[Vision2020] Public Smoking

Saundra Lund v2020 at ssl.fastmail.fm
Mon Jun 22 15:11:13 PDT 2009

LOL - this discussion is getting pretty interesting because I think folks'
biases - or perhaps ignorance -- is showing.


For instance, how many of you who think the City should ban smoking in bars
have also signed on to fight grass field burning, which is a major health
problem in Eastern WA/Northern Idaho?  If not, why haven't you?  Is it
because you have Michelle Bachmann tendencies:  while there are
alternatives, burning grass fields is "natural," so it can't be harmful?
Or, is it because you want to make some artificial distinction between the
necessity of the economic "health" of big growers as opposed to the economic
"health" of local small business owners?  Or, is it because you think it
fair to pick on people - and businesses - that advocate a lawful activity
because your way is the only right way?


Also, how many of you have bothered to let the City Council know you object
to the very real problem in some neighborhoods from campfires or bonfires?
In those cases, truly innocent property owners and tenants are prevented
from the enjoyment of their homes & yards when people burn.  If you don't
think it's an issue, get out of your little bubbles where "tobacco smoke is
the only evil smoke" to talk to the parents of kids who can't play outside,
or to the people who can't open their windows for cooling or ventilation
when neighbors are partying with fire.  Why have you targeted local small
businesses that provide a venue for legal adult recreation while turning a
blind eye to those who are harmed in their own homes or yards through the
unhealthy behavior of their neighbors?


It's interesting when that very real problem has been brought up, it's been
dismissed by Council members.  It will be instructive to see exactly what
position the Council takes on banning smoking in bars when they've blatantly
ignored the very real health consequences for people in their own homes and
yards when neighbors burn for pleasure polluting entire neighborhoods -
perhaps their biases will show as well.


To me, this is really a no-brainer, and it's not a solution any of you who
seem to be in favor of banning smoking in bars have addressed:  if there's
adequate support for those who want smoke-free bars, start your own instead
of insisting on gambling with the economic livelihoods of local small
business owners.  Put your money on the line rather than theirs -- or try to
sell them on the idea because there's no law on the books preventing anyone
who wants to own & operate a smoke-free bar or tavern from doing so now.  If
you're right about your speculation, how is that not a win-win situation?
And, if you're wrong, then you've only lost your own money rather than
forcing the economic destruction of those who don't share your ideas.


Here's a question:  what happens when at least some of those who want the
City to ban smoking in bars & taverns aren't happy when they get their way
but some of their coveted venues opt to go the private club route to
continue allow smoking?  What's their next move to force all of us to bend
to their will???


In another post, Tim wrote:

"Will business be lost to other locales?  Pullman and all of WA is smoke
free, isn't it?  I guess maybe the college kids and other patrons who smoke
could drive to Troy, Lewiston, Genesse, Potlatch, or elsewhere.  Risk a DUI
though, I doubt it."

Three points about that comment.


First, why the assumption that those who go to bars, including smokers, then
drive drunk?  While I don't go to bars much at this point in my life, I sure
used to, and never once have I risked a DUI leaving one.


Second, perhaps you're too young to know this, but there was a period of
time when Moscow bars did a booming business from college students when the
drinking age here was lower than in Pullman!  Also, I know quite a few
people - college-age & older - who choose to visit Moscow bars precisely
because they can enjoy smoking with their beverages.  So, I think it's a
pretty safe assumption that if Moscow bans smoking in taverns & bars, that
business will be lost back to Pullman establishments.


Given the current perception of many in this community that our current
council is nothing if not helpful to business across the state line, I
personally can't help but wonder if this is just another case in point?


Third, while I don't visit bars much, if Moscow opts to ban smoking, I will
definitely take my very limited business to bars that better suit my needs -
I always enjoy visiting our surrounding communities, and I'd definitely be
willing to do so in order to be able to enjoy a cigarette with my glass of
wine.  And, I'd likely find new restaurants to enjoy as well if I need to
leave Moscow to enjoy a cigarette with a glass of wine before dinner.
Granted, the loss of my puny bar business isn't going to hurt any local
establishment, but in chatting with other local smoker friends, they have
pretty much the same attitude I do.


I think some have tried to make the point that in locales where smoking has
been banned from bars, business has actually improved.  I've talked with
friends who own bars in some of those areas, and the real-life feedback I've
gotten has been mixed, but none of them consistently saw an increase in
business that stayed up, and quite a few saw decreases.  In fact, a couple
went under.  However, the universal comment has been that this is a crazy
time to even contemplate such a change with the tough economic times.


Indeed, wasn't there an article sometime in the last few months about the
challenges area bars were facing with the current economic hardship (thanks
again, Bush)?


So, I really think it's disingenuous for folks to try to "sugar coat" the
economic hardship on local bars & taverns from a City ordinance banning
smoking in those establishments, particularly at this time.



Saundra Lund

Moscow, ID


Well-behaved women seldom make history.

~ Laurel Thatcher Ulrich


***** Original material contained herein is Copyright 2009 through life plus
70 years, Saundra Lund.  Do not copy, forward, excerpt, or reproduce outside
the Vision 2020 forum without the express written permission of the






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