Jump to content
CrescentFresh

DC Council Passes Smoking Ban

Recommended Posts

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.

You know if European countries are doing this and even (!!!) Paris is going smoke free than it was only a matter of time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You know if European countries are doing this and even (!!!) Paris is going smoke free than it was only a matter of time.
Though such bans in Europe may end up being just as serious and strictly enforced as the cellphone-while-driving ban in DC. One of my most treasured memories of living in Italy is attending lectures on English literature at the University of Turin, where at the front of the hall a big red sign read "vietato fumare" while the professor below it puffed away as he discoursed on Chaucer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Though such bans in Europe may end up being just as serious and strictly enforced as the cellphone-while-driving ban in DC.
I was in a café in Paris a couple of years ago, when a fellow sitting in the non-smoking area lit up a cigarette. The response of the waiter was simply to bring him an ashtray.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh boy here we go. This same discussion came up on the DCist today. 47 posts in like 30 minutes. I just pasted my little essay from this board onto theirs. Too lazy to write an original one. Don't worry though I am not cheating on DR. It didn't mean a thing to me. Really. You guys will always get my best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Does anybody know if the ban is contemplated to include outdoor enclosed patios (Tabard Inn, Iron Gate, etc.), sidewalk seating, or rooftops? (And is that top level at Tabaq a rooftop or not?) I can see a lot more restaurants and bars investing in those outdoor propane heaters for their patios and roofs if smoking is still allowed there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Does anybody know if the ban is contemplated to include outdoor enclosed patios (Tabard Inn, Iron Gate, etc.), sidewalk seating, or rooftops? (And is that top level at Tabaq a rooftop or not?) I can see a lot more restaurants and bars investing in those outdoor propane heaters for their patios and roofs if smoking is still allowed there.
There was a story on TV a couple of days ago about the lengths some places are going to provide a space for smoking. The roof at the Reef in AM was particularly featured because the owner has spent so much money to outfit the space, including heaters (!). I believe anything considered "outdoors" is exempt including patios, rooftops, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Though such bans in Europe may end up being just as serious and strictly enforced as the cellphone-while-driving ban in DC. One of my most treasured memories of living in Italy is attending lectures on English literature at the University of Turin, where at the front of the hall a big red sign read "vietato fumare" while the professor below it puffed away as he discoursed on Chaucer.

To my surprise on several trips to Italy since the ban, I have seen not a single incidence of violation of the law. Overnight, Italy has gone from smoke filled to practically smoke free when in public.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To my surprise on several trips to Italy since the ban, I have seen not a single incidence of violation of the law. Overnight, Italy has gone from smoke filled to practically smoke free when in public.

I was surprised at how well this was working in Italy myself. If it can work there, then there should be no problems here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can I just mention that I am loving this ban? On particularly smoky nights at Deluxe, I would start to lose my voice by the end of the shift. Nothing like hacking or anything, but I just used to get hoarse quite often. This happens to my brother as well whenever we go out to bars. We will always be voiceless by midnight (probably to the joy of those within our immediate vacinity) Not anymore, it's been crisp and clean at work and we went to Atomic (one of the smokiest places in DC besides Bourbon Glover Park) the other night and played pool for about 4 hours and were feeling great. We couldn't even figure out why we were enjoying ourselves more than usual and then it kicked in a split second later, "oh yeah the smoking ban!"

A few other random observations, the doomsday/mass exodus predicted by opponents must be scheduled for next month or something. All the chain smokers were on their usual barstools when I came in. Most of them were actually drinking a few more drinks than usual and some people who NEVER order food were actually getting appetizers to take their mind off their crawling skin I assume. In confidence I had two HUGE proponents of the smoking ban both tell me separately they secretly have enjoyed it now that it is a done deal. They are smoking less and they can actually wear out their nice coats and sweaters. I am sure there are quite a few hating it but in my neck of the woods it was completely unnoticable except for that realization an hour and a half into the meal, "Oh yeah! There's no smoke in here, awesome."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I for one am glad to see the ban. I quit smoking 17 years ago and have since found my tolerance for others smoke at a zero level. :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a good chuckle when WTOP ran a continual piece one day about the ban. They kept repeating the opponents' gloom and doom mantra that smokers would take their money to Virginia restaurants rather than submit to the ban in DC. Right.

