Smoke Smoke Everywhere

June 2, 2008 by The Constant Complainer

OK, let me start out by saying that I don’t smoke.  I have friends that smoke, but I personally don’t and never have.  One of the happiest days in recent memory was when the State of Ohio (where I live) passed the Clean Indoor Air Act.  It was enacted to regulate smoking in public places and businesses.  Basically, there are no more smoking sections in restaurants.  And all other bars and places of business must be smoke-free, etc.  There is also an enforcement agency and complaint hotline that was established to help police violators.

I’ve had some run-in’s with people about smoking over the years.  The first was at the post office, where I observed a woman smoking in her car (with the windows up) and an infant coughing in a car seat in the back of the vehicle.  I think that time the parent in me just took over and fueled my anger.  The second time, ironically also at the post office, was when I blew up at a guy smoking right in the entrance way.  I just simply cannot stand smelling smoke, walking through it or even having it blown in my general vicinity.  Of course when it comes to businesses, I have the telephone number to report violators auto-programmed into my cell phone.  And I haven’t hesitated to use it!

Now, all these businesses out there in Ohio are stating that they are loosing business because of losing the smokers (customer base).  Is that really true or is the rebuttal to them as easy as this: you’re not the only business that lost the smoking crowd.  I tend to believe that no business is going to go bankrupt (even a bar) because smoking isn’t allowed in there.  Even so, many places simply allow smoking outside of their businesses or a reasonable distance away from the doors.  So it’s not like a smoker can’t physically go out and still enjoy a cigarette.

I don’t know why I get so upset.  I mean, it doesn’t matter if I am walking outside, sitting in my car, at the store or standing in line somewhere.  If I smell smoke, I immediately start to become irritated.  So I want to hear from all you smokers and non-smokers out there.  Am I being irrational or is it fair for a non-smoker to want to keep his/her air clean and without certain intoxicants?

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  1. Mike says:

    I am a smoker, and I have to admit that when the law banning smoking was passed, I was upset. I understood that there should be no smoking in restaurants because even I don’t like to smell smoke while I’m eating. I understood not smoking in areas with children around. The few places I didn’t understand not smoking in were bars, pool halls, casinos, and (cough cough) strip clubs. My arguments were that those places, especially bars, were completely fine to smoke in because it’s just so natural to smoke while you drink, even some non-smokers do it.

    But, I got used to all the non-smoking places and learned to deal with it. The bars I frequent now-a-days have patios for smoking so it’s not a big deal, sometimes it’s even nice to get away from the crowded bar area for a smoke. It still pisses me off that I can’t smoke at a poker table in a casino, but the nicotine patch has worked nicely in the past. I’ve basically adopted the “When in Rome” attitude towards smoking in public places. If other people are smoking then I’ll light up too, which was the case at a club recently.

    I’ve always tried to be courteous to non-smokers with my habit, and I do see their point of view when it comes to inhaling unwanted smoke. However there are a lot of smoker’s rights that are getting trampled on by non-smokers. For instance, recently employers have refused to hire admitted smokers. This is a clear cut case of discrimination, but no one bothered to question it for a second because smoker’s rights don’t matter. An employee who smokes is not hurting anyone, especially if they’re following the laws of where they can and cannot smoke.

    Another thing that really irritates me is that Cleveland Browns Stadium was paid for from “Sin” tax, which were taxes collected from cigarettes, alcohol, and I believe gambling (not sure though). However, there is not a single designated smoking area in all of Cleveland Browns Stadium. The very least the Stadium could do would be to allow fans to leave the stadium to smoke and return with their original ticket. Quicken Loans Arena allows smokers to do this. I think it’s a bit ironic that smokers’ money is good enough to help build a stadium, but we’re not given the slightest bit of convenience like smoking outside the stadium. I might not have mentioned it, but once you leave the stadium, you can’t come back in.

  2. Buddy says:

    I am a former smoker. I quit a few months ago because I got sick of the constant bouts with bronchitis.

    But, I am aggressivly against the facist behavior of our government and the ignorant voters of Ohio. The illegal smoking ban has been and will continue to destroy the livelihood of our bar owners. I’m not referring to the family bars and resteraunts like Applebees and TGI Friday’s. They will continue on. I’m referring to the small corner bar. They are dying. As a musician that performs in these small places, I’ve seen firsthand the disasters that this illegal law will bring about. The bar my band frequently played went from having between 200 and 300 patrons on a Saturday night to playing to around 50. That number has not increased. If these corner bars were filled with non-smokers enjoying cheap beer on broken folding chairs, it wouldn’t be that bad. But it’s not the case. The story gets even more frightening…

    First, the business owner should have the right to determine whether smoking (or any other legal behavior) should be permitted. If you don’t want to go to a smoking bar, don’t go. Find one that prohibits smoking and have your fun. There were plenty here in Ohio.

