POLICE STATE

More than 700 Queenslanders have been fined for smoking in bars since January.

Posted by Tim B. on 09/29/2005 at 10:38 AM
    1. Pretty soon they’re going to start putting smokers in concentration camps (gee, I wonder if those will have non-smoking sections, too?).

      Posted by paco on 2005 09 29 at 12:12 PM • permalink

 

    1. In the US I have watched the non-smoking ban as it “progressed” over the past 20 years.  First, they said office workers could smoke but they had to have portable air circulators on their desks.  Then they couldn’t do it in their offices but instead had to do it in a designated smoking area on each floor.  Then the lobby.  Then they made a whole office building smoke-free, forcing the smokers to go down to the parking levels to smoke.  But, oh no, that was considered part of the building, so they were forced outside to brave cold winter winds.  Fascists.

      Soon they will make all of Australia a non-smoking country.  What to smoke?  Swim over to the reef.

      Posted by wronwright on 2005 09 29 at 12:31 PM • permalink

 

    1. Always did believe that a smoke-free pub will be a customer-free pub.  Bound to find out in 9 months time.

      Have had the “smoking police” visit, did their poke around, asked me several questions, ticked my answers on a checklist.  A pair of public-service, bureaucratic minded girls.  The sort one finds employed in court houses, or the motor & driving licencing registry etc.

      Whilst they seemed to have the personality of a wombat, I take my hat off to them.  They have survived something I believe few of us could: Issing a smoking infringement notice to men in a public bar!

      Posted by Steve at the pub on 2005 09 29 at 01:46 PM • permalink

 

    1. Steve at the pub: Always did believe that a smoke-free pub will be a customer-free pub.  Bound to find out in 9 months time.

      Nope, not in Californiastan.

      We just adjust– go outside, out back.

      Now… the weather is never very inclement here, so… that might blow the isomorphism.

      But we’re real big on tobacco-free-air rights here.  Property rights and consumer choice, well… those aren’t doing so hot.  But hey– gotta have priorities.

      Posted by zeppenwolf on 2005 09 29 at 02:12 PM • permalink

 

    1. PS: Funny you mentioned camps, paco.

      …there will be “no smoking” in the gas chambers.
      — Jimi Hendrix

      Posted by zeppenwolf on 2005 09 29 at 02:18 PM • permalink

 

    1. Whoa, Zep, great find! I don’t know what the context was in the song, but it sounds so utterly apposite in today’s fevered, bizarro political climate, where supposedly “liberal” people with a monopoly of “compassion” and an intense longing for “peace” routinely and publicly engage in orgiastic fantasies of violence against those with whom they disagree. God deliver us from these bloodthirsty humanitarians.

      Posted by paco on 2005 09 29 at 02:41 PM • permalink

 

    1. What do you do at a pub if you cannot smoke?

      Drink more, I suppose.

      Wonder if they have someone who looks like your mum doing pub crawls with a book of tickets and a disapproving look (“Here’s a fine for puffing on that dreadful thing, and wait until your father gets home”).

      Cripes, that will destroy Queensland’s image of being the land of the free and sensible.

      Posted by Major Anya on 2005 09 29 at 04:27 PM • permalink

 

    1. paco: I don’t know what the context was in the song

      Actually, not a song.  It’s a part of a… rant, I guess you’d say, touching on all sorts of things, from asteroids smacking the earth to astral travel, or somefink.

      Um.  Suffice to say, that well known snippet is the best part.

      Posted by zeppenwolf on 2005 09 29 at 04:51 PM • permalink

 

    1. Here in New York, we’re much more enlightened. We don’t fine the smoker, we fine the bar.

      In answer to #3, despite the unfairness, the smoking ban hasn’t hurt the bars here at all. Not even in winter.

      Posted by tim maguire on 2005 09 29 at 05:31 PM • permalink

 

    1. I used to be a very light smoker.  Never smoked at work out of consideration for my co-workers.  Wronwright maps the scope creep perfectly.  A surprising number of people eventually quit smoking, but alas – not I. 

      When they banned smoking at our desks and it was no longer my choice to abstain, I started to take a few smoke breaks in the break room each day.  The further they made me travel to smoke, the more I needed to ‘plan my breaks’ (have a meeting in an hour? Better get a cigarette or two in before that starts) and the longer the breaks became (make it two cigarettes.  Or three). 

      When they finally got around to banning smoking in our building and within 50 feet of the entrance (i.e. the middle of the street) I started working at home. 

      I chain smoke all freaking day now. 

      Ahh, if only I could shed my sense of being accountable for my own actions, however egregious the provocation, I’d be tempted to sue some one for this.

      Posted by debo.v2 on 2005 09 29 at 05:56 PM • permalink

 

    1. Have you ever noticed that your own farts aren’t nearly as objectionable as the other guy’s.

      Kinda the same way with smoking, I guess.

      Posted by rinardman on 2005 09 29 at 06:05 PM • permalink

 

    1. As a Queenslander (by adoption, like everyone else on the Gold Coast) I don’t mind these laws at all.

      I’m still young enough to be going to nightclubs etc and I welcome the laws.  It means I can go home, not reeking of smoke. 

      I am not a huge fan of government regulating the way we live our lives, but this is one more little regulation I’m happy to have.

      Posted by jellis on 2005 09 29 at 06:53 PM • permalink

 

    1. Agree with everything #12 said. Just because you have the right to smoke doesn’t mean you should have the right to harm me when you do. Having had a $1,500 suit ruined with cigarette burns makes me less tolerant of smokers.

