no third solution

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Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em

April 30th, 2010

Tonight at midnight the statewide smoking ban goes in to effect here in Michigan. Not exactly sure how that works… does a bouncer come around at midnight and remove all the ashtrays from the bar? Immediately start kicking people out for burning squares? Do the Gestapo come in and start issuing citations?

Probably “Yes” to all of the above.

Logistics aside… I’ve been covering this topic for a few years now as the proposals and bills have been stalled or shot down or whatever. But here we are, hours away from what is essentially an irrevocable ban.  Short of full collapse, the likelihood of this ban ever being popularly overturned is zero.

I don’t really know what to say that I haven’t already said.

I listen to the radio and I hear the same tired arguments put forth by the same mouth-breathing dolts day-in and day-out: non-smokers shouldn’t have to put up with it; or what about the employees’ safety?; or any similar inanity. Here’s a tip: if you don’t like it, don’t go out to dinner. And deal with things like a mature and reasonable person who respects other people, which is to say: As long as you are

[F]ree to decide whether you want to inhale burning tobacco smoke in the privacy of your own home, you [should be] equally free to decide whether you want to inhale someone else’s tobacco smoke on someone else’s property. — Smoking is healthier than fascism (#3)

And the property owners should be the ones who decide whether smoking is permitted. Just like you can’t walk in to my living room and light up a cigarette…  You do not come in to my house and tell me what my guests can and can not do.  There is nothing magical about a restaurant or a bar which would suspend the rules of logic which make the “living room” problem so easy to resolve.

But no, it is so much easier to just shrug and say, “I don’t like it so I’m going to call the police to make you let me have it my way.” And that’s just being a shitty, childish human being.

I’ve already blogged responses to all the stupid objections, and it had the net effect of pissing on a forest fire.

I mean, these people act like they can’t go anywhere without being forced to suck down someone else’s Marlboros. The facts of the matter couldn’t be further from the truth.  As I’ve argued before:

There is no shortage of smoke-free places to eat, drink or play. The casinos already have non-smoking Poker rooms (and probably other game rooms, too.) Ninety-nine percent of franchise fast-food restaurants are smoke free and have been for years (voluntarily). Nearly every independent deli is smoke free. Plenty of diners and upscale restaurants have also made the move, and smoking is not permitted inside any of the major sport venues.

One report substantiated my claims, indicating that:

[N]early 5,100 Michigan restaurants and taverns — about one of three — prohibit smoking, an increase of 130% in the last 10 years. He said owners made the switch to accommodate customers.

And the rest of you bastards say, “Well, it doesn’t affect me, so I don’t really care.”

Apathy might even be worse than the people who openly advocate for the ban. At least the advocates make their intentions known.



  • John says on: April 30, 2010 at 10:46 pm


    Amen. I didn’t realize the smoking ban was statewide; I thought it was just in my city. No one gets it, no one cares. They don’t like it, so they want to ban it. They want something, so they want to force it on everyone. Many of my friends would call themselves civil libertarians, but they also thought Barack Obama was something approaching a civil libertarian, so what does that say about them…

    I despise cigarette smoke and expect to thoroughly enjoy happy hours and trivia nights and drinking and watching sports downtown even more than before, but I’m not uncivilized enough to force my preferences on others. Smoke is healthier than fascism.

  • John Venlet says on: May 1, 2010 at 1:39 pm


    David, now the the do-gooders, stray dogs, want in your house if you smoke, for the good of your pets,

    Stray Dogs Attempting to Invade Smokers’ Homes

  • JC Hewitt says on: May 1, 2010 at 2:34 pm


    This harms restaurant and bar owners substantially. They have to raise prices on booze, cut down on special events, and reduce wages to bartenders. People also tip less.

    It also makes bars into a seasonal business. Smokers eventually tire of having to take step out into the cold.

    I also hate cigarette smoke, and how it makes my clothes stink.

    You’d think that a 4th world state like Michigan (no offense intended) would have to cut back on its brutality.

    • David Z says on: May 1, 2010 at 3:22 pm


      yeah, I think it’s really a mixed bag. For many restaurants, the decision to go smoke-free was an economic one, and it’s what they thought gave them a competitive advantage against other restaurants. With that gone, how do they make up the difference?

      But for other things like nightclubs where (to my knowledge) none of them were non-smoking, I mean it really isn’t doing much to their businesses, and I think the case studies in other states bear that out. But I’m not concerned with that, like I said, it’s the moral principle at stake…

  • Don says on: May 1, 2010 at 5:44 pm


    Looks like John beat me to it. They WILL be coming to your living room next, count on it.

    It is still unbelieveable to me that here in Hoosierville it is illegal to purchase alcohol on Sunday, unless you drink it in a bar. So, though I drink very little, I am anticipating possibly downing some brews tomorrow night after finishing an arduous 2 day task that will end tomorrow afternoon, so that means I have to go buy the stuff tonight.

    Civilization is so childish, and simultaneously, barbaric in so many ways. Maybe I should grow some tobacco plants and build a still…….

    • David Z says on: May 2, 2010 at 2:21 am


      we have a blue law in MI, you can’t buy booze before noon on Sundays. sucks if you’re going to tailgate for a football game on sunday and you forgot to buy your beer the night before… some counties are dry on Sundays. or say you do your grocery shopping on Sunday mornings and you want to pick up a six-pack of a bottle of wine – you can’t!

      all of these ‘blue laws’ go back to prohibition era or earlier; there’s no sense in them at all, but they’ve never been repealed, and probably never will be…

  • JC Hewitt says on: May 2, 2010 at 1:14 pm


    I wouldn’t be so sure, David. There’s only so much Perestroika they can stuff in this turkey before she croaks.

    This is a mercenary political system. When the dollars stop flowing, it all falls apart.

    I hope that as in the USSR, the majority of the political class opts to drink themselves to death.

  • Dan Z says on: May 4, 2010 at 8:56 am


    Blue law in Michigan isnt as bad as the horseshit in Lenawee County, we cant buy liquor here at all on Sundays, had to drive all the way to Saline (Washtenaw County) one Sunday morning to get the vodka for martini sundays.

no third solution

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