Bring On The Public Smoking Bans

Smoking is evil. It always has been. Fortunately it seems, times are changing–public smoking bans are on the horizon. Some countries have already adopted them, like Ireland and Sweden. Backwater countries, like Denmark, are slower to catch the scent of the times. That scent is fresh air.

As an ex-asthmatic but still allergic, smoking bans make extra sense to me. I’ve been taught to take care of my lungs, more so I think, than most people. Essentially, smoke is bad for everyone–it’s just worse for asthmatics.

I can take some amount of second-hand smoke (without dying), sure, most of us can. The question is, why should I? It gets in your lungs, clothes, hair, skin, eyes. It’s like burning a tire inside your house, only somehow smoking is socially acceptable. It makes the next day extra crappy by amplifying a possible hangover. I’ve found myself skipping social occasions simply due to there being too much smoke. I’ve even left early because my eyes hurt. This annoys the crap out of me.

So bring on the public smoking bans, preferably yesterday! It works for Ireland. Your thoughts?

55 thoughts on “Bring On The Public Smoking Bans”

  1. Christoph says:

    I totally agree. I was in Sweden for four months on exchange and I really appreciated the smoking bans inside of restaurants, pubs,… I never really cared before (of course it was annoying that you have to take a shower after you come home because you simply can’t stand the smell) but since I’m back here in Austria I would love to see a no-smoking sign on the door of my favorite caf?.

    Leaving the place for a smoke shouldn’t be a problem for most people – especially not in summer and not in winters like these.

  2. Chris says:

    Leaving the place for a smoke shouldn?t be a problem for most people – especially not in summer and not in winters like these.

    Ah, a positive side to Global Warming?

  3. Christoph says:

    At least we have found something positive about it – besides the I-can-study-on-the-balcony-because-it’s-so-warm-thing…

  4. Bilal says:

    It was supposed to be banned here in Alberta, Canada starting January ’07… but I’ve noticed that people are still smoking in public areas. =/

  5. Brendan says:

    A a (soon to be ex) smoker, whilst I agree that bans in some areas are a great idea, they’re also a double edged sword. It causes a large number of people to be minotisised when an over zealous ban renders virtually everywhere banned.

    That can include out on the front door step, or even the back yard.

    I agree smoking is bad – I’m in the process of giving up – but do consider that the bans are usually terribly badly implemented and are often massive overkill, affecting any number of people.

  6. Scotland has a smoking ban too, thankfully. Bars & Clubs are so much better without smoke, it’s unreal.

    Here’s hoping they bring it to the whole EU!

  7. Joen says:

    Leaving the place for a smoke shouldn?t be a problem for most people – especially not in summer and not in winters like these.

    I’d think so!

    It was supposed to be banned here in Alberta, Canada starting January ?07… but I?ve noticed that people are still smoking in public areas. =/

    At least you do have a smoking ban 🙂

    It causes a large number of people to be minotisised when an over zealous ban renders virtually everywhere banned.

    I agree smoking is bad – I?m in the process of giving up – but do consider that the bans are usually terribly badly implemented and are often massive overkill, affecting any number of people.

    I’m quite sure smoking bans can be implemented badly, and that’s not a good thing. However, my frame of reference — Sweden — as Christoph also sais, is an example of how it can work well. Sure smokers have to step outside of the caf?, but usually they do it two or three at a time, and those I’ve spoken to don’t mind because “even smokers like fresh air”. Meaning: the better environment inside benefits the smokers as well. As for the stepping outside bit, I’m unsure how it could be much different.

    Scotland has a smoking ban too, thankfully. Bars & Clubs are so much better without smoke, it?s unreal.

    In Denmark, I’ve only noticed how nice it is when I visit non-smoking friends fridays or saturdays. But yes, that’s unreal.

  8. Bojan says:

    I absolutely agree with everything in the post. I hate cigarette smoke and I’ve never inhaled one single smoke. However, I’ve probably smoked tons of cigarettes by inhaling second-hand smoke.

    Here in Croatia, there’s smoke everywhere. Restaurants and bars have non-smoking areas, but usually they’re not even properly separated from the smoking sections. Of course, they are required by law to separate the sections and have decent ventilation, but that law is just not carried out. In my neighborhood, there’s not a single place you can go to and be “safe” from smoke.

    One of the “problems” with the smokers here (and probably everywhere) is the fact that it’s a cool thing–people tend to think they look better if they smoke. They also have something to do–if you smoke, your hands are busy and you’re doing something while the other person is talking. I’ve talked to many smokers and 80% of them admit this. The other 20% are just addicted.

  9. Blake says:

    The way my clothes smell (and hair) after coming home from a bar is exactly what my lungs smell like. And that’s a pretty disgusting thought.

    I don’t have much sympathy for smokers who don’t try to quit. The education is there. We all know what smoking does to the body. I do have sympathy for smokers who are now trying to quit. It is addicting and is extremely difficult to quit.

    I’m pretty thankful I’ve never once taken a drag off a cigarette without puking my guts out.

