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CrescentFresh

DC Council Passes Smoking Ban

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Personally, it's hard for me to relate to anyone who needs and craves cigarettes. HOWEVER, I very much enjoy retiring to the bar for a fag and a digestif after a good dinner. I can testify that the way it feels in my mouth at that point is fun. Bloody good fun, too. Cosmopolitan and wordly.

So while I feel for those whose health was damaged by tobacco, I feel sad about losing that particular avenue of pleasure.

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I don't know anybody who has smoked or does smoke who think that it is fun. <snip> But cigarettes are not a habitual, they are an addiction.

I have a friend who smokes about one or two tobacco cigarettes every month or so. Granted that is unusual, but still... he does it for fun and is not an addict.

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I have a friend who smokes about one or two tobacco cigarettes every month or so. Granted that is unusual, but still... he does it for fun and is not an addict.
Granted, there are people who can smoke without being addicted or becoming addicted. There are people who can participate in high risk activities on occassion for the fun without being or becoming addicted. I can drink a beer without becoming addicted but I have friends who can't go near the stuff as they are considered alcohol addicts. We don't stop selling beer and wine at restaurants because somebody gets in a car drunk and kills someone. (AGAIN I THINK THE BAN IS A GOOD THING)

However, I don't think it is fair to say that drinking is a fun activity when for many people it is not fun. Drinking can be fun but it is not a carefree sense of fun. Nor is smoking a carefree fun activity.

Now, this whole discussion has made me go do some research. I can't help it, the internet makes it too easy. Here are my thoughts about my findings. First, how the federal and state governments regulate and interact with the tobacco industry is a unique relationship. Second, the CDC needs to update their youth campaign because nobody under the age of 16 knows who BoyzIIMen is. Third, I couldn't put my fingers on an easy to cite place that sets up the difference between being addicted to cigarettes and it being a habit.

But I did find these links which may be of interest to some people:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tobacco_smoking

http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/factsheets/cigars_factsheet.htm

I also looked up the definition of fun, and based on it, hard to argue that smoking can be a fun activity. However, I do not think the use is appropriate.

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[This thread has probably run its course in terms of disccussing "fun vs. addiction." Let's keep further discussion focused on the ban itself. Thanks! Rocks.]

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what will be interesting is how quickly the surrounding counties will pick-up the 'smokers' who have left DC bars for higher ground. Obviously this will be seen in localities on the Virginia side as I still believe certain Maryland counties are smoke-free.

Always find it funny how people think Virginia will never have such restrictions, but in all honesty I can see it going in county by county.

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Always find it funny how people think Virginia will never have such restrictions, but in all honesty I can see it going in county by county.

I'm not a native to VA, but something in the back of my mind tells me that VA law is a little different than, say, MD. I don't think that individual counties/cities can supercede state law in some matters. Or some such thing. Perhaps someone else might have heard something similar or know what I'm talking about.

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I'm not a native to VA, but something in the back of my mind tells me that VA law is a little different than, say, MD. I don't think that individual counties/cities can supercede state law in some matters. Or some such thing. Perhaps someone else might have heard something similar or know what I'm talking about.

It can certainly go county by county (or city by city). Remember, first it was Montgomery County, then PG County. I mean, individual cities have joined the Kyoto Protocol.

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It can certainly go county by county (or city by city). Remember, first it was Montgomery County, then PG County. I mean, individual cities have joined the Kyoto Protocol.

In Maryland, sure. But, again, something tells me Virginia law is different and this cannot be passed county by county.

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In Maryland, sure. But, again, something tells me Virginia law is different and this cannot be passed county by county.

:unsure:;) me no know. I just assume that eventually ciggies will lose. Think about it: They kill cowboys and everything. Beef.

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Smoking bans for restaurants make me happy. I find the smoke extremely distracting form an enjoyable dining experience.

When my wife and I headed to Italy two and a half years ago, we were worried we might have to get used to the idea of smoke filled restaurants. But we were generally very happy with the mostly smoke-free experiences we had while vacationing there.

I have a question for smokers, particularly for those smokers who have quit. Does food and wine and so on taste better to you now than when you used to smoke regularly? I can only imagine it would, but I've never actually asked anyone in that situation...

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I beleive Crescentfresh is right about differences between MD and VA on this issue. Local counties and cities only get as much power as the VA legislature chooses to give them. recently, the VA AG rules that some handgun regulations in Fairfax county were unenforeceable becaue they exceeded authority granted by the Commonwealth. The same is true of cigarette bans, I think. Keep in mind that Altria, the parent company of Phillip Morris, is headquartered in Richmond.

