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.