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[P]
The End of the Smoking Section

By sventhatcher in Op-Ed
Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 12:17:50 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

In the past few years, there's been a larger and larger draw of attention to the bad elements surrounding cigarette smoking.

Is it time to finally get rid of restaurant smoking?


The days in which smoking was glamorous or attractive are pretty much dead and gone. It's just a habit. A dirty and somewhat stinky habit. Do we really need it infiltrating our meals anymore? A number of chain restaurants (mostly fast-food) have already jumped the gun and have gone totally non-smoking, but I for one would like to see that policy in state at all restaurants. Pro Arguments
  • Health Issues - Is there anyone left in this nation that doesn't know that the smoke from nicotine cigarettes is carcinogenic? Anyone who doesn't know that the secondary smoke that results from the smoking process is equally if not more carcinogenic (due to no filter)? Not to mention the problems smoke can cause people with asthma or serious allergy problems.

    Counter: It's possible to argue that tobacco companies are telling the truth in saying nicotine is not a cancer causing agent which is doubtful, but doesn't address the issue of asthma or the general common sense that inhaling smoke into your lungs is not a good idea no matter what's in it. I'll deal with the flaws in the smoking section idea later.

  • Smell - Few things are more repulsive than the smell of stale cigarette smoke. If you've ever been around someone who is a heavy smoker, you'll know that this smell sticks for a long time and is really hard to get rid of. Fresh cigarette smoke doesn't smell much better. Given that your sense of taste is largely connected to your sense of smell, it can be mildly annoying to downright disgusting to try to eat amidst the smell of stale tobacco.

    Counter: I can't think of any counter-argument to this aside from the fact that eventually one does become adjusted to the smell which is weak at best.

  • Stains - I know first-hand that having wood floors or walls in a room that is heavily smoked in is a bad idea. The cigarette smoke will over time cause hard to get out stains in the wood. This is a hassle for a restaurant owner to get cleaned.

    Counter - There is no conceivable counter here other than "it's his problem, why should I care." which is once again very weak.

There's a short list of pro's to banning restaurant smoking, but I consider them relatively important ones. Now to tackle the arguments against it.

Anti Arguments

  • Freedom - It's legal to smoke therefore banning smoking in restaurants is a slicing of liberty.

    Counter: Smoking is already banned in government buildings, hospitals, airports, etc. This is just the next natural step. Besides, smoking around people who choose not to can be violating their personal right to live healthy lives which seems somewhat more important than someone's right to smoke to me at least.

  • Economic Problems - The loss of the smoking demographic to smaller restaurants will cause a big enough hit to profits to cause the restaurants to fold and thus lead to further name branding of America.

    Counter: This is a toughie, but I believe personally that if it was a global policy there might be some initial drop off, but things would eventually stabilize.

  • Smoking Section - If a restaurant is divided, then non-smokers can just avoid smokers all together and thus this is a non-issue.

    Counter: If every restaurant had properly divided smoking/non-smoking sections, I would be inclined to agree, but the truth is that in many places there is no real division if there are even separate sections. In a number of local restaurants, the only difference between smoking and non is the side of an open room they're on or the side of a three or four foot barrier they're on. These aren't sufficient barriers to the health hazards or the smell issues. Admittedly as opposed to a ban, regulations on sections could be imposed, but this would be even more of a burden on smaller businesses and would be extremely hard to enforce.

    Also.. Some of us have friends who smoke, and even if they don't light up during the meal... they may want to afterwards or before causing you the polite friend to have to endure the smoking section. If it wasn't an option, it wouldn't happen.

I think the case for banning smoking in restaurants has some merit to it, and while I'll fight to the end to ensure someone's right to smoke in private if they choose, I'm all for doing things to make it inconvenient and to generally discourage it since it is a bad habit. The addiction is barely an issue anymore with the numerous solutions for curing addiction available over the counter now. People can learn to live without a mealtime cigarette for the relief of the rest of us already.

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Poll
Do you support banning smoking in restraunts?
o Yes, a smoker 8%
o Yes, a non-smoker 49%
o No, a smoker 11%
o No, a non-smoker 23%
o Tighter regulations instead, smoker 1%
o Tighter regulations instead, non-smoker 4%

Votes: 103
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Also by sventhatcher


Display: Sort:
The End of the Smoking Section | 215 comments (198 topical, 17 editorial, 0 hidden)
What about bars and night clubs then? (3.71 / 7) (#2)
by nobbystyles on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 09:26:33 AM EST

If you are going to ban smoking in privately owned spaces. Why not ban cars as they produce carcinogens as well....

Thing is the only people I've seen complaining about cigarette smoking in restaurants in the UK is USians. Unfortunately USian health facism is heading here ...

I'm All for It! (3.00 / 2) (#3)
by sventhatcher on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 09:29:35 AM EST

If we can find a way to make society run effeciently in the US without cars and get it going, I'm 100% behind it.

Unfortunately for the moment, cars seem to be a necessary evil in most areas of the country.



[ Parent ]
Yes and until (3.33 / 3) (#6)
by nobbystyles on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 09:33:15 AM EST

They invent an adequate non smoke producing nicotene delivery device then I'm going to continue smoking. Necessary evil, you see...

[ Parent ]
And how... (none / 0) (#58)
by Anonymous Commando on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 12:14:22 PM EST

...does your smoking contribute to the well-being of society? I think that you've totally missed the point that sventhatcher was trying to make, or else you're ignoring it and trolling instead...

Take away cars, trucks, semis and other internal combustion engines - you get cleaner air, and a complete breakdown of commerce. Chaos ensues. Localized famines break out - how much of the food at your local supermarket is grown locally?

Take away cigarettes - you get cleaner air in restaurants and other public places, lower incidence of many types of cancers and heart disease, lower incidence of birth defects, lower incidence of allergies...

...oh, it's not all blue skies for sure - giant tobacco companies having to change their business models, tobacco farmers either going under or finding something else to grow... not to mention the millions of people going through massive nic fits for a while...

Oh yes - an "adequate none smoke producing nicotene delivery device" has already been invented. I believe it's commonly called "the patch".

I can't believe people are actually rating your posts up - I didn't think there were that many ignorant people around here...
Corporate Jenga™: You take a blockhead from the bottom and you put him on top...
[ Parent ]

Think about it again (5.00 / 1) (#94)
by DJBongHit on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 01:38:58 PM EST

Take away cigarettes - you get cleaner air in restaurants and other public places, lower incidence of many types of cancers and heart disease, lower incidence of birth defects, lower incidence of allergies...

...oh, it's not all blue skies for sure - giant tobacco companies having to change their business models, tobacco farmers either going under or finding something else to grow... not to mention the millions of people going through massive nic fits for a while...


No, you'd get an overnight black market for cigarettes, with all of the associate problems (tainted supply, high prices leading to people needing to steal to support their habit, violence between suppliers, hundreds of thousands of people in jail for things which aren't really crimes). We learned this lesson once through alcohol prohibition, and yet failed to apply it to drug prohibition. You want to make the same mistake all over again?

Banning a consentual activity through force of law is never the proper solution, and is rarely a solution at all.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Absolutely (5.00 / 2) (#107)
by sventhatcher on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 02:20:12 PM EST

"Banning a consentual activity through force of law is never the proper solution, and is rarely a solution at all."

And I'd never support a ban of smoking/cigarettes anymore than I would of alcohol. Anymore than I do of marijuana or any number of other illegal substances that shouldn't be illegal.

It's not our government's job to stop us from hurting ourselves.

It's our government's job to stop us from hurting each other.

[ Parent ]
Rights and Bans (4.00 / 1) (#172)
by phliar on Wed Jun 13, 2001 at 02:08:52 AM EST

And I'd never support a ban of smoking/cigarettes anymore than I would of alcohol. ... It's not our government's job to stop us from hurting ourselves.

It's our government's job to stop us from hurting each other.

The only sensible viewpoint, of course. So a distinction must be made between banning smoking, and banning smoking in restaurants/bars. Since ventilation inside a building is poorer than that outside, stands to reason that in a restaurant, my smoking hurts other people so it should not be allowed.


Faster, faster, until the thrill of...
[ Parent ]

True... (5.00 / 1) (#110)
by Anonymous Commando on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 03:26:41 PM EST

...but I was speaking in a very general hypothetical sense. As in, "imagine if all tobacco on planet Earth suddenly disappeared into thin air", not "let's ban tobacco and shoot all the smokers."

I'm not advocating a tobacco prohibition - as a matter of fact, I find myself agreeing with many of the reasons put forth by pro-legalization advocates (despite my personal choice to abstain from recreational mind-altering substances, including alcohol and pot - and despite my desire that my children will abstain as well). You are absolutely correct that prohibition didn't work in the past for alcohol, that it doesn't appear to be working today for pot, and that it probably wouldn't work in the future for tobacco.

My personal opinion on smoking is as follows:

  • It's a disgusting habit/addiction
  • It's harmful to the health of the smoker
  • It's detrimental to the health of those who are nearby
The first two points are your concern - if you don't care about your health, and you don't care that I think it's disgusting, so be it. The third point is mine. I support bans on smoking in most public places, for the same reason that I support public pools' "no pissing" policies. If the smoking section is enclosed and separately ventilated from the non-smoking section, that's just fine by me. The problem is that most places do not have this type of setup, and most simply cannot afford to.

So, until a Star-Trek-like "containment field" for smoking sections (or portable fields for individual smokers) becomes a reality, I will continue to enthusiastically support any restrictions on smoking in enclosed public places, if for no reason other than my health and the health of my family. As the libertarian cliché goes, "Your right to swing your fist ends at my nose."


Corporate Jenga™: You take a blockhead from the bottom and you put him on top...
[ Parent ]
Why this won't eve happen (4.00 / 10) (#7)
by tombuck on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 09:35:45 AM EST

Simple: Economics.

One restaurant bans smoking outright. A few more non-smokers than usual go down there, but there's no real difference.

However, as long as there's a restaurant around that serves food of an equal quality (there will be) and that allows smoking, then one restaurant will grow steadily richer from the other ones lost customers.

I'm a smoker, and if I do go out for a meal with other people (the vast majority of whom don't smoke), I won't make them go in the smoking area. That would be rude. It's a two-hour wait for a cigarette, and if the food's that good then I know that I don't notice any craving.

Perhaps the problem is not that we need to have smoking banned outright - perhaps people just need to have some manners taught.

E.G.
Don't sit down next to a stranger on a park bench and light up.
Don't smoke around food *at all* (not even in the kitchen when there's no food around).
When smoking, avoid standing in the middle of a crowd doing it.

Manners. Learn some and the world will become a nicer place.

--
Give me yer cash!

Economics (1.50 / 2) (#11)
by sventhatcher on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 09:39:27 AM EST

I know that it would never be done as a voluntary thing in all likelyhood, but government interference could force it.

I find that far more likely than the prospect that all people who smoke would suddenly become polite and well-mannered. That's not meant to be an insult at smokers, BTW. The majority of non-smokers could also learn to be more polite well-mannered. =)

[ Parent ]
Hmm (none / 0) (#17)
by tombuck on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 09:44:07 AM EST

So you want the government to enforce such laws upon restaurant owners... who could end up going to jail for allowing, I don't know, two people to smoke even though he didn't see them ?

It's not inconceivable, you know :)

Admitedly, it would be great if people could have some consideration for others and for the rights that they are abusing - every time I see someone sitting in a bus stop, sipping from a six-pack, ignoring people around him, and the fact that it's nine in the morning... *sigh*... that's one thing I could *really* get in to a rant about :-)

--
Give me yer cash!
[ Parent ]

How does that really effect you? (none / 0) (#120)
by ti dave on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 03:59:29 PM EST

"Admitedly, it would be great if people could have some consideration for others and for the rights that they are abusing - every time I see someone sitting in a bus stop, sipping from a six-pack, ignoring people around him, and the fact that it's nine in the morning... *sigh*... that's one thing I could *really* get in to a rant about :-)"

How is this an abuse of rights?
I see your comment revealing the true difference between the U.S. and the U.K., to wit, in the U.K. all that is not specifically allowed is forbidden, reverse holds true in the U.S. (i.e. Pursuit of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness etc., etc.)

Sounds to me that you're just jealous that another person has more leisure time than you!

;-)

Cheers,

ti_dave
"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
Wow, where did you get THAT idea? (none / 0) (#125)
by priestess on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 04:32:56 PM EST

I see your comment revealing the true difference between the U.S. and the U.K., to wit, in the U.K. all that is not specifically allowed is forbidden, reverse holds true in the U.S.
You know that this is completely untrue don't you? The mere idea is absurd. Interestingly though, I have heard it argued the other way around when arguing that the UK should have a written constitution. Someone misunderstood what a bill of rights is and seemed to think that in the US you only had the rights listed (of course the bill explicitly says that they're not all listed) whereas in the UK we have the right to do anything not forbidden by law.

It didn't take long to explain that a written bill of rights lists what the government IS NOT allowed to do rather than what people ARE.

Pre.............

----
My Mobile Phone Comic-books business
Robots!
[ Parent ]
From the same place you got this idea... (none / 0) (#179)
by ti dave on Wed Jun 13, 2001 at 04:51:44 AM EST

"...whereas in the UK we have the right to do anything not forbidden by law."

I'd like to amend your comment with the point that you may have the right to do anything that doesn't piss off any hereditary monarch who happens to be >>In Charge Until They Die<<.

My understanding is that Cromwell really wasn't as successful as he'd like to have been.

Really, this century, the Royal Family doesn't seem to give a Rat's Ass about Politics, but there's nothing stopping the next sovereign from suspending the whole [Parliament] show.

Cheers,

ti_dave
"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
More economics (3.50 / 4) (#29)
by iGrrrl on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 10:06:09 AM EST

Several towns and cities in Massachusetts have banned smoking in restaurants. Only a few towns have banned it in bars, and often the restaurant ban excludes the bar area.

Restaurant owners typically fight these bans, citing that they anticipate lost revenue as smokers go to establishments in neighboring towns. Funny thing is that everywhere its been studied, the numbers show restaurant revenues are generally higher in towns with smoking bans.

--
You cannot have a reasonable conversation with someone who regards other people as toys to be played with. localroger
remove apostrophe for email.
[ Parent ]

depends on who implements the ban (3.75 / 4) (#8)
by Locke on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 09:37:23 AM EST

As a non-smoker I'd personally applaud any restaurant owner that eliminates their smoking section. Same for bars, night clubs, etc. I'll admit it, I'm pretty self-interested here--I'd like smoking banned every where I go. On the other hand, I oppose having the government implement such a ban through laws. I know that having the choice of going to a non-smoking bar would be very desireable for me. But I really don't need every bar to be non-smoking, and I certainly don't want to step on the feet of people who find smoking bars/restaurants/laundramants/sushi bars/whatever desirable.

None of the Governments business (4.36 / 11) (#9)
by priestess on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 09:37:30 AM EST

Essentially, if you want smokers to be banned from a resturant the person you should be speaking to is the owner of the resturant because nobody else has the moral or (arguably) legal right to do anything about it at all.

America is addicted to prohibition, which in itself isn't so bad I guess but they also seem intent on exporting their crazy laws to the rest of us. Charles Whitebread, at the end of a long but insightful history of drug use in the states says this:
If we get together here in the year 2005, I will bet you that it is as likely as not that the possession of marijuana may not be criminal in this state. But the manufacture, sale, and possession of tobacco will be, and why? Because we love this idea of prohibitions, we can't live without them. They are our very favorite thing because we know how to solve difficult, social, economic, and medical problems -- a new criminal law with harsher penalties in every category for everybody.
Are you sure you want to make it illegal for a resturant owner to let someone smoke in their resturant? You want to see someone jailed for it?

Pre.........

----
My Mobile Phone Comic-books business
Robots!
Not Jailed (2.33 / 3) (#18)
by sventhatcher on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 09:44:21 AM EST

"You want to see someone jailed for it?"

No.
Not jailed.
Fined perhaps.

If there was such a policy, I'm guessing that there would be a large number of businesses that didn't comply and would get nothing larger than a light slap on the wrist for it. It still might be a nice symblic action if nothing else.

Perhaps a better approach would be to offer some sort of reward (a tax break maybe) for having such a policy.

[ Parent ]
Fines (4.75 / 4) (#45)
by priestess on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 10:48:15 AM EST

Fined perhaps
But untimately jail is the sanction that someone who refuses to see the validity of the law always faces. Or does not paying the fine just result in a bigger fine that somone can refuse to pay? I guess you could confiscate the business and hand it over to somone who isn't so bothered. Better yet, let the police keep it, and the guy's car, and his house, they can use the money to fund their enforcement of other victimless crimes!

The point is, basically, you have no moral authority to claim your lifestyle is in any objective way better than the owner of the resturant. Saying you'll only punish him a bit for his choices doesn't avoid the fact you are trying to punish him for the way he's chosen to be different than you are.

Yes, a tax break would be a better approach, but letting people make up their own mind without your 'insentives' would be better still.

Pre......

----
My Mobile Phone Comic-books business
Robots!
[ Parent ]
good point (4.66 / 3) (#64)
by ubu on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 12:28:47 PM EST

But untimately jail is the sanction that someone who refuses to see the validity of the law always faces.

This is an important point. And actually, anyone who refuses to surrender to police who come to arrest him will eventually face death at the point of a gun. The question every regulator has to ask himself is, "Would I shoot someone over this?" And I imagine some of the more disturbed inviduals would be willing to answer, "Yes, yes I would."

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
Ignoring the Annoyances (2.33 / 3) (#70)
by sventhatcher on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 12:45:30 PM EST

Even ignoring the things about smoking which annoy me that doesn't eliminate the fact that cigarette smoke has a good chance of giving me lung cancer and killing me.

