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NVR - What do you think about smoking bans?

I'm kind of curious because I've been thinking & hearing about smoking bans a lot lately. Here in Minnesota, we already have a smoking ban in Minneapolis/St. Paul (the whole of Hennepin County), but starting in October, there is a statewide smoking ban going into effect.

Personally, I really am not really sure what my opinion is on this. I am not a smoker, but I kind of feel like if you want to go into a bar & have a cigarette, that's your right... But then again, I understand that it's the right of people who don't want to be around the secondhand smoke to enjoy their time out, too. And it's not as if people can't go outside to enjoy their cigarettes... I suppose I can see both sides. I think I am more for smoking bans in restaurants than in bars.

Also, a lot of small bar owners in Mpls./St. Paul are complaining that they are losing a TON of business because smokers are choosing to go right across the border to Wisconsin, where they can smoke indoors at the bars there.

Do you think it should be up to the individual business-owners to choose whether or not people smoke in their bar/restaurant? Or should the government be able to step in & say that no one can in any indoor space?

I am looking forward to hearing your opinions! :)

In almost every situation, smoking bans have increased bar/restaurant/club attendence.

Smoking is a health hazard. Keep it ouf public, but don't mess with people's right to do it in private.

I'm speaking as an ex-smoker, here. I agreed witht he idea of a smoking ban even before I quit.

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I don't smoke so this may be biased, but I agree whole-heartedly with smoking bans. Nothing ruins my day more than when I'm trying to enjoy a cup of coffee, my food, or something to that extent, and someone's gross secondhand smoke is being blown in my face. It is kind of infringing on my right to not inhale secondhand smoke because when someone lights up near me, I don't have any choice but to either leave or inhale smoke that is bad for my lungs, and even if I leave, I've already had to inhale secondhand smoke because there's no warning signal or something to let people know that you're lighting up.

And at least where I live, smoking/nonsmoking sections are usually a huge joke - unless you're on the opposite side of the building, you're going to receive eau de nicotine. It is my one complaint about a coffee shop I like going to - not only is the smoking section bigger and more spacious than the non-smoking, but there is a huge open door connecting the two, and you have to venture into the smoking section to put away your dishes or use the bathroom. And even if you don't go into the smoking section, you leave smelling like an ashtray. Nothing's more appealing than smelling like a combo of coffee beans and cigarette butts!

I know what many may think - well Feelin, if that's the case, then don't go to that coffee place! And I know this is true. But I just think that with an issue like smoking, the benefits of banning within a public space outweigh the cons. This same place has an outdoor sitting area - can't people just smoke outside? Or wait until they go home? And selfishness aside, many people are allergic to secondhand smoke and that should be considered when it comes to smoking in closed places like restaraunts. Should they have to never go to restaraunts, bars, etc because someone just has to smoke indoors and/or not in their own home?

I don't think smoking should be banned everywhere - outdoor arenas and pavilions are okay since at least it's not quite so contained. But I think places like restaraunts and bars and stuff should not allow smoking, be all smoking (so as to warn non-smokers, in which case there should be an alternative place nearby), or else contain their smoking sections better and/or move them outside.

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It was so nice in SF to be able to go to a bar/club, etc. and not leave smelling like an ashtray!  If we go out here or in DC, I have to immediately come home and take a shower and throw my clothes in the washer.  :P

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In almost every situation, smoking bans have increased bar/restaurant/club attendence.

Smoking is a health hazard. Keep it ouf public, but don't mess with people's right to do it in private.

Perfectly stated :)

I can't wait for Jan. 1st when Illinois' goes in to effect.

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I support keeping it out of the public due to health hazard concerns.  It was a happy day when smoking was banned in the bowling alley I frequent. 

I noticed even at Busch Gardens yesterday they had outside smoking but only in designated areas.  Nice to stand in line for a ride and not have someone blowing smoke in your face. 

