Do you support a ban on smoking in public places?

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    Nov 11, 2008 2:20 PM GMT
    I thought this might be an interesting topic to debate...
    Last night I was sitting on the patio of a small coffee shop with a group of my friends. Next to us was a younger couple, having coffee and smoking one cigarette after another....the smoke billowing directly in our path.
    The couple finally left and after they walked off, two of my friends started talking about how they couldn't wait for next months vote (here in Dallas) on banning smoking in bars, outdoor patios, etc.......
    Earlier in the evening we'd all been talking about Prop 8 in California and how "the Tyranny of the Majority!" had no right to take away the rights of a minority, etc....
    When I pointed out to my friends the hypocrisy of their wish to ban smoking by vote, yet at the same time having their panties in a wad over the passing of Prop. 8 in California.....all hell broke loose.
    As I tried to explain to them...my point is....at least be consistent in your beliefs....one tried to argue that gay marriage doesn't impact anyone except the two individuals, so it's not the same as smoking. I disagreed. We chose to sit at a table next to smokers...if we didn't want to be exposed or effected by it, then we could have found another place to sit....therefore it wouldn't have effected us...it was our choice.
    Anyway, it got pretty heated...but we do this from time to time....
    Thoughts?
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    Nov 11, 2008 2:27 PM GMT
    Ban smoking. It's a health issue, whereas gay rights are not (though the wingnuts would like you to believe they are, among other imagined evils).

    I hate sitting in the smoke trail of someone nearby, and there isn't always a seating option to avoid it. Or you're already seated with your drinks and so forth, dealing with a particular server, and a smoker takes the next table. Secondary smoke isn't good for me, so why should I be exposed to it in a public place?
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    Nov 11, 2008 2:38 PM GMT
    Let me preface this by saying....I hate smoking...but...

    My point remains....if I don't want to be exposed to secondary smoke, then I shouldn't choose to go to a place where smoking is allowed....

    If I don't want to step in dog shit, then I shouldnt go to the dog park.

    I think it should be left up to the business to decide if they allow smoking and its my choice if I want to go there or not.

    McDonalds is a health issue....but I can chose not to go there.

    What I told my friends is I don't believe everything should be open to vote...I don't believe gay marriage should be up for vote and I don't believe public smoking should be up for vote....I don't believe in majority rule. Period.
  • Timbales

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    Nov 11, 2008 3:04 PM GMT
    smalltownboy saidLet me preface this by saying....I hate smoking...but...

    My point remains....if I don't want to be exposed to secondary smoke, then I shouldn't choose to go to a place where smoking is allowed....

    If I don't want to step in dog shit, then I shouldnt go to the dog park.

    I think it should be left up to the business to decide if they allow smoking and its my choice if I want to go there or not.

    McDonalds is a health issue....but I can chose not to go there.

    What I told my friends is I don't believe everything should be open to vote...I don't believe gay marriage should be up for vote and I don't believe public smoking should be up for vote....I don't believe in majority rule. Period.


    What about people who work at a cafe, bar or restaurant? What about people who can't make a choice - like young children?

    No laws in the various states that have passed a non-smoking law state that smokers aren't admitted or won't be served, just that they can't smoke there. There's a big difference.
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    Nov 11, 2008 3:14 PM GMT
    smalltownboy saidLet me preface this by saying....I hate smoking...but...

    My point remains....if I don't want to be exposed to secondary smoke, then I shouldn't choose to go to a place where smoking is allowed....

    If I don't want to step in dog shit, then I shouldnt go to the dog park.

    I think it should be left up to the business to decide if they allow smoking and its my choice if I want to go there or not.

    McDonalds is a health issue....but I can chose not to go there.

    What I told my friends is I don't believe everything should be open to vote...I don't believe gay marriage should be up for vote and I don't believe public smoking should be up for vote....I don't believe in majority rule. Period.

    Nah....people shouldnt be allowed to do something danerous to others and it's the others that have to get out of the way. I had to stop going dancing because I couldnt stand the smoke in the bar in DC...it is the only gay c-w bar in the area. There wasnt another one to go to. Now DC bans smoking in bars and I can go back. The smokers have to go outside.
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    Nov 11, 2008 3:40 PM GMT
    Timberoo said What about people who work at a cafe, bar or restaurant? What about people who can't make a choice - like young children?


    Well, like I said....if I don't want to be exposed to smoking, then I shouldn't choose to work at a place where it's allowed.

    If I don't want my kids exposed to it...then I shouldn't take them to eat there.

    I think we tend to forget that alot of things we do in our lives is based on choices we make....

    Personal responsibility seems to be all but forgotten....

    So, I suppose what I'm hearing....(same mindset as some of my friends) is majority rule is right in some cases, but wrong in the one's I don't personally agree with?
  • Timbales

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    Nov 11, 2008 3:58 PM GMT
    smalltownboy said
    Timberoo said What about people who work at a cafe, bar or restaurant? What about people who can't make a choice - like young children?