      Posted by jpaulg on 2005 09 29 at 07:00 PM • permalink

 

    1. Steve at the pub:Always did believe that a smoke-free pub will be a customer-free pub

      Well that isn’t the view from Ireland who has had a ban on smoking in pubs for quite a while now.  People are actually returning.
      http://www.tobacco.org/news/206014.html

      If anyone starts talking about it being un-Australian to call for a ban on smoking in pubs well you have just called Slim Dusty un-Australian.
      Slim Dusty was one of the first Australian artists to insist on smoke-free venues for his concerts
      http://www.cancercouncil.com.au/editorial.asp?pageid=1795
      Sorry Tim but I back Slim Dusty and Joy McKean over you on this one.

      Posted by youngy on 2005 09 29 at 07:20 PM • permalink

 

    1. What about one bar for hypocondriacs and prissy arseholes in $1,500 suits and another for people who smoke?

      Posted by Phranger on 2005 09 29 at 07:28 PM • permalink

 

    1. Police state??  Just came from a look around the Wal-mart, sporting good section has never been so empty, primarily of camping goods.  While there, walk to pet section and abruptly do an about face ( I walk fast ) and see a guy in some type of law enforcement garb ( hard to tell here ‘cause its the nexus of the law enforcement and disaster relief universe- logos, insignias, plain magnetic signs on new cars, dash lights, etc..) sporting a pistol, cuffs, etc.. who seems to be following me???? (maybe I looked good today).  He immediately turned and walked away and I see United States Postal Inspector on his shirt.  I confess I let out a laugh….Stop, drop that mail or I’ll shoot….

      No, seriously, I saw two mobile command units emblazoned United States Postal Inspector Investigative MObile Command unit replete with satellite dish, numerous antennae, and a/c.

      Wish I could have a motorized, remote control video camera in my car for panning while driving…someone will make a fortune with that one.

      Posted by duh on 2005 09 29 at 08:09 PM • permalink

 

    1. Duh,

      He immediately turned and walked away and I see United States Postal Inspector on his shirt.  I confess I let out a laugh….Stop, drop that mail or I’ll shoot….

      Would you prefer a uniform saying Flowers By Irene?As a non-smoker, I don’t care if you guys want to kill yourselves as long as it doesn’t affect me. Unfortunately, in crowded bars it does as I find smoke quite unpleasant. Similarly, I haven’t been able to eat al-Fresco for a very long time thanks to smokers while I eat.

      I do appreciate those who make an effort (or sit upwind) and regret they may get caught up with the bad ones.

      However, I think a lot of smokers are ‘letting the side down’ by being irresponsible with their smoke and especially their ciggy-butts.

      What I don’t understand is why it is taking so long to ‘phase in’ or ratify effectively a total ban on smoking in restaurants, pubs etc. They could do it overnight if they wanted… What gives?

      There you go, four or five different points. Discuss..

      Posted by Dan Lewis on 2005 09 29 at 08:39 PM • permalink

 

    1. Can’t quite argue w/ smoking ban….haven’t been able to go to any pubs to listen to music for years (thank you landlord who failed to maintain hvac).  When I go, must sit outside by door ‘cause eyes and lungs cannot take smoke…fortunately, the doorman knows me but sitting outside a pub door gets you a lot o’ unwanted attention.

      Compromise?  Outdoors areas for smoking?  Hard to have separate smoking rooms as filters for those smoke-eaters costs pub owners an arm and leg.

      BTW, hate the odor that lingers in clothes, hair, etc….nasty stuff.  Don’t want to tread on anyone’s rights, but don’t want mine trod upon either.

      Posted by duh on 2005 09 29 at 09:24 PM • permalink

 

    1. I thought that meant Frubious Bandersnipes Ignited; have not figured out how to afford, or use, that bold stuff.

      Posted by duh on 2005 09 29 at 09:27 PM • permalink

 

    1. Just had someone explain the concept of Texas “ice houses” to me; sounds like the old dance halls…mostly open air kind of stuff so everyone stays happy!! Compromise!

      Posted by duh on 2005 09 29 at 09:34 PM • permalink

 

    1. Here in Upstate New York where the winters are colder than a witch’s tit in a brass bra, business in bars and pubs has been off as much as 40% since the ban, according to the local media.

      It’s idiotic to stand shivering outside an “adults only” establishment where they’re protecting you from yourself (and you’re paying for it).

      Upstaters smoke like chimneys compared to those sophisticated & nuanced NYC’ers.

      Add to that a crap economy that drives young 20-something people away to other parts of the country, overzealous DWI prosecution as a means of local revenue enhancement, and a neo-Prohibitionist zeitgeist, and it’s little wonder my cousin was forced to close his Irish pub last month. That’s eight more unemployed people. The State will build another prison so they can get jobs watching over (& being beaten by) the scum of Brooklyn and the Bronx. Then the NYTimes can call everyone who lives here racist trailer trash.

      I’m partially to blame. I can drink, smoke, chose the music, and make grandiose statements on ‘blogs on the other side of the world sitting here at my computer.

      I admit I do miss being able to get together with friends and neighbors in town.

      Why not allow the bar owners to decide whether smoking is allowed or not? Any profound reasons not to? (And please remember: There are supermarket jobs available for those who can’t pour beer in a cloud of cig smoke!)

      Thoughts?

      Posted by JDB on 2005 09 29 at 09:47 PM • permalink

 

    1. jdp:
      Too many “conservatives” believe in property rights only until it suits them not to.

      Posted by Phranger on 2005 09 29 at 09:55 PM • permalink

 

    1. Nice to know that the Smoke Police are keeping the State coffers lined with cash from the coffin nailers.

      Struggling to remember the last time someone smacked the shiat out of their wife and kids or killed a fellow road user from consuming too many cigarettes.

      Posted by Jay Santos on 2005 09 29 at 10:06 PM • permalink

 

    1. I’m a smoker, but I understand perfectly that many people find it offensive, and I myself don’t particularly like smoke-filled restaurants and pubs. However, I think the issue is, should the government have the right to impose this ban? It seems to me that it ought to be up to the owner of the pub or restaurant. Surely, this is an area where market forces should come into play: some entrepreneurs can cater to the non-smoking crowd, and some can cater to smokers.

