November 20, 2003

Bans Coming and Going

No SmokingThe Senate has OK'ed a lifting of the ban on Sunday liquor sales. I'm glad to see this, not because I think that people ought to get liquored up on Sunday, but because I think the ban is senseless. And it's more potential revenue for the state, which is hurting.

Along with that, they have supported the idea of a sales tax holiday (it will be August 14). Both the blue law repeal and the tax holiday have to pass muster with the governor. We'll see how that goes.

What is certain is that smoking in the state's restaurants and taverns is history. The senate banned smoking with a veto-proof majority. Julie was complaining about the smoke in Davy's Locker the other day. As of next summer, there should be nothing to complain about on that account.

I hate smoking, so I'm happy to see this pass. The libertarian side of me is drowned out by my concern for the health of workers. The law allows for places like "cigar bars" which make their money primarily from tobacco products. I don't see this as infringing on liberties much at all. I'd be opposed to a ban on smoking itself, but a ban on smoking in workplaces makes sense to me.

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Posted by James at November 20, 2003 11:47 AM
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I am thrilled with all of these. Sunday is half of my "free time." "Free time" is when I do all of my shopping. Repealing the blue law means that I now have a little more flexibility in planning some of that free time.

Smoking ban... that's right in line with my philosophy. I'm probably a more extreme social libertarian than you are. I think you should be able to buy crack and acid at the 7-11. But, for the safety of others (your own safety is up to you), I also think you should do that crack and acid at home, preferably with a babysitter. It's no infringement of your rights if the law says you can't endanger others in a public place. You can do whatever you want in your own time and space, even if it kills you.

Posted by: julie at November 20, 2003 12:40 PM

Okay, you beat me on the social libertarian extremism. Actually, I know I'm not extreme, because when I read the libertarian websites I feel many of their ideas are not helpful.

Posted by: James at November 20, 2003 1:08 PM

I'm a SOCIAL libertarian, which has little to do with the Libertarian party. As far as I can tell, most Libertarian party people are more interested in the economic philosophy than the social one, and I have NOTHING in common with them where money is concerned.

Posted by: julie at November 20, 2003 1:26 PM

I meant just on some of their social agenda. But, I agree that a lot of their fiscal agenda is goofy. Though, fiscal responsibility is not a bad thing.

Posted by: James at November 20, 2003 1:38 PM

Ok. Here goes.

I used to smoke. I was one of those assholes who would light up a butt after _my_ dinner, regardless if you were in the midst of yours. That was the way it was--no one thought twice about it.

I've been smoke-free for 14 years. In that time, I have come to loathe being out in a smoky place. I, as many of you know, have lots of long thick hair, which is prime for trapping smoke. I've been out in places that have been so bad, I've had to come home and _wash my hair_ before going to bed.

Thankfully, I will no longer have to deal with that. Since Boston and Cambridge have both had bans for months, my life has been made more pleasant already. Now, I can go to any restaurant in the state and not come away smelling like an ashtray.

You can still smoke, just like you can still pray, only I don't have to do it with you.

Ahh...smoke-free lungs, hair, clothes, and life. Yippee!

Posted by: Patti M. at November 20, 2003 4:51 PM

I'm not a smoker, and I hate smoking. I'm glad to see it gone. The club that I dance at doesn't allow smoking either so people have to go outside to smoke. It's nice to see that.

However, I feel like it should be ok to have smokers restaurants or bars. Places where smoking is allowed. It only seems fair. This way if you are a smoker there are places for you to go, and I as a non smoker can choose to avoid them or not. But at least I can know in advance.


Posted by: Rui Campos at November 20, 2003 9:27 PM

As I understand it, the most important reason for smoking bans is to protect employees of bars and restaurants. White House rhetoric nowithstanding, many people who work in restaurants and bars do so mainly because that's where they were able to get a job. Be nice not to get a lungful of cigarette smoke on top of being yelled at and having drinks spilled on you.

Posted by: julie at November 21, 2003 1:17 PM

... and having people stuff their napkins and other garbage into their water glasses.

The law apparently provides for cigar bars. People who want to smoke can go to places primarily geared for smoking. If smoking is the reason you're going out, go to one of those places, I say.

This will not be a polular ban in Fall River, or in this area of the so-called SouthCoast in general. There are a lot of smokers; the attitude toward smoking is somewhat more european here.

What the legislature is saying is that by limiting smoking to a very few activity-specific establishments, the quality of life for peopel in the state is improved to a greater degree than the loss of freedoms.

The need for a statewide ban comes about because establishments are afraid they will lose business if they were to do the right thing for their employees and ban smoking. The statewide ban erases the point. (BTW - evidence shows that these bans do not reduce patronage when applied evenly)

Posted by: James at November 21, 2003 1:52 PM

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