Smoked out

In January, something once considered unthinkable will come to pass. Across North Carolina—once the heartland of tobacco—smoking will be banned in bars and restaurants.

Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em (for now): Hookah Joe’s owner Joseph McHugh and bartender Cara Diggins enjoy a puff. Hookahs fall under the new state smoking ban, which will take effect Jan. 2, 2010.

Smokers will have to go outside to indulge, and hookah bars will close down. The only exceptions the law allows are for cigar bars and private, nonprofit clubs.

“This is a bad idea,” declares a man who identifies himself only as “Steve,” finishing off a cigarette on the lower floor of Broadway’s (smoking allowed inside). “Private enterprise allows a bar owner to choose whether or not to allow it in their establishment. That’s the way it should be. It’s a scary precedent for government to try to control people’s choices.”

But right beside him, “Raymond” (who’s also an occasional smoker) couldn’t disagree more.

“No, I think the ban’s necessary,” he says. “Secondhand smoke is extremely harmful. It should be my right to go into a bar I like and not have to endanger my health. I come here because I like the people and the atmosphere—it’s my place.”

“If smoking offends you, you can choose to go to a nonsmoking bar,” Steve retorts. “It’s my choice, and it’s not harming anyone else.”

A few seats down the bar, Justin Rogers concedes that it’s “a valid debate. Personally, I’d like for bars to be less smoky, but I don’t think it’s the government’s business.”

“Maybe we’ll build a minigolf course in the back, try to qualify as a country club,” the bartender pipes up, to a chorus of laughs.

Public-smoking bans have become more and more common both in the United States and worldwide. North Carolina is the 26th state to approve such a law. Many major cities have also followed suit: 40 of the country’s 60 largest metropolitan areas have some sort of ban in place, according to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation. Oft-cited reasons include public-health concerns and the costs incurred by state governments due to the effects of smoking.

“This is a good thing from a public-health standpoint,” says Buncombe County Health Director Gibbie Harris told Xpress. “Smoking and second-hand smoke are the leading preventable causes of death we encounter and you can’t avoid those risk if you’re in a restaurant or bar and there’s smoking. Some people will say ‘oh, you can go somewhere else.’ But the employees there can’t go anywhere else, especially in this economy. We’ll do everything we can to help bars and restaurants comply with this law.”

Others, however, see a troubling intrusion by the state into what they feel are personal decisions, and in Asheville, the debate seems to be vigorous—and occasionally raging. Outside the Rankin Vault (no smoking inside), a group of bargoers seated around a metal table air vastly different opinions on the new rule.

“Rock ‘n’ roll was meant to be smoky,” Mark Williams opines. “North Carolina banning smoking is like a child disowning their parent after they supported them for years.”

“Bars already have a choice,” says Jamie Hetrie, just after finishing a cigarette. “And people can choose to go in them or not.”

“Yeah, smoking’s great if you want to get cancer,” Chris Broderdorr shoots back.

Over at the Asheville Yacht Club (smoking after 10 p.m. only), bartender Jamie Reel says he disliked smoking but doesn’t feel it’s state government’s affair.

“I don’t think it’s an appropriate area for government action,” he says between dishing out drinks. “But hey, you’re all too pretty to smoke.”

Down the street at the Flying Frog (smoking allowed inside the bar), bartender Eric Jorjensen feels the ban goes too far.

“I thought this was a free country,” he observes. “As long as tobacco’s legal—and it is—it should be up to the property owner to decide to allow it or not in their establishment. Do they really want to hurt bars in a recession? Hell, alcohol’s more harmful than smoking: I’ve never seen anyone start a fight because they smoked too much. Are they going to ban that next?”

A few seats down, Asheville resident Jacqueline Edwards sips a gin and tonic and says she’s thankful for the coming ban.

“I think it’s a good thing. Smoke carries, and it will be good to go to a bar and not end up smelling like cigarettes at the end of the night,” she notes. “People can still smoke outside.”

Good for business?

Finishing up a sandwich on the patio outside, Flying Frog owner/head chef Vijay Shastri predicts that the ban will actually boost business.

“I think it’s great,” he says. “We’ve got a large patio area out here; we’re not going to lose business. It’s not a big deal. In fact, I think it will help. Right now, there’s a lot of maintenance costs associated with allowing smoking inside. It puts everyone on a level playing field.”

For some, of course, the stakes are higher. The state’s 20 hookah bars don’t have the same exemption that cigar clubs managed to wrangle. That puts longtime Asheville fixture Hookah Joe’s in a tight spot.

“The bar’s not going to close down, but it certainly affects whether we can allow smoking or not,” notes owner Joseph McHugh, adding that hookah bar owners are pushing for an exemption.

“There’s also the whole definition of smoking. [The law] defines it as the igniting of tobacco. We actually don’t ignite: We bake the molasses the tobacco is soaked in,” he points out. “That’s another possible loophole we could try to exploit.”

Still, McHugh continues, “I don’t think it’s really fair that the restaurant guilds are pushing it so hard because they want to ‘even the field.’ I’m over 18; I should be able to decide to smoke where I want. It’s unfair.”

