Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Huddled Masses of the Nicotine Addicted

Last week the Fredericksburg City Council passed a resolution asking the General Assembly to grant localities the power to ban smoking in public places such as bars and office buildings. Currently such power lies with the state, rather than the localities. Previous anti-smoking measures in tobacco-friendly Virginia have failed, so I'm not overly optimistic about this one.

One of the arguments frequently heard against such a ban is the nuisance and litter created by smokers gathering on the sidewalk outside of bars and restaurants. For example, The Capital Ale House is non-smoking until 9:00PM. As I tried to enter the establishment recently I had to push my way through a gaggle of smokers who had gathered right outside the entrance. I have to wonder how desperate these people must be for a cigarette that they must stop at their first step out of the door to light up. Yep, it's a downside to smoking bans, but I still prefer this aggravation to going home smelling like a dirty ashtray. Since we can't legislate common courtesy, the hassle of moving through the huddled mass of the nicotine dependent is a small price to pay for clean air inside.

The Free Lance-Star article about the council resolution is here.


  1. Beyond the aggravation to us non-smoker customers, the non-smoker employees of smoking establishments face real heath issues working in a smoke filled bar 8+ hours a day. And these are jobs that typically don't offer health insurance...

  2. I think I must be one of the few non-smokers who doesn't mind a smokey bar - despite the fact that I do mind the coughing and wheezing the next morning.

  3. And yet the city didn't add anything to their incentive's documents that they would reward a business for being non-smoking. Hey, if we're going to be serious about it, lets put some meat to what council is trying to say. If you want incentives in the city, you're going to have to go non-smoking between the hours of x&x.

  4. Nonsmoking during parts of the day seems weird to me. Sure, the active smoke will clear the air after a while, but as any who has walked into a smoking hotel room knows, that smell doesn't really leave and I can imagine the smoke stuck in everything porous isn't as dangerous as secondhand smoke in the air, but is probably pretty nasty healthwise anyway.


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