  10. Joen says:

    Here in Croatia, there?s smoke everywhere. Restaurants and bars have non-smoking areas, but usually they?re not even properly separated from the smoking sections. Of course, they are required by law to separate the sections and have decent ventilation, but that law is just not carried out. In my neighborhood, there?s not a single place you can go to and be ?safe? from smoke.

    Sounds like the same situation as Denmark right now. To make matters worse, the smoking ban that IS on the horizon seems to be a partial sort of thing, with “places larger than x people” being allowed special treatment and so on.

    The way my clothes smell (and hair) after coming home from a bar is exactly what my lungs smell like. And that?s a pretty disgusting thought.

    Indeed.

    I don?t have much sympathy for smokers who don?t try to quit. The education is there. We all know what smoking does to the body. I do have sympathy for smokers who are now trying to quit. It is addicting and is extremely difficult to quit.

    Well put, I think I feel the same way.

  11. Bramick says:

    It’s beginning to grow here in the States too. In California you can hardly smoke anywhere. Here in Dallas… a lot of the suburbs have started the ban unless an establishment has a certain percentage of revenues from alcohol.. ie you can smoke in bars.

    Dallas is proposing legislation as well, so we’ll see what happens. A night without coming home and smelling like an ash tray is very nice.

  12. Daniel P says:

    However, I?ve probably smoked tons of cigarettes by inhaling second-hand smoke.

    Statistically, an adult inhales ca 6 cigarettes per year passively.

    They also have something to do–if you smoke, your hands are busy and you?re doing something while the other person is talking.

    Yeah, it’s a relaxing way to talk to people while keeping yourself otherwise occupied. That’s generally why I smoke. (gasp) Of course, living in Sweden, I only smoke in the hidden away corners.. Mainly the balcony at my office, or on those 3 am walks.

    The way my clothes smell (and hair) after coming home from a bar is exactly what my lungs smell like. And that?s a pretty disgusting thought.

    Somehow, I don’t think the smell of your lungs is likely to be that great to begin with. But if you like smelling lungs, that’s your business. 😉

    I don?t have much sympathy for smokers who don?t try to quit.

    I don’t think we’re asking for much sympathy. At least, I’m not.

    I’m all for smoking bans, not because of the overhyped ‘second-hand smoking kills’ thing though. Mostly it just ruins the atmosphere to have a restaurant or such smelling of smoke, and it ruins otherwise peaceful busrides to have chain smokers around you in general (even not smoking).. The only place in Sweden I wish it was permissible to smoke in would be my pool hall. Cause without the smoke, the place just smells of sweat.. Hard to get into a real pool mood with that.

    What I consider difficult with the second-hand cmoking kills band, is that the majoirty of the imformation that they’re pushing is from the EPA’s 92 report (EPA ’93) and the Helena report.. Which are both discredited due to their statistical inaccuracies.. So for the most part they’re difficult to take seriously. Still, i’m for smoking bans (to an extent).

  13. Joen says:

    Statistically, an adult inhales ca 6 cigarettes per year passively.

    First of all: source? Second — does that statistic say whether inhaling one year of smoke passive smoke actually translates into smoking 6 cigarettes? Meaning: which is healthier?

    I?m all for smoking bans, not because of the overhyped ?second-hand smoking kills? thing though. Mostly it just ruins the atmosphere to have a restaurant or such smelling of smoke, and it ruins otherwise peaceful busrides to have chain smokers around you in general (even not smoking).

    I like your kind of smoker.

  14. adam says:

    I won’t agree that smoking is evil, partly because i am a smoker, and partly because i don’t believe in unqualified moral statements like that.

    i do agree with public smoking bans though.

    smoking in confined public spaces is harmful to others, and fundamentally anti-social. no society should condone the infliction of injury on another person, regardless of how small or indirect the injury is.

  15. Joen says:

    I won?t agree that smoking is evil, partly because i am a smoker, and partly because i don?t believe in unqualified moral statements like that.

    I have to come clean and confess that the “smoking is evil” statement was sarcasm. I’m sorry to have offended you with it.

    i do agree with public smoking bans though.

    I’m thrilled to hear this from smokers, after all, we all have to inhabit this planet together. We might as well get along.

  16. adam says:

    heh, sorry, my sarcasm meter is thoroughly broken. i wasn’t offended at all, though.

  17. Brendan says:

    Yes, the jury is still out on just how much damage second-hand smoke actually does, particularly as there are literally, only two ‘accepted’ studies ever conducted on the subject, both of which have been discredited as being inaccurate. Despite the potential inaccurate material they contain, they are still frequently quoted as sources for ban creation.

    I’m quite sure there is a link between second-hand smoke and illness, just how bad that link is, seems to be seriously blown out of proportion in any report I’ve ever read.

    I do actually agree that banning smoking in bars, clubs, etc is a good idea.

    I do also, however, have a problem with the ‘blanket ban’ approach which seems to be all the rage where the only place one can have a puff, is inside one’s own home, because virtually everywhere else is off limits.

