CityBeat’s Living Out Loud – Cincinnati Blog

{December 11, 2006}   The So-Called Smoking Ban

no-smoking.gifI don’t think it’s any surprise that the smoking ban which was suppose to start this past Thursday was a bust. How can you impose a law when those who are to enforce it don’t fully understand the rules of it?

And do you think the cops want to be bothered with it?

This past Thursday, I grabbed some food over at Madonna’s on 7th & Vine. It’s a bar that serves lunch. When I walked in, I noticed that all the ashtrays were still on the tables and on the bar. Laura the barmaid was smoking a cigarette.

While eating my salad, a cop walks in and orders a carryout. Laura, who had just put out her cigarette, quickly lights another one and looks over at me. You see, I told her if the opportunity presented itself to test the no-smoking ban, I would do so. I guess she wanted to test it too.

The cop said nothing to her. I stopped eating and lit up my own cigarette.

I cleared my throat a couple times; wanting to make sure the policeman could see I was smoking. He looked at me for a little bit, but did nothing.

After the cop got his carryout, he went over and talked to the owner of Madonna’s who was shooting pool. I have no idea what they were talking about, but I doubt if it was about the smoking ban. The owner of Madonna’s was smoking a big old cigar.

Apparently, it’s going to take months to get this ban going. As a smoker, I won’t be complaining about it.

Larry Gross


Matt says:

I’m really hoping this no smoking ban in bars falls apart all together but I think all those do gooders will get on pressing it.

Teri Archer says:

I for one will be most pleased when this ban finally happens. It was disappointing to me that the “rules” couldn’t start being enforced this past Thursday but smokers beware: very soon the rest of us won’t have to put up with your smoke.

hard as nails says:

from reading a lot of your posts, it seems like you hang out in bars a lot. are you sure you’re not a smoker? I don’t think you’re all that high and mighty.

C.A. MacConnell says:

I was on the news for the “smokefree Ohio” story they did. I was just eating dinner somewhere, and told them not to film me, but they did I guess, cause random people keep telling me they saw me on the news.
I also put a Marlboro pack on the table, just for irony kicks, and because I’m 9 yrs old sometimes, which made the camera dude smirk. Everybody was smoking and drunk at the Bengals game yesterday as usual, and nobody did anything. By the way, my boyfriend, #20, Tory James, played an awesome game, I might add.

Marilyn says:

Teri, don’t worry, they’ll get their poop in a group and soon enough Ohio will be smoke free.

Did the folks that put this thing up for election have a game plan to implement no smoking? It doesn’t appear so.

I’ve watched the local news with massive amusement… they take camera crews into local establishments and film folks smoking. I love it. (But that’s because I’m a bit like CA, and I’m 9 oftentimes.)

I look back on the good old days; I actually requested and received a ‘smoking’ hospital room when I had a surgery — was it 16 years ago? And now, you cannot even smoke outside a hospital.

sue me says:

i was over at a bar in covington on friday night and they were having a good old time laughing at cincinnati and the so called ban on smoking. i laughed too – didn’t want them to think i’m from here because we are such dumb asses.

Biscuit says:

The majority of Cincinnatians voted for a smoking ban- get over it.

This issue does seem to bring out the 9 year old in all of us. The thought of a 50 + year old man double dog daring a cop to say something about his smoking is a little silly. By lighting up in Madonnas you aren’t ‘sticking it to the man’ you are infringing on the rights of your fellows.

Man of the Hour says:

Let me know what bar you frequent so I can go there and blow smoke in your face.

Karen says:

The thought of a 50 + year old man double dog daring a cop to say something about his smoking is a little silly.

The thought of a guy named Biscuit is also a little silly.

Sorry, I’m with Larry on this one. The government already controls too much of our lives. It needs to stay the hell out of bars.

Marilyn says:

Biscuit, if you are someone I know and love, you are soooooo busted! LOL

Only my friend has used the phrase ‘sticking it to the man’.

Surely there can’t be two of you out there!

SWAK! love ya!

Biscuit says:

Karen: “The government already controls too much of our lives. It needs to stay the hell out of bars.”
You think the government should not pass laws that effect bars? That’s an interesting idea. It seems well thought out.

Man of the Hour: “Let me know what bar you frequent so I can go there and blow smoke in your face.” Inconsiderate people such as yourself are the reason a law had to be passed.

Barb says:

Biscuit’s right. I don’t like it either, but the voter’s have spoken.

Man of the Hour says:

Let me know what bar you frequent so I can go there and blow smoke in your face.

……..better in your face than up your ass.

Rob says:

Biscuit vs. Man of the hour
Non-smoker vs. smoker

Can’t we all just get along?

Gregory Flannery says:

Soon we’ll have speak-easies, where patrons who know the secret password will be able to come in out of the rain and smoke a cigarette. To buy a pack, we’ll have to go to dangerous neighborhoods and buy them from dealers on street corners. The Nanny State is on the march!

Marilyn says:

Mr. Flannery, not to worry. I raised tobacco for 10 years and I still have the required skills to do it again. Of course, I’ll need to find a hidden field somewhere… Maybe some folks in Adams Co. can tell me where they grow their pot?

Pat says:

You can go over to your CVS or Walgreens and buy a pack of smokes, but you can’t go to a bar and light up? Fucking silly to me.