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60 thoughts on “Smoked out

  1. justnewsplease

    I wonder if the guy that thinks his smoke isn’t hurting anyone was handing his child a chip of lead paint while saying that. I’m so tired of Ashevilleians thinking that they need to act so ignorant just because that’s how they were raised. I believe I have a right to decide what goes in my body and as long as people are puffing away in my workplace I’m forced to inhale your smoke. I’m really surprised that people don’t already know that the government has stepped in similarly before (i.e seatbelts).

  2. LOKEL

    The statute clearly states that a PRIVATE club where members are required to be over 18 can allow smoking …. so why does Hookah Joe’s become a membership “club”: they wouldn’t even have to charge for a membership, just have folks sign up, give them a membership card and maintain a list of the members would be all that is required.

  3. redneck

    So southerners are ignorant? what a huge broad based ignorant remark. hey if you don’t like ashevillians- move!!! We won’t miss ya

  4. Zigopolis

    Lokel, it doesn’t work that way. The only private clubs that are allowed smoking under the new law are non-profit private clubs (ala country clubs).

  5. antiantismoker

    Sorry to say but it about time poeple rebel and tell the government and all you goody-2-shoes out there that have nothing better to do with your time other than telling me what choices I can and cannot make to kiss off. Do you realize that you are being the modern NAZI party? Look it up. ADOLF HITLER was an anti-smoker. As a matter of fact it was HIS money that funded the Third Riechs studies on tobacco. The results of those studies are still used today to back up the smoking bans. There is NO UNBIASED STUDIES that proves second hand smoke is detrimental to any non-smoker. All the studies are biased to one side or the other. How? Look who funds them. Welcome to the new world order. Heil Hitler!

  6. Sundance

    “justnewsplease” your always welcome to go elsewhere! Why should smokers and business owners liberties be violated to accommodate you?

    Are you one of those transplants that fell in love with the area, moved here, and then became unhappy because the citizens and area were not exactly like the place you came from, which you probably ran away from?

    If that is the case, please leave and go back to California, up north or wherever you came from. I might even be willing to make a donation toward your moving costs back to where you came from!

  7. justnewsplease

    Actually I’m not a recent transplant. I say recent because this town isn’t really old enough to have families who have been here more than 200 years which is not very many generations but my point is the Asheville I was raised in is a hospitality industry town (although you can’t tell by some of the commentors) and therefore most employers are hotels, restaurants,lounges and it only makes sense that if we are going to protect employees with other labor laws we should protect them from cigarette assault too.

  8. Dionysis

    When unable to offer a fact-based, rational case, resort to comparing whatever the ‘offensive’ idea/statement/law/regulation/study etc., to Hitler. It is patent nonsense, of course, but it is very emotion-laden.

    Yeah, Hitler didn’t smoke. Ergo, all non-smokers are Nazis. Hitler was also a confirmed vegetarian, so clearly all vegetarians are Nazis too. He liked animals, in particular German shepherds. Naturally, anyone who likes animals and in particular German shepherd owners are goose-stepping Nazis.

    So what if scientific studies of the Nazis are “still used today?” The rocket designs of the Nazis are “still used today” as well. As is the case with computers, television and a host of other technologies.

    And the iea that there are no unbiased studies linking second-hand smoke to cancer and other maladies is patent nonsense. As for the funding question, yes, look indeed. You obviously didn’t.

    http://www.cancer.org/docroot/PED/content/PED_10_2X_Secondhand_Smoke-Clean_Indoor_Air.asp

  9. steve alford

    Hi all. I hope this does not get edited for space, since a correction is needed.
    My name is Steve, and I was very misquoted in this article. I NEVER said, “It’s my choice, and it’s not harming anyone else.” Only a fool would even think that.
    I related during my conversation quite candidly that I was perfectly aware that smoking is harmful to both myself and others. And in the end, I personally have no problem stepping outside to smoke.
    My point in not supporting a government ban was (and is) rooted firmly in the precedent that this type of government legislation sets. Another commentator above mentioned the seat belt laws. I take issue with those as well, even though I wear one every time I am in a car, and I think that everyone should. I do not support them because these laws were drafted with very broad latitude and did not specificly site the reasons for enacting them (the medical costs associated with non-seat belt wearer’s injuries). They therefore set precedent for government to say, “This is bad for you, therefore we won’t allow you to do it.” Those of you who support these laws need to step back really consider how the languages in these laws are drafted and the consequences that they have in setting common law precedent.
    Is smoking bad for you, and others around you? Absolutely.
    Is not wearing a seat belt bad for you and others? Absolutely.
    But consider…
    Is eating fast food bad for you and others (using the same insurance arguments from the seat belt laws above)? Absolutely.
    Is not getting exercise bad for you and others? Absolutely.
    Is not getting 8 hours of sleep a night bad for you and others?
    Absolutely. etc…
    The argument for the latter three (in descending order) might sound absurd to some of you, but if you allow your lawmakers to draft laws without considering long term common law effects and you choose to support those laws, you are giving away more and more of your free will and individual rights in very subtle ways over time.
    I agree with all five of my above examples, and I do my best to live by them by avoiding smoking around others who are not, by wearing my seat belt, eating healthy, etc. But should our government be passing laws to control our behavior?
    Absolutely Not.
    Alternative? Certainly. One example: Tax Credits for businesses who choose to be smoke free are just one example of a positive and proactive way a government can influence behavior. Mind you, the key is positive reinforcement, meaning tax credits. Raising taxes would have the opposite effect, and once again open a “Precedent Pandora’s Box.”
    In the end, there should be as little intervention as possible from government to control individual behavior. And absolutely none when there are other options that do not set precedent that has the potential to come back and bite us.
    Morals and character should not be enforced by law.
    Last thought: Everyone needs to remember…While you might tempted to agree with a law when it benefits you, you had best step back for a moment and consider what will happen when the precedent of that law is used to legislate something you do NOT support. Because by then it is too late.
    Steve Alford