Or causing me a serious asthma attack if I had asthma.

There are health concerns, and the difference between these health concerns and say fatty foods or alcohol is that I'm not making the choice to inhale the smoke unlike the person on the other end.


[ Parent ]
Ignoring your REAL reasons (4.25 / 4) (#77)
by priestess on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 01:06:34 PM EST

Cigarette smoke can cause cancer. This is true, though there's really not all that much of it in the air you breathe unless you actually smoke. The idea stated elsewhere that second hand smoke is worse for you because there's no filter shows the extent that people will believe any bullshit on this topic. Surely the smoker gets the second hand smoke as well.

The food you eat at this resturant also causes cancer, it seems your only worried about the air though. But not the cancer in the air from cars, or electricity generators, or oil burning heaters in the resturant.

The point about Asthma always amuses me, I think it's due to be one of the biggest problems of the next century because people think we have to clean up our environment to stop it when in fact there's a good chance that cleanliness causes the problem by not giving our immune system a good workout during those formative years.

And you are making the choice to inhale these minute amounts of second hand smoke by going to a smokers resturant. Like I said, go talk to the owner of your fave resturant, maybe you can convince him to run a non-smoking wednesday every week or something for a trial period. I suspect there is a large demand for that kind of thing, get him to try it out.

Pre.......

----
My Mobile Phone Comic-books business
Robots!
[ Parent ]
Oi! (3.00 / 2) (#80)
by sventhatcher on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 01:09:38 PM EST

A friend of mine actually has serious respitory problems, and if someone smokes in her general area it can actually results in a serious asthma attack.

This is for real. This is not something I read on-line or in a book. I know her. I have her number. She exists.

[ Parent ]
Didn't deny that. (3.50 / 2) (#85)
by priestess on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 01:25:30 PM EST

I know people with Asthma too, though none as serious as your friend sounds. Some of them even smoke, dumbasses. I would be a fool if I were trying to claim smoking doesn't affect those who have Asthma, my point was a more general one that auto-immune problems, which are getting worse and worse, are quite probably caused in the first place by an overly protective environment during childhood.

I can only see this getting worse. I read of one doctor who was wondering about the ethics of perscribing dirt-pills to children to give their immune system something to work on to prevent asthma, alergies etc. in later life. Would parents allow it? Would it be fair not to tell them?

People do seem to be easily distracted by fairly small problems like smoke in resturants while letting our leaders and big corps get away with smoking on a massive order-of-magnitude larger scale out in the air that we do all have to breathe.

Pre....

----
My Mobile Phone Comic-books business
Robots!
[ Parent ]
Ahh (none / 0) (#87)
by sventhatcher on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 01:31:08 PM EST

"People do seem to be easily distracted by fairly small problems like smoke in resturants while letting our leaders and big corps get away with smoking on a massive order-of-magnitude larger scale out in the air that we do all have to breathe."

These things are horribly bad too, but one article at a time, k? =)

[ Parent ]
smoking is not a victimless crime (none / 0) (#146)
by jchristopher on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 06:52:06 PM EST

they can use the money to fund their enforcement of other victimless crimes

Hate to break it to you, but smoking is not a victimless crime.

My mother in law is married to a man who smokes two packs a day around her, whether she likes it or not. She cannot financially survive on her own, and wouldn't leave him anyway (pressure from family, society, religion, finance...)

He has smoked around her for over 30 years, and within the next 10 years both will likely be dead of heart disease or a heart attack. He doesn't care.

Smoking does have victims and it's not always the smoker.

[ Parent ]

Um, usually we tell abused women to LEAVE. (4.00 / 1) (#158)
by priestess on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 08:14:15 PM EST

My mother in law is married to a man who smokes two packs a day around her, whether she likes it or not.
Usualy we tell abused women to leave their husbands, she may be a victim, but it's clear she chooses to be.

Pre...........

----
My Mobile Phone Comic-books business
Robots!
[ Parent ]
What about the kids? (5.00 / 1) (#160)
by sventhatcher on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 09:17:12 PM EST

More relevant than the woman who refuses to leave are the children who grow up around heavy smokers.

They have *no* choice in the matter.

I'd be willing to bet that a large precentage of child/teen smokers pick up the habit from their parents.

A very subtle form of abuse.

[ Parent ]
Freedom (4.10 / 10) (#10)
by Signal 11 on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 09:39:07 AM EST

The most powerful argument is the most simple - it's private property, and the government should not regulate it. If you want to legislate clean air acts for government / public property, go ahead, but private citizens have the right to do with as they will with their own property.

And that is regardless of whether it is zoned commercial, industrial, or residential. It's private property. I'll be damned if only large corporations can protect their virtual property, while I can't open a small restaurant without running into red tape like this.

It is up to the restaurant under the current laws... and it should stay that way.

[Sidenote: author does not smoke cigarettes.]


--
Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.

That's a great argument, until... (5.00 / 4) (#22)
by DesiredUsername on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 09:50:43 AM EST

...you extend it to other activities. Should the gov't be able to regulate whether a private restaurant will hire women? Or serve blacks? Or have a non-rat-infested kitchen? Or serve spoiled meat?

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
government stuff (1.00 / 1) (#26)
by Signal 11 on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 09:59:19 AM EST

...you extend it to other activities. Should the gov't be able to regulate whether a private restaurant will hire women? Or serve blacks? Or have a non-rat-infested kitchen? Or serve spoiled meat?

To answer your questions, in bulk, "No" to all of the above. I like how california does it - they get a goverment rating card which they display in the front of their restaurant. You don't *have* to get the rating card, but nobody will go to your restaurant if you don't.

As to hiring women, or serving blacks, that is not a matter of public safety and entirely a seperate matter.


--
Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.
[ Parent ]

Consumer Freedom (none / 0) (#36)
by golek on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 10:22:52 AM EST

...they get a goverment rating card which they display in the front of their restaurant. You don't *have* to get the rating card, but nobody will go to your restaurant if you don't.

Consumer freedom, what an interesting concept. So, the consumer can still patronise such an establishment if they choose just as those who are concerned can avoid it?

[ Parent ]

Two points: (3.00 / 2) (#62)
by ucblockhead on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 12:26:19 PM EST

  • California bans smoking in all enclosed public places, and all workplaces bars and restaurants.
  • More importantly, those ratings cards you like? Well, they come in "A", "B", and "C". You never see anything other than an "A" even though, by law, restaurants are required to "prominently display" their rating. (I've only ever seen a "B" once in my entire life, yet supposedly something like 10% of restaurants get Bs or worse.) Hell, most restaurants don't even bother displaying the "A" these days. I can't remember seeing one in a restaurant I ate at in years (and I've eaten at some pretty damn nice restaurants). They seem to be following out of use. Lack of funding for enforcement, I presume. Anyway, the point is, those rating cards are a failure. Hell, it was just three months ago that a Mexican restaurant (and not a trashy one either) killed someone down in San Jose.

-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
Never seen rating cards (none / 0) (#108)
by aigeek on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 03:00:36 PM EST

I've lived in California for six years and I'm not aware of these rating cards. I may have seen them a thousand times and never once noticed, or maybe they're just not out there. Either way, they're clearly not playing a useful role in consumer choice.

[ Parent ]
Rating cards (none / 0) (#131)
by kworces on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 05:37:59 PM EST

I saw them all the time in LA, but I've never seen them in San Luis Obispo county (central coast). It must be a regional thing.

[ Parent ]
OT: SLO county? (none / 0) (#212)
by robotic on Thu Jun 14, 2001 at 06:54:00 PM EST

You're in SLO county? I'm attending Cal Poly.

-robotic
Sig: Maybe someday...
[ Parent ]

Re: OT: SLO county? (none / 0) (#213)
by kworces on Sat Jun 16, 2001 at 07:41:34 PM EST

I'm living and working in San Luis Obispo. I didn't go to Poly myself, but just about everyone I know here is a student or alumni. =]

[ Parent ]
It's an even greater argument (none / 0) (#123)
by Robert Hutchinson on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 04:21:11 PM EST

Should the gov't be able to regulate whether a private restaurant will hire women? Or serve blacks? Or have a non-rat-infested kitchen? Or serve spoiled meat?
No. A rat-infested, spoiled-meat-serving, non-woman-hiring, non-black-serving restaurant is not violating anyone's rights. (Unless, of course, they lie about the first two items--then you can sue, sue, sue.)

Robert Hutchinson
No bomb-throwing required.

[ Parent ]

That only restates the problem (none / 0) (#159)
by DesiredUsername on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 08:21:00 PM EST

"Unless, of course, they lie about the first two items--then you can sue, sue, sue."

So the gov't can't enforce health standards but it can enforce truthfulness standards? How has the basic problem, gov't enforcing it's standards on "private enterprise", changed?

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
It clarifies the problem (none / 0) (#200)
by Robert Hutchinson on Thu Jun 14, 2001 at 12:51:14 AM EST

So the gov't can't enforce health standards but it can enforce truthfulness standards? How has the basic problem, gov't enforcing it's standards on "private enterprise", changed?
One is proactive, the other reactive. One prevents all transactions, honest or not; the second allows people who are willing to eat at restaurants without governmental approval, or with private regulators' approval, to do so.

Robert Hutchinson
No bomb-throwing required.

[ Parent ]

Freedom? Not exactly (none / 0) (#173)
by phliar on Wed Jun 13, 2001 at 02:20:33 AM EST

The most powerful argument is the most simple - it's private property, and the government should not regulate it.
Not quite so black and white.

Do I have the right to a safe workplace? If my desk has jagged edges, can I insist that my employer fix it? Or would you say that in your philosophy, if I don't like the job for whatever reason, I'm free to look for another one?

What if only black people had desks with jagged edges? Should the government make laws about equal opportunity?

Does a bartender have a right to a smoke-free work environment?


Faster, faster, until the thrill of...
[ Parent ]

Freedom? Not exactly (none / 0) (#174)
by phliar on Wed Jun 13, 2001 at 02:21:07 AM EST

The most powerful argument is the most simple - it's private property, and the government should not regulate it.
Not quite so black and white.

Do I have the right to a safe workplace? If my desk has jagged edges, can I insist that my employer fix it? Or would you say that in your philosophy, if I don't like the job for whatever reason, I'm free to look for another one?

What if only black people had desks with jagged edges? Should the government make laws about equal opportunity?

Does a bartender have a right to a smoke-free work environment?


Faster, faster, until the thrill of...
[ Parent ]

I hate smoking as well... (3.80 / 5) (#12)
by DesiredUsername on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 09:39:33 AM EST

...but your only valid argument is that it's unhealthy. People from other cultures often smell bad to us--is that a valid reason for refusing them service? Smoke does stain--but have you ever walked into a room that used to be a restaurant kitchen? Food (and cooking oil) stain just as much if not more.

What's worse, (some of) the unhealthy aspects of smoking may not be from the actual smoke itself (particularly in the case of secondhand smoke). I'll go into more detail why when I post a review of "Plague Time" by Paul Ewald. Short version: he thinks many or even most "chronic" diseases (heart disease, cancers, Alzheimer's, etc) are caused by infectious agent. I'm not convinced, but the ideas are interesting.

Another item to add to your list however: Allergies. For about 5 years now I've been saying I'm "allergic" to cigarette smoke. I don't know why it is, but if I get a big old dose of smoke I catch "cold" the next day. Maybe that's something else, but nonetheless there *are* people who are irritated by particulate matter.

Play 囲碁
In Utah (3.40 / 5) (#13)
by wiredog on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 09:40:29 AM EST

It is illegal to smoke indoors in a "public accomodation", and within, IIRC, 25 feet of the door. Public accomodation means restaurants, bars, sports stadia, any other publicly accessible place.

"Anything that's invented after you're 35 is against the natural order of things", Douglas Adams
Already done in CA (3.25 / 4) (#14)
by mind21_98 on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 09:42:32 AM EST

For the most part this is already done in California. You can no longer smoke in any public buildings nor in any resturants (except in special areas I believe). As of yet no one's challenged the law. IMHO, this made places a lot more comfortable to be in for me because I hate tobacco smoke.

I'm not sure if a law similar to the one in California can work in other places though.

--
mind21_98 - http://www.translator.cx/
"Ask not if the article is utter BS, but what BS can be exposed in said article."

Ontario (2.50 / 2) (#24)
by Mad Hughagi on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 09:54:07 AM EST

There are quite a few communities here in Ontario that have passed municipal by-laws against smoking in any public places. I know for certain that here in Kitchener-Waterloo there is no smoking in any publicly accessed building. That includes bars and restaurants - any public place. I also believe that Guelph has followed this initiative as well.

A few years back, I remember they tried to do something like this in Toronto, however, due to lack of enforcement and a lack of following in the general public it fell apart. It's kind of too bad really, it would have been a great step forward for the city.

Personally, I think this is a good thing (even though I'm a smoker). I always try to smoke in places away from other people - just because it's my vice it doesn't mean that I have to subject other people to it. It's very refreshing to go to a bar and not have to wade through a wall of smoke, your clothes don't stink half as bad the day after either and it gives me incentive to cut down on my smoking while drinking (which usually increases).

Even at my university there has been a lot of discussion amongst the general university community about smoking outside buildings. Many areas have been designated 'non-smoking entrances' - just like at hospitals in some communities - you can't smoke within 20 feet of the door. I even remember one building on the campus at the University of Toronto that actually painted lines on the pavement around it designating the 'no smoking area'!

Anyways, the less people have to suffer because of someone else's habits the better.


HUGHAGI INDUSTRIES

We don't make the products you like, we make you like the products we make.
[ Parent ]

(off topic) (none / 0) (#98)
by Mad Hughagi on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 01:47:38 PM EST

Dear Diane:

For some reason you have ranked my post 1. I'm assuming it is because of my stance against smoking in public, as I noticed that you have done the same to a number of other comments in this story, even though the rest of the community generally rated them fairly high.

I was just curious why you think my comment deserves a 1. I think I have justified my stance on the situation. Perhaps if you could enlighten me as to why you disagree it would help me understand. Is it just your opinion? Then again I have noticed that you only use your account to rate comments.

Anyways, sorry to get off topic here, I am just fascinated by people who do this kind of thing.


HUGHAGI INDUSTRIES

We don't make the products you like, we make you like the products we make.
[ Parent ]

Bars too (3.75 / 4) (#59)
by ucblockhead on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 12:15:09 PM EST

California banned smoking in bars, too, under the worker safety statutes. (On the theory that bartenders/waitresses had the right to work in a "safe" (non-smoking) environment.)

It was quite controversial at the time, but the controversy seems to have died down fairly quickly after implementation. As it stands, cigarette smoking is banned in any public space/workplace. People seem to have gotten quite used to it.

It is now fairly easy to live your life without being confronted with anything more than the occasional whiff of cigarette smoke. More than just a convenience to an asthmatic such as myself.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

Wish it would happen in Western PA (none / 0) (#119)
by octothorpe on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 03:54:30 PM EST

It's pretty amazing how many people still smoke in western Pennsylvania. There are many resturants here that don't even have non-smoking sections or if they do it doesn't do any good since the smoke goes all over anyway. Blech!

[ Parent ]
Nicotin is not the problem... (3.75 / 4) (#16)
by neuneu2K on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 09:43:47 AM EST

This seems to be a common misunderstainding of the problem, the tobacco industry has hidden the fact that nicotin is addictive on the one hand and that the tar is carcinogenous on the other hand.


It is really good that there is nicotin in cigarettes, now we can blame cancer on this horrible drug, drugs are horrible dont you see ?


You can take as much nicotin as you want
(well in fact, there are overdoses, it is a very good poison in big doses: provokes heart attack and is not traditionnaly searched in authopsy ;-p ) as long as you do not smoke it
(In fact, cannabis, as it is smoked usually is even more carcinogen per cigarette...
but you can eat it if you want :-) )


Just to correct it, anyway +1 !
- "And machine code, which lies beneath systems ? Ah, that is to do with the Old Testament, and is talmudic and cabalistic..." - Umberto Eco
nicotin Lethal Dose (none / 0) (#199)
by Mitheral on Wed Jun 13, 2001 at 06:20:01 PM EST

Actually nicotine is very toxic and is very nasty stuff. According to the EPA's Chemical Profile it is classified as super toxic and an oral lethal dose in humans is ~5 mg/kg or less than seven drops for a 70kg person.

The fire fighting procedures are alarming:

Material too dangerous to health to expose firefighters. A few whiffs of the vapor could cause death; vapor or liquid could be fatal on penetrating firefighter's normal full protective clothing. Normal full protective clothing and breathing apparatus available to the average fire department will not provide adequate protection against inhalation or skin contact

In case you are wondering why the pure stuff is hanging around it is also a very effective "organic" pesticide.

[ Parent ]

Been tried (4.33 / 6) (#19)
by raaymoose on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 09:44:24 AM EST

Due to some rulings in favour of the WCB (Workers Compensation Board) of British Columbia (Canada), smoking in restaurants, bars, casinos, pubs etc was banned in that province on January 1, 2000.

Some business owners refused to comply and many were fined, but in the end, almost every business found that there were more customers spending more time in their establishments, and even when the total ban was lifted, many places continued a voluntary smoking ban.

It's not over, however, there are new regulations due to come into effect in September 2001, the final product of this experiment in smoking bans. The new Environmental Tobacco Smoke regulations (and related info) of British Columbia, for those interested.


Already is regulated in some places (3.66 / 3) (#20)
by asreal on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 09:45:08 AM EST

My town has recently banned smoking in places which cannot serve alcohol. So, while most restaurants are able to have smoking sections, unlicenced establishments like mall food courts, coffee shops, fast food outlets, and some family restaurants are not allowed to provide smoking areas.

As a non-smoker, I can say that it is a pleasant change. Some people complain, and some actually break the regulations by lighting up in the restricted areas, but for the most part people are cooperating.

