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"On a clear day, I can eat forever..."

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I know I'm probably asking the choir's opinion here, but what do you think about New York's new non-smoking policy? I know lots of other cities have elected the same sort of thing, and have received a lot of backlash from smokers who can't find a habitable spot to light up.

Any opinions?
post #2 of 24
I was a smoker for more than 20 years and stopped 5 years ago, when I decided to have children. Unespectedly, it has been a piece of cake. I JUST stopped, without any help or pill or therapy, and have never been tempted to start smoking again so far. Probably this is the reason why I'm still rather tolerant with smokers, and can't understand why they must be so demonized. Provided he doesn't harm you, a smoker has all the rights to harm himself as he likes!
More, don't know about US, but in Italy cigarette trade is a Government monopoly, so it's ridiculous that a government that gets money from cigarettes also forbids you to smoke them.

So, I'm favourable to reserved rooms for smokers in every public place.

Pongi
post #3 of 24
Well said Pongi. Here too, the government collects very heavy taxes on the sales of cigarettes. It is therefore hypocrytical to impose such restrictions. If they are going to restrict smoking in public they should just ban the sale alltogether.

Of course, I have no real complaints about the policy: I'm allergic to it, and the mildest whiff of it gives me massive headaches. It most certainly does interfere with my enjoyment of food, and frankly, we all know by now that second hand smoke does affect public health.

The problem with smoking rooms is that not all restaurant has the capital to build one. Here restaurants have that option but it seems only the large donut chains have adopted the concept. Everyone else has just banned smoking in the restaurant. There was a lot of controversy over the policy but now it's more or less accepted. I think even smokers have a hard time arguing that this isn't ultimately a beneficial policy.
post #4 of 24
I think the ban on smoking in restaruants and public spaces is a good thing. All the grousing by smokers is just that--complaining by big, fat, selfish babies.
Sure, you have the right to pollute yourself if you want to. What you don't have the right to do is harm someone else's health. The harm to others from second hand smoke has been well documented scientifically. New York has rates of childhood asthma at epidemic levels. The harmful effect of cigarette smoke on those who suffer from asthma is also well documented.
What the mayor is trying to do is protect the health of the people who work in restaurants, clubs, bars and pubs and those non-smokers and children who want to eat in restaurants. This is a public health issue-not a personal rights issue!
If you are a service person who works in a place where smoking is allowed, you breathe in the second hand smoke from not just one or two smokers (as you might do at home) but the equivalent of hundreds of smokers in one 8 hour shift. That equates to smoking a pack or two yourself within a short period of time. Some argue that if you don't smoke, you don't have to work in a smoking environment if you don't want to. This reasoning amounts to discriminatory hiring practices effectively making non-smokers ineligible for such food service jobs.
As a parent of an asthmatic child, I spend several weekends per year in a hospital emergency room watching my child fight for every breath. These episodes can be triggered at the drop of a hat- most often by walking through a bar area where folks are puffing away on route to our table in the dining room of a family restaurant. If my son has to go to the bathroom we must, again, walk through a cloud of smoke and once again on our way back to the table and yet again on our way out.
Surely, smokers can muster up a little concern and compassion for---if not grown ups who choose not to smoke---but the children whose lives they selfishly endanger every time they light up. There are plenty of breezey street corners and sidewalks just outside where they can continue to blacken their lungs to no one else's detriment but their own.

www.foodandphoto.com

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

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www.foodandphoto.com

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

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post #5 of 24
Foodnfoto,
generally speaking, I agree with you. The main concern of a smoker MUST be avoiding any harm to other people, mainly if they're children. This is just the reason why I stopped smoking before getting pregnant. But the way you express your point of view is a bit what I call "demonizing", so I'd like to add a couple of remarks.

1)You seem to believe that all the smokers are unpleasant, fat, dirty and sweating animals who also spit on the ground, burp loudly, put their fingers in their noses...but there are also polite smokers who ask permission before lighting a cigarette in a public place, and don't light it in presence of children. Politeness and respect of rules are mandatory for smokers, but calling them "big, fat, selfish babies" sounds like a moral sentence...

2)Let me say that it's doubtful that cigarette smoke is the first cause of pollution in NY. What are they doing, in example, to reduce vehicle traffic and industrial pollution? Probably it's more popular (and infinitely EASIER) to forbid cigarette smoking!

3)You speak of discrimination against non-smokers for some jobs, but you seem favourable to discriminatory hiring practices for smokers...

4)Although nobody in my family is a smoker now, also my daughter is an asthmatic, so I know what you're speaking of. As you know, asthma is a multifactorial disease, so it's hard to incriminate a single thing unless you know you're allergic just to it.
In any case, if I know that a place is full of smokers, I simply don't go there with my daughter.