  10. Dionysis

    “Dionysis,
    Your possible intelligent responce bears no truth. As I can tell from your comment you are a non-smoker. HERE is just 1 link to more EDUCATED information.”

    Well, first of all, thanks for being so magnanimous in admitting my response was “possible intelligent (sic)”.

    In spite of your certitude, the fact is that I used to be a cigarette smoker, but quit many, many years ago. However, I still on occasion puff on a cigar, maybe two or three a month. But I do that at home, without forcing anyone else to breath in the noxious stuff. Cigarette smokers have no such concern for anyone else normally.

    As for the link, it’s a very long piece which I don’t have the time to read now, but I will later tonight. If there is something in there that persuasively changes my opinion, then I’ll acknowledge it in a later post.

    Look, tobacco is the only lawful product that when used as intended, results in the death or illness of the consumer as well as posing deleterious health effects on those who are forced to breath in the chemical-laden smoke. That’s simply a fact. It stinks up one’s clothes. That’s a fact. And smoking in confined spaces does, in effect, says “my ‘right’ to smoke is greater than non-smoker’s ‘right’ to smoke-free air.’ That is wrong. Period. And believe it or not, even when I did smoke cigarettes, I felt the same way, and refrained from smoking in restaurants and such.

  11. Dionysis

    On the point about ‘free will’; when a person first tries cigarettes, it is cerainly an example of that person using free will. However, once that person has developed the addiction (and it is highly addictive), then ‘free will’ doesn’t enter much into the act (not too different than a heriun junkie, except one is still legal, the other not).

  12. pksmoker

    “Cigarette smokers have no such concern for anyone else normally. ”

    I must definately concede this point. It is very true. I smoke cigs and Hookah. I DO NOT however smoke when I am out and about anymore. I used to smoke when I went to the local bar but cannot even do that anymore.

    “Look, tobacco is the only lawful product that when used as intended, results in the death or illness of the consumer as well as posing deleterious health effects on those who are forced to breath in the chemical-laden smoke. That’s simply a fact. ”

    There are many such things that do this. We use chemicals everyday that the fumes cause death and illness, car exaust is just one of many. Do we outlaw those…. No. Why? Our politicians make the laws and god forbid one of them should have to walk a few blocks. Back to the point….

    It SHOULD be legal for someone to own and operate a HOOKAH bar without penalty. If a Non-smoker sees a sign that says HOOKAH, they should be aware there is smoking there and not go there, right?

    Exemptions should be made for such places as it is for Cigar bars.

    “It stinks up one’s clothes. That’s a fact. And smoking in confined spaces does, in effect, says “my ‘right’ to smoke is greater than non-smoker’s ‘right’ to smoke-free air.’ That is wrong. Period. And believe it or not, even when I did smoke cigarettes, I felt the same way, and refrained from smoking in restaurants and such. ”

    Is the right of the Non-smoker any greater? To force people to not smoke is in effect saying the right of the non-smoker is greater is it not?

  13. Sundance

    “Cigarette smokers have no such concern for anyone else normally.”

    That is a bunch of B.S on your part…I always ask if I can smoke etc. Just because you are rude by nature and do not care about the people you are around does not mean everybody is!

    “Look, tobacco is the only lawful product that when used as intended, results in the death or illness of the consumer”

    Oh really, liver disease from mass consumption of alcohal won’t kill you…pardon me Dionysis but you do need a liver to live :-)

    “smoking in confined spaces does, in effect, says “my ‘right’ to smoke is greater than non-smoker’s ‘right’ to smoke-free air.’ That is wrong. Period”

    That is why most places have smoking sections, some of which have filtration systems (maybe not in Asheville) that make the air purer then the air you non smokers breathe in the non smoking section. Care Dionysis next you will say regular air is killing you and we will have more government mandates taking more money out of your personal pockets!

    “On the point about ‘free will’; when a person first tries cigarettes, it is cerainly an example of that person using free will. However, once that person has developed the addiction (and it is highly addictive), then ‘free will’ doesn’t enter much into the act (not too different than a heriun junkie, except one is still legal, the other not).”

    There have been no studies that have concretely proven, without manipulating the data by anti smoking groups, that smoking is addictive. It’s habitual due to repeated actions but not addictive according to the raw data of most studies.

  14. Sundance

    “therefore most employers are hotels, restaurants,lounges and it only makes sense that if we are going to protect employees with other labor laws we should protect them from cigarette assault too. ”

    Oh sure lets become the ultimate Big Brother society where you as an individual have ZERO rights and liberties. While your at it you can let the government tell you everything you need to do and provide everything for you because they know best! Why they might even let you stare mindlessly into a Big TV screen and have orders barked at you just like in the book 1984!

