Smoking On the Way Out | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Smoking On the Way Out

photo

See: Jackson Smoking Ordinance, Defined on Jackpedia

Jackson restaurants became subject to the city's new smoking ban Feb. 1, to the joy of non-smokers and local anti-smoking groups, and to the dismay of the Mississippi Restaurant Association and many of the city's restaurants that have catered to smokers for years.

"We fought so long and so hard for this—so long and so hard—it's just got to succeed," said Sandra Shelson of The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi. "It's going to be so beneficial."

Despite Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour receiving income from one of the most powerful tobacco lobbyists in the country—a company that still bears his name—Jackson is leading the Deep South in making her restaurants smoke-free, joining numerous other state capitals in setting a healthy, non-smoking example for their states. As of Feb. 1, only 12 capital cities still allow smoking in restaurants, including Montgomery, Ala., Little Rock, Ark., Atlanta, Ga., Raleigh, N.C., Nashville, Tenn. and Richmond, Va.

"It's a powerful lobby," Shelson said of tobacco lobbyists. "People have no idea how powerful a lobby it is."

Some local restaurant owners, perhaps because they desperately want to be exempt, profess confusion about the ban, but the final version passed by the City Council last July leaves little room for debate. Restaurants with a shared dining room and bar, those with designated smoking areas sharing a room with non-smoking areas, and even those that limit smoking to specific rooms must ban all smoking if the smoking areas share doors, hallways or kitchens with the non-smoking areas. Those restaurants are required to ban smoking throughout the entire establishment under the new city ordinance.

"All of those places, if they're going to maintain a liquor license, are covered by the ordinance," Shelson said, but added that for many establishments, it will come down to the city being serious about enforcing the ban.

Violators of the ordinance will face misdemeanor charges. For individuals, smoking in a non-smoking area will bring a $50 fine, while the penalty for businesses starts at $100 for the first offense, topping out at $500 for the third offense in the same year, plus possible revocation of any city permits.

Jay Schimmel, owner of Schimmel's Restaurant on State Street, thought last year that he might be exempt because of separate hours for the bar and restaurant areas; however, no such stipulation exists in the final version.

He did not return calls for this story.

Anita Bales, a coordinator with the American Cancer Society Health Initiatives, said she interpreted the ordinance to mean that businesses like Schimmel's should "be going completely smoke free."

"Schimmel's and places like Hal & Mal's, and Nick's, and Char and Que Sera, they'll all be smoke free," said Bales, who advocated for the new ordinance last year.

Restaurants' outdoor patios are not exempt from the new ordinance, either. The smoking ban clearly prohibits smoking in "outdoor seating or serving areas of restaurants and within twenty (20) feet thereof." Other outdoor spaces that will prohibit smoking include arenas and stadiums, except in designated smoking areas, and public transportation stations, platforms and shelters.

The smoking ban makes very few exceptions, but does specifically cite "stand-alone bars" as exempt. The ordinance is unambiguous about the definition: a stand-alone bar is an establishment that "is not located within, does not share any common entry or common indoor area with, or any other enclosed workplace, including a restaurant."

One has to dive into the minutiae of state law to understand that when in comes to serving most wine and hard liquor, Mississippi does not permit stand-alone bars to exist. Unless the applicant is a qualified hotel or private club, an "on-premises" retailer's permit—which is required to serve beverages with more than 5 percent alcohol content—is not available unless the establishment makes more than 25 percent of their gross receipts from food. And not just any food—the establishment must be able to prepare and serve food, which means they must have a kitchen; simply serving sandwiches and salads doesn't qualify.

Under that legal definition, the onlyplaces in Mississippi that qualify as stand-alone bars sell only beer or wines with less than 5 percent alcohol content. State law doesn't consider those "light" beverages in the same category as wine or distilled liquor with higher alcohol content. Bars that sell only beer and light wine are exempt from the Mississippi Alcoholic Beverage Control liquor rules, which is also why Mississippians can buy beer and wine coolers in grocery stores.

But, as with all rules, Mississippi has exceptions to the laws covering alcohol. Private clubs (which are supported by member dues and are exempt from federal taxes, among other provisions) and resort areas (which may be granted special privileges, including serving liquor on a 24/7 basis) are two of those exceptions.

The state grants "resort" status to land areas, not specific businesses, and the mayor or county board of supervisors where the land is located must submit the application to the state (or, if those folks refuse, a minimum of 100 adult citizens). Generally reserved for tourist areas, Mississippi has granted resort status to entire cities, including Oxford, Natchez, Tunica, Greenville, Gulfport and Biloxi. And once a piece of land gets resort status, any businesses on the land get special privileges.

Jackson attorney Sam Begley, who has represented many of Mississippi's casinos, said that free-standing bars can exist in designated resort areas, but some rules are non-negotiable.

"Even with resort status, the licensee of the establishment … is still subject to the rules and regulations of the Mississippi State Tax Commission," Begley said, adding that places that feature exotic, nude dancers, for example, are not eligible for a liquor license regardless of their location.

"It does have a bearing on the food issue (that requires licensees to make 25 percent or more of their gross receipts in food sales). One of the reasons to have resort status is so that you can have these little bars, like at the beach, where you can have a free-standing bar," Begley said. "There are a few holes-in-the-wall in Biloxi (that are) nothing but a tavern."

Recently, Castlewoods Country Club received resort status, allowing the club to serve liquor even though it is located in a dry county.

"Popular opinion usually has something to do with it, as does politics," Begley said.

The Historic Farish Street area is one of the areas in Hinds County with resort status, he said. For the purposes of the Jackson non-smoking ordinance, free-standing bars in designated resort areas would be exempt.

"If you had a restaurant/bar on Farish Street, it would be subject to the city ordinance," Begley said, if the restaurant and bar was attached in any way. "The city's only trying to put a restriction on smoking, not drinking."

Hotels in Jackson also have new rules to contend with under the Feb. 1 ordinance. Jackson hotels must now designate 80 percent of their rooms as non-smoking rooms. The previous ordinance did not specify a percentage.

Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association director Mike Cashion said he still opposes the ordinance.

"We were opposed to the overall ordinance last year due to the fact that a business owner should have the right to conduct business as they see fit," Cashion said, adding that the ban could work in tandem with the bad economy to further pull down commerce. "It could be another nail in the coffin for some businesses already suffering under the bad economy."

State Health officer Ed Thompson said in November that the statistics don't support Cashion's argument.

"This has been proven false in a number of states and communities that have enacted smoke-fee laws. What they've found is that either revenues have remained the same, or they've gone up," Thompson said.

