What do you think about the new state-wide smoking ban?

What do you think about the new state-wide smoking ban?-attachment0

Come Jan. 2, smoking in bars and restaurants will be illegal throughout North Carolina, due to a bill signed into law yesterday by Gov. Beverly Perdue.

The ban will prohibit smoking in all bars and restaurants, except for cigar bars and private clubs. Smokers who refuse to put out their cigarettes will face a $50 fine, and managers who’ve been warned twice about stopping smoking will get hit with $200 fines. The ban will also likely shut down the state’s approximately 20 hookah bars.

Many of Asheville’s bars already prohibit smoking inside, though others allow it in a certain section or after 10 p.m.

So, be you a smokers, nonsmoker, bartenders, restaurant owner or anyone else: What do you think about the new law? Is it a needed public health measure or none of the government’s business? How will it affect your daily life? Please tell us in the comment field below.

— David Forbes, staff writer

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100 thoughts on “What do you think about the new state-wide smoking ban?

  1. Dionysis

    The way I see it affecting me is to expand the number of restaurants I can try, or to return to some that I tried once but was turned off by the lingering reek of cigarette smoke which permeated my clothes.

  2. Andy

    Does anyone know if this band will be enforced at “private clubs” such as Broadways and The Rocket Club? If not, then what would stop all bars from just becoming “private clubs”?

  3. Dread P. Roberts

    I can understand the whole indoor thing, but what about simply changing smoking areas at bars & restaurants to be outdoors (on patios, etc…) only. Are outdoor eating areas included in this, as I have come to assume?

  4. Tasha

    I understand the problem of the smell, im a smoker and i don’t like the smell either, but i also agree that there should be outside patios for resturants. I don’t see why we should be punished for smoking when people have been smoking for years and it has not been a problem until now… When you go to a bar to have a drink most people who smoke like to have a cigarette while they drink, i don’t think bars should be included in this ban!!!!

  5. Ken Hanke

    OK, I’m a smoker — and, God knows, I’m paying for it healthwise — but if I can’t go without a cigarette for the length of dinner, I’m in worse shape than I thought. (It does, however, preclude the usefulness of lighting a cigarette as a way of ensuring that the meal will appear.) At the same time, if I still had even the slightest interest in going to bars, I’d be steamed.

  6. I’m a smoker who goes to bars and I’m not thrilled. There are tons of nonsmoking places in Asheville already; now they’re all going away? Great. Makes it hard to go out in the winter. Note that I’m not talking about restaurants; it’s bars that concern me.

    However, people deal with it in other places – New York, Baltimore, Ireland (?!?) – so presumably I’ll manage as they have. I’m assuming that we’ll still be allowed to smoke outdoors, though. If that changes than I’ll be furious; that’s ridiculous and it’s the primary reason I no longer go to ball games. On the bright side maybe some bar owners will finally put heaters in the smoking patios. That would be really nice.

  7. bobaloo

    It only affects public bars and restaurants. Country clubs and nonprofit private clubs are exempt.
    In other words, the Masons and Moose Lodge members, as well as the well to do country club members are not having their rights infringed, but I can’t go to Mack Kells and smoke.

  8. Dread P. Roberts

    I smoked for over seven years before finally kicking the habit. But before going cold turkey, I had established a personal boundary line of only smoking when I was drinking (in most cases, among friends at the bar). Once I realized that this only made not smoking at other times even more torture-some on myself, then I went cold turkey. But in order to do so, I had to completely avoid bars for a long time. Even now – three years later – I still am not as fond of attending the whole bar scene as I was when I smoked. Of course, having kids has a lot to do with that, but still – smoking and bars – everyone should know, the two just go hand in hand together. Who knows, a change like this might just attract a different audience, but more than likely, bars are going to suffer WAY more than restaurants.

  9. Dionysis

    “I don’t see why we should be punished for smoking when people have been smoking for years and it has not been a problem until now…”

    You raise a couple of points here; first of all, cigarettes have always smelled bad and airborne smoke has always settled on the clothes, etc. of those close by (obviously, outdoor settings somewhat excluded). It’s just that in times past, smoking was much more common than today and wasn’t perceived as a ‘problem’. Estimates today are that smokers constitute about 20% of the population, with declines continuing (although oddly enough, other tobacco product sales are up, including cigars and snuff). These trends hold true even in tobacco-producing states like NC.

    As for the notion of being “punished,” it’s quite likely that non-smokers could reasonably argue that they’ve been “punished” for years by having been denied smoke-free air to breathe.

    Personally, as a former smoker (who quit during my college years in the late 70s), I see both sides. It is hard to rationalize banning smoking from outdoor settings. I’ve not read the bill, so don’t know if there are any such exemptions, but there probably should be.

    And to Ken’s point: even when I smoked, I always refrained from smoking in restaurants. Always. It just struck me as impolite, so I’d wait until out of the building to light up. Your point is correct; if the addiction is so strong as to not allow a couple of hours without a nicotine fix, there is a big problem indeed.

  10. Lee Andrew White

    Frankly, I’m really glad about the ban. Although I’m for as little government interference in my life as possible, obviously there’s no way to keep smoke confined to the smoker’s seat and away from other people’s lungs. If the smoke’s in the air, I’m either going to have to hold my breath, breathe it, or not be there. So, for those who choose to be around smoke, there are the cigar bars, private clubs, outdoors. I guess that’s somewhat of a win-win situation.

  11. Tasha

    I understand that it is bad health wise, but still i have been smoking for years. I don’t like the fact that i can’t go to wild wings, north side or mack kells and can’t have a smoke!!! i know that other places have put a ban on smoking and thats fine, i don’t live in these places though, i live in north carolina. From the way im understanding this whole thing is that they are taking smoking sections out from everywhere and i don’t agree with that this is supposed to be a free country and smoking is a choice!!!!

  12. Cassandra

    A smoking ban is wonderful! I go to bars to enjoy a live performance, not to cough out my lungs with cigarette stench from people who have no consideration for others’ space. Cigarette stench will destroy a leather coat! Ever since I was a teenager I’ve hated having to immediately shower and throw my clothes in the wash when I get home, even at 3 a.m. Now I finally won’t have to!