Another intersting factoid about smoking is that local and state governments make more profit off of the sale of a pack of cigarettes than the manufacturer.

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Another intersting factoid about smoking is that local and state governments make more profit off of the sale of a pack of cigarettes than the manufacturer.
Wow... plus consider how much money states received from the settlement. Wow. Shaking head...

Staying on point, I went to law school in Winston Salem. When I was in law school in the mid-90's you could still smoke in.... drum roll... grocery stores!!!!! gross gross gross. also gross, you could smoke in department stores at the mall. seriously gross.

Another funny one, there were no "No Smoking" signs anywhere on my school's campus... including the hospital and med school!!!

There are plenty of "no smoking" regulations now though in North Carolina and Winston-Salem, so I think Altria's presence won't stop all the trends against smoking... though I doubt you'll see statewide no smoking in bars anytime soon...

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Oh, Boy! I may be revealing my age here, but one of the iconic symbols of "modern" America was the picture of soon-to-be-fathers smoking up a storm in the Waiting Room, waiting to learn the gender and health of baby and health of the mother. Now, of course, fathers are EXPECTED to be their wives coaches in the Birthing Room.

Not having been either an expectant father nor a birthing mother, I have no idea if this is a good change or not . . . I DO know that smoking is verboten in most hospitals, whether you are anxious or not.

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There are always private clubs, which are exempt from the ban.

I would never join a club that would have me as a member...not that there are any clubs that seem eager to have me as a member. :unsure:

Funny thing, the two restaurants beneath my office now advertise themsleves as "smoke-free environments." No law, no regs, they just decided that they and their customers preferred it that way. And yet, the bistro down the street remains a smoke-friendly environment. So what's happened, is that if I don't want to smoke, I have places to go. If I'm dying for a martini and a smoke, I have a place for that, as well. And, if I'm flexible, the world is my little Appalachicola with cocktail sauce and lemon.

Choice. How...I don't know...logical.

.....

Even more fun than smoking? Hearing people argue for the right to harm their liver, kidneys, stomach and brain cells while participating in an activity linked to violence, thousands of drunk driving deaths annually and waking up next to people whom you'd rather not talk to, even if they haven't left you with an STD or a baby -- without being exposed to cigarette smoke.

Smoking hasn't killed me yet, but drinking once almost led me to chew my arm off. ;)

Hell, I sympathize with the call for smoke-free dining rooms. But a bar isn't a health club. Let the market sort it out and leave me and my weekly Marlboro Light in peace.

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Hell, I sympathize with the call for smoke-free dining rooms. But a bar isn't a health club. Let the market sort it out and leave me and my weekly Marlboro Light in peace.
What a surprise...the Cato Institute agrees.

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An assumption that seems to underlie all the market-based arguments against these bans is that not only do customers have completely free choice as to whether to patronize a particular establishment, but also that employees are completely free to choose where they work. As someone who recently returned to Washington after more than two years working in Wilson, North Carolina, I can testify that this isn't so. Trust me on this.

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What a surprise...the Cato Institute agrees.
As I recall, Cato is down with all kinds of fun, chemical-oriented recreational activities.

Here's an interesting 'graph from the study Heather links to:

"Moreover, the report itself, which covered only studies published through 2002, ignored perhaps the largest ETS[second hand smoke] study ever conducted -- a 2003 study that followed, from 1959 to 1998, the health histories of more than 35,000 never-smoking Californians who were married to smokers. The authors found no "causal relationship between exposure to (ETS) and tobacco-related mortality," though they acknowledged that "a small effect" cannot be ruled out."

Arguably, as far as employees are concerned, second-hand smoke is no more than a nuisance -- just like the loud music, drunks, lechers and poor tippers many bar employees are subjected to.

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Arguably, as far as employees are concerned, second-hand smoke is no more than a nuisance -- just like the loud music, drunks, lechers and poor tippers many bar employees are subjected to.
So, how did my mother--a non-smoker--wind up with a case of emphysema? She lived for more than 40 years with my father, a smoker, that's how.

As a smoker who has been trying to quit, off and on, and hasn't smoked a single cigarette in my own home since 1994, I'm not willing to play with the health of my non-smoking husband or my cat. Much less waitpersons and bartenders and other innocent patrons of public spaces.

There really is NO justification for inflicting this on people who don't want it. NONE.