    I hate the smell of stale smoke, do not smoke in my own home (to eliminate smell as well as provide a comfortable environment for guests) – and indeed I am very much inclined to ensure that when I do smoke, that I make sure anyone remotely near me is ‘okay’ with it. If not, I move.

    Nothing irritates me more than an uninformed anti-smoking nut who chooses to bail me up and declare what I am doing is evil – despite the fact that they would be fine if they simply kept the distance I purposefully create when smoking with company.

  18. Cyphase says:

    I guess I’m the only person here who disagrees with smoking bans. Like many people have said, the ‘study’ that says secondhand smoking causes lung cancer was fudged. Also, you don’t have the right to tell someone what they can or can’t do in their own business, restaurant, whatever. It’s their property, or they’re renting it from the owner. Only they have the right to choose whether they want to allow smoking or not. If you don’t like their choice, go somewhere else. Don’t point guns at people just to make them do what you want them to do.

  19. Joen says:

    Brendan,

    Nothing irritates me more than an uninformed anti-smoking nut who chooses to bail me up and declare what I am doing is evil – despite the fact that they would be fine if they simply kept the distance I purposefully create when smoking with company.

    I see the pun here, and I’d just like to reiterate that I don’t actually think smoking is evil. People are free to have their own habits — if someone likes alcohol, fine with me. The big difference is, I don’t become a passive drinker due to alcohol. As such, I would prefer smoking bans on public places, so those public places either have to create very well ventilated / isolated smoking areas, or require customers to step outside — two scenarios I think most smokers wouldn’t mind too much, but would make a HUGE difference in my and many nonsmokers lives.

    Cyphase,

    Like many people have said, the ?study? that says secondhand smoking causes lung cancer was fudged.

    I don’t need no study to tell me whether secondhand smoke is bad — I can feel it on myself. Not only the health issues, but all the other issues (clothes smelling) as well. Second hand smoke is just not healthy, I don’t think there can really be any doubt about that — studies or not.

    Also, you don?t have the right to tell someone what they can or can?t do in their own business, restaurant, whatever. It?s their property, or they?re renting it from the owner.

    What about the people working there? Unions have struggled for worker rights for ages, forcing employers to concede various rights in the name of health. A truck driver is only allowed to drive for so long before he / she has to take a break. Why should a bartender have to breathe smoke? I’d say that if it wasn’t a case for smoking bans, then it’d be a case for the unions. Either way.

    Only they have the right to choose whether they want to allow smoking or not. If you don?t like their choice, go somewhere else. Don?t point guns at people just to make them do what you want them to do.

    Take that logic a little farther, and why shouldn’t I be allowed to build nuclear missiles on my property? It’s my property after all. Sure, second-hand smoking isn’t quite as lethal as a nuclear missiles — I’m exaggerating to make a point. That point being: we do not live in a libertarian society. There are limits on what people are allowed to do, even with / on their own property. What I’m supporting here, is one more limitation, for the benefit of peoples health.

  20. andper says:

    (Joen beat me to it :), here’s my original comment anyway.)

    Sorry Cyphase, but your right to smoke cigarettes is limited by my right to breathe clean air. Now which is more legitimate?

    Plus, public smoking bans are above all meant for protecting workers’ health, like waiters for example, who have no choice but to breathe in the smoke for 8 hours of their worktime every working day.

  21. Cyphase says:

    Joen:

    Unions have struggled for worker rights for ages, forcing employers to concede various rights in the name of health. A truck driver is only allowed to drive for so long before he / she has to take a break. Why should a bartender have to breathe smoke? I?d say that if it wasn?t a case for smoking bans, then it?d be a case for the unions. Either way.

    Then let the unions handle it, not the government. That way, if a restaurant/bar wants to cater to people who like to smoke, they can by hiring non-union workers.

    Take that logic a little farther, and why shouldn?t I be allowed to build nuclear missiles on my property? It?s my property after all. Sure, second-hand smoking isn?t quite as lethal as a nuclear missiles — I?m exaggerating to make a point.

    I really don’t have the time to get detailed about this – and it can get very detailed – but I’ll try to sketch it out. First of all, nuclear missiles are weapons . “Second-hand smoking” is not a weapon, no matter what you think of it. Second, while I think it’s alright to have weapons for self-defense, nuclear missiles can’t exactly be used for “self-defense” because of their wide-area effect. If people are breaking into your house, you can’t fire a nuke at them to defend yourself because it would kill a lot more people then just them. If you had a nuclear missile that only killed your attackers and had absolutely no effect on anyone else, e.g. no fallout, it would be fine in my book.

    andper:

    Sorry Cyphase, but your right to smoke cigarettes is limited by my right to breathe clean air. Now which is more legitimate?

    Smokers don’t have the right to smoke and you don’t have the right to breathe clean air. Business owners have the right to allow or disallow what they want on their property, and customers have the right to choose who they give business to.

