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Go Smoke-Free, Get Free Advertising

April 13, 2009 Local Business, Smoke Free 60 Comments

Used to be I had to make sure that, as a vegetarian, I could get something besides a salad when eating out.  Now, my first question about a place is not about the quality of the food, the variety of the menu or the location.  It is whether or not they allow smoking — which ruins it for me if they do.

A recent post (A Smoke-Free Vacation) prompted the following response from a reader:

I’m always a little stunned at this conversation.  40% of St Louis establishments are completely smoke-free.  A vast majority of the rest either restrict it and/or ventilate it.  There are plenty of choices for people who hate smoke, people who smoke and those that don’t care.

I[t] would be a rarity to have to deal with smoke in a dining area St Louis Restaurant.

Read the non-smoking restaurant lists and you’ll find lots of McDonald’s, Subway shops, grocery store deli counters and such.  Not exactly my idea of a nice Friday night dinner out.  Using the “near me” feature on my Urban Spoon iPhone app I get a long list of restaurants downtown but only a handful are smoke-free.  Many of those aren’t even  open for dinner.  Of the non-chain places for dinner in the City of St. Louis too few are smoke-free.

I recently turned down a free meal with a friend at Mike Shannon’s because they have indoor smoking.  I’m not a fan of turning down free food – especially expensive meals.  But I’m no longer going to go along just because a few folks can’t be indoors for a hour without feeding their addiction.  More on that later.

In response to a prior comment I listed the places I’d like to see go smoke-free.  Below is an expanded alphabetical list of nearly 20 places where I have eaten in the past that I’d like to see go smoke-free so I can return:

  • Chimichanga
  • City Diner
  • Joe Boccardi’s Ristorante
  • Joanie’s Pizzeria
  • Mangia
  • Mi Ranchito
  • Mike Shannon’s
  • Mokabe’s Coffeehouse
  • Scottish Arms
  • Soulard Coffee Garden
  • Stable
  • Square One Brewery
  • Tap Room
  • Three Monkeys
  • Triumph Grill
  • Tucker’s Place
  • Vito’s

You’ll note most of these have non-smoking sections but smoke doesn’t know how to stay out of adjacent spaces.

Here are a couple of places I’ve not tried but won’t because they have indoor smoking:

  • Herbie’s Vintage
  • William Shakespeare’s

In total it is a pretty long list.  Too long.  So I’ve got an offer for the owners/managers of these establishments.  Go smoke-free and I’ll give you free advertising.  The first one will get a year’s worth, second gets 9 months, third gets 6 months and the fourth gets 3 months.  The establishment must remain smoke-free to continue receiving free advertising.  The entire indoor space must be smoke-free.  Go smoke-free and I’ll help publicize your decision.  Will I get any takers?

Back to the addiction.  My parents were smokers.   In the 80s my dad quite cold turkey.  My mom struggled to quit for 20 years.  Smoking was not a primary factor in their passing, old age was.  I saw, first hand, with them, how addictive smoking can be.  I know many smokers. I would imagine that most would like to be former smokers.  But quitting is not a simple matter.

Often the addicted has an enabler that feeds the addiction — making it that much more difficult to break free.  The “freedom” folks out there enable smokers – ensuring the many places they visit will have other smokers.  So even the person who wants to quit is constantly surrounded by smokers feeding their own addiction.  Giving their brain the nicotine it craves.  The persons talking about protecting the rights of the smokers are really the ones helping to keep the smoker addicted.  They don’t have the strength to quit so they don’t want others to be able to quit.  Misery loves company.

If you own or manage one of the above restarants I’d love to hear from you.  Say your smoking place in the city isn’t on my list but you are contemplating  to go smoke-free, I’ll pretend you were on the list and give you free advertising if you are one of the first four.  This offer expires at the end of June, 2009.

 

Currently there are "60 comments" on this Article:

  1. smokfreestl says:

    Another great post, Steve. Here’s our list of smoke-free establishments in St. Louis City–no chains, no grocery stores, no fast food joints. http://myairmatters.com/goingoutguide/

     
  2. Reginald Pennypacker III says:

    I believe Vito’s is smoke free during hours when the dining room is open. I know I’ve been in the bar numerous times having dinner, and the smokers have to go outside. But when the dining room closes (along with the kitchen?), the bartender pulls out the ash trays and people can smoke indoors. That’s when I leave.

    [slp — I don’t enter spaces where people have been smoking, even if they are not at the moment. 3rd hand smoke!]

     
  3. Carmel says:

    Congrats on giving additional motivation to these restaurants. I promise to patronize any place that takes you up on your offer.

