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No Smoking! Who's Banning Butts?

No Smoking! Who's Banning Butts?

While smoking bans are not universal, cities, states, and other countries are increasingly enacting laws extinguishing smoking in public places. The harmful effects of second-hand smoke are sparking these laws.

California, a leader in the anti-smoking crusade, is continuing to pass more restrictions. As of January 1st, motorists face a $100 fine for lighting up in their own cars, even parked in their driveway, if there's a kid present (watch out Britney). While it is important to protect children, does this law go too far? What about the dangerous effects of fast food? Should a parent face a fine for feeding their children
trans fats?

France, a country whose image is tied up with the cigarette is one of the latest countries to ban smoking in bars, cafes and restaurants. I was just in France for the holidays and as I fanned away tons of disco smoke, I wondered how the government would enforce the law in a country where so many of the citizens light up. Many of the French are eager for an excuse to quit, while others resent the dictatorship of health saying, "vive la liberté of smoking!"

Are you lighting up, or loving the fresh air?

Join The Conversation
spazzydana spazzydana 9 years
I dont know, the trans fats things are still throwing me off. i know it causes obesity any blah blah blah, but thats only excessive trans fats. . Trans fats every once and a while are definetly not as harmful as smoking, and its hard to make a comparison because they're just so complicated and there are so many ways you could argue (trans fats in moderation, smoking in moderation) while theyre both very harmful, they shouldnt be compared like this.
Mrs_Groban Mrs_Groban 9 years
I don't smoke and I think it is a nasty habit. That said, it is LEGAL to smoke in the US, so banning smoking in private places such as restaurants or outside is absolutely wrong. Our freedoms are being taken away. Why shouldn't a private restauranteer have the right to allow smoking in his private restaurant? It boggles the mind. If you don't want to go to a restaurant where there is smoking, then don't go to restaurants where this is smoking. If people voluntarily stopped going to places where smoking was allowed then more restaurants would stop allowing it. The government has no business telling private businesses they can't allow smoking. What's next? No eating anything fried? Oh, wait, they're already telling us we can't serve things like that either. Wrong!
jlr32phl jlr32phl 9 years
the smoking ban in philadelphia actually led to me quitting last year. i always smoked the most when i was out drinking on the weekends and not wanting to go outside and freeze everytime i wanted to smoke helped me cut down A LOT. eventually, after cutting back so much it just made sense to stop. i was angry about the ban at first but now i'm glad it was put in place!
Advah Advah 9 years
I am French and wondering exactly the same thing, LibertyS. I never smoked and won't tell you about the number of times close friends actually yelled at me when I asked them (and I didn't do that often, and I was always nice about it) not please not smoke next to me when I was eating. Most of my classmates when I was in prep school used to smoke 2 inches away from the classroom with the door open, because they were too lazy to go outside. Way too many people out there consider smoking part of the "cool" thing. I've been living in the UK for two years now, and about 3 months after I arrived Scotland had their smoking ban. It was like coming back to life, and actually enjoying going out! I really got used to not having smokers aroud, and it's a real pain everytime I go back home to see my family. Want to meet your friends for a drink? It's gonna stink! Want to have a coffee? Someone's smoking next to you! Blech..
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
In florida we have the Ban, and No businesses in my area have hurt from it. I thank god i dont have to smell smoke from the "smoking area" that was blocked off by Ferns.
wednesday_adams wednesday_adams 9 years
Just another instance of the government trying to legislate common sense. If people are too stupid to not quit smoking, wear their seatbelts or have a carbon monoxide detector, it is still NOT the government's job to punish them for it. And I think its crazy that cigarettes are becoming so restricted and yet are still a legal substance that does not impair you. Instead of expecting the government to be our mommy, it would be nice if the citizens themselves made it known that it is not acceptable to smoke in public- each city or township should make up their own minds.
saranightly saranightly 9 years
I met she quit while she was pregnant with me, then started again when I was born. Whoops, that was confusing, sorry.
saranightly saranightly 9 years
I personally think it's a great idea - both of my parents were smokers and although my mom quit while she was pregnant with me, I had so many health problems as a child, all the ones proven to be tied to growing up around a lot of second hand smoke. The worst was the car because as a kid, you can't go anywhere. I would ask my mom to open the windows and she would say that if I didn't like it, I could walk. At least in the house, I could move to a different room. Anyway, Wegmans (a grocery store chain for those not in the NE) has annouced that they are going to stop selling any tobacco products starting in February, once their current inventory runs down. I think that sends a great message that they don't want their customers and employees killing themselves on their products. (I know, I know, alcohol is still going to be sold, blah blah blah)