  13. Hmmm...really?

    Bobaloo I have never found a Masonic Lodge ignorant enough to allow smoking within its walls. We’re smart enough to know to go outside.
    Why are you smokers upset? You finally get the opportunity to stop killing other people with 2nd hand smoke, maybe even help you quit, and get healthier and breather better. Duh.
    Its cheaper to drink at home too.
    Now go join that country club and kick that habit!

  14. Michael Humiston

    I am not a smoker. I am continually saddened with certain parts of our society & government imposing their view on fellow Americans. Private property owners have the right to appeal to any clientele & free Americans have the right to vote with their dollar. If a smoke free society is truly the will of our people then it shall happen of its’ own accord. What happens when eventually someone wants to see your values suppressed? I believe we all should be fully aware of that which might cause us harm. I don’t care if you smoke, just don’t demand that I pay for your choices.

  15. travelah

    I smoked for 15 years before quiting and I recall the way I knew it was successful was sitting in a bar drinking an ale and not wanting a smoke even with several smokers around me. I enjoyed the beer. My point is the bars are not going to suffer at all with this. People don’t go to the bars to smoke. Jacks is an excellent example. If you want to smoke, go outside, enjoy your addiction and return to your party.
    Better yet, take this as an opportunity to quit. Food will taste better, you won’t smell and taste like an ashtray and you can actually smell fresh air. Besides, that nasty little spec of malignancy can be really bad news when you least expect it.

  16. sarah

    I lived in Syracuse and Rochester, NY after their smoking ban was in place and the difference was negligible. The bar owners bought tents and installed heaters and the smokers went out there and the nonsmokers stayed inside. Even in upstate New York in February the tents were warm and drinks were allowed. The bars didn’t smell like smoke, I went to more places than just the nonsmoking bars and even the people who were most fervent against it were surprised at the ease of transition.
    I worry about Hookah Joes though.

  17. The Rocket Club

    You can download a PDF of the new law here

    http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/BillLookUp/BillLookUp.pl?Session=2009&BillID=H2

    We’re already non-smoking so it doesn’t make a difference to us. By my reading, the private club exemption isn’t defined the same as the lame private club laws involved for liquor sales, so smoking will be banned from Broadways too to answer Andy’s question. The Enclosed area definition will actually limit a number of patios from being smoking too.

    most states have a law like this already, NOLA just passed one this week too. Sorry black lungs, you’ll have to step outside next year.

  18. Banana

    Yay! Now I can go hear some good music at the Admiral on Saturday nights. Let’s face it, a smoking section in a restaurant is like a peeing section in a pool. It’s very obtrusive. I have never understood why a smoker would want to smoke inside anyway–it totally reeks! And it’s really not fair for all the servers who have to be exposed to it. I know many smokers, and all of them are in the habit of smoking outdoors. The most populated states in this country have managed to live without indoor smoking. You smokers will adjust to smoking outside quite nicely, I’m sure. Maybe you’ll even get some fresh air in your lungs.

  19. djmrthebest

    i’ve only smoked for 5 years now but i’ve been going to rock shows for a LONG time and it just doesn’t seem right seeing a band in a nice smelling, un-foggy bar.

    also, its like the state is disowning its son that takes care of them while it sits in a nursing home.

    its north carolina for satan’s sake. there should be cigarette machines on the street corners

  20. Dread P. Roberts

    My point is the bars are not going to suffer at all with this

    I really hope you are right. It is very discouraging to think that any business would be affected by something as trivial as a bad habit like smoking. But the issue is not with whether or not people go to bars to smoke (I don’t think that is the case either), it is with people being angered by new rules and laws infringing on their freewill. It just so happens that bars are a common place where people who smoke hang out. With the economy the way it already is, why wouldn’t a group of angry smokers change their minds about going to the bar for drinks, when they could just as easily avoid the aggravation, and stay at home to do the same thing for cheeper (unless, of course, they wanted to play pool or something). Again, I genuinely hope this is not the case, but it is a possibility. I think that in time – once people have become accustomed to the way things are – this will all definitely be for the better. I’m sure every non-smoker is thrilled at the idea of not having to suffer through second-hand smoke, and the stench that is left behind on clothing, so maybe this will actually bring more business to bars from people who look forward to a ‘refreshing’ environment.

  21. Mike D

    It’s about time. Even states like NJ outlawed smoking in public places several years ago. And guess what – the bars didn’t close their doors from lack of business. And, once they got used to it, all those smokers were pleasantly surprised that they could actually stand the smell of themselves after a night at the bar.

  22. My smoking averages about 2 cigars a month…so I’m not directly affect by the prohibition of smoking. But I strongly support the right of bar owners to determine whether smoking is allowed inside their business.

    I understand that some non-smokers dont want to breathe others smoke. But there is a simple solution…..Stay out of Smoking Bars.
    What’s so hard about that?

    Personally, I beleive that loud music can cause permanent damage to my hearing. I can quote studies out the wazoo to support this. So I CHOOSE not to enter clubs if the music is too loud.
    This is a personal choice and I dont need the government to regulate volume levels inside all bars…..just so I can go to any club I want.

    Come on folks….let’s all be adults and take responsibility for ourselves without expecting the government to regulate every risky behavior.

  23. Cassandra writes:
    “A smoking ban is wonderful! I go to bars to enjoy a live performance, not to cough out my lungs with cigarette stench from people who have no consideration for others’ space.”

    I disagree strongly. If I am a non-smoker, then what right do I have to claim all privately owned bars as “my space”…..and expect everyone else to cater to MY wants and needs.

    Some people go to bars to hear live music, but some go just to socialize, or to have a drink and a smoke at the end of a hard day. Not all bars are the same….and some dont even have music.

    Why should the govt tell a bar owner which clientele they should cater to?