5)Breezey street corners? In NY? In JANUARY?:eek:

Pongi
post #6 of 24
I smoked for many years. I finally quit. It wasn't easy, but it wasn't that hard either. I have no desire to ever smoke again. I have nothing against smokers however I have no desire to smell other peoples smoke. I do not like walking into a cloud of it and I won't go to places that have smokers if I can avoid it. I don't want to breathe it or smell it. The fact is in my opinion smoking is a NON ESSENTIAL part of life. You don't need to smoke to live. At some point in life all smokers were non smokers. I think EVERYBODY should be a non smoker. There is no value to it whatsoever. You wouldn't put your head in a fireplace and breathe in heavily and go Ahhh that was good. Seeing that is is so non essential I have no problem banning smoking completely.
I feel for the bars where smoking is part and parcel of the crowd but if we could get rid of it, that wouldn't be a problem. This is not a big brother type of thing. Smoke does not belong in lungs period! I defy anyone to find an example of where smoking is a necessity. ALL smokers would be better off quitting. I am really not one of those militant former smokers. I detest them too. Let's just be realistic and not have to put up with the smell, fire hazards and disgusting butts that you see everywhere! It really is in EVERYBODYS best interest!
My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
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My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
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post #7 of 24
I don't believe the government has the right to designate that behavior in private establishments. So restaurants should be able to choose what they wish to do as they are private property. And patrons would choose the restaurants they wanted. Free enterprise/capitalism is a good thing.

As a side story to the above, Utah passed a similar law long ago. You can still smoke in what are known as private clubs. For many years, private clubs were all about alcohol: bars. After the smoking law passed, a few restaurants decided to become private clubs, even though they didn't have an alcohol license. This allows them to still have smoking in their restaurant.

Joining the private club for these restaurants (Smokers Anonymous) costs a buck and is good for a year. Most of the restaurants opting for this were very blue collar, but served some great chow. Chuck 'n' Fred's, JoJo's and such. I need to renew my membership.

The politicians tried to kill it but failed.

Less and less the land of the free. Certainly not the restaurants of the free.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #8 of 24

Land of the Lemmings.....

Our restaurant has been non-smoking since the beginning- almost 6.5 years now. But I oppose any government restrictions on smoking. The last thing we need is MORE governmental B***S*** to be on the lookout for. The next thing you know they will be locking up the cigarette smokers with all the other drug users! I don't need to be protected from my own bad habits, I need to be protected from the bureaucrats! I some times get the feeling that eventually enough laws will be passed that we will ALL be considered criminals. Then maybe we could put a big fence around one of the big square western states, like Wyoming and make everybody who does'nt have a good enough attorney move there!
BTW-
I have never been a smoker. And I don't any love for the tobacco industry. And yes, I do hire smokers and non-smokers alike and it is NOT a consideration in our hiring process. And our employee insurance will cover you for smoking-cessation medication if you want.
Light 'em if you got 'em. Need a match?
What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
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What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
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post #9 of 24
Pongi, you completely misinterpreted what I wrote. I do not believe that all smokers are rude and crass as you describe. My husband smokes, but NEVER in the house, NEVER where our son can see him, NEVER around me and NEVER when we dine out. The big fat babies are the smokers who are continually complaining that the smoking ban is infringing on their civil rights!

I also did NOT advocate discriminating against smokers in the hiring process. I never asked or cared whether an employee of mine smoked or not. Our establishment was always non-smoking. Folks who smoked had to do it outside and clean up their nasty butts.

New York has surprisingly better air quality compared to many large cities here is the US because of strict emissions standards imposed on cars and industries. Most all of the commuter trains are run by electricity. Most buses burn compresssed natural gas.

My main point is that people do not have the right to to harm other people with second hand smoke. Mayor Bloomberg put the smoking ban in place for the sole protection of the workers in food service and like establishments. I applaud him for it and hope other mayors will do likewise.

www.foodandphoto.com

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

Reply

www.foodandphoto.com

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

Reply
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
I'm in agreement with phatch - shouldn't the customers be able to choose, at will, which restaurants or estabilshments they want to patronise and for what reasons?

I wonder what smokers have to say about this - if this ruling limits how much they'll eat out, et cetera.
post #11 of 24
I also do not smoke and never have.

But I don't agree with a total no smoking law. For instance in a pub to be no smoking that must be death to alot of them.