    Plus, public smoking bans are above all meant for protecting workers? health, like waiters for example, who have no choice but to breathe in the smoke for 8 hours of their worktime every working day.

    They do have a choice. It’s the choice to work somewhere else. There are actually businesses that don’t allow smoking or that have smoking and non-smoking sections. Note the sarcasm.

    And by the way..

    ..your right to smoke cigarettes..

    I’m not a smoker, and I don’t plan on ever smoking. Why don’t I want smoking bans? Because they infringe on peoples rights – namely business owners.

    “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” – The Friends of Voltaire (1906)

  22. Joen says:

    Then let the unions handle it, not the government. That way, if a restaurant/bar wants to cater to people who like to smoke, they can by hiring non-union workers.

    I don’t quite agree with you here, but fair enough, I’ll concede that point.

    If people are breaking into your house, you can?t fire a nuke at them to defend yourself because it would kill a lot more people then just them.

    I love how my faulty example played out! 🙂

    Business owners have the right to allow or disallow what they want on their property, and customers have the right to choose who they give business to.

    Not entirely true. This is where I failed with my previous nuke example. The point I was trying to make was that even if you live on your own property, you are bound by law in what you can and cannot do. For instance, there’s a law against killing other people. That law works just the same if you kill someone on your own property (and don’t counter with Florida legislature — I’m merely making a point).

    The way I see it, a public smoking ban would simply put more limits to what we can do on our own property — if we are caf? or pub-owners, that is. I wouldn’t support a smoking ban that goes inside your own home.

    I?m not a smoker, and I don?t plan on ever smoking. Why don?t I want smoking bans? Because they infringe on peoples rights – namely business owners.

    While I completely understand this reasoning, I find this type of argument to be similar to the arguments used by workers who attacked car-building robots in order to prevent the bots from taking their work. I think, honestly, that a smoking ban is simply a natural progression of society, and that eventually most everyone will come to support it. The smoking ban is the long strategic chess move that’ll pay out in the long run, but cost today.

    ?I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.? – The Friends of Voltaire (1906)

    I love that quote, and I fully support it. Notice how you’re free to say “fuck you Joen” on this blog. Go on, try it out.

  23. Kevin Cannon says:

    Cyphase – Not everyone who works is in a union. That is especially so for people who work in caf?s and bars since it’s often short-term work by students etc…

    In Ireland on of the main groups who wanted the ban were bar workers. Thye lobbied for it and got support for it from the vast majority of the population. Many bars here now have beer gardens and open are areas where smokers can happy smoke away without problems.

    I understand your point about giving people the choice, but one of the main reasons not to have some places that allow smoking was because not everyone has the job flexibility to refuse working in a place that allows smoking. Bar workers would choose to work in a non-smoking environment over a smokey one, so the main group who would end up working in a smokey environment would be poorer and disadvantaged people who don’t have the job flexibility to choose their working environment.

    Health shouldn’t be luxury.

  24. Anders Rask says:

    I am not asthmatic but I do have a strong allergic reaction to smoke. I don’t need much second-hand smoke before I start feeling nausea and a strong headache. The point is that like Joen I don’t need any statistics or studies to tell me that it’s bad. I can very clearly feel it!

    Living in Scotland the smoking ban has quite literally given me a whole new life. I’ve been able to once again go to pubs, clubs and discos and it’s pretty fucking great.

    Because the smoking ban has so tangibly improved my life, it’s quite difficult for me to see this problem from the theoretical perspective of property-rights.

    I can kinda see the argument about “their property”, however experience tells me that the market place so far has not given rise to alternatives advertising smoke-free premises. The idea of the perfect market-place is based 100% on the idea of perfect information which again (imho) is based on the idea of the rational human being. If there was perfect information and humans were rational not a single soul would be smoking!

    For good and bad we do all live in societies where the public space (and to some degree the private space) is regulated, and I can only endorse regulation that so clearly is good for everyone; including the smokers!

  25. Anders touches on it too, and he’s right: There can’t be a proper market mechanism in this case, as there are too many things preventing the mechanism from working properly. Perfect information is one, the (cultural) starting point could be another. This means that intervention is justified.

    Also, Ireland has given evidence that with the ban in place, people can see it’s nice® and pub owners can notice they still get the same (amount of) customers. Everyone wins.

    Also, fuck you Joen!

    (had to say it! 😉

  26. Cyphase says:

    This is a lot to respond to, so I’ll just try and answer each point in order.

    Joen:

    This is where I failed with my previous nuke example. The point I was trying to make was that even if you live on your own property, you are bound by law in what you can and cannot do. For instance, there?s a law against killing other people. That law works just the same if you kill someone on your own property (and don?t counter with Florida legislature — I?m merely making a point).

    You’re absolutely right. It doesn’t matter where you kill someone. You’ve still killed them, and that’s wrong. However, this isn’t a “we have to restrict some things people can do on their property” law. You own yourself. Therefore, when someone attacks you, even if it’s on their own property, they are “damaging” your property, i.e. injuring/killing you. So you’re not limiting what people can do on their property, you’re limiting what they can to other peoples property. There’s a big difference.

