Restaurants Now Smoke-Free

Under an act of the General Assembly, smoking in Virginia restaurants is illegal, beginning today. Huzzah! (The exception is restaurants that maintain a closed, separate smoking room with an independent ventilation system.) Many restaurants banned smoking after the bill passed last winter, getting a head start on the law, but some holdouts only went smoke-free at 12:01 AM today. Governor Tim Kaine will be visiting West Main (the restaurant) Hamilton’s at noon today to celebrate the new law, as a part of a tour of restaurants across the state. There are a handful of restaurants that I’m looking forward to being able to go to now, with Riverside on High Street topping the list. Where do you plan to go now that you can return home afterwards without smelling like an ashtray?

56 Responses to “Restaurants Now Smoke-Free”


  • I am excited by this change, but also have a concern. I’ve spent a fair bit of time in California. When I eat at a restaurant there I find it difficult to find a nice place to sit outside. That’s where *all* of the smokers are.

    I fear that the Downtown Mall in the summer will be less pleasant for non-smokers eating outside as a result of this law.

    But it will be nice during the winter!

  • I’m looking forward to a good burger at Riverside, too.

    I’m mentally going through the list of restaurants on the Downtown Mall, and I can’t recall encountering smokers in any of them. Maybe they have their own bans? And maybe Miller’s still allowed smoking until today, but I’ve only sat in their outdoor seating for the past several years.

  • Why don’t we ban smoking outside as well!
    I am a non-smoker, who used to smoke. I don’t like to smell smoke either but at the same time this is an unintended consequence of this law. Take the good with the bad.

  • Kaine will be at Hamilton’s At First and Main, not West Main

  • As a nonsmoker, my family and I voted with our wallets by frequenting restaurants that did not have smoking. Each and every restaurant owner had the power to ban smoking if this was their desire.

    With this government mandate, I see one more expansion of the government nanny state.

    Current demographic trends indicate smoking is on the decline and obesity is on the increase. Could government mandated portion control be next? Perhaps a trans fat ban?

    Watch out for the twinkie police.

  • Kaine will be at Hamilton’s At First and Main, not West Main

    You’re right—apparently it’s been moved. Thanks!

  • As a nonsmoker, my family and I voted with our wallets by frequenting restaurants that did not have smoking allow people to burn small piles of uranium on the table. Each and every restaurant owner had the power to ban smoking uranium burning if this was their desire.

    With this government mandate, I see one more expansion of the government nanny state.

    Current demographic trends indicate smoking uranium burning is on the decline and obesity is on the increase. Could government mandated portion control be next? Perhaps a trans fat ban?
    Watch out for the twinkie police.

  • That’s funny. They moved it from a restaurant that people used to smoke in to one that has NEVER allowed smoking to begin with.
    I wonder if they just didn’t like the smell in West Main.
    Interesting switch.

  • As a nonsmoker, my family and I voted with our wallets by frequenting restaurants that did not have smoking allow people to hold knife fights. Each and every restaurant owner had the power to ban smoking knife fighting if this was their desire.

    With this government mandate, I see one more expansion of the government nanny state.

    Current demographic trends indicate smoking knife fighting is on the decline and obesity is on the increase. Could government mandated portion control be next? Perhaps a trans fat ban?
    Watch out for the twinkie police.

  • I can do this all day.

    Except that my morning break is over in three minutes.

  • I have seen you Waldo, and I would kick your butt in a knife fight. But I suspect you might be able to get Uranium at the labs in your area so I have forwarded a terrorist call to the appropriate authorities.

    My wife and I headed to South Street last weekend and promptly turned around from the stink. We might give it a whirl this weekend.

    Nothing funnier than a bunch of smoker huddled in a corner of a doorway when its cold and raining. I always try and save a fart for when I walk buy, but I guess they never smell anything anyway.

  • They can smell it, they just can’t taste it that well!!

  • Neil it is only cultural conditioning and history that we allowed smoking in a public place in the first place. If smoking were a brand new vice there is little chance that it would be allowed at all in public. While you might think you have the “right” to smoke, what about my right to not have to breathe in your toxic, chemically laden exhales from a product that if it were banned would make the world a better place. But I would defend the right of smokers to continue smoking. I also think that high taxes on this product make sense with the meaningful burden of medical coverage combating smoking ill’s falling to the federal government thru Medicaid and Medicaid.

