Smoking ban workaround in bars: Hold "theater nights"

The Star Tribune reports that dozens of bars in the Twin Cities are holding "theater nights" and declaring everyone in the bar to be an actor. By law, performers are allowed to smoke during theatrical performances. (The law in California is similar. I once saw Art Spiegelman give his presentation about the history of comic books and he chained-smoked his way through it.)
Lisa Anderson, owner of Mike's Uptown bar in Hill City, said that last Saturday she staged a "theater night" and packed in four times the usual crowd that has come in since the smoking ban took effect.

Anderson said she has been helping other bar owners who want to put on their own tobacco productions.

"I'm going to continue to do this,'' she said. "It increased my business.''

So will Brian Bauman, owner of The Rock nightclub in Maplewood, which staged a theater night Tuesday and nearly doubled the usual crowd.

At least 10 other bar owners wandered through his bar that night, taking stock of the event's success.

Link (Via Reason Hit & Run)


  1. Great for bar owners, but that’s just annoying to those of us who don’t smoke. Maybe it’ll corral all the smokers to their own bars and leave the entryways of the city’s buildings smoke free.

  2. More proof that lots of people are selective in how they deal with the law. It’s a shame that the employees are being subjected to this kind of toxic environment. Smoking –is– good for the nation, as it kills off many people before they need to use too much of their social security, and other tax-funded programs.

  3. I still don’t get how BB readers are such strong civil liberties supporters, but they don’t support people being allowed to smoke, or property owners allowing people to smoke on their personal property. Sure, smoking is retarded, but it’s not your body getting hurt unless you choose to eat/drink/work at an establishment that allows smoking. If you don’t want to be exposed to smoke, don’t eat/drink/smoke at places that allow smoking.

    I support these bar owners. Fight dumb laws with dumb loopholes.

  4. Greetings

    In every society there are two sets of laws, the big thick books of ALL the laws which our Clavinist tendencies cause us to pass and then the far thinner set with the laws we actually care about and want enforced…

    Sex, gambling, drugs, and smoking join all the Calvinist anti-pleasure laws regulating and controlling every facet of our lives but in “reality” we really don’t care if somebody loopholes and games the system ;)

    Enjoy ther journey


  5. Smokers account for about 25% of the US population today, according to Gallup’s Consumption Habits poll.

    Sitting back on your sheltered laurels and telling me how stupid smokers are is irrelevant. If you ran a bar and had one iota of business acumen, you would want to find ways to welcome smokers. In a business context, this was a smart way around the laws.

    It may also help to remember that this country was built on individual freedom, including the choice to smoke or not. It doesn’t matter what the risks are – it’s still a personal choice. Trying to force the population to live as YOU see fit is the fastest way to ruin a society. Look at every communist society for reference on that.

    I don’t smoke, but I firmly believe it should be up to business proprietors whether or not they do business with smokers. Good on them for finding a way to subvert this idiotic ban.

  6. “I still don’t get how BB readers are such strong civil liberties supporters, but they don’t support people being allowed to smoke, or property owners allowing people to smoke on their personal property. ….”

    It’s interesting, isn’t it? I don’t think they even realize the doublethink going on there.

  7. There are bars that have been hurt by smoking bans. Often these bars were relying on the smell of tobacco smoke to hide the smell of stale beer and puke, and relied on people with no remaining olfactory sense to fill the seats.

    It’s true that there were many bars whose clientele almost all were smokers. This is because the non-smokers couldn’t stand it in there. Produce a more pleasant environment, and you can prosper.

  8. Yeah… so I a big civil liberties guy, and I was opposed to these anti-smoking laws at first for all of these reasons.

    Until I realized that we’re at a classic case of competing liberties, precisely because of the business owners. People (including me) talk alot about there needing to be places where smokers can go by choice. Except this becomes a de facto “smoking everywhere” because no business owner in their right might would want to “exclude” people, right? So where do I get to go, huh?

    It’s not trampling on civil liberties if I require you not to urinate on people in public. And this is far more damaging to me than if you just peed on me.

  9. Antinous (#6), by my understanding of Actor’s Equity, as a non-equity theater, non-equity actors smoking and drinking at such a bar would have no problem — but Equity members could not go to such a “theater night”!

  10. I just don’t see it as a calvinist morality thing..

    Any pleasureful activity you want to engage in that *doesn’t get anything on me* is fine.

  11. I say it’s better to allow smoking in theaters than to allow acting in cigar bars.

    Oh, and @#12: There’s no law requiring bars to allow people to smoke. Anybody at any time can establish a business with a ‘pleasant environment.” That’s why some of us argue for civil liberties and a free marketplace.

  12. “I still don’t get how BB readers are such strong civil liberties supporters, but they don’t support people being allowed to smoke, or property owners allowing people to smoke on their personal property. ….”

    Are you referring to another post? Because this post by Mark gives zero judgement about whether this is a good or a bad thing — he’s simply pointing to the article.

  13. where bar owners are falling down is in their inability or refusal to think of ways to serve booze while keeping the servers out of the smoke

  14. I don’t see this as even remotely “Calvinist” at this point. I you want to smoke your lungs out, do so. But employees need to be protected in the work place. The low paying jobs are not always filled with smokers, but rather people who need to work to pay the bills. People will take what employment they can get, and to make them breath poison isn’t part of our current culture’s idea of “fair.”

  15. @10: If 25% are smokers then the smart businessman will be going for what attracts non-smokers, IF people actually divide along those lines in their consumer actions.

    I used to have a problem with reconciling smoking bans with individual freedom but I now view smoking bans like noise ordinances or disturbing the peace. A smoker may as well be screaming and smell of feces and no one tolerates that – actually that would be better since with smoking the stink gets into your clothes and follows you home. It is at least, if not more offensive than many other behaviours we have restricted via law for years.

  16. As someone mentioned earlier, there is some big book of Calvinist laws that says we can’t have any fun, and another, smaller book, that contains the laws that actually seem to be pertinent. I hereby decree these laws called “Hobbes laws”, as Hobbes was the voice of reason, and the others pertain to only children.

  17. I dont see it as issue of smoker vs nonsmoker. It’s an issue of a business being able to make it’s own choice about what LEGAL activities it allows. I say either make smoking illegal (and we all know how well prohibition and the so called war on drugs is going) or allow adults to make their own choices for their bodies and businesses.

    @4- “It’s a shame that the employees are being subjected to this kind of toxic environment.”

    Oh please. They work in BAR it’s like feeling bad they are being exposed to all those drunks. No one is forced to work there, and besides lots of people work in a “toxic” environments. Coal workers, sewage treatment workers, and mechanics come to mind.

    Plus bigger crowds = more tips. I’m fairly sure they weren’t upset about that paycheck.