    Hey do you want to buy some ocean front property from me in New Mexico?

  15. Sundance

    “therefore most employers are hotels, restaurants,lounges”

    Pssst…I have a news flash for you. Those businesses depend on Tourism to say in business. If you start running around telling your guest what they can and can’t do, they might just decide to tell you to “go to hell” and never come back and then your out of a job!

  16. justnewsplease

    Steve,
    It makes me feel a lot better that you were misquoted rather than a huge ignoramus and I’m definitely against the suicide, seatbelt, and any other laws that strictly effect the one person but since we can’t have anarchy I support the gov. stepping in to protect me when a situation gets out of control and I do believe the smoking in these areas was out of control.
    As for sundance,
    I’ve been in or around the hospitality business since I was a kid and the demand for smoke free has gotten so great that most hotels in the area did away with smoking voluntarily (because thats what the tourists want).

  17. David

    What the pro-smokers seem to be missing is that even the smell of the smoke that they carry around on their clothes carries carcinogens that harm those around them. So its time to acknowledge smokers can’t not affect others.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=what-is-third-hand-smoke

    I most certainly think the state should stay out of my life but I don’t mind it stepping into prohibit you from harming me. So I am all for you smoking. As long as you do it in a sealed room, then strip down naked, bury your clothes, and shower.

  18. pksmoker

    David,
    You really should grasp the whole article. This is junk science. If you read it is

    #1. Funded by the Center for Tobacco CONTROL Research and education. Not a very unbiased study.

    #2 He says himself, and I quote “but notes that he is not aware of any studies directly linking third-hand smoke to disease [as opposed to second-hand smoke, which has been associated with disease].

    Read Read Read then Understand. This is where most NON-Smokers who try to argue thier point go wrong. Things get taken from context, skimming only the bad points. Then exaggerating them out of porportion (sp).

  19. Sundance

    “David” please come up with some factual unbiased information and also show us the raw data. As I pointed out to Dionysis….your studies as well as his come from biased sources which take statistics out of context. Did you know that statistically refrigerators use to cause malaria? Did you know the tobacco companies were able to show that the folks that sued them statistically lived longer then their family members because they smoked? Please stop peddling your nonsense and come up with some real data….you people are very amusing and really look like a bunch of mindless drones…perhaps I should contact the ACLU about suing you since you want to violate my rights by wanting to require me to strip when I enter a public place…LMAO!

    As for you for “Justthenews” try sticking to your name sake. I worked in the hospitality industry for over 30 years. Those bans in hotels were voluntary. There is a difference when you have interference from a government because you anti smokers are advocating the government discriminate against tax paying citizens. Like I said if you want to be a mindless drone that mimicks the life of the characters in the novel “1984″ that is your right but it is fundamentally wrong to violate my constitutional rights and thank goodness I am currently living aboard in a country that does not do anything and everything to take away my individual rights like you want to advocate.

    Its individuals like yourself who have caused the breakdown in the judicial system, American culture and society. You do not live in a socialistic country. If that is what you want then maybe you should move to France or even better…China or North Korea. You would fit in perfectly there!

  20. Sundance

    “Justthenews” it also might be wise for you to review your history as the country (original colonies) was basically founded on the tobacco trade and if it were not for that the settlers would have never survived.

    However I’m willing to help you buy a ticket to move to North Korea!

  21. David

    Pk and Sundance I can see you’re flame batting so here is my final response to both of you. The article that you both criticized neither indicates how the Harvard study was funded nor does it contradict itself as you misread. Please read it again. I feel that I should point out in logic there is a common error that I think you both have fallen for. Just because A implies B that does not mean A=B. So just because someone states they are form some organization in article that does not imply that they are related in anyway to another organization mentioned. I think you confusion is with journalism and how sometimes that ask for expert opinions as opposed to uninformed ones such as yours. Still, I am at loss why you think the Harvard study is biased? You have zero evidence other than your gut feeling. I think I need to further attack Sundance’s point that our colonies are “basically” founded on tobacco. I guess your right in that they are “basically” founded on trade but to assume all the trade was “basically” tobacco? Come on, your twisting facts with logic again — Can at least admit your wrong here?

  22. joeinmadco

    If we want to live any sort of collective existence, we have to consider the way one person’s actions can harm others around them. Therefore, apparently, we have a smoking ban.

    But, as Steve says in his comment, what about the fat bastards who eat fast food daily and go to the hospital with a coronary or two and run up all our health care costs? Solution: tear down all the chain restaurants or say they can only serve certain government approved foods. How about the person who drives hundreds of miles a week and pollutes my body and land with their exhaust fumes? Poof, no more internal combustion. Or what about the 40,000 plus deaths that occur every year on our highways? Hell, ban the car altogether.

    I’d personally like to see nasty trans fats leave the grocery store forever, but I’m not gonna cry to the state about it and cost everyone else their opportunity to eat their favorite heart attack pie. It is their heart after all. And I’m sure the pie tastes sooo good. I just mostly (not always) abstain from that crap. Novel, I know.

    So, ideally, smokers go to places that allow smoking. Non-smokers go to places that ban smoking. Or anyone can go to any place they want. Or they don’t have to go anywhere they don’t want to go.

