that he owned spoke at his funeral about his stamina and his potency. He finally gave up the ghost just after partaking of a foursome in a practice commonly known as 'around the world'.

But it wasn't the crack or the group sex that killed him -- it was the combination of heroin and autoerotic asphixiation that he engaged in after the women had left. I was always telling him, 'Granddad, if you've got to do that hanging thing, keep one of the masseuses about to check on you and keep the naltrexone to hand'. But when you've been getting away with something without incident for the last seventy years or so, it's easy to let your guard down every now and again.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:38 AM on July 5, 2007 [9 favorites]


The second one comes from UCL Bartlett, hardly a third-rate university.

It's not exactly a rigorous study. You omitted the really big proviso it includes: "This is my unproven estimate, if anyone has any comments or improvements please email me, it was based on several large assumptions to get a ball park figure."

Anyway, maybe you could provide some good scientific evidence that automobile pollution has such a large effect on people's health that reducing the risk due to smoking is negligible. But given the sheer evidence that those habitually exposed to secondhand smoke have worse health than those who do not despite living in the same polluted cities, I think it is very unlikely.

What I am calling specious is not the idea that automobile pollution is hazardous. It's the idea that supporting one policy for addressing a problem is somehow hypocritical if one does not necessarily support another. All of these policies have side effects. It is entirely possible to think that the benefits of smoke-free enclosed areas outweigh the drawbacks, while thinking that the benefits of car-free cities do not. Doing so does not make one a hypocrite.
posted by grouse at 7:43 AM on July 5, 2007


I don't see why the bans affect civil liberties. Is there some constitutional protection or something that I am missing? I believe it would be legal to ban smoking all together, so it seems to reason that placing limits on it would be legal. Governments regulate in the interest of public health. Secondhand smoke is injurious to health though it's not exactly clear the specifics on how much and how long. The smoking lobby is in a difficult position arguing that secondhand smoke isn't injurious because they have so little credibility from years and years of arguing that smoking wasn't harmful. In addition, there is the perception when inhaling secondhand smoke that it can't be good for you. The public tide has turned against smoking and it's only going to get worse.
posted by bperk at 7:46 AM on July 5, 2007


kittens for breakfast, perhaps we could appreciate the fact that their support for the bans benefits the workers, rather than screaming at them and calling them names for not being 100% devoted to the cause?

I'm not sure who "them" refers to here, but if you mean said payers of lip service...I don't think (most of) those people give two shits about the health and well-being of bar and restaurant workers at all, is my point. So please, let us not front. It's okay to say one wants a smoking ban because one wants a smoking ban. The invocation of the holy wage slave is unnecessary and, in most cases, disingenuous to the point of insult. If the ban is followed up by a raise in pay for service industry workers and strong measures that better enable them to obtain higher education, I will be thrilled to eat my words.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:46 AM on July 5, 2007


Pope Guilty writes 'It's pretty much against the law in most places for such relationships to exist, let alone marriage.'

I'm pretty sure you're wrong. It may be illegal for teachers to have sex with students, but I'm fairly certain that there's no statute against marrying them.

But to answer your original question -- no, I'd support both incestuous marriages and student/teacher marriages where both of the parties concerned are consenting adults.

Generally, the student/teacher thing has nothing to do with health and everything to do with abusing power. However, I don't see any reason why a teacher shouldn't marry a student at the same institution, provided there's no power relationship involved. Where such a relationship exists, alternative teaching arrangements should be made immediately.

As for the incest thing -- we don't stop such people from living together or having sex (OK, there might be old laws on the statute in some of your weird states, but I imagine they are rarely enforced). We rightly regard such things as an unreasonable intrusion into people's lives. I don't see why marriage should be any different.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:47 AM on July 5, 2007


An outdoor smoking ban on bar patios, etc just went into effect in my town. So now all restaurants and pubs are smoke free. It's great!

I wonder how far we are from having that sort of a ban here...
posted by chuckdarwin at 7:48 AM on July 5, 2007


Could all the non-smokers stop howling. You got your wish to ban smoking in pubs, etc. Good for you. We agree. Now leave it be.

The only thing the smoking ban has taught me is that :
- non-smokers like to take things a little bit too far.
- non-smokers seem obsessed with how other people smell.
- non-smokers aren't particularly tolerant of the things that actually don't harm them.
- non-smokers just aren't cool.

The majority of people in this thread seem to be ex-smokers spoiling for a fight and not getting one. JUST LEAVE IT BE.
posted by seanyboy at 7:54 AM on July 5, 2007


I think I'd be willing to let smokers smoke anywhere, as long as they actually threw the butts away instead of dropping them on the ground

The problem is that they're usually still burning and not something you ought to stick in your pocket or throw into a trash can pull of paper. The safest way to get rid of one usually is to drop it on the ground and grind it out with your foot.

Does anyone make biodegradable cigarette filters?
posted by pracowity at 7:55 AM on July 5, 2007


Tobacco doesn't cause cancer. Poor specimens with inadequate genetics are to blame.

I think you are kidding, but cancer is multifactorial. Both genetic and environmental factors can increase the risk.

I think it is interesting to see the evolution of this debate. From my perspective, years ago it focused mainly on disputing that secondhand smoke was harmful at all. Later, in discussions of smoking bans in Austin and New York, I remember that the main argument was that smoking bans in bars would decrease business. Now that that has shown to be false, even the British Beer and Pub Association is supporting a total ban:
Our view is that, in the medium term, a smoking ban will be beneficial to pubs. It will enable us to bring back people who have been put off by smoky atmospheres, enable us to reach out to the 75% of the population who don't smoke and at the same time to retain our smoking customers with outside space.
Now all that seems to be left are ad hominem attacks against the supporters of the bans.
posted by grouse at 7:55 AM on July 5, 2007


I know my vehicle's exhaust spews out 1000X more carbon dioxide than the average Marlboro, but your cigarette is smelly and your second hand smoke is killing me. Wah!

Fucking bullshit.

I love how non-smokers enjoy collecting and spending the "sin" tax money on cigarettes (In many places now over $3/pack). You do spend all dat money on prevention and helping smoker's with disease right?

Also, why the hell can't I open a smoker's only club or restaurant? I promise I won't force non-smokers to work for me or patronize my establishment. What I would do is force everyone who comes in the front door to light up. If you don't like it you can stay_the_fuck_out. /bitter
posted by HyperBlue at 7:56 AM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


I know my vehicle's exhaust spews out 1000X more carbon dioxide than the average Marlboro, but your cigarette is smelly and your second hand smoke is killing me. Wah!

Do you people not read the fucking thread?
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:58 AM on July 5, 2007


So I gave up tobacco, and was all prepared to put in some serious effort to not be a sanctimonious ex-tobacco-user. I'll step outside with my tobacco-using friends to continue the conversation, and (fixin's willing) I'll be the first to skin up. But really, all this pub smoking ban stuff (which kicked in last week for me and, I'll admit, prompted me to actually fix a date (last year) for giving up) is making it really hard.

If I were still smoking cigs, I could be all noble and not mind, and really I wouldn't - I don't think I've ever smoked in a restaurant outside of Asia, and I still ate out. For the last couple of years I'd felt quite privileged to light up indoors in pubs. Shit, I wasn't allowed to in my own loungeroom. Fuck working in that shit.

But anyway, so much toss in this thread calls out for a response, so:


@saturnine and chuckdarwin: Yes.

@spotty_dog: I had absolutely no idea. I thought you'd smell a bit, but, like wow. It's really bad eh?

@blackberet Libertarian wank. I gather the smoking ban happened in the real world, so idealistic libertarian bullshit which takes no account of the actual real-life situation of service workers isn't really relevant.

@gooseontheloose I love a dive-ey bar, but 'let the establishment decide', without respect for the health of the workers involved, strikes me as the same as arguing against safety mandates in shaft-mines or similar. Leave it up to the proprietors and they'll find the workers somehow. No-one suggests that safety regulations in mines should be left solely to the mine owners (well, maybe I'm wrong there, but those people: they're selfish cunts).

@davelog Smoking bans are as blatantly discriminatory as they come.

Damn right. Discrimination is a GOOD THING. You wouldn't have capitalism without, say, price discrimination. FFS somehow the enaction of unfair discrimination laws has made the word a curse. The question is whether the discrimination in question is reasonable, and in this case, it is. Personally, if you had a cig shop, and promised to never employ anyone else, and also to post warning signs at the entrance, I'd be happy to patronise it (presuming of course, you stock large blue rizlas.. but I know you would).

Essentially: libertarians: Have you ever noticed that you're always arguing for 'freedom TO', and never 'freedom FROM' anything. Also, externalities exist

grumpy smokers: deal or give up. Everyone I know has. It's a bitter pill... but so's an E. Either way, you'll feel better afterwards.
posted by pompomtom at 7:58 AM on July 5, 2007


I dunno about the whole smoking thing, but one thing I really enjoy is pissing on people. It's great to just walk up to a couple at a restaurant, in the middle of dinner, and hose 'em down from head to toe. Sometimes I get a little in their mouths, which just amuses the heck out of me. No, I don't think it's rude at all. I mean.. sure, they stink a bit afterwards, but I find it really relaxing after a hard day at work. Besides, they shouldn't come out if they don't want to get pissed on AMIRITE??

The great thing is pissing on the restaurant staff, because you KNOW they'll be back the next day -- and then WHAM, MORE PISSIN! haha!! A lot of people protest, and most find it disgusting, but it's a free country, you self-righteous, moralizing prigs!

At least I'm not giving anybody cancer.
posted by LordSludge at 7:58 AM on July 5, 2007 [4 favorites]


In case anyone thinks that some of those arguing for a ban in public places are, um, self-righteous, self-moralizing prigs or something crazy like that:

I live with a smoker: my mom. I don't talk about it with her (though she frequently talks about cutting down), as she's well aware of the risks and the expense - nearly $2000 a year, not counting higher health insurance costs and the costs to her health, which I pray don't come due anytime soon or ever. I've offered help in passive ways over the years - sending books, connecting her with free counseling/support groups the state of California funds for people trying to quit. She gracefully accepts the offers, tries for a while, and makes small changes without quitting totally. Now, does it worry and bother me that she's endangering her health? Yes. Are there times when I wish she didn't leave me sitting in the middle of a meal at a restaurant or a drink at the bar to go outside? Sure. But even she - a former server/caterer herself and a smoker for more than 30 years - actually agrees with the ban we have here, because:

- she doesn't want me to have to breathe it and already doesn't smoke inside the house or in the car;
- she doesn't want to force someone else - plebeian, patrician, those with togas, those without togas, whoever - to breathe it;
- she smokes less than she did before she had to go outside, because the whole point of us being out is to socialize and be together.

She doesn't feel like a criminal. She doesn't feel oppressed or discriminated against. She seeks out places where she can smoke without bothering others. She knows it excludes me and others, and so she chooses to limit her time doing it in favor of being more social.

Maybe she's just not as outraged as some of the people here because after nearly 10 years of the ban being in place, she's seen that there have been no real, long-term losers, not even herself. It seems like some people just fear all change; being insulated from change does that to people, I guess.
posted by mdonley at 8:02 AM on July 5, 2007


Actually, given that urine is sterile, nondiseased individuals pissing on people would, in fact, be less injurious to their health than smoking around them.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:02 AM on July 5, 2007


spotty_dog writes 'Do smokers not realize how much they stink?'

Do whiny prats you realize how little I care?
posted by SweetJesus at 8:04 AM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


I've always found "your rights end at my nose" to be a pretty good line to draw (right to speech, yes; right to punching people, no), and it works especially well here, as your smoke not ending at my nose makes it clearly not a right. On the bright side, feel free to cover your body in nicotine patches.

I know my vehicle's exhaust spews out 1000X more carbon dioxide than the average Marlboro, but your cigarette is smelly and your second hand smoke is killing me.

I'd say car exhaust is no more a right than smoking, and as soon as society decides we're ready to revoke that privilege (e.g. when electric cars are commonplace), I hope no one will be making arguments about how we need to first end all forest fires before we can ban car exhaust (which is already heavily regulated). Because that would be ridiculous.
posted by scottreynen at 8:05 AM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


> Pollution's bad, sure, but a certain level of it is an acceptable tradeoff for something productive. Smoking creates pollution without any positive outcome whatsoever.

Sure: my acceptable tradeoff is to force everyone in towns to take GPL buses, nuclear-powered tubes, or cycle. I don't have any use for cars, just as you don't have any use for health-damaging pleasures.

Yet, I can live comfortably with the knowledge I am a little less healthy, and have a little risk of being killed by a car, if it makes the life of many people somehow more pleasurable. I can only wish the courtesy was returned.
posted by Spanner Nic at 8:08 AM on July 5, 2007


I have plenty of uses for health-damaging pleasures. I have no use and no tolerance for pleasures that damage the health of human beings who do not indulge in them, which puts me at odds with people who think that smoking bans make them Rosa Parks.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:10 AM on July 5, 2007 [3 favorites]


DU writes 'I continually marvel at the reaction Brits have to the smoking ban as a civil rights issue but don't seem to care at all that they are under constant surveillance, which really is a civil rights issue.'

It's a bit like you lot and your guns. We feel that having plenty of CCTV cameras about both deters crime and makes it easier to catch criminals when crimes are committed. It manages to accomplish this without killing around 100 people a day from CCTV wounds.

The majority of these cameras are privately owned, but I'm pretty sure that there's nowhere in the UK with a higher concentration of CCTV cameras than you'll find in Las Vegas, hence their Tourism marketing tapes:

'What happens in Vegas, stays on the casino security tapes and until it's handed over to the Griffin Detective Agency
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:10 AM on July 5, 2007


/bitter

Thanks for closing the bitter tag. I'm sure that will help a lot.
posted by Tommy Gnosis at 8:10 AM on July 5, 2007


My father died in his 40s from a smoking-related heart condition.