    You can sit next to me and destroy your liver with alcohol and (as long as you don’t drive) it doesn’t affect me while I sit next to you. Not the case with smoking. Democracy and free choice that you are attempting to defend are best preserved when your free choice doesn’t overly detract from my free choice.

  • Already been to IHOP. Will likely go out to dinner. My daughter wants to go to Topeka’s.
    It’s a great day!

  • I am all for banning smoking in restaurants and public places. Now can we start working on banning alcohol in all public places.
    “you can sit next to me and destroy your liver with alcohol and it doesn’t affect me while I sit next to you.” Perlogik, you have obviously not been around to many obnoxious drunks in restaurants and bars, and there is nothing like a drunk that wants to fight everyone in the place.

  • but the difference jogger is it isn’t the drinking that is the problem -it’s the behavior while drunk. The act of drinking cause your neighbor on the other bar stools no health issues unless the later behavior turns ugly. There are also laws in place to take care of the aftermath of a fight.

    I use to be a bartender so my knowledge of drunks is extensive. Some drunks are simply delightful but misguided. In fact drunk smokers were the most common fighters after (any male from 18-23) during a yankee vs red sox game or any hockey game on TV.

  • But have a glass of wine does not a drunk make. Having a smoke does make a smoker, and a room filled with smoke.

  • I’ve always been amused by patrons who assert a right to exhale smoke that settles into my food and beverages in restaurants, yet get all uppity when I spit chewing-tobacco juice into their plate or glass.

  • Claiming that this is about freedom (critics of the ban) misses the point, as does claiming that this is about deleterious effects on others (supporters of the ban).

    The relevant, tough question is how we are to balance “freedom to” against “freedom from,” i.e., how we are to balance freedom against deleterious effects. That is an exceedingly hard question to answer with a clear principle of universal (or near-universal) application. Don’t believe me? Dig into the academic debates between left and right libertarians. Both of whom take liberty as the right measure of value, but then they disagree on how to apply it when you cannot simply “maximize freedom.”

  • I wasn’t convinced of the merits of the ban until I watched some of the debate about it in the legislature a few years ago, back when Sen. Brandon Bell (R-Roanoke) was patroning the bill. The argument that he made was that this isn’t about customers, it’s about employees. Cigarette smoke is known to be enormously unhealthy, a major cause of death in the United States; secondhand smoke is even more dangerous, since at least the guy smoking gets a filter. It’s one thing to say that non-smokers are free to boycott restaurants that allow smoking and another entirely to say that the same logic applies to employees.

    Workplace safety standards don’t work like that. The idea that they can just work elsewhere would require surrendering wholesale the idea that employers have an obligation to uphold safety standards. If employees can just work somewhere else, then why have OSHA at all? “Sorry, but we’ll be removing asbestos from this building by hand, with no respirator or gloves. If that’s a problem for you, hey, it’s a free market.” That’s illegal, and for good cause. But why that should apply to people burning tubes of poison-laced tobacco and not people burning small piles of uranium, I have no idea. Neither did Sen. Bell, and neither did the General Assembly.

  • The key is too have the employees die before they begin collecting retirement benefits. Duh!

  • It’s the Blue Moon Diner that I’m excited about. Easily a third of the time that I go there, I turn around and walk right back out because of the smoke.

  • While I detest cigarette smoke, I do sympathize with the desire to smoke in a social setting. If that setting is to be staffed, that will violate the workplace smoking ban (in effect here in Massachusetts.) I’m not sure what the right answer is, here.

    On the other hand, I would totally support a ban on smoking in public places. I’d like to be able to hang out in the park without some addict lighting up next to me.

  • danpi: love your humor! keep it coming.

  • In the East, the West, and above all the middle, freedom of choice has become evil and the behavior police are in charge. So sad to see the West’s “I deserve it” generation cheer them on.

  • Since when is my freedom to choose fresh air and health, as well as to not have my decisions dictated by someone else evil?

  • Wouldn’t the “I deserve it” generation be the ones saying “I deserve to be able to blow foul cigarette smoke all over the place and damage the lungs of everyone around me”? It’s at least debatable, Fred, who exactly is being selfish in regards to this issue.