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An assumption that seems to underlie all the market-based arguments against these bans is that not only do customers have completely free choice as to whether to patronize a particular establishment, but also that employees are completely free to choose where they work. As someone who recently returned to Washington after more than two years working in Wilson, North Carolina, I can testify that this isn't so. Trust me on this.

I have seriously been counting down the days until the smoking ban like a kid waiting for Christmas. I can't wait. I have never even puffed on a cigarette in my life but probably have the lungs of a 3-4 year smoker just from working in restaurants all of my life. I understand the "free hand of the market" and all those other arguments but they only work in a bell jar. I would GLADLY go work somewhere smoke free but to be honest, with my day job the number of restaurants that I could make it to in time and would hire me for night only shifts AND are smoke free is not high. Plus you think our bussers Arturo and Santos who barely speak english, have been at Deluxe 7+ years work from 5am-10pm 6 days a week at two different jobs can really afford to quit just to show the market a thing or two? Just tell their wife and kids to hang on we will be able to afford food and clothes soon Daddy just has to find a position at a smoke free rrestaurant so he doesn't get cancer in 15 years. Yeah that is going to happen.

And in this capitalist argument what happens when all the positions at smoke-free restaurants are filled. Are we all supposed to just hang out jobless until enough waiters quit their jobs, a waiter/busser shortage is created and the market has to adjust by opening new smoke free places? Thanks for the help. Whenever smoking is brought up everyone becomes all Gordon Gecko saying that the market will sort out the smoking issue on its own without government control. I say phooey.

We make sweat shops illegal. Shouldn't we let the free market handle that? People who have no moral qualms about buying sweat-shop goods will have places they can go and people who are opposed to them will have somewhere. And as for the employees, hey if people don't want to work at them they should find another job right?? Three cheers for the invisible hand!!

Seriously though it is illegal to have your pre-prepped sauces at 2 degrees above a certain number and illegal to put your fish in the same container as beef but cancer causing smoke filling the air, no problem. And I really see this as an employee issue more than anything. We have thousands of requirements and laws in place to protect employees' safety in all kinds of professions so why when this is brought up is it all of a sudden the "big bad government" trying to control everything.

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It's always amusing to see how some people turn into rainy day free marketeers when it happens to support their purposes.

Did anyone catch this in the Post a week or so ago? A study in Scotland showed that the health of bar and restaurant workers really did improve only a short time after a smoking ban went into effect there.

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Dueling studies.

What I find amazing was that no effort was made to find a reasonable common ground in an attempt to accommodate the substantial minority of bar-goers who enjoy the occasional smoke, a habit that remains, last I checked, legal. Had the debate not been dominated by zealots and extremists on the one side and the avaricious and corrupt on the other, I remain convinced that solution could have been found that would have given most diners and bar-goers a smoke-free environment, made life more pleasant for employees (for what it's worth, last time I was at Deluxe, a couple years back, I bummed a Marlboro from the bartender) and still given smokers a few places to light up.

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Dueling studies.

What I find amazing was that no effort was made to find a reasonable common ground in an attempt to accommodate the substantial minority of bar-goers who enjoy the occasional smoke, a habit that remains, last I checked, legal. Had the debate not been dominated by zealots and extremists on the one side and the avaricious and corrupt on the other, I remain convinced that solution could have been found that would have given most diners and bar-goers a smoke-free environment, made life more pleasant for employees (for what it's worth, last time I was at Deluxe, a couple years back, I bummed a Marlboro from the bartender) and still given smokers a few places to light up.

Yeah they are always bumming out smokes. And while many things like not wearing shoes and playing a game of catch still remain "legal" I don't think any one of us here would dispute if people were asked to enjoy that legal right outside the door for the safety and consideration of other guests. THe thing that upsets me about this WHOLE argument is that the complaint basically boils down to smokers, occasional or not, being completely unwilling to walk 20 feet outside for a few minutes (yeah maybe its cold, so don't smoke, same free market argument used against us) at the expense of employee's and other customer's health. Such a minor minor inconvenience it just seems so inconsiderate. Its not even about smoking or not smoking its just about getting up and walking to the door and doing it outside for 5 minutes. Yeah one cigarette's smoke won't kill me but maybe 10 years worth of dense smoke for 7 hours a day will, all because people don't want to get up and go outside to have their cigarette.

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I always tip well when they do that.
Smart bartenders always stock up.

Despite being a mostly unrepentant social smoker up until recently I tend to side with the employees on this issue. Blake made a lot of good points.

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