Patterico's Pontifications

6/18/2006

Smokers Whine About Loss of Ability to Make Beaches Unpleasant for Others

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:28 pm



The L.A. Times has an article about all the beaches in the area that are banning smoking. This whiner doesn’t like it:

“We pay taxes for these beaches,” said [Robert] Best, state coordinator for a smoking rights’ group called the Smoker’sClub. “These areas were set aside for the public to enjoy, and now they’re saying, no, you can’t go enjoy them because you’re a smoker.”

Uh, no, they’re not saying that, dumb-ass. They’re saying you can’t smoke there.

You might think that these smoking bans are silly, because after all, beaches are out in the open air. But I have actually had the experience of sunbathing and having some idiot smoking just upwind from me.

Ahhhh . . . I was in Flavor Country.

I have no sympathy for these people. Do whatever you like, as long as it doesn’t bother me. But when your filthy habit intrudes on my nose and lungs, that’s when I get annoyed. So I love these bans — and if you don’t, too freaking bad.

Go ahead, join Robert Best in the whining. I know you want to.

203 Responses to “Smokers Whine About Loss of Ability to Make Beaches Unpleasant for Others”

  1. I always found it funny that smokers are so addicted that a ban on smoking is effectively a ban on them. And that smokers are OK with that kind of dependance on a product that causes its own demand.

    jpm100 (06f700)

  2. I don’t like other people blowing their smoke on me any more than the next guy, but I’m even less wild about anti-smoking crusaders blowing proverbial smoke on the phony health issues. It was bad enough when they relied on a phony EPA study to justify banning cigarettes in enclosed areas like restaurants and bars, where there was a limited air flow. But we’re talking about a frickin’ beach; it doesn’t get much more open than that.

    So go ahead and ban smoking on the beach for all I care, just have the cojones to admit that what you’re doing is a purely a friendly-fascist quality of life law, not a serious health issue for anyone but the smoker.

    Xrlq (995633)

  3. “I have no sympathy for these people. Do whatever you like, as long as it doesn’t bother me. But when your filthy habit intrudes on my nose and lungs, that’s when I get annoyed. So I love these bans — and if you don’t, too freaking bad.”

    What a nice conservative philosophy. I thought conservatives were for LESS government involvement. I guess if you’re such a patsy you need the government to protect you from being “uncomfortable,” then I suggest you not complain about other people using the government to keep THEM from feeling uncomfortable about something or other.

    “You might think that these smoking bans are silly, because after all, beaches are out in the open air. But I have actually had the experience of sunbathing and having some idiot smoking just upwind from me.”

    You were correct in the first sentence. smoking bans at beachs IS silly. Move your blanket if you don’t like it.

    sharon (fecb65)

  4. Xrlq hit the nail on the head. I don’t smoke and while I have no problems with reasonable restrictions such as no smoking areas in restaurants or no smoking flights, etc, these out right bans are riduculous. But I guess it depends on whose ox is getting gored hey Patterico?

    btorrez (bbda7f)

  5. While we are at it lets ban halitosis on the beach.

    rab (0c8b2f)

  6. btorrez: “I don’t smoke and while I have no problems with reasonable restrictions such as no smoking areas in restaurants…”

    That’s kind of odd. You don’t mind bans of smoking in privately owned business against the wishes of the business owners, but you’re outraged by democratically passed bans of smoking on publicly owned property? That doesn’t make much sense to me.

    Spoons (5d4c76)

  7. Spoons, here’s the difference: bans on smoking in enclosed areas have at least some lame junk science to back them up. Bans on smoking in open areas, such as beaches, don’t even have that. All they have going for them is anti-smoking crusaders, whose real agenda all along is to punish smokers any way they can, and beachgoers who think they own the entire beach or are too lazy to move their chairs a few feet away to avoid someone else’s smoke.

    Coming next, a ban on cell phones, boom boxes, Speedos, flashy surfboards, and everything else at the beach that has the potential to annoy anyone. At least they could ban people from playing music by Kenny G. That can’t be good for you.

    Xrlq (f52b4f)

  8. I find the individuals that have quit smoking are the most likely to cry for banning smoking. There reason in my judgement is the fear they will fall back to their previous living style and they want me protect their own weakness.

    a zimmerman (a3a373)

  9. Spoons I think it is quite reasonable to limit smoking in public places as well. I understand that there are people who do not want to be around smoke or smokers, for health reasons, litter at beaches, etc. I just am not in favor of outright bans. Should a private business owner wish to cater to only smokers, or have his entire place of business smoke free, I say more power to him. What we are seeing is more and more nanny state solutions, cell phone, smoking, foie gras bans!!!(Chicago) for God sake that are absurd. Hey Patterico and Spoons, here is my offer, the next time you guys are in Chicago I will take you out to dinner, the only caveat is that you must order foie gras, so that I can watch you being led away in handcuffs. I mean this as a joke but that is how goofy this has all become.

    btorrez (bbda7f)

  10. Besides the health and general annoyance factors, there is the trash problem. Sorry to pile on, but smokers tend to view the great outdoors as a giant trash receptacle. If you allow smoking on the beach, the sand is going to be full of cigarette butts, which are difficult and expensive to remove. To me, this factor alone justifies a ban on smoking at the beach.

    Tim K (7e41e8)

  11. TimK, good point. However, this whole discussion is missing the real issue, so I’m going to address it directly. Does Richard Ceballos have a constitutional right to smoke on the beach in the course of is job, free from criticism by Ann Coulter?

    Xrlq (23419a)

  12. Patterico

    This is where I’m going to disagree with you. I’m a non-smoker (not an ex-smoker – they tend to be fanatics) always have been and I think the beach thing, like the highly ridiculous ban on ALL “public” smoking in Calabasas, has not a thing to do with “health.” It’s political.

    There are a lot of things done in “public” I find personally annoying – spitting, loud gum chewing, too much perfume/aftershave, body odor, bratty kids, thong bikinis on men or women who have no business wearing them …. But I don’t get to “ban” them merely because I want to enjoy the beach “unspoiled” by their presence.

    Darleen (81f712)

  13. Tim K

    If litter is your worry, why not ban eatting and drinking on the beach? There is far more empty soda cans and mounds of wrappers, half eaten sandwiches and empty chip bags then there are butts.

    Darleen (81f712)

  14. All they have going for them is anti-smoking crusaders, whose real agenda all along is to punish smokers any way they can, and beachgoers who think they own the entire beach or are too lazy to move their chairs a few feet away to avoid someone else’s smoke.

    Its also a nuisance issue. The pollution doesn’t have to be health only. I suppose its the person who’s not smoking that has to move. How coaseian

    actus (ebc508)

  15. Sorry but who is Richard Ceballos?

    btorrez (bbda7f)

  16. TimK

    BTW… I was just thinking back to when I was a kid when it appeared everyone smoked. Most people were also more schooled in the art of politeness and courtesy, and if someone was bothered by smoke, the smoker would move or put out the cig.

    AND, as a Girl Scout, wherever we would find ourselves in public places, we policed ’em. Campgrounds, beaches, neighborhoods. “Leave a place you’ve visited better than you found it.”

    Now we witness nasty confrontations coming from people who use “rights” as a legal cudgel to impose their will on others’ personal choices.

    Darleen (81f712)

  17. Uh, right. Sure. What a nanny stater.

    If you don’t like the smoke upwind, you could move. As in off the beach. Permanently. Wussy.

    rightwingprof (663991)

  18. There are any number of things other people can do at the beach, or a park or anywhere else for that matter, which people can be offended by if they so choose.

    I am offended by rap music lyrics about bitches and ho’s so let’s ban radios from beaches. There are plenty of people that don’t like kids, so let’s ban kids from beaches so they aren’t bothered by the shreeks and screams of joyous children.

    Let’s ban eating and drinking of any sort or kind since people that eat and drink at the beach tend to view the great outdoors as a giant trash receptacle and toss their paper plates and drink cans all over the place.

    Fishing is dangerous to swimmers – you know, hooks, attracting sharks and all, so let’s ban it.

    Dogs poop and pee so let’s ban dogs even while leashed.

    Thong bathing suits offend me, especially on men or fat chicks. Ban them.

    Alternatively we could realize we have to share our public spaces, that people are different and have different tastes, and that we should try to be tolerant or even understand the other folks there, and understand they have the same right to use public facilities that we have – and that if we are made so uncomfortable by their behavior we can simply set our camp up a few yards farther down the beach, rather than expect that we can plop down next to them and demand that their behavior meet our whim, or that there be laws established to meet our narrow expectations of how every single person in the country should behave.

    …..nah…

    Dwilkers (a1687a)

  19. If litter is your worry, why not ban eatting and drinking on the beach? There is far more empty soda cans and mounds of wrappers, half eaten sandwiches and empty chip bags then there are butts.

    Darleen, It’s a lot easier to remove the types of trash you mention than it is to remove cigarette butts from sand. Cleanup would therefore be more difficult, more expensive (to all taxpayers, not just smokers), and less complete. I could be persuaded to your position if my experience was that most smokers properly dispose of their cigarette butts, by my experience is the exact opposite.

    Tim K (7e41e8)

  20. “I suppose its the person who’s not smoking that has to move. How coaseian”

    Yes, it’s called being responsible for oneself. That’s a novel concept, isn’t it?

    sharon (03e82c)

  21. What a nanny stater!

    Alcohol gets people drunk and people litter with bottles and cans so hey let’s ban alcohol on beaches.

    Oh right, we do.

    People get offended when people walk around with their wieners hanging out so hey let’s ban complete nudity on beaches.

    Oh right, we do.

    Dogs pee and poop everywhere so hey let’s ban them.

    Oh right, we do.

    For some reason, only smoking bans upset people. They never whine about alcohol bans.

    If someone wants to enjoy a nice cold beer on the beach, they’re not harming anyone. If they want to smoke, they’re blowing smoke on me. So before you get upset about a cigarette ban, go get your local authorities to allow drinking on the beach again.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  22. So, Patterico, you admit that there is no health hazard involved, you just don’t like the smell of tobacco smoke and are willing to use the state and the state’s guns to enforce your preferences on others.

    This is conservative? Principled? Or simply that you’re part of the majority on this one and enjoying it for once?

    While we are at it, let’s ban radios, cell phones, beer, fat people in skimpy clothing, children and otehr annoying things from beaches.

    Matter of fact, let’s just ban everyone but ME, so that I’m able to enjoy the beach in perfect quiet. After all, it’s all about ME, isn’t it?

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  23. sharon,

    Move your blanket if you don’t like it.

    I did. Why did I have to be the one to move?

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  24. rightwingprof,

    If you don’t like the smoke upwind, you could move. As in off the beach. Permanently. Wussy.

    Or . . . I could push for a smoking ban on beaches!

    Wussy? Hey, I’m not the one whining on a blog about a smoking ban, rightwingprof. You appear to be the whining wussy here.

    You’re typical of the conservative whiners who boo-hoo every time people get together and decide that they don’t enjoy having smoke blown in their face. It has nothing to do with B.S. claims of second-hand smoke. It has to do with being annoyed.

    I have a much nicer time at restaurants in L.A. than I do in many other places, because there’s no smoking. No-smoking sections don’t cut it; you can still smell the smoke. Having the entire restaurant no-smoking is what works.

    Maybe you don’t like that. Well, then, my wussy friend, your choices are: 1) move the hell out — permanently (if you’re here); or 2) if you’re already not here, stay out.

    That way, I won’t have to 1) smell your cigarette smoke and 2) listen to your pathetic sniveling. It’s a perfect solution.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  25. While we are at it, let’s ban radios, cell phones, beer, fat people in skimpy clothing, children and otehr annoying things from beaches.

    We do ban beer. Change that first.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  26. My Patterico must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed. As for Mr. Murphy’s suggestion that he be the only one allowed on the beaches, that seems reasonable to me and I am all for it. Enjoy.

    btorrez (bbda7f)

  27. Why ban litter to begin with? To me, litter is annoying and unsightly — but to you, litter is freedom. The freedom to drop your crap wherever the hell you want, and screw everyone else.

