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DC Council Passes Smoking Ban

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Have any DC patrons/bars/restaurants been ticketed for smoking ban violations?

Not really something on my radar, but after reading this article about the nonenforcement of Hawaii's smoking ban and our thread about the rapid ticketing of foie gras serving Hot Doug's in Chicago I began to wonder...

Customers continue to light up in some Hawaii bars and bar owners are getting increasingly bold in their efforts to challenge and overturn Hawaii's three-month-old anti-smoking law.

Bar owners are taking advantage of an only-in-Hawaii bureaucratic complication that has stopped the state Department of Health from citing violators: while the law bans indoor smoking, the administrative rules giving the state the authority to actually ticket anyone are still being drafted.

In a city where teenagers are welcome in bars - anything is possible [maybe not "an only-in Hawaii" situation].

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In a city where teenagers are welcome in bars - anything is possible [maybe not "an only-in Hawaii" situation].

DC does not allow teenagers in bars. Some all-age nightclubs happen to serve alcohol, just like some restaurants happen to serve alcohol.

As for the smoking ban, I haven't heard of any violations being handed out. I haven't seen people flouting it, either, but have only gone out a few times since it came into effect (However, I've only gone out in Philly a few times since their ban and have seen it violated on most occasions).

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Baltimore City council has just passed its own smoking ban, and the mayor is looking forward to signing the ban into law. Starting January 1, 2008 smoking will be banned in restaurants and bars in the city. Brewer's Art, here I come.

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I'm a former smoker who has not had a cigarette in 6 months. However, even when I did smoke, I did not smoke in restaurants, even where it was allowed (as was the case in parts of MD and is still the case in PA where they allowed smoking sections in restaurants without requiring that they be partitioned off) since I found that smoke and food do not really go well together like smoke and alcohol do. (On the other hand, I find that I enjoy wine much more now.) My wife and son are very sensitive to smoke and do not want it around them. In fact my son, who had lots of breating problems when he was young, finds it to be very uncomfortable to be around smoke. Now that I am not smoking, I understand because I find second hand smoke to be irritating when I encounter it. I guess as a smoker you don't notice it, but when you don't smoke, or quit smoking, it is very annoying to be around. I never thought that I would think that a smoke free bar was a relief, but it is.

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I realize I’m behind the eight ball on this one, but I maintain that restaurateurs should be allowed to set smoking policies according to customers’ preferences. It should be a business decision, not a legislative imperative.

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I realize I’m behind the eight ball on this one, but I maintain that restaurateurs should be allowed to set smoking policies according to customers’ preferences. It should be a business decision, not a legislative imperative.
It's a public health issue. Public health is generally conceded to be a matter of government concern.

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It's a public health issue. Public health is generally conceded to be a matter of government concern.
Or, more specifically, an occupational health safety issue in the workplace.

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I will accept the smoking ban as a public health measure the day the people who so fervently pushed it take on the atrocious emissions from buses and other gas-guzzlers that always irritated my sinuses more than cigarettes ever did. Cigarette smoke does NOT cause code red days.

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I will accept the smoking ban as a public health measure the day the people who so fervently pushed it take on the atrocious emissions from buses and other gas-guzzlers that always irritated my sinuses more than cigarettes ever did. Cigarette smoke does NOT cause code red days.
Nope, but it does cause cancer.

I'm a smoker and am willing to accept the plethora of evidence that second hand smoke is dangerous. Denying that reminds me of the nutjobs who continue to deny that global warming is a reality, citing the one percent of research that can be spun in their favour.

Further, comparing smoking and public transportation/commercial vehicles is somewhat apples and oranges. Smoking is totally "recreational", whereas public transportation and commercial vehicles are essential to day-to-day life (yes, I left the gaz guzzlers out for now).

The smoking ban in question is something that is enforced (mostly) in indoor workplaces. Again, not exactly the same thing when compared to exhaust that disperses more easily in the air.

Having said all that...

1. I'm in total agreement that we need to promote zero emission public transportation and commercial vehicles. The technology is there - we just need the political will (and funding).

2. Gas guzzlers should have an extra tax on them to assist with the above mentioned funding. There's no reason for someone driving an H2 in the city, unless you live in Baghdad.

3. A smarter solution to the smoking ban COULD have been found if people on both sides of the argument hadn't dug in their heels so deeply and had to have everything their way.

4. In the long run, businesses won't suffer. In the long run.

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Nope, but it does cause cancer.

Well. Always gotta go ruining my perfect logic by whipping out those facts, don't you? :o

Actually, while I'm a smoker, I really don't have a position on the issue except to say that in the midst of a multi-hour, multi-course food orgy, it's really nice, and not a bad idea, to step outside on occasion for a smoke and digestion break. Kind of like getting up to walk around the airplane on a long-haul flight. :lol:

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in the midst of a multi-hour, multi-course food orgy, it's really nice, and not a bad idea, to step outside on occasion for a smoke and digestion break
This was one of the things I loved most about smoking. But not one that I miss. I am extremely thankful that I can avoid this distraction now that I have been a non-smoker for some time. Now, I can go through an entire meal without ever thinking about a cigarette and without worrying that I will somehow mess up the pacing of the meal.

