July 25, 2007

Smoking ban takes effect in Illinois

I think it's really over-reaching and unjustified.

But what do you think?

I realize this is likely a futile effort, as those who don't smoke will simply say it's a good thing, ignoring the larger issues of individual rights, whether such a ban is justified or even needed, etc. and smokers won't like it.

But perhaps even some non-smokers out there might see where it could be considered over-reaching. After all, I'm not sure it's anywhere in the consitution that government should ensure that no one ever be annoyed at any time. (and arguing that non-smokers are harmed by "second-hand smoke" argument doesn't fly in my opinion. Not only is evidence sketchy at best, it's hard to see how anyone could be damaged in any substantial way by breathing some wisps of smoke from someone sitting far from them, or how they could be harmed by a venue such as the Mark having an outdoor smoking area.)

Anyone given this any thought?

Is it the job of government to be health zealots? Is it their job to ban anyone from freely choosing to smoke in public? Isn't the fact that smokers contribute literally hundreds of millions in taxes enough to make up for any possible cost to society from smokers?


At 7/25/2007 8:15 AM, Anonymous Josh Curren said...

What on earth do Democrats not understand about 'personal responsibility'?

I do not smoke. I don't really like the smoke of others. So, I CHOOSE not to go to places that are really smoky.

Illinois Democrats think that people are too stupid to make such decisions for themselves. Maybe we are - we keep electing people that run our state into the ground...

At 7/25/2007 8:38 AM, Blogger nicodemus said...

Governor Shitforbrains strikes again.

I think that this law goes too far. I quit 10 years ago, but the best smokes of all were the smokes that went with a beer, in a bar or a club. I think taverns should be the last frontier of smoking. If you can't smoke there, where can you smoke?!

I hope tavern owners don't enforce it. There has got to be a way around this stupid and intrusive law.

At 7/25/2007 8:38 AM, Blogger Peter said...

If the government was trying to be a health zealot, than they would probably get rid of those damn contracts that effectively sell our kids "diabetes dew" in school vending machines. Our kids are so fat they can't even get up to ask for more food because they conveniently call their parents with a cell phone.

If I was a smoker, I would probably think that I wouldn't even be able to buy cigarettes within the next 20 years, but if I was a rational thinker, I'd say the tax money the government gets from people's addiction is just to sweet (or smokey)

At the same time, I abhor walking out of a bowling alley or a bar that I've only been in for 45 minutes smelling like an ash tray.

This is just one of those issues that I have a hard time being opinionated about. A true rarity..

At 7/25/2007 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Smoking in public places is more than annoying to non-smokers. It is infringing on their rights to breathe clean air. Do pollution laws fall under your "health zealot" banner? If someone wants to smoke in their home and contaminate it, that's their right. But to say that this bill is taking away one person's right while failing to acknowledge the rights of non-smokers is cherry-picking on your part.

At 7/25/2007 10:41 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

No Anon, singling out one class of citizen or one behavior which already is the heaviest taxed and most abused class already, for using a legal substance for even further ostracism is "cherry-picking".

You can breath all the clean air you want, if you think you can find it... (good luck. Evidently you don't mind inhaling tailpipe fumes and chemicals, but tobacco smoke is just too much?)

No one forces you to be close to smokers. They already are treated like second class citizens and herded outside or into cramped and unpleasant places in order to smoke.

You have 99.99% of the freaking planet to breath your "clean air", yet that's not good enough?

The fact is that, until now, any establishment had the right and the freedom to choose whatever smoking policy they feel is appropriate for them. That seems right.

Now the government is telling taking that away from them.

Do you believe you have such an important right to go to a place that allows smoking that you endorse forcing the place to ban it just so you will be comfortable?

Last I checked, a vast majority of places already ban smoking, and most of the rest have smokers shoved off into the least pleasant areas. Bars are the last haven where it's open to smoke, but some bars were choosing to be non-smoking before this ban.

I fail to see why there is such an overwhelming desire to further abuse smokers, who after all, pay literally hundreds of MILLIONS of dollars a year in taxes (far more than even alcohol or gasoline. More taxed than anything else and continuing to go up.) to do something they enjoy and/or are hopelessly addicted to.

And the pompous majority non-smokers thinks nothing of banging them around like they have no rights whatsoever.

These bans have nothing close to any rationale as far as protecting non-smoker's health, the arguments simply don't hold up, and it has nothing to do with solving any problem related to smoking.

