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Hanuman

Electronic Cigarettes - No Joke!

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Ah, the 'Love It or Leave It' stand. Always good to see this in the debate.

Why not? Government collectivizes sentiment through laws. They do it all the time. Taxes, freeways, roads, zoning, no zoning, health regulations, mandatory schooling, car insurance, you name it, they've made a law about it. If it makes you unhappy, go somewhere else where you'll be happier. Great, you like the laws that you like, and you don't like the laws that you don't like. And from that starting point you can always extrapolate just the right set of "principles" that could get you the things you feel you have always deserved while at the same time using state-sponsored violence (or the threat thereof) to forcibly remove that which you decide you don't want. I say it's worth a try, and I wish you all the best.

Edited by N Judah

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Ah, the 'Love It or Leave It' stand. Always good to see this in the debate.

But, by their very own logic it was unnecessary to make Houston smoke-free as there were places already available for them to live. Great! We'll return Houston to the way it was and all the anti-smoking zealots can go live in California.

Why not? Government collectivizes sentiment through laws. They do it all the time. Taxes, freeways, roads, zoning, no zoning, health regulations, mandatory schooling, car insurance, you name it, they've made a law about it. If it makes you unhappy, go somewhere else where you'll be happier. Great, you like the laws that you like, and you don't like the laws that you don't like. And from that starting point you can always extrapolate just the right set of "principles" that could get you the things you feel you have always deserved while at the same time using state-sponsored violence (or the threat thereof) to forcibly remove that which you decide you don't want. I say it's worth a try, and I wish you all the best.

Didn't see this...

The above applies.

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If the Jews didn't like the Nazi policy of extermination they should have just moved somewhere else.

(sometimes its fun to invoke Godwin just for the hell of it.)

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If the Jews didn't like the Nazi policy of extermination they should have just moved somewhere else.

(sometimes its fun to invoke Godwin just for the hell of it.)

Yeah, and if the Jews didn't like the general anti-Jewish sentiment in Europe following WWII, they could have just left and formed their own country.

Nobody would mind.

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The sentiment was collectivized, and Houston became smoke-free. Do what you will to get it going the other way, but it's not necessary to invent some kind of faux-principled double standard.

I think you were temporarily blinded by RedScare's intentional mischaracterization of my position. It's not "Love it or leave it" it's more like "Put up or shut up" (but not quite). When the good outweighs the bad, stick around. Believe me, even if they bring back smoking in bars, Houston still has a lot to offer.

Edited by N Judah

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The sentiment was collectivized, and Houston became smoke-free. Do what you will to get it going the other way, but it's not necessary to invent some kind of faux-principled double standard.

Double principle? No, really. Had smoking proponents used the same logic you just used, smoking would never have been banned. What it seems to me that you're saying is, "The law is the law, and since the law is made by the government, and since the government is made by the people, the people as a whole have decided that the smoking ban is not only a good idea, but a just idea." Did I misinterpret?

I think you were temporarily blinded by RedScare's intentional mischaracterization of my position. It's not "Love it or leave it" it's more like "Put up or shut up" (but not quite). When the good outweighs the bad, stick around. Believe me, even if they bring back smoking in bars, Houston still has a lot to offer.

I'm pretty sure I wasn't blinded by any level of mischaracterization as that's pretty much exactly what you said. Perhaps you can clarify the subtle nuances that have escaped me and probably a number of other people as well.

The good thing is that ordinances like these go city-by-city. So if you don't like the way things are done in Houston you are, as always, free to go live somewhere else.

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Of course you are, as always, free to go live somewhere else. But that doesn't preclude being able to change the laws here. If it's that important to you, is it worth the effort? Moreover, I would be surprised if public sentiment has changed since these ordinances were implemented.

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Of course you are, as always, free to go live somewhere else. But that doesn't preclude being able to change the laws here. If it's that important to you, is it worth the effort? Moreover, I would be surprised if public sentiment has changed since these ordinances were implemented.