      Posted by paco on 2005 09 29 at 10:32 PM • permalink

 

    1. Hey, JDB,

      Ear warmers, tax credits for thermal underwear, mittens, and the NY version of the old dance halls down here…

      Course I agree w/ you, owners should decide.  After certain hour, smokers can come in and non-smokers unass area.

      Posted by duh on 2005 09 29 at 10:43 PM • permalink

 

    1. #21 Your post reminded me of a time some years back when I did the grand discovery tour and backpacked around bits of the US and Europe. Admittedly, just about everything I knew about the US up till then was gleaned from TV and movies, but I was surprised to come across a college student in a bar in up-state NY (Albany, I think, – maybe Saratoga) who prided himself on never having been to NYC and declared he never would go there. This was an attitude I came across elsewhere, and I started to learn that, for many Americans, the US was basically 2 countries; NYC, Washington DC and California, on one hand, and The Rest. I must say, as much as I enjoyed visiting NYC, I wouldn’t care to live there. There were some nice places and friendly people in the The Rest, though. Perhaps The Rest is getting smaller these days.

      Posted by larrikin on 2005 09 29 at 11:02 PM • permalink

 

    1. Typical case of American Blind Justice

      Where are the 8’ x 10’ glossy photos…where are the father rapers and mother stabbers when you need them…

      Hey, Alice….

      Posted by duh on 2005 09 29 at 11:21 PM • permalink

 

    1. Oops, wrong post, should a been on the Alda thread.

      Posted by duh on 2005 09 29 at 11:22 PM • permalink

 

    1. Is it Friday yet?

      Posted by duh on 2005 09 29 at 11:28 PM • permalink

 

    1. jellis: I am not a huge fan of government regulating the way we live our lives, but this is one more little regulation I’m happy to have.

      “I don’t like government restricting my freedom, but restricting other people’s freedom is ok.”

      jpaulg: Just because you have the right to smoke doesn’t mean you should have the right to harm me when you do.

      Fine.  How’s this one:  Just because you have the right to not like smoke doesn’t mean you have the right to tell me how to run my bar.

      Having had a $1,500 suit ruined with cigarette burns makes me less tolerant of smokers.

      Excellent!  Great logic, too.

      Phranger: Too many “conservatives” believe in property rights only until it suits them not to.

      I’m a “conservative”, even in quotes.  So go ahead– TRY ME.  Give me one single example of a property right I don’t support because it doesn’t ($1500) suit me.

      Posted by zeppenwolf on 2005 09 29 at 11:54 PM • permalink

 

    1. #24 It seems to me that it ought to be up to the owner of the pub or restaurant. Surely, this is an area where market forces should come into play: some entrepreneurs can cater to the non-smoking crowd, and some can cater to smokers.

      In Canberra, there are a few non-smoking bars around the place and, as a non-smoker, I tended to patronise them more often than other venues. Of course, after seeing the market working, the government stepped in and applied stricter regulations on smoking.

      Posted by Art Vandelay on 2005 09 30 at 12:27 AM • permalink

 

    1. Now that I’ve finally quit smoking I find it really offensive, and frankly I think everyone else should quit too.

      #11- still chuckling.

      Posted by slammer on 2005 09 30 at 12:50 AM • permalink

 

    1. I think we need to recognize that traditionally certain environments allow the usual rules of good behaviour to lapse a bit. Sure it is intrusive to cause smelly fumes to waft in the direction of others, but so is striking up a conversation with a complete stranger with the goal of being in their pants within a few hours, or having girls rub their breasts against you as they squeeze through a crowd, people spilling drinks on each other etc.

      I’m reminded of a definition for a certain term that describes those at the extreme end of a political persuation, “those who sacrifice sanity for the sake of consistency”.

      Do we really need anti-smoking rules to be consistent across the spectrum of environments that we usually inhabit? I wouldn’t expect to be able to walk into Myer enibriated and ask strangers if they’re single but we don’t hear calls for such behaviour to be banned in pubs. That’s what we want pubs to be like, or at least certain ones at certain times of the day.

      I’m happy for pubs to be places that I and others can chill out in and let the rules take a hike for a bit.

      Posted by HC44 on 2005 09 30 at 12:52 AM • permalink

 

    1. #30 How about the property right of an Islamic extremist group to stockpile assault rifles (for hunting), nerve agent precursors, and plutonium (just for innocent scientific research, you understand) … Would you be upset if their property rights were violated in this instance?

      Property rights, like the law in general, is about balancing competing interests. There’s no absolute property right to anything. Libertarians don’t get this.

      That said, I wouldn’t object to letting a reasonable number of venues be licensed for smoking. (With an appropriate licence fee to reflect the health costs the state ultimately bears.)

      #33 It’s “intrusive” to have “girls rub their breasts against you as they squeeze through a crowd”? As far as I’m concerned, it’s the main reason for being there in the first place!

      Posted by Lionel Mandrake on 2005 09 30 at 12:59 AM • permalink

 

    1. Fair call Lionel. Let me draw a distinction between “intrusive” and “unwelcome” just in case anyone is getting the wrong idea about me.

      Posted by HC44 on 2005 09 30 at 01:07 AM • permalink

 

    1. OK zeppenwolf, if you smoke in a bar a side effect of that is that you exhale cigarette smoke which gets into my clothes and requires them to be drycleaned. Now you say that as a smoker you have a right to exhale over me.
      When I go to a bar I drink a lot. A side effect of that is that I’ve got to piss, so I say I have as much right to piss all over you, and ruin your clothes as you have to blow your smoke over me.If you want to smoke that’s fine by me, but if the side effect of you enjoying your habit causes me actual harm (BTW I’m talking property damage, not that canard about second hand smoke) do not expect me to stand up for your right to harm me.

