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Smoking Bans, Second Hand Smoke, etc.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Pierrot le Fou, Mar 28, 2004.

  1. Pierrot le Fou

    Pierrot le Fou IncGamers Member

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    Smoking Bans, Second Hand Smoke, etc.

    Before I came to Japan, I was living outside of Boston. In May, Boston passed a smoking ban in all bars and restaurants. What was the result? Me, and people like me, all went to the next towns, Cambridge and Sommerville, where there was no such ban.

    I went to a bar once in Boston after the ban, along with a few non-smoking friends. We went to a bar on a Saturday night, a bar which is usually packed full, only to find about 10 people in there when it had a capacity of 100+. I was absolutely shocked. The workers, and many of the customers like myself, kept running outside in arse-cold temperatures to smoke cigarettes. The street outside was (understandably) nasty, as street cleaners don't actually come around every day, which means a nice growing pile of cigarette butts outside the store.

    Sure that could be cured by an ashtray outside, but that also requires sending workers out there constantly to clean and empty it. The other solution would be to have the police nail people with fines for littering, which of course is the best use of their time and energy. The other beneficial aspect of this policy is the constant supply of people outside bars and clubs that are located near apartments being drunk and boisterous, which greatly aids the residents' attempts to sleep. I always play a tape of drunk young folk when I'm trying to sleep, don't you?

    Smoking bans kill businesses and people.

    Let me explain why. The subway system in Boston closes down around midnight. That means that if you want to get home you either have to take a main bus route (which usually go 'til around 2am, though are wildly incosistent at that time of night), take a cab (which can be rather costly), or drive. Since most people who lived in Boston and liked to smoke in bars took the short 10 minute subway ride to one of those two areas couldn't get back without paying a lot more money than the buck to ride the subway, there were a bunch more people driving home drunk (this evidence is anecdotal as the most recent years of statistics have not been released by the Mass government it seems).

    That, of course, is always good.

    This is not just my opinion, or an isolated incident. The same sorts of statistics have been reported in Maryland following their ban:

    Although large, family-style chains have been relatively unhurt by the ban, smaller establishments have seen total sales decline by an average of 30 percent during the week and 50 percent on weekends, according to Melvin Thompson, vice president of the Restaurant Association of Maryland, a food service industry trade group. ​

    Source: The Washington Post

    What does that type of loss in business mean? It means that people are getting laid off. From the same article:

    To prepare for Montgomery County's ban on smoking in bars and restaurants, which went into effect Oct. 9, Emery also installed a big video screen, angled so that patrons on the patio could drink beer, eat hot wings, watch TV and light up legally. But on this early Wednesday evening, there was but one customer.

    "We're getting crushed," said Emery, who has laid off a manager and a cook. "It's just awful."​

    So this guy spent more money to accomodate his customers, and hadn't been able to maintain the same level of business, forcing him to make two layoffs after a month of the ban. Don't you think that runs kind of counter to our jobless recovery?

    Now I understand the argument against smoking -- those who don't do it see it as a nasty habit which kills the folks around you. But is that actually true?

    In 1998 the major tobacco companies won a suit against the EPA for their 1993 reporting of deaths caused by Second Hand Smoke (or Environmental Tobacco Smoke), claiming that their methodology was pretty messed up and that they didn't follow the rules they were supposed to. What did Judge Osteen have to say?

    "In this case, EPA publicly committed to a conclusion before research had begun; excluded industry by violating the Act's procedural requirements; adjusted established procedure and scientific norms to validate the Agency's public conclusion, and aggressively utilized the Act's authority to disseminate findings to establish a de facto regulatory scheme intended to restrict Plaintiffs, products and to influence public opinion. In conducting the ETS Risk Assessment, disregarded information and made findings on selective information; did not disseminate significant epidemiologic information; deviated from its Risk Assessment Guidelines; failed to disclose important findings and reasoning; and left significant questions without answers. EPA's conduct left substantial holes in the administrative record. While so doing, produced limited evidence, then claimed the weight of the Agency's research evidence demonstrated ETS causes cancer. Gathering all relevant information, researching, and disseminating findings were subordinate to EPA's demonstrating ETS a Group A carcinogen."​

    Woops!