littlemissme littlemissme 9 years
We have smoking bans in restaurants, clubs, bars etc, here in Sweden, it's great! The only downside is that the smoke is not there, at clubs, to take away that nasty sweat smell, ugh! Otherwise yay for smoking bans :WOOHOO: The not smoking in cars thing is taking it too far though I think...Although it's probably not the best to smoke while driving, you should be able to "lighted up" while parked.
ellipsery ellipsery 9 years
"And what you feed your child is different than allowing them to inhale cancerous fumes." Explain to me how that's any different. Feeding your child trans fats is incredibly dangerous. Obesity has just beat out smoking as the number one preventable cause of death in this country. Not only do trans fats contribute to the obesity epidemic, but they also cause a whole host of other health problems. I fail to see how allowing children to eat trans fats and allowing them to inhale second-hand smoke in your car are not comparable. In both cases you're allowing your child to take in unnatural substances and chemicals, and it's dangerous in both cases.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
I am happy for the smoking bans in public places, I absolutely can't stand going out to a bar and my clothes and hair reek like an ashtray or like I been chain smoking. I also think it's great for people who work in public places that serve individuals that smoke that their health is not in jeopardy due to them working a job. However, the car ban is a little extreme but then I wonder why are parents are smoking in the car with young children. I guess it's their choice how they want to raise their children with black lungs, asthma, and developing allergies but hey it's their decision.
gdomdo01 gdomdo01 9 years
love it when it happened in new york, and when i travel to other cities, i sometimes forget that i have to say that i want to sit in a non-smoking section. agree with the car and kids, disagree with just one person in the car. it's their sole decision to smoke by themselves and affects only them, but it's not their child's decision to smoke too. i hate smelling like smoke. the worst is when your hair reeks of it, so of course i love the ban in bars and restaurants.
spazzydana spazzydana 9 years
omg , feeding your kids food that has trans fats is illegal??? how invasive is that!?!?!?
Angelica Angelica 9 years
Loving the fresh air. If I even walk by someone smoking my hair smells all night.
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 9 years
While I agree with banning smoking in public areas, get fined in your own car is insane. I don't agree with smoking however the bans get a bit crazy. I understand if their are kids right next to you then you should get fined.
shanimalcracker shanimalcracker 9 years
In California, it's GREAT not to have smoking in public indoor places. It's so normal to me that when I go to other states and see people smoke everywhere, I find that absurd.
juju4 juju4 9 years
I have a friend whose mother just recently died of lung cancer, and I feel awful that my friend may meet the same fate after living with second hand smoke in her home for almost two decades. I am all for the ban on smoking in a car with children. The child has the right to breathe clean air. And I think these bans really have to do with drawing the limit line for where the rights of the smoker and the rights of the non-smoker overlap. Here in LA, there are still tons of people that smoke even though you can't smoke in bars or restaurants. They just smoke in designated areas. So, I don't see that the laws are taking away a person's right to's just asking that you do it in a location away from children and/or adults that choose not to inhale smoke.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 9 years
As a former high roller in Las Vegas I got a call from a casino I used to go to - Why haven't you come back? "I will when you guys ban smoking or really have TRUE no smoking sections and enforce no smoking in those sections. I personally love visting but I don't like have to be in the hospital for a week to two weeks after my trip there." Now I hear that some casino like Wynn are seriously considering going totally smoke-free. I am highly allergic to cigarette smoke, for a good friend I try to tolerate it but I always pay the price they don't. I always am the one with the bloody nose (instantly), deep sinus infection, no voice, Bronchitis, then pneumonia (yeah Vegas trips!). Yeah, I smoked as a kid (10 to 12) but darn I could make it through PE class and my hair always stunk so I gave it.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 9 years
