Cough that fresh bar air.
CNN says second hand smoke is hurting everyone. I found the article in the "Duh" section.
The EPA blames 3,000 deaths in the US per year on second hand smoke. Some studies suggested as many as 35,000 deaths/year in the 80's at the height of public smoking. Lung cancer, blah blah blah. Non-malignant respiratory disease blah blah blah. We all know that second hand smoke is not high on the list of good things to eat.
As conscious employee of the Blue Note for over three years now I can tell you that a public no smoking ban is long overdue. I can tell a difference in my body when I haven't worked in a week or more, and in the day after my first night back. When I have a week off I notice I have less junk to clear out of my throat during my morning routine. The morning after the first night back I will be hacking happy little puss nuggets all morning and sometimes into my workout. After a few days off, the first night back is usually accompanied by nausea, burning eyes, and a headache. I must shower when I get home; last time I didn't shower after work (it was 3 AM, I was tired), I woke up in the middle of the night and puked. I promptly washed the ashtray smell out of my hair and slept like a baby until morning. And so on.
On many occasions I have not joined my friends at a bar just because I don't want to drink/dance in the cancer cloud that they call a good time (bar owners read: you're losing money). Quinton's is the most frequently skipped. Quinton's has everything I could want, good prices, knowledgeable bar staff, respectable service, and a good atmosphere. I love Quinton's when there aren't many people there, but Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night I look in the window and keep riding my bike (I never walk) past the haze to a place with less business or less smoke. You see, a lot of people share my affinity for Quinton's and a good percentage of them smoke. I would go to a bar for one drink more easily if I didn't have to worry about smoke. I'm not the only one. Bars are losing money on many people like me.
Only the ignorant smokers would bitch. I've spoken with many smokers that are in favor of a no smoking ban. It would only be tough for a few weeks then everybody would get used to it and happiness would ensue.
I'm in a tough spot though, because I really feel it should be the bar owner's decision to allow or ban smoking in their establishment. However, they aren't doing anything (exceptions include Flat Branch and Addison's). The economics of the whole situation strays away from discrete if some bars allow smoking and some don't. To be fair, a ban for smoking must be all or nothing, and nothing would be for the greater good. So, come on city council...let's make it happen. I figure first Columbia, then the rest of Missouri. Sorry bar owners, you aren't moving fast enough, it's time for the government to step in.
Maybe I should be getting active. I have done a little, signing petitions and supporting volunteers that I see downtown working toward this goal. I have talked to the owner of my bar about the issue. Maybe it's time to start bugging him.
If nothing changes, when I graduate I will definitely consider jobs in the 15 states that have smoking bans in the books. Yes, it's that big of a deal to me, I've had to put up with it for 3 years and I've lived in places where you can go to a bar and come home smelling like an alcoholic, not an ashtray. Don't forget, almost all reports add that the effects are severly harmful to children. I'm not bringing my kids up in a haze of malignant fog (or in bars if you were wondering). In other words, I'm living in pagan mess, but I've been to the holy land and seen the light. I hope city council or bar owners will obtain enlightenment soon.
I just coughed.
Only two links, both from Wikipedia:
Side note: if you haven't discovered Wikipedia yet, you are missing out. The bottom lines are: It's free. It's constantly being updated by people who use it; it contains current pop culture. It's becoming very large and quite thorough. It's free. Link here: Wikipedia