    Second, and most importantly, the smoking ban really has nothing to do with smoking…it has everything to do with the government controlling us. It is a step by step removal of our rights. If you would have told your grandparents 30 years ago that you would not be able to smoke on a train or in an airplane, or have a cigar at the baseball park, or not be allowed to smoke in a bar, they would laugh at you…but here we are. How far will it continue? Will smokers be limited to smoking only in their back yards?

    This is happening with the food we eat. Trans-fats are being banned in certain cities, and the businesses that use trans-fats have no choice. It is unbelievable. If you don’t like smoking, stay away from the bars that allowed smoking, or put up with it. Smokers have to put up with going out side in the cold to smoke…that’s okay though, right? As long as they don’t offend you selfish wackos…

    What if people that had allergies got together and banned the planting of flowers. Would that be okay? Allergies are just as irritating to them as smoking is. I HATE rap music. I think it destroys the fabric of society. In my opinion, it’s not a form of art and shouldn’t be protected by the first amendment. What if enough people got together and voted to ban rap music because it encourages rape, cop killing, civil disobedience, etc. Would that be okay? NO…I just don’t listen to rap and I avoid clubs that play it. What if people said country music encourages alcoholism. Should be banned? Of course not.

    The simple reality is IF smoke free establishments would help businesses, it would have been more widespread. But now, not only can I not smoke at my corner bar, the same people that demanded that I cannot smoke there still don’t go there.

    Be careful in giving up your rights and privledges or voting away the rights of others for “the greater good.” Without the freedom to do what we want (under the rule of law), we will find ourselves without any of our pleasures. Every single pleasure of yours is an irritant to someone else.

    The bottom line is that these laws just don’t work. If you don’t believe me, go to a small bar that focuses on a small local crowd. They don’t serve much food and it isn’t a very attractive looking place. You will notices one of two things. It is already out of business, or everyone there is smoking and smiling. My suggestion is light up or leave. But don’t interrupt them.

  3. Mike says:

    Buddy, I don’t have any problem with your points, and I in fact agree with a lot of them. However, banning smoking was not part of a government plot to take away our rights. The people voted on the ban, and the majority won man. Yeah the government is trying to remove many of our rights, but smoking was not one of them.

    Now if we were talking about online gambling, then you could use that argument. It seems our President decided that online gambling wasn’t good for ME and made it illegal. I don’t remember voting on that one, so that is one right that has been removed by the government.

  4. dan says:

    i am a former smoker, but i cant deal with smoke anymore. here in the dc area, we have varying laws. the district is smoke free, but where i live in virginia is not. not that i go to bars alot anyway, but i would rather go into dc (around 45 minutes away) than my local pub. its really nice to see a band and not be congested the next day on top of hung over. ah well, i guess thats what i get for living in a tabacco growing state

  5. says:

    I want to gripe about nonsense I read about the Government wanting to take away our rights. The G is only trying to cut down on medical costs related to smoking. I am one of those people who started smoking (cigars) seriously after the G told me it was wrong. I don’t care about small businesses going out of business. It’s called social darwinism. If they were a strong enough business with a good business plan before the new no smoking law, they would’ve survived. If you don’t like smoke, don’t go to smokey bars! If you don’t like smoke around you when you eat, move to a different seat in the restaurant.

  6. buddy says:

    Sorry, my kid hit the keyboard before I was finished…

    I was saying the last paragraph that the Smoking ban in Ohio had NOTHING to do with smoking. The liberals have a different agenda, and they use the electorate to promote the agenda….socialism…

  7. Marsha says:

    Buddy, it is like you are comparing smoking to the age old adage of whether or not you should you hate the kid in school that is allergic to peanut butter. Yes, the Government is kind of controlling us. But it is more so groups of people wanting to help protect other people’s health. I don’t want to breathe your smoke or anyone else’s. It’s not fascism, but consumerism.

  8. buddy says:

    Dear Carl Monday,
    First, go back to smelling panties on TV. You’re much more entertaining there. I could cite story after story where the liberal politicians are doing everything they can to take away our rights “for the greater good.” The health care argument is the standard answer for the smoking debate. But, healthcare procedures are choice based services and health insurance is a commodity. No one has a right to healthcare, but they do have a right to smoke. I don’t want other groups to make decisions for me “for the greater good.” One of these days, those groups will have their rights taken away for the same reason. I guess they’ll finally get what they ask for. It is a slippery slope.
    As for the business plan: The business plans for these bars was “come get drunk, smoke, and listen to a band.” The little guy that owned it made a decent living and even managed to sponsor a youth baseball team. But he’s been forced to fire his employees, and invest thousands into an outdoor smoking area just because the non-smokers that don’t even go there don’t want anyone to smoke. It’s tough to argue with that logic.