     
  4. Brian S. says:

    I would LOVE to see Three Monkeys go smoke-free. They have a smoke-free dining room, but just about every time I’ve eaten there, I’ve had to sit in the smoky bar to wait for my table.

    With the Amsterdam already smoke-free, Morganford could carve out a unique identity for itself by having all of its establishments go smoke-free.

     
  5. john m says:

    3rd hand smoke. Are you really going there? I can’t believe you have introduced that into the fray. If you really analyze the third hand smoke debate you eliminate contact with smokers as a whole. There is only one study that I am aware of that even approached this subject, although, well reported.

    The third hand smoke debate is far more divisive and suspect than second hand smoke. The fact that everyone wipes his or her own backside is reason enough for me not to shake your hand. So please if you really are going to move onto this one, let me know now so I can join Mr. Hannegan and his posse.

     
  6. Jimmy Z says:

    You can stand by your principles, but I guess I’m a bit more willing to compromise. I/we (my wife) don’t like eating around smokers, either, but we’ve found that the non-smoking parts of both the City Diner and Square One are big enough and separated enough from the smoking section that we can easily avoid the smokers (except for first walking into Square One). Life’s full of trade-offs, and we each need to decide “where to draw the line” and which battles to fight. Since even many technically fully-non-smoking places around here still allow smoking either on their patios and/or outside their front doors, I guess I’m more willing to hold my breath (figuratively) to walk through a somewhat-smoky entry area IF the part where we’re actually dining doesn’t reek.

    And, yes, there are places that are way too smoky and definitely off our current list (even though they have great food), including Joanie’s, Mangia and the St. Louis Sports Zone. My personal conflict boils down to wanting to support more local businesses (even in spite of their “poor” decisions to allow smoking in parts of their establishments) versus being an absolutist and (severely?) limiting my/our universe of “acceptable” locations, and knowing full well that, as you point out, many fully-non-smoking locations are generic, soulless chains! That said, good luck on floating the free-advertising carrot – I’m sure you’ll let us know if anyone bites!

     
  7. Todd says:

    Why any restaurant that takes food seriously would allow smoking is beyond me. The sense of smell is integrally connected to the sense of taste, and if the air is filled with tobacco smoke, it numbs everyone’s ability to actually taste the food.

     
  8. We have been assured that a smoking ban would cut the St. Louis heart attack rate. We have asking for an independent review of smoking bans and national statisics for the past three years. Finally, someone has taken a look. Just as we thought, a smoking ban is as likely to raise heart attack rates as to decrease them. Smoking ban didn’t touch any other health stats they looked at. Glad to send the study to anyone. Just e-mail me.
    [email protected]

    http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2009/04/new-study-of-national-heart-attack.html

     
  9. SoulardX says:

    I’m fairly certain that Soulard Coffee Garden is now smoke free. I believe the upstairs used to allow smoking, but I don’t remember the last time I saw someone smoke up there. Years I believe.

     
  10. We have been assured that a smoking ban would cut the St. Louis heart attack rate. We have asking for an independent review of smoking bans and national statisics for the past three years. Finally, someone has taken a look. Just as we thought, a smoking ban is as likely to raise heart attack rates as to decrease them. Smoking ban didn’t touch any other health stats they looked at. Glad to send the study to anyone. Just e-mail me.

    http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2009/04/new-study-of-national-heart-attack.html

     
  11. Dole says:

    I don’t really care about smoking. My health is robust enough not to have a heart attack if someone smoked in the same restaurant hours prior to my arrival. I’m just as likely to avoid a restaurant if the air smells of a fresh fart.

     
  12. Todd says:

    Bill,

    I think the science is pretty clear that smoking is terrible for your health, as is breathing air filled with other people’s smoke. Even if it weren’t, tobacco smoke smells terrible and ruins the dining and drinking experiences of the majority of the population who are non-smokers. Hopefully MO or STL will get with the program and join a growing number of states and cities which ban smoking in workplaces, restaurants, and bars. The restaurant and bar industry have not died in LA, New York, San Francisco, or Seattle, despite smoking bans in all of those cities.

     
  13. Tony Palazzolo says:

    Actually that was my post that your quoting. If you look on the tobacco-free kids website you’ll find the most up to date list of restaurants and bars that are smoke-free. It list over 250 in the City of St Louis alone. I appreciate that you and many here don’t like smoke. That is why you should spend your money at the restaurants and bars that cater to you. When I take my family out we go to mostly non-smoking restaurants. We don’t have a problem finding one. When I go out with my friends, we look for a cigar friendly venue that welcomes and wants us.