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The same sorts of bans are all going into effect around Europe as well- Ireland, England, soon the Netherlands (but what about the coffee shops???) and Belgium, France, etc.

So far, its only been a good thing.  In Ireland, where you'd think it would be the biggest problem, they've accepted it fine and were the first to enforce the country-wide ban.  There are smoking terraces, and you can go out front of the pubs and stuff and grab a quick smoke, so technically you can still smoke (if you don't mind adverse weather conditions sometimes).

But I agree that coming home after a night out and NOT reeking of smoke it WONDERFUL!  On the other side of the bar, too--- working all night in a pub, and not getting raw red eyes from the smoke being blown over the bar would also be GREAT.  A bar workers dream come true.

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smoking bans make me so happy! I want them to be put into effect in more places...like bus stops and public parks (including dog parks where my precious babies play....)

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Smoking is a health hazard. Keep it ouf public, but don't mess with people's right to do it in private.

I completely agree. I am all for banning smoking in all public areas. People should only be allowed to smoke in their private homes and cars. I CAN'T STAND being forced to breathe smoke constantly when I'm walking around the city, surrounded by smokers blowing clouds of toxicity carelessly behind them into the faces of everyone else on the sidewalk or sitting in my own apartment during the summer (when my windows are open - no a/c) and the smoke from the street below comes straight into my living room. The irony is, my downstairs neighbors don't want their apartment to "reek of smoke" so they go down to the stoop to smoke.....right below my open windows.... Or in the subway stations, right in front of the signs that say "Smoking is Prohibited on all MBTA property" forcing the rest of us to endure the reek and carcinogens in a confined area as we wait for the train. There are many reasons I don't smoke and never have and I really resent having to inhale other peoples' smoke. I believe people have the right to spend their money on cigarettes and knowingly throw their health away, but just keep it away from me.

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Yay smoking bans.

I think the best arguments in favor of them are not made in terms of the rights of the nonsmoking customers, but in terms of the rights of the workers.  A bar that allows smoking is introducing a significant risk of cancer and death to its employees.  It's an unsafe, unhealthy work environment, and it is easily made safer.  Yay bans!  Personal freedom does not mean the freedom to endanger and pollute the bodies of others.

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If I wanted to smoke a cigarrette, I would buy one and find a private place to smoke it. I don't want to smoke someone else's. I was standing at a crosswalk just 15 min ago and someone blew a huge gust of smoke in my face, making me choke and cough. And that was outside!

I hate going out for a meal and coming home reeking of someone else's habit; having to change my clothes and wash my hair to get rid of it. They supposedly banned smoking in bars and restaurants in Spain but locally ALL bars and restaurants have signs saying "Smoking Allowed Here" and there's no such thing as a non-smoking section! To get around the law they say, "You can go to a non-smoking place"--but in reality there are none.

Even on trains, you will see someone light up in the non-smoking car, and the conductor as like as not will say nothing. I remember flying to the States in 1997 on USAir and, sure enough, some stupid sevillano thought if he nipped into the bathroom and lit up no one would know! They Did, of course--and there was a sharp bilingual announcement to the effect that said person had just earned themselves a hefty fine.

Bans are a good idea, but only if the people under the legislation will respect them. Here, they mean less than nothing--just window-dressing for the politicians...most of whom also smoke... >:(

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I don't know why I believe what I do, but I smoke pretty regularly and I hate that I do it.  So I do wish there was at least a smoking ban like...on campus so it wouldn't be such a social activity and it would be harder for me to do.

I don't like to smoke around other people, I feel extreme guilt about polluting other people's bodies with my bad habit.  Even other people that are smoking, I don't like to do it with them around.  It's gross. I'm gross. And sometimes  when I go into a bar/restaurant type place with the smell of stale smoke in the air I get really grossed out, it's not good for their food sales.  Stifles the appetite.