  18. “lots of people work in a “toxic” environments. Coal workers, sewage treatment workers, and mechanics ”

    All these examples have legislation protecting them in the work place from noxious fumes.

  19. Why do so many people equate addictions with fun? Are your lives so depressing that you have to get high to have a good time?

  20. “I have the right to do whatever I want.”

    Will always run smack into

    “You have no right to intrude on me.”

    Guaranteeing full employment for lawyers for eternity.

    As far as how to serve smokers without subjecting yourself to the toxic fumes, I like feeding tubes that drop down from the ceiling.

  21. “It’s not trampling on civil liberties if I require you not to urinate on people in public. And this is far more damaging to me than if you just peed on me.”

    If you think a bar is a public place you really have no idea how property works. A bar is as much a public place as my house is.

    A public place is a place funded by the government.

    I have absolutely no problem with banning smoking in government buildings. The problem I have is with the government banning consenting adults from participating in activities that take place on PRIVATE property.

  22. This sounds like a perfectly reasonable idea. I assume they’re prepared to follow all the relevant regulations for public performances–permitting, different fire inspection and safety laws, different and probably higher taxation, and so forth. I also assume they’re in compliance with zoning laws (most municipalities have a special code for retail food) and that this won’t jeopardize their food or liquor license. And, of course, no doubt they’ve checked to make sure that their waitstaff can still accept tips, can still be paid at the foodservice employee sub-minimum, and aren’t subject to (or are in compliance with) local collective bargaining agreements for performing artists. That’s the obvious stuff. Their tax lawyer is going to charge them triple overtime figuring out which taxes to collect, if any, but maybe they’ve got that base covered too.

    Actually, I don’t mind them dabbling some, ahem, theatrics, especially if they think a little short-term profit is worth the inevitable crackdown. But it is a little sickening to see them play-act as a helpless, oppressed minority heroically engaging in civil disobedience. They’re just hoping people won’t hold it against them that they’re profiting at the expense of bars that wouldn’t break the law. Hey, they’re probably right.

  23. It’s not complicated. Have smoker’s rooms that servers don’t have to enter. People can get their own drinks and carry them in. As for the hyper-allergic that claim extreme physical reaction from mere traces of tobacco smoke; you should all be forced to prove your hyper-reactivity in double blind tests. For the record, I don’t smoke anymore, except when the extremely sanctimonious get up my nose, Then I pointed go have one with the Dirty Tribe. The world would be a better place without commercial tobacco – but here we are.

  24. Folks who get uppity over cigarette smoke rarely drink alcohol with any regularity. A few do, but most aren’t going to come out to the bar with any regularity, and when they do, they’ll sip one $8 beer or a soda.

    I have no problem with that. The pub I drink at has an entirely different crowd though. 75% sport multiple tattoos, most have been arrested at one point or the other, and all of them but one smokes. The one who doesn’t? The bar manager…and he’s about as anti-smoking-ban as it gets.

    So why can’t we smoke? You can have your vegan coffee shops and Applebees…why can’t we have our bar?

  25. The employee argument is retarded. I’ve been friends with alot of bartenders and waitresses and every single one of them was a smoker.

    These militant non-smokers are just like the religious right. They don’t think you should do something so they’re perfectly willing to take away your freedom of choice to do it, using whatever excuse they can. They don’t really care about your health or your soul (respectively), they just don’t like the fact that people are doing things they don’t approve of.


    Friday, 15 February 2008, 17:16 GMT
    ‘£10 licence to smoke’ proposed

    Smokers would have to get a licence to light up under the plan
    Smokers could be forced to pay £10 for a permit to buy tobacco if a government health advisory body gets its way.

    No one would be able to buy cigarettes without the permit, under the idea proposed by Health England.

    Its chairman, Professor Julian Le Grand, told BBC Radio 5 Live the scheme would make a big difference to the number of people giving up smoking.

    But smokers’ rights group Forest described the idea as “outrageous”, given how much tax smokers already pay.

    Professor Le Grand, a former adviser to ex-PM Tony Blair, said cash raised by the proposed scheme would go to the NHS.

  27. Let me ask you a question. Say i walked into a bar with a cool new little device, the size of a matchbox. It’s pretty ugly looking, it randomly fires out radiation at myself and people around me that has an extremely high chance of causing cancer. It makes it hard for people around me to breath(and causes coughing fits), it generates a smell that i can’t smell(nor can others with the same type of matchbox), but this smell will attach itself to other people and when they get home and take off their clothes it sticks to them until they take a shower, it’s highly addictive, has zero health benefits, but.. people think using it makes them look cool.

    Now you tell me if this ok with you? Is it ok, that i’m actively harming you and people around you? Laws are in place in most countries to prevent you driving a car without a seatbelt, and yet.. for some unknown god damn reason(money from big companies), smokers can walk around poisoning themselves and everyone around them with impunity. I don’t understand how they can be so callous and oblivious to other people.

    I condemn this attempt at flouting if not the actual law that was made, then the spirit of that law.

  28. “But for many Native Americans, tobacco is like sacramental wine in the Catholic Church–a sacred substance with the power to heal, transform and create. And just as wine can addict and kill, tobacco is so potent and powerful–in some tribes achieving the status of a deity–that it sickens, kills and destroys when used improperly.”

  29. Antinous, have you ever smoked? My god, it’s sweet. I once smoked a Sherman after two weeks of withdrawal, and had a rush like a major whole-body orgasm, only better. Cigarettes are a complex, subtle drug and drug delivery system that allows all kinds of neurological fine turning.

    Mind you, it’s been a long time since I smoked. But I’ve never kidded myself: if smoking wasn’t a toxic, carcinogenic, insanely stupid habit, I’d be doing it to this day. Also? I’ve gone cold turkey on a number of drugs, and tobacco was unquestionably the hardest to kick.

    Every once in a while I accidentally get a snootful of someone else’s tobacco smoke, and I can feel all the little neuroreceptors springing up, wide-eyed and awake, crying “Nicotine! It’s nicotine! You told us when you quit smoking that there was no more nicotine anywhere in the universe, but that was it, and we want some!”

    No matter how long ago you quit smoking, you still have the dream where you’ve started again and are really pissed off at yourself — you’re going to have to quit all over again — but in the meantime, as long as you’re temporarily smoking again, gimme another one…

    This is not a drug that’s going to go away.

