Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Louisville Smoking Ban - Passed

A partial ban has been passed, eliminating smoking in all public spaces and workplaces in Metro Louisville. The only thing exempted (for now) are bars. I don't understand the idea behind a partial ban. If you are voting for a ban of smoking in workplaces because it's unhealthy, how can you approve it in bars. Is the health of patrons and workers in bars less valuable than those that work in a factory?

A partial ban makes perfect sense. Especially with regard to bars. Smoking in bars is like sex in a brothel. I don't think an employee of a brothel could say "well, I would like to work here but I don't want to engage in sex". That would be ridiculous. It would be equally crazy for a bar employee to say they cared about second hand smoke. You don't like it, get into another line of work. And I'm a non-smoker. It's just common sense.
That is just plain silly Anon. From your anology, folks in meat packing plants would still lose fingers in poorly design machines...if you want to keep your fingers don't work there. People installing insulation would still use asbestos. Don't want glass fibers hurting your lungs? Don't install insulation. When products are unsafe and used in work places, the role of government is to correct the problem.

I am not making a statement on whether 2nd hand smoke is harmful. All I am saying is if you are going to say that 2nd hand smoke is a health issue such that you ban it in workplaces, then it should apply to all workplaces, not just to those that work in a 'desirable' environment.
I'm not being silly at all. If you're afraid of heights you shouldn't be a roofer or a bridgebuilder. If you don't like smoke, don't work in a bar. The states have no imperative to make bars safe for non-smokers any more than they have to make bridgebuilding jobs appealing to acrophobiacs (I think that's the fear of heights thingie).
I don't think the partial ban reflects a double standard over workers' health, but rather an acknowledgment that the economic impact of a ban would be far worse on bars than on other types of businesses.

I think anon's point may also be valid in the sense that smoking in bars has been so commonplace for so long that it's reasonable to presume all potential employees know what they are getting into.

But many young people and students have to work in bars & restaurants, so they have no choice but to put up with smoke, even if they would rather not.

But because the economic impact of a ban could be so severe, the choice becomes a job with smoke or no job at all. So the partial ban may be because a smokey job is better than no job at all.

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