Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Beaumont Enacts Smoking Ban

Beaumont City Council passed a smoking ban on Tuesday effectively banning smoking in all public spaces (excluding some hotels, private clubs and charitable organizations). A person may smoke outside of a business establishment as long as they are at least 25 feet from the door.

I understand the concern of bar and restaurant owners over the possible loss of revenue caused by the ban. However, my drinking and smoking friends are not going to stay away from bars just because they can’t smoke. The lure of alcohol, live music and socializing will override the inconvenience of having to go outside to smoke. Any loss of smoking revenue by bars and clubs to neighboring communities which still allow smoking should be more than made up by people who quit going to bars long ago because of the smoke.

It’s still amazing to think back to the days when people could smoke at their desks or in office break-rooms and on airplanes. In the not so distant future, people will also be amazed that smoking was ever allowed indoors anywhere, including bars and especially restaurants.


Zina said...

We've had that "rule" in Dallas for a while. Some smaller bars don't have to follow that law up here. I'm not sure I understand the details on that. I like the no smoking thing. Especially at concerts the seats are so close in some of these venues. Go Beaumont.

Peter said...

Hi Laurie, yep we have the same rules throughout Australia too, looks like the day of the tobacco Cos might be over at last.

PS. I smoked for nearly 40 years so it's not the voice of a puitanical activist here.

thenewmrsf said...

As you know, I used to be a social smoker. I have to say, sometimes there's just nothing better than a cold beer, or a Cosmo, and a Marlboro Light after a hard day. But this way, to keep the smoker's revenue, I think we'll start seeing more outside patios and/or courtyards crop up here in B-mont, which I personally think we could use. Nice change of pace from the smoke-ridden venues we've had to leave SMELLING LIKE a Marlboro Light!

Jack said...

I don't smoke, I don't like smoking, and I don't like being around people who are smoking. I've had a couple eye surgeries which have left me very sensitive to atmospheric pollutants, and just being in a smokey room causes irritation that's sometimes mild and and sometimes so intense that I can't keep my eyes open.

But if there's one thing I find more irritating that cigarette smoke, it's those damn health Nazis telling other people how to behave. If Antone's wants to let people smoke, that's between Antone's and their customers. If they don't want to let people smoke on their premises, that's their business too.

What ever happened to the right to choose? This used to be America, damnit!

Laurie said...

Zina - We haven't had smoking in our larger concert venues for a long time and it sure spoiled me.

Peter - I'm sure the tobacco companies still have a few tricks up their sleeves.

Mrs. F - I have no problem going outside with the smokers. In fact, I'm looking forward to that...if it's not too cold.

Jack - I knew you were going to say that. said...

I honestly hope Iowa jumps on that train soon. There's I think one city with that type of ordinance, but hopefully it will be more widespread. It doesn't make sense that someone who chooses not to smoke still has to come home smelling like it at the end of a night out (not to mention the detrimental effects of secondhand smoke).

Jack said...

I know you knew I'd say that. Like Mr. Emerson said, "foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds," and I'm nothing if not consistent.

With regard to Mrs. F's suggestion that we'll see courtyeard or patios for smokers, they're going to have to be pretty big balconies to get the smoking area more than 25 feet from the door.

I hate smokers as much as the next guy, but come on, 25 feet from the nearest door? WTF is up with that? It's not enough to make them go outside, we also have to make them go far enough away that there's no chance that the wind might even carry a slight wiff of their smoke in the general vicinity of decent, God-fearin' non-smoking folk?

And what about those damn perfume wearers? I can't get near 'em without my eyes itching. Couldn't we ban them from polite society as well?

Laurie said...

Melissa - Hang in there. It'll happen.

Jack - The newspaper this morning said they will probably tweak the ordinance before it goes into effect on 8/1. The main point of contention, for now, seems to be that overly enthusiastic 25 foot rule.

Regarding the perfume wearers, at this point, I don't know of any studies which implicate Chanel No. 5 as a carcinogen.

thenewmrsf said...

Guess I'm just an outdoorsy kinda gal, but a cold brew and smokin a cig outside on a beautiful day (like today) is pretty much favorable to being indoors.

And I do agree with you, Jack, they'll have to be quite large balconies, not only to comply w/the 25-ft. rule, but to 'house' all the smokers. It's really a quite stupid rule when you think about it...there's going to 75 people standing the obligatory 25 ft. away from the door, who's smoke you'll either have to walk thru just to get to the club, or which'll just inevitably filter into the'll be like tryin to stop Pig Pen's perpetual cloud! Still can't believe the strictest ruling got passed.

BTW-Posted my thoughts on cologne/perfume-wearing on my blog back in October...completely agree with ya.

Anonymous said...

One reason I like the 25 feet from the door is, if I want to relax out front on the courthouse "porch" you can't even breath because that's where the smokers go. We have no such thing as going out for "fresh air".

I know it sounds stupid but, if I were out with freinds and they wanted to step outside or sit on the "patio" or whatever, I'd probably go. As long as the smoke was blowing the other direction.

Baby sis

Jack said...

Regarding perfume wearers--Maybe it's not linked to cancer, but it is linked to a whole bunch of other health problems:

Perfume is EVIL. It's nothing more than an unacceptable substitute for proper hygiene.

I malign not cigarettes, but perfume.

Laurie said...

Mrs. F - It is a lovely day today, isn't it?

Little Sis - Maybe they can make it 25 feet for businesses and restaurants and 10-15 feet for bars. Even a small amount of space from the front door for bars will make a huge difference in the amount of smoke we're usually exposed to at the clubs.

Jack - I've said it once and I'll say it again, I love it when you go all Denny Crane.

Lorna said...

I'm so clonflicted about this---Laurie, this is a serious answer---I'm not a smoker, and I don't wantto get cancer from second hand smoke but it makes me crazy that the same government that rakes in huge revenues from smokers can tell them they're now pariahs. I was especially outraged when the ban extended to Verterans's Homes---the Cdn Govt used to issue cigarettes the way the british navy issued rum! Go ahead, make them addicts, then tell them to roll their wheelchairs 30 ft from the door...

Laurie said...

Lorna - Sounds like my best blogger-mate and my best band-watching-mate would make great friends. Have you met Jack?