It’s been awhile but it’s worth noting that the citizens of Washington prevailed in eliminating tobacco smoke from public buildings and private restaurants and bars. It’s also worth note that even smoky old Europe is coming around. This week, France begins a yearlong scaling down of public smoking. Yay! 6 years ago
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Why did I ever think to trample on civil liberties and help progress the freakin nanny-state that WA seems hellbent on becoming. Sure Smoking’s a disgusting habit and the people who shiver outside of bars are probably getting their just desserts for not quitting sooner – but I’m not about hitting the small business owners… 6 years ago
This happened in california, NOW HOW AM I GONNA SMOKE WHEN I GET DRUNK?! 6 years ago
I debated long and hard whether or not I was comfortable taking the rights of smokers, and with how the law was worded here in the state of Washington. That aside, I now find myself heading out and about much more often since I no longer have to deal with the smoke or washing all of my clothes the morning after. And I swear that there are more people at the restaraunts and bars now that the law has passed… 7 years ago
I’m really a libertarian type person. I believe in freedom, I want more freedom, but really, smoking is a freedom that infringes on the freedoms of others. I have no problem with allowing smoking in designated, ventilated areas. Similarly, if all the patrons of a particular joint do the smoking thing, the State should not impose non-smoking.
As a present day Californian, this is really one thing I like alot better wbout Cali than Oregon and Washington. The main thing that makes this a bit more feasible in California, is the ability to just have an outdoor smoking area. I realize this would probably be much more difficult at 35 degrees and raining.
Anyway, smokers often underestimate the impact of their habit. I really hate having all my clothes smell like smoke when I go out in the NW. Not to mention what it’s doing to my lungs. 7 years ago
i’m a non smoker as well.
and this law is bs.
it’s imposing on their constitutional right to smoke where they want, and it’s hurting businesses who allow smoking in their establishment. it should be up to the business owner whether they want to allow smoking or not.
plus it’s stupid because now we can smoke hookah inside the hookah bar, but if someone wants their cigarette, they have to step outside.
how pointless is that. 7 years ago
I actually signed/voted on this one after moving away and have not yet the joy of going to my favorite bars and venues without coming home with sore lungs and smelly clothes. But I may have to visit, just for this pleasure. 7 years ago
As someone who’s had asthma issues due to second hand smoking all my life, I actually voted against this.. knowing that I’d be in the minority. I didn’t have a problem with the bill, until I read the part about the ban on smoking “within 25 feet of a ventilation area of the establishment.” This by-law makes California seem like Quebec!
Don’t get me started on how ridiculous that tenet is. In any case, the main spokesman for the initiative has pretty much tried to distance himself away from that tenet now, and says “um, only if someone complains, then we’ll investigate.” (i.e. “it was a stupid idea. I wish it wasn’t included in retrospect.”) The Seattle police have nothing to do with this law, pretty much.
The most fearful of the smokiest rock lounges in town are seeming to deal with this well. No non-smoker is complaining about the smoker patios.. they just don’t want to have to re-wash clothes after rock shows… which is another reason I voted against this. This wasn’t really a pro-health initiative as much as a “Ew! Mommy, make it go away” initiative…
It just happens to be a popular “Ew! Mommy!” initiative.
Also, how many non-smokers were going to go to a cigar bar or hooka lounge not expecting (gasp!) smokers? Couldn’t there have been a way for these places to at least apply easily to be a private establishment at the very least? I wouldn’t personally be caught dead smoking a cigar, but to completely kill the scene for those who wish to partake in it seems rather Draconian to me.
Finally, what happens when the no-high-volume-in-Washington-state-venues initiative gets started? Of course it’s going to pass! All kids should know that high volume is bad for them! Rock and electronic music is just noise anyway.. the kids won’t know the difference. Save our ears! Vote for the Ban on High Music Volume in Washington state!
See where I’m going with this?
PS In the meantime, the selfish side of me is thankful I’ll have to do less laundry and not take anti-allergy medicine as often
PPS I hate having to say “Worth It!” or “Not Worth It!” for this. This isn’t a worth-it/not-worth-it issue
PPPS So, combined with a certain Seattle city law, this means that
- in Seattle - it’s conceivable that someone could get fined for smoking a cigarette before being fined for smoking a joint. WOTTA CEETY! [/yahkov smirnoff]
EPILOGUE: Apologies for the double-entry cheating here, but now that it’s almost been a month, my predictions about the results of the ban have pretty much come true—the bars are doing great, and no one has enforced the 25-foot-rule..