  30. American Lung Association:

    Secondhand smoke causes approximately 3,400 lung cancer deaths and 46,000 heart disease deaths in adult nonsmokers in the United States each year.4
    Nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke at work are at increased risk for adverse health effects. Levels of ETS in restaurants and bars were found to be 2 to 5 times higher than in residences with smokers and 2 to 6 times higher than in office workplaces.5
    Since 1999, 70 percent of the U.S. workforce worked under a smoke-free policy, ranging from 83.9 percent in Utah to 48.7 percent in Nevada.6 Workplace productivity was increased and absenteeism was decreased among former smokers compared with current smokers.7

  31. Why are arguing at cross purposes here? The handwriting on the wall is obvious. Tobacco is going to be illegal and underground soon enough. If we had any sense at all, we would be exchanging ideas on how to profit from the coming prohibition. Think how wealthy you would be if you had known in the twenties of the imminent criminalization of marijuana. There is a golden opportunity here for the forward looking.

  32. The employee argument is retarded. I’ve been friends with alot of bartenders and waitresses and every single one of them was a smoker.

    I’m not, thanks. :-/

    Look, if I was working in a factory, my employer would have an obligation to make sure I was working in a safe environment. That includes not being exposed to any dangerous chemicals – even if, by using them, the company could make more money. I don’t see why that should change if I work in a cafe.

  33. Man, the actual theatre people are gonna be pissed when this loophole gets closed due to abuse by unintended businesses..

  34. I’ve been friends with alot of bartenders and waitresses and every single one of them was a smoker.

    Viva La Toast isn’t a smoker, as mentioned above. My husband the bartender isn’t a smoker. My friend the cocktail waitress isn’t a smoker. Obviously, your data set is incomplete.

    My friend the cocktail waitress told me that although when she lived in another state she didn’t think she minded working in smoky bars, since she’s been working in California she no longer gets three or four bad colds each winter like she used to. And since, like most waitresses, she has no health insurance or paid sick leave, not getting sick makes a BIG difference to her.

  35. I’m an asthmatic who lives in Minneapolis and i have to say that the smoking ban is one of the best things about living in this town. I recently went to Chicago and it was horrible going into a smoke filled bar. I had to leave almost immediately.

    I totally understand that it sucks for smokers to go outside especially in the cold Minneapolis winters but quite frankly, I would much rather you suffered the cold for five minutes than I suffered through an asthma attack and its fall out for the next three days not to mention the affects of second hand smoke on myself and other patrons/employees. Call me selfish.

  36. Alexander Anderson;

    A Ballade Of Tobacco Smoke

    What fretting loads we mortals bear
    Through life, whose fading rainbows mock
    And Time, who drives a splendid pair
    Of steeds he never will unyoke,
    Sweeps his lean fingers through our hair,
    He scarcely leaves a decent lock,
    Yet chide him not, if still he spare
    The dreams seen through tobacco smoke.

    We each must have our little care
    To add by contrast to our joke,
    A laugh that spreads in vain its snare
    To catch the lips of solemn folk.
    Well, let us walk through all the fair,
    And watch the crowds that sway and shock;
    They follow what we see elsewhere–
    The dreams seen through tobacco smoke.

    Dreamers of dreams in ships of air,
    Whose keels have never entered dock,
    I wish you may have sounder ware
    Than did Alnaschar when he woke!
    Statesmen, when strife is high, forswear
    For half an hour the wordy stroke,
    I fain would hint of better fare–
    The dreams seen through tobacco smoke!


    Prince, when you weary of the chair
    From which you govern realms and folk,
    Your faithful bard would have you share
    The dreams seen through tobacco smoke.

  37. “No matter how long ago you quit smoking, you still have the dream where you’ve started again and are really pissed off at yourself — you’re going to have to quit all over again — but in the meantime, as long as you’re temporarily smoking again, gimme another one…”

    I was a habitually Copenhagen snuff dipper from age 15 to 25, and now, over 20years later, I have the exact same nicotine dream.

  38. I recall a Penn & Teller “Bullshit” segment that said there were no meaningful studies of second-hand smoke being a killer. Is this true? C’mon, you sons and daughters of Reason: is it just sort of an urban myth? Where’s the math?

  39. Around here, they got around a smoking ban by closing their bars at night and calling themselves “private clubs.” Basically you could stay if you were already there or the bartender knew you. I don’t know how widespread this was but I was at a couple of parties where they did this.

    I have no idea how the law liked that.

    Anyway, closing time is my cue to leave anyway, being an asthmatic non-smoker and all.

    Before closing time, people just smoked outside.

  40. @Buddy66..

    Second hand smoke being a killer? Meaningful studies? A two second Google search found this page And yes, i know Wikipedia can’t always be trusted, but the references and citations will usually lead you to research that can.
    If you can’t be bothered actually looking here’s one from my own country

  41. Penn & Teller are not journalists; they’re entertainers, and their show caters to an audience looking for a brand of entertaining truthiness that disses regulation of any sort.

    You can find “experts” who can authoritatively support any position you pay them to.

  42. How about a ban on commercial tobacco? You can grow your own and give it away, but no one is allowed to sell it. Smoking will be permitted where no one objects,said objection being dependent on the “does the objector have to be there in the first place” rule. Extra health insurance available for smokers – perhaps mandatory? Smoker’s licencing with an age cut off and mandatory education about risks and responsibilities. The death penalty for smoking out of bounds and the death penalty for non-smokers being found on smoker territory.

  43. Uh, dude, most of the servers you’re trying to rescue from smoke are smokers themselves! Instead of helping them, you’re adding to their stress and taxing the hell out of people who work hard for three dollars an hour before tips.

    YOU try working a 12 hour shift waiting on groups of 15 people who want the check divided 8 different ways without a smoke.

  44. Restaurant Related News
    Waitress With Lung Cancer From Secondhand Smoke Wins Case

    Ottawa Citizen
    Published: October 10, 2002

    In a decision that could set a precedent for hospitality workers across Canada, a non-smoking Ottawa waitress who was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer after decades of working in smoky restaurants has been awarded worker’s compensation.

    The Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board ruling in favour of Heather Crowe’s claim has “opened a door other people will be able to open,” said her lawyer, Phil Hunt.

    Ms. Crowe, 57, worked 12 hours a day, six days a week in restaurants, bars and hotels for 40 years, including 15 years at Moe’s World Famous Newport Restaurant on Richmond Road.

    The customers loved her. And they gave her cancer.

    She discovered three lumps in the side of her neck. In March, an X-ray found a tumour the size of her hand in her chest.

    Doctors told Ms. Crowe she had less than a year to live. Last night, Ms. Crowe, who is undergoing chemotherapy, said she is “very happy” the ruling will protect other restaurant workers.

    She said she never realized she was in danger. “I got really angry. I thought this isn’t fair. And now the chemo’s brought me to my knees,” she said last night. “I’m eating ice crystals and all because of someone else’s habit.”

  45. Phewwww! That was an exhausting thread. I’m worn out from all the bickering, the sniping and the flamebaiting. Man O man…

    Anyone got a square?