  • I read a sidebar story talking about how in some highrise type condos the owners want to ban smoking even your own unit. The logic being it seeps through walls, ceilings and floors. It’s getting harder to find a “smoking room” at a nice hotel these days for the same reason.

  • Hmm…well, I am not super-happy about this ban. It won’t change where I go one way or the other.

    I’m an ex-smoker, and while I occasionally marvel at the ashtray smell of some current smokers, I don’t find the general smell nearly as subjectively repulsive as many of you anti-smokers seem to. I suppose that’s personal taste. Interestingly, it’s not the smell of smoke that bugs me, nearly so much as the sour smell left behind…that smell bugged me when I was a smoker, and it’s hardly changed. I am also a serious runner, and while I’m not crazy about running through somebody’s smoke cloud on the sidewalk, it’s hardly any worse than the buses spewing diesel exhaust.

    What troubles me about this is the questionable science of ETS – this is clearly agenda driven – an agenda to make smoking so de-classe, socially opprobrious and inconvenient that people simply quit smoking. That’s really what the ever encroaching bans are all about: driving it out of public and creating phenomenal social pressure on smokers to quit by stigmatizing them. Just look at the vitriol on display here. Because this is a laudable social goal, the objective value of the policy (ie, the science backing it) isn’t really being critically evaluated.

    Anyone may find it “burning” to catch a whiff of smoke, but that doesn’t turn a cigarette into nuclear fallout. None of the epidemiological papers presented to date accomplish this level of risk. The hyperbole and conflation is simply agit-prop and spin. The whole claim that sidestream smoke is more dangerous because of the lack of a filter runs smack into the anti-smoking research to demonstrate that filters do nothing to protect smokers, fer crying out loud! It’s also been shown several times that smokers conveniently die younger and so wind up putting less of a cost burden on the system, even before the sin tax contributions are taken in to account.

    Smoking certainly has health risks, also generally over-estimated, and it would be foolhardy to claim otherwise, but Junk Science, even in the name of a good cause, is hardly helpful to making good policy decisions.

    You may cheer loudly about a new regulation that upholds your aesthetic preferences – and goodness knows, we have all sorts of perfectly reasonable aesthetic ordinances on the books – but don’t fool yourself that this is anything other than that. Be careful what Genie you let out of the bottle.

  • danpi: “Since when is my freedom to choose fresh air and health, as well as to not have my decisions dictated by someone else evil?”

    No one is proposing restricting your freedom to choose fresh air and health, or even criticizing your choice. It’s a big country. There’s plenty of room for choice. There’s room for people who like to smoke and room for people who don’t want to be around them. The issue is that the latter are trying to appropriate *all* the space in the country.

    To put it another way, you have the right to choose health, but you have no right to barge into someone else’s private property and “choose health” by telling everyone else there how to behave.

    And Waldo, despite your repeated efforts to foster such a conclusion, I still refuse to believe you’re really too dense to understand the many and profound differences between a smoke and a knife fight. And that little game goes both ways – you could replace it with “eating bananas” and it would be just as applicable, just as inane, and just as pointless.

  • Anyone may find it “burning” to catch a whiff of smoke, but that doesn’t turn a cigarette into nuclear fallout.

    Scott, nobody’s talking about “a whiff of smoke.” When I go into (say) The Blue Moon Diner when people are smoking there, after just a few minutes my eyes burn and redden, I can’t help coughing, and my throat hurts. That’s after five minutes—what must it be like to work there? You accuse people of exaggerating the harm, but you’re equally guilty of minimizing it.

    And Waldo, despite your repeated efforts to foster such a conclusion, I still refuse to believe you’re really too dense to understand the many and profound differences between a smoke and a knife fight.

    Tell me about the fundamental difference between burning a small pile of uranium and burning a small pile of additive-laced tobacco. Seriously, Bruce, I’d love to hear it. From where I’m sitting, smoking, burning uranium, and knife fights are all about people insisting that they have a right to perform an act that harms those around them.

  • The difference is Sting says that carbon 14 is deadly for 10,000 years. Workin’ the black seam together.

  • Waldo – I’m sorry: I think that’s subjective…I’ve been going into the Blue Moon for years, and I don’t hack, cough or have burning eyes. And it has nothing to do with being a smoker or not.

