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Posted: 9/5/2010 3:11:27 AM EDT
Metro columnist Dan Casey: Ban on smoking in restaurants widely flouted
By Dan Casey

Dan Casey is The Roanoke Times' metro columnist.
dan.casey
@roanoke.com
981-3423

Dan Casey
Everyone reading this column should sit down before they go further.

Because something astounding happened the other day in this tobacco state.

Police in Falls Church cited nine smokers in restaurants. Gave them tickets that carry $25 fines. They cited some bar employees, too.

The police actually enforced the law, even though it has been on the books only nine months.

That's more than they have done in the Roanoke Valley –– or in other parts of Virginia –– under the restaurant smoking ban since it took effect Dec. 1.

Gary Hagy, director of the Food and Environmental Services Division for the Virginia Department of Health, told me the tickets issued in Falls Church were the first anywhere in the state.

The law:

n Bans indoor smoking in all Virginia restaurants;

n Provides exceptions for restaurants with a walled off and separately ventilated smoking area;

n Also requires that any restaurant with a smoking area have at least one entrance from the outside to its nonsmoking area.

Many restaurateurs spent significant sums to comply with the ban, and Hagy said that at least 93 percent of the state's 24,000 restaurants are complying.

But that still leaves almost 1,700 that aren't. And you don't have to search long to find them.

One is W.R. Brews on Williamson Road Northeast. I went in there around lunchtime Tuesday.

It's a one-room joint with a bar and tables and some half-wall dividers here and there.

On the bar and at nearly every table were large round ashtrays (I counted 22) and some patrons, of course, were smoking.

"Do you have a nonsmoking area?" I asked the bartender.

"We don't." She shrugged. "Not at the moment. It's in the works."

The ban is 9 months old and it's in the works?

W.R. Brews owner Roger Lamm didn't respond to a message I left for him at the restaurant on Wednesday.

A different kind of game is being played in Southwest Roanoke over at the Coffee Pot, one of my favorite local establishments (except for the smoke).

The exterior door opens to a small, 8-foot-long foyer. You walk through that and another door to get into the bar/restaurant/pool-table areas.

Owner Carroll Bell put a single small table in the foyer. That is the nonsmoking area.

Smoking is allowed in the pool room, the bar and (at night) in its adjacent large dining area.

"What about separate ventilation?" I asked Bell on Wednesday.

He pointed to a 3-inch-wide hole he'd drilled in the foyer's wall next to the outside door.

"Come on," I said. "That's a dodge."

"I didn't dodge," Bell said. "I just did the minimum required to be compliant with the law."

He noted the law establishes no minimum size for a nonsmoking area.

W.R. Brews seems to be violating the letter of the law, while the Coffee Pot is certainly violating its spirit.

That's unfair to all the restaurateurs who have jumped through hoops to adhere to both, but it's not hard to understand why they're getting away with it.

Police in Salem, Roanoke and Roanoke County haven't issued a single smoking citation to a restaurant patron or employee since the law went into effect nine months ago.

Salem and Roanoke police said they've had no complaints. Roanoke County had a single complaint, in February, that was canceled before an officer could get to the restaurant in question.

Hagy, from the Virginia Department of Health, says its restaurant inspectors can't issue citations. Only law enforcement officers can.

Under circumstances such as this, flouting of the law will continue. So will creative sidesteps.

The police should do something about the former. The General Assembly should do something about the latter.

But don't hold your breath waiting for either.

Cough, cough.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 4:10:20 AM EDT
In, I guess.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 4:14:58 AM EDT
Bullshit laws should be flouted. The idea that the state can tell a private business owner that he can't allow smoking (which is a legal activity) on his property is absurd.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 4:17:51 AM EDT

Originally Posted By MaximRecoil:
Bullshit laws should be flouted. The idea that the state can tell a private business owner that he can't allow smoking (which is a legal activity) on his property is absurd.


Yep
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 4:19:21 AM EDT
Or that dick weed could just not go to those restraunts.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 4:19:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/5/2010 4:20:10 AM EDT by EXPcustom]
Now that I quit smoking I hope the states ban smoking and brings the jack-boots down on everyone for smoking in public.



Really, smoking is so 00's everyone I know has pretty much quit except those certain friends that never really "grew up".