    Well, like I said....if I don't want to be exposed to smoking, then I shouldn't choose to work at a place where it's allowed.

    If I don't want my kids exposed to it...then I shouldn't take them to eat there.

    I think we tend to forget that alot of things we do in our lives is based on choices we make....

    Personal responsibility seems to be all but forgotten....

    So, I suppose what I'm hearing....(same mindset as some of my friends) is majority rule is right in some cases, but wrong in the one's I don't personally agree with?


    You made the point for the argument for smoking bans, though - personal choice. Smokers have a choice about smoking. They are in the minority now. The majority of people don't want to be around it. The majority of people don't sit in a public place and let out loud smelly farts and think it's acceptable either. When it comes to public behavior, the majority set's the rule. Arguing law and politics on the same level is comparing apples to oranges.


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    Nov 11, 2008 4:14 PM GMT
    Marriage equality imposes nothing on anyone. Smoking imposes on everyone around you.

    If we reduce this to a matter of choice, then any public space is off limits, as we chose to go there. You make it an issue of personal freedom for the smoker, and not the personal freedom of the individual to not be exposed to carcinogenics in any public space. But marriage does not infringe upon the public sphere and is not an issue of individual choice but of fairness under the law. If marriage equality and smoking were comparable, it would be legal for heterosexuals to smoke in public but not homosexuals. A law that would be as arbitrary and discriminatory as the current marriage situation.
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    Nov 11, 2008 4:17 PM GMT
    You're also forgetting that cigarette smoke is a known pollutant. One may choose to poison one's own lungs, I suppose, but don't expose others to the same risk, even secondarily.

    The air belongs to everyone, at least in a democracy. You can't burn old tires in your backyard, and factories can't belch toxic smoke (unless the Republican EPA ignores it, of course).

    The argument that someone can "go somewhere else" if they don't like cigarette smoke reminds me of the similar argument that gays can leave the country if we don't like the lack of civil rights. Well, I happen to think a public place should be made to accommodate the needs of as many different people as possible, and a country should do likewise.
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    Nov 11, 2008 4:18 PM GMT
    Well, I do agree, I think there are some differences in the two...but, this reminds me of what the anti-gay marriage movement say to deny accusations they discriminate:

    Just like the smoker that has the choice about smoking...they (anti-gay rights folks) say: "Everyone is allowed to get married! (as long as they marry someone of the opposite sex).".

    If we want to claim that denying everybody the liberty to marry a partner of the same sex is discriminatory, then doesn't consistency require that we say the same of denying everybody the liberty to smoke?

    I've spent many hours of my life explaining why I don't believe in abortion and I don't believe in the death penalty....

    Every so once in a while, someone will say...."Well, at least your consistent!"



  • Timbales

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    Nov 11, 2008 4:24 PM GMT
    smalltownboy saidWell, I do agree, I think there are some differences in the two...but, this reminds me of what the anti-gay marriage movement say to deny accusations they discriminate:

    Just like the smoker that has the choice about smoking...they (anti-gay rights folks) say: "Everyone is allowed to get married! (as long as they marry someone of the opposite sex).".

    If we want to claim that denying everybody the liberty to marry a partner of the same sex is discriminatory, then doesn't consistency require that we say the same of denying everybody the liberty to smoke?

    I've spent many hours of my life explaining why I don't believe in abortion and I don't believe in the death penalty....

    Every so once in a while, someone will say...."Well, at least your consistent!"





    can you cite a case of where someone felt the physical effects second-hand homosexuality?

    no one is say a smoker can no longer smoke, just that they can't smoke everywhere and anywhere.
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    Nov 11, 2008 4:26 PM GMT
    Red_Vespa said The air belongs to everyone, at least in a democracy. You can't burn old tires in your backyard, and factories can't belch toxic smoke (unless the Republican EPA ignores it, of course).

    The argument that someone can "go somewhere else" if they don't like cigarette smoke reminds me of the similar argument that gays can leave the country if we don't like the lack of civil rights. Well, I happen to think a public place should be made to accommodate the needs of as many different people as possible, and a country should do likewise.


    Thankfully! The United States is a Republic, not a Democracy. Everytime I hear someone say "the Will of the People" it makes me squirm. I believe Sarah Palin loves to say that alot....

    Public space is one thing...after all, its public...but bars/cafes are not what I'd consider a public place....

    Again, using the logic public space should be used to accommodate the needs of many is one thing...but accomodating the expectations of the majority rule is another. (for me).

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    Nov 11, 2008 4:30 PM GMT
    Timberoocan you cite a case of where someone felt the physical effects second-hand homosexuality?