  9. buddy says:

    Here’s a good column written by Dr. Walter E. Williams, an economist at George Mason. It is entitled “They’re Coming After You” and it focuses on the anti-smoking zealots and their abuse of government. He wrote it earlier this year, but there are many at his website. Enjoy…

  10. The Constant Complainer says:

    Carl, my point was that sometimes smoke is all around you, whether you want it there or not. I don’t choose to be sitting in my car at a red light, with the moron in front of me or next to me smoking and it blowing into my car. And I never appreciated sitting in a restaurant, even in the non-smoking section, and having to smell fumes coming over my way. Last night for example, I was out running and some jerk was out walking his dog, but smoking along the path. Real nice. So all of us joggers had to run through that for a mile. It may be a hard-lined stance, but I don’t think smokers deserve any consideration from the non-smokers who are subjected to second hand smoke.

  11. Buddy says:

    Dear Constant Complainer,

    You can’t have everything the way you want it. Maybe the guy walking his dog was offended because you were sweating and smelled bad. Does that mean you shouldn’t be allowed to run on that path? Maybe he loves the smell of smoke and gets offended when the people around him don’t smoke. Maybe he thinks that since he pays a tax for his Marlboro’s to pay for our smoke free ball parks and arenas, that you should pay a tax every time you make a purchase that doesn’t include cigarettes…just to make the tax system fair…
    All of those ideas are ridiculous. So is the fact that you think you deserve to not be exposed to any smoke. Get over yourself.

  12. Joe says:

    While I was living in Maryland they passed a similar no smoking in public places law and all of the businesses said it will hurt their profits. Well guess what, within 6 months their profits were up and they realized how much of the non-smoking public had been avoiding their establishments.

    So face it smoking is bad and you shouldn’t be allowed to do it. Govenment taxes should go even higher on smoking products, I would love to use the sin taxes for the cost of the war.

  13. Mike says:

    Hey Joe,
    Do you drink? That’s bad for you, so you shouldn’t be allowed to do it. Do you drive? That’s dangerous too so you shouldn’t be allowed to do it. You could slip and fall in the shower so you shouldn’t be allowed to do that either. You might not want to eat most foods because a lot of them have hormones and additives that could cause cancer, so you shouldn’t be allowed to eat either. Eggs are high in cholesterol so you shouldn’t be allowed to eat them. Pizza is high in fat so you shouldn’t be allowed to eat it.

    GET A LIFE! Just because something is bad for you does not mean it should be illegal. If I choose to pollute my own body then so be it. It doesn’t effect you so get over it. If I ever blow smoke in your face, then you have the right to tell I’m not allowed to do that. But until my smoking effects you, you don’t have the right to say anything. It’s people like you that are completely happy with rights being taken away from Americans by our Government. SHEEP!

  14. Don says:

    Great link to shed some light on the effects of the smoking ban…

    It’s just one side of the story, but I’m certainly not going to do anything to help the argument of the anti-smoking zealots.

  15. The Constant Complainer says:

    Buddy, don’t be so sophomoric. Why is that guy even out walking and appearing to be healthy, if he is just smoking while he does it? It doesn’t add up my man! That example supports my whole argument. I am out trying to jog and be healthy, and this moron is polluting the air around me as I run through it. So just to stir the pot, I purposefully coughed very loud and glared at him as I ran by. Not so mature I know, but my point was made…

  16. Buddy says:

    Const. Complainer,

    Maybe he has kids and can’t smoke in the house. Maybe he’s hiding it from his wife. Maybe he likes to go for walks and smoke. As a former smoker, I can assure you that the point he thought you made was how much of a pansy you are. You remind me of a guy I went to college with that live on my floor in my fraternity house. He would constantly complain about me smoking in my room at the opposite end of the hall. We should have thrown him out.

  17. Alex says:

    For you smokers, just remember they have already limited where you can smoke in ohio… in New York, They are also building into tax an increase that went into effect the other day of 1.25/pack. Driving the prices up to nearly 6$/pack. That along with the cost of gas should drive up the amount of people willing to quit. but if they don’t, I don’t want to have to hear about it here….

