Is smoking going the way of the dinosaurs in VA?

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With other states beginning to look at banning smoking inside private property, it is no big surprise that our rights are under assault as well. Gov. Timmy Kaine took a good smoking bill, and either fed it a poison pill or destroyed another portion of our rights.

UPDATE: Let freedom reign! One more reason we need our majority in the House of Delegates.

Let the handwringing begin.

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Brian said:

Getting smoking out of the restaurants is not a bad idea. As the father of two young children, I'd much rather there not be smoke in restaurants at all. Having a non-smoking section of a restaurant is like having a non-peeing portion of the pool.

In NY, they have the restaurant smoking ban but still have exempted places that are smoking havens. People who like to smoke while eating in public should still have somewhere to go, but a little sign in the window doesn't do much for the rest of us. While I'm all for limiting government intrusion, one of the properly enumerated functions of government is to protect the public health, and limiting second hand smoke helps.

stay puft said:

I just don't like banning smoking in bars, because come on.

Jack said:

Indeed. People don't exactly go to bars for their health.

fed'up said:

The smoking ban is government intrusion on our rights masquerading as public health policy.

Jack said:

Any excuse will do.

Kevin said:

May you all die the same death I do. You're welcome! (except, of course, Brian...sorry dude).

Robin said:

Let's put it this way. Smoking is an optional behavior, breathing isn't.

And going out to a particular establishment is also optional.

The key question is whether working in a given place should be considered optional.

With the greatly reduced numbers of smokers these days, it seems like we could be approaching the point where the market could address this issue: Some places let you smoke, others don't, and people will work in and patronize the ones that conform to their preferences.

There seem to be plenty of customers in both camps.

suburbanite said:

Robin et al: Now that the Supreme Court has ruled carbon dioxide a pollutant to be regulated by the EPA, over which states have the right to sue, breathing may become quite regulated!

Robin said:

But Joe, is it really fair to ask people to put up with an optional behavior because they want to go out to eat? Besides, it's been shown that second hand smoke isn't good for you.

It is just hard for me to believe that it wouldn't be better for smokers to stop rather than make non-smokers stay home.
As a former smoker, I think I'm allowed to say that.

fed'up said:

It is up to the establishment owner to decide which customer is right. The government should not be in the business of deciding who should quit smoking.

No Relation said:

I love my smokes. There's nothing like my fresh American Spirit along with my Folger's to get me going in the morning.

Recently, I noticed a local IHOP went completely non-smoking PER CUSTOMER REQUEST. That's exactly the the way it should be.

Leave it up to whoever runs the restaurant or bar. Go somewhere else if the atmosphere doesn't suit you.

zimzo said:

Robin: "It is just hard for me to believe that it wouldn't be better for smokers to stop rather than make non-smokers stay home."

There's nothing more fanatical and annoying than a former smoker. It really isn't your business or the business of whether people smoke or not. I can understand people don't like to eat when people are smoking. I don't like it either and I'm a smoker. But I don't see what the problem is with having a smoking section or smoking in bars or smoking outside in parks (which some jurisdictions are trying to ban). It's really all about a bunch of self-righteous Carrie Nations trying to tell other people what's good for them.

I know this might shock some of you but I have voted for a Republican for city council every election since my Democratic city council representative sponsored a draconian smoking ban. So you found the one issue that could make me a Republican (except that a majority of Republicans voted for it too).

Jack said:

"I'm coming Elizabeth! This is the big one!" -Fred Sanford

May God have mercy on my soul -- I agree with zimzo.

The thing I really hate about cigarette smokers is their throwing the butts out the car window. Have you ever seen a pipe smoker throw his pipe out the window (barring pursuit by police officers with questions about what's in the pipe)?

I say we ban cigarette FILTERS -- the rest of the cigarette will be gone with the next rain.

No Relation said:

Yeah, that one I don't get either, Jack. My truck has an ash tray, and that's where my butts go. Not that it even matters, though. My smokes don't have the fiberglass filter that never biodegrades.