My grandfather died from throat cancer that's only partially related to smoking (the rest to living in Las Vegas at the tail end of above-ground testing), but he had two heart attacks before he quit.

My father-in-law died from lung cancer two years ago; he smoked for nearly 30 years and quit in the 1980s.

Now my mother-in-law is dying from a lung cancer primarily seen in non-smoking women, had a lung removed, and has a 20% chance of survival -- despite only being stage 2 when diagnosed. She lived in the rural South where the air has been relatively clear all her life.

So I don't have a lot of sympathy for this. I've seen too many people close to me die painfully.

Are there other health problems I should worry about? Of course -- I live in a major city filled with car exhaust, diesel fumes, light industrial factories, and whatever is blowing across the Pacific from China and Korea this morning. But the best I can do there is to lobby for global change -- clean, alternative energy for cars, lobbying for a new Kyoto-style agreement that includes China.

But at the same time, second-hand smoke is a health hazard and should be treated as such. I'd love to see an all-out ban on tobacco, but it's the same problem as with trying to get this country to sign on to a global warming agreement -- too many lobbyists, and the tobacco settlement money and taxes are just one enormous pork barrel festival for lawmakers. So the ban we have here, while being somewhat idiotic (no smoking within 25 feet of ANY door?), is the best I can hope for.
posted by dw at 8:11 AM on July 5, 2007


mdonley writes 'In case anyone thinks that some of those arguing for a ban in public places are, um, self-righteous, self-moralizing prigs or something crazy like that'

Actually, mdonley, this had nothing to do with the content of their policy argument, and everything to do with their attitude towards people who smoke.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:12 AM on July 5, 2007


Actually, mdonley, this had nothing to do with the content of their policy argument, and everything to do with their attitude towards people who smoke.

People concerned about health unhappy with people who spew pollutants into the air for no purpose other than their own personal pleasure. Now sports.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:15 AM on July 5, 2007


The safest way to get rid of one usually is to drop it on the ground and grind it out with your foot.

Regardless of this, as I walk around the city, I can't help but notice that the right to smoke outoors in public places basically comes with the right to litter implicitly tacked onto it.

The fact that the litter is on fire doesn't rest easily with me, either. Especially as a bicyclist who has been hit by burning butts from the sidewalk and moving cars alike.
posted by hermitosis at 8:16 AM on July 5, 2007


I wrote: "In case anyone thinks that some of those arguing for a ban in public places are, um, self-righteous, self-moralizing prigs or something crazy like that"

The category of health-damaging pleasures I partake in, I hope, will not expand to include Metafilter at the end of this, um, whatever-we're-having. (Lovers' spat? War of attrition? Help me out, people.)
posted by mdonley at 8:18 AM on July 5, 2007


Crikey, the vitriol in this thread is just bizarre. You'd think any effort to curtail smoking - something that, you know, kills people - would be seen as a good thing.

I may have an odd view on it, but I think I'd be willing to let smokers smoke anywhere, as long as they actually threw the butts anyway instead of dropping them on the ground or tossing them out their car windows.

£50 fines for littering are a good start (I'd always assumed that was just a hollow warning, but was actually warned last week by a policeman who saw me flicking a fag butt onto the pavement).
posted by jack_mo at 8:20 AM on July 5, 2007


Lover's spat, mdonley. But you should have taken the trash out when it asked you to.
posted by Jilder at 8:20 AM on July 5, 2007


Actually, mdonley, this had nothing to do with the content of their policy argument, and everything to do with their attitude towards people who smoke.

I concur. Though I think that for most people the fear of secondhand smoke giving them cancer is a dark species of magical thinking, I find the advocacy of smoking bans period far less objectionable than the finger-wagging Cotton Mather-isms of many anti-smoking zealots. It's one thing to be right; it's quite another to be such an asshole about being right that everyone would prefer you were wrong.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:24 AM on July 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


First of all, something that people seem to be missing is that others are not smoking because it fucks with you. People are smoking because they want to enjoy a delicious cigarette. It is silly to approach it with a hard-headed mentality of, "Well fuck, you can either smoke or not. What the shit, man?" You could just as easily not play video games. Not watch movies. Not sit around on Metafilter. All in the name of only-doing-constructive things.

Secondly, smokers are, for the most part, reasonable people. They don't want to piss on you. They don't want to talk your ear off about how you should smoke. And they don't want to take analogies to incomprehensible amounts of absurdity. They can be effectively corralled into segregated areas of restaurants, and they can also just be forced outside. Clearly, they are not the monsters the hyperbole here would have you believe.

The thing to ask, though, is where do we stop? Cigarette smoke bothering you? Don't go somewhere else or anything, just make 'em all criminals. Who/what else do we criminalize? I can list off twenty things that I find not only distasteful, but also have zero desire to even try to empathize with. Would that make it ok that these things were outlawed at the expense of those who enjoy them?
posted by GooseOnTheLoose at 8:25 AM on July 5, 2007 [3 favorites]


You'd think any effort to curtail smoking - something that, you know, kills people - would be seen as a good thing.

cf: Americans and guns.
posted by pompomtom at 8:27 AM on July 5, 2007


> It's the idea that supporting one policy for addressing a problem is somehow hypocritical if one does not necessarily support another.

Nah. My point is 'supporting a policy that marginally addresses a problem, but not one that would greatly do so, is either (a) ignorant or (b) a result of you being affected by the latter but not by the former, thus hypocritical'.

To which I would now add '(c) a result of psychopathological sadistic tendencies, triggering intense sexual pleasure at the mere thought of people deprived of enjoyment without sound moral or logical argument, recently identified as 'Ted Haggard Syndrome'
posted by Spanner Nic at 8:29 AM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


The problem is that they're usually still burning and not something you ought to stick in your pocket or throw into a trash can pull of paper. The safest way to get rid of one usually is to drop it on the ground and grind it out with your foot.

So it's everyone else's problem that your habit leaves you, a few times a day, with a flaming bit of paper and filter that you have no better way to put out than to throw onto the street and leave there? This really is something that grates me... it's as if there's this built-in yet nonsensical "justification" that allows smokers the right to throw their crap on the ground for someone else to clean up. How is that OK?
posted by delfuego at 8:35 AM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Also, I find it really hard to dance without a fag in my hand.

I hope legal challenges create some flexibility so that I can have the odd fag with my drink in peace.

*Winks at jack-Mo and The Salaryman* "Hi, boys. Let me buy you each a beer. I like to dance and am a bit odd, if I say so myself." ; )
posted by ericb at 8:37 AM on July 5, 2007


People are smoking because they want to enjoy a delicious cigarette.

Yeah, cigarettes are pretty tasty once you're addicted to nicotine. Nobody starts because of the taste.

It is silly to approach it with a hard-headed mentality of, "Well fuck, you can either smoke or not. What the shit, man?" You could just as easily not play video games. Not watch movies. Not sit around on Metafilter. All in the name of only-doing-constructive things.

None of those things are harmful to the health of those around me.

They don't want to piss on you.

They do, however, want to coat my clothing, skin, hair, and the inside of my lungs with smoke, and how dare I object?

They can be effectively corralled into segregated areas of restaurants, and they can also just be forced outside.

A no smoking section in a restaurant is like a no pissing section in a pool. As to being forced outside, that's exactly what a smoking ban IS.

The thing to ask, though, is where do we stop? Cigarette smoke bothering you? Don't go somewhere else or anything, just make 'em all criminals. Who/what else do we criminalize? I can list off twenty things that I find not only distasteful, but also have zero desire to even try to empathize with. Would that make it ok that these things were outlawed at the expense of those who enjoy them?

If those things harm people who don't indulge in them? Certainly.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:37 AM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think a lot of the hate for smokers is from people who think back to high school and remember the 13 year old smokers there. I certainly remember the smokers in my year, and every single one of them was involved in some kind of assholish behaviour; smoking was just how you got into the Bad Crowd. The cigarette was the easiest way to spot a Bad Person, and most Good People carried on using this crude indicator into adult life. Never mind that adult smokers are entirely ordinary people - the kid smokers already taught us to hate them.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 8:39 AM on July 5, 2007


I think a lot of the hate for smokers is from people who think back to high school and remember the 13 year old smokers there. I certainly remember the smokers in my year, and every single one of them was involved in some kind of assholish behaviour; smoking was just how you got into the Bad Crowd. The cigarette was the easiest way to spot a Bad Person, and most Good People carried on using this crude indicator into adult life. Never mind that adult smokers are entirely ordinary people - the kid smokers already taught us to hate them.

If it makes you feel any better, we hated your goody-two-shoes ass right back. :)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:45 AM on July 5, 2007


No, I really think it's just the smell, the smoke, and the litter all over the place. You can get psychological if you want, but seriously: we just don't want smoke in our faces/hair/clothes/food or butts all over the sidewalk/garden/patio. It's pretty simple, really.
posted by Hildegarde at 8:47 AM on July 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


Cotton Mather-isms

I admit, I had to look Mr. Mather up, and you know what? He's right up there with the great public health heroes of history - he's one reason we haven't all died of smallpox. I'm going to post the relevant Wikipedia section here, just because it's such a neat story:

A smallpox epidemic struck Boston in May 1721 and continued through the year.

The practice of smallpox inoculation (as opposed to the later practice of vaccination) had been known since 1706. A slave, Onesimus, had explained to Mather how he had been inoculated as a child in Africa. The practice was an ancient one, and Mather was fascinated by the idea. He encouraged physicians to try it, without success. Then, at Mather's urging, one doctor, Zabdiel Boylston, tried the procedure on his only son and two slaves–one grown and one a boy. All recovered in about a week.

In a bitter controversy, the New England Courant published writers who opposed inoculation. The stated reason for this editorial stance was that the Boston populace feared that inoculation spread, rather than prevented, the disease; however, some historians, notably H. W. Brands, have argued that this position was a result of editor-in-chief James Franklin's (Benjamin Franklin's brother) contrarian positions. Boylston and Mather encountered such bitter hostility, that the selectmen of the city forbade him to repeat the experiment.

The opposition insisted that inoculation was poisoning, and they urged the authorities to try Boylston for murder. So bitter was this opposition that Boylston's life was in danger; it was considered unsafe for him to be out of his house in the evening; a lighted grenade was even thrown into the house of Mather, who had favored the new practice and had sheltered another clergyman who had submitted himself to it.

After overcoming considerable difficulty and achieving notable success, Boylston traveled to London in 1724, published his results, and was elected to the Royal Society in 1726.


So Mather is initially skeptical, but at least open, to trying something unconventional and new, and is convinced of the efficacy of a new way of doing things. Others disagree, violently. Some people try to kill him. He keeps trying to convince them. Eventually he prevails.

The Cotton Mathers of the world may be annoying, but we need them: it's their ability to change their mind, be convinced of the facts, and spread the word to others that legitimizes change by giving people the tools to make more informed choices.
posted by mdonley at 8:47 AM on July 5, 2007


> I have no use and no tolerance for pleasures that damage the health of human beings who do not indulge in them
I'm glad you don't drive, don't drink, and don't write hypertension-inducing FPPs. I'm glad there are people like you, but also not too many people like you, or it would be a bit bland til we all die at 100 years old.

> which puts me at odds with people who think that smoking bans make them Rosa Parks.
Yes, self-righteous pricks annoy everyone on all sides, we are in complete agreement.
posted by Spanner Nic at 8:49 AM on July 5, 2007


I'd be willing to let smokers smoke anywhere, as long as they actually threw the butts anyway instead of dropping them on the ground or tossing them out their car windows.

When I was just a wee lad, I worked in a small fast food restaurant, and I was always astounded by this. We provided ash trays on the tables, but smokers would regularly use trays, food wrappers and styrofoam plates, table tops, chairs, and the floor as substitutes. We had to throw out an average of five to ten trays a week because they had been damaged by having a cigarette stubbed out on them. And the parking lot would be littered with butts after a day of business, despite the fact the most if not all cars have ash trays in them. I could live with the smoke, I just hated cleaning up after the smokers.
posted by deadcowdan at 8:49 AM on July 5, 2007


First of all, I do not identify as 'libertarian' - I just happen to take a fairly (small-l) libertarian point of view on this issue, and believe strongly in the right to individual autonomy and liberty in general. If arguing against the government intrusively banning things which might kill some relatively small percentage of the population before their time is 'wank' - well, feel free to crown me Emperor-for-Life of the Wankers then, because an awful lot of further government powers and bannings follow pretty logically forth from that first admittance. You may wish to note that 'idealistic libertarian bullshit' is what most democracies were founded upon.

Davelog very succinctly nailed it: "It is now illegal to operate a business staffed and frequented exclusively by smokers". I can not take my own capital, create a business which is explicitly 'by and for smokers', and therefore enable people to kill themselves off puffing away within. Why? Because non-smokers have an inherent right to be employed by me, despite them being fundamentally incompatible with the stated mission of the business? Because a non-smoking customer who wants to partake of my services has some absolute right to do so, my preferred parameters for doing business with them be damned? Because the state's concern for the health of the individuals who choose to do something they know is dangerous should override their will, or because they may not know any better?

Slippery slope indeed.
posted by blackberet at 8:49 AM on July 5, 2007 [3 favorites]


Here in Cleveland, home of Nanny State Assholes, the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic recently announced it would no longer hire smokers.

Not prevent them from smoking on-campus -- NOT HIRE THEM AT ALL. And this applies to all future hires, i.e. they won't be testing everyone who's currently employed there for nicotine. If a job applicant tests positive for nicotine, they've said they "will help [that person] quit," but not hire them.

