"One day we'll be an absolutely smoke-free world"


The city of Los Angeles is seemingly on the verge of banning smoking from the outdoor patios of restaurants on grounds of…well who the hell knows anymore?

The measure's sponsor, Councilman Greig Smith, said he wrote the legislation after noticing that California's ban on smoking inside restaurants was driving smokers just outside the establishments' doors, exposing children and other patrons to secondhand smoke as they entered the venue or waited for tables.

Note: One of the last L.A. public spaces you can still smoke in is your local municipal golf course. Beause, after all, the city would make less money if its customers couldn't enjoy the cigars that are readily available at the city-owned golf course kiosks….

I'm neither smoker nor scientist nor fan of cigarette companies, but the only place I've ever felt the presence of second-hand smoke outside–i.e., that place where there IS NO ROOF–is when the smoking patio of my favorite neighborhood margarita-dispenser enveloped itself in an airtight plastic condom for warmth. To which we had a shockingly radical solution: Leave, and let the friendly owners know that we wouldn't come back until the covering was gone. No individual liberties were sacrificed in the process.

Still, as depressingly inevitable as this news is, it's heartening to see some residents of my former neighborhood raise a hackle or two:

Outside Cafe Tropical in Silver Lake on Wednesday evening, smoker Omar Montes said he worried the City Council was going too far.

"When you get into the government telling you what to do outdoors, I worry about that," said Montes, a 43-year-old computer systems technician. "I understand the health reasons for it…. But for me it's about Big Brother. How far is it going to go? You can't text [while driving], you can't talk on the phone. I mean c'mon."

A smoker in the upstairs Biergarten at Silver Lake's Red Lion Inn predicted that the council would face strong opposition from smokers.

"We have already been penalized and prosecuted as smokers in the last five, 10 years or so," said Matthew Tolmachoff, a 38-year-old biotech equipment salesman. "If it's your choice that you want to kill yourself smoking a cigarette, you should at least be able to have a drink to go along with that."

Reason asking "How far will smoking bans go?" here.

NEXT: Green Car Mirage

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  1. HAHA. Thank you for this.

    Also, can we talk about the New York Times’ batshit insane piece on “Third-Hand Smoke” ???

  2. exposing children and other patrons

    Of course. The Children?.
    One feels less guilty in leaving them a 900-trillion-godzillian-dollar debt.
    Suck on that, kiddies.

  3. Walking from my car to a restaurant in Atlanta exposes me to more second-hand smoke from other vehicles than cigarettes. I imagine this being worse in LA, so I guess they should ban cars next…

  4. Today is not that day.


    Exhaling………………………………………..(there’s a lot to exhale)

  5. Why would children be waiting outside a bar?

  6. Also, can we talk about the New York Times’ batshit insane piece on “Third-Hand Smoke” ???

    I think there was a thread on this yesterday.

    This shit drives me nuts. I mean, these people are smokers. They’re not not humans. They’re not Americans. Bah…what is there to say that hasn’t been said. FUCK.

  7. Ah, no! Must have missed it. Thanks for the heads up.

  8. Well, you know, people shouldn’t be exposed to second-hand smoke on patios after kicking smokers outside.

    Or, they can stay their asses indoors where they belong… God (or his/her secular equivalent) knows they bitched, whined, and generally carried on and on about indoor smoking.

    Or, LA and the US for all I care can ban it and hope a smoker pops a cop in the ass, therefore proving that fourth (or whatever) hand smoke kills and thereby expanding the drug war and the fun rolls on.

  9. People really need to get a sense of proportion. Doesn’t LA have the worst air quality in the country or something? If people are so worried about what is in the air, the first thing they should do is not live in a big coastal city where you are constantly exposed to things far more hazardous than second hand smoke.

  10. “First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist – so I said nothing. Then they came for the Social Democrats, but I was not a Social Democrat – so I did nothing. Then they came for the trade unionists, but I was not a trade unionist. And then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew – so I did little. Then when they came for me, there was no one left who could stand up for me.”

    If we all vow to be communist, social democrat trade unionist, gay seal-clubbing gypsy smokers we could stand up against this stuff before it gets too much momentun.

    After all, what would you rather smell, second hand smoke or second hand farts?

  11. Good. Screw smokers. 🙂

    “First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist – so I said nothing…

    Oh, shut the hell up. Most overused (and misused) quote on the Internet. Dumbass.

  12. Why would children be waiting outside a bar?

    Because they forgot their fake IDs?

  13. Speaking of Silverlake, there is a great bar, tiny and crowded usually, one of the original Tikki bars of the post-war Polynesian craze. It’s called the Tikki-Ti, and it is owner operated, so they allow smoking.

  14. If this comes to new york, I’m suing on the same basis to get people who stink of urine and feces off the subway, at least from 6 to 10am and 5 to 8pm.

  15. This stuff is great news. Keep it up and eventually 20 million American smokers will vote Libertarian. Or not. Of the millions of pot smokers, how many of them vote Libertarian? The American vote seems to be disconnected from its voter’s interests. What do you want to bet the smoker quoted above as worried about “big brother” happily pulled the lever in November for Obamacain?

  16. Most pot smokers are probably reliable Democrats in the majority of cases.

  17. Ah, California. Just today I came across an article in the Stanford Daily about a group petitioning to make Stanford a “smoke-free campus”. They claim that “the freedom of non-smokers to move around campus without exposure to second-hand smoke is a fundamental right”.

    I am not a smoker. I hate secondhand smoke. A lot. But these people annoy me a lot more than smokers ever have.

  18. Pendulums swing.

    But sometimes you can move the pivot point.

    It is my sense that the pivot point has been moved so that indoor smoking around non-smokers will be considered an unacceptable behavior for the most part.

    In moving that pivot point, you inevitably get swings of the pendulum’s “bob” like this one. Don’t worry, it’ll swing back the other way.

    Given that the pivot point is unlikely to be frictionless, eventually the bob will stabilize under the pivot point.

  19. “”””If it’s your choice that you want to kill yourself smoking a cigarette, you should at least be able to have a drink to go along with that.””””

    If it’s your choice to kill yourself with alcohol, you should be able to have a cigarette to go along with that.

  20. It stands to reason that the only reason L.A. is pulling this shit is as a source for revenue. Consider that enforcement of this ordinance will probably not require a citizen’s complaint, and if so, it’s strictly for the money folks.

    This piece of shit goes in the books with L.A.’s mandatory spay and neutering of indoor pets law ($35 to the City to spay or neuter: read: a full hysterectomy or castration of your pet for only $35 city) and the banning of Clothing-Optional Beaches in L.A. back in the late 1970’s, including sunbathing on one’s own private property whether alone or with others.

    Phuck ’em and vote them out now!

  21. Sadly, I can already see that one day in the not-so-distant future, I’m going to be growing tobacco next to the pot plants in my closet :*(

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