However, I’m already hearing mutterings of the 25-foot-rule being challenged in the courts already in three possible/pending cases all over the state: one in Seattle, one in Spokane, and one somewhere either in eastern WA, or south WA… In any case, this involves a smoking resident who lives a floor above a vehemently anti-smoking retail establishment that has registered a complaint, albeit informally, agaist the former.
Nothing, afaik, as gone to court yet, but if any of the retail establishments are, imho, stupid enough to do so, they could effectively undo the smoking ban in the courts, if the smoking residents have decent lawyers.
So, unfortunately, the things i DIDN’T want to happen regarding the smoking ban might be coming true, although I hope not, and that is the unconstitutionality of the 25-foot-rule. I had a feeling this could be a potential noose for which the ban would effectively kill itself, at the expense of Washington state taxpayers’ money. Let’s see what happens. :/ 7 years ago
that being said, as a former smoker, i will be celebrating (?) the last night of smoking in a bar, by smoking in a bar with friends who smoke.
either way, i’m glad that places will be smoke free. spent time in nyc post ban, and didn’t miss it as i thought i would. i hear another former haunt of mine (chicago) just banned smoking in public places as well. 7 years ago
Alright, fine. You obnoxious, whiney so and so’s insist on making it so that bars cannot choose whether or not to permit smoking, based on their’s and their customers’ preference. As opposed to frequenting bars that cater to your personal preferences. Voting with your money, so to speak—the american way. Fine.
But it’s only fair that the people, who’s right to choose you have just removed, get to modify something in your world that matters to you.
For instance, we could pass a law that says all non smokers have to stand out in the rain for at least 10 minutes of every hour that they patronize a bar or club. Sound’s fair to me.
Or, perhaps, we could pass a law that says you cannot defecate in your own bathroom, in your own house. Your defecation is offensive to me, and I don’t think that I should have to tolerate it just because you have a house.
If you ask me, I say that people who used to be able to go to a bar to get drunk and smoke cigarettes should have their now eviscerated experience subsidized by you obnoxious bastages that actually think it is ok to mandate what other people do.
I hate you. Die. It’s only fair.7 years ago
I’m in California right now and love the smoke-free atmosphere. This is the one Californization that I don’t mind seeing put in place in Washington. Go Washington! 7 years ago
Every vote counts and we got it! “was approved with comfortable margins in all 39 counties.”
ALL 39 counties!
So cheers to all of us for making this one pass. I’ll be seeing you out at bars and clubs and concert venues that I havent been able to go to before. 7 years ago
Obscure movie reference aside, WASHINGTON STATE IS NOW SMOKE-FREE. Happy day, happy, happy day! 7 years ago
Thank you Washington! Your overwhelming support makes ours the next smoke-free state! 7 years ago
...and tomorrow is Election day. I have, of course, already sent in my absentee ballot…but I’m still excited. I can only HOPE HOPE HOPE HOPE! 7 years ago
I’m voting on November 8th, 2005, to ban smoking in bars and restaurants in Washington State. I hope I can take this goal off my list! 7 years ago
Interesting article in the Seattle Weekly regarding the 25 foot rule. Two viewpoints as follows:
PROSays Nick Federici, director of government affairs for the American Lung Association of Washington, one of the prime backers of the I-901: “The bottom line here is to keep smoke out of the buildings.”
CON“The 25-foot rule is over the top,” says Dave Meinert, a partner in the Mirabeau Room in Lower Queen Anne. A nonsmoker, Meinert argues that the rule would force him to regulate smokers standing within 25 feet of his club and bar him from constructing a deck for smokers behind his club. “The people backing this measure are zealots.”
I should reveal here that I’m an equal owner in the Mirabeau Room along with David Meinert, who is also a friend. David is a passionate fellow, so his choice of language does not surprise me. But in this case, I’ll continue to support I-901. As a club owner and a musician who has worked in clubs for years I’ll take the 25’ rule with I-901 and not be distracted by zealot-like language. Two additional points I’d like to make here:
- The ban language allows for exemptions from the 25’ rule if a club can demonstrate that they don’t have 25 feet clearance to play with and that smoke doesn’t pour back into the club.
- David’s second assertion is only half-correct (that the club would be responsible for monitoring smokers within 25’). See this entry that references people walking through a 25’ zone vs. an actual designated smoking area.
Meinert, who opposes the measure’s “nanny state” approach, says that if the initiative passes, he welcomes a fine from the public-health department, whom he will then sue over what he and others in the world of bars and clubs consider an unenforceable ban.