    (Besides, I know some non-smokerss who would prefer that the smokers stay inside the bar and not congregate on the sidewalks out front creating massive smoke clouds. )

  24. Dionysis

    One thing that seems to be missing from these posts is that studies in the state, including a recent one done by Elon College, shows that:

    “eight in 10 said they consider secondhand smoke a threat to their health. Two-thirds of respondents said they support or strongly support a statewide law that would ban smoking in public buildings, offices, restaurants and bars”

    http://media.www.theeastcarolinian.com/media/storage/paper915/news/2009/03/05
    /News/Nc.House.Committee.Approves.Public.Smoking.Ban-3660008.shtml

    It seems, then, that the legislature is responding to majority will. That hardly supports the claim that this is some kind of Big Brother-ism.

  25. Jon

    http://www.dutchamsterdam.nl/315-amsterdam-smoking-ban-coffeeshops

    Even Amsterdam decided tobacco was too dangerous to smoke in public buildings. They banned tobacco while allowing cannabis in their “coffee shops”. The problem with tobacco in not just that it is the number one preventable cause of death in the US, the problem is that it causes disease with second hand exposure. I still believe people should have the right to smoke on their own turf. If you want to drown yourself that is your business until you try to drag strangers down with you.

  26. WannaB

    Cigarette smoke in a closed environment is intolerable to me. But then, even more intolerable is sharing space with someone who wears “too much,” or certain types of perfume; my eyes water, my throat constricts, I genuinely suffer. I have been in public businesses where someone smells as if they have not bathed for a good long while (these have been people, by the way, like YOU and me, people who had grocery baskets full of goods and were clearly not homeless or lacking the means to look after their own personal hygeine). The stench, in both situations, at any rate, is usually so bad that I am compelled to leave, so that is what I do. I leave.

    Business owners should be the ones to make these kinds of decisions, not the state, nor the people dissatisfied with the environment. Go somewhere else if the enviornment does not suit you.

    Really, don’t we, or our government have more important things to focus our energy on right now? Like the environment outdoors? Compared to the exhaust produced by our vehicles, and other large-scale pollution, cigarette smoke indoors or out is petty. If people wanting to morally govern others’ behavior would “just” consider governing their own beahvior first, they would probably be too busy to worry about others bad or inconsiderate behavior.

    To all of you who feel pwerless or outrage or anger or any other kind of negative emotion about this issue, you DO have power do improve your environment. Take a bath. Go out and pick up the trash laying around in the city parks or streets, or perhaps in your own backyard. Throw away your cheap perfume. In short, get a life.

  27. LOKEL

    Does anyone know if this applies to Indian Reservations …. because Harrah’s is as smokey as it gets …..

  28. Marc

    I think the bottom line is one’s right to clean air is greater than another’s right to smoke. Someone who accepts the health risks involved with smoking should respect another’s right and desire to avoid those risks.

    We as a society collectively pay for the health problems caused by smoking. The uninsured and underinsured receive benefits and care (and all should receive health care in a compassionate society) which we all pay for. Any impediment to smoking (bans, high taxes…) is helpful if it leads to a drop in the number of smokers. I say that for the good of those whose lives would be prolonged by quitting most of all.

  29. Stooge

    I agree with dontalley. Let the owner of the establishment decide how he wants to run his own business. I’m a big boy (and a life long non-smoker). I can decide for myself whether I want to do business with that restaurant or bar or another. Believe it or not, there are more than one restaurant and more than one bar in the Asheville area.

    If the owner makes the wrong decision, he either changes or goes away (or gets TARP money from the government).

    I resent the government “looking out for my best interests” because it has been my experience whenever they do, I suffer somehow. Why would I believe this time will magically be different.

  30. Jen

    All a business has to do is make it a private club..like Broadway’s. From what I understand the law does not apply to a private club.

  31. Jen

    oh..sorry. I read through all of the posts and found out what a private club refers to.
    Too bad for Hookah Joe’s. Guess they’ll have to call it something else and get rid of the Hookahs.

  32. Marc writes:”I think the bottom line is one’s right to clean air is greater than another’s right to smoke.”

    YES! Everyone has a right to clean air ….. and they can exercise that right by avoiding smoking bars. No one is forcing anyone to walk into a smoke filled bar.

    Marc writes: Someone who accepts the health risks involved with smoking should respect another’s right and desire to avoid those risks.”

    YES! I do respect your right to avoid those risks and you have a simple way to do so…..simply stay out of smoke filled bars.

    What’s so complicated about this?
    You dont want to breathe second-hand smoke….then dont go in a bar where smoking is permitted.
    You dont want to have your eardrums blasted by loud music….then dont go into a bar where the music is loud.

    Non-smokers seem to think that just because they “desire” to go into any privately owned bar they therefore have a “constitutional right” to demand the bar owner cater to their “desire” over and above the desires of other paying customers.

    I rarely smoke BUT I fully support the rights of bar owners (and not the govt) to decide if the majority of the specific bars clientele prefer to smoke.

  33. Dionysis

    I’d love to see the studies showing the negative health effects of second-hand loud music or exposure to second-hand stinky perfume.

    And to repeat: this ban seems to be based upon certain facts, such as the proven adverse effects of second-hand smoke, the reality of a large majority in the state favoring such a ban and the expression of this majority opinion via the exercise of state’s rights to adopt such a ban.

    And I still think outdoor settings should be exempt, as well as private clubs.

  34. Tasha

    I agree with dontalley, if you chose to go into a bar or resturant where smoking is permitted then that is your problem don’t go complain about smoking you knew there was going to be smoking inside, espicially in a bar. I think if you chose to smoke that is your choice if you chose not to smoke thats great. There is no reason for the government to get into some one’s personal life. They should’nt say anything about banning it from resurants and bars, people are still paying 4 to 6 dollars a pack to smoke. So the government is getting there money. All everyone keeps talking about is helping the economy, well are’nt the people who smoke doing that they are spending that if not more on cigarettes.

