Public Health

'The New Law Will Allow Consumer Choice'

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As Jesse Walker noted this morning, the Dutch government has relaxed the smoking ban it imposed in 2008 on businesses open to the public. Under the new policy, small, owner-operated pubs (about 2,000 nationwide, according to the Daily Mail) can let their customers smoke without risking fines:

Dutch health minister Edith Schippers promised that impromptu smoking checks by food and consumer safety inspectors would now be stopped.

"The new law will allow consumer choice. A sign will inform customers whether or not they are allowed to smoke on the premises," she said.

Why is consumer choice regarding smoking rules confined to small bars run by their owners? Presumably because the government trusts people with the choice of whether to drink in a smoky bar but not with the choice of whether to work there (unless they also own the place). Still, the new Dutch policy is notably more tolerant than the regulations of many U.S. jurisdictions, which often ban smoking in bars and restaurants to protect employees yet make no exception for businesses that have none.

In  2008 I noted that the operators of Dutch "coffee shops" that sell cannabis were worried about the impact of the smoking ban. Although the law does not apply to pot smoke, coffee shop customers have a legally risky habit of mixing tobacco with their marijuana.

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  1. Hint, hint, Americans who believe it’s okay to tell business owners what their smoking policy will be…

  2. stupid libertards and their concept of freedom.

    1. I happen to agree with you, as you’re one of my two favorite political philosophers!

      1. Love your kooky facial ticks, Anita. And that hairdo! Hilarious!

  3. The new law will allow consumer choice.

    All rights are granted by the government.

    Yay!

    1. Yeah, I thought the same thing. And it’s just getting more pervasive.

  4. “coffee shop customers have a legally risky habit of mixing tobacco with their marijuana.”

    Why the fuck would they do that?

    1. Not sure. I knew this French chick back in the 80’s who did the same thing. She’d stick pot inside her cigs and smoke them. Never could get a straight answer out of her, but I always chalked that up to her being stoned and French.

    2. Shit, my question was asked upthread.

      Yeah I don’t get it either. Let me take this expensive, beautifully nurtured, fragrant flower and mix cheap mass-produced chemical shit into it. Awesome.

  5. Still, the new Dutch policy is notably more tolerant than the regulations of many U.S. jurisdictions, which often ban smoking in bars and restaurants to protect employees yet make no exception for businesses that have none.

    Just ot show you that the US can be more socialist and authoritarian than the damned Dutch!

    USA! USA! USA!

  6. The thing that is disheartening is that the average Joe who supports smoking bans confuses “public” places with private businesses. They are so jazzed that now they can go to a trendy bar/restaurant and not have to smell smoke, they could give a shit about whose rights are violated.

    1. Dam right, except I would go further. Ban smoking, drinking and caffeine, along with all the other drugs. Straight edge is the ONLY way to go. I won’t tolerate anyone using any unnecessary drug. Anyone who isn’t straight edge needs to be beaten up to teach them a lesson.

    2. Re: Mokie,

      The thing that is disheartening is that the average Joe who supports smoking bans confuses “public” places with private businesses.

      You just want to bring back Jim Crow!!!

      1. Same counterargument used by the left when pointing out that a private business is NOT a public place.

  7. The thing that is disheartening is that the average Joe who supports smoking bans confuses “public” places with private businesses. They are so jazzed that now they can go to a trendy bar/restaurant and not have to smell smoke, they could give a shit about whose rights are violated.

    It applies to just about every issue, ever, really.

    1. But they can come home without their clothes all smelly and icky. Isn’t that worth a wholesale abrogation of property rights?

    2. This is the argument I have with co-workers that just makes me want to be a hypocrite and punch them in the mouth.

  8. So we should expect the number of heart attacks in the Netherlands to double e week after this goes into effect?

    1. Only in the small coffee shops.

  9. NYC’s and I think NYS’s smoking ban similarly applies only to tobacco smoking.

    1. The logic assumes that since weed is illegal anyway, you can’t smoke that either. There is no implied allowing of anything in the EMPIRE state.

  10. The problem here is so simple really. It started when someone decided that there was a ‘War on Terror’. This would be similar to a ‘War on Sniping’ or a ‘War on Pincer Manuevers’. The US went to war against a tactic.

    In WW2 we were at war with Nazism and Fascism–and we fought the supporters of those ideologies at home, and abroad.