      Posted by jpaulg on 2005 09 30 at 01:48 AM • permalink

 

    1. Yeah well, the whole smoking thing’s a fucking conspiracy by Big Tobaco (Tobacco????) How else can you explain, not long after trying desperately at 14 years old to emulate your pals (aha you see, peer pressure) and actually INHALE that disgusting shit, you find that you can’t stop. It doesn’t help that your heroes – Jimi Hendrix and Che Guevarra smoke profusely. Many years and gallons (liters for the French) of phlegm later and the impending slow death from emphesema, never mind cancer, you may find the will to quit. All power to the quitters!! Seize The Time y’all.

      Posted by orang on 2005 09 30 at 01:51 AM • permalink

 

    1. jpaulg: Now you say that as a smoker you have a right to exhale over me.

      Show me where I said that.

      What you’re avoiding is your implicit claim that you have a right to go into any bar anywhere you choose at any time and have things be exactly how you want them, and the person who owns that bar and just go get stuffed if your anti-smoking intolerance doesn’t suit him.  That’s what you’re calling a “right”.

      The bar doesn’t belong to you, and there’s nobody forcing you in there to have your precious suits stunk up.  But you believe that you have an inherent right both to enter the bar and to dictate how Armani-friendly the clientele are.

      That’s the crux of the matter.  See?

      Lionel: Property rights, like the law in general, is about balancing competing interests. There’s no absolute property right to anything. Libertarians don’t get this.

      This libertarian (lower case) does.  By citing the example you choose, you more or less admit the point– you have to go all the way to plutonium in the hands of Islamofascists to call my bluff. Unfortunately, there are examples of property right restrictions which have no such preposterously obvious counterbalancing rights of others to negate them.  Naturally, I was hoping for something a bit more “debateable”– if you’re game, name it.  If you just want me to admit that property rights (or any right) is not absolute, you have that.

      That said, I see the right to property as the cornerstone of civilization, and it would be best to err on the side of inviolability when in doubt.  Certainly don’t let it crumble because one is worried about ones suits.

      (With an appropriate licence fee to reflect the health costs the state ultimately bears.)

      Nope.  If anything, smokers who die as a result of their smoking cost the state very little– they die quickly.  The ones who are placing enourmous burdens on socialized medicine are the super-senior citizens who are lying in bed dying… of absolutely nothing but old age, and taking forever to do it.

      Posted by zeppenwolf on 2005 09 30 at 02:13 AM • permalink

 

    1. Have you ever noticed that your own farts aren’t nearly as objectionable as the other guy’s.

      It’s the same with young children. I am reminded of this every time I sit in a (smoke free naturally) cafe with some child screaming at the top of its lungs and behaving like a little turd, completely ignored by the parents who think its cute.Children are like farts people!

      Posted by Dan Lewis on 2005 09 30 at 02:19 AM • permalink

 

    1. Zeppenwolf: granted, my plutonium example was preposterous. Closer to smoking would be pollution. If you’re a factory owner on the bank of a river, do you have the right to pour whatever you like into the river? After all, no one’s forcing those folks downstream to drink the water or eat the three-eyed fish … Or is the government entitled (even obligated) to step in?

      #36 I was waiting for someone to propose pissing on smokers (or into their drink)!

      Posted by Lionel Mandrake on 2005 09 30 at 02:39 AM • permalink

 

    1. Zeppenwolf.
      The responsibility I have have as a citizen is foremost not to harm others. If I smoke in an enclosed space with others I will cause them harm.If I am an employer at a bar, not only do I have a moral obligation to protect my servants from harm I have a legal duty to do so. The legal caselaw, which I disagree with but the precedents have been set, is that second hand smoke causes physical harm to bar workers.

      The situation is that bar owners have a legal duty to ban smoking in enclosed areas in their establishments, but have failed to do so until more government regulation was passed to enforce the existing laws, mainly because said bar owners were too worried about losing profits than doing what was legally required to ensure the health of their workers.

      By the way the suit wasn’t Armani I got it in Saville Row, but the point is some unknown smoker caused me $1,500 worth of property damage through engaging in their habit carelessly. If the smoker had ‘fessed up to doing the damage and paid for the suit to be replaced I would not have minded so much. If I knock a drink over somebody I’ll pay for their clothes to be drycleaned because I’ve caused them that harm, I expect the same in return.

      If I wear a suit in a bar I am not infringing on anybody elses physical or property rights. If I smoke in a bar I can infringe on somebody elses rights and have a duty, at the very least, to smoke carefully.

      I am not saying that as a non-smoker I have a right to a smoke free environment. I am saying that as a smoker you have a duty not to cause me harm. If smokers in general fail in their duty not to cause harm to others then they are inviting the state to enforce them into behaving as responsible citizens.

      Whilst I believe the current laws are draconian and have gone too far, they have reduced the incedences of smokers causing me harm.

      Posted by jpaulg on 2005 09 30 at 02:42 AM • permalink

 

    1. yup cato did a study on the cost of smoking and found that with excise there is an overall transfer of wealth from smokers to non-smokers

      http://www.cato.org/pubs/regulation/reg20n3c.html

      they also found that if a discount rate of less than 4% is used then smokers subsidise non-smokers without including excise. so people dying early and not claiming social security definitely has an effect.

      also, this is a US study so results may not be the same here. 🙂

      Posted by drscroogemcduck on 2005 09 30 at 02:54 AM • permalink

 

    1. Remember when it was the non smokers who were the odd ones out..the outcast,embarrassment,whingeing,moaning wowsers who just had to go along with the majority vote
      Tea rooms holding five people with four smokers puffing up a storm,food with squashed cigarette butts on plates,stubs swimming in left over coffee,overflowing ashtrays spilling mess everywhere.
      Plane travellers wreathed in clouds of smoke at seat level and disembarking stinking of ciggies on your clothes and in your hair.
      Best of all was the smoking in hospitals,the only exception being around the few beds where an oxygen mask was required. So around most beds was the above mentioned detritus.Cinemas,schools,shops,doctors’ surgeries,offices -no area was smoke free.
      Non smokers were told to put up with the wishes of the majority.Now the situation is reversed -live with it folks.