     
  14. Tony Palazzolo says:

    Oops – forgot to mention – the 250 establishments listed on their site does not include fast food or sub shops etc.

     
  15. Nameless says:

    I’d be all for smoke free establishments as long as we get LEGAL CANNABIS as a compromise.
    .
    This is supposed to be a FREE country, what happened? Oh yeah, that’s right, Nixon happened.
    .
    Tobacco smoke makes me queezy but I still accept that people are going to smoke wherever and whenever they please, laws or not. It’s their body, not mine. St. Louis is full of weird smells–AB, that weird tire smell south of there, burnt coffee, etc. To be fair, let’s outlaw brewing beer, tires, and coffee.
    .
    One more thing that I find particularly interesting is NON-smoker’s sections located above the smoker’s sections–Tucker’s is a prime example–dear restaurant owners: unless you have some modern ventilation system, smoke still rises…

     
  16. john w. says:

    “Tobacco smoke makes me queezy but I still accept that people are going to smoke wherever and whenever they please, laws or not. It’s their body, not mine. St. Louis is full of weird smells–AB, that weird tire smell south of there, burnt coffee, etc. To be fair, let’s outlaw brewing beer, tires, and coffee.”

    no.

    I’ve recently been to a couple of bars in Edwardsville, Illinois that were until the recent statewide ban, smoke-filled establishments. These two bars were filled to capacity with patrons, none smoking, none trying to sneak a smoke, and all seemingly content to be sitting in those two, now smoke-free bars, drinking and conversing with their friends.

    It’s my body, and I’d appreciate the cigarette smoke blowing somewhere else in an enclosed environment like a restaurant, bar, etc. It’s not simply the choice of the smoker, but of course the choice made FOR others in the vicinity of the smoke by that smoker.

    Cigarette smoking in enclosed environments compares in no way to burning tires, A-B, vehicle exhaust in a city, burnt coffee, cow farts, or any other macro-scale externality, odor, fragrance or stench. The comparison is idiotic.

     
  17. john w. says:

    “it still seems best to enforce a ban on smoking in common places populated by non-smokers (not really difficult to identify), and allow the owners of private business to decide for themselves whether to make the necessary retrofitted changes to their occupyable spaces to accommodate smoking. Separate spaces. No comingled spaces. Chambers where smoking would be permitted are fully and wholly separated from those that ban smoking. Employed staff has the choice to work in the exposed areas, or to remain free of smoke. Choice. Those who choose to consume legal substances that are harmful to themselves (and others where that consumption exposes any others to the harm) can do so, and those who choose to live as healthy a life as possible by avoiding needless hazards like cigarette smoke can do so. Private occupyable spaces are not subject to any ban. Disallow smoking in common places populated by non-smokers, and allow those that smoke or are willing to accommodate those that smoke to comply with the requirements of complete separation. If a business owner can’t reasonably make the retrofitted changes, then that business owner will soon be owning a smoke-free establishment. It’s pretty simple, actually.”

    The above quote is mine from the January post on the smoking ban that inspired 111 comments. It seems potentially perilous to simply ban smoking in the city and not the county, and so perhaps a measured approach rather than a sweeping ban is best. Give business owners an opportunity to comply, and move forward.

     
  18. PT says:

    Smoking is not a measure of freedom. That is such a terrible argument. Freedom is getting to eat wherever you want without a probability of having someone blow cigarette smoke in your direction. I hate 2 things: Smoking in public places and throwing trash out of your car…there is no difference in the mentality of people who do these things. Most smokers also throw their butts out of their car window too – really proves my point.

    Feel free to hotbox yourself in your own home(if you own it). I think over the next 10 years, you’ll see smoking relegated even further to the uneducated and arrogant.

     
  19. Ban Hannegan says:

    Bill, I often wonder why you’re still posting this nonsense. No one believes that Keep St. Louis Free is a legitimate group, and there’s no audience for your bullshit studies and fraudulent statistics. We know it’s just you and Palazzolo, the jig is up.

     
  20. PTCruiser says:

    “Freedom is getting to eat wherever you want without a probability of having someone blow cigarette smoke in your direction.”

    Give me a break. The government dictating what you can and can’t do doesn’t sound like Freedom to me.

    I still want to know why we shouldn’t ban alcohol and all the rest of our bad habits.

    Life is about choices, either go someplace that is no smoking or go someplace that allows smoking. Simple as that, let the business owner decided what he/she wants to do and let them suffer the consequences or reap the rewards for their choices.