What if someone's using, say, nicotine gum to help themselves quit and tests positive for nicotine? This just all sounds like so much happy horseshit designed to put a non-invasive "we're only trying to help you, you asshole" face on things. It reminds me of the time Motorola fired a (vegan, taking various herbal supplements) friend of mine for supposedly testing positive for marijuana. She went to an independent lab the same day and had herself vindicated -- but they still wouldn't hire her back.

Personally, I'd prefer a smoker operate on me instead of the hateful, Vicodin-addicted asshole1 who f***ed up my elbow for life during surgery. Hell, s/he could blow smoke in my gaping, opened elbow if it means I didn't have someone like that other surgeon in there dicking it up. Yet you don't see the hospitals or the medical boards kicking him off campus!

1) resemblance to the adorable, cranky Dr. Gregory House notwithstanding, said doctor was neither as adorable as Hugh Laurie nor as talented
posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:53 AM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hah! Fuck all y'all. I just moved to Spain from the UK. Here they've had a smoking ban since January, but since people didn't like it, it didn't stick (or at least it got modified so that the ban is barely noticeable). Heh. Imagine that in the UK. "What? The people don't approve of the actions taken by the government and demand change? Pah! This isn't a democracy! We'll invade ban smoking anyway!"

And fags cost about a quarter of what they do in the UK.
posted by slimepuppy at 8:56 AM on July 5, 2007


I've tried to smoke a few times, just to see what it was like, but my lungs and mouth and whatever other body parts are required to smoke just don't want to agree. When I was in Istanbul, I kept politely refusing to smoke the mint/strawberry/whatever-flavored tobacco was in the hookah, until I finally caved and upon inhaling had such a horrible, loud coughing fit that the proprietor of the restaurant brought over a huge pitcher of water and a bunch of napkins. With everyone staring at the weird guy who apparently couldn't smoke but decided to try anyway in the middle of a nice-ish cafe outside, we took our leave; we didn't finish our backgammon game, either, and I was ahead.
posted by mdonley at 8:57 AM on July 5, 2007


(In fairness, there's a wee bit more to the Cotton Mather story than appears on teh wikipedias -- but his whacked-the-fuck-out puritanism, which contributed to the executions of more than a few people accused of witchcraft, does seem to have given away at least somewhat to sense and reason in his later life. Cotton Mather was a complex figure, to say the least, but there is one thing on which all historians seem to agree: Cotton Mather was a dick.)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:58 AM on July 5, 2007


I hate the "if you don't like the smoke, go somewhere else" opinion. Smokers can just not smoke and still eat at that restaurant or whatever. But if there's smoking, and I don't like it (and I'm severely allergic to it), I and the rest of that restaurant have to go somewhere else? How is that fair?

Sure there are more harmful things than cigarette smoke out there. You know, like pollution from cars. It's a tad more difficult to outlaw something that so many people depend upon for their livelihood, however, than something that a bunch of people like to stick in their mouths because it feels good or makes them look like James Dean or whatever-the-hell reason it is that people actually opt to smoke.
posted by katillathehun at 9:00 AM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Nobody starts because of the taste.

When I started smoking, I smoked cigars. I started for the taste.
posted by triolus at 9:01 AM on July 5, 2007


Man: Where would you like to go for dinner tonight, sweetheart?

Woman: Oh, you know I can never decide. You pick.

Man: What about that Indian restaurant down the street. They can cook a tasty chicken that just falls right off the bone.

Woman: Oh, but that curry smell is just so awful. I want to yell at everybody eating curry around us more than eat. And when we get home the smell...it's in my hair, on my clothes. It's like I can't even get it off of me!

Man: We could go somewhere else...

Woman: No! Shouldn't we be able to enjoy that chicken because of how much more important we are?

Man: Tell you what, I'm such a megalomaniacal asshole, why don't I just pull some strings and see if we can't outlaw their inconsiderate dish so that we can go there all we want totally unadultered by their unfamiliar and despicable practice of making food that they seem to enjoy only because it makes us miserable.

Woman: You are such a romantic.
posted by GooseOnTheLoose at 9:11 AM on July 5, 2007 [3 favorites]


MetaFilter: It's one thing to be right; it's quite another to be such an asshole about being right that everyone would prefer you were wrong.
posted by scottreynen at 9:16 AM on July 5, 2007


I hate the "if you don't like the smoke, go somewhere else" opinion. Smokers can just not smoke and still eat at that restaurant or whatever. But if there's smoking, and I don't like it (and I'm severely allergic to it), I and the rest of that restaurant have to go somewhere else? How is that fair?

Well, that's no longer the case. Be happy. Though now smokers are in the situation you were in except we have nowhere else to go. I no longer have the simple choice of going to another restaurant like you did. All I can do is stay outside or go home. Do you honestly think a total ban is fair? That no one is by law allowed to have a smoking-only establishment?
posted by slimepuppy at 9:25 AM on July 5, 2007


Davelog very succinctly nailed it: "It is now illegal to operate a business staffed and frequented exclusively by smokers". I can not take my own capital, create a business which is explicitly 'by and for smokers', and therefore enable people to kill themselves off puffing away within. Why?

Because you live in a democracy that makes decisions in which it tries, imperfectly - and without some ironclad consistency of the kind that makes liberatarians sexually aroused - to balance the rights of the majority with the rights of the minority, and you win some and you lose some, and if the one you happen to have lost this time round is going to deprive you of a minor pleasure while almost certainly, based on bans elsewhere, leading to a massive reduction in the number of people dying exceptionally horrible deaths from lung cancer… well, I guess I just find it hard to care very much.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 9:26 AM on July 5, 2007 [11 favorites]


Well, I guess I have the choice that the government wanted: quit smoking. But that's no fun.
posted by slimepuppy at 9:26 AM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'll admit it, I fall into the holier-than-thou category and it's not really about the poor workers in the restaurant, though that is a bonus. I'm tired of your disgusting habit running up my dry-cleaning bill and littering everywhere. And yes, I could go somewhere else, but you can also go outside. I think what a lot of smokers forget is in most venues you are in the minority and you are making a decision about what the venue is going to smell like for everyone else there. So cry me a fucking river about how inconvenienced you are by having to walk 20 feet when you want a cigerette. This is a natural reaction by the majority to smokers who think they're entitiled to blow smoke in the public's faces.

Here in New York we've had a smoking ban for a while and even the smokers I know think it's great. They smoke less, stink less, and the venues inside are nicer. Plus it's a lot easier to pick up a fellow smoker when you're just hanging outside together.
posted by slapshot57 at 9:27 AM on July 5, 2007 [4 favorites]


Nobody starts because of the taste.

That's a comment borne of ignorance, which mixes well with all of the infantile sociology and needless hyperbole that has made this such a forgettable thread. Of course you start because of the taste. Sure, the first few smokes will cause you to cough and gag, but what keeps you going towards addiction is precisely the taste. You don't really notice the other stuff, the nicotine lift, the irritability brought on by forced, prolonged abstention until you've been hooked for a while.
posted by psmealey at 9:34 AM on July 5, 2007


Davelog very succinctly nailed it: "It is now illegal to operate a business staffed and frequented exclusively by smokers". I can not take my own capital, create a business which is explicitly 'by and for smokers', and therefore enable people to kill themselves off puffing away within. Why?

Because you live in a democracy

so i take it we're all going to stop complaining about drug laws, governments snooping for terrists, age of consent laws, the patriot act and george w bush because after all this is a democracy, the majority won and the minority just has to suck it up, right?

explain why smokers shouldn't be able to have businesses of their own ... if that clinic in cleveland can refuse to hire smokers, why can't someone open a business that refuses to hire non-smokers, for their own safety?

why shouldn't smokers have smokers' clubs?
posted by pyramid termite at 9:36 AM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well, that's no longer the case. Be happy. Though now smokers are in the situation you were in except we have nowhere else to go. I no longer have the simple choice of going to another restaurant like you did. All I can do is stay outside or go home. Do you honestly think a total ban is fair? That no one is by law allowed to have a smoking-only establishment?

So... you can't eat if you don't smoke? I see. That is a predicament.
posted by katillathehun at 9:44 AM on July 5, 2007 [4 favorites]


if people can't see the slippery slope argument of big government dictating our choices they are even more naive than i am willing to give them credit for. fuktards one and all. this will not end pretty, especially when big government comes after our alcohol, food, bikes and anything else we might enjoy. smoking bans are the perfect example of why the masses are so cynical these days. live and let live for christ sake.
posted by brandz at 9:45 AM on July 5, 2007


is going to deprive you of a minor pleasure while almost certainly, based on bans elsewhere, leading to a massive reduction in the number of people dying exceptionally horrible deaths from lung cancer

I'd love to see some real evidence for this. Helena, MT (and other small-sample-size jurisdictions) don't count.
posted by Kwantsar at 9:50 AM on July 5, 2007


Yeah, katilla, my brain didn't quite make the connection there, my apologies. I haven't had a cigarette for a few days as I've been ill. Mainly my point is what pyramid termite says. The fact that it is illegal to have a restaurant that allows its patrons to smoke. Feels harsh to me.

This is a natural reaction by the majority to smokers...

Shame about the fact that the public wasn't actually asked their opinion on the matter. There was no public referendum. This is the government deciding for the people, without consulting the people.
posted by slimepuppy at 9:50 AM on July 5, 2007


psmealey: Of course you start because of the taste.

You sure it's not the peer pressure? Not necessarily an active "Hey light up, man!" but more of a passive all-my-friends-are-smoking-so-I-might-as-well thing?

I mean, that's what got me started pissin' on people...
posted by LordSludge at 9:51 AM on July 5, 2007


::pisses on brandz::
posted by LordSludge at 9:53 AM on July 5, 2007


...so i take it we're all going to stop complaining about drug laws, governments snooping for terrists, age of consent laws, the patriot act and george w bush because after all this is a democracy, the majority won and the minority just has to suck it up, right?

Yes. Yes. That's exactly it. You are 100% correct. You have been following the argument closely, and you have correctly identified that all supporters of this ban think government should have a blanket right to do anything at all, regardless of popular opinion or minority rights. I applaud your sagacity.

why shouldn't smokers have smokers' clubs?

Under the England smoking ban, the topic of this post, private members clubs can ballot their memberships on continuing to permit smoking.

if people can't see the slippery slope argument of big government dictating our choices they are even more naive than i am willing to give them credit for.


How about a ban on logical fallacies?
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 9:57 AM on July 5, 2007 [4 favorites]


lordsludge, some of us would blame it on bladder pressure, not peer pressure
posted by pyramid termite at 9:58 AM on July 5, 2007


Yes. Yes.

no, no

you're ducking the point ... can't you answer it?

why can't smokers freely associate with one another in a business that hires only smokers?
posted by pyramid termite at 10:00 AM on July 5, 2007


Yes, GooseOnTheLoose, cigarette smoke is exactly the same as curry. I can barely taste my sarcasm.
posted by NationalKato at 10:02 AM on July 5, 2007


At least in the US, the reason smokers can' t have all-smokers clubs is because you automatically discriminate against a certain type of customer and employee. I can't open a night club and post a "No Fatties" sign. Same thing.

For the record though, I do get all slippery slope-y about what folks want to ban next. Although, it should be noted that there is a precedent for this sort of ban.

Drinking and driving. You can drink. You can drink to excess. The minute you get behind the wheel of a car (where you can hurt someone else), it's illegal.

Shouting fire in a crowded theater. You can shout false, alarming things. You can shout false, alarming things to excess. The minute you shout a false, alarming thing in a theater (Where it may cause harm to others), it's illegal.

Self abuse. You can abuse yourself. You can abuse yourself to excess. The minute you abuse yourself in a park (where you can hurt someone else), it's illegal.

Basically, I guess I'm saying the US government has chosen to disallow perfectly acceptable behaviors in situations where harm is likely to result. I can't say I disagree with that. Unless Cheney proposed it, in which case I would vote against it twice.
posted by BeReasonable at 10:05 AM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Smoking creates pollution without any positive outcome whatsoever.

Oh sure, sure...

I think you need to refresh your definition of "positive outcome."
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:05 AM on July 5, 2007


pyramid termite

I think that's perfectly reasonable, but we're never going to get to that place without a smoking ban first. I'd say in most establishments smokers never constitute more than 30% of the clientiele. Now while 70% would probably appreciate a non-smoking establishment, they've grown accustomed to it and there's no reason for the owner to rock the boat and make it non-smoking, thus alienating his smoking 30% and sending them across the street.

Now, a blanket smoking ban starts all owners on the same footing. Now I would like to see the government giving out smoking licences like they give out liquor lisences for establishments to allow people to smoke inside. Seem reasonable?
posted by slapshot57 at 10:09 AM on July 5, 2007


Anyone living in a city has zero fucking right to complain about the health effects of second-hand smoke.

Well, that's total bullshit. Worst I've heard all week, in fact.

I'm ALLERGIC to cigarette smoke. Affects my lungs in the worst way. Yet I don't reactions being outside in downtown Chicago, or when a cloud of bus exhaust passes me. So yes, I do think I have a right to be annoyed by second-hand smoke, because it DOES affect my health. I try to avoid it, but you can't always.
posted by agregoli at 10:13 AM on July 5, 2007


Now, a blanket smoking ban starts all owners on the same footing. Now I would like to see the government giving out smoking licences like they give out liquor lisences for establishments to allow people to smoke inside. Seem reasonable?