    Coincidentally, the study that this judged slammed is also the same study that calls SHS a class A carcinogen. Considering their flawed study, how can we be sure that SHS is significantly dangerous, let alone causes deaths? The EPA, even with their flawed methodology, only claimed that it caused 3,000 deaths a year...

    So in my mind, we've got a problem. People tend to justify smoking bans on the basis of their own health, without a leg to stand on as this judge so kindly pointed out to us. Because of these bans, people are losing their jobs, and businesses are going under.

    Now as if that wasn't enough, people still like to demonize smokers. My question is why?

    Cigarettes make you die earlier. That's just common sense. Actuaries and all of them folks tend to make a lot of money deciding when we're actually going to bite the big one, and how much more to charge us for life insurance and all that jazz. But they don't make YOU die earlier, do they? Everyone always makes the claim that my smoking will shorten your life, yet you're the one walking into a bar with me. As far as outside is concerned, do you really think inhaling smoke as you're walking by me is as bad as inhaling a lungful of diesel fumes from a passing truck?

    So if they don't make you die quicker, what makes smokers so evil? That we die earlier?

    Shouldn't you be happy about that? I mean, the earlier we die, the better off you are. We don't collect pensions for as long, ditto with social security. We pay more taxes with every pack we buy (both the cigarette tax, and sales tax on the cigarette tax -- as silly as that is, taxing a tax). We pay more for insurance, creating more jobs for that industry. We support American business with our tendency to buy American tobacco products...

    Are those not benefits to you? Or do you really think that the state pays more money treating us for emphysema or lung cancer before we die than we make the government in taxes and reduced late-life benefits?

    The way I see it, smoking is good for everyone. It benefits business, workers at businesses involving smoking, increases tax revenues, reduces those pesky drains on our oh-so-efficient medicare and social security budgets (especially after the prescription drug benefit), and there's no proof that me smoking will kill you (though it may make your clothes smell).

    I'm not arguing that you should kiss my feet because I'm a smoker and doing you a benefit, I'm just saying that as long as you're benefitting from me, maybe you shouldn't piss on me while you do it. Is that really too much to ask? To give me the choice of smoking, and you the choice to avoid it? Or is banning smoking really going to benefit you? If non-smokers are so fond of non-smoking bars, then why are those businesses running into trouble?

    If you don't like my rhetoric, than please read the facts from the articles I referenced...

    Sources:
     
  2. Freet

    Freet IncGamers Member

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    Bravo.

    10 chars.

    Edit: I would like to add that we all can thank Hillary Clinton for most of this.

    All together now...."THANKS HILLARY"
     
  3. masterazn

    masterazn Banned

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    THANKS HILLARY!!

    I really have no problem with smokers, except when they smoke in restaurant sections where it's specifically "no-smoking".

    But you have to consider...that to us non-smokers, second hand smoke is....ew...
     
  4. Geeno

    Geeno IncGamers Member

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    Ive been aware of the second hand smoke issue for some time. People hate it when I tell them about how the world would be without cigarettes, some call me crazy, but an insanely key element to society.

    edit: I live in new york and I hate the politics here.
     
  5. Johnny

    Johnny Banned

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    A friend of mine when he was 15 was caught smoking a ciggarete by his dad.

    His dad gave him a box of ciggars and locked him on the balcony with a bottle of water and told him that he is not geting back in until he had smoked all 8 ciggars.

    he smoked all of them then he was let inside.

    he never smoked again for the rest of his life :D
     
  6. ragnar_ii

    ragnar_ii IncGamers Member

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    Hey if it works, it works.
     
  7. Technetium

    Technetium IncGamers Member

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    I think that it isn't really accurate to put second-hand cigarette smoke in the same catagory as exhaust fumes from vehicles, because automobiles are fairly essential to the functioning of the economy and society in general, while a smoking habit is not.

    I do agree that businesses should be able to decide for themselves what they will allow. It seems to me that if you own the property, it's should be yours to do what you want with. In fact, I would rather see all drugs legalized for private places which choose to allow them.