Dan says:

As I understand it, it’s not up to the cops to enforce the smoking ban…it is the responsibility of the health department.

Babble On says:

Ohio sucks when it comes to smoking
Cincinnati is even suckyer.

Jeff says:

As I understand it, it’s not up to the cops to enforce the smoking ban…it is the responsibility of the health department.

That’s my understanding too and that’s why this thing will never work. You gotta get the cops involved if you want it enforced. You think I’m going to listen to some asshole from the health department? Hardly.

Ferguson says:

It’s all pretty funny isn’t it? The Health department is to enforce this? Leave it to Ohio. Pretty retarded.

jake says:

yeah, in most bars over the weekend it was business as usual – drinking and smoking, just like it should be.

Janet says:

People here in Cincinnati need to understand that most cities already have the smoking ban in bars. That’s where the world is going. As usual, it takes Cincinnati awhile to catch up. It’s coming wheather it’s two weeks from now or two months.

Tate says:

When it all comes to a head, I’ll start a private club in my house where, for a small fee, people can come and drink and smoke. Gregory, Larry and all the rest of you are invited!

Gregory Flannery says:

I don’t know if I want to belong to any club that would have Larry as a member. I have standards.

J.R. says:

Someone here said that the health department is the one to enforce this no smoking ban. I have to tell you that the general public thinks it’s the cops and in my mind they are the ones that SHOULD enforce it, especially in the beginning.

I for one would love to go to a bar and not put up with the cigarette and cigar smoke.

C.A. MacConnell says:

It ain’t worth it. I respect the change.

Susan says:

No, I won’t be joining any club where Larry is a member either. All he does about this city is complain.

Bitch from Price Hill says:

It ain’t worth it. I respect the change.

What bullshit this is. You respect the change? You respect something that’s unconstitutional? You don’t think smokers have rights?

I remember Larry’s LOL bit on this in his column. We don’t go to bars for our health, we go to have a few drinks and to have some fun. Anybody who wants our government to interfere with that ain’t no friend in my book.

numb says:

smoke gets in your eyes. so does larry.

hard as nails says:

hey J.R.,
go back to dallas.

Beth says:

I agree that the smoking ban is unconstitutional but I see the point of people who don’t smoke being annoyed by all the cigarette smoke in bar. In some of the larger bars in town, why not have a smoking and nonsmoker section? Wouldn’t that fix the problem?

Roger says:

I wonder if the LOL girl smokes?

I’m longer for something lighter here today and I’m sure not finding it.

Maria says:

To all you assholes crying about the smoking ban.


We’ll sick and tired of all the smoke in the bars.


Rita says:

Like Marilyn, my father raised tobacco too. He started smoking when he was just ten or so years old – long before the dangers of smoking were known – he was totally addicted. When I was twelve, I would beg him to stop smoking. I put literature under his supper plate, in his lunchbox – I was relentless but to no avail.

He finally stopped smoking when the Doctor came into his hospital room to confirm he had lung cancer. Too late. I was the only one with him when he found out. I saw him cry for a the first time. He said, “I don’t know why I’m crying.” We both knew why.

During the following six months, I watched him slowly die – first the horrible surgery to remove two lobes of his lung, the initial incompetent Dr. Smith who said he got it all, the radiation, a heart attack, the strokes, the death rattle and it was over. But was it really over?

His decision to smoke killed him and it killed a part of me and everyone who loved him.

People have the right to smoke – I have no doubt- but not when it has adversive effects on the health of others. It is disturbing that so many cannot or will not see smoking’s impact on others including those who love their friends and family members who smoke – to even find humor and inconvenience when others do not appreciate their smoking “rights”.

See Marilyn, I was not Biscuit. If I was, I would have to reply to the “Man” of the Hour’s comment: ‘Let me know what bar you frequent so I can go there and blow smoke in your face.……..better in your face than up your ass.’

I could actually visualize having the “Man” blowing smoke in my face and him requiring an anal probe to remove the cigarette from his ass.

Marilyn says:

God love ya!

I would have sworn this morning (before I realized you were in Columbus!) that you were indeed Buscuit.

Yes, I do know that smoking sucks and it is bad, bad, bad for my health… I really had quit right before Luke passed, and I will try it again.

But for now, my house is still a smoking zone, except when you visit! I love ya girlfriend!

Larry Gross says:

Like Marilyn, like you – I grew up on a tobacco farm. Strange thing is, while my father grew tobacco to help make a living, he never smoked, never even thought about it. It was just the field that made him money.

I’m a smoker. I should quit. Rita, yours is the best comment I’ve read all day. Thank you for it.

Marilyn says:

PS. Upon reflection, I think the main reason I don’t smoke around Rita is that I never want to hear the horror story about her father again. (Just kidding girlfriend! You know I do it out of respect for you.)

C.A. says:

Agreed, Rita’s comment is heartfelt, real, harsh, and smart. Thanks for telling your (and your father’s) story. take care, all, whatever your views.

Rita says:

You know you were the first person who ever smoked in my car. You took that awful fall in the Doctor’s office the one day. Of course, I seem to remember that it was only a few weeks later when we were in the hospital parking lot thatI forgot you and the wheelchair were behind my car when I decided to back it up to help you get in easier. Perhaps some repressed feelings about the smoking in my car. Nope – you’ve been my friend for 40 plus years – no repression, just some organicity.

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