      Posted by crash on 2005 09 30 at 02:57 AM • permalink

 

    1. “The situation is that bar owners have a legal duty to ban smoking in enclosed areas in their establishments, but have failed to do so until more government regulation was passed to enforce the existing laws, mainly because said bar owners were too worried about losing profits than doing what was legally required to ensure the health of their workers.”

      It’s talk like that which will result in people not being able to hold a garage sale in their front yard without taking out personal indemnity insurance. Slowly we’re getting there.

      Posted by HC44 on 2005 09 30 at 03:03 AM • permalink

 

    1. it’s sad that i can employ a bunch of dudes to beat the christ out of each other but i’m not allowed to employ people to inhale smoke

      Posted by drscroogemcduck on 2005 09 30 at 03:10 AM • permalink

 

    1. It’s talk like that which will result in people not being able to hold a garage sale in their front yard without taking out personal indemnity insurance. Slowly we’re getting there.

      To be honest I don’t think that such a proposal is a bad idea, because:
      1) Most householders already carry such insurance in their household insurance anyway.
      2) The cost to the householder who doesn’t already have cover to obtain cover should be very modest.
      3) The costs of a personal injury can be catastrophic, and in the abscence of insurance that cost would have to be born either by the injured party or an individual householder.

      However, in order to convince me that it is a good idea you’d need to show me some evidence about the numbers of people being injured at garage sales, the percentages of those injuries that were uninsured, the cost of those injuries, and that those uninsured costs are significant enough to justify a legislative response.

      Posted by jpaulg on 2005 09 30 at 03:15 AM • permalink

 

    1. Smokers are slow-release suicide bombers.

      Posted by neWinSituation on 2005 09 30 at 03:49 AM • permalink

 

    1. I still remember, at a distance of 20 years, driving by the Somerset exit on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in howling wind and snow and about 0 degrees F, seeing a huddle of employees outside the back door of the Champion Spark Plug windshield wiper plant, smoking.

      They were on a break – one rule – but not allowed to smoke inside – another rule – but had to smoke regardless – the rule they could not break.

      The positive note, though I didn’t think of it at the time, was that they weren’t drinking.

      Posted by rhhardin on 2005 09 30 at 04:07 AM • permalink

 

    1. #34,

      #33 It’s “intrusive” to have “girls rub their breasts against you as they squeeze through a crowd”? As far as I’m concerned, it’s the main reason for being there in the first place!

      Which bars are you two hanging out at, and what’s the address?

      Posted by Dan Lewis on 2005 09 30 at 04:31 AM • permalink

 

    1. jpaulg #41, go & root a boot.  You are writing as if your knowledge of business principles comes from reading about it.

      Two things prevent “bar owners” (as you so quaintly choose to term publicans) from BANNING smoking in their bars.

      1. Physical safety.  If you doubt this, take over a bar yourself, preferably one frequented by stockmen or motor mechanics, when you ban smoking & they ignore you, WHAT will you do about it?.. walk out into the bar, snatch the durries out of their mouth & stub them out yourself?  (If you try this, be sure to have an ambulance & physician on standby)

      2. Financial considerations.  If you as a business operator, make a needless unilateral decision which results in DECREASED operating profit, your bank manager will call you in for a “no coffee” interview, where the agendum will be “reverse your declining figures, or you shall be foreclosed upon forthwith”

      I am thrilled to bits that the government has legislated what privately the majority of publicans for years have been more than happy to implement.

      It is the smoking public who have been unwilling to butt out.

      I am more than happy to do without 2nd hand smoke in my lungs & all over my clothes.

      #23, Jay Santos.  You have a point, although have it back to front.  There is more to the smoking in pubs issue.  Tobacco has an incredible calming effect.  If you think I am in error on this point: deny tobacco to soldiers, (preferably soldiers on, or just out of, active service) & see how they handle it.

      There are posters all over town, & government agencies, informing me all about youth suicide, domestic violence etc.

      The one place where people can go for a calming atmosphere, drink, smoke etc is about to have the smoking removed from it.

      Without this calming chaser for alcohol, will there be wider implications?

      The issue has not been considered holistically.

      Posted by Steve at the pub on 2005 09 30 at 05:12 AM • permalink

 

    1. The last time this issue came up here I got flamed real bad for supporting the smoking ban.
      I’m a musician who works in pubs and clubs and yeah, I’m all for the rights of individuals to smoke their arses off, BUT!! I really object to pissed units using up my fresh air while I’m trying to work.
      Imagine if I turned up at YOUR workplace pissed/drunk and lit up a ciggie and puffed it in your face?

      Posted by Lucky Nutsacks on 2005 09 30 at 05:24 AM • permalink

 

    1. I was shattered when they banned smoking aboard aircraft.

      I always used to book a “smoking section” seat, even though I am a non smoker, and I could always be assured that there were no drooling, hyperactive howling children anywhere near me.
      Ah, those were the days, my friend.

      Posted by Pedro the Ignorant on 2005 09 30 at 05:30 AM • permalink

 

    1. Were these Queensland smoking laws put to a public vote, or is this legislation by fiat?  I’m asking because I’d like to have perfume, cologne, aftershave and that microwave popcorn banned from enclosed public places only I don’t think I’d have chance of that succeeding if the general public had some sort of direct-say in the matter.  Oh – and requiring a separate “hairspray free” rest rooms.  That would be good. 

      Also – does the Kyoto protocol have anything in it about carbon credits for smokers who don’t drive(much)?  Wondering if I am missing an opportunity to make some money for all the exhaust fumes I am not generating.