Jackson Smoke-Free Ordinance (PDF, 31.9 MB)

Previous Comments

ID
143247
Comment

Speaking for myself, I will be patronizing bars MORE now that the smoking ban is in effect. When it comes to a choice between opening a bottle of wine at home or having my jeans smell like smoke for the next week, I've often been choosing to stay at home.

Author
darren
Date
2009-02-04T11:49:43-06:00
ID
143250
Comment

Well I guess I won't be going to bars anymore in Jackson. What's the use in drinking if you can't smoke. :)

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-02-04T14:11:24-06:00
ID
143258
Comment

Would someone please post either the ordinance or an online link so the ordinance could be read? I'd like to read the actual wording and haven't been able to do so because I can't find it on the city's website.

Author
chaffeur
Date
2009-02-04T15:46:29-06:00
ID
143261
Comment

I think it's clear what the motivation is when they included the set aside for non smoking rooms in hotels. This isn't about any myth of danger from second hand smoke. It's about power and control over free enterprise by some self righteous do-gooders who are sure they are smarter than everyone else. They won't deign to look down their wrinkled nose and ask someone to their face to not smoke so they will use the power of the mob to take away the right of individuals to manage their establishments the way they see fit. Way to go fascists!! Hope you are pleased with yourselves. Thanks for driving another coffin nail into liberty's pine box. [IMG]http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q16/sloshenburg/woodyguthrie.jpg[/IMG] Woody says "You suck!"

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-02-04T16:22:49-06:00
ID
143263
Comment

the confusion here comes from the ambiguity of the word restaurant. in speaking with some of the management at hal and mal's, i found that they were concerned that by going completely non-smoking (which they would like to do), they will lose business to martin's which somehow will be allowed to remain smoking despite the fact that food is served there. there also seemed to be some confusion at fenian's on monday night as evidenced by the smell of my clothes when i got home. i am in full support of the ban. i'm not sure why i should have to suffer because of someone else's habits, but i do not believe the ban to be fair to businesses unless it is all-encompassing, as it is in many of the country's largest cities.

Author
C Myers
Date
2009-02-04T16:27:16-06:00
ID
143265
Comment

nice melodrama, wmartin. i don't know anyone who has a problem with the fact that some people choose to smoke and have the right to do so, but don't non-smokers also have the right to go out, have a drink, watch a band, and not go home smelling like an ashtray?

Author
C Myers
Date
2009-02-04T16:32:25-06:00
ID
143267
Comment

Thanks my first merit badge was for hyperbole. ;-)

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-02-04T16:37:46-06:00
ID
143268
Comment

it was well-deserved!

Author
C Myers
Date
2009-02-04T16:39:05-06:00
ID
143270
Comment

Alright, don't fight, y'all! You can disagree with the ban, or the way it's done, but it's certainly not "fascist." That is hyperbole. There does seem to be a lot of confusion about the ban. According to Ronni's research, it's pretty straightforward, there are few exemptions. As we understand it, no place that serves liquor can allow smoking unless they are in a resort district ... and then only if they are a "standalone" bar. Right, Ronni?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-02-04T16:54:10-06:00
ID
143272
Comment

Ronni has posted a Jackpedia page to help explain the ordinance, where she lists the exemptions in some detail. She's PDFing the ordinance now.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-02-04T16:56:12-06:00
ID
143273
Comment

i don't know anyone who has a problem with the fact that some people choose to smoke and have the right to do so, but don't non-smokers also have the right to go out, have a drink, watch a band, and not go home smelling like an ashtray? The way you exercise those rights is to not patronize the establishments with the rules you don't like. Or better yet, you want a smoke free environment? Open your own club and make the rules you like. According to the people posting here it would be very popular.

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-02-04T16:59:16-06:00
ID
143274
Comment

WMartin, plenty of people are probably not going to places now that allow smoking, especially in restaurants. It's just not the 1970s anymore. Other cities are finding that when these bans go into place, the people who smoke still go out, and so do more of the people who don't. They used to say the same thing in NYC and other places: that a smoking ban would hurt business. But I have smoker friends visit from places like NYC who are now shocked that people smoke in bars here. It will also be very nice for people who want/need to work in bars and restaurants not to have to breathe second-hand smoke. No one is saying you can't smoke; they're saying you can't blow it onto other people, and that non-smokers don't have to agree to breathing your smoke in order to eat a meal out or see a band. Once the shock has worn off, it will seem weird that we ever had smoking in bars and restaurants in the first place. And with a smoking ban, one Jackson restaurant/bar doesn't have to worry about losing business to another one because they all have a level playing field. Now what's interesting about the ordinance they passed, as Ronni explains, is that it seems to allow bars/restaurants more latitude than it actually does. She explains that above, as well as over on Jackpedia in some detail. What's important at this point is for everybody to catch up on what the law actually says. I'd hate restaurants to spend money on improvements that do not actually exempt them from the law.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-02-04T17:08:31-06:00
ID
143275
Comment

You know it would be nice to go and play in a bar and not have to deal with the constant calls of FREEBIRD! and "Can you guys play some skynard?" That would be nice too and I even assert it would be better for my mental health. But I am not lobbying the government to ban rednecks from all public music venues that don't have a free standing vomitorium. That doesn't sound too bad now that I've actually said it out loud. hmmmmmm....

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-02-04T17:19:34-06:00
ID
143276
Comment

WMartin, you're smarter than that. You know that hearing a song is not the same thing as breathing smoke that someone else exhaled.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-02-04T17:21:11-06:00
ID
143278
Comment

Of course it isn't and I'm mostly joking. The law is what it is and most people don't smoke so they are happy. I still smoke, don't really know for how much longer, but I still do so I don't like it much. I do believe it's the wrong thing for the government to be involved in but, well, it is what it is.

