Sunday, November 05, 2006

Carbondale: home to nicotine addicts

My attitude toward accommodating smoking in public places is changing. As a former smoker (25 years worth), I have thought that reasonable accommodations would be possible for smokers.

Now I am thinking about reasonable accommodations for non-smokers. I quit in 1997 and developed asthma a few years later, in my late forties. If I inhale too much 2nd hand smoke, I get a respiratory attack during the night that absolutely ruins me for the following day.

Today, after being forced out of Pinch Penny by the smoke, I had supper at Quatro's. Although I was not bothered by smoke there, I was dismayed to witness three consecutive groups of young people come in and ask in a panicky way, "Can we smoke here? Where can we smoke?" One wild-eyed young man even followed up with, "Do you have matches?

My God, this has become insane. I will soon be huddling in the cold with my beer. During two recent visits, 99% of Pinch Penny patrons and employees had a weed burning when I walked in.

My lungs are burning. Guess I'll have to give up pub life.


Unknown said...

Bill, I'll bring the beer. I always tell people that I've second-hand smoked for years, but now that I have a 4 month old son, my concern for second-hand smoke has increased exponentially. It shouldn't have taken a baby to wake me up to the dangers of secong-hand smoke, but better late than never.

Sadly, even the establishments around town that have the obligatory "no smoking area" don't generally have an edequate filtration system installed to prevent the smoke from wafting over, which really defeats the purpose.

I, for one, will be glad to see a smoke-free carbondale in the future. My apologies to the many friends and associates I know who smoke. As for me and mine, we need clean air.

Cindy said...

I go out to eat with my son, daughter-in-law, and 4 mo. old grandson every Wed. evening. We haven't gone to our favorite place, Midland Inn since it got too cold to sit on the deck. We love their margaritas, but we're not willing to expose the baby to the awful 2nd hand smoke inside.

We've been going to Tres because it doesn't seem to be smoky in there on Wed. The only problem is that I don't like their margaritas! Can't have everything, I guess.

Ed said...

I'm real conflicted about this. I personally don't go to places to eat (I don't drink) where smoking is allowed. I live in Chicago, so there is more choice here.

I am also far from convinced that occasional exposure to second hand smoke is any worse than walking down the street and breathing car exhaust. Despite what the anti-smoking zealots claim, there have never been any definitive scientific studies that show a link to chronic diseases.

BTW, I'm not a smoker and never have been.

Anonymous said...

The presentation by Smoke Free Carbondale indicated it took about a year for Champaign Upbana and Springfield to go smoke free. Originally, I was opposed to a smoke free Carbondale but they sure made a persuasive case.

bill said...

I was talking to the Washington U basketball team in the locker room during their visit. I told them that whenever I have to review a grant proposal, I need to come up and use their library because SIU does not subscribe to many of the journals I need.

I said I was always amazed that I saw no one smoking even outdoors. I asked if this were a matter of policy or intelligence. They said they didn't know what the policy was, but it didn't matter because "no one smokes."

Anonymous said...

First of all, how is anyone a second hand smoker? If you are a second hand smoker, that would imply that you are around the stuff all the time and that simply is your fault. If you don't like the smoke stay out of places that allow that sort of thing. Also as Ed said in another comment second hand smoke hasn't been scientifically proven to show a link to any chronic diseases. So stop trying to use that as an excuse.

I can understand that some restaurants may want their establishment to be smoke free and that's fine because that is their decision. My big complaint is why is everyone trying to make every establishment smoke free? A bar is supposed to be a place where everyone can go to smoke and drink and be merry. So why is everyone trying to discriminate against the smoker? What did he ever do to you? If you don't like smoke go to another bar or drink at home. Stop pushing out the people that smoke. They are people too and have just as much right to sit at the bar, billiard hall, club and light up.