New Savannah smoking ban gets lukewarm response

Richard Burkhart/Savannah Morning News
Last month, Dale Holley lights a cigarette for Jen Pine while they enjoy a drink at Pinkie Master's Lounge on Drayton Street.
Sunday, Jan. 2, 2011 6:55 AM
Last updated 1:53 PM
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SAVANNAH, Ga. -- At a River Street bar on Saturday afternoon, a bartender said two of her customers walked out.

Inside a watering hole on Congress Street, people were grateful.

Just a few doors down, another pub owner was optimistic.

But everyone agreed the new no smoking ordinance would settle in without much of a fight from customers.

Kevin Barry's bartender Michelle Peth said a small gathering of people arrived at the River Street bar and were given a free drink in exchange for an ashtray. About half the people there were happy with the new ordinance. But others were not.

"We had a couple just walk out," Peth said, adding it was her biggest fear. "I'm worried they'll just walk outside to smoke and then just leave."

Peth also said she was worried if the streets would stay clean. On Saturday afternoon, the cobblestones, concrete and brick thoroughfares and sidewalks around the Historic District were still pock-marked by cigarette butts left from the throngs of New Year's Eve revelers from the night before.

"It makes you wonder if it will always look like that now," she said.

Customers appear annoyed, but tolerant

Staff at the Rail Pub on Congress Street said customers appeared annoyed but tolerant of the new rule. Customer Mike Kelley said he was grateful the law would clear the air there because it would help him stop smoking for good.

"For us it will be missed," he said. "But the thing is I drink at home but I don't smoke, and I drink at other bars and I don't smoke."

"Since I only smoked here, maybe now I'll quit."

Also on Congress Street, Molly MacPherson's Scottish Pub and Grill Owner Daniel Cloutier puffed on a smoke outside his business as he explained his optimism for the new ordinance. Perhaps now he can attract new customers who wanted to enjoy his impressive selection of whisky but refused to be around the smoke.

But some in Cloutier's pool of smoke-loving regulars were not as positive.

"People have complained but I told them, 'listen; we live in the South and the weather is perfect,'" he said. "As long as everyone sticks with the law we're all equal."

Asthma sufferer Courtney Robinson said Saturday lifted the pressure of weighing a couple drinks at a bar against compromising her health.

"I have a lot of friends that smoke and I was sort of rubbing it in that on Jan. 1 they can't smoke," she said. "Finally, I can be comfortable."

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chucktoons
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chucktoons 01/02/11 - 11:34 am
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Regardless of whether you

Regardless of whether you believe it is a health risk to second hand smokers, it is a filthy, stinking habit that pollutes everything near by. Just like you have the right to suck it down and smell like an stinking ashtray, regardless of the health consequences I have the right to breathe clean air and not stink like an ashtray. Your right to pollute ends where my right to clean air begins. Figure out how to suck'em down without polluting everyones air and you are golden.

As far as businesses being worried about losing customers, how many do you think you lose because the business is filled with smoke? I am not only one who refuses to go to a business that forces me to smoke, there are too many other choices.

Jr Riggs
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Jr Riggs 01/02/11 - 12:01 pm
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The same should apply to the

The same should apply to the business owners and their right of choice. If they choose to cater to a smoking crowd and lose some other potential customers, that should be their choice. The govt needs to stay out of this type of regulation.

chucktoons
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chucktoons 01/02/11 - 11:59 am
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Freedom of choise,no law

Freedom of choise,no law required!

Actually that is not entirely true. The only reason there are other choices is there are some restrictions on smoking even without a total ban. If it were completely unregulated as it was years ago, there would be no choice.

A better option would be for smokers to be considerate of others who chose not to. But in 49 years I have only met one of those and he is dead now.

airbud7
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airbud7 01/02/11 - 12:09 pm
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The ultimate question, is

The ultimate question, is whether we should let people make choices for themselves. Should ice cream be banned? Surely it adds to obesity, causing some heart attacks. But some people amazingly enough like the way ice cream tastes and are willing to take the risks. Are they making a mistake?

Smokers, like those who eat ice cream, have trade-offs. Some might like the taste, others its calming effects. But smoking may also reduce the risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases as well as cancers of the thyroid, breast and skin.