It's simply a lot of zealots who are determined to eliminate smoking altogether, and I suspect the insurance lobby who want to maximize profits and stop paying legitimate medical claims for smokers. And of course, politicians who see an easy bandwagon with an ineffective lobby against it. Who's going to stand up for smokers? Evidently not smokers, who know that it's unhealthy and annoys others, and are for the most part happy to go out of their way to try not to offend anyone and who subject themselves to every sort of humiliation, including standing in sub-zero weather in some filthy area where they're banished to.

Hospitals now don't allow anyone to smoke IN THEIR CARS in the parking lot. How is that related to offending someone else or second-hand smoke?

This ban also prohibits smoking outdoors. Can anyone tell me what harm is done to anyone by someone smoking outside at a public venue, or even more incomprehensible, at public parks, away from non-smokers?

It makes no sense, and I'd think that even non-smokers could see the unfairness and over-kill that this truly is.

If they want to eliminate smoking, fine. Just issue current smokers something like a prescription for them, impose a more modest tax, and then either ban cigarette sales to others outright, or charge $50 a pack. Simple.

But don't humilate and push around people who are already addicted and who ALREADY are banned from 99% of establishments and who ALREADY pay the highest taxes of any "sin tax".

Better get organized and start a group to ban flatulence. Or at least establish tooting zones in public places. After all, don't we have a right to breath "clean air"?

At 7/25/2007 12:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dope, please think of all the other atrocities that occur in this country and then TRY to tell me that smokers are the "most abused class."

I do mind breathing in car exhaust and other toxic fumes. We ought to support any legislation that reduces poisons in our air.

Oh, but those poor, poor smokers. You act like their a step away from being put in internment camps. You convienently forget that smoking is a choice. If you choose to smoke, you do so knowing full well the chances of addiction, the high prices and the measures you must go to in order to find a place to smoke. I have plenty of friends who smoke and I constantly hear the tell me about how much it sucks in the winter time to have to go outside to smoke. But they still do it. Why? Because they're addicted, not because it's fun.

And how is taxing the crap out of cigarettes and offering "prescriptions" NOT singling out smokers? Last I checked, they're the only ones who buy cigarettes. Charging them an arm and a leg for them seems to be a different means to the same end, which is to make IL more smoke-free. As for your ludicrous idea of prescriptions, who would you suggest write these prescriptions?

I will say, however, that in light of the state banning smoking in public places, they should also want to increase funding for programs that help people quit smoking. Perhaps this ban may encourage some people to give up a habit that damages those around them, puts money in the pockets of the tobacco execs who buy off politicians and, oh yeah, KILLS THEM.

The state isn't humiliating smokers. Show me a smoker who is humiliated by having to go outside to smoke, and I'll show you one who's ready to quit.

At 7/25/2007 7:35 PM, Blogger nicodemus said...

What is the House Bill number on this? I want to look up the roll call.
What the hell is the world coming to if a guy (or a gal) cannot "light up" at th local bar.

At 7/25/2007 8:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not fan of the smoking ban. If my spouse and I want to go to dinner with the kids, or out for a drink alone, we can pick or choose where we go. I have been to the former 3rd and 22 when it had the novelty of the only smokeless bar in the Illinois QC's and it was nice, but if I want to have a beer on a Sunday afternoon, why can't I stop at a local saloon whose patrons may like to have a cigarette or two. Its fruitless to argue at this point.

At 7/25/2007 11:01 PM, Blogger tiz said...

This is one of the handful of situations where I agree with the "conservative" idea of letting the market shake things out. As long as cigarettes are legal and you don't need a license to *allow* smoking at an establishment it should be up to the business whether or not to allow it. If I owned a bar in Davenport I would be very, very happy about the ban. Most of my smoking friends have already been reduced to closet smokers who can only do it at bars. I guess they'll have to take their smokes and money to Iowa.

At 7/26/2007 3:42 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...


You obviously have no clue what it's like for smokers, that much is clear from your comment.

Do you think everyone who smokes has started since they began herding them into little boxes and shoving them out in the cold?

The fact remains that we simply can't start going down the road of legislating to prevent any member of the public from making "bad" choices. Where will it end? Punishing people for marrying for money? Busting them for responding to e-mail from Nigerians?

And yes, smokers are abused, much more than you've obviously taken the time to realize. They're taxed exhorbanently and treated like freaks.