      Posted by debo.v2 on 2005 09 30 at 05:47 AM • permalink

 

    1. Apologies to everyone for post #51, it had too many words. It should just have read, ‘suck arse gaspers!’.

      Posted by Lucky Nutsacks on 2005 09 30 at 05:48 AM • permalink

 

    1. #50 Steve,

      So according to point 1 in your logic, if I run a logging company and my employees threaten to clock me if I make them wear hardhats, I should just let them go about their work with inadequate PPE. Or do I use the big beefy men you sometimes run into at pubs, called bouncers, to enofrce the rules within the bar? Now if I allow a practice to occur on my premises that is unsafe and take no steps to mitigate against that practice, have you ever heard the phrase “void your insurance”?
      Most pubs I’ve been in since the ban came into effect simply stop serving smokers, which has the desired result pretty quickly with no aggro. Most people will respect non smoking areas as long as they’re told straight up what the situation is.

      Posted by jpaulg on 2005 09 30 at 05:52 AM • permalink

 

    1. Hey Deo, I think I remember you from last time! 😉

      I’ll hold to my original argument. If you’re employed as a musician in pubs and clubs then you’re employed to perform in a certain kind of environment. A lot of people want to have a smoke and a drink when they see a live band. A lot of publicans and club operators will cater for that crowd. I think we can safely say that you know what type of environment you are employed to perform in before you agree to do the gig. If you don’t like it then don’t enter into the contract.

      I think the argument comes down to this. If a pub owner wants to cater for a smoking crowd it is their right to do so. Non smokers are not forced to attend. If people want to attend a smoking bar, even if they are a minority, and a pub owner is willing to provide that service then it is not the governments business to stop that transaction from occurring. If non-smokers want to attend a a non-smoking bar and a pub owner is willing to provide that service then no one should interfere with that transaction either, and smokers can go elsewhere. Any deviation from this is simply one group forcing their views on others.

      Posted by Mick Sutcliffe on 2005 09 30 at 05:55 AM • permalink

 

    1. Precisely jpaulg, once it is legislation the government wears the black hat.

      Are you seriously suggesting that an insurance company would cover you with life assurance, if you were to enter a public bar full of working men & put their cigarettes out?  If you think my logic is flawed, go to a smoking country (perhaps south africa) & try using “muscle” to prevent workingmen smoking in a shebeen.

      If you do try this, there is no need to book a return ticket from SA.

      Posted by Steve at the pub on 2005 09 30 at 06:02 AM • permalink

 

    1. Smoke free pubs? That’s nothing compared to what pot smokers have to put up with…random searches by police dogs in public spaces without warrants. Yep, we’re already living in a police state. But it’s the War on Drugs so it doesn’t count.

      Posted by bongoman on 2005 09 30 at 06:02 AM • permalink

 

    1. bongoman: The war on drugs should be carried out under “Bali Rules”.  I have no problem with the hanging of druggos.  None whatsoever.

      Posted by Steve at the pub on 2005 09 30 at 06:04 AM • permalink

 

    1. Steve: So pot smokers should be hanged?

      Posted by bongoman on 2005 09 30 at 06:15 AM • permalink

 

    1. Hey, Deo.  While you’re up there playing in smoke-free-by-law air, would you mind turning the volume down on those speakers?  I mean, how would you like it if I showed up at your day job with a boombox blasting at 100Db while you were trying to hold a conversation by the water cooler?  Unlike the dubious studies of the relative dangers of second hand smoke, sounds over 85Db are proven to cause hearing loss.  Thank you.

      Posted by debo.v2 on 2005 09 30 at 06:25 AM • permalink

 

    1. BTW I don’t really care if smoking is banned in pubs, restaurants, shopping centers, etc.  I just don’t like the pretense that the banning is effected in a legitimate way for legitimate reasons and all this “Maybe it’s not the job of legislators but boy I’m glad they did it” is quite provoking.

      Posted by debo.v2 on 2005 09 30 at 06:29 AM • permalink

 

    1. Common sense out the window with the last puff of Ardath, Viscount, Rothmans, Turf cork-tipped, Belvedere, you name it.

      Give me a thousand returned diggers enjoying their smoking – right up until their dying days – and wherever they want – than one effete, complaining anti-smoking zealot preaching their second-hand-smoke-is-killing-me bullshit victim message.

      Because it’s bullshit.

      And even if it wasn’t, I’d still support the old smokers.

      Forget all the stupid moral equivalence, the old smokers would tell you to get stuffed.

      They’d also offer you a fag.

      That’s class.

      Posted by ilibcc on 2005 09 30 at 07:14 AM • permalink

 

    1. I once kissed a girl who had recently been smoking.

      Felt unclean for days afterward.  Vowed never to do it again.

      Posted by entropy on 2005 09 30 at 07:46 AM • permalink

 

    1. I don’t see the problem with a venue which is advertised as a smoking venue, which employs staff (or entertainers) who are smokers and/or know the circumstances of their employment, and which attracts clientele who are there of their own free will.

      Smoking is legal, the participants are adults and nobody is denying anybody anything. Objectors to the above would seem to be motivated purely by spite and selfishness.

      There are punk venues, rock venues, gay bars, coffee lounges, alcohol free venues etc.. why the hell should smokers not be allowed their own environment? It’s just bloody wrong and totalitarian to force all venues to cater to only one select vocal group and dismiss and silence all objectors.

      I don’t smoke, but I have a choice.

      Posted by Srekwah on 2005 09 30 at 08:01 AM • permalink

 

    1. …So why shouldn’t those that legally choose to smoke also have a choice?

      Posted by Srekwah on 2005 09 30 at 08:04 AM • permalink

 

    1. I am guessing that Labour here in the UK is keen on Queensland anti-smoking fascism.

      To the anti-smoking whingers above: if you don’t like smoking don’t go to bars and restaurants that allow it.

