CityBeat’s Living Out Loud – Cincinnati Blog

{October 22, 2006}   Smokers

smoker.jpgI had a blind date last night – a set up from a girlfriend. Don’t ask me why I agreed to it, but I did.

He wasn’t a bad guy, fairly good looking and all. We met at a restaurant and just had dinner and we talked and it was going well, until the meal was over and we went outside.

Almost immediately, he pulls out a cigarette and lights it. He wanted to know if I wanted to go for a walk. I said no, said I felt tired and just wanted to call it a night.

That wasn’t really true. The thing is, I didn’t want to be around his cigarette smoke.

I read Larry Gross’ Living Out Loud column some days back called “Thoughts from a Confused Smoker” in CityBeat. Now I know Larry and like him and all and he has never asked me out, but if he would, I’d say no thank you for one reason: He smokes.

In his column he talks about issues 4 and 5 on the ballot in November. I’m not going to get into it here (read his column), but as for me, I’ll be voting for Issue 5.

I think it’s time for smokers to realize they need to stop. I like to go to bars too but most often I don’t because of all the cigarette smoke. It’s certainly not healthy and I hate going home to my apartment smelling like cigarettes.

Before my blind date and I parted ways, he wanted my phone number and I gave it to him. I know he’s going to call and I’ll just have to be honest. I don’t want to be with someone who is killing himself.

Teri Archer


Mac says:

The state, the government needs to stay the hell out of this. It should be up to the business owner if he or she wants smoking in the bar.

Debbie says:

I agree with Teri. I can’t go to bars because of all the cigarette smoke. You know what? I like to drink too. I’ll also be voting for issue 5. Let the smokers do it on the sidewalk.

hard as nails says:

as gross says in his column, we smokers need one place where we can go and not feel like second class citizens. that place should be a bar.i’m voting yes on issue 4 which will allow that to continue.

Matt says:

If Cincinnati wants to continue to fuck itself, that’s fine with me. If issue 5 passes and we can’t smoke in bars, I’ll just go across the river.

Jim Stanton says:

I stopped smoking several years ago but many of my friends still smoke. When we go to bars, the smoke is just something I put up with. I can relate to them feeling like second-class citizens so I say let them smoke in bars. Government wants to control too much of our lives.

Jackie says:

If it is up to the bar owners to decide if they want smoking of course they will want to continue it. Banning smoking in bars will just be bad for business. That should be a no brainer but welcome to Cincinnati.

Barbara says:

No smoking in bars! I’m sick of it.

Bill says:

I’m with Matt. This city can’t do anything right so of course smoking in bars will be banned. Covington, here I come.

Polly says:

If we want to be honest with ourselves, I think most of us know that Cincinnati is a very “backward” city. It takes us awhile to catch up with what other cities are doing.

Other cities already have smoking bans in place. Cincinnati is just trying to catch up.

I’m a smoker and I’m sad that Cincinnati is coming around to do what others have already done. As Larry said in his column, I’ll enjoy smoking in bars for as long as it lasts.

Man of the Hour says:

No smoking in bars? You have to be kidding. I guess I should be paying more attention to what’s on the ballot, eh?

Nancy says:

Issue 5 WILL pass and I’ll be glad when it does. I’ve had enough of all that second hand smoke in bars. Clean air is a good thing.

Robert says:

You may be a nice girl and all, but I’m a smoker. I don’t think you and I will be going out anytime soon 😦

I see several parallels between the consciousness-raising, which began over twenty years ago, about drunk driving and the consciousness-raising about smoking, which is the rage now.
Consciousness-raising is always a good thing. Bringing government along for the trip is always a bad thing.
All government does is close the barn door after the horses have escaped. That has two effects. First, it’s silly, which fact is now reflected in the poll ratings for legislators. Second, it deprives us of the use of the barn.
Please see and read today’s Opus by Berkeley Breathed in the Enquirer’s comics for an example of what I’m saying, and for some sharp satire. Since 9-11-01, we have been deprived of the use of airports.
On 9-11-01, our consciousness about terrorists took a quantum leap higher, which is why all the hysteria, time and money spent on “homeland security” is a total waste.

Heather says:

In California, smoking in bars is already banned. There was a huge fuss when it happened several years ago, but people have adjusted, and they just go outside to smoke (and then have to fight for their bar stool when they come back in).

I’m generally against these kinds of regulations, simply because I’m wary of any government control over people’s personal lives.

Still, I’m torn because smokers aren’t just hurting themselves; they’re hurting everyone around them.

And I really REALLY hate it when smokers invoke civil rights issues and say they’re being treated like second-class citizens. I think that’s an insult to every group of people who HAS been treated like second-class citizens. 1) You can put down a cigarette and blend in with the rest of society; something minorities can’t do. 2) You are NOT barred from voting or getting a job because you’re a smoker. 3) You ARE actually hurting the people around you by smoking; whereas a black person isn’t hurting anyone by being black, and a gay person isn’t hurting anyone by being gay.