Experts state that tobacco is more addictive than heroin in many respects, yet you insist on banging the "choice" drum, having, I'm sure, never smoked yourself.

That's almost like believing homosexuality is a choice. (though not quite)

The fact remains that despite governments balancing their budgets (or trying to) with billions and billions of tax dollars paid by smokers and billions more paid by tobacco companies, any free programs to help smokers quit are rare or non-existent. Apparently not even a sliver of all the money smokers pay for smoking goes to trying to help them quit.

Yet the judgemental non-smoker sits there and acts like it's simply a choice to smoke, like whether to wear brown pants or khaki. That attitude belies a fundamental lack of understanding of the nature of being addicted to something harder to quit than heroin.

Not only have I heard it from those who study such things that it's tougher than heroin, but I had a friend that at one point was abusing every drug known to man, including cigarettes. He was shooting up cocaine and drinking like a fish, etc.

He cleaned up, went to AA (and still does after about 20 years sober) and kicked his drug habit.

He even went back to school and got his bachelors, masters, and went on to get his doctorate in substance abuse counseling. He's been a professor for many years and has traveled the world to speak at symposiums, etc.

Know what he reports was the very hardest thing to quit? The addiction that took the longest to overcome? Yep. Cigarettes.

So rather than being glib and judgemental, while fretting about some nearly non-existent threat to your health, why not adopt a more balanced and compassionate view and stop supporting the over abuse of smokers rights?

Face it, these groups won't stop until they've outlawed alcohol and tobacco, and unfortunately it's not hard, as no politician has the spine to stand up to them, as it's a losing position to even say "enough is enough".

Yet another example of the tyranny of the majority. Better be careful before they come after one of your guilty pleasures.

At 7/26/2007 9:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for the harm of second-hand smoke, we will have to agree to disagree. However, here are some facts from the American Lung Association:

Secondhand smoke has been classified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a known cause of cancer in humans (Group A carcinogen).2

Secondhand smoke exposure causes disease and premature death in children and adults who do not smoke.

Secondhand smoke contains hundreds of chemicals known to be toxic or carcinogenic, including formaldehyde, benzene, vinyl chloride, arsenic ammonia and hydrogen cyanide.3

Secondhand smoke causes approximately 3,400 lung cancer deaths and 46,000 heart disease deaths in adult nonsmokers in the United States each year.4

Nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke at work are at increased risk for adverse health effects. Levels of ETS in restaurants and bars were found to be 2 to 5 times higher than in residences with smokers and 2 to 6 times higher than in office workplaces.5

You should know better to try to compare the choice to smoke with homosexuality. We are not born with the desire to smoke.

For the record, both of my parents smoked when I was a kid. One parent quit smoking almost 20 years ago and the other still smokes. I watched one go through the very difficult process of quitting while the other was unable to. I am sympathetic to those who are truly addicted. But what you forget to address is the initial choice that one makes when they take that first cigarette. I can't tell you how many smokers I've met who regret ever starting. I have a friend right now who is trying to quit and I see first-hand how hard it is for her. But it's not like she didn't know that smoking was dangerous or additctive to begin with. Most of my smoker friends are in their late 20's. The addictiveness of smoking is something that was a commom fact since they were 5. And even the tough restrictions as to where one can smoke have been in place for over 10 years now, about the same time as these people were becoming of legal age. Now I know that there are plenty of smokers out there who are older and began when the facts were less prevalent, but the facts about the damage it is doing to other people has also come to light since then.

To be clear, this is not a law that outlaws smoking. Last I checked, smokers can still smoke all they want in their homes(or the homes of anyone who allows it), their cars or in tobacco shops. I would not be in support of a law that outlaws smoking altogether. I am supportive of a bill that allows non-smokers the freedom to go into a public place and not have to worry about some one else's choice affecting their health. I am supportive of pregnant women, asthma sufferers, people with allergies or other respitory conditions, children and anyone else who doesn't wish to have someone else's will (or addiction) forced upon them. I believe that is being compassionate

At 7/26/2007 2:49 PM, Anonymous yinn said...

In DeKalb, a smoking ban was passed last year. Smoking has not been allowed in restaurants since September 2006 and the ordinance ordered a ban in bars by September 2007.

I opposed the ban, because there were already smoke-free establishments in town, listed on an "honor roll" maintained by the county health dept. at its website. I also thought a "carrot" could be tried first, to get more bars to go smoke-free. Lastly, I thought maybe the city should have been focusing on stuff that was more their purview.

