April 13, 2006

Step Away from the Door!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 6:27 pm

New Jersey’s Smoking Ban, which outlaws smoking indoors in public places, including bars and restaurants (except, of course, in Atlantic City’s Casinos), takes effect on April 15th.  No longer will the owner of an establishment be able to choose to permit smoking or not; the state had made that choice for him.

Which means that smokers have been relegated to the great outdoors if they wish to smoke.  Freezing cold, driving snow, pouring rain – it doesn’t matter, “Outside with you, filthy swine!”

Today, just three days before the law takes effect, the Department of Health and Senior Services issued a regulation stating that smokers cannot be within twenty-five feet of the door of the establishment.  The feces head who wrote the regulation must have had large office buildings in mind, because he/she obviously has not spent much time visiting about a gazillion Jersey saloons and restaurants that have a frontage of about twenty-five feet.

I suppose that means that smokers have to go onto someone else’s property to stay far enough away from the door to legally smoke.  Perhaps they should stand in the street in order to satisfy the twenty-five feet rule?  But wait, there are other laws that would prevent that.

This Nanny State Crap is consistent with the recent hike in the cigarette tax that was proposed as part of the state budget..  Enlighten New Jersey ferreted out the real deal on the cigarette tax hike.  It’s purpose is not to increase revenues to combat the scandalously high deficit in this state, which has resulted from corruption, governmental inefficiency, and profligate spending, but rather its unspoken purpose is to tax smokers out of their habits.  Indeed the budget forecasted a net revenue loss of $149 million as a result of the tax hike.

This is yet more social engineering brought to you by the Beautiful People, many of whom, by the way, enjoy a good cigar and made damned sure that “cigar bars” remained legal.  (Please spare me the increased-healthcare-costs-resulting-from-smoking crapola unless Corzine is also willing to tax hell out of potato chips, ice cream and Twinkies.)

This kind of baloney and the taxes being to the point where many young and older people can no longer afford to live in this state, I think that the only possible solution is to vote every single New Jersey incumbent politician out of office.

Party affiliation does not matter.  If they’re in vote ‘em out!

We need a complete do-over in this state.


  1. They did the same thing in Georgia last July. People including myself quit going out to eat, now the food bars are crying. Too much government. Fuckem, stay home and eat and drink, have parties at your house, fuckem.

    Comment by Catfish — April 13, 2006 @ 6:44 pm

  2. I quite agree with Catfish’s eloquent statements on the subject. Let me also say, though, that the problem with focusing on turning the rascals out is people rarely pay much attention to what new rascals are going in. Can we simply string them all up at the nearest lamppost?

    Comment by zonker — April 13, 2006 @ 7:11 pm

  3. The Smoking Lamp is always lit at Stately Sad Old Goth Manor. Screw ’em. I’ll stay home and drink and smoke.

    Comment by gregor — April 13, 2006 @ 7:28 pm

  4. Don’t feel pregnant, Jimbo. Even Montana has passed a law for such jackassery. Where I work, smoking is not allowed anywhere on the property — not even the ‘privacy’ of one’s own vehicle in their parking lot. Apparently, us dumbass citizens have to be taken care of by the Nannystate — whether we want to be, or not.

    Comment by DMerriman — April 13, 2006 @ 9:11 pm

  5. The ‘common good’ trumps property rights yet again.

    Comment by Enlighten — April 13, 2006 @ 10:09 pm

  6. It is all a bunch of overbearing B.S. if you ask me. And I hope karma comes around and outlaws something they love, just to get even. But be glad you don’t live in Calabasas, CA where they just banned smoking in public, indoors and out.

    Viva la house party/blogmeet!

    Comment by Princess Cat — April 13, 2006 @ 10:11 pm

  7. One day someone with some cash is going to start a class action lawsuit against a state for prohibiting a legal activity in a public area. I don’t smoke, but if I had the cash I’d do it.

    Comment by Teresa — April 14, 2006 @ 12:18 am

  8. Our legislature just passed a similar bill, goes into effect July 1 I think. Our Rev. Gov. has tried for years to get it passed. Finally managed during a special session supposedly called for passing more school funding. Not that he’d do something by fiat that he couldn’t get passed by us voters. Nope, not him.

    Public outcry? Not yet. I suspect most don’t even know it’s been passed.

    I hope y’all remember this when he runs for president.

    Comment by rita — April 14, 2006 @ 7:41 am

  9. Washington state did the same thing this past year, much to my disgust.
    I haven’t smoked in 20 years, but I voted against the stupid thing. We already
    had restaurants and bowling alleys which opted to be non-smoking, their right.
    And people got CHOICES that way. Now there is no choice … the state took it away.

    Comment by Barb — April 14, 2006 @ 3:15 pm

  10. So, you’re saying you should smoke out the incumbents?

    Oh, the irony.

    Comment by Jeff — April 14, 2006 @ 5:13 pm

  11. Can anyone show me the science behind these draconian laws? No, I didn’t think so. That’s because there is no scientific evidence that 2nd hand smoke has any health effects. This is pure PC bunk!

    Thanks go out to Joe Califano and the rest of the nannies out there.

    Comment by MCPO Airdale — April 15, 2006 @ 2:02 pm

  12. Heh…it’s not polite to make a woman with stitches laugh so hard but OMG that was funny. Thank you. Sad thing is, you can almost picture something like this happen. I guess the sale of Gas-X will soar now.

