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The Great Debates Smoking in
Restaurants


Reader Feedback:
I agreed wholeheartedly with your comments regarding smoking ruining an otherwise delightful experience. My husband and I feel exactly the same way and pity those who cannot last half an hour without smoking. We often wonder if these addicted smokers could see someone dying of emphysema or lung cancer (as we did when my father-in-law died three years ago) whether they would still smoke. Probably. Self-immunity. Anyway, I applaud California for going completely non-smoking and can't wait for the rest of the country to follow suit. There are many establishments that we would patronize if they would prohibit smoking. It not only disgusts me - it gives me a headache and makes me feel sick. Why should THEY ruin MY meal? THEY are infringing on MY rights to enjoy a meal - a meal that I paid for with just as much money as THEY!

Thank you for letting me blow off steam - it's rare that I can find someone with the same viewpoint on this. (We live in NC so tobacco is a way of life for far too many.)

Dianne Williams


**Next Post

I agree with you. Back in the days when I smoked, I never smoked where food was being served; but I don't know how many times some one would sit next to me at a counter, order their food and light up just before the waitress set it in front of them. They would just put the cigarette in the ashtray and let it smolder until they finished eating. Never seen to fail, the smoke always drifted over to me.

The City of Mesa, Arizona voted in a complete ban on smoking in ANY public place. The bars and restaurants lost better than 50% of their business because the smokers went elsewhere. The city did back-off and let those that wanted to, re-establish smoking.

I gave up over 20 years ago; but can't say that I feel any better for it physically; but I do know what I may be preventing and that outweighs the smoking.

D. M. Gibson


**Next Post

Greetings from tropical Singapore. A tiny island country in Asia that governed by meritocracy and strong leadership. Gone were days where I watched movie over a smoky screen (a special effect for some movies)! and inhaled second hand smoke. I welcomed this ban 101% when it was first implemented. Since the smoking ban in Singapore implemented years ago in cinema, it had received very positive response. Our government has implemented smoking ban in public places progressively over the years. I believe we are one of the country that has a very wide ban on smoking. Our national carrier, Singapore Airline is a non-smoking carrier. Smoking is banned in cinema, shopping centre, toilet, public transport, enclosed lounge, bar, banquet room and restaurant. Last year the ban had extended to private club, billiard salon and game room. It seems that the government will not stop as long as the place can be classified as a public place.

Statistically, I do not find our smoker population less than other countries. I believe that our people are receptive to the smoking ban issue is because of our people see it as an issue where public interest prevails individual right. Our bubble gum ban was a similar issue that attracted worldwide attention and some countries even made fun out of it. However on the hand, we are proud that we have one of the cleanest public transport system in the world. Smokers in Singapore do not see that they are deprived of their individual right to smoke, but rather they see it as their social responsibility to smoke at places where others are not adversely affected. Even at 35 degree tropical humid temperature, our fellow smoking friends are standing outside building lighting up their puff. What a civic spirit!

If I were to voice my individual right over issue like smoking ban, I would definitely go on the path to prove that smoking is bad to me. Tobacco smell on my hair, my shirt and the health effect it has on me as a second hand smoker would provide me sufficient "ammunition" to fight the issue over my right. I believe the same would be for a smoker to prove his right and fight it out. If we discuss any issue over right, definitely one would be the loser as there can only be one right that prevails. On the other hand, if we discuss the issue as a social issue where one need to be sensitive, respect, tolerate and compromise to one another need; then there is a solution to the problem where it can be win win to both. Effectively we are talking about the same issue. The difference lies in how we approach the same issue from a perspective that is acceptable by our society. In any society, I believe that is the way in which we should live.

James Lee


**Next Post

Dear Sir: I found your article on smoking to be well written and
factual. I am indirectly associated with the hospitality industry in that I am a professional "Mystery Shopper". I evaluate dining facilities from fast food to fine dining. Smoking is never a subject that restaurants want any input in their reports. I too have had many a great dining experience marred by smokers, but because it is not requested information, it's not included in my report.

Madeline Smith


**Next Post

I agree totally with your annoyance over the pleasures of eating out being spoilt by a number of smokers. Here in the UK we have not yet got the legislation that I believe you have in some States and that more and more young people are starting to smoke.

I would not like a total ban on smoking as I think that people should be allowed to decide for themselves, BUT when it affects other people in all public places it should not be allowed especially as there is now a medically proved link between passive smoking and lung cancer. Thanks for a very useful and readable e-mail report.

David Church
Peterborough, UK

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