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05 August, 2008

Where's my rights?

For some reason the title of my post has me singing "Where is my mind?" by the Pixies. Weird. Anywho, people who know me know that I can't stand the smell of cigarette smoke. So generally i'm pleased when I hear about smoking bans because it means I can go places and not have to smell the smoke or breathe any in. I have nothing against the smokers in general and would be quite happy if smoking only affected the one with the cigarette. It seems that it's a pretty prickly issue over in Kanawha county, however, in that bar owners feel they are losing business. Smokers feel like it's their right to smoke where they please and non-smokers feel like it's their right to breathe in fresh air. What a pickle. I read through some of the comments on the news article and wanted to reprint this one which I thought was particully articulate:

Smokers choose to participate in a lifestyle that shortens their life expectancy as well as the life expectancy of those around them. As a human being it is my right and the right of every other patron to be able to go into a bar or restaurant without the fear of being bombarded by a hazardous environment. The minute smokers enter a bar they immediately "own" the air inside the bar simply because there is no way to contain cigarette smoke. Since this smoke has been proven hazardous, and the bar owner has given up his/her rights to the air inside the establishment, it is the duty of the government to stand for the basic human rights of the non-smokers. Don't like it? Stop smoking. It won't kill you if you do.

Thanks to "Allen" whoever you may be.


RedZeppelin said...

I abhor cig smoke too, but I see things differently. If I own a bar or restaurant I should be able to decide whether people can smoke in it. No one is holding a gun to non-smokers' heads and forcing them to patronize smoky bars.

There should simply be standardized signage indicating whether a place is smoker-friendly or not, and then let the people decide whether they want to enter or not.

If enough people stay away because of the smoke the owner will switch to non-smoking.

In other words, let the market decide.

All Click said...

Hey, I don't allow alternative opinions on this blog, matey!

I can totally see your point and it's a tough issue.

I have to say that although you are right, non-smokers aren't forced to go to smokey bars, sometimes I do go to smokey places so I can enjoy a freedom like going to a bar within 5 miles of my home that serves food that is showing the game.

What really gets me is the littering of the butts more than the whole restaurant thing. But I guess that's another blog post altogether ;-)

Jackie said...

The whole "smoking ban" in bars is bullshit. The people (and I use this term veeery loosely) who make these laws don't go to bars anyways, but they sure know what's best for us idiots who do. Or did.

If non-smoking is so cool, why don't people just open non-smoking bars? Seriously, wouldn't that be a better alternative?

Hoyt said...

It's a health issue. Secondhand smoke harms people. This whole debate really turns on our comfort with the remedy and its effectiveness in preventing the harm to others. And the more I think about this, the more I'm not in favor of a smoking ban in bars anymore than I would support bans on selling certain foods in the grocery because they might cause health problems. And believe me, that's the road we're on--but I'll save my rant for the "war on obesity" for another day.

As far as bars go, let the market decide like RedZeppelin suggests. I ain't taking my kids in there, and I'm not cool enough to hang out in bars anymore, either.

Cigarettes Stink said...

It's been proven that smoking cigarettes is bad for your health, causes cancer, birth defects and can be lethal. Why is it that the government allows selling a product that is lethal and has no positive attributes? If a prescription drug that DOES have benefits is found to potentially cause a serious health problem, it's pulled from the market. It's a shame that the tobacco industry has so much money and influence that they can keep selling an addictive, life threatening drug with no redeeming qualities.

It really disturbs me that people could totally live without cigarettes but try them for no good reason, become addicted and then fight to keep their right to smoke. What disturbs me even more is to see someone at the store paying for food with food stamps but somehow finding enough cash to buy a carton of cigarettes.

I was approached by a woman in her 20s a couple of weeks ago in a gas station parking lot. She was barefoot, pregnant and smoking. She asked if she could have a few dollars for gas because she was trying to get home and was seven months pregnant. Why is it she has money to smoke, though? And can't even give up cigs for nine months so she can have a healthy baby?

There is nothing good about smoking from the smell, the cigarette stubs that litter the ground to the diseases. Instead of fighting to ban smoking in public places I wish we'd just fight to ban the sell of cigarettes. If people never got addicted to them, there wouldn't be an issue.

All Click said...

Thanks to everyone for weighing in their opinion! :-)

If the ban does go ahead and it persuades at least 1 person to give up smoking then I think it's a good thing. If it annoys a whole bunch of people, puts business and people out of work, causes conflict and hostility at home then maybe a new approach is needed.

moneytastesbad said...

For some interesting dialog on the Kanawha County Smoking ban check out This and This

This is a very spirited debate and some of the language is not for kids or the faint of heart.

Spike Nesmith said...

@Cigarettes Stink just FYI, even though it's an accepted fact (accepted by those who matter and who know), it's not technically true to say that smoking CAUSES cancer. It increases the risk, but they've not found a definitive LINK yet. Just sayin'.