    While I completely understand this reasoning, I find this type of argument to be similar to the arguments used by workers who attacked car-building robots in order to prevent the bots from taking their work.

    I don’t see the similarity. Can you elaborate?

    I think, honestly, that a smoking ban is simply a natural progression of society, and that eventually most everyone will come to support it. The smoking ban is the long strategic chess move that?ll pay out in the long run, but cost today.

    I think it’s a regression of society. We need to have a freer society, not a more restrictive one. Now, this particular restriction might be favored by a lot of people, and might not affect most people, but then there’ll be another restriction, and another. There are already cities banning trans fat (New York) and foie gras (Chicago). What’s next? New York style pizza (you don’t need all that cheese..)? Limitations on number of hamburgers per week? How about just mandating a certain diet? I’m not saying that you support those measures, but you don’t get to decide what gets banned when the snowball starts rolling (and it already has, slowly for now).

    Kevin Cannon:

    Not everyone who works is in a union. That is especially so for people who work in caf?s and bars since it?s often short-term work by students etc…

    I only mentioned unions in response to Joen’s comment. There are a number of other ways working conditions could be handled privately, i.e. without the government.

    In Ireland on of the main groups who wanted the ban were bar workers. Thye lobbied for it and got support for it from the vast majority of the population. Many bars here now have beer gardens and open are areas where smokers can happy smoke away without problems.

    I’m assuming they lobbied the government, not the bars. If that’s the case, why didn’t they lobby the bars?

    I understand your point about giving people the choice, but one of the main reasons not to have some places that allow smoking was because not everyone has the job flexibility to refuse working in a place that allows smoking. Bar workers would choose to work in a non-smoking environment over a smokey one, so the main group who would end up working in a smokey environment would be poorer and disadvantaged people who don?t have the job flexibility to choose their working environment.

    First of all, you’re assuming that no one is willing to work in a smoking-allowed business. This is not the case. So we can take them out of the equation. Now, you said that people would choose to work in a non-smoking environment, leaving us with the poor and disadvantaged who don’t have job flexibility, as you put it. I don’t think they would be so inflexible that they couldn’t move to another bar. So that takes care of some people. For the remaining people, you’re assuming that they have to work in the bar industry. If they’re that poor, they could just as well work at McDonalds, or Wal-Mart, or somewhere else. And for the few people that remain.. You can’t pass a law affecting an entire country just to help a few people. It doesn’t make sense.

    Anders Rask:

    I can kinda see the argument about ?their property?, however experience tells me that the market place so far has not given rise to alternatives advertising smoke-free premises.

    What? In many restaurants, there are smoking/non-smoking sections, as well as restaurants that are completely non-smoking. I don’t go to bars, but I’ve heard similar things from other people.

    The idea of the perfect market-place is based 100% on the idea of perfect information which again (imho) is based on the idea of the rational human being. If there was perfect information and humans were rational not a single soul would be smoking!

    I didn’t say that the market is perfect, but I think it’s a lot better then government regulation. Are you implying that government regulation makes an imperfect market closer to perfect?

    For good and bad we do all live in societies where the public space (and to some degree the private space) is regulated

    For bad, IMHO.

    I can only endorse regulation that so clearly is good for everyone

    I assume “good” means healthy. In that case, do you support trans fat bans, or foie gras bans? How about alcohol, or red meat, or ice cream. Why doesn’t the government commission a study to find out the best diet possible, then mandate that for everyone. It would be sort of flexible. You might have 3 or 4 per meal. They would make exceptions for medical conditions of course. Would you support that?

    James AkaXakA:

    There can?t be a proper market mechanism in this case, as there are too many things preventing the mechanism from working properly.

    Like the government?

    This means that intervention is justified.

    So the government regulates, causes problems, then “intervenes” to “solve” those problems. Right?

    Also, Ireland has given evidence that with the ban in place, people can see it?s nice? and pub owners can notice they still get the same (amount of) customers.

    I don’t know about this. Sources?

    Also, fuck you Joen!

    Yea 😉

  27. Joen says:

    James,

    Also, fuck you Joen!

    Argh… feeling… urge… to censor…

    Cyphase,

    So you?re not limiting what people can do on their property, you?re limiting what they can to other peoples property. There?s a big difference.

    I don’t quite understand this. The government is limiting us in where we can smoke, sure. I support that limitation.

    I don?t see the similarity. Can you elaborate?

    Well, you mention pubs losing customers or revenue due to a smoking ban. I compare that to workers attacking bots in the way that the bots are the smoking ban taking revenue from the workers. Yeah, it’s a stretch. My point is, the workers came to accept car-making robots because it made sense. In the same way I believe pub owners will come to accept a smoking-ban, because I honestly don’t believe it’ll actually decrease revenue in the long run. Quite the opposite, in fact. I believe smokers will eventually accept the ban and go to the pubs anyway, and I believe non-smokers will come out in force.

