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Friday, January 6, 2006

The 25’ Rule in Non-Effect

Posted by on January 6 at 11:08 AM

Last night on Pine St. in Capitol Hill, about 15-20 smokers were puffing outside of Man Ray, Bus Stop, and Cha Cha. None was observing the 25’ rule. Then a police car rolled up and parked by Man Ray… and nothing happened. No order to observe the law was barked, nor was a measuring tape brandished. Unheard, also, were complaints from non-smokers about this situation. The non-drama of it all was remarkable.

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All very true--I have actually heard cops making jokes about it outside various clubs. However, several bar owners have told me that will change dramatically in February, when a crackdown on the ban will supposedly kick in. This may spell trouble for Linda's newly constructed outdoor bar and patio, which was built in effort accomodate smokers.

Can't Linda's get some kind of exemption? I think the Eagle did for their back patio.

And while this may not be being enforced in Seattle, it is elsewhere. I didn't get a ticket, but was told twice by Bellingham cops last week to "back it up" (hilariously, in a place like Queen Anne where no matter where I stood, there was a door or a window).

I believe that the legislation states that enforcement falls on Public Health and not the Police Department. Just wait 'til those Public Health squads roll in!
While I support the ban, the legislation and the whole 25' rule is RIDICULOUS!

echoing hannah here: expect stronger enforcement in the near future, from what i have also heard.

FULL DISCLOSURE: i work for a beer company and am therefore pretty well-versed on how the smoking ban is affecting bar business. the bars i work with are generally your cap hill/ballard/belltown joints, many of which are reporting significant losses in revenue.

this time of year is notoriously tough in the bar biz and the smoking ban has made it even more difficult for many places.

i am all for non-smoking establishments but still firmly believe that the decision should be made by the business owner, particularly in the case of bars and nightclubs. the smoking ban is fucking bullshit.

regarding Linda's: i believe the plan there is to optimize the portion of the patio that falls beyond the 25 foot mark, which is entirely legal per the ban's ridiculous rules.

That's what I thought too (re: who enforces it?), but it was definitely Bellingham police at nighttime, and a different guy both times. Then I thought maybe it was just in seattle where the responsibility fell to the health department?

for the millionth time, the police will only respond to a complaint -- not to the 25-foot rule. as per the legislation, it's not in their league of enforcement. take that for 'non-drama.' and take it up the ass, you stinking smokers.

Can I just say how bored I am with slog posts re. smoking devolving into "take it up the ass!" or "non smokers are fucking commies!". Since this isn't Craigslist rants and raves can we please just share information/experiences/speculation like adults? And if not can you please take it here:

I know it would be nice if business owners would go non-smoking on their own, but for the most part they can't/won't, which leaves many adults trapped in their homes and left out of most nightlife, (especially in Capitol Hill/Belltown.)

I strongly disagree with the 25 foot rule in principle and in practice, but aside from that, I think it's good public policy in general (for many reasons I'll not bore you with here.)

I've gone out to my favorite Capitol Hill bars twice as much as before since the ban and will continue to do so. I'm sad to hear that my favorite bars are suffering!

Because, thankfully, the cops and everyone else know how excessively silly the 25' rule is. It should be reduced or written out of the law.

"Because, thankfully, the cops and everyone else know how excessively silly the 25' rule is."

Almost as excessively silly as smoking itself.

Smoking isn't silly. It's horribly addictive. I think most smokers want to quit.

I wish there was something else to do with one's hands in a social situation that didn't cause cancer, heart disease, or a slap in the face.

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