December 11th, 2009 at 1:12 PM ^

Here in the nanny-state of Ontario the powers that be enforce far more stringent law on the topic (i.e., no smoking in cars with children, no provision of heated outdoor structural shelter outside your bar i.e., on the patio etc.).


December 11th, 2009 at 9:36 PM ^

(which is odd for many laws here as we do tend to go *way* overboard on a lot of things legislatively)...for example, you might recall us as the country that recently legislated that only kids over 14 can ride on the back of motorcycles with their parents (because apparently motorcyclists here would be too stupid to reasonably consider their children's safety and/or the already existing laws around careless driving)

Ontario is not for the independent minded, believe me.


December 12th, 2009 at 2:36 AM ^

The NHS is banning smokers from hospital waiting rooms. Not smoking. SMOKERS. Reason: third-hand tobacco smoke. Smokers smoke. It gets toxins on their clothes and in their hair. This makes them walking chemical weapons.

This is not a joke. Smokers are systematically being excluded from civilization.

I am a nonsmoker, but this is friggin' lunacy.


December 11th, 2009 at 1:13 PM ^

I don't smoke, but I grew up on a tobacco farm, so this issue always hits close to home. Anytime a state has a change in tobacco policy, it does not hurt the tobacco companies because they pass the extra cost onto the farmers by paying less for the raw tobacco.


December 11th, 2009 at 1:14 PM ^

Personally, I'm against the ban (I live in PA where there is a ban, albeit slightly less restrictive in nature). I'm not a smoker, never have been and never will be. I think the legislation would be better if the taxes on cigarettes were just jacked up even more. All you really need is to have established smoking and non-smoking sections.


December 11th, 2009 at 1:17 PM ^

The problem with cigarette taxes is that instead of raising gradually every year, they raise it significantly once every ten years when they need increased revenue. (Last year's tax raise in Michigan made the price of loose tobacco rise 300%.) This forces smokers to make a major lifestyle change and hurts the stores that see a sudden drop in business. If the taxes just went up a set increment every year, the system would not be so ridiculous.


December 11th, 2009 at 1:27 PM ^

I agree that the current tax increase system is pretty poorly implemented. What I was trying to say is that instead of banning it everywhere, tack on what amounts to a "right to smoke" tax and let owners of businesses decide whether they want to allow smoking or not.


December 11th, 2009 at 9:45 PM ^

Here in the Great White North we take overtaxation seriously...indeed, so seriously that what has happened is that the smokers don't buy the branded cigarettes and instead by counterfeit ones made in China or attend the local first nations reservation where huge business is done in "smoke shops". So, for example, you can buy a carton here for $70 commercially or just attend the local reservation and get a carton of packaged and blended cigarettes (the Six Nations reservation has moved into professional manufacture of cigarettes) for around $25. It's completely impossible to police (too many roads in and out and also big business for First Nations) but has caused about a 1 billion loss to provincial revenues.

I'd say those advocating huge tax increases look at whether or not there is a ceiling to that effect before organized crime (counterfeit) or First Nations (self-made product) come calling.


December 12th, 2009 at 1:28 PM ^

When NYC jacked taxes under Mayor Bloomberg, a few months later, several middle eastern men were busted running a smuggling scheme. They bought cigs in NC, trucked them to NYC, and sold them at 100%-ish markup, which was still a discount to the then-$8.50ish per pack NYC price. It was then discovered that they were funneling their profits back to bank accounts flagged as terrorist financing-related.

Yet another example of the effect of prohibition (or brutal taxation in this case) creating outsized profits for those morally/ethically uninvested in the value of the law. Pablo Escobar et al did pretty well using this business model, too.


December 11th, 2009 at 2:07 PM ^

if you can convince the smoke to stay in the smoking section. But smoke is a pain in the ass like that. It just does its own thing. It doesn't live by your rules. Smoke is kinda like James Dean in that way.

Having a no-smoking section in a restaurant is like having a no-peeing section of a swimming pool.


December 11th, 2009 at 1:18 PM ^

I hate it. Obviously. I live in Virginia where the ban took effect Dec. 1. It's been lousy to deal with because I hate freezing my ass off when I have to go outside at the bar.