Nanny state? Interesting coming from a “grass roots” guy like David. This is a people’s initiative put on the ballot by citizens and not by big government. Government has failed to pass a meaningful smoking ban which is why the citizens of Washington State took to writing the initiative and getting signatures to place I-901 on the ballot. And this is why it will be voted into law by the people.
I think it’s important to keep each other honest on the ban or we’ll end up making absurd soundbite statements instead of addressing the underlying issue—health of workers and patrons of Washington’s restaurant and bar scene. 7 years ago
This March 2005 PI article got me thinking about how far I-901 and the whole smoking ban movement has come. Going back and reading about the stalled out House and Senate bills that lead to citizen action in the form of I-901 tells me that this ban not only has legs but has the unique benefit of the public voice behind it. In the end the ban should feel more like a social contract among citizens and less like a law imposed from on high.
A smoking ban is by it’s nature an emotional topic. We’ll be glad that our politicians fumbled and citizens were forced to figure it out for themselves—allowing us to have (heated) conversations along the way about the nature of this ban, it’s impact on non-smokers, smokers and smoking businesses alike.
The test of this social contract will be the 25’ rule exemption process and making sure it works for the majority of clubs that can’t abide by the 25’ rule when supplying an outdoor smoking area. That’s where we’ll see if Washingtonians can successfully interpret I-901’s most vague language.
I-901 will hopefully be voted into law on November 2nd. Similar to Ireland, Italy, New York, California, Massachusetts … we’ll wonder how we lived before the ban and Tim Eyman’s critical words about I-901 will ring true for the first time—that we were “beyond insane”. 7 years ago
An iconographic antismoking campaign from JT Tobacco of Japan.
Plenty more7 years ago
Statistics are a tricky business, but this Fox News article claims that bar/restaurant sales are up 20% in Rhode Island after instating the no-smoking ban.
Although you may want to read No On 901’s take on 901 before you make up your mind. Or you can just call the registrant of noon901.org … actually, you can’t. Because the noon901.org is “privately registered” through Network Solutions to a direct mail services company in Virginia. I wonder who is organizing the anti-901 campaign website? 7 years ago
The National Society of Actuaries just published findings to put a price tag on the cost of second hand smoke on our nation’s Health Care system: $10 Billion Dollars. This not only results in business loses and higher health care costs, but also drives up the cost of life insurance for many.
This isn’t a group with an agenda, they’re the body that helps set insurance prices. Number cruchers so to speak. 7 years ago
The 25’ rule seems to be one of the major sticking points when I talk about initiative 901 with reasonable people who oppose the ban. Initiative 901’s language (see below) states that business owners can dispute the 25’ rule given the “unique circumstances presented by the location”. The burden is placed on the club or restaurant owner to show that designated smoking areas within 25’ of windows, doors and ventilation intakes will not affect the air quality inside.
That seems like reasonable language given the goal of creating smoke-free public areas. Any other thoughts on the 25’ rule? Any compelling arugments you’ve heard on either side of the 25’ rule?
If I’m interpretting the language correctly, folks would be protected from walking through public space while smoking: “Any person passing by or through a public place while on a public sidewalk or public right of way has not intentionally violated this chapter”. This should put to rest the argument that a person walking down first avenue while smoking would be in violation of the law as they’d be passing through overlapping 25’ non-smoking zones which effectively blanket the densest parts of the city where club doors/windows/vents continually overlap.
Initiative 901 excerptPRESUMPTIVELY REASONABLE DISTANCE
Smoking is prohibited within a presumptively reasonable minimum distance of twenty-five feet from entrances, exits, windows that open, and ventilation intakes that serve an enclosed area where smoking is prohibited so as to ensure that tobacco smoke does not enter the area through entrances, exits, open windows, or other means. Owners, operators, managers, employers, or other persons who own or control a public place or place of employment may seek to rebut the presumption that twenty-five feet is a reasonable minimum distance by making application to the director of the local health department or district in which the public place or place of employment is located. The presumption will be rebutted if the applicant can show by clear and convincing evidence that, given the unique circumstances presented by the location of entrances, exits, windows that open, ventilation intakes, or other factors, smoke will not infiltrate or reach the entrances, exits, open windows, or ventilation intakes or enter into such public place or place of employment and, therefore, the public health and safety will be adequately protected by a lesser distance. 7 years ago
There’s an article on initiative 901 in today’s Seattle Times:
As it heads to ballot, smoking ban sees few foes
By Warren King and Ari Bloomekatz
As a statewide anti-smoking initiative was pronounced qualified for the November ballot yesterday, organized opposition appeared nonexistent.
click here to read the entire article7 years ago