Smoking ban?

I’m off to New York for the weekend tomorrow – land of no smoking in bars and restaurants. We have a similar law that is being considered (and seems somewhat probable to pass) here in Georgia. On one hand I love being able to go to bars and not having to have my clothes smell like smoke afterwards. On the other hand, I’m not sure it’s governments responsibility to provide this for me. It would be one thing if smoking were illegal, but at some point you are just picking on people.

So I’m torn. I’m wondering what other people think about it. Let us know!

14 Comments so far

  1. Thomas (unregistered) on February 10th, 2005 @ 9:13 am

    Do I smoke? Not often. Do I like eating in the smoking section of a restaurant? Not at all, because the smell (of the smoke, not my clothes) interferes with my enjoyment of the food. But I have some issues with the most popular of all arguments against smoking in bars.

    The argument is always “I don’t want my clothes to smell afterwards.” This sounds reasonable at first, but then you have to consider the reality of laundry. If we lived in a world where we had no detergent, where we had to keep our clothes pristine through prompt hanging and airing immediately following a day’s wearing, then “I don’t want to smell” makes sense. But think about it … when you get home from work, do you change clothes, putting your work clothes in a hamper for washing later? If you workout or run or play some kind of sport, laundry is a necessity, yes? And everyone likes clean underwear. So whether you’re going to the bar or not, whether you have smokey clothes or non-smokey clothes, you will be doing laundry.

    Maybe the inconvenience is financial. Maybe you make a habit of wearing “dry clean only” attire to the local bar. This is your choice, I suppose, but you knew where you were going and you probably could’ve planned your wardrobe better.

  2. Daniel (unregistered) on February 10th, 2005 @ 9:21 am

    There is also the whole lung cancer/second hand smoke argument…

  3. Amber (unregistered) on February 10th, 2005 @ 10:48 am

    I’m with you Daniel. I hate having my clothes smell like smoke… and also, a lot of the places I like to go see live music are so smoky that they make my contacts dry and make me cough, so I have to end up leaving early, instead of enjoying the band I came to see. It would be nice to just be able to enjoy these things without smoke everywhere. And if it works in NYC it should work in ATL.

  4. Will (unregistered) on February 10th, 2005 @ 2:25 pm

    Does it work in NY? Chicago and Minneapolis have both considered these sorts of things before, and I think it’s outside the government’s ideal jurisdiction. A bar is an entertainment venue, often valued for its individual attitude or flair. It should be the decision of the bar’s owners to ban or allow smoking in the establishment, just as so many have done with cigars and pipes. If people who are bothered by smoke make up a large enough body to warrant the consideration of a law (and I agree that they do), that should indicate that there is money to be made in smoke-free bars, that it is a smart move based on customer demands. But bars that want my business when all I want is a pint of Strongbow and a chance to smoke my pipe should be allowed to offer that at the risk that other customers may not come. Not only do I think that’s the way our system is supposed to work ó in reaction to actual voting, meaning, actual support or protest behavior ó it’s more organic. Let the bar owners who allow smoking but are still loved by loyal customers keep their businesses.

    The risks of second-hand smoke may be serious, but they’re also well known. The government doesn’t have to ban it to protect us; we have to be educated so that we can weigh the risks for ourselves. I think the city population is pretty aware of second-hand smoke. If not, then barroom doors should have labels like cigarettes do (“Second-hand smoke kills”), rather than being banned altogether.

    Over time, smoking bars may become an infeasible business, but at least the bar-owners then have time to adjust and draw back customers in new ways, rather than just being slapped into inconsciousness by the government.

    That’s my opinion, anyway.

  5. Thomas (unregistered) on February 10th, 2005 @ 4:43 pm

    I came to my decision on this issue a year or so ago, mainly because of a MeFi discussion around a similar ruling in Ireland. It just seemed (and still seems) so ridiculous to ban smoking in an Irish Pub. It’s like banning silence in a library — you could do it, but really, isn’t that part of why you go?

    And I’m not ignoring the second-hand dangers. I know they’re there — they just seem to come second in line behind stinky clothes. But I have to wonder … What is more dangerous? A night’s inhalation of expelled smoke, or a week’s worth of summer-time rush-hour up and down GA400 with the windows cracked?

  6. Jen (unregistered) on February 10th, 2005 @ 7:20 pm

    It’s not my clothes smelling like smoke that bothers me as much as my hair smelling like smoke. It takes more than two washings to get it out of my hair. Ugh.