    Comment by Moogie — April 15, 2006 @ 8:41 pm

  13. The reason laws like this pass has much less to with the nanny state, or science, and much more to do with the fact that non-smokers don’t want to be subjected to smelly, clothes-contaminating, cough-inducing smoke. Face reality, people, the smoking addiction is one of the least pleasant habits humanity has ever publicly indulged in. At least when someone pees in a swimming pool, you don’t have to drink that water. When someone’s smoking nearby, not breathing is not a real choice.

    Comment by Anton — April 16, 2006 @ 12:29 pm

  14. Anton,

    You don’t get it.

    I would have the same criticism if the state were to mandate that bars and restaurants permit smoking on their premises. If there are enough of people like you who “don’t want to subjected to smelly, clothes-contaminating, cough-inducing smoke” and who seek out smoke-free places to spend their money, the marketplace and not the state will see that there are plenty of smoke-free places.

    That’s the way capitalism works.

    Jim – PRS 

    Comment by Jim — April 16, 2006 @ 12:59 pm

  15. Jim got it right–if I own a business, I set the rules. I do, in fact, and anyone is welcome, smokers and non-smokers. If someone has a beef about someone else, the solution is oh so simple–do not frequent my business.

    I have the same view of politicians–they are leeches who make their living off tax dollars telling us what to do, and to imagine that somehow, if we just elect another bunch of them, they will get it right . . .

    Is utopian.

    Comment by jb — April 16, 2006 @ 2:05 pm

  16. My point is that these laws pass not because of science, or because a “nanny state” is trying to protect smokers from themselves. Instead, what’s happening is that *voters* are protecting themselves from smokers. The laws pass because there are enough people who don’t want to ever have to deal with second-hand smoke that there isn’t sufficient political support to defend smokers. A complete do-over of the politicians isn’t going to change anything, because that won’t change the voters.

    Capitalism has little to do with it: capitalism can only function within a system of laws, and if laws are created democratically, then you’re always going to have laws like this. The only thing that stops the majority from getting its way on issues like this are fundamental rights deriving from e.g. the Constitution. Smokers have no such fundamental right – in fact, the balance of natural rights is in the other direction, as in the right to breathe uncontaminated air.

    BTW, regarding the use of the term “nanny state”: a real nanny state would forbid smoking entirely, “for your own good”. I don’t support that. But here’s a more defensible possibility: how about a law that says that you can’t smoke in the presence of children, even inside a private home. That would be a good idea in my opinion, as someone who grew up in a smoke-filled house. If a nanny state is one which cares about the health and well-being of its children, sign me up.

    Comment by Anton — April 16, 2006 @ 2:20 pm

  17. Anton,

    Thank you for your lecture on capitalism, democracy, constitutional law and child rearing.

    Smoking is, however, still permitted on this blog.

    Comment by Jim — April 16, 2006 @ 8:46 pm

  18. I’m right there with ya, Jim! Wanna Dunhill?

    On a completely contrary note, and in reference to another comment, there is considerable evidence that second-hand smoke does have negative health effects (as an example, http://www.medpagetoday.com/tbindex.cfm?tbid=3023). I only bring this up because it’s important to focus on the real issue, which isn’t whether smoking is bad for you, because it is. The real issue: is it the state’s job to make health decisions for you – making it illegal to put an as yet legal substance into your own body? Think about how that could be creatively extrapolated, and you’ll see my point.

    Comment by liv — April 17, 2006 @ 6:32 pm

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    Comment by body builder — April 25, 2006 @ 5:02 am

  20. I can understand how people feel about being banned from smoking 25ft from the front of a building (being a reformed smoker myself). However, I now knowing how it affects people with respiratory ailments and how dangerous it can be to smoke close to oxygen tanks, I now am the person pushing a person like this and have to ask people to move away so I can enter the establishment. Some people just don’t want to and I can’t even begin to explain the breathing issues it induces when the person comes in contact with the smoke. Breathing is something one must have to survive, so I now realize the other side of the situation and people with breathing ailments should be entitled to go outside their homes too. Now I think any reasonable person seeing this side of the situation will gladly move aside and give people some consideration. Also, not all people that will have side affects from the smoke will be carrying oxygen or have a trachea. So those that have courtesy for others (which by smoking statistics show you may just be one of these people with breathing issues), you will be thankful then that people were legally forced to be courteous. I really believe that is probably why it was enacted in the first place because someone would ask someone else to stop smoking and they refused to be courteous. Even being a nonsmoker now; I still don’t believe establishments like bars should have been banned. That is not somewhere I need to be or take a disabled person; however, family restaurants, malls, government places, doctor’s office should be able to be visited without breathing the smoke. These are just my thougths…but for a very good reason. I hope all you smokers can overcome your habit because I would never want you to experience the quality of life of a man who used to smoke 2 packs a day as I do now.

    Comment by Patti — February 14, 2008 @ 7:36 pm

  21. If you want to smoke do it in your own fucking home, stink up your own fucking home and keep your ignorant skanky filthy stench away from the rest of us.

    When there are laws to protect non-smokers from smelling your disgusting smoke in our homes and yards and at parks and in our cars I will shout with joy!

    Comment by Apryl — September 17, 2008 @ 2:01 am

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