    Tobacco smoke is obviously harmful to the health of many people. But this isn’t about smoking as much as it is about wanting to govern ourselves consistently.

    Wait, before I submit this, should I ask my representatives if this post is OK for everyone to read?

  23. Piffy!

    ohmygod! I cant smoke my toxic-chemical-laden bastardization of what was once known as Tobacco anywhere and everywhere, all the while forcing everyone around me to also inhale the toxic smoke?

    What an infringement on my civil liberties!

  24. Piffy!

    i think there should, perhaps, be a distinction made between those things called ‘cigarettes’, that are manufactured drugs, and the still relatively ‘safe’ tobacco plant.

    It would appear that those who smoke the ‘cigarettes’ are under the impression they arent inhaling a substance chemically crafted to keep them addicted.

  25. Sundance

    “i think there should, perhaps, be a distinction made between those things called ‘cigarettes’, that are manufactured drugs, and the still relatively ‘safe’ tobacco plant.

    It would appear that those who smoke the ‘cigarettes’ are under the impression they arent inhaling a substance chemically crafted to keep them addicted.”

    Flawed argument on your part again…what if someone rolls their own!

    Also smokers already follow bans but why should you infringe on their rights by telling them they can’t smoke period…I would say it is you who are violating folks rights and liberties and discriminating against them..typical behavior from you PFKaP.

    Should a buy you a one way ticket to North Korea as well since you would fit in perfectly there as well?

  26. Sundance

    “all the while forcing
    everyone around me to also inhale the toxic smoke?”

    Perhaps you as well should come up with some concrete non biased studies with the raw data rather then a study that has been manipulated by your favorite fanatical organization of the week PFKaP?

    Once again you failed to read the entire thread and know what you were talking about before you jumped in which is typical for you. :-)

  27. Sundance

    “It would appear that those who smoke the ‘cigarettes’ are under the impression they arent inhaling a substance chemically crafted to keep them addicted.”

    you also forgot there are companies that make all natural/organic cigarettes and if you have read the entire thread there has been no unbiased study to prove concretely smoking is addictive…most of the raw data suggests it is habitual forming from the repetitive actions but not addictive, had you bothered to have read the entire thread before you posted we would not be going over this again…once again…typical on your behalf.

  28. Sundance

    David…I am not twisting facts go look in your history books….While we are at it can you not concede the point that you are a prejudiced bigot who has a bitter and bigoted opinion of smokers to the point that you want to shut businesses and deprive citizens of their constitutional rights all for your biased Big Brother cause?

    With all due respect there are already two many stupid laws on the books that infringe on an individual rights as well as business rights, and you wonder why so many jobs have been shipped overseas….go look in the mirror…you are the problem.

    I’ll be waiting for you to start demanding that Dunkin Donuts, Krispy Kreme and McDonalds shut down because they are bad for you and heaven forbid that you might have to be subjected to looking at all that unhealthy food.

  29. cwaster

    Hmm. I have asthma, so I support it, sort of. Secondhand smoke makes me really sick, and it’s expensive to be sick nowadays. However, I really hope the hookah bars get an exemption.

  30. Piffy!

    you really get emotional before you post, dont you?

    but, sure, defend phillip morris while they poison you with a well-crafted chemical concoction, all the while believing “their” studies.

  31. Piffy!

    my previous post was intended for the guy in Mexico who calls himself “sundance”.

  32. Piffy!

    [i]“i think there should, perhaps, be a distinction made between those things called ‘cigarettes’, that are manufactured drugs, and the still relatively ‘safe’ tobacco plant.

    It would appear that those who smoke the ‘cigarettes’ are under the impression they arent inhaling a substance chemically crafted to keep them addicted.”[/i]

    [b]Flawed argument on your part again…what if someone rolls their own! [/b]

    “Flawed”? How So? My only point is that what most people smoke isnt really “Tobacco”, it is a well-crafted chemical concoction, intended to keep the smoker addicted. If thats what you are saying, then we arent in disagreement.

    if you smoke rollies, hey!, great for you. Even though those companies are still controlled byt eh same big players trying to poison everyone.

    How’s Mexico?

  33. Sundance

    “you really get emotional before you post, dont you?

    but, sure, defend phillip morris while they poison you with a well-crafted chemical concoction, all the while believing “their” studies. ”

    Who says I smoke Phillip Morris…I could roll my own, I could smoke American Spirit or one of the other organic cigarettes out there. The main point as usual with you is your lack of reading comprehension as once again you failed to read and comprehend everything completely as you always do and yes, when I have a socialist/communist such as yourself trying to take away my rights and shut down businesses via more stupid laws as you advocate I am going to get a little emotional about it.

  34. Sundance

    “it is a well-crafted chemical concoction, intended to keep the smoker addicted.”

    It depends on the cigarette manufacturer as well as weather a person actually buys manufactured cigarettes from the big guys PFKaP. Also, there are studies that show cigarette smoking to be habitual but not addictive. Its habitual due to the repeated actions. I know what your saying but lets remember PFKaP…statics can be manipulated to one groups advantage…etc. RJR proved in one of its liability suits that the smoker lived longer then any of his family due to the fact that he smoked statistically and the plantiffs lost the case. How stupid is that?