  18. Alex says:

    Hey buddy. and constant complainer… I just have to say that there are a lot of factors why someone smokes… don’t stand there and defend them, or berate them when you don’t know that. Maybe he was an alcoholic and finally found something that he could use to replace his other habit. maybe he is hiding it from his wife.. maybe he has stock in the company and all he wants to do is support himself. or maybe he is so addicted because big tobacco has “just the right amount” of that wonderful nicotine and he has done this for the portion of his life that is better than the rest. I don’t know.. but if you are out for a jog, you may have worse things to worry about than cigarette smoke.. perhaps there are factories there that make some sort of chemical that is doing more dammage.. (but then again taking those nice deep breaths while jogging really do get all of that in your system.. hey did you know that there are over 800 chemicals in a cup of coffee…. should that be illegal too? what about all of those energy drinks.. ..

    (But i digress..) I am the only one in my family that doesn’t smoke.. and each time i go over to the fam’s house… it makes me a little light headed.. so I don’t stay long.. good news is summer is here, and i atleast get outside to enjoy quality time… I agree that smoking should be banned, but i also understand those people who haven’t figured out that there are large dangers associated with it.. I once had a fat doctor who smoked.. and told me to stop drinking.. hypocritical if you ask me…

  19. Mike says:

    I’m attempting to quit smoking. We’ll see how I do. I know I’ll stumble here and there, but I’d like to overall quit. Wish me luck. Or don’t, no biggie.

  20. Nosmo King says:

    Currently where I live the bars and restaurants are fighting a smoking ban. Personally I would love to see one here because that would add to my list of good restaurants that I would go to more often. There is a restaurant that I use to go to before a sporting event, and the food is good, and the prices are cheap for the amount of food you get. They are a main opponent of the smoking ban. They believe business will hurt if one is in place, but one reason I don’t spend my money there is because I walk in, my eyes get watery, and after about 5 minutes I smell like the place. I take a change of clothing with me, just so I can try not to smell like smoke, but the sell sticks to my skin, so even the change of clothing is not working. If I am trying to enjoy a game, I don’t want that smell lingering on me, and I am sure that if another non-smoker is next to me, they don’t want to smell that either. I don’t mind if people smoke, that is their business, I never have, and I don’t want be exposed to it when I can avoid it. With a young kid, I always ask for the non-smoking section, which is why before the games we don’t go to the normal restaurant, because they don’t have one. One restaurant franchise has been smoke free, and they have not seen a difference in business. One survey of the local area, showed there was more non-smokers then smokers. It also showed that about 35% of the non-smokers do not go in to places because of the smoke. This is money that these restaurants are losing out on. If they put an equal ban on all restaurants and bars, and not say that a place can allow smoking if they have food receipts less then 10% of total sales, smokers are still going to go to their favorite pace to drink and hang out. It maybe a bit more crowded now with non-smokers trying to get in

  21. Don says:

    How about we let the businesses decide since it’s their private property. If they want to “lose” business because they have a smoking establishment, so be it. If they think that being smoke free will hurt their business, that’s okay too. Maybe they should put a sign in the window that reads “Smoke Free”, or “Smoke ’em if you got ’em” The owners made the investment, let them make the choice on smoking preference. If the consumer wants to choose where to got to based on the smoking status of the resturaunt, that seems like the best game plan. When I was in college, there was a bar I used to go to that had a sign that read “There is not a non-smoking section.” My kind of place. I heard they’re having a rough time lately.

  22. The Constant Complainer says:

    Don, on a relevant note, I subscribe to a smoke-free-Ohio eBlast list. Today they sent a message saying that the Ohio Government was trying to repeal the law or support an ammendment. Looks like you might get your wish. But I’ll lobby to keep it in place. What do you think of that?

  23. Don says:

    I think you suck, but I don’t smoke. I’m just against government encroachment. Be careful, because eventually this behavior is going to come around to haunt you…sometimes you get what you ask for.

  24. The Constant Complainer says:

    Don, once again today I was sitting at a red light and the jerks behind me and next to me were smoking. And yet again the smell made its way into my car. Even my daughter asked what that smell was. How sad is it that I now have to consider putting my windows up at red lights? You may think my stance is harsh, but I think it is realistic for people to not want to have to smoke other’s people second hand smoke. But I see your point about the Government wanting to control everything…

  25. Mike says:

    Constant Complainer,
    I understand your point and can easily see why it bothers you. However, I’m going to go with the usual argument here and say that the exhaust from those cars around you are causing as much if not more damage to your body than the small amount of second hand smoke. Everything in this day and age is listed as a carcinogen, even celery.