Plus round these parts no one respects an intellectual that smokes.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 4:24:32 AM EDT
Fuck smoking bans and anybody who supports them.

I don't even smoke, and I never will, but fuck the government for trying to tell a business owner what he can or can't allow at his place of commerce. If you don't like sitting in a smoky restaurant or bar, don't go there, don't bring your kids there, and don't complain if you do go there. It's really that easy. Over a long enough time frame, the market will decide if it's better to cater to smokers or non smokers, not the government.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 4:27:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Eazy_E:
Fuck smoking bans and anybody who supports them.

I don't even smoke, and I never will, but fuck the government for trying to tell a business owner what he can or can't allow at his place of commerce. If you don't like sitting in a smoky restaurant or bar, don't go there, don't bring your kids there, and don't complain if you do go there. It's really that easy. Over a long enough time frame, the market will decide if it's better to cater to smokers or non smokers, not the government.

That is too hard for the average voter. Best to vote that men with guns make sure things run the way they want.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 4:29:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/5/2010 4:32:16 AM EDT by TacticalMOLONLABE]

Originally Posted By EXPcustom:
snip
BYE! BYE!


Link Posted: 9/5/2010 4:30:04 AM EDT
Where I live a restaurant is either "smoking" or "no smoking". I actively avoid "smoking" restaurants, and that is how it should be. If you want to be shrouded in smoke while you eat and smell like shit when you're done that is your business go ahead. Similarly people who don't wish to be infused in another persons cast off stench shouldn't have to. But as with most things the .gov wants to get involved because people just cant play nice on their own.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 4:30:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TacticalMOLONLABE:

BYE! BYE!

Damnit man, don't quote the troll.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 4:32:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By packingXDs:

Originally Posted By TacticalMOLONLABE:

BYE! BYE!

Damnit man, don't quote the troll.

Fixed
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 4:34:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TacticalMOLONLABE:

Originally Posted By packingXDs:

Originally Posted By TacticalMOLONLABE:

BYE! BYE!

Damnit man, don't quote the troll.

Fixed


Link Posted: 9/5/2010 4:34:32 AM EDT
Originally Posted By EXPcustom:
Now that I quit smoking I hope the states ban smoking and brings the jack-boots down on everyone for smoking in public.



Really, smoking is so 00's everyone I know has pretty much quit except those certain friends that never really "grew up".


Plus round these parts no one respects an intellectual that smokes.


That's because they aren't smart enough. Anyone who doesn't smoke (or otherwise use nicotine) is not as smart as he or she could be (just ask one of the various Russian chess players who have boycotted non-smoking tournaments).

Nicotine appears to enhance concentration and memory due to the increase of acetylcholine.

Rusted, J; Graupner, O'Connell, Nicholls (1994-05-05). "Does nicotine improve cognitive function?". Psychopharmacology (Springer-Verlag) (115): 547–549.


So what is someone's opinion of "intellectuals" worth if said someone is operating at a reduced level of cognitive function compared those they don't "respect"?

Link Posted: 9/5/2010 4:35:59 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Eazy_E:
Fuck smoking bans and anybody who supports them.

I don't even smoke, and I never will, but fuck the government for trying to tell a business owner what he can or can't allow at his place of commerce. If you don't like sitting in a smoky restaurant or bar, don't go there, don't bring your kids there, and don't complain if you do go there. It's really that easy. Over a long enough time frame, the market will decide if it's better to cater to smokers or non smokers, not the government.


My thoughts exactly. The smoking ban was one of the last efforts of the former governor before leaving office.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 4:54:45 AM EDT
I do hate the state getting involved in any form of restriction of freedom. But I am enjoying the ban. I do not frequent the places that are violating the spirit of the law anyway.

I am finding that it is so much easier to get a seat to eat. I rarely find long lines in restaurants that went smoke free. Why? because there is no longer a division of people. Instead of having to wait on a non-smoking table or taking first available everyone is seated on a first come basis. After talking to a lot of owners, waiters, and even the greeters most of them have come to the conclusion that it is a good thing for them as well. Most have agreed that even if the law was repealed they would not add back a smoking section. Why? because most of the waiters don't want to work in that section, and they were seeing a huge drop in people requiring smoking seats anyway. Why dedicate a section for smokers that do not show up when you have non-smokers wanting non-smoking seats? Its easier management.