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-02-04T17:29:12-06:00
ID
143279
Comment

I don't believe the government should tell people whether they can smoke in their own spaces, but regulating places involved in interstate commerce for health reasons already happens. The problem with smoking is that it inherently violates the rights of someone else in that space because it can't be contained. Unless you regulate it, the burden is *always* on the non-smoker to leave or move or work somewhere else. As for the smoker, he/she can choose to smoke outside (20 feet away, anyway; I didn't know the law regulates patios, too), smoke elsewhere in their own space, or imagine this: quit. And the final reason for the government's jurisdiction is that the government (meaning we-the-taxpayers) end up footing the bill for many smoking-related illnesses and deaths. Note that one can open a private club that does not engage in commerce to the public and smoke all they want.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-02-04T17:38:10-06:00
ID
143280
Comment

Not to mention: Lives will be saved because young people cannot stand at a bar and use a cigarette to supposedly look cool. How many smokers started out just smoking when they drink and then get addicted, and later even die a miserable death from lung cancer (as my stepfather did, so yes I am damned biased). I stayed with him in the V.A. hospital here in Jackson the last week of his life. He had lost so much weight that I had to lift him in and out of the bathtub. He fought for every breath, crying for help all night. This is no way to die: with no dignity left. The joke is on people who think it makes them look cool. Skin-and-bones is not cool. I'm on the side of saving lives, and I applaud the city of Jackson for taking that step. I believe it will make our local businesses stronger and appealing to more people. It's win-win.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-02-04T17:42:00-06:00
ID
143281
Comment

What no one has mentioned yet is how much money it costs the government (i.e., you, via taxes) and businesses when people get sick because they smoke. The American Cancer Society estimates $157 billion a year between early death, loss of productivity, medical expenses, higher insurance rates, etc., etc., etc. The PDF should be linked at the bottom of the story any second if it's not there already. It's a big file, but you can call also call the Jackson City Clerk's office at (601) 960-1035 and they should be able to fax you a copy.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-02-04T17:55:45-06:00
ID
143282
Comment

The ordinance is now posted as a PDF: Jackson_Smoke-Free_Ordinance(PDF, 31.9 MB).

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-02-04T17:57:15-06:00
ID
143283
Comment

i am THRILLED beyond words that i can now go out and listen to a band at places like hal and mal's or fenians without having to inhale smoke! it will allow someone like me who is allergic to smoke to enjoy music and socializing.

Author
2599
Date
2009-02-04T18:13:57-06:00
ID
143284
Comment

Everyone, be sure to click to that Jackpedia page Ronni posted. Especially pay attention to Nos. 5 and 6. If it's not clear from the piece above, what is most intriguing about this ordinance is that it supposedly exempts "standalone bars," but there are very few venues that qualify as a standalone bar, under state law. So essentially, the only bar that can allow smoking only serves beer and wine coolers, and no food -- or in a resort area, a bar that serves beer or liquor, but no food. Put another way, under the ordinance, if you serve too little food to be regulated under the smoking ordinance, then you cannot serve liquor under state law. It has nothing to do with whether you have a separate room with just a bar in it, or separate ventilation, etc. Am I reading that right, Ronni?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-02-04T18:18:03-06:00
ID
143285
Comment

The health issue is a non issue in this. I would assert that alcohol abuse and obesity are more pressing health concerns and bars and restaurants routinely pander to those "vices". What happens when "those that know better than we" come for those? They will be able to make excellent points about how terrible the caloric content of some of the more decadent entree's and how the restaurant advertises those more than the healthier selections. They may even advertise them to kids ! It is already happening in New York with trans fats and caloric disclosure on menus. I don't want the government to be my nanny. If I choose to quit it will be on my terms. The government needs to worry about fixing the streets.

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-02-04T18:20:40-06:00
ID
143286
Comment

The health issue is a non issue in this. I would assert that alcohol abuse and obesity are more pressing health concerns and bars and restaurants routinely pander to those "vices". WMartin, are you being intentionally obtuse? I do not eat *your* food in a restaurant, but I might have to breathe *your* smoke. The law isn't telling people they can't smoke; it's foremost helping protect the people who work in those establishments and other customers who don't make the decision to smoke (and may also help them by deterrence; considering that most smokers want to quit, that can't be a bad thing). It has nothing to do with the government being a "nanny"; that's silly hyperbole. The problem with trans-fats is that they are essentially artificially produced poison, much as cigarettes are. The government can and should regulate poison. Due to trans-fats in school menus and from fast-food joints, kids are graduating high school with hardened arteries, and immediate health problems. It's one of the problems crippling our health-care system, that we're all paying for, both through taxes, as well as higher insurance premiums and the like. No one is saying not to eat fried chicken; what some municipalities are saying is that restaurants can't poison your chicken before they serve it.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-02-04T18:31:01-06:00
ID
143287
Comment

You're essentially right, Donna. Being in a resort area means that the food requirement is suspended to qualify for a liquor license. If you're not in a resort area, you MUST make 25 percent of your revenue from food--and have the ability to cook it--to get a liquor license. I suppose a beer bar can serve some cold food if they want to; they don't have to meet the "food is 25 percent of revenue" requirement. It's actually pretty easy to understand: If you have a liquor license, and you're not in a resort area--in other words, not a beer bar--you can't have ANY common entries or space that shares smoking and non-smoking facilities in Jackson.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-02-04T18:34:37-06:00
ID
143288
Comment

Just to clarify: Selling beer and wine with 5 percent or less alcohol by volume requires a different permit than selling liquor or wine with more than 5 percent alcohol by volume. Restaurants that sell both have to have both licenses.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-02-04T18:38:14-06:00
ID
143289
Comment

And if you're in a resort area, you can only allow smoking in a standalone bar with less than 25 percent food sales, right? This is a mind teaser. As you know, the conflict between the local ordinance and state law has been eating at me for months; thanks for sorting it out! At first, I thought it was an oversight. But the more I hear about it, the more I wonder if someone did the whole thing on purpose so that it essentially outlaws smoking in all bar/restaurants in Jackson (except beer bars and some resort bars) without sounding like it did. Oh, and clarify this: The hours don't matter, right? A bar cannot allow smoking after food is no longer served?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-02-04T18:42:17-06:00
ID
143290
Comment

The problem is you are missing the point. What you or I do in a restaurant or bar is not the point. My point is that they are taking the decision away from the actual people who own the bar or restaurant. My point would be the same whether it was smoking or something else. Although I would have to agree that serving poison should not be allowed. :-P

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-02-04T18:44:16-06:00
ID
143291
Comment

My point is that they are taking the decision away from the actual people who own the bar or restaurant. Obviously, that is true. But why do you want smoking health risks to employees and non-smoking patrons exempt from health regulations? That doesn't make any sense whatsoever. It shouldn't count because you personally like to do it? You say you don't want them to serve poison, but you also don't want them told that people shouldn't be forced to breathe smoke to go there. Can you not see the weird logic you're using? Also, I've talked to a lot of business owners here and elsewhere who want the smoking ban because they now feel like they have to allow smoking in order to stay in business. Of course, Jeff Good was an early adopter of totally smoke-free establishments, and you can see how that choice is just taking him to the cleaners! I believe strongly that this will end up helping nightlife and restaurants here. Many people, including myself, will not eat somewhere where I have to breathe smoke, or make other choices whenever I can. As I said: It isn't the '70s, and the number of people who want to dine or even drink in smoke-free establishments is growing. The good news is that smoking bans are working across the country. People adjust and are then happy about them. The same will happen here.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-02-04T18:56:47-06:00
ID
143292
Comment

Also, it is worth noting that the big fight against integrating interstate commerce (meaning restaurants, hotels, etc.) in the 1960s was that businesses should be able to do whatever they wanted, or serve whomever they wanted to. That is not the case in public services and accommodations, and that standard already exists. So you can't pretend it doesn't when you're talking about smoking in businesses open to the public.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-02-04T19:16:10-06:00
ID
143294
Comment

I think it's a little absurd to ban smoking on an outdoor patio -- especially since many of the patio restaurants share air with buses, cars, and all sorts of other air/noise pollutants. That seems a bit extreme to me.