    HOW DARE THE NANNY STATE BAN LITTER? HOW DARE YOU? ARE YOU A CONSERVATIVE, PATTERICO? AT LONG LAST, ARE YOU A CONSERVATIVE??

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  28. My Patterico must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed. As for Mr. Murphy’s suggestion that he be the only one allowed on the beaches, that seems reasonable to me and I am all for it. Enjoy.

    I’m just havin’ a little fun with rightwingprof.

    The whiner.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  29. Patterico–

    Are you seriously going to tell me that beer is banned from public beaches? Oh, sure there’s a law, but really!

    As for smokers, most smokers today take pains to avoid imposing on other people. There are a few assholes, of course, but they are not the norm.

    Just like most non-smokers simply avoid places where they are subjected to smoke — they get up and more. Again, there are a few assholes, but that’s also not the norm.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  30. Smoke is entirely different from cell phones and a bunch of other stuff people have been citing–because it gets into my hair, my clothes, and oh yeah, my freaking vocal cords and lungs. And my kid’s. The health stuff is dubious, but at the very least it tends to be more bad for me than good. And let’s say I get to the beach at 10 a.m., find a good spot, set up my big blanket, my huge umbrella, my kid’s T-ball set (if that’s legal on a beach in CA), my cooler for our lunch, my chair, my book … and at 10:30 somebody starts to smoke near me. The proper answer is not “Dammit, I have to schlep all my stuff somewhere else so that I can take the chance of having to move it somewhere else again,” it’s “Hey buddy, could you go somewhere away from me to smoke that thing?” As for what somebody said about “using rights as a cudgel over others’ choices,” hey, I choose not to smoke. Smokerman says “No way, lady, this is a prime beach spot,” and boom, his right is interfering with my personal choice not to smoke.

    I have to head out now so won’t be able to keep going with this fascinating thread. Somebody pick Patterico up off the floor; he’s undoubtedly hyperventilating because I disagree with Xrlq and support him.

    Anwyn (01a5cc)

  31. Its silly Patterico, and yes it is nanny state crap.

    Its been right at 20 years since I was at a California beach so I don’t know what they’re like anymore. So now you can’t walk your dog on a leash and you can’t drink alcohol at all?

    Whatever, I’m glad I don’t live in such an anal retentive place – but that is an argument against the philosophy of controlling everyone with such laws.

    As, by the way, is this:


    For some reason, only smoking bans upset people. They never whine about alcohol bans.

    If someone wants to enjoy a nice cold beer on the beach, they’re not harming anyone.

    Obviously people are offended by bans on alcohol. Your comment here is self-conflicted. Are you supporting the smoking ban because of your resentment of the alcohol ban (neither of which we have where I live)? Because that’s the undertone of your statement.

    Eventually where this sort of thing ends up is everything is banned – that’s why its an ineffective governing strategy.

    Dwilkers (a1687a)

  32. Patterico..the ban on alcohol is not just beaches. There is, has always been, a ban on public drinking (recall that little sign on inside of restaurant doors saying “no alcoholic beverages beyond this point”). That’s a non-starter. Ditto public nudity.

    Nicotine is neither mind-altering as is alcohol or lewd as is public nudity. Being annoyed by the smell of cig smoke is akin to being annoyed by the smell of bad food or heavy perfume.

    It’s politics, nothing more.

    Darleen (81f712)

  33. Are you seriously going to tell me that beer is banned from public beaches? Oh, sure there’s a law, but really!

    Uh, when there is a law against beer at the beach, that’s considered “banning” beer from the beach.

    Yeah, maybe a lot of people still drink it, but then can be (and often are) ticketed.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  34. Obviously people are offended by bans on alcohol. Your comment here is self-conflicted. Are you supporting the smoking ban because of your resentment of the alcohol ban (neither of which we have where I live)? Because that’s the undertone of your statement.

    I don’t have a big problem with alcohol bans because of the litter and obnoxious behavior it can prevent, but all that seems a lot more attenuated than smoke right in your face.

    You can still ban litter and still ban being so intoxicated in public that you can’t take care of yourself, and allow people the chance to enjoy a nice quiet beer or glass of wine while watching the sunset or fireworks at the 4th of July.

    That doesn’t bother me because it’s not in my face. Smoke is.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  35. “I did. Why did I have to be the one to move?”

    Because you’re the one who’s offended. I mean, isn’t this the same logic you used when people pointed out your obsession with Ann Coulter (“if you don’t like it, go read something else”)?

    And Anwyn, I’ve rarely run into a smoker who wouldn’t move if they realized their smoke was bothering someone unless that person was an asshole about it. If you’re concerned about ruining your lungs with second-hand smoke, I’m surprised you’re outside at all with the pollution. Maybe California is different from Texas and there is no air pollution watches, but I really would find it funny for someone to be worried about second-hand smoke on an air pollution red day in TX.

    sharon (03e82c)

  36. Patterico..the ban on alcohol is not just beaches. There is, has always been, a ban on public drinking (recall that little sign on inside of restaurant doors saying “no alcoholic beverages beyond this point”). That’s a non-starter. Ditto public nudity.

    IT’S WORSE THAN I THOUGHT! THE INSANITY HAS SPREAD BEYOND THE BEACHES!

    Thank God at least blowing smoke in people’s faces is allowed in non-beach areas. If they take that away, they may as well start killing Jews en masse as well, because THE NAZIS WILL HAVE WON!

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  37. Because you’re the one who’s offended. I mean, isn’t this the same logic you used when people pointed out your obsession with Ann Coulter (”if you don’t like it, go read something else”)?

    And it’s a cardinal rule of human behavior that when one person offends the other, the person doing the offending behavior may continue, while the offended person must leave. In all cases.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  38. Is that what you’re saying?

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  39. If someone wants to enjoy a nice cold beer on the beach, they’re not harming anyone.

    Until they have 4 of them and get in their car to drive home. There is actual harm, not just annoyance.

    But we’re really forgetting something. There was a time in this country where people put up with other people. Live and let live. Now, it’s everyone trying to control everyone else. The problem is deeper than “nanny state.”

    It’s getting so that tolerance and intolerance are no longer personal choices but dictated and demanded by law. Gotta love gays, gotta hate smokers, that kind of thing.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  40. Kevin, in your libertarian estimation, may the nanny state ban littering on beaches?

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  41. By the way, if the law was to prevent smokers from interfering with other’s quiet enjoyment, the law would be more narrowly tailored, such as “no smoking within 100 feet of anyone else.” But it is illegal to smoke on an empty beach, or an empty portion.

    Why? Could it be that the majority has taken a “f**k them” attitude rather than even pretending to balance rights? If so, we are well past regulation and into harrassment and intolerance.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  42. Because you’re the one who’s offended.

    Even if he’s tehre first?

    actus (ebc508)

  43. Kevin

    Just as under Sharia it is supposed a woman’s hair gives off rays that drive men to sin and must be burkaed whenever in public, so a smoker on an empty beach threatens the peace of every non-smoker in the city.

    This is not about health, it’s about sin.

    Darleen (81f712)

  44. Patrick–

    may the nanny state ban littering on beaches? Pre-emptively? As in you can’t bring anything that might be littered? No. You’d have to ban all food, drinks, newspapers, etc.

    But, in general, the act of littering? Sure. Why this is germane to the discussion, I have no clue, though. They can also ban machine guns.

    We aren’t arguing whether they can ban something. Only whether the ban is silly and one-sided.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  45. Actus:

    Even if he’s tehre first?

    If that’s the deciding factor, the smokers were there first.

    Xrlq (23419a)

  46. Kevin,

    Let me be more precise. May the state, consistent with your libertarian philosophy, ban the act of littering?

    If the answer is yes, then my next question is, what principle in libertarian philosophy justifies such a ban?

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  47. If that’s the deciding factor, the smokers were there first.

    Huh?

    When it happened to me, I had been there first. Or, at least, I had already set up before someone started smoking (that’s all I really *know*). Otherwise I would not have set up there.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  48. “And it’s a cardinal rule of human behavior that when one person offends the other, the person doing the offending behavior may continue, while the offended person must leave. In all cases.”

    It’s interesting that you try to make an absolutist arguement when it is unnecessary. No, it’s not a cardinal rule. But it is your CHOICE to stay and be offended, right? Is there a law on the books saying you CAN’T move away from someone who’s baby is screaming? Or maybe the smell of cooking hotdogs makes you nauseated. Or what about the smoke from cookers? Anything else your delicate sensibilities can’t handle? Talk about whining!

    “Even if he’s tehre first?”

    Yes, even if he’s tehre (sic) first. If he’s offended, then move. Or does California have a limitation on where one can put one’s blanket on the beach?

    sharon (03e82c)

  49. If that’s the deciding factor, the smokers were there first.

    I’m likening this to general nuisance analysis. Maybe its because of my bar study. If they’re there first, then you’re coming to the nuisance. So it feels less proper to ban what they’re doing.

    actus (ebc508)

  50. It’s interesting that you try to make an absolutist arguement when it is unnecessary. No, it’s not a cardinal rule. But it is your CHOICE to stay and be offended, right? Is there a law on the books saying you CAN’T move away from someone who’s baby is screaming? Or maybe the smell of cooking hotdogs makes you nauseated. Or what about the smoke from cookers? Anything else your delicate sensibilities can’t handle? Talk about whining!

    Yes, you’re talking about whining, but in fact you are the one whining here. I do not propose a ban on these other activities — although cooking hot dogs on the beach is, I believe, already not allowed.

    What we’re talking about is how things *should* be. *Should* it be the case that people can band together and say, we don’t want smoking on the beaches, and we are the majority?

    I say yes.

    I am aware of no constitutional right to smoke. So the majority rules.

    And the whining here is from those who are whining when the rest of us use the power of the majority to achieve what we want.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  51. I’m likening this to general nuisance analysis. Maybe its because of my bar study. If they’re there first, then you’re coming to the nuisance. So it feels less proper to ban what they’re doing.

    actus,

    What if they were *there* first, but they lit up only after I got there? What does your nuisance analysis say about that?

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  52. I am not a smoker but i did read the latest World Health Organization report that shot down all the complaints of the ‘second hand smoke crowd’. People that harp the ‘no smoking’ garbage are in the same class as the Hanoi John/Murtha/Peloshi anti-americans. Screaming to hear their own voice.
    The constitution guarntees freedom of speach, not the freedom to ‘not be offended’. Everyone has a habit that others don’t like, it’s just that most are polite enough to let you do your thing. Pot smokers complaining about cigarette smokers. Go figure.

    Scrapiron (71415b)

  53. By the way, for the benefit of the Zuma Hanses of the world, I am off work today and commenting from home. Thanks!

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  54. The constitution guarntees freedom of speach, not the freedom to ‘not be offended’. Everyone has a habit that others don’t like, it’s just that most are polite enough to let you do your thing. Pot smokers complaining about cigarette smokers. Go figure.

    It also doesn’t guarantee the right to smoke. Which is why these things are up to the majority. And the majority has spoken. Viva the majority!

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  55. To what degree must one avoid giving offense? Does it depend on the sensitivities of the offendee alone, or is it based on the commonness of the sensitivity.

    Do people with peanut allergies have the right to object when someone sits near them and pulls out a bag of fresh-roasted peanuts? Or, it being an uncommon problem, do they just get up and move?

    Many people have some weird issue with something or other, and they generally just do the get-up-and-move thing.

    Would you really tell two gay guys who were displaying affection on the beach to move, or knock it off, should that kind of thing disturb you?

    Or the family with the particularly loud and unruly children at the restaurant?

    Why is it different with smoking?

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  56. What about my littering question?

