Tobacco

To the Smokemobile!

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It looks like Belmont, California, will continue to allow smoking in cars and in detached, single-family homes. But the strictest version of a proposed ordinance the city council began considering this week would prohibit smoking just about everywhere else, including outdoor bar and restaurant seating, sidewalks, streets, parking lots, apartments, and condominiums. The innovation of telling people they may not light up in their own homes, while simultaneously telling them they may not go outside to smoke, has attracted nationwide attention since it was first suggested last year. 

Michael Siegel notes another interesting wrinkle in the draft ordinance: While smoking in a prohibited location would be an "infraction" punishable by a $100 fine, "causing, permitting, aiding, abetting, or concealing" such smoking would be a misdemeanor, raising the possibility of larger fines, jail, and a criminal record. Failing to report illicit smoking could be treated as a misdemeanor, Siegel warns, so if you must visit Belmont but want to avoid jail, "make sure to wear a bag over your head so that you cannot possibly see anyone smoking."

Yet another fun fact about the proposed law: Confirming conservatives' worst nightmares about California, it explicitly allows pot smoking (for medical purposes) while banning cigarette smoking.  

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  1. All smoke smells quite bad
    But lefties like the tasty pot
    Hippies smell like poo.

  2. GM’s worst nightmare
    the pot smokers can tell him
    “put that out, sicko!”

  3. timothy ur wrong
    good dank smells like nice strong mint
    why am i hungry?

  4. While I certainly do oppose this law on principle, I must admit I have less of a problem with it than I do most nanny-state types of laws. For one thing, smoking actually CAN impact another person not participating in the activity. Again, I want to stress I STILL do oppose the law; just not to the degree I do most nanny-state laws.

  5. dhex must be one
    of those goddamn hippie fuckers
    please don’t beat me up

  6. Timothy’s haiku
    Has too many syllables
    In the second line

  7. Okay so a little 2nd hand smoke is horrible, but a contact buzz is fine???

  8. I wonder if someone could be held liable in tort for, I dunno, some kind of battery for smoking where the good citizens of Crazyfornia only inhale the most pristine smog-saturated air.

  9. Honest, Officer
    ’tis not a cig but a joint
    that would be quite odd

  10. I agree, andy.
    Where is MadTom when needed?
    With his Grammar Gun.

  11. After posting mine
    I found that Tim’s second
    Has too many too

  12. > it explicitly allows pot smoking (for medical purposes) while banning cigarette smoking.

    What about candles or incense? Do these not generate toxic smoke?

  13. And my second one
    Has one too few syllables.
    Damn I’m fucking dumb

  14. Try smoking corn husks
    when need HFCS fix.
    More taste, less filling.

  15. If I think it’s wrong,
    Then it should be illegal.
    Left and Right agree.

  16. timothy no dude
    i just gots the glaucoma
    and some migranes too

  17. Went to lunch with the Old Lady today and almost suffocated on the smell of stale perfume. I’da much rather shared some second hand cigarette smoke. Or even cigar smoke.

    My old buddy Caffrey (a libertarian) has this to say about banning smoke:

    Chowing down on a thick porterhouse with a fine red and playing “21” are two different things. You can blow smoke all over me when I double down on on a hard 11 into a dealer’s 6. I don’t give a sh** about that. Just keep your cig smoke away from my sauteed onions and mushrooms.

    That illustrates the problem well. People like smoke free dining and they don’t care. That’s why every state will ban public smoking. It’s as simple as mind over matter. They don’t mind and smoker’s don’t matter (nor do property rights).

    In other nukes, rumor has it that Arizona is going smoke free.

  18. candy is dandy
    liquor is quicker
    pot is not

  19. You can’t smoke in here
    That’s okay, I’ll go outside
    You can’t smoke out here

  20. Eight syllables is
    too goddamn many damn it
    Learn to count, Dreier

  21. No work accomplished.
    Hope I.T. not tracking net
    usage, or I’m screwed.

  22. I wonder if they
    will ban the sale of the smokes
    within the city?

  23. and perhaps forgo
    any future tobacco
    settlement moeny

  24. condominums?
    I want to smoke where I live.
    What – no homestead laws?

  25. Smoking contributes
    to global warming, says Gore.
    Must never exhale.

  26. “I have less of a problem with it than I do most nanny-state types of laws. For one thing, smoking actually CAN impact another person not participating in the activity.”

    Not liking something and creating your own science to justify your tyrany are too different things.

    The nicotine Nazi’s have been trying to get the facts to justify there assualt on freedom and liberty for years but the facts wouldn’t cooperate. But don’t worry they just tell everyone the conclusion they want and fuck the facts.

    Next up:
    Banning second hand BBQ smoke.