  35. Dionysis quotes a recent Elon College study: “”eight in 10 said they consider secondhand smoke a threat to their health.Two-thirds of respondents said they support or strongly support a statewide law that would ban smoking in public buildings, offices, restaurants and bars”

    Here a real simple solution which involves ZERO dollars to enforce:
    ELon College should consider banning smoking on their own campus…..but they should not enforce the preference of their survey respondents on every bar in the state of NC.

    Why is this so complicated?

    If 70 to 90 percent of the clientele at the Town Pump, Shovelhead Saloon,The Watershed, and other bars say they support the right to smoke in bars, that doesn’t mean ALL bars should allow smoking.

    If I quoted a study showing that 8 out of 10 citizens believe that the govt should re-establish the Blue Laws (which prohibit ALL businesses from operating on Sunday) would that be reason enough for the government to tell ALL businesses to close their doors on Sundays???

    Democracy DOES NOT mean that if 51 percent of the population hold a certain belief, then they can impose their beliefs on the other 49 percent.

    Protection of the rights of the minority was once an accepted part of the principles that set America apart.

  36. Dionysis

    “All everyone keeps talking about is helping the economy, well are’nt the people who smoke doing that they are spending that if not more on cigarettes.”

    Actually, the economic cost associated with the diseases that smoking causes is far greater than the economic benefit of the relatively small number of remaining smokers spending money on cigarettes.

    http://www.tcsg.org/sfelp/economic.htm

  37. Dread P. Roberts

    dontalley,

    I understand your frustration, and I agree that the government is becoming too involved in other peoples personal business, thereby infringing on their rights as an American citizen. Even though this particular issue does not outrage me to the extent that it does you, I do think it is a little scary to see the spread of excessive government control. But the truth is that even though the government should keep their nose out of peoples personal business, you have to understand that this particular law can only have a positive outcome for the health and well-being of everyone. Smoking is bad for your health. Smoking caused approximately 440,000 premature deaths in the United States annually and approximately $157 billion in annual health-related economic losses. Period.

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5114a2.htm

  38. First, I appreciate the rational and respectful tone of this debate and think we are all learning something.

    Dionysius offers the following challenge: “I’d love to see the studies showing the negative health effects of second-hand loud music…”

    A rational challenge which I accept.

    “acoustic neuroma” is a brain tumor caused by repeated exposure to loud music. Categories for loud noise exposure included: exposure to machines, power tools and/or construction noise; exposure to motors, including airplanes; exposure to loud music, including employment in the music industry; and exposure to screaming children, sports events and/or restaurants or bars.

    But apart from tumors, studies show permenant hearing loss risks increase with as little as 8 minutes exposure to sustained decibel ranges in excess of 100db. Rock Music can reach 110 db.
    The Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID) has summarised results from two surveys which found that nine in 10 people aged 16 to 30 have signs of hearing damage after a night out.

    There’s a simple way to avoid these risks. DONT go into a bar where loud music is played unless you CHOOSE to accept the risks involved.

    Sources and Studies:
    http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/163/4/327
    http://www.labour.gov.sk.ca/Default.aspx?DN=2828b462-60c1-454c-9969-51454486a9c6
    http://www.anausa.org/what_is_an.html
    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/acousticneuroma.html
    http://www.hearinglossweb.com/Medical/Causes/nihl/mus/loud.htm
    ..too many studies to list them all….

  39. Dread offers a thoughtful response which I appreciate. It’s nice to debate a topic in the “public square” without having to argue or call names.
    Dread says:
    “Smoking is bad for your health. Smoking caused approximately 440,000 premature deaths in the United States annually and approximately $157 billion in annual health-related economic losses. Period. ”

    Yes….I agree that smoking is a risky and potentially costly behavior…that’s one reason I CHOOSE to limit my total smoking to about 2 cigars a month.

    Kayaking, Skateboarding, eating donuts, and football are also risky behaviors and have been proven to lead to “premature death and health-related economic losses.”
    As an adult, I enjoy the freedom to decide whether or not I want to engage in these risky and costly behaviors.

    So I think the debate is more about the banning “second-hand” affects of risky behavior rather than the risky behavior itself.

    I can agree with banning smoking in “essential” spaces such as hospitals, airplanes, nursing homes, post offices, drivers license offices, banks, etc. It’s virtually impossible to avoid such spaces in todays society.

    Going into ANY bar of one’s choosing isn’t essential in today’s society. Thus I support the bar owners right to implement policies which meet the desires of their own specific clientele at the most local of levels.

    Require them to post exterior signage notifying customers that smoking is allowed in the bar. Require them to include a “surgeon generals” warning notice on the exterior of the bar about dangers of smoke and second-hand smoke. I could support these measures.

    But dont deny the bar owner or their customers the right to make adult choices for themselves about exposing themselves to risks from smoke (or loud music).

  40. Dionysis

    “Dionysius offers the following challenge: “I’d love to see the studies showing the negative health effects of second-hand loud music…”

    “A rational challenge which I accept.”

    First, thank you for taking the time to look into this; as someone who used to attend many loud rock concerts in years past, I can easily accept these findings (nothing about stinky perfume, however), even though the exposure was sporadic and not really “repeated” such as in an industrial setting.

    Now, if exposure to loud music was as pervasive as second-hand cigarette smoke, and the number of aurally afflicted was similar to those affected by second-hand smoke, the analogy would be more relevant.

    But I do agree that it’s good to have a civil debate about a contentious issue, and that everyone is at least seeing another side (even if they don’t agree with it).

    I also completely agree with your comment that “… the debate is more about the banning “second-hand” affects of risky behavior rather than the risky behavior itself.”

    Of course, this is all really academic anyway, since as of Jan. 2 2010, it becomes law.

  41. Dionysis

    Oh, and just one more minor point about this:

    “ELon College should consider banning smoking on their own campus…..but they should not enforce the preference of their survey respondents on every bar in the state of NC.”

    You may have noticed that the study (and it’s not the only one conducted, only the most recent) did not survey Elon College students, but a cross-section of the state populace. And Elon College probably doesn’t have the ability to “enforce their preference” on anything (and there is nothing in the study that suggests they have a “preference” one way or the other).