I smoked for 12 years but now find cig smoke to be incredibly irritating, head stopped up, the works. Even though I opposed it, the ban is a relief and I go out more often than I did a year ago.

At 7/26/2007 11:47 PM, Blogger Craig said...


The thing that is over-reaching is other's smoke in my lungs. I am so happy that I do not have to deal with the disgusting habits of others. The only smoking area in the QC that I like is Hardee's (they have a glass room just for smokers.) It is like a big cancer box, it is great! I was already happy to be going to smoke free Springfield, but now I can look forward to smoke free Moline when I return!

At 7/27/2007 4:38 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I'd like to think of the American Lung Association as a reputable and credible source of information, though it's not as though they don't have an extremely vested interest in the anti-smoking campaign.

Those facts may well be true, though they likely don't include evidence and other studies which might seem to contradict them, or at least not find them conclusive.

But even if you stipulate that second hand smoke poses some vague and minor harm to those who only occasionally are subjected to it, I still maintain that it wouldn't justify the onerous and over-reaching measures just enacted.

As I said, how can it be justified to ban smoking in public parks??

At 7/27/2007 4:39 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Craig, so happy you're revelling in the suffering of others. Very comendable.

Good luck insulating yourself from the habits of others.

At 7/27/2007 11:58 AM, Blogger illinidem said...

I do think there’s a certain hypocrisy in banning smoking in all public areas while at the same time balancing budgets on the backs of these same people. However, I have a hard time feeling sympathy for the “aggrieved”.

In addition to the stats on second hand smoking above, the burden that smokers place on the health care system are significant. According to the New England Journal of Medicine and UC Berkley, annual health care costs directly attributable to smoking are $72.8 billion with more than $13 billion being paid to Medicaid alone. Additional costs due to lost productivity (smoke breaks) and increased absence from work due to susceptibility to pulmonary infection add to the hidden costs of smoking.

I’m not saying that there isn’t hypocrisy at work. For instance, the costs of obesity are also very high and I don’t see anyone trying to tax the fatties (me included).

The specifics of the law do seem overreaching. I agree that the harm of smoking outside seems pretty ludicrous when contrasted with the Bush Administrations “Clear Skies” initiative. The larger point is that government is trying to make it as difficult as possible to smoke while not having the guts to eliminate it altogether.

At 7/27/2007 1:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I am often in agreement with you, but I have to disagree on this, for many of the reasons mentioned above in the comments. I do have an urge to oppose a smoking ban on the basis of individual freedom, but I believe that legislatures need to balance smokers rights with the rights of others. Is it fair to force non-smokers to "choose" to stay home from the bars because the vast majority of them allow smoking? The libertarian boogeyman is that smokers will be trapped in their homes, unable to smoke anywhere else. Even if that were the case, I think it is more fair to trap smokers in their home for their own choice than to traps non-smokers in their home as a result of someone else's choice.

I also do want to respond specifically to the following in your 4:38 AM post:

"Those facts may well be true, though they likely don't include evidence and other studies which might seem to contradict them, or at least not find them conclusive."

This is the kind of statement that opponents of a strong response to climate change use, which sows doubt on what is a scientific reality, as illustrated in An Inconvenient Truth. If you know of evidence that contradicts the statements of the American Lung Association, fine, then post it. But merely inserting a possibility of disagreement in the scientific community is irresponsible, and not a productive part of debate.

I have to post as anonymous because my password isn't working (or I have forgotten it) but I will sign here in the text box:


At 7/28/2007 7:40 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...


I'd suggest that any additional costs to the public health system directly attributable to smoking is more than off-set by the enormous amount of taxes they pay.


I don't have the stats in hand, nor do I care to look them up. I see your point about the similarity to global warming arguments, however, I think that this situation is not comparable.

Global warming either is or is not occuring. Second-hand smoke health hazards depends on thousands of variables, and it's not solid science.

Of course if you're locked in a closet that's full of smoke for 12 hours a day, yeah, you're likely to be at risk of some smoking related problem.

But if you're sitting 20 ft away from someone smoking a cigarette for 5 minutes, then no, I don't think you have any right to say you're health is injured, and certainly not enough grounds to justify denying people the right to smoke in segregated situations such as that.

And again, how does the second-hand smoke argument factor into bans on smoking outdoors? It doesn't.