  46. four years later;

    Tuesday, May 23, 2006
    Heath Crowe, 61, Dead from Lung Cancer
    Waitress with secondhand lung cancer led smokefree Canada

    Parts excerpted from the Ottawa Citizen, 5/22/06

    You probably never met Heather Crowe, but you probably saw her on TV if you live in Canada.

    She was the woman looking sadly into the camera on a Health Canada ad. “My doctor told me I had a smoker’s tumour – and therefore I’m dying,- she says, explaining that she’d been a waitress for 40 years. “And I never smoked …. But the air was blue where I worked.”

    And then she closes her eyes and you hear the kicker voiceover: “And I’m dying of lung cancer from secondhand smoke.”

    Yesterday, Heather Crowe died of that cancer at the Elizabeth Bruyere Health Centre. She was 61. In a sense, she went gently into the night, because Heather Crowe was a gentle woman. But in another sense, she was kicking, purposefully, to the end. In recent months, her cancer had spread to many parts of her body, including her brain.

    On February 24, days after admission to palliative care, she made a final plea to journalists for a nationwide ban on cigarette smoking in public places. She had often said she wanted to be the last Canadian to die of secondhand smoke.

    In that valedictory press conference, she acknowledged that that unobtainable goal had not been achieved.

    People with lungs damaged from years of exposure to tobacco will continue to die for some time. “But at least I will have made a difference,” Ms. Crowe said. With one voice, those closest to the issue affirm her words.

  47. I think this is great, actually. I really dislike smoking and have lost relatives to it–HOWEVER, I’ve never been subjected to it, as an adult, against my will. If I didn’t feel like inhaling secondhand smoke, I knew which places to avoid.

    If like-minded people want to go out, have a drink, and smoke indoors, more power to them. At the time of Seattle’s smoking ban around 80% of establishments were non-smoking already.

  48. @#41 Teresa

    Best description I’ve read on the matter.

    I got nothin to say on the moral rights and wrongs on this. Im a heavy smoker, though I no longer drink, I like going to bars (no I dont buy one drink for the whole night). If I go to a place thats non smoking its because I want to be there for a reason so I deal with it for that time period. If Im someplace thats designated as smoking permitted and someone asks me not to smoke because they brought their precious little crotchberry along, I put out my cigarette as a gesture only, realizing that this person has probably passed their stupidity along to the little tyke and whether or not I finish that particular cig wont change a thing.

  49. So, the state of California has given bar workers
    a smoke free work environment, and a few bar owners
    have found a way to take that away from them?

  50. Nebraska just passed a statewide smoking ban this week, and the theatre exception has already been shut down.

    However, the best commentary I have heard on this subject come from mys sister, a chemist, and non-smoker. Our state laws require that employers supply the necessary safety equipment to deal with harmful chemicals found at the workplace. Dealing with chemicals, she encounters this hazard everyday. However, what safety gear she wears is optional.

    Now, while i might find the wearing of gas masks enchanting, and others might say it’s just silly. This is the only responsibility of the state or the business.

  51. OSHA rules:

    “What are workers’ responsibilities?

    OSHA requires workers to comply with all safety and health standards that apply to their actions on the job. Employees should:

    * Read the OSHA poster.
    * Follow the employer’s safety and health rules and wear or use all required gear and equipment.
    * Follow safe work practices for your job, as directed by your employer.
    * Report hazardous conditions to a supervisor or safety committee.
    * Report hazardous conditions to OSHA, if employers do not fix them.”

  52. Your right to smoke ends at my lungs, period. You have every right to smoke whatever you like, but the responsibility to keep it to yourself is yours and yours alone. Since most smokers refuse govern themselves, it has to be legislated.

    Here in BC, we just passed legislation banning smoking in all public places (which bars are), within 6 meters of any air intake of a building (such as doors), or a bus stop.

  53. I applaud the clubs for doing this.
    These anti smoking laws are retarded.

    No one is there against their will, not the patrons, and not the employees.
    And it’s just as simple as that.

    The whole argument that this creates an “unsafe” work environment is stupid — anyone who works there already knows there is smoke, and by working there they are implicitly agreeing to take the chance of getting themselves sick.

    It’s like someone who is allergic to cat dander working as a veterinary assistant.

  54. 1) If I were a bar owner, I would fight this law tooth and nail, because I don’t like the idea of the government telling me what legal activities I can and cannot allow at my establishment.

    2) Shark feeders don’t complain that there are sharks in the water or that they can’t breathe normally when they are doing their job. They knew that when they applied. I have never worked in a bar, and the only reason is the smoke. I don’t smoke and I hate the stuff. Similarly, I am afraid of water and sharks, so I would never apply for a job as a shark feeder either.

    3) Smoking is a nasty, filthy, stupid, and pathetic habit (like all addictions). As a customer, I love smoking bans. I go out so much more frequently and spend so much more money at restaurants and bars in the US than I do here in Japan where everyone lights up. And I’m not alone. That same episode of Bullshit! also noted that wherever smoking bans were put in place, restaurant and bar business went up. It used to be that most of the people going out were that 25% who smoked and the people who didn’t mind; now it’s everyone. So, as a bar owner, I’d fight it on principle, but happily go along with it after it passed.

    4) As a non-smoker who hates smoke, though, I still don’t see what the fuss is about just making the smoking section outside. I’ve never understood these towns that make it illegal to smoke in front of the door or whatever. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest, even to sit out there. Even to sit at the same table. When there’s a law like that, it smells an awful lot like a moral condemnation as opposed to an attempt to protect the public health, and I like the government to stay out of the morals business.

  55. The whole thrust of the anti-second hand smoke movement is not about protecting non-smokers.

    It’s all about getting smokers to quit by making smoking practically impossible.

    They’ve tried encouragement, gum, taxes, patches, begging, threats, etc. Demonizing smokers is a last resort. Just watch; smoker and pedophile are about to become interchangeable.

    What’s the best way to store tobacco? Freeze drying? I’m gonna make a LOT of money out this.

  56. The whole thrust of the anti-second hand smoke movement is not about protecting non-smokers.

    To the contrary, it’s about protecting smokers from being beaten senseless by non-smokers. As to smokers and pedophiles being interchangeable…I’m just sayin’.

  57. California’s smoking ban is based on workplace health issues, so another frequently used loophole is that smoking is allowed in bars that are staffed solely by bar owners. Tiki Ti (staffed by the bar’s owner and his sons) and the back room (staffed by a bartender who gets, I believe, profit sharing) at Spaceland are notable examples here in L.A.

  58. There is no gray area on this issue…how can there be?

    Bars and restaurants are privately owned establishments and can be patronized by whomever they want.

    If someone has a problem with an establishment, they can deal with it or avoid it…whether the problem be smoking, food, music, whatever.

    I don’t see how Papa Government has any right to stipulate what goes on between a public with free will and a private establishment.

