smoking ban: level up!


San Francisco smokers are already banned from lighting up inside restaurants, bars and public buildings. Now Supervisor Chris Daly is proposing tougher restrictions, including no smoking in taxicabs, at outdoor cafes, in lines at the ATM, at farmer's markets and within 20 feet of the entrance to businesses.

The city's Department of Public Health says there's no safe level of second-hand smoke. "There's been research that shows the exposure in outdoor areas. The levels can be as toxic as indoor levels," said Alyonik Hrushow from the San Francisco Health Department.

Smokers may feel like pariahs in this city, but according to the American Lung Association, San Francisco is behind other cities including Belmont, Berkeley and Ross when it comes to trying to limit second-hand smoke.

This will be a slight hassle for us at the club, since we'll have to make people move farther down the block to smoke, but that's fine with me, because I find it absolutely disgusting to have to walk through that gauntlet of stench on the sidewalk in front of the exit door.

You're welcome to smoke, and to play with your own poop. Just keep your smoke, and your poop, off of me.

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79 Responses:

    • lovingboth says:

      If people want to commit suicide, fine, but they should avoid taking other people with them. If they won't do that voluntarily, it's reasonable to make them.

      Are laws against drunk / drug driving 'fascist'?

      • deathcircle says:

        there's two issues here,

        criminalizing smokers as people; even without meaning to we are saying that these people are EVIL and WRONG and BAD, that's not really cool with me.

        secondly I think the 'facts' about second hand smoke are way overblown. it's funny that you mention driving because when i go outside i am much more concerned about inhaling car exhaust than i am second hand smoke of someone who is walking past a bus stop. lets stop pretending that second hand smoke outside is 'deadly' enough that we have to criminalize it's producers

        the real issue here is that i forgot that jwz is an angry old man

      • korgmeister says:

        I think this is one of those "sarcasm doesn't always work over text" things.

    • sammhain says:

      Spoken like a true addict.

  1. g_na says:


  2. bdu says:

    While I applaud and sympathize with the sentiment, this is *so* not going to last/be enforced. Well, OK, some properties might enforce it, but most will not, otherwise you'd end up with large areas where you can't get more than 20 feet from a business, and thus can't smoke at all. I can hear their smoke-roughened cries already...

    • drbrain says:

      It isn't enforced in Seattle. I'm not yet annoyed enough to figure out how to properly complain about it. Certainly not the coffee-shop baristas.

  3. temp_revenge says:

    And yet bums can spray diarrhea on the sidewalk and that's cool with the city.

  4. mc_kingfish says:

    OMG!! We're behind Belmont, Berkeley and _Ross_???

    Bah... Whatever. I sympathize with those who really can't stand the smell and all that, but geez... Talk about your Nanny State.

    Don't worry... Eventually you'll encourage them enough that they'll start legislating bans against things _you_ like to do.

    How about shitty Grandma perfume and Hippy stench. Shouldn't there be a _LAWWWW_ against that??

    And yes, they do both cause cancer, so _shh!_

    • jwz says:

      I am in favor of laws against stinky motherfuckers of all varieties. Though it's harder to justify on purely olfactory, rather than carcinogenic, grounds.

    • Grandma Perfume and Hippy Stench haven't been causally linked to hundreds of thousands of extremely expensive deaths per year. This isn't about nanny state, this is about me saying you can't fuck up your life on my dime.

      People who whine about the nanny state tend to be those who also expect the state to provide them with regulated hospitals and emergency services to transport them there and highways to provide the transportation and 911 lines to contact them.

      • bifrosty2k says:

        The state should provide roads and hospitals, not moral guidance.

        In Soviet Russia, 911 CALLS YOU!

        • Refer to previous "not on my dime" statement for this not being about moral guidance.

          • bifrosty2k says:

            I think we're vaguely agreeing about the nanny state thing...

          • baconmonkey says:

            I read some studies not too long ago that suggested unhealthy lifestyles are actually cheaper for the medical establishment, because people who don't die of smoking and/or weight related issues live longer, and end up requiring more advanced-age care.