Seems like a way for the state to make an enormous amount of money licensing something that used to be for free. ...Yay?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:17 AM on July 5, 2007


At least in the US, the reason smokers can' t have all-smokers clubs is because you automatically discriminate against a certain type of customer and employee.

that's not illegal discrimination in most places ... upthread, there's mention of a clinic in cleveland that refuses to hire smokers ... there are a few companies in michigan that do the same

so that's refuted ... in fact, if that argument was valid, it would mean that anti-public smoking laws would be illegal discrimination

slapshot 57 ... it's not the government's task to make sure that all businesses have the "same footing" in everything ... actually, there are quite a few restaurants and bars that already ban all smoking and they're not hurting

the idea of smoker's clubs being licensed is one possible solution ... at the least, its approval would be proof that smoking bans are just motivated by a concern for people's health and not some puritan wish to control people
posted by pyramid termite at 10:17 AM on July 5, 2007


i remembver the good old days when the antis just wanted the front of the plane. greedy bastards, now they want it all. bars, restaurants, cars, apartments, condos, parks, beaches, outdoor patios, jobs. no room for reason i'm afraid.
posted by brandz at 10:18 AM on July 5, 2007


Incidentally, I'm fine with the idea of a smoking-only establishment. My beef is with the argument that otherwise banning smoking indoors is infringing on someone's rights.
posted by katillathehun at 10:18 AM on July 5, 2007


I'm a smoker. I also work in bars. Seems to me that this was inevitable. The way that employment rights are in Britain would have led to the right to work in a non-smoking environment being established, eventually, by the courts.

I live in Wales, and we've had a smoking ban since April 2nd. It is surprising how easy it is to get used to going outside to smoke. It's also surprising how much less one smokes. It seems to me that getting het up about this is totally disproportionate to the amount of inconvenience that it causes.

That vicar seems like a bit of a silly sod. Isn't there a Christian duty to uphold the law? "Render unto Caesar" and all that sort of thing.
posted by howfar at 10:19 AM on July 5, 2007


I would like to state for the record that I don't hate on the large-boned at all. I am so tall so I don't even fit in 90% of airline seats and if I'm on public transport I'd rather stand so that others can be seated. On the subject of declawing and circumcision I believe in the same as you. Whoever you are. Also - your favourite band? Love 'em.

It's the sweaty bastards I hate. Seriously. Soap those armpits. Scrub, scrub. Wash, wash. Oh, and 16 year old mums leaning over the pram with a B & H poking out of their mouths. Seriously, who the fuck thinks that's an okay thing to do?

On the subject of smoking I managed to give up for a pretty decent period a few years ago and during that time got my sense of smell back. Yeah we stink. There's no avoiding it. I have friends who spend a fortune on nice smelling male-grooming products and then smoke 40 Lambert & Butler of a night (that being the only tobacco product they can afford because of the amount spent on grooming products). What's the point of that?

I've had people react as if they'd rather lick an ashtray than kiss me over the years. I'm glad to be quitting, mostly because I am looking forward to being one of those wankers who tells you all how easy it is to quit after having gone without for a whole two months.
posted by longbaugh at 10:28 AM on July 5, 2007


Actually, pyramid termite, some states do have protection against discrimination of the type allowed in Michigan and Ohio.

It should also be noted that it doesn't seem that any of these hiring bans have been challenged in court yet. I can say I can't wait until such a ban is challenged and hopefully defeated.

Also, while I'm complaining, would it kill you folks to move a little further away from the building doors so I don't have to pick up my daily allowance of tar, nicotine, and seven other essential carcinogens when I leave a place?
posted by BeReasonable at 10:39 AM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


"Render unto Caesar" and all that sort of thing.

YMMV, but that (Matthew 22:21) was more of a dodge than a theological pronouncement.
posted by psmealey at 10:39 AM on July 5, 2007


The only drawback to the smoking bans we have in California is that I actually go out to bars once again and get completely shitfaced. When bars were smoky, I didn't go out, and now that they're clean, I'll go out and drink more. D'oh!
posted by drstein at 10:43 AM on July 5, 2007


slimepuppy writes 'And fags cost about a quarter of what they do in the UK.'

I hear that the cigarettes are cheap there as well?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:46 AM on July 5, 2007


At least in the US, the reason smokers can' t have all-smokers clubs is because you automatically discriminate against a certain type of customer and employee.

Boston has a smoking ban and allows establishments like these "cigar bars:" Cigar Masters , Churchill's Lounge and Stanza dei Sigari. *
posted by ericb at 10:48 AM on July 5, 2007


Ericb, any idea on how well these places are doing financially? My city just enacted a ban and the bar owners are basically proclaiming it the beginning of the end of days. If these smokers only establishments are a viable option, it'd be a nice thing to throw into the debate.
posted by BeReasonable at 10:54 AM on July 5, 2007


I'm ALLERGIC to cigarette smoke. Affects my lungs in the worst way.

Seems to me that if you really want smokers out of public sight, the worst thing you could do would be to ban it indoors. Now you have to pass through a wall of smokers before you can enter an office building, a bar, public transportation, hospitals, etc. In effect, the smoking ban has created smoking pockets outside of entrances where there were previously none.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:55 AM on July 5, 2007


LordSludge writes 'psmealey: Of course you start because of the taste.

I started because I needed something to mix the hash with.

A couple of years down the line, there was a pot drought, and my craving was so bad, I felt as though I *really*, *really* needed a bifter. At some point, to satisfy my cravings, I found myself making a joint with no hash.

I'd actually smoked a couple of these before I realized it wasn't the dope I was craving -- it was the damned nicotine!

What they said was true all along: cannabis really is a gateway drug.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:57 AM on July 5, 2007


Ok, I take that back. I actually started smoking after I had learned (shocker) that consuming snuff/chewing tobacco was not considered socially acceptable and needed to find a way to satisfy my nicotine cravings.

I smoked for 15 years, and have been off the stuff for the past 5. Oddly enough, I don't miss anything about smoking, but I still have the odd craving for Copenhagen... or Kodiak.
posted by psmealey at 11:00 AM on July 5, 2007


katillathehun writes 'Incidentally, I'm fine with the idea of a smoking-only establishment. My beef is with the argument that otherwise banning smoking indoors is infringing on someone's rights.'

But what happens when you decide that you want to *eat* in our smoking-only establishment, katilla? We're not going to ban non-smokers who decide they'd like to sample the good food we serve, or hang with their smoking friends.

And the next thing you know, another non-smoker brings another lawsuit to ensure that his or her right to 'clean air', trumps our right to free association and we're right back where we began again.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:05 AM on July 5, 2007


Ericb, any idea on how well these places are doing financially?

They're doing fine. Cigar Masters has been in the Back Bay since the mid-90's and says business has got brisker since the smoking ban went into effect in July 2004 -- especially since folks who have a meal at nearby restaurants like the many steakhouses (Flemings, Morton's, Ruth's Chris, Smith & Wollensky) now head over for after-dinner drinks and cigars. Churchill's Lounge has been around since 1868 and Stanza dei Sigari (in the North End) has been around since 1996.*
posted by ericb at 11:06 AM on July 5, 2007


"You crackheads go and find yourself a plastic bubble to smoke in."

They did but the bubble was considered indoors and thus part of the ban.



But the factory comparisons got me thinking. If a brick might fall on you the company must provide a hard hat, so why not allow the bars to allow smoking if they provide the staff with GAS MASKS?



/quit, zyban worked great, still hate anti-smoking people
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:16 AM on July 5, 2007


Boston Globe -- June 25, 2006:

Smoking ban, sure, but (cough) a light at the end of the table
"Like Stanza dei Sigari and Churchill's, Cigar Masters has benefited from the citywide smoking ban that went into effect in 2003, which allows smoking only if at least 60 percent of the establishment's sales are tobacco."
posted by ericb at 11:17 AM on July 5, 2007


If I use a product as directed and for the purpose that it is supposed to be used for and I am injured, then US law says that I will have a claim to sue the manufacturer of the product. Every person who does what cigarette manufacturers ask them to do with their products and get some sort of terminal illness ought to be able to sue the cigarette manufacturers. If they were able to do that, then the cigarette manufacturers would be forced to close without smoking ever having been made illegal.

If that was able to happen with fucking Jarts (four deaths), then it sure as hell ought to be able to happen with cigarettes.
posted by flarbuse at 11:21 AM on July 5, 2007


BeReasonable writes 'At least in the US, the reason smokers can't have all-smokers clubs is because you automatically discriminate against a certain type of customer and employee. I can't open a night club and post a 'No Fatties' sign. Same thing.

But I'm allergic to fat bastards! They effect my psyche in the worst way.

Whenever I see one, I have an uncontrollable urge to yell, 'Oi! You! Fatty! Get your lard bucket arse to the nearest gym and give me forty push-ups!'

Of course, I recognize that this is socially unacceptable, but I'm offended by the stinking mixture of food and unwatched sweat that these creatures give off. (They just can't reach down that far, sadly.) and

I'm also enraged by the way that they scatter fast food wrappers around the streets of our beautiful towns and cities and so my response has become almost pavlovian. Their sight makes me physically sick now, and I fear that this may soon escalate to my jumping onto their backs and demanding that they give me piggy-back rides up and down the street in the hopes of helping them to shed a few pounds.

I mean, don't these people realize the impact that their eating habits will have on their mortality? And the consequent impact that that will have on their loved ones?

The government should act immediately to follow my five point plan. It's a compassionate mixture of carrot and stick aimed at helping those who have a weight problem to address those issues in a humane and practical way:

1.) A complete ban on fast food, crisps, sweets, cakes, etc.
2.) All fatties to be barred from any restaurant until they get their size down to an aesthetically acceptable level
3.) Troughs to be erected in the streets for the morbidly obese. They wanna eat like pigs, we should treat them like pigs.
4.) Tax incentives. Lets tax those porkers until they are lithe, slender beauties.
5.) Remove their children. This kind of eating is nothing less than child abuse, so lets remove their kids and put them in the hands of people who have proved that they *are* capable of controlling their calorific intake -- married gay men who are unable to adopt.

And those who think I'm being harsh are completely wrong. I propose these things, not because I hate the fatty, but because I truly care, and want each and every roly-poly person to have a long and fulfilling life.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:25 AM on July 5, 2007


If I use a product as directed and for the purpose that it is supposed to be used for and I am injured, then US law says that I will have a claim to sue the manufacturer of the product.

No it doesn't.
posted by grouse at 11:25 AM on July 5, 2007


Seems to me that if you really want smokers out of public sight, the worst thing you could do would be to ban it indoors. Now you have to pass through a wall of smokers before you can enter an office building, a bar, public transportation, hospitals, etc. In effect, the smoking ban has created smoking pockets outside of entrances where there were previously none.

If they would enforce the rule of how far they're supposed to stay away from the entrance, that would be a start. And they were there before - "previously none" didn't exist in my neck of the woods.

I can't say I'm not pleased more and more places are banning smoking. I feel in my lifetime it will be a quaint thing that people used to do, and will only be followed by smoking "enthusiasts" like any other hobby.
posted by agregoli at 11:27 AM on July 5, 2007


The safest way to get rid of one usually is to drop it on the ground and grind it out with your foot.

Or people could do what I do when there isn't an ashtray around: grip the very edge of the filter, where it meets the tobacco, between thumb and forefinger. Roll with a bit of pressure to push the burning tobacco away from the filter and onto the ground. Stamp out burning tobacco. Dispose of the filter that is now no longer a fire hazard in the nearest trash bin. I wish more smokers did this, streets look really ugly when they're covered in cigarette butts.

I'd be all in favour of smoking bans if they also banned cologne and perfume in public. I have a really difficult time breathing when someone wears perfume or cologne around me, my airways close up or something and I feel like I'm choking to death, but I don't see any cities banning that any time soon. Assholes who bathe in cologne just aren't as fun a demographic to demonize, I guess.
posted by cmonkey at 11:44 AM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


The apartment building I live in has banned smoking in all common areas, but not in the individual units. We didn't realize this before moving in, and it was really frightening - fear of being exposed of cancer-causing chemicals, fear of fire, etc.

The hallways stink. But, luckily, our apartment does not. Theoretically, the hallways are supposed be at a lower air pressure than the individual units, in order to draw in outside air and ventilate the building. Hopefully the second-hand smoke we're being exposed to (can't smell it in the apartment) is no worse than the polymers emitted by the paint on the walls.

Still, besides being stinky and evil, cigarette smoke is genuinely harmful. Can't see why there can't be smoking clubs, though. Probably too few smokers and wouldn't make enough money to be viable...
posted by KokuRyu at 11:55 AM on July 5, 2007


I can't say I'm not pleased more and more places are banning smoking. I feel in my lifetime it will be a quaint thing that people used to do

yeah, that's what scolds hate more than anything. see other people have fun. this entire thread makes my teeth itch.
posted by brandz at 11:55 AM on July 5, 2007


Also, I have asthma and hay fever. Asthma-sufferers typically have a heightened sense of smell - I can smell people smoking from the other side of the street. Also wish there was a law that banned fragrances in public spaces.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:58 AM on July 5, 2007


Probably too few smokers and wouldn't make enough money to be viable...

well, at least 25% of the world smokes, and that's those who admit it. so we're talking billions of smokers worldwide.
posted by brandz at 11:59 AM on July 5, 2007


People are suck god damned pussies.

I'm a non smoker. I have allergies. It is a fact that the bar experience is infinitely more enjoyable for me when there is no cigarette smoke.

Yet I voted AGAINST the smoking ban in Seattle as a matter of pure principle.

For fuck's sake do we need the state to intervene in every god damned thing that gets our individual panties in a bunch?

Couldn't we let individual cafe's, clubs, and restaurants decide for them selves and set their OWN fucking policies? You know that "give people a rational adult choice" concept.

And there is that concept that if some dude lights up next to you you politely ask him if he can move or put the fucking thing out. How hard is that? I did it all the time and had zero problems. Zero.