  27. Can’t smoke anywhere,
    Butt can still fart everywhere?
    Flatus smells much worse.

  28. Flatus does smell worse.
    is not inhaled for pleasure
    so it is OK

  29. violent k missed
    the south park “smug” episode
    about the hybrid cars

  30. Belmont sucks anyway. Or should that be: Belmonters suck any way you likee?

  31. I do not smoke but
    Tobacco stinks, whereas pot
    Smells nice (like Styx concert)

  32. damn you guys to hell
    write work reports in haiku
    must work late to fix

  33. Ask people near you,
    May I fart, before it’s done.
    They’ll not give consent.

  34. When pigeon smokes pot
    It turns Japanese poet:
    Utters a “high coo”!

  35. A quick puff of smoke
    not quite carefully hidden
    hundred dollars lost

  36. MadTom attempts work.
    Grammar enforcement needed.
    Stupid Intertubes.

  37. Belmont is a city without any open space between its neighbors. Wouldn’t it be fun to stand just past the border on a sidewalk, smoking a cig, just to see if a cop would hassle you? Mmmmmm…. false arrest or police harassment lawsuit would be nice.

  38. Argh. …between it and its neighbors.

  39. On topic for once:
    I want to go to Belmont.
    Giant Fuente.

  40. The lawsuit would lose
    Sovereign immunity
    Can’t beat city hall

  41. Styx concerts are cool
    but “smells nice like Styx concert”
    has six syllables

    Stevo Darkly has
    great taste in rock music but
    has no haiku sense

  42. “Stevo Darkly | March 16, 2007, 5:47pm | #
    When pigeon smokes pot
    It turns Japanese poet:
    Utters a “high coo”!”

    cannot stop laughing
    but i still have to wonder
    how he smokes with claws

  43. cannot stop laughing
    but i still have to wonder
    how he smokes with claws

    “Have they large talons?”
    Napolean Dynamite
    Said that in movie

    Stevo Darkly has
    great taste in rock music but
    has no haiku sense

    Oh noes and dammit
    I bring shame to this blog, now
    I commit sepukku

  44. Smoking with talons
    Definitely safer than
    Smoking with Feathers

  45. crimethink laughs so hard,
    His belly won’t stop jiggling.
    Must lose twenty pounds.

  46. Second suicide
    Commenters not fairing well
    Bye, Stevo Darkly

  47. Please Stevo do not
    commit haiku sepukku
    Things will get better

    Hit and Run without
    Stevo is like a barren
    socialist wasteland

  48. i cannot do shift
    but at least i can count well
    i think this makes five.

    my rolling papers;
    tight spliffs stuffed with the kind bud
    get me quite hungry.

  49. this is getting bad
    it has turned in to cheap ass
    haiku bukakke

  50. Sounds like a market for tobacco vaporizers…

  51. despite its spelling
    “seppuku” has two syllables.
    do better next time.

  52. Dennis Prager has long made the excellent point that in the 50s, everyone smoked, and no one cursed. Now everyone curses, and smoking is socially reprehensible, or so “they” would have us believe.

    I don’t curse or smoke, but the whole anti-tobacco thing is so overblown that I’m tempted at times to go buy a pack and start smoking in all of the wrong places.

  53. mediageek has
    too many syllables in it
    no good at haiku

    🙁

  54. Free to smoke *SOME* plants. Free indeed . . .

  55. Yet another fun fact about the proposed law: Confirming conservatives’ worst nightmares about California, it explicitly allows pot smoking (for medical purposes) while banning cigarette smoking.

    Actually, that was just an easy to make prediction.

  56. All smoke smells quite bad
    But lefties like the tasty pot
    Hippies smell like poo.

  57. I remember an old Johnny Carson joke:
    Q: What’s the definition of a Californian?
    A: Someone who complains about your second-hand smoke while snorting your cocaine.

  58. The lawsuit would lose
    Sovereign immunity
    Can’t beat city hall

  59. Here in Santa Cruz County, the Supervisors have voted unanimously to ban the use of tobacco in county parks. I’m not just talking about smoking, but the possession or use of any tobacco product. The ordinance will probably be made permanent after its second reading, later this month. I wrote the following letter of protest to the Supervisor in my district (whose name has been excised to protect the guilty):

    Dear Mr. XXXXX,

    I read with great disappointment the news that the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to ban the use of tobacco products in county parks. In advance of the final reading later this month, I ask you and the other Supervisors to reconsider and rescind this action.