In any case, whether it is hang gliding or smoking, it ought to be the customers' preferences that count.

chucktoons
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chucktoons 01/02/11 - 12:14 pm
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The same should apply to the

The same should apply to the business owners and their right of choice. If they choose to cater to a smoking crowd and lose some other potential customers, that should be their choice. The govt needs to stay out of this type of regulation.

As I recall, when the restictions started in the AGS area years ago, a lot of business owners wanted the city to make the restrictions because that makes them look like the bad guy to the smoking crowd, not the owners.

I am in favor of a law that says you can smoke all you want to when you figure out a way to smoke and not violate my right not to.

chucktoons
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chucktoons 01/02/11 - 12:18 pm
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There is a difference between

There is a difference between smoking, ice cream, and hang gliding. Someone elses smoking forces me to inhale their stinking smoke whether I want to or not. I have never had someone try to force ice cream down my throat or force me to hang glide.

Your right ends where my mine begins. If you can eat ice cream or hang glide and it not affect me, then have at it I do not care. When you figure out a way to smoke and it not affect me, have at that also.

Jr Riggs
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Jr Riggs 01/02/11 - 12:28 pm
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I am (obviously) a smoker,

I am (obviously) a smoker, but first off I am a libertarian. The business owners already had the right/authority to ban smoking in their establishments if they felt that was the way to get increased revenue. All they had to do was put a sign on the door, and then I'd choose to go somewhere else personally. There is no reason for a law to tell them how to run their affairs. Locally I'd point to "The Finish Line" as an example of what can happen. When CC voters (85% of whom never regularly patronize bars/taverns) approved the no-smoking inside at all legislation, the Finish Line simply moved across the street to RC. It's a pool hall and sports/NASCAR bar. I'm sure there are many who do not go there due to the smoke, but there are many of us that do specifically because we can smoke and be warm/cool/dry/comfortable. That was their choice. I do not permit smoking in my house, that is my choice. I do not disagree with the "I can't stand to even smell smoke" crowd, but once again, I don't like the Big Nanny Gumnt making all my lifestyle decisions for me.

chucktoons
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chucktoons 01/02/11 - 12:34 pm
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There is middle ground to

There is middle ground to protect everyones rights. I am not sure we are there yet. The only thing mentioned so far is a pations rights. What about the workers rights? What about in governemnt buildings?

airbud7
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airbud7 01/02/11 - 12:35 pm
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How about this Chucktoons, If

How about this Chucktoons, If a business allow's smoking, Don't Go In!!!
Stay Home, Go to a business that forbid's smoking, Take your business somewhere else, Hang out with people who don't smoke!!!

You need to learn to make your OWN choice's in life, Not have the goverment make them for you!!!☺

chucktoons
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chucktoons 01/02/11 - 12:40 pm
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How about learn to be

How about learn to be considerate of others rights.

Jr Riggs
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Jr Riggs 01/02/11 - 12:40 pm
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airbud7 - Thank you,

airbud7 - Thank you, Amen!

chucktoons - The "worker's rights" thing is easily solved. On the job application the employer merely needs to state that it is a smoking establishment and ask them to sign an understanding/waiver. Just like working in any hazmat enviornment. However, based on extensive personal research, I find over 90 percent of pool hall/sports bar/tavern employees are smokers by choice.

Jr Riggs
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Jr Riggs 01/02/11 - 12:43 pm
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chucktoons - When your

chucktoons - When your personal wishes start to invade my legal right to purchase tobacco and consume it in comfort, maybe I'm not the one who should be considerate. There are many more non-smoking establishments than freedom of choice establishments.

chucktoons
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chucktoons 01/02/11 - 01:08 pm
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I should have the right to

I should have the right to sit in public without smoke just as you have the right to sit in an ashtray. I will not clean up your air if you do not pollute mine. How can that be less considerate than you polluting my air and yours?

Then the smokers want to sue businesses who choose not to allow smoking, or insurance companys who choose not to insure smokers, or the height of stupidity the tobacco company who makes the product they chose too use to kill themselves.