If this board has shown anything, it has shown that even hard-core ...ahem - what's that word? ..."people passionate about food"...have major issues with crossing into the great unknown that is NoVa, no matter what the lure. Call me nuts, but no way the average DC JoeSixpack is going to drive "all the way" to Virginia just to have a smoke with his burger and beer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I had a good chuckle when WTOP ran a continual piece one day about the ban. They kept repeating the opponents' gloom and doom mantra that smokers would take their money to Virginia restaurants rather than submit to the ban in DC. Right.
I don't know if this was the same WTOP piece, but it highlighted a wrinkle I hadn't heard about before (sorry if mentioned upthread).

What's up with the hardship waiver? If a restaurant/bar shows that their business drops 5% "cigarette prohibition" is repealed for them??

Currently, there is a proposed exemption for businesses that show a 5 percent drop in sales due to the ban.

But Fenty, appearing on Washington Post Radio's Politics Program with WTOP's Mark Plotkin, says that percentage is too low.

"We definitely will do a hardship exemption," Fenty says.

The threshold could be raised to as much as 15 percent, Fenty says.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"Tobacco bars" are not subject to the smoking ban. The DC implementing legislation defines a "tobacco bar" as:
a restaurant, tavern, brew pub, club, or nightclub that generates 10% or more of its total annual revenue from the on-site sale of tobacco products, excluding sales from vending machines, or the rental of on-site humidors.
Apparantly, Shelly's can meet the 10% test by including the revenue from renting on-site humidors. Here is a link to the Act.

With my lazy-ass colloquial understanding of English grammar, this looks an awful lot like a case of ambiguous commas. Is humidor rental part of the "excluding" statement, or part of the "generates from" statement? Because that could make quite a difference.

One hopes that those in the legal profession here have a well-established tradition of operator precedence. Unlike those wacky Canadians.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve held my tongue long enough. My (current) signature and avatar tells you where I stand in this debate. As much as I hate traveling to Virginia, I have spent quite a bit of time researching smoker-friendly restaurants in the Commonwealth.

This came after deciding, on three separate occasions, against visiting my favorite burger and beer places ‘cause of the ban. (And this after only day 9 into the ban!) I’ll admit: the allure of going to the burger and beer places was that I could sit at the bar and have a cigarette before and after my meal.

Several places voluntarily banned smoking soon after the bill passed. That’s fine; they made a business decision and I respect that. However, I no longer patronize those places. Others have plans to provide heat lamps and enclosed areas on rooftops or terraces. I will patronize those places.

If I’m ready to cross the river for a burger and cigarette, you know, as someone “passionate about food,” I’ll search out a “high-end” restaurant that may allow smoking. And, thanks to this board, I’ve been introduced to some very good restaurants. Most are walking distance from a Metro station. I do realize these places may not allow smoking, but that’s okay. If (when) I find one, it will be well worth the trip.

Besides… eating at home guarantees that I’ll meet my goal in the “Fit for Summer” challenge.

Virginia is a tobacco state; a smoking ban will not happen anytime soon.

If this board has shown anything, it has shown that even hard-core ...ahem - what's that word? ..."people passionate about food"...have major issues with crossing into the great unknown that is NoVa, no matter what the lure. Call me nuts, but no way the average DC JoeSixpack is going to drive "all the way" to Virginia just to have a smoke with his burger and beer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have spent quite a bit of time researching smoker-friendly restaurants in the Commonwealth.

Virginia is a tobacco state; a smoking ban will not happen anytime soon.

I'm curious what restaurants near Metro you have found so far that let you light up at the table?