  42. halo in reverse

    Speaking as a non-smoker who abhors smokey bars (I love the OP) I have a major problem with the government telling individual property owners how to run their businesses. I say – let the market drive how a business will operate. Let indivduals police themselves. It’s not the responsibility of the government to make choices for us. We are all smart people (well some of us are) and know better than to stay out of smokey bars if that is something we dislike or have health concerns over.

    Too many people (both sides) seem to think that all bars and restaurants are their personal domains. Not so, technically it’s the domain of the owner, you know the one who pays the mortgage, who pays the property tax.

    When you allow government to tell individual property owners how to behave you start travelling down a very tricky road. Really, for those of you who own a business, would you want the state of North Carolina coming into your business and telling you how to run it?

    We have a right to choose where we go just as the property owner has a right to choose what he/she will allow on their property.

    I’ll say it again – Let the market place drive how the business will operate!

  43. LOKEL

    Hey TASHA,

    breathing CLEAN AIR is NOT A CHOICE it keeps me alive; so when your choice interferes with my life that’s where the problem begins …. some might say that drinking is a choice….. but my right to drive on the roadways without being killed by a drunken drive trumps their choice to drink AND THEN drive.

  44. halo in reverse

    Oh, and one other thing. If you think that this law is about the government giving a crap about your health you are dead wrong. The government could care less about your personal health.

    This law is about those with the most power having a personal agenda and having the means to get close to the lawmakers.

    This is only the start people. Pretty soon the state of North Carolina will be able to govern everything you do as a personal property owner.

  45. Dread P. Roberts

    So I think the debate is more about the banning “second-hand” affects of risky behavior rather than the risky behavior itself.

    That thought actually did cross my mind once I had perviously posted, and you are absolutely right. You make very good points for which I absolutely agree. Freedom of choice is very important. We are adults and we should all be respectfully treated as such when we act accordingly. A person is free to choose to harm their body in any way that they see fit. All I’m trying to say is that even though it is institutionally wrong, it is still healthily (and possibly economically) right for everyone.

    Kayaking, Skateboarding, eating donuts, and football are also risky behaviors and have been proven to lead to “premature death and health-related economic losses.”

    Like John said in a previous post: “If you want to drown yourself that is your business until you try to drag strangers down with you”. Remember that we are talking about second-hand smoke, as you had pointed out to me.

  46. Dionysis

    “Oh, and one other thing. If you think that this law is about the government giving a crap about your health you are dead wrong. The government could care less about your personal health.”

    You’re probably right, but you can bet they care about the cost.

    “This law is about those with the most power having a personal agenda and having the means to get close to the lawmakers.”

    Which suggests that the health insurance companies (and probably health care providers) have a lot more clout than the tobacco industry.

  47. Tasha

    halo in reverse

    You are sooooo right!!! Soon the government is going to control us like toys. Its fine if you don’t smoke and its fine if you do, just like halo in reverse said “We have a right to choose where we go just as the property owner has a right to choose what he/she will allow on their property. ” If you chose to go to these places then that is your choice nobody is telling you to go!!! If we the people let the government start controlling us and telling us what to do then we will no longer be considered a free country!!! you make your own choices don’t let the governmetn do it for you cuz all they are doing is feeding you a bunch of crap, they are not trying to help anybody.

  48. Dread P. Roberts

    This law is about those with the most power having a personal agenda and having the means to get close to the lawmakers.

    Actually, from what I’ve read, I get the impression that it’s really all about money (as usual). There are new health insurance policies that are more than likely going to be implemented in the near future to ensure that more people have coverage. But this means that the government will have to spend more money on health care if more people are insured. So they (government) is looking for any loopholes that they can in order to limit sickness. They can’t outlaw smoking, because even though it would be more health efficient, it would also cost them a lot of money. So the next best thing that they can think of is to cut down on second-hand smoke. That might sound a little far fetched to some, but if you want to talk about a hidden agenda, then be realistic. It’s not personal, the government just loves money.

  49. Dread P. Roberts

    You’re probably right, but you can bet they care about the cost.

    Arrgh…Dionysis said this faster than I could type.

  50. Don Talley is 0 correct on this. Don’t like smoking stay out of smoking bars. The only argument that I have heard that makes a grain of sense is that you are protecting the rights of the employees of the bar or restaurant. If the government wants to regulate something it should be indoor air quality not the act of smoking.
    What if a study comes out that being a Mormon is hazardous to your intelligence, will the government ban that from privately owned property?

  51. halo in reverse

    “You’re probably right, but you can bet they care about the cost.”

    I don’t doubt that at all!

  52. Zanna

    When I don’t want to have my hearing damaged by music that is too loud, I don’t leave the bar, I place nice high fidelity earplugs in my ears which reduce the sound by 15 decibels to a safe level. What equivalent of that do I have for smoking, should I don a gas mask? That makes taking a sip of my drink rather inconvenient doesn’t it. Yes, there may be many non smoking bars nearby, but most of the time if I go to a bar it’s to enjoy the live music playing there, not to pay for overpriced watered down drinks. Should I miss out on a possibly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see an artist I love simply because some nasty smoker wants to be selfish?

    And to Mr. “what about my rights,im a veteran,i got rights also,to hell with you simple minded people”, you sound just like my selfish father. He was also a veteran, and believed that his right to smoke indoors superceded my mother’s right to suffer through chemotherapy without vomiting from the horrendous smell. He would smoke a pipe just down the hall from her even as she retched while she was ill on chemo from breast cancer. That’s how I will always and forever view the selfishness of people who smoke indoors- they truly don’t care, not even about their closest loved ones, even if they’re dying. You know your actions could hospitalize or kill others, you just don’t care.

