The Smoking Ban
Jun. 28th, 2006 @ 04:20 am
First off, quick admin note: If you know of anyone who might be interested in this community, feel free to tell them! Advertise in your LJ, etc. I'd like to see this place be more active but that won't happen unless we get more members.
And if there's something you're passionate about that you'd like to discuss, don't be afraid to post it here! Any and all topics are just fine.
Anywho, figured I'd stir things up a bit because I'm sad seeing this place devoid of discussion for so long. This one's for Wes.
It's somewhat recent news and something incredibly relevant to Californians like myself, but is still an issue that can be discussed by people throughout the world. Recently, a ban was passed on public smoking in a city very near my hometown. Here is the law (it's a pdf so you'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader or browser support to read it): http://www.cityofcalabasas.com/pdf/agendas/council/2006/021506/item2-O2006-217.pdf
What are your opinions? Are you for or against this new law? How do you feel about smoking bans in general? I'll post my own views on this in a reply to the entry.
I'm for the idea of a public smoking ban, because as an asthmatic, I find it extremely frusterating to find myself surrounded by cigarette smoke every time I go to an outdoor mall, food court, or any other busy outdoor gathering place. It's not exactly practical to go up to every smoker there and ask them to put out their cigarette for the sake of a single person. It's also not always possible to avoid secondhand smoke. I know from plenty of personal experience. Whenever I can I take alternate routes, but in crowded places, or situations where I'm headed to a particular store, I can't exactly just avoid a crowd of smokers who happen to be in the same place.
And it's not just an "inconvenience" for asthmatics. It's a serious health concern more immediate than prolongued exposure to secondhand smoke. For me, inhaling secondhand smoke can trigger an asthma attack and severely impaire my breathing. I feel the right for a person to breathe clean air and maintain their health is a little more important than a person's right to do something they enjoy wherever and whenever they want.
I fully support the right to do whatever you want with your own body. I just don't support things that also affect other people without their consent.
I do agree that this new law has some problems though. I feel that if a law like this is passed, then the city needs to take some action in establishing designated smoking areas that give smokers in public a place to smoke without offending nonsmokers.
I also feel that private business owners should have the right to choose whether or not smoking is to be allowed in their facilities. If a restaraunt or bar owner wishes to allow smoking in their building, then non-smokers can simply choose not to go to that particular restaraunt or bar. Obviously in public-use facilities like a post office or bank, where people can't always pick and choose which facility they go to, smoking should still be prohibited within the building. Or in health or child care facilities. But it seems a little absurd to me that smoking is prohibited in bars as a general city law.
"I also feel that private business owners should have the right to choose whether or not smoking is to be allowed in their facilities. If a restaraunt or bar owner wishes to allow smoking in their building, then non-smokers can simply choose not to go to that particular restaraunt or bar."
I partially agree with that statement. I believe the reason smoking has been banned in bar/restaraunts is due to the risk of non-smoking employees. The obvious solution to that notion is probably to only hire employees who do not mind 2nd hand smoke, or who are in fact smokers themselves. The problem with such a solution is that employees who do not want to be exposed to ciggarette smoke (or cigars or whatever), might not have any other options but to except the job and risk their lives. Not everyone has the ability to pick and choose where they work. I don't know if it was mentioned in the article you posted, but in an article, someone mentioned designated smoking areas, like you mentioned above, but to make them more enclosed-according to him, the smoking area would be set-up similar to a restroom. I believe that if a restaraunt, bar, or any other place can provide such an enclosed smoking area, it would be beneficial for smoking and non-smoking employees and customers alike.
Why do you oppose smoking bans?
I don't know if it's as effective if not in all caps.
So, Wes, WHY?
"gigantic warning labels on cigarette packs"
This won't make people stop. Most, if not all, smokers already know of the health risks, the poisons, and cancer causing agents within the cigarettes.. So how would Gigantic warnings make any difference. As Dennis Leary says "They could have cigarettes called Warnings, in a black box, with a skull on the front saying not to smoke these and people would still smoke."
