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Sunday Poll: What Should Happen When The Small Bar Smoking Ban Exemption Expires In January?

August 2, 2015 Featured, Smoke Free, Sunday Poll 13 Comments

On January 2, 2016 the 5-year smoking ban exemption some small bars have claimed will expire. Now that the exemptions are nearing their expiration date some want to amend the 2009 law.

This is the basis for today’s poll question.

Please vote above and discuss in the comments below.

– Steve Patterson




Currently there are "13 comments" on this Article:

  1. KevinB says:

    A law/ordinance/mandate without enforcement as it relates to the language is a failure. That goes for smoking ban enforcement, tax credits, fines associated with promised development timelines (ahem, Ballpark Village) and simple civic responsibilities. Let it expire – the time to permanent ly exempt small bars or have a super-extended grave period was when the law was first being written. Adhere to that which you enact.

    And this comes from a part-time/occasion al smoker. Personally I’ve had no issue with stepping outside for one and the interior experience has vastly improved by virtue of it. I went to the Silver Ballroom (?) recently and was surprised how much the smoking detracts from the experience.

  2. Mark-AL says:

    I’m not a smoker–never have and don’t plan to start anytime soon. But if I CHOOSE to have a drink in a bar that allows smoking, or if I CHOOSE to SMOKE in a bar that allows smoking, I have made a personal decision to do so, and personal decisions are mine to make and are no business of the government. It is NOT the government’s responsibility to regulate our culture. Does government regulate gay bathhouses by forcing participants to wear condoms? And yet, who ultimately supports the victims of AIDS? I’m one who believes the government has no jurisdiction here, based on current government practice. In practice, does government consistently incarcerate or even punish men who father children out of wedlock, then abandon those children to be supported by society? Not often enough! And at best, enforcement is weak! And what consequences does the “mother” suffer? NONE: she just continues to receive that fat check each month! Consider drinking alcoholic beverages outside the confines of a person’s home in general. Would there be fewer traffic accidents/deaths if all bars in America were to be shut down? The answer is probably “yes”, but I’m one who believes the government should stay out of it, based on current standards.. Should prime rib be allowed to appear on a menu? We know that prime rib is fatty and that fat kills, and yet the government allows their citizens to order and consume prime rib and get fatter and fatter every year! Who pays for this? We all do. Why should smokers and those who CHOOSE to be around smokers be treated differently? Man has come of age. We have got to be responsible for our own well-being, for our own finances, for our own choices….for our own everything. But if government assumes/ accepts responsibility for treating AIDS and allows gay bathhouses to remain open, continues to support illegitimate children by sending checks each month to the “mothers”, fails to ban prime rib from every menu in the US, then why shouldn’t the government accept responsibility for treating cancer among patrons of “smoking bars”? Ideally, government wouldn’t get involved in ANY of these areas, but why discriminate against the smoker? Government needs to hold us personally responsible for our own actions. Government needs to back off! Otherwise, we are a society of human hogs who go to the trough hourly for another mouthful of slop. And, otherwise, all the citizens whom we have “nurtured/coddled/sheltered/shielded/harbored/shielded/pampered” over the years will either be forced grow up and possbily grow old, or ………

    • JZ71 says:

      While we tend to agree on many issues, this isn’t one – I don’t care if anyone wants to kill themselves slowly, by whatever means appeals to them, but that stops when someone, anyone, starts to invade “my” space. If you’re okay with smokers blowing smoke in you’re face, I’m going to guess that you’re also okay with people urinating on you, vomiting on you or farting . . . in the seat next to you on a plane – see Steve Martin’s classic, “Mind if I smoke? No, mind if I fart?”

      • Mark-AL says:

        I am OK with smokers blowing smoke in my face IF AND ONLY IF I CHOOSE to have a drink in a bar that SPECIFICALLY ALLOWS smoking, where I would consider myself to be invading the turf of smokers. But if I am offended by smokers blowing smoke in my face, I should find a different bar to patronize. Why can’t bars cater to the desire of their clientele? Gay bars cater to the tastes and stereotypical nelly actions of some gays. If I am offended by that, I should find another bar. Bars that play loud country music appeal to a certain crowd. If I am one who is more interested in “easy listening” genre, then I should stay away from a country bar. I am personally offended when I sit down in a restaurant and the person at the next table is eating a plate full of biscuits and gravy! It disgusts me! And I have the right to go elsewhere because I am offended. But do I have the right to demand that biscuits and gravy be eliminated from the menu because its full of fat and cholesterol and is potentially harmful to a person’s health? NO!!! I’m not advocating that smoking be allowed in ALL bars. But why are we denying the rights of the smoker, when we allow the rights of other groups that engage in activities that are potentially harmful? And what right does the government have to ban smoking in a bar that smokers frequent and want to smoke in? I wonder: if they are eventually allowed to ban smoking in bars that smokers frequent, will government next be allowed to ban WILD TURKEY from bars because its alcohol content is higher than that of JACK BLACK? Or is the next step to ban all liquor from all bars because of the potential mind-altering effects of liquor? Why are they singling out the smokers–and not the other groups that engage in activity that is potentially just as harmful to their health? Why doesn’t the government hire a $15.00/hr clerk, give him a flashlight, and charge him with the task to physically check patrons to be sure they’re wearing condoms XYZ Gay Bathhouse in Any City, USA? Sound absurd? AIDS and LUNG CANCER ARE EQUALLY ABSURD….and both are acquired because the participant engaged in activity that, while potentially harmful, he/she personally enjoyed !—-just like baseball! Sometimes you get hit in the head with the bat, and you live through it. Sometimes you die.