      I am non-smoker but I am sick of nannying idiots trying to ban legal products because its offends their sensibilties.

      Posted by Andrew Ian Dodge on 2005 09 30 at 08:22 AM • permalink

 

    1. The issues that I have with the laws is that it is one more nail in the coffin of self determination.

      while I agree with non-smoking policies in workplaces and restaurants, I’m with paco – let market forces determine which clubs/bars are smoking or non-smoking.

      And the excuse of public health is a furphy – if it were truly that serious a public health issue, why not ban tobacco products all together.

      (Conflict of interest declaration – I’m not a smoker, but Nicky is.)

      — Nora

      Posted by The Thin Man Returns on 2005 09 30 at 08:29 AM • permalink

 

    1. Just because I’m all about the caring and consideration, I am taking notes.
      1.  “Do not fart in Rinardman’s general direction”
      2.  “Do not go to hear Deo play”
      3.  “Do not kiss entropy”

      Posted by debo.v2 on 2005 09 30 at 08:45 AM • permalink

 

    1. Gawd. I just read the “Saville Row” suit wearer’s comments; he makes such a braindead wrongheaded ignorant generalisation, that it makes me wonder how it is he could’ve afforded the suit in the first place?

      Posted by Srekwah on 2005 09 30 at 08:50 AM • permalink

 

    1. Property rights people. If the bar you are in allows pissing on other people—then fine. If the bar you are in allows running around naked—then fine. If the bar you re in allows smoking—then fine. You don’t have to go there. You don’t have to work there. If you own the bar you decide the rules. If you don’t, then you don’t get to decide the rules.

      Licencing is a less-bad option to bans… but there is no justification for that either.

      With an appropriate licence fee to reflect the health costs the state ultimately bears.

      Smokers cost the state less by dying younger. So would you support a smoking subsidy?

      Posted by John Humphreys on 2005 09 30 at 08:55 AM • permalink

 

    1. Don’t you think those that who freely choose to smoke, knowing damaging their health should forfeit government health care benefits with respect to any smoking related illness?

      Posted by AndrewM on 2005 09 30 at 09:18 AM • permalink

 

    1. What really get’s up my nose, literally and figuratively, is that when I go drinking down the pub the the guys from work we fork over hundreds of dollars for drinks but at the same time have to put up with the entire place stinking from one smoker nursing his one middy for hours.
      I would suggest that pubs would have had smoke free areas eventually by market pressure (from customer complaints) alone.
      However in NSW most publicans are too busy focusing on their pokies to care about their drinking customers.

      Posted by jimmydean on 2005 09 30 at 09:26 AM • permalink

 

    1. AndrewM:  Great Idea!  As soon as we start charging smokers for government funded medical costs we can revoke funding for costs associated with obesity, homosexual behaviour, dangerous occupations … but best of all, we can start to REIMBURSE people who don’t use the care their tax dollars were siphoned off to fund!  I haven’t taken a sick day in 16 years.  Where’s my refund?

      Posted by debo.v2 on 2005 09 30 at 09:27 AM • permalink

 

    1. Andrew,
      I keep coming back to the question, if smoking is as deletarious as we are being told with absolutely no redeeming factors, then why is it a legal, albeit controlled substance?We ban all sorts of harmful subtances all the time. The truth of the matter is government rake in far more in tobacco excise than it spends in health.

      It is as addicted to that revenue as much as any smoker. Worse still, state governments are also addicted to gambling revenue.

      — Nora

      Posted by The Thin Man Returns on 2005 09 30 at 09:31 AM • permalink

 

    1. Jimmydean: you are expecting a businessman to focus on a less profitable area of their business? to the detriment of a more lucrative aspect of their trade?

      Think of it as market forces at work!

      You want better attention from your publican, hehe, perhaps you should consider spending more money.

      Posted by Steve at the pub on 2005 09 30 at 09:34 AM • permalink

 

    1. Nora,
      The major tobacco companies bought land in Central and South America for the purpose of cultivating marijuana in concert with trademark patents for such names as Acapulco Gold, Panama Red, with accompanying logos, all this back in the ‘50’s I believe.The British did a study, toward the end of the 19th cen. I believe, on the marijuana and its effects upon workers in some of their colonies. The study encompassed all socio-economic groups; from docs, govs (Brits) to the African workers (slaves).  The conclusions were that the use of ganja enhanced community well-being and the trade off of a small loss of hand to eye coordination and productivity was more than made up for by the pacificity (read that no violence, esp agst Brit overseers).

      Hemp was mainly discredited in the US by the timber and paper companies. 

      Yep, economics drives the market place, just not necessarily yours.

      Posted by duh on 2005 09 30 at 09:46 AM • permalink

 

    1. #75 Seriously I don’t think outlawing dangerous substances is generally helpful, it simply promotes a blackmarket and crime. Any government revenue raised should be spent on smoking prevention campaigns and the healthcare of smokers.

      Posted by AndrewM on 2005 09 30 at 09:51 AM • permalink

 

    1. #76 – Duh, I’m not sure what you mean by economics drives the market place, just not necessarily yours. Although I do appreciate the history lesson.

      #76 I agree Andrew, outlawing already widespread substances is more or less futile. Banning tobacco altogether certainly that wasn’t a serious suggestion of mine, it served to point out how ridicous hyper regulation of public behaviour is.

      I firmly believe that the only mind you ever change is your own.

      — Nora

      Posted by The Thin Man Returns on 2005 09 30 at 10:08 AM • permalink

 

    1. ridicuous PIMF

      Posted by The Thin Man Returns on 2005 09 30 at 10:11 AM • permalink

 

    1. ridiculous PIMF, PIMF

      – It’s after midnight here, I think it’s time for some sleep (yawn).