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  57. “Yes, you’re talking about whining, but in fact you are the one whining here. I do not propose a ban on these other activities”

    Um, no, I’m not whining. I’m pointing out the silliness of your post, which IS a whine. I pointed out that true conservatives don’t run to the nanny state to fix their problems when they can be solved by simply moving to a different spot on the beach. And why not ban the other activities mentioned? Most people don’t like crying children, smoke from cookers, loud radios, or vulgar language, but instead of demanding that the city or county or state or feds make a law to ban the behavior, they just move their damn blanket. This is the funniest thing I’ve read here in a while!

    sharon (03e82c)

  58. What if they were *there* first, but they lit up only after I got there? What does your nuisance analysis say about that?

    I’d say you didn’t come to the nuisance. They brought that after you arrived and set up.

    actus (ebc508)

  59. Patrick–

    Let me be more precise. May the state, consistent with your libertarian philosophy, ban the act of littering?

    If the answer is yes, then my next question is, what principle in libertarian philosophy justifies such a ban?

    Geez. Leading the witness, your honor! Let me answer this again, then.

    Assuming I was a devout Libertarian…which I am not, having accepted the real world some time ago….

    Obviously, the state may prevent one person from harming another, and may prevent a person from harming another’s property. Which littering might be either of.

    The question here, though, is how far you extend the principle. You eating a hot dog while I starve could be considered harm to me, if you have no care about bounds.

    The state could, if your argument is correct, ban smoking almost entirely. But I would think that one of the places where smoking would still be allowed (if it was strictly based on harm to others and/or property), would be on an empty section of beach. Which is currently banned in places.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  60. I pointed out that true conservatives don’t run to the nanny state to fix their problems when they can be solved by simply moving to a different spot on the beach.

    sharon,

    May the state, consistent with your conservative philosophy, ban the act of littering?

    If the answer is yes, then my next question is, what principle in conservative philosophy justifies such a ban?

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  61. The state could, if your argument is correct, ban smoking almost entirely. But I would think that one of the places where smoking would still be allowed (if it was strictly based on harm to others and/or property), would be on an empty section of beach. Which is currently banned in places.

    It would probably be too tough to draw that line. “Yeah, there’s people over there, officer, but this part of the beach is empty!”

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  62. Obviously, the state may prevent one person from harming another, and may prevent a person from harming another’s property. Which littering might be either of.

    I see litter as simply more annoying than harmful.

    1) Can you explain how litter is actually harmful?

    2) If littering were merely annoying, could the state ban it, consistent with libertarian principles?

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  63. Kevin,

    Would you support a ban on copulating on a beach, if it is done discreetly under blankets, with no nudity displayed? Why or why not?

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  64. To me, it’s all a line-drawing exercise, and the majority can draw the line where it wants. That’s what has happened here, and it offends no grand principles.

    I like it because I line up with the majority.

    If I didn’t line up with the majority, I would try to change it, rather than whine about how some grand conservative or libertarian principle is being violated, when it really isn’t.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  65. And, to all the arguments about banning radios: they can be banned when they get too loud. Disturbing the peace.

    Smoking is really not so different from a million other things we already ban, many with less reason.

    I just don’t see anything essentially conservative about the sacred right to annoy the hell out of others.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  66. “May the state, consistent with your conservative philosophy, ban the act of littering?”

    Of course, it can. It has nothing to do with conservative principles. What does have to do with conservative principles is your notion that the state SHOULD ban something based on its mere offensiveness to your nose.

    “If the answer is yes, then my next question is, what principle in conservative philosophy justifies such a ban?”

    It has nothing to do with conservative principles. It has to do with the power of the state, its use or abuse. Frankly, banning smoking on a public beach seems to be an abuse, but you just like it because you don’t like smoking.

    sharon (03e82c)

  67. I’d point out it undermines the argument to use hyperbole like some guy was “blowing smoke” in your face. Somehow I doubt he was. In fact what we’re talking about here is someone, what, 15 feet or so away on another beach blanket that was smoking, and you were able to detect it occaisionally.

    Right?

    In any case I gotta go although the discussion is an interesting one. It is really a discussion about the tension between classic liberal vs conservative philosophy, unlike 99.99% of the silly stuff discussed on blogs.

    I’ll say this, I have been served in life by learning to tolerate the faults of others that do not harm me. Nowadays when I’m all steaming about somebody around me that’s irritating the CRAP out of me I ask myself why. Why I am reacting that way. Might give it a try.

    Dwilkers (a1687a)

  68. Have you never heard of the concept of the tyranny of the majority? Suppose the majority decided that nobody named Patterico could go to the beach.

    (I’m playing devil’s advocate here.)

    CraigC (9cd021)

  69. I’m named Patrick, so it would work out fine. Check my driver’s license.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  70. sharon,

    You’re evading the question. I am talking about what the result should be, consistent with conservative principles.

    You are the one who said:

    “What a nice conservative philosophy. I thought conservatives were for LESS government involvement.”

    Okay. So that means no littering bans. Right?

    I put the question to you directly, sharon: do you support littering bans? If so, why?

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  71. Mr. P needs to chill. A foot rub, a smoke and a good imported beer. Just kick the files off your desk and get started.

    Vermont Neighbor (a9ae2c)

  72. Actually, I don’t smoke and I really enjoy no cigs in restaurants — but I feel for the people who do wish to offer that environment to their customers. That’s tough on a smoker and a business owner.

    As for the beach, that might be too much regulation. Although it serves my needs beautifully, I’m not sure it’s fair to do in an open-space area.

    Smokers are taxpayers, too.

    Vermont Neighbor (a9ae2c)

  73. Mr. P needs to chill. A foot rub, a smoke and a good imported beer. Just kick the files off your desk and get started.

    No files on my desk at home, which is where I am.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  74. Smokers are taxpayers, too.

    So are many drug addicts. And they’re welcome on our beaches — they just can’t shoot up while they’re there.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  75. “You’re evading the question.”

    Now, you should no better than that by now. I never evade a question. I just didn’t give you the answer you wanted.

    “I put the question to you directly, sharon: do you support littering bans? If so, why?”

    Oh, me? I support littering bans because they are an eyesore, affect property values, are a health hazard, and, unlike smoking on the beach, I can’t just move my blanket to a different area. All this is, of course, beside the point. The point is that you claim in other areas to support conservative principles which implies less government interference in individual liberty. Supporting a ban on smoking in the great outdoors doesn’t seem to comport with that, particularly since the only excuse you make is that you don’t like it.

    sharon (03e82c)

  76. Wow. As I waited for the comments page to open, I didn’t think there’d be so many people who’d disagree with such a ban.

    I’m five days into kicking the habit (third time I’ve tried, and this time I have a gut feeling that I’ll be successful). I remember the days when I was around 19 years old or so, working at a retail music store. Each of us who worked in sales smoked. I recall leaning over the counter with a cigarette in my hand, talking with non-smokers about their purchase. On a very few occasions someone would call in later to complain about the fact that a salesman had gotten smoke in their face, or that they found the smoking offensive. We would typically laugh at this whining, complaining, thin-skinned person. My, how times have changed… This was in the late 80’s. 1987-89, I’d guess.

    Oddly enough, I don’t have a strong opinion on these bans one way or another (of course, this has happened in California and I’m in Alabama), but if I did, I’m sure it would be on the side of the banning beaches, even if I were still smoking. I rarely smoked around non-smokers because I thought it was pretty near the height of rudeness.

    Someone posted something about about banning halitosis earlier in the comments. That’s really a goofy comparison (unless you’ve seen the SpongeBob episode “Something Smells” — a favorite of mine).

    Laudio

    Laudio (06d15b)

  77. Smoker’s rights end where my nose begins, and tobacco smoke stinks worse than a raunchy skunk’s rear end. At the beach, carelessly discarded cigarette butts burn children’s bare feet, and used tobacco packaging litters nearly every corner of the once pristine great outdoors. Enough already. How about a little respect for the common good?

    News Flash folks: Smoking causes cancer. First it makes you socially unacceptable, then you can’t breath properly, next you get very sick, then die a miserable death. But, wait, there’s more. The smoker’s lasting legacy is their health care costs will bankrupt Medicare. That’s not unlike a junkie stealing to fund a drug addiction. The heck with that.

    Now, some few smokers are conscientious about not offending others, but most are rude, inconsiderate, jerks who should be horse whipped and kicked out of the public healthcare system, avoided, and ignored. Mostly, they’re pansy little Lefty fascists anyway.

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  78. You know what I meant. Now you’re evading the question. What about the tyranny of the majority issue?

    CraigC (9cd021)

  79. I support littering bans because they are an eyesore . . .

    So the fact that you are annoyed by something can be a legitimate justification for banning it. Some conservative!

    . . . and, unlike smoking on the beach, I can’t just move my blanket to a different area.

    Sure you can. Go down the beach where there’s no litter.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  80. Okay then kick off all the Pink Floyd cds and the opera playbills and the Ann Coulter promotional copies that you refuse to read. Mondays need a new public image!

    Actually, since you’ve been so opinionated, you’ve really brought the typists out of their hiding places. That’s not a bad thing.

    Vermont Neighbor (a9ae2c)

  81. You know what I meant. Now you’re evading the question. What about the tyranny of the majority issue?

    It’s a line-drawing issue. Some people are uncomfortable with anything that involves judgment. They have to take every slippery slope to the bottom. As Eugene Volokh has argued, however, not every slippery slope argument is valid. Yet many people just announce them and the argument is done. “Why, by the same logic, you could do x!”

    This is not to say that every slippery-slope argument is invalid, either. It’s just that you have to think them out.

    To me, it’s a matter of judgment. I think it would be completely irrational to ban from beaches everyone with a particular name. What would be the justification?

    With smoking, there are plenty of justifications. And for me, the most meaningful is that breathing cigarette smoke is annoying. It gets in your clothing. It spoils your enjoyment.

    So if a majority wants to ban it in a particular place, how does that threaten Western Civilization?

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  82. How about this, conservatives: Europeans love smoking! And they tolerate it everywhere, including restaurants!

    Do we want to be like them? Well, DO WE?

    WHERE ARE YOUR CONSERVATIVE PRINCIPLES NOW?

    Sorry, something about this issue sticks my caps lock key.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  83. Nope, sorry, Patrick. I don’t agree with banning litter because “I” am annoyed by it. I notice you left off the other arguments I made against litter. But litter is far more of a public nuisance than your nose being offended by smoke.

    BTW, for Black Jack, there’s no greater anti-smoker than I am. My mother smoked for 41 years, was diagnosed with lung cancer and died 42 days after the diagnosis. The tragedy of that event has literally changed the life of everyone in my family. And I suspect that the Social Security monies she never collected more than offset the costs of her hospital stays (plus, my parents had insurance). I have warned my children that if they never want to see me again to just light up.

    But the argument here isn’t over whether smoking is a good thing or not. It’s a legal thing. If we honestly think smoking is worse than drug use, then ban it. But until then, don’t be a pansy and expect to avoid it everywhere and always.

    Speaking of avoiding a question, I noticed Patterico didn’t have any comment about air pollution and air quality days. Is air pollution not a problem in CA? Or is smoking the worst air pollution y’all have to deal with?

    sharon (03e82c)

  84. I’m five days into kicking the habit (third time I’ve tried, and this time I have a gut feeling that I’ll be successful).

    Laudio,

    Good for you. It’s a nasty habit — and unhealthy to boot.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  85. sharon,

    Nope, sorry, Patrick. I don’t agree with banning litter because “I” am annoyed by it. I notice you left off the other arguments I made against litter. But litter is far more of a public nuisance than your nose being offended by smoke.

    I’m just looking at what you consider to be consistent with conservative principles. You included “eyesore” among the arguments:

    I support littering bans because they are an eyesore, affect property values, are a health hazard, and, unlike smoking on the beach, I can’t just move my blanket to a different area.

    So it’s consistent with conservative values to support the nanny state banning our freedom to litter, in part because litter is an eyesore. How about a nosesore?

