Today’s P I has an article about bars where smokers can still go to smoke [#]. They’re calling them smoke-easies. Smoke-easies. For chrissakes.

I don’t know if you spend as much time in bars as I do–for your liver’s sake, I hope you don’t–but it shouldn’t come as any surprise to you that a whole lot of people have become really grumpy about the smoking ban. Smokers are a testy lot. Even I, a nonsmoker, feel that some bars are better when they’re smoky. (Have you been to the 5 Point in recent months? The Buckaroo? Hell, Linda’s? Certain bars are best seen through a haze.)

So it should come as no surprise that a few spots have become secret havens for smokers. Some of them have signals or secret rooms, but no special knocks yet. One bar I hang out in is small enough that the regulars are a known quantity, so some nights the ashtrays come out. If it bothered me, well, I guess I’d stop hanging out in dives and go down the street to the Frontier Room. But all that chrome and all those halter tops are scary, so for me an occasional little bit of smoke is an ok trade-off.

The P I was also nice enough to include a list of places that have been cited for smoking [#], so some amount of killjoys are out there reporting people to the board of health. (No more sneaking cigarettes at the Downtown Emergency Service Center, kids.) Seriously, they cited the Hookah Lounge? Are they joking? Who goes to a Hookah Lounge and is upset that there is smoke there?

There has got to be some sort of compromise possible that doesn’t involve using the word smoke-easy.

5 Comments so far

  1. Lisa the PRR Girl (unregistered) on May 31st, 2006 @ 2:28 pm

    Seattle should have done what my former hometown of Chicago has: instead of banning smoking in all public businesses, they outlawed it everywhere except for bars. This means that there will be no smoking in restaurants, but if you go to a bar, smoking patrons will be all around you. It’s a smart idea, if you ask me.

  2. Colin (unregistered) on May 31st, 2006 @ 3:49 pm

    Or here’s an alternative:

    They could leave it up to the bar/restaurant owners to decide whether or not they want to allow smoking.

    If smoking in a venue bothers them, non-smokers could go somewhere else.

    Everybody wins.

    I haven’t seen such a muddle-headed, stupid piece of mommy-knows-best legislation in this state in years.

  3. Lisa the PRR Girl (unregistered) on May 31st, 2006 @ 5:25 pm

    I don’t know about that muddle-deaded, stupid piece of mommy-knows-best legislation. I mean, people in the state of Washington allow their state government to control hard alcohol sales. I mean, you have to go to a state-controlled liquor store to buy your alcohol. I know many other states do the same or worse, but I still find that to be a farce that you can by fireworks in the state of Washington, but you have to go to a govt. controlled liquor store instead of being able to buy your alcohol at any grocery store. This to me does not make sense, but it’s the law in Washington.

    Of course one may think that this rant is off the topic, but it isn’t. The reason the smoking ban went into effect was to protect people from the effecs of secondhand smoke. The reason that the state controls the liquor stores is that they are trying to protect the people, in a way, from the effects of alcohol, and possibly as well as the secondhand effects of drunks and drunk driving.

    If this is the case, then what is the difference?

  4. Colin (unregistered) on May 31st, 2006 @ 11:24 pm

    Sounds high-minded, but I think it’s more that the state controls the liquor stores because it’s an extremely useful revenue stream for them.

  5. zee (unregistered) on June 2nd, 2006 @ 12:28 pm

    The state controls the liquor stores party because it’s an extremely useful revenue stream for them and also because it allows them to continue to prop up other Nanny laws like the ban against having nudity and alcohol together (I don’t know of any other state where the nudie bars aren’t allowed to sell alchohol, do you?) and it allows them to demand a fee from private citizens wishing to host large parties where alcohol is present. The Temperance Union lost the war all those years ago but we still live with the results of their victorious battles. I only “tolerate” this in the sense that I’ve never met enough people who understood why the State owning our liquor stores is a bad idea and cared enough to do anything about it.

    In any case, I believe that it is neither the State’s right nor privilege to protect me from myself if I choose to smoke (which I don’t) or drink (which I don’t do very often). The State’s obligated to look out for the best interests of those who are unable to do so (children, those who are prevented by their disabilities, etc.) and the State is obligated to look out for its own best interest (seatbelt laws, speed limits, etc.) but that’s it.

    Incidentally, the State control of liquor stores has NOTHING to do with preventing drunk driving. That’s addressed by the laws specifically against drunk driving, laws that exist in all those other states whose central governments don’t control the liquor stores. They sell whisky in the grocery stores in California but it’s still not legal to drive when drunk.

    If there must be a ban, everywhere but bars makes sense to me.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.