That's beside the point and doesn't address any of the legitimate concerns. However, I will respond to it. Is it worth the effort? Sure, all bad laws are worth repealing, but like with Prohibition, there's a time and a place. With smokers and smoking being the villains du jour, and with the anti-smoking crusaders voices currently so loud and so rabidly bloodthirsty, now is not that time. In ten or twenty years, either we'll become so reliant upon the government to dictate for us every decision we make, or we'll wake up and realize we've allowed the government to mandate the outcome of every decision we make and that such a thing is unnecessary as we're all adults and should be able to make our own decisions about matters of personal health and responsibility. It's up to us which direction we take, but frankly I'm aghast so many people are willing to give up personal freedom in the name of convenience.

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It's up to us which direction we take, but frankly I'm aghast so many people are willing to give up personal freedom in the name of convenience.

And it took no smoking in bars to bring you to this realization? Are there any instances of government intervention which you favor?

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And it took no smoking in bars to bring you to this realization?

What gave you that idea? I can be shocked continually by the lunacy of the American mindset more than once, can't I? I wasn't aware there was a limit.
Are there any instances of government intervention which you favor?

Yes, plenty, though not a one of those is contingent upon weakly interpreted (or interpreted with bias) scientific reports or the imposition of personal prejudices. Most especially the personal prejudices. The ugly side of living in a free democracy should be that we occasionally have to put up with behavior we don't like or agree with, not that might makes right. The tyranny of the majority is not infallible.

Edit: Tried to be clearer with regard to the scientific reports sentence. I truly believe the evidence is overwhelming that smoking and second hand smoke is bad for health. The correllation between smoking and cancer, emphysema and a host of other illnesses is undeniable. What I do not buy is that smoke in small, manageable amounts is inherently dangerous. And, as such, it's not in the government's purview to make rules about what individual business owners should be deciding about its use in their establishments, most especially the city government. If the city government's going to make decisions about my health, they need to ante up some of the five grand I spend annually on insuring my family. As an aside, if the federal government would have worked out a health plan where they provided the coverage, I would have seen no problem with them limiting benefits to smokers (or cliffdivers for that matter).

Edited by AtticaFlinch

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In regards to electronic cigarettes in a city-wide smoking ban, I would say that it's at the owner's discretion. If you're in a restaurant while smoking and they tell you to stop smoking, do it. However rude they may seem to be (or actually are), you won't win points by trying to justify it and you'll just bring yourself down to his level.

On the other hand, if you're in a bar and they say electronic cigarette smoking is okay, then puff away!

At least, that's my take on it.

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What gave you that idea? I can be shocked continually by the lunacy of the American mindset more than once, can't I? I wasn't aware there was a limit.

Yes, plenty, though not a one of those is contingent upon weakly interpreted (or interpreted with bias) scientific reports or the imposition of personal prejudices. Most especially the personal prejudices. The ugly side of living in a free democracy should be that we occasionally have to put up with behavior we don't like or agree with, not that might makes right. The tyranny of the majority is not infallible.

Edit: Tried to be clearer with regard to the scientific reports sentence. I truly believe the evidence is overwhelming that smoking and second hand smoke is bad for health. The correlation between smoking and cancer, emphysema and a host of other illnesses is undeniable. What I do not buy is that smoke in small, manageable amounts is inherently dangerous. And, as such, it's not in the government's purview to make rules about what individual business owners should be deciding about its use in their establishments, most especially the city government. If the city government's going to make decisions about my health, they need to ante up some of the five grand I spend annually on insuring my family. As an aside, if the federal government would have worked out a health plan where they provided the coverage, I would have seen no problem with them limiting benefits to smokers (or cliffdivers for that matter).

Wrong. Do I dare call you a "second-hand smoke denier?"

Here's some information for you, since you fail to research:

From the National Cancer Institute, http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Tobacco/ETS,

How is secondhand smoke exposure measured? Secondhand smoke is measured by testing indoor air for nicotine or other smoke constituents. Exposure to secondhand smoke can be tested by measuring the levels of cotinine (a nicotine by-product in the body) in the nonsmoker’s blood, saliva, or urine (1). Nicotine, cotinine, carbon monoxide, and other evidence of secondhand smoke exposure have been found in the body fluids of nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke.

