Restaurants Split on Smoking

In the Daily Progress, Tasha Kates surveys which area restaurants allow smoking, and fine things are pretty well split. Those restaurants that have banned smoking say that it doesn’t seem to present a problem, and those who continue to allow it don’t seem interested in doing otherwise. The article was prompted by various smoking bans proposed by the General Assembly, whose sixty day session began today.

24 Responses to “Restaurants Split on Smoking”

  • with all due respect to local restaurant owners (several of whom are friends of mine), i CAN’T WAIT until indoor smoking is outlawed in Virginia. i’m a non-smoker who wakes up every morning reeking of cigarettes, and i just can’t stand it much longer.

  • Yes Sir, I can appreciate the fact that people don’t like second hand smoke. And as a rule, I don’t light up in places where it’s prohibited. And I certainly wouldn’t expect someone to work in an environment they didn’t think was safe, but if a patron — read, paying customer — can’t smoke a cig. at the bar, well, that’s not a place I want to go or hang out at.

    Maybe we could have bars that are manned by workers who smoke or it doesn’t bother them. Then you’d have a smoking bar/restaurant for smokers only (or those who wanted to work there or go there anyway). I think it would do a very good business. I guess I’m “old school”.

    Whiskey and tobacco built this state we call Virginia. I think even T.J. grew some ‘bacca on his farm. But these days you’re shunned and relegated for taking a puff. Oh well, just save money and stay at home. That is until they say you can’t smoke in your own house. I think that day is a comin’.

    P.S. – I wonder how many of these young anti-tobacco advocates smoke The Chronic? Plenty I bet.

  • I can do without the second-hand smoke and stink on my threads for days.

  • Is this where I get to put a plug in for my beloved Court Square Tavern, which is now smoke-free?

    (not to mention the free wi-fi!)

  • We moved to Charlottesville from San Diego, where a smoking ban has been in place for over a decade. Southern California restaurant and especially dive bar owners complained loudly that their businesses would fail. Alas, they are still there…even the dive bars.

    One nice ripple effect has been the addition of many nice outdoor sitting/smoking areas. People like food and booze. They’ll step outside for smoke without much fuss.


    P.S. BTW, Even France recently banned indoor smoking…ahem.

  • The problem I’ve always had with places that had a smoking section is that the smoke doesn’t know to stay in it’s own section. I’ve seen a few restaurants with fantastic filters that suck up the smoke before it wanders, but these are the exception and not the rule.

    That said, i’m not sure a complete ban is necessary either. If people are willing to better segregate the two areas, or have smoking-only venues then I’m cool with it. Baja Bean in Staunton is great this way. The bar and smoking are in one room and non-smokers in another. That’s really all that’s needed. No reason for us all to get puritanical.

    Smokers should have every right to do themselves in, just as long as it harms no one else. Just don’t expect me to pay for your health care ot anything when you get lung cancer.

  • Yes, well, as a single person, don’t expect me to have to pay for your child’s education…oh rats! I have to do that don’t I?

  • The difference is that society as a whole benefits from having educated children. It’s an investment in the future of Virgina. These are the future doctors and nurses that’ll be treating your tumor ridden body. I can’t say that investing in smokers healthcare would have quite the same return…

    Let me fix your flawed analogy though. By my own reasoning, you shouldn’t have to pay for the damage I did to myself eating all that deep fried southern food…


  • So you’re looking for some R.O.I., eh? Well think of all the advancements in oncology and medicine in general that have evolved from treating those tumor ridden bodies. And while I’m at it, why do you think the cost of healthcare is so high? I’ll tell ya why, it’s because guys like me are out there everyday putting our lives on the line just so you can have the latest diagnostic MRI, or get that vital organ transplant or gastric bypass surgery. Think you can find that kind of care in Russia? I don’t think so. Yep, smokers in a sense are heroes. No need to thank us.

  • Whiskey and tobacco built this state we call Virginia. I think even T.J. grew some ‘bacca on his farm. But these days you’re shunned and relegated for taking a puff.

    And we smoke the same tobacco that they did back then, right? Please. If you were just smoking a plant, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. Tobacco is now laced with all sorts of additives that make smoking very different from what it was “back in the day”.

  • Unfortunately we don’t get a choice about if we would like to invest in smokers healthcare or not, we do. Don’t let the recent debates fool you. . we might have an individual based health-care system but its all tied together. Sick smokers drive up the cost of health-care for everyone as insurance companies are forced to dig deep to try to save them after a life of destroying their lungs. The Center for Disease Control estimated in 2005 that smoking cost the U.S $92 Billion annually (study looked at 1997-2001) and $75.5 Billion in smoking related health-care costs. Thats around $167 Billion a year that someone has to pay for. . . and by someone I mean everyone.

    I guess the question becomes, is it really true that smokers only negatively effect themselves? Lately with suspicions about second hand smoke (it is bad) and numbers like these. . . seems that answer might be no.