    Pick a better example as well: try, say, Durty Nelly’s on a Friday or Saturday night, a place that really is smoky – like you can’t see clearly smoky.

    I think the airline stewardess who got bottled up in a plane for an international flight had a case to make about the ventilation and ETS.

    Perhaps you have an allergy that makes you so sensitive to the smoke?

    Just out of curiosity, have you got a wood stove or a fireplace? Any idea how many carcinogens you’re dumping into your house with that?

    We are in an argument over our subjective perceptions of something…they are not based in reasonably objectively measurable data. Just guessing at ‘sidestream’ exposure is taking a WAG.

    By all means, stigmatize smoking and pass laws based on your aesthetic preferences (they work, by the way, got me to quit, and yes, it’s a pretty nasty addiction), but do not pretend that there is solid scientific evidence to back them up.

    Using junk science is lousy precedent, and we’re just coming out of a horrible eight year reign of “because I said so” trumping objective reality. It devalues science as an honest broker and impartial judge, and since that is the ultimate value of science, it devalues science altogether.

    There is solid research evidence to show that the stigmatization works at reducing smoking rates – why not be honest that that is what this is all about? Probably because without that drummed up ‘harm to passersby’, the argument kind of fails to gain sufficient support for passage.

    Oh, and BTW, it will be the drinkers they come after next, not the fatties, and they are well on their way.

  • I’m sorry: I think that’s subjective…I’ve been going into the Blue Moon for years, and I don’t hack, cough or have burning eyes. And it has nothing to do with being a smoker or not.

    I can’t imagine what other example I could use from my life other than something subjective. What you’ve done is discount anybody’s experience, by declaring experiences to be “subjective.” Your lack of a problem with smoke is probably related to the fact that you used to smoke. I used to juggle fire, so I wouldn’t be terribly upset if somebody tossed a few flaming clubs at me. I suspect that most people would feel different about that.

    Really, there’s no debating that people don’t like smoke. That’s why we have chimneys in our houses. The normal human condition is to say “hey, I’m breathing in smoke—this is bad and I must find some way to stop it.”

    Just out of curiosity, have you got a wood stove or a fireplace? Any idea how many carcinogens you’re dumping into your house with that?

    I have a wood stove, but we don’t use it for that very reason. We’re building a new house (it’s exactly 18% done, we learned today :), and we left out wood-burning heat sources because of indoor air quality concerns.

    By all means, stigmatize smoking and pass laws based on your aesthetic preferences (they work, by the way, got me to quit, and yes, it’s a pretty nasty addiction), but do not pretend that there is solid scientific evidence to back them up.

    The desire to not breathe smoke is not an “aesthetic preference.” It’s a human instinct. A small child will cough and turn her head to avoid breathing smoke. A dog knows to get out of the way when the smoke from a campfire comes his way. This isn’t like some people preferring the color blue, and other people brown. It’s a matter of a dangerous thing that some people choose to inflict on other people.

    And, yes, of course there’s solid scientific evidence to back that up. The EPA has a whole section of their website dedicated to the topic. They write:

    The EPA report classified secondhand smoke as a Group A carcinogen, a designation which means that there is sufficient evidence that the substance causes cancer in humans. The Group A designation has been used by EPA for only 15 other pollutants, including asbestos, radon, and benzene. Only secondhand smoke has actually been shown in studies to cause cancer at typical environmental levels. EPA estimates that approximately 3,000 American nonsmokers die each year from lung cancer caused by secondhand smoke.

    Every year, an estimated 150,000 to 300,000 children under 18 months of age get pneumonia or bronchitis from breathing secondhand tobacco smoke. Secondhand smoke is a risk factor for the development of asthma in children and worsens the condition of up to one million asthmatic children.

    It gets much, much more detailed. There is no safe level of cigarette smoke. It’s poison. Or is my desire not to get cancer an aesthetic choice, too? ;)

  • Bruce…Yes, but you are upset that the non smokers are dictating the smokers behaviors. The problem is that for years and years it has been the smokers that have been dictating the non-smokers. For me, if there were smokers than I just was not able to go into the establishment. The smoker can now still go into the establishment because clean air does not put anyone off, they just have to go outside for their breaks for a smoke.