It will be interesting to see what happens to some businesses when people can't go there for smoke breaks. The law is relatively new, so the financial impact on businesses can't really be accurately assessed just yet.

i trust i can rely on your vote
-asreal

Why not let capitalism do its job? (4.18 / 11) (#25)
by threshold on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 09:58:08 AM EST

If you go in to a restaurant whose non-smoking section isn't good enough, ie lets in to much smoke, asked to be moved or just get up and leave telling the manager or host why. You're free to leave just as they're free to run their restaurant anyway they want. If a majority of their customers want a smoke-free restaurant they'll change or go out of business. That's how capitalism works.

Those who want to go to no-smoking restaurants will, and those who don't won't. Restaurants whose demographics say its customers tend to be smokers will stay largely smoking, while those that say most of its customers don't smoke will do away with smoking sections. Its really that simple. Do we really need another law to run our lives? Doesn't big brother interfer enough? Should someone who wants to run a smoking restaurant not be allowed? And this is coming from a life long non-smoker btw.


Open Source, Open Standards, Open Minds
warning, parent post from brainwashed fool (1.40 / 15) (#40)
by tarsand on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 10:37:51 AM EST

I'm sick of lame 'free market' and 'capitalism' solves all problems itself. You know what, it doesn't. Look at the US, uses 25% of the world's resources, it's a foul, polluted wasteland - but hey ... 'capitalism' did it, it must be good! Who cares if the people are unfeeling drones, it's capitalism!

What utter bullshit.
You people are too stupid to be allowed to make your own choices, and it shows. <BT>


"Oh, no, I agree with tarsand!" -- trhurler
[ Parent ]
Troll.... (2.80 / 5) (#51)
by threshold on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 12:01:30 PM EST

I'm sick of lame 'free market' and 'capitalism' solves all problems itself. You know what, it doesn't. Look at the US, uses 25% of the world's resources, it's a foul, polluted wasteland - but hey ... 'capitalism' did it, it must be good! Who cares if the people are unfeeling drones, it's capitalism!

What utter bullshit.
You people are too stupid to be allowed to make your own choices, and it shows. <BT>



What's your source on the US using 25% of the world's resources? Unfeeling drones? That's your opinion. As for the last comment, while I'd rather be stuipd and an unfeeling drone by choose the wrong decision then have my fate decided for me by an overbearing known-all government, but that's just me I guess.


Open Source, Open Standards, Open Minds
[ Parent ]
proves my point (1.30 / 13) (#101)
by tarsand on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 02:01:08 PM EST

yes, you think you know better than anyone else

that's the problem...

silly yanks, when are you going to realise that induvidually you barely have the intelligence, nevermind the moral standing to keep yourselves at an animal level.

Then again, I have more faith in animals than I do yankees. <BT>


"Oh, no, I agree with tarsand!" -- trhurler
[ Parent ]
Fine... (1.00 / 1) (#184)
by threshold on Wed Jun 13, 2001 at 08:23:42 AM EST

You win, lets all hand our civil liberties over to a monarch. This person will control every decision I make, they will decide how I live my life, tell me what to wear, what to eat, and who to live with. Then I won't be a unfeeling drone!


Open Source, Open Standards, Open Minds
[ Parent ]
you're just as bad (3.00 / 3) (#52)
by alprazolam on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 12:03:52 PM EST

there really is no reason for the government to make smoking cigarettes illegal, any more than pot. as for your pathetic argument that not wanting to completely ban cigarettes amounts to randroidism, get a clue, and leave the rhetoric to the rhetoriticians.

[ Parent ]
Demographics do not count the chillllldrun! (5.00 / 1) (#148)
by pin0cchio on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 06:56:46 PM EST

Those who want to go to no-smoking restaurants will, and those who don't won't. Restaurants whose demographics say its customers tend to be smokers will stay largely smoking, while those that say most of its customers don't smoke will do away with smoking sections.

What about those whose parents force them to eat in establishments where smoking is encouraged? Children do not buy the food and are therefore not customers of the restaurants, but they still have to sit in the restaurant and breathe smoke.

Or could we handle the situation with the existing child abuse laws?


lj65
[ Parent ]
Well... (none / 0) (#183)
by threshold on Wed Jun 13, 2001 at 08:19:38 AM EST

Well parents are responible for their children, if they think that a smoke filled restaurant is approiate then that is their own decision. Maybe that would count as child abuse. I certainly hope child abuse laws never go to that extreme. But at the same time I hope parents never would treat their own children that way.


Open Source, Open Standards, Open Minds
[ Parent ]
Smokers want a tirany of the minority. (5.00 / 1) (#176)
by Tezcatlipoca on Wed Jun 13, 2001 at 04:17:26 AM EST

Two scenarios:
-Place packed full of smokers, a non smoker arrives. Nobody norices.

-Place packed full of non smokers. A smoker arrives and of course inflicts the consequence of his addiction in everybody else. One person can clearly spoil the evening for all those in close proximity or for everybody in smaller places.

Smokers are a nuisance, a danger to themselves and ironicaly to the people closer to them. If anyone will go bananas if somebody would come and polute close by I just don;t undesrtand how people are so ready to accept somebody poluting the air they breathe and the food they eat.

This is not a matter of freedom, it is like stopping drunk driving: it is a matter of public health and safety, I am sure both drunk drivers and smokers are annnoyed to the limits impossed on thier "freedom". I say tough luck. The fact that something is legaly accepted does not mean that you can do it wherever you want (sex, urinating, screaming are all legal activities, nevertheless there are regulations to stop people annoying each other).






Might is right
Freedom? Which freedom?
[ Parent ]
Places... (none / 0) (#182)
by threshold on Wed Jun 13, 2001 at 08:15:51 AM EST

You're right drunk driving is illegal but only on public streets, you can drive drunk all you want on your own property, you're free to let other people drive drunk on your own property. You're free to set the rules on your own property, (unless someone gets hurt or dies).

Smoking is almost the same. I can see banning smoking in public places. Privately owned establisments should be free to set their own rules as they see fit. If they want to make a smoke-free restaurant that is their own choice. If they want to make a smoking only restaurants that is their choice too. You the customer decides where you want to eat. Don't want to smoke, don't go to a smoking restaurant. Its about leaving the choice to the owner, not some overbearing government.


Open Source, Open Standards, Open Minds
[ Parent ]
end of the whinging section? (3.08 / 12) (#28)
by streetlawyer on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 09:59:27 AM EST

Face it, the kind of person who moans and groans about a little bit of cigarette smoke is hardly going to be satisfied once the smokers have been driven out. Next it'll be drinking, then meat, then chewing gum, then noisy children, then ...

Cigarette smoking is not an antisocial habit, or at least no more than a vast variety of other habits which society tolerates. It's time to draw the line.

(Of course, I'm greatly in favour of large numbers of entirely non-smoking venues aggressively advertised as such, as they tend to act as a wonderful filter for the kind of person I don't care to be around).

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever

I don't see "an end to whinging" mention (5.00 / 1) (#33)
by DesiredUsername on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 10:12:46 AM EST

"Face it, the kind of person who moans and groans about a little bit of cigarette smoke is hardly going to be satisfied once the smokers have been driven out. Next it'll be drinking, then meat, then chewing gum, then noisy children, then ..."

There are whiney people who complain about smoking. But the article author isn't advocating a ban on restaurant smoking for the purpose of shutting up the whiners. He's laid out some reasoning (which you may have skipped reading in your zeal to flame) and a ban on smoking should be considered on those merits, not a slippery slope consisting of chewing gum and noisy children, neither of which have any known (second-hand) health impacts.

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
the author is whinging (3.00 / 2) (#39)
by streetlawyer on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 10:36:51 AM EST

In your own zeal to flame, you missed my flame, how ironic. The slippery slope argument is entirely appropriate in this context; in my experience, people who engage in public policy debate against things which they find personally distasteful (in other words, people who want to interfere with others' lifestyle choices) are never short of a high-minded social evils explanation of why it is all for our own good (see the gun-banners for a good example; those who think that the poor should not have children for another). The call for a ban on smoking should not be considered *purely* on its merits; to do so would be to ignore a consistent pattern of behaviour on the part of the busybody section of our community. It should be considered as part of a general programme on the part of wealthy, educated people to reduce the pleasure taken in life by less educated, less wealthy people, because that's what it is.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Wowzer! (4.00 / 1) (#102)
by sventhatcher on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 02:01:52 PM EST

"It should be considered as part of a general programme on the part of wealthy, educated people to reduce the pleasure taken in life by less educated, less wealthy people, because that's what it is."

Mwhaha.
I'm poor!
Lower-class even!
I work for minimum wage!
Take that!

(Why am I bothering again?)

[ Parent ]
Answered my own question. (none / 0) (#117)
by ti dave on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 03:52:38 PM EST

wwww.dictionary.com

whinge (hwnj, wnj)
intr.v. Chiefly British whinged, whing·ing, whing·es
To complain or protest, especially in an annoying or persistent manner.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[Dialectal alteration of Middle English whinsen, from Old English hwinsian.]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
whinger n.
whinging·ly adv.

Cheers,

ti_dave

"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
"whinging" vs "whining" (none / 0) (#116)
by ti dave on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 03:50:23 PM EST

Is this a U.K. vs. U.S. variation in spelling?
It drives me nuts to see "whinging".
I always mentally hear a hard "g" sound when I see it. I see this on K5 all the time...

ti_dave
"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
You forgot the most anti-social one of them all... (1.00 / 1) (#35)
by Ordieth on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 10:19:02 AM EST

Mobile Phones, by far more anti-social than Kids, chewing gum & the rest.

[ Parent ]
small kids cause cancer? (none / 0) (#154)
by jchristopher on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 07:15:15 PM EST

Let me know when you find the study that says chewing gum and small children cause cancer. I'll be eagerly awaiting your reply.

[ Parent ]
*rolls his eyes* (3.00 / 2) (#76)
by sventhatcher on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 12:55:29 PM EST

I don't personally drink, but I have no personal objection to it.

I eat meat. I love steak.
Mmm.
Steak.

*punches holes in your theory*
Wow! It's paper-thin!

[ Parent ]
with respect, bullshit (2.40 / 5) (#81)
by streetlawyer on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 01:13:32 PM EST

I don't know how to say this politely, so I won't try; you're lying. At the very best, you're deceiving yourself. Social reformers *never* stop once their ostensible goal has been achieved. They always move on to the next great battle in their attempt to make the world the perfect place for well-educated middle class people without low tastes. It's ludicrous to expect me to take your assertions about what you want to make other people do at face value.

The addiction to telling other people what to do is far more antisocial and damaging than tobacco smoke; why don't we start by banning that?

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

*rolls his eyes some more* (3.00 / 3) (#83)
by sventhatcher on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 01:18:58 PM EST

Glad that you've totally figured out my personality from a single article I've posted to Kuro5hin.org.

Isn't it nice of people to always fall into neat tight little categories for you?

[ Parent ]
not people, you (2.25 / 4) (#84)
by streetlawyer on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 01:23:48 PM EST

The vast majority of people I meet are varied, interesting types whose personality I would never dream of being able to guess on the basis of a single writing sample. Consider yourself very special for being such a total stereotype.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Neat! *giggle* (4.66 / 3) (#86)
by sventhatcher on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 01:29:43 PM EST

I've always wondered what out there made me special.

Thank you kindly streetlawyer for showing my destiny!

I am forever to be stereotyped as some kind of nazi socializer who's out to make the world better if it likes it or not.

I better make some life changes so I can better fit into this role. Aren't all dramatic social change people huge hypocrites? Better get busy on that. I mean. I'm a hypocrite, but I'm only an average level hypocrite. I need to get into the big leagues!

(Three guesses what I was actually thinking when I dreamed up this article, and it wasn't "damn it, smoking sucks".)



[ Parent ]
Cool! Guessing games! (1.50 / 2) (#90)
by streetlawyer on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 01:36:11 PM EST

Three guesses what I was actually thinking when I dreamed up this article

OK, my first guess is "Cool! Maybe I can post my homework assignment on kuro5hin and plagiarise the comments!"

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Dude! (4.00 / 1) (#95)
by sventhatcher on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 01:41:39 PM EST

I confess your ability to insult is impressive although your disdain for me is amusing misguided.

I'm a cheery sort.
Really. =)

*offers his hand in quasi-friendship*

[ Parent ]
disdain (1.00 / 3) (#96)
by streetlawyer on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 01:43:21 PM EST

Ok, my second guess is "Just need to get this finished, then I can have a hamburger and a wank".

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Hehe (none / 0) (#135)
by trhurler on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 06:11:51 PM EST

The addiction to telling other people what to do is far more antisocial and damaging than tobacco smoke; why don't we start by banning that?
Is this streetlawyer the libertarian, or what? Now I'm really confused:) (I agree with the sentiment expressed, though, and I'll take it one further: why are private establishments forced to comply with government standards for "fairness," "cleanliness," and so on?)

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
More of a libertarian than you :) (none / 0) (#169)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jun 13, 2001 at 02:00:42 AM EST

Actually, I was a Hayekian for a long time in the 1990s, until I read Marx and was brought round to the view that private ownership of the means of production was just another form of coercion.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Question (none / 0) (#189)
by trhurler on Wed Jun 13, 2001 at 10:55:08 AM EST

I suppose what really dogs me about Marxists is this: if private ownership of "means of production," which itself is not nearly as clear a term as people like to pretend(is the little plot behind grandma's house where she grows flowers just to see them grow a means of production? Does it become one if she plants tomatoes instead?) is such a bad thing, what alternative is there?

The obvious answer is "public ownership," or "no ownership," or whatever, but those are bogus answers that really mean "ownership by whomever can convince others that he speaks for the people." Whether he is one man or a movement, he'll quickly turn what could have been a fairly decentralized (privately owned) power structure into the USSR. Of course, people like to point to places like Europe as counterexamples, but Marx wouldn't have thought much of Europe; despite its tax rates and ridiculous governmental agendas, it is still essentially a private economy; nobody would pretend that the "means of production" are anything but privately owned there.

The other thing I don't like is the insistence so many Marxists make that there is no difference between offering you money for your labor and threatening to kill you if you don't work; obviously some Marxists know the difference, but the number who don't or at least pretend not to makes me ill. Unless you explicitly make them the same by means of violence and threats of it, economic power and military power are not the same thing.

(I should point out that a fundamental difference between me and every Marxist I've ever heard of is that I make no bones about it - I am an elitist. When your average schmuck can provide as much for himself and others in a week as I can in a few hours, I'll be glad to reconsider that position carefully, but until then, yes, I do deserve more than he does in return for my efforts, and I am better than him; this view may never be popular, but it has the singular virtue of being factually correct. This isn't really about Marxism or any other political or economic system, but it certainly influences opinions of them.)

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
You have to see this in historical context (5.00 / 1) (#191)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jun 13, 2001 at 11:27:00 AM EST

In modern America or Europe, it certainly looks as if "economic power" hardly matters. In the England of Engels' "Condition of the Working Class", death through malnutrition was not at all uncommon. The choice for a proleterian was stark; accept the market wage or, quite literally, starve. The difference is obviously less important in modern societies (thanks in no small part to the efforts of socialist movements of various kinds, not all Marxists), but it remains the case that Marx identified a very important distinction; that between people who control their own destiny and lives, and people who are faced with a take-it-or-leave it offer. About a year ago, when I paid off my mortgage, I went from one class to the other; if I stopped working tomorrow through choice or disability, I would not lose the roof over my head. It makes a huge difference to the way in which you relate to your life.

The obvious answer is "public ownership," or "no ownership," or whatever, but those are bogus answers that really mean "ownership by whomever can convince others that he speaks for the people." Whether he is one man or a movement, he'll quickly turn what could have been a fairly decentralized (privately owned) power structure into the USSR.

Marx actually envisaged a technological utopia where questions of distribution were obsolete; it doesn't look like that's going to happen, barring a change in tastes. However, syndicalism does work, sometimes and for a while. I remain hopeful, albeit while trying to avoid the company of actually existing syndicalists like Richard Stallman.

Of course, people like to point to places like Europe as counterexamples, but Marx wouldn't have thought much of Europe; despite its tax rates and ridiculous governmental agendas, it is still essentially a private economy; nobody would pretend that the "means of production" are anything but privately owned there.

Absolutely true; though this is a point of some controversy, it's clear that Europe is a capitalist economy. Marx certainly viewed the reductions in the working week and similar victories of the trade union movement as genuine victories for the working class, but they don't bring us any nearer to Communism.

But to answer your first question, the clear purist Marx answer is that there is no alternative, at least, not until capitalism has created such a wonderful utopia that there is the potential for plenty for all (which is the point at which we will need a revolution to make sure that capital-owners don't hog the lot). That's why Marx kept hanging onto the unrealistic belief that capitalism was an incredibly productive system which would be bound to give us unlimited goods forever. It's a definite problem for modern day Marxists of how one adapts to the fact that the earth doesn't actually seem to be about to deliver that, and one I wouldn't pretend to have solved.

I should point out that a fundamental difference between me and every Marxist I've ever heard of is that I make no bones about it - I am an elitist. When your average schmuck can provide as much for himself and others in a week as I can in a few hours, I'll be glad to reconsider that position carefully, but until then, yes, I do deserve more than he does in return for my efforts, and I am better than him; this view may never be popular, but it has the singular virtue of being factually correct.