Personlly I would like to see cigarettes available at fast food restaurants, Here is my idea of a 'Happy meal'
all the french fries you can eat 2 litres of diet aspertime cola, six crappy burgers and a pack of smokes. Collect all 50 meals and get a free shot gun!(If your still alive) eat a 24 case of those apple pies.
Both long and rich, full of intense flavours, new discoveries, unexpected contrasts.
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Both long and rich, full of intense flavours, new discoveries, unexpected contrasts.
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post #12 of 24
Very good point. Sorry I missed that, I agree with that one.
My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
Reply
My latest musical venture!
http://myspace.com/nikandtheniceguys
 
Also
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
Reply
post #13 of 24
Yes and no. It's really a property issue. On public property, the government can impose such laws. On private property, the owners rights should be supreme. The owner can choose what they want to allow and disallow. No one is forcing a non-smoker to eat in a smoking restaurant. No one is forcing a non-smoker to work in a smoking restaurant.

The only thing that's being forced is the destruction of property rights.

It's not a public health issue. We are routinely allowed to publically pollute much more damaging things in public. Cars, gutters, garbage cans all contain much more pollution and damage than cigarette smoke.

As a non-smoker, I enjoy non-smoking environments. Nevertheless their creation by law overriding private property rights is horribly wrong and a much larger threat and damage than second hand smoke.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #14 of 24
I agree totally, I don't smoke in fact I am allergic to ciggie smoke, however I also believe that establishment owners should have the right to choose whether smoking is permitted or not. I have always been satisfied with the non smoking section and truth be told when asked smokers will put out their kcig if it indeed goes to the point of ruining your meal.
post #15 of 24
California has had a no smoking policy for some years now. In the beginning there was the expected grumbling about the erosion of civil rights and the kinds of things outlined in this thread. It didn't last long. Folks got used to it and it is just part of life in this State.
I am an ex-smoker and like others have no wish to be exposed to cigarette smoke - first or second hand. I am totally in favor of the smoking ban and I agree with foodnfoto that it is most definately a public health issue that costs the nation Billions of $$$ a year in health care costs and lost production. Not to mention the thousands of deaths that can be directly linked to smoking. The shear scale of the problem makes it public health issue.
Government shouldn't interfere with the way a restaurant conducts it's business? (OK, I'm paraphrasing.) But it does from the very beginning. You can't build your restaurant without the government dictating how it should be built (to code.) The government dictates the the degree of sanitary practices you must maintain. And so it should. Can you imagine if buildings were built with no oversight? They would be falling down, catching fire and goodness knows what else. And what about restaurants with no sanitation standards imposed? I don't think a restauranteur has any cause to complain when the government imposes another health standard.
But what about all those other pollutants and health hazards like vehicle exhausts, alcohol, etc.? Well, as my sainted old mum used to say, "Two wrongs don't make a right." Just becfause we allow one unhealthy practice, doesn't make it OK to allow another. And besides, the government (yet again!) is imposing stricter emission control standards on auto manufacturers. (Maybe the government should butt out and let the auotomobile industry pollute to it's heart's content?)
Like it or not, in a well regulated society a governmet is necessary. We may not always agree with all the decisions a government may make but, by and large they are made with our best interests at heart. (Maybe that's a bit naive.)
One last thought - I wouldn't shed too many tears for the tobacco industry. What they don't sell in the US they will sell shamelessly to the 3rd world. And aren't tobacco taxes supposed to pay for anti smoking education?

Jock
post #16 of 24
Yes, the government does interfere from the beginning. That's wrong too. Professional standards are many places besides the government. Wouldn't you like to be able to pick the standard that meets your criteria instead of some soulless beauracracy?

Just offhand, think about Consumer Reports and the power of that private group and their impact on standards. Same for UL listing and many more. The government poking into these issues has overstepped its bounds.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #17 of 24
I wish to add another consideration, which refers to Italian and not US situation but can explain the reason of my point of view.
Italian government does not only get taxes from tobacco commerce. As I said, it has a monopoly. I mean that it's the only one authorized to SELL tobacco products. In Italy, every cigarette you light is sold to you by the Government, which fixes all the prices,obviously increasing them more and more every year.
This is the reason why I believe that it hasn't the right to decide whether you can smoke or not. It's more than hypocritical - it's a nonsense. The day Italian Government will sell no more cigarettes, it will have the right to ban smoking everywhere it wants.

Pongi
post #18 of 24
Phil, I can't for the life of me understand your point of view :confused:

So I hire an architect (who bought his degree from the University of Grenada) to design my restaurant building. I then hire a builder (who has no license because there's that pesky government again) to build it. I tell the builder that it is too expensive, cut some corners to keep the price down.
I decide not to buy a dishwashing machine yet because I've run out of money. I'll just wash them with Dawn in the prep sink. If there are any creapy crawlies about I'll just put down a few roach motels. And I'll wipe down my work surfaces once a week whether they need it or not. I can do all this with impunity because there is nobody to tell me not to.

Is that what you would be prepared to live with to avoid government interferance. I can tell you I wouldn't.

Just out of curiosity, what do you see as government's role in society? Or, should there be any kind of government at all? I'm not being faceceous, I really am curious to know what you think.