      — Nora

      Posted by The Thin Man Returns on 2005 09 30 at 10:12 AM • permalink

 

    1. I always agreed with the smoking bans in public buildings and places of work, because those were places I had to be, and I like it that restaurants separate the smokers from the non-smokers (who are starting to outnumber smokers) so that I could at least enjoy my food.  But when it comes to bars, I’m ambivalent.  A local bar/restaurant recently went out of business because of a non-smoking ordinance, and that meant lost jobs to a lot of people (although, to be fair, that location has had a high turnover of bars and restaurants).  I don’t have to go to bars, and nonsmokers don’t have to work in them, so I can’t see where a total ban is appropriate in every case.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2005 09 30 at 10:48 AM • permalink

 

    1. Smoking in a restaurant, besides being extremely bad manners, has been illegal in Queensland since,.. er.. for quite some years anyway.

      The only remaining public access buildings where smoking is allowed are licenced premises (excepting areas or premises where meals are served).  That will change in 2006 when smoking becomes totally prohibted.

      Also included in the ban are anywhere within 10 metres of children’s play equipment, in budget accommodation, within 4 metres of a doorway to a non-residential building.

      This is a lot better than the original proposed legislation, which included the entirety of any licenced premises, meaning that ANYWHERE on a golf course smoking was prohibited, if there was a “wet” bar in the clubhouse.

      I don’t mind the ban, if it is blanket.  However the selective nature of it irks me.  The high rollers room at the casino is exempt.

      Is there smoke filtration technology available which renders this area safe?  If so, why am I not allowed the option of installing such technology?
      Surely Mr. Beattie is not of the belief that the health of workers & patrons in this area does not matter as much as the state government income from gambling tax?  High rollers who love a cigar would divert to Macau or someplace else, no need to come to Queensland.

      Posted by Steve at the pub on 2005 09 30 at 11:00 AM • permalink

 

    1. Lionel: If you’re a factory owner on the bank of a river, do you have the right to pour whatever you like into the river?

      Er.  Is that river yours?  Ya lost me.

      jpaulg: If the smoker had ‘fessed up to doing the damage and paid for the suit to be replaced I would not have minded so much.

      But all of us smokers decided collectively not to pay you.  In all honesty, that suit made your thighs look fat.

      If I knock a drink over somebody I’ll pay for their clothes to be drycleaned because I’ve caused them that harm

      And if one single person ever did NOT pay for cleaning up a spill, you would, in a consistant way, support a ban on all public drinking.

      Posted by zeppenwolf on 2005 09 30 at 12:20 PM • permalink

 

    1. AndrewM: Don’t you think those that who freely choose to smoke … should forfeit government health care benefits with respect to any smoking related illness?

      No, but the government shouldn’t be in the health insurance industry and health insurance companies should be allowed to discriminate on the basis of smoking (or anything else).

      Yes, “duh”, pot should be legal.

      As for tobacco excise—scrap it. It’s regressive and paternalistic.

      RebeccaH: I always agreed with the smoking bans in public buildings and places of work, because those were places I had to be

      You don’t have to be anywhere. You are free. And a place isn’t public if it is privately owned. Just because you can see something doesn’t make it “public”.

      Posted by John Humphreys on 2005 09 30 at 02:12 PM • permalink

 

    1. “What is ominous is the ease with which some people go from saying that they don’t like something to saying that the government should forbid it. When you go down that road, don’t expect freedom to survive very long.

      — Thomas Sowell

      Posted by the wolf on 2005 09 30 at 11:14 PM • permalink

 

    1. I ahve the odd smoke when I go out drinking, because beer just tastes better with a smoke. Now I find myself having to sit in the pokie area (Cannot stand the things) to have a smoke. If you are not playing the pokies you are not allowed in there. If you leave the building before 11 you have to queue up again and sign in etc etc and deal with the line.

      There are no other outside areas. Talk about a way of just extorting money. But it is amazing how long $1 lasts if you play 1c bets. Plus I once one $60 of a $2 coin so it ain’t all bad. In total I’d guess I’m $50 ahead. Enough for another 5 packs of smokes

      Posted by Gruntled on 2005 10 01 at 12:29 AM • permalink

 

    1. Everyone really should quit this killer of a habit…Ok, I need to quit. People should really just stick to drinking their beers and FuFu drinks at Restaurants if they don’t like smoke. Bars are where smokers can go to relax and have a smoke, because it is about the only legal place to smoke where I am from. Come on, how many employee meetings are held at “Joe’s Tavern”? If you don’t like smoking you would be sitting with non-smokers anyway normally when you and your friends go out. If your friends smoke, then deal with them and not the whole freaking population. Actually, if you would like, smokers can all just start chewing tobacco and spitting it everywhere, would ya’ll like that better.

      Posted by whistler40069 on 2005 10 01 at 04:00 PM • permalink

 

    1. Comment # 9 Byrd

      “duh, smoking ban hasn’t hurt businesses here” I suppose these NY bars didn’t get your message on how good for business smoking bans are:

      http://www.davehitt.com/facts/badforbiz.html

      And these 200+ pubs closed with 7,600 jobs lost in Ireland due to the ban is an aberration?

      http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2005/05/ah-fresh-clean-smell-of-unemployment.html

      And finally the fact that the pharmaceutical nicotine interests like RWJF, Johnson & Johnson (Nicoderm) fund smoking ban legislation to increase their product sales…. isn’t seen as a serious conflict of interest to anyone?

      http://www.cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2005/07/why-is-pharmaceutical-company-funding.html

      Bury your heads in ignorance if you like….but the next property rights issue attacked will be one important to you…….and the fact that you remained complacent on the smoking ban is the reason government won’t think twice about infringing upon your property rights on the next issue.

      Posted by marcus_aurelius on 2005 10 01 at 10:25 PM • permalink

 

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