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Saturday, December 2, 2006

Smoking Bans: Now, the UK.

posted by on December 2 at 15:42 PM

As a frequent visitor to the UKI fly British Airway’s radioactive planes!I have to say I’m pretty happy about this news. It’s nice to know that the UK has its fair share of addicted whiners too…

British artist David Hockney is among those outraged at the ban, which will follow similar moves in Ireland, France Scotland, Italy and Lithuania.

“Pubs aren’t health clubs. What do you go to a pub for?,” said the artist, who has warned that move will “destroy bohemia” and described those who proposed it as “absolutely dreary”.

Who knew that bohemia was dependent for its very existence on those huge multinational corporations that sell cigarettes? You learn something new every damn day.


Mmm… his paintings sell for millions… he’s so boho…

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I believe that Las Vegas just passed a limited smoking ban.

What's wrong with Oregon?

Posted by PDXRitchie | December 2, 2006 4:12 PM

Actually it was the voters of Nevada that passed the smoking ban, which takes effect Dec 8, statewide. Casinos can still have smoking, as can any bar that does not serve food. Restaurants, bars with kitchens, and most every public place will be subject to a smoking ban.

Posted by ken | December 2, 2006 4:18 PM

Oh, that's right, I forgot. Bohemia is defined by it's dogmatic activism and hatred of big corporations.

"There's no room for liberty in New Bohemia. That's for the birds, ya dig? That's your daddy's Bohemia, man. Get with it."

Which gun do you want to shoot yourself in the face with? Big Insurance or Big Tobacco?

Posted by Obligatory Declaration Of Being A Non-Smoker. | December 2, 2006 4:26 PM

Las Vegas lost its charm for me years ago, but I did like the fact that you could go anywhere with a lit cig and drink in your hand.

That, and the hookers.

Posted by Mark Mitchell | December 2, 2006 4:34 PM

I really love it when smokers waste my time droning on and on and on about their alleged "right" to force me to be exposed to their toxic fumes. Lighting up a cigarette next to someone is not the same thing as picking your nose next to someone. While nose picking is equally nasty and gross, exposure to it won't kill anyone. Smokers- stay home and smoke and save your whining for someone who gives a shit. -Love, Eric Struch

Posted by Eric Struch | December 2, 2006 6:44 PM

I also recommend the whiners take up chewing tobacco instead. It's equally disgusting, but spittoons are better than fumes.

Posted by Rielle | December 2, 2006 7:10 PM

I can't believe people still get worked up about this issue. Smoking bans are going to continue to spread, and everyone needs to get used to it. The Seattle ban has been completely positive as far as I'm concerned, and I'm a long term smoker.

That said, non smokers can be just as obnoxious and whiny. (see @5, above)

Posted by Mark Mitchell | December 2, 2006 7:51 PM

I gave up cigarette smoking long ago, but I had smoked cigars here, and frequented places with cigar lounges. Now I reserve my cigar smoking for my quarterly trips to Mexico. The loosers: seattle restaurants and bars where I spent about $1,500 a year on my smoking outings. The winner: Fidel castro to the tune of about $800 a year. Since I can't enjoy them here, I can splurge on R&J Churchill's when in Vallarta. But I'm a marxist so I won't complain, except to say that Fidel is a sellout. Viva Che!
The argument was never seriously about the right to smoke per se. The argument was about the right of clubs to decide whether they would allow smoking. Everyone's always had the right to ban it in their establishments, and everyone has always had the right to vote with their feet to avoid places that allowed it.
I'm still mostly for the ban. Cigarettes are evil. Lung cancer is a ridiculous drain on the health care system. It's probably worth the abridgment of our freedom of association to reduce the incidence of lung cancer. But it is a tradeoff.
Public health doesn't always trump the freedom of association. Were that the case gay chat rooms, bathouses, and some gay nightclubs would be shuttered. It always boil down to weighing the estimated benefits to public health versus the abridgement of freedom of association involved.

Posted by kinaidos | December 2, 2006 9:12 PM

Obnoxious and whiney is just a style choice, so sue me. That's not the issue here. Re read the post and tell me where it stops. A club deserves the right to decide this, we don't need a law (that, like most laws that are whiney [ahh that word does get a work out in Whaaahshington]and hard to enforce is evidently broken far and wide). This is an economic issue, not a rights issue. But some of you need to push folks around. You couldn't possibly ask someone to extinguish a cigarette yourselves so you build a golem.

Posted by Fab #5 Freddy | December 2, 2006 9:31 PM

$1500 a year in revenue, spread across a major metropolitan area like Seattle is small potatoes. Hell, you can drop $2500 on a single bottle of wine at the Georgian Room, Canlis, or El Gaucho if you want.

And Viva Fidel. Anything that stalls the conversion of Cuba into an annex of Florida is fine with me.

Posted by Maitre 'd Hotel | December 2, 2006 9:41 PM

Throat cancer was an painfully awful way to die, but nobody minds Frances Farmer and myself sharing a Camel up here in heaven. At least my addiction while on earth fueled a career that inspired some admirable celebrities like Michael Jackson and Liza Minelli.

Posted by sammy davis jr. | December 2, 2006 10:20 PM

Okay, not to nitpick (whine?) here, but I think that those who have also seen video footage of David Hockney (he's in that fabulous BBC documentary where he 'discovers' that Vermeer and others used lenses to paint their images) will note that HE IS CONSTANTLY SMOKING. Meaning, if you can't stop smoking long enough to do one take of a documentary, then not smoking at the pub is going to be a real bummer. Not that I'm saying we should feel sorry for David Hockney - on the contrary, I am all for smoking bans, as I love coming home from the bar without that cloying smoke smell, and not getting smoke constantly blown in my face - I am only suggesting, perhaps, we should take his observations with a grain of salt. I mean, we all know that artists (even rich ones - I doubt David lives the truly 'bohemian' life anymore) are, well, crazy. Necessarily so.

Yay for smoking bans. Yay for crazy artists. And most of all, yay for Vermeer!

Posted by nara | December 3, 2006 6:25 AM

I don't know what is worse: the smokers whining about the bans (Boo frickin' hoo...) or Dan whining about the whiners (Suck it up and deal...).

Posted by Thom | December 3, 2006 7:08 AM

*which is worse, which is worse.

Arg. It's early.

Posted by Thom | December 3, 2006 7:12 AM

And not to put too fine a point on it, Hockney doesn't whine. He's British, so he whinges.

Posted by Mark Mitchell | December 3, 2006 9:51 AM

As a frequent visitor to the UK, Dan, you should probably know that Scotland is a part of the UK, and that the recent smoking ban was passed in England, one of the States that forms the United Kingdom of Great Britain. As it stands today, you can still legally smoke in pubs in Wales.

Posted by Scotty | December 3, 2006 2:38 PM

Everyone's always had the right to ban it in their establishments, and everyone has always had the right to vote with their feet to avoid places that allowed it.

Except that logic doesn't hold. Without a law enforcing it, no pubs or clubs would ban smoking. Why would they risk the loss of business? So non-smokers can't vote with their feet, because there are no non-smoking pubs to go to.

Posted by Tahn | December 3, 2006 4:56 PM

Why is there this increasing trend of people who think they can use some moral high ground to dictate the behavior of others?

*That*, my friends, is what will destroy the world.

How about a return to idealism - where that idealism is freedom, not the opposite.

Posted by Jason Thane | December 3, 2006 9:24 PM

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