Gut Rumbles

May 13, 2003

Jane's brain

I like jane, even if I do believe that she is a complete idiot. Yes, I have told her to "Bite ME" before when she got really crazy. But she's like a duck paddling and quacking across a placid lake. Content with being a quacking nutcase, she thinks what she thinks, and I'll never change her mind.

Why is smoking whereever and whenver one wants to considered "freedom"? We don't get to drink where we want; eat where we want; drives as fast as we want; even have our cell phones on where we want. Yet I don't see anyone saying that their freedom is impeded by drinking bans in the workplace, or by unlicensed restaurants, or even by dry county ordinances. I don't see demands for no speed limits. So what's the difference with smoking?

If I own a bar, Jane, I can drink all that I want in my establishment while I am at work. If the government tells me that I can't SMOKE in the PLACE I OWN, that's a LOT different than the examples you give. Apples and oranges, dear.

The studies that followed California's smoking ban show little, if any effect on business, and improved employee health. A 1998 study showed that bartenders' lungs and other smoking-related conditions improved. A 2000 report noted that lung cancer deaths have declined since anti-smoking measures were adopted. The ban hasn't hurt tourism, either. And contrary to all of the dire predictions, bars and restaurants are surviving quite nicely, according to the AMA.

The studies you cite are bullshit, thrown like shit on a wall by interest groups dedicated to stamping out smoking in this country. Why do you believe THEIR propaganda and immediately assume that Haliburton is evil? Cognative dissonance, my dear.

Smoking is not an issue of freedom in public places; it is an issue of health. In the case of bars and restaurants, it's about occupational health and safety, not "smokers' rights". I suppose that OHS rules don't much matter as long as yours and my work places are safe; so who gives a fig for wait staff and bartenders? The most laughable justification for smoking "freedom" is "they know what kind of places they're working in; they should expect it." Oh right....they tried that one with coal miners and grain elevator workers too.

Okay, Jane. Show me this "safety and health" bullshit that didn't come from anti-smoking storm troopers. Give me a link to some really good studies that prove your vapid point about secondhand smoke. Guess what? They AREN'T OUT THERE where you ass-u-me they are.

Safety is safety.....and no one is impinging on smokers' ability to get up and nip outside for a smoke. Heck, smoke your guts out in your own home, or on others' private property....break a lung, so to speak. But don't try and tell me that only smokers patronize restaurants and bars, or patronize them in disproprotionate numbers to the point that smoking bans are going to wreck the hospitality industry. The evidence just isn't there.

Tyranny is tyranny, too, but that OKAY when it's the duck quacking on the placid pond watching it happen to someone else, isn't it? And you SHOULD be able to "break a lung" in your OWN PLACE OF BUSINESS. If anti-smoke pussies are numerous enough, you'll go broke trying to operate a smoking bar. The anti-smoke pussies will win by not buying drinks in your place. You'll go smoke-free to stay in business.

That's the free market at work.

But we're talking about a nanny Mayor and a bunch of fucking sheep here. And I cannot believe the comments on Jane's post from the people who agree with her. Ignorance abounds.

Now ask me again how Hitler found so many willing followers. If you weren't a Jew, it was easy.

Besides, he claimed to be making the world a better place.

(I did not violate Godwin's Law here. I called no one a Nazi. But I hope I pointed out the mindset of people who will follow one.)


This whole second hand smoke thing is bullshit. Ask your life insurance agent. If you smoke, you pay more. If you live with one who smokes, but don't smoke yourself, you are by definition a non smoker and are entitled to the cheaper "non-smoker" rate. Believe me, If there was any actuarial proof to the second hand smoke theory, NO ONE could buy non smoker coverage. (I'm a reformed former smoker)

Posted by: Ed Poinsett on May 13, 2003 06:13 PM

Acidman -

You're on solid ground complaining about the government telling you what to do on your own property. And many people would agree that people should be allowed to smoke even if it is harmful; if they want to hurt themselves, so be it. Victimless crimes shouldn't be crimes.

But you're on thin ice claiming that secondhand smoke doesn't hurt anyone. As someone who's spent a lifetime in a chemical industry, I can't believe you honestly think that. Clearly if breathing smoke from a cigarette you're smoking is harmful, so is breathing smoke from a cigarette someone else is smoking. There may be a difference in dosage but not in the chemical effects.