    We have avoided even the appearance of being engaged with the ideology that is fighting us now.

    We are at war with Islam.

    Islam is a faith, but it is a faith designed as a political system, a faith designed as a world conquering ideology.

    In WW2 we fought the ideologies of Fascism and Nazism in all the places it appears–against nations and groups.

    And we did not hide from what we were fighting against.

    Now, we fear speaking the truth. Even supporters of the ‘War on Terror’ refuse to make this connection–to them, we fight ‘jihadis’, or ‘islamists’. And we do this because not all Muslims are jihadis.

    Not all Germans were Nazis, Not all Italians were fascists–but we understood that we had to fight, and win–or die.

    Then, we chose our life, and the life of our ideals over the lives and ideals of those promoting horror.

    We must make that same stance today.

    The Bund is building centers to teach the lessons of Mein Kampf. Why can we not see that?

    Because it calls itself a faith?

    1. Re: noislam,

      How does that pertain to smoking bans? I am having difficulty finding the connection . . .

    2. Way to post the exact same thing over and over in different threads. At first I was wavering, but then I saw this here of all places and thought “Shit, he’s right!”

  11. Anybody care to explain to the well-seasoned pot smoker why there is any value at all to adding tobacco to a joint? Other than ruining its flavor and adding a harsh stimulant edge to the buzz, I don’t really see a point.

  12. In 2008 I noted that the operators of Dutch “coffee shops” that sell cannabis were worried about the impact of the smoking ban. Although the law does not apply to pot smoke, coffee shop customers have a legally risky habit of mixing tobacco with their marijuana.

    If marijuana is ever legalized here (ha!) there’s going to be a huge fight on this one. And a lot of people are going to be forced to take contradictory stands…

    1. If weed is ever legalized here, my guess is it will be “allowed” in home only.

  13. They have created a fear that is based on nothing”
    World-renowned pulmonologist, president of the prestigious Research Institute Necker for the last decade, Professor Philippe Even, now retired, tells us that he’s convinced of the absence of harm from passive smoking. A shocking interview.

    What do the studies on passive smoking tell us?

    PHILIPPE EVEN. There are about a hundred studies on the issue. First surprise: 40% of them claim a total absence of harmful effects of passive smoking on health. The remaining 60% estimate that the cancer risk is multiplied by 0.02 for the most optimistic and by 0.15 for the more pessimistic ? compared to a risk multiplied by 10 or 20 for active smoking! It is therefore negligible. Clearly, the harm is either nonexistent, or it is extremely low.

    It is an indisputable scientific fact. Anti-tobacco associations report 3 000-6 000 deaths per year in France …

    I am curious to know their sources. No study has ever produced such a result.

    Many experts argue that passive smoking is also responsible for cardiovascular disease and other asthma attacks. Not you?

    They don’t base it on any solid scientific evidence. Take the case of cardiovascular diseases: the four main causes are obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension and diabetes. To determine whether passive smoking is an aggravating factor, there should be a study on people who have none of these four symptoms. But this was never done. Regarding chronic bronchitis, although the role of active smoking is undeniable, that of passive smoking is yet to be proven. For asthma, it is indeed a contributing factor … but not greater than pollen!

    The purpose of the ban on smoking in public places, however, was to protect non-smokers. It was thus based on nothing?

    Absolutely nothing! The psychosis began with the publication of a report by the IARC, International Agency for Research on Cancer, which depends on the WHO (Editor’s note: World Health Organization). The report released in 2002 says it is now proven that passive smoking carries serious health risks, but without showing the evidence. Where are the data? What was the methodology? It’s everything but a scientific approach. It was creating fear that is not based on anything.

    Why would anti-tobacco organizations wave a threat that does not exist?

    The anti-smoking campaigns and higher cigarette prices having failed, they had to find a new way to lower the number of smokers. By waving the threat of passive smoking, they found a tool that really works: social pressure. In good faith, non-smokers felt in danger and started to stand up against smokers. As a result, passive smoking has become a public health problem, paving the way for the Evin Law and the decree banning smoking in public places. The cause may be good, but I do not think it is good to legislate on a lie. And the worst part is that it does not work: since the entry into force of the decree, cigarette sales are rising again.

    Why not speak up earlier?

    As a civil servant, dean of the largest medical faculty in France, I was held to confidentiality. If I had deviated from official positions, I would have had to pay the consequences. Today, I am a free man.

    Le Parisien

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