Actually in Chicago, it is NOT entirely banned throughout parks(that Christian Science Monitor is misleading about Chicago totally banning smoking in park areas, IMHO). You can smoke within a park outdoors, as long as you don't smoke on a playground area or on the beach. And heck, if the amount of smoking I see from smokers smoking discretely(or sometimes not) on our beaches is any indication, I'm sure they'll still be enough smokers illicitly smoking during Music Midtown. Also from many sources I've read, NYC can barely enforce their total park smoking ban very well, anyway. I agree with the person above who said that the new total park smoking ban in Atlanta will just be another sneaky way for its officers to write revenue producing tickets, if they want to.
I would sure expect CL writers to do a better job of carefully read up on these ordinances that are passed(including on MuniCode, usually linked to from a city's website or via a google search), not just rely on a top 5 list that CSM wrote about cities that banned smoking in parks. It's unfortunate the writer didn't do slightly more thorough research, to verify the accuracy of this CSM article he/she cited.
I must disagree with you, athames. If smoke is such an annoyance in certain bars and adult-only restaurants(as among the only places exempted by the state smoking ban), what's stopping you from voting with your wallet and not patronizing that business whatsoever?
I've heard of businesses in Athens that were hurt by that city's total smoking ban, and the same thing will occur in Savannah when their ban takes effect in January. I'm sure some adult-only businesses were also hurt in Gainesville and Morrow, when both communities passed comprehensive bans. Why is it that so many people(including certain smokers) favor these extremely selfish laws? Last time I checked, there's NOTHING requiring one to work and/or patronize any private establishment that permits smoking to any degree(regardless if it's in only part of the entire establishment, or throughout the place).
Haha, it's totalitarian for a private music establishment to have a smoking show? You may hate it, but the employees, owners, and patrons do have a right to operate a privately-owned establishment as they wish(so do the bands, many of them where I have heard their profits greatly plunge under no smoking shows). No one is stopping you from patronizing 100% non-smoking venues instead, or encouraging someone to open such a venue that prohibits indoor smoking at all times.
Just remember, there is NO true right anywhere for one to automatically breathe smoke-free air, nor is there a right to smoke. That should be set by the business owner, and I feel if Atlanta were to go down this path, when would ever-increasing nanny-state regulations ever end? Just look at California, and many parts of the northeast such as New York City, if you want an example of places where these types of ever more restrictive laws(and it isn't just both indoor and outdoor smoking bans) never stop passing.
Ah, I was originally gonna write more, but who cares, when the side of anti-smokers is close-minded enough to selfishly advocate taking away the free choice of EVERY entrepreneur and patron that want to gather and/or operate smoking establishments, and they have a 'my way or the highway' attitude. I'm proud I don't have that kinda attitude, and whining for selfish government intervention banning a legal activity(-ies) I may not agree with.
I was gonna respond to Ungraffiti, but I think you more than perfectly nailed thoughts that totally mirror what I would've written, Freedom. Great job!
Ah Mara, what an extremely poor editorial you wrote on this issue. While I totally support banning smoking in TRULY public places(note: NOT privately-owned businesses where you have the option not to patronize them) where non-smokers and smokers must use together, say like government buildings and on public transit, it would be a very ridiculous idea for Atlanta's city council to go beyond the Georgia's state smoking ban and ban it in all adult-only restaurants and bars. I live in Illinois, and I've seen all the negative effects our ban has done to privately-owned businesses. Businesses that don't have room to construct patios are greatly screwed versus bars that do have the room to construct patios, casino business STATEWIDE is down over 20%(versus gamblers increasingly favoring casinos in other states, not to forget one IL casino laid off 30 people after the ban started), plus the Chicago Tribune had an infamous article last year about the fact that many bars ignore the state ban just to keep their doors open. In Ohio state, there is a well known website that documents all businesses that ignore their state ban(which is equally as strict as Illinois): http://www.smokechoke.com
What I think would be fair, is if businesses permitting smoking had to post clear exterior signage stating whatever their indoor policy was on smoking, and businesses had to disclose to employees on job applications and in interviews what their smoking policy was. That way, anyone sensitive to smoke would know what places not to patronize and/or apply for, and those who don't mind smoking(smokers, and anyone who isn't a militant anti-smoker) have places they can patronize as well. A total ban would unnecessarily take away the free choice of employees who freely want to work in smoking establishments(yes there are those out there who truly prefer working in such establishments, unlike what anti-smokers want you to think), and the right of those who want to gather together and patronize indoor establishments allowing smoking(not to mention entrepreneurs that run smoking establishments).
And who's to say there hasn't been at least some Atlanta bars and adult-only restaurants that choose freely on their own accord to ban smoking, after the state ban took effect years ago? I've seen similar effects in another city under a very similar smoking ban I visit more frequently than Atlanta(Indianapolis, which also like the state of Georgia, requires businesses permitting smoking to limit entry and employment to those 18 and older at all times), and MANY adult-only businesses there have chosen on their own accord to ban smoking, since this fair-minded ban took effect several years ago. It's probably good riddance that last fall, their city-county council(Indianapolis and Marion County merged their governments together long ago) voted against a proposal to ban smoking in all bars and adult-only restaurants. Stay free Atlanta, and don't go down the path of a total smoking ban.
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