    Yes, I believe they're called Metrosexuals....icon_biggrin.gif



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    Nov 11, 2008 4:31 PM GMT

    We had an interesting experience with this. Commercial Drive in Vancouver. Outdoor seating. Tables full and one table smoking. You should have heard the comments.

    Meanwhile no fewer than six reefer trucks had paused at intervals right in front belching black clouds of diesel exhaust, which everyone chose to ignore.

    The particulate from that is a large complex molecule that your lungs cannot cough up. It goes in and stays there. Cigarette and cigar smoke doesn't do this, ask any former smoker and medical professional.

    Smoking is very bad for you, but sometimes we fail to see the forest for the trees..
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    Nov 11, 2008 4:51 PM GMT
    smalltownboy saidThankfully! The United States is a Republic, not a Democracy. Everytime I hear someone say "the Will of the People" it makes me squirm. I believe Sarah Palin loves to say that alot....


    You are technically correct: the United States is a democratic republic. We have elected representatives who act on our behalf, rather than having every single issue directly decided by all the people with a vote, item by item.

    But we still call ourselves a democracy, and we hold certain things in common trust, like the environment. This is not the King's air, nor the King's water resources, but the resources of we the people.

    And our traditions of democracy hold that no one group may spoil the resources shared by everyone. Though there are many examples where this has not been so, an enlightened understanding of what a democracy should be is ending the exploitation of our common resources by the few.
  • Rowing_Ant

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    Nov 11, 2008 4:54 PM GMT
    We've had this in the UK for a good time now. Its made going to pubs and restaurants so much nicer! You can go out and not need to take a gas mask or ifyou are ashtmatic like me, an inhaler. AND you dont come home smelling like you smoke 100 a day.

    Which are good things.

    Bars and Clubs said they would experience a drop off in trade if people couldnt smoek in the bar or beer garden and infact the opposite is true - now they have cleaner air there more people are going and these places are just nicer all round.

    Similarly, there are no longer groups of smokers by entrances to public buildings stinking out the place and no smoking rooms in offices. Smokers now have a little smokers shed out the back where they can smoke; in tandem with this is a massive push to get people off cigarettes and educate them abot the health risks.

    yes its taking away someone's freedom and perhaps "right " to kill themsleves through smoking, but they can still smoke, just not in an environment where people who have no desire to smoke or be effected by it will not be. If that makes sense. smokers can still kill themselves one cigaratte at a time but it means that none smokers do not have to suffer the effects of passive or second hand smoking. think about the Trumpeter and Comedian Roy Castle who died from lung cancer brought on by passive smoking - then man never touched a cigarette in his life yet died from a smokers disease due to playing in smoky night clubs and restaurants.

    Ant



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    Nov 11, 2008 4:57 PM GMT
    Banned in all places but pritvate property. and Banned in all indoors and in cars.
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    Nov 11, 2008 5:03 PM GMT
    So...do you really want "the People" telling you what you can and cannot do?

    It sounds like the answer is "Yes, except when it's No"...
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    Nov 11, 2008 5:03 PM GMT
    Smoking is disgusting and unhealthy, and none of us should have to be around it. I think if people want to partake in something that is unhealthy even by contact, they should have to do it in their own home. I believe in the rights of men, but that stretches only as far as to when it takes away someones right to the cleanest air possible. I've never even tried a cigarette and have a horrible reaction, as others do, to it's contact. It's just not fair for those of us that prefer health. ON THE OTHER HAND, passing a law that bans smoking at a place of business is just bad business. Let them have their smoking sections or PRIVATE patios, otherwise the ban could take away A LOT of business. But the least we can do is ban smoking in public areas!icon_idea.gif
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    Nov 11, 2008 5:09 PM GMT
    smalltownboy saidWell, I do agree, I think there are some differences in the two...but, this reminds me of what the anti-gay marriage movement say to deny accusations they discriminate:

    Just like the smoker that has the choice about smoking...they (anti-gay rights folks) say: "Everyone is allowed to get married! (as long as they marry someone of the opposite sex).".

    If we want to claim that denying everybody the liberty to marry a partner of the same sex is discriminatory, then doesn't consistency require that we say the same of denying everybody the liberty to smoke?

    I've spent many hours of my life explaining why I don't believe in abortion and I don't believe in the death penalty....

    Every so once in a while, someone will say...."Well, at least your consistent!"





    Nothing irritates me more than smokers who have the attitude that they should be allowed to smoke. is a GOVERNMENT-SANCTIONED ADDICTION (due to pressures from tobacco lobbyists...and the money in revenue it generates for the government), not a human right. Smokers are not ENTITLED to be able to smoke. Sexual orientation is not the same as an addiction. Nicotine is more addictive than heroin....and we wouldn't tolerate people shooting up in front of us at Starbucks!

