Tobacco

Tarheel State Joins Smoking-Ban Bandwagon

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N.C. Gov. Bev Purdue says she will sign into law a bill the state House of Representatives passed Wednesday that bans smoking in bars and restaurants in the state.

The House approved by a 62-56 vote a version of the smoking ban that had been passed by the N.C. Senate. The measure will make it illegal for restaurant and bar owners to allow smoking in their establishments.

Cigar bars and private clubs will be exempt from the law.

The bill's supporters contend the legislation will protect workers from second-hand smoke. Opponents argue that the state is overstepping its bounds, encroaching on the rights of residents and business owners.

North Carolina has long been the top tobacco-producing state in the country.

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  1. This reminds me of the slogan in T.H. White’s ant-dystopia: “Whatever is not forbidden is compulsory.”

    It seems that North Carolina’s solons think that they either have to *promote* tobacco or *restrict* it. And now that promoting tobacco doesn’t seem politically popular in the state’s post-tobacco economy, the only alternative is some kind of New York-style harassment of smokers.

  2. *lights ciggy*
    Yeah! Fuck those bastard smokers! They won’t be happy until everyone has cancer and dies an agonizing death! A pox on smokers!
    *cough-cough*
    Hey, who wants to rip this bong?

  3. Ahhh, Tarheels do love them some smoking. I lived in a small NC town just three years ago. My wife and I took our then 7 month old to a local diner. We asked the waitress to seat us in the non-smoking section.

    “Ain’t got one,” she said. She seated us near a table of smokers. In the waitress’s defense, it was difficult to find any of the patrons not smoking. Gesturing at our baby, my wife asked if we could be seated a little further away from the smokers.

    “Why? They ain’t smoking that much. But suit yourself.” The waitress said.

    Somehow, our kid survived the hour’s exposure to second-hand smoke, but it was an odd experience.

  4. Somehow, our kid survived the hour’s exposure to second-hand smoke,

    You don’t know that. If your kid dies at age 112 of a heart attack, it will be smoking-related death due to his exposure to second-hand smoke as a child.

    You’re wise to post with a handle, Abdul. That kind of exposure to second-hand smoke is probably child abuse in many states.

  5. I’m curious to see how the legislation defines “private clubs”. Under NC law, bars that serve liquor (rather than just beer and wine) and are not also restaurants are required to be membership bars. You sign up and 3 days later you are a member. The law is largely ignored- some places have you sign a sheet at the front door as a “guest”, and many don’t do anything. I haven’t heard of a place getting busted for this in a long time.

    Anyway, if all membership bars are “private clubs”, there are going to be a hell of a lot of exemptions to this.

  6. You don’t know that. If your kid dies at age 112 of a heart attack, it will be smoking-related death due to his exposure to second-hand smoke as a child.

    Come to think of it, our toddler is short and can’t even do basic long division. Maybe he was damaged? Time to sue the waitress, the smokers, and the tobacco companies!

  7. You’re right JLM – all of the bars (that don’t serve food) I’ve been to in raleigh are private and require “membership” and is many times ignored.

  8. I don’t believe that anyone has the right to pollute the air I breathe, especially in enclosed places. Can I fart on YOUR entree since I don’t smoke?

  9. AC –

    Then don’t breathe that air. who says you’re entitled to breathe the air inside private property?

  10. AC-

    You are welcome to eat at a restaurant that allows farting on entrees. I will choose not to- but I will defend your right to do so to the bitter end!

  11. I hope for AC’s sake s/he does not drive a car. Or buy stuff that comes from a factory.

  12. @Abdul – “Somehow, our kid survived the hour’s exposure to second-hand smoke, but it was an odd experience.”

    You, and so many, miss the point. If you don’t want to eat at a place that’s filled with cigarette smoke…LEAVE, OR DON’T GO IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!

    Before the cigarette ban here in TN, I either ate on the restaurant’s patio (preferably upwind from any smokers), or didn’t eat there at all. If you live somewhere that doesn’t offer you a number of dining choices, then eat at home! You could pick up some hot dogs and fire up the grill…oh wait, does grilling out count as “second-hand smoke” exposure?

  13. I don’t believe that anyone has the right to pollute the air I breathe, especially in enclosed places.

    I don’t believe that anyone is requiring you to go into places where smoking is allowed.

    I also don’t believe that you should be able to prohibit someone from smoking so that you can go into a place that you might otherwise prefer not to.

  14. Freeforall,

    You missed the point. I don’t want smoking in restaurants to be outlawed, I just thought it was an odd experience.

  15. If North Carolina bans smoking, what’s next? Is Detroit about to ban driving? Is Hershey, PA, going to ban candy?

  16. @Abdul – I’m sorry. I mistook your comments as being from someone who thought they had no other recourse than to suffer through a smoke-filled meal.

    I’m glad you and I agree that restaurants should be free to allow their customers choices without government choosing for them.

    I will be sure to re-re-read your comments in the future.

  17. If North Carolina bans smoking, what’s next? Is Detroit about to ban driving? Is Hershey, PA, going to ban candy?

    Indeed. I remember the student smoking section at my NC high school, and I graduated a short 9 years ago. Nowadays, of-age students and staff can’t even dip within a several-thousand-foot margin of a school campus.