    I’m sorry, I’m a non-smoker, but all you “ban smoking” people come off as really pretentious and elitist.

    Pretty much everything in this world is going to kill you, why do we allow people to even drive?

    You all act like you have the RIGHT to go a place and expect it to be smoke free while you get drunk and get in your car…so how can you deny the RIGHTS of a smoker to do what they want?

    Get off your pedestal.

     
  21. Tony Palazzolo says:

    “Bill, I often wonder why you’re still posting this nonsense. No one believes that Keep St. Louis Free is a legitimate group, and there’s no audience for your bullshit studies and fraudulent statistics. We know it’s just you and Palazzolo, the jig is up.”

    Now that is funny – I guess if we are not legitimate, then we must be illegitimate. What would it take to be legitimate – I’m really curious.

     
  22. john w. says:

    “You all act like you have the RIGHT to go a place and expect it to be smoke free while you get drunk and get in your car…so how can you deny the RIGHTS of a smoker to do what they want?

    Get off your pedestal.”

    No. Get off of yours. Our world surely is full of maddening moral dilemmas, but comparing the rights of a smoker to smoke anywhere he/she wishes (while also inviting others in the vicinity to inhale their smoke) to drunk driving or other things in this world (presumably like shark attacks, earthquakes, shooting sprees, terrorist bombings, etc) is lunacy. Are you a lunatic?

     
  23. Nameless says:

    PTCruiser has nailed it. It is NONE of the gov’t’s business whether or not an establishment’s owner(s) prohibits or allows smoking.
    .
    john w.: get off your high horse. There is no law stating that you MUST go out to eat/drink (IMHO, wasting your money but it’s your money so I digress). Don’t like the smoke? Then choose a different establishment; it’s just that simple.
    .
    We’re on the way to socialism and you all aren’t helping. :unamused:
    .
    Seriously, aren’t there far more important things to be concerned with?
    .

     
  24. Tony Palazzolo says:

    Actually no one here that is against bans has the right to smoke in anyplace he/she wishes. I enjoy cigars and I wouldn’t/couldn’t smoke in a establishment that doesn’t allow it (truth be told, I’ve never lit up a cigar in the middle of a dining room). I respect the owners right to make that decision. I have no problem with the way Steve is going about it. If he wants to help owners make a choice to go smoke-free there is nothing wrong with that. I only have a problem with someone using the government to force everyone to cater to themselves. Clearly there is a market for smoking and non-smoking. Why should one segment not be served.

     
  25. Check out the first public hearing of a St Louis City smoking ban and see how many of us show up.

     
  26. Check out the ban violators listed by antismoking groups. Not very encouraging.

    http://www.smokechoke.com/

     
  27. john w. says:

    nameless, socialism has nothing whatsoever to do with governmental bans on actions that are measured to be harmful AND PREVENTABLE. That’s just simply government, purely and simply, just as conservative puritans in colonial America used governance to control what it saw as harmful and preventable, however distasteful many of us may now find that historical fact to be. Socialism is a state of a governing body that controls not only means of production, but OWNS the manufacturing facilities and actually manufactures the items that can be purchased in a polity. There are many means of service delivery to a public, and many that can be described as socialized without painting a populace or its governing body as ‘socialist’.

    As far as something not being the government’s business, I’ll just remind you that we live in a democracy, and in a democracy our leaders are elected. Our elected leaders are ‘us’, and therefore our government is ‘us’, as is the very nature of a democracy. Perhaps the too-soon demise of civics and governmental history in our public schools has left you without a sense of what certain concepts are.

     
  28. CarondeletNinja says:

    PT Cruiser:

    Well put. Kudos.

     
  29. I am going to another meeting of Clayton restaurant owners Thursday. You have no idea how bleak it is to have $100,000s on the line and then a smoking ban comes out of nowhere.

     
  30. john w. says:

    I suppose PTCruiser has no plans to attend Wash U. following June, 2010.

     
  31. Nameless says:

    john w.,

    As you stated, “Socialism is a state of a governing body that controls not only means of production, but OWNS the manufacturing facilities and actually manufactures the items that can be purchased in a polity.” Thus, judging by how much money the gov’t is currently giving out to bail out various entities, it is very plausible that this country will outright own the said various entities or more at some point in time.

    Don’t like the word “socialism”? How about dictatorship? All hail messiah president obama. I wonder how many people on here voted for slay?

    Are you so weak that you actually think cigarette smoke will harm you? Get a grip. If you’re exposed to it THAT MUCH, maybe you should stop going to bars so much. An outside group like this is just plain strange–if I was an owner, I would certainly not appreciate some people from the internet trying to convince me to go smoke free.