Author
kaust
Date
2009-02-04T20:54:30-06:00
ID
143295
Comment

I get tired of holding my breath when going into a building somedays. Walmart here was bad about having five to seven employees standing at the door lighting up their cancer sticks.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-02-04T22:16:19-06:00
ID
143296
Comment

That part surprised me, Knol. I didn't know it was in there. As a non-smoker, it'll be nice to sit on a patio without breathing smoke, but I sure don't feel as strongly about it as I do about smoking inside. The whole huddling around the door thing is frustrating. Oh, and down with Wal-Mart. Boo, hiss. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-02-04T22:56:24-06:00
ID
143300
Comment

But why do you want smoking health risks to employees and non-smoking patrons exempt from health regulations? I don't want that. I simply don't believe there are any health risks to non-smokers from being in occasional casual contact with second hand smoke. This is about the majority imposing their will over a minority. Plain and simple. You don't smoke so that suits you.

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-02-05T08:37:54-06:00
ID
143301
Comment

WMartin, do you own Martin's? haha

Author
C Myers
Date
2009-02-05T08:40:01-06:00
ID
143302
Comment

No, it's not about that. There is plenty of research to show the dangers of second-hand smoke. Not to mention, you're just leaving out that people must work in second-hand smoke every day. Until recently, WMartin, smokers imposed their will on everyone else. I can't tell you how many meals I've paid for that I couldn't taste well because someone's cigarette smoke was affecting the taste of the food -- and often in supposed "non-smoking" sections. The world is changing, and smokers can no longer impose their smoke on anyone anywhere. It's that plain and simple. No one's stopping you from smoking, so stop the "fascist" nonsense. It makes not a lick of sence.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-02-05T09:18:52-06:00
ID
143303
Comment

All that said, I understand the concern of business owners over a smoking ban, and I don't blame them for being nervous. However, I believe strongly—and research shows—that we've reached a tipping point in the history of public smoking. Used to be, non-smokers would just put up with it to go out. Many now won't and will choose places where they don't have to. There is very good reason to believe that restaurants and even bars will do much better when people realize they don't have to hang out in an ash tray to go out and hear music (which is one of the saddest things about your argument: you expect non-smokers to put up with breathing other people's smoke to hear good music they can't hear elsewhere). We just had a huge Best of Jackson party. It was non-smoking, and had a wonderful mix of people partying their asses off. Smokers went outside. The Chick Ball is non-smoking since last year. The JFP Lounge is non-smoking (although it seems that now the Pi(e) patio will have to be, too, based on the ordinance). A few years back, I wouldn't have believed we could have great parties, with smokers and non-smokers, if we made it non-smoking. But attitudes are changing, and more people -- including many smokers -- want non-smoking events. That's a good thing for business and health, even if you don't personally like it. Maybe it's a good time to quit? ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-02-05T09:24:45-06:00
ID
143304
Comment

I understand that non-smokers want a place to eat and listen to good music without having to breathe secondhand smoke. However smokers want a place where they can eat and listen to good music and SMOKE. Why does it have to be all or nothing? If a bar or restaurant want to be non smoking, let it. I'm sure it would get a lot of business from non smokers, and probably smokers as well, if they do a good job. I am a regular at bars and restaurants who allow smoking, and it's the non-regulars who want this smoking ban, because they MIGHT want to go once a month, if that much.

Author
Bcarter
Date
2009-02-05T09:27:10-06:00
ID
143306
Comment

do you think the non-smokers might become regulars if they didn't have to do laundry after every visit?

Author
C Myers
Date
2009-02-05T09:34:38-06:00
ID
143307
Comment

People can start private clubs and invite smokers, Bcarter. The problem is just it's inherently unequal; smokers violate the rights of non-smokers every time they light up in front of them. Some smokers believe they have the right to smoke anywhere they want, regardless of whether other people like it. That's the part that's changing: a privilege that our culture has allowed to be biased toward smokers. Giving non-smokers rights to not breathe your smoke is not the same thing as trying to run your life. It's public spaces that are the issue, not the ones that you alone control. Also, per your post: Why do you think non-smokers are non-regulars in bars and restaurants that allow smoking -- especially those that allow it everywhere or in all the main restaurant spaces? And in a world where smoking isn't considered cool like it used to be, and more people are avoiding it, what are those businesses doing to their potential business? They're limiting it to people who still want to smoke or are willing to breathe it while they pay good money to eat a meal or hear music.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-02-05T09:37:24-06:00
ID
143308
Comment

...and in the same manner that i approach people who still think obama is going to send us down a terrible path, i say this... we've tried it your way for a while, let's try it our way now. you may be pleasantly surprised. we can go back and forth on this forever. the ordinance has been passed. and, the day the council voted, i didn't see anyone in the meeting in opposition of the ban.

Author
C Myers
Date
2009-02-05T09:40:48-06:00
ID
143309
Comment

I promise to drink double my usual amount of beers so that I can make up for one smoker who's decided to stay at home.

Author
darren
Date
2009-02-05T09:46:54-06:00
ID
143310
Comment

i take that challenge and raise you one beer...

Author
C Myers
Date
2009-02-05T09:49:45-06:00
ID
143311
Comment

do you think the non-smokers might become regulars if they didn't have to do laundry after every visit?

Author
Bcarter
Date
2009-02-05T09:55:42-06:00
ID
143312
Comment

"People can start private clubs and invite smokers, Bcarter." - posted by ladd on 02/05/09 at 09:37 AM Actually they can't. In section 86-166 (c) It says that you can't open a private club to avoid compliance with this article.

Author
Bcarter
Date
2009-02-05T10:01:33-06:00
ID
143313
Comment

perhaps this is an opportunity to challenge the people who support the ordinance to go out this weekend and next week to a bar or restaurant that you normally wouldn't visit because of the smoke. Ask your server/bartender to mention to the manager/owner how much nicer it is now that the smoke is gone...or mention it to the manager in person. If, like at fenian's on monday night, they have decided not to comply yet, mention that you will come back when they decide to do so. i feel that establishments are hesitant to go smoke free out of fear. maybe that would ease those fears somewhat. donna, is this a challenge the free press would be willing to issue to the loungelist?