  • Could Charlottesville ban smoking in restaurants without waiting for the General Assembly to impose a statewide ban? Just curious. I moved here from a town (Bloomington, Ind.) that banned smoking in restaurants , which I loved — no stink on my clothes, no waving smoke away from my food, no standing in line waiting for a non-smoking table.

  • Although I’m a native Charlottesvillian, I’ve lived in both Los Angeles and New York… where everyone went through these exact same debates, until smoking was finally banned, and: surprise! everything worked out just fine.

    my vote for smokiest location in town goes to: the Outback Lodge. I think the air in that place must be pure nicotine. saw an excellent metal show there last night, and I woke up REEKING of cigs.

  • People, do you ever grill your food on the B-B-Q? Same diff.

  • Sure, I do occasionally. But I don’t sit in the grill to eat it.

  • Uh, when cigarette smoke smells like barbeque then maybe I’ll light up too. As is, I can’t imagine why anyone would put anything that smells like that in their mouth.

  • Yes, well, I understand what you’re saying. But all things considered, it’s not the worst thing you can put in your mouth either.

  • Back-at-Cha, “all the advancements in oncology and medicine in general that have evolved from treating those tumor ridden bodies” are advancements that are helping doctors figure out how to treat the future smokers-who-end-up-with-cancer, not how to treat me. They aren’t revelations about medicine-in-general as much as they are revelations about medicine-in-specific. It’s kind of circular–current smokers are giving medical researchers insight into how to treat future smokers. Great, thanks. As a lifetime non-smoker from a family of non-smokers, I don’t see any ROI.

    Meanwhile, do you seriously want to defend the position that you, even as a child-free adult, don’t stand to benefit in any way from funding public education?

  • Man does smoking stink. I agree with Jeannine about the additives. Pot doesn’t bother me as much to smell. Well, other than getting hungry later. :-) I’ve also smelled natural tobacco as well as cigars that don’t have all those additives, and I have to say those are all quite a bit more tolerable.

    As it is, I just can’t seem to stand being in a restaurant or bar with cigarette smoke in them. Too bad too because there are some really cool pubs around that I’d love to hang out in — a couple in Richmond come to mind.

    I would love to see a statewide ban. I lived in CA when they did that and despite all the dire predictions, the change happened with nary a cough.

  • I am a non-smoker, but feel the market should decide this issue and not local or state government. Restaurants will make a business decision regarding smoking. Will smoke free environments increase or hinder business? That decision should be left to each establishment and not the government. Restaurants will decide based on the almighty $.

    Government, stay the hell out of my dinner establishment choices and concentrate on more important issues please!

  • -Golfer
    How exactly will will we break it to the “market” about the costs of smoking on health-care and health? I’m pretty sure that the increasing cost of health-insurance is not found anywhere on a Restaurant’s budget sheet. What would happen if we let the “market” manage the water supply in Charlottesville? Should we let the “market” be in charge of fire-code in the dinner establishments that you chose? Certainly no one wants to be in an unsafe restaurant. . but what if they didn’t know until something terrible happened? Would the “market” take responsibility then?

  • Oh gosh…can you imagine 216 without cigarette smoke? That would be so great.

    The thing about this whole debate is that it’s not new. Other places have banned smoking and the world didn’t collapse. We already know what’s gonna happen by looking at other places.

    I’d like to know the effects on Court Square Tavern getting rid of smoking before there’s a complete ban. Anyone work there?

  • I smoke. I don’t drink whisky but I don’t mind if you do,although drunk drivers kill thousands of people on the highways. Ingures millions more. Millions of cases of demostic abuse . The reason you can buy it is TAX money half of the price is taxes. The same with cigarettes. Pot will be legal as soon as we figure out how to get a tax dollar out of it. I don’ smoke pot either. If you can have a non smoking resturant why can’t I have a smokers only resturant. I don’t eat at non smokeing resturants. You non smokers stay the hell out of the smokeing ones. If you people who moved to Va loveded your non smokeing states so much MOVE BACK there. You seem to want to rule my life. I don’t go to church either but I have to subibdise thousands of religons they are tax free. God divierfied 2000 years so his company owns 20% of land any buildings. Most of the the reason health cost is because of the bums and illegal alins that are too damm lazy to work and pay their bills. Don’t take my word for that look in the progress on sundays see how many are born every week all at the UVA hosp. None at MJA. I wonder why all at UVA. While we are at lets outlaw unhealthy fast food. Lets force everybody to go to a gym. Maybe we should pass a law to make fat people make go on a diet. The goverment and some people are want to rule every part of my life.

  • I Have A Great Idea For Smokers That Will Save Them A Ton Of Money! When you crank up your car in the morning, just suck up the fumes coming out of the tailpipe. It has the same effect on your lungs..JC

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