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DC Council Passes Smoking Ban

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That has, in fact, always been my opinion, let the owner decide. Regulate the filtration system, etc, but don't MAKE the owner's mind up for them...next we won't be allowed to serve rare steaks, sushi, it's a slippery slope...

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That has, in fact, always been my opinion, let the owner decide.  Regulate the filtration system, etc, but don't MAKE the owner's mind up for them...next we won't be allowed to serve rare steaks, sushi, it's a slippery slope...

Yeah, the jackbooted thugs will have to pry the raw fish from my cold dead hands...

:lol:

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That has, in fact, always been my opinion, let the owner decide.  Regulate the filtration system, etc, but don't MAKE the owner's mind up for them...next we won't be allowed to serve rare steaks, sushi, it's a slippery slope...

I think all the arguments pro and con have already been put forth, so I won't respond individually, but I do appreciate opinions contrary to my own.

I thought I'd let you in on how one restaurant group arrived at the decision.....we do NOT pretend to tell others how to run their businesses, only that this worked for us.

In some strange way, I'm somewhat bothered that this bill will eliminate what my biz partner Jared and I currently see as a HUGE competitive advantage: smoking establishments literally "give" us their guests.

Thanks - now I'll shut up!

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But I also recall changing our first art exhibit - behind each large frame was the original wall color, protected from the smoke.  Around the now-empty frame spaces were the darkly discolored and yellowed walls.  To think we had spend significant sums painting the place was depressing. 

In 1994, we painted our apartment and bought all new furniture. I was astounded at what 18 years of smoking in there had done. Since Craig didn't smoke (and neither did our cat), I started going outside to smoke. I have since hated being in smoke-filled rooms and would rather be outside.

I've since "quit" several times, and have just finished sucking on an "after dinner" nicotine lozenge. I must say, I appreciate being with a largely non-smoking DR.com crowd because I don't get the "trigger" that a wiff of someone's cigarette causes at these events--i.e., the HH at Corduroy last Friday for laniloa. Nobody smoked in there and it made my latest feeble attempt to quit bearable.

I'm just wondering what in the hell Bistrot du Coin is going to do with this ban. They have PROUDLY encouraged smoking in there.

I sure do understand where Waitman is coming from, but I can't agree. The analogy is: Your right to throw your fist ends at someone else's nose. Same with your smoke.

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I sure do understand where Waitman is coming from, but I can't agree.  The analogy is:  Your right to throw your fist ends at someone else's nose.  Same with your smoke.

Naaaah. I'm not buying that.

First, a fist is a clear act of agression, while a smoke, is not. It may be obnoxious (to some) or unhealthy (the data on second-hand smoke's health dangers is not as clear-cut as it is often portrayed) or simply aesthetically displeasing. It's not an act of violence, however.

And second, non-smokers have plenty of places to go. Now, however, smokers will not. I don't buy that everyone has the right to impose their beliefs, restrictions or aesthetics on everyone else -- that everyone has the right to "enjoy" every bar or restaurant. If BdC wants to have a "smoker's" bar, well, non-smokers don't have to go. I hear the wine bar at Sonoma is pretty fun. :lol:

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I don't buy the "let the market figure it out" argument either.  If someone has a business meeting and the boss says "we're going to it at such and such restaurant" that allows smoking, do you think the underling is in any position to choose to breathe the smoke or not?  So they should find a new employer?  That's more extreme than the ban.  Bring it on.

The situationyou describe while not, perhaps, uncommon, pales in comparison to the number of diners who venture out not in those circumstances. Yes this is a difficult situation to be in, but not an all pervading instance.

The market reference was one based on the loitering/lingering comment from earlier and the business lunch you describe would have a small effect, again I think it is a bit of a small subset of dining in general. NOT business lunches in general but your specific example.

Besides as in all business, the market has borne out what will succeed, its a free market baby.

Another question, how does something like this compare with the ban on foie gras in California? A special interest group found a way to legislate a food, a fatty, rich, delightful food off of the table and I've never heard of second hand foie gras killing anyone.(my facts could be cloudy, as this development occurred some time ago, not the second hand stuff, but the foie gras ban itself)

Oh eating a lot of fast food, basicallly the majority of Americans, will both dull your palates and KILL you much faster than second hand smoke...so will the DC council out law McDonald's?