Author
C Myers
Date
2009-02-05T10:02:15-06:00
ID
143314
Comment

I remember being able to smoke in grocery stores, elevators, and even in class- at Belhaven no less! I quit two years ago, and am just now reaching the point where they really do smell bad to me, and I notice it on my clothes. But I still think it should be the option of the business owner as to whether or not to allow smoking. I think enough places would still voluntarily change their policy- that just seems to be the thing to do these days, but there should still be places to go where a person can light one up if he/she so wishes.

Author
Rico
Date
2009-02-05T10:16:26-06:00
ID
143315
Comment

But I still think it should be the option of the business owner as to whether or not to allow smoking. I have a feeling that if this were about toxins in baby toys or in our drinking water, or speed limits, or minimum standards for education, we'd be having a different kind of conversation. I mean, after all, parents should have the "choice" to buy contaminated, unsafe toys, shouldn't they? Companies should have the "choice" to dump sludge where ever they want to, shouldn't they? Drivers should have a "choice" to drive as insanely as they want to and every 11-year-old (or their parents) should have the "choice" not to go to school whenever they want to. Shouldn't they? The truth is, we live with all kinds of rules and regulations every day that are designed for our individual--and society's collective--well being. Eliminating smoking from public spaces is really the same kind of thing. The only difference is that there's an enormously powerful tobacco lobby that is working double-time to convince us that it's something else. It's not. Smoking kills, and you and I and every taxpayer in America pays the price--in lost productivity, higher taxes providing medical care to uninsured sick people, higher health insurance premiums and more--every day, to the tune of hundreds of billions every year. We can debate this until the cows come home, but it won't change those basic facts one iota.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-02-05T12:07:13-06:00
ID
143316
Comment

Why is smoking cigarettes still legal if it's as deadly as experts claim?

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2009-02-05T13:14:44-06:00
ID
143317
Comment

donna, is this a challenge the free press would be willing to issue to the loungelist? That's up to Todd. ;-) But I certainly would take the challenge. For instance, I'd go to Fenian's more often without smoke there. I *love* their veggie burger! I used to go go a lot, but I'm much less tolerant of second-hand smoke than I used to be. Never liked, but could deal with it. I really can't now. In the East Village in NYC, there is this great Irish pub that everyone goes to that did not miss a beat after the smoking ban. Everyone thought places like that would die. Rumors of their death were premature. The smoking ban certainly will increase the options of places where the JFP can hold Lounges and other events.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-02-05T13:14:50-06:00
ID
143319
Comment

Why is smoking cigarettes still legal if it's as deadly as experts claim? Good question, Jeff. My two cents? It's all about money. The tobacco lobby spends millions to support "friendly" candidates, and to block legislation detrimental to their profits. In the 2008 election cycle, they spent nearly $2 million on the federal side, alone. That doesn't include influence and funds spent at the state and local level, including folks like our own governor, who still makes money from the (tobacco) lobbying firm that bears his name. Remember the 1998 $264 billion settlement with the tobacco industry? Remember Barbour's diverting the funds used for Mississippi's anti-smoking campaign, killing the most effective program, ever? Mississippi makes $180 million a year from tobacco sales and last year, spent about $8 million on prevention programs. See this site for more info.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-02-05T13:56:50-06:00
ID
143320
Comment

Here's another interesting little tidbit: The tobacco industry spent $13.4 billion (yes, that's a "b") nationwide for advertising last year, of which, they spent an estimated $183 million in Mississippi. So, let's see, $183 million in advertising vs. $8 million in prevention. Yeah, I'd say it's all about money... In 2007, Altria which counts Philip Morris and U.S. Smokeless Tobacco among its companies, posted more than $12 billion in profits on $70 billion in revenue.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-02-05T14:45:47-06:00
ID
143321
Comment

the link to the ordinance does not work for me. my question is who enforces the ordinance? who makes the call if a situation is questionable?

Author
C Myers
Date
2009-02-05T14:50:17-06:00
ID
143322
Comment

c... try the link at the bottom of the story. The one in Ladd's post doesn't work for me either. I'll see if I can correct it.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-02-05T15:03:42-06:00
ID
143324
Comment

who enforces the ordinance? who makes the call if a situation is questionable? The Jackson Police would be the enforcers, like any other city ordinance. As to who makes the call for a questionable situation, I imagine it will be the courts.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-02-05T15:14:35-06:00
ID
143327
Comment

If JPD takes the smoking ban as seriously as they do drug dealers, the law will be meaningless. Anyone ever call JPD to report the presence of a drug dealer or a crack house on your street? If so, were you able to find a cop who cared?

Author
Jennifer2
Date
2009-02-05T16:44:22-06:00
ID
143328
Comment

good point. either they wouldnt show at all or frank melton would show up and tear the bar down!

Author
C Myers
Date
2009-02-05T16:50:16-06:00
ID
143329
Comment

Exactly!

Author
Jennifer2
Date
2009-02-05T16:53:42-06:00
ID
143330
Comment

BoydC, You simply can't equate non-profit advocacy groups with corporate lobbying. Do you really think non-profit organizations like the Mississippi Health Advocacy Program or Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi are pulling down the kind of money that corporate interests are? Can I say "non-profit" once again? There's no such thing as a "for-profit, corporate" anti-smoking lobby that I'm aware of. I'm willing to be proven wrong ... enlighten us.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-02-05T17:46:25-06:00
ID
143333
Comment

"Follow the money" -- the tobacco industry is so deeply invested that it permeates almost every strata. Consider the automotive industry for example -- cigarette lighters and ashtrays are standard equipment and have been for decades. Can you imagine the Big Three rolling cars off the line equipped with say, a chilled six-pack dispenser for your Bud-Lite. And hey, pharmaceuticals have deep pockets -- what if we got cars with a prozac pedal (although that's not a bad idea, what with all the road rage.)

Author
chaffeur
Date
2009-02-05T20:14:40-06:00
ID
143337
Comment

chaffeur- they actually do have cars and trucks with built in coolers. The Dodge Journey and the Honda Ridgeline do, plus a few more.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-02-05T23:04:17-06:00
ID
143343
Comment

But I still think it should be the option of the business owner as to whether or not to allow smoking. What a crazy idea. Why should a business owner be allowed to operate his business the way they choose? There is obviously no difference between me lighting a cigarette in public and dumping toxic waste into the city water supply or poisoning children. After all, if the government is going to pay for our medical care why shouldn't they be able to control every aspect of our lives? They are paying so we owe them that much don't we? Thank god the anti-smoking zealots are there to save us from ourselves. I feel better already.