This type of shit sickens me. It's like with that not letting you bring your dogs into certain cafe's that traditionally allowed it for years here in Seattle. Like 2% of the population had a problem and 98% of us have to adjust our lives to a bunch of busy-body irrational pussies.
posted by tkchrist at 12:02 PM on July 5, 2007 [5 favorites]


live stink and let live stink for christ sake

ftfy
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:04 PM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


I also note with irony of some mefites here and their rather inconsistent view of individual rights from topic to topic. Paper thin principles.
posted by tkchrist at 12:05 PM on July 5, 2007


I did it all the time and had zero problems. Zero.

You know, governments are instututed among men to formalize standards of behavior and thus mitigate this necessity of having to personally and "all the time" nanny every inconsiderate & uncaring fucktard in daily society.

I'm a left-lib so I'm sympathetic to slippery-slope arguments, but I draw the line and the stink of cigarettes. I do not want them in my personal air when I go out, TYVM, and I don't want to be arsed with having to tell the uncaring fucks to put their stinksticks out "all the time".
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:09 PM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


well, at least 25% of the world smokes, and that's those who admit it. so we're talking billions of smokers worldwide.

Hmmm, it seems that the smoking rate in Canada is 20%.

However, this figure is distorted because, in some places like Quebec, the number of smokers is higher than 20%, while on the West Coast, it is much lower (I don't have the energy to gather links to back this up, but - trust me!)

But why not open smoker's clubs? Just get the smokers away from the outdoor tables at my local coffee shop!
posted by KokuRyu at 12:11 PM on July 5, 2007


rather inconsistent view of individual rights

one's rights & liberties are bounded by others' rights and liberties. We institute democratic government to sort out the differences.

As a philosophy, I want to see maximal freedoms. I justify such nanny-state things as motorcycle helmet & seatbelt laws as these things are reasonable & minimal mitigations to the societal costs of the activities.

The very nature of tobacco products makes finding a reasonable mitigation of their societal costs difficult. Much like the firing off of automatic weaponry, I think private clubs are the way to go to accommodate everyone.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:13 PM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm a left-lib so I'm sympathetic to slippery-slope arguments, but I draw the line and the stink of cigarettes. I do not want them in my personal air when I go out, TYVM, and I don't want to be arsed with having to tell the uncaring fucks to put their stinksticks out "all the time".

[cough] wussy [/cough]

How often you have to do it? Seriously? If your doing every day then you live by assholes or... maybe...

If somebody feels the compulsion to run across the street a berate a dude smoking a pipe becuase they got the whiff of a couple of tobacco molecules then it's not the smoker who is the problem.

I count on two hands the number of times tobacco smoke bothered me so much I had to ask somebody to move.

Okay so truly confined "public" spaces get a smoking ban. Then what's the problem with letting individual BUSINESSES, like cafes and bars, decide whether they will allow smoking on their premises or not? I don't get it. Why does the state have to issue unenforceable, expensive mandates to monitor every individual freedom we have?

That is what bugs the fuck out of me. That every whiny little twit feels deputized and entitled to tell a cafe owner how to run thier business rather than shipping off to someplace else that caters more to their pussified way of living
posted by tkchrist at 12:22 PM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


And there is that concept that if some dude lights up next to you you politely ask him if he can move or put the fucking thing out. How hard is that? I did it all the time and had zero problems. Zero.

Good for you tkchrist. You're my hero. A man among men. I guess you simply haven't ever had someone deliberately light a couple more and make a point to blow in your direction because they were already drunk and were looking to pick a fight and they were bigger than you. Of course you don't mind because you are into martial arts. The rest of us who don't fight for fun have a different take on this kind of confrontation.

You've had zero problems. I've had several. That's why I don't tell someone to butt out. Instead I stopped going out.

Now I have the opportunity I used to have in Canada and I am looking forward to going to pubs and eating with groups at restaurants again.
posted by srboisvert at 12:32 PM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Good for you tkchrist. You're my hero. A man among men. I guess you simply haven't ever had someone deliberately light a couple more and make a point to blow in your direction because they were already drunk and were looking to pick a fight and they were bigger than you. Of course you don't mind because you are into martial arts. The rest of us who don't fight for fun have a different take on this kind of confrontation.

I can only imagine your shock when you learn that drunk non-smokers are every bit as likely to start a fight for no reason as are drunk smokers. Maybe more so; smokers already have something to do with their hands.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:42 PM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Example: Fourth of July exhibition, outside. Everyone seated, families waiting for fireworks. Wind blowing off the water. Where does Smoker McWifebeater sit? Up front, puffing away, so everyone else has to breathe their exhaust.

Example: Cigarette hanging out the window waiting for the ferry. Time to get on the boat. Where does the butt go, without being extinguished? On the ground--despite the car having a perfectly good ashtray. In theory that's a $1001 fine here in WA, but I've never seen it enforced.

Example: Smoker don't want to smoke in their own car, so they get out and smoke outside, where it all blows into my car since they're standing next to me. If you were to define "asshole" that's where you'd start.

That's just yesterday. And did I see a reference upthread to smokers being cool? What is this, junior high school?

Do what you like in your own homes. But to claim your bad habits should be imposed on the rest of us is just insanity. I say this as someone who generally isn't bothered by smoky bars, too, but can see the point about the folks who work there.

(Now if we could only ban people from using public restrooms who apparently never had proper toilet training and don't know how to use a commode without getting their waste everywhere, we'd be really getting somewhere. Add to that electric shocks for folks who aren't in control of their kids in public and utopia just might be possible.)
posted by maxwelton at 12:44 PM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]



Good for you tkchrist. You're my hero. A man among men.

It's about time. Construct a statue.

The rest of us who don't fight for fun have a different take on this kind of confrontation.

I have never HAD a confrontation. Do you guys all go biker bars or the bar from Road House, The Double Deuce, or something?

Look. You kill with kindness. You don't stomp your feet and make demands. I usually ask people, very nicely with a little charm, to simply bow the smoke the other way. And 99% THEY put it out.

The one time somebody said no. I moved. What? You want me to do a Dalton throat grab and out the cig out in the guy's eye?

If a guy is six feet six, has a hook hand, and a swastika tattoo I might let him enjoy his smoke and mozy on some where else.

Better yet. Why not let bar, cafe and restaurant owners post if they allow smoking or not and attend accordingly? Howzabout that?
posted by tkchrist at 12:46 PM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


If licking an ashtray was like kissing a smoker I'd be all for it. Sadly it isn't. Only downside of this ban, tbh.
posted by bonaldi at 12:51 PM on July 5, 2007


That's just yesterday. And did I see a reference upthread to smokers being cool? What is this, junior high school?

Dude, you're the one who just associated smoking with wifebeating like it was the most natural thing in the world. I'm beginning to develop the idea that some of you guys think that smokers are all, like, in a gang or something.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:55 PM on July 5, 2007


Fourth of July exhibition, outside. Everyone seated, families waiting for fireworks. Wind blowing off the water.

Did you smell the sulfur and black powder? Did that bother you? I am certain it is just as toxic in the concentrations present at a fireworks display.

And the noise from the explosions! Good lord. The damage they do. How they effect pets.

Fireworks exhibitions should be banned. Right?

But to claim your bad habits should be imposed on the rest of us is just insanity.

They are not "imposed" on you. You choose to go to places where there are smokers. You choose to not say anything to a smoker if it bothers you.

If you want smoking banned from indoor public facilities - those supported and maintained by taxpayer dollars? Fine. I have no problem. In fact I support such a proposal being allergic to smoke myself.

But I have a real problem with blanket bans that define EVERY space where the "public" gathers as public spaces that require morality policing with the dubious rubric of public health.
posted by tkchrist at 12:59 PM on July 5, 2007


I'm a left-lib so I'm sympathetic to slippery-slope arguments, but I draw the line and the stink of cigarettes. I do not want them in my personal air when I go out, TYVM...

I pray that this is facetious. If not, might as well drop the 'lib' from that 'left-lib'. Drawing the line at "things I don't like to smell", or any similarly arbitrary point, doesn't really scale well. That's kind of by definition where liberty utterly ends.

Each side in this argument is certain that it represents the (silent) majority. It's my impression that the antis who would take things as far as the current laws are indeed a very vocal minority, although I have no proof of that. I strongly agree with what someone upthread suggested - have a referendum. See if an actual majority will approve of these laws.
posted by blackberet at 1:13 PM on July 5, 2007


See if an actual majority will approve of these laws.

They will. In Seattle they did. For me the problem is the violation of principle. Since the substance is legal and consumed by individuals (rather than belched out of factory smoke stacks for instance) then it is near impossible to satisfy users and people opposed to it's use by determining where it can be "legally" consumed. Not only does this make enforcement problematic it places an irrational legal and expensive burden on venues to police something that individuals should police.

If we are to be consistent and ethical then we should revoke the legal status of tobacco. Seems to me it's like dioxin MORE than it's like Alcohol. It's no longer bears the status of a mere "controlled substance" but an obvious health hazard.

I certainly don't see anybody arguing that it is healthy. And since we have so much scientific weight to the dangers of tobacco (and the detrimental effect "factory" growing it has on the environment) then let's make large scale cultivation and product manufacture illegal.

Right?
posted by tkchrist at 1:24 PM on July 5, 2007


It's no longer bears

jebus... "bares"...
posted by tkchrist at 1:26 PM on July 5, 2007


Laws like this wouldn't even be necessary if smokers (in general) displayed any consideration for the people around them to begin with. But the fact is that if smoking is allowed in an environment at all, then you find that environment is generally full of smoke. I have never known a single smoker who has looked around an environment in which smoking is allowed but has decided not to proceed in deference to others in the room. "No, this room is already borderline smoky, I don't want to make it downright inhospitable."

Wow, I was just remembering how I spent my day yesterday. At two separate independence day parties, we barbecued and had drinks outside on open-air patios and balconies. I'm a smoker, as is another Mefite friend of mine. In both places, smoking would've been in the open air, and like even masked by the grill smoke et al. Instead, we both just sort of knew that we should go downstairs to the street where we weren't bothering anybody instead. Because we're just that inconsiderate.

I've been living in New York for about eight years now, which makes it about four years pre-ban and four years post. Honestly, I like the ban. I smoke less, the bars smell better, I don't bother my friends when I light up, the food tastes better, etc. Plus, the psychological profile of most smokers tends to fit with the type of people who find cameraderie in being outcast, so it's a great way to meet people. It took me a few weeks to get used to, but I'm not about to complain about it.

That won't, however, stop me from issuing this warning. We the smokers) aren't really fighting back against you, because we understand and agree with your points. However, you make your points a lot less compelling when you (and here I'm speaking to just about every non-smoker in this thread, give or take maybe three) act like the smug, self-righteous pricks about it that you currently are. Chill out for a moment, please.

I'd like to thank hoverboards don't work on water for his explanation, which probably makes a lot of sense. I think, in a sense, it really is most similar in America to the gun control issue. The Brady Bill is a small inconvenience that many, ateast, gun owners would agree makes a lot of sense. And I think even most of them would agree, if not for the fact that gun-control advocates (of which I am one) seem to hate gun owners more than guns themselves. When even the best, most logical arguments come with the implicit, "you asshole" tagged to the end of them, you're not going to get anywhere.

Underage drinking and drunk-driving accidents are a side-effect of permitting a society to serve alcohol. Most people drink, though, even though there's just about no logical upside to it that can be pointed out. Hence, we don't prohibit alcohol, because most people like it. Smoking used to be that way, but once the majority went to the non-smokers, the issue became easy and obvious.

Well, I subscribe to a romantic view of what adulthood should be like, that probably spawns from watching too many movies as a kid and having my much older brothers ans sister sneaking me into bars with them. I like hazy, smoky bars, and speeding WAY too fast and public sex acts and music blasting from neighbor's apartments. However, I understand that all of these things are looked down upon by most, and so I smoke outside, drive the speed limit (when I drive at all) keep my dalliances at home, and keep my music to a reasonable volume, all the while knowing that while America is a lot safer and healthier than it used to be, it sure as hell isn't anywhere near as cool or as fun. And then when someone suggests specifically smoking bars, for thoase who don't mind hurting themselves a little to enjoy themselves in a place without a giant stick up its ass, the ass-stick people complain that it would be discriminating against them.

Most people don't like death metal at ridiculous volumes which can be proven to be damaging to their ears. Some people do, and they go out to those clubs, where the workers, amazingly, don't seem to mind. Huh. And yet, if this were tried with smoking, apparently there'd be a problem.

In conclusion, smoking is an issue of contrast. Also, speak to the issue, don't just bitch about the people you don't like. That'll get you and your opinions a lot more respect.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:32 PM on July 5, 2007 [5 favorites]


I'm beginning to develop the idea that some of you guys think that smokers are all, like, in a gang or something.

Hey, careful now. Remember the first rule.
posted by dazed_one at 1:33 PM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


I chased a smoker in Reno just to hear him wheeze.
posted by longbaugh at 1:35 PM on July 5, 2007 [3 favorites]


Once more, for the record: tkchrist, I love you!

Another nanny state bit o' fun here in Cleveland re: smoking -- they LOVE taxing the crap out of cigarettes to pay for so-called arts programs ("arts program" in Clevelandese means "bullshit nonprofit started so that person running it could afford larger bar tabs"). Boyfriend says to me, and reasonably so, "if it's so fucking bad for you, then why don't they just make smoking illegal and be done with it?"

But nooooo. That'll never happen because the jackass powers that be like taking extra money from smokers and, to a lesser extent, drinkers to fund their stupid "quality of life" programs. The only improved life quality I've seen from these taxes is slightly higher tips to my artist friends who work at the bars the "arts community figureheads" frequent.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 1:35 PM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


I hate the "if you don't like perfume, go somewhere else" opinion. Perfume wearers can just not wear perfume and still eat at that restaurant or whatever. But if there's perfume, and I don't like it (and I'm severely allergic to it), I and the rest of that restaurant have to go somewhere else? How is that fair?

