Monday, June 12, 2006

Another Law????

Since I got a good response regarding the last “controversial” issue, I figured I’d throw another one on the table. In the last few years, states like Delaware and New Jersey have banned smoking in restaurants and bars (New Jersey did a “fo-ban” in that they still allow smoking in casinos – hey they know where their bread is buttered). Pennsylvania is looking to get on this trend.

Now let me lay out my side on this for you. Personally, it wouldn’t bother me one way or the other. But, do we have to mandate a rule like this? Shouldn’t it be up to restaurant and bar owners? For instance, in Philly, there are quite a few restaurants and bars that do not permit smoking. They have a decent-sized customer base because of this (well, this is one of the main reasons – hopefully they serve good food and drink as well). If the state decided to ban smoking in bars and restaurants, wouldn’t this affect these owners negatively? They no longer have that “advantage” over other places.

I understand the second-hand smoke issue, I really do. But, if there are restaurants and bars that do not allow smoking, shouldn’t the people that are concerned about this go to those places? Wouldn’t this make more sense? Is there a way for bar and restaurant owners who would like to continue to allow smoking to keep their bars this way – say maybe paying for some sort of smoking license, ensuring that ventilation his better, or some alternative solution like that? I’m just asking.

I just hate it when government tries to add more and more rules. Sometimes, it gets overwhelming.


Dirty Birdie said...

I am of two minds on the subject. First I hate walking into a restraunt that has a smoking section because no matter how hard they try, the whole place smells like cigarettes. Additionally since I quit smoking I don't like meeting my friends at a bar for a drink because the place is always a haze of cigarette smoke.

However, as smoking is not illegal I too question the legality of forcing a smoking ban on restaurants and bars.

What I would appreciate is people not smoking right outside our office door so that when I leave the building I have to walk through a cloud of smoke. There should be designated smoking sections at commericial buildings that do not force non-smokers to walk through a toxic cloud.

I think that as consumers if it is important enough to say "we don't want smoking in our public places" then we should speak with our wallets and not frequent the places where smoking is allowed. The government should "butt" out.

Rev. Smokin Steve said...

I have no problem with banning smoking in restaurants.

Since I DJ in many bars and nightclubs, every single place I have spun in PA I have dealt with a lot of smoke. And I often leave the club reeking of smoke after the gig.

Customers have a choice of choosing their restaurant, but often the workers are forced to be there amongst the smoke.

And don't say "just get a job in one of the non-smoking places". Those places in PA are few and far between, and those jobs are limited. In that industry, you are pretty much forced to deal with lots of smoke in PA.

I say ban it. What do I care? I don't smoke cigarettes, and I can usually wait until later to smoke a cigar if I am so inclined.

And to Becka... you can limit the consumption of legal substances in a place of business through the law. Look how many laws are in place where you can or can't drink alcohol publicly? We accept those laws.

Dirty Birdie said...

I wouldn't mind seeing some restrictive laws put into place but I still agree with Los that it should be up to the establishment's owner.

It has been my experience that more and more establishments are moving to a no smoking in the restaurant period stance. I would like to think this is primarily because of what I said before which is, if it smells like cigarettes I don't want to eat there. I think it's a trend that's getting more popular causing companies to voluntarily make the switch. Anything done on a voluntary level leaves a much better taste in everyones mouth. (No pun intended.)

Educating establishments on how to make the change, and keep business would be a better alternative. If restaurants and bars see it as being profitable to make the switch they are more likely to do so.

Jeff said...

I loathe smoking. Having said that, these laws are too much. The restaurant/bar owners, whose money is at risk, ought to be the ones deciding this.

Karl nailed the competitive advantage of voluntarily non-smoking establishments. Their owners' money should not be risked through no fault of their own.

Also, some high-end restaurants have installed million-dollar ventilation systems -- wasted money if smoking is banned.

California nonsmokers are now confined to eating indoors, because outdoor patios are now the chimney section. And Los Angeles has hired "smoking police" -- a pure waste of tax dollars.

And, with all due respect, restaurant and bar employees CAN choose to work elsewhere. That may involve leaving the industry, but that is a choice.

Superstar said...

The ole, "to smoke or not to smoke" debate. Well, as a person who is HIGHLY allergic to it..I am ALL for it. As someone, who works in a bar where all my customers smoke and I don't...I would love it, but I am sure I would be broke. I am breathing in 2nd hand smoke that is worse than if I just smoked in the first place. I currently take allegra so that I can breath on the nights that I work. All the Bars in Tempe AZ are smokefree and I have not seen them closing down or loosing any money due to cutomers going where they can smoke. I see advertising change as they have a smoking area or "smokers" load up here! LOL ;o)

I love working or going out w/ friends and not coming home smelling like an ashtray and IMMEDIATLY having to take a shower! But once again, these are occupational hazards of peeps like Smokin and I who workin the bar industry.

As a side note story: the smoke is horribly destructive. Boeing did a study in the early 90's that was released about the effects of smoking to aircraft. The planes would weigh in more than what they were leased out as. This was interesting to the Government workers and they started out on a quest to find out why the planes were heaver. (another use of our hard earned tax dollars at work) They tore out every piece of metal, and wire, and those were all the same weight. Then they got the passenger seats out. The ones in the smoking section weighed more than the non smoking and accounting for the weight dispute on the aircraft. HMMMM I wonder if farting into the seat cushions has any weight factor...HA HA HA HA HAHA...

smoking kills... LOL ;o)

Christina_the_wench said...

Oh f it. I want a cigarette. I quit though. Dammit.

Reverse said...

Don't hate Los... don't hate. But seriously there are to many hot girls that smoke so I would vote the law down.

Dirty Birdie said...

Oh yea, nothing like sticking your tongue in an ashtray...tre sexy. *gag*

Los said...

Becka, you smoked before, right? So, are you considering yourself a rehabilitated ashtray?

Dirty Birdie said...

Los I know, I know, it sounds hypocritical but seriously that's the statement someone made to me that really made me quit. No woman wants to think of herself as "licking an ashtray." I didn't anyway, yuck!