The bigger problem I have with it is the regulation. In a down economy I don't think the government should restrict businesses from doing what they think is best to make a profit. If bars and restaurants think they can make more money by eliminating smoking, they should. If they think they can make money by allowing smoking, they should.

Also, I live in a cabin ... and am working on a manifesto.


December 11th, 2009 at 1:20 PM ^

Chicago has been smoke free for about 2 years. Smoker's complained when the law passed, but 2 years later, almost all of my friends that smoke either like it, or, have adapted to it easily.

Time heals all wounds. Well, all wounds but for lung disease.

EDIT: As for the "it will hurt business" argument - at least in Wrigleyville, there has been 0 negative effect. Bars still packed, people still drinking -- just smoking outside.


December 11th, 2009 at 1:34 PM ^

I live there as well, and when the ban went into effect I was annoyed. I've totally gotten used to it to, though, to the point that when I go home I still go outside for my smokes (even though I don't have to). A breath of fresh air never hurt anyone and even I, a smoker, smell less like complete shit the next morning. The key to making this a non- issue is that bars need to allow easy exit and reentry for their smoking patrons. Really, the law just made the doorman's job harder.

It does suck for January and February though.


December 11th, 2009 at 2:03 PM ^

Yea man I live in Chicago and I can tell you that if the smoking ban was reversed, there would be total outrage. It's great to go to a bar, have some drinks, eat some food, and socialize and not go home smelling like smoke.

The bars in Wrigley, on Rush Street, etc. are still packed and I would say that its possible that more revenue is made with the smoking ban. When I go back home to Michigan I dont even go to the bars there because I refuse to smell like shit when I go home. Plus I like keeping my lungs healthy


December 11th, 2009 at 1:20 PM ^

I will say this ban is bullshit. If you don't like smoking, don't go to a smoky place. Simple.

But no, god forbid I should be able to enjoy a cigarette at the bar now, there's a possibility I might increase the chances someone else gets lung cancer because they voluntarily went to the bar.


December 11th, 2009 at 1:39 PM ^

But this law isn't about liking or disliking others smoking habits in restaurants and bars. This aspect does make the law popular, even if one is politically opposed to it. But, contrary to many assumptions, this is not, primarily, about consumers and "the market".

No, this is a public health issue dealing with second hand smoke and workers. Ask the waitress at your local Denny's if she likes smoking or not. Doesn't really matter, because she has to go to work everyday whether she likes it or not.

I, for one, can't wait to go to all of those restaurants we've been avoiding since my son was born.


December 11th, 2009 at 1:49 PM ^

People work jobs they don't like, or are dangerous all the time, solely to convenience the public. I'm sorry if my waitress doesn't like smoking, but she's not legally bound to be there. It might not be realistic for her to quit, but we all have to make sacrifices to earn money. It would be nice to live in a perfect world where we all work where we want, but we don't.

This law is legislating away bar owners rights to satisfy the moral majority, and that is just wrong. It goes against the principles our country was founded on. A majority doesn't make you right, sadly it does let you push laws through that infringe upon the rights of others.

I'm sickened that it comes to this. Its the smokers now, but what next? Do we make it illegal to drink outside your house because you might offend a waitress? Do we outlaw violent TV shows because they MIGHT cause violent crimes? Where does the line get drawn?


December 11th, 2009 at 2:02 PM ^

Perhaps this is because you are a smoker, but you fail to recognize that smoking nicotine is extremely harmful to one's body. It is linked to obesity, heart disease, cancer, pulminary disease, hyper-tension, periodontal disease, lowered fertility, cataracts, wrinkles, bad breath, etc. My wife is a doctor, and the first question she asks a sick patient is, "Do you smoke?".

Second hand smoke isn't as bad as inhaling the stuff directly, but it is linked to all of the major health problems associated with smoking. I'll say it again, this isn't about being "offended", it's about public health. Drunk people cause harm too, but only after they get behind the wheel. That's why that is outlawed too.

Perhaps it is not the supposed freedoms of the employee that's in question here. (and these, days few of us are free to choose their employer) Perhaps this is a question of the freedom of a smoker to exhale in front of anybody anytime. You mention that we all make sacrifices at our work, but few of us have to compromise our health at work because of somebody else's totally voluntary behavior. There are laws to protect people against this kind of stuff, ask OSHA. This law is just another in that same line of defense.