For one thing, this view is the bones of why you and me are never going to be friends; whatever its factual merits, it's a fucking horrible view, and that matters a lot. Second, and fortunately, it contains a massive equivocation parcelled up in the word "better". In one reading it means "better adapted to one's environment" and in another it means "worth more". The first doesn't entail the second, only the first is defensible and only the second has any interesting political consequences. Personally, I'm a horrible intellectual snob, but I don't kid myself that this gives me any sort of moral entitlement; no more than my skin colour or parentage, which are equally chance flukes of nature. I also happen to be unusually persistent and energetic, but I don't mistake those for moral qualities either.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Another question (none / 0) (#194)
by trhurler on Wed Jun 13, 2001 at 12:17:09 PM EST

Marx actually envisaged a technological utopia where questions of distribution were obsolete; it doesn't look like that's going to happen, barring a change in tastes.
And technology, too, I'd think? I mean, really, if you get down to it, if we tried to divide up the most we can produce now evenly among the world's population, we'd all be miserable; it isn't as though things would get markedly better for anyone in the long run.
However, syndicalism does work, sometimes and for a while. I remain hopeful, albeit while trying to avoid the company of actually existing syndicalists like Richard Stallman.
The second sentence in this quote could almost be a sig, if it weren't quite so obscure. Do you have examples where it has worked without the backdrop of some other economy holding it up? I'm not saying it can't work, but I'm curious because I can't think of any, and it seems to me to have the same "charismatic dictator" problem I find with "public ownership."
But to answer your first question, the clear purist Marx answer is that there is no alternative, at least, not until capitalism has created such a wonderful utopia that there is the potential for plenty for all
Believe me, if this happens, I'll gladly quit worrying about private property. However, even if it happens, I don't expect to be alive to see the day. (And really, this shouldn't be surprising; yes, when you eliminate scarcity, economics becomes rather pointless, and you might as well forget property and so on - but that's a rather tall order.)
it's a fucking horrible view
I presume you mean horrible in some moral sense. At a guess, we disagree over matters of morality, too:)
In one reading it means "better adapted to one's environment" and in another it means "worth more".
Worth more to whom, and for what? My claim is that the equivocation you're worried about only exists if you believe that morality is something beyond a guide to living your life; if that is what it is, then "better adapted" is a special case of "worth more."

In any case, productive ability is hardly the only measure of people, and I don't regard people who don't create as much value as I do as necessarily inferior in other ways; most of my friends fall into that category. What is interesting to me, and what I only really noticed recently, is that all of them, no matter what jobs they do, do their jobs exceptionally well. They've got futures. Most of them aren't going to do as well as I will financially, but they also will not have created for others the wealth that I will have created; there are some "flukes of nature" as you put it which do impact on reality, whether we like it or not. Skin color and lineage and so on aren't among them, but what you can(and far more importantly, what you DO) offer others in trade - these things do matter, as long as there is economic scarcity.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
fire away .... (5.00 / 1) (#195)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jun 13, 2001 at 12:43:58 PM EST

And technology, too, I'd think? I mean, really, if you get down to it, if we tried to divide up the most we can produce now evenly among the world's population, we'd all be miserable; it isn't as though things would get markedly better for anyone in the long run

Marx thought that the standard of living enjoyed by a factory foreman in 1848 would constitute Utopia; I doubt many would agree today, although it's a moot point whether we're any happier for the vast material plethora which has been generated in the meantime. I often worry that a lot of human happiness seems to be determined by relative rather than absolute position; depending on the day, this strikes me as a knock-down argument in favour _or_ against egalitarianism.

Do you have examples where it has worked without the backdrop of some other economy holding it up?

The Paris Commune, and Barcelona during the early stages of the Civil War are the two examples of pure syndicalism which really looked as if they had a chance; opinions differ whether they collapsed because of external pressure or internal wrangling. A lot of the economy of Denmark is based on agricultural cooperatives; in general they're run like capitalist businesses, but the ownership certainly does make a difference.

In general, however, would-be formers of co-operatives tend to be the most unutterable passive-aggressive pricks. I heartily recommend "Road to Wigan Pier" by George Orwell, who (like me) had a very ambiguous relationship with actually existing socialists, while definitely supporting the idea.

I presume you mean horrible in some moral sense.

More like an aesthetic sense. Though I tend to think that the two things are one and the same.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

For or Against? (none / 0) (#202)
by moshez on Thu Jun 14, 2001 at 08:35:27 AM EST

Well, consider this: society is not static, it is a process. Capitalism is the way our society works, and to survive, it needs to perpetuate the memes that capitalism is good. If we really cared nothing for relative wealth, capitalism would be long gone.

The media and the school system are owned by capital, basically. So capitalism "manufactures" the belief that relative wealth is what is important - so that we will all have to fight ruthlessly for the abundance that exists.

I care nothing how I am doing in relationship to others financially - my only complain against the extremely rich is that they get their money by exploiting the working class - giving the workers less then what they are worth.

[T]he k5 troll HOWTO has been updated ... This update is dedicated to moshez, and other bitter anti-trolls.
[ Parent ]

not that easy (5.00 / 1) (#207)
by streetlawyer on Thu Jun 14, 2001 at 01:19:29 PM EST

The media and the school system are owned by capital, basically. So capitalism "manufactures" the belief that relative wealth is what is important - so that we will all have to fight ruthlessly for the abundance that exists.

On the other hand, the fact that well-being is more closely linked to relative status than to absolute material abundance has been observed in chimpanzees, rats and even fish. Who is in charge of indoctrinating them? No, I think that this is a genuine problem -- whether it is a problem for socialism, or whether it is a problem to which socialism is the solution, I am less sure.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

This is happening in Ottawa, Canada (4.22 / 9) (#31)
by dze27 on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 10:11:16 AM EST

Ottawa is going smoke-free in bars, restaurants, etc. on August 1st. There's a Smoke-free Ottawa web site which goes into the details.

Being a non-smoker I'm very happy about this from a purely selfish point of view. On a societal point of view I think it's time smoking was phased out. It's so obviously addictive and bad for you that we should ramp up the social pressure against it. I don't think cigarettes should be illegal but I think it should be something you do in your own space, not something that you burden other people with.

As for the various arguments I think the health issues carries the most weight with me. I'm pretty sure the "bad for the economy" argument is false. People have a certain amount of discretionary income, they're going to spend it somewhere.

"Luck is the residue of design" -- Branch Rickey


It's an issue of individual rights (3.83 / 12) (#32)
by golek on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 10:11:58 AM EST

...the secondary smoke that results from the smoking process is equally if not more carcinogenic (due to no filter)?

This is point is highly debatable and, in my opinion bogus. It is a weak attempt by anti-smoking zealots to get people to move to their side of the agument by suggesting that the rights of others are being infringed upon. I grant you that there may be some negative effects from second hand smoke if you grow up in a house with a chain smoker for instance, but from going into a restaurant? Please. You probably breathe more carcinigens walking down a city street. Besides, if you are afraid of second hand smoke, you can choose not to eat or work in such an establishment.

Few things are more repulsive than the smell of stale cigarette smoke.

This is your opinion and hardly an argument for restricting the liberty of people to do what they want with their bodies. If they want to only bathe once a month, is that cause to enact a law requiring all people to bathe regularly?

I know first-hand that having wood floors or walls in a room that is heavily smoked in is a bad idea. The cigarette smoke will over time cause hard to get out stains in the wood. This is a hassle for a restraunt owner to get cleaned.

That is something that the restaurant owner can decide for himself, rather than something that the government should decide for him. It's a matter of private property rights. If the owner wants to cater to smokers, that's his perogative. Again: he is not forcing anyone to eat at his establishment.

Smoking is already banned in government buildings, hospitals, airports, etc. This is just the next natural step.

I don't have a problem with this. It is government's perogative what will be allowed in government buildings. What I do have a problem with is government telling the restaurant owner that he cannot allow his patrons to engage in a legal activity while on his property. As to this being the next natural step, what comes after smoking is banned in all public places? Well, it will have to be banned in the home of course. What will be the next legal product to have its use restricted?

As to your points about economic impact and smoking vs. non-smoking sections in restaurants, neither are very relavent. The heart of the matter is that people should be free to choose whether or not to patronise a place that allows smoking. If the owner wants to risk losing your business, that's his right.

Who pays my laundry? (2.75 / 4) (#41)
by Tezcatlipoca on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 10:41:46 AM EST

When I am forced to sit with smokers close by?

There are instances in which you can't avoid them, and where two opossing interests collide the goverment has to decide who has the right to limit the freedom of the other.

Freedom has clearly one natural limit, that is when the exercising of your freedom damages other people.

People asking a smoker to stop smoking damage nothing but its ego, an smoker asking a non smoker to endure its fumes is unpleasent at least, dangerous at worst (asthma people, asthma).

So please stop the damn excuses, you should not smoke in public and as far as I am concerned any public place, either public or privately owned, should limit the damage smokers cause to other people.

Should smoking be stoped at your own home? No if you are alone. If you have children it certainly should be monitored. I wish partners of smokers will sue their former flames if they separate on the basis of prolonged health damage.

Under your scheme of "let the market adjust things" one sole smoker can spoil a restaurant for the rest of the patrons, which is unfair and should be prevented.





Might is right
Freedom? Which freedom?
[ Parent ]
Huh? (3.25 / 4) (#47)
by KoanMastah on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 11:04:32 AM EST

you should not smoke in public and as far as I am concerned any public place, either public or privately owned,

As long as I have to pay government enforced taxes then I will smoke outdoors all I damn well please.

(Note to ranters. I have always been a polite smoker. You ask me nice, I won't smoke around you. You act like a jerk, I will blow smoke in your face and hope you have an asthma attack. HTH)


---
And if you quote the jargon file at me I'll come right through this monitor upside your head.

[ Parent ]

Then .... (none / 0) (#177)
by Tezcatlipoca on Wed Jun 13, 2001 at 04:24:19 AM EST

As long as I pay taxes I will piss in the public parks, have sex in public transport and scream during concerts in public owned consert halls interrupting the public financed orchestras.

The are all mine and I can do damn well whatever I want.



Might is right
Freedom? Which freedom?
[ Parent ]
Idiot. (none / 0) (#193)
by KoanMastah on Wed Jun 13, 2001 at 11:53:47 AM EST

You aren't taxed on pissing or having sex. Next time you want to make a ludicrous arguement, please come to the table with some worthwhile information.


---
And if you quote the jargon file at me I'll come right through this monitor upside your head.

[ Parent ]
Forced? (3.60 / 5) (#68)
by golek on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 12:38:44 PM EST

...I am forced to sit with smokers close by

That's just it. You are not forced to eat or hang out there. Go someplace else that doesn't have smokers. There are plenty of such places around.

Are you serious in suggesting that the government "monitor" people's behavior in their own homes? Once we allow ourselves to to be controled to that degree, we are no longer free. What you're decribing is nothing less than a police state. Self-righteous zealots like you advocate the destruction of the most basic individual liberties all in the name of your anti-smoking crusade. Why don't you just lighten up excuse the pun) and let people live their lives as they see fit. If they want to smoke and shorten their lifespan by twenty years or so, so be it.

[ Parent ]

they're everywhere! (none / 0) (#151)
by jchristopher on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 07:08:05 PM EST

Go someplace else that doesn't have smokers. There are plenty of such places around.

That's just it, even though smokers are only 20% of the population, it still seems like you jerks are everywhere!

[ Parent ]

BTW (none / 0) (#164)
by golek on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 09:35:36 PM EST

I am not and have never been a smoker.

[ Parent ]
O yes, lets allow... (4.00 / 1) (#178)
by Tezcatlipoca on Wed Jun 13, 2001 at 04:34:34 AM EST

... parents mistreating their children anyway they are in their home and home is sacred.

As far as I am concerned smoking at home with children around is a form of mistreatment, a minor one because the person smoking can't help it (addictions are like that), but one that should not be ignored.

I have seen a couple of children get very badly sick thanks to the irresponsibility of adults around them, knowing pretty well the children were ashmatic.

Call me zealot, but tell me how else do you gurantee the right of every person around an smoker to breathable air in their own homes. An addict to tobacco is like an alcoholic: can't stop it, and they will not stop it even well knowing is not good for others around them. Tobacco addicts should be dealt in pretty much the same manner as alcoholics, and I guess most people agree that a known alcoholic can't be let in peace even in their own home, specialy if there is vulnerable people in the same household.









Might is right
Freedom? Which freedom?
[ Parent ]
I agree, but most parents are responsible (none / 0) (#186)
by golek on Wed Jun 13, 2001 at 08:48:58 AM EST

Tobacco addicts should be dealt in pretty much the same manner as alcoholics, and I guess most people agree that a known alcoholic can't be let in peace even in their own home, specialy if there is vulnerable people in the same household.

If it's proven that the smoking habits of the parents are having a negative effect on the health of their children, then I don't have a problem with making parents get some kind of counseling as is done with alcoholics. However, the vast majority of parents who smoke do take their children's welfare into account and do take steps to minimize children's exposure by going outside or whatever, especially if their children are having problems with it. Only the most irresponsible parents would knowingly continue to smoke around a child who is having adverse effects from their behavior and if that is the case, they have a serious addiction problem and couseling would be in order.

I do not believe that the answer to this problem is to monitor or restrict the behavior of people in their own homes. If a child continues to have serious reactions attributable to smoking, then other steps can be taken. A doctor can do this without the state invading our homes.

[ Parent ]

Why stop at smoking? (3.77 / 9) (#34)
by Mantrid on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 10:12:47 AM EST

Smoking is bad for people, that much is clear. But if you are going to start limiting personal freedom (freedom of the restaurant owners and patrons to smoke in their own restaurant), why not start limiting other unhealthy activities? Should we get rid of alcohol next? What about fatty foods that can lead to heart attacks, or chocolate and candy which has too much unhealthy sugar? Before you know it you have all sorts of other limitations imposed on you.

Yes it sucks for the people trying to eat, to have to dine in a smoke filled restaurant; I can't stand it myself. But if a restaurant is regularily too smokey I just find another one to give my money to. There might be more weight to an argument on the employee's behalf, but they could find some other place to work. What about a restaurant run by a couple who smokes? Why shouldn't they be able to smoke in their restaurant and allow their patrons to smoke? Those who don't like it can go elsewhere; there's no shortage of restaurants.

They have banned smoking in Restaurants in Toronto, so many establishments have changed and call themselves bars in order to keep customers (though they do lose customers under the age of 18 in such a move).

I remember when they opened the first smoke free Tim Hortons in Regina, Saskatchewan (chain of donut shops). Although smoke free donut shops would seem unwise (given the typical view of a smoke filled donut store with people smoking while chatting and drinking coffee), the store was consistently packed. So there is definitely the potential for smoke free establishments to do well. This does not mean they should be forced to become smoke free. Such restrictions on personal freedom are just the beginning of a slippery slope downwards.

Let smokers smoke in their own restaurants, I'll take my business elsewhere. I will not however, impose my will on others.

Limiting personal freedom? (4.00 / 2) (#42)
by slambo on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 10:44:06 AM EST

But if you are going to start limiting personal freedom (freedom of the restaurant owners and patrons to smoke in their own restaurant), why not start limiting other unhealthy activities? Should we get rid of alcohol next? What about fatty foods that can lead to heart attacks, or chocolate and candy which has too much unhealthy sugar?

Um, no. The difference is that smoke, by its very nature, cannot be confined to a single table or individual. All of these other items can, and almost always are (at least in the restaurants I patronize) so confined. The issue here is that the smoke is foisted upon customers who don't want it, while customers who don't want alcohol, fat or sugar can choose to avoid those items by not selecting them from the menu. A person sitting next to a smoker cannot choose not to get smoke.


--
Sean Lamb
"A day without laughter is a day wasted." -- Groucho Marx
[ Parent ]

freedom? (1.00 / 1) (#54)
by alprazolam on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 12:05:58 PM EST

you don't own the restaraunt. so leave it up to the owner. if customers don't want to go to a place where people smoke, they don't have to.

[ Parent ]
Exactly. (3.00 / 1) (#73)
by Mantrid on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 12:52:23 PM EST

Myself I'd prefer a smoke free environment but if some owner wants it to be all smoking that's his business! I'll find a restaurant that I like.

[ Parent ]
Geographic monopoly and parental controls (5.00 / 1) (#142)
by pin0cchio on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 06:42:41 PM EST

if customers don't want to go to a place where people smoke, they don't have to.

What if all the restaurants in your small town allow chain smoking? What if all the restaurants where your parents feed you allow chain smoking?


lj65
[ Parent ]
Not only that... (none / 0) (#56)
by ocelot on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 12:12:38 PM EST

Not only is it foisted on others who may not want it, but it has the potential to harm them. Others are not harmed by my consumption of fat or sugar.

Alcohol is another story, since its use can lead to harmful effects on other people. I wonder how the number of secondhand alcohol deaths (for lack of a better term) compares to the number of deaths caused by secondhand smoke?

[ Parent ]

The "No Shortage" Arguement (3.33 / 3) (#74)
by sventhatcher on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 12:52:57 PM EST

It's kinda irritating to listen to someone from a major city (Toronto, Denver, etc.) point out that there are a plethora of restaraunts to choose from if you don't like the policies of one particular establishment, but that's not true of a large percentage of towns out there.

There are far more small towns than large.

I live in a town of around 25,000 people. It's a college town. It's a dry county which means there is no liquor sold without a private club lisence. Thus there are no bars.

Aside from fast food, I can only think of one establishment in the city which prohibts smoking. There are not options in my town, and there are smaller towns yet.

I've been in towns in Arkansas (my home state) with only one ore two restaraunts total, often without even having a no smoking section.

There are not always options.