My point is that smokers have been asked and forced into segregated circumstances, and they've complied. I feel that's more than enough of a compromise and think that this over-reaching measure is simply carrying things beyond reason and far past the point of any fairness or reason.

At 7/28/2007 8:44 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

One more point....

Before this ban:

Non-Smokers could choose to go to any number of smoke free establishments, of which there were many, a majority I'd say, and the number was growing.

Smokers could choose to patronize establishments which allowed them to smoke.

After this ban:

Non Smokers can go anywhere. Establishments are being FORCED to accomodate them and their wishes.

Smokers have exactly no where to go where they're allowed to smoke. They have had all choice and every option taken away from them.

How is this in any way fair, democratic, or reasonable?

Why not bring back prohibition so people who don't like being around drunken people or alchol can go to bars? After all, it's a rock solid fact that alcohol costs society mulitiple times what smoking does. And alcohol is lightly taxed compared to cigarettes.

At 7/29/2007 7:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problemwith questioning the statistics, such as those from the American Lung Association, is that of course their research isn't based on being locked in a room for 12 hours with second-hand smoke. The research concluded that "The scientific evidence indicates that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke." and that "Breathing secondhand smoke for even a short time can have immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and interferes with the normal functioning of the heart, blood, and vascular systems in ways that increase the risk of a heart attack."

Source: http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/secondhandsmoke/factsheets/factsheet6.html

I agree that outdoor bans probably go too far, although if there isn't going to be an outdoor ban I would suggest a serious increase in the enforcement of littering ordinances. (For some reason many smokers cannot understand that the world is not their personal ashtray).

In the end, this is not a personal freedom issue, as you have been framing it. It is a public health issue, and the rights of non-smokers in this context, to me, are more important than those of smokers.


At 7/29/2007 7:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I forgot to add, the public health concern is where your analogy to alcohol fails an actually helps support my side.

The act of imbibing alcohol one booth over does no damage to me.

It is the behavior and choices of drunken people (such as brawling and drunk-driving) that could possibly do me harm.

And it is those activities that can do me harm which are prohibited, and likewise so should exposing me to secondhand smoke be prohibited.


At 7/30/2007 11:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


What about all of the working men and women at these restaraunts and bars that have to be subjected to smoke 40 hours a week? Some less-sensative folks may say they shouldn't work there, but many times they don't have a choice.

At 7/30/2007 12:48 PM, Anonymous yinn said...

One more thing about the DeKalb ban. Council members who voted for it cited concerns about restaurant & bar employees, because unlike the patrons they were exposed to the smoke constantly and finding smoke-free employment may not have been possible.

At 7/30/2007 6:24 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I must be less sensitive. They obviously can work elsewhere.

No one is sensitive to how difficult or nearly impossible it is for some people to stop smoking, or how uncomfortable it is for those addicted to have to go without smoking, even in designated areas, while relaxing in a public place such as a bar.

At 7/30/2007 9:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sensitive to the fact that it is difficult to quit. But as someone above mentioned, many of the people you are talking about started smoking after the addictiveness and health threats were made public.

I believe that many smokers are victims of targeted advertisements and significant social pressure, but they did make the choice to start. Maybe the ban is reason and incentive to start enjoying evenings out without lighting up?


At 7/31/2007 10:28 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

That's the logic of the non-smoker.

But it's a falsehood that is very bitter to anyone who's smoked.

The fact of the matter is that raising taxes on cigarettes until they're near the point where it will generate a huge black market does nothing but provide an easy, unimaginative revenue source for government, hence their willingness to go back to that trough over and over again thoughtlessly.

The fact of the matter is that, rather than causing smokers to quit, instead, smokers, who in general tend to be less affluent to begin with, are instead faced with spending even more money that they can ill afford to spend on the object of their addiction.

It's a very negative tax in that respect. And of course, for the wealthy, it's felt very little, if at all.

I have never seen any study on the link, if any, between raising taxes and people quitting smoking, but I would wager that if there were any such studies that showed that it was effective, we would have heard about it long and loud by smoking ban proponents.

If smoking addiction is so powerful that people who have tracheotomies due to damage to their throats caused by smoking continue to smoke through the hole in their necks, do you think that raising the cost of a pack of cigarettes is going to make them stop?

And again, why a total ban? Why an end to the current policy of segregation? And even more baffling, why a policy which bans smoking EVEN OUTDOORS in parks?

