Smoking ban in restaurants and bars is coming to North Carolina Jan 2 2010, three days. Secondhand smoke is a serious hazard. Children should never be confined in it, they have little choice. Every adult can choose to be exposed or not be exposed, and stupid as it is, I choose smoking. As a parent, I only smoke outside.
Banning smoking in bars and restaurants is often tied with setting workers free from this environment. The problem is that these workers are adults. When I hire a person, they are asked if they have any objection to working in smoke and are accomodated. Most of them smoke themselves! I get that smoking is bad but so is drinking. How many places are we really affecting with the formal LAW. Most places are non-smoking these days anyway. This law confines only a few holdout businesses. Don’t believe the old “saving health care costs” rational because a healthy person usually outlasts a smoker by 8 years. Those last aged eight years are more expensive than a smoker’s death. Smoking taken too seriously and goodbye smoked bacon, see you later charcoal grill, mark my words. I think it is ridiculous that banning smokers outdoors is steps closer and even discussed. Especially by example of Prichard Park, where you can’t smoke a cigarette, but a delivery truck can sit idle for 15 minutes puffing out black smoke? Secondhand smoke studies have NEVER been done outdoors because there are too many variables. The wind goes where it wants to, so can you.
I will comply with the new indoor ban but I don’t like it! I see it as the Squeaky Wheel Act. Non smokers all over this country have rallied round the capitals to get their way so they can go everywhere and anywhere they want to. Smokers are fully within their rights to smoke, yet have no freedoms or places to do so except in “certain public places”. Exemption of Cigar Bars, exemption of smoking in non-profit clubs, (hmm…open alcohol container law exemptions in limousines), gee, these all together scream what is not good for the goose is okay for the gander. And that gander has expensive taste! These un-banned exceptions are disingenuous and another example of our political leaders treating “the public” like dumb sheep. Those who can afford to can be seen drinking in limousines to and from the cigar bar and club enjoying a smoke, while the average smoker is forced outdoors, freezing in the winter or boiling in the summer, not able to find anywhere publically indoors to commit this legal adult behavior. How equitable!
Honestly I don’t see my small business as being a “public place” in nature, it’s certainly open to the public but quite privately owned, it is my second home. I can ask people to leave and not return, just as people can choose to come in or not. It’s not the post office. That’s why it’s called the hospitality industry, you are the host, they are the guest. People smoke, I would like to be able to accomodate them but my hands are tied. More people smoke than you think. Believe me when I say there are numerous self-labled non-smokers who occasionally have a smoke with a drink!
UPDATE : 4/4/10
So a few months in to the ban it is not so bad… I guess. Like I said, I smoke outside in my own habit, but it should would be nice to have an adult spot where I could hang out indoors and enjoy! Ha! Likely story.
I know I have to quit one of these days. Today is not the day.