    OK, so you advanced other arguments re litter. Well, I “notice you ignored” Black Jack’s other arguments against smoking:

    At the beach, carelessly discarded cigarette butts burn children’s bare feet, and used tobacco packaging litters nearly every corner of the once pristine great outdoors.

    Certainly cigarette butts are more toxic and dangerous than a gum wrapper, no? So ban supporters can rely on more than *just* the annoyance argument (although that’s the one I mostly care about).

    As for what’s a greater public nuisance, or what is a great *enough* public nuisance to be banned, who gets to decide that? How’s about the majority?

    I thought conservatives were in favor of allowing the public to make decisions through the legislative process!

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  86. Patterico

    Certainly, banning smoking in open places in a case of line-drawing.

    But at the very least be honest that this is NOT about “health.”

    It’s about SIN. Smokers are doing something now deemed so socially unacceptable that small children are allowed to be unconscionably rude to any adult they may spy with the Devil Tobacco in their possession.

    Darleen (81f712)

  87. BTW

    As long as we are evaluating sins and bad behaviors

    If the choice were to me either my adult children would either drink or smoke cigarettes, I’d take cigarettes hands down.

    No one ever died from getting in a car accident under the influence of nicotine. No one beat up a spouse or a child under the influence of nicotine.

    Darleen (81f712)

  88. But at the very least be honest that this is NOT about “health.”

    It’s about SIN. Smokers are doing something now deemed so socially unacceptable that small children are allowed to be unconscionably rude to any adult they may spy with the Devil Tobacco in their possession.

    Mmmmm . . . to me it’s not about health (which I agree, the health effects here are negligible) or SIN (since I don’t care). It’s about BEING ANNOYED.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  89. “So it’s consistent with conservative values to support the nanny state banning our freedom to litter, in part because litter is an eyesore. How about a nosesore?”

    I expected you to grab onto this argument as opposed to the health hazards or property values arguments against littering. The point about littering being an “eyesore” is BECAUSE it does these other things (affects property values, is a health hazard) as well as simply “bother” a sensitive person. I’m perfectly content to retract “eyesore” and stick with the reduced property values and health risks associated with littering. Next.

    “OK, so you advanced other arguments re litter. Well, I “notice you ignored” Black Jack’s other arguments against smoking:”

    The other arguments Black Jack made were about LITTERING with cigarette products. A ban on littering covers these problems and, in fact, makes my arguments for banning litter. Next.

    “So ban supporters can rely on more than *just* the annoyance argument (although that’s the one I mostly care about).”

    Sure they can, but that wasn’t the point of your post. Your entire argument was that smoking is smelly and you don’t like it (stamp foot here). And the other arguments against smoking all concern littering, which can be banned without banning smoking.

    “As for what’s a greater public nuisance, or what is a great *enough* public nuisance to be banned, who gets to decide that? How’s about the majority?

    I thought conservatives were in favor of allowing the public to make decisions through the legislative process!”

    Of course, conservatives are for the legislative process, but you need to make a bit better argument than your nose is too sensitive.

    Again, does California have NO pollution except cigarette smoke at beaches?

    sharon (03e82c)

  90. Laudio,

    Think of learning to quit smoking like leaning to ride a bicycle. You might fall off the first few times you try, but keep trying and you’ll get the hang of it. And, the benefits far outweigh the effort required. Stick with it and you’ll have given yourself the gift of life itself.

    Best of luck, and keep the faith.

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  91. I’m perfectly content to retract “eyesore” and stick with the reduced property values and health risks associated with littering. Next.

    I’m sure you’re willing to retract what you already said, now that it turns out that it doesn’t support your argument.

    Is it consistent with conservative values to cite something’s being an “eyesore” as part of the reason to ban it?

    Do you favor zoning laws? Or are they an example of nanny-state liberalism?

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  92. ah, but Patterico, examine why you are annoyed by smokers you may never even see (thus a total ban even when the beach is empty)

    It is because you find the behavior, in total, unacceptable. IE immoral or sinful.

    Darleen (81f712)

  93. Again, does California have NO pollution except cigarette smoke at beaches?

    Your argument is that, if there is some pollution, you can’t pass laws to reduce other pollution? And you find this argument so convincing that you press it, repeatedly?

    Of course, conservatives are for the legislative process, but you need to make a bit better argument than your nose is too sensitive.

    Like my eyes are too sensitive?

    Do you support zoning laws?

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  94. and to exand a little bit on sin

    I have little problem with debate on which sinful, rather than harmful, behaviors society should/should not, statutorially regulate. I see adultery as both immoral and outside the province of government regulation, even as it is as harmful as smoking on a desserted beach. We are back to consensus on drawing lines. I personally do not find banning smoking on public beaches any more reasonable than banning adultery.

    Darleen (81f712)

  95. ah, but Patterico, examine why you are annoyed by smokers you may never even see (thus a total ban even when the beach is empty)

    I don’t care about a smoker on a completely empty beach, who disposes of his butts in the trash can.

    I’m concerned, as I already said, about the enforcement issues raised by creating an exception for “empty” beaches — or empty “portions” of beaches. (“This fifteen-square-foot portion is empty, officer!”)

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  96. I don’t care about a smoker on a completely empty beach, who disposes of his butts in the trash can.

    Then why are you in support of a complete ban on public smoking rather than its regulation?

    Darleen (81f712)

  97. We’re talking about smoking on beaches.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  98. whoops…hit the post button too fast

    Enforcement issues borders on a sophist argument. We could treat smoking on the beaches like overnight parking and drinking… limit it to specific hours, dates when beaches are less populated and provide specific areas FOR smoking.

    Darleen (81f712)

  99. We could.

    Or we could just say no smoking on beaches.

    Yeah, I like that better.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  100. “I’m sure you’re willing to retract what you already said, now that it turns out that it doesn’t support your argument.”

    This coming from the guy who used a weaker argument but kept harping on it. Nice logic! Hey, I gave you numerous arguments in support of littering bans, eyesore being part of it. Once again, you cut and paste the portion of my post you want to use and ignore the rest of the argument. Need to work on that.

    “Your argument is that, if there is some pollution, you can’t pass laws to reduce other pollution? And you find this argument so convincing that you press it, repeatedly?”

    Nope, the point is that if your nose is too “sensitive” for cigarette smoke from 50 yards away, how on earth do you deal with the pollution from cars, factories, etc., etc. Hell, let’s just ban all that, too, right?

    sharon (03e82c)

  101. sharon,

    You make it sound like I misrepresented your argument, but I never did. I noted that “eyesore” was *one* of the arguments that you used in favor of your conservative argument that the nanny state can ban litter.

    Sure, you had others, but decreased property values is another way of saying “eyesore,” and the health issue re littering at beaches is hardly any more serious than that of second-hand smoke.

    The main reason people oppose littering is because it’s ugly. I’m sure you won’t admit that now that you see where I’m going, but ask 10 people without a pro-smoking agenda why they don’t like litter and 9 will say something along those lines: “It’s ugly. It’s unsightly. It’s an eyesore.”

    [H]ow on earth do you deal with the pollution from cars, factories, etc., etc. Hell, let’s just ban all that, too, right?

    Hell, if the overall utility of cars and factories were as minimal as the overall social utility of allowing people to pursue their nasty smoking habit on the beach, I’d ban cars and factories before you could blink your eyes.

    But, since these are all judgment calls, it’s nowhere near that easy.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  102. Woo-hoo! We topped 100 comments before noon. Of course, half of them were mine because I’m not at work.

    It’s all smoking bans, all the time, here at Patterico. Whatever brings in the eyeballs, baby!

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  103. We should not restrict ourselves to laws which are enforceable, since that is not the point. Ban smoking where there are more than 200 people per acre of beach, and beyond a 50ft radius of an active campfire. Banning smoking around a campfire is silly.

    Wesson (c20d28)

  104. THIS topic generates over 100 comments? fascinating . . .

    CStudent (59bfb8)

  105. Smoking is stupid, costly, stinky, causes forest fires, burns little kids bare feet, despoils the landscape, causes lung cancer, and according to Darleen’s view, may possibly be sinful as well, although that’s yet to be determined.

    Not a single sane human being would voluntarily condemn themselves to such a despicable scourge unless they were addicted to the vile weed.

    May Ann Coulter and all the good and sober people (conservatives who don’t smoke on the beach or kick puppies) have mercy on their miserable annoying hides, and may the afflicted “progressives” wake up, smell the smoke, and free themselves from the inhuman curse of drug dependency, and other useless Lefty dogma inspired civil rights violations.

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  106. “the health issue re littering at beaches is hardly any more serious than that of second-hand smoke.”

    Then why did you bring it up regarding Black Jack’s argument?

    Face it, Pat. You picked out the *one* argument I gave that you thought supported your point of smoking on the beach. And of course reduced property values has to do with attractiveness, but tell that to a real estate agent. I have a right to be concerned about my property (it’s a fundamental right from common law, right?).

    sharon (03e82c)

  107. You picked out the *one* argument I gave that you thought supported your point of smoking on the beach.

    Of course I did.

    And I acknowledged you had others — and noted that the smoking-ban proponents have others as well.

    And of course reduced property values has to do with attractiveness, but tell that to a real estate agent.

    OK. Find me a real estate agent and I’ll tell them.

    Property values arguments, as you advance, could support even a ban on smoking in the home, under certain circumstances.

    People have moved out of condos because of people smoking in other condos. That’s gotta hurt property values. Under those circumstances, I assume your conservative values also support banning smoking in the home? If preserving property values is a conservative value, then under those particular circumstances, banning smoking in the home is the only conservative thing to do.

    I’m sure you agree.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  108. It seems to me that since smoking is not a constitutionally protected activity the majority can regulate it in any way they deem appropriate. That is your conservative answer. The ban may be legal, it may have come about through a democratic process, etc, but that does not necesarily make it right. I don’t have to agree with it. Pardon me while I go light up, talk on my cel phone in traffic and eat some foie gras in my car.

    btorrez (bbda7f)

  109. Please, Pat, you’re reaching. It’s understandable since your only reason is that *you* don’t like smoking on beaches.

    What happened to that bundle of rights one has with one’s property? Once again, you want the nanny state to determine what people can do, I see. Tsk, tsk. I thought you were a conservative.

    sharon (03e82c)

  110. btorrez, I made that point about 15 posts ago. Of course the government can regulate smoking in public places. But Pat’s home today, so…

    sharon (03e82c)

  111. Black Jack

    You are offering “health” as a substitute for “sin”. Of the litany of evils you attribute to smoking [cigarettes] can be attributed to a number of other voluntary activities..like open campfires, candle burning, etc.

    I think a total ban on smoking in public, open air spaces, is unreasonable. I’m a nonsmoker and I realize such a ban doesn’t affect me, but I’m fairly consistent in separating issues and arguing their merit via sin/health/legal aspects.

    Please stop conflating the issues.

    Darleen (81f712)

  112. “You’re reaching” and “nanny state” and “Tsk, tsk,” and “I thought you were a conservative” aren’t arguments.

    I’m looking for reasoned arguments.

    Do you support zoning laws? :)

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  113. I smoke a pipe and nobody has ever complained about that. In fact, most people LOVE the smell of a lit pipe and they will sometimes tell me so. There are no health hazards of any sort because of it and it’s an enjoyable way to relax.
    Ahhhhhh…..terbaccy!

    Bill Schumm (33ab73)

  114. I kinda like the way pipes smell.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  115. And I’ve always wondered what makes cigarette smoke so acrid in comparison to pipe smoke.

    Anwyn (01a5cc)

  116. “You’re reaching” and “nanny state” and “Tsk, tsk,” and “I thought you were a conservative” aren’t arguments.

    “Nanny state” is indeed an argument. It’s not an argument for anyone’s right to annoy you, but it is an argument against the paternalistic mentality behind the ordinance. The American Lung Assn. isn’t interested in whether you are annoyed or not, but they are interested enough in this ordinance to appear in the article. Why do you suppose that might be?