            So from a savage libertarian economic standpoint, smoking should be encouraged.

            • jwz says:

              Surely it would be more economical to ban both smoking and motorcycle helmets.

              • cje says:

                After talking to many doctors and nurses, it seems to be agreed that helmets are bad because:
                1) they preserve only the head and brain when the rest of the body wants to die and;
                2) hospitals lose viable organs for transplant while they're tied up in people on lengthy, non-hopeful extended treatment.
                Oldsters in the ER say the system was better before the helmet law because it eliminated the waiting...

                Also, as a former smoker, I'm on your side about the smelliness. I didn't realize how really obnoxious the second-hand part was until I stopped.

                • mhoye says:

                  "donorcycles", they're called.

                  Recently, there was some concern that a helmet law passed (in Alberta, I think?) would cause the plentiful supply of donated organs to dry up, because that's where most of them came from.

                • cryocone says:

                  Also, as a former smoker, I'm on your side about the smelliness. I didn't realize how really obnoxious the second-hand part was until I stopped.

                  I don't mean to be rude, but how can you not realize?

                  Cheers for giving it up, though!

        • revglenn says:

          the stat should also provide security for the financial and physical wellbeing of those who do not engage in destructive, self destructive, and financially destructive behavior. the two primary purposes of government, after all, are to regulate the economy and protect it's citizens from harm due to the actions of other citizens or aliens. smokers are a drain on the economy on all levels except for the profits of big tobacco. it has nothing to do with moral guidance.

      • chuck4 says:

        > This isn't about nanny state, this is about me saying you can't fuck up your life on my dime.

        History will look back on this post as the Mrs. O'Leary's cow of the "no fatties" amendment.

        Not that there's anything wrong with that.

      • mc_kingfish says:

        Shh!! You're interrupting my whining!!

      • rapier1 says:

        Well, the only problem with this is that if *you* personally engage in any sort of risky behaviour whatsoever you are fucking up your life on my dime. Or at least on the dime of people that are in your insurance group. So be sure to take your vitamins, wear a helmet (at all times), don't drive, try not to walk, stay off of bicycles, and for the love of god stop touching yourself. Oh wait, that last one is okay.

      • frandroid says:

        I thought that the whole reasoning for banning smoking in public spaces was not to tell smokers not to poison themselves, but rather not to poison others around them. So it's really about saying "you can't fuck up my life on my dime".

    • bifrosty2k says:

      Don't worry... Eventually you'll encourage them enough that they'll start legislating bans against things _you_ like to do.

      I'm of that mindset too actually, I think banning things that are unpopular is stupid, and will lead to banning other things that I might enjoy. Think 2nd Amendment and Patriot Act...

      Think of what could happen if we banned stupidity, I'd have less people to make fun of!

    • lafinjack says:

      How about shitty Grandma perfume and Hippy stench. Shouldn't there be a _LAWWWW_ against that??

      If only.

      So, in your opinion, should I be allowed to eat copious amounts of Taco Bell and run around farting in peoples faces? That's a more direct comparison to smokers than granny fumes and hippie funk.

    • frandroid says:

      I sympathize with those who really can't stand the smell and all that

      "All that" is lung cancer from secondary smoke. If it's illegal for me to kill you with a gun, why is it legal for you to kill me with your cigarette? Murder-suicide is still murder.

  5. funjon says:

    I thought the current law -already- forbade smoking within 20' of entrances to businesses and public buildings.

  6. endquote says:

    Washington's got pretty much the same law, but aside from a lot more signs near building entrances saying not to smoke there, it's not really enforced.

  7. unwoman says:

    WORD. I appreciate your poop comparison because I consider 2nd-hand smoke very similar to someone else's shit.

    People smoking right outside cafes/restaurants are the worst IMO.

  8. bifrosty2k says:


  9. aliasrob says:

    Non smokers die every day.

  10. elevatordown says:

    Are you going to have a "non-smoking circle" painted in a 20 feet radius from the DNA entrance? Cause that would be kind of rad. Within the circle you could also paint some kittens and rainbows.

