Stop Bitching About Smoking Ban

RECEIVED Sat., Nov. 10, 2007

Dear Editor,
    Bring up the smoking ban at every possible opportunity ["Page Two," Nov. 9]! Most of us knew the death of live music due to the introduction of the smoking ban was almost as big a scare tactic as weapons of mass destruction, and linking it with the Noise Ordinance makes no sense. You know what the smoking ordinance did? People smoke less in the bars now, even in the ones that choose to ignore the statute. Nonsmokers can have a drink and dance (or tend bar or play music) and not be forced to step outside for air or hang their clothes out on the back porch. Those with asthma or allergies can go out for a night on the town. It was not just West Lake soccer moms who voted for the ordinance! For the last 500 years (until the last 20 or so) since the introduction of sweet American tobacco to Europe, the nonsmoker has had to tolerate smoke in every environment, work or play. Instead of still bitching about the smoking ordinance (lots of smokers have no problem with it), why not consider it good manners to smoke outside (because it is)?
Tim Pipe
   [Louis Black responds: Yes, I have issues with the smoking ban, as I do with most efforts to legally regulate personal behaviors. But the larger point here is that though the city testifies to its love of live music, it is constantly bringing new pressures to bear on the club owners who make live music possible. Regardless of the consequences of the ban, the stomach-churning pressure on many club owners was very real.]
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