December 12th, 2009 at 1:24 AM ^

There are tons of jobs that require us to expose ourselves to health risks. We all have the ability to find another job if they're to such an extent that we feel like it's not worth it. Construction workers face harsh conditions, get exposed to all sorts of fumes, and many dangers. Firemen. Cops. Military service. I myself have had jobs that require me to be around clients couching up TB and lord knows what else, go into apartment with bedbugs, and go on the Cass Corridor to get HIV drug using street workers away from their pimps. None of it was healthy. And no one forced me to do it.


December 11th, 2009 at 2:23 PM ^

How about the protection of cooking staff, touring bands (those who don't already smoke), sound guys, maintenaince people, dealers at the casinos (oops, guess they don't count in Michigan), and anybody else who has to work in a smoking environment.

Anyways, what's bullshit about being interested in the health of waitresses? Do you believe that their health doesn't warrant a smoking ban? Or is it hard to believe that anybody would actually care about it?

I was a waiter in a past life. The smoking sucked, but I lived. I also grew up in a house with a smoker. (My dad quit when I was 15) About that same age, I went to the doctor for a physical, and he was convinced I was a smoker after listening to my lungs. It took some convincing, but he only fully believed my story after I informed him that my dad was a smoker my whole life until that point.

Yes, the ban is awfully convenient for me and my family, but I do actually care about the real effects of second hand smoke. Even on waitresses.


December 11th, 2009 at 3:22 PM ^

work at Dow Chemical, brah. I think that is more hazardous.

Pay should reflect exposure to hazards. Government could have forced smoking establishments to pay their staff more money. That would be an intelligent policy that utilizes the laws of economics.


December 11th, 2009 at 2:07 PM ^

when they are all non-smoking, this is the answer you get to "name a good smoking bar."

bars are not good because of smoke, but in spite of it. if the oh-so enlightened cities of lexington and louisville, kentucky (which makes a lot of money selling tabacco) have changed the law, there is most likely something to it.


December 11th, 2009 at 6:35 PM ^

If I could vote you 1,000,000,000 mgopoints I would. The next big thing will be sunlight. Since the sun causes cancer whether you want it to or not the sheeple will try to have it banned. Why should I have to wear sunscreen or stay indoors...I don't want to think for myself.

My dad has emphysema from smoking. You know who caused it, he did. No big tobacco, or government, just his own choice. I guess I should sue Philip Morris or RJ Reynolds for tricking him...


December 11th, 2009 at 1:21 PM ^

Personally, I am all for the ban. Michigan was one of the last states to pass this law. In other states where similar laws have been passed people still smoke, they just don't do it in bars or restaurants.
Think of the poor bar owner who gets sued by a waitress because she gets cancer and blames it on second hand smoke. This is happening more and more.
This has not hurt tobacco sales very much. Worldwide tobacco use continues to increase. With the low dollar we are exporting more cigarettes to developing nations. Go to Asia, the 6 year olds are smoking.
Just my 2 cents.


December 11th, 2009 at 1:34 PM ^

Bar's make their money on people that 1) Drink; and/or 2) Meet up to socialize; and/or 3) Want to avoid their families; and/or 4) Want to meet someone to nail.

No one has ever, ever, ever walked into a bar for the sole purpose of smoking a cig.

Therefore, bar owners will still make money as long as Booze, Friends, nagging wives, and tail are not outlawed.


December 11th, 2009 at 1:37 PM ^

No one has ever, ever, ever walked into a bar for the sole purpose of smoking a cig.

I have, and my decision as to where I choose to eat lunch is greatly impacted by the smoking policy of said bar/restaurant. I'm quite sure there are others like me (my woman for one). I'm not a fan of this ban, if you can't tell.


December 11th, 2009 at 2:51 PM ^

infringe on others liberties and smoke a cigarette. Poor poor you. I live in Chicago and ya know what people do they go outside. And if it's cold outside (like it is today) people question if they actually want to smoke.

You can still smoke you just have to go outside to do it but having a "smoking section" in a restaurant is like having a "peeing section" in a pool.