    I hate the smell of diesel gas, especially when I’m driving behind a truck or bus. It makes me feel sick, like I’m being poisoned. But, I’m in no position to outlaw diesel engines just as you’re in no position to outlaw smoking outside or in one’s own property. I’m paying $20,000 for my car, I’ll smoke in it if I please.

    But because of the diesel thing, I do empathize.

  26. Zig says:

    Don, what do you mean it costs those bars money to put a few folding chairs outside for smokers? Last time I checked, smokers don’t really care where they are as long as they get their nicotine fix! Stop your whining about THEM taking away your rights. The THEM in this scenario is your government and the Government is only there to protect the greater good! Are you against stop lights? What about stop sighns? Should the Government stop rooting out these terrorists?

  27. Don says:

    The smokers have stopped going to the bars because they can’t smoke. The bars are trying to attract them again by building outdoor patios with heating equipment. It is extremely expensive, but if the bars don’t do it, they will lose a lot of money.

    IF non-smoking establishments made sense, business owners would have stopped allowing smoking on their own. Some did, and it worked, others didn’t. Others placed the smoking sections at the bar area and installed expensive fans and filtering equipment. Why can’t the business owners make their own decisions? If you don’t like smoking, stay away from the smoking bars and restaurants. You don’t have a right to not breath in cigarette smoke. If you think you do, show me where you read that in the Constitution. Oh, that’s right, liberals like to make up what they see in the Constitution like the “right to health care”, “right to abortion”, “right to change the definition of the word marriage”, “right to college”, “right to own a home”, etc. But when the constitution specifically states “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”, the liberals try to say that the founders didn’t mean what they were saying.

    This topic has nothing to do with smoking. It has everything to do with the liberals finding and testing methods to encroach on basic liberties so they can import socialism. They’re using the courts and majority votes to write laws that remove the basic liberties of the people. What’s next? Beer and wine? Swing sets? Little leauge sports? Roller skates? Church festivals? Potato chips? The number of children someone has? This is a slippery slope.

    BTW, if the government stuck with stop lights, “stop sighns”, and terrorists and kept their nose out of our business, we’d all be wealthier and happier.

  28. Zig says:

    Oh, where to begin…let’s start and end here. You said, “If you think you do, show me where you read that in the Constitution. Oh, that’s right, liberals like to make up what they see in the Constitution like the “right to health care”, “right to abortion”, “right to change the definition of the word marriage”, “right to college”, “right to own a home”, etc. But when the constitution specifically states “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”, the liberals try to say that the founders didn’t mean what they were saying.”

    The Constitution was a documnet written over 200 years ago when people rode horses to work and the only way to get things imported was by Boat, took two weeks they traded little shells in trad for goods and services. Oh yeah, the “founding fathers” said other soverign humanbeings were deemed “UNWORTHY” and kept them as slaves.

    A lot has chnged since the Constitution was written. That is why the Constitution was written as a dynamic document that was to be changed as time progressed! Tell me why Two people who love each other don’t have the right to marry… How is that effecting you? Are you in their bedroom at night? Do you pay their bills, drive their car, sweep their floor or raise their children? You have no idea how they live…Admit it! What gives you the right to say that 2 people can’t be happy together and enjoy the same benefits and security as you enjoy with your lovely wife? To say they can’t enjoy the same benefits as you and your wife enjoy for simply loving eachother and that they are somehow “UNWORTHY” is simply unamerican and wrong!

    It”s a slippery slope.

    The Constituiton does give people the right to self determination. That means idiots like you can’t dissallow people of different faiths, social customs, beliefs from finding happiness! If you are so unhappy with paing taxes, move to somewhere with no taxes. Oh, that’s right we have one of the lowest tax rates in the free world!The Government is your biggest leg-up in making any kind of money at all. If it weren’t for the organization and markets that the rule of law provides, you and your family would be poor and penniless, with no opportunity to better themselves!

  29. Don says:

    Czar Zig,

    Your gov’t teacher was a moron and should lose his/her teaching license.

    The Constitution is an extremely limited document designed to protect the people from the gov’t. If the Founding Fathers could come back and see the waste, idiot gov’t “workers”, and encroachment on our liberties by the liberals, they would scream for a new revolution.

  30. […] an infant was in the back seat coughing violently.  It wasn’t pretty and then I wrote “Smoke Smoke Everywhere.”  Unfortunately, other similar outbursts have followed.  […]

  31. […] post that caused my in-box to be flooded with messages was “Smoke Smoke Everywhere” – which is an older post from when this blog was just launched.  But I couldn’t help […]

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