The fact of the matter is that those who don't smoke are happy when smokers get further discriminated against, as it's no loss to them and they are happy not to have to see any evidence of smoking or ever smell any smoke.

That's understandable. But it requires that they not be concerned that these measures go far beyond any resonable compromise in order to allow non-smokers to go about their business undisturbed by smokers and places yet more burdens and inconvenience on smokers who's apparent sin is to have simply started smoking an addictive product.

As I've said before, a FAR more rational approach would be for current smokers to be issued some sort of prescriptions for their cigarettes, and prevent anyone from taking up the habit. As far as public health goes, a continuation of the current segregation and preserving the rights of business owners to set their own smoking policies is perfectly reasonable and fair.

The latest measures go far beyond anything which is either justified or which respects, even minimally, the rights of smokers.

At 7/31/2007 10:41 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

And to throw out another aspect of this argument, consider that the state is giving preferential treatment and exempting gambling establishments and apparently strip clubs from this ban.

It also exempts so-called private clubs.

This will likely spawn businesses to employ a legal dodge similar to clubs who allow drinking after hours by calling themselves a club and not selling alcohol, but allowing "membership" to be bought with a cover charge and allowing patrons to bring in their own alcohol while selling the mixers and ice, etc.

Some owners will likely turn their bars or restaurants into "private clubs" somehow and then allow smoking. I hope so.

I'd imagine that this will happen more in and around Chicago and other larger cities, and unfortunately, I doubt it will happen much around here, as I'm not sure that businesses will suffer any preciptious loss of business. (though that's hard to tell... evidence is mixed in other areas where such a draconian ban has gone into effect.)

A helpful reader who brought this wrinkle to my attention believes that this might even lead to bars and restaurants not only becoming so-called "private clubs" but adding some form of gambling and strippers to the mix.

Maybe every dark cloud has a silver lining after all?

At 8/01/2007 10:54 AM, Blogger Robbie C. said...

Dope your stance on this issue is deplorable.

You are weighing the rights of smokers vs. the rights of non smokers. YOu are weighing the rights of the few against the rights of the many.

You constantly hide behind all the other problems in this country as justification why smoking shouldnt be banned. We shouldn't shy away from solving this problem just because we haven't solved industrial pollution, obesity, and AIDS. We should attack issues that we can. This is such an obvious solution.

The sad thing about this issue is that it directly hurts so many others. When we talk about people drinking, over eating, doing drugs, etc... those are all issues that only harm that person. Yet with smoking, I have to suffer health issues because of you.

You sit there and bitch about all the freedoms that smokers deserve and how they should be able to go into whatever restaraunt they desire. Well what about my desire to go to restaraunts and bars and public places without sufficating?!?!?!?!?! I guess non smokers are just second class citizens.

People in this world are persecuted for all kinds of horrible things. But guess what? If you don't want to be singled out by this, then don't smoke. It's as easy as that. And don't give me all that shit about how hard it is to quit and how addicting it is. I have ZERO sympathy? Why? Because every human on this planet has the choice to start. Whether one started smoking at 11 to look cool or at 21 when they went to the bar too much, it was their choice. Just as it was my choice to avoid it. The other thing to remember is that it is not impossible to quit. Anyone that truly wants to can do it. People are just ignorant and lazy. Unfortunately, this blog seems to be a bastion for that.

Feel free to censor any more posts that you want from me. I will just call you qcmediaghost jr.

At 8/02/2007 6:36 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Robbie, ya lost my attention when you tried to assert that alcohol only hurts the person drinking it.

That's... well.. nuts.

At 8/02/2007 11:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well way to go Blago! I now propose "Toner free IL" How about "Twinkie Free IL?" How about "Government makes all your decisions, IL" What happened to the Nation that advocates Choice? I don't smoke but I think it should be business owner and consumer CHOICE. I see all these smoking bans as another way in which Government intrudes on our lives and opens doors for them tosomeday determine what you can have, not have or do in your home and car. After all, for some rich folk who can afford staff, doesn't their home become a place of business now? When I read that the basis for the smoking ban was in part "Imminent Domain", I wrote letters imploring that these health decisions be left to we the consumer and not to the officials in GOVT. NO one advocates smoking is a good idea but neither is eating too much McDonalds. For all those that argue for the Smoking Bans, sooner or later, Govt will try to ban something YOU like. I'm for personal responsibility, personal choice and less Government interference into every day lives. Onward now to French Fry Free IL..