Consumer Reports and Underwriter Laboritories and other private groups do impact standards but they have no authority to impose them. And therein lies the difference. It doesn't matter how many well intentioned private groups add their two cents worth, unless there is a governmental authority to enforce the standards, it doesn't mean a thing. The scenario I describe above can still happen if I choose to ignore everything and do my own thing.

Pongi, your situation regarding cigarettes and taxation is somewhat unique. I agree, in that case for the government to ban the use of a product it regulates exclusively is at the least hypocritical.

Jock
post #19 of 24
There's certainly more to what I think than what I've said. Yes, you would be free to do what you described. I would not enter or patronize such an establishment.

My patronage of any business or product would be based on the standards it met. These standards would be set by other professional organizations. There would be competing standards, true, and establishments with no standard endorsements. You could choose the ones you wish to patronize who meet your standards.

For example, only people licensed by the AMA can legally practice medicine in the US. Originally, the AMA was a private professional organization. Then Congress gave their opinions the weight of law. This wiped out the competition from anything the AMA didn't want to condone for whatever reason. So if you want to use an "alternative" form of healthcare, ranging from midwifery to homeopathy to herbs to whatever, you have to rely on other independant standards organizations to help guide you. And it's not that these other forms are ineffective, but they are competition. That's why they aren't getting government endorsement 'cause the AMA won't let them.

It's not that standards are bad. I support standards. It's that the government has no incentive to progress standards because there is no competition. Worse, standards can be bought and influenced through special interest groups so their products and skills gain unfair advantage in the marketplace.

Certainly there would be "standards mills" just as there are diploma mills. You would have to look in to standards just as you should now.

The government has little to no history of doing things efficiently or timely. Why would you choose to use such a group to make these decisions? Just because the government has been abusing rights in the past is no justification to endorse more rights abuse from them.

So yes, I would only use an architect and a builder and EVERTHING that met standards. And when I've hired those types in the past, I've built and altered to a higher standard than the government requires. Their standards don't meet my standards.

The (national) government's role in society. Defense. Courts, Contract Enforcement/arbitration between private parties. Protection of citizen's rights. Issues between States and other constitutionally granted authority. Law Enforcement, while still part of the government's role, would be very different from what it is today.

Could you point to the constitutional clause that gives government the right to impose standards of the type under discussion? Impose is a very a propos term. The constitution does not give the citizens of the US rights. It recognizes that those rights already existed and government can not infringe on them. For the government to impose on property rights is unconstitutional.

In my philosophy, government would be much much smaller than it is with much less power. My views are strongly Libertarian though I am not a member of that party.

And no, you couldn't just ignore everything and do as you wished. Any infringement on another's rights would be punishable. You could do as you wished with your own property though. On the surface this may seem out of control. But you can attach easements and other things in the contract of sale for property you purchase. If you disagreee with those terms, you'll go elsewhere for other property. So communities can be established that share the level of control you prefer. That control only holds true within that community and things would be different in other communities.

You could live in a more controlled society and I could live in a freer society each to prosper or perish at our own risks. And it would still be America, simply with even greater diversity and opportunity.

Similar to Pongi's situation, don't you find it hypocritical that tobacco is a nationally subsidized industry yet the government is suing it?

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
If we were to exchange the words "cigarettes" and "smoking" with the words "alcohol" and "drinking" would we even be having this discussion, I wonder?
post #21 of 24
OK Phil, I guess we will just have to agree to differ. We could discuss the pros and cons of this ad infinitum, but in the end we belive what we believe.
Just think, in some countries you would be arrested for saying these things out loud. Ain't democracy great :)

Jock
post #22 of 24
Although I agree that the impact of alcohol abuse on social life and public health is much higher than cigarette smoking, I don't think that these two problems can be compared since "passive drinking" doesn't exist. More, a tobacco smoker takes his pleasure mainly from the action of smoking in itself, so limiting the places where he can smoke has a relevant discouraging effect on his habit. On the other side, a drinker needs the effects of alcohol more than the gesture of drinking, and forbidding him to drink in public places could be less effective as he can drink in advance and then go out.
So, if we were speaking of alcohol abuse our discussion would be different in any case.

Pongi
post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
Do you think the government is enacting these policies to have a "discouraging effect" on smokers? If so, do you think this is something that is completely 100% OK for the government to do?I would like to respectfully disagree (when I wrote my earlier post I wasn't thinking about alcohol abuse, just the imbibing of of such). For the typical person, alcohol is consumed in a social setting, and I think that is the thing the casual drinker "needs" - that kind of social interaction and stimulation that happens to involve alcohol.
post #24 of 24
It's called drunk driving and it is illegal. Doesn't stop it from happening thoug, even with a license revoked.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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