    (p.s. I am a non-smoker who works in a bar BTW)

  59. I’m 47 years old. That means that I straddle the smoking/non-smoking divide: smoking wasn’t half as loathsome when I was a teen. True, anyone with even minimal awareness knew that it was unhealthy, but it didn’t garner quite the level of social disapprobation that it does now. I don’t smoke, but I don’t care that someone does, as long as they do it in their own space. I like masturbation, but public masturbation, not so much. Smoking in public is like jerking off in public, except that Kleenex doesn’t work to contain tar and nicotine in quite the way it does to contain spunk. So public masturbation is actually preferable to public smoking, if you look at it logically. Yet we confine public masturbation to orgies, where the consent to being exposed to masturbatory fluids is a de facto understanding. So smoking should be treated likewise: allow it in clearly-designated smoker’s bars, or smoker’s establishments. Disallow it in others. Problem solved.

  60. Smoking became common before personal hygiene did.

    If smoking were introduced today, blowing out smoke in an enclosed place in the presence of other people would be considered a tort, and rightly so. But it was introduced at a time when everyone and everything smelled really, really bad, and city air was full of toxic fumes from wood fires, coal fires, tanning, you-name-it. Lifespans were so short that no one had a chance to die of the effects of second hand smoke.

    Progress has eliminated all the other nasties, leaving smoking sticking out like a bright spark on the end of a long thin tube full of highly toxic and faintly radioactive plant matter.

    Blanket bans are a pragmatic legal response to our inability to treat smoking in the presence of others as a tort.

    The real oddity is that no one has invented an effective smoke-capture device, which would solve the problem of one individual’s pleasure being the cause of another individual’s discomfort and in some cases death, without the need to resort to clunky legalisms.

  61. Does the theatre community get a royalty from the barsales? I think its only fair that these bars and pubs sponsor real theatre events in compensation.

    Now thanks to these guys, when the authorities start adressing the loop hole, every $%^)(*&^ theatre company in the twin cities will have to prove that they ARE doing theatre and aren’t a bunch of smokers trying to ‘act’.

  62. Greetings

    Do keep in mind in the midst of your anti-smoking Calvinism that Tobacco products are perfectly LEGAL and heavily taxed. You certainly like spending those tax dollars for your favorite entitlement…

    Why does this anti smoking ranting always end up reminding me of born agains lecturing about sin and vegans lecturing about the evils of meat

    Holier than thou calvinists who cloak a need to require the lack of pleasure as “good for you”:

    A scarlet ‘C’ for all those nasty smokers and a scarlet ‘M’ if you dare to eat the evil beef!

    Enjoy the journey


  63. Calvinism? Hmmm, I seem to remember that Calvinists like to make other people suffer. So, when you say Calvinists, you’re referring to smokers? Right?

  64. Smokers are just inconsiderate, I could care less about the health aspects. People aren’t allowed to just walk into bars and restaurants and open up containers of rancid meat or start boiling broccoli (two things, which in addition to smoking I don’t like the smell of), but for some reason smokers feel entitled to their disgusting habit, lacing the air with the stuff and getting it all over your clothes. And ef all this nonsense about “you know what you’re getting into when you go to a bar.” Forcing your smoking on other people is clearly the “wrong” end of this argument. What are you going to get at non-smokers about? They’re NOT doing anything. Grow the fuck up and quit whining. This is the same shit theists pull with atheists…wah wah wah, you’re trying to take our delusions away from us. NO. We just don’t happen to believe it and we don’t think you should be able to peddle your shit where people DON’T want it (or impose something you choose to do on people who choose not to do it). Smoking is a choice, and so are smoking bans. Quit crying.

    That being said, holler at:

    lol, internets

  65. Bars and restaurants are privately owned establishments and can be patronized by whomever they want.

    I hear people make this argument all of the time, and it’s just flat-out wrong. Bars and restaurants are extremely regulated businesses with very specific rules about what can and can’t be done in them. The idea that they were zones of complete orgasmic autonomy before the smoking ban is just pure fiction.

    When I was a smoker, I appreciated the ban b/c it got my non-smoker friends out to the bars. And non-smoker doesn’t mean non-drinker. When you’re crammed into a small NYC bar, you don’t want to be paying $7 a beer and leaving the place smelling like shit. Some of y’all here wanna equate not smoking to being a puritan, but there’s a long list of things I’ll put in my body ahead of cigarette smoke. The return on the investment isn’t great cs. so many other drugs out there.

    And it isn’t even an issue in a lot of places- I was bar-hopping in upstate NY over the winter, and 5 out of 6 bars we went to acted as if there was no ban. Bar owners skirt the law pretty frequently. In NYC, once the big crowds clear out, usually after 3, you can smoke pretty openly as long as you don’t leave ashtrays on the bar. Granted, it’s the seedier spots that’re like this.

    The ban is nothing but a good idea in my mind. It’s an inconvenience, but a minor one. The level of ignorance displayed by the anti-ban people, chest-thumping about unregulated marketplaces and civil liberties, obscures the fact that these are already regulated spaces and creates a false dichotomy between regulated/unregulated.

  66. He started spewing bile in the mid 16th century. Tobacco doesn’t seem to have become known to Europeans until the early 17th.

  67. Hey,if I’m going to shoot up a little heroin in public, yer not gonna get any second hand heroin in your veins. But if you want to smoke a little tobacco, your smoke is gonna get into my lungs and I don’t think that is right. BTW, I don’t use heroin, but I’ve heard that heroin and nicotine have about the same addictive quotient. Just try quitting nicotine.

  68. ooooh…

    “Chantix is a new kind of treatment, one that contains no nicotine but interacts with the same brain receptors as nicotine, reducing the cravings and symptoms of withdrawal.

    Prior to Chantix, smokers who wanted to quit had limited options, including products containing nicotine such as patches, chewing gums and sprays, as well as the antidepressant Zyban, which is sold as a smoking-cessation treatment. The nicotine products are designed to replace the nicotine in cigarettes, curbing the desire to smoke and minimizing the effects of withdrawal as doses are gradually reduced over time.

    Earlier this month, the FDA said it had received reports of serious psychiatric symptoms among Chantix users, such as suicide and suicidal behavior, agitation and depression, which required new safety warnings on the label. “

  69. #73 Kyle Armbruster
    1) If I were a bar owner, I would fight this law tooth and nail, because I don’t like the idea of the government telling me what legal activities I can and cannot allow at my establishment.

    So you approve of the right for some restaurants to refuse service to blacks then right? Jim Crow here we come and that’s O.K. by you am I correct? If not please fill me in on how you reserve for yourself the right to determine what is or isn’t legal and yet deny others that same right. Even if how they might exercise that right would be different than how you would.