At 8/03/2007 7:11 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Or an issue which would get any politician 90% of the vote: Enact a law forbidding more than three 30 second commercials in a row, and limiting commercial breaks to one every 15 minutes.

It's getting to the point of ridiculousness as it is. And what happened to the concept that if the public PAID to receive programming, it would have little or no advertising?

Wasn't that the idea? Now we are in the possition of paying, and paying way too much, for the honor of having endless inane commercials piped into our homes.

The cable providers get millions a month for subscriptions, and even more millions from advertisers.

Something is fundamentally wrong.

I knew the country had officially gone nuts when it became popular several years ago to pay premium prices for designer shirts, jeans, etc. which were nothing more than walking billboards for the designers.

Nice trick. Get the rubes to pay through the nose for the chance to advertise your product.

Now we pay exorbanent fees for the right to be assaulted with 25 commercials an hour. Though I haven't checked, I wouldn't doubt that there's at least as much time spent on commercials as actual programming. It's gotten completely out of control.

A politician who steps up and regulates this bane to society will be a hero to everyone. (except maybe the cable interests that likely give him thousands of bucks in campaign cash.)

At 8/03/2007 3:14 PM, Blogger Robbie C. said...

Dope, I don't see what is wrong with my assertion. When has drinking itself harmed anyone aside from the drinker?

I am assuming you are trying to tie the conenction with all the unfortunate drunk driving accidents to consuming alcohol. That is an unfortunate result of mixing alcohol with stupidity. But I could drink all day every day until my liver exploded, and it wouldn't hurt anyone around me. Drunk driving is the result of dumb Americans.

A lot of my hippy pot smoking friends always make note of that. WHy don't we hear more about stoned people getting in accidents? Because they are busy sitting on a couch eating cheetos!

But all of this is aside the point. I will go back to the initial statement I made. Alcohol, over eating, drugs, etc... do not directly effect others. There are certainly secondary effects that can happen. For instance, someone starts to steal so they can afford drugs. But those are not direct effects. Whereas with smoking, by simply being around that person, I am being harmed.

Besides, that sentence was like halfway through my comment. You didn't have anything whitty to reply to the rest? C'mon ghost, i mean dope, let's hear it!

At 8/04/2007 8:33 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Yeah Robbie, you're right. A mother can drink herself stupid every night, neglect the kids, destroy the marriage, a father can get drunk, beat his wife to death, abandon the family, lose his job, get into fights, yeah, you're right, it doesn't affect anyone but the person doing the drinking.

And that little thing about causing death and destruction on the road, but that's no biggie.

Good lord.

At 8/04/2007 12:30 PM, Blogger Robbie C. said...

Wow, you really are as thick headed as everyone says... How many times do I have to say that I am not talking about what happens as a result of actions. If that were the case, then about everything we do can have secondary, tertiary, and infinite-ary effects. Do people get liquored up and get stupid? Of course. Do people get jacked up on caffeine and run around like idiots. Sure. Do people neglect their kids so they can go out and try to get laid? All the time... Bad decisions are made every day with or without alcohol. I am not denying the fact that alcohol seems to mix very well with stupid people.

Here's what I am saying. If I go to a restaurant and a person is drinking, that harms no one but the person drinking. If I go into the very same restaurant and that same person is smoking, he is not only harming himself, but also me.

You can avoid the actual argument and play semantics all day, but you are way off on this one.

P.S. this is my last comment. This blog is just way too slow in developing. PLus I always have to post my comments like 7 times. I hope someday you get around to a better system, this one sucks.

At 8/06/2007 3:00 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...


What a shame.

First of all, I was supposed to know the little nuance of what you meant how??? I'm assuming you meant that drinkers didn't affect anyone else at all, and somehow I was supposed to telepathically suss out that you meant only those in the immediate vicinity?

If there's anything in your comments that made that clear, I missed it.

Secondly, sorry to see you go, but thanks a lot for taking the time to take a little parting shot.

It never ceases to amaze me how people can be so incredibly demanding and critical about something for which they pay not one penny, and for which I receive nothing in return but grief, criticism, and frustration.

The latter is likely the reason this blog doesn't develop at a speed to your liking.

Run a blog for a few years, then we'll talk.

