Thursday, July 13, 2006

Smoking bans and intellectual honesty

Posted by Craig Westover | 8:23 AM |  

This is why it is hard for be to believe that there is any intellectual honesty among those yelling the loudest for smoking bans.

On MNspeak (where he now goes to bad mouth my columns through personal innuendo rather than addressing the issue head-on), Bob Moffitt of the American Lung Association of Minnesota writes in response to a question about smoking on outdoor patios --
We [ALAMN] don't have an official position on outdoor smoking areas per se. We do know are some places in Minneapolis (The Saloon and Ultra Escape Lounge) that have tried to get cute and construct a "smoking room" rather than a true outdoor space. In any case, that's a matter for Minneapolis officials to decide, as it is their ordinance.

I don't know about you, but I like the increased number of patios around town. I saw one in at the NE Palace recently that is terrific -- it even had a waterfall!

There have been a number of articles on the rise in patio space in the Twin Cities lately, including an insert in the June 29 - July 5 issue of The Onion that quotes yours truely.

»» Submitted by »»» alamn at 1:30 PM in the post Miscellaneous Local Links - 7/12/06
If there is “no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke,” why doesn’t the ALA have an official position “per se”? We’re not talking about a political position (they aren't under an obligation to have a political position), but given there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, according to the surgeon general's report that they use to justify smoking bans, who is protecting employees that have to serve smokers on an outdoor patio? Who is protecting innocent passersby from people smoking outside (instead of inside where non-smokers can choose not to go)? More to the point -- how can Bob endorse (but not per se) patios where people are exposed to toxic levels of secondhand smoke?

As for getting “cute,” here’s why the Escape Ultra Lounge found it necessary.