    At heart of the matter is that the smokers just do not understand how much they actually stink. Really, I am not allowed to drive 100 MPH on 81 in my Audi…

  • Waldo: “Tell me about the fundamental difference between burning a small pile of uranium and burning a small pile of additive-laced tobacco.”

    Well for starters, the uranium is orders of magnitude more toxic in the amounts in question and its environmental effects are going to be around one hell of a lot longer and are infinitely more likely to spread beyond those choosing to be present at the venue.

    Likewise knife fights. The possibility of incidental collateral damage to willing spectators is not why we ban knife fighting as an entertainment and leisure time activity.

    I’m amazed you’re trying to defend something so blatantly indefensible. They were terrible analogies and you’re only weakening your case sticking by them.

  • danpi: No one was ever dictating your behavior. No one has ever proposed that a single restaurant or any other venue be required to allow smoking. You can’t expect to do whatever you want, *where*ever you want – that’s selfish in the extreme. Learn to share.

    If your enjoyment of a common space is incompatible with theirs, I don’t see how demanding that every space in the Commonwealth have it your way is more equitable than having some go your way and some theirs, as determined by the management. And it’s not like there was a shortage of smoke-free restaurants a year ago.

    And I-81 isn’t private property.

    Also, I’m not upset. I don’t smoke cigarettes.

  • My mother has never smoked in her life, yet she suffers from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). She never worked in a coal mine or lived in a heavily polluted area. The cause of her COPD? Second-hand cigarette smoke from my father and later, from my sister, and other people who visited our home. Second-hand smoke is deadly.

  • Waldo: “Tell me about the fundamental difference between burning a small pile of uranium and burning a small pile of additive-laced tobacco.”

    Well for starters, the uranium is orders of magnitude more toxic in the amounts in question and its environmental effects are going to be around one hell of a lot longer and are infinitely more likely to spread beyond those choosing to be present at the venue.

    Ah-ha—so we’re in agreement that it is valuable and relevant for the government to regulate which poisons that people may burn in restaurants. We disagree in degree, not kind. Therefore, it must be your position that there’s simply an acceptable level of toxicity for things that we can burn in small piles or in rolled-up sticks, and cigarette smoke falls below that level.

    Tell me, Bruce, of all Group A (aka Group 1) carcinogens—which is to say chemical substances that are known to cause cancer in humans—is there any other one that you believe people should be able to burn in restaurants? We can rule out uranium, of course. And it’s your position that environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) does not qualify, despite being a Group A carcinogen. How about benzene? Asbestos? Chromium? Vinyl chloride? Formaldehyde? If none of those, by what standard have you deemed cigarette smoke insufficiently dangerous? I mean, they’re all Group A—they’re all known to be harmful, they all kill. By what measurement do you find that ETS falls below a standard of harm?

    If my position here is so “blatantly indefensible,” I have to assume that this question poses no problem for you.

  • y point is that the reasons for banning smoking in public spaces are entirely subjective and aesthetic; they are not grounded in objective science. You make the repeated assertion – and cite the arguments regarding the involuntary exposure of workers as evidence for your understanding – that this is about harm inflicted on others by smokers indoors. I am saying there really is no good evidence out there that by any objective measure ETS poses a significant risk to non-smokers. There are other arguments for and against the bans, but the claim that the real justification is the protection of non-smokers from smokers is bogus.

    My primary objection is that no study has ever successfully directly measured the exposure levels. Automated smoking machines are used to concoct some kind of measure of the exposure/dosage of various compounds (in order for tobacco companies to game the system), and since they can be controlled, at least some reproducible measurement can be taken. ETS has far too many variables to be able to begin to measure in the real world.

    Therefore, we’re left with epidemiological studies, which are tenuous at best. The problem here is that direct studies don’t reveal a statistically significant problem and the survey/meta-analyses (studies based on collections of studies) do some rather serious massaging of the data to achieve the desired results. A great, fairly recent (2003) paper on this summarizes it this way:

    Conclusions: The results do not support a causal relation between environmental tobacco smoke and tobacco related mortality, although they do not rule out a small effect. The association between exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and coronary heart disease and lung cancer may be considerably weaker than generally believed.

    I would strongly encourage you to read the entire link, which goes into greater detail. There are a number of well-reasoned responses as well.