    Furthermore, their addiction (it's not a habit -- biting your nails is a habit) means that I end up participating in it against my will (breathing it, smelling it). Why should I leave a public space simply because someone's addiction causes them to behave selfishly? And then there are the smokers who throw their butts on the ground. If I threw a can or wrapper on the ground, it would be considered littering! And most smokers retort with, "Well there wasn't anywhere else to put it out." Then don't smoke if there is no place to extinguish it!

    In Toronto, we've had a smoking ban in public places for several years now. There are designated areas outside where they can congregate and get their nicotine hit. Even Montreal (a city where they smoke like it's a CURE for cancer) has a ban. They even go one step further -- individuals can be fined if caught putting their cigarettes out on the street, and bars/clubs/restaurants will be fined if they don't keep the fronts of their establishments clean of butts (which is where most people are relegated to smoking, their addiction on display). Paris, London, and other European cities have also adapted this policy. People need to stop whining that their rights are being taken away, own up that they are in fact addicts, and that their addiction controls their behaviour, and that it affects others.
  • Timbales

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    Nov 11, 2008 5:10 PM GMT
    smalltownboy saidSo...do you really want "the People" telling you what you can and cannot do?

    It sounds like the answer is "Yes, except when it's No"...


    Seat belt laws?
  • MSUBioNerd

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    Nov 11, 2008 5:19 PM GMT
    While I hold a lot of mostly libertarian views, the effect of second hand smoke trumps this one for me. Your right to smoke ends at my right to breathe. I've got an otherwise mild enough case of asthma that I don't even have a rescue inhaler (merely a preventative one), but one of the biggest triggers is cigarette smoke. This isn't just a personal preference--I actually can't get oxygen effectively when I'm exposed to enough cigarette smoke. I'm willing to accept that that means I basically can't go to bars, but the fact that public ordinances about how far away from the entrance to buildings smokers need to stand are widely ignored means that I have to walk through a cloud which causes immediate, acute health problems. I shouldn't have to develop the ability to walk for a minute without breathing in order to go to the DMV or whatnot, just so idiots are free to poison themselves in public in their manner of choice.

    The idea that Prop 8 "protects traditional marriage" is laughable. The idea that a smoking ban protects my ability to breathe is not. We don't allow people to do absolutely whatever they want in public--there are restrictions for safety (eg regulating bb guns), for pollution (eg litter laws), and for general decorum (eg no having sex on your front lawn). Smoking falls under both of the first two. I'm actually OK with a bar or restaurant having a completely separate room for smokers, provided it has a separate ventilation system, if the owners want to go through the hassle and expense of setting one up. That doesn't inflict it on the unwilling. Basically any other form of public smoking does.
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    Nov 11, 2008 5:21 PM GMT
    Smoking ban applies to all parts of the UK now. Best thing that ever happened. How could we have had a situation that impacted on so many people (not least in terms health) for so long?
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    Nov 11, 2008 5:47 PM GMT

    I'm not sitting next to a reefer truck when I go to classes, go to the market or go shopping, if anything, I'd be in close proximity to a smoker and i'd rather not be. OP, you are splitting hairs, second hand smoke is not bad because the bible says so...it's actually bad. You said yourself, the smoke was billowing out from the locality. I've been in situations where the smokers were across the room and I still arrived home to find my sweater smelled like cigarette smoke. If you wanted to split hairs like that, we could be here all day arguing cliches about people who like to fuck sheep or enjoy seven wives. I think you should just let each case of minority oppression stand alone and evaluate to solve each! I mean, you could throw them all in one hat and assume everyone views them as the same, but look where such assuming got us with prop 8...no where.

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    Nov 11, 2008 5:50 PM GMT
    If the government should allow smoking, it should allow all drugs as well, including all prescription drugs made OTC and all illegal drugs made freely available----it's the same "choice" to do something harmful to oneself. Of course, society would plummet into chaos. Cigarettes are just like alcohol---a drug that's managed to stay legal because too many people refuse to give it up despite both being harmful to society and the well-being of its people.

    If we're going to repeal seatbelt laws (I think we should keep them!), then we need to make all healthcare individual and not spread over a shared group plan cost or socialized healhcare. That is, if you're lucky then healthcare costs you nothing up front, nothing monthly, and nothing in taxes... but if you happen to develop appendicitis through no fault of your own, then you have to pay out of your checking account $14,500 to get the operation.. and if you can't afford it or get a loan for it then you choose to die. Sound fair? It is fair believe it or not... it's just not a good idea for society is it?

    So you either retain the right to harm yourself and be fully prepared to pay all costs for that so the rest of us don't have to subsidize your increased healthcare costs, or we take away your right to harm yourself (and other innocent bystanders in the case of cigarettes) and we continue to spread costs from unlucky misfortunes that require healthcare equally among us so no one individual's life is financially ruined by happenstance.

    Isn't it really that simple?