    Does anyone know of any non-smoking bars in Atlanta, besides Wet Bar?

  7. jolomo (unregistered) on February 10th, 2005 @ 8:12 pm

    Everything in the city of Decatur before 9pm

    Barley’s Billiards

    Ted’s Montana Grill(s). That’s all I know about

  8. Amy (unregistered) on February 26th, 2005 @ 7:42 am

    It’s worth noting here that the “second-hand smoke” argument has not been proven at all. The lack of evidence has been missed by the public-at-large who have been swallowed in a mountain of misinformation. The higher courts threw the second-hand smoke case out of court based on lack of evidence. If you want to check this out, look for yourself at

    Just thought it worth mentioning that if you’re really going to educate yourself…then educate yourself and don’t just believe what you read in the papers. The papers (unfortunately) aren’t always telling the truth, they’re telling what someone paid them to tell – there is a difference.


  9. twystd (unregistered) on February 28th, 2005 @ 4:41 pm

    I think this infringes on the business owners rights. Seems like Gwinnett and Decatur have imposed this on their businesses, and customers just went to Altanta, and now they want to level the playing field by making everybody else suffer with them. If you don’t like smoke, there are plenty of no smoking bars and restaurants. I smoke when I drink, and usually spend the night when I’m going out. But if GA doesn’t want my $, I can always go to Greenville, Asheville, Gatlinburg, or anywhere else outside the state to play.

  10. TheRealMadness (unregistered) on February 28th, 2005 @ 8:47 pm

    It works great in California, and many other areas, there is a huge fight at first but it quickly is forgotten when people realize that smoking is not a requirement to having a good time. Smoking is not a right, but breathing clean air should be.

  11. Samantha (unregistered) on March 1st, 2005 @ 6:25 pm

    Okay, I understand the ban on restaurant smoking. Non-smokers go to restaurants to eat and still want to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I don’t, however, agree with the ban on smoking in bars. Most of the time, a person that goes to a bar is there to drink. Should we ban alcohol because it causes cirrhosis or because a person may leave the bar intoxicated and hit someone in his/her car? Obviously, a person that is at bar long enough to be exposed to second-hand smoke for an amount of time to do damage, has probably done more damage to their liver by drinking for the potential lung cancer to even matter. If smoking is just bothersome to some people that rarely drink, should we ban the loud annoying drunk hitting on every woman that walks in the door?

  12. Smokerh8er (unregistered) on March 3rd, 2005 @ 2:53 pm

    Everyone thinks that the issue with the no smoking ban is the folks that spend 45 minutes to an hour in a dark smoked filled bar trying to wash away the stench of their failed and useless lives. That’s not the reason. What about the fine men and women of the service industry being subjected to YOUR smoke (and all the cancer causing toxins that go with it) all while trying to put food on their tables. And don’t give the tired…”they can find another job” crap. I say “find a new addiction”. This idiocy about My rights My rights. Just noise. I can’t believe I have spent 5 minutes of my life even arguing the point! And I can’t believe there are people who actually think that killing themselves and others with smoke is OK! And yes my clothes and hair stink from smokers too, but that’s the least of my worries. Dang get a life.

  13. Atl resident (unregistered) on March 3rd, 2005 @ 8:17 pm

    give me a break..stop the Government intervention into everything…keep things the way they are…If you dont like it then dont go to bars that have smoking..maybe ban it in restaurants but NOT bar areas of restaurants AND certainly not bars…FYI it AIN’T working in Ireland and legislation is being introduced to ease it and it is being unbeleivably opposed in Italy…also likely to change..If you want to join the California fruitcake crowd move there..then you cant even smoke on the beach!..give me a break and get a life! NO to a total smoking ban!

  14. it'sbusiness (unregistered) on March 21st, 2005 @ 1:54 pm

    i own a bar and as the one paying the bills it should be my choice to allow smoking. so long as tobacco is a legal product, people should be able to gather somewhere and partake of it. restaurants and bars are the only places to do this. if there is such a demand for non-smoking bars why is there a lack of them? 25% of the adult population in america smokes. a ban will exclude them. the fact of the matter is that smokers make up about 75% percent of my patrons. smokers tend to be hip, hang out longer, drink more, and frankly, they tip better in general. if you want a non-smoking bar, you sweat the blood to open one. see what kind of business you do…

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