Smoking Bans Are A Capital Joke

Washington, D.C., our nation’s capital, has a smoking ban like many of the states in the union have to one degree or another. In 2007, the District banned smoking in bars, restaurants, and other public places. But it seems that if you are a member of the City Council, you can get a one-day waiver for your organization. The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick holds an annual boxing event to raise money for charity, and one of the traditions for the event is cigar smoking. So Jack Evans, a city councilman representing Ward 2 and a member of the Friendly Sons, asked his colleagues for a one-day waiver for their event.

Now, there are a couple of ways to look at it. First, there is the optimistic outlook. Any kind of reprieve in the smoking ban is a small victory, and should be counted as such. People want to smoke, they get the opportunity.

The second way is that it just shows what a farce smoking bans are to begin with. They are put in place, supposedly, to protect non-smokers from the dangers of second-hand smoke, and to potentially keep smokers from consuming quite so many cigars, cigarettes, and pipes. All they do is keep adults from exercising their choice to use a legal product, and in the process financially harm the owners of small bars and restaurants. Just look at all the exemptions across the nation for large businesses, primarily casinos. You can sit at a slot machine or a blackjack table, and smoke all you want, because you’re filling state tax coffers and the pockets of businesses that donate heavily to politicians. But if you want to have a cigar while you sip on a drink at your local watering hole, you’re out of luck.

Smoking bans are but a simple fraud perpetrated upon the public. They are enacted to ease the minds of non-smokers, and are filled with enough loopholes to make a fishing net seem solid by comparison. The ability to allow or disallow smoking should be the decision of the business or organization. Plenty of them would keep the bans in place, but an almost equal number would lift them I feel. Consumers would have a choice of where to go, as would potential employees who don’t want to be exposed to second hand smoke. My wife and her friends, for example, would rather go to a non-smoking bar because they don’t like coming home and having their hair and clothes smelling like smoke. Plenty of bars and restaurants would happily keep bans in place for people like this. And plenty of others would lift it to get smokers in their doors.

But if all else fails, just join an organization with a Supreme Court Justice, governors, or congressmen and get them to make a phone call. You’ll be lighting up in no time.

(If you don’t have that kind of cache, joining Cigar Rights of America is a good alternative.)

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Comments

Yep, it’s crazy & hypocritical.

What *I* do not understand is the latest move to ban, e.g., cigar bars, places where ppl VOLUNTARILY and WILLINGLY want to congregate of their own free will. Why should *that* be increasingly illegal?

Sorry to jump back in on this so quickly, but the hypocrisy really bugs me: you know that smoking is NOT prohibited in private Congressional chambers, right? That is, senators and members of the house can (and do!) light up whenever they want.

Frickin’ liberal hypocrisy: laws for thee but not for me!

NH (NH! the “Life Free or Die” state) is contemplating a TOBACCO ban (i.e., everything, including, say, snus) in all public parks, to include, one assumes, state parks (i.e., wilderness).

What is sickening is that while tobacco is an easy target these days, the abridgment of freedom knows no bounds: sugar, fats (restaurant food), Christianity (“hate” speech), and all other manner of freedoms are under attack.

I sometimes fear that my tinfoil hat is too tight (i.e., that *I* am the whacko), but other times, e.g., when Congress actively seeks to subvert the Constitution (via, e.g., the auto-executing, no-vote-needed “reconciliation” process for ObamaCare) I know it’s not me.

Liberals scoff at comparisons to East Germany or suggestions that our current President is more of a tyrant (governing by edict) than the last ever was, but it’s just not true. We are in danger, and tobacco is another canary in the coal mine.
/rant

Thanks for the informative post. I don’t feel I’m adequately versed enough to comment. I think you did a good job of at least providing the two sides to this story. However swayed those two may be.

That is bullshit. There you go your public servants working for you. Not. There just working to get re elected.

If these smoking bans piss you off you better get on the phone and contact your representatives, because if this healthcare bill passes you can kiss your smoking rights goodbye!! When the government controls healthcare they control almost every aspect of your life. If they think something is unhealthy they will outlaw it, and it will happen that fast. Get on the phone and tell these politicians to vote NO on the healthcare bill. Save our cigar rights!!

Great post, Charlie! I couldn’t agree with you more. The sheer greed and hypocrisy displayed by the government is sickening!

Good article. Smoking bans, like most other idiocy perpetrated by our elected officials, tends to be more about controlling people and their behaviors than anything else. And little victories for control–like banning smoking–lead to bigger bans–such as banning trans fats in restaurants, as has happened in several cities–and eventually leads to absolute lunacy–such as some NYC dope trying to ban salt in restaurants.

Jan is right, too…if the current scam of a healthcare bill becomes law they will eventually have the right to invade any part of our lives and deem habits, foods, or activities as “unhealthy” and “too costly” for society to have to pay for. There is virtually nothing they won’t be able to touch.

They can have my guns, but they’ll have to pry my cigar from my cold dead hands. I might have to buy up some land and start my own country. No SCHIP and direct imports from Cuba.

JimK,
If they have your guns, they will pry your cigars from your cold dead hands…the first thing any totalitarian-style government does is collect all privately-owned guns so there can be no armed opposition from the people. The 2nd amendment was created to protect the 1st amendment (and the rest of the Constitution, for that matter).

People see what this administration is doing and it scares them. Not since FDR has there been a president doing as much of a power grab as Obama. This is why the Tea Party movement is so big. We are a free country, and we are not about to give up our rights to a few people on a hill in Washington DC who think they know what is best for us. We need to wake up as many people as we can to what is going on before it is too late.

This is the kind of stuff that irritates me beyond belief! I live in Baltimore and have grown use to the smoking bans (I also smoke cigarettes). There are only 3 places within the city where you can enjoy a cigar or cigarrette inside.

One is a cigar shop, another is a place so fancy that a suit and half your paycheck is required to enter, and the last, a bar where smoking is allowed on the third floor. The latter is so packed Thursday – Saturday that you can barely enjoy a cigar. Very restricting when it comes to having a cigar with friends.

I think that no smoking in establishments has benefits, especially in restaurants or areas where children may be present. I can even understand bans in bars – even I (a smoker) use to hate leaving a bar and smelling like an ashtray and/or getting a cigarette burn from a drunk girl.

But the fact that private business owners are not allowed to choose if they can have a smoking area or smoking room/floor is the definition of tyranny. Less restrictive legislation could accomplish what these laws intend to do.

Like another comment said, NYC may ban salt. Step by step, right by right, the vices in life are being stripped away from us. Yeah – some things are bad for you. It shouldn’t be the government’s business what you choose to do with legal, available for non-prescription purchase items in and on private property.

If you follow this laws logic, we should ban drinking in bars and restaurants as people who drink and drive can kill people.

When I first heard about this I was infuriated at the hypocrisy of this guy. I mean leave us the heck alone.

I agree, people should be able to make their own choices.

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