    • mc_kingfish says:

      I think there should be an inner-*inner*-circle for the smug and the outraged.

      And then more kittens (and rainbows.)

      heh heh

    • YES!!!!!!!!!

      (also, UNICORNS)

      (having buttsecks)

    • gryazi says:

      That is entirely not a bad idea; most smokers don't actively want to be assholes, but there's a herd thing -- if you see people smoking (and no signage to the contrary), you assume it's an acceptable place to smoke.

      In fact, to improve smoker herding, get one of those pole ashtrays and place it outside the circle, downwind for the particular night. Boom, everyone will know where to stand. (Note that said area should also be sheltered from rain, which is another reason why everyone huddles around entrances; modern buildings don't have awnings or overhangs anywhere else.)

  11. carbonunit says:

    Crackdown on noise pollution next. Close the damn clubs and get those noisy crowds of reprobates off our streets at night. Alcohol causes liver cancer. Drunks walk in front of traffic.

    • jwz says:

      You say that as if you think you have not described the way the laws about clubs already are.

      • carbonunit says:

        No, I've read with sympathy your comments about trying to deal with those laws, especially trying to get licensed for underage shows. But regulation engenders more regulation. The laws we like prop up the laws we don't.

        • flipzagging says:

          regulation engenders more regulation

          I see. So, the sheeple couldn't ever make intelligent distinctions? Laws just multiply, all by themselves, like rabbits?

          I mean, you assume that you know which laws are good and bad, but that nobody else can make this distinction, nor do they ever think carefully about such distinctions, nor do their differing conclusions matter.

          The laws we like prop up the laws we don't.

          But wait... by your reasoning, the converse is also true; the laws we don't like prop up the laws we do. Since it's obvious that we have to have at least a few laws against murder and such, the best solution is to have an infinite number of bad laws in order to "prop up" the others.

        • 205guy says:

          The laws we like prop up the laws we don't.

          You toss that out there like it's fact. Got any, and I mean any, non-a-priori reasoning to back that up? I tend to think that laws get passed when enough people get fed up with things, not when there are enough laws on the books already. I can see some political maneuvers such as vote-for-my-law-I-vote-for-yours deals, but I don't think that's the level you meant.

          • carbonunit says:

            How about this: The Australian federal government increased the tax on "alcopops", sugary drinks that club kids like, supposedly to price them out of harms way. Fair enough, I don't drink them. However, they then considered the possibility of raising the drinking age to 21, which would have closed my favourite pubs and music venues when their audience disappeared:


            Not a perfect example, because they didn't follow through with the increase of the legal drinking age. But, they seriously considered it for awhile, just because of the ridiculous "alcopop" business.

            Remember, laws are not passed by "people", they are passed by elected representatives.

    • jkow says:

      There's a difference with someone killing himself with drinking or smoking and someone killing someone else with drinking or smoking [or whatever]. It turned out, drunks mostly kill others when on the wheel, so that was forbidden, for smokers you may fill in. ;-)

  12. Imagine how people feel having to walk through the smell of your smug self-righteousness.

    • jwz says:

      I think you don't know what that words means.

      • Sure I do. I even used it appropriately.

        I could have left off smug, but it had a nicer onomatopoeia flair to it.

        • jwz says:

          No, you didn't.

          "Self-righteous" would be saying, "smoking is wrong, and you shouldn't do it."

          What I said is, "you stink, and I don't wish to stink, so please stop getting your stink on me." Those are two statements of fact followed by one request. There is nothing self-righteous about it.

          This has nothing to do with righteousness or morality. It has to do with me wanting you to leave me the fuck alone and keep your festival of carcinogenic stenches off of my body. What you do with your body is of no concern to me.

          • The first thing you said is more righteous than self-righteous, which comes with a certain level of intolerance towards others, ie how dare i have to tolerate others for the small amount of time it takes to walk in the door when i'm going to an inherently smelly place like a club. it would be like complaining about the smell of sweat when you went to a ministry show.

            • jwz says:

              If you think clubs are "inherently smelly", then you must only go to shitholes. We practice hygiene around these parts.