Extrapolating wildy and irresponsibly from the fact that you haven't yet actually made it across the Potomac for that burger and smoke, still makes me believe that the doom-and-gloomers overestimated a wee bit in their dire prediction of a mass exodus of DC smokers into the Commonwealth. My own prediction is that most smokers will stay put and make do with sidewalks, alleys, stairwells and patios in DC before they will get on Metro and head to Ye Olde Pub & Grub in Crystal City.

And don't be so sure about Virginia. The Commonwealth may never ban smoking, but it's not beyond reason that some individual municipalities or counties may think about going that route.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Apparantly, Shelly's can meet the 10% test by including the revenue from renting on-site humidors. Here is a link to the Act.

With my lazy-ass colloquial understanding of English grammar, this looks an awful lot like a case of ambiguous commas. Is humidor rental part of the "excluding" statement, or part of the "generates from" statement? Because that could make quite a difference.

One hopes that those in the legal profession here have a well-established tradition of operator precedence. Unlike those wacky Canadians.

I don't disagree that it could have been drafted more clearly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Can I just mention that I am loving this ban?

I agree completely! As someone who both works at and attends a lot of concerts its making my nights out much more comfortable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm curious what restaurants near Metro you have found so far that let you light up at the table?

Not at the table but at the bar. I've enjoyed quite a few good meals at the bar.

Here is what I found:

Bistro Bistro

4021 S. 28th St.

Arlington, VA 22206

(703/379-0300)

South Arlington

Arlington

Burgers/Bar Food

American

Clare and Don's Beach Shack

3014 Wilson Blvd.

Arlington, VA 22201

(703/465-7873)

Arlington

Clarendon

Seafood

American

The Front Page Restaurant & Grille

4201 Wilson Blvd.

Arlington, VA 22203

(703/248-9990)

Ballston

Arlington

Steaks

Seafood

Hard Times Cafe

3028 Wilson Blvd.

Arlington, VA 22201

(703/528-2233)

Clarendon

Arlington

American

Matsutake Sushi & Steakhouse

4121 Wilson Blvd.

Arlington, VA 22203

(703/351-8787)

Ballston

Arlington

Sushi

Japanese

Mister Days Sports Rock Cafe

3100 Clarendon Blvd.

Arlington, VA 22201

(703/527-1600)

Clarendon

Arlington

American

Pines of Italy

237 N. Glebe Road

Arlington, VA 22203

(703/524-4969)

Ballston

Arlington

Italian

Pizza

Rock-It Grill

1319 King St.

Alexandria, VA 22314

(703/739-2274)

Old Town

American

Seagars

Hilton Alexandria Old Town, 1767 King St.

Alexandria, VA 22314

(703/837-0440)

Old Town

Alexandria

Seafood

Steaks

SoBe Seafood Co.

3100 N. Clarendon Blvd.

Arlington, VA 22201

(703/528-0033)

Clarendon

Arlington

Seafood

Stars & Stripes

567 23rd St. S

Crystal City, VA 22202

(703/979-1872)

Crystal City/Pentagon City

American

Burgers/Bar Food

Two-Nineteen Restaurant

219 King St.

Alexandria, VA 22314

(703/549-1141)

Old Town

Alexandria

Seafood

Cajun/Creole

Zig's

4531 Duke St.

Alexandria, VA 22304

(703/823-2777)

Alexandria

Pizza

Burgers/Bar Food

Extrapolating wildy and irresponsibly from the fact that you haven't yet actually made it across the Potomac for that burger and smoke

No, I haven't made it across the river since the DC ban; it's been less than 10 days since the ban and I have yet to have my monthly red meat craving. And, from the times I have ventured into the Commonwealth, Freddy's at Crystal City and Ruby Tuesday's at Pentagon City did allow smoking.

For now, let's agree to disagree. As I said, I was reluctant to jump into this conversation. The sentiments on this board are quite obvious. Yet I felt obligated to add my $0.02 and an alternate point of view.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree completely! As someone who both works at and attends a lot of concerts its making my nights out much more comfortable.