    This conflict over the rights of the few vs the needs of the many will always exist. The way we settle these conflicts in a civilized society is by petitioning the government and passing legislation. What? You didn’t get what you want? Cry me a frickin’ river. Too bad and better luck next time.

  70. #50 “I’m an asthmatic who lives in Minneapolis and i have to say that the smoking ban is one of the best things about living in this town.”

    Gosh, it’s changed in the years since I last went there – I remember flying in from SFO (living in silly-con valley at the time) and as the plane started final descent towards the a/p the outside air started coming in and the smell of tobacco was just vomit inducing. I couldn’t believe how many people smoked, that smoking was allowed in restaurants, etc. I really had a bad time – and then I had to go on to chicago and that was just horrible.

  71. maybe the smokers could start kidnapping the other side one by one and get them addicted…. just thinking out loud

  72. @86 “This is the same shit theists pull with atheists…wah wah wah, you’re trying to take our delusions away from us. NO. We just don’t happen to believe it and we don’t think you should be able to peddle your shit where people DON’T want it”

    I have to take issue with this bigoted statement. Your argument was going along so well until your frothy hate torwards theists bubbles forth. No where in the constitution is “freedom to smoke” is written. But freedom of religion, assembly, and speech is. Smokers are wrong purely from an health standpoint, which has been scientifically proven. Everybody peddles “shit” in one form or another, it’s just that smoker’s crap causes cancer.

    @77 “These militant non-smokers are just like the religious right. They don’t think you should do something so they’re perfectly willing to take away your freedom of choice to do it”

    Wow, an earlier comparison by a smoker to the “evil” religious right. Boy they seem to be the dumping ground for all sorts of ills. The problem is with this post is that the “cult of good health” beats out the “cult of I’m gonna smoke where I damn well please” every time. The choice is quite obvious to me.

    People’s lives are simply better without smoking in public spaces. This really has nothing to do with the freedom to smoke in private even. You don’t need to be bigoted torwards the religious to prove your point.

  73. Noen,

    You’ve grazed one of the most ignored points in the debate on political correctness. Racist, misogynistic, homophobic assholes (no, I’m not referring to you, Kyle, just making a general point) feel that they should get to say whatever they want, but nobody else is allowed to disagree with them. It’s the anti-PC fools who are suppressive of free speech, not the people who rightly tell them what pinheads they are.

    There’s no such thing as freedom, just negotiated settlements. Let’s at least have everybody playing by the same rules.

  74. interesting..there seem to be at least one hundred significant diseases and pests of the tobacco plant.

    Why, it’s a veritable miracle the anti’s haven’t taken advantage of this.

  75. Nicotiana alata is a really beautiful garden plant with an enchanting fragrance. It requires a fair amount of processing to turn it into noxious fumes.

  76. @95 – Really??? You’re going to take it THERE????

    Isn’t America all about a little bit of choice? Smoking is a choice and non-smoking is a choice. I don’t know a single bartender or bar owner that is going to turn down service based on wether or not you have a cigarette in your mouth. To compare it racial issues is absolutely absurd!

    As someone who works for the restaurant industry and who travels around the country – I am very happy to see that a lot of establishments are making their own choices and are choosing to be smoking or non-smoking.

    Isn’t choice really the issue???? Shouldn’t everyone have the right to it?

  77. Isn’t choice really the issue????

    Sure. Your smoke gives me a nosebleed and my fist gives you one. No problem. You’re not arguing that you get to have a choice. You’re arguing that you get to have a choice without consequences. Welcome to cause and effect.

  78. I remember going to alternative/goth clubs in San Francisco in the late 80s and early 90s. Smoke-filled dens filled with people drinking, smoking, getting high, dancing, passing out, making out, sometimes even having sex in the cavernous rooms with music blaring. I had so much fun getting wasted, smoking a cig when I wanted, meeting interesting girls. I would drink a little too much and then go vegetate in the back with other people who had done the same. Then get up and back out and start all over. My god it was fun.

    Today the clubs are antiseptic simulacrums of themselves. Pitiful. I feel sorrow for the kids of today not having experienced total freedom indoors. Now, if you stand in the wrong place, 3 meatheads will pounce on you and kick you the fuck out. Draconian.

  79. You know, it’s turning out that marijuana smoke is actually much more toxic than tobacco smoke! Sorry, hippies. Of course, people smoke much less of it. It doesn’t smell very nice, but it’s not nearly as irritating to the delicate mucosa, at least my mucosa.

  80. oh, you can still find interesting clubs… don’t go alone and avoid the places with showerheads on the ceiling

  81. #102 posted by maddie doll
    @95 – Really??? You’re going to take it THERE????

    Well maddie I was probably flamebaiting a bit so I apologize for that. However, I don’t see how once you try to argue that “a restaurant is private property and should be able to serve their patrons as they please” that you can then turn around and say “except when it comes to racial or sexual discrimination”. On what legal framework are you going to make that case? Because that is what the civil rights era revolved around. It was structured around property rights: “I have the right to deny service to whomever I please” and also around state’s rights: “We have the right to enact a system of racial apartheid (Jim Crow)” The US at large said “No, we don’t want to live in that kind of society”.

    The logic of the arguments being made against restricting smokers in this thread are essentially the same: “I have the right to serve smokers because it is a property rights issue”. Once you permit the one, you must permit the other.

    Of course laws restricting smoking are not formulated on property rights, they are matters of public health. None the less that is the argument being put forward here and the reason is because they know full well they cannot win on any other grounds.

    Isn’t choice really the issue???

    At one time America was only a few million people spread out over an entire continent. You could do as you pleased because the next person was literally miles away. That ain’t so any more. There are now 300 million of us and climbing. With increasing population comes an increasing need to consider how what you do will affect or intrude on the rights of others. In many places you can’t burn your leaves any more or have charcoal BBQ’s or drive a polluting car because it affects everyone else around you. More people = fewer choices.

    This is just common sense and adjusting your behavior so as not to adversely impact others is called growing up. I recommend it.

  82. #103 Antinous says
    Sure. Your smoke gives me a nosebleed and my fist gives you one. No problem.

    And this guy describes himself as a “Life coach and yoga teacher”. On the other hand, from his blogger profile picture it looks like he made that claim to the wrong person who delivered him with the mother of all beatings.

    It sure is fun to watch people argue on the internet!

  83. @Noen:

    Well… It is their restaurant…

    It’s pretty simple economics. Would you eat at a restaurant that said “Whites Only” on the door? Me neither. Neither would the vast majority of people. The problem takes care of itself.

  84. I was in Orange County about ten years ago, just as California (or was it Orange itself, I can’t remember) introduced its no smoking in public places law. There were various exemptions at the time, including one for ‘cigar bars’. Almost all the bars in Irvine applied to become a cigar bar.