  18. You can’t smoke weed in public in the top weed-producing state, either. How is this any different?

  19. I’m a good American!

  20. ‘I remember the student smoking section at my NC high school, and I graduated a short 9 years ago.’

    I remember when the only smoking restriction at hospitals was that surgeons should ‘try not to let too much cigarette ash into the patient’s body.’

    (I should probably note that this is a joke, lest it get recycled via the intertubes rumor mill)

  21. Cigar bars and private clubs will be exempt from the law.

    This is actually pretty cool. A lot of other state bans don’t even allow this. The private club loophole is a pretty wide open one.

  22. I never smoked a cigarette until I was nine.
    H. L. Mencken

  23. ‘try not to let too many ashes from your cigarette drop into the patient’s body while you’re leaning over him.’

  24. (fixed the joke)

  25. Having a smoking section in a public restaurant is like having a peeing section in a public pool. Yeah, piss is sterile, but that doesn’t mean I want it swirling around me. Unless of course it was produced by Anne Hathaway.

  26. “Is Hershey, PA, going to ban candy?”

    No. Just brown lard products.

  27. Having a smoking section in a public restaurant is like having a peeing section in a public pool. Yeah, piss is sterile, but that doesn’t mean I want it swirling around me. Unless of course it was produced by Anne Hathaway.

    Analogy almost works. *almost*

    There is a peeing section in the public pool. It’s called “The Pool”. It just isn’t stated with a sign. There’s also a pooping section, too. Ever see the little ones in ‘swim diapers’. Yep, that’s right. That’s why we here in the first world chlorinate our pool water. You know, because the world ain’t perfect and sometimes some foreign particles are a’gonna enter in through your orifices in small quantities.

    We do what we can to mitigate these things in the pool, without, you know, banning everything we see that we’re not comfortable with.

  28. hey Jose, Yikes! Anne Hathaway is that secretary on The Beverly Hillbillies.

  29. Jose,

    I wish people like you would retire that lame bullshit, if it’s possible.

  30. Biggest gang wins. That’s democracy. I missed the republic, but I heard it was nice.

  31. That’s why we here in the first world chlorinate our pool water. You know, because the world ain’t perfect and sometimes some foreign particles are a’gonna enter in through your orifices in small quantities.

    And the restaurants that installed smoke eaters as was required by law in Monkey County MD only a year or 2 before they banned it outright? Ha ha! Suckers! You spent $100,000 on a politician’s promise.

  32. To all the “no one has a right to…” people: You do have a right not to be exposed to tobacco smoke. You can exercise that right by not going to places where people smoke. See how easy that is? That is how rights work: you have many rights and you can choose to exercise them or not.

    Similarly, I have a right not to be exposed to stupid comments on the internet, but I chose not to exercise that right on many occasions.

  33. I pledge allegiance to the flag
    of the United Democrat State,
    and to the Republic for which it once stood:
    Fuck you, rednecks! We won! Deal with it!

  34. Jose Rodrigues | May 14, 2009, 1:40pm | #
    Having a smoking section in a public restaurant is like having a peeing section in a public pool. Yeah, piss is sterile, but that doesn’t mean I want it swirling around me. Unless of course it was produced by Anne Hathaway.

    Since it hadn’t been explicitly mentioned yet. The difference is that a public pool is public. A private restaurant is private. As soon as you learn what that those words mean, you’ll understand why your analogy is dead wrong.

  35. “Since it hadn’t been explicitly mentioned yet. The difference is that a public pool is public. A private restaurant is private. As soon as you learn what that those words mean, you’ll understand why your analogy is dead wrong.”

    Having a smoking section in a private restaurant is like having a peeing section in a private pool. Yeah, piss is sterile, but that doesn’t mean I want it swirling around me. Unless of course it was produced by Anne Hathaway.

    Fixed that for ya.

  36. Jose Rodrigues | May 14, 2009, 3:54pm | #
    “Since it hadn’t been explicitly mentioned yet. The difference is that a public pool is public. A private restaurant is private. As soon as you learn what that those words mean, you’ll understand why your analogy is dead wrong.”

    Having a smoking section in a private restaurant is like having a peeing section in a private pool. Yeah, piss is sterile, but that doesn’t mean I want it swirling around me. Unless of course it was produced by Anne Hathaway.

    Fixed that for ya.

    Who are you letting pee in your private pool? Shouldn’t you be angry at your posterity or partner? Would you want the government to go through the motions and spend millions of dollars passing a law to make it a felony for any person to pee in a pool, public or private, when it would be absolutely impossible to actually enforce it–especially in private?

    Besides, if the owner of the restaurant WANTS people to smoke in his/her restaurant, primarily because they will make LESS money if they are forced to forbid it (or go out of business altogether), then why are your wants for a single meal that you could get elsewhere more important than the livelihood of the owner and the wants of all of his/her customers?

    Oh, and by the way, you really should look into that “private” vs “public” dichotomy… Or do you really believe that the whole world is your playground?

  37. Cigar bars and private clubs will be exempt from the law.

    Time to open Bob’s Steakhouse and Techno Rave.

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