[ Parent ]
Doh! (1.00 / 2) (#38)
by KingLear on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 10:33:20 AM EST

I was working on a smoking article. Now I have to put off publishing it... Good article, though I think it coulde be expanded to cover the social aspect of smoking, not just the facts that say that smoking is unhealthy. +1

---------------------
Read my Prolouge, leave a comment!
By the way I took the liberty of fertilizing your caviar. -- Dr. Zoidberg
Cultural attitudes and smoking (4.33 / 3) (#44)
by cargogod on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 10:48:03 AM EST

The topic of smoking is viewed very differently on the two sides of the Atlantic. American smokers are getting used to not being able to indulge in public indoor spaces (and even some outdoor spaces, like sports stadia), although they don't seem to consider their butts as litter yet and will thoughtlessly fling them freely out car windows. European smokers will light up right beneath the No Smoking sign (Defense de Fumer / Kein Rauchen / etc.) in a restaurant and get no complaints. My girlfriend, an American singer living in Europe, is constantly miserable indoors, especially in Denmark and Italy.

I conclude that "No Smoking" areas don't work unless a fair proportion of the culture wants them and is willing to stand up to strangers for them. The U.S. has crossed this watershed, but it took a couple of decades; I remember the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act getting enacted back in the early 70's.

swings and roundabouts (2.00 / 3) (#99)
by streetlawyer on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 01:47:54 PM EST

My girlfriend, an American singer living in Europe, is constantly miserable

Miserable female American singers ... is there any other type?

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

While at it (3.68 / 16) (#46)
by jabber on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 10:53:57 AM EST

Let's also get rid of baby-chairs. I fact, children under the age of 13 do not belong in a public place. They're noisy, messy and as annoying as cigarettes.

Let's also ban cell-phones. There are few things more annoying than the obnoxious asshole in the next booth/table overpowering your romantic dinner by flapping his/her gums, involving you by force in the minutia of their pathetic life.

Let's also tighten the admission policy for trendy restaurants. I am tired of having my pleasant evening ruined by the sight of fugly nerds and fat chicks in spandex!

But let's keep the 'peeing corner' in the public pools a God Given Right!

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

Generic Response #12 (3.00 / 4) (#72)
by sventhatcher on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 12:48:04 PM EST

You're completely ignoring the health risks which none of the other examples you put forth for the purposes of hyperbole pose.

[ Parent ]
Targetted Reply to Generic Response #12 (5.00 / 3) (#79)
by jabber on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 01:07:35 PM EST

Ignoring the risks? Not at all.

I don't know about you but I find ringing telephones very frustrating. I'm surrounded by them at the office, and when I go out to a restaurant, it is to get away from the office.

The same goes tripple for crying babies and shrieking toddlers who are throwing a hissyfit because their cell-phone toting mother refused to buy them all the Pokemons on the freaking shelf at Kay-Bee's.

I would much rather smell cigarette smoke on a trans-Atlantic flight then listen to 9 hours of whinning children. Yes, the smoke may be bad for my lungs, but the stress of babies and ringing phones is bad for my nerves.

In fact, smoke affects mostly me, while the stress that my environment pumps into me goes with me after I leave the restaurant. It goes home with me. It follows me to work. It sits in the passanger seat when I drive. Eventually I unload on someone who doesn't deserve it.

By comparison, a properly ventilated smoking section is not a bother at all.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

indeed (4.60 / 5) (#88)
by streetlawyer on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 01:33:40 PM EST

... the terrible health risks of having a whiff of cigarette smoke near you as you sit down to eat your Lardy McLardBurger with double fries.

Sometimes, you USians crack me up.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Choice (4.00 / 1) (#89)
by sventhatcher on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 01:35:57 PM EST

"... the terrible health risks of having a whiff of cigarette smoke near you as you sit down to eat your Lardy McLardBurger with double fries."

I chose to have my Lardy McLardBurger.

I didn't choose to have cigarette smoke in my face.

*refrains from biting the troll bait contained in the message*

[ Parent ]
Give up, fatty (3.25 / 4) (#93)
by streetlawyer on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 01:38:39 PM EST

I chose to have my Lardy McLardBurger.

Like hell. You're addicted. Admit it to yourself; it's the first step toward kicking that monkey off your back. The problem is not smokers. The problem is not restaurant owners. The problem is not Ronald McDonald. The problem is you. Next, I want you to go around and apologise to everyone who your gorging has offended. Then we can deal with the rest of the seven steps.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

I think what he was trying to say is... (none / 0) (#105)
by Giant Robot on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 02:13:11 PM EST

... that he didn't *choose* to have other people's smoke in his face which is beyond his control. He may be addicted to fat, that's his problem, but that fat juice would go into some other pour soul's system.

[ Parent ]
What's the point? (none / 0) (#152)
by sventhatcher on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 07:08:08 PM EST

"... that he didn't *choose* to have other people's smoke in his face which is beyond his control. He may be addicted to fat, that's his problem, but that fat juice would go into some other pour soul's system."

I'm actually 6'4" and weigh about 180lbs. There are not many people who would claim that I have a weight problem, if any. =)

There's no point really ratioanlizing since streetlawyer's been just generally flaming me. =)

[ Parent ]
You *did* choose (4.50 / 2) (#129)
by Mental Blank on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 05:24:02 PM EST

If it bothers you, go to a different, non-smoking restaurant. Or eat at home. Nobody forced you to go to that evil smoky restaurant.

And if enough people refuse to go to smoky restaurants, guess what? More and more places will become non-smoking. I really don't see the point of legislating something like this when market forces do a nice job on their own.

[ Parent ]

that's what law is for (none / 0) (#149)
by jchristopher on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 06:58:11 PM EST

That's what laws are for - to protect people when market forces aren't getting the job done. Why do you think we have laws for minimum wage, working conditions, overtime, etc? Because the free market doesn't always work.

[ Parent ]
Guilty as Charged (none / 0) (#150)
by sventhatcher on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 06:59:10 PM EST

I'm utterly guilty of wanting someone else to fix the problem rather than trying to organized some sort of protest or boycott.

There are certainly areas of the country where non-smokers are or are dangerously close to being the minority, and where the non-smoking restaurant is scare if non-existent.



[ Parent ]
which of those cause cancer? (5.00 / 1) (#147)
by jchristopher on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 06:55:14 PM EST

Which of the other annoyances you mentioned cause cancer, emphesema, asthma, and other health problems? Oh that's right, none of them.

[ Parent ]
I count two out of three (none / 0) (#201)
by Ticino on Thu Jun 14, 2001 at 04:18:27 AM EST

Are you perhaps forgetting that the same studies and logic that has been used in the tobacco industry is finding it's way into the cell phone industry? Studies are being conducted to see if the radiation emitted from cell phones might be causing adverse affects? Maybe cell phones cause cancer? We don't know yet.

Bawling children under the age of 13? I would counter that they are wonderful vectors for various diseases. Who else is better to vector a cold to you? Bawling Tom there picked it up from all his other classmates in daycare because Mommy and Daddy were too busy in their mid-management jobs to take a day off.

As for the fat people in spandex et al? Well I don't have an answer to that, outside of, it discomforts me :)

[ Parent ]

ban me? (4.33 / 6) (#50)
by tezmc on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 11:56:28 AM EST

I don't see why smoking has to be banned in all restaurants.

Yes, I'm a smoker. However, as a personal choice I DON'T smoke in restaurants even if there's a smoking section when I'm with non-smokers (I'm not so much of an addict that I can't wait until I get outside afterwards to spark up).

Even as a smoker, I really dislike it when someone else is smoking while I'm eating. Not because of health implications (I know the implications of what I do) but because it spoils my enjoyment of whatever I'm eating.

Even so, there are smokers who may like to smoke before, after.. hell.. even during their meal... and much as I wonder why, I still think that it's up to them to make that decision, and that there should be places that cater for them rather than banning them from being able to eat out at any time ever because they choose to smoke.

It was mentioned in the post as examples that smoking is banned in many public places including offices and airports. This is not the same thing as a restaurant.

Workplaces are where people spend upwards of 8 hours per day, 5 days a week... I don't believe I've ever spent that much time in a restaurant. If I had, I'm sure I'd remember.

And as far as I'm aware, there ARE places in airports where you can smoke - the hermetically sealed glass rooms with all the yellow people inside @ Atlanta airport spring to mind - however, airports are places where both smokers and non-smokers HAVE to go.. have you ever been given a choice between smoking and non-smoking airports? (I agree with flights being non-smoking BTW).

Restarants are where you spend a relatively short amount of time, at your choice.. for entertainment. (at least that's the case here in the UK, but I believe eating out is much more of a way of life in the states).

I'm going on a bit so I'll shut up now, suffice to say choice=good/no choice=bad IMHO.

,T
The eight legged groove machine
Who do you think prepares and serves your food? (3.33 / 6) (#65)
by SvnLyrBrto on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 12:33:55 PM EST

>Workplaces are where people spend upwards of 8 hours per day, 5 days a
>week... I don't believe I've ever spent that much time in a restaurant. If I had,
>I'm sure I'd remember.

>Workplaces are where people spend upwards of 8 hours per day, 5 days a
>week... I don't believe I've ever spent that much time in a restaurant. If I had,
>I'm sure I'd remember.

Cooks, wait staff, bartenders, etc.... THEY spend eight hours a day there, five days a week... somtimes more, given what a shit job it can be, given that there is a minimum wage exemption for them (the gov. expects these people to rake in the tips, so restraunt owners are allowed to pay less than the minimum wage (here in America at least)). To them, that restraunt that you foul people want to contaminate so much *IS* their workplace!

Here in California, THAT is the reason for the restraunt/bar smoking ban. Not protection of the patrons from contamination, but protection of the employees from smokers. If you own a restraunt or bar, and you want to allow smokers and their nasty-ass habit in, you can... IF you don't have employees. The SF Guardian consistently mentions this in every "best of SF" issue. In the "Best bar for nicotine fiends" entry, they just about always mention this particular bar... in North Beach I think... that is just run by the owner. Since he doesn't have any employees, it's legal to foul the air all you like.


john

Imagine all the people...
[ Parent ]

They are not slaves. (2.60 / 5) (#114)
by golek on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 03:43:38 PM EST

If an person doesn't want to breathe second hand smoke, then they can choose not to work in a restaurant or bar that allows smoking. It's that simple. They are not slaves, forced to work the smoking section at Denny's. It is the nature of the business. A person knows when applying for a job in a bar or restaurant that they will probably be exposed to second hand smoke, just as a person who goes to work in a coal mine knows that they will probably be exposed to airborne coal dust.

[ Parent ]
Not slaves to that particular restaurant, but... (4.00 / 4) (#139)
by pin0cchio on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 06:36:46 PM EST

If an person doesn't want to breathe second hand smoke, then they can choose not to work in a restaurant or bar that allows smoking. It's that simple. They are not slaves

...to that particular restaurant. But if waiting tables or cooking food is what a person does best, and there are no non-smoking environments within reasonable distance of home in which that person can work, I'd say that that person is a slave not to one particular restaurant but to the set of restaurants. To them it's either "work at this smoke-filled restaurant, work at that smoke-filled restaurant, work at the other smoke-filled restaurant, or starve." Am I the only person who sees a problem here?


lj65
[ Parent ]
Good point, but... (3.00 / 2) (#166)
by golek on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 10:15:47 PM EST

But if waiting tables or cooking food is what a person does best, and there are no non-smoking environments...

If a server is that good at what they do and they go to their manager and voice their concern over exposure to second hand smoke (sigh), I'm sure the manager, if he/she is reasonable, could allow them to work the non-smoking section only, rather than risk losing a quality employee in an industry with extremely high turnover. If the manager is not reasonable, then the restaurant industry is one where it is very easy for a skilled employee to make a lateral move to an establishment with better and more accomodating management.

My point is that the answer is not to legislate as a means to restrict personal freedom, but to let reasonable people work things out for themselves. It is possible you know.

[ Parent ]

sometimes no choice (4.00 / 1) (#144)
by jchristopher on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 06:47:11 PM EST

Sometimes working in a restaraunt is the only job an uneducated person can get, and possibly make enough to support themselves. It isn't as simple as "don't work there".

Is it fair to you that most low-paying jobs seem to involve exposure to hazardous chemicals, while most white collar jobs are in the safe environment of a huge office building?

[ Parent ]

But it is that simple (2.66 / 3) (#165)
by golek on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 10:02:01 PM EST

Sometimes working in a restaraunt is the only job an uneducated person can get...

Whose fault it is that they are uneducated? Was it smokers who made them drop out of school? Must we surrender our individual rights to property and pursuit of happiness to ensure that people who were not smart enough to finish school don't breathe any second hand smoke? I don't think so; it was their bad decision and bad decisions have consequences. No one's making them work food service. They should try retail or better yet, get their GED and enroll in the local tech school or community college and better their lot in life. There are plenty of community programs to help people get job training. Don't tell me it can't be done because I did it. I, a non-smoker, even worked in a restaurant and was exposed to second hand smoke and, believe it or not, it didn't affect my health in any way.

[ Parent ]

ha ha ha ! (none / 0) (#180)
by neuneu2K on Wed Jun 13, 2001 at 05:47:32 AM EST

You mean like the perfectly healthy environnement of high radiation computer screens and coffee diet.
Or maybe the toxic-vapors free environnement of fusing solder (and fusing CMOS) for you hardware "white-collars"

(btw, only joking...)
- "And machine code, which lies beneath systems ? Ah, that is to do with the Old Testament, and is talmudic and cabalistic..." - Umberto Eco
[ Parent ]
Okay - I'm proved wrong (3.00 / 1) (#121)
by tezmc on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 04:00:04 PM EST

I'm sure it's obvious that I didn't really take the staff into account. And I can see why such a ruling would be good for them. So sorry for that.

So now my question is, why not class nicotene as a drug and ban smoking altogether? If it's obviously such a danger to the health of absolutely everyone in the world everywhere.

Why not ban cars which spew out just as many, if not more carcinogens, Why not ban factories from using any chemical that is hazardous (sp?.. that doesn't look right) to the health of their workers?

And then there's alcohol, admittedly people do not get drunk if they are in the same room as people who are drinking, but with the amount of damage to society/the economy/the workplace that is caused directly or indirectly by alcohol consumption means that even people who don't drink suffer.

One of the reasons why is that smokers are now an easy target that has been demonised in various media and by pressure groups.

A quote from one of the replies to my original post regarding a bar..

>>it's legal to foul the air all you like<<

I am not going to go into some bizarre and barely logical rant saying smoking isn't bad for you or any of that other nonsense, everyone knows it's bad for you, the same way that everyone knows that mobile phones spewing microwaves through your cranium cannot possibly be doing you any good.. and why not ban those too while you're at it?

However, I am going to point out that there are things in this world that do FAR more damage to us and our living environment than cigarettes, so why not do something about them first?

Now a couple of thoughts I have on this is that yes, cigarette smoke is unpleasant for non-smokers - I remember what I was like before I started smoking. So perhaps making bars and restaurants have adequate ventilation and better defined (and separated) smoking and non-smoking areas would be better. And I try to do my best not to smoke around people who don't, or make them sit in smoking areas of restaurants when I'm out with them.

But of course, I am just as biased in my opinion as any smoker or non-smoker.


,T

PS, The answer to all my questions above about why we don't ban things is.. of course.. money.. I don't know how it is in the US, but over here in the UK the tax on cigarettes is one of, if not the biggest sweller of the country's financial coffers.... as does petrol tax.. as do factories that handle hazardous chemicals etc etc etc.
The eight legged groove machine
[ Parent ]
40 hours a week (4.00 / 4) (#75)
by fluffy grue on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 12:53:30 PM EST

You might not spend 40 hours a week in a restaurant, but the waiters and cooks do.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

what about the workers in the restaraunt? (4.00 / 1) (#143)
by jchristopher on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 06:44:21 PM EST

Workplaces are where people spend upwards of 8 hours per day, 5 days a week... I don't believe I've ever spent that much time in a restaurant. If I had, I'm sure I'd remember.

What about the people who work in the restaraunt? They are there, 40 hours a week. That's their job. Why should they have to breathe smoke the entire time?

And please don't suggest they "get another job". It's not that easy for some people, especially those with few job skills.

[ Parent ]

Segregation (3.12 / 8) (#53)
by chbm on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 12:04:49 PM EST

Cigarrete smokers should be treated socially just like any other hard-drug addict and generally foul smelling person. Make of that what you will.
If restaurants don't allow pets cause they disgust some people (including myself to some point) I don't see why they should allow people to foul up the air and disgust people who aren't addicts.

-- if you don't agree reply don't moderate --
Only rational argument so far (1.00 / 1) (#60)
by weirdling on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 12:16:55 PM EST

However, this kind of thing should be taken care of by the restaurants themselves, not by the state.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Political Correctness. (1.00 / 1) (#63)
by jabber on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 12:28:13 PM EST

And if I find grossly overweight people to be offensive to my sense of aesthetic, then they too should be banned? Screaming children? Blacks?

Restaurants are public places. As long as smoking is not illegal, smokers should not be discriminated against. If someones smoking offends you, ask that YOU be moved to another table - or simply leave the restaurant. You have no right to tell another person how to be, for so long as what they do it legal.

Now, if the law were to recognize, and restrict smoking as a drug, or a publically harmful behaviour, the situation would be different. But, things being as they are, smokers are subject to the same laws as you and I. At the absolute most it is the restaurant owners decision - however I would be the first to support a smokers right to fair and equal treatment, and legal action for descrimination. And I say this as a non-smoker.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

fat people cause cancer? (none / 0) (#153)
by jchristopher on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 07:12:40 PM EST

Last I checked, spending time with the grossly overweight didn't cause cancer.

[ Parent ]
Gee.. You're right... (none / 0) (#157)
by jabber on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 08:06:24 PM EST

But the original post didn't say anything about public health risks. It only mentioned disgust at drug addiction and foul smelling people. That sounds like a matter of aesthetics, doesn't it?