Does exposure to secondhand smoke cause cancer?

Yes. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP), the U.S. Surgeon General, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) have classified secondhand smoke as a known human carcinogen (cancer-causing agent) (1, 3, 5).

What is a safe level of secondhand smoke?

There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Studies have shown that even low levels of secondhand smoke exposure can be harmful. The only way to fully protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke exposure is to completely eliminate smoking in indoor spaces. Separating smokers from nonsmokers, cleaning the air, and ventilating buildings cannot completely eliminate secondhand smoke exposure (4).

"There is no safe level of exposure." "Low levels can be harmful." Please provide a link to a credible health organization/study that negates this claim and supports yours. It's well within the role of government, as a matter of establishing an ordinance for public spaces, to separate smokers from non-smokers. In the absence of this information, it would be arbitrary and authoritarian to implement such segregation. But that's not the case. We alter/adjust our rules based on what we know. We know more now, about the harms of second-hand smoke, than we did 10 years ago. So there is a reason to act.

Enforcement to control public hazards should be uniform and not selective - if you are providing service to the public. You live by the rules. Combustion products released indoors, with no chimney, should be done outdoors (smoke outside). Food must be kept at temperature, to prevent spoilage. You can only have so many people crammed into a place, and as such, for fire safety, you have limited occupancy. All these rules serve a purpose, to protect the public, in public spaces, which does include privately-owned businesses engaged in providing goods and services to the public.

Don't like the rules? Then take your business "private," don't serve the "public," and ignore all the rules, or just the ones you want.

I fail to see how swastikas/The Third Reich could even remotely be conflated with such a common sense, consistent approach to protecting the public.

I'm really glad I do not live in a world designed and regulated by Bryan. The amount of government oppression he espouses is overwhelming.

No more than it is today, aside the STD registry.

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No kidding. I started to formulate counterpoints...but damn, the way he explains it, there's no need. The counterpoints are just there, already embedded.

I mean, seriously...is there anything more conflictd than a gay, moralistic control-freak?

What a wasted opportunity. You should have. I am not making any moral judgments, at all. Simply putting the facts out there; second-hand smoke is harmful to the non-smoking public. Sex acts are a private, non-public activity.

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Sex acts are a private, non-public activity.

Sex acts are a private, non-public activity? Since when? I might walk out in the face of a red-faced anti-electronic cigarette blowfish, but I'll fight you over banning of public sex any time big boy.... Outside!

Edited by Hanuman

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Wrong. Do I dare call you a "second-hand smoke denier?"

Here's some information for you, since you fail to research:

From the National Cancer Institute, http://www.cancer.go...eet/Tobacco/ETS,

How is secondhand smoke exposure measured? Secondhand smoke is measured by testing indoor air for nicotine or other smoke constituents. Exposure to secondhand smoke can be tested by measuring the levels of cotinine (a nicotine by-product in the body) in the nonsmoker’s blood, saliva, or urine (1). Nicotine, cotinine, carbon monoxide, and other evidence of secondhand smoke exposure have been found in the body fluids of nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke.

Does exposure to secondhand smoke cause cancer?

Yes. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP), the U.S. Surgeon General, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) have classified secondhand smoke as a known human carcinogen (cancer-causing agent) (1, 3, 5).

What is a safe level of secondhand smoke?

There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Studies have shown that even low levels of secondhand smoke exposure can be harmful. The only way to fully protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke exposure is to completely eliminate smoking in indoor spaces. Separating smokers from nonsmokers, cleaning the air, and ventilating buildings cannot completely eliminate secondhand smoke exposure (4).

"There is no safe level of exposure." "Low levels can be harmful." Please provide a link to a credible health organization/study that negates this claim and supports yours. It's well within the role of government, as a matter of establishing an ordinance for public spaces, to separate smokers from non-smokers. In the absence of this information, it would be arbitrary and authoritarian to implement such segregation. But that's not the case. We alter/adjust our rules based on what we know. We know more now, about the harms of second-hand smoke, than we did 10 years ago. So there is a reason to act.