    Do you see where I am going with this. I just hate stupid laws. Leave it up to the individual establishment, and not Bev Purdue and the folks in Raleigh. This will hurt tourism when folks find out they can not smoke at all. There will be some more inclined to drive to Gatlinburg or somewhere else rather then come to Asheville or anywhere in North Carolina. Lost revenue = lost jobs.

  35. John5

    Land of the free, home of the depraved. If you own a business and want to allow smoking or not, that’s YOUR decision as a CITIZEN of the USA. Not the govt’s. If you don’t like cigarette smoke, don’t go to that establishment and don’t work there. Period. Big Brother is NEVER the answer. We are allegedly all adults here and can make our own decisions. This ‘for the public good’ BS is what Hilter said, what Mao said, what Stalin said. So stop whining trying to control other people. I am–BTW– a non-smoker.

  36. Sundance

    I think they are their own company David but that is not the point. The point is their are non chemically enhanced cigarettes out there and you can always roll your own.

    However, I think what John5 had to say sums it up correctly. I don’t need Bev Purdue and Raleigh to be my baby sitter and I think most people feel that way but perhaps you do and need for your life to operate that way.

    Just remember one other item:

    Lost Revenue and Income = Job Loss

  37. David

    Sundance, Actually for the record its RJ Reynolds. They market “natural” tobacco to people as safer and healthier. Still 60 of the 4,000 or so chemicals in all cigarette smoke are linked to cancer. I don’t know why natural makes you think its heather. Hemlock and Deadly Nightshade are natural. In fact the natural cigarettes you smoke contain higher levels of tar then processed cigarettes, one could argue they are unhealthy. For the record I am all for your right to do any drug (just not anywhere), I am for the legalization of drugs, you miss my point entirely. Smoking in bars or other public spaces impacts others. My private medical center happens to be next to bar that has patio for smoking. Since its virtually impossible to make a room airtight, I am treated to a health dose of second hand smoke regularly. On a side note I am well versed in the world of smoking, in addition to Dating RJ’s grand-daughter for a while, yes that RJ, I was a two pack a day smoker of Benny and Hennys,then Camel, then Marlboros, then Drum, then Spirits. One day I woke up a realized in addition to damaging my health, which is my right, I was basically enabling the same very big business/politics people I hated. So you want to protest the government, the stop paying them that huge tobacco tax and at least grow your own.

  38. Sundance

    David you still missed the point of being able to roll your own and the point of that it is not governments duty or your right to interfere with the rights of others or business. Your health clinic could move, you can choose to go to an establishment that bans smoking on their own and I hate to tell you this but you can indeed make a room and building air tight. Rememeber the unhealthy building of the 70′s and early 80′s David that you health folks screamed about. Make up you mind David, which it is….you can’t have it both ways.

    RJR also does not own the brand they manufacture it for someone else under those companies guildlines, supervised by their management on line dedicated to that product at Whitiker park. They don’t manufacture private labels at Tobaccoville unless they have changed that in the past couple of years. I know this because I have relatives and friends whom worked from production lines all the way to upper management of RJR before the KKR buyout that ruined the company.

    Feel free to talk about your RJ connection all you want. The truth of the matter is the Reynolds family has not had any management or positions within in the company since the early 70′s. They are merely stockholders at this point and minority ones at that.

    I also know Reynolds family members as well and went to school with some as well. I can’t believe you wanted to start this “I know this person and that person” to try to bolster your point, its actually comical. Maybe you should have once checked your facts before you decided to invoke the Reynolds family into your pointless socialist cause.

  39. David

    Sundance, your seem a little stressed. I suggest you smoke more if it relaxes you. I am not going to argue with you as all that smoking has probably increased your odds for a heart attack. Since its clear I can’t have a discussion with out you trying to paint me as a pinko commie, I will rest on my laurels.

  40. Sundance

    David no one has ever said it was not unhealthy. The issue is you gave a study as gospel. A study, which was underwritten by a biased group. You stated cigarette smell on clothing is harmful to others which you have not proven nor did your study. You study relies on flawed and manipulated statistics something health folks and advocacy groups regularly do, on both sides. You tried to bolster your claims by bringing your connections to the Reynolds family into the argument when the Reynolds family has not been involved with the management of the Tobacco industry in over 30+ years. You tried to say you can not build air tight smoke proof rooms, which was more BS.

    You tried all of these things to bolster your argument that we should forget about all individual rights, toss the constitution out the window and practice socialist collectivism just so you do not have to make choices because you do not want the burden of having to be an adult and chose your own path and destiny.

    You want Bev Purdue to micro manage every aspect of your life including your right to choose. So yes, in essence you are an advocate of socialistic communism. Have fun resting on your flawed laurels.

  41. bulhorn

    Thank you to David and Sundance for a spirited debate on this matter… I could see the two of you hosting your own crossfire-like show on public access.

    You both raise valid concerns. The rights of individuals vs. the power of the state is just one aspect but perhaps at the heart of the matter.

    I will admit, I did not read the 3rd hand smoke study, just the article that was linked. However, even without trying to determine the validity of this “study”, considering funding sources etc. I believe some reasonable assumptions can be made but they are not bulletproof either way.