At 8/13/2007 10:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course smoking is a choice but so is choosing to go into a restaurant or bar that allows it or choosing to go down the street to the one that doesn't. I think one of the most disturbing things I've heard during these debates is being told "workers, patrons have NO CHOICE." Well of course they do. We always have choices. I am not a smoker but since America has always advocated "choice" for individuals and "get your laws off my body", I really don't see why this issue has become the poster child for something in which there suddenly are NO choices and those evil smokers are DESTROYING the health of us poor non smokers. Our cars, printers, place of businessess etc. etc. pump pollutants into the air every day and our cars probably effect our "clean air" a heck of a lot more than a puff of smoke. If a business owner goes out of his way to accomodate both sets of patrons by providing a well ventilated place to smoke and a well protected place for the non smoker, then what is the harm? People decide. Business owners decide. Seems good to me.

The other thing that really gets my goat is that we have forgotten that these "evil" smokers are our friends, our brothers, our parents, and our neighbors. These are PEOPLE we are talking about, not the scurge of the Earth. Can we not discuss without the name-calling?

I was saddened by this ban. I am more saddened by discussions of docking the overweight employees paycheck until they return to a healthy weight, trans fat bans, and fat taxes which our gateway smoking ban helped create. Is this the America we REALLY want? How long is it going to be before something YOU care about is attacked and YOU become the unsightly blight on society because of your choices? Please, none of us are perfect. It takes a little compromise to get along and a little faith that we as individuals can make our own choices in how we deal with eachother.

Finally, I really have no statistics but I would really like to know how many deaths yearly are a result of drunk driving since Robbie said alcohol didn't really harm anyone else, and how many deaths yearly are PROVEN to be due to second hand smoke since no one really knows what CAUSES cancer vs increasing risk for cancer.

I apologize for the lengthy comment. America is supposedly free. Unfortunately, there are always clouds to our silver lining liberties. I don't agree with the KKK but I wouldn't ban them. The same right that protects my right to comment to this post, protects their right to speak. I just don't have to listen.

At 12/27/2007 2:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes! I love the smoking-ban. Breathing fresher air is amazing. Go ahead and ban alcohol too. As for other pollution, like coal, oil and gas, nuclear..those should all be banned too in the future. Technology exists for free energy, 0% pollution. It is only a matter of time. But for now, this is an amazing first step, that will directly increase the quality of life for millions of people, and encourage more spending etc.

At 12/27/2007 2:23 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 2:09

Either you're being hilarously sarcastic or you've been hitting the Egg Nog too hard. ;-)

At 1/02/2008 5:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a smoker, smoking should be banned in certain places. Anywhere enclosed that kids may be, resturants parks etc. But in bars? Outside? come on how stupid is that, the bar that i go to damn near everyone smokes, even some of my friends only smoke when they drink. I think that a lot of bars are going to lose business now because of this, i wouldnt mind going into a bar and not smoking if i could go outside and smoke but i cant even do that. This law is messed up. So now i have to go out to work every day for 9-10 hours till i get home to have a cig. man ill tell u there is going to be a lot of crabby employees at work. I work directly with the public and when i get a nasty customer i really need a cig to calm me down so i dont lose my temper, this is the dumbest thing i have ever heard of.

At 1/02/2008 5:53 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 5:02

I agree entirely, for the reasons you list and more.

It's WAY beyond reason and amounts to tryanny of the majority trampling on the legitimate rights of a minority.

And it would NEVER have a chance of suceeding were it not for the fact that the insurance companies are the ones who want to continue to ban smoking in order to boost their profits and cut losses. They put the money in legislators pockets and the puppets dance.

At 1/21/2008 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today is MLK day...what do we celebrate on MKL day? Freedom of Blacks from segragation....fredom to eat at the same restraunts as everyone else, to use the same restrooms as everyone else, to drink from the same water fountains as everyone else, swim in the same public pools...is it any different to ban smokers from the same benefits of a particular establishment? What would happen if the black smokers would rise up and mention something to this effect? Smokers are punished for smoking so we are punished, we can still visit any establishment we choose as long as we leave our smokes behind....much like blacks could visit any establishment they chose if they would leave the black behind as well....we all have choices....as long as its OK with Gov Blowjobovich

At 1/21/2008 10:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

20% of the people living in Illinois smoke cigarettes (this is legal)....44% of the people living in Illinois smoke marijuana (not legal)lets concentrate our efforts on the illiegal and non taxed issues instead of the multi million dollar a year revenue producer.


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