I do find it interesting that the law allowing guns in places that serve alcohol went into effect around the same time. A restriction of freedom that was lifted. I do enjoy this change very much. Like the smoking issue, I have taken note of the few places that disagree with the law and no longer go there. One was actually a family favorite. Although they did not put up signs banning guns that I am aware of, the owners public comments during the battle to get the law passed guarantee that I will never spend my money there again. It is interesting to note that the place does have a smoking section. When you enter, the foyer you have to stand in the smoke waiting for a non-smoking table in the "enclosed" section. The kicker is the wait staff area is open to both sides. So the smoke just passes right through. Intent? Spirit of the law? or just oversight? I would rather spend it down the street at a smaller place that has better food and the owner welcomes us with open arms. She knows that I carry as I have open carried there before the law changed.

Most of the smokers I have known are giving up the habit anyway. Was it inconvenience? Was it a change of heart? Cancer scare? A few of them realized it was a nasty habit and the new law just helped them decide to change their ways. I only know personally a few die hard smokers now and those few are talking about quitting too. Of those that do not want to quit, they say they will smoke outside when they light up. They say they like the fresh air ???

Link Posted: 9/5/2010 5:02:46 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Bonk2029:
Metro columnist Dan Casey: Ban on smoking in restaurants widely flouted




I'm not a smoker..........let the business owners decide.............if you don't like smoking in restaurants, don't go to those restaurants.

It's called "Free Market" and "Freedom".........something a "Journalist" wouldn't know anything about.

Instead they go to BigBrother.Gov and have a law passed.

To Dan Casey: Oh SHUT UP and cry you baby!
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 5:06:29 AM EDT
This is the same paper that went about printing CHP holders names and info.

Fuck the Roanoke Times up their collective stupid asses.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 5:07:27 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 5:09:10 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Aimless:
Ny has has a smoking ban for ages. Can't say that I have been pining for the stench of cigarettes.


Have you been pining for a private business to operate as the owner sees fit?
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 5:15:04 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Eazy_E:
Fuck smoking bans and anybody who supports them.

I don't even smoke, and I never will, but fuck the government for trying to tell a business owner what he can or can't allow at his place of commerce. If you don't like sitting in a smoky restaurant or bar, don't go there, don't bring your kids there, and don't complain if you do go there. It's really that easy. Over a long enough time frame, the market will decide if it's better to cater to smokers or non smokers, not the government.


I'm glad you saved me from having to type that out myself so I can just put a +1
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 5:16:03 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 5:21:00 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Aimless:

Originally Posted By surveyor3:
Originally Posted By Aimless:
Ny has has a smoking ban for ages. Can't say that I have been pining for the stench of cigarettes.


Have you been pining for a private business to operate as the owner sees fit?

Have you been pining away for the removal of health codes that prevent restaurants from serving rotten food or having workers wipe their ass with their hand and then not wash before throwing together your burger? What's a little e coli among friends, freedom ain't free!


Hey, when people kick the bucket from eating at a joint, I'm sure the free market will kick in.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 5:23:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Aimless:

Originally Posted By surveyor3:
Originally Posted By Aimless:
Ny has has a smoking ban for ages. Can't say that I have been pining for the stench of cigarettes.


Have you been pining for a private business to operate as the owner sees fit?

Have you been pining away for the removal of health codes that prevent restaurants from serving rotten food or having workers wipe their ass with their hand and then not wash before throwing together your burger? What's a little e coli among friends, freedom ain't free!
Do your own research and decide for yourself if it's safe to eat someplace?

Or you could just not go to restaurants and cook for yourself like I do.

Link Posted: 9/5/2010 5:32:12 AM EDT
Smoking bans are retarded. Don't like a place? Don't go. You have no "Right" to go to a smoke free restaurant. And I don't have the "Right" to make you go to a smoking restaurant. The free market will sort out which restaurants stay and which goes.

I'll tell you for sure though, there would ALWAYS be restaurants where people could smoke if they wanted to.

NH pissed me off with their smoking ban on bars other than private clubs (Of which the American Legion and VFW are considered, and I'm a member of both. ) because an owner should be able to say what goes within the limits of the law.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 5:34:36 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 5:51:32 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Aimless:

Originally Posted By surveyor3:
Originally Posted By Aimless:
Ny has has a smoking ban for ages. Can't say that I have been pining for the stench of cigarettes.