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-02-06T09:09:32-06:00
ID
143344
Comment

WMartin, Are you being purposely provacative, or just stubborn? Your rant only makes sense if you still believe that cigarettes aren't poison and that they don't kill. Does anyone really need to convince you that cigarettes are filled with carcinogens? Do you really not understand that smoking kills? And I hate the be the bearer of bad news for you, but the "government" is you and me. When the "government" pays for treatment for uninsured people with smoking-related illness, those are your tax dollars at work. Do you really not understand that part either? Author Philip K. Dick said, "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away" My father smoked like a chimney from age 13 until he was well into his 70s, frequently rolling his own. After numerous unsuccessful attempts to quit (including gum, patches, hypnotism, etc.), he finally did it after he developed pneumonia that nearly killed him. He ended up with emphysema, gasping for every breath. His brilliant mind was suffocated by lack of oxygen to his brain. A former professor who taught at MIT and Harvard (among many other colleges and universities) he was reduced to a blathering invalid in diapers the last years of his life. He finally died of pneumonia. My mother, who quit smoking in her 40s, was plagued with chronic bronchitis and heart problems, exacerbated, according to her doctors, by my father's constant smoking. At the end of her life, she wasn't able to walk a block without gasping for air. Let's talk again when you're hooked up to your oxygen tank.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-02-06T10:20:14-06:00
ID
143345
Comment

Are you being purposely provacative, or just stubborn? You left out the third and most obvious choice. Maybe I just think you and Ms. Ladd are terribly sexy when you get all riled up. And I hate the be the bearer of bad news for you, but the "government" is you and me. This I am aware of. However, our government was not set up to give the majority the right to oppress the minority which I am sure YOU are aware of also. "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away" I reject your reality and will substitute my own. I am sorry for your loss, and I am sure your parents were both wonderful people. My grandfather smoked from the time he was eight, yep eight, until he died in his eighties of natural causes. So there are stories both ways. Anecdotes prove nothing. That is not to say that I believe smoking is healthy or that all the data that says it's bad for you is wrong or a conspiracy. I know it's bad and I have tried to quit several times. I am not trying to champion the cause of smoking. I will speak out when someone's choices are taken away by government fiat because it makes some people uncomfortable when they have the choice not to go there. I do not believe there is any more health risk from casual contact with second hand smoke than walking down the street and breathing in any number of other fumes that are present in our city or the rays from the sun for that matter. I agree with the headline to this story. Smoking is on it's way out. The point was made that Bravo voluntarily banned smoking and it hasn't hurt their business at all. I applaud Mr. Good's decision to do what he felt was right for his business. But, it was his decision to make not the city council's, your's or mine. As far as my oxygen tank goes, I am a vegetarian (I am a member of peta also so don't even get me started about the health risks to animals in restaurants which are very real and I would like to see banned) and I take a lot of steps to be healthy. I will quit smoking one day, hopefully I will be successful soon. But I will still feel it should up to the business owner what his patrons are allowed to do.

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-02-06T12:00:20-06:00
ID
143346
Comment

Jeff Good's restaurant Bravo had smoking at the bar for forever. Sal & Mookies had both a designated smoking area and you could smoke at the bar patio. Martin's and Fenian's just won't be the same.

Author
QB
Date
2009-02-06T12:12:00-06:00
ID
143348
Comment

maybe not the same...but, maybe better I just saw shows in Starkville and Oxford where smoking no longer is allowed. It's way better for dancing, enjoying music. I felt sad for those who wanted a smoke, but to me in was infinitely preferable.

Author
Izzy
Date
2009-02-06T12:22:39-06:00
ID
143349
Comment

The government(us) pays for alot of health care issues that could be avoided, drug abuse,unhealthy diets,drinking,uninsured births, aids..etc, let's just ban living, it will cost less. My father died from emphysema too, so did two of his brothers and one of his sisters and another brother has it too. They all smoked. I smoke, I have an incurable cancer(not smoking related), not going quit either, going to die anyway, maybe 6 months maybe 6 years. (and no it not going to cost the gov't, I pay dearly for great health insurance). Hey, Life's a bitch, then you die. WMartin- vegetarian is old Native American word for bad hunter. PETA- People Eating Tastey Animals? :)

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-02-06T13:36:02-06:00
ID
143351
Comment

Truce, WMartin. Since you reject my reality (over which I make no claim of ownership), there's really nothing left for us to discuss. All of the points below have been voluminously documented by lawyers and doctors, and the legal points have all been tested in the courts. I invite everyone to research them thoroughly. 1. Americans do not have the right to smoke under the law. 2. Smokers do not qualify as a minority group needing protection under the law. 3. Business owners do not have the right to operate however they want to, especially when their actions adversely affect the public weal. 4. There is no such thing as safe second-hand smoke. Debate amongst yourselves... I'm outta here. Peace!

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-02-06T14:21:43-06:00
ID
143352
Comment

I went to Fenian's Thursday night. They were smokin' up a storm! AND at one point, there was an uniformed JPD officer in there! I asked them at the bar "what gives?" and they had a convuluted story involving numbers that I had a hard time following after my 3rd adult beverage. Needless to say, they think they are exempt due to the makeup of thier 25% "food sales". Sales that include merchandise and tobacco.umph. Not just veggie burgers. Those at the bar also chimed in that Martins and Hal and Mal's are "grandfathered" in. ????? And that Sam's has resort status! Mind you, the folks in this conversation were in the restaurant business (3 different restaurants)and they felt like they knew the law and were in compliance. If half of these things are true this law is so full of loopholes that the state will have to step in a straighten it out. By the same token, Hal and Mal's was smoke free Thursday night.

Author
LKL
Date
2009-02-06T15:15:10-06:00
ID
143353
Comment

But it will take 1000s of years to get the smoke out of Hal and Mal's from the buildup of all the previous years.

Author
Jennifer2
Date
2009-02-06T15:17:49-06:00
ID
143354
Comment

Y'all are killing me... BoydC, If you have leads and can provide more than rumor and innuendo, share. Send them to [email protected] and we'll consider investigating. Otherwise, I'm not biting, and neither will any other journalist. Bubba, First, sorry to hear about your health. I'm glad you have insurance and you're getting help. Regarding the other problems, though, let's not be overly dramatic... besides, WMartin has got you beat on that hands down . You're right about all the avoidable health problems, but can we just fight one battle at a time instead of conceding the entire war?