Sure there are more harmful things than perfume out there. You know, like pollution from cars. It's a tad more difficult to outlaw something that so many people depend upon for their livelihood, however, than something that a bunch of people like to put on their bodies because it feels good or makes them smell like a douche or whatever-the-hell reason it is that people actually opt to wear perfume.
posted by ryoshu at 1:37 PM on July 5, 2007


Drawing the line at "things I don't like to smell"

I lack the faith necessary in the Free Market Fairy to make things best which is why I'm a left-lib and not vanilla-libertarian.

I'm against and want to legistlation against all public nuisances: tobacco stinksticks, modified vehicle exhausts, public masturbation, leaving dogcrap on the sidewalk and walkable greenery, etc etc.

Sorry if you feel this unfairly circumscribes your sphere of personal liberties, Mr Galt, but actually I don't give a shit what you think about this.

Smoking by its nature is a public nuisance, one of the more significant nuisances in my experience. Take it outside por favor.

Which reminds me of the least-favorite thing about living in Tokyo in the 90s: the mofos that would walk & chuff on a fag like a goddamn steam locomotive down the sidewalk.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 1:46 PM on July 5, 2007


But I have a real problem with blanket bans that define EVERY space where the "public" gathers as public spaces that require morality policing with the dubious rubric of public health.

So I guess you're all for not legislating against public masturbation then :)

There's separate issues here: public health and public nuisance. Lighting up in a public space potentially brings up both.

Did you smell the sulfur and black powder?

Fireworks are a once-a-year thing, not an "all the time" thing you yourself brought up. If public smoking was just an occasional nuisance to me, I wouldn't have a problem with it. But it's not, so I do.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 1:51 PM on July 5, 2007


You know, governments are instututed among men to formalize standards of behavior

some actually are ... iran's government, cuba's, the taliban in afghanistan, the old soviet union

but most these days are instituted to negotiate and arbitrate between different groups of people, interests and rights

the idea that a government exists to formalize standards of behavior is a dangerous one
posted by pyramid termite at 2:08 PM on July 5, 2007


the idea that a government exists to formalize standards of behavior is a dangerous one

our 18th century founding fathers didn't launch the present government on a direction of implementing the ideas of Smith to the exclusion of all else.

Adjudicating on how close the swing of your fist can lawfully come to my nose is a core mission of a just, democratic government.

Historically, Less Government is generally better -- there are plenty of things to rail at today, still -- and due care needs to arrive at minimal mitigations and restrictions on liberty.

A better free-market approach might be just requiring non-smoke-free establishments to indentify themselves in all advertising and signage. This would let the market serve all interests better than a blanket ban or blanket allowance.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 2:26 PM on July 5, 2007


Or, since non-smoke-free is a little on the convoluted side, I propose the radical solution of establishing two categories: we could call them SMOKING and NON-SMOKING.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 2:30 PM on July 5, 2007


If we are to be consistent and ethical then we should revoke the legal status of tobacco.

I disagree. I think to be consistent we'd only need to revoke the legal status of tobacco smoke. Chewing tobacco. for example, doesn't hurt anyone but the person chewing it, so I see no reason it should be regulated at all.
posted by scottreynen at 2:31 PM on July 5, 2007


our 18th century founding fathers didn't launch the present government on a direction of implementing the ideas of Smith to the exclusion of all else

but they deliberately made sure there would be no establishment of religion and therefore no formalization of standards of behavior

Adjudicating on how close the swing of your fist can lawfully come to my nose is a core mission of a just, democratic government.

that is better dealt with in the language of rights than the formalization of behavior standards

i get the distinct feeling that some in this thread have been more concerned with behavior than with rights ... it's not enough for them that 95% to 99% of public places be smoke-free, it has to be 100%, including any business that chooses to employ and cater to smokers

what gets me about all the bitching about inconsiderate smokers is one simple fact - if smokers wanted to make this law unenforceable they probably could, but so far, they haven't

that should tell people that smokers aren't as inconsiderate and as militant as some insist
posted by pyramid termite at 2:40 PM on July 5, 2007


therefore no formalization of standards of behavior

of course, except where public nuisance -- and the public interest -- is involved.

The history of the past 200+ years has, to some extent, been one of rolling back and minimizing the heavy hand of the State in private affairs (I am thinking of mixed-race laws, Blue Laws, (alcohol) prohibition, anti-sodomy laws, etc etc.) At any rate IIRC the Lawrence decision had a pretty good summary of this progression, namely the state must show compelling reasons to limit liberty.

it's not enough for them that 95% to 99% of public places be smoke-free, it has to be 100%

I agree, I see no reason, other than workplace-health ones, for insisting on 100%. There is a concern, however, that the Free Market Fairy will work its magic to make 95%-99% become 85%, then 75%, then 50%, etc. over time, since Mr Market Fairy is concerned with Profit and not any externalized costs.

There are those among us that think "whatever the Market arrives at, that's the best we're going or should get". I am not in this camp, and neither were the founders of the present government, which is why we have the delicately balanced government we have in the first place.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 3:08 PM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm ALLERGIC to cigarette smoke. Affects my lungs in the worst way. Yet I don't reactions being outside in downtown Chicago, or when a cloud of bus exhaust passes me. So yes, I do think I have a right to be annoyed by second-hand smoke, because it DOES affect my health. I try to avoid it, but you can't always.

A lot of people are severly allergic to perfume and other scents. Those should be illegal too? (Maybe you think they should, but I'm curious... it's the _exact_ same problem).

Tobacco is not the only air-delivered substance that can cause severe health problems in people. The difference is that it hurts a larger percentage of people than, say, perfume (which can hospitalize at least 1 person I know), so it gets more attention. Why not a ban on perfume and cologne as well? The people who have these severe allergies should, I would think, have the same right to not be exposed to them as others have not to be exposed to tobacco? Or do they have fewer rights because they're a genetic abnormality?

(I'm not in favor of these bans, but it does seem to me there are some major inconsistencies... not that that's stopped the same people who make marijuana illegal but have no issues with alcohol, for instance).
posted by wildcrdj at 3:43 PM on July 5, 2007


Disclaimer: I have absolutely no problem with smokers. (Hell, I'm dating one.)

tkchrist: Aside from the fact that approaching a total stranger and asking them to quit whatever it is they're doing is kind of a dick move, I've also never seen it work, once. And after the first few times that you ask someone this, and they not only don't stop but also give you a speech about how they're not telling you what to do, and you realize that a perfect stranger with likely a neutral opinion of you before now hates you, you tend to quit trying.

But fundamentally, why should one HAVE to ask? I mean, cigarette smoke is pretty much a known quality at this point. It smells bad, gives you cancer, and makes you have to do laundry more often. If you ask 100 passersby whether or not they want cigarette smoke blown on them, I would imagine the results would be 100% no, with a ~3% margin of error.

Part of what a lot of the anti-ban advocates in this thread are reading as self-righteousness or priggishness or whatever is just a release of pent-up frustration at the apparent right, up until now, that smokers have had to put their smoke in other peoples' lungs and clothes, and to litter their butts wherever, when it would have been perfectly possible all along to just take their smoking somewhere where it wasn't bothering others, and to use ashtrays or really any receptacle that is not my front lawn
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 3:49 PM on July 5, 2007 [3 favorites]


PeterMcDermott: But what happens when you decide that you want to *eat* in our smoking-only establishment, katilla? We're not going to ban non-smokers who decide they'd like to sample the good food we serve, or hang with their smoking friends.

Ahh yes, the nonsmokers are going to be dying to try the food from a kitchen staffed entirely by smokers!
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 3:52 PM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Why not a ban on perfume and cologne as well?

related to this is peanut bans on airplanes. Damn you you peanut-allergic people, DAMN YOU TO HELL!

misses my microscopic bag of honey-roasted nuts :(

As to your question, the Nanny State Goverment question is all about balancing conflicting rights, liberties, and costs.

Integral to this is reasonableness and avoiding undue burdens. I believe these may even be legitimate legal terms of art that lawyer-type people use when discussing this for real.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 3:53 PM on July 5, 2007


A lot of people here are saying that this was a majority decision that will help a lot more people go out and enjoy their time in bars and restaurants. What I don't get is that if this was the case why aren't most bars already, voluntarily, smoke-free if it's such an attraction for people? Do smokers spend more money than non-smokers? Or are most non-smokers such push-overs that they will pass up on a non-smoking bar just because the (minority) smoker wants to light up inside?
posted by slimepuppy at 4:03 PM on July 5, 2007


slimepuppy:

H T and T Hs.

The answer to your larger question is that since one out of 4 people smoke, non-smokers generally have no smoke-free alternatives absent government intervention. The smoking market is large enough that proprietors would not turn them away on their own.

This is an interesting potential "market failure" condition to study in detail on the social level.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 4:28 PM on July 5, 2007


A lot of people here are saying that this was a majority decision that will help a lot more people go out and enjoy their time in bars and restaurants.

Restaurants, Bars Gain Business Under Smoke Ban in Massachusetts.

Smoking Ban in Arizona Hasn't Hurt Business as Customers Adapt.

Also ...
“The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention's 2004 study of the impact of a 2002 ban on smoking in El Paso, Texas, included the following conclusions:
‘Restaurant and bar revenues account for approximately 10 percent of total retail revenues in El Paso, Texas, and this percentage showed that no statistically significant changes in restaurant and bar revenues occurred after the smoking ban was implemented on January 2, 2002.

‘These findings are consistent with the results of studies in other municipalities that determined smoke-free indoor air ordinances had no effect on restaurant revenues.

‘Despite claims that these laws might reduce alcoholic beverage revenues, mixed-beverage revenue analyses also indicate that sales of alcoholic beverages were not affected by the El Paso smoking ban.’
A 2004 study of Florida's smoke-free workplace law flatly concluded:
‘We could not find a significant negative effect of the smoke-free law on sales and employment in the leisure and hospitality industry in Florida.’
It further claimed that there was no evident net migration of sales from restaurants (where smoking was banned) to bars (where smoking was still allowed).

A 2003 review of 97 studies reported:
‘All of the best designed studies report no impact or a positive impact of smoke-free restaurant and bar laws on sales or employment. Policymakers can act to protect workers and patrons from the toxins in secondhand smoke confident in rejecting industry claims that there will be an adverse economic impact.’’’
posted by ericb at 4:30 PM on July 5, 2007


A lot of people here are saying that this was a majority decision that will help a lot more people go out and enjoy their time in bars and restaurants. What I don't get is that if this was the case why aren't most bars already, voluntarily, smoke-free if it's such an attraction for people?

In Seattle, a number of bars and pubs went smoke-free in the years before the initiative was passed. All reported increased business after the switch.

Do smokers spend more money than non-smokers?

Well, if your regulars are smokers, then yes. However, in the case of the places that switched over, there were more potential customers who wanted a smoke-free environment than regulars who were smokers.

So, why hasn't there more of a switch? Well, for many of the reasons and rationalizations listed in the previous 200+ threads. And I think some bar owners don't want to drive off the people they think are their best customers, out of "loyalty" or "sticking it to the establishment."

I can't find the article now, but the first year analysis from the results of the initiative here in Washington was that bar business increased in all but a handful of places; the only places where it didn't were places close to Indian casinos, where the state initiative didn't apply.
posted by dw at 4:33 PM on July 5, 2007


A better free-market approach might be just requiring non-smoke-free establishments to indentify themselves in all advertising and signage. This would let the market serve all interests better than a blanket ban or blanket allowance.

Why didn't you say this in the first place. Jebus, Heywood. Stop arguing with me when you AGREE with me.

The problem is, as in Seattle, any bar or restaurant is not given the latitude to do this. Nope. They "passed a Law" and that was that.

So I guess you're all for not legislating against public masturbation then :)

Hah! It depends on who, how, and where doesn't it? After all we DO have places that are "public" (as public as cafes and bars, anyway) where people LEGALLY masturbate. IE: Porn theaters and strip clubs. Some people are even paid masturbation professionals. So, again: Define "public."

That was a nice try, though.
posted by tkchrist at 4:36 PM on July 5, 2007


Ironic. You can't smoke in these places. But you can jerk off.
posted by tkchrist at 4:37 PM on July 5, 2007


Chewing tobacco. for example, doesn't hurt anyone but the person chewing it, so I see no reason it should be regulated at all.

Many municipalities still have laws on their books requiring the use of spittoons.
posted by dw at 4:37 PM on July 5, 2007


Interesting. Thanks for the stats.
posted by slimepuppy at 4:39 PM on July 5, 2007


Some people are even paid masturbation professionals.

The next time some wanker who gets to decide his own title on his business cards asks what it should be, that's what I'm going to say.
posted by grouse at 4:40 PM on July 5, 2007


Hah! It depends on who, how, and where doesn't it? After all we DO have places that are "public" (as public as cafes and bars, anyway) where people LEGALLY masturbate. IE: Porn theaters and strip clubs.

The SMC isn't perfectly clear about it, but I would have to say no, public masturbation isn't legal in a strip club or a porn theater.
posted by dw at 4:47 PM on July 5, 2007


Some people are even paid masturbation professionals.

Actually, that is definitely illegal. SMC 6.270.100.
posted by dw at 4:48 PM on July 5, 2007


tkchrist: Aside from the fact that approaching a total stranger and asking them to quit whatever it is they're doing is kind of a dick move, I've also never seen it work, once.

Really. I have never once thought this of anybody who asked something reasonable of me. And asking somebody to stop something that is harming you is perfectly reasonable. I don't believe I am unusually thick skinned, either.

But I don't give a shit if people take offense to a perfectly reasonable request. Those people, my friend, are dicks.

The distinction being that making demands on people and dictating orders is not reasonable. Perhaps it is your style. Perhaps you are unable to make requests in any other fashion than as a dick, sir.