Have you been pining for a private business to operate as the owner sees fit?

Have you been pining away for the removal of health codes that prevent restaurants from serving rotten food or having workers wipe their ass with their hand and then not wash before throwing together your burger? What's a little e coli among friends, freedom ain't free!


How long do you think such a retaurant would last in a free market? Problems like that have a way of working themselves out without help from Big Brother. It is akin to the process of natural selection. One flareup of E. coli can do irreparable damage to a retaurant, possibly forcing it out of business. Any restaurant that wants to stay in business is going to serve acceptable food of their own volition. If they just want to make people sick out of spite and then go out of business, well they can do that regardless of codes and regulations in place.

Link Posted: 9/5/2010 5:59:03 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Aimless:

Originally Posted By surveyor3:
Originally Posted By Aimless:
Ny has has a smoking ban for ages. Can't say that I have been pining for the stench of cigarettes.


Have you been pining for a private business to operate as the owner sees fit?

Have you been pining away for the removal of health codes that prevent restaurants from serving rotten food or having workers wipe their ass with their hand and then not wash before throwing together your burger? What's a little e coli among friends, freedom ain't free!


The last time I heard the term "pining" was in church....it was about 150 years ago while singing a hymn.

See ya guys, I need to go outside and light one up
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 6:20:26 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Aimless:

Originally Posted By surveyor3:
Originally Posted By Aimless:
Ny has has a smoking ban for ages. Can't say that I have been pining for the stench of cigarettes.


Have you been pining for a private business to operate as the owner sees fit?

Have you been pining away for the removal of health codes that prevent restaurants from serving rotten food or having workers wipe their ass with their hand and then not wash before throwing together your burger? What's a little e coli among friends, freedom ain't free!


Health codes as far as food storage and employee habits are not related to smoking issues. They are set in place as a minimum for basic sanitary process as customers cannot control what happens behind the scenes in a kitchen. But customers can control the type of environment they wish to be in yet hand it away like sheeple to the government.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 6:24:04 AM EDT
Originally Posted By MaximRecoil:
Bullshit laws should be flouted. The idea that the state can tell a private business owner that he can't allow smoking (which is a legal activity) on his property is absurd.


I tend to agree.

Same goes for the Big Bro telling us we have to wear seat belts and bike helmets, that you cannot remove tags from your mattress, NY trying to control your salt intake, that kids have to sit in safety seats.

Get the gov out of my life.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 6:27:31 AM EDT
I remember when the doctor's lounge at a hospital I worked at allowed smoking.

Some docs would smoke cigars while dictating.

The good old days.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 6:29:31 AM EDT
Dan Casey....I thought that name was familiar...


he can go shelley seale himself.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 6:29:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bonk2029:
Metro columnist Dan Casey: Ban on smoking in restaurants widely flouted
By Dan Casey

Dan Casey is The Roanoke Times' metro columnist.
dan.casey
@roanoke.com
981-3423

Dan Casey

...snip...

A different kind of game is being played in Southwest Roanoke over at the Coffee Pot, one of my favorite local establishments (except for the smoke).

The exterior door opens to a small, 8-foot-long foyer. You walk through that and another door to get into the bar/restaurant/pool-table areas.

Owner Carroll Bell put a single small table in the foyer. That is the nonsmoking area.

Smoking is allowed in the pool room, the bar and (at night) in its adjacent large dining area.

"What about separate ventilation?" I asked Bell on Wednesday.

He pointed to a 3-inch-wide hole he'd drilled in the foyer's wall next to the outside door.

"Come on," I said. "That's a dodge."

"I didn't dodge," Bell said. "I just did the minimum required to be compliant with the law."

He noted the law establishes no minimum size for a nonsmoking area.

...snip...

I like the way he thinks.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 6:33:58 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Aimless:
Ny has has a smoking ban for ages. Can't say that I have been pining for the stench of cigarettes.


