Montana Goes Smoke-Free

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Montana becomes the 10th state to ban smoking in all "public places"–i.e., all indoor spaces that are not private residences, including restaurants and (as of 2009) bars. "The need to breathe smoke-free air has priority over the desire to smoke," says the legislation. Coming soon: bans on loud music ("the need to speak and be heard has priority over the desire to dance") and TVs showing cable news channels ("the need to enjoy a quiet drink takes priority over the desire to see people scream at each other").

[Thanks to Mike Fellows of the Montana L.P. for the link.]

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  1. But these so-called “nannies” only want what is good for us. Their intentions are pure. With their help, we can finally evolve into a global village where people are nice to each other and are good to themselves.

  2. Most people aren’t aware that fresh air is actually hard to come by in Montana. It has to be pipelined in from Alaska or trucked in on giant smoke-free air tankers.

  3. And just to make sure, next they’ll seize all public spaces by eminent domain.

  4. So, the outlawing of publicly exhaled carcinogens is oppressive? Puh-leeeze.

  5. “So, the outlawing of publicly exhaled carcinogens is oppressive? Puh-leeeze.”

    That’s a powerful argument. I give in. You win.

  6. I always figured if the rest of the country got too restrictive, there was always the option of moving to Montana, the last bastion of rugged individualism and personal freedom.

    I stand corrected. The whole world is f**ked.

  7. You could try New Hampshire. It will at least be an attempt at a last sanctuary. http://www.freestateproject.org or just click on my name.

    Want Liberty in Your Lifetime?

    (I wish I knew how to put in an active link)

  8. Jacob: didn’t you read Balko’s article on reductio arguments? Don’t give people ideas!

  9. Now it will be hard to walk outdoors and get fresh air as everyone steps outside the tavern and onto the sidewalk to light up. Next up, no smoking inside city limits unless its contained inside your private residence. I think San Luis Obispo, CA did this.

  10. I take it you’re all opposed to laws banning nudity in public places.

    After all, who are state legislatures to decide that avoiding the sight of Granny in her altogether takes precedence over Granny’s desire to feel the night air blowing through her rug?

  11. Hey! I know…. why don’t we pass a LAW that would make cigarettes ILLEGAL!!! That way, we could hire more cops, build more jails, hire more prison guards, rake in more tax money, create more multi-jurisdictional police forces, and give all these lawyers we’re churning out some more work to do?

  12. “I take it you’re all opposed to laws banning nudity in public places.”

    Ummmmm… no.

  13. From an article about the subject:

    “Smoking is just plain stupid,” said Republican Sen. Joe Balyeat of Bozeman. “But if this Legislature decided to outlaw stupidity, I think two-thirds of us would be behind bars. I just don’t think we can legislate against stupidity.”

  14. I’m no scientist, but if there is a slight association between second hand smoke and illness (not necessarily cancer, but allergies, bronchitis, etc.) wouldn’t a ban on “public” smoking simply move people to the indoors and exacerbate the health problems, if any?

  15. Life is slower in Montana …and wherever there are “libertarians.”

    They both value focus and relaxed concentration.
    They both value being in the here and now.
    They would never needlessly indulge ourselves in hurry or rush

    Slowing down is a skill that must be learned. Understand that it?s not for everyone. The Ancient Greeks understood that we work in order to have leisure. If it was good enough for them, it?s good enough for us.

    If a thing is worth doing it is worth doing slowly or not at all.

    IT’S ABOUT TIME.

  16. Ecodude, “public places” in this example refers to “places of public accommodation,” like restaurants, not streets and sidewalks and such.

  17. I take it you’re all opposed to laws banning nudity in public places.

    I am definitely opposed to “laws banning nudity” in public places like strip clubs.

    And I classify “smoking-banners” in with puritans trying to protect us from “evil”.

    Geez, I guess I am a bigot, all self-righteous busybodies look the same to me.

  18. I hate smoking. I hate everything about it. But, excuse me if I yell, RESTAURANTS ARE NOT PUBLIC PLACES. They have a private owner, unless of course they are chain establishments whose stock is publicly traded, then they have NUMEROUS private owners. They should be able to pick their own clientele, cater to those who will garner them the most revenue, and anyone who doesn’t like the atmosphere in any one establishment is perfectly free to go elsewhere and/or establish a pub of their own. What part of this idea is beyond the realm of understanding for these people?

    ARRRGGGHHHHHHHH!

  19. ‘I am definitely opposed to “laws banning nudity” in public places like strip clubs.’

    And I am opposed to laws banning smoking in cigar clubs.

    Care to address the issue?

  20. How about smokeless ashtrays and good ventilation? Wouldn’t those cut down second-hand smoke to acceptable levels? Esp. when combined with smoke-free sections where the remaining cigarette smoke would be even more diluted?