Really doesn't matter. Also "I think it is this person's responsibility to ask the offendor to put out the cigarette," honestly, how many people in this world today would put out a cigarette for me? I've gotten only one so far out of asking how many people... and that was in Ceaser's Casino and Hotel in Vegas.. No matter how you ask, which way you put it, people won't stop smoking even if you are being wheeled away on a stretcher and turning blue from lack of oxygen. That's how the world works. I'm sorry but safety should always come before freedom [although that can't always be the case, as in war] but if you want freedom to smoke, you have your house, your backyard [even if they are making it illegal, never stops people anyway], you have your car, you have in middle of god knows where. Where-ever I go I always run into smokers who can't stop smoking for the two minutes that I'm in their presence. I should have every right to breathe and be safe before they have their right to blow smoke out of their lungs.
I should have worded that better.. I did not mean safety should come before freedom, rather that safety should coincide with freedom.. I don't agree with the generalized smoking outside ban, but rather a public area such as within a 20 foot radius or so of a store entrance. I normally can't breathe right even when I'm not having an attack. I hold my breath everytime I walk into a store and people are smoking outside.
Thing is, it's all fine and good if you want to inhale smoke and poisons and every other thing in cigarettes, but I don't want to. Wait to light up away from people, that should be the responsiblity of smokers. Why should a responsibility of a smoker be mine? Smokers should make where they light up THEIR responsibility.. It should not have to be my responsibility to ask Them to put out their cigarettes when they are in the vicinity of other, quite possible non-smokers, that's their error, not mine.
I just feel like a blanket ban on smoking isn't the right way to go about it. The ban has a lot of flaws, and if you're going to pass a law like this, you should wait until you've fine-tuned it and made it as close to perfect as possible. I think implementing a law that is still as flawed as this is irresponsible.
How will we know what is perfect? When will it be perfect enough? If we wait for perfection, or near perfection, the ban will never be passed. Flaws will always be there. Once the ban is passed, it should always be possible to ammend the ban. I hope that voters, and/or people in office would be able to see that with such a law, change will be needed.
I do agree with your point that the public should be able to vote on such laws.
And a final fact, in California has the lowest smoking percentage in the country, and it also has the most radical rules in terms of smoking. Are the two directly related, maybe, maybe not. Is that a thing to be proud of, maybe, maybe not. Personally, I'm glad that the smoking percentage of this state is low. I feel bad for a smoker, who probably feels persecuted, but the question is, who deserves more protection, the non-smoker who could die because of someone else's actions, or the smoker who might need to wait a little longer before he/she can satisfy his/her craving?
The law does not soley protect a person's right to defend themselves. Not by any means. I'd think you'd know this. The law is also in place to protect people who are incapable of protecting themselves. That's the reason we have laws prohibiting things such as murder, theft, and child abuse/animal abuse/domestic violence.
If the law did nothing but protect a person's right to defend themselves we'd be living in a world of conflicting personal freedoms. Neal's anarchical utopia but without the "utopia" part.
Unfotunately, personal freedoms tend to conflict and sometimes, one needs to take precedence over the other. You seem to think the person whose health is being affected is the one who should have to make sacrifices, be inconvenienced, or ask someone to do something to make their life more comfortable. That seems increadibly wrong to me. I feel it is the smoker's
responsibility to make sure something they KNOW is harmful to others does not bother the other people around them before they light up.
While a vote probably should have been taken on this, I also remind you that the government frequently passes laws that protect the health of people. I.e. regulations on the amount of chemical waste factories can release into the air. This is not really much different from that, except instead of costing a factory lots of money to make their air-waste procedures environmentally friendly, it's simply temporarily inconveniencing a number of people by making them have to walk or drive someplace else to smoke. Which costs nothing more than a little time and gas money.
I do agree that smoker's outposts should be established now that this law is in effect. It's only fair. They can't restrict an activity to a certain place and then have no such place actually exist. I also think the "no smoking in bars" rule is a little silly since that's a socially accepted smoking zone. I think business owners should be able to decide whether or not to allow smoking in their facility. The only issue with that is, not all customers or employees do have the luxury to choose where to go/work. I'm guessing that's why that rule was implemented. If I needed money to feed a family, and the only place I could get a job was a place that allowed employees and customers to smoke, I'd be pretty unhappy. In fact, I myself would be unable to work there because of my asthma. I think allowing business to choose to designate specific smoking sections where the air is seperated from the rest of the facility seems more reasonable.