Enforcement to control public hazards should be uniform and not selective - if you are providing service to the public. You live by the rules. Combustion products released indoors, with no chimney, should be done outdoors (smoke outside). Food must be kept at temperature, to prevent spoilage. You can only have so many people crammed into a place, and as such, for fire safety, you have limited occupancy. All these rules serve a purpose, to protect the public, in public spaces, which does include privately-owned businesses engaged in providing goods and services to the public.

Don't like the rules? Then take your business "private," don't serve the "public," and ignore all the rules, or just the ones you want.

I fail to see how swastikas/The Third Reich could even remotely be conflated with such a common sense, consistent approach to protecting the public.

But it's not consistent, Bryan. The carcinogens in tobacco smoke (a freaking leaf!) are what can lead to cancer. There's plenty of evidence to support this, and I don't disagree with it, but carcinogens are every-freaking-where, and the degree of exposure is the biggest determinant to likelihood of getting cancer. Being in Clear Lake, downwind from Deer Park and Pasadena is probably more traumatic for your lungs than a few hours in a smoky bar several nights a week every week of the rest of your life will be. The cancer question is a smokescreen. It is, as I wrote much earlier, a canard. Wake up. There's been plenty of research done that points to a multitude of causes of lung cancer including, but not limited to, medical radiation, air pollutants, soap, Lysol, milk, carpet and flea preventive dog collars. Unless we outlaw these things, no, we aren't administering the rules consistently. It's decidedly inconsistent, but it's easy to pick on smokers because they smell bad and were an already shrinking percentage of the population long before the anti-smoking crusades reached a hyper-pitch.

And about this: "'There is no safe level of exposure.' 'Low levels can be harmful'", BFD. How can a carcinogenic substance have any safe level? How can a medical organization give a free pass to any carcinogen, which by it's very nature can lead to cancer given the proper amount of exposure? That's opening themselves up to a host of lawsuits. It's bloody retarded to suggest they would do otherwise. It would be just as retarded to ask them to recommend the safe level of bleach exposure or the safe level of sun exposure. (Psst... from the same NCI website: "dermatologists say that no amount of sun exposure is safe because ultraviolet radiation can cause skin cancer." Oh noes! Let's ban the sun!)

Edited by AtticaFlinch

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From the National Cancer Institute, http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Tobacco/ETS,

How is secondhand smoke exposure measured? Secondhand smoke is measured by testing indoor air for nicotine or other smoke constituents. Exposure to secondhand smoke can be tested by measuring the levels of cotinine (a nicotine by-product in the body) in the nonsmoker’s blood, saliva, or urine (1). Nicotine, cotinine, carbon monoxide, and other evidence of secondhand smoke exposure have been found in the body fluids of nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke.

Does exposure to secondhand smoke cause cancer?

I find this interesting. They apparently are claiming to know that secondhand smoke is bad because they found a non-carcinogenic in a person's blood. Seems to me they ought to be looking for the harmful stuff, not cotinine. Why have they not found anything harmful? And, how much exposure led to finding cotinine in the blood? They are deliberately imprecise, so as to continue with their 'any amount is bad' mantra.

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What gave you that idea? I can be shocked continually by the lunacy of the American mindset more than once, can't I? I wasn't aware there was a limit.

Well then I guess you're constantly "aghast". Anyway, I am just surprised you seem to think that there's still a possibility to take a direction away from government infringement of personal rights. For my money, once it gets down to smoking in bars being an indicator of things to come, you've already lost. And I do indeed think you're about 100 years too late to this battle.

The correllation between smoking and cancer, emphysema and a host of other illnesses is undeniable. What I do not buy is that smoke in small, manageable amounts is inherently dangerous. And, as such, it's not in the government's purview to make rules about what individual business owners should be deciding about its use in their establishments, most especially the city government.

I am sure that different people will "buy" different things. And I will agree that it is tempting to think that our personal preferences override everyone else's. But if you can't be convinced that the "tyranny of the minority" is actually worse than the "tyranny of the majority" then there's nothing more to discuss on this subject.