    But I would also say that all drugs, including cigarettes and alcohol, should not be permitted on public places like city parks and sidewalks. The stench from cigarettes is horrid. I know ex-smokers, and they will back me up on this; as a smoker, you have no idea how bad it really is. When I'm exposed to too much cigarette smoke, my lungs get congested and I cough a lot, my nose gets stuffy and runny, and I have even on rare occasions had spontaneous (meaning I wasn't picking or anything) nosebleeds. People with common respiratory problems like athsma (like my brother) can have even worse symptoms. I don't need an authentic study to tell me this; I have experienced or witnessed it firsthand.

    To bring up terminology used in other threads, air is definitely a public good. We breathe it in, and breathe it back out, and there's no way to regulate who gets to breathe specific air particles. Since there is no effective way of claiming ownership over specific areas of air, it has to be viewed as something which is not owned, or that is owned by everyone. As such, we should be doing the best we can to keep it as clean as possible without going overboard in ways that would halt the economy completely.
     
  8. eddy

    eddy Banned

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    Actually i would put the exhaust fumes from automobiles in a worse catagory then second hand smoke, automobiles are not actually a necessity for the survival of the economy and society. People would beable to survive using only public transport, it is just an inconvenience. Inconveniences, what this whole smoking ban is based on.

    Also I'm just gonna go out on a limb with this here, but what would benefit the health of a nation more, banning smoking from inside offices etc, or banning privately owned automobiles(meaning everyone would take public transport, walk, or use a bike/roller blades etc.)? I'd geuss the ban on automobiles would have a far greater positive impact. This is obviously ignoring the economic losses that would come form such actions.
     
  9. Johnny

    Johnny Banned

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    Cars can be required for when you need to move alot of things like a bunch of bags from the supermarket.

    or for old people who cant carry things all the way home on public transportation.

    Or when you have to traven somewhere public transport doesnt go like out to the country.

    Or when you dont wnat to risk geting mugged on the way home.


    Ciggaretes have no benefit what so ever.

    its like a disease that kills millions and before death it causes pain for not only the smoker but for everyone around him/her and cost alot of money.


    And you smokers that think you should be allowed to smoke in a public place how you would feel if someone sat next to you, put on a gasmask and opened a can of teargas realeasing the gas all around him.

    Thats how it feels for us nonesmokers when you light up.
     
  10. Geeno

    Geeno IncGamers Member

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    People die like crazy because of smoking. Many people that have died already started when cigarettes were unfiltered. They smoke 20-60 cigarettes a day. Some people only smoke 1-5 a day irregularly. Id love it if someone had some stats for the modern casual smoker.

    Cigarettes and tobacco as a whole is such a huge force in the economy especially considering that many tobacco companies have branched out and also control a lot of food and have heavy influence on the paper industry. That and cigarettes have a typical tax of 300%+ per pack, the government certainly makes out like a bandit.
     
  11. {KOW}Spazed

    {KOW}Spazed Banned

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    That is probably why they are still around.

    Johnny excellent analogy.

    Eddy, how in the world would people ever survive on PT? Seriously they simple cannot reach every place people need to go. And getting rid of private cars would hurt the economy so much due to no one buying gas/tires/mechanics/car washes/etc. I know you said that you would have to overlook these economic problems, but banning cigs will simply make it harder to lit up. If you banned cars you would put so many people out of a job it would make it impossible for them to live not just inconvienant.
     
  12. faultless wonderboy

    faultless wonderboy IncGamers Member

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    I have to agree with Le Fou here. I used to smoke a few cigarettes a day, but I have recently gotten back to my drinking/smoking habit. That is, smoking only when I drink. Where do most people drink? Bars, Inns, taverns, pubs, restaurants, clubs. Cigarettes and booze go together like Oklahoma State and the final four (WOO!!!).

    I think we should also look at tobacco historically. Im not a history major, but I do know that tobacco was, is and probably always will be a huge industry for the US, HUGE!!! While ridding the public realm of smoke will help to solve some health issues, it just isnt practical. There has to be a compromise somewhere, such as bars for smokers and bars for non-smokers, something like that.
     