              • Nope, been to all manner of clubs and by the end of the evening you still smell like you've been to a club.

              • "Here's something that creeped me out, that I will also share with you: a moderately-sober-seeming girl in the audience dipping her finger into the wrestling pool and eating a big old blob of chocolate.

                Now, I realize that this club has, in no small degree, broken my mind. I wash my hands too often. I open the bathroom door with a paper towel. I saw some of my own behaviors in "The Aviator", and it concerns me. But I still can't let go of the chain of evidence in this case, and must assume that that tasty fingerful of chocolate came with a side-order of week-old vomit, Hepatitis and Chlamydia.

                People, please. Don't pick shit up off the floor and eat it. Especially this floor. You're giving me the willies." --jwz, 4/2005.

            • violentbloom says:

              I have a great deal of intolerance towards others; however, my hatred of cigarette smoke has nothing to do with that.

              I have asthma. I like breathing and not having to go to the hospital to continue doing so. I also would appreciate not getting lung cancer because of someone else's addiction, oh and not smelling foul is also a bonus.

              Smoking is an addiction that kills not only the person doing it but people who have had to breath it. It's really worse than herion. I mean I'd rather be jumped by a crack junkie which I would have some fucking hope of survival in which I could fight back, than to have lung cancer because someone else had an addiction and I had to walk through their sticky smoke cloud. At that point you don't even know which random idiots caused you to get sick and die.

              Oh and also IT SMELLS FUCKING AWFUL.

              And while I hate the stench of women with infections down there (uh honey that should not smell like rotting meat), it is unlikely it will kill me. And sweat and vagina rot don't smell nearly as bad.

              Not wanting to smell nasty and have lung issues because other people are fucking addicts, isn't really in the realm of righteous.

              At this point I get to go to clubs again because of the laws, which is great, but it's less optimal to have to actually hold my breath to get in the door, especially if there is a line and you have to wait in stenchy cloud.

              And it's also stressful to have to then smell like something that gives me asthma attacks. Well and it just fucking smells awful.

              Further unless sweaty guy is leaning on you, you're not going to have to bleach your fucking clothes to get the smell out.

        • perligata says:

          I think the word you want here is "assonance".

        • capo_mojo says:

          Apparently you also don't know what onomatopoeia means. Try looking up "alliterative" instead.

    • spendocrat says:

      I can't figure out if your icon is supposed to be ironic, or hypocritical.

    • rodgerd says:

      You may or may not have noticed, but Jamie is smug about everything from his taste in music to his programming skills. If "Jamie being smug" offends you, you've come to the wrong place.

      Some of us are here because we enjoy it, even if he does sometimes say rude things about stuff we like.

  13. lanikei says:

    can people there smoke in cabs?!??! is that normal?

    or is it the kind of thing where you can do it legally, but the cab companies don't let you?

    i don't really care about the no smoking laws, as an ex-smoker i've been on both sides and already blackened my lungs, but i'm surprised cabs would be willing to get the stanky stale smoke smell. ew.

  14. belgand says:

    Ultimately it's a law based on the fact that many smokers simply aren't being very polite. For some reason smokers don't seem to realize that people still have to walk through entrances and exits and by doing so they will often pass through a cloud of smoke. For some reason smoking immediately outside entrances seems to be amazingly popular for some reason without any regard to the above problems. Just move away from the entrance. It's not hard to do and it really shouldn't be a big deal. It's just common sense. This sort of law shouldn't even have to be necessary, but, sadly, it is.

  15. telecart says:

    As a non-smoker, I couldn't give a fuck if all smokers were dragged out to the street and shot.

    However, the libertarian in me finds it a bit hypocritical that people will not be allowed to smoke out on the street while factories and particularly automobile manufacturers, that are much more significant contributors to carcinogens (and smell) in our air are not held to the same standards. It's easier to go after the little guy(s).

    But then, California has also some serious emissions laws re: cars too if I recall, so maybe it's just the way the system found to avoid having to deal with a lot of top notch lawyers - go after the individual rather than the corporation.