  85. Antinous – prissy,delicate and violent!This is a recipe for disaster,If smoke makes you bleed,mebbe getting into a physical confrontation is not the wisest move.Just sayin….

  86. It’s pretty simple economics.

    What about disabled access? Business are supposed to be handicap accessible even if it’s not economically feasible. There are lots of instances where open access trumps the pure economic interests of business owners.

    Look, I’m sure you had a wet dream last night where you lived in a state of absolute freedom, but business in our society is already heavily regulated. If you want to open a bar, you agree to abide by certain restrictions that we’ve decided are the standards for this type of establishment. I’m in favor of maximum liberties for people, but I don’t extend this to business owners, who by their nature run quasi-public entities. If you have employees, we have standards for how those employees are to be treated. If you invite the public into your space, they are afforded certain protections while they’re in that space. If you don’t like that, maybe you should find a different means to feed and clothe yourself.

    Anaxaforminges (#106):
    Should those punks get off your damn lawn, too? There’s nothing worse than hearing someone bitch about how much better/cooler/hipper things were in their day. There are plenty of badass, seedy clubs left out there. You just don’t know how to find out about them anymore. It’s kind of sad to see someone falling into the same nostalgic trap that causes people to whine about how things were better back in the ’50s.

  87. I can never understand the complaints about smoking bans. Bar owners say that it will kill their business – as if smokers will suddenly stop going to bars if they can’t smoke there? Hardly! The only thing that WILL kill a bar’s business is if some owners use loopholes like this to edge out the competition. Of course, all smart owner will institute similar nights, and then everyone’s back on even footing again.

    As for the “You non-smokers don’t like it? Don’t go to those bars!” – that’s the most ridiculous argument out there. If *every* bar is a smoking bar, we’re suddenly discriminating against NON-smokers. At least at a non-smoking bar, smokers can go outside to smoke.

  88. Your right to smoke stops at my lungs.

    For all the pro-freedom radicals: my free choice is to keep my lungs radioactivity-free[*]. You don’t get to decide what goes into my lungs. I do.

    So please go ahead and smoke. Just don’t exhale.

    [*] Tobacco is rich in potassium, and the isotope potassium-40, which constitutes 0.01% of naturally occurring potassium, decays with a half-life of about a billion years. The lungs are particularly sensitive to radioactivity. From back in my medical physics days I recall an estimate that about 10% of lung cancers from smoking are due to this radioactivity. I’m emphasizing this both because it’s fun to engage in rhetorical excess, and because the wildly irrational fear that most people have of radioactivity might motivate a few more smokers out there to engage in the very difficult task of quitting this highly addictive and damaging substance.

  89. @Tom (#119)

    “You don’t get to decide what goes into my lungs. I do.”

    I’ve decided that garlic and onions are going into your lungs. What are you going to do about that? Start lobbying early, ’cause you’re gonna have a hard time winning any legislation with this logic as an underpinning.

    Where did all you brainwashed fascist wannabes get that “your right to smoke stops at my lungs” slogan from? Did any of you think it through?

    “Your right to write insipid drivel stops at my eyeballs.”

    “Your right to play loud music stops at my ears.”

    What are you mindless pussies going to do when you come across a real problem?

    “GE’s right to dump PCBs stops at my skin?”

    Too late! Real problems are going to have to be dealt with upstream, yeah?

    And what’s enough for you? I quit your religion. I quit your cocaine. I quit your heroin. I quit your prescription painkillers. I still smoke cigarettes. Sorry, so sorry. I’ll work harder to make you happy, because clearly I’m not doing enough for you. I reeeeeeealy want you to be happy.

  90. Dude, blow lines all you want sitting right next to me. Just don’t get into a car after. You smoking next to me has a direct and tangible impact on my health. Continue to do so, just don’t do it in enclosed spaces where legitimate business is occurring.

    My sister’s baby daddy refuses to accept that secondhand smoke is bad for kids. So for the 4 years of that kid’s life, every other weekend, she hangs out at daddy’s in his small-ass apartment while daddy and daddy’s ignorant friends all smoke. She’s in “the next room” though so that’s OK. Every time they go to court, and every time the judge says he can’t smoke around her, he does the “smoker’s rights” bullshit. If you want t smoke, fine. Really, I pass no judgment. But when you insist on being able to smoke around people who don’t want to be exposed to it, or who have no choice in their exposure to it (children, bar employees), I pass judgment because you’re just a rude POS. Until they banned smoking on planes, you could’ve made the same argument about flight attendants. There is no reason that being a bartender should sentence you to death by lung cancer. A lot of bartenders smoke if they work in a smoking bar because being exposed to so much secondhand smoke, they might as well. That was my way around it working in a bar- the second I had a cigarette I stopped being bothered by all the smoke.

  91. How about if there were a limited amount of tobacco licenses available to bars within cities, similar to the way there are a limited amount of liquor licenses?

  92. So will farting in public be banned next? I’m pretty sure farts could be linked to lung cancer if you put the effort into it. Did he die of lung cancer? Yes. Did he live with heavy farters? Yes. Death by second-hand toots.

  93. Takuan #20, #33, and Tom #81, you’re both wondering about and/or suggesting ways to keep smoke away from people who don’t.

    Something that really riled me about the Minneapolis Smoking Ban (and I’m a formerly asthmatic never-smoker – Hi Anne K at #50!) is that it was a blanket *ban*, there was no provision to allow the establishment/owner to provide an air exchange/filtration system that would rid the air of smoke. It is technically feasible, there are tests that can be done to ensure efficacy, it would create inspector jobs to make sure the systems are functional, what’s not to like? They are very expensive – especially in the winter in Minnesota – but shouldn’t the owner/establishment have that option? There’s at least one restaurant/bar in the Twin Cities that was building an expensive annex/porch type thing as a room where people could go smoke – servers could not go in, etc. They were forced to not put window glass in it, as if it had window glass it was “indoors” and thus smoking would be banned.

    IMHO, businesses should be able to provide a suitably ventilated space for smokers. Do it right and you won’t get any secondhand smoke smell or effect, aside from maliciously directed exhalations (intentionally blowing smoke at the server while they are putting your food/drink on the table…) and those, being malicious, can be dealt with the same way many other malicious activities are: throw the rude people out!

    TNH @ #41 thanks for the excellent description – I’ve never knowingly been addicted to a substance (unless carbs count?) so I’ve never really known “what it’s like”. This makes empathy for the addicted (or formerly so, though from your description “former” doesn’t really happen…) even easier, thanks!


  94. Obviously there is some interest in this subject. Takuan, prohibition does not work. Pot smoke has only been an insure in Amsterdam, where I put up with it in hopes of getting even more buzzed.

    The best times I’ve had are in Irish, smoke-fee pubs, listening to good live music, drinking beer with NO smoke. And the pubs are filled.