    Xrlq (23419a)

  117. Banning littering? “Nanny state”!

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  118. THIS topic generates over 100 comments? fascinating . . .

    Well, I’m padding it a little bit with my own.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  119. OK, a lot.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  120. Xrlq, I’ve always been accustomed to think of “nanny state” in terms of ordinances that are for my own health, i.e. the damnable seat belt laws, and not for the prevention of other people encroaching on me. Because smoking around me is an encroachment worse than perfume, cell phones, loud radios, or lots of other annoyances that’s been cited here. It’s all in where you draw the encroachment line, and I say smoking’s a good place to draw it.

    Anwyn (01a5cc)

  121. Xrlq,

    Do you support zoning laws?

    Do you agree with a ban on copulating on the beach, discreetly, under blankets, with no nudity?

    Do you agree with anti-littering ordinances?

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  122. And PS, Xrlq, I agree that the “paternalistic” motives of anybody behind the law, as well as the “punish smoker” motives of anybody behind the law, are stupid and irrelevant, but it doesn’t make the ban stupid and irrelevant.

    Anwyn (01a5cc)

  123. “And I’ve always wondered what makes cigarette smoke so acrid in comparison to pipe smoke.”
    Anwyn, there are several reasons for it.

    First of all, they use different types of tobacco, pipe tobacco is mostly burley and cigs are mostly bright leaf. Also, the cigs have chemicals added to them to keep the tobacco more likely to stay compacted, to stay lit (pipes will go out if you don’t puff occasionally), etc.

    That’s why cigars and pipe tobacco don’t have those “nanny state” warning labels on them.
    I agree, cigarette smoke stinks. But it doesn’t give bystanders cancer. That’s a bunch of hooey.

    Bill Schumm (33ab73)

  124. Maybe we could convince Patrick to start up a “Patterico’s Pipe Club”!

    Bill Schumm (33ab73)

  125. Hey, thanks, Bill Schumm, for that info. I’ve heard the phrase “burley tobacco” before … can’t think where, possibly a song … aha. It was the Dixie Chicks. Nevermind. At least now I know what burley tobacco is.

    Shooting completely from the hip and having done no research, I’m betting you’re right and that secondhand smoke won’t give a person cancer, in the small doses that most nonsmokers have to put up with in the course of their lives. If I lived with somebody who smoked indoors constantly, the study might come out different. But at the very least, it clogs my vocal cords for 48 hrs after I’ve been around it and can’t be good for my lungs even in the small dose.

    Anwyn (01a5cc)

  126. totals so far as of comment 126:
    Great Mongrel Hordes:75
    Patterico: 51

    btorrez (bbda7f)

  127. Study doesn’t have enough controls. As has been pointed out before, some people comment only when they disagree.

    Anwyn (01a5cc)

  128. You actually counted? Heh.

    52!

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  129. Black Jack’s last gasp:

    Re # 111, Darleen, I’ve been pretty clear my objections to smoking are wide ranging, but I’m not talking about campfires or candles in the wind. Tabasco smoke causes cancer, and that’s a sin in my book. Selling it, using it, advertising it, transporting it, snorting it, you name it and I’m against it.

    If you think I’m “conflating the issues” it’s OK by me. You make the call. But, actually while I was poking fun at the issues, I noticed no one was responding to your “sin” argument. So, in my heedless way, I threw you a bone in passing. Sorry if I offended you.

    So, what say? Let us go, you and I, while the moon is spread out against the sky, like a spent butt improperly extinguished upon the sands….

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  130. Doh, I misunderstood. P has commented 52 times and the aggregate of other people, 75. Gotcha. Thought you meant “for and against.”

    Anwyn (01a5cc)

  131. As a cigar smoker who indulges almost exclusively in a special room of my own home, I have no particular objection to a smoking ban at a beach or other public park. I do happen to think that a ban on cell phones, loud music, and playing ‘catch’ games across paved walkways would be more to the point, but hey…..

    What does concern me is the extent to which the Anti-Smoking Crusade has come to resemble the Temperance Movement of the Teens and twenties. In order to Stamp Out Evil these people are lying their pointed little heads off, and smug non-smokers like you, sir, are letting them. Let me point out some of the consequences:

    The harassment suits against food vendors would not be possible, save for the changes in the law that were pushed through to let the Crusade “Get” Big Tobacco. When those changes were happening, Big Tobacco pointed out that McDonalds would be next, and was widely ridiculed. To date nobody has begged Big Tobacco’s pardon, but many should. The Crusade has established as a legal principal (however much in contention) that a vendor can be made liable for the expected consequences of e legal vice. This is not a good thing.

    This foolishness has even revived the tired old claims of the Anti Saloon League that Prohibition was a success – as if we really need to go through THAT again.

    Of course that seems to be exactly what the anti-smoking Crusade wants to do. They are so very clueless. I remember hearing Bllomburg of New York expressing surprise that cigarette smuggling, in the wake of his tobacco tax hike, had become a billion dollar a year business. Somebody needs to type in the keywords “Volstead” “Chicago” and “Capone” on his search engine.

    So long as you are banning smoking because it smells bad, I’m with you. Perhaps I can interest you in joining MY fight to ban suntan oils that smell of rotting fruit. But I suspect that if you examine the ban in question you will find that it is based on the assertion that ‘secondhand smoke’ represents a measurable health risk. To date this appears to be bushwa, and I am opposed to laws that are based on bushwa.

    C. S. P. Schofield (c1cf21)

  132. In order to Stamp Out Evil these people are lying their pointed little heads off, and smug non-smokers like you, sir, are letting them.

    And how is that? By pretending that second-hand smoke is as bad as the liberals say it is? Read through the comments. I say no such thing, and I don’t buy it.

    I think if you work in a smoky bar for years, or live with a smoker, it could have ill effects on your health. But second-hand smoke on a beach? Gimme a break.

    I just find it annoying.

    The linked article says the ban relates to health concerns, which I think are bogus, but also: “Environmentalists and surfers have called for clean beaches and for offshore waters untainted by cigarette butts.”

    That sounds good. Of course, littering also covers it, technically.

    Which is why I rely primarily on the fact that it’s annoying.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  133. Zoning laws usually involve enclosures. And barriers. No?

    As a non-smoker, I just don’t want to regulate smokers on the beach. Boom boxes need to be regulated. Quickly and swiftly. Let the smokers stay (outside).

    Vermont Neighbor (a9ae2c)

  134. Black Jack

    Tabasco smoke causes cancer

    Well, I guess I’ll refrain from sprinkling the peppersauce on my chicken as it BBQ’s.

    😉

    Seriously, Black Jack, I understand that cigarette smokers run a higher risk of contracting lung cancer due to their habit. But not ever smoker will get lung cancer and not all lung cancer sufferers have smoked cigs. And as an adult, one is allowed to chance risks. We don’t ban cars in total because a good percentage of people will and do die everyday in ’em.

    But cancer risk from the mere smell of smoke at 25 feet?

    Um, no.

    I get it. You don’t like cigs. You find the behavior reprehensible and you want the law to make people stop smoking. And barring actual criminalization of cigarette tobacco, you want legally keep people you don’t know or see from smoking in public.

    That is when your regulation of behavior is based, not on health, but on sin.

    I’m not saying you don’t have a good argument on that basis, I AM saying you need to own up to it.

    Darleen (81f712)

  135. I don’t get this connection between laws and feeling annoyed. What about invisible annoyances? I was on the freeway today and saw an old truck swerving and tilting. Conclusion: drugs, cell call, or bad tires. That annoyed me.

    It also annoys me that truckers are reputed to use drugs to stay awake on their long cross-country treks. I’m annoyed on the 5 and 710.

    It’s annoying when I go into a restaurant and see a kid sitting in a 20-yard radius of my booth. Sorry, moms and dads. I know you’re raising the divas and warriors of tomorrow, but their sweet crying and fidgeting … annoys me. As cute as they look to be.

    I’m annoyed by people who drive convertibles. There’s no way to convince any lawmaker that if your vehicle rolls over, you’re safe in a ragtop. Hate ’em. Hate convertibles and won’t step into one.

    Cigarettes, I don’t want to be around. I have left casinos where the air hung with a heavy putrid, yellow stench. But on the beach? Please. It’s annoying to make smokers jump through one more hoop. At least we have smoke-free restaurants out here.

    Vermont Neighbor (a9ae2c)

  136. Oh…and a note to the left-of-center commenters who support the complete ban of smoking on public beaches …

    Please DO remember you are regulating behavior based on a moral value …and remember that the next time you dismiss the arguments of people who wish to regulate the availability of abortion to one degree or another, or the redefinition of marriage AS “you have no right to legislate morality”.

    ahem

    Darleen (81f712)

  137. re 102 “I just find it annoying”

    Well, by all means then, lets pass a law. As long as you’re swimmig with the tide you’ll be just fine, and self-righteousness can be such a wonderful high. Heck, why don’t we all just vote or litigate our tastes and biases, whatever their basis in fact may be. Oops, I guess we already do.

    chuckb (2be7e4)

  138. As I have tried repeatedly to make clear, I class the annoyance in a totally different category from a screaming kid at a restaurant, a loud boom box, etc., Vermont Neighbor. It’s not just “feeling annoyed.” Other people’s smoke gets into my throat. It gets into my clothes and hair, too, and leaves me smelly, but mostly it gets into my throat and lungs. It encroaches on my body, and I object. If the law wants to keep the smoke and the encroachment off me, I’m cool with that.

    Anwyn (01a5cc)

  139. Darleen, I think you may have missed it. I really don’t favor a legal ban on cigarettes. Read over my comments, you have perhaps assumed facts not in evidence. I do object to cigarette smoke but I don’t see any utility getting the cops involved.

    I prefer good manners and common sense to questionable statutes. I’ll own up to that position without objection.

    Now, as to your other problem, don’t put the Tabasco on till after the meat is done and off the fire. Think of it as a “finishing sauce.” There are grilling sauces which can include Tabasco, that are used before and during cooking, but that’s a rib for another roast.

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  140. And Darleen, nobody who knows me even a little would classify me as “left of center” on any issue whatsoever. That being said, my opinion is in no way based on the morality of smoking, however much of that there is. It’s based on other people’s $#@&ing smoke in my $#@$ing hair, lungs, and throat.

    Anwyn (01a5cc)

  141. Oh, I agree with that Anwyn. I absolutely can’t stand the smell of smoke. Selfishly, I’m glad it’s regulated in CA restaurants, but I do feel for the business owners. Because truthfully, they aren’t making much money off me.

    The unhealthy second-hand effects seem obvious in an enclosed area. Yet people argue about this. So yes, sadly I see some logic in keeping enclosed areas smoke free. I just don’t know if I could agree that beaches should be off-limits for smokers. Maybe that’s my place to make a little compromise.

    Smokers lived right below me at a recent residence, something I didn’t even remember until the one thread went over 100 posts. It was tough because in the summer, no AC, and their dam’ smoke would float up onto my balcony. So I adjusted, but it was a pain.

    Vermont Neighbor (a9ae2c)

  142. Anwyn

    So you’re smelling something personally offensive to you. I can’t stand having people’s overused perfume or aftershave invading my lungs, hair or clothes.

    My discomfort at an, for me, unpleasant smell is fleeting, as is yours in open spaces. Being occassionally annoyed at unpleasant smells is part of living in urban, suburban centers.

    I find a total ban on public beach smoking – especially when it is based on the occassional annoyance of others – unreasonable. I realize YMMV, and that’s the rub. Whose morality and at what level shall the legislature enact statutes?

