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November 5, 2007

Smoking on the West Coast

In light of Baltimore's up-coming smoking ban, I thought we should look to the West Coast, where smoking in bars is already illegal in some states.

A friend who recently moved to Baltimore told me some bars out west ignore the ban, or take measures to deal with it.

Officials in Seattle are pretty strict, he said. But less so in California. 

One California spot turned its old cigarette display case into a money jar, where they collected a buck or two from patrons. When they got busted for smoking, they used the cash from the case to pay the fee.

Another gave out empty Altoids mint tins for ashtrays, so they can hide the evidence if the inspectors show up.

Wonder if Baltimore joints are going to try and get around the new law. 

(Monica Lopossay/Sun Photographer) 

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 4:56 PM | | Comments (8)


Also, in L.A., bars and restaurants can allow smoking if they have a separate ventilation system for the smoking area.

I can't wait for the ban to take effect. The smart bar owners will renovate to include out door patios you can get to from inside. The dumb ones will learn that there are more Non Smokers in the world who like to go out for a drink and not stink to high heaven and go out of business!

Central Station just recently renovated their back deck due to the ban. What a great place it was to sit and enjoy a drink.

Sure some bars will cheat but all the cutsie gimmicks in the world won't stop the cancer from getting in your lungs.

Here's to better health, more creative bars, jeans you can wear to brunch the next day and not having to a shower before you go to bed at 2 am to make sure the sheets don't smell the next day!

Public radio listener:

Not everyone has a superhuman nose like yours. They don't turn all colors at the smell of smoke. They think it smells good. Are thousands gonna quit smoking because you don't like to smell it? Go straight to [heck].

Joe: Take a chill pill. Banning smoking in bars isn't designed to get people to quit smoking, its designed to protect the health of the employees and patrons. There is no argument that second hand smoke is dangerous and I for one applaud the city for stepping in an protecting citizens who chose not to smoke.

I have no super human abilities that I know of..but you cant be serious. There isn't a non smoker I know who "likes" the smell of ciggie smoke.

The point is this, as pointed out already, smoking is a health issue. Smokers have no right to ruin their health and mine in a work or public place. Any bar who cheats deserves what they get- a fine and the loss of business from the more than 75% of folks who don't smoke.

For the record, I have at least 4 friends who are planning to quit once the ban takes effect. All of them say that whenever they've tried quitting in the past that going out for a night on the town usually caused them to "relapse". So even thought the purpose of the ban wasn't to get smokers to quit, it will certainly help a lot of people to do just that.

you dont even need to go to the left coast for smoking bans, Small Wonder state (Delaware) has had a smoking ban in effect for a couple of years now, and i have to admit, going into a bar or resturant and not smelling stale cigarette smoke while trying to eat, or after a couple of hrs in a bar, being able to leave without having your eyes burn or clothes smell like an ashtray.

dont get me wrong. if you choose to smoke, it's your deal, and i dont care one way or another. but, dont force it on me in an enclosed area without my consent! (i smoke the occasional cigar, but not before asking if it will bother anyone!)

look at it another way, you enjoy cigarettes, the by-product of this is smoke which gets into my clothes and hair. I like to drink beer, the by-product of which is urine. anyone see where this is going? :D

ss2 -- the occasional cigar?

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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