So - is it okay to engage in things which endanger the health of others? I don't know, seems like a question of degree. If you blow yourself up with a grenade, that's your choice, but if you blow others up, that doesn't seem right. Kind of a violation of their personal liberties, isn't it? The sort of thing governments are formed to protect?


Posted by: Ole Eichhorn on May 13, 2003 06:15 PM

Ole, I will justify my stance by talking about DOSE, not poison. I work around some serious kill-ya-dead shit and I've had a whiff of every bit of it at some time or another.

My great-aunt smoked all of her life, and lived to be 98. Don't tell me that smoking kills, because it doesn't kill EVERYBODY. Some people just die young. Period.

Chlorine is deadly. I've been in concentrations heavy enough to choke me, but I didn't die and I had no after-effects from it. I smoke and I blew 120% on the last lung test I took, six months ago, and my ass is 51 years old. Anybody who can't keep up with me is a pussy.

And secondhand smoke never killed ANYBODY. And THAT'S a goddam fact.

Posted by: Acidman on May 13, 2003 06:30 PM

My cat has thrived on second-hand smoke for 16 years. She'd be about 110 years old if she were a human. I should be so lucky.
BTW - Do you have a light?

Posted by: Indigo on May 13, 2003 06:31 PM

.... Heck, smoke your guts out in your own home, or on others' private property....break a lung, so to speak.....

Right in her own text Jane used the words :private property...does she then mean that any bar or restaurant is owned by the public?? Just asking......

Posted by: MommaBear on May 13, 2003 07:12 PM

But I hope I pointed out the mindset of people who will follow [a Nazi]

You mean like Bush's minions?

There's a difference between being free to do as you wish within the confines of your own home and FORCING your bad habits on others against their will. Sure, if you blow smoke in my face (or up my ass, in your case), I guess I could get up and move. But why should I? Go home and blaze up where no one else has to breath it. I watched my mother die a long painful death. It was due in large measure to smoking.

Robert smokes, but at least he is COURTEOUS about it and takes it out on the patio or in the bathroom where I don't have to smell or breath it and where there's no danger of burning any of my possessions.

It's called coutesy. You may want to consider it sometime. It's what civilized folk do.

Posted by: Joni on May 13, 2003 07:43 PM

Acidman, I agree with you 100% on the property rights issue. I would be fucking irate if I lived in California or NYC and they said I could not allow smoking in MY FUCKING BAR , well I would be irate just for living there, but this would piss me off even more. Smoking isn't good for you, but then again, neither is drinking too much. I think some asshole lawmaker is trying to pass a bill that would not allow parents to smoke in their car with children inside. Apparently I missed the news that all crime had been stopped and the police will have nothing better to do than harrass smokers in THEIR GODDAMN CAR. Jesus, I hate some people.
On the other hand, I was out in Nova Scotia this spring and most bars are smoke-free by law. As a non-smoker coming out of Montreal, the smoking capital of the world or something where close, I loved not breathing in that shit all night. I felt better and could drink much more without getting sick during the night. I also felt and smelled better in the morning and did not feel as poorly compared to the same level of drinking in a smoky bar. Nevertheless, its called private property for a reason. Asshole governments have fucked enough things up, leave us the hell alone.

Posted by: Jordan on May 13, 2003 07:51 PM

Joni, you already know that I am UNCIVILIZED. Now, drag your ass off your shoulders, unless you want smoke blown up it first.

Posted by: Acidman on May 13, 2003 07:55 PM

Waitaminit. Is Joni saying that New Yorkers get dragged off the street at gunpoint and forced into smoke-filled bars?

That being the case apparently, I think the cigarette smoke is the least of that city's worries.

Posted by: McGehee on May 13, 2003 09:32 PM

another great one, A-man. i smoke, too. but i cannot inside at work. and i work at an auto dealership and have to smell car and diesel exhaust all day, but i cannot smoke inside? gee..what is the bigger threat here? last time i checked, a Dodge diesel pickup running indooors puts out a shitload more pollution than 1 cigarette. i mean, i can see if you are a nurse in a respitory ward in a hospital..maybe lighting up indoors would not be a good thing then..but give me a break. it has gone too far. the government sure loves the taxes on cigs...just to find a place to smoke them now.....

