The New Jersey Smoking Ban

Recently, all of New Jersey adopted a rule that’s been in places like Boston, New York City and a host of other, less important cities for quite some time. This is a health law of course; it’s designed to improve everyone’s quality of life. I’m talking about the smoking ban. A ludicrous law that disallows people from smoking cigarettes in bars while other patrons drink whiskey, beer and wine until their livers explode and they drive their cars into the faces of innocent little girls.

I’m being facetious, a little bit harsh. Yes, this is true; but I will not let another day pass me by without lambasting the internet with foolish rhetoric and uncalculated opinion. This is my venom. I am a smoker.

I am also a drinker. In fact, I’m actually more of a drinker than smoker (I’m also a joker and, what some may call, a midnight toker). I am what you would probably call a social smoker, if you were lame and you said such things. I smoke mostly when I drink and sometimes I drink at bars (not very often, perhaps once every two weeks).

So this is the opinion of someone who spends about 26 nights a year in bars. 26 nights out of 356. This is not a lot. There are probably thousands of people (smokers even) who spend a hell of a lot more time in bars than I do. I speak for these people; fore the smoking ban is wrong. I’m feeling a little bit like a rabble-rouser right now, a bit shaky and slightly manic from too much coffee, so I’m just going to spew out points in no particular order:

The government has no problem slapping a disgusting tax on cigarettes, but you can’t smoke them in public. This makes no sense. Because of this ridiculous tax I should be able to smoke them in more places. We should be able to smoke cigarettes in movies, on the train (why don’t those windows open!), and in the fucking neonatal ward of the hospital. We earned it.

The hypocrisy of the health argument is the silliest thing I have ever heard. Alcohol is the most powerful, legal and dangerous drug that our country has. More (innocent) people die because of alcohol related injuries than any other. If the government was so concerned with our health, then get rid of alcohol, get rid of bars. Get rid of bars so that drunken people won’t have to drive home from them.

I don’t want to hear about bartenders and waitresses. If they’re the ones were protecting than we got bigger fucking problems. Why don’t we just take away all the heavy machinery from our construction workers so they don’t hurt themselves? Sometimes you get into a job and that job comes with risks. I say; if those risks concern you, find another job.

I agree with the restaurant ban. I agree fully that when an establishment is serving a meal to patrons, it is well within their right to ban smoking (just as I agree that an individual bar owner should be able to regulate the smoking in their establishment). This is fine by me; I don’t feel the need to smoke when I eat, at a restaurant or at home.

At first, the smoking ban in NYC was almost like a neat little novelty. It was just something that you accepted when you went to the city to drink. You had to go outside the bar, no big deal. But New Jersey is not New York City; it’s not even a city at all. It’s an entire state, and a state wide smoking ban is way harsh.

I guess I’ll just have to try and quit.

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