    The EPA does list cigarette smoke as a known carcinogen, and nobody questions that cigarette smoke contains carcinogens. So are all sorts of things, which we acknowledge have “safe” levels. The EPA is a political entity, and under political pressure, they’ve altered official documents:

    http://www.ucsusa.org/scientific_integrity/abuses_of_science/white-house-alters-epa.html

    Sure, this is Climate Change but it’s also indicative that that agency, in and of itself, isn’t the sine qua non arbiter of ‘fact’. Until the uproar came along, Whitman very nearly cancelled the new arsenic standards for drinking water – another political override of scientific evidence.

    Suffice to say, perhaps there is no question that cigarette smoke is a carcinogen, but neither is there any question that sunlight walking down the street is a carcinogen. It’s not a black and white issue – it’s a question of relative risk, and I’d wager your risk of dying from food poisoning in Charlottesville are greater than DNA damage resulting in cancer from ETS exposure in those dining establishments. You are the one conflating the levels of risk – I’m saying that’s bunk.

    The junk science on ETS is agenda driven to provide justification for bans…it’s not proof that smokers are capable or likely to kill you by polluting your air.

  • But I not demanding everyplace have it my way. I am simply suggesting that, like the person who is farting non-stop needs to head the bathroom the person who is smoking nonstop needs to head to a private, ventilated area away from the general public.

  • But what if you’re addicted to farting?

  • Then just try the “one cheek sneak”.

  • I certainly can’t compete with Scott’s erudite postings, but I can say without a doubt these bans are politically motivated, not practically so. I suspect it is just one other mode of appeasement and distraction for the stoopid masses to effect the impression our society is still progressing, diminishing any attention to the real critical matters of our time: let’s send our poorest sons to die for the promotion of our facade-bearing lifestyles in far reaches of our globe, or ignore we are literally consuming the planet live, or that we defend our remodeled monarchy at the price of sanity. But fer crying out loud, we will not let those damn smokers, now a minority, have their way in the restaurant! That – that! – is what we must do!

  • What if I hate breathing?

    I think we should fine the hell out of those farters. Methane gas is very damaging.

    But seriously, is there anyplace left in this town where smoking remains permitted? It appears that Miller’s is trying to create a compliant separate area, though it seems doubtful that it will be very effective (and the smell of that place will never be good). I think it’s a good point that there should be some places smoking is permitted. I’m curious how local restaurants that do so will handle it. Does anyone know which ones they will be?

  • Scott, I think you and are will never, ever agree on this. On the whole, I’m inclined to agree with the EPA and the oodles of studies (pick one, any one) that conclude that second-hand smoke is a significant cause of illness and death among non-smokers who are exposed to it.

    WIIHB, I too am sympathetic to the idea that it doesn’t make sense for all establishments to prohibit smoking. Despite everything that I’ve come to believe over the past couple of years (I didn’t used to support a restaurant ban), I still can’t quite buy that it should be prohibited in bars. Bars are a place where you go to engage in behavior that isn’t permitted in public, specifically drinking and, indeed, getting drunk. (Speaking of which, isn’t it ludicrous that it’s illegal to be drunk in public? It makes no sense to me. If somebody’s doing something they shouldn’t be, charge them with that. Drunkenness, on its own, should not be a crime.) Smoking and drinking are both behaviors that are not good for you, but people like to engage in them, and it’s reasonable to provide a place where people can go to do those things.

    Unfortunately, Virginia does not draw a line between bars and restaurants. Under state law, they are one and the same. (In fact, you can’t just sell alcohol—some significant percentage of an establishment’s income has to come from food.) So it’s not possible to permit smoking in bars, but not restaurants, at least not without a really significant code overhaul, or so I understand. That’d be a change that I’d like to see.

  • This conversation has strayed from one extremely important issue- a worker’s right to have a non-toxic environment in which to work.

    Patrons do not spend 40 hours a week in the restaurants they frequent, but the employees do. Waldo’s point about OSHA was dead on, we shouldn’t allow businesses to require employees to work in a hazardous environment.

    Despite the possible political motivations for the ban, or smokers/non-smokers desires, the conversation concerning second hand smoke should be focused solely on it’s effects on the 40 hour per week restaurant worker.
    Even smokers know that if they inhale smoke for 8-10 hours straight, they are at a risk for lung cancer.

  • Lazy Parrot’s main area is smoking, the smaller closed off room is non-smoking. It’s pretty much a chain smokers heaven, so if that’s what you’re looking for, there you go.