    Based on the health concerns swirling around second-hand tobacco smoke, campaigns to ban indoor smoking have met with great success in this and other regions of the country. As smokers have been forced outside, those who would ban their habit altogether have followed them, pushing to ban smoking in various outdoor venues, as well. The ban that is currently under consideration goes further yet, by targeting not just tobacco smoking in our county parks, but the use of tobacco in any way, regardless of how considerate and responsible the tobacco user might be, or how much any real person’s actual health or well-being may be threatened by the tobacco user’s activities. In my opinion, the ordinance that the Supervisors are on the verge of making permanent goes way too far.

    I do not smoke. I think it is a filthy habit. My own mother died of complications from a lifetime of smoking. I am no fan of tobacco or the tobacco industry. But I am likewise no fan of making an addict’s situation even worse. And I am definitely a fan of the individual’s freedom to live his life as he chooses, so long as he does so without harming or endangering others. I know from personal experience that diesel and other exhaust fumes from motor vehicles and industrial equipment are more dangerous, and that other people’s body odor, perfumes, and bad breath are often much more objectionable, than any tobacco smoke I have encountered. Smoke quickly dissipates in the air, and the smoker’s contribution to air pollution is negligible, which is why the anti-smoking crowd was so successful in getting others to support them as they forced smokers outside in the first place. Are you aware of any studies that identify tobacco smoke outdoors as a menace that is even equal to those other pollutants I mentioned, much less worse? In my opinion, making smokers “take it outside” is as far as we can legitimately go with what is shaping up to be the outright persecution of smokers. I am baffled as to why our own Board of Supervisors thinks it is appropriate to ban even the use of smokeless tobacco in the parks, which need not endanger the health of well-being of anyone other than the user!

    It is legitimate for the County to look out for the health and safety of those who visit the parks, as well as to promote the proper maintenance of the properties by, for example, prohibiting and punishing litter, whether caused by the use of tobacco or any other reason. But any tobacco user who is considerate of others, and who does not litter in the park, should not have to pay a fine or suffer any other punishment, for engaging in what is otherwise a legal activity involving a legal substance. Tobacco users own property and pay taxes in support of county parks, too. They also pay hefty excise and sales taxes when they purchase tobacco products. Doesn’t their contribution to government coffers entitle them to some consideration and protection, as well? What are we to say about a society that makes some of its members into pariahs, and then takes money from them to finance their own punishment and continued persecution?

    The ban on tobacco use in county parks appears to be an ill-conceived, much too broad restriction on people’s personal liberty. In Santa Cruz, we are often exhorted to “share” with others – to practice understanding and tolerance toward those whose appearance, views, or practices might at first alarm or offend us. This is a fine principle, but we need to be consistent in applying it toward users of tobacco. Share the parks with them. Tolerate their considerate and responsible use of this drug. Think about the Golden Rule before you cast your final vote to ban tobacco use in county parks. Your stand for or against personal liberty will figure prominently in my future voting decisions, and my recommendations to others about theirs. I’d like to say that Mr. XXXXXX helped convince the Supervisors to uphold everyone’s freedom, when the easy thing to do would have been to bow to politically correct orthodoxy.

    Thank you for your time and your consideration of my concerns.

    =========================================

    Here is the reply I received:

    Dear Mr. Merritt-

    Thank you for your thoughtful letter regarding the ban on the use of tobacco product in county parks. I’m afraid this is an issue where we will continue to disagree. I understand your view but I believe the health considerations, effect on children using the parks, and the costs the county must bear for tobacco-related illness cause me to come to a different conclusion. Thank you for taking the time to write concerning this issue.

    Sincerely,

    XXXXXXX, Supervisor
    =========================================

    If I lived in Calevaras County, I’d at least be able to count on multiply re-elected Libertarian Supervisor Tom Tryon to be on the side of freedom. I think I know why the electoral frog jumped to put him and keep him in office: the water was beginning to boil. Here in Santa Cruz County, the roiling boil has been going on for a while…

  60. “wonder if someone could be held liable in tort for, I dunno, some kind of battery for smoking where the good citizens of Crazyfornia only inhale the most pristine smog-saturated air.”

    Belmont is a little rich enclave nestled in the hills down the peninsula from San Francisco. There is no smog there or really much of anywhere around the Bay (not all of California is LA).

    An ordinance in a silly little NorCal suburb isn’t exactly the same thing as state law. Although it is certainly in keeping with recent trends.

  61. Will Santa Cruz allow nicotine gum or patches in the park?

  62. I would legalize smoking pot and tobacco, prostitution, gambling and driving without seatbelt.
    What we need is a ban on forum spam and haiku…

  63. You’re not supposed to put a bag over your head to avoid seeing smokers. On seeing them, you should stand stock still point at them with one stiffly outstreched arm and emmit a loud, trilling scream until they can be caught and appropriately processed.

    It’s in the training film.

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