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Sunday, March 13, 2005

Now, If Florida Would Just Follow the Lead—Again

[Asinine] California has banned smoking in restaurants, smoking in public buildings, and smoking in the office, now banning smoking outdoors—at the beach

(LA Daily Breeze)


I understand that there will always be squibbles over smokers’ rights versus nonsmokers’ rights, but I also understand (and hope you do, as well) that a smoker’s right to smoke should never interfere with a nonsmoker’s right to not inhale secondhand smoke.

Logically, it would follow that smoking be prohibited in venues—indoor or out—of crowds. But, of course, smokers would argue that their rights are infringed to always have to be corralled into designated areas to smoke.

It’s obviously a battle that won’t be solved soon. But, consider that there are other activities where participants must utilize particular venues to be legal, such as professional race car drivers. Yes, I know it’s not exactly the same thing, but you catch my drift, right?

Besides, a good percentage of smokers already know they shouldn’t be smoking and a good many of those probably would quit if they had the will and the means to do it. If high taxes and a ban in restaurants isn’t enough, who’s to say the millions of wannabe quitters wouldn’t appreciate the extra help that would be afforded them if, say, it was only legal to smoke—no matter whether they’re indoors or out—if there was no one in a 500-foot radius or in places such as their own home.

This goes for cars, too. Cars are most definitely not sealed off from the outside. These days, I practically cannot drive down the main highway through my town without stopping at a light and getting a lungful of someone’s cigarette smoke.

And listen, smokers, if you feel your rights are being abused for being chastised for smoking in your car, even though your smoke is wafting into mine, that’s one thing. But don’t you even dare to get pissed about my reaction if you do the same thing someone did to me a few months ago. Several people were driving in several cars across town, and someone ended up riding with me who wanted to light up. I said, “not in my car.” She said she wouldn’t stink up the car because she’d put the window all the way down. I replied, point-blank, “either the cigarette goes out, or you do.”

Obviously, she hasn’t said a word to me since—not that I’m concerned.

So yes, I hate cigarette smoke, in case you hadn’t noticed. I know I’ve ranted on the blog before, and I’m liable to do it again in the future. If you don’t like it, stop reading.

» Posted by ALBj at 02:51 PM (ET)
Category: News, Rant


Are you for real? You “can’t drive through town without stopping at a light and getting a lungful of someone’s cigarette smoke…”?? You are more in danger from sucking exhaust fumes from the dude idling in front of you at that light than you are from a smoker’s smoke “wafting” in your car window!

People like you who want to legislate everyone’s behavior to match your own version of “perfect” are what’s destroying this country.

I would never smoke in someone’s car if they did not want me to. But don’t you DARE tell me that I cannot smoke in MY OWN CAR!! Next, you’ll want to ban smoking in private homes because their smoke “wafts” out their windows into your backyard! Followed by demanding access to your neighbor’s home to make sure they have sex in the proper missionary position.

» Posted by Leigh
October 10, 2005 02:52 PM

Yes, I’m for real. I don’t perpetually run the recirculate function of my car’s A/C, so regardless whether the windows are open or closed, I would wager (if I were a betting person) that more than half—possibly even more than 3/4—of the intersections I stop at, I smell cigarette smoke from a neighboring car.

Yes, I do smell exhaust fumes, too, but they’re not often as strong. I intentionally never stop inches away from the back of someone’s vehicle when I come to an intersection, thus attempting to avoid their exhaust fumes being sucked into my front grille. And if you’ll keep your cool for a moment, you’ll realize that I didn’t suggest you can’t smoke in your own car. The problem is, when people smoke in their cars, they’ll usually have the windows open to let out excess fumes—and THAT’S where I start having the problems.

What we have here is a conflict of whose rights supersede whose? Bear in mind, I never said I hate smokers. I said I hate cigarette smoke. I also said in my blog entry that smokers can argue their “rights” with equal legitimacy from the opposite viewpoint. So who is right? As a nonsmoker, I have my opinion, and my own blog is where I’m perfectly within my rights to share it. That said, there is NO way you can deny that smoking is harmful to health. That’s a fact. So I liken smoking to anything else that’s harmful to people. If someone gets a kick out of shooting holes in their limbs, that’s their business, but the minute that bullet comes my way, we’ve got a problem. I see smoking in similar light. Smoke all you want, but if I have to put up with that smoke, too, we’ve got a problem. Yes, you have the right to smoke, but I also have the right NOT to smoke.

But put it this way…this debate will go on for years, nay, decades. Until someone figures out a solution that makes both sides happy, people like me will continue ranting about it. Deal.

» Posted by Lee Bennett
October 10, 2005 06:45 PM

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