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Well then I guess you're constantly "aghast". Anyway, I am just surprised you seem to think that there's still a possibility to take a direction away from government infringement of personal rights. For my money, once it gets down to smoking in bars being an indicator of things to come, you've already lost. And I do indeed think you're about 100 years too late to this battle.

So... considering my parents, their parents and their parents have all allowed the police state to slowly encroach into our lives and trample on our individual rights, I should be content to just submit as well? Good to know.

I am sure that different people will "buy" different things. And I will agree that it is tempting to think that our personal preferences override everyone else's. But if you can't be convinced that the "tyranny of the minority" is actually worse than the "tyranny of the majority" then there's nothing more to discuss on this subject.

I think I've been talking entirely past you as you didn't seem to grasp a bit of what I wrote. I haven't been addressing this from a health perspective any further than when addressing the spurious claims that this ban is in place to protect the health of all those innocent civilians who are apparently incapable of making responsible decisions about where they choose to eat or drink. And I certainly haven't been arguing this from the personal preference point-of-view (I've bought maybe one pack of cigarettes in the past year and if smoking returned to bars, I'd probably go to a bar where it wasn't allowed). The fact of the matter is, the people in power are annoyed by an activity of a certain segment of society so the activity has been banned. In doing so, the rights of that segment of society who practiced that annoying activity was certainly limited, but the larger point is the ban affected certain business owners' abilities to make decisions regarding the operations of their businesses. The health issue is a sham. It's so much window dressing. It is, yet again, a canard. It is a ruse, a deception, a subterfuge. If you've fallen into the trap that the evil tobacco leaf is responsible for all the lung cancer floating around in all the hospitals and hospices in this country, then you really deserve the government you've got. Every time you get an x-ray, or every time you wrap Fido's neck with a dog collar, or every time you spray around the toilet with Lysol, I hope you think about how happy and safe from harm you are because you've allowed yet another liberty to be sapped away so you could have a better experience in a bar.

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Well you've got to learn to pick and choose your battles. Just as you're amazed at what people will put up with, I too have been amazed that the HAIF Finance threads I try to start get maybe 3 replies and then when it comes to smoking in bars suddenly people go crazy with responses and use that, of all things, to justify some kind of faux-principled stand purporting to oppose government intervention.

Anyway what I'm trying to say is that it's not the "people in power" or a "nanny state" who desires the ban on smoking but the people themselves who support this. I don't know why you keep going on about your "evil tobacco leaf/I'm smarter than all the scientists" straw man as you're the person who keeps bringing that up, not me. I'm well aware that the rights of individual businesses are being trampled, just as they are every single day. Taxes, building codes, health regulations you name it, government has trampled it. If they don't like it they can start their businesses somewhere else but despite all that Houston is still seen as business-friendly.

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Well you've got to learn to pick and choose your battles. Just as you're amazed at what people will put up with, I too have been amazed that the HAIF Finance threads I try to start get maybe 3 replies and then when it comes to smoking in bars suddenly people go crazy with responses and use that, of all things, to justify some kind of faux-principled stand purporting to oppose government intervention.

Why are my principles "faux"? Or, is it simply outrage about the loss of freedom that anyone could have that's a faux-principle in your estimation? Why have you resigned yourself to a second-rate democracy?
Anyway what I'm trying to say is that it's not the "people in power" or a "nanny state" who desires the ban on smoking but the people themselves who support this.
I've gathered that, and I've addressed it as well. Perhaps my language isn't working for you, maybe it's my tone, or it may even be my word choice. I don't know. Either way, the very fact it is a debate means it's not "the people" as a whole who agree to this ban - which must mean it's just a portion of people who agree to it. If it's the majority or if it's just the people in power, it doesn't matter. The majority is not infallible. Nor are those in power. Deciding arbitrary regulations based on personal preferences is not just. It just isn't. You can sugarcoat and justify all you want your reasonings for instituting a smoke ban, but the simple fact of the matter is, you're annoyed by smoke, and your annoyance is enough for you to justify to yourself that imposing your will is the right thing to do.
I don't know why you keep going on about your "evil tobacco leaf/I'm smarter than all the scientists" straw man as you're the person who keeps bringing that up, not me.
You aren't the only one who's a proponent of the ban. My responses have extended beyond our little palaver.
I'm well aware that the rights of individual businesses are being trampled, just as they are every single day. Taxes, building codes, health regulations you name it, government has trampled it. If they don't like it they can start their businesses somewhere else but despite all that Houston is still seen as business-friendly.

