"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"

"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"
aka "Miss Victory"

Saturday, February 21, 2009

SMOKING BAN: Opinion from a Hardcore NON Smoker

Smoking is a disgusting habit to have. It will make you look older, smell bad and will likely kill you. I am a non-smoker. I should be on board with the smoking ban, right?

While it would be nice never to smell cigarette smoke again, my problem with this ban is clearly not the fact that I want to be able to smoke where I please. The argument that this legislation is intended to protect workers from the effects of second-hand smoke is BULLFART. I'm just calling it right now. If that is the case, then we should make smoking illegal all together! As a cable guy, I go into smokers' homes all the time. Does it bother me? Yes. Do I want to have written legislation banning their right to get their nicotine fix? NO. Who is looking out for my rights as an employee? Nobody. This is simply a case of protectionism and government trying to control the behaviors of citizens. Those who work in bars are usually smokers. Those who are not smokers know damn well what they are signing up for when they decide to work at a BAR!

What about the argument that patrons are subject to second-hand smoke? I don't frequent bars often. I don't drink. I don't smoke. What is the POINT?!?! There are several smoke-free bars popping up all over town. (Kudos to Brothers in Broad Ripple!) If there is a market for non-smoking establishments, they will flourish. Let the bar owners, and their guests, choose which direction they wish to take. If you have a problem with this, you have no business bar-hopping. I'm sorry, but that is just common sense. If seeing naked women bothers you, stay away from the strip clubs!

What would happen to the Cigar and Hooka Bars? There are at least 3 Hooka Bars in Broad Ripple. Without an exemption for these niche establishments, they would be forced to close their doors. Do we really need more job cuts?

My final point. The government relies heavily on the cigarette tax. When sales of these nasty little suckers start dropping dramatically, who do you think will foot the bill? We seem to target the smokers to pay for all of our pet projects and programs. Then we punish smokers further, for doing something that is completely legal, by banning them from smoking at their precious bar stools. . When we put the screws to them hard enough, they will eventually quit. While this would not be a bad thing, as their health would improve, it makes me wonder who will be the enemy next...

It would be nice to see folks stop pissin' and moanin' about the smoking ban. Instead of joining the ranks of Smoke Free Indy, how about starting your OWN smoke-free bar? We know that the market is hot for it right now! Oh wait. Most of these folks are Democrats who are used to sitting around waiting on the government to spoon feed them and wipe their behinds. Enough is enough. You got a compromise, which I am okay with. I don't think kids should be subjected to second-hand smoke. Grown-ups, however, have a choice. It SEEMS simple enough... but so does graduating high school and getting a job.

-Sergio Bennett

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