We talked about this in a debate group I led last year or the year before when the measure was making its way through the CA Assembly. The banning people from smoking in cars when children are present is to protect the health of the child. It doesn't prevent the parent from smoking any other time. You mean to sy that no one on this board has ever been at a stop light and seen the minivan with the baby in the carseat and the person in the driver's seat puffing away and the person the in passenger seat puffing away and all of the window's are sealed? That child is enjoying Marlboro Country too. This CA bill actually goes back to a EPA study and the auto insurance group who does the car crashes both did studies on the air quality in cars. they were originally looking at the air filters in your cars - how well do they filter outside pollens and particulate matter from coming in to the vehicle. Then they thought let's switch how will do they filter the air already inside the vehicle. Coughs, farts, food smells, perfume etc. And they decided to add cigarettes and cigar smoking as a factor too. They were amazed that anyone in a car with someone smoking is not just getting secondhand smoke but putting unfiltered cigarette to their mouths as well. They tried variables such as having the window down, the ac on etc and the particulate matter was still the same. More than double the smoke inhaled than if someone was in a home or room with a smoker smoking but it was more akin to smoking an unfiltered ciggy yourself. Then they put the dummies representing small children in the cars with the smoking dummies and results were very bad. It was as if the child was smoking two to three times as many cigarettes as the adult. That is why despite heavy lobbying from the tobacco industry the bill passed fairly easily. Children really don't have the authority to tell an adult "don't smoke in the car" and the adult should actually think about it-small space, carcinogens in the smoke, other toxic matter in the smoke that can harm their child. In all this rhetoric we forget that we expect all adults to be the caretakers of children, not the other way round. Why bother to put them in a safety seat then you endanger their health because you just cannot wait until you reach your destination to fulfill your need to smoke. So if you light up with a child in the car you be fined - you may get a visit if it keeps happens from CPS-until you understand that other people would prefer that you not harm the child in that manner.
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 9 years
I'm an on-again, off-again smoker (right now I'm off-again - haven't had a smoke in 4 months and hope to keep it up) and even I didn't mind the smoking ban that much. But I agree that it's not the government's place to ban smoking in a bar. Let the bar owners decide themselves. On another note, I always feel sorry for people who live next door or across the street from bars now. I suppose it's not bad in the 'burbs, but where I am, in the city, there are hordes of people smoking and gabbing in the street all night long, keeping people awake.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
ahh, all you free market economists. I'm actually amazed more bars didn't try to go non-smoking before the bans. I would have supported them without a doubt. So yeah, boo big gov't but on the other hand, yay smoke free bars. With the parents and the kids, I don't know... seems to be going too far. I mean, would we fine pregnant women who had a beer? Or who let their babies sleep on their tummies?
bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 9 years
I love the smoking bans! They've banned smoking in bars over here in the UK now, even in private bars (like my college bar), and it's amazing - I can go have a drink or some lunch with friends, and be able to breathe actual air rather than smoke! A lot more people smoke here than back home (the DC metro area) but the number of places they can smoke where I'm likely to be is growing ever-smaller!
Jillz1128 Jillz1128 9 years
I have never been happier than when the smoking ban went into effect! So nice to go out and not smell like smoke when you go home!
PJ-PJ-PJ PJ-PJ-PJ 9 years
Good point, scorpstar77. I used to be the only non-smoker in my group of friends so I was used to it then. Now, my eyes burn if I have to spend any time in a smoking area. My poor husband is highly allergic to it, so it's been nice since our state has banned smoking in public buildings.
Babychloe Babychloe 9 years
I generally don't like to see the government interfering with my personal rights, but the minute your second hand smoke invades my space, YOU are interfering with my health. The 2006 US Surgeon General's report reached several important conclusions: Secondhand smoke causes premature death and disease in children and in adults who do not smoke. Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at an increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), acute respiratory infections, ear problems, and more severe asthma. Smoking by parents causes breathing (respiratory) symptoms and slows lung growth in their children. Secondhand smoke immediately affects the heart and blood circulation in a harmful way. It also causes heart disease and lung cancer. The scientific evidence shows that there is no "safe" level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Many millions of Americans, both children and adults, are still exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes and workplaces despite a great deal of progress in tobacco control. The only way to fully protect non-smokers from exposure to secondhand smoke indoors is to prevent all smoking in that indoor space or building. Separating smokers from non-smokers, cleaning the air, and ventilating buildings cannot keep non-smokers from being exposed to secondhand smoke
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