Friday, January 15, 2010

Smoke is smoke wherever you go.

Recently, I've come across something quite entertaining:

the newspaper.

Well, the newspaper online. I felt guilty for only making an effort to buy the Sunday paper, and not even a Sunday paper subscription, at that. I'm not sure how, but I started reading the News & Record online. And, I'm not sure when, but I started reading the comments on there, too.


Well, at this point, I've noticed that the same and relatively small group of people are forever commenting on the articles, letters to the editor, etc. Hm, I wonder if the people commenting are also often the same people who send in the letters to the editor that are published. Anyhow, now onto some thread of thought I've noticed in the recent squawk over the smoking ban.

Some people opposing the smoking ban are opposed to the suppression of their rights to smoke and/or the rights of private establishments deciding whether or not they will be smoke-free establishments. Along that line of thought, some people have recommended that if someone who is offended by cigarette smoke, he/she has the right to not visit establishments that allow smoking.

Ok. Now let's wait a minute. I'm not really even going to get into the whole--Oh, you have a right to smoke wherever you want? Well, what about my right to breathe cleaner air?!--thing. It's a public health issue, people. Your smoke is just straight-up nasty. Yay for being nasty.

Anyways, back to the--Well, you aren't being forced to go into establishments that allow smokers.--argument. Ok, that is very true, but if that is the sentiment, then how sad and limited are the lives of people if that were their reality. If 95% of restaurants (I am totally making up numbers here) allow smoking in one way or another and I was steadfast in not wanting to inhale second-hand cigarette, cigar and pipe smoke, then what a lame life I would have as a foodie. Ok, I'm a fake foodie, but that's just not fair. Come one, you can smoke any where you want, I guess I'll say "private". Maybe your smoking is social (even if you are smoking the bar...with a beer you could have bought for half-price at Wal-Mart). Maybe you only smoke when you drink (awesome!). Wherever you do it, when you do it shouldn't matter. (Oh, wait, it can be an addiction, sorry.)

THE POINT (which I haven't made yet) is that, every restaurant isn't the same. Your smoke will always be the same. Maybe I am missing some important nuances about smoking cigarettes in public, but when your smoking "right" in a restaurant, let's say, trumps my goal of experiencing the food and atmosphere of that restaurant, it's really sad. If I have to limit myself to all of the restaurants that are smoke-free, yes I might appreciate that they are smoke-free, but...the food might suck.

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