And I did make a point of it being a 'recognized health risk'.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

Well, there goes another liberty (2.20 / 5) (#57)
by weirdling on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 12:13:23 PM EST

Sure, why not. Let's ban smoking, drinking, twinkies, SUVs, recreation that involves CO2 producing vehicles, aircraft, boats, suburbs, any form of weapons, and anything else that people find even moderately offensive.
What I want to know is what's so important about you that your wishes are to be believed above a smoker's? I don't smoke. I do, however, have friends who do. We go to a restaurant that allows smoking so they can smoke. There are plenty of restaurants in this area (Denver, Colorado) that don't allow smoking, and if it bothers you, go there. You're no more special than they are; you're just more populous, and the modern Democracy seems to have come to the conclusion that it can trample the rights of any minority so long as the majority is sufficiently offended. Well, freedom doesn't work that way. Freedom lets others do things *even if it offends you*. Freedom is allowing people to do the things that they enjoy. Freedom doesn't consider whether what they're doing is good for them or not.
Essentially, your argument boils down to "I don't like smoking; it's bad for those who do it; it really isn't all that much of a freedom; we can outlaw it." Well, those who smoke view it as a near and dear freedom, trust me. It's a huge freedom to them.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
Not So (3.80 / 5) (#66)
by sventhatcher on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 12:36:07 PM EST

I never said make smoking illegal.

There are many things that are perfectly legal that you're restricted from doing in certain places for the benefit of yourself and those around you.

Example: It's legal to drink, but it's illegal to drink while driving.

Example: It's legal to use profane language, but if you came into your neighborhood McDonald's shouting "Fuck all of you!" at the top of your lungs you'ld be asked to leave.

Example: It's legal to be nude certainly (if it wasn't, reproduction would be difficult at best), but public nudity is illegal (in most places).

I'm saying that in one certain set of circumstances where smoking is already inappropriate (see manners discussion in this set of comments) perhaps the government should give private enterprise a little nudge.

And it's not just "I don't like it" it's also.. it slowly kills me.

[ Parent ]
Finished? Please allow me to retort. (3.75 / 4) (#67)
by synaptik on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 12:37:27 PM EST

I find SUVs socially offensive, because they guzzle gas, and thus increase demand. Gas is too expensive already. But I don't find them personally offensive. I even understand why my best friend bought one when his daughter was born.

But cigarette smoke, on the other hand, is personally offensive to me. Remember the maxim, "your right to swing your fist ends where my face begins?" To me, cigarette smoke is like punching me in the face.

Yeah, ok sure-- I can go to non-smoking restaraunts, and leave you to swim in your carcinogens at smoke-friendly establishments. In fact, I do just that. But I'm still sometimes force to walk through a suffocating cloud from time to time, in the course of my daily routine. Those "no smoking within 50 feet of the entrance" signs don't say "...unless it's raining." They say "no smoking withing 50 feet," period.

So I think you and I disagree a little on this point.

--synaptik

[ Parent ]

Personal Freedom, Legality, and Common Sense (3.42 / 7) (#61)
by mindstrm on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 12:25:29 PM EST

A lot of folks are saying 'it should be up to the restaurant owner'.

There are many examples in our society where Government must set rules as to what is allowed, to protect the public. Example: Dangerous goods routes through cities. These are designed to minimize both accidents and casualties in the event of an accident.
The health board says you can't have animals in restaurants. Does anyone complain about this? Not really. IT's for health reasons.
It's legal to take a dump, but you cannot go to the restaurant and smear faeces all over the place, in public; is this a limit on your personal freedom?

Your freedom ends where mine begins, and, as for smoking... I should not, ever, have to breathe in your second hand smoke. Period.
More examples?
It's legal to own a tank full of propane, but not legal to transport it on public transport or store it in any public enclosed area, as it poses an unwarranted risk to others.
It's legal for you to cultivate E.coli bacterium in your house, but if you were to take it to a restaurant and spray it on the food, you'd end up in prison.

Arguing that 'smoking is legal, therefore the government has no business saying anything' is rediculous.

Also, having lived in several places where there was no smoking in restaurants, it was fantastic. Having moved to Europe, where there is often no no-smoking section.. i'm disgusted.

Sometimesp people need to be told what's good for them.



Warning sign (2.40 / 5) (#111)
by golek on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 03:28:50 PM EST

Your freedom ends where mine begins

Why is your freedom to come into a privately owned and operated establishment and dictate what should and should not be allowed more important than the freedom of others to smoke, or drink alcohol, or eat fatty foods, and on and on...?

How about a compromise? Would it make it easier for you to use the freedom you have if the owner posted a big sign on the front door saying something to the effect of:

WARNING: Smoking is permitted in this establishment. Members of the public who don't want to breathe any second hand smoke are advised to take their candy asses somewhere else and leave us alone.

[ Parent ]

By definition, private -vs- public. (4.66 / 3) (#188)
by mindstrm on Wed Jun 13, 2001 at 09:05:42 AM EST

I do not believe a restaurant that is not 'private, members only' can be considered a private place. The business is privately owned, yes, but the restaurant floor is a public place for health purposes. The restaurant owner does business with the public; therefore, must abide.

By your logic, we shouldn't have health boards inspecting restuarant kitchens either... it's interfering with a private business. They could have a sign in the window disclaiming 'Our food is not inspected, but it's good enough for us. If you don't trust us, don't eat here' and that would be good enough.

In fact, who is the government to tell me that the house I'm building on my private property must conform to some kind of 'building code'? It's a private venture; not their business.

Really, the argument is weak. I've seen several places where things went no-smoking in restaurants; the end result? After all the vicious whining, business was just like normal after a very short time. In fact, I recall one place where there was a smoking ban that was later repealed; many resturants never re-implemented a smoking section because business was actually better afterwards, and they liked the cleaner environment.


[ Parent ]
Let people make their own decisions (none / 0) (#190)
by golek on Wed Jun 13, 2001 at 11:25:17 AM EST

They could have a sign in the window disclaiming 'Our food is not inspected, but it's good enough for us. If you don't trust us, don't eat here' and that would be good enough.

Yes that would be good enough as long as they advise the customer that the food is not inspected, the customer can make an educated choice whether to eat there or not. Most people would not and therefore any business that did so would eventually go out of business. IMO, the same cannot be said of an establishment that allows smoking, as there are lots of people who like to smoke; not so many who like to eat uninspected meat.

...many resturants never re-implemented a smoking section because business was actually better afterwards, and they liked the cleaner environment.

That's wonderful. Those businesses made a business decision to keep a non-smoking environment and it apparently has improved profitability. By the same token, if the business makes the business decision that they want to target a sector of the market that smokes, then they should be able to do so. They should also be willing to suffer any economic consequences that arise as a result of that decision.

Why must the first answer to every problem be a new government mandate that further restricts the freedom of ordinary citizens to start and run their own business. Government regulation in general hamstrings small business and prevents people from reaching their dreams.

[ Parent ]

Ridiculous (none / 0) (#211)
by krlynch on Thu Jun 14, 2001 at 03:56:56 PM EST

I'm as much for reduction of government regulation and intrusion as anyone, but there are limits. Government exists to organize and operate the societal constructs that are necessary to allow a "free society" to operate. Without checks and balances to your"freedom", where would my freedom be? In that light, I find this statement not only contradictory, but patently ridiculous:

that would be good enough as long as they advise the customer that the food is not inspected,

This is of course silly. Would any proprietor be able to put up enough signs and notifications for all the things that we now take for granted because there are government regulations and inspections to protect people from things they shouldn't have to worry about? Woudl you be able to read them all? For example, would they have to post a list of chemicals they use to clean the kitchen? What about the age of their deep fryer grease? Do they have to tell you they don't refrigerate their food?

Furthermore, who decides what needs to get posted? Someone has to do so, otherwise, no one is under obligation to post those notices. But, the argument you are making is essentially "no one should have the power to make a proprietor do anything they don't want to". What about the proprietor that doesn't want to go to the expense in time and money to make those postings? Shouldn't they have the "right" not to do so?

I find your argument on this point unpersuasive and patently silly. No one has said that government needs to regulate everything and anything in its path; we are talking here about a narrowly tailored response to a clear danger to public health and welfare.

[ Parent ]

Are you in Germany? (5.00 / 1) (#113)
by ti dave on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 03:37:39 PM EST

"The health board says you can't have animals in restaurants. Does anyone complain about this? Not really. IT's for health reasons."

I you've ever been to Germany, you'd see dogs in restaurants all the time.

How could this be?
Weaker Public Health Laws?
Cleaner dogs than in America?
Fewer Malignant Micro-organisms there?

I doubt all these reasons, it's probably because it's Just Not Dangerous To Eat Dinner With Rover.

"Having moved to Europe, where there is often no no-smoking section.. i'm disgusted."

Perhaps it's unrealistic for you to expect a Culture that you're a Guest in, to change their collective ways for your edification.

"Sometimes people need to be told what's good for them."

If you're referring to Adults, that's the single scariest comment I've read on K5 this week...

ti_dave
"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
Okay there.. read on. (4.00 / 1) (#187)
by mindstrm on Wed Jun 13, 2001 at 09:01:05 AM EST

1) Obviously I am not in German, and I'm not saying 'dogs are dirty'. I'm saying that there are places where animals are not permitted in a restaurant because of health concerns, and you don't hear people whining up a frenzy about their rights. I never said it was dangerous to eat dinner with rover. In fact, I dont' mind one bit if Rover is around for Dinner. That wasn't the point.

2) I did not say 'these people are savages'. I'm not expecting anything to 'change', and I don't consider myself a 'guest', I live here. I'm saying that sitting in the airport security lounge after checking in and finding that a) I can't leave and b) there is nowhere where the air is not thick with second-hand smoke is DISGUSTING to me. Same with not being able to ever go to a public restaurant or *any* pub or bar without having TONS of smoke in the air. Granted, it's expected at a pub.. still.

3) I stand by the fact. Sometimes, people need to be told what's good for them. Or rather, what's NOT god for them. We're not talking about something that 'might, potentially be bad' or anything here, we're talking about something that kills MILLIONS of people a year, that has been fraudulently marketed to people in the past.
I'm not saying we shouldn't let people smoke, I believe each individual should be able to do what they wish, but there need to be public standards.



[ Parent ]
Airports (none / 0) (#192)
by golek on Wed Jun 13, 2001 at 11:41:29 AM EST

...sitting in the airport security lounge after checking in and finding that a) I can't leave and b) there is nowhere where the air is not thick with second-hand smoke.

I don't know what airport that is, but most airports in the US I've been to recently are general no smoking areas. Smokers are packed into tiny smoke-filled glass rooms in order to get their fix (they look ridiculous BTW). I think this sort of restriction is fine in an environment where the public is held captive. I don't even have a problem with no smoking restrictions that are placed on restaurants that hold a government issued concession franchise, as most airport establishments do; the proprietor made a business decision to enter into the concession contract and must live with it. The same cannot be said of a privately owned and operated restaurant or bar. Maybe you are in Europe or another part of the world where the anti-smoking hysteria that is evident in the US hasn't yet taken hold.

[ Parent ]

Yes. (none / 0) (#204)
by mindstrm on Thu Jun 14, 2001 at 10:47:07 AM EST

Not the US, or Canada, where I would be shocked to see this.

Here in Gibraltar, the airport lounge is sickening if the plane is late. I mean, you try to go in there shortly before your plane leaves, so as not to eat too much smoke, but if it's late, (and everyone gets agitated, and smokes even more) it gets sickening. I'm not criticizing these people for smoking; I used to smoke, I understand. I'm criticizing the airport for not having a proper place for those of us who don't want to kill ourselves with smoke to go.



[ Parent ]
I read it, but... (none / 0) (#197)
by ti dave on Wed Jun 13, 2001 at 03:31:46 PM EST

1) "Obviously I am not in German,..."

No, not obviously. The only reference for you here on K5 is a Christmas Island domain, which anyone can get. I'm glad you don't object to dogs being in restaurants, it's a ridiculous prohibition.

2) "I don't consider myself a 'guest', I live here."

You don't state which country you're in. The word Pub is used in several nations there.
Where are you?

3) "Sometimes, people need to be told what's good for them. Or rather, what's NOT god for them."

I'll take this as the best Freudian slip I've seen this month.

I agree that there should be reasonable Public Health standards though. A lot has changed in the past 25 years though. I recall, as a child, people smoking inside Grocery stores, and stubbing out their used butts on the floor. I used to sweep it up for my Dad when he worked in one. Nasty idea today, isn't it?

Cheers,

ti_dave


"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
Okay. (none / 0) (#203)
by mindstrm on Thu Jun 14, 2001 at 10:44:57 AM EST

Sorry. It's not obvious...
I live in Gibraltar.

I dont' believe that was a Freudian slip..was it? Aren't freudian slips supposed to be suggestive? Hmm.

If we agree there should be reasonable health standards, then we agree in principle. I, in fact, have no issues whatsoever with smoking in restaurants; health standards should dicatate simply what the exposure to non-smokers should be, including workers.

One of the best, though it was ill-crafted and struck down, pieces of legislation (in principle) was something I saw in British Columbia.. employment standards, or workers comp, or some such department enacted a law requiring that all workplaces be smoke-free for employees, or rather, an employee who does not smoke should never, whatsoever, have to be subjected to any second hand smoke.
The overall effect was that every place of business had to go no-smoking. Actually, that's not entirely true... some places built special smoking rooms, with proper air ventilation and filtration.


I remember as a child watching dad sweep up butts too... we owned a grocery store as well.


[ Parent ]
What took you so long? (none / 0) (#206)
by ti dave on Thu Jun 14, 2001 at 12:00:10 PM EST

"...Or rather, what's not GOD for them."

Emphasis shifted to reveal slip. Referring to a non-sexual Freudian slip. More like the revealing one's true intent, via the slip.

"Sorry. It's not obvious...
I live in Gibraltar."

Cool...Can you FedEx me a Barbary Ape? I've always wanted one...

Cheers,

ti_dave

"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
Christ, no (4.54 / 11) (#69)
by DJBongHit on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 12:41:48 PM EST

(disclaimer: I'm a cigarette smoker, but I wish I wasn't. Can't seem to quit though.)

I can understand non-smokers not wanting to be around people who are smoking, and I can also understand smokers not wanting to be around people smoking while they eat. But this is beside the point.

This is not something which should be government regulated! The decision on whether or not to allow smoking in a restaurant, bar, club, etc., should be up to the owner of said establishment (which is, after all, a private establishment). The idea of banning smoking in restaurants has a large amount of public support, so obviously there is a big market for non-smoking restaurants and they will continue to exist regardless of government intervention. However, there is also a large smoker population and it's not fair to keep us from smoking everywhere outside our homes and cars (several towns in the U.S. have even gone so far as to ban smoking outdoors).

To me, a cigarette is an integral part of a meal. Once I finish eating, I want to lean back in my chair and enjoy a smoke. If you don't want to smell the smoke, eat somewhere else! Stupid anti-smoking laws just infringe on people's rights over their bodies and their private property, and end up with stupid situations like the cigar store in my home town, which, because it serves food and has a lounge, is required by law to have a non-smoking section.

As I stated above, enough people don't like to be around smokers that a good number of restaurants will be non-smoking even without laws requiring this, while other restaurants will cater to smokers and allow smoking. Don't impose your morals on others, especially not through the force of law.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

Christ yes (4.00 / 1) (#106)
by 42 on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 02:15:22 PM EST

I dont remember the specific year this happened, but one day (a decade or two ago) a jet liner sitting on a runway in Chicago blew up killing all 200+ passengers and crew. The investigation that followed concluded that the fire was caused by a passenger that didnt correctly stub out their cigarette in the toilet. This incident is what lead to the law being passed that makes it a Federal crime to smoke in an aircraft toilet, or to tamper with the smoke detectors.

The government already restricts your right to smoke when the safety of others is impacted. Airlines today in the US are privately owned and run, but the federal law prevents them from providing the owners a choice.

As far as I am concerned, this is an instance where the government should interfere. Thank you very much, but I'd rather remain healthy as long I have to share this planet with you.

[ Parent ]

no difference between airplane and restaurant? (1.00 / 1) (#115)
by speek on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 03:48:48 PM EST

Afraid your restaurant might blow up? Worried your neighbor might burn down his house and yours too? Well, start writing rules to prevent these sorts of tragedies. Don't stop till your done, either.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Rhetoric - and its relationship to logic (none / 0) (#118)
by 42 on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 03:54:18 PM EST

There is none.

Why is my concern that second hand smoking in restaurants not a safety issue? Just because second hand smoking takes longer to kill than an explosion?

[ Parent ]

reason and it's relationship to logic (none / 0) (#124)
by speek on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 04:25:59 PM EST

There is only a little.

Why is my demonstration of the nature of the slippery slope you propose to jetski down not valid reasoning?

You could go on and on about the things I might do that could effect your longevity. You could spend an eternity writing the list of rules to ban all such activities on my part (and vice-versa, obviously). That given, why are you so attached to the smoking thing? I could think of a dozen worse things you're exposed to that could be legislated away. Can you? Or does the smoking issue just happen to be your emotional trigger?

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Here's why (none / 0) (#127)
by 42 on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 04:49:52 PM EST

My father's smoking made my asthma worse.

I'm sure there are other things that need legislation. But we are not talking about any of them are we? These other things may be more in need of legislation too, but that doesnt (from my point of view) negate the necessity of legislating smoking.

[ Parent ]

ok (4.00 / 1) (#132)
by speek on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 05:38:18 PM EST

I disagree with you that enacting laws is an effective solution to problems such as smoking and it's health effects. However, I see that we would be in a worse situation without people like yourself fighting for anti-smoking laws. It's the fight that has educated people about the dangers of smoking. Same with gun law. I'm against guns, but I wouldn't support an anti-gun law. But, thank god some people do, else we, as a society, wouldn't be having the conversation about it. Without the debate, we don't learn anything.