I attend a lot of concerts and I'm hoping that the DC Council, in their concern for my health, will ban loud music next. I know when I walk out of a club with my ears ringing that I'm one step closer to a hearing aid -- I think I should be able to hear rock and roll without risking my ears.

But it's not really about me. It's about the poor employees of these places. Sure, maybe I could choose not to go, or even wear ear plugs -- just as nonsmokers could have worn filters -- but you can't really take a beer order without being able to hear what people are saying. I don't care if the bands want to deafen themselves, but their second-hand noise is causing hearing damage to innocent employees and I want it stopped.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I attend a lot of concerts and I'm hoping that the DC Council, in their concern for my health, will ban loud music next. I know when I walk out of a club with my ears ringing that I'm one step closer to a hearing aid -- I think I should be able to hear rock and roll without risking my ears.

But it's not really about me. It's about the poor employees of these places. Sure, maybe I could choose not to go, or even wear ear plugs -- just as non smokers could have worn filters -- but you can't really take a beer order without being able to hear what people are saying. I don't careif the bands want to deafen themselves, but their second-hand noise is causing hearing damage to innocent employees and I want it stopped.

Sarcasm noted but sound levels have been regulated for awhile I believe. Occupational Safety & Health Administration has decibel caps for places of employment. So don't worry about your ears or the poor employees. And it isn't just some small potatoes local regulations, we are talking federal here. Interesting the federal government has actually stepped in to regulate levels of sound waves but done nothing to regulate the emmission of a known carcinogen. Maybe the federal government will eventually start taking as big of a role in smoking bans as they have in decibel control but I doubt it. I don't think the death metal lobby carries the same clout as the tobacco growers around the Hill.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What's up with the hardship waiver? If a restaurant/bar shows that their business drops 5% "cigarette prohibition" is repealed for them??

Section 4919 of the implementing legislation authorizes the mayor to grant exemptions in limited cirucmstances. I don't know if regulations have been promulgated yet. I don't know where the "5%" figure comes from; it's not in the legislation.

"Sec. 4919. Economic hardship waiver.

(a) The Mayor may grant an economic hardship waiver from the requirements of this part; provided, that prior to the granting of a waiver, the applicant establishes, to the satisfaction of the Mayor, that compliance with the requirements of this part has caused or will cause undue financial hardship. An economic hardship waiver shall be based on regulations issued in accordance with section 4921.

( :lol: Notwithstanding any other provision of law, places of employment and public places where smoking is permitted pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall:

"(1) Have been in existence on or before January 1, 2007;

"(2) Not permit smoking in an area that exceeds 25% of the total area, if the place of employment or public place is a restaurant as defined in D.C. Official Code § 25-101;

and

"(3) Be subject to conditions or restrictions as may be necessary to minimize the adverse effects of smoking and shall be consistent with the general purpose of part B of this act.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sarcasm noted but sound levels have been regulated for awhile I believe. Occupational Safety & Health Administration has decibel caps for places of employment. So don't worry about your ears or the poor employees. And it isn't just some small potatoes local regulations, we are talking federal here. Interesting the federal government has actually stepped in to regulate levels of sound waves but done nothing to regulate the emmission of a known carcinogen. Maybe the federal government will eventually start taking as big of a role in smoking bans as they have in decibel control but I doubt it. I don't think the death metal lobby carries the same clout as the tobacco growers around the Hill.

I have a great deal of anecdotal eveidence that federal regulation of concert venue sound levels is either non-existent or unenforced, though I do know that in factories etc. regulations are in place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have a great deal of anecdotal eveidence that federal regulation of concert venue sound levels is either non-existent or unenforced, though I do know that in factories etc. regulations are in place.

Noncompliance aside, I am just trying to point out that there are a TON of regulations out there to protect patrons and employees at restaurants/bars yet no one ever cried "nanny state" until this one. This just happens to be one of the only ones that is trying to regulate use of an addictive substance. Obviously there is going to be some backlash from addicts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Virginia is a tobacco state; a smoking ban will not happen anytime soon.

Kentucky is a tobacco state, and smoking is already banned in much of the state.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...