    Common sense tells me “if your car does smell to the point where one wants to puke, there is probably something not good for you in there”. However, my gut also wants to say, “come on David, deal with it, or go live in a plastic bubble.” So let’s deal with the second hand smoke. I think to deny the health hazzards of it in an attempt to thwart David’s Socialist leanings is intellectually dishonest and unnecessary. Perhaps we can think of a solution to satisfy Sundance’s fear of an encroaching government and David’s hypochondria at the same time.

    On a quick aside…I think David’s arguments should be questioned simply based on the fact that he walked away from marrying into the Reynolds family. If he had a modest amount of charm, he’d be piloting a yacht around the French Rivera as opposed to spending his days arguing online.

    Blindness aside, I must agree with David that he has a right to not be injured by others on his own property, and from his description of his new age health center, he is being harmed by those smoke-puffing hooligans outside his door. Unlike the bar itself, which he could choose not to patronize, his place of work cannot realistically be moved and it should not be his responsibility to seal it from the outside. Obviously, he could talk to the ownners of the bar and ask them to resolve this but lets assume they don’t and tell his crystal worshipping ass to piss off…then what…should the state get involved to hold David’s hand…Sundance would probably not think so.

    So how about a third option, sort of libertarian I suppose, one I hope Sundance could get behind as it is a politically conservative approach that is a more effective strategy for victory than having to discredit studies that could have merit. David should take the bar owners to court! If it can be proven in a court, not the newspapers or PR outlets, that David’s tender lungs are being affected, he should have some recourse to make it stop. Having some precedent set in David’s favor would force the bar owners or individuals to be a bit more considerate when they are infringing on someone’s personal property. And this way we can keep Bev Purdue out of our business at the same time.

    If this doesn’t accomodate both of your desires and fears, feel free to tweak. Individually rights are crucial, however, to put it simply, anyone that would willingfully and knowingly injure another person in defense of some ideology is pretty much just a wanker….which of course we all have the right to be.

    Good luck! – Bulhorn

  42. Another David

    As long as the government is going to regulate drugs that are proven shown to be FAR less harmful than cigarettes, they should also regulate when and where people smoke cigarettes.

    Cigarettes are not Tobacco. They are a chemical cocktail of thousands upon thousands of toxic ingredients specially crafted to make you smoke more and more (addiction).

    If anyone out there really thinks they are smoking tobacco, I suggest growing and curing your own, and discovering the vast difference between the stuff you buy (yes, including the RJR-owned American Spirit label) and the plant associated with “Native” folks.

    I personally don’t mind a little tobacco every now and then,–it can be tasty and relaxing, and quite good for allergies– but I find the majority of cigarette smokers to be obnoxious jerks who chain-smoke their poison in public, forcing others to have to breathe in their stinky, poisonous waste.

    Remember when you could smoke on a plane? At a restraunt? In the Library? I sure am glad those days are over.

    Until the very powerful and wealthy cigarette lobby loses a bit of the foothold they have in American politics, regulations like these will need to be used to continue to secure places for people to find safe havens from the waves of stinky, toxic smoke all around us.

    As much as I find the notion of government regulation a bit distasteful to certain “Libertarian” sensibilities, I also like to remember that the Government is made up of the Will of the People, and if the will of the people says “smoking stinks”, then, I will oblige and take my occasional smoke in an area away from those who find it annoying and offensive.

  43. Sundance

    “If anyone out there really thinks they are smoking tobacco, I suggest growing and curing your own, and discovering the vast difference between the stuff you buy (yes, including the RJR-owned American Spirit label) and the plant associated with “Native” folks.”

    Been there and done that and as stated earlier RJR does not own American Spirit unless they recently bought it. They do private brand manufacturing for others.

    “Until the very powerful and wealthy cigarette lobby loses a bit of the foothold they have in American politics, regulations like these will need to be used to continue to secure places for people to find safe havens from the waves of stinky, toxic smoke all around us.”

    Excuse me but I think that the bill that the US Senate and House passed this week makes your argument invalid. As for smoking places businesses do regulate that and its called a right of choice. I can go somewhere where smoking is allowed and you can go somewhere that does not. If you don’t like smoke don’t go to establishments that allow it. Its called choice unlike the communism you are advocating.

    You do realize your position is discriminatory to over 2o% of the US population don’t you? So why not allow voluntary measures rather then mandatory which means more tax dollars to enforce your Big Brother/Great society laws?

    The will of the people did not speak on this David. It was voted in by the NC legislator and not the public at large, get your facts straight. You do not have the ability to do propositions on the ballot like in California.

  44. Sara D

    I remember when smoking was allowed on planes, smokers may have had their own section but the air is was still recycled. “Right to smoke” won over everyone’s general health to include the health of the children on board. Government intervention has it’s benefits.

    Next step…make it illegal to litter cigarette waste…if there was a 5$ ticket given for a fraction of cigarette butts thrown on the ground Buncombe County would have a budget surplus.

  45. Sundance

    “Next step…make it illegal to litter cigarette waste…if there was a 5$ ticket given for a fraction of cigarette butts thrown on the ground Buncombe County would have a budget surplus. ”

    So Sara…I have an idea. How about every time you drop your gum on the ground we fine you $35 as it causes a bigger mess not only to the city to clean up but the individual or child who ends up stepping in it?