  • @Brandon This conversation has strayed from one extremely important issue- a worker’s right to have a non-toxic environment in which to work.

    That’s only germane if ETS is a demonstrated risk. While an established risk provides legal basis for OSHA regulation (something I entirely agree with, where a demonstrated risk exists), it’s not good enough to just feel like something is bad. When we have demonstrable scientific evidence we can can should regulate (I’m po’ed that Alkyd paint is going the way of the dodo bird, but it is demonstrable that the vapors are dangerous).

    Waldo – There are “oodles” of invalid research papers on this topic, which the EPA, WHO and other use and fund to justify their political policy preferences. This is not some secret conspiracy theory; it’s a public game strategy put forth by zero-tolerance anti-tobacco advocates. That’s why I pointed out that paper in particular; despite being funded by Big Tobacco, it is nevertheless methodologically sound and has been upheld. That’s the entire point here.

    I believe the claims of scientific justification are ultimately hurtful with the public when they aren’t valid – it reduces the credibility of science and makes it a partisan player. One only need look at the current hubbub over the hacked emails regarding climate change to see how the tiniest bit of fast-and-loose with science can undermine the whole enterprise, with major policy implications.

    I’ll drop it.

  • Waldo: “If none of those, by what standard have you deemed cigarette smoke insufficiently dangerous?”

    Immediacy. The uranium will hurt people miles away and years down the line who have no choice about whether to be exposed, and probably have no idea that they are being exposed.

    What’s blatantly indefensible isn’t your position on smoking in restaurants, it’s your silly choice of analogies. A smoke is not a knife fight.

  • Whole Foods’ healthcare insurance, UnitedHealth, has enacted a $260 additional premium per year for smokers. In Feb 2010, they will be conducting “health evaluations” of all employees, and in it’s 1st phase will recompense those judged “healthy” (???) to get an extra 10% discount on items they purchase in the store. 2nd phase has not been announced, but anyone care to guess what that’ll be?

  • Banning smoking fine, stigmatizing and throwing insults at people addicted to nicotine as a tactic–not fine. Heard a vegan on 60 minutes gleefully saying they were going to make meat eaters as socially despised as smokers. As a tactic it works on some people but the end doesn’t justify the means ever, and stigmatizing a group, especially a group that mostly now consists of people of lower socio-economic standing is a great way to feel better about yourself and how perfect you are but not a great way to be a good person in my opinion. There are older folks who were given free cigarettes in front of their schools, vets given them in the army for free and on and on and now it’s blame, not help the addict quit. In fact money on quitting programs has been cut nationally while smokers pay higher and higher taxes signed by a nicotine addict himself who can afford the tax. Look behind the mirror folks. Who’s next that you are fine with with degrading and feeling better than? We also make fun of people with no teeth around this area, guess who they tend to be? People without money, people who have been very sick and the elderly. Nice huh? When will the people who think they are so great and progressive get it that making fun of poor people without actually using the word poor makes them simple old-fashioned snobs and not progressive one bit?

  • Wow, that’s an awfully big straw man you just built up and burned down there. My turn!

    Hey, you know who doesn’t smoke? Jews. Your brand of anti-semitism might fly among you and your good-time party boys in the KKK, but we don’t appreciate it around here.

    Whee!

  • I’m glad you’re amused. I’m also sad you are lacking in insight. But no skin off my nose and no need to disturb your fun, carry on.

  • I think anonymous has a decent concern. Poverty and addiction, even to cigarettes, go hand in hand.

    Stigmatizing people doesn’t change their minds. Yes, serious attempts should be made to curb smoking aside from socially stigmatizing people, same goes for alcohol and drugs. Just go to “people of wal-mart” to see what liberal elites like to do for fun. Yes wal-mart sucks, but we shouldn’t make fun of poor folks as entertainment or a way to feel smug about ourselves, rather we need to educate poor folks about wal-mart’s awful effects on communities.

    Obesity is similar, the same power structure that keeps us smoking is making poor people fatter, fast food is cheaper than fresh food, corn syrup is in everything. To address this we have to change corporate structure not mock obese people, same goes for smoking.

  • Nobody here is mocking smokers. Nobody here is mocking the obese. It’s a straw man.

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