  13. {KOW}Spazed

    {KOW}Spazed Banned

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    They have those, you can smoke in a "club" basically you sign the guestbook and you can smoke away. I would say for those with breathing problems it is not fair to smoke around them in an inclosed area where they WILL breath in your smoke. I don't have any breathing problem, but I do start coughing when I am around smokers not to mention the smell of it.


    Yes, it is a huge industry so is porn, but you don't see anyone complaining when they ban pornographic material in public. If you want to smoke at least have the mind to not smoke around people you don't know or people you know don't like/have a hard time breathing around your smoke. I agree it's your body you can do what you want with it, I have stood by that my entire life, but when you start effecting MY body I will call you a hussy and storm off in the biggest pissy fit you have ever seen. It's your habit not mine, if you choose to do it go ahead, leave me the hell out of it.
     
  14. AeroJonesy

    AeroJonesy IncGamers Member

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    Yes you do. But that's beside the point.

    PLF, the only reason I don't like smoking is because it makes me smell and it makes my clothes smell. If I'm going out somewhere where I know there will be smoking, I'm ok with it. But living in a house with 4 smokers really sucks. Oh, and my niece's mom smokes in front of her and lets other people do so as well and the kid sounds like she already has a smoker's cough.
     
  15. Steve_Kow

    Steve_Kow Banned

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    If there was a market for that then some bright entrepreneaur would have already opened up a non-smoking bar. The fact of the matter is, most of the people in bars want to smoke, and these new regulations are tantamount to legislating the bars and pubs out of business.
     
  16. faultless wonderboy

    faultless wonderboy IncGamers Member

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    If you want to take that route...If you dont like to be around smoke, then dont go to bars/clubs/restaurants. Would you rather go to a pub and be around the smoke, or lose the pub because they lose all their smoker business (which, for a pub, is a very large portion). Ill have to do some research, but Im quite sure that there is a connection between smokers and the amount spent on a night out (this being a positive relationship, the more you smoke, the more you spend)...Ill see what I can come up with.
     
  17. Anyee

    Anyee IncGamers Member

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    Children who live with smokers are more likely to have asthma and end up with more upper respiratory infections than those with non-smoking families. When I lived around smokers, I had more upper respiratory infections and worse attacks of sinusitis than when I lived in a smoke-free environment. SHS does have an impact on the health of people around you, especially when the people can't escape.

    However, a bar is a bar and smoking there should be the option of the business, not the government. I'm just wondering how you can blame hillary for things that have happened in MA and CA and NYC, none of which she is in charge of.
     
  18. faultless wonderboy

    faultless wonderboy IncGamers Member

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    I totally agree. But everyone has to be happy right? That is one of the ways to make everyone "happy" (meaning, get them to stop bitching for a few minutes). After the first day though, everyone will realize that they dont have the same friends, b/c those that smoke will go to a smoker bar with most everyone else and those that dont will meet with the 4 or 5 others at the non-smoker bar.
     
  19. {KOW}Spazed

    {KOW}Spazed Banned

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    Ok say I do have bad breathing problems you are saying that I shouldn't ever leave my house because you want to smoke. NEWS FLASH I have rights too! If you want to smoke go for it, but don't put me out because you have a bad habit. I have just as much of a right to go to that resturant as you so don't say since you smoke you get more rights. I choose not to smoke don't force it on me. As for bars, pubs, brothels, etc go for it those have always been known to have smoke and have a large client base of smokers people go to bars to drink, smoke, watch the game, play some pool whatever. People go to resturants to eat and personally I lose my appetite when someone lights up next to me, if you want to smoke go where people will at least know they are going to be in smoke when they leave the house.
     
  20. Steve_Kow

    Steve_Kow Banned

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    Kow, you should request to sit in the non-smoking section of the restaurant then, if that isn't satsifactory (inadequate ventilation, too close to the smoking section whatever) find a restaurant that suits your needs better. Use your power as a consumer.

    The rights of you as a non-smoker and the rights of a custumer who is a smoker aren't involved in the equation, the rights of the proprietor of the business to decide how he manages his private property is what matters here.
     

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