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I don't particularly relish spending five hours a night in a smoke-filled bar when I'm at work. And I don't even smoke regularly. But I do love me a good fag when I'm drinking at a bar, and I hate the thought of not being able to do it! It's a part of being in a bar. I swear, next on the ban list will be stiletto heels, lipstick and flirting!!

What of restaurant workers? Well, what of their late nights? Of standing on our feet for hours? On having to smile to obnoxious patrons? It's occupational hazard, and every job has some. We don't have to work there, you know. We choose to. You think I like clocking weeks in places like Guyana and Suriname? Nope. But that's a part of my job. I don't have to work there if I don't like it.

People who go to restaurants to eat already can sit in nonsmoking sections; but you cannot possibly tell me, and hope to pass my giggle test, that people who go to BARS, i.e. places where one leans against the bar rail, climbs on a bar stool, does tequila shots and rubs against fellow (and nonfellow) bargoers are looking for a wholesome, smoke-free environment. This is bullshit.

Edited by Nadya

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after all , the best time to smoke is after a good meal or after any meal. I think banning is not a good idea in the bars.

and how about the air sucking system we have ? is anyone gonna refund the money for that ?

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the best time to smoke is after a good meal or after any meal.
It's one of the best times, but not the only one. Notice that the council wants to exempt hotel rooms from the ban. (Thank you very much)

I agree that the decision to allow smoking at a bar (especially one with a high powered vent system) should be left up to the establishment. Some bars are just meant to be for smoking, like the Cap Lounge. oh. wait. nevermind.

Edited by crackers

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It's one of the best times, but not the only one. Notice that the council wants to exempt hotel rooms from the ban.

Good one, crackers. Can you see them trying to enforce that. I'm envisioning a Monty Pythonesque scene. :lol:

And Waitman, don't try to suck Butterstick into your defense of a filthy habit. :P

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As someone who enjoys the nightlife in DC, I am thrilled this is going to happen. Nothing is worse then sitting in a smoke filled bar/club for hours. I lived in NY when the ban was implemented, and everyone complained. The next weekend, the bars were just as crowded. Remember when we could smoke in office buildings and on airplanes? The ban of smoking here didnt seem to effect these industries, and looking back now, it even seems archaic that smoking was allowed.

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And Waitman, don't try to suck Butterstick into your defense of a filthy habit.  :P

A little cranky this morning. Nicotine fit? I noticed you left your smokes and lighter at the bar. :lol:

Enable me, baby!

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Won't someone please think of the shisha?

Those sorts of establishments were precisely behind the point of my first comment - that places which specialize in being someplace to go smoke should be allowed to have people smoke there. For instance, does the ban as it stands mean that Georgetown Tobacconist won't be allowed to let its patrons light up? That just seems patently absurd to me.

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Those sorts of establishments were precisely behind the point of my first comment - that places which specialize in being someplace to go smoke should be allowed to have people smoke there. For instance, does the ban as it stands mean that Georgetown Tobacconist won't be allowed to let its patrons light up? That just seems patently absurd to me.

Because Shelley is a bar/restaurant that specializes in cigar smoking. One wall of the estabiment is cigar humidors that can be rented by patrons for storing their private stash (much like individual wine bins at certain steak restaurants). Will Shelley's be subject to the ban?

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Because Shelley is a bar/restaurant that specializes in cigar smoking.  One wall of the estabiment is cigar humidors that can be rented by patrons for storing their private stash (much like individual wine bins at certain steak restaurants).  Will Shelley's be subject to the ban?

Those sorts of establishments were precisely behind the point of my first comment - that places which specialize in being someplace to go smoke should be allowed to have people smoke there. For instance, does the ban as it stands mean that Georgetown Tobacconist won't be allowed to let its patrons light up? That just seems patently absurd to me.

No, if you read the articles it clearly states that exemptions will be made for establishments whose very purpose involves smoking:

The District's smoke-free proposal is similar to New York's ban. It would include exemptions for outdoor areas, cigar bars, hotel rooms, retail tobacco outlets and facilities that research the effects of smoking.

