September 27th, 2006

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01:51 pm - on banning public smoking...

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on banning public smoking... - graffiti.maverick — LiveJournal

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[User Picture]From: marmal8 Date: September 27th, 2006 - 07:39 pm (Link)
Like the other non-smokers who have posted comments, I'm quite happy to be able to go to a bar these days and not inhale second-hand smoke. It used to be a shock for me to return from my non-smoking haven of New York to smoky Pittsburgh. Though Pittsburgh without the smoke seems a little less Pittsburgh to me, like Pittsburgh without "yinz" or with "to be" inserted in the middle of "needs exterminated." I remember coming home from the Beehive on a Thursday night and dumping all my clothes into the basement, not wanting the cigarette smell in my bedroom. I was willing to put up with the smoke, because dammit it was the Beehive on a Thursday night!

The problem is that "you can smoke in bars and restaurants" or "you can not smoke in bars and restaurants" both amount to the same thing in terms of individual rights. They are both extremes. So the solution of awarding 50% of liquor/restaurant/boob-display licenses to each camp is reasonable if problematic. Ultimately, where is the cool new local band going to hold their show? What if all the non-smoking bars suck? Solution: complain to the owner or buy one and make it not suck.

What I really want is a law about how far away smokers have to stand from the doors of non-smoking establishments. Because that's the real problem here. Not the fact that they can't smoke inside but the fact that they stand right in front of the effing door and I get my second-hand smoke that way.

Alternately restaurants could have real smoking/non-smoking sections with walls and adequate ventilation rather than just different sides of the room, like the smoke is going to stay on one side.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: September 27th, 2006 - 08:15 pm (Link)
the answer to the band question is simple. The band chooses which venue's they want to perform in. If the band doesn't care, they go to both venues. If the band does care they choose the one they like. This is totally not an issue. A hip hop band plays clubs with lots of black patrons, a metal band plays clubs with lots of white people.

The point is, allowing both smoking and non-smoking establishments allows for choice. Yesterday in Pittsburgh, a patron had the choice of going to a non-smoking establishment or a smoking one. It was not the case that bars were FORCED to allow smoking. Tomorrow that choice is gone. Bars CANNOT allow smoking. That is the difference. If we leave it completely up to the bar, then maybe they'll all allow smoking. Well, tough shit. That's called free enterprise. If there are so many people who are so against being around smoke, then someone should have opened up a bar where they didn't allow it and made a fortune. Sort of like when you open a bar that markets to gay people or white people or whatever. But in reality what happens is when you open a club like that, it does poorly because none of the smokers go, and most people don't care and would rather go to the place that allows choice, so the non-smoking places fail. If there were a really awesome bar that didn't allow smoking, guess what, I'd go and not smoke while I was there. Or I'd say, I want to smoke, so I guess I just miss out. Its like saying Hooters shouldn't be allowed to hire busty waitresses, because its offensive. If you really want greasy wings and deep fried everything and are offended by boobies, then go to TGIFridays and leave the rest of us alone.
[User Picture]From: marmal8 Date: September 27th, 2006 - 08:30 pm (Link)
Do you really know of any bands that survey their fans to find out if a smoking or non-smoking venue is preferable? I've never heard of it.

The fallacy with your argument, that restaurants, bars, and boob establishments had the option of not allowing smoking, is that I know of no restaurant, bar, or boob establishment in a smoking-allowed city that has chosen "don't smoke here at all." (Maybe there are/were and I never heard of them, because, they sucked or went out of business quickly.) Just because in theory they had that option, doesn't mean that in practice there was anywhere serving booze, food, or breasts, that one could go to enjoy those things without smoke. Sure one can go to the library, but there's no booze there. So "go places without smoking" is only a useful argument if there are actual options and not theoretical ones.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: September 27th, 2006 - 08:47 pm (Link)
that's not a fallacy in the argument at all. Its evidence of the very free enterprise I am debating with apestyle above.

The problem is that despite the public outcry one way or the other, most people just don't care, so its up to the establishment to decide which way they want to lean, and it turns out that its more economical to lean towards the smokers in this case. And that should be ok. Smoking is a red herring. It is prime for argument because of the health risk, but really we're just talking about personal preference. Are you really arguing that I should be forced to open country western clubs just because there's no good places to go for country music and hip hop, techno, salsa and rock offend you? Why aren't there any good aboriginal music establishments? If it is so important to non-smokers to have non-smoking clubs, then for HOVA's sake, someone open one. I swear, if it's cool, I'll deal with not smoking for a night, just so I can go. The fact that there aren't enough people who care to do the right thing through enterprise doesn't mean that there should be laws forcing the wrong thing to happen for everyone from the other camp who does care enough to do the right thing through enterprise to go the other way.

And for the record, the Rex doesn't allow smoking. And there was a non-smoking bowling alley in Pgh I went to. And there are plenty of non-smoking restaurants and coffee houses. I'm betting there are bars out there too, I just never went out of my way to find one because I've always either been a smoker, or in times where I wasn't, I was among the 70% who just didn't care.
[User Picture]From: marmal8 Date: September 27th, 2006 - 09:02 pm (Link)
I'm not arguing that anyone should be forced to open any establishment. I'm saying if the establishment isn't actually in existence, it's silly to tell me that I have the option of going there.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: September 27th, 2006 - 09:10 pm (Link)
But my point is that if there is enough of a public demand for such an establishment, then it would exist. The reason you don't have a ton of smoke free bars is that most people don't care enough for there to be one. As I pointed out, the Rex is (or at least was, I don't want to say for sure) one.

That's why I brought up the aboriginal music scene. If you're offended by salsa music but love aboriginal, you can't just demand that all the salsa clubs switch. You just have to seek out a good aboriginal club. The fact that there aren't any isn't the responsibility of the county.
[User Picture]From: jameel Date: September 28th, 2006 - 12:26 pm (Link)
The free market doesn't have the general health of the population in mind, and it shouldn't. That's what the government is for.

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