  53. Zanna

    Wow, reading further through these posts I see the point about the dangers of loud music being made over and over again. Have NONE of you ever heard of earplugs? I have a pair in my purse at all times. If you invest in a nice pair of high-fidelity earplugs such as those made by Etymotic Research Inc (highly recommended) you can not only reduce the overall sound levels by 15-50 decibels (depending on the style of plugs), you’ll actually find that the music EQ sounds *better* because the plugs filter out tinny treble and hissy distortion. Going to a concert without earplugs is like looking for a cheap one night date without a condom. There is NO equivalent protection I can drop in my purse to protect myself from a smoker…

  54. Dionysis

    “If the government wants to regulate something it should be indoor air quality not the act of smoking.”

    Yes, but how can indoor air quality be regulated without regulating indoor smoking? As ‘Banana’ humorously put it, “a smoking section in a restaurant is like a peeing section in a pool.”

    “Don’t like smoking stay out of smoking bars.”

    Which will be really, really easy to do after Jan. 2.

  55. halo in reverse

    Zanna, I can appreciate your position (as a nonsmoker myself). You obviously have some issues with smoking that you are trying to work through and I hope you find the peace you need. It’s tough losing a parent no matter the situation. I think you may be being a tad lopsided by making such broad statements as “some nasty smoker wants to be selfish” and “truly don’t care, not even about their closest loved ones”. I hardly think that every single smoker is in this boat. Broad sweeping generalizations do no one any good. Like I said, you obviously have some issues and I’m not faulting you – I would probably feel the same way if I were in your shoes.

    However, that being said, it is not your right to go to a bar to hear some band or to have a drink. This is their property and they are the ones who ultimately decide what will or won’t happen on the property (used to anyway). The owner of that property should be the soul decision maker in what goes on, just as they are the soul decision maker as to what band to bring in.

  56. Zanna, I sympathize with your personal loss. My father was a cigar and pipe smoker and died of cancer at age 72. But I dont blame the government for his choices.

    That’s one reason I CHOOSE to only smoke about 2 cigars a month….and up until recently I CHOSE to avoid smoking bars altogether.

    As an adult, I have the responsibility to do whatever it takes to protect my own health as I deem neccessary. That responsibility isnt the governments and it isn’t the bar owners.

    If I wanted to go to the Orange Peel to hear loud music, then it’s my responsibility to decide whether to buy high-fidelity earplugs or not.
    It’s a simple personal decision…nothing more, nothing less.

    By the same token, smokers (as adults) have the exact same responsibility to decide for themselves what safety measures they wish to use…or what risks they wish to take when it comes to entereing privately owned bars.

    Many non-smokers in this debate assume that their individual desire for a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see an artist I love” supersedes the rights of the business owners and other bar patrons.
    Just because I “desire” to hear a band doesn’t mean I have a right to set the conditions under which I hear the band.

    If you CHOOSE not to expose yourself to smoke and therefore miss out on hearing your favorite band, it’s doesn’t mean the bar owner violated your civil rights.

    Life is full of difficult choices about risks versus rewards. If we give the government the power to eliminate all risks on our behalf, we will all be living pretty bland (but safe) lives.

  57. David

    Even smoking residue can have negative effects on health. So how can anyone argue that they are not infringing on the health of others? Smoking clearly affects individuals inside and outside. I am tired of having to avoid areas because of someone’s selfish and destructive habit. Furthermore having to pay higher taxes and health care premium to subsidise it. Smoking should be banned outright. You’ll survive cry baby… you might even survive longer.

  58. Zanna

    dontally, your argument cuts both ways. Just because a smoker desires to hear a band doesn’t mean they have the right to set the conditions under which nonsmokers see the band. It would be a simple flip of the coin as to who has more of a right all things being equal, but all things are NOT equal. If I set the condition that you cannot smoke, then the worst you will experience is mild symptoms similar to PMS for an hour or two at the most, meanwhile your body will actually be healing as you for once spare it the toxins. If however the smokers set the conditions of the club and a nonsmoker contracts cancer from secondhand smoke, then it’s a hideous slow screaming death.

    As for your condolences (and I’m sorry for your loss), please note that I was speaking of my mother dying from hereditary breast cancer, not a lifestyle cancer related to her personal choices. I mentioned it as an anecdote to show what selfishness smokers can sink to, when MY pipe smoking father smoked in the house in the room next to her while she underwent chemotherapy. If you ever went into a cancer ward while your father was ill, you’ll note that they usually advise you not to wear perfume etc. Some will discourage flowers with odors. That’s because chemo makes you so incredibly sensitive to odors that wearing perfume next to someone going through it can be pure torture. And yet my father smoked a pipe next to someone he supposedly loved who was going through that. How are you going to justify that?

    If you CHOOSE not to go see a band because the bar owners won’t let you stink up their establishment with carcinogenic toxins, it doesn’t mean the bar owner violated your civil rights. Again, it cuts both ways- and both side’s arguments are not equal. That’s why this legislation is happening all over the country and world. And yeah, I know, you’re going to say but the government shouldn’t be the one to choose and so on… that’s a whole other argument I don’t have time for.

    Sorry about Hookah Joe’s though. How ’bout the name “Smokeless Joe’s”?

  59. blah blah

    I hate cigarette smoke but a business has the right to allow smoking if they like. Government knows best

  60. Hippolyte

    Well, I just hope that everyone who supports smoking in bars as a matter of personal choice and individual rights also supports the legalization of all drug use. Just sayin’.

  61. Piffy!

    cigarette smoke stinks.

    It’s full of toxic chemicals and people who smoke it are drug-addicted morons.

    i hope they die in their own vomit.

  62. WannaB

    Zanna,

    Sorry you and your mom had to deal with a bad dad; however, banning smoking in various places, or everywhere for that matter, will not fix your dad’s bad behavior. It is unlikely you can “fix” it either, although based on the fixated nature of your posts, counseling (in the privacy of a professional’s office rather than on a public and somewhat anonymous discussion board) might help?

  63. Mountain Invader

    I lived in San Diego in the late 90′s when the smoking ban took effect there. Same arguments, same type of people whining about “personal rights” and “property rights”. The bottom line is that within 3 weeks after the ban took effect, restaurant and bar business shot through the roof. A few neanderthal club owners continued allowing people to smoke and paying the fines for a while and steadily lost business, but the vast majority of the people, even smokers, after they got over it, appreciated the vastly improved atmosphere of California night life.