    So — the smoking ban might steal some revenue today, but it won’t in the long run.

    I think it?s a regression of society. We need to have a freer society, not a more restrictive one.

    In general, I agree — I’m all for civil liberties. However, in this case I’d like limits. I support outlawing heroin too. (No, I’m not directly comparing nicotine to heroin, I’m just saying I support some limits to what we can do in a society).

    There are already cities banning trans fat (New York) and foie gras (Chicago). What?s next? New York style pizza (you don?t need all that cheese..)? Limitations on number of hamburgers per week? How about just mandating a certain diet? I?m not saying that you support those measures, but you don?t get to decide what gets banned when the snowball starts rolling (and it already has, slowly for now).

    I see what you mean. Even so, I’m willing to risk all those bans, if we can just keep the ball rolling until after a smoking ban. It means that much to me.

  28. Anders Rask says:

    Cyphase, drinking vodka or eating foie gras can be unhealthy. I agree. What however separates that from smoking is the exhalation. It goes in to the smokers (private) lungs and then out in the (public) air where it potentially finds its way into my or someone else’s (private) lungs. That in my eyes is an invasion of my private sphere, and that’s why I am for smoking bans. I only see it as a side-effect that it also “benefits” the smokers. I obviously put the quotation marks there because – agreed – the smoker apparently sees some benefit in smoking. A benefit that he or she is willing to pay for with the damage to his or her health.

    To go back to the invasion of my privacy I do understand that your whole argument is that I am free to choose IF I want tot enter a restaurant, pub or theater where people are smoking. For me it comes back to what actually constitutes public space. First of I understand a public space as one where we are all FREE to go to or come in to. If I own a restaurant it’s obviously private property, but in my opinion it’s also part of public space. I believe that I am free to choose who I let in to my house, but not that I can discriminate on a whim who I will accept in my restaurant. You might disagree. For instance I don’t feel it’s OK for me to have a whites-only restaurant.

    If there was such a thing as whites-only restaurants, your argument would be equally valid that the market-place would give rise to blacks-only, asian-only and mixed restaurants again. That way people would be perfectly free to choose.

    Smoking and racism may not entirely be the same thing, however I firmly do believe that the analogy if nothing else clearly shows that the public space does need regulation in order to be a civil society.

    And another small comment: Yes, lots of restaurants have smoking and non-smoking departments. In three out of four cases these do not work, at least not for me, because even when I am in the non-smoking department there is smoke coming in, enough to make me feel quite ill. And I don’t know where you live, but in my entire life, before the smoking ban, I have ever only been to ONE bar that was entirely smoke free. I’ve never seen or heard about any other places.

  29. Anders Rask says:

    PS: Cyphase, the idea of the snowball effect of regulation is completely ridiculous. You’re kinda implying that by endorsing a smoking ban now somewhere down the road sunshine and laughter will be outlawed. Staying in the same lane I might accuse you of half-endorsing pedophilia because you DON’T wanna regulate.

  30. lm says:

    1.*calling a censor – use $%$% at least.

    2. all smokers should smoke outside in remote places. Why should we inhale that rubbish?

  31. Cyphase:

    Like the government?

    So the government regulates, causes problems, then ?intervenes? to ?solve? those problems. Right?

    Nope, there are many imperfections preventing the “smoke/non-smoke bar market” from working properly. Those do not stem from government. And yes, government regulation of imperfect markets can bring them closer to equilibrium, or at least a socially acceptable point.

    For instance, the Dutch mobile phone market has an active, government appointed, regulator to keep the market in check. This has led to sms prices nearing average costs (but still a healthy margin above however, leaving room for retaining enough earnings), quite close to what we expect from a perfect market*.

    Without this regulation this would have never happened (as can be seen by looking at other countries where prices are (much) higher.

    • P -> MC, for other economists out there.
  32. Joen says:

    Message from the backend: Comment paging has been added. If you were getting “not enough memory” messages before, these problems should be fixed now.

  33. fra59e says:

    Starting to smoke was a stupid mistake. So these idiots got themselves hooked on an addictive drug, nicotine. Now why should society indulge these losers with special privileges? Smoking is a dirty personal habit, revolting to others, like picking your nose or farting. Why should we put up with the disgusting personal behavior of smokers? Let them hide away somewhere with their fellow-addicts and leave the rest of society in peace and cleanliness.

  34. Joen says:

    fra59e,

    I agree with you that starting to smoke is a mistake, and there’s no doubt nicotine is an addictive drug. I also agree that other people shouldn’t be exposed to second hand smoke.

    I do not agree with this, though:

    Let them hide away somewhere with their fellow-addicts and leave the rest of society in peace and cleanliness.

    Not for smokers, not for “real” drug addicts. The problem can only be solved if it’s out in the open.