    The City of St. Louis has a failing sewer system. What is worse: smokers at an establishment that you go to by choice and choice alone or your basement drain backing up and filling your basement with raw sewage because a sewer down the line collapsed? The former is an example of where my priorities are.

    Elitists indeed…

     
  32. Ban Hannegan says:

    Tony, last time I checked, a group is defined as more than 2 people (1 Hannegan + 1 Palazzolo = 2 Idiots). To be legitimate, last time I checked, you have to be 1) not an idiot and 2) not full of shit. Therefore, Keep St. Louis Free is not a legitimate group. Last time I checked.

     
  33. Steve, you ought to delete that last post. That fool degrades these forums.

     
  34. Reginald Pennypacker III says:

    “Why any restaurant that takes food seriously would allow smoking is beyond me. The sense of smell is integrally connected to the sense of taste, and if the air is filled with tobacco smoke, it numbs everyone’s ability to actually taste the food.”
    .
    Even worse, how many cooks do you see smoking? I’ve seen lots. Figure that one out.

     
  35. Tony Palazzolo says:

    Ban Hannagen – what is beautiful about this country is that you are free to express your opinion and I am free to either read it or not. Just like you are free to enter an establishment that allows smoking or not. I expect to encounter people like you and am not upset when I do. Just like you shouldn’t be upset when you enter a private establishment that allows smoking.

     
  36. In a private bar you can require your patrons to be civil. Steve can do the same on this blog.

     
  37. Margie says:

    I travel quite a bit and manage to avoid even third-hand smoke — probably because I travel in mostly first-class cities where this is an old, dead argument. Good hotels don’t allow smoking any more (they’ll fine you $250+ if you light up), car services compete based on being fresh and clean, and restaurants in most major cities are benefitting from state-wide smoking bans. Wake up, St. Louis. It’s sad to hear you debating whether the earth is flat.

     
  38. john w. says:

    The bailouts are intended to keep extremely large financial institutions from failing, and not to assume ownership and operation, however close to that the government actually comes. Dictatorship? WTF are you babbling about? I’d strongly recommend much smaller doses of Glenn Beck, Rush, Sean, Bill and the others, and try to learn a thing or two about your own country and how it operates. You sound like a fool. The word elitist describes someone who would be found in exclusive company, and that enjoys exceptional treatment from others for any variety of reasons. No, I do not consider my position to be elitist at all, and if you’ll simply read all of the other comments in this thread and the others on this blog regarding this topic, you’ll find that at least half of the comments are in favor of some sort of smoking ban. Proportionally, I can’t fathom how roughly half being in favor of something constitutes elitism, but I’m sure you’ll follow up with an explanation.

     
  39. john w. says:

    Listening to unbalanced righties unload is sort of humorous.

     
  40. john m says:

    I am curious Margie, how do you know you are avoiding third hand smoke? You do not have contact with smokers? Knowingly?

    Hey Margie, once we have ostracized them, criminalized them, let’s round them up for everyones own good and put them in little smokers camps where these things can not infect the rest of the people. These half man/ mongrel are like little rats heading to their next fix. They are mostly poor and aren’t very smart and generally destroy the environment with their ignorant ancillary activities that so often accompany that dreaded fixture in their yellowed mouth. I say, they are really not like you and I. And these people can raise children. But what kind of children would they be. They certainly won’t be as smart as kids that come from normal homes, I mean how could they, with all of that poison in the disfigured breast of the compulsive mother injected straight into the now infected infant. They too must have the poison, straight through their bloodstream, forever changed into the mongoloid creature of their mother.

    Perhaps there is an ultimately better solution, because if they didn’t exist, we would all live forever. What? you hadn’t heard, yes God punished us all until we rid ourselves of these halflings that gave the entire human race the plague of death. Scoundrels one and all.

    Yeah, I don’t think much of the third hand smoke rhetoric.

     
  41. Nameless says:

    I don’t even know why I bother…

    john w.,

    Have you already forgotten about the auto industry bailouts? (You’re fooling yourself if you fathom that they will pay the gov’t back.) The purpose of the free market (or whatever you would like to term it) is to let failing entities fail, not bail them out. Promoting something as trivial as this and ignoring the important issues proves just what type of group you really belong to.

    I’ve only heard of Rush and I don’t listen to his show. He’s an entertainer, nothing more.

    Elitism:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elitism

    Where did you go to school–high school and college–anyway? I want to make sure that my children don’t associate with anyone who attends/attended there.