    Darleen (81f712)

  143. I’m trying to convey that it’s more than a smell. Perfume and cologne smell bad, but otherwise have zero effect on me. Smoke is a chemical substance that clings to me, a substance I would not have anything to do with of my own accord. It’s an encroachment, and an unreasonable one, I feel. You don’t feel it’s unreasonable to you. Welp, apparently a majority somewhere, like Patterico said earlier, feels it is unreasonable enough to pass the bans.

    BTW, I think all my whinging about vocal cords has fallen on completely deaf ears (har). Is nobody else here a singer? Smoke, if present in volume, makes me unable to sing well for two days afterwards. It affects me (and other people who are aware of the quality of their voices, whether for singing or in general) on a totally different level than bunches of other “annoyances.”

    Bottom line, it’s an unreasonable chemical encroachment on my physical person. You notice I’m not out there stumping to get these kinds of laws passed, so obviously it’s not so unreasonable that I’m willing to make a big stink about it (har), but if other people can get it passed, I say hooray.

    Anwyn (01a5cc)

  144. If it makes the farther-righters feel any better, I am ideologically conflicted about the restaurant bans. It’s ironic that in the places where it makes more common sense to ban smoke (enclosed spaces where people are eating), it runs up against the property rights of the owner of the establishment. And obviously, it makes less common sense in an open-air area like the beach, but because it’s a public place, the ban is more of a slam dunk. Ideologically confusing, but I looove to be smoke-free. While eating, playing on the beach, and doing anything else.

    Anwyn (01a5cc)

  145. Civility,
    That is what this all boils down to. You know, before we learned the horrors of tobacco addiction we depended on civility to clear our annoyances. Dad (and now I) smoke Cigars. We would never dream of lighting up in a restaurant or a theater (although cigarette were provided for, remember ashtrays in theater seat arms?)
    But some how it was tolerated at Yankee and Shea Stadiums. Unless someone asked that we not. Then with a shrug we moved out of our seats up to the walkway and finished our stogies.
    While there is very little (if any) justification for cigarette smoking it is still a legal behavior and use of a substance. But smokers rights seem to have somehow be abrogated in ALL instances and THAT is what bothers me.
    As for this Kalifornia kraziness of beach no smoking, I submit that it would be an ideal situation for smoking and non smoking sections dependant on the wind direction of the day. However, littering by smokers or non is inexcusable and should result in usual enforcement.

    paul from fl (464e99)

  146. Anwyn, if you’re a singer you have a high-end reason to keep invasive smoke from affecting your livelihood. I would say you have as much reason as the apartment renters who get the Housing Dept to okay a cat- at a no pet building- or a Muslim worker who wears religious garb for, say, the US Post Office or office work.

    Probably everyone on this thread depends on their voice. Singers, litigators, teachers, sales people. Has anyone ever sued a smoker for loss of income? Or a restaurant owner? Maybe the angle is, patronize an establishment at your own risk. I know I can’t bring a smoking situation into my life. I don’t have the patience, and it indeed makes me sick. But I would tolerate smokers on the beach because the open air should really provide enough ventilation.

    About 7 years ago, I had business at an office in Santa Barbara. Home office of a hamburger guy. The stench upon leaving the elevator was so stale and nauseating, I didn’t even know that type of environment was legal. I felt sorry for the people there; the dry cleaning bills. Nasty.

    Vermont Neighbor (a9ae2c)

  147. “It’s about BEING ANNOYED.”

    Pat, I gather you support this ban as you find smoking to be annoying and that’s your only reason. I don’t find that a good reason to support any law simple because it removes an annoyance to one or more people. Tell me, would you support a ban of something you didn’t find annoying like smoking. Suppose there was a ban on not wearing white before labor day or some such nonsense?

    Do you feel that you or others have a legal right not to be annoyed? That’s a dangerous road to travel.

    Ray (be81f9)

  148. Vermont Neighbor, my livelihood does not depend on my voice. I’m just trying to drive home the point that smoke is more than an annoying smell, it is a substance that physically affects my body.

    Anwyn (01a5cc)

  149. Your clothes offend my eyes and your perfume/aftershave my nose. Not to mention yout wheelchair. Why must I be subjected to a reminder of my human fragility? Moreover, do I really need to look at the way you eat while I’m eating?

    Xrlq, Comment #4 nailed it:
    “So go ahead and ban smoking on the beach for all I care, just have the cojones to admit that what you’re doing is a purely a friendly-fascist quality of life law, not a serious health issue for anyone but the smoker.”

    I would have left out the “friendly” from “friendly-fascist” but I am not as nice as Xrlq.

    nk (f58916)

  150. Correction: Xrlq’s was Comment #2.

    nk (f58916)

  151. Apparently my point, that it is more than an annoyance even if short of a health risk, is very very difficult to grasp. Let me see if I can try it another way.

    Suppose a large segment of the population had a chemical addiction to blowing bubbles, lots of them. Through the nature of these particular bubbles, about 50 percent of them are guaranteed to pop either on the arms, faces, heads, or legs of non-bubbling bystanders. Open air is a little bit more of a defense, but still, 20 out of 100 bubbles will pop on you if you are in a ten-foot radius of a bubbler.

    Also they throw their little sticks in the sand when they’re done.

    It is a chemical encroachment on my body. It’s more than an annoyance. Geesh.

    Anwyn (01a5cc)

  152. “It is a chemical encroachment on my body. It’s more than an annoyance. Geesh.”

    So is peeing in the water where bathers swim, but no one is banning peeing in the ocean, are they?

    Ray (be81f9)

  153. *laugh* if you can figure out a way to enforcably ban that, be my guest, Ray.

    Anwyn (01a5cc)

  154. “*laugh* if you can figure out a way to enforcably ban that, be my guest, Ray.”

    And have the ACLU on my ass? No thank you! 😉

    Ray (be81f9)

  155. And have the ACLU on my ass?

    Don’t you mean all over your … nevermind.

    Anwyn (01a5cc)

  156. “Don’t you mean all over your … nevermind.”

    LOL

    Ray (be81f9)

  157. I am an ex-smoker, but a week ago I would have disagreed with Patterico. But I just moved to North Adams MA 8 days ago (actually an adjacent town) and have since visited its public beach. It’s a lovely site, but it seems that practically everyone in this town over age 15 is a heavy smoker, especially when at the beach. (Perhaps it’s something about the demographics in this still-struggling ex-mill-town in the Northern Berkshires.) You can’t avoid the smokers, who are on all sides of you. The smell is at least intermittently unpleasant, and I’m not happy to think that my 4- and 2-year-old children will grow up to see this as the overwhelming norm, with even mothers holding a butt in one hand and stroking a baby with the other.

    I would be almost as happy with a smoking area off to one side (preferably down the prevailing wind). When I was a smoker, I actually preferred going to bars in cities which banned smoking, since that meant the bars would let you in and out, you’d get fresher air, and you’d end up smoking less.

    DWPittelli (d8ce22)

  158. Maybe the whole controversy could be solved by giving the smokers a Smoking Pier. Wouldn’t that serve everyones needs and desires?

    Ray (be81f9)

  159. What I find fascinating about this whole debate is how the waters along the coast of California are so polluted that cities and counties continually close beaches for swimming and people are told not to eat more than a few of the fish they catch, yet people are worried about the health effects of second hand smoke on beaches. What’s wrong with this picture?

    Ray (be81f9)

  160. A smoking pier or similar area would be a lot like what’s in the airports now–designated smoking area. I don’t know how smokers feel about that. I know it’s fine with me. Which reminds me: I assume these beaches have parking lots nearby? Is the smoking banned there?

    Anwyn (01a5cc)

  161. I’m a smoker, and yet I don’t understand why people smoke on beaches. I go to the beaches here in Minneapolis so I can enjoy nature and as such I never smoke on the beach. To me, that’s the same as smoking while jogging or riding a bike, it just doesn’t make any sense. But I guess that’s just me.

    Ray (be81f9)

  162. I’m thinking that if a hefty majority of smokers thought like Ray and paul from fl, this kind of thing might not come into the public eye enough for a ban.

    Anwyn (01a5cc)

  163. Anwyn,

    Perhaps that’s because most people, and not just smokers, really don’t think about what their doing or how it affects others. Common courtesy seems to be in short supply these days, as is common sense.

    Ray (be81f9)

  164. The majority are rarely the ones the set the laws in this country it is done by a minority through the courts ie any social problem you can think of. I smoke and am constantly feeling like an outsider my most enjoyable experience had been to go to Las Vegas and to smoke where I wanted when I wanted. I was back in the America of my youth, when smoking was not a BAAAD thing. Whatever, anyway my America disappears every day with new rules and regulations and it is disturbing.

    Erin Bizon (ce6f06)

  165. … a lot like what’s in the airports now–designated smoking area.

    Would that this was so. Most airports have no smoking area within security. LAX has one in maybe 2 terminals, none in the others. For the most part a smoker has to exit security and re-enter.

    Which brings me to my point: At this point, “Separate but Equal” would be a major step up for smokers.

    I can understand that many non-smokers don’t want to be around people while they are smoking, but the level of hostility and almost casual disregard that is evidenced is rather amazing. You really have to be a smoker or a recent ex-smoker to know just how rigid and intolerant the rest of you seem to us.

    Twenty-five percent of adults smoke. Surely the majority has a right to want to separate to some degree, but you want ALL OF IT. Even the idea that there might be a separate area smokers can use seems to upset a lot of non-smokers. Such accomodations as there are, by accident or history, are slowly being removed. And it’s not unintentional.

    So, what right does the majority have to methodically trample on the bad habits of a minority? Just because they don’t approve?

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  166. “What I find fascinating about this whole debate is how the waters along the coast of California are so polluted that cities and counties continually close beaches for swimming and people are told not to eat more than a few of the fish they catch, yet people are worried about the health effects of second hand smoke on beaches. What’s wrong with this picture?”

    Thanks, Ray, for perhaps making my point more succinctly. It seems petty and foolish to worry about smoking on the beach when there are so many worse health risks out there. Sorry smoke makes your throat itch. People bitching makes my blood boil. I guess we all have to bear our crosses.

    sharon (fecb65)

  167. Twenty-five percent of adults smoke. Surely the majority has a right to want to separate to some degree, but you want ALL OF IT.

    I want enough separation so I don’t have to breathe it. Get it in my clothes. Get it in my hair.

    Smokers are walking nuisances. I don’t feel sorry for them. Not one bit.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  168. It seems petty and foolish to worry about smoking on the beach when there are so many worse health risks out there.

    It seems petty and foolish for you to wave a gnat away when people are dying of famine, war, and pestilence. You have NO RIGHT to deal with small annoyances if there are bigger issues out there.

    Next time let the gnat get you. Conservative principles demand it.

    Patterico (50c3cd)

  169. Smoking is a terrible habit. It is expensive, bad for you, and generally negative. If you smoke, quit. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. Now, with that out of the way….

    Patterico, you are completely and utterly full of crap on this one.

    We are talking about a smoking ban on beaches. In California. On the Pacific Ocean. Where, except for maybe ten days a year or so, THERE IS ALWAYS A BREEZE BLOWING!

    The so-called “health hazard” of second-hand smoke cannot augur to that scenario. I could make a stronger argument regarding banning the use of sunblock on the beaches due to the possibility of triggering an asthma attack on someone with chemical sensitivity.

    Arrr, “Ridiculous!” say they. Thus, the anti-tobacco folks are stuck with the “nuisance” argument. “Your right to smoke stops at the beginning of my nose,” as one poster put it above.

    My response to that would be that your right to be fugly and fishbelly-white stops at the edge of my eyesight. Similarly, your right to listen to crappy music at 120 dB stops at the edge of my hearing range. Etc., Etc.

    Put bluntly, if someone is so emotionally sensitive and fragile as to have a bit of tobacco smoke wafting over ruin his day at the beach, then perhaps that individual would be better served sitting in a playpen sucking his thumb lest he get annoyed with the presence and predilections of other individuals on his precious beach.