  35. Nicole says:

    I’m allergic to cigarette smoke, too, and it always put a damper on going out to clubs, bars, bowling alleys, etc. with friends. But with my recent move to New York (which has a smoking ban on all indoor public places), I’ve found that I love the idea of a public smoking ban even more than I always thought I would. It’s so very nice to be able to go out without having to worry about stinking at the end of the night and very likely getting sick from the reaction my body has to an evening in a smoky facility. So bring on the smoking bans, I say!

  36. Rob says:

    I say everyone should do what we are getting ready to to in Indiana. Tax it x10. Add a $10.00 tax and put it towards education and smoking cessation classes. Eventually it will be too expensive for everyone.

  37. Gary says:

    Ok so the people that smoke cause all your alergies to act up Well when you get drafted the army will fix that for you In all my 52 years I have never heard such self centered crap. Second hand smoke causes nothing never did the EPA lied that has been proven all other tests come back with numbers so low as not to show any cause what so ever. You should take a 24 hour allergy pill I didnt fight in Vietnam panama and the first gulf war to have some wet behind the ears punk tell me how I should live My father all my uncles fought for this country too and in their memory Freedom isnt free some one died so you could be free and tobacco was used as payment for the american revolution. That said I dont work for (big tobacco) I live for freedom when the government steps in and starts telling people what to do and what to think you are not free this new anti-Smoking generation better wake up before they close starbucks caffine is addictive too. Wash your clothes hair etc every day GERMS other peoples and your own Your Ideas have caused 80 something heroes to out side to enjoy a smoke You and your kind should hang your heads in shame . I know you wont though you will put on your brown shirt with the nazie arm band and spout more of your Hitler hate about smokers He hated smokers too so no one could smoke near him and he had laws based on junk science just like you !

  38. fra59e says:

    Gary seems to think that invading a pathetic remote country to suppress a bunch of peasants somehow makes him a hero who has some kind of a right to force other Americans to breathe his filthy bodily wastes. Sorry, Gary, that illogic won’t wash. Keep your disgusting used-up cigarette smoke in your own lungs. You have no right to push your exhaled waste gases into my face. Go cough your way into the cancer ward somewhere away from decent clean-living people.

  39. Joen says:

    Second hand smoke causes nothing never did the EPA lied that has been proven all other tests come back with numbers so low as not to show any cause what so ever. You should take a 24 hour allergy pill I didnt fight in Vietnam panama and the first gulf war to have some wet behind the ears punk tell me how I should live

    Wow, since you’re so adamant about it, you must be right. All the physical effects I can feel must just be hallucinations.

    Wait, no. Inhaling dust particles just isn’t cricket.

    Why not discuss how extremely well ventilated smoking areas can be created, instead of discussing whether or not to ban public indoor smoking in its current form?

  40. fra59e says:

    Pretty much missing from the discussion so far is that smoking wherever your exhaled wastes affects others, without their consent, is an act of assault.

    It makes no difference whtehr the venue of this assault is indoors or out of doors. No person generating noxious wastes of any kind, including their used-up tobacco smoke, has some kind of “right” to force the rest of society to put up with his dumping his stinky wastes on them.

    The laws of Nuisance and Battery have been applied against smoking, and will continue to be applied. Eventually smoking will disappear from society, just as public spitting, once generally accepted, has disappeared.

    This advance, the ending of spitting, was accomplished by a lot of education, a few laws, and sustained social disapproval. We are now witnessing the steady progress of society towards abolition of the dirty habit of smoking by these same means: education, laws, and social dispproval.

    In a few decades the ashtray will be a novelty sold in antique stores, as the brass spittoon is today.

    All of us – the smokers included – will be better off when the disgusting habit of smoking finally becomes extinct.

  41. Chris says:

    You do realize that when smokers hear people speaking the way you’ve been, they just tune you out? You come off like a raving lunatic. It doesn’t matter how valid your points may be you very speech pattern invalidates the sanity of those points.

    Oh, and, by the way, Carbon Dioxide is a noxious gas. I’d appreciate it if you’d stop exhaling it all over the place.

  42. fra59e says:

    I don’t care if smokers “tune me out” when they find out that their filthy stink offends others. And carbon dioxide is not noxious; it should not be considered a model for the foul-smelling wastes exhaled by cigarette junkies. The discharge of bodily wastes from the south end is called “farting”, and it is seldom welcomed by people around. Neither is the discharge of stinking wastes from the north end of the body welcomed.

    But oh dear, you want me to be kind and gentle so you won’t “tune me out”? O.K. then, sob sob sob, you poor fools got yourselves addicted to a poisonous substance but oh dear, let’s treat the pathetic smokers with compassion. But until you get yourself clean from the disgusting habit of tobacco-smoking, kindly get out of my life.

  43. lm says:

    There is another aspect to it.

    While ago when i was a student i was forced to work on a tobacco plantation for almost a month. Yeah i was collecting fresh tabacco leaves and all this pretty juices were all over my hands.

    As a result i got a bunch of allergies, astma with quite a consequencies. I know that smoking is an illness and addiction but you can get rid of it easily- just take a vacation for 2 weeks to work on tobacco plantation.