The fact is our culture is completely pussfied. Everything is either 100% blind tolerance, insane degrees of passive aggressiveness, —or— scurry away in fear and let the big nanny do it for us. This is our world now. What a shame.

So then only the squeakiest most annoying wheels get the grease. Only assholes get what they want.

Do any of you expressing such fear of this so called "confrontation" actually understand how to talk to people? I get the feeling most of you really don't.
posted by tkchrist at 4:50 PM on July 5, 2007


The SMC isn't perfectly clear about it, but I would have to say no, public masturbation isn't legal in a strip club or a porn theater.

Uh. Go to the "Lusty Lady" right now. Tell what is going on.
posted by tkchrist at 4:51 PM on July 5, 2007


And while I'm digging through the SMC:
SMC 2.20.010 Smoking prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for any person to smoke any cigar, cigarette or pipe, or use tobacco in any form by smoking, in any polling place in the City at any election held within the City during the hours such polling place is open for the casting of ballots.

(Ord. 25757 Section 1, 1910.)
Yep. Passed in 1910.
posted by dw at 4:52 PM on July 5, 2007


Uh. Go to the "Lusty Lady" right now. Tell what is going on.

Your argument is whether it's legal, not whether it's enforced.
posted by dw at 4:53 PM on July 5, 2007


Everything is either 100% blind tolerance, insane degrees of passive aggressiveness, —or— scurry away in fear and let the big nanny do it for us.

I see what you're saying here. I've heard many people complain that they had nowhere to sit on a train because other passengers put their bags on the seats. I always just ask politely and the bag is quickly moved. But people are unwilling to even ask.

But I think almost everyone would agree that using a seat for your bags when there are standing passengers is unreasonable, not everyone would agree that smoking in a space where smoking is allowed is unreasonable. So people are a bit reticent about asking.
posted by grouse at 4:59 PM on July 5, 2007


Your argument is whether it's legal, not whether it's enforced.

Okay. I stand corrected. I'm sure you can find laws against butt sex and blow jobs on the books in many states as well. And those are not enforced. Okay. So what. Heywood was trying to argue conduct into a corner by making it seem like masturbating was the worst thing ever in public. Why... I'd have to be against that! When in fact it is DONE in public. In certain defined places. We all know it is. And the world is not falling apart. And none of us are picketing the Lusty Lady.

There were times when attempts were made to enforce all these moral codes.

So WHY isn't it enforced now? Why isn't the LL or Ricks or The Sands shut down by our beneficent City Elders? I think you know why.

They stupid fucking laws that's why. As is passing "public" use bans on other wise legal substances with the burden being on the establishment to enforce private legal individual behavior.
posted by tkchrist at 5:04 PM on July 5, 2007


PS. Heywood. Just for the record: If Angelina Jollie was to stand up in a bar and start masturbating I don't think I would be all that offended. But if I was to do it? Okay... call the cops.
posted by tkchrist at 5:11 PM on July 5, 2007


Your argument is whether it's legal, not whether it's enforced.

Just ask Pee-Wee Herman about enforcement.

BTW -- Pee Wee returns. Here he is on Spike TV's Guy Choice Awards | June 2007.
posted by ericb at 5:22 PM on July 5, 2007


So WHY isn't it enforced now? Why isn't the LL or Ricks or The Sands shut down by our beneficent City Elders? I think you know why.

Ricks is in Lake City, for one.

Also, the cops are corrupt and date strippers, and members of the City Council were getting paid off by at least one club owner. Also, because the city's moratorium on strip clubs led to a 25 year detente between the city and the clubs. With the lawsuit settlement and the new zoning laws about to go into effect, we'll see what happens next.

They stupid fucking laws that's why.

They're not necessarily bad if they are truly in the interest of public health and community decency/cleanliness standards. Consider rules governing food preparation or epidemiological control.

As is passing "public" use bans on other wise legal substances with the burden being on the establishment to enforce private legal individual behavior.

Think that one through again, because what you're suggesting is that no one should ever be compelled to help another person; IOW, if I see you dying in the street, there's no reason for me to stop and help you. Heck, in your scenario, I could probably take your wallet and not face any consequences.
posted by dw at 5:27 PM on July 5, 2007


tkchrist: I have never once thought this of anybody who asked something reasonable of me. And asking somebody to stop something that is harming you is perfectly reasonable.

Agreed. But if you read through this thread, you'll notice that a lot of people don't find not-smoking in a restaurant or bar to be "perfectly reasonable," and many of them even seem to doubt that it's actually harming others.

The distinction being that making demands on people and dictating orders is not reasonable. Perhaps it is your style. Perhaps you are unable to make requests in any other fashion than as a dick, sir.

Naah. I grew up in the South and my parents were all about being polite. And I'm one charming motherfucker, too. But how did this get to be about me being a dick in the first place? I was trying my damnedest to aim your conclusions in the opposite direction!

Anyway, I can't speak for others, but I'm not personally afraid of making these requests, it's just something I've found to be futile, like being a Wizards fan. Some people may have more success, or may just be more determined, but it's one of those things I quit trying a while ago. And now I live in California, where there's a smoking ban in bars and restaurants, so I can just relax and breathe deeply and read about people getting silly over them on the Internet.
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 5:42 PM on July 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


There is a concern, however, that the Free Market Fairy will work its magic to make 95%-99% become 85%, then 75%, then 50%, etc. over time, since Mr Market Fairy is concerned with Profit and not any externalized costs.

it depends ... mcdonalds, wendy's, burger king, etc etc etc have all done away with smoking for years now and no one made them do it ... there's a few other places i know of, including a couple of brewpubs that don't allow smoking ... none of this was compelled by law ... it seems like the free market fairy's being pretty nice to all of these
posted by pyramid termite at 5:47 PM on July 5, 2007


Greetings from Ireland, where the smoking ban has so far resulted in:

* One in seven pubs closing their doors permanently. Those that didn't have anywhere to expand outdoors to create a smokers' area lost not just their smoking clientele, but everyone else too

* Every pub in the land installing and using at least four of those nuclear-strength outdoor heaters at 4kW each for at least five hours per day for at least eight months of the year. They have, all by themselves, put an additional strain on the national grid which leaves us basically a whole power station short where we weren't before

Plus, and this is truly my favourite part:

* The number of persons under 30 who smoke, at least in the Dublin area where somehow a study managed to get funded against Health Department policy? Yup, up by over 25%.

Those people will marry, have children and smoke in their houses, and but for the smoking ban not one of those extra 25% would be a smoker (they're going outside to meet men/women, since you asked, and they're lighting up to have the excuse of being out there).

In short, Ireland's smoking ban has been a public policy catastrophe. More people are smoking, which means more people will be ingesting second hand smoke, and at the same time it's been kicking thousands of pubs to the kerb and screwing with national infrastructure.

All relevant parts of the UK knew damned well that this was so, but since not one of the bans in existence anywhere has jack shit to do with health, and everything to do with how much of a sanctimonious bunch of wankers our ruling classes are, they ignored that. Because it's got nothing to do with disliking smoking. It's about disliking smokers, as so many of the comments above demonstrate so clearly.

Ireland's lesson is (at least this far north) -- dump the bans. Won't somebody think of the children?

And since you ask, no. I quit ages ago.
posted by genghis at 5:55 PM on July 5, 2007


I'd have had no problem with the legislation if they'd allowed exceptions for specifically smoker-oriented business and pubs. Removing even the possibility of that choice is where it crossed the line for me.
I'm well aware of health and safety implications for workers, but as has been noted above, I think the dangers to those individuals affected in these specific venues could be addressed separately.
posted by Abiezer at 6:04 PM on July 5, 2007


Some people are even paid masturbation professionals. So, again: Define "public."

anywhere where it's not immediately clear such activities are going on, or the public spaces.

I have no major moral problem with reasonably innocuous porno-houses etc, and any activities that go on inside them among consenting adults.

I applied this moral logic above to the smoking issue with the signage requirement adequately informing citizens-qua-consumers of the smoke environment of the places they are intending to patronize, so they could make an informed decision about the matter.

In the absence of smoking restrictions, there is no expectation of a smoke-free environment in most public places [outside fast-food establishments, I guess], given smokers' predilection to lighting up when they have a spare 5 minutes and idle hands.

I said this signage requirement might be a better free-market solution, but there is no guarantee that it would result in a better arrangement than what eg. California has now. WRT Ireland, dunno of course.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 6:35 PM on July 5, 2007


Some people are even paid masturbation professionals.

What are the hours?

(also, it would be wrong not allow someone a smoke after an orgasm)
posted by jonmc at 6:43 PM on July 5, 2007


it cracks me up how the antis compare smoking to pissing and shitting and masturbation. WTF is up with that?
posted by brandz at 8:33 PM on July 5, 2007


As a connoisseur of denial, I have loved this thread. tkchrist--ftw! Shine on! Any day now the world will wake up and realize the wisdom of opt-in cancer avoidance. God, I love watching addicts pretending to be rational about the object of their addiction. Marvelous.

Regarding Ireland, it just might not be exactly the economic Armageddon genghis asserts:
The Irish law which ended smoking at the workplace (including bars and restaurants) came into force on 29 March 2004. The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) which represents 95% of Dublin publicans commissioned research to evaluate the economic impact of the ban. In a press release of 9 July 2004 the association stated that:
“Research carried out by marketing research company Behaviour and Attitudes confirms the negative economic impact of the Smoking Ban on the Dublin licensed trade, with turnover down by as much as 16%, and overall employment levels cut by up to 14% since the introduction of the Smoking Ban.”
However, figures released in February 2005 by the Central Statistics Office of Ireland (www.cso.ie) do not support the claims made by the Licensed Vintners Association.

Data on the revenues of bars in Ireland are available at monthly basis until December 2004. The Retail Sales Index (RSI) is the official short-term indicator of changes in the level of consumer spending on retail goods and is published every month by the Central Statistics Office (CSO). The official figures show that the value of bar sales in Ireland were at 107.4 in the period after the ban (from April to December 2004) compared to 111.3 in the equivalent period a year earlier (from April to December 2003).9

This decrease in revenues of 3.5% (not the much higher figure claimed by the Irish LVA and lobbyists in the UK) simply continues a trend which started back in 2001, well before smokefree legislation was introduced. The volume of sales in bars in Ireland increased until 2000, but decreased by 3% in 2002, 4% in 2003 and 5% in 2004.
source
posted by NortonDC at 9:28 PM on July 5, 2007


antis compare smoking to pissing and shitting and masturbation. WTF is up with that

what about "public nuisance" don't you understand?

tk thinks legislating public standards of behavior should only be done for publically-owned venues:

If you want smoking banned from indoor public facilities - those supported and maintained by taxpayer dollars? Fine

I pointed out that this moral logic lets a lot unacceptable behavior in the quasi-public sphere slip through the cracks.

As human beings we all have an equal right to peace, quiet, space, safety of the public commons, etc. which is bounded by everyone else's rights.

The libertarian approach of "letting the market decide" is (arguably) a case study of market failure / tragedy of the unmanaged commons / race to the bottom phenomenon.

If tobacco products didn't emit stink over hundreds of cubic feet of common airspace, and (somewhat secondarily to me), something of a carcinogen, use of them wouldn't be a public nuisance (and/or hazard).

But they are. People have a right to enjoy their smokes, but other people have a right to not be arsed about avoiding the smokers' attendant air polution and stank.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 11:39 PM on July 5, 2007


i would like to know where all those taxes smokers pay go to? does anybody have a clue?

why not use those revenues to fund tax breaks for establishments willing to go non-smoking rather than an all out ban? one of the reasons for constantly hiking cigarette taxes is supposedly to get people to quit so why not use that money (which is probably shitloads more than it costs to treat smoking related health issues) to further the cause of non-smokers.

Would that be too reasonable an approach?
posted by canned polar bear at 5:27 AM on July 6, 2007


I tried to read the comments as carefully as I could, hoping to find the one thing that I've been looking for since smoking bans started popping up. One good reason why it has to be a blanket ban. Maybe I missed it, but surely someone out there hates heavy handed legislation just as much as they hate cigarette smoke.

I live in NYC. I don't mind the ban at all. Mostly because I know of a quite a few bars that'll let you smoke. Usually if it's late, the place is mostly empty, and/or nobody complains. I am reminded of an episode of The Wire where they discuss the "brown bag" custom when drinking in public. Public drinking is against the law, but if a guy sitting on his stoop has enough awareness of the law to put his can of bud in a paper bag, and isn't being a nuisance otherwise, the cop on the beat is free to ignore him in favor of doing actual police work.

The smoking ban pisses me off in the same way I get angry when an employee can't bend a rule even if all parties agree that thge rule in question only makes sense 99% of the time and they're currently faced with that rare 1%, where a judgement call is in order. My anger in those situations is usually eclipsed by the look of utter defeat on the face that employee who has just realized that whatever meager power they thought they had was merely an illusion.

Maybe I'm too much of an idealist. Maybe I should stop referencing The Wire in every conversation I have, but I still believe that common sense and good judgement don't always need to be legislated. Sure, we can all tell a story about that one asshole. But that guy's always gonna be an asshole, with or without a cigarette in his hand. The rest of us don't want to bother anyone. We wish you a long and happy smoke-free existence. We're gonna die sooner than the rest of you anyway, so you're pretty much guaranteed the last word in this debate. If there's a way we can enjoy our bad judgement without hurting others, why is that so upsetting?

All I ask is the option, even if it requires personal inconvenience and self sacrifice, to occasionally belly up to the bar for a stiff drink and a Marlboro. Finish off an expensive gourmet meal with a Nat Sherman. Have a pit boss light my Benson and Hedges UltraLight that I bummed off some dentist's wife while I nervously double down against the dealer's 2. I may be foolish, and I realize that I enjoy these things at my peril, but they bring me pleasure.