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-02-06T15:24:55-06:00
ID
143356
Comment

Wow, Bubba, I'm sorry to hear about your health situation. I do hope and pray, however, that you can fight this and live a long time afterwards. I used to side against the government deciding for private businesses whether they should allow smoking or not. Now, I've come around on that quite a bit.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2009-02-06T15:34:06-06:00
ID
143357
Comment

I have a question about the exemptions. If second hand smoke is such a health hazard that we need a smoking ban in the first place why are resorts and some places be given an exemptions,like Farish St project. 1. Is second hand smoke not really the health hazard and the ban is just the fashionable and PC thing to do, so it's going to be allow some place to be fair? 2. They got the exemptions because they know no one will build anything on Farish St. if it's no smoking in the area, not matter what they say about business not losing money because of smoking bans?

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-02-06T15:38:23-06:00
ID
143358
Comment

Bubba, it's not that resort areas are exempt from the smoking ban. It's that the Jackson ordinance says that "stand-alone bars" are exempt, and only stand-alone bars in resort areas can get a liquor license. Read more on jackpedia.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-02-06T15:46:21-06:00
ID
143361
Comment

BubbaT, Man that's tough luck on the health issues sorry to hear it. Yes, I am a horrible hunter. I also ruin it for all those that are anywhere near me. So, as you would imagine, I am not invited to deer camp anymore. Since the subject of being overly dramatic has been brought up, here are a couple of clips that show where the exaggeration is. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01PdsZ5EdHU http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGoZ-b1OaW4

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-02-06T16:24:26-06:00
ID
143362
Comment

Having just moved to Jackson from the San Francisco Bay Area, I'm thrilled that the smoking ban just took effect. In California, smoking in restaurants and workplaces has been banned statewide since 1994 and in bars since 1998. I can barely remember a time when there were smoking & non-smoking sections in restaurants. A no-smoking policy indoors is just common sense. I don't smoke, and I shouldn't suffer the health consequences of smoking, and have my clothes and hair reek, just by going out in public. When I visited Jackson last fall and went to Pub Quiz at Sportsman's Lodge, I had to step outside a couple of times just to catch my breath. My childhood asthma was flaring up just from being in a smoke-filled environment. If not for the ban, I would have had to stop going to Sportsman's. Until now, I've avoided Martin's for that reason. Maybe local restaurants will now get an economic boost from health-conscious people like me. I doubt that smokers will STOP going, because if almost all places are smoke-free, where will they go instead? My dad, 58, was hospitalized last week for serious pneumonia related to his decades of smoking. Lying in a hospital bed for days with tubes up his nose snapped him into reality: He will die young if he continues to smoke. I hope that smokers in Jackson take a cue from my father and use the ban as inspiration to quit.

Author
melia.dicker
Date
2009-02-06T16:25:12-06:00
ID
143363
Comment

BoydC... I'm not disagreeing with you, but you seem to be privy to information we're not. Stop being smug and provide us with facts we can investigate and sources we can talk with or go away. The organization's you're disparaging are respected non-profit, non-partisan groups.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-02-06T16:35:31-06:00
ID
143364
Comment

I think what BoydC is trying to say is he thinks the people who work for the non-profits and the lobbisit for tobacco industry are in it just for the money. Don't know what tobacco lobbist make but some non-profit execs make damn good money. "Among nonprofits, the top 10 national salaries ranged from $910,964 to $1.58 million. The top 10 local salaries ranged from $208,865 to $543,585." From the Pittsburgh Business Times http://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/stories/2008/08/11/story4.html

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-02-06T16:58:51-06:00
ID
143367
Comment

I just love how smoking has gotten so uncool that the bedraggled smokers huddled around downtown building exits and entrances have that sheepish I'm-a-heroin-addict-I-can't-help-myself look. At the same time, the fact that Obama sneaks a cigarette every now and again (assuming he still does) is totally cool.

Author
Jennifer2
Date
2009-02-06T17:30:07-06:00
ID
143369
Comment

I went to Fenian's Thursday night. They were smokin' up a storm! AND at one point, there was an uniformed JPD officer in there. Woohoo!! Go Fenian's! I'm down with civil disobedience. Gotta love the Irish. I'm gonna put the prozac pedal to the metal and have me a Tara burger for dinner.

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-02-06T18:02:18-06:00
ID
143372
Comment

I had lunch at Fenian's earlier this week. The back room was non-smoking, but at 2:00 they break out the ashtrays and convert in over to smoking! On the way out, I noticed a survey to see if people preferred smoking or not- even though I no longer smoke, I signed on the smoking side. As far as I'm concerned, if the owner wants to make it non-smoking, I'm all for it. If he/she wants to allow smoking, I'm all for that too. But it should be their decision.

Author
Rico
Date
2009-02-07T10:08:31-06:00
ID
143375
Comment

I believe the back room has always been like that. Sorry I missed the survey. The management(Damon)said he didn't even ask the owner for his view. He just decided himself. So, it wasn't the owner's decision in this instance. It was the manager's decision, who, by the way, is a smoker. When I worked in restaurants, I would have loved to be able to work in a smoke free workplace and make the kind of money I made bartending. But at that time, the only smokefree places were places like--well, nowhere! Even the places that didn't serve liquor allowed smoking.(Shoney's, Waffle house, Primo's, etc.) I don't think it's too much to ask (and only fair!) for a girl to be able get a good job doing something she is trained to do, make a living wage doing it, and for her work place to be smoke free. People who work in restaurants are no different than people who work in offices, department stores, grocery stores,---everywhere else. Why shouldn't they have the same rights? What trumps the owner's preference over his employee's health?

Author
LKL
Date
2009-02-07T16:45:37-06:00
ID
143376
Comment

I won't be back in Fenian's again until it is smoke free. My clothes reek everytime.

Author
LKL
Date
2009-02-07T16:47:45-06:00
ID
143378
Comment

Well, to be honest, I prefer bars that are smoke free. I just feel like it should be the owner who decides, not the government.

Author
Rico
Date
2009-02-07T17:05:34-06:00
ID
143384
Comment

i turned down an invite to fenian's just last friday due to too much smoke. i love live music and good food, and would probably go there for both, but not until they decide to abide by the ordinance. i just refuse to put myself in a situation where i HAVE to breathe that stuff.

Author
2599
Date
2009-02-07T21:53:09-06:00
ID
143385
Comment

I also have avoided spending my money at Fenians and other places due to smoke. I either don't go at all and/or leave earlier than I otherwise would have. Non-smoking politices can actually bring in more revenues.

