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February 4, 2008

More hassle for smokers?

With the smoking ban in effect, smokers must now stand outside bars and clubs for their nicotine fix.

When the New York City ban began in 2003, this led to some noise and littering complaints.

Looks like Baltimore might have a similar situation. 

A co-worker was at Club Orpheus this past weekend and said police were shooing smokers back inside the club.

The cops had gotten complaints from neighbors about the noise.

But the smokers were angry, because the ban made them go outside, and now the cops didn't want them to be outside. 

I wonder if this kind of situation will come to a head, or dissipate with time. 

(Photo by me) 

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 2:01 PM | | Comments (25)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


I'm sure in time it will work itself out... but I did realize another unfortunate side effect of the ban.

Whereas before one could choose whether or not to patronize a bar where they would have to inhale secondhand smoke... now merely walking BY a bar subjects you to secondhand smoke!

Pedestrians beware!

The world is not a safe place, Andrea. I suggest you walk in the street, for safety's sake.

I can't believe we give this much attention or sympathy to people who suffer from what boils down to be a bad habit!!!!!!! Since when do they have rights???? I like to bite my fingernails...but I don't spit them on people... Smokers, get over it. Smoke in your own homes, or cars, or whatever.

Thirty five seconds of second hand smoke while walking past a bar will not kill you or even hurt you ...reliably. Just hold your breath or wear a trashbag over yourself while going past.

I wish the nail-biters of the world would just stay home, or do it in their cars where I can't see it or have it threaten my health. For safety's sake.

JTK -- I spent years cultivating my cuticles, and I will NOT have some manic nail biter ruin them in a few quick chomps.

Evan -- Drawstring? Stretch? Heavy duty?

Noise is not Health issue. It can't hurt you so why is it a problem?
They are not saying that people in PRIVATE residences want rights, are they?
There is no private ownership rights - ask a bar or restaurant owner.

Lung Cookie?


possibly the best name yet.

hm, that's funny. they can't smoke in bars and now their smoke will possibly kill you when you walk by them on the sidewalk, a public space. why don't they smoke at home, in their car maybe in a closet like they're some sort of criminals? when did we start living in a totalitarian state and smokers become second class citizens?

I think smoking should have been made illegal before weed. Just a thought.

Here in Pennsyltucky, where smoking inside is still legal, we're thinkin' that the stuff Carmona said was a bunch of crap!

He made it all up, he did, he did. And for that he got hisself fired and he's running unuhthem highfalootin spas in Arizona.

Who says the Emperor has no clothes?

Dan, I thought the same thing...

Then I thought... KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!!!

Then I giggled.

Smokers have no clue. They have no idea how far their smoke travels, how long their smoke lingers in the air, how noxious it is to people with healthy lungs. How could they know? They're the ones who are flooding their lungs with this poison. all day long.

"Thirty five seconds of second hand smoke while walking past a bar will not kill you or even hurt you ...reliably. Just hold your breath or wear a trashbag over yourself while going past." God, what a hateful and mean-spirited remark.

But mark my words... You WILL regret smoking. I will NEVER regret not smoking.

I say let them have their smoky bars. Better that than subjecting pedestrians to their poisons as they walk past.

I have a simple solution to all of this nonsense: everyone switch to chewing tobacco.

No, Bryan, we need to look back along tobacco road and resurrect ... snuff.

After all, there's no such thing as second hand snort.

Now that we got rid of the stench of smoke, what do we do about that old bar smell. The smoke has been covering it up all these years, I didn't realize I was going to smell like an 80 year old alcoholic when I left the bar this past weekend, lol. Joking aside, I'm for the ban, sorry smokers.

jtk, i'm with you. let's all kneel before zod. thanks for the giggle.

I am sick of all of the self righteous folk who think that the world will end because they are in the presence of cigarrette smoke. My mom died of lung cancer and SHE NEVER SMOKED NOR DID SHE ALLOW SMOKING IN HER HOME! What about all of the chemicals that are in the very food a lot of us eat? A lot of the people don't even realize the amount of carcinogens they ingest everyday from their french fry, or even the so-called healthy "low fat" foods like Lean Cuisuine.

I don't like the way cigarettes smell, but I am not about to pass judgment on smokers. We are all addicted to some drug, be it nicotine, caffeine, or sugar. We have no right to legislate this kind of behavior, and the business owners pay enough taxes to be given the right to choose whether or not the want to allow smoking in their establishments.

People you need to wake up. We have given up too much already. Too many people have been caught in this hype. If this is such a big problem, why don't all of you do-gooders and crusaders lobby our elected officials to make all tobacco illegal?

As a smoker I do understand how non smokers feel about indoor smoke, but this is just ridiculous, now your complaining about having to walk pass smokers outside, give me a break there is not one documented case of anyone who has died from so called second hand smoke, and definantly not from walking pass a smoker outside. Non smokers get over yourselves.

I don't regret smoking because I don't smoke personally.

As for being mean spirited, what can I say, it stems from months to years of listening to the constant ALL CAPS talking points and poetic adjectivery from people who have tended to be incredibly sanctimonious with regards to "those smokers" who apparently are all just insipid, evil morons who want you and everyone else to die of lung cancer as a result of their smelly inhuman toxic poison geysering.

At the end of the day, you all got what you asked for, live with it.

You may have killed her when you shoved all those dollar bills down her throat, you may have killed her when you hit her with the stool ... I don't know, I'm not a doctor. But I'll tell you what didn't kill her ... smoking!

The sidewalk outside of Rafters on Fort Ave was a mess on Sunday. I say increase cig tax another $1 or 2 just to pay for cleanup.

OOOh snuff - Good plan, Sam. I can't wait to get me a snuff box. Next we just need to wait for frilly cuffs and powdered wigs to come back. Man, that would be sweet. Count de Monet!

I lived in NYC both before and after the smoking ban. In the initial months of the ban, yes, there were lots of people out on the sidewalks, and yes, there were lots of noise complaints.

But as time went on, fewer people would go out for a smoke. So not only did noise complaints go down, but the number of smokers in NYC also went down, as did the number of cases of smoking-related diseases.

You don't have to take my word for it - just check out the NYC health dept's reports on it. A few months of noise is definitely worth all the people who quit smoking and also all the people who don't smoke and are now spared from secondhand smoke.

As a smoker I do understand how non smokers feel about indoor smoke, but this is just ridiculous, now your complaining about having to walk pass smokers outside, give me a break..."


The complaints aren't about people smoking outside! The complaints are about people being loud, obnoxious and throwing trash all over the place.

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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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