Again with the "love it or leave it"?

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Patios are now banned and tinted windows on restaurants are now mandatory. As we all know, sunlight exposure causes skin cancer.

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Why are my principles "faux"? Or, is it simply outrage about the loss of freedom that anyone could have that's a faux-principle in your estimation? Why have you resigned yourself to a second-rate democracy?

It's a city ordinance. It's like whining about a parking ticket, or wringing your hands about a "no left turn" sign when you really, really, really want to turn left.

I've gathered that, and I've addressed it as well. Perhaps my language isn't working for you, maybe it's my tone, or it may even be my word choice. I don't know. Either way, the very fact it is a debate means it's not "the people" as a whole who agree to this ban - which must mean it's just a portion of people who agree to it. If it's the majority or if it's just the people in power, it doesn't matter. The majority is not infallible. Nor are those in power. Deciding arbitrary regulations based on personal preferences is not just. It just isn't.

If our winner-take-all democracy isn't for you I suggest agitating for some other kind of system. Most likely you're going to want to look for the system that gets your results and then work backwards to extrapolate these "principles" that suit your mood. Let us know how that turns out. Or -- and I know you don't like hearing this -- you can move and be happier elsewhere. Or you can stay and complain.

You can sugarcoat and justify all you want your reasonings for instituting a smoke ban, but the simple fact of the matter is, you're annoyed by smoke, and your annoyance is enough for you to justify to yourself that imposing your will is the right thing to do.

Same for my preference to have a public school system, or to not have jackhammers outside my window in the middle of the night. I guess if this constitutes "imposing my will" then I guess I'll just have to live with that.

You aren't the only one who's a proponent of the ban. My responses have extended beyond our little palaver.

Excellent! You've picked up on that. So now you can stop acting like I'm the one touting supposed health benefits of banning second-hand smoke. Or at the very least you can stop using it as your reason for why you think I'm wrong.

Again with the "love it or leave it"?

Well if the winner-take-all system of participatory democracy isn't for you, but you don't want to move, what other options would a person like you have?

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growing anectdotal evidence suggests that more bars and clubs are simply defying smoking bans. Saw articles not long ago in the

NYT and Chicago Trib about this. A friend in Manhattan told me that there are a growing number of bars (and swank clubs) outright

ignoring the ban. I personally have been to bars in Seattle and San Francisco that do the same, and these were not little speakeasy back rooms. Depending on the bar and the clientele, a bar owner here in Houston might reasonably assume that with practically zero enforcement for these ordinances, non-compliance isn't much of a risk. And especially in tough budget times, show me a municipality that diverts precious law enforcement resources for raiding bars and going to court over smoking fines, and I'll show you some elected officals who won't keep their jobs very long.

Further proof that I am becoming an anarchist in middle age, I believe that smoking bans in bars should be considered little more

than a suggestion, and adopted only at the will of the owner. I stopped debating this years ago but haven't changed my opinion,

which is that if public health were REALLY the issue, cigarettes and other tobacco products would be illegal. Period. But public

health is not the issue. It is an expendable crew member compared to the lobbying power of big tobacco (who entrenched themselves by,

smartly, diversifying years ago). So, as a culture that values money and the freedom to make gobs of it above all else, we attempt to

assuage this hypocrisy by making public secondhand smoke the villian, and passing toothless ordinances so earnest Wendy Whitebread

will get off her 'I don't want to smell smoke' trip, thus freeing her up to go protest illegals, or the Ashby highrise or some such..

/rant.