I also agree that it is not the government's place to dictate what a person spends their money on. As long as cigarettes are legal, the government has no right to restrict people from buying them, even if it's in the interest of helping them. Sadly it won't help most people who are seriously addicted. They'll just stop spending money on other things so they can afford cigarettes. That's how addictions work.
Also, you contradict yourself here. You say you feel the government has no right to dictate how each person spends their money, yet you're for higher taxes on cigarettes to help encourage people to stop.
I'm for letting people know the dangers of smoking, and I'm for implementing laws that prevent others from being affected by secondhand smoke (especially children and pets who do not have the option of asking someone to put out a cigarette) but I think people should be allowed to put whatever legal things they want in their own bodies in their own time. Obviously if said person is a friend, I will do my own work to encourage them to stop, but as someone who seems to support freedom so much more over safety, I'd think you'd be less for attempts to make buying cigarettes more difficult.
I saw you the day you wrote this. You had no pin.
I know, but if you're going to share your opinion on something, just do it. Don't play dramatic word games for effect.
I can only speak for the smoking bans in the UK, but I'm for them. One reason being, like saitenyo
, I have asthma and it can flare up very easily, cigarette smoke is one of the main causes of my asthma getting bad. Now that smoking bans are coming in, I don't have to worry so much about that.
Another good thing that's come from the bans is that my dad, a smoker all his life, has completely given it up and he's done it without any help (i.e Nicorette patches). I used to get very frustrated when he smoked near me, especially in the car as the smoke would often blow back into my face. It's a good thing for both of us as I don't have to keep complaining at him anymore and giving up will be good for his health.
I too have asthma.. And I've come close to having to get admitted to the hospital due to my asthma being triggered by cigarette/cigar smoke from my own mate [I forced him to quit for my asthma, and our pocket money, and his health].
I'm for smoking bans... I'm for higher taxes on tobacco products as well. It may be enjoyable, but it's not only harming you, but the rest of people who are around you. Rarely have I seen anyone put out a cigarrette for me. The first time it happened... A Las Vegas casino elevator... A girl was smoking and my mate told her I was asthmatic, she put it out without reluctance. Most of the time I get "screw you, you'll live" attitude, so I've stopped caring and rather than get that response go to the hospital.
Sorry to any smokers but a persons right to breathe and be healthy come before your act of enjoyment, stress relief, or just social fun.
Unfortunately, people who smoke just don't care.. They would rather smoke their cigarette than to politely put it off until after I've gone by, even after I ask them to not smoke around me. Most of the smokers I've run into are pricks [yes even my own mate can fit into that area considering I had asked him not to smoke around me, but constantly smoked with me in the car causing me to use my inhaler multiple times. But that problem is gone since he quit].
Simple thing, I realize that it's my responsiblity to ask people not to smoke, but it should be their responsiblity to make a good decision based on the person's request... And usually it's not a good decision, and I often have to reluctantly remove myself from whatever I was doing because I can't breathe.. And I cannot return to that spot even after they've stopped smoking, since even the smell of smoke can trigger my asthma.
I know. I've run into a few of the good ones myself.. But I just run into the ones who are assholes I guess. And unfortunately it's spreading like a virus.
I'm not excusing the actions of the prick who ignore your request. But just to shed some light on their perspective, maybe they feel attacked in some way with much of the anti smoking sentiment. I know that I often give accusing vibes/looks to smokers (unintentionally, I swear). That's probably a justifacation for themselves.
And I feel just as attacked health wise. So I don't see any reason that they should be jerks about someone coming up to them and saying "I'm sorry, but could you put out your cigarette or go elsewhere? I'm asthmatic and smoke triggers it."
I agree, I hope my above post didn't seem like I was okaying their actions, not at all. I was just exploring their viewpoint. What addiction can make a person do is horrible.