Author
Izzy
Date
2009-02-07T23:09:46-06:00
ID
143392
Comment

I'm completely untroubled by secondhand smoke, but my folks find it very hard to deal with. I'll usually change clothes as soon as I get home because if I don't and I'm within ten feet of them, their eyes start watering and they get nauseated. (They're ex-smokers and very sensitive to the stuff.) It bugs me that people (including most of my closest friends) will need to go outside to smoke, and I'll probably join them outside more often than not. But I have to admit that when I went to Hal & Mal's Tuesday, it felt a heck of a lot less, for lack of a better term, muggy. It had only been a couple of days since the smoking ban took effect, and the air was already discernibly cleaner.

Author
Tom Head
Date
2009-02-08T16:33:50-06:00
ID
143594
Comment

I haven't noticed any difference in smoking in the bars I go to. I couldn't help but mention it and what I was told is the way it's being interpreted is if an establishment sells more food than alcohol smoking is prohibited otherwise it's the owner's discretion.

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-02-15T15:57:17-06:00
ID
143595
Comment

Smoking is not happening at Hal & Mal's or Que Sera Sera, and I didn't notice any at La Cazuela either. Can't speak to other venues yet. Is Fenian's still doing the civil disobedience thing? Is there smoking at the 930, or JC's, or Dick & Jane's? (Actually I think the Dick & Jane's smoking was mostly confined to the courtyard anyway--kinda hard to dance with a lit cigarette in your hand!)

Author
Tom Head
Date
2009-02-15T16:09:12-06:00
ID
143596
Comment

JCs and Dick and Jane's are still smoking... The dancefloor is always super-smokey at D&Js... Tom, was anyone smoking on the patio of QSS? If so, that's technically illegal.

Author
kaust
Date
2009-02-15T16:10:46-06:00
ID
143597
Comment

Knol, worth mentioning here that my memory of D&Js is kind of hazy. :o) I only went once. Had a fantastic time but I spent a lot of time out on the courtyard so I can't remember where folks were smoking or not smoking... I just remember the folks I was with went out on the courtyard to smoke. I haven't seen anybody smoke on the patio at QSS but if the smoking ban applies to outdoor tables, that strikes me as kinda silly.

Author
Tom Head
Date
2009-02-15T16:20:33-06:00
ID
143598
Comment

It applies if the outside smoking is connected to the non-smoking by a door... At least that seems to be the consensus. Oh, and it's more than silly. It's ridiculous and an ugly step for government controlling all aspects of business.

Author
kaust
Date
2009-02-15T16:22:49-06:00
ID
143599
Comment

I was told is the way it's being interpreted is if an establishment sells more food than alcohol smoking is prohibited otherwise it's the owner's discretion. Really? One wonders if they've read the ordinance. That's clearly not what it says. It's really wacky if they are going to put the onus on the customer to complain that they're not following the law. Sad, really. As for the patios, I have mixed feelings. It sure would be nice to sit on a patio on a beautiful day without breathing someone else's poison; on the other hand, it could be the one refuge for smokers with less potential harm to the servers. My vote would probably be that they could allow it if they devote half or more of the patio to a non-smoking section. But maybe that would be too hard to implement. The answer is probably following other cities onto the non-smoking wagon whole-hog so that everyone gets used to it and stops whining as has happened in cities like NYC, Chicago.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-02-15T16:37:23-06:00
ID
143600
Comment

From a civil liberties perspective I'm much more annoyed with the across-the-board ban on marijuana than the venue-specific ban on tobacco smoking--I wrote a bit comparing the two, and there's really no constitutional reason why the government can ban one drug and not another, especially when tobacco is the more dangerous of the two--but I'd still like to see patios available to smokers as long as it's not all under an enclosed tent or something. And maybe setting aside outdoor smoking/non-smoking areas could also work. That said, I wouldn't characterize objections to the ordinance as whining per se... The ordinance does affect smokers' lives. They have legitimate reason to be annoyed with it. But from a cost/benefit ratio perspective and from a constitutional perspective, the smoking ban makes much more sense than most other recreational drug-related policies. And the public health and environmental benefits could be staggering.

Author
Tom Head
Date
2009-02-15T16:44:31-06:00
ID
143601
Comment

"kinda hard to dance with a lit cigarette in your hand" --Tom Yeah, actually not that unusual, at a show I went to in Tuscaloosa, at the Jupiter club, I got burned by someone doing just that. I don't like dancing among smokers - fire hazard and harder to breathe makes it hard to dance with stamina. I really liked the recent shows I saw in Oxford without smoke, and I've liked the Red Room events at Hal & Mal's that have been smoke free, too!

Author
Izzy
Date
2009-02-15T16:46:18-06:00
ID
143602
Comment

Laurel, indeed. And I think I'll do better at karaoke if I'm not doing it in a smoke-filled room, too! Still kind of divided on how I feel about this personally because I don't like for my friends to have to go outside to smoke--most of my friends are smokers--but from a policy standpoint, I can't really object.

Author
Tom Head
Date
2009-02-15T16:48:45-06:00
ID
143610
Comment

I wasn't able to make it to Fenian's the other night. I have a friend that plays there all the time. So I will check with him and find out. La Cazuela still had smoking on the deck last week. I was there for lunch, so I don't know about dinner. I'm not sure what their rationale is, maybe they just figure JPD doesn't enforce most of the laws in Jackson anyway. So they feel like they can get away with it.

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-02-16T07:45:50-06:00
ID
143734
Comment

my 2 cents. It was back in 1998-99 when california banned smoking in bars. At the time I was rather put out since most of the people I knew tending bar and/or its patrons were smokers. One of the bars tried to get around this by becoming a "private" club. However, with that being said, it didn't take long for me to a)adjust and b) enjoy the morning after NOT having that horrid taste in my mouth from the smoke and not needing to put my clothes outside to air out. It finally got through my head that the workers inside the bars and restaurants don't get away with casual or intermittent contact with smoke like their patrons. Making smokers go somewhere else to smoke is an easier fix than the cost of smoke related healthcare. I get it and am totally for it.

Author
Federica H-P
Date
2009-02-18T17:08:05-06:00
ID
143752
Comment

i was recently told by a friend that, according to one of the servers there, fenian's WILL be going smoke-free. so, good for them and for all of us who love the place.

Author
C Myers
Date
2009-02-19T07:10:04-06:00

Thanks to all our new JFP VIPs!

COVID-19 has closed down the main sources of the JFP's revenue -- concerts, festivals, fundraisers, restaurants and bars. If everyone reading this article gives $5 or more, we should be able to continue publishing through the crisis. Please pay what you can to keep us reporting and publishing.

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

comments powered by Disqus