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which is that if public health were REALLY the issue, cigarettes and other tobacco products would be illegal

Now THAT would *really* be impossible to enforce, and people like AtticaFlinch would blow a gasket (even as dollar devaluation continues and their precious democracy collapses around them). And would we just suddenly disband the tobacco companies? Better to just tax the crap out of them. Are there states that have been taxing tobacco products?

I personally have been to bars in Seattle and San Francisco that do the same

Lots of bars never bothered to enforce the ban in the first place. You can always find these brown-panel-walled old-man trucker hat places that are desperate for clientele in any city. SF I can believe but Seattle I'd say it was a one-off or somebody was in it for the thrill of getting away with something.

Edited by N Judah

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Now THAT would *really* be impossible to enforce, and people like AtticaFlinch would blow a gasket (even as dollar devaluation continues and their precious democracy collapses around them). And would we just suddenly disband the tobacco companies? Better to just tax the crap out of them. Are there states that have been taxing tobacco products?

disband the tobacco companies? Of course not. That would be unAmerican. We continue to let them achieve all the tobacco market penetration

they wish..... in the third world. And in the new countries of the future, formed when states secede and get their wish of

eliminating health-related entitlement programs. Come to think of it, that would be double-extra bonus American way.

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growing anectdotal evidence suggests that more bars and clubs are simply defying smoking bans. Saw articles not long ago in the

NYT and Chicago Trib about this. A friend in Manhattan told me that there are a growing number of bars (and swank clubs) outright

ignoring the ban. I personally have been to bars in Seattle and San Francisco that do the same, and these were not little speakeasy back rooms. Depending on the bar and the clientele, a bar owner here in Houston might reasonably assume that with practically zero enforcement for these ordinances, non-compliance isn't much of a risk. And especially in tough budget times, show me a municipality that diverts precious law enforcement resources for raiding bars and going to court over smoking fines, and I'll show you some elected officals who won't keep their jobs very long.

Further proof that I am becoming an anarchist in middle age, I believe that smoking bans in bars should be considered little more

than a suggestion, and adopted only at the will of the owner.

Actually, the Houston Smoking Ordinance IS merely a suggestion. From the City of Houston website...

What is the owner, operator, manager or person in control of establishment required to do?

* Post signs stating “No Smoking” or having the universal no smoking symbol at the entrance to and within the establishment.

* Remove all ashtrays from enclosed and outdoor smoking prohibited areas including within 25 feet of building entrance/ exit doors.

* Ask any person known to be smoking to extinguish the burning tobacco.

Note: These requirements do not apply if the establishment or area qualifies for an exemption under Sec. 21-242 of the ordinance.

How will the ordinance be enforced?

Either observation during routine health inspections or upon receipt of a citizen’s complaint, an investigation will be conducted.

What is the penalty for violations?

Violators may be subject to a fine of up to $2,000.

As you can see, there is no penalty assessed to the bar owner, as long as he posts a sign, removes the ashtrays and asks the smoker to stop smoking. I've been in Houston bars where the manager or bartender winked as they asked me to put out my smoke, then asked if I would like a cup of water...to quench my thirst, of course...which I then used as an ashtray. Once I realized that there are still bars where I can smoke, as well as patios that are full while the inside of the bar is empty, I stopped complaining about the ordinance. I only occasionally bring it up as an amusement, since most of the supporters of the ordinance in Houston also claim to be less-government conservatives.

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It's a city ordinance. It's like whining about a parking ticket, or wringing your hands about a "no left turn" sign when you really, really, really want to turn left.

How do you figure a smoking ordinance is anything like that? Or, perhaps your equating a limitation of rights to a parking ticket is part of why we're having a disconnect.
If our winner-take-all democracy isn't for you I suggest agitating for some other kind of system. Most likely you're going to want to look for the system that gets your results and then work backwards to extrapolate these "principles" that suit your mood. Let us know how that turns out. Or -- and I know you don't like hearing this -- you can move and be happier elsewhere. Or you can stay and complain.