    One other question: How many people who so passionately wish to ban smoking on the beach would have no problem sitting around a nice fire at sunset, making S’mores and discussing the pleasant events of the day? Is oak or pine smoke that much less toxic than tobacco, even though proximity to a campfire would be much closer and the amount of smoke inhalation far greater than would have been the case with the second-hand smoke ingestion?

    JD (044292)

  170. Patrick–

    Smokers are walking nuisances. I don’t feel sorry for them. Not one bit.

    Actually, smokers are people, just like lawyers.

    If we continue to go around bashing everyone who annoys us and interferes with our self-centered oh-so-important lives, well, Xrlq had it right at the start. Fascism. Or Puritanicalism, take your pick.

    Or we can behave as a civilized people, and tolerate even the things that we don’t like.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  171. OK, I admit I’m drawing a fine line. I am against Laws based on lies. If the smoking ban contains language that assumes that “secondhand smoke’ is a measurable health hazard, or if it was passed by politicians claiming the same, it is based on a lie. The immediate effect of the law may be good, but the law itself is bad because it was passed dishonestly.

    In the same report that has been famously debunked for deliberate anti-smoking bias the EPA stated that the highest concentration of smoke they expected to find in the real world amounted to directly smoking two-fifths of a cigarette a day. Real world exposure studies tend to find even less. Does common sense tell us that such exposure is not positive? Arguably. But the men who write and pass laws should not be allowed to pretend that evidence exists where it doesn’t. A man who smokes less than three cigarettes a week is exposing himself to no measurable risk.

    You don’t like smoke. Fine. If the law is based and passed on public DISTASTE I have no problem with it. The beach is public space (If it applies to private beaches, I must object) and the public can be as persnickety as it wants to about space that it owns. But politicians and activists should not be encouraged to lie; the do it more than enough as it is.

    C. S. P. Schofield (c1cf21)

  172. A question for everybody. How many of you here have treated a small child for first, second, or even third degree burns on the bottom of their feet? How many of you have had an infant get sick from eating a cigarette butt? How many of you have had a child burn a finger or a hand digging in the sand? Have you ever had your eyes start watering at the smell of tobacco?

    When’s the last time somebody flicked a lit cigarette into your potato salad?

    Alan Kellogg (16bf18)

  173. “It seems petty and foolish for you to wave a gnat away when people are dying of famine, war, and pestilence. You have NO RIGHT to deal with small annoyances if there are bigger issues out there.

    Next time let the gnat get you. Conservative principles demand it.”

    What a bullshit argument. But then, wanting the heavy hand of government to do your bidding because *you* don’t like something is kinda bullshit to begin with.

    “A question for everybody. How many of you here have treated a small child for first, second, or even third degree burns on the bottom of their feet?”

    If you live in TX where the sidewalk is 150 degrees in the summer, you probably dealt with this one already.

    “How many of you have had an infant get sick from eating a cigarette butt?”

    Watch your kids better. Do you need the government to pass a law requiring this, too?

    “How many of you have had a child burn a finger or a hand digging in the sand?”

    Going back to those hot TX summers, you can burn your hands ON the sand.

    “Have you ever had your eyes start watering at the smell of tobacco?”

    Aww, poor baby. You’re the guy that needs a gas mask to avoid the perfume lady, too, right?

    “When’s the last time somebody flicked a lit cigarette into your potato salad?”

    Never. And I bet it didn’t happen to you, either, unless you hang around with some pretty rude people.

    This line of questioning is just nonsense. I don’t smoke, don’t have it in my house (it’s my property), and don’t like to be around it. But it’s dumb to be bringing up every instance where a cigarette might have been involved in some unpleasantness. I could say the same thing about alcohol, loud music, screaming kids (including my own), vulgar language, and idiotic political arguments. Funny thing is, I don’t expect the nanny state to protect me from all unpleasant contact with people.

    sharon (fecb65)

  174. I can hardly believe that Patterico is really the author behind this post and the ensuing comments.

    Just to pick a few since I left it off yesterday:


    Europeans love smoking! And they tolerate it everywhere, including restaurants!

    Do we want to be like them? Well, DO WE?

    WHERE ARE YOUR CONSERVATIVE PRINCIPLES NOW?

    I read in my paper recently that affluent folks are flying to the US to avoid bans on gender selection at fertility clinics in their own countries.

    Conservative doesn’t mean what you seem to think. Being anti-European is not “conservative”.


    I thought conservatives were in favor of allowing the public to make decisions through the legislative process!

    I haven’t seen anyone in the thread suggest that the bans were not legitimate action of a duly elected governing body. What I have seen is people arguing the bans are a bad idea. There’s a difference.


    It’s about BEING ANNOYED.


    I just find it annoying.

    A quick count gives me 14 uses of the word annoy, annoyed, annoyance, or annoying by one poster. This guy you quote in the original blog isn’t whining – he’s arguing against the bans. Whining would be when someone makes a childish complaint repetitively. Say, about being annoyed by the inconsequential behavior of someone 20 feet away, or thinking the entire world should be set up in a way that pleases them.

    If a smoker lights up 20 feet away in public and I can detect a resultant oder I don’t feel I have a right to have that behavior outlawed, because I do not feel I have a right to dictate the behavior of others based on my annoyance.


    I’m looking for reasoned arguments.

    You’ve actually received a lot of reasoned arguments about why bans such as this are inappropriate. You’ve just ignored them and responded with ad-homs.

    What is missing is any argument from you – beyond your mere annoyance – as to why the government should ban smoking at a public use beach. There is a huge list of things or behaviors that are or can be annoying. Obviously the people where you live support bans on smoking. That’s fine but that doesn’t mean there aren’t reasonable arguments against them, or that anyone that makes such an argument is a whiner.

    Where I live and in other places I’ve lived there are exclusively adult communities. People want to live in them because they are annoyed by children. If those people organized and managed to slither their way into banning children on a nearby beach I’d argue against that too.

    Then again, I do NOT think I have a right to have the government run interference for me on everything that I may find annoying. Nor is it conservative to have the idea that such is the appropriate function of government. The word for that isn’t “conservative”, it is “childish”. Well, selfish fits pretty well also. If you want to reduce this to a discussion of liberal vs conservative principal you are arguing in favor of the more liberal view of the role of government, to state the obvious.

    There isn’t anything conservative about the argument you’re making Patterico. For whatever difference that makes – not every argument for or against something has to be conservative to be legitimate.

    Dwilkers (a1687a)

  175. I was in the drive-thru at Whataburger today when I realized that someone in the car ahead of me was SMOKING with the WINDOW DOWN and I could SMELL it!!! OMG! I felt my throat get all itchy and I was really annoyed by it. They should ban people from smoking in cars in the drive-thru. Don’t you think?

    Then I went to Walgreen’s to pick up some organic shampoo. While standing in line to pay for it, I could SMELL the SMOKE from the person in front of me! It made my eyes water! Clearly, this person had smoked a cigarette before entering the Walgreen’s and having the audacity to stand in front of me at the check-out line. There should be a law against it. Don’t you think?

    sharon (03e82c)

  176. Patterico, #118:

    Banning littering? “Nanny state”!

    I was responding to your claim that “nanny state” isn’t an argument. Whether it’s a good, bad or totally crappy argument is a separate issue altogether. As to smoking bans, though, it’s a great argument – except maybe in the rare jurisdiction that until already prohibited every other item except cigarettes which are associated with littering.

    Patterico, #122:

    Do you support zoning laws?

    No. I think they’re a lousy, unnecessarily heavy-handed substitute for restrictive covenants, which, by contrast, do not offend me in the least. [Actually, many of them do in substance, but none do in principle.]

    Note, however, that my objection is not to laws in general, only to this one in particular. So perhaps a fairer question would be “Do you support all constitutional zoning laws that have ever been enacted in any jurisdiction?”

    Do you agree with a ban on copulating on the beach, discreetly, under blankets, with no nudity?

    Yes, although I might change my mind if enough people actually wanted to engage in that activity for it to make sense to open a few X-rated beaches where it is allowed. I don’t think the market would support very many of those, however.

    In a similar vein, would you agree with a ban on TV shows, and an automatic R or NC-17 rating on all movies, which depict smoking?

    Do you agree with anti-littering ordinances?

    Yes. I would not, however, support an ordinance that specifically prohibited people from littering cigarette butts, while allowing them to litter everything else to their hearts’ content.

    Anwyn #123:

    And PS, Xrlq, I agree that the “paternalistic” motives of anybody behind the law, as well as the “punish smoker” motives of anybody behind the law, are stupid and irrelevant, but it doesn’t make the ban stupid and irrelevant.

    It does, though, to the extent you and Patterico rely on the majoritarian argument for the law’s legitimacy. If everyone involved admitted that the health risks of “secondhand smoke” were negligible in most enclosed areas, and nonexistent in open air, and that laws designed to protect smokers from their own bad habits or hand nonsmokers on a silver platter more smoke-free environments than the market will bear, the chances of any ordinance like this passing are slim to none, and Slim just left town. Basically, there’d be “yes” votes from you, Patterico, and just about no one else.

    NK #150:

    I would have left out the “friendly” from “friendly-fascist” but I am not as nice as Xrlq.

    Someone claiming not to be as nice as me? That’s a first. In any event, don’t let the terminology fool you. “Friendly fascism” is only “friendly” in the sense that “friendly fire” is. It’s just as deadly as its hostile counterpart; we just call it “friendly” because it emanates from the guy who claims to be on your side, rather than from the guy who openly admits to being your enemy.

    Xrlq (f52b4f)

  177. No. I think they’re a lousy, unnecessarily heavy-handed substitute for restrictive covenants, which, by contrast, do not offend me in the least. [Actually, many of them do in substance, but none do in principle.]

    Where do you live? on a mixed use block?

    actus (ebc508)

  178. >> loud music, screaming kids >>

    Seriously, as this thread hits #200. Smoke is chokeworthy but if annoyance is the motive here, moms and dads … leave the little ones at home. Little ones are not to be allowed in publically zoned locations. These areas are for the specific use of people without child affiliations. We respect your right to have the little divas and warriors of tomorrow gurgle, scream, waddle and manipulate their way across a room; a room that is specifically zoned for children under 16.

    Their spitting, burping, clutching and other semi-neanderthal moves are darling to grandparents and cousins, but to taxpaying citizens … not so much.

    High-pitched screams and other maneuvers specifically designed for:
    a cookie
    a toy
    a glass vase
    the steering wheel

    … will be kept behind publically zoned, child/noise/mess areas. Taxpayers will not be inconvenienced (annoyed) by the resulting tantrums and destruction expected to various property. Local communities will remain adequately pleasant and inhabitable while said dumplings mature and become pleasant human beings in these mandatory and tax supported childfree zones. Thank you for your cooperation.

    All complaints should be addressed to the Department of Child/Mess/Noise Services.

    Vermont Neighbor (a9ae2c)

  179. Where do you live?

    Noyfb, VA

    on a mixed use block?

    No, in a yuppy subdivision in the middle of an unincorporated, mostly rural county.

    Xrlq (f52b4f)

  180. No, in a yuppy subdivision in the middle of an unincorporated, mostly rural county.

    I can see why you don’t think you need zoning laws.

    actus (ebc508)

  181. I’m pretty sure that the covenants on MY house have proved stronger in keeping my neighborhood (in the middle of Los Angeles) free from most of the blight that exists in other portions of the same city.

    In short, the city’s zoning is subject to whim, politics, bribes and activism. Covenants are not.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  182. In short, the city’s zoning is subject to whim, politics, bribes and activism. Covenants are not.

    I don’t doubt they have their place. I don’t think they solve all problems.

    actus (ebc508)

  183. A thought or so about annoyance:

    If something annoys you you have a right to TRY to have it banned from public space by democratic means. If enough people agree with you, the rest should keep their vice at home, or in privately owned venues dedicated to it. If you are a lone loon crying in the wilderness, you won’t get anywhere.

