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Mark Atwood
Seattle Initiative 901, Smoking Ban. I'm voting AGAINST.
I've decided how I'm going to vote on Initiative 901, the Seattle smoking ban.

I'm going to vote AGAINST. If you are a Seattle voter, I think you should, too.

First of all. I'm not a smoker. I've never smoked. I never will. I hate the smell of cigarette smoke. I dislike having to air out my clothes after going clubbing.

However, this ban is stupid. It extends too far away from the entrance to buildings. It makes the business owner liable, not the smoker. It's unclear who is responsable for enforcement. It gives the SPD (and anyone else) too much latitude to hassle politically unpopular clubs. And there are no excemptions for places like cigar bars.

That means that if someone is legally smoking outdoors walks by the entry to a restaurant, even if they are not a patron, that restaurant is in violation. Even tho the business has no legal power to stop them. If some self-appointed group wanted to shut a place down, all they need to do is gather around it's airvents and light up cigarettes.

The groups pushing for I901, such as the annoyingly named "Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights", don't consider these to be problems, they consider them to be features.

I don't think so.
5 comments or Leave a comment
jenkitty From: jenkitty Date: November 2nd, 2005 04:18 am (UTC) (Link)
That's not true. Read Section 5. Smokers in violation of the regulations are fined $100 per infraction, but it is not the building owner who is punished. Owners are required to post signs indicating the building's status as a non-smoking area, as is noted in Section 4.
ocicat From: ocicat Date: November 2nd, 2005 05:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Walking down the sidewalk while smoking won't be illegal.

Note that the law clearly states: " Any person passing by or through a public place whileon a public sidewalk or public right of way has not intentionally violated this chapter."

ocicat From: ocicat Date: November 2nd, 2005 05:05 am (UTC) (Link)
To be helpful, the full text can be found here:

memegarden From: memegarden Date: November 2nd, 2005 05:23 am (UTC) (Link)
I also hate cigarette smoke, and am opposed to the smoking ban.

1.) I think club and bar owners should get to decide whether to allow smoking.
2.) Outlawing smoking in bars means the bar patrons hang out smoking on the streets, which means
a.) they'll be bugging me with their smoke even though I don't go in bars.
b.) kids can bum cigarettes more conveniently.
3.) The distance rules are poorly considered, and would rule out many reasonable smoking arrangements such as a back deck, while not preventing irritants such as a bus stop full of smokers immediately in front of a restaurant's door.
4.) Enforcement and liability are not clear, which will lead to either no enforcement, or selective enforcement when the police have some other reason to bug someone. This is not helpful.
mauser From: mauser Date: November 5th, 2005 03:36 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm perverse enough that even though it goes against my libertarian principles, it might be good to let it go through, so that we can have a historical bad example to point at. A Father Neimoller example. And one that doesn't involve banning guns.
5 comments or Leave a comment