Stan says:

And I really REALLY hate it when smokers invoke civil rights issues and say they’re being treated like second-class citizens

You may REALLY hate it, but being allowed to smoke is a civil rights issue. Have you ever been a smoker, Heather? I’m guessing not. We ARE made to feel like second class citizens. You need to get off your high horse and put yourself in our shoes.

Heather says:


Oh, that’s right, I forgot that you guys aren’t allowed to vote.

Yeah, and I also forgot that when people of color are descriminated against, they can quit being people of color.

Oh yeah, and smokers are asked not to smoke in certain places because they’re seen as lesser human beings, not because non-smokers don’t want to get lung cancer.

Look, I feel that if a person wants to kill themselves smoking, or if they don’t want to wear a seatbelt, or if they want to walk around naked in January, government should stay out of it and let natural selection do it’s job. The fact of the matter is, however, that you’re not just hurting yourself when you smoke. My little brother has severe asthma because my parents could never just step outside when they smoked, and I hated them every time I saw the look of terror on his face because he couldn’t fucking BREATHE. I was spared the same fate because my biological father never smoked around me and never let my mom smoke around me. My half-brother, on the other hand was born in a cigarette factory, and he is still paying for it today.

Heather says:

I also want to clarify that I do not dislike smokers.

People at work complain that smokers get too many breaks, but I go outside with them to sit and chat while they smoke.

When I worked in a nursing home, I would often take the residents who smoked outside so they could smoke. I felt it was important that they be able to keep that one pleasure.

There was an accident at one other nursing home where a man caught himself on fire, and then all the nursing homes banned smoking entirely for a while. I was one of the voices of outrage that brought smoking back (we just couldn’t let residents smoke unsupervised anymore).

People should be able to smoke if they want to, but non-smokers should not HAVE to breathe in toxic smoke in public places.

Eddie says:

Larry said in his lol column that he couldn’t vote for issue 4 because big tobacco companies are behind it. Who the hell cares? I’ll be voting for that issue. Smoking in bars in tradition.

Stan says:

I’m going to walk away from you, little girl Heather, because I’m angry. I’m doing you a favor.

I know what its like to be descriminated against. I’m a black man. Did it occur to you that black people can read or did you just think white people come here? Get off your know it all soapbox.

I know more about civil rights than you will ever know.

Heather says:


I know many black people who are also angered when smokers say smoking is a civil rights issue.

I would also like to remind you that I am a woman, and therefore, I am also part of a group of people who has suffered, and continues to suffer terrible discrimination all over the world.

Don’t do me any favors; if you have an argument, argue! I have been convinced that I’m wrong on issues many, many times, but never by someone who got angry and walked away. Which is why I’m convinced that people only get angry and walk away when they do not have a valid point to argue.

Heather says:


I also feel the need to point out that you used my gender to try to offend me, calling me a “little girl,” when I have not called you any names. This supports my point that I know about discrimination because I am a woman. Now that I know you’re black, how would you feel if I called you “boy”? (which I wouldn’t because that would be wrong, and it wouldn’t support my point, it would just make me look like an ass) But you know so much more than I about being discriminated against?

Darlene says:

A lot of people can’t handle it when Heather’s right. It would be fun to see a bit of a debate going, but Stan is probably pissed off and won’t come back here. Prove me wrong Stan

Discussions like this raise our consciousness about issues. I just wish we could stipulate before going forward that “Issue number whatever” will not raise our consciousness, and, moreover, will make our lives worse.

Jim Stanton says:

I just read your first comment and I couldn’t agree more. government or too much of it, makes our lives much worse. Case in point: George W. Bush. He is the most controlling, “spinning” president we have ever had. Do you feel safer having him as president? I certainly don’t. and we got two more years of him.

By the way, David, I always enjoy reading your posts.

tjh says:

A lot of people can’t handle it when Heather’s right

nope, heather’s usually wrong. she’s trying to stay on the fence when it comes to smoking but her view is actually pretty clear. let her stay in california.

Heather says:

Jim and David,

I couldn’t agree more. Government control is bad, bad, bad. I’m kind of torn on the smoking issue, but I lean toward at least a little regulation, in order to protect the people who do not smoke, but like Larry, I’m really torn. If I still lived in Cincinnati, I’m not sure how I would vote.

We have an issue on the ballot here in California that I’m not sure about, maybe you guys can help me out. I still need to read the whole thing before I vote, but the gist of it is that minors will be required to notify their parents before they can have an abortion. I’m torn about it because I believe that a teenager might make a terrible mistake without the guidance of their parents. Sometimes kids get mixed up, and they don’t realize that their parents will be understanding about such a huge issue. Most parents have their child’s best interest at heart, but kids get scared and forget that. On the other hand, how do you protect a teenager with abusive, or religious fanatic parents? Sometimes a kid is right to think their parents will not understand, and will force them to do something they don’t want to do.

Any advice?

Heather says:


I’m usually wrong? That’s entirely possible. But insults do not make a valid point. When I’m wrong about something, explain why, and we can talk about it.

Just because I refuse to back down from cofrontation does not make me right, but I appear right when my opposition backs down or resorts to petty insults.

numb says:

smoke gets in your eyes

Marilyn says:

Well, shit…

I’m a smoker. I love smoking. And I know it is bad for me (duh).