When I was in Tokyo, there was an entire district that was designated non-smoking. I was politely stopped on the street by a man in a bright vest holding a little foil pouch just big enough to extinguish and discard my cigarette. He then gave me directions to a magical place that I will never forget. A completely enclosed storefront filled with counters. At each stool was an ashtray. The entire back wall was lined with cigarette machines. It was well ventilated. There were no employees. The entire front of the place was one big plate glass window, so it wasnt a case of shamefully hiding us smokers away. Everyone seemed happy with the arrangement.

One day I will quit smoking. One day I will die. With any luck, the former will come before the latter. Until then, I will imagine that heaven looks a lot like that smoky glass box.
posted by billyfleetwood at 5:32 AM on July 6, 2007


Sorry billyfleetwood, your cogent point is made invalid by the fact that your a stinky addict unable to have a rational discussion about smoking. This is NortonDC's objective analysis of the situation that is not tinted by emotional and personal bias. Science fact. I agree with you, but this is simply a shared delusion as a fellow addict.
posted by slimepuppy at 6:22 AM on July 6, 2007


billyfleetwood -- that Tokyo story is amazing, and reminds me a little bit of getting stuck in the Salt Lake City airport for 7+ hours on my way to California in April.

Mormons have problems with caffeine and booze, sure, but THERE'S A GIANT SMOKING ROOM! IN THE AIRPORT! RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF EVERYTHING! It's insane! I took photos of it to send home, for heaven's sake. You can't even sit on the "porch" of an airport restaurant that serves booze if you're underage (I also watched my waitress harass a clearly 50+ foreign lady for proper photo ID to prove she was old enough to drink), but damn, you can smoke your head off.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:23 AM on July 6, 2007


What's funny about smoking bans is like right when it starts the smokers freak out and a few pledge to sacrifice their lives for the sake of protected public smoking, and some hardcore guys will light up in protest. And then like a month later nobody cares anymore, and two months later even smokers say they like the setup.
posted by troybob at 6:57 AM on July 6, 2007


I'm a smoker who will gladly comply with any and all legislation involving where I can smoke and where I can't. I will quietly accept the inconvenience because I realize it's a foul habit. When I have guests stay over my place, I smoke on my patio, even and especially if my guests are smokers (because more than one smoker in a room is too much for me). Same thing when I'm over someone else's place. I'm a firm believer in being considerate to others.

It would be nice if the anti-smoking zealots could offer the same in return. It might be best when discussing legislation to avoid attempts at dehumanizing, stereotyping, and insulting smokers and simply stick to the facts. They're on your side.
posted by effwerd at 8:29 AM on July 6, 2007


billyfleetwood: One day I will quit smoking. One day I will die. With any luck, the former will come before the latter. Until then, I will imagine that heaven looks a lot like that smoky glass box.

There is a pretty common attitude among smokers that, "Meh, maybe I will die a little earlier. Gotta die of something..." Heck, I probably would smoke if it would make my life more enjoyable but simply hack a few years off the end of my life.

But come on -- you KNOW it doesn't work that way. Smokers die hard, not suddenly and painlessly. Even before the cancer sets in, quality of life suffers terribly as the cigarettes take their toll. It's your life, your decision, certainly, but I think a lot of smokers are deluding themselves into thinking that they'll simply croak at, say, 82, rather than 85.

effwerd: I'm a smoker who will gladly comply with any and all legislation involving where I can smoke and where I can't. I will quietly accept the inconvenience because I realize it's a foul habit. When I have guests stay over my place, I smoke on my patio, even and especially if my guests are smokers (because more than one smoker in a room is too much for me). Same thing when I'm over someone else's place. I'm a firm believer in being considerate to others.

Excellent, and thank you for it! If all smokers were as considerate as you, there'd be no need for anti-smoking laws, as everybody would realize how rude it is to foul up other people's air. And, sadly, this is not the case.

It might be best when discussing legislation to avoid attempts at dehumanizing, stereotyping, and insulting smokers and simply stick to the facts. They're on your side.

Agreed, but when folks aren't responding to the facts -- your habit annoys other people, makes you stink, makes them stink, makes their clothes stink, increases their risk of cancer, and dramatically increases your own burden on the health care system, not to mention your eventual emotional burden on friends & family -- one must resort to more, um, colorful analogies. Like PISSIN, WOOHOO!!!

And, really, doesn't any functioning government have a responsibility to protect its citizens from obvious threats? In the U.S. alone, cigarettes are responsible for over a hundred "9-11s" every damn year:
Cigarette smoking is the single most preventable cause of premature death in the United States. Each year, more than 400,000 Americans die from cigarette smoking. In fact, one in every five deaths in the United States is smoking related. Every year, smoking kills more than 276,000 men and 142,000 women.
Funny thing is, despite appearances in this thread, I'm not anti-smoking in Real Life. Most of my friends smoke, and to be honest, cigarette smoke kinda puts me in party mood -- because I associate it with bars, friends, drinking, and good times. (I won't date a smoker, but that's my own deal.) I'm real easy-going, so it's really not that big a problem for me. If the smoke at a bar bothers me, I don't make a big fuss -- I just don't go. Simple enough.

As a public policy question, which is what (I think?) we're arguing though, I lean towards the bannination side. In principle, your right to enjoy your habit does not supercede my right to not be negatively, *significantly* affected by your habit. And when your right to enjoy your habit makes it impossible for restaurant workers (most of whom have no health insurance) to have a safe working environment, that's a problem.
posted by LordSludge at 10:01 AM on July 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


LordSludge...If smokers get snarky about the health thing, it's because WE KNOW. Trust me. We feel the deleterious effects every day. Everytime I walk up more than 3 flights of stairs. I get a gentle reminder that there's at least one thing I'm failing at in life.

I'm not pro-smoking. I'm not deluded. I'm just mystified that seemingly reasonable people don't see how zero-tolerance problem solving hurts us all in the long run.
posted by billyfleetwood at 1:58 PM on July 6, 2007


IOW, if I see you dying in the street, there's no reason for me to stop and help you. Heck, in your scenario, I could probably take your wallet and not face any consequences.

Oh. Get out of here. Are you serious?

If it's not one slipper slope argument it's another. And yours is so sooo scary. I about shit my pants.

All I can think is that most of you so worked up about this seem to live in and around assholes that neither have the ability to talk to nor the inclination. So you insist the state be your negotiator. I'd advise you to no longer habituate biker bars, white supremacist rallies at Phillip Morris, or where ever the fuck it is you guys seem to hang out.

I am thankful that I live near people that seem to be reasonable that one can make reasonable requests of without calling a cop. And, by god, we even pull the dead bodies out of the road!

May you get the society you deserve.
posted by tkchrist at 3:57 PM on July 6, 2007


Consider rules governing food preparation or epidemiological control.

Which are the health risks associated with the preparation of the PRODCUTS of the establishments like bars and restaurants. Not a legal behavior the customers do.

So then should your local cafe make sure you, the customer, don't have Ebola or Hep B? Is that their job?

Cleanliness? Hygiene? A bar may request you leave if another customer complains (but they don't screen you to see if you took a shower). So then. Why can our smoking laws perform more like that? If there are complaints the establishment asks the smoker to douse the cig. -OR- if the majority of customers are smokers they post "THIS IS A SMOKING ESTABLISHMENT."

God forbid we have cafes who are smoking permissible install ventilation... that technology must be protected under national security statutes or something.

No. This is not good enough for you guys. You need the cops, who have nothing better to do, running around enforcing your petty annoyances.
posted by tkchrist at 4:10 PM on July 6, 2007


IOW, if I see you dying in the street, there's no reason for me to stop and help you.

Video shows people stepping over dying woman -- "Surveillance camera captures shoppers bypassing Kansas stabbing victim."

"Police in Wichita, Kan., say surveillance video shows shoppers going about their business, not even trying to help or call 911..." video here.
posted by ericb at 5:27 PM on July 6, 2007


damn, ericb, that is just fucked up
posted by pyramid termite at 9:11 PM on July 6, 2007


ericb writes 'Police in Wichita, Kan., say surveillance video shows shoppers going about their business, not even trying to help or call 911..." video here.'

Hey, I began to stop and help, but then I saw the pack of Marlboro sticking out of her purse and thought, 'Fuck it, she's one of those. Let the bitch die!'
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:29 AM on July 7, 2007


cobra_high_tigers writes 'Ahh yes, the nonsmokers are going to be dying to try the food from a kitchen staffed entirely by smokers!'

In my experience, we smokers could be serving Turd a'la orange, and a whole bunch of non-smokers would be beating down the door, insisting on their right to eat those turds in a non-smoking environment.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:35 AM on July 7, 2007


All I can think is that most of you so worked up about this seem to live in and around assholes that neither have the ability to talk to nor the inclination. So you insist the state be your negotiator. I'd advise you to no longer habituate biker bars, white supremacist rallies at Phillip Morris, or where ever the fuck it is you guys seem to hang out.

No, some of us are tired of having smokers suck up so much of health expenses and dealing with people with lung cancer.

And also, we insist on the state being the negotiator because the state is providing for the common welfare.

I am thankful that I live near people that seem to be reasonable that one can make reasonable requests of without calling a cop. And, by god, we even pull the dead bodies out of the road!

Cops don't enforce smoking ordinances. Public health workers do. But you keep going on about the cops as if "the guys with guns and black helicopters are coming to take away my children and guns and ciggys!"

Yeah, I might be checking that Crisco covered hill you're on yourself.
posted by dw at 9:16 AM on July 8, 2007


Which are the health risks associated with the preparation of the PRODCUTS of the establishments like bars and restaurants. Not a legal behavior the customers do.

Restaurants are not all about food. If there were, they'd all be taco trucks and would have no tables.

So then should your local cafe make sure you, the customer, don't have Ebola or Hep B? Is that their job?

That's completely different. For one thing, ebola and hep B are viruses. For another, there's an entire system of epidemiological surveillance for them. Tobacco smoke is a carcinogen.

Cleanliness? Hygiene? A bar may request you leave if another customer complains (but they don't screen you to see if you took a shower). So then. Why can our smoking laws perform more like that? If there are complaints the establishment asks the smoker to douse the cig. -OR- if the majority of customers are smokers they post "THIS IS A SMOKING ESTABLISHMENT."

Because the former hasn't worked, for the multitude of reasons listed above, and the latter won't work because bars have had the opportunity to do so for years and have never done so.

It's similar to the issues with pharmacists refusing to provide birth control. If you think pharmacists should not be allowed the personal choice of whether to provide birth control, well, why should bars be allowed the personal choice of whether to provide a carcinogen-filled environment?

No. This is not good enough for you guys. You need the cops, who have nothing better to do, running around enforcing your petty annoyances.

No, it's public health that enforces this. But please, you and Ron Paul talk amongst yourself about the black helicopters. Hope you enjoy the botulism your libertarian run public health system won't be able to prevent from getting in your lunch. But hey, free botox! You can inject it into your face to make your scowl permanent.
posted by dw at 9:39 AM on July 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


you and Ron Paul talk amongst yourself about the black helicopters

This is the best ad hom you came up with? Conflate me with Ron Paul and militia groups? That's ALL you got? Man, when you lose and argument you really lose an argument.
posted by tkchrist at 6:32 PM on July 8, 2007


That's ALL you got?

Nope. A cancerous chunk of my non-smoker mother-in-law's lung they just removed is shipping to you on Monday. Hope you don't mind that I saved money by sending it ground.
posted by dw at 9:10 PM on July 8, 2007


Pathetic.
posted by tkchrist at 1:57 PM on July 9, 2007


Here you go: How We Get Addicted. It covers the cognitive deficits that accompany addiction, including the areas of rational and analytical thinking ability. Apparently, improvement is only 90 days away. It also has soothing pictures you can look at!
posted by NortonDC at 7:41 PM on July 9, 2007


Pathetic.

There, see? You're on the road to recovery. Admitting the truth about yourself is the first step.
posted by dw at 11:12 PM on July 9, 2007


cognitive deficits that accompany addiction, including the areas of rational and analytical thinking ability.

This is undoubtedly true. But to assume that everyone who smokes cigarettes is an addict displays nothing but ignorance about smoking. Very much like someone who drinks alcohol is not automatically an alcoholic.

And, though I have no online articles to back this up at the moment, I would argue that a physical nicotine addiction is hardly equal to a methamphetamine addiction.
posted by slimepuppy at 2:13 AM on July 10, 2007


A cancerous chunk of my non-smoker mother-in-law's lung they just removed is shipping to you on Monday.

Awesome: a new low.
posted by psmealey at 2:19 AM on July 10, 2007


So if you're not an addict, guess how much fucking sympathy I'm going to work up for your desire to share your carcinogenic smoke with bartenders, waiters, and pit bosses? Oh, I don't need to fuck up your lungs and give you heart disease, I just feel like it!

Rock on!
posted by NortonDC at 5:17 AM on July 10, 2007


A cancerous chunk of my non-smoker mother-in-law's lung they just removed is shipping to you on Monday.

do you suggest white or red wine with that?
posted by pyramid termite at 8:56 PM on July 10, 2007


Since it's relatively porous and light, I'd suggest a light Riesling, or possibly a Gewurtztraminer.
posted by psmealey at 3:52 AM on July 11, 2007


The New Humanist trawls through film, literature and history exploring the heart of smoking.
"Indeed, smoking has long been associated with the idea of rebellion and revolution. Richard Klein points out that despotic tyrants often display a virulent hatred of smoking. Louis XIV, Napoleon and Hitler all repressed it. “The history of the struggle against tyrants has been frequently inseparable from that of the struggle on behalf of the freedom to smoke, and at no time was this more the case than during the French and American revolutions.”
[adversaria]
posted by tellurian at 5:21 PM on July 11, 2007


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