You've missed the point. I really don't know how to be clearer about it. Limiting someone else's rights in order to mold your environment to your tastes by means of legislation isn't right. Repeating over and over again "Like it or leave it." solves nothing. I get that's where you're coming from. I understand your opinion is that the world's unfair so let's all just deal with it or move elsewhere. I get it, I really do.
Same for my preference to have a public school system, or to not have jackhammers outside my window in the middle of the night. I guess if this constitutes "imposing my will" then I guess I'll just have to live with that.

Again, you've entirely missed the point.
Excellent! You've picked up on that. So now you can stop acting like I'm the one touting supposed health benefits of banning second-hand smoke. Or at the very least you can stop using it as your reason for why you think I'm wrong.

I only picked up on the health thing with you after you addressed my edited clarification. I didn't want to leave the point vague, but that wasn't directed merely at you. Besides that, it was relevant to my answer to the question you'd asked me. Fair enough?

Well if the winner-take-all system of participatory democracy isn't for you, but you don't want to move, what other options would a person like you have?

So, in your world, for every thing you find distasteful, you see only three options, 1) learn to like it, 2) lump it or 3) leave it? Ok, fair enough.

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Well if your goal in life is to be spiteful, I guess no one can stop you :)

Or, put another way, if my goal is not to be stopped by the spitefulness of others...

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Or, put another way, if my goal is not to be stopped by the spitefulness of others...

Here! Here!! Well stated my non - electronic friend - may I buy you a drink?

Retraction: Cannot buy Red a drink as he SMOKES real cigars, and may lure me to a place where my health may be immediately placed at risk from second-hand smoke.

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Or, put another way, if my goal is not to be stopped by the spitefulness of others...

...then you'd be me :)

And you wouldn't live in Houston :)

Keep on undermining in the free world,

Edited by N Judah

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Here! Here!! Well stated my non - electronic friend - may I buy you a drink?

Retraction: Cannot buy Red a drink as he SMOKES real cigars, and may lure me to a place where my health may be immediately placed at risk from second-hand smoke.

Actually, I smoke cigarettes. I don't understand the cigar thing. Why light up if you are not going to inhale?

...then you'd be me :)

And you wouldn't live in Houston :)

Keep on undermining in the free world,

Free world? Is it?

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Actually, I smoke cigarettes. I don't understand the cigar thing. Why light up if you are not going to inhale?

Actually, the only thing I smoke is cigars - thought you did too...sorry about that. In answer to your question, let's ask Bill Clinton.

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Actually, the only thing I smoke is cigars - thought you did too...sorry about that. In answer to your question, let's ask Bill Clinton.

Are you still going to buy me a drink?

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The little lady and I were just having one!

I'll get back to you....

hmm. your little lady needs to give me back my swimsuit cover-up, and return the highlander goblets to her ex boyfriend she met at the renaissance fest.

As far as Red goes, you should buy him two drinks. He's shy and it takes him a while to warm up to people.

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hmm. your little lady needs to give me back my swimsuit cover-up, and return the highlander goblets to her ex boyfriend she met at the renaissance fest.

As far as Red goes, you should buy him two drinks. He's shy and it takes him a while to warm up to people.

Sorry about the cover-up Crunch, I didn't know she was a clepto. You probably look better in it than she does anyway ( My best swooning line ). You did help me clear up the mystery of the breast plate & broad sword in her closet though.

Red doesn't sound very shy to me, but your attempt to get him a double is admirable.... Oh my.... did,"I" take us from electronic cigarettes to swimsuit cover-ups, and alcoholism? Shame, Hanuman!

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Sorry about the cover-up Crunch, I didn't know she was a clepto. You probably look better in it than she does anyway ( My best swooning line ). You did help me clear up the mystery of the breast plate & broad sword in her closet though.

Red doesn't sound very shy to me, but your attempt to get him a double is admirable.... Oh my.... did,"I" take us from electronic cigarettes to swimsuit cover-ups, and alcoholism? Shame, Hanuman!

Swank.

Also, I wouldn't worry about the conversation meandering if I were you. It seems to have left electronic cigarettes long ago.

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