Robin said:

Zimzo,I wouldn't call me a "Carrie Nation". I'm truly hurt by that insinuation (and I'm your biggest fan!).

It's totally up to you if you want to smoke. Where I draw the line is when it imposes on my right to breathe. Both my sister and my son smoke. Do I allow them to smoke around me? Nope! Why? Because their behavior is optional and imposes on my ability to breathe (Not optional). If people want smoking bars, well fine, but you will never convince me that smoking is a healthy thing to do.

I still find it annoying to go past smokers and have them blow smoke my direction. I don't like smelling like it and I certainly don't like my asthma triggered by it.

I'm sure you've all heard about the "Cigarette Butt Hero" by now. Too bad it wasn't entirely true! I,too, dislike filter litterbugs!

Blessed Good Friday and Happy Easter to y'all!

zimzo said:

I have no problems with reasonable approaches that set aside places for people to smoke and places for people who don't want to be around smoke. But many of these draconian laws are really aimed at trying to coerce people to stop smoking. Some places are banning all smoking inside any public place. Some are banning smoking outside. And some are even banning smoking inside people's own homes.

I'm sorry if you don't like walking by people smoking but the point is you can walk by. I don't like walking by smelly people either but I don't think the government should pass deoderant laws. Maybe you also want to pass laws banning ugly people or people with deformities in public so you don't have to look at them and get palpitations.

There is certainly room for compromise but anti-smoking zealots won't be satisfied it seems until they have passed laws making it illegal to smoke anywhere. I am sick and tired of people thinking it's OK to go up to someone and give them a hard time for smoking, but it would be rude to go up to a fat person and berate them for eating a cheeseburger.

So stay out of my business. All I want is to be able to smoke in my own home, outside or relaxing in a bar or cafe away from people who don't want to smell my smoke. I really don't think that is too much to ask.

Jack said:

Zimzo, while I generally agree with you here, the ugly/deformed people analogy doesn't work, since there is often little choice there, whereas people choose to smoke.

Your analogy to fat people eating a cheeseburger is quite apt, though. I read once that in some Celtic nations, however, fat people were fined until they lost weight.

As a favor to me, though, please don't throw your butts out the car window. :-)

Kevin said:

Ugly and deformed people don't generally (with some exceptions) cause a detriment to your health. Neither do smelly people, I should know. There is a huge difference. Sometimes smelly, deformed, or ugly people kill you but it's not always by nature of being smelly, ugly, or deformed.

However, I declare myself a hypocrite because I smoke. . .and therefore will be smelly, growing uglier by the day, and eventually deformed. (cough cough)

Everybody hates a reformed smoker, although in your case I will make a partial exception, Robin.

Brian said:

One's person's liberty ends where another person's nose begins. Pollute your own lungs and destroy your own health a thousand ways all you want by smoking in your own home, but in public buildings smokers should not feel put upon if they are driven out into the cold.

Robin said:

Zimzo, dear, calm down. I'm not out to get you or any other smoker. I'm just saying it's a bit hard on someone with a breathing issue (and there are a bunch of us out there) to have to walk by smokers who, for some unknown reason, seem to blow smoke our way. If I see this in an open area, such as a sidewalk or a park, I do make a wide berth around it. However, if I am trying to get into a building, then it's a little unavoidable. All I'm asking is a little courteously on the part of smokers for the sake of people's health. As Brian says, it's up to the individual if you want to smoke, drink or eat ribs 'til you burst but if it imposes on another's health then it's not a good, nice or polite thing.

If we could all be more polite to one another, let people make choices the work for their lives and live and let live, maybe we wouldn't have to make so many darned laws.

Joe, darlin', I knew I could count on you to be gentleman about it.

Robin said:

Whoops, that should have been courtesy not courteously. Fingers typing too fast for brain again.

No Relation said:

Ugly people? Let's outlaw good looking people because they hurt my self esteem.

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