So, if you want the gov out of, ban smoking in all public places and gov buildings, allow private businesses to make their own decisions and tell smokers to pound sand when they want to sue over businesses who choose not to do business with them or want to sue the tobacco co for providing them their product.

Jr Riggs
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Jr Riggs 01/02/11 - 01:12 pm
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You have the right to read

You have the right to read the signage on the door and choose to enter if you desire. You have no more "rights". The "We reserve the right to refuse service to anybody for any reason" applies too in PRIVATELY owned businesses. Have a blissful day.

crackerjack
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crackerjack 01/02/11 - 02:31 pm
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Now I guess Savannah and CC

Now I guess Savannah and CC can start their anti-flatulence crusade.

chucktoons
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chucktoons 01/02/11 - 04:09 pm
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And when I decide that for my

And when I decide that for my business reasons I do want to allow smoking, or blacks, or whites, or baptists, or atheists, or I only want to hire well endowed 20 year old girls, someone will file a law suit against me. Their justification will be that since it is not illegal I cannot make that decision. The people on here who are yelling it is legal so you should let the business owner make the decision are the same ones who if they are on the jury, would rule against me in court for choosing to not allow smokinig or not not hire the fat 40 year old male slob as my hooters server.

So, if you want your pro smoking lobby to have any credibility it needs to change to a pro business decision lobby and part of the goal must be to eliminate descrimination lawsuits against businesses who choose to not do what you want them to do. Otherwise, your comments are just "you the business owner can make the decisions as long as I agree with them".

Designated Hitter
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Designated Hitter 01/02/11 - 04:44 pm
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I love to see smokers whine

I love to see smokers whine about their right's being violated. Smoker's in general have no thought of the people around them and will, as the one lady said, throw their butts down everywhere. There are exceptions, but the exceptions are few. It is a shame that government has to intervene, but smokers, given the opportunity to do the right thing and be respectful of others, would not in most cases.
I wonder how many businesses would go back to a smoking environment in a year if the ban was lifted. I bet they would be more worried at that point of losing the non-smoking patrons!

chucktoons
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chucktoons 01/02/11 - 05:30 pm
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DH you are correct. In the

DH you are correct. In the past they have yelled it is not illegal therefore I can smoke regardless of the rights of non-smokers and no one can tell me not to. They are making the same arguement on here. So, now it is being made illegal to force some consideration on their part and now they want to leave it up to the businesses to decide.

CarolT
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CarolT 01/03/11 - 04:35 pm
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The anti-smokers are guilty

The anti-smokers are guilty of flagrant scientific fraud for ignoring more than 50 studies, which show that human papillomaviruses cause at least a quarter of non-small cell lung cancers. Smokers and passive smokers are more likely to have been exposed to this virus, for socioeconomic reasons. And the anti-smokers' studies are all based on nothing but lifestyle questionnaires, so they're cynically DESIGNED to blame tobacco for all those extra lung cancers that are really caused by HPV. And those criminals commit the same type of fraud with every disease they blame on tobacco.

http://www.smokershistory.com/hpvlungc.htm
http://www.smokershistory.com/etsheart.html

For the government to commit fraud to deprive us of our liberties is automatically a violation of our Constitutional rights to the equal protection of the laws, just as much as if the government purposely threw innocent people in prison. And for the government to spread lies about phony smoking dangers is terrorism, no different from calling in phony bomb threats.

Petrodus
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Petrodus 01/04/11 - 01:03 pm
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Tobacco will never be banned

Tobacco will never be banned because there’s too much tax revenue in it.

However, it won’t be long before the only place you can legally “light-up” will be 10 miles outside the city limits, but no closer than 5 miles from the nearest farmhouse, and no closer than 2 miles from the nearest Cow !!!

By the way... E-cigarettes are safe and no odor or chemicals except for some nicotine. 400K deaths per year from smoking and ZERO deaths from using an E-cigarette.

On the subject our so-called "Rights"

Bill of Rights
OR
Bill of "Temporary" privileges

Rights are not rights if people can take them away from you

Every year the "List" gets shorter and shorter

Sooner or later the public will wake up and realize the government doesn't care about them. Its only interested in its own power and expanding it where ever possible.

PS: Politicians are there to give you the impression you have choices

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acLW1vFO-2Q

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