Community Ban of Smoking in Restaurants

They are trying to pass a city wide smoking ban in restaurants where I live. I think this is bull. How can the city gov’t tell a restaurant that they can not have smoking in their business that they paid for. There is already 70/30 seating split of nonsmoking to smoking. I think that is enough.

The way I look if the non smokers don’t want to be subjected to second hand smoke, don’t eat at a restaurant that allows smoking. Let your buying power do the talking for ya not the city council.

I think the restaurant(business owner) have the right to allow or disallow smoking(a legal thing to do)in their establishment.

I think we are going to let the govt regulate us to death.


Welcome to California!

Don’t worry, you’ll get over it. I did when I was a smoker. Now that I’m not a smoker, (a little over 2 months and doing great! I’m FREE!) I completely understand their position. (Well, actually, I always did, I just didn’t like it).

The one that gets me is bars. Isn’t banning smoking in bars violating the 3rd law of physics, which states that alcohol and cigarettes are naturally attracted to each other?


Amen to that, Stoidela. I’m not a smoker - never was - but a real bar needs three things: dim lighting, some sort of music, and cigarette smoke. Without those it’s just a beer kiosk.

Amen, Bill. For the record, I’m not a smoker, I’ve never been a smoker, and I don’t like smoking. If you smoke, you really should knock it off. But I think the war on smoking has been carried too far. Let’s let the restaurant/bar owner decide.

WB: *How can the city gov’t tell a restaurant that they can not have smoking in their business that they paid for. […] I think the restaurant(business owner) have the right to allow or disallow smoking(a legal thing to do)in their establishment. *

How can the Board of Health tell a restaurant that they can’t have people going barefoot in their business that they paid for? It’s not illegal to go barefoot, either. How can they legally require a restaurant owner to make his staff members wash their hands when they go to the bathroom? It’s not illegal to take a pee without washing up afterwards! How can the government tell a restaurant that it has to have x number of exits per y number of seats, or that it can only seat x people in every y square feet? The restaurant owner paid for that business! It’s not illegal to crowd lots of people into a big room with only one door in a private house, so the restaurant owner should be able to do it too!

Tough luck, bucko. Restaurants are public places, and the government is rightfully concerned with regulating things that affect the health, safety, and comfort of the public. And whether you like it or not, many people now feel that it’s detrimental to public health and comfort to allow smoking in public places. You can disagree with that (for one thing, as the Master has noted, the reputation of second-hand smoke as a carcinogen is probably vastly exaggerated, although its bad effects on asthma and allergy sufferers can be quite severe), and you can attempt to convince people that they’re mistaken about it, and present evidence to the contrary. Personally, I don’t support these ban-smoking-everywhere bills (although personally I never saw a smoke-free place I didn’t like), because I agree they’re somewhat too draconian. But simply arguing that “they don’t have any right to regulate me because I paid for the business so what I say goes!” is ridiculous, IMHO.

I’ve always wished it to the business owner to decide what goes on, but in the interest of the greater good, banning smoking makes sense (like, as Kimstu mentioned, employees washing hands after peeing).

I would, however, be in favor of allowing certain establishments to be given a special license to be all-smoking, with signs tipping off customers to such. Waffle House down in the South is all smoking (no laws prohibiting such a thing -yet). So there, I vote with my feet and stay away. Too bad too, becuase I hear that the food is great.

As for bars, I would LOVE a non-smoking bar to pop up, but there appears to be no demand for such a thing. So, if I wish to bar-hop, I must put up with the smoke; that’s my choice. Luckily, there are bars that are connected with restaurants with a non-smoking section (even one that features a band), so I tend to go there more often. Without demand, few businesses would be willing to ostracize a large portion of their potential clientelle.

[Eddie Izzard]
That’s right–no smoking in bars, and soon no drinking and no talking! What’s the matter with you, California? You’re supposed to be the CRAZY state!
[/Eddie Izzard]

I get migraine headaches that can be triggered by cigarette smoke. If I go to a restaurant I have to sit as far away from the smoke as possible to have a comfortable meal. Just walking through the smoking section can give me a headache later in the day. I don’t eat out much, so that’s only a minor hassle, not a major problem, but it’s still annoying. (Just the smoke part…the migraines are evil)

Steve Martin had a good thing on this, back in “Let’s Get Small”

Or something like that. Smoking makes everyone’s eating an unpleasant experience, even if it’s confined to a smoking section.

BTW, Kimstu…clap, clap, clap.


YOU just became my very favorite person! Come sit by me and let’s dish…but watch out, it’s all sticky!

First, They take away your God-given cigarettes, then They’re gonna take away your God-given firearms, and then They’re gonna force you to get microchips with a “666” barcode on them implanted in your right hands and foreheads and make you pray to Baal! It’s a Conspiracy, I tell ya!

I admit the laws are a little draconian, but…

I am a non-smoker that was raised in a family of smokers. They didn’t smoke inside the house because one family member was full on allergic to cigarette smoke. But my six-year-old opinion didn’t count. So whenever we went out to eat, it was off to the smoking table, where I sat nearly wretching into my food while my family told me to live with it.

I fell to my knees when CA banned smoking in restraunts.