I'm all for the bans

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I love the smoking bans!  And I find that smokers and non-smokers alike learn to appreciate them  Even my ex-roomie, a chain smoker from Paris, was lauding the awesomeness of not reeking like an ashtray at the end of a night of clubbing by the time he left Vancouver.  Of course, around here we have such mild winters that there's no excuse not to take yourself outside.  What do you people in colder climes do?

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California has had a smoking ban for a decade.  I forget that some states don't have a ban already.  Well, I remember when I'm in Vegas.  We also have limited outdoor smoking bans and a Bay Area city is considering a condo/apartment smoking ban.  People can still smoke, they just can't harm the health of others in the process.  Bars here have smoking patios, so if a person likes to smoke when they drink there's still a place to do it.

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This is one of my favorite "ads" (courtesy of adbusters, of course)

http://adbusters.org/spoofads/tobacco/mb1/

Back in my bartending days I used to have customers comment all the time about the sexy raspy voice that I had....now granted I did smoke, but I've never been what you would term a heavy smoker (always under a pack/day).  I'd get comments like "you remind me so much of Roz from Frasier" from everybody (I probably heard that one 250 times).  When I left bartending, it went away.  No more rasp, even though I was still smoking.  And believe me I spent more than enough time on the other side of the bar in smoking establishments.

Will and I are starting to really miss our favorite pub because it is smoking and we aren't trustworthy yet with regards to remaining smoke-free.  I miss my favorite bartender (who BTW, quit 7 years ago and still works in it....I can't imagine how hard that must have been for him to quit). 

It's not like you can smoke quietly to yourself...it kind of effects anybody downwind.

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I love the smoking bans!  And I find that smokers and non-smokers alike learn to appreciate them  Even my ex-roomie, a chain smoker from Paris, was lauding the awesomeness of not reeking like an ashtray at the end of a night of clubbing by the time he left Vancouver. Of course, around here we have such mild winters that there's no excuse not to take yourself outside.  What do you people in colder climes do?

Yes, that is a very good point. It seems like a good idea to ban smoking in indoor places, so the non-smokers' rights to breathe clean air aren't infringed upon, and no one is talking about making it illegal for an individual to smoke outside.

Even my friends who smoke do enjoy being able to choose a non-smoky bar to have a few drinks at. I feel like with smoking bans, if you want to smoke, you can--but those who don't want to won't be forced to breathe it.

In regards to cold climates, Minnesota winters are just about as brutal as it gets, but that does not keep people from smoking. I went to college in the northern-ish part of the state, and even there with negative temperatures & very strong winds, some people would still be outside "enjoying" their cigarettes, huddling against a wall for protection from the weather. ::) That's the power of addiction!

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Now, if we could only get a ban on stinky old lady perfume...  ;)

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Now, if we could only get a ban on stinky old lady perfume...  ;)

or teenage boys wearing too much cologne....  :P

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Now, if we could only get a ban on stinky old lady perfume...  ;)

At least old lady perfume doesn't cause cancer in those who breathe it.....or does it???  :D :D :D

;D

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Now, if we could only get a ban on stinky old lady perfume...  ;)

At least old lady perfume doesn't cause cancer in those who breathe it.....or does it???  :D :D :D

;D

Gives me the same headache either way... ;D

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I also love the smoking bans.  When I first started working at Texas Tech, my supervisor smoked and by 10 o'clock you could hardly see her in her office when you looked through the window.  A year or so later they banned smoking in all campus buildings and offices.  She had a difficult time at first but it helped her break her addiction.  The city of Lubbock didn't ban smoking until several years later and then the bars and clubs if they were "sports bars" could still have smoking.  That never really made sense to me.  Aren't sports supposed to encourage healthy exercise and habits?  I guess watching football requires a cigarette,  in their opinion.  Here where we live now there isn't anywhere worth going as far as places to hear music or just hang out and drink coffee, so we don't.  If we want entertainment outside the house, it's either movies (crappy excuse for a theater with nasty and ripped upholstery on the seats) or go to San Antonio (too expensive now that DH doesn't have a job).   So second hand smoke isn't an issue.

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