Skip to comments.The Butt Stops Here
Posted on 10/05/2009 6:12:07 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
As Montana bars dealt with their first smoke-free weekend since the states indoor smoking ban went into effect, ingenuity ruled. In Missoula, according to a great piece by Michael Moore in the Missoulian, the Rhino Bar gave smokers their very own place to light up: a Butt Hutt, created by Dave Golden of Well Done Welding and Jim Bell, a general contractor. Moore describes the hut as a 4-by-8-foot metal smoking dugout in the alley behind the Rhino in Missoula.
The no-smoking laws spark the type of debate that never seems to get extinguished. Pro-smokers argue that the bans hurt bars and restaurants. On the other hand, scores of studies show that exposure to secondhand smoke hurts the economy far more, causing heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses that exact huge tolls.
In Montana, meanwhile, the ban is apparently inspiring some creative new developments. In Great Falls, the City-County Health Department encouraged people to go to barsto show their support for the new smoke-free environments, according to KFBB TV. (Rarely do health departments urge people to bar hop, but hey, non-smoking laws seem to be heralding a new day.)
In downtown Choteau, the popular Antler Bar accommodated smokers with private digs in what was formerly a garage in the back of the bar. The new light-up zone, complete with garage-like ambiance, includes picnic tables, heaters, and plenty of ash trays.
Other bars will almost certainly be devising plans and smoking spots of their own in the coming months. (NewWest.net would love to hear about the solutions youre seeing out there.)
In the meantime, heres other news and views as Montana heads into its first smoke-banned work week.
-- According to two medical journalsCirculation: Journal of the American Heart Association, and Journal of the American College of Cardiologycities in the U.S. and abroad that have banned indoor smoking in public places have experienced an average of 17 percent fewer heart attacks in the first year of the ban, compared to cities that allowed such smoking. In subsequent years, the smoke-free towns had an average 26 percent decline in heart attacks, compared to their smoking brethren.
-- Thirty eight states and the District of Columbia now have local laws that require 100 percent smoke-free workplaces, restaurants or bars, according to the American Nonsmokers Rights Foundation. To see a list of communities with smoking bans, plus nifty maps, click here.
-- The 13 states without general smoking bans are: Alabama, Alaska, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
-- In 1975, Minnesota became the first state to ban smoking in public spaces. California followed suit in 1998. (For a handy recap of anti-smoking actions in recent decades, click here.)
-- What really got the smoking bans rolling? In 2006, the U.S. Surgeon General published The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke, a study that said there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. People exposed to it increase their risk of developing heart disease or lung cancer by up to 30 percent, the report concluded.
-- Montanas ban took effect Oct. 1 because of the 2005 Montana Clean Air Act, which set a deadline by which the state would reduce exposures to secondhand smoke in public places.
Nanny State PING!
Great ventilation in the men’s room for that one hitter or a joint!
“cities in the U.S. and abroad that have banned indoor smoking in public places have experienced an average of 17 percent fewer heart attacks in the first year of the ban,”
smoking (not LDL and fat in general) causes plaque and obstruction.....uh huh
A good way around such things is to reverse your business model to that of a private smoking club. Since there have been efforts to shut down such clubs, claiming that the smoke injures employees, the way around that is to not have employees, but shareholding members that earn shares by working for the club.
The club is very exclusive, in that no government employees, police officers, lawyers, or anyone associated with them is allowed to join. Members must sign statements about their beliefs, and state for a video camera that they would only report or testify against the club under coercion or bribery, and that anything they say under such circumstances should be considered as deceitful and corrupt.
The club also offers other activities, like bartending classes, in which members provide their own alcohol, and the club provides the non-alcoholic ingredients and demonstrates how such drinks are mixed.
Members also pay a fixed fee for membership, plus additional fees for special services, like a shuttle to and from the club.
And of course, tobacco use is perfectly acceptable.
Some of the bars in Nevada have started a fine jar. Basically, if you come into the bar and smoke, you put a few bucks in the jar. If all works out right, when the smoke Nazis come in to fine the bar, the amount collected in the jar should cover the fine. Personally, I believe a business owner has the right to decide how his business is run. If he thinks he can make good cash with a smoke free bar, he runs a smoke free bar. If he thinks he can make cash running a smoking bar, he should be able to run a smoking bar. Yes its nice going to a bar that is not smokey...however, if there was such a high demand for smokeless bars, then why did it require government coercion to bring them about?
I'm neither a smoker nor a "pro smoker", I'm a "get your nanny state nose out of other people's personal decisions.
scores of studies show that exposure to secondhand smoke hurts the economy far more, causing heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses that exact huge tolls.
Unmitigated B.S. Cite one that hasn't already been debunked.
It seems to me that some derelict alcoholics could make a deal with several bars, so that when an anti-smoking Nazi comes around, they are “fingered”, so then when they leave the club, the derelict jumps them and beats the heck out of them. No explanation, no warning. Then the derelict gets free drinks at the bar to the value of his services.
The idea is that these unexpected assaults will so unnerve the cigarette police flunkies that they will quit and go do something else for a living.
The bar looks innocent, and eventually the word gets out that if you harass one of these bars, don’t be surprised if it’s harder on you than it is on them.
I can live with that.
TSR, thanks for the posting of this art from the New West.
I enjoyed going to the site and posting this to A Critique of National Parks, as Americas’ Best Idea by Jim Mscdonald...econutzo...guess which comment, hint, ‘Ken Burns ‘epic’ new mockumentary lovefest for Big Gov/NPS’.
I think Michelle has one. She carries it with her.