Friday, January 06, 2006

New Jersey Breathes Cleaner

It is nice to see the NJ State legislators making progress with a proposed ban on smoking in public spaces , save casinos. An Assembly committee sent the bill to the full Assembly where approval is expected early next week. The State Senate has already approved the proposed legislation and Gov. Dick Codey seems eager to sign the bill into law. By doing so, NJ will become the 11th state in the nation to enact similar legislation. I should add kudos to our Governor, who repeatedly expressed his desire to make the smoking ban a part of his legacy.

I was living in California when the very first anti-smoking ban in the nation kicked in on New Years day, 1998. I was a cigarette smoker at the time and I was quick to gripe about the new law to anyone who'd listen. In fact, I especially resented the idea of not being about to smoke at a bar or restaurant. Smoking seemed like such an integral part of the "going out" experience, for me. But you know what, I was wrong. It wasn't long before my attitude on the smoking ban softented considerably. In fact, I ended up smoking less and eventually gave it up. Personally, I'm grateful to the politicians in California who created a climate that encouraged me to smoke less and ultimately quit.

A state-wide smoking ban might seem like a big adjustment, especially to bar and restaurant owners who claim that such a ban might keep customers away. But we'll get used to it here in New Jersey, just like folks in California, Deleware or New York did. A year from now, once the dust settles, the nay-sayers might actually see a bounce in business as they begin to court the non-smokers who have been staying away.


Anonymous said...

casino exemtion a disgrace! If I were a Casino employee I'd be suing to have the law ruled unconstiutional under the 14th amendment to the US Const. Casino employees are being treated un-equally by the law being exposed to toxic 2nd hand smoke to save the profits of the Casinos . It's a disgrace for the politicians in NJ to excluse these workers. But what do thge pols care they all work in smoke free workplaces. Hypocrites!

jay lassiter said...

i totally agree that the casino exception is disgraceful. but in the spirit of pragmatism, let's jet agree that this is still a big step in the right direction, shall we?```

Anonymous said...

Californian Here!
I remember the initial reaction from bars and bar patrons. So many years later, and you never hear a peep from anybody regarding this.

I do hear people talking about going to places such as Disney World, saying things like everything was wonderful accept for all those smokers in the restaurants and lines.
posted by egarrat

Anonymous said...

Its BULLSHIT. It's more big governemnet telling us how to run EVERYTHING. I am not a smoker but I just find it pathetic that owners of a bar and restaurant aren't even FREE enough to be able to establish rules on THEIR OWN property.

Sorry, but if there is truly a need and want for this, then smoke free clubs and restaurants should be popping up all over. Thats how FREE society and enterprise works.

Should the government now go into the kitchen of these places and start banning Blooming Onions and other healthcare risk, since the food in these places is gonna kill you just as fast as any second hand smoke will.

FREE COUNTRY my ass!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile the staff, and those of us who are kept away from restaurants and pubs because of the smoke, should just shut the hell up?

Yeah, that sounds like a good idea.

I don't think so.

jay lassiter said...

threecents says:

I am saying that if this was truly a problem then let the market place sort it out. Why aren't people opening smoke free bars and restaurants?
I think smoking is stupid, but I think over reaching big government is more so and in the end much more dangerous.

Hell freedom isn't safe, but in this pussyfied, we are more than wiling to trade freedom for training wheels at every turn and You wonder why bush and the feds get away with everything!

jay lassiter said...

the above is an email i just got

Anonymous said...

Says Canadian EYE:
Very well Let's let the market place sort out whether companies should be allowed to pollute the environment all they want.

Let's let the market place decide if should drill for oil in Alaska.

Sometimes the market doesn't work. Sometimes the government does not to interfere

jay lassiter said...


Anonymous said...

I find it disturbing that some people do not respect the right of workers to work in a safe workplace. I guess the SAGO mine should be able to operate without any safety rules too??? When a workplace danger becomes apparent and busines does nothing to protect it's workers then shame on the government if they do not step in to protect the workers. This is about freedom, the freedom to work in a generally safe place. This is not about patrons rights at all.

I remember what it was like when people smoked on trains, busses and airplanes - I welcome the action taken by NJ and it's about time.

Peter Lien

Anonymous said...

Oh sweet Judas Priest children! It's all about money! It's always about the money. And, NJ knows how to cut insurance costs...why do ya think all those Professional Fuel Technicians are pumping your gas?


bluejersey said...

Does the free market also determine when we should wear seatbelts in our OWN CARS? Does the free market determine what fire code standards our OWN homes and businesses should be built to? Does the free market also determine how much alcohol we're legally allowed to have in our OWN BODIES while we drive? I don't want someone running a smokey restaurant that causes cancer in thousands of people that my tax dollars later have to pay medical treatment for. The free market doesn't do that, you know. That's why we're a nation of laws. Because a totally "free" society doesn't get everything right.

jay lassiter said...

Max said:*some* smoke is good
Jay:(while exhalin' a bong hit)Word!

Sharon GR said...

The very first Anon. said:
"casino exemtion a disgrace!"
And you're right. Huge lobbying on the part of the AC casinos paid off, and the casino floor workers pay the price.

S1089 is the bill introduced in the NJ senate to ensure that casino workers get the same protection as workers in other parts of the state. Write your state senators today!

royce said...

since the goverment RAISED the price of cigarettes WITH A TAX, and now they wont allow you to smoke your HIGHLY TAXED CIGARETTES! THIS IS TAXATION WITH OUT REPERSENTATION!! goverment again breaking law!

royce said...

if the goverment wont allow you to smoke anywhere, why the hell do you allow the sale of cigarettes? i will tell you! the goverment makes $2.50 a pack! when will the goverment suggest heavy fines? probably soon as they read this! if you allow the sale of cigarettes! allow us to smoke the dam things you so highly taxed!TAXATION, WITH OUT REPERSENTATION!!

jay lassiter said...

maybe if cigarettes were $10/pack folks would change their habits.