And, I am now very sorry about the number of courses that I must have ruined for my friends who had to smell the fresh smoke on me during the middle of their meal - it really is an imposition.

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I will accept the smoking ban as a public health measure the day the people who so fervently pushed it take on the atrocious emissions from buses and other gas-guzzlers that always irritated my sinuses more than cigarettes ever did. Cigarette smoke does NOT cause code red days.
. There are huge and lengthy regulations on bus emissions in DC and they went through a complete overhaul of all the city buses back in the 90's I believe. My mechanic friend was telling me each bus has a mandatory regulator and must be kept below a certain point or get serviced. And as far as private vehicles, I don't know about you guys but I went through inspection three times and ended up having a gut job of my exhaust system (about 400 bucks after all was said and done) to meet the DC emission standards and get my plates. That isn't even counting the hundreds of thousands of regulations on all types of air pollution that are on the books across the country. Code red days have more to do with heat and pollen count than emissions. I don't think pollen is regulated you could crusade against that I suppose but emissions are pretty well regulated. So does that mean you accept the smoking ban as a public health regulation now?

It just bugs me that smokers cry about regulation and free market now but they don't realize that there are THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of regulations and ordinances to protect public and employee health JUST like the smoking ban that have been on the books for years and years but nobody cries nanny state until now. If the tobacco companies didn't have so much money and power this probably would have happnened years ago when governments were making all of these other occupational and public health reforms.

And also how many cases of lung cancer are linked to buses every year? Just curious because secondhand smoke has been linked to approximately 3,400 lung cancer deaths and 22,700-69,600 heart disease deaths in adult nonsmokers in the United States each year. (as of 2005 when the study was done). And this little ditty, "Nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke at work are at increased risk for adverse health effects. Levels of ETS in restaurants and bars were found to be 2 to 5 times higher than in residences with smokers and 2 to 6 times higher than in office workplaces." That is me. I work in one of those restaurant and bars. It always struck me as so selfish that people were so unwilling to walk 20 feet to the door and step outside for a few minutes to significantly decrease the risk of health problems for all the employees. It is not about "clothes smelling good" or any of that other crap to me (and a lot of other food service employees in the District I am sure). It is a health concern. Plain and simple.

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Sorry, I wrote that before I saw xcanucks post. This is just a really personal issue to me and somehow it riles me up a lot more than it should. Plus it is already over, done deal I guess. No point in arguing it now, except that I would like to see it spread nationwide for the benefit of all those other (non-stereotype) restaurant employees like myself out there who don't smoke a pack a day. The sad thing is most of those employees who are the backbone of the restaurant industry and are going to be adversely affected are largely immigrants or lower-income citizens who have almost no voice in the political process and no health insurance.

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Old Town has a few options in this department:

Vermilion

Southside 815

King Street Blues

You've just listed two places in Alexandria that I won't go to because they are too smokey. King Street Blues, where the smoke in the bar is so thick that it wafts up the stairs to the dining room and my hair stinks just from walking through the place and SS815 for exactly the same reason.

I just saw the WP article today about Alexandria trying to ban smoking via its zoning ordinance. It mentions that there is a smoke-free initiative, but I haven't found the list of restaurants participating. I was wondering if anyone could point me in the direction of that list as I would definitely support a place that was smoke free. Thanks!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...7022802200.html

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Have any DC patrons/bars/restaurants been ticketed for smoking ban violations?
Jessica Gould's "Calling Their Puff" column in the current Washington City Paper details the smoking ban workarounds attempted by JP's, Tabaq Bistro and Chief Ike's Mambo Room...
The D.C. Department of Health is tasked with making sure the city's businesses obey the smoking ban, and it has already issued a warning to JP's. According to spokesperson Leila Abrar, only five places have received smoking-ban exemptions so far: Ozio Restaurant & Lounge, Shelly's Back Room, TG Cigars, Ollie's Trolley, and a Georgetown University Medical Center research facility. Otherwise, even the most elaborate solutions to the ban seem doomed.
I wonder when DC-DOH will complete the warning phase, take a deep breath and get on with their task.

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Aroma in Cleveland Park was granted the first exemption under the smoking ban, citing a decrease in sales of more than 20%.

I'm disappointed to hear that smoking will again be allowed there. Due to the smoke, I had all but stopped going there, but was glad to return under the ban. Oh well, I still have the rest of the city!

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Aroma in Cleveland Park was granted the first exemption under the smoking ban, citing a decrease in sales of more than 20%.

I'm disappointed to hear that smoking will again be allowed there. Due to the smoke, I had all but stopped going there, but was glad to return under the ban. Oh well, I still have the rest of the city!

Ha! There's hope for The Raven yet!

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Just think about those poor folks in Amsterdam. Now that the city has passed a tobacco ban, they can't mix it with their pot in the smoking bars.

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