Like Larry (as he stated in the column), I’m a conscientious smoker. If I’m with a friend or friends that dislike smoke, I will abstain in their presence — even on extended trips. Though, sometimes I will choose not to participate in a smoke-free trip. That’s my choice.

I’m not surprised by the issues up for vote regarding smoking. You’d have had to have been dead not to know this was coming.

And, still, it pisses me off…

Issues/laws are complex. So much so, that we have lawyers who are the only ones who can come near to understanding them. And, even then, they can handle just a portion or specialty.
Yet laws are a lagging response to the complexity of life.
Nobody understands life. Never will.
But laws are like barnacles on the ship of life. They all need to be scraped off.
Actually laws cause more harm than barnacles.

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Heather says:


What you’re saying makes a lot of sense… but I’m not sure.

Are you an Anarchist?

Karen says:

extended smoke free trips? marilyn, I could never do it!

Jeff- or-ly says:

David – my man.

I can never comment on anything you say because your too damn smart but hey!!, the bengals won today so if I see you at the bar, I’ll buy you a beer and give you a cigarette!!! HA!!!!! HA!!!

Rick says:

I consider myself a social smoker. Maybe I’ll have a couple cigarettes a week when I’m hanging out with friends who are heavy smokers.

The killer is going to bars. When I’m there, the air is full of smoke and, of course, drinking those beers makes me want to light up. But I’m thinking if this smoke ban passes, I probably won’t feel the need to light up anymore. Mayble issue five is a good thing.

The Bengals deserved the break of the interception today after the bad penalty call of last week.

Heather and others,
I’m a non-smoking, atheistic, nudistic, peaceful anarchist geezer.

I yam what I yam.

Marilyn says:


Wonder when the government will decide:

That unprotected sex is unhealthy (all those std’s, you know)?

That driving and changing the cd in your player is unhealthy to others on the road (because your attention is diverted)?

That fast food causes diabetes and heart disease and thusly everyone’s health insurance premiums go up?

That abortion is wrong?

Where does it end? Will it end?

Matt says:

No, Marilyn, I don’t think it will end and that’s why I think issue 5 is a piece of shit ballot. This David person is right – get government out of our lives.

Pretty soon, you won’t be able to rent an apartment if you smoke, or find a hotel room. It’s just too much. Larry talks about the do-gooders in his column. The fucking do-gooders need to mind their own business.

Sorry. I’m angry about the whole thing.

Marilyn says:

Ah oh!

David G. said he’s a nudist! This is a test, let’s see if the women swoon…

Marilyn says:

Matt, wonder if the day will come when parents who smoke have their children taken away from them?

Don’t apologize to me, I’m pissed off about big brother, in your face, government too!

Jeff- or-ly says:

Have a beer, Matt!!!!!!!!!

Jackie says:

David? Naked? Maybe he’s going to become the LOL Boy!!

Mark says:

Speaking of the LOL ……………I mean GIRL. When is her next post?

Heather says:


Excellent point. When does it end? I guess voting for fewer regulations is always the best way to go (at least regulations that affect the personal lives of individuals).


I don’t know about Anarchism, man. I mean, and I don’t want to sound like Hobbes because I HATE Hobbes, but how do you keep the strong from dominating the weak without society having rules? Look at Africa; there are countries there that have been ruthlessly dominated by vicious monster warlords! Although, this is not so much a result of true anarchy as much as it is the result of the deliberately destructive political policies of white foreigners, like the British. But still, don’t we need rules in order to have a civilized (however imperfectly civilized) society?

Thanks for asking.
Regarding rules, the key question is who makes them. Right? (Because few will willingly abide by them.)
Give a skim to:
(Set it as a “favorite”?)

The message of complexity is that “rules” emerge spontaneously. (It’s a very liberating message in the sense that we can all unpucker our sphincters…NOW!)

Rules imply leaders, and the truth is we don’t need no steenking leaders.
I’m thinking my next piece of consequence here, goddess willing, and the creeks don’t rise, and Larry Gross gives his nihil obstat, will be about what leaders have in common with the Easter Bunny.
I notice the Santa Fe Institute is celebrating 20 years of complexity science.
How time flies when you get to be as old as moi.

Rule Number One: Relax all sphincters.
Rule Number Two: Tranquility… NOW!
Rule Number Three: Don’t make it snappy.

Heather says:


I’ve been checking out the santa fe institute (in the limited time I have to do that, but I still haven’t gotten to the part where they explain exactly what it is they do (besides scientific research, and not offering tenure).

“comdig”? I’m on it.

Leaders = Easter Bunny? Looking forward to it!

numb says:

heather and david sitting in a tree. k-i-s-s-i-n-g.

William says:


I know you don’t want to share lung juice with this gentleman and that is certaintly your choice. However, smokers have rights too. I am a smoker who just recently started back after 5 months without them. I hate that I went back, but I did. As far as the issues on the ballot are concerned, I dont know how I will vote, because in my heart, I want to quit again. I loved how I felt, but I must remember, if I choose to smoke, I should be accommodated. I spend money just like no-smokers do.

Now buy me some Nicorette patches, so I can join your club, damn it!

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