I don't support seatbelt laws, or anti-drug laws either. I wouldn't support legislation to require everyone to wear rubber gloves (to help prevent the spread of disease). I wouldn't support laws against over-eating, or the persistent expression of anger toward children, or the banning of automobiles, etc, etc. I believe that cultural and education changes create healthier and more effective responses to such problems. However, without some people overstating the problem and their solutions, I think a lot of the debates wouldn't ever happen.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

not the same (none / 0) (#141)
by jchristopher on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 06:41:19 PM EST

Eat too much red meat - you kill only yourself.

Drink too much - you kill only yourself

Jump out of planes - you might die

All these things only affect YOURSELF.

When you smoke in a public place, you kill me as well as yourself. That's the distinction. Give me the choice not to breathe your smoke, and I'm happy. However, I can't live under a blanket in the closet which is why there is a need for smoke free public places.

[ Parent ]

Why? (4.00 / 1) (#210)
by krlynch on Thu Jun 14, 2001 at 03:41:09 PM EST

The decision on whether or not to allow smoking in a restaurant, bar, club, etc., should be up to the owner of said establishment (which is, after all, a private establishment).

- humor on -

The decision on whether or not ...

  • to require that employees wash hands after using the restroom
  • to ban seeing eye dogs
  • to allow rat infestations
  • to refrigerate raw meat
  • to have health inspections
  • to flavor food with dioxin
  • to lock their fire escapes
  • to clean their dishes
  • to have handicapped access
  • to vent their ovens into the eating area
...should be up to the owner of said establishment. After all, it is a private establishment!

- humor off -

Obviously, I disagree with you that this is so clear an issue of the "rights of the proprietor". There are many government restrictions on the operation of ostensibly "private" firms to ensure that the rights of the public are protected. There are many restrictions on "private" rights when those "rights" interfere with the rights of others. If ever there was a more clearcut case of this, I can't think of it.

[ Parent ]

Just to be Clear (3.75 / 4) (#78)
by sventhatcher on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 01:06:49 PM EST

I'm not trying to pigeon hole all smokers into some thoughless mean worthless trash category or anything.

A good number of my friends smoke, and they have the decency to not light-up around me without asking if it bothers me first. My friends actually tend to go outside to smoke even when at their own homes/apartments.



A thought. (4.00 / 7) (#82)
by jd on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 01:18:57 PM EST

Personal freedom is extremely important, but as a society, we already accept the notion that you gain freedom as a society at the cost of some measure of personal freedom. What is important is where you want the balance, because there will always be one.

For example, we have financial freedom at the expense of giving bank robbers the freedom to rob everyone else of their hard-earned cash.

The question then boils down to this. Is the society's gain in freedom from smoking worth the price of the individual's freedom? This is a very different question than usually gets asked, as it's not a case of freedom vs. no freedom, but rather a case of whos freedom is of greater worth.

This is not a trivial question. As McVeigh found out, Americans are -very- divided over where personal freedom ends, and society's freedom begins. This is a hot issue, and always has been. (Indeed, most of the "fringe" groups are simply people who have weighted one side or the other, in advance.)

Now we get to my -personal- opinion. There is some evidence that secondary smoking is hazardous to people's health. Further, there is some evidence that some corporations have, in the past, tampered with their products in order to make them artificially much more addictive.

Let's take that second case first. The selling of one product under the pretense that it is something else seems a clear-cut infringement on society's freedom to choose. Any argument that the corporation has freedom to sell what it likes is pushing things. If you went to a restraunt and ordered a green salad, but got a live squid instead, you'd probably tell that restraunt where it could put it's personal freedom. The customer's right to choose supercedes any right the company has to choose what to give. (Microsoft excepted.)

Ok, now onto that first case, where claims indicate that secondary smoke is harmful. Certainly, it makes a lot of sense that toxins that exist in the smoke breathed in are going to be in all the other smoke, too. There's not a whole lot to prevent them being there. But is the concentration high enough to be harmful?

There is no clear-cut answer to this one, IMHO. Some chemicals are harmful at ANY concentration. Others are harmful, if a given concentration is exceeded at any given time. Yet others, it's not the concentration, it's the lifetime exposure that matters. Some chemicals will be removed by the body, quickly. Others will be retained for significant periods of time. Arguing the hazard level is going to be fraught with complications.

Conclusions? Until the hazard level of secondary smoke can be determined, it should be treated like any other potential hazard -- you don't expose those who can't avoid any harm there might be. Beyond that, it would be difficult to justify any bans or restrictions beyond those that already exist.

IMHO, the smokers aren't the problem, anyway. The problems that need to be addressed are:

  • WHY people start smoking. (Let's face it - breathing hot ash and road surface scrapings sounds as appealing as bungi jumping down Mt Vesuvius. On the other hand, toxic stress and emotional strain can make almost anything sound appealing.)
  • WHETHER manufacturers have, at some point, given a fraudulant product. (If you didn't get what you thought you bought, then was your purchase YOUR choice??)
  • WHETHER manufacturers have targetted emotionally-vulnerable groups. (Excuse me, but you can "sell" anything to someone who is technically incompetent to make the decision to buy, whether or not they're legally considered competent.)
  • WHETHER manufacturers have falsified, directly or indirectly, any of their data on their products. (Filters that magically only filter during tests can definitely be considered suspect.)

You notice that smokers only appear once in the list, and that's ONLY to seperate those who made a rational choice from those incapable of doing so. All the rest are suspected and alleged malpractices by manufacturers.

IMHO, if the malpractices were absolutely clamped-down on, and any/all consumer protection laws were actually enforced for once, the risks to smokers and non-smokers would be greatly reduced and/or people would actually know what those risks really were.

IMHO, this (for now) would be sufficient. Once the facts are known, and once the market has adjusted for the presence of a bit of honesty, those who continued to smoke, or chose to start, should be at liberty to do so, provided it did not impinge on the liberties of non-smokers to avoid the smoke.

There should not be a war between the smokers and non-smokers. If there should be a war at all, it should be truth vs untruth, with smokers and non-smokers alike arguing for the cause of truth.

Well Done (none / 0) (#92)
by priestess on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 01:37:47 PM EST

A fairly sensible aproach. I have heard that the fag companies added stuff to their cigs to make 'em more addictive in the past, but I've never seen any 'evidence' of it. I suspect the companies would cover that up fairly quickly so maybe this is no surprise.

I think this is the best point yet:
IMHO, if the malpractices were absolutely clamped-down on, and any/all consumer protection laws were actually enforced for once, the risks to smokers and non-smokers would be greatly reduced and/or people would actually know what those risks really were.
Taking this as the basis for an aproach, rather than mindlessly trying to 'ban' anything you don't personally want to do, makes a lot of sense. Lying and cheating by tobacco companies certainly should not be ignored.
Pre.....

----
My Mobile Phone Comic-books business
Robots!
[ Parent ]
Oh come on! (none / 0) (#97)
by sventhatcher on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 01:44:30 PM EST

I'm not trying to "mindlessly ban" anything.

I'm just raising the subject for discussion, because I think it's something worth discussing.


[ Parent ]
I shouldn't really speak for someone else... (none / 0) (#103)
by jd on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 02:07:06 PM EST

But I don't think the post was intending to imply -you- were trying to mindlessly ban anything. Rather, that there is a tendancy in the US (and other countries) to over-react at times.

I certainly believe that this is something worth discussing, and I believe that "priestess" would likely agree.

My post was with the sole intent to show some of the complexities with the issue of smoking, that (I believe) would enhance that discussion, by bringing into question the role the different factors have played.

It is my understanding, based on "priestess"' reply, that "priestess" was concurring that there are other factors that need debating, whether in this discussion or some other. It is also my understanding that "priestess" was agreeing that there are some extremely worrying issues which deserately need looking into, again in this discussion or some other, to get a whole picture.

If "priestess" can confirm that I'm right on this, I'd be eternally grateful if you'd do so. I hate to see anyone feel trodden on, especially when I suspect it's over a misunderstanding.

Either way, though, "sventhatcher", I am extremely grateful you brought this discussion up. Thanks! It's good for serious, important social issues to get the air-time they truly deserve.

[ Parent ]

Nonsensical Post - Ignore This (none / 0) (#104)
by sventhatcher on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 02:10:31 PM EST

"Either way, though, "sventhatcher", I am extremely grateful you brought this discussion up. Thanks! It's good for serious, important social issues to get the air-time they truly deserve."

You're welcome.

Although I don't think "streetlawyer" agrees. =)

[ Parent ]
Indeed. (none / 0) (#109)
by priestess on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 03:18:27 PM EST

I certainly believe that this is something worth discussing, and I believe that "priestess" would likely agree.
Well, I have been discussing it afterall.
"priestess" was concurring that there are other factors that need debating, whether in this discussion or some other. It is also my understanding that "priestess" was agreeing that there are some extremely worrying issues
Indeed, and also that knee-jerk appeals to Ban anything is no substitute for that discussion.
If "priestess" can confirm that I'm right on this, I'd be eternally grateful if you'd do so
Eternal gratitude? This was too easy for that, surely. Especially when SvenThatcher only gets extreme gratitude for starting the whole thing. Heh.

I found the quotes around all the nicks there fairly disconcerting though. Do you "quote" given names in historical essay's the same way? Do the quotes indicate that my nick is somehow less real because I picked it myself? Maybe you'd be interesed to know that I didn't. Like all good nicks it was given to me by friends.
Pre......

----
My Mobile Phone Comic-books business
Robots!
[ Parent ]
Apologies for any offence caused (none / 0) (#196)
by jd on Wed Jun 13, 2001 at 03:14:36 PM EST

It wasn't intended. Nicknames (or, for us old-timers, handles) are an endless source of problems, when writing them out.

You'll probably notice (if you haven't already! :) that I rarely write handles at all, if I can possibly avoid it. Part of that is because, when speaking, people generally don't use the other person's name. It's implicit.

The other part is that there are no rules for handles. They are a noun (in that they name an entity), but they are somewhere in that murky region between common nouns and proper nouns. (They're not a proper noun, in that they are not a name of something. They're simply a name of. What they're attached to is dynamically defined.)

Further, handles are "case-sensitive". priestess is a different handle to Priestess, which is different again to pRiEsTeSs. This means you can't use the convention of capitalizing nouns which are names of things.

I can see this could easily be worth an entire discussion on its own. How to identify the handle -as- a handle, in a way that is neither confusing nor ofensive. (It's important, as many handles are spelled the same as common or proper nouns. Ambiguities in English are never a good thing.)

Using quotation marks, or some other symbol, is one way to mark the handle as something other than a regular noun. You don't need such symbols for proper nouns, because there already is one - the capitalization of the initial letter. But, as I've said, handles are case-sensitive, and that isn't going to work.

So... ...what would?

[ Parent ]

baloney (none / 0) (#134)
by ubu on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 06:02:00 PM EST

Let's take that second case first. The selling of one product under the pretense that it is something else seems a clear-cut infringement on society's freedom to choose. Any argument that the corporation has freedom to sell what it likes is pushing things. If you went to a restraunt and ordered a green salad, but got a live squid instead, you'd probably tell that restraunt where it could put it's personal freedom. The customer's right to choose supercedes any right the company has to choose what to give. (Microsoft excepted.)

There's no shortage of these laughable "logical arguments" floating around when it comes to free exercise of economic behavior.

The example you gave has nothing to do with the "freedom" of any particular party to do anything. It has everything to do with fraud, a concept of law that very few people recognize when it crops up.

To reiterate:

  • every company should have the right to sell whatever it likes.
  • every consumer should have the right to buy whatever he likes.
  • nobody has the right to defraud anyone else.

In case you're keeping score, prohibition of fraudulent behavior falls under Maybury's 1st Fundamental Law: do all you have agreed to do, the basis for Contract Law.

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
ban smoking? (none / 0) (#91)
by nickco on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 01:37:42 PM EST

I can't really decide. There seems to be a lot of ambivalence in regards to this subject; I can understand why. Is it a matter of liberty to be allowed to smoke in a public place? I don't know. As many people have pointed out, it has the potential to harm others. The potential, because no conclusive studies have proven that second hand smoke is anything other than irritating. I've noticed people comparing this to things that are blatantly malign, such as spraying food with E. Coli. I think that's a bit extreme, and can't readily be applied to this situation.

Do I believe second hand smoking is harmful? Absolutely. Does this mean it really is? Of course not. Until we really know, I don't believe it should be banned. If it IS proven to be harmful, then I say ban it with the exception of such places that could be harmed as the result of the loss of business from smokers; they could be required to apply for some sort of license.

This would not totally destroy the capacity to provide a smoking environment at a restaurant or bar, it would simply facilitate legal prosecution of those breaking the non-smoking law in a non-smoking place.

woops. (none / 0) (#100)
by nickco on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 01:47:58 PM EST

apparently I just reiterated the previous post :) sorry.

[ Parent ]
Second hand smoke (5.00 / 1) (#126)
by pornking on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 04:41:26 PM EST

Actually, studies have been done on the effect of second hand smoke, and the answers have been pretty conclusive. Statistically, there is no measurable increased risk of disease from second hand smoke in any but two classes of people: People who live with heavy smokers and people who work full time in very smoky areas such as bars.

You are not putting yourself in any danger by eating in the non-smoking area of a restaurant which has a smoking area, even if you do so frequently.

Do you believe second hand smoking is harmful? Apparently. Do you have evidence for such a belief? You have stated that you do not, but don't care. Oh Well. Unsubstantiated, subjective opinion does not strike me as a particularly valid reason to violate other's rights. Your face is not getting hit, don't infringe on the smoker's right to swing his fist.
pornking
[ Parent ]

huh? (5.00 / 1) (#156)
by nickco on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 07:49:52 PM EST

Where exactly did I state that I didn't care? If it can be proven conclusively that there is no harm, then I'm all for it. You say it already has been proven, but then people have also 'proven' that helmets made of tin foil block mind control rays; and they could very well be right, having never had their mind controlled. My point is, there needs to be larger, more inclusive studies. Until I encounter one, I will continue to believe those reports that say second hand smoking is harmful, just as you will continue to believe it's generally not.

Never did I state that we should ban smoking with no confirming evidence either way. I truly do think that would be a violation of our rights as Americans. However, I did state that IF if it proven harmful, then it should be regulated. Why should I have to endure your harmful second hand smoke if it has potential to kill me?! If you wish to kill yourself, I have no problems with it. I could very well go to 'another place', and I would if I was the lone non-smoker, but otherwise, why should I?

I agree that you do have a right to smoke. I fully support that right; in a private setting, or not around those that do not smoke. Smoking is a despicable habit, keep it to yourself. I had to live 16 years breathing in the smoke of my parents, I don't want to be subject to that while I'm out eating, or buying new clothes.

[ Parent ]
I don't need a study (none / 0) (#205)
by jchristopher on Thu Jun 14, 2001 at 11:45:22 AM EST

I don't need a study to tell me that I'm ill the next day after spending an evening eating in a smoky restaraunt.

Within a few minutes I'll have a splitting headache, by the end of the evening a runny nose, and the next day I'll have a sore throat and cough.

Study or no study, that's evidence enough for me that it's not good to breathe.

P.S. You are a fool if you think that sitting in the "non-smoking" section is any different than the "smoking" section.

[ Parent ]

Some points in no particular order. (4.16 / 6) (#112)
by Parity on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 03:32:40 PM EST

First, it doesn't really matter what gets argued here, smoking is -already- banned in restaurants in an increasing number of areas, which is always swiftly followed by a 'no smoking within 50 feet of entrances', which if it was actually enforced would come to mean 'no smoking on sidewalks downtown' - and in fact, several communities have already banned all smoking everywhere except in your own home. Some make an exception for cars, as well, I think. Some don't. It's obvious to me that tobacco will, within a couple of decades, be added to the list of dangerous narcotics, leaving caffeine and alcohol as the only legal drugs.

Anyway. Other points. Nicotine is -not- a carcinogen as far as -anybody- knows. There's simply no evidence for it. Tobacco smoke contains carcinogens, clearly, but there's no reason to think it's the nicotine and a good deal of reason to think it's, oh, the radioactive chemicals that get absorbed from the pesticides and fertilizers (a good reason to smoke organic tobacco if you smoke and can get it...) It's also highly probably that fumes from fiberglass filters are as carcinogenic as any other burning or melting plastic (a good reason to stick with cigarettes that use cotton filters...), etc, and so on.

I'd also like to point out that the dangers of second hand smoke are greatly hyped but virtually non-existent - not that they aren't true, but they pale in comparison to say, the highly carcinogenic danger of burning beef fat fumes which eminate from kitchens and kiosks all over the city, flood many restaurants, and are inhaled by unwilling vegetarians like myself. No, I'm not making this up, yes I know I phrased it to sound absurd; my point is, if you're going to limit smokers to smoking in their own homes, then I want beef fumes limited to private homes too... never mind the fumes of automobiles which must puff out in a minute all the carcinogenic, carbon-monoxide filled fumes that a heavy smoker can put out in an entire day.

Which also points out the counter to your counter on freedom - if this is just the next step, than lets follow all the logical next steps ...
Slippery slope is neither a valid argument for why something -should- be done, or for why it -shouldn't- be done. (Ethically, anyway - politically, slippery slopes are a very real social phenomenon, witness, warnings->smoking sections->no smoking anywhere in buildings->no smoking anywhere in public...)

Personally, I think if you want cleaner air to breathe, there are much more important issues than tobacco, and if you -must- focus on tobacco, it would be fairer all around to create stricter rules about ventilation and separation of smoking and non-smoking areas.

And yes, I will blame you when they outlaw tobacco altogether.