    So ‘secondhand smoke’ represents no measurable health hazard; so what? If a majority of people who register and vote in local elections want to ban spandex on the beach, I’ll go along with that too. Your right to look like an overstuffed purple sausage with hair ends where my retina begins, and I’m DAMN sure that it takes longer for me to get rid of the memory than it does for Petterico to wash off the smoke-smell.

    ON the other hand – since there is no measurable hazard – I can see no grounds whatsoever for banning smoking in Restaurants, Bars, or Laundromats. Without the presumption of a health hazard, all you have left is ‘it isn’t the way I’d like it to be’. Fine. Go elsewhere. If your patronage is important to the owner, he’ll change policies. But you have no more ‘right’ to an un-smokey bar than I have a ‘right’ to a Rap-free nightclub.

    My beef with the Law and with Patterico is that, the political atmosphere being what it is, the Ban is almost certainly based on the crock of lie published by the EPA, and because the short term results please him Patterico is willing to go along with it.

    BTW, I read somewhere recently that a survey of the unlicensed social clubs in Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx, etc. shows essentially all of them are ‘smokers welcome’.

    Welcome to Prohibition II.

    C. S. P. Schofield (c1cf21)

  184. >> I can see no grounds whatsoever for banning smoking in Restaurants, Bars, or Laundromats. >>

    And people should smoke in laundromats. They can toss their butts in someone’s dryer full of clothes. Saves a trip to the beach.

    Vermont Neighbor (a9ae2c)

  185. About 10 years ago, a few nonsmokers, me included, proposed a ban on smoking at the local yacht club. That’s inside the clubhouse itself, not on the spacious, wraparound, largely covered, all weather decks.

    You would have thought we were attempting to sell the launch ramps or the dinghy hoist, or start charging full price at the bar. The caterwauling was intense. The smokers were beside themselves, yelping and howling how their “rights” were being violated. The smokers were rather keen to protect their “rights,” but weren’t willing to agree the nonsmokers might also have some “rights.”

    Several smokers threatened to quit the club, and when the vote went against them, they threatened to ignore the ban and smoke anywhere and everywhere they wanted: the hell with majority rule.

    What really got them ticked at me was when I tried to explain how their drug addiction clouded their judgment. That may have been true, but smokers really don’t appreciate being lumped in with druggies, they just don’t see it that way, and they resent the suggestion.

    Now, fortunately, time heals most wounds, and today almost no one recalls the bitter dispute. There’s no smoking in the club house, no one seems to mind, and most disputes now largely revolve around parking, access to the dock, the racing rules, and who has the fastest check book.

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  186. Live there? Are you kidding? I wouldn’t live in that pussified nanny state if you paid me ten million dollars a year to live there.

    Let’s see, when you like the results of some nanny state law, you support it, and when you don’t, you whine about it. That’s the definition of unprincipled.

    Just like liberals.

    rightwingprof (663991)

  187. Black Jack,

    The “you’re addicted, so I get to tell you what’s good for you’ argument is one with which I’m painfully familiar. I have actually had anti-smokers tell me with a straight face that I don’t really like the taste of cigar smoke, I only think I do because I’m an addict.

    I’m sorry, but I have to call foul on you. The argument is beyond the pale. In a democratic society (whether capital “s” or small), every man has the right to vote for his own wishes, “right’ or ‘wrong’. Hearing someone say ‘you shouldn’t vote that way, you don’t know what’s good for you’ makes me itch the same way that my in-laws’ bumpersticker “Friends don’t let friends vote Republican” makes me itch.

    You had an absolute right to push for a smoking ban in a club of which you were a member. You could plead smell, burn holes in (expensive) yacht clothes (or, I suppose, sails), or higher insurance. Telling people “You’re vice clouds your vision about your vice” is not only bumptious, condescending, and snide; it’s beside the point. If you aren’t a family member, close friend, lover, or Priest (Minister, whatever), coming between people and their chosen vices that way marks you as a buttinsky, and entitles you to an inch of tobacco ash in your Martini.

    Socialism presumes that somebody knows what is good for you, and that you should be guided by that someone.

    Capitalist Democracy presumes that you know what you want, God knows what is good for you, and later (if not sooner) the two of you will work something out.

    C. S. P. Schofield (c1cf21)

  188. You know, C.S.P., it’s not that I disagree with you (and Xrlq) on the whole “annoyance” vs. “health” motive crowds, because I really don’t. It’s just that in the reality of politics, the people who want it for the reasons I’ve talked about aren’t likely to be the only ones standing up in the stadium to play the game, and since they aren’t, we have no idea if those people could create a majority on their own. I don’t like it that at least part of the motivation was based on probably spurious health concerns and nannying. But I can’t help that. I’m supposed to oppose a measure I agree with because others have less than pure motives?

    That’s frustrating.

    Anwyn (01a5cc)

  189. Capitalist Democracy presumes that you know what you want, God knows what is good for you, and later (if not sooner) the two of you will work something out.

    And that’s a really good line. :)

    Anwyn (01a5cc)

  190. I finally figured it out. It’s a trap. Patterico is setting us up for some pet libertarian social issue of his. Probably same-sex marriage.

    nk (32c481)

  191. No, in a yuppy subdivision in the middle of an unincorporated, mostly rural county.

    I can see why you don’t think you need zoning laws.

    If it’s any consolation, I’ve previously owned a townhouse in Culver City, CA and a single family home in Southern Orange County, CA. If you count renting, I’ve lived in 11 counties, mostly urban, and commuted to 3 others. I’ve lived in four U.S. states, and spent a year apiece in three foreign countries. I’ve lived in and around three of the ten largest cities in America and the second largest in the world. I’ve lived in kinda-large cities, medium sized cities, medium-small cities and tiny non-cities like the podunk “town” I inhabit now. I’ve lived in red counties in blue states, red counties in red states, blue counties in blue states, and currently commute to a blue county in a red state. I’ve lived in lilly white neighborhoods as an adult, but grew up in a neighborhood so black it was a running joke that as a white guy I might be the target of a minority outreach program. Thus, if where I live were any indication of my ability to appreciate the “need” for zoning laws – as opposed to merely being a nosy question of you to ask – then you’d think that by now, somewhere along the way, I would have discovered the joy of zoning laws. But I haven’t.

    Xrlq (3b0233)

  192. Thus, if where I live were any indication of my ability to appreciate the “need” for zoning laws – as opposed to merely being a nosy question of you to ask – then you’d think that by now, somewhere along the way, I would have discovered the joy of zoning laws. But I haven’t.

    Perhaps. Ever noticed a zoning discussion in your neighborhood? Tried to keep out a liquor store with single beer sales, or a loud bar, or something like that? those sorts of discussions go on around here. Which makes me think covenants aren’t doing all the work.

    actus (6234ee)

  193. CSPS, seems I failed to make my point. Sorry, I’ll have another go. The controversial argument which so upsets smokers: they’re druggies and can’t see beyond their addiction, was based on their absurd assertion that a proposed ban on smoking was a violation of “smoker’s rights.”

    Smokers strangely, to my mind, declined to agree that nonsmokers also had “rights.” Consequently, I set out to demonstrate the poverty of their position. I claimed the “right” to clean air, uncontaminated by stinky tobacco smoke.

    The smokers maintained they had a “right” to light up wherever they pleased, but that my “rights” were nonexistent in comparison. They simply could not accept that others had “rights” which limited their preferences.

    It was much like talking to a liberal these days, they fully grasp the issues which support their side of a debate without much trouble, but just can’t seem to bring themselves to entertain the notion someone else might see things differently, and be entitled to actually voice those differing opinions in a public arena.

    So, to show their thinking was faulty, I offered an explanation of why that might be so: drug addiction. Of course, they didn’t like it any more than you do. So, thanks, you’ve gone a long way toward an accurate representation of their position, and their emotional reaction to my argument.

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  194. CSPS, BTW, you also badly mischaracterized my argument: although I did say smokers were addicted, I never presumed to tell them what I thought was good for them.

    And, I only pointed out the addiction to explain why they were being so obviously wrongheaded. Their drug addiction is their business, I only wanted clean air, that’s what’s good for me. See the difference?

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  195. Uh, Blackjack?

    If you were pointing out that their position was ‘wrongheaded’ as a consequence of their addiction how were you NOT telling them what was good for them?

    The real problem for me with smoking bans is that it isn’t a matter of ‘smokers’ rights; it’s a matter of government’s authority. From where I sit, even presuming a measurable health effect I fail to see where the government (at any level) derives the authority to ban any legal vice anywhere EXCEPT public property. In the absence of a measurable health effect the situation rapidly becomes absurd (as it so often does with well meaning governments).

    I still say that your argument crosses a line. Assuming that the club was private, the smoking members DID have rights; the right to try to persuade their fellow club members to continue to permit smoking. one might even argue that they had a right to say something along the lines of ‘look, smoking was allowed when I joined. Smoking was allowed when I paid this year’s dues. Smoking was allowed when YOU joined. Where do you get off changing the rules on me because YOU don’t like it here under the status quo?”. Not an air tight argument, I admit, but dredging up the ‘you’re addicted, your defense is your addiction talking’ was, at best, a low blow.

    We went through the whole ‘your vice affects people other than you, so we (who know better) are outlawing it’ song and dance between 1919 and 1933. I don’t think it’s going to go over any better the second time.

    Anwyn;

    Motives don’t bother me so much. Justifications do. The government (and the do gooders) should not be allowed to MAKE UP reasons for what they want to do out of thin a(or even fairly thick) air.

    But it may explain something about me if you know that I am also opposed to most drug laws. The Big Three (Pot, Heroin, and Cocaine) were outlawed in a blizzard of some of the worst ‘we gotta keep them goddam Jungle Bunnies in line’ swill ever put before the public. Today I think that BOTH the anti-drug Crusaders and the various drug legalizers (notable those for ‘medical marijuana’) are lying their little heads off. In those circumstances I’m for voiding the laws and seeing where we are in five years.

    There is entirely too much law.

    C. S. P. Schofield (c1cf21)

  196. Perhaps. Ever noticed a zoning discussion in your neighborhood? Tried to keep out a liquor store with single beer sales, or a loud bar, or something like that? those sorts of discussions go on around here. Which makes me think covenants aren’t doing all the work.

    I guess that depends on what “the work” is. As far as I’m concerned, the work of busybodies who use the power of the state to negotiate a better deal than they could reach by voluntary contract is one kind of work that shouldn’t be done.

    Xrlq (f8b526)

  197. One of the things that the “majority rule” folks are glossing over is that local majorities are often overruled.

    In the day when one yacht club (to use a previous example) voted to go smoke-free, members were able to quit and join (of form) another. That’s as it should be. But it didn’t set well with some, who wanted all god’s children to be smoke-free.

    So, the issue isn’t about personal, private choice anymore, nor is it about groups voting, it’s about a distant government imposing morality.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  198. CSPS, so I guess you don’t see it.

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  199. 200!!!

    btorrez (bbda7f)

  200. Wow since I am the dumbass I guess I should say somthing……maybe people should mind thier own buisness and stop enforcing thier own ignorant morality on the rest of the world…..while we fight over seas (right or wrong) to ensure freedoms and equality for all…..people here take those same freedoms and rip them apart….you may not like smoking but I am damn sure you like that car and all of the toxins it spills into our enviroment…..but hey you need it right its your right to drive….

    Robert Best (bed495)

  201. […] Being a nonsmoking bystander, I am far less supportive of the rights of smokers to light up wherever they please than the Funkypundit is. I occasionally choose to go to places I know will be smoking to have fun with friends, but that’s exactly the point: it’s my choice. Though in other places and on other occasions, it’s usually possible to choose to go elsewhere rather than endure smoke, sometimes it’s not, and those times are enough to make me fully supportive of the government banning smoking in property they directly own or control, such as airports or municipal beaches. […]

    Anwyn’s Notes in the Margin » I Ain’t Your Huckabeery (e8be5d)


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