  95. I’d like to add a couple of points. First, in Chicago and New York for sure, and probably other places too, this “theater-night” stuff would never work, because it is illegal to smoke ANYTHING indoors (except in private residences). I work in theater in Chicago, and the Chicago ban not only prohibits smoking cigarettes in theaters, it prohibits smoking even FAKE cigarettes in theaters. It is illegal to set things in your mouth on fire in public buildings, period. Now, the police have said that they will not enforce this law unless they receive a complaint about a specific theater, but that is how it stands on the books.

    Second, there originally WAS a provision in the Chicago ordinance for bars (and theaters) to create a filtration system that would allow them to continue smoking inside. This was scrapped when a) the City Council couldn’t come up with a realistic standard to hold the air to (at first the standard was “as clean as the air outside,” but that opened up holding a bar next to a factory to a different standard than a bar next to a park), and b) it was determined that the technology for filtering that much air to even a reasonably exacting standard was so expensive that it was pointless to include.

    I would think they could have been more forward thinking and include the filtration provision against the chance that the technology will be developed in the future (the same goes for fake cigarettes in the theater – just because good ones don’t currently exist doesn’t mean they won’t ever exist). But I’m not a legislator, and don’t know all the thinking that goes into such things. Also, the state of Illinois now has a separate law that overrules the city one on at least some aspects. Phew!

  96. For the metaphor-challenged, I’m not planning to hit somebody. Smoking is a non-contact, physical assault on those who have to breathe it. And if you think that being a life coach and yoga teacher means being a pussy and telling people to act like doormats, you should take one of my classes.

  97. Every year more than 20,000 people die in the United States from second hand drinking.

    And we aren’t talking I need to wash my hair little cough in the morning death, we are talking getting crushed and dismembered by a motor vehicle. If you guys are so concerned about how the bartender’s or your life is being affected by smoking, perhaps we should get all the non-drinkers to get together and ban drinking to avoid all the senseless deaths, assults, vandalism, and unfortunate one night stands that drinking causes.

    If we could just do this life in America would be a utopia of sorts. We would all live in harmony and health and the middle east would envy us because we would be perfect.

  98. Smokers should just switch to Snus ( Way more nicotine than cigarettes, and instead of making people cough, you can just make them watch you spit into an old Mountain Dew bottle all night.

    Added bonus: when you’ve filled the bottle, throw it at a bum on your drunken ride home for an instant crowd-pleaser.

  99. @#30:

    A bar is not as private as a house. It’s more a quasi-public place. For example, you have a legal right to ban black people from entering your house.

    However, a bar owner cannot legally ban black people from his bar. It’s illegal (a violation of Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Outlawed discrimination in hotels, motels, restaurants, theaters, and all other public accommodations engaged in interstate commerce; exempted private clubs without defining the term ‘private.’ from Wikipedia)).

    The aforementioned private clubs are like the invite-only country clubs that require a unanimous approval of existing members before a person is allowed to join.

  100. Eerie that nicotine makes some people believe that the smoking ban is a law against pleasure. As if only nicotine could bring pleasure into life…

  101. @122 automaton,

    “My sister’s baby daddy…”

    Start out like that and you want us to actually care about the little tyke when those who spawned it wont? Any tragic story that starts out with “baby daddy” smells like sweet sweet Darwinism to me.

    @131 Antinous,

    All Im sayin is its funny for you to make punching analogies when it looks like someone kicked you to the to the next county and back.

  102. All Im sayin is its funny for you to make punching analogies when it looks like someone kicked you to the to the next county and back.

    Would I have posted it if the other guy didn’t look worse? Actually it was elective surgery, but it is a nice anti-glamor shot.

  103. Any tragic story that starts out with “baby daddy” smells like sweet sweet Darwinism to me.

    I’m calling grotesque abuse and misunderstanding of Darwinism on this retard.

    My sister cares a lot about her daughter, it’s the kid’s jackass white trash father who doesn’t. Sorry if this type of family situation is so far removed from your upbringing you think the kid is getting what she deserves. Somehow you’ve managed to marry this to what you concocted about Darwinism based on your encounter with it in 7th grade.

    And it is pertinent to the conversation, as child protective services will regulate the person’s ability to smoke in their own home if they’re found to be putting a child at risk. I think this is a good thing, but I’m sure some of you people who think you can smoke anywhere you like regardless of the consequences will disagree. At least in NYS, this is still very much up in the air- they won’t deny the parent visitation for continued violations (if they visit the house and the parent is exposing the child to secondhand smoke), but they will weigh it as a factor in custody hearings.

  104. I’m calling grotesque abuse and misunderstanding of Darwinism on this retard.

    I would even call it Calvinism disguised as Darwinism. Not survival of the fittest, but survival of those of whom I approve.

  105. many of us (yes, not everyone here is 22)were raised by well intended parents who smoked. While our health and longevity could theoretically be impaired
    , I hardly think war crime trials are in order.

    The pink trash father who smokes around the child couldbe a good parent in every other way. Perhaps his abysmal ignorance is just that. Would more harm be wrought by throwing the child into a foster home?

  106. The pink trash father who smokes around the child couldbe a good parent in every other way. Perhaps his abysmal ignorance is just that. Would more harm be wrought by throwing the child into a foster home?

    AFIK, it has only come up in custody cases- where one parent is seeking custody/increased visitation.

    In this particular instance, the baby daddy claims that b/c he has no health problems, and grew up in a household with excessive smoking (beyond clinical depression, multiple suicide attempts), it is evidence that smoking is not bad for children. If he were a moderate smoker, it’d be one thing, but he drinks and chain-smokes around the kid, has friends over who smoke around the kid, ect. It’s as ignorant as ignorant can be. My friends who are heavy smokers, as drunk as they get, know to stop smoking when there’s kids around, especially under 5.

    many of us (yes, not everyone here is 22)were raised by well intended parents who smoked.

    My father quit in 1979, when I was 3. He said he quit b/c he knew it was bad for us, and b/c he thought we’d learn to smoke watching him. He also said he’d kill us if we ever started, because that’d mean he missed out on a lot of smoking for no reason. It isn’t like we didn’t know smoking was bad until 1999…

  107. What happens in the 60s stays in the 60s. Well, the smoking. Maybe not the whorehouse waiting rooms, drunk driving busts, ODs and gunfights. If you live in the first world and have a high school education, you should know better than to asphyxiate your child. As to foster care, I haven’t heard a lot of stories that make it sound like HappyFunLand.

  108. @144 automaton,

    Yeah I abused the word Darwinism for comic effect. I also got a cousin in West Virginia who got a few bastard kids planted in her by various “baby daddies”. That phrase sure does sound more acceptable than “father of the bastard child” doesnt it?

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