    Since I’m a liberal, I support government mandating these things. Not because I’m concerned about public health, but because I get a sadistic thrill from forcing bar owners to shell out a few extra bucks for cleaner air.

    Seriously, though, isn’t there a technological solution to this?

  21. If you’ll forgive a homey parable, my great-grandfather ran a butcher shop and locker plant in Manning, Iowa circa 1928-65. On the wall back of the register counter was a sign saying “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.” He rarely used that right. Instead he extended nearly indefinite credit to everyone in town so they could feed their kids through the Depression. He had no interest in retiring, but in ’65 the Feds came in and told him he had to remove the wooden butcher’s block he’d used without incident for nearly 40 years and put in stainless steel, and they told him he had to trade with any Joe Dokes who came wandering in the door, just because he stood up on his hind legs and sucked air. He closed up shop and never looked back.

    Now we eat courtesy of Smithfield Foods and Tyson. Thank the government for its concern over our health and wellbeing.

  22. 1. Smoking laws.

    2. ?

    3. Workers Paradise!

  23. And I am opposed to laws banning smoking in cigar clubs.

    How is a cigar club different from a bar or restaurant that caters to smoking patrons by providing a smoking area?

  24. Smoking sucks…
    Laws banning smoking suck…
    Nanny government sucks…

    Pretty much all around, a big warm glass of SUCK.

    They banned smoking here in the Twin Cities, too. It sucks.

  25. Banning smoking inside structures on a business’ private property is frequently pushed on behalf of the employees. Even if the customers volunteer to suck in nasty second-hand smoke, the staff are assumed to be drones without the brains to decide for themselves whether their workplace is well-ventilated enough, or they are sufficiently compensated to accept the risk from “environmental tobacco smoke.” Nevermind if the waitstaff, bartenders and cooks at these places will be bolting outdoors for a smoke on their breaks as often as they can. The idiocy of overreaching “health and safety” regulation may not be questioned.

    If ETS is a real threat, the regulators could write an ambient standard for it, and restauranteurs and innkeepers could install equipment to cope with the evil molecules. That they don’t is proof that this isn’t really about insuring the health of the staff, but supporting the prejudices of tobaccophobes.

    BTW, I’ve never smoked cigs, and, while I like a good cigar, I haven’t indulged in one in years.

    Kevin

    Learn how to make links here

  26. Josephus,

    Do you want to deny all of us cranky bastards our guilty and dangerous pleasures?

    2.a. Mandated nutritional standards in restaurants.
    2.b. Mandated “healthy activities”.
    2.c. Mandated everything and re-education for the recalcitrant.

    3. Workers Paradise.

    Second hand smoke might hurt a few people so ban smoking.

    Bad nutrition costs taxpayers money so ban it and punish parents who don’t feed their children right (will it cost less to imprison the parents and re-educate the children, or to simply pay the medical costs or to chuck the whole system and make people pay for themselves).

    Sexy clothes might cause a few people to hurt themselves (bulimia, anorexia, plastic surgery disasters) so ban advertising or require “healthy body image counseling”.

    Human nature being what it is, there will never be a shortage of people who want to boss other people around without their mutual consent.

    QFMC cos. V

  27. Any federal studies been done on the dangers to eyesight and carpal tunnels of blogging and posting to online forums? I would think some ergonomic regulation is in order. P’raps we should sue Reason for inducing us all to fritter away our valuable time, visual accuity and manual dexterity arguing all day?

  28. Thanks, Kevin for the link.

  29. joe, you should drop the “public places” argument. Although you have the law on your side, I don’t think you’ll ever convince a card-carrying reasonoid that a restaurant is justifiably a public place.

    And as for the nudity tangent, most of us reasonoids are completely lacking in traditional morals. It may be disrespectful to be fornicating in public, but I don’t see any rational reason why it should be illegal.

  30. To answer Joe’s question:

    I take it you’re all opposed to laws banning nudity in public places.

    …”public places” in this example refers to “places of public accommodation,” like restaurants, not streets and sidewalks and such.

    Yes.

    If a restaurant’s management wants to have a nude dining section, a smoking section, a vegetarian section, a no-kids section, or anything peaceful, what business is it of yours? If a bar’s owner wanted to allow patrons to walk around naked, smoking, and eating raw vegetables, what’s your problem?

    And I am opposed to laws banning smoking in cigar clubs.

    And the difference is…? And the exception for cigar clubs in the Montana bill is…?

  31. I’m waiting for a restaurant with a naked Vegan section and a naked Carnivore section. Let’s see how tolerant the grazers are having to watch me suck down red, dripping animal flesh as the juices sluice down my rotund, hairy midsection.

