Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Ahhh the air is fresh with cigarette smoke in Virginia
Current mood: disappointed
In January of this year DC did something that made me very happy, They banned smoking in restaurants and bars. As, a severe asthmatic this was music to my ears. It meant I could go out for a fun night of dancing, without feeling that someone was sitting on my lungs the next day.
However, banning smoking indoors does not mean the smokers say "oh well, we have had a good go at it, lets all quit cold turkey". . . no it does not unfortunately not.
When contemplating the ban on smoking a lot of politicians and business owners were worried that it would effect their businesses, their profit and the traffic of people that come through the city for food and fun. They worried that people would begin crossing the boarders of DC to spend their money in Virginia or Maryland.
Being a non-smoker I said "pashhhhaaaa, like people would really drive an extra half hour to places that are not as cool, just to smoke". It seems I have GREATLY underestimated the smokers will to smoke.
I have heard several comments from people about how they miss partying in DC, but now they must go where smoking is allowed. I have heard I have even heard that Virginia is the new place to party.
However, it hit a whole new level this weekend. When one of my co-workers was accepting a notice to vacate from a resident who has lived in the building for over 7 years. . she of course inquired as to why he suddenly had the urge to move. (let me interrupt to point out he is a mid to late 20 something male). He talked about rental prices in Virginia, commutes but the scale tipper for him was in Virginia you can smoke inside establishments. He said that a number of his friends had moved to Virginia for that very reason. They were smokers and they wanted to be somewhere they could enjoy their habit.
This blew my mind, they were actually relocating so that they could smoke while they ate?? But then another thought occurred to me. . . .this Ban on Smoking in DC that I was so excited about just increased the smoking population in my home state, Virginia. Virginia where the ban on smoking was stopped short. Virginia where I hope to return one day. Just great!
Virginia is for Lovers or no. . . . smokers!
Posted by Victorious!! on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 at 10:27 AM
So, they recently passed a similar law in Lee County, Alabama (the county that Auburn is in), and I must say, I agree- for a non-smoker it has been a wonderful change. I haven't heard of anyone moving or travelling out of the county to hang out because of the new restrictions, but I guess it's probably happening. I really don't believe in restricting people from doing as they choose, but smoking is unfortunately not one of those fine lines for me. It may be extreme to say, but if smokers want to smoke inside their own homes with the windows closed, then be my guest- but personally, I am very happy that legislators are passing laws restricting smoking in public places. Recently, when I was at buffalo wild wings, a guy was ranting about how pissed off he was that he couldn't smoke there anymore, saying "This is a free country, isn't it? I should be able to smoke where I want!" Well, unfortunately, this is one freedom that infringes on the freedom of other people, such as myself, who do not want to breathe in harmful smoke. Is his right to smoke more important than my right to breathe clean air? Does this guy want thick, toxic, smog billowing from a power plant in his back yard? Probably not, but it's a free country, right?
I guess I am most dissapointed that, in 2007, when there are more ways to quit smoking than ever before, people still choose to harm themselves, and others inadvertently. It's not like in the 60s when ignorance was bliss- we KNOW now what smoking does to you. I can draw you a picture if you want! But people are still continuing to smoke, and kids are still picking up the habit. I'm not sure what the answer is, but for now, I am glad that I can go out to dinner and not have to be concerned with how close to the "smoking section" I am. Hopefully, Virginia will follow suit and pass a no smoking ordinance in public places also. Who knows, maybe then people will to drive all the way to North Carolina to hang out.
Posted by Lazy pulse on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 at 10:37 AM
Lazy pulse says:
As a social smoker, I applaud these laws. I smoke when I drink, and usually only when others are (sometimes, that shit smells like a filet mignon after 3 highballs). In Cali, I almost never smoked in bars because, well, NO ONE was smoking! Kudos DC, kudos.
Posted by Being Christ Centered IS Okay Ya Know on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 at 2:45 PM
Being Christ Centered IS Okay Ya Know Says:
I love the fact you are taking a stand on this. I can't stand the smell of smoke in the "non-smoking" section of resturants. I hate the fact I have to dodge cigaratte cherries in packed clubs. You go girl!!!
Posted by Dissertation meltdown!! on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 at 3:34 PM
Dissertation meltdown!! says:
I was very happy when this law went into effect and I am pleasantly surprised each and every time we go to a restaurant or bar and notice halfway through the evening that our eyes aren't watering and we're not sucking down water because our throats are sore. So if they want to go to VA or MD so be it. We plan on moving to MD in the near future and thank goodness they too are jumping on the safe and healthy bandwagon.
Wake up VIRGINIA!!! Isn't NoVa it's own state yet?