Posted by: tony on May 13, 2003 09:34 PM

No, Kevin, I'm not saying that at all. What I am saying is that if you are going to smoke, you can be courteous around others who don't. I have different expectations for Robert when we are at home or in my car than I do when we are at, for example, The House of Blues in "Nawlins." And I'm not one of these people who violently fans the air around her in a public place when there's smoke present. (I have a friend who does and it makes me want to slap HER.)

I gleaned from Rob's post (and Rob, please jump in and correct me -- as I know you are wont to do from time to time -- if I misread you) is that he feels he should be free to smoke anywhere he pleases, unfettered by the discomfort of others around him. It may be different in Rob's home since he doesn't share it with a nonsmoker. That's all I was saying! ;-)

Posted by: Joni on May 14, 2003 05:15 AM

This smoking ban thing is all about control. If it was really about just eliminating the second hand smoke then why not pass a law that makes resturants or bars post a sign that says that this is a smoking establishment and require them to only hire smokers or have non smokers sign a waiver. No, these people, like the drug warriors, want to eliminate all smoking in America. Of course, it will never happen just like the governement cannot stop people from smoking pot.
Another thing that is outrageous about the NYC ban is that the restaurants recently spent alot of money to make ventilated smoking areas based on the old law. Will the city refund their money now that they have changed the law? Don't count on it.
Also, if you think it will stop in the bars, don't count on it. Montgomery County, MD recently tried to ban smoking in private homes.

Posted by: BillE on May 14, 2003 08:34 AM

I suppose you think it's okay to smoke in the house or car with children present?

Yeah, why should smokers care about the well-being of loved ones.

Posted by: Dawn on May 14, 2003 09:04 AM

I'm not sure you are responding to me, but I will assume as such.
1) I don't have children
2) I don't smoke, except an occasional cigar.
3) Do you really want the government snooping into your home or car and restricting everything that it may deem harmful. This will open up whole new areas of abuse. Don't think it would end with smoking. Somebody is already suing Nabisco because they make Oreos which some stupid study says are harmful to kids.

Posted by: BillE on May 14, 2003 09:46 AM

I wasn't responding to you, I was asking Acidman since I know he has children and smokes. I usually post the name if I am referring to a comment - rather than the blogowner. Pardon the confusion.

Posted by: Dawn on May 14, 2003 09:58 AM

Looks to me like most of the objections here are based on the idea that secondhand smoke is a serious health (as opposed to aesthetic) concern. And since Rob has already stated he doesn't buy that notion...

Frankly, neither do I. I grew up in a house where I was the only one who didn't smoke firsthand. My big breathing trouble was pollen and dust, not cigarette smoke.

Posted by: McGehee on May 14, 2003 12:51 PM

Hey, wait a damn minute!!! Since when is it acceptable to legislate rules of courtesy???

I had a few more witty observations to insert here, but right now I'm having a nic fit and think I'm going to go outside and have a smoke. (Which I do for my son's protection, btw, because plain ol' common sense says that breathing in large quantities of combustible material is not good for lungs. Period. I have every right in the damned world to make the decision to take my own health in my own hands, but I have no right to make that choice for my son.)

Stick with the health aspects and you have an argument. Legislate courtesy, and prepare to be torched.

Posted by: Venomous Kate on May 14, 2003 02:16 PM

As an addendum, and before anyone tries lighting my ass on fire... I agree 100% that in places like bars & restaurants, the proprietor should set the rules. Nonsmokers do not have to patronize places which allow smoking if they find that offensive.

However, in the workplace I see merit to having either a smoking room or requiring folks to light up outside. A job is a longer-term involvement than, say, a few dozen drinks in a bar, and quite often employees who once smoked later decide not to. That decision should not require them to also give up their jobs to avoid further smoke exposure.

Posted by: Venomous Kate on May 14, 2003 02:25 PM

If all smokers where as well informed as Kate, then the government wouldn't have to legislate matters of personal habits into public policy. Unfortunately some people aren't that smart. Like it or not, the government's job has become one of policing the stupid. And stupid people don't care if their habits endanger others.

Posted by: Dawn on May 14, 2003 03:01 PM

"the government's job has become one of policing the stupid." Since WHEN?

I have never heard a more ignorant, hare-brained statement in my life.

Posted by: Acidman on May 15, 2003 04:29 PM

Cool article!!!

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