Parity None




beef fumes (none / 0) (#122)
by goosedaemon on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 04:15:02 PM EST

could you please substantiate that? i've never heard that before.

[ Parent ]
Exhaust fumes... (none / 0) (#209)
by krlynch on Thu Jun 14, 2001 at 03:09:45 PM EST

never mind the fumes of automobiles which must puff out in a minute all the carcinogenic, carbon-monoxide filled fumes that a heavy smoker can put out in an entire day.

Can you substantiate that statement? To my knowledge this is incorrect; there are no substantial carcinogenic emissions from automobile combustion. CO, CO2, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur oxides, certainly, but few carcinogens.

It IS true that there are high levels of carcinogens and particulates in diesel exhaust, and there are plenty of people lobbying to see those limited (and they likely will, very soon), and I hope they do (it will cost relatively little, and have a high return in public health and environmental protection). But then again, that wasn't your statement.....

[ Parent ]

Real (not strawman) counters (4.09 / 11) (#128)
by pornking on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 05:20:23 PM EST

Health Issues - Is there anyone left in this nation that doesn't know that the smoke from nicotine cigarettes is carcinogenic? Anyone who doesn't know that the secondary smoke that results from the smoking process is equally if not more carcinogenic (due to no filter)? Not to mention the problems smoke can cause people with asthma or serious allergy problems.

Real Counter - The danger of second hand smoke has been measured extensively. While on a volume basis I'm sure it is more dangerous than first hand smoke, it is not inhaled in nearly the same amounts. In fact, statistically, the only groups for which any risk at all was found was people living in the same home with a heavy smoker and people who work full time in a smoky environment (like a bar) Second hand smoke is simply not a threat to you.

Smell - Few things are more repulsive than the smell of stale cigarette smoke.

Real Counter - I can think of many things more repulsive to smell than cigarette smoke. For example: heavy perfume, Limburger cheese, Body Odor, durian (a really nasty fruit), Chinese pickled eggs (like an old urinal), shit, etc. In addition, there are many things I don't want to see, hear, or feel while eating dinner. Why do you feel that this is a good reason for a ban?

Stains - I know first-hand that having wood floors or walls in a room that is heavily smoked in is a bad idea. The cigarette smoke will over time cause hard to get out stains in the wood. This is a hassle for a restaurant owner to get cleaned.

Real Counter - This is up to the restaurant. It doesn't affect you in any way at all. Why is this point even here?

Real anti-arguments

Freedom - It's legal to smoke therefore banning smoking in restaurants is a slicing of liberty.

Freedom - Many of the bans that have been put in place are usually in areas where you have to go in the course of living your life. Government buildings, airports, airplanes, etc. Others are politically or socially motivated. Only rarely are they for health reasons. Banning smoking in restaurants would fall under the politically or socially motivated area. This means that it is a violation of rights for no apparent reason. Citing other bans does not make it any more reasonable, just more palatable.

Economic Problems - The loss of the smoking demographic to smaller restaurants will cause a big enough hit to profits to cause the restaurants to fold and thus lead to further name branding of America.

Economic Problems - Why would larger restaurants be better able to cope with a smoking ban than smaller restaurants? In any case, this is a problem for the restaurant owners and not for you. Like the stain problem, it has no relevance. Why is it even here?

Smoking Section - If a restaurant is divided, then non-smokers can just avoid smokers all together and thus this is a non-issue.

You have a decision to make, based on the restaurant's smoking policy, and the way it is divided, whether to give them your business. Let them know. Maybe they will do something, or they will consider remodeling. Contrary to popular belief, health is only an issue to people with a particular sensitivity, and even then it is not life threatening. (allergies or asthma)

I remember when I was a child (70's) and every restaurant my family ate in was thick with cigarette smoke. That doesn't happen anymore. Even in restaurants with a smoking section, the smell has been barely noticable at the worst of times.

I don't smoke myself and never have (surprise) but I am observant enough to notice when a community of people who claim to believe in freedom of speech and all that other good stuff is willing to shit on others who do something which causes an odor they dislike.
pornking

Second-Hand Smoke (4.00 / 1) (#181)
by Matrix on Wed Jun 13, 2001 at 07:13:33 AM EST

Real Counter - The danger of second hand smoke has been measured extensively. While on a volume basis I'm sure it is more dangerous than first hand smoke, it is not inhaled in nearly the same amounts. In fact, statistically, the only groups for which any risk at all was found was people living in the same home with a heavy smoker and people who work full time in a smoky environment (like a bar) Second hand smoke is simply not a threat to you.

Yes, but the fact still remains that, by allowing smoking in public areas (like the street, see the post up higher by the man who's fiancee is anaphylactically allergic to tobacco smoke) you're not only allowing people to make the choice of whether or not they want to smoke, you're letting them make the choice for everyone who has to be around them.

And I'm sure that the fact that statistically they were at no risk will be a great comfort to those dying of cancer from exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke. Care to give a reference, from a source other than a tobacco company, with some numbers supporting your statement on second-hand smoke dangers?

I don't agree with the government banning smoking in privately owned places like a restaurant, where you can choose to not go. I do, however, agree with regulations controlling it on public land, like streets.


Matrix
"...Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions. It's the only way to make progress."
- Lord Vetinari, pg 312 of the Truth, a Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett
[ Parent ]

Curious... (5.00 / 1) (#208)
by krlynch on Thu Jun 14, 2001 at 03:02:28 PM EST

I don't agree with the government banning smoking in privately owned places like a restaurant, where you can choose to not go. I do, however, agree with regulations controlling it on public land, like streets

I don't understand this stance; restaurants are places of public accomodation. By opening a restaurant, you are already agreeing to meeting certain government regulations for the health and safety of your patrons: health regulations for preparation and handling of food, presence of vermin, access for the handicapped, certain numbers of restrooms, etc, etc. The elimination of smoking would not be an undue government influence in private commerce when regarded in this light. In fact, I go so far as to ask why cigarette smoking is specifically excluded from health regulations at the present time.

[ Parent ]

Hmm.... (none / 0) (#214)
by Matrix on Sat Jun 23, 2001 at 07:19:00 PM EST

Good point. I hadn't really thought of that... Maybe regulations as to what the employees can do is appropriate? I was thinking that placing a restriction on the customers would be a bad thing from a freedom point of view, but I hadn't really thought about the "public health and saftey" angle of things.


Matrix
"...Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions. It's the only way to make progress."
- Lord Vetinari, pg 312 of the Truth, a Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett
[ Parent ]

Ban meat in restaurants?? huh, what? (3.00 / 5) (#130)
by darthaggie on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 05:34:00 PM EST

Some of your arguments can also apply to meat.

Personally, I think it would be great if restaurants could make their own choices. Some can go smoke-free to cater to the non-smoking crowd. Others still could go non-smoke-free, to cater to the smoking crowd. Others might have a mix. Vote with your wallet and your feet, and let people know why you're patronizing their establishment, and more importantly tell them why you won't be back if the conditions are unacceptable.

But no, no, we must have the Nanny State come and tell us what is good for us. Top-down, Soviet-styled centralized planning. Ooooo-raaaaah.

And people wonder why their freedoms get eroded out from under them? Heh.

Of all tyrannies a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
-- C. S. Lewis (1898-1963)

I am BOFH. Resistance is futile. Your network will be assimilated.

Freedoms (none / 0) (#145)
by sventhatcher on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 06:50:26 PM EST

I'm pretty damn content with the freedoms I currently have in the United States. We have a few retarded laws regarding music and copyrights, and obviously our drug policies could use a little re-working, but otherwise things are pretty peachy.

And neither of the above directly effects *me* anyway (unless an artist I like goes bankrupt due to the absurd system in place for music copyrights).

[ Parent ]
Meat (none / 0) (#155)
by Wicket on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 07:37:37 PM EST

Some of your arguments can also apply to meat. Meat does not directly affect others around the person consuming it, as smoke does.
intune.org - music discussion for the soul...
[ Parent ]
Consider the waiters! (4.00 / 2) (#133)
by strlen on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 06:01:11 PM EST

Waiters work at the restauraunt. Many time being a waiter is a dead-end job,the only job available to those working at it. And they have to put up with all the smoke, just because a sufficient minority doesn't mind being in a restauraunt that allows smoking, and because it's the owner's restaurant? I think the view that "as long as you can make a choice not to, and are not directly corrected to enter into a relation with me, government has no right to tell me what to do". This is basicalliy what Libertarianism is. At first Libertaranism sounds reasonable, but once you look at anecdotal and logical arguments and consider their ideas from various points of view, what it all comes down to is social darwinism. I think that everybody has a life to things like health care (something which the US doesn't agree with, the only developed country without universal health-care!), education (while universal education exists in United States, current trend to privatize learning endangers it), freedom from fraud, freedom from a dangerous workplace. At first libertarians will argue for shit like charity, or how governoment programs are ineffective, and how they infringe on their property/gun rights. But once you throw enough anecdotal and logical arguments at them, you will get them to simply say "hey, this is natural, this is what is going to happen, that's how things work". Sorry,. but I don't like "dog eat dog". To me "government protects dog from being eaten" sounds a lot more reasonable, and a lot less repulsive.



--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
gov (none / 0) (#163)
by prostoalex on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 09:35:24 PM EST

I am astounded by the fact that there's anyone wishing to trust their own protection to the government.

[ Parent ]
why? (none / 0) (#167)
by strlen on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 10:41:23 PM EST

protection of your rights is the duty of a democratic government. that's whole reason it exists. and it does the job rather well. would be better of in a world without police and with just everyone armed to the teeth? even libertarians see the need for police, to enforce contracts. if you think that this job (or any other protection job) could be better done by militias and "rent-a-cop" look at the anecdotal evidence: Somalia, Wild Wild West, are some of such examples -- what you get is vigilante justice, unlimited by constitution and is basically survival of the fittest (fittest meaning sometimes the richest, the most popular, not necessarily physically fittest). True our government is far from perfect. FBI and especially CIA need to be put under review boards, and police brutality must be dealt with immediately. But we're moving in a positive direction, yet private unchecked tyranny is not. Also, again, please note: I trust, a limited, democratic government which respects human rights, with a track record of succes. Think US government haven't had any successes? Look at NASA for instance, which earned you a $3 for every $1 you paid into as tax. Or look at the military forces, which never lost a war (in Vietnam they simply returned the situation to a stalemate and handed it over to a corrupt, undemocratic, client state (Chomsky can explain the situation in South East Asia better)). Or look at school lunches, which acount for 2/3 of daily nutrition of low-income children. Or look at civil rights, where the federal government basically ended local apartheid. Or look at the high way system. Etc.. Now look at what private corporations did: Ford Pinto, exploding car -- it would only have cost $1 per car proceeds to fix it, but they were too greedy. And lately free-market experiments in California energy grid etc.. Government is controlled through a system of checks and balances, along with a democratic process (it must govern with constent of the governed), while corporations strive only to enrich their stock holders. Who do you trust more? I know it's trendy to be a libertarian here and make fun of government, but libertarianism seems more and more like an irrational belief.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
Bar attendant gets $AU450,000 in damages (5.00 / 2) (#175)
by spiv on Wed Jun 13, 2001 at 03:37:40 AM EST

Look at this Sydney Morning Herald article.

An Australian bar attendendant won 450,000 Australian dollars in compensation for developing throat cancer, although she had never smoked a cigarette in her life

This has led the NSW State Government to reconsider its position on smoking in bars, clubs and restaurants. Some articles on the aftermath of this decision can be found on the SMH site here and here.

I am basically in agreement with the original story. In addition to very real health concerns, cigarette smoke really does stink. I find the smell to be in general as unpleasant as (although quite different to) flatulence, and far more pervasive. It makes my nose itch uncomfortably - I just have to get away from it usually. I also agree that the lingering smell is disgusting.

I would be much happier if smoking did not make restaurants and bars unpleasant, did not mean I continually have to walk to the other end of a train station platform, did not force me to walk around or through smokers' smoke to enter and leave university buildings where I study (especially in rainy weather), and did not place a huge burden on the public health system beyond what even large goverment levies on cigarettes can pay for.

I cannot "just put up with" being around cigarette smoke any more than you could just put up with continually being poked in the side, and I see little reason for the "right" to smoke to be defended, especially in public.

-Spiv.



[ Parent ]
Hitler did not smoke. Nor did Franco.   [N/S] (1.20 / 5) (#136)
by eLuddite on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 06:26:11 PM EST

Nuff Said = draw your own obvious conclusions, not No Text

---
God hates human rights.

others did (none / 0) (#215)
by strlen on Wed Jul 04, 2001 at 09:10:44 PM EST

stalin smoked, so did castro. lenin got caught smoking under-age by his parents and received a beating.



--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
already happened... during the 80's (4.33 / 3) (#137)
by jchristopher on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 06:31:39 PM EST

Others will no doubt point this out... but you haven't been able to smoke in a restaraunt in California for years by law. Even before that, almost every restaraunt was already completely no-smoking voluntarily.

There was a big stink about how all the bars and restaraunts would go out of business and guess what, it hasn't happened. In fact, myself and many others I know are much more likely to eat out now that we are guaranteed a smoke free meal.

I've previously read that "having a no-smoking section in a restaraunt is like having a no peeing section in a pool", and I think that says it all.

I support freedom for smokers to pollute the hell out of their own homes and cars... but not public places. I am very happy, and I think it's fair, to have restaraunts, stadiums, etc. be smoke free!

This is a fight for your wallet (4.25 / 4) (#161)
by wallinbl on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 09:18:17 PM EST

I'm a non-smoker who'd much rather be without smoking in restaurants. I can't stand it, and it detracts from my enjoyment when I'm seated too close to a smoking section without a phyiscal barrier. I have asthma, and it creates an unpleasant (very mild) reaction for me to breathe smoke.

I don't think that any of the points you listed are fair arguments for the Federal (or even State) Government to intervene and deny rights to an individual. I'd rather breathe smoke (or limit my choice of restaurants) than have the Law decide this on the basis of popular complaint. We have elected officials that sometimes need to protect us from the popular opinion. Despite our 'Democracy', we need this protection because we often react too hastily to things we don't like.

(I'm not the first one here to say this) If you don't want smoking in restaurants, let them know with your mouth or your pen, and prove it with your wallet. There are a lot of restaurants in my area (Tampa, FL) where an individual (or chain) restaurant has decided against smoking. I enjoy these places and frequent them often. There are other restaurants that I will not return to because their division of sections is not satisfactory. I've told their management this.

smoking in the restaurant (4.50 / 6) (#162)
by prostoalex on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 09:33:14 PM EST

A separate smoking section in the restarant is like a separate corner for urinating in the pool.

Purely from a selfish point of view (3.00 / 2) (#168)
by Elendale on Wed Jun 13, 2001 at 12:56:00 AM EST

I would support a ban on smoking. I am semi-allergic to something in cigs and thus smoke is quite annoying. Also, while the reaction is not very big/dangerours: if someone lights up i WILL notice almost 100% of the time. This is very annoying. Its hard to enjoy the food when you're coughing on 2nd hand smoke. Additionally, i work at a rather fancy pizza place (college is so damn expensive :/) and as such come into contact with smokers every day i work- quite irritating to end up with a half dozen smokers who i have to serve :(

-Elendale
---

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


Come to California! (4.00 / 3) (#170)
by phliar on Wed Jun 13, 2001 at 02:03:11 AM EST

I can't even remember when smoking was allowed in restaurants in California. It became illegal to smoke in bars in 1997 (or maybe '98). When I travel to other parts of the US, I always get a shock on seeing people smoking in restaurants and bars. (The most interesting was in Tennessee - it looked like the non-smoking section was where you were allowed to not smoke!)

I would not be in favour of CA going back - and I smoke. My apartment is a non-smoking zone, and I live by myself. I just don't like to smoke inside any more. Of course this was a little more uncomfortable when I lived in Idaho - going outside to smoke on a winter night was... a little uncomfortable.


Faster, faster, until the thrill of...

What about death? Is that a violation of rights? (3.50 / 4) (#171)
by dimwit on Wed Jun 13, 2001 at 02:05:45 AM EST

I don't mean the death of the smoker - if they want to kill themselves, that's their business. No, I mean the death of people near them. My fiancee is anaphylactically allergic to smoke - she's also severely asthmatic. If she's walking down a PUBLIC street and somone's smoking near her, she could be in for a trip to the ER. Now, I know what everyone's going to say - she was on a public street, she knew she was taking a risk. So, my first counter to that: so she should be expected to never leave the house just so you can smoke? Second counter: I know I'm taking a risk by going on a public street that I may be mugged - I damn well expect my government to take care of me in that case (police, etc.) Third counter: She has a right to NOT smoke, you have a right to smoke. Considering you can live without smoking, and she can't live with it, screw your "right" to smoke. Just my two cents, of course.

What about very indirectly caused death? (5.00 / 1) (#185)
by foop on Wed Jun 13, 2001 at 08:41:51 AM EST

Second counter: I know I'm taking a risk by going on a public street that I may be mugged - I damn well expect my government to take care of me in that case (police, etc.)

Whilst not wanting to argue against the many points in favour of banning smoking in restaurants, I'd like to argue with this point. I have hayfever, an at times quite debilitating allergy to pollen. My government (such as it is - see recent UK election posts) doesn't seem to be taking care of me. Where's the agent orange, dammit?

Okay, so this smacks of reductio ad absurdam but where does this argument stop? How obvious does the link have to be? I consume lots of electronic equipment, which can cause quite nasty pollution which could harm somebody. Putting aside the matter of regulation of polluters, should my consumption of electronic equipment be restricted too?

foop (who's an occasional smoker, FWIW)

[ Parent ]

The End of the Smoking Section | 215 comments (198 topical, 17 editorial, 0 hidden)
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