    You would sound more professional if you drop the attempted insults…

    It is simply too entertaining witnessing how motivated you all are about this. We have troops dieing overseas and you all are worried about cigarette smoke in establishments that YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO GO TO.

    Let’s see if this comment is “awaiting moderation.”

     
  42. Jimmy Z says:

    It’s interesting that the discussion has devolved into a pretty uncivil (and passionate) “I’m right and you’re both wrong and an idiot” level. The good news is that both sides will apparently get to make their points in a truly public (and somewhat democratic) forum, as the proposed citywide ban makes its way through the legislative process. The bad news is that allowing smoking in restaurants and/or bars has/will have very little to do with people becoming addicted to nicotine.

    The vast majority of smokers first try it when they’re in their teens, when they’re young and stupid and impressionable and “will live forever”. It’s also an age when they can’t legally buy tobacco or hang out in bars. When it comes to “restaurants” and smoking – at that age, it’s not really an option, either – between what it costs and parents/other adults, can you say drive-thru?! Advertising and the media both play a much bigger role, but the biggest driver is what your peers are doing – hang out around smokers, and you’ll probably try to “fit in”. Grow up around smoking parents, and you’ll likely see little reason to be like them. And grow up around non-smoking parents, and guess what, odds are you just may start smoking to spite them.

    When it comes to quitting, I think we all agree that it’s really tough. It’d be interesting to know if the smoking percentage in states or cities that outlaw smoking in restaurants is lower than in areas that don’t. My guess is no, but that higher taxes are having a much bigger, positive effect. Do the math – if you’re burning through two packs a day and the cost is now $10 a pack (as it will soon be in Illinois), that’s $7,300 a year! Up in smoke and slowly killing you! And if you’re a blue-collar worker, that could be 20% or 25% of your take-home pay! I guess it all boils down to what our real goal is – do we want to “break” people of a bad habit, or do we want to have the “freedom” to walk into any restaurant in town and not be “assualted” by second- or third-hand smoke?

    Personally, I’ll take a higher tax (or an outright ban of the product) over a selective ban on its use – it’s blatantly hypocritical to do both! Either the product is a dangerous, addictive, carcinogenic drug and needs to be treated (and regulated) like every other drug OR it’s not, and its use should be left up to its individual users and the places they patronize. The fundamental problem is that, not surprisingly, the government doesn’t want to lose a significant revenue source yet it doesn’t want to disappoint the majority – the government KNOWS that tobacco is a drug, but if they were to make it illegal, they’d a) lose the taxes its sales generate, b) have a LOT of pissed-off constituents, and c) have a lot of new addicts they’d have to deal with. So, instead of facing reality, we just get more and more smoking bans . . .

     
  43. john w. says:

    Whether or not the institutions, financial or manufacturing, manage to pay back the taxpayer funded bailouts STILL has nothing whatsoever to do with socialism, and you’ve repeatedly missed your opportunity to explain your perspective in fundamental terms. Will many banks and the auto industry fail to repay portions of their bailout ‘loans’? It’s more than likely, but how that relates to socialism is beyond me (?). Allowing behemoth institutions that have far-reaching and intricate relationships (sometimes intractible, and difficult to trace) simply to fail as a matter of free market principle is opposed by economists on both sides of the political aisle, and recent polls give pretty strong indication that the country understands this uncomfortable position and trusts the direction of the current administration.

    I’m not promoting this “trivial” issue, the blog post is, and you’re just as responsible for its promotion by engaging the discussion with your position. If you don’t know why you even bother (presumably to continue this exchange with me), then stop. When you offer into the discussion pure gems like… “Don’t like the word “socialism”? How about dictatorship? All hail messiah president obama. I wonder how many people on here voted for slay?”… and I say that you sound like a fool, it’s only an insult if you’re insulted, and you absolutely brought it on yourself.

     
  44. john w. says:

    I’ll go ahead and offer the same link to the definition of ‘elitism’ that you offered, and ask how you believe this definition avails your usage of the word…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elitism

    If you don’t want your children to attend any school that I have, and you “want to make sure [your] children don’t associate with anyone who attends/attended there”, then I suppose you are some sort of elitist.

     
  45. Reginald Pennypacker III says:

    I think one thing we can all agree on is that smokers are stupid. Given what we know about cigarettes and health, anyone who chooses to smoke is, quite simply, a moron.

     
  46. Jimmy Z says:

    Reginald, I don’t quite agree. Addicted? Yes. Stupid, with 20/20 hindsight, for choosing to start? Yes. But “stupid” for not being able to quit? Not so much – addiction comes in many forms and many degrees, including the elderly who continue to smoke while using oxygen. I’m guessing that reality is around 50/50 – half don’t care or don’t want to be told what to do, and half are truly addicted and will never be able to quit – a truly unfortunate situation to be facing in today’s society . . .

