Cigars and hookers

Believe it or not, there’s a connection, and a non-Clintonesque use of the cigar for the connection, even.

On these boards, there is a widespread acceptance of the idea that prostitution should be legal. Despite acknowledging that a prostitute places herself (or himself!) at a certain risk of injury or disease on the job, most active commentators here support legalization of prostitution, perhaps coupled with (ha! get it?) some sort of mandatory periodic testing to reduce the risk of disease.

I’m not sure if there’s a board consensus on the issue of banning smoking in bars and restaurants, although there is at the least a strong and vocal contingent that believes this is a good idea. Against arguments that no one is forcing waiters and waitresses to work in places that allow smoking, the objection is that it’s unfair to force people to choose between a job and and a risk of disease from second-hand smoke. I was reminded of these arguments by this story about an effort to pass a one-day exception to DC’s stringent anti-smoking law for St. Patrick’s Day. “Angela Bradbery, co-founder of Smokefree DC, urged the mayor to veto the bill she says would force workers to choose between their health and a paycheck.”

These two views seem to be in some conflict.

Not with this economy.

Even on the SDMB I read of people forced to go back to tabling as other jobs are not coming. As lots of people are in the wings waiting for the chance, any worker that says that he or she is opting out is very likely to be replaced.

They do?

Prostitution requires sex. Waiting tables does not require enduring secondhand smoke. Where is the conflict?

I’m not seeing how this answer addresses the conflict between allowing prostitution to be legal, even though prostitutes face arguably worse health risks than second-hand smoke, and not allowing restaurant smoking to be legal out of concern for servers’ health.

I’m not a staunch supporter of smoking bans, but I think you’ve hit on why support for such bans and legalized prostitution need not be inconsistent, Bricker. Supporters of legalized prostitution, as you correctly note, normally also support mandatory health screenings (and possibly other measures) to mitigate the risk of such activity. By a similar token, supporters of smoking bans believe that the risks associted with working in a restaurant should be mitigated to the extent commercially practicable. For that matter, most people would say that the risks in all workplaces should be mitigated to the extent practicable. (Where that line lies is left as an exercise for the reader.) :smiley: Some jobs will be more dangerous than others regardless - but in all cases, risks that can be mitigated without unduly burdening the business should be mitigated.

So, I don’t see any particular inconsistency here. That said, I do think that it wouldn’t be unreasonable to allow smoking in bars on limited occasions, like St. Patrick’s day. Surely the additional risk to workers would be slight?

Not following you.

OK, now I get it.


Makes perfect sense.

Sorry to bother everyone. This thread can be closed.

I’ll take umbrage with your “despite” comment. I happen to think that legalization may mitigate some of the violence that currently threatens prostitutes. When a prostitute is threatened by her pimp or her john there’s not really a whole lot she can do, she’s engaged in an illegal activity after all. Who can she turn to? While I don’t think legalizing prostitution will make everything skittles I do think it would help.

There is that, and if we want to continue equating smoking with prostitution I can not take away from my mind that there are locations where the waiters get to endure the equivalent of a smoking gang-bang instead of dealing with one customer at a time. :slight_smile:

I don’t get the connection at all. I worked on oil and gas drilling locations for a number of years. I most definitely placed myself at a risk of injury or disease while on the job. Should working on oil rigs be illegal?

If the OP believes that prostitution is morally wrong and should be kept illegal because of it, then he should argue that point. Comparing prostitution to second-hand smoke seems to subject logic to unaccpetable torture, at best.

ETA: thread moving faster than I type, apparently.

Well for me, any support for prostitution stems from a belief that we can’t stop prostitution entirely and in that case it’s better to make it legal and regulate it. I don’t feel the same way about smoking.

Don’t see the connection. The push toward legalizing the sex trade (currently totally illegal) is at least partly to get those workers the help and support all workers deserve. Banning smoking is reducing the legality of a currently completely legal activity.

Maybe they will meet in the middle and you will be able to light a stogie in a brothel one day. But if you bring your prostitute to a bar and she gets on me, I’m going to complain.

I’m sorry, I don’t get it either. The connection is totally lost on me.

Laws against prostitution ban an economic activity entirely. Laws against secondhand smoke set safety standards for the conduct of an economic activity.

The equivalent law in restaurants to banning prostitution would be banning restaurants, or banning the serving of food by waitstaff.

Wha…? Obviously, there is no comparability between a specifically tailored time-place-and-manner restriction designed to contain the negative externalities of other people’s activities on the one hand, and a general prohibition on the other hand. Really, those two concepts, and the difference between them, ought to be clear to a someone familiar with the law.

Personally, I don’t think guys should bang hookers or smoke cigars in bars. Simultaneously, in your home, no problemo.

I get the connection. Not to speak for Bricker, but as I understand it, there is a strong presence on this board for legal prostitution. Such a business would require that employees of that business (the prostitutes) expose themselves to the dangers of sex with random, untested members of the population (safe sex measures not being 100% safe).

Pro-legalization folks somehow think that this is an acceptable risk to tell the employees (prostitutes) that they must take in order to keep their jobs.

However, when it comes to smoking laws, it is wholly unacceptable to tells an employee (a waitress) that she must subject herself to second hand smoke as a condition of employment.

I see what he is getting at and it is very interesting and novel. What about skydiving instructors? Should that be illegal? Aren’t you forcing someone, as a condition of employment, to subject themselves to the dangers of skydiving? Sure they volunteered, but so do waitresses in smoking-allowed bars and prostitutes in a brothel.

It would seem that if we are going to use the employee protection argument to ban smoking, then the same argument would apply to any other activity which could be considered possibly dangerous.


The risks are already there, it is illegal now and still they continue with those “jobs”.

AFAIK the efforts to legalize prostitution also take into account that people involved in prostitution will be more willing to seek help to minimize the danger once they work legally. And efforts to help people to look for better jobs than prostitution will be easier to setup once institutions can identify the prostitutes with less shame or risk of arrest by the authorities.

I think this is a case where the “slippery slope” argument can be used in its non-fallacious mode.

No conflict. If prostitution were legalized I’m sure there would still be time, place and manner restrictions, places where it would be at least a misdemeanor to solicit, etc. Just as there are, now, places you’re not allowed to smoke, but criminalizing possession or use of tobacco is off the table.

Well, they weren’t.

Now they are. Not sure how I didn’t see that that obvious distinction, but I didn’t.