  32. Eh, they’d put a partition in or something. You’ll have to eat loudy to check for tolerance…

  33. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    smell the fresh air and clean clothes.

  34. Any proof of the effect of second hand smoke?

    I know the UN report glossed over the fact that none of the measure were statistically significant, but I was wondering if there were new studies.

  35. Fabius, I no more want to deny you your enjoyment of tobacco smoke, than I want you to deny me my enjoyment of non-carcinogenic air. Swing your fist, ends at my nose, and all off that.

  36. joe,
    Then why not go to a bar that is smoke-free? No one is forcing the bar owners to allow smoke or you to go there. If there’s a market for smoke free bars, why haven’t any opened up? If some have, why not reward them for their gumption.

  37. Yeah, but you not only want to visit my bar and not let me not smoke there, but you also want me to pay for your healthcare!

  38. hey joe,

    Like the guy who broke his leg in two places; stay outa them places.

  39. Hm. If second hand smoke analogizes to getting decked, then going to a smoke-filled bar is sort of like going to Fight Club. And no one who goes to Fight Club can reasonably complain about getting hit.

    The only thing that blunts my outrage at such an obvious overreach of state control is the unending self-righteous victimhood of smokers. ‘Oh. . I can’t smoke at work and in the restaurant. We’re treated like second class citizens’. Guess what? Smoking’s fucking disgusting. It smells like ass and tumors. It makes me smell like ass and tumors. If you continually do something that irritates and disgusts a significant number of other people, don’t be surprised if you’re told to do it in an alley or a room with peeling, brown walls.

  40. Back in the glory days you could go as fast as you want outside city limits. They used to have a sign that said Go as fast as reasonable, because everything in Montana is so far away it takes forever to travel by car. Now these fucks in the city think they have control of everyones life.

    Btw Yellow Stone National Park sucks, go to Glacier National Park its waaaaaaaaaay better and alot more natural.

  41. “Glacier National Park its waaaaaaaaaay better ”

    And the Highway to the Sun is fun as hell. A couple of ankle high rocks for a barrier between you and a thousand foot drop. Good times.

  42. On my first visit to the Big Sky State in 1963, I made a minor purchase with a twenty dollar bill and received about eighteen siver dollars in the change. It seems those western radicals didn’t think that paper stuff from the eastern establishment was real money. God, how the mighty have fallen.

    Hardly a month goes by that I don’t kick myself for not realizing how valuable those cartwheels would become.

  43. I’d like to imagine that bar owners could get around this by declaring, “This bar is not open to the public. This bar is open only to private citizens who don’t mind smoke.” But of course that’s probably against discrimination laws. Hooray for freedom.

  44. Then why not go to a bar that is smoke-free?

    Isn’t that kind of unfair? After all, I should be able to go anywhere, anytime, and not breathe smoke from cigarettes. Just like if I see some guy shadow-boxing, I should be able to jam my face in his way.

    Wait a minute…

  45. If there’s a market for smoke free bars, why haven’t any opened up?

    Is this related to the joke about the two libertarians who find a $10 on the sidewalk, and one leans down to pick it up, and the other says, “Don’t bother — if it were really there, someone would have picked it up by now?”

  46. Phil,
    Kinda, but not really. I think a lot of it is inertia. I would bet $50 that if CA repealed the smoking ban at leas a third to a half would remain non-smoking establishments. I smoke, but I also prefer the smoke-free bars, but at the end of the day it’s about private property rights.

  47. “If there’s a market for smoke free bars, why haven’t any opened up?”

    Is this related to the joke about the two libertarians who find a $10 on the sidewalk,

    I think it’s “two Chicago-school economists find a $10 on the sidewalk”, not libertarians. But heaven forbid we credit bar owners (you know, the ones who think this will reduce their business) with a knowledge of their clientele’s interests.

  48. Joe sez:

    I take it you’re all opposed to laws banning nudity in public places. After all, who are state legislatures to decide that avoiding the sight of Granny in her altogether takes precedence over Granny’s desire to feel the night air blowing through her rug?

    Since you call yourself a liberal, I have to ask… Have you ever been to France? How ’bout Sweden?

    You’re the first progressive I’ve seen into textile collectivism. Janis Joplin is rolling in her grave.

  49. I believe that in NYC, Nurse Bloomberg’s tyranny extends to private clubs, though there may be some exemptions. Once again, if you employ anyone, they want to regulate you. I know that in some states private clubs can get around these bans if all work is done by member-volunteers.

    Kevin

  50. I’m for any law whatsoever no matter how oppresive that prevents me from seeing some granny’s bush

    Hopefully the Reason censors will let me post this one, its already denied two of my previous posts

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