     
  47. studs lonigan says:

    I do not smoke and do not like to be around tobacco smoke, but I know really smart people who love to smoke and have no intention of quitting. It’s more complicated than smart vs. stupid, if the argument is that they’re killing themselves by smoking, therefore they’re stupid. I don’t think people who kill themselves in any manner are necessarily stupid or crazy.

    It’s still hard to imagine how a heavy smoker diagnosed with terminal lung cancer at age 55 would not feel regretful.

     
  48. samizdat says:

    Hey, Steve, ditch Chimichanga and head down the street a block to Burrito Loco and have burrito the size of your head. Everything is fresh, including the salsa and guac. So fresh, in fact, that the intensity of the salsa changes from visit to visit. They make the best guac in town, in my opinion. And homemade chips. Sometimes so fresh that they’re still a little warm. And, really, how can you patronize an establishment which stuck an ugly permanent canopy onto the front of the building they occupy? 100 ft. west on Bates from the corner of Grand and Bates. No smoking, obviously. Oh, and vegetarian options, as well. They don’t use lard in ANY of their recipes, BTW.

     
  49. Tony Palazzolo says:

    Some people like to smoke – really enjoy it. They also understand that it carries risk. Its not a healthy choice. I smoked cigarettes for many years and quit. I did enjoy it, but I knew that as I got older it was something that I couldn’t continue. That was my choice, I made the choice to smoke and I made the choice to quit. I also later made a choice to try cigars and quite frankly – there is nothing like a good cigar. I don’t expect everyone to understand that. All I want is the option to go to a place that wants and allows me to enjoy a cigar and a drink. My guess is that it won’t be same place that caters to many of you.

    [slp — sure they enjoy it — that is part of the addiction! When the brain gets the nicotine it craves it reports as being happy.]

     
  50. Jane says:

    To Steve – I didn’t see PH on that list!

    [slp — I was listing city places. The Pasta House downtown is smoke-free. Not sure about the one on Euclid?]

     
  51. john m says:

    See that is where I am confused, SLP, steve. When Tony eloquently stated what he wants, knowing full well the risks involved, you interject with what I would consider the motivation behind many non-smokers motives. They don’t just want a hospitable environment for themselves, which is more than fine with me. What they really want is smoking banned for the benefit of all. And they won’t be happy until the scourge of smoking wiped from the planet, or at least their world. Such it is with Control over others when you think you know better. But what do any of us really know for sure.

    That is why this argument continues to degrade every time it is brought up. That is my point on the third hand smoke thing as well. It exposes your true hand. Because using it as basis for the foundation of your argument, you would be right to pursue its total end, as it negatively affects everyone present or not. Like a little dioxin superfund site everytime you light up.

    I would think of all people, as I am sure you have encountered prejudice towards peoples opinion that you made unhealthy choices for yourself. Many people see your lifestyle as a choice. Some see it as inherent. But in the era of misinformation of AIDS, unsound or nonexistent science allowed arguments to spiral into a full out war on homosexuality and its Godly overtone of wrath. So it is with third hand smoke and its pseudoscience, there is no such thing proven to have any effect on anything, merely an opinion with manipulated results meant to achieve a preconceived conclusion.

    You are who you are despite the reason for it. Some see smoking as an addiction and others see it as “smokers are stupid”. which is a wealth of insight, thanks pennypacker, you are a genius. But in the end we are all going to die, whether you have ever smoked or not. I strongly encourage restaurants to follow your sound advice, because as a smoker, I will gladly patronize a non-smoking establishment. But in your originally very sound advice, allow those that want to be smoking to do so.

    {slp — a number of years ago I listed and sold the home of someone that had been a heavy smoker. At the time all contents had been removed from the house. It had been cleaned and aired out. But being inside for 5 minutes was enough to cause my eyes to water and my clothes to smell. My car would then smell as it transferred from my clothing to my upholstery. The place had not been smoked in for over six months! 3rd hand smoke is very real, I’ve personally experienced it. What I don’t want is a ban on the product. If someone wants to smoke at home, go ahead. But in public we must negotiate how we all must get along. What happens in private clubs is different than what is permissible in establishments open to the general public.]

     
  52. This reminds me of a relative who won’t let a gay relative on her property because she is convinced he will spread disease to other “innocent'” family members. It’s all junk science at the service of hatred and intolerance. Why can’t you see that Steve?