  64. Yes, but how can indoor air quality be regulated without regulating indoor smoking? As ‘Banana’ humorously put it, “a smoking section in a restaurant is like a peeing section in a pool.”

    Simple go to a bar that has a correctly function filtration system like Daily’s in Atlanta they have a cigar bar in their establishment and it does not smell at all, I have also been to a cigar bar in San Fransisco a few years ago that was not properly functioning and it was not completely smoky but it did have that stench.

    “dontally, your argument cuts both ways. Just because a smoker desires to hear a band doesn’t mean they have the right to set the conditions under which nonsmokers see the band.”

    Zanna you are correct neither one of the patrons (smokers vs non-smokers) have the right to set the conditions, that should solely be left up to the owner of the establishment.

    “cigarette smoke stinks.
    It’s full of toxic chemicals and people who smoke it are drug-addicted morons.
    i hope they die in their own vomit.”

    The(PFKaP)I hope you don’t choke on your self righteousness. I am surprised that the moderator did not ban you for that statement.

  65. Dionysis

    “Simple go to a bar that has a correctly function filtration system like Daily’s in Atlanta they have a cigar bar in their establishment and it does not smell at all, I have also been to a cigar bar in San Fransisco a few years ago that was not properly functioning and it was not completely smoky but it did have that stench.”

    Or emulate the old ‘Get Smart’ program from the 1960s and install ‘Cones of Smoking’, where the nicotine addicts can huddle together encased in an air-tight plexiglass bubble, puffing to their lung’s content.

  66. “The bottom line is that within 3 weeks after the ban took effect, restaurant and bar business shot through the roof.”

    The bottom line is that is not the government’s job to help business go “through the roof.” That’s the job of the private sector.

  67. messiahsaurus

    Sounds good to me. I used to be a smoker when I was young and stupid. Now that I’m older and wiser I better enjoy the food from dining out because it no longer tastes like I’m licking an ashtray.

  68. halo in reverse

    I think too many people are making this a personal issue (both for and against) and are losing sight of what the REAL issue should be and that’s the rights of individual property owners.

    Tim Peck, I like what you’ve got to say!

  69. Lee Andrew White

    About 24 years or so ago, many employers allowed employees to smoke. Nonsmokers had to breathe it. About 17 or so years ago, many Alcoholics Anonymous meetings allowed smokers to smoke at the meetings. Nonsmokers had to breathe it. If smokers can’t exhibit consideration for other people’s lungs on their own, eventually someone else will set the boundary for them.

  70. theresa

    I am not a smoker and feel this should have taken place a long time ago; however, better late than never. I am very glad to hear that smoking is finally being banned and can now enjoy going to certain places w/out being bothered by the smoke, or going home smellin like a smoke factory. Yahoo!

  71. Ewing

    Thank God!!!! Smoking is a nasty and dangerous addiction that others should not be exposed to in public.

  72. WannaB

    Is there a NON-SMOKING therapist or counselor in the house?

    And perhaps somebody well-versed in constitutional law might be useful as well.

  73. Piffy!

    It’s my right as an american to smoke toxic substances in closed quarters and if anyone complains its because they hate america and freedom.

    damn non-smoking commies.

    not smoking is a communist plot.

  74. Piffy!

    [b]The bottom line is that is not the government’s job to help business go “through the roof.” That’s the job of the private sector. [/b]

    I suppose it is also the ‘job of the private sector’ to bribe government officials when their product is found to be cancerous, and executives are proven to have lied under oath.

  75. “I suppose it is also the ‘job of the private sector’ to bribe government officials when their product is found to be cancerous, and executives are proven to have lied under oath.”

    No. It is the job of the government, in a capitalist economy, to refrain from selling favors and uphold the rule of law.

  76. Piffy!

    Good Luck with that.

    While your at it, can we have some unicorns, too?

    Maybe bring back some gifts from the big rock candy mountain?

  77. Zanna writes:
    ” If however the smokers set the conditions of the club and a nonsmoker contracts cancer from secondhand smoke, then it’s a hideous slow screaming death. …….. If you CHOOSE not to go see a band because the bar owners won’t let you stink up their establishment with carcinogenic toxins, it doesn’t mean the bar owner violated your civil rights. ”

    On that we are in complete agrement.
    I’ve never made the claim that smokers should set the bar policies.

    I said the business owner should set the smoking policy.

    Personally I actually prefer non-smoking bars for listening to music. But my “preference” is just that a preference rather than a right.

    If a non-smoker walks into a smoking bar and “contracts cancer from secondhand smoke, then it’s a hideous slow screaming death” they have only themselves to blame.
    Exposure to secondhead smoke in a bar is EASILY preventable by not walking into the bar.

    When citizens have such easy means of avoiding the risks of smoke, then the citizens and not the government have the responsibility to make personal choices.

  78. Mountain Invader writes about California:
    “The bottom line is that within 3 weeks after the ban took effect, restaurant and bar business shot through the roof. ”

    Can you cite any factual evidence to back this up?

    Most studies show that the “overeall revenue” of the restaurant industry increased in the year following govt prohibition of smoking. But “overall revenue” also increased in prior years BEFORE the smoking ban as well.

    So the studies offer no direct link to increased revenue “as a direct result” of smoking bans. In fact, the aggregrate revenue statistics cited by most studies include
    a) revenue for restaurants which were already non-smoking before the ban was enacted
    b) revenue for fast-food restaurants
    c) revenue f0r take-out only restaurants, delicatessens, bakeries, etc

    The studies never cite statistics for small independently owned bars (and diners) for a good reason…Many Small bars and restaurants lose revenue when smoking bans are enacted.

    Other studies show an increase in bankruptcies and closures of small independent bars in states which prohibit smoking. But you’ll not hear the anti-smoking lobby quoting these studies for obvious reasons.

