Smoking Ban Up For Grabs

Now, I’ll be the first to say this: I am deeply anti-smoking, and for a ban on smoking in bars. However, I’ll also say that I would not vote for a ban, but would support a ban placed by the Council. I like my smoker friends, but I hate smelling like I wash in their ashtray.

Tonight, the ban goes up for debate at the City Council meeting, and the Mayor is all for a smoking ban. Carol Schwartz is leading the charge against the bill, along with the help of Ban The Ban (in the interest of public disclosure, I went to college with Brooke). Of course, not to be outdone, there are two groups supporting the Ban: Breath Easy DC and Smokefree DC.

DCist has a great debate going in the comments of their entry on the subject, with many social smokers weighing in on the side of the ban, and several committed nicotine addicts weighing in on the side of “personal liberty.”

I don’t consider polluting my lungs just to hang out with my friends to be a good thing, and I’d definitely welcome not smelling like ass after a night out at the pubs. Consider me pro ban.

6 Comments so far

  1. UnusualCandor (unregistered) on June 14th, 2005 @ 10:24 pm

    My problem with smoking bans is that it infringes on the rights of private establishments. Governments are trying to place even more restrictions on how they run their business. If someone does not want to be around smoke, they are not required to go into that business.

    Let the market decide. If a business decides that they will lose business by allowing smoking, they will ban it.

    Government already places too many restrictions on business. We don’t need anymore.

  2. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on June 14th, 2005 @ 11:33 pm

    The problem, Chris, is that the market’s not a good indicator here. Montgomery county is doing better now with a smoking ban in place. This is GOOD for business, not bad for it.

  3. UnusualCandor (unregistered) on June 14th, 2005 @ 11:58 pm

    Then let businesses decide. The owner of a business should be allowed to decide how to run it.

  4. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on June 15th, 2005 @ 8:35 am

    The businesses aren’t interested in change, Chris. However, given the health concerns of second hand smoke, it puts their employees at risk, sometimes laws need to be passed.

  5. FreshBoy (unregistered) on June 16th, 2005 @ 5:37 pm

    The issue at hand isn’t about health. No one is debating that smoking is unhealthy. The real issue is freedom of choice.

    Smokers CHOOSE to smoke. Some bar/restaurant owners CHOOSE to allow smoking in their establishments. Employees CHOOSE to work in bars/restaurants that allow smoking. Diners/drinkers CHOOSE to frequent places that allow smoking.

    No one is forcing anyone to do anything to degrade their health–all of these parties currently CHOOSE to engage in activities that could potentially negatively impact their health. Some of us even enjoy it…

    A ban would deny those of us who enjoy or don’t mind smoking in bars/restaurants the ability to do it.

    Full disclosure: I’m a smoker. But even if I weren’t, I wouldn’t support a ban. Anything that unreasonably limits choice is inherently bad. What’s next? A ban on alcohol? (Didn’t work so well in the past…) A ban on red meat? Sushi?

    In the end, it’s not about the economics of the situation–the markets are only one measure. I wish Americans would grow up a bit and realize that their actions have consequences. I smoke. I understand the risk. I CHOOSE to live with them. If I get lung cancer, I won’t blame the cigarette manufacturers for my actions.

    Asking or allowing the government to place a ban on smoking is simply the shifting of responsibility (the passing of the buck, if you like) that has become all too common in the U.S. It’s always someone elses fault: the cigarette companies, the marketers, cartoons, the government for not stepping in.

    With freedom comes responsibility. Apparently, more and more Americans want neither.

  6. Jess (unregistered) on December 7th, 2005 @ 7:17 pm


    …and I CHOOSE to be able to go out on the town with my friends on a Saturday night without a side order of blackend lungs. oh wait, thats not an option? i can’t do that? where is my CHOICE to go out and smell like smoke!?

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