     
  53. john m says:

    Okay the fact that you can smell it is not debated. When I read the Harvard doctors review of his testing, that is what he stated, yet he used another example.

    I know you do not like smoking, abhor it would be more appropriate. Your eyes watering is not a clear sign that harm has been caused. You may be allergic to smoke or dust in the house. It could be a psychosomatic reaction to a very real trauma towards smoking. I don’t like the smell of the residue either, but none of those things happen to me.

    I am not discounting that you have a reaction to smoking, but with all due respect until the science comes out about the real affects of any remaining smoke residue after a cig is smoked, I think we should tread lightly to its real properties and any potential harm it may cause.

    Just so it is known to you. I am not attacking you on this. I see how quickly things move, attitudes that is and I am concerned that if this were seen as true, my contact with others would be limited unless I quit. There are kids to consider, all sorts of things. So while I am not jumping all over your right to hold this opinion, it must be stated that it is just that, opinion, not fact.

    It may in the end turn out that you were right, at that point, there would certainly be one less smoker in the world, while I can somehow stomach the harm with me, I cannot bare the reality of harming others.

    Steve, thanks for responding, I greatly appreciate your work here, whether I agree with you or not.

     
  54. Tony Palazzolo says:

    Third hand smoke is a prime example of why I’m against bans. Several years ago a study was done that measured the IQ of children with smoking parents. They found on average that those children were a couple of points lower than children with non-smoking parents. Their conclusion – smoking lowers their IQ. Makes sense if you measured the parents IQ which they did not. Its like measuring the IQ of children that grow up in a trailer park and conclude trailers lower your IQ. A few years later antitobacco researchers design a questionnaire. They would ask smokers if they knew that smoke sticks to their cloths and harms their children (never mind there is absolutely no science that backs this up). They had to come up with a term so they called it third hand smoke. They release the results of the questionnaire to the media. Now some of the media picks it up and furthers it by stating that researchers found that third hand smoke is deadly. I watched in amazement as the Today Show Medical correspondent said “if you smoke, you are equal to a toxic wasteland”. You take one flawed study, add a questionnaire and suddenly people that smoke could kill. It is fear mongering at the very least. I’m sure that some people heard this and since they were smokers lost their jobs.

    All I want is the freedom to enjoy a cigar at a private establishment that wants and allows it. Yet these people spend hundreds of millions on research and lobbyist to tell me that I can’t.

    Steve your example of a house that you bought would still happen with or without a ban.

    [slp — yes, the private home would still be the same. I offered that to illustrate how the effects of the smoke continue when the smoke & smoker are not around. I haven’t read all these various studies. I know how I personally feel in places that allow smoking and know what a joy it is to go out for a meal in other states and not have to find a non-smoking place to eat. ]

     
  55. john w. says:

    “This reminds me of a relative who won’t let a gay relative on her property because she is convinced he will spread disease to other “innocent’” family members. It’s all junk science at the service of hatred and intolerance. Why can’t you see that Steve?”

    -quoted from an idiot.

    [slp — no need for name calling, he is not an idiot. Yes it was a poor analogy. Comparing intolerance for who someone is (gay, black, etc) is quite different than for someone with an addiction that refuses to seek help for their addiction.]

     
  56. john w. says:

    The namecall was drawn from the despicable tactic used in the analogy, which is poor, but also intended as a personal appeal to this blog author’s own sexual orientation. It was barely even veiled, and pretty low. The conflation of the intolerance of non-smokers to smoke exhaled by smokers who CHOOSE to smoke, with bigotry again illustrates the desperation of a cause. The smoker’s rights advocacy would be better defended by sticking with the most basic position, and avoid the distractions of attempting to present cigararette smoking as somehow less harmful than it actually is.

     
  57. Gays and smokers are not equivalent. But the spirit of intolerance they face is the same demon.

     
  58. studs lonigan says:

    >>Gays and smokers are not equivalent. But the spirit of intolerance they face is the same demon.<<

    Except that being around gay people does not cause cancer. Otherwise, you might have a point.

     
  59. Jimmy Z says:

    Life is a fatal disease – we’re all going to die from something, most likely something we have little control over. Life is full of choices, as well. There’s now evidence that subsisting on a bland, susbsistence diet can help extend your life. It kinda boils down to do you want to party hard and die young, but fat and happy, or do you want to “follow all the rules”, live a long life, and eventually just “fall apart”, either metally and/or physically in your late 80’s, 90’s or beyond? The added challenge, when it comes to smoking, is that your choice may be in direct conflict with my choice . . .

     

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