        I’ve been pissed on my entire life. I’m used to it. Next time you’re around a Billy Goat, check out their anatomy.Everything is positioned so that they can easily piss on anything or anyone that pisses them off! And they do. I’d rather the Billy take up smoking.

    • My biggest concern is for the workers in these environments, for them their isn’t a choice.

      • Mark-AL says:

        It IS a legitimate concern. But if I knowingly CHOOSE to work in that environment, then it’s MY decision and I have to be held RESPONSIBLE for MY decision. If enough bartenders refuse to work behind the bar in a given smokers lounge, guess what’ll happen! Either the owner of the bar will himself learn to become a bar tender….or he’ll close down the bar. If I go into a city and the local ironworkers are unfamiliar with and/or refuse to work on a post-tensioned deck because they’re wary of working around cables placed in high-tension, and if the local union BA refuses to allow us to bring in out-of-town ironworkers for that specific task, I simply design a mildly-reinforced deck. Life doesn’t always have to be so complicated.

        • Many choose that environment because they need a job to pay their bills. Sometimes females in these jobs get pregnant, so they must decide between working in an unhealthy environment or quitting and have zero income.

          • Mark-AL says:

            Most everyone needs a job. And most everyone has bills to pay. So the challenge is to find a job that suits your needs. If I’m a pregnant bartender and don’t want to work in a bar that allows smoking, I find a bar to work in that doesn’t allow smoking. If I’m an alcoholic and want to serve tables at Tony’s, do I have the right to demand that Vince Bommarito cease serving liquor in the restaurant? If I have a sinus condition and the odor from cooking the quail aggravates my sinuses, can I demand that Vince schedule the quail dishes only on my days-off? Come on! Government is making life too complicated.

          • In the real world women are working prior to getting pregnant. When they started the job they may not have thought about the issue.

          • Mark-AL says:

            So whose responsibility is it to “think about” working conditions prior to taking a job? The government’s? I obviously don’t think so. Is the government responsible because I forgot about or failed to plan for filing on April 15th? Like the French merchant said, “Laissez nous faire”! We’re learning, in my opinion, that the “invisible hand” of the government can be more threatening than whatever device the hand is holding.

          • It certainly is the government’s job to help protect workers from dangerous workplace conditions!

            After the 1911 fire that killed 145 workers in 18 minutes the people knew something had to be done: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/triangle-shirtwaist-fire-in-new-york-city

          • Mark-AL says:

            You’re right. And the 1911 fire happened because management/ownership had ignored basic life-safety building design issues. Now, however, the government has stepped in, and OSHA now does a fairly decent job assuring workers that their workplace conditions are fairly safe. But government should have jurisdiction in restricting smoking in a bar where smoking is not specifically allowed–one that does not cater specifically to smokers. But I sincerely question if their jurisdiction/regulation SHOULD extend to a bar environment where smoking is allowed, because the patrons are smokers and want a place to drink, smoke and socialize. (Regulating smoking, in my opinion, in a bar frequented by smokers, goes too far beyond making sure that vital life-safety issues within that bar are where they should be–that the bar’s pair of 1-1/2 hr fire doors, for example, is equipped with operable closer, coordinator and astrical (sp?) so that both doors fully close in an emergency situation.) It seems like the government has a vendetta against anyone who carries a pack of Kools and a cigarette lighter in his pocket, especially when you consider that there are plenty of other unregulated groups out there whose behaviors and known practices can be considered just as risky and potentially dangerous as smoking.

      • Mark-AL says:

        They do have a choice.They can tend bar elsewhere. If I’m a butcher, and I don’t want to grind hamburger because of potential damage to my hands, I need to find a job where hamburger isn’t ground. If I’m an ironworker, and I don’t like heights, I need to find a job where I can keep my feet on the ground and place mesh in slabs-on-grade. If I’m a nurse, and I don’t like emergency situations, I need to learn to draw blood in a doctor’s office. If I’m an auto mechanic, and I don’t like getting my hands greasy, I need to specialize in auto electrical systems so I can stay away from greasy transmissions. Again, it is the personal responsibility of an individual to plan his own life and not to rely on his government for problem-solving.


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