    Your being absurd and ridiculous Sara!

  46. pksmoker

    Next step…make it illegal to litter cigarette waste…if there was a 5$ ticket given for a fraction of cigarette butts thrown on the ground Buncombe County would have a budget surplus.

    Wait, isn’t there a law about littering? Is it enforced….NO. Why? Because it is a petty offense. (quite similar to your comment)

    As to the poster above about the tobacco being the only thing that when used properly results in death…..

    How about these

    Cleaning chemicals – also known to cause cancer – NOT ILLEGAL

    Automobiles – Known to put off hazardous CARCINOGENS _ NOT ILLEGAL

    Firearms – NOT ILLEGAL

    Matches/Lighters – NOT ILLEGAL

    just to name a few. Once again your argument is lacking much.

  47. Dionysis

    “As to the poster above about the tobacco being the only thing that when used properly results in death…..

    How about these

    Cleaning chemicals – also known to cause cancer – NOT ILLEGAL

    Automobiles – Known to put off hazardous CARCINOGENS _ NOT ILLEGAL

    Firearms – NOT ILLEGAL

    Matches/Lighters – NOT ILLEGAL

    The ‘poster’ you refer to is me. Are you seriously trying to claim that if one uses ‘matches, lighters, cars and cleaning chemicals “as directed” they will result in death or illness of the user? If you are trying to make that claim, then you have either a serious comprehension problem are you’re just trying to divert from the topic by offering irrelevant nonsense.

  48. Dionysis

    “Once again your argument is lacking much.”

    Oh yes…what you offer as an ‘argument’ is lacking ANYTHING. Not only is it devoid of substance, but it is simply illogical twaddle.

  49. Sundance

    He has a valid point Dionysis. A lot of cleaning chemicals have warnings about health risks. Are you going to ban them as well and if you don’t aren’t you being discriminatory?

    While you are at it, shouldn’t you also re-instate prohibition of alcohol as well? After all alcohol causes health issues just like tobacco and additionally causes fatalities of innocent individuals due to people driving under the influence of alcohol.

    The above posters argument is not lacking ANYTHING, however yours is because you choose to discriminate, cherry pick what you want banned, and deny individuals the right of choice, Period.

  50. jeff turner

    and ladies your fingernail polish is filled with tri chloral ethylene in it,you cant wear that stuff in public anymore,,oh your toxic fingers are killing me while im eating at the waffle house,im pushing for a statewide ban,,,scarcastic of course,,now you are getting your rights at the expense of taking mine away,if you dont like my cigarette smoke …stay out of my face,,,,and dont be down wind,and definately dont come to my home all painted up with your toxic self,,oh yeh…stop using the toilet water,,,eau/..de…toilet’

  51. Dionysis

    “He has a valid point Dionysis.”

    I disagree. If it can be demonstrated that the adverse health effects of cleaning chemicals, etc. are anywhere near the volume of the adverse health effects (primary or secondary exposure) as tobacco smoke, then the comparison would be valid. As it is, reaching out and identifying a list of other components that might have some adverse effect if improperly used is not the same as using a product that by its very design and intent induces disease or death. It’s a weak point.

  52. Sundance

    Dionysis your above statement is nothing more then bigoted rubbish on your part and you know it. Those cleaning chemicals, etc, etc have actually proven be more overwhelming and harmful in unventilated areas then cigarette smoke which is what you have been whining about. Additionally your other tyrant in your statement is based on biased case studies, statistics, and skewed cause correlations undertaken by biased groups which was already called into question earlier.

    Lastly, you failed to even discuss alcohol and reinstating prohibition…kind of URTVish on your part as in avoiding what you don’t like.

    I stand on what I said earlier. Jeff’s statements are not “lacking”. Your statements are lacking merit because you use biased material/studies full of cause correlation fallacies to make your claims and you blatantly choose to discriminate, cherry pick what you want banned, and deny individuals the right of choice, Period.

  53. Piffy!

    [b]Been there and done that and as stated earlier RJR does not own American Spirit unless they recently bought it. They do private brand manufacturing for others.[/b]

    Sundance, American spirit has been owned by RJR since 2002. That is more than 7 years ago. hardly ‘recent’ by any realistic measure.

  54. Sundance

    correction needed on your part PfKaP…it was a minority owner at first in American Spirit and manufactured the the product I believe I also said that they may have purchased it. Just because it says RJR on the packaging and reports does not necessarily mean RJR owns the product outright but has to be listed for other regulatory reasons. For instance Camels are neither manufactured,owned or distributed by RJR in Mexico. It is owned by a Japanese Tobacco company.

    Have a nice night.
    :-)

  55. Piffy!

    from the wiki:

    “Natural American Spirit is a brand of cigarette and tobacco products manufactured in the United States by the Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company. The company was founded in 1982, but in 2002 was acquired by Reynolds American and is now an official subsidiary.”

    have a nice day.

  56. Sundance

    As I said PFKaP it may have been bought by RJR. I have not lived in the Piedmont Triad area since 2001.

    And just remember, it is unwise to rely on info from Wiki as your main source as it is constantly changing info portal and open to unchecked user edits and has been proven wrong countless times.
    :-)

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