Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Who, me?

CC and theCSO are lying in bed.

CC: You know what would be cool? It would rock if we could get a church to sponsor an Action of Immediate Witness condemning smoking bans. We UUs believe in freedom and adults making their own choices. We should really be against smoking bans.

TheCSO: You really are the most conservative person Kim knows, aren't you?

He laughed, I laughed, and I got up to blog the moment.

CC

14 comments:

Doug Muder said...

We could also come out in favor of people's freedom to have nuclear reactors in their basements. If the Navy can do it on ships, why not homeowners?

Seriously, I don't know what happened lately here in southern New Hampshire, but suddenly all the downtown bars in Nashua are going smoke-free. You can actually go out and listen to music here now without burning your clothes afterwards.

Chalicechick said...

Well, judging by this the bars are going smoke free because the owners want to or think it is profitable.

That's great. You are certainly free to start a smoke free bar or convince the owner of your favorite bar to go smoke free. I just don't think they should be forced to go smoke-free because of legislation.

CC

Jess said...

Public smoking bans are not about smokers' freedom to choose to smoke, they're about the very real dangers of second hand smoke. Now that they've passed the ban in Chicago, I and my friends have a whole new list of places we can go out and have a good time without suffocating or, in some cases, severe asthma/allergy attacks. And we can walk into public buildings without having to hold our breath through a blue cloud surrounding the doors. It's refreshing.

Smoke if you want. Just not near me or my kids.

Chalicechick said...

You are free to not patronize any bar or restaurant with polcies you disagree with, Jess.

CC

Chalicechick said...

More to the point, Jess, there are lots of bars and clubs that have currently legal adult activities you wouldn't want your kids around.

Should all of those bars and clubs be forced by the government to stop providing said activities on the offchance that you and your kids should wander in?

CC

TheCSO said...

I saw today that the Surgeon General has put his name on a new report that alleges even more damage from environmental tobacco smoke than previously thought. I wonder if that will give OSHA the ammunition they need to finally make their proposed ETS exposure standards mandatory?

To me, the fundamental difference between smoking and most other personal choices is that smokers are inflicting ETS exposure on others. We know that ETS is bad for you. This makes smoking in public, (even outside a building) or around one's kids, or possibly even when you're going to be around others, an excellent example of one of the few times it's sometimes okay to curtail individual liberties - when they are a fundamental trespass on the rights of others, in this case the right to safety. Since smoking is, at its heart, a recreational activity - no one dies from not smoking, there is no industrial process that requires tobacco smoke, etc - there is not an argument of necessity or societal benefit to offset the trespass on other's rights.

To adapt a popular libertarian saying, your right to smoke stops at the tip of my nose. I do think it's important for us to articulate WHY this issue is different than other personal freedom issues - if indeed it is - and it certainly would be interesting to see it discussed.

Chalicechick said...

So, the governement forces all the cigar bars to close because someone who is bothered by cigar smoke might go to one?

I recall the "your right to swing your fist" line. I just wonder if some people aren't choosing to step in front of fists and then crying foul.

CC

Jamie Goodwin said...

As a smoker I have never, not once, had an issue with going outside to smoke.

But here is a perfect of example of the ridiculousness of smoking bans, we have a designated smoking area where I work, people - non somkers come out to this area on breaks to talk to people - ON BREAK - and then complain about the smoke.

There are a lot of things that offend me, things I wouldn't want my nephew or neice around, and things which i just find unacceptable in public, but to ban smoking in adult orientated places (ie bars) just makes no sense to me, if you don't like the smoke.. go somewhere else. If smoke bans actually really do improve buisness why do not more bars and resturants go smoke free voluntarily?

Just leave me and cigarettes alone already..

Kim said...

If smoke bans actually really do improve buisness why do not more bars and resturants go smoke free voluntarily?


Because in the US there is a strong rumor that it will hurt business. In New Zealand, most of the public restaurants are non-smoking, and it's entirely voluntary. They do fine. In fact the one smoking restaurant we happened into was the empty one. Lots of people were smoking outdoors. It seemed that more women smoke in NZ than here.
I don't know about bars there, because I'm not inclined to go to bars much.

Chalicechick said...

Almost all of the restaurants in Northern VA are smoke free. By the choice of their owners. Because people voted with their wallets.

No government control required.

That's fine with me.

CC

LaReinaCobre said...

The argument put forth by the group in Washington State that attempted to enact a smoking ban in restaurants and bars (and succeeded) was the health rights of the restaurant and bar employees.

Jamie Goodwin said...

As a Safety professional and an ex-resturant worker let me just say if there is one industry I had to point to that gave very little thought to the health and safety of their employees, it wouldn't be the steel mills, it wouldn't be the plastic shops, it would be the food service industry.. and I see the government doing very little to help with that.

So.. i am just not sure how much that argument holds water with me

CC said:
Almost all of the restaurants in Northern VA are smoke free. By the choice of their owners. Because people voted with their wallets.

I have no problem with that either, like you, it is the government mandate I do not agree with.

Jess said...

What thecso said.

This is not about individual freedoms but about public health, and not just in bars and clubs, but in all public buildings and spaces.

Chalicechick said...

Yeah, I can be convinced on public buildings. But I still think privately-owned restaurants and bars should be able to make their own decisions.

CC