But my personal anecdotle evidence isn’t quite enough to constitute a good reason for the ban. I think that worker’s health does. How many facitlies that let their workers walk around unprotected with cancerous fumes wafting around would be allowed to continue that way? These people are exposed to second hand smoke continuously all day. Sure they can “vote with their feet” by chooseing not to work there, but most food service workers are there because they need the job, and dont have a lot of other options.

Beyond that, I see smoking as an anti-social behavoir that ettiquette should regulate to private areas. It is plain rude to do something that is not only unpleasant to others, but also harmful to their health. Theres no way we can (or should) legislate that, but it would be nice for smokers to take the initiative to be considerate on their own.

Around here, some years ago, there was a fanatical movement by the smoke nazis to pass laws forbidding smoking in bars and restaurants. Quite a few restaurants went that way, but those which did not gained more business.

No bar went smokeless. With the Drunk Driving laws, the low, low blood alcohol laws and the new thing of suing a bar if they let you drink too much and you got into a wreck, business dropped. They realized that if they cut out smoking, a lot of bars would close. So they did not.

We did have some smoke nazis going around a complaining mightily about smoke in bars, until a couple of bars put this simple sign on the entry doors:** “This is a Smoking Establishment. If smoking offends you, take your business elsewhere.”**

The bars posting such a sign actually increased their business.

The law failed locally.

I was opposed to California’s ban on smoking in any public building. Until I went to Texas.

Smoking in a restaurants is kinda gross…

Lots of places that have indoor smoking banned have loopholes that business can wriggle through.

One is- that a bar or restaurant can have a room or area set aside for smoking IF:

  • the room is fully self-contained with it’s own air system or is an outside covered courtyard

  • the room for smoking has the exact amenities of the non-smoking area and vice-versa (1 pool table, 1 juke box, 2 foosball tables, etc)

You get the idea. It is generally a good thing, I agree with the poster who compared it to workers in other industries walking around inhaling toxic fumes a la Karen Silkwood or something.

Relax, if people in Colorado can go outside to smoke in a fucking snowstorm, you can shiver a bit while you inhale. After a while, you’ll hardly remember smoking sections.

Hell, I can barely remember what it was like to take my ashtray out of my desk drawer and have a smoke break at my desk at work, and that used to be practically mandatory!

Well, I remember when they used to allow you to smoke in almost any store, including grocery shops!

I don’t know, but the smoke nazis are getting out of hand and the Truth commercials are worse than any drug ones I ever saw. They ought to put some of that energy into forcing the building of nonpolluting, self-sufficient garbage incinerators like the Japanese have, which, for some odd reason, we ‘can’t’ build.

I am a Californian. I can see having no smoking in restaurants because children might be present and they shouldn’t have to smoke with their elders.

But bars? I am a non-smoker, but I think this is going way too far. If you are in a bar, you are an adult, and can chose whether or not to be there. Bars should have the right to be smoking or non-smoking, and bars connected to restaurants might need to have some venilation requirements. But in this case, yeah, the anti-smoking forces have gone far too far.

Smoke Nazis? Are these the people who advocate a “Final Solution” to the smoking problem by eradicating all smokers, with a special emphasis on gay smokers, gypsy smokers, mentally ill smokers, artist & writer smokers, and academic smokers?

Your arguments would be more compelling without some of the name-calling, which detracts from and sometimes obscures what might otherwise be a valid point.

Just a thought, I understand how worked up one can get in this particular debate.

For the record, I am a smoker. Not militant or anything but just addicted…[sub]I’m working on getting that monkey off my back[/sub]

We are in the midst of having a similar law passed here and I don’t like it because I don’t believe that the government has the right to tell people what they can and can’t do within the confines of their dining establishment.

Post a sign saying whether your establishment allows or dis-allows smoking. Let the customer decide where they want to eat. Economic forces will prevail.

A similar law to this was brought in and then subsequently defeated in Vancouver.

Have you ever seen a non-smoking bar? I haven’t. Non-smoking restaurants in areas without these laws seem few and far between.

When California banned smoking in bars, people said it was the end of the world. Now, there is more compliance with the non-smoking laws and I for one go to bars more often because I don’t stink when I come home.

Just as Kimstu said, when I go to a restaurant I have the expectation that the water won’t make me sick. How is the air any different? The government has the right to regulate this. I guess I need to turn in my ‘libertarian’ card now.

I’d have no problem with the ‘let market forces prevail’ attitude if it seemed that there were any alternatives for non-smokers, but I’ve yet to see any in other areas of the country.

Feynn: *I don’t believe that the government has the right to tell people what they can and can’t do within the confines of their dining establishment. *

See my earlier post in this thread, Feynn. The government is telling people all sorts of things about what they can and can’t do within the confines of their public dining establishments, if they impact the health, safety, rights, or comfort of the patrons. I don’t remember ever hearing you bitch that government regulations about fire safety or bacterial contamination are inappropriate; so you look somewhat hypocritical if you suddenly turn into a full-blown antiregulation crusader when it comes to smoking bans.

You may well have a case that this particular rule is unnecessary or too restrictive, but give up on the tired old rhetoric about the whole concept of government regulation in public places being illegitimate, okay? Or else be an honest Libertarian and demand that fire and food safety regulations be eliminated too.