  79. Dionysis

    “Let’s have one now.”

    So you’re not in Capitalist Nirvana, Singapore, huh? Your exhortations for people to “pack up” and leave in the wake of the Marxist takeover of the government was just BS? Thought so.

  80. Piffy!

    [b]“Let’s have one now.”

    So you’re not in Capitalist Nirvana, Singapore, huh? Your exhortations for people to “pack up” and leave in the wake of the Marxist takeover of the government was just BS? Thought so. [/b]

    Giggle. Thanks for reminding me of that, dio.

    Tim: whatever happened to that plan?

  81. Bill Barnwell

    I agree with the new law as far as restaurants and public buildings go. But I don’t think smoking should be outlawed in bars.

  82. Clocky

    There’s a lot of talk on here along the lines of “the state shouldn’t impose a smoking ban in restaurants or bars. If you don’t like the fact that smoking is allowed in an establishment, then don’t CHOOSE to go there.”

    What about the employees?

    If you go to a restaurant and breathe some secondhand smoke, you’re probably only there for two hours, tops. The employees, on the other hand, are there for four to eight hours, usually.

    Would you also say that “if you don’t like the fact that smoking is allowed in an establishment, just don’t CHOOSE to work there?” Let’s hope not. Most of the servers I know have very limited options. They’re working their way through school, or trying to pay the bills on a very limited income.

    I lobby for smoke-free workplaces, for the health of the workers.

  83. Ezekiel

    What about bars that have installed expensive smoke filter equipment? Will the state reimburse the bar owners for their expense?

    I have no problem with banning smoking in restaurants, but it seems to me a sensible approach to bars would have been to give the owner a choice of installing smoke filters or going non-smoking.

  84. Clocky makes a good point. I think the employee argument has some merit.

    But….

    a) Most bar tenders I know DO have choices to work in non-smoking environments at chain restaurants, fast-food restaurants, pizza delivery, etc. They CHOOSE to work in bars for many reasons. Some feel they make better tips, some prefer to work late hours, some like independent bars because they dont have to wear uniforms, some simply like the bar atmosphere.
    So I think the argument that they have NO choice but to work in a bar is very weak.

    b) Other jobs have inherent health risks as well. For example, there are many jobs that involve exposure to perfumer or require employees to work outside in direct sunlight.
    Should the government require the employers to provide sun-free job options for employees who feel the sun increases risk of skin cancer?
    I think not. I think that as long as the job description states clearly that “a willingness to except exposure to sun is required”, potential employees can choose to accept that risk or not.

    NOTE: I’m not against all forms of government regulations in the work place. I am a firm supporter of regulations against discrimination on race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, etc. I am a firm supporter of reasonable minimum wage requirements.

  85. Dionysis

    “there are many jobs that involve exposure to perfumer or require employees to work outside in direct sunlight.”

    As noted in an earlier post, there doesn’t seem to be any scientific studies linking exposure to perfume and adverse health risks to people (although certainly there are adverse health risks to the poor animals used for “R & D” by the manufacturers of perfume). And correct me if I’m wrong, but sunlight is a natural part of life, essential to human existence, in spite of the danger of UV rays. Receiving sunlight is not the result of purposeful and unnatural human behavior. Receiving second-hand smoke, however, is.

    Should job descriptions for work in establishments which allow self-injurious behavior state that the employee “accepts exposure to known carcinogens optionally allowed into the contained atmosphere of the establishment?” If not, then perhaps they should.

  86. Mister Blister

    “it sucks,what about my rights,im a veteran,i got rights also,to hell with you simple minded people”

    Yeah you have rights, you have the right to smoke in your house or in your car!

  87. Sundance

    “Yeah you have rights, you have the right to smoke in your house or in your car! ”

    And you have right too….you have the right to stay shut up in your house smoke free or frequent places that do not allow smoking. This is really ironic from a veteran, as you claim you are. A person who defended and fought for the rights of citizens who fails to realize every time the government intervenes you lose more of the freedoms you served to protect and defend. Wow, how hypocritical on your part.

  88. Sundance

    “I want the right to shoot heroin and start small brush fires at my dinner table, or maybe at the bar.”

    What the hell…why not…lol. Hope your doing well PFKaP
    :-)

  89. Sundance

    “My folks were chronic smokers in small enclosed rooms..ir almost killed me… please stop..your pleasure isn’t worth our lives..”

    Richey you still continually miss the point that everytime you cede to more government control you give up freedoms you have been granted via the constitution. You also have a freedom now…its called choice, the choice to frequent places that do not allow smoking, etc. The choice to scream at your folks not to smoke in front of you, etc. I bet you never exercised this right when you were a little tot did you.

    You also have the choice to move to a socialized country where finally you will have a governmental body to micro manage your life and decisions..like you advocate here.

    Go for it, China, Korea, Cuba and may be even Iran’s Ayatollah are waiting for you.

  90. Piffy!

    yeah, sundance. i know. we really have to get rid of speed limits, food safety regulation, drunk driving laws, the police dept., all that commie crap.

  91. Sundance

    certain regulations are ok…but this one PFKaP is just ridiculous and goes to far….it eliminates businesses like hookah Joes, etc.

    What in the world ever happened to “choice” PFKaP. There are a lot of things that really do need regulation and tobacco has a lot of them…but when you pass stupid laws, such as this one, you are only which is only going to creating a greater public tax burden for enforcement purposes and eliminating commerce at the same time.

    It is just a “No Win” situation PFKaP.

  92. Sundance

    certain regulations are ok…but this one PFKaP is just ridiculous and goes to far….it will eliminate businesses, cost jobs, etc.

    What in the world ever happened to “choice” PFKaP? There are a lot of things that really do need regulation and tobacco already has a lot of regulations…but when you pass stupid laws, such as this one, we are only creating a greater public tax burden to pay for the enforcement of this stupid law while at the same time we eliminate commerce by shutting businesses down that do not comply.

    It is just a “No Win” situation PFKaP.

    Sorry about the above post with typos….my internet connection really sucks today.

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