Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Smoking Ordnance/Smoking Ordinance

The Indianapolis/Marion County Council has passed another smoking ban and unlike a dog passing a peach pit, once all the shivering, yelping and rump-dragging is over, we'll be stuck with it, unless Mayor Greg "I loves me the right kind of nanny-government" Ballard suddenly comes up for air and vetoes it.
When that happens, the love-child of a pig and Pegasus will take to the air, too.

But this time, proponents have left in a smoking gun: the ban prohibits e-cigarettes, too. Yup. Even the ones that don't deliver nicotine (in fairness, FDA reported in 2009 that some claiming they don't actually do). See, if it looks like a ciggie, it's baaaaaad. Mama take away from baby.

Makes me-ums wanna frow right the hell up.

I don't smoke. I did smoke for many, many years,* fought to quit for, oh, seven years, and I know if I have even one -- and some days I'd like to -- I'll have the whole pack. And the next pack, and.... Tempting as the act is, the smell of old smoke really gets to me. (A regular cold-weather rite around Roseholme is me reminding Tam to wash her porch-smoking jacket 'cos I can smell it from orbit.) It's bad for you, too.

But that doesn't mean it otta be banned.

Geesh. We learned nothing from Prohibition -- rolled it back and rolled out a nice, shiny dope-ban to take its place and keep the Mob (and competitors) in business. We learned nothing from segregation, either. Now we wanna take folk with compromised lungs already and tell business-owners (who already had to run employees who smoke out into the drizzle and snow unroofed) to stick 'em outside in the cold -- and keep 'em away from the door, too, 'cos nice folks might want to stop by, and you don't want 'em to have to run a gauntlet of That Sort.

Humans: we're programmed to breed, rear our young and then die around age 40, gray-haired and (mostly) wise. We've learned how to cheat death but there's something in us that longs to cheat on the cheat, too. We invent war, we distill spirits, we seek transcendence (or relief, or just a magic vacation) in intoxication; we dig up asbestos, refine corrosive chemicals, travel great distances to share our own regional viruses and bacteria...and some of us smoke. Think of it as a check against overpopulation. We've stamped out most of our predators, or pushed them into places we don't much want -- so what's our species supposed to do? (Other than not upgrade the ventilation systems in bars, that is.)

Try to legislate our way to perfection? Ah, high aims and noble intentions, what paving-stones they make; or railroad ties, for that matter.
* Why yes, I was one of those Jr. High Jr. Toughgirls who snuck out and smoked. Swore, too. But no black fingernail polish, that was Right Out.


Ruth said...

I don't smoke, never have, and think its one of the stupider things you can do to yourself. And I think that the insane smoking bans are bad.

I admit I appreciate them. Not having to work in an atmosphere where my co-workers have produced a cloud makes my life so much more comfortable (our ventilation sucks too), but the insane way they keep spreading it further and further and further is just NOT going to work.

Anonymous said...

E-cigarettes are a thought crime.

Derfel Cadarn said...

I have never smoked but I went out and bought a E-cigarette and use just to piss people off. To all the whining leftards F@#K YOU all sideways. ALL Americans have RIGHTS not just you pathetic morons. Again F#@K YOU!

Guffaw in AZ said...

I'm not a smoker. My Mom died from emphysema and was. I don't want to ban cigarettes. My Mom exhibited addictive behavior, and that's sad. This is (was) the U.S. There's very little that should be banned. Child porn would be one thing. Otherwise, let adult people do as they will. Darwin wins, regardless!

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats."

Mencken had the right of it. That day is coming.

John A said...

Whyvnot leave it up to indicidual establishments, especially since we are always told that going smoke-free attracts more people? Well. quoting a restauranteur -

`... David Andrichik told us the smoking ban evens the score for competition. It's smoke-free already, and Andrichik welcomes the change in law.

"We will abide by the law, certainly. We will be on the same level playing field as everybody else," said Andrichik.`

Hmm, sounds like he hopes if everyplace is smoke-free his [already smoke-free] business will pick up...

Nah, couldn't be that.

I smoke, though I try not to annoy non-smokers: the smell is objectionable [or sometimes enticing, for former smokers] to non-smokers, or even some smokers (e.g. I generally do not like cigar smoke).

For restaurants, I do not much care which the management does. But bars? Not going to stay for more than one drink, if that.

Jerry said...

It was the 'Dog passing a peach pit' thing that caught my eye. I don't know why.

jed said...

Heh, yeah, peach pit. :)

For the record, the FDA has also been, at best, disingenuous in re. e-cigs, howling that they contain "anti-freeze", when in fact the ingredient is propylene glycol, which is on the FDA's GRAS list -- it's an ingredient in some laxatives, for example. (Not all e-cig juice contains PG either.) Yeah, PG can be used for anti-freeze, but it ain't gonna ravage your liver.

Speaking as a now ex-smoker, of 29 years, I can attest that these devices can get you off tobacco much better than patches, or gum, or chewing on toothpicks. I won't say that inhaling nicotine-laced vapor is good for you, but I do believe it's nowhere near as bad as combustion by-products.

And no, I'm not railing on anyone to quit. Your decision. But if you want to, then the e-cig is a good route to go. Just don't buy based on any TV or radio ads. Hit the various e-cig (or 'vaping') forums, do some reading, and buy wisely. As a side benefit, you'll save money too.

Roberta X said...

Glycol -- it was interesting when I had a [stardrive] cooled by ethylene glycol and the Main Office ten miles away has an HVAC system with propylene glycol as the working fluid. You can (pretty much) pour PG right down the drain but EG, in Indiana, is never ever supposed to enter "the waters of the State." The site with EG is, of course, on a septic system and has a sump pump that discharges into a drainage ditch: really, really don't spill any.

And you don't want the people making your e-cig refills to substitute EG for PG, either -- you only get the one liver.

Anonymous said...

Just another step down the road.

Here in PRUK they just brought in legislation forcing shops to conceal any tobacco products behind doors because as everyone knows all it takes is one glimpse of a glittering packet of cigarettes and you're hooked immediately. Then of course you and every member of your family will instantly die from some smoking related disease.

Oh and they're trying to bring plain packaging legislation in too.

The smoking ban has caused the closure of about 50 pubs a month in this country. The rates of smoking are roughly the same, about 25% of the population. They use arguments from cost (the income from tax smokers pay is sufficient to pay the entire NHS budget), health (despite no provable increase in cancer rates, yes to emphysema and bronchitis, but let's not forget the significant reductions in Alzheimers, Parkinsons and even asthma).

Life expectancy of smokers and non-smokers is roughly the same too, in fact some of the longest lived people were and are smokers. (not surprisingly none of the people most anti have ever bothered to actually read any of the research preferring to rely on made up quotes from other anti-smokers, the facts just get in the way).


I just want to be able to have an occasional smoke, as I find it enjoyable, without being portrayed as some mass murdering imbecile.