Edit to add: "facilities that research the effects of smoking." :lol: . Bar owners: if you don't like the ban I guess it's time to bone up on those NIH grant applications!

Edited by TedE

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Because Shelley is a bar/restaurant that specializes in cigar smoking.  One wall of the estabiment is cigar humidors that can be rented by patrons for storing their private stash (much like individual wine bins at certain steak restaurants).  Will Shelley's be subject to the ban?

Or that martini/cigar place over on K Street (if it's still there)... I mean, if 'Cigar Bar' is in your flipping name, wouldn't it be abundantly clear to all concerned that some smoking is going to be involved? I've noted here previously that dealing with others' smoking is the biggest reason why I don't usually eat at the bar in restaurants, but I wouldn't expect to go into a saloon and not get smoked at.

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does the ban as it stands mean that Georgetown Tobacconist won't be allowed to let its patrons light up? That just seems patently absurd to me.

So much for utilizing the information superhighway...

From the Post:

"The District's smoke-free proposal is similar to New York's ban. It would include exemptions for outdoor areas, cigar bars, hotel rooms, retail tobacco outlets and facilities that research the effects of smoking."

And from the Examiner:

"Hookahs may be exempt

If you see a few D.C. Council members sitting around taking hits off a hookah pipe in D.C. bars in the next few weeks, don't fret: It's all in the name of research.

During Tuesday's discussion on smoke-free legislation, the subject of the water pipe - a popular way to smoke tobacco in the Middle East and India - came up, and most council members had no idea what it was.

Council Member Marion Barry, D-Ward 8, said he had never heard of the device.

"What do you smoke in them?" said Barry, drawing a huge laugh.

Council Member Jim Graham, D-Ward 1, who was hoping to exempt the popular hookah bars from the new law, offered to take Barry to one of the two hookah establishments in his ward.

"I don't want to go," Barry said. "I have enough problems already."

Graham's amendment was delayed, and he said he would take several council members to the bars for "on-site research.""

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There's a lot of room for interpretation there. Do restaurants with humidors or a shisha list specialize in that, or do they really specialize in serving food in the eyes of the law? I can't see this going anywhere good.

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There's a lot of room for interpretation there.  Do restaurants with humidors or a shisha list specialize in that, or do they really specialize in serving food in the eyes of the law?  I can't see this going anywhere good.

That's precisely my point. I mean, Ozio (the cigar/martini place I mentioned, which has since moved to M Street) isn't just a place where you stand around and smoke cigars. They serve drinks, they serve food, they consider themselves a lounge. Does the current legislation mean they'd have to stop serving food? Is there going to be some agency monitoring their respective receipt percentage? Where does an establishment cross the line from being a cigar bar to just a bar, or a restaurant? What would keep any restaurant or bar that wants to continue to allow smoking from claiming they're a cigar bar?

I'm guessing that the legislation will at least get an amendment rewording the exceptions, so that smoking bars in general get included, which would save the hookah bars or any (theoretical) pipe bars or cigarette bars that might crop up.

Edited by Principia

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I think the public health argument is a red herring. I mean, frankly, if you walk down Connecticut Avenue on a summer day, the buses and SUVs belch ten times as much crap into your lungs as you would get in a bar. And I don't mind eating in a restaurant with a smoking section.

But wow, I hate going to bars anymore--and I'm a wino! After even just an hour or two, I come out of most places absolutely REEKING of the stench--and this bothered me even when I smoked. I suppose if places got ventilation systems that actually WORKED, I wouldn't mind it, but as it is, I don't go out to the bars as much anymore unless I'm wearing something that needed to be laundered anyway and don't mind washing my hair when I get home.

Ban the crap. It'll save me hundreds in dry cleaning and shampoo.

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Here is the text of the bill.  A cigar bar has to have 10% or more of its revenue from the sale of cigars in order to qualify.  I doubt Shelley's could meet that requirement, but I don't know.

Sale of cigars and/or humidor rental. That might do it.

Hrm. Well, it seems like they're defining "Cigar Bar" sufficiently broadly to cover hookah bars - but 10% of revenues? I could see that for places that offer smoking but not drinking, or maybe smoking and drinking but not food, but I don't see how any establishment with a substantial menu or extensive wine list would make the cut.

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