The NY smoking ban pretty much lost me as a customer to all bars and resturants. I've gone to a bar maybe five times since the ban. All bars I've talked to say they lost a ton of business and the customers they do get stay for much shorter lengths of time.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 6:36:49 AM EDT
Tax smokers.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 6:37:45 AM EDT
Send him the video of the Australian guy telling everybody to harden the fuck up. Seriously, it's pathetic that people cry so much about this kind of shit.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 6:49:41 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 6:50:11 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 6:54:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/5/2010 6:58:17 AM EDT by photokirk]
Originally Posted By EXPcustom:

Plus round these parts no one respects an intellectual that smokes.


What does that have to do with you?
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 6:58:20 AM EDT
They've banned outside smoking in my town. Indoor smokings been illegal for years already.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 7:04:55 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 7:43:26 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Aimless:

Originally Posted By tc556guy:
They've banned outside smoking in my town. Indoor smokings been illegal for years already.

That's nutty.


Tree huggers who claim that walking through a cloud of smoke on the sidewalk will give them cancer. I feel sorry for the PD, hearing them respond to call after call about this type of thing.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 7:55:52 AM EDT
Should have all smoking restuarants like a club that you can carry in also,no whiners need enter.From the places I have visited lots of those who P&M about smoking are tokers but do not complain about that smoke at all.I am a simple eater meat & potato type and cannot stand the smell of lots of the fancy ass food blends concocted in restuarants also and some of the perfume and crotch sprays women soak themselve in is more nasty than and cigarette smoke
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 8:49:17 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/5/2010 8:51:57 AM EDT by MaximRecoil]
Originally Posted By AGW:
I doubt you could even tell me what acetylcholine is/does without googling it.


I'll go you one step further. No one can tell anyone what anything is/does without first learning it; and most of any given individual's knowlege does not come from original research. So, did you originally discover or help to discover, and/or originally determine or help to determine the function of, acetylcholine? My wild guess is that you did not, thus if you know what it is/does, you learned it from someone else.

A million other substances probably increaes it too.


That statement as written is useless as teats on a bull, for obvious reasons.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 8:51:57 AM EDT
Originally Posted By EXPcustom:
Now that I quit smoking I hope the states ban smoking and brings the jack-boots down on everyone for smoking in public.



Really, smoking is so 00's everyone I know has pretty much quit except those certain friends that never really "grew up".


Plus round these parts no one respects an intellectual that smokes.


Yea, that's California for ya, and a large part of why the rest of the country laughs at you guys. All holier-than-thou health nazis spending yourselves into oblivion. It's like they put peyote in the water.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 2:01:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Aimless:
Ny has has a smoking ban for ages. Can't say that I have been pining for the stench of cigarettes.

This right here.

I was real anti the ban when they first did it in Cali but thing are so much nicer a few years later without the stench of cigs everywhere.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 2:10:45 PM EDT
The smoking ban is strictly enforced in Wa state. It worked out fine. The bars built smoking areas outside, the smokers use them and don't bitch and nobody has to breate their smoke.
It has worked really well. It was long overdue.


Link Posted: 9/5/2010 2:14:37 PM EDT
Roanoke Times has the tendency of making The Washington Post look libertarian.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 2:21:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DoberDude:
The smoking ban is strictly enforced in Wa state. It worked out fine. The bars built smoking areas outside, the smokers use them and don't bitch and nobody has to breate their smoke.
It has worked really well. It was long overdue.


Live free or ............................................... Have the .Gov force others to fit your standards. Nobody had to "breate" anyones smoke if you don't like smoking don't go where smoking is allowed... But that would mean not asking the .Gov to make more laws. I swear some of you got lost on your way to DU.............................
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 2:22:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By bigred3516:
Or that dick weed could just not go to those restraunts.

How dare you suggest this!

Everyone else should be forced to conduct their business how HE wants them to!



Seriously, though. I wonder how many of these people are ex-smokers. There's nobody more militant about smoking bans than people who have kicked the habit.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 2:25:08 PM EDT
Originally Posted By EXPcustom:

Originally Posted By Aimless:
Ny has has a smoking ban for ages. Can't say that I have been pining for the stench of cigarettes.

This right here.

I was real anti the ban when they first did it in Cali but thing are so much nicer a few years later without the stench of cigs everywhere.


You support these laws that trample the rights of a group of people to partake in legal activities, yet you despise laws that punish a group of people partaking in illegal activities (SB1070).

You are either a beautiful troll, or a fucking idiot.
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