  44. fra59e says:

    I learned about another way to get people to quit smoking, way back in the days when smoking was allowed on airplanes. My wife worked for United Airlines. She knew people who worked at the UAL maintenance base.

    One of their tasks was to clean out the pipes which carried exhaust air out of the airplane’s passenger cabin. When the aircraft is in flight, this means that the outflowing air is subjected to a sudden drop in pressure and temeprature. The result is that a lot of the crap the air is carrying is deposited out in those pipes.

    The UAL maintenance workers, in those days when people smoked on aircraft, got a close look at the stink and filth produced by smoking cigarettes. The UAL workers told my wife that after you had worked on that cleaning task, and seen and smelled the junk that smokers inhale into their bodies, you will never touch another cigarette, or come near the addicts who are smoking cigarettes or allow them to smoke around you.

  45. Gary says:

    People who are that intolerent of others have a real bad mental disorder second hand smoke is not dangerous at all compared to just being behind a bus in trafic its much cleaner in fact. I am sorry that all of you anti-smokers are now being clasified as cult members but that is just what you are . Second hand smoke is not dangerous thats what science has found all your lies wont help now I would have moved away from you or waited until left before but not now! First I was pushed out side then told were out side I could smoke. Then elderly people who were forced out side to smoke died Then you want to ban smoking out side now We Have A problem I will no longer be dictated to by any one or any group that stoops to lies makes up science and uses children to get their own way It stops and it stops today! Propaganda is still propaganda and this isnt Hitlers germany The truth is out there and the bans are being lifted there is even going to be a smoking airline company. Some of you will need straight jackets and medication for a while maybe a padded cell but this is still America

  46. fra59e says:

    Gary seems to think it’s O.K. for cigarette smokees to discharge their used up dirty waste smoke on the people arond them. Well, I wonder how he would feel if I needed to throw up and barfed all over him.

    .

    Then maybe I just need to spit. Then will he be pleased to let me spit on him? I don’t think so. May I fart in his face? Well, people who smoke cigarettes seem to asume that the rest of society is somehow obligated to put up with their stinking wastes. Surprise, guys. My face is not your ashtray. My lungs are not your toxic waste disposal site. Go away.

    .

    Take your filthy exhaust gases someplace else. Far away. The farther the better. Smokers do not belong anywhere near the rest of society. Most if us prefer to be clean and not dragged down with you stinking nicotine junkies.

    .

    Don’t like this? Then why not just quit smoking? Are you too addicted and weak-willed to take control of your life and get clean?

    .

    .

  47. Joen says:

    As a non-smoking pro-smoking-ban participant in this discussion, I’m thrilled to see both extremes of the arguments.

    As I’ve mentioned a while back, the smoking ban is coming, and I’m hoping when it does, smokers will see the benefits of it. As also mentioned, I would also support well ventilated smoking booths, or semi-open places where people can enjoy their habit.

    Having the cake, and eating it too, should be possible.

  48. lm says:

    To Gary,

    Just take your name from your post for a sec. and read it again: isnt it a post of an smoker addict :D.

    I believe smokers are first who are intolerant – they just dont care they hurt other people because of their addiction.

    I will not call you mental in return – it will be ridiculous to give ill people names :D.

    Have a nice smoke but in some remote place 😀

  49. Joen says:

    Gary, if science tells us second hand smoke isn’t dangerous, then why are children coughing when exposed to it?

  50. Anders Rask says:

    I didnt fight in Vietnam panama and the first gulf war to have some wet behind the ears punk tell me how I should live

    So Gary, apparently you fought in three wars so that you could continue to smoke in enclosed public spaces. It’s always a pleasure to hear from someone who can see the big picture 😀

  51. fra59e says:

    The Vietnamese were a brave little people determined to free themselves from foreign domination. But because they chose Communist ideology they suddenly became “enemies” of the US State Department, although though they were never enemies of the American people – whom BTW they never attacked. So dumb Gary succumbed to the propaganda of the idiots in Washington DC and stupidly committed himself to obediently serving there without much thought. But hey, he now thinks that his groveling to his government and going far away to kill people who were not in any way a threat to us, somehow qualifies him to reject the reality that most Americans do not want to inhale his dirty smoke or breathe his poisonous stink. Pardon me if i point out that there seems to be a logical disconnect here. He should go sit in a corner and do some honest thinking. And do it without a cigarette in his repulsively yellow-stained fingers.

  52. Chris says:

    fra59e, you’re truly an asshole.

  53. Rob says:

    Funny statement I heard today.

    “Having a smoking section in a restaurant is like having a peeing section in a public pool.”

    I though it was rather clever.

  54. Joen says:

    Funny statement I heard today.

    ?Having a smoking section in a restaurant is like having a peeing section in a public pool.?

    I though it was rather clever.

    Haha, yeah. I have to admit, I feel that’s quite spot on.

    I would, however, to add injury to insult, think the pee was the healthier alternative.

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