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No Ifs, Ands or Butts

By Erin in News on Jul 11, 2005 7:15PM

There was a time when Chicagoist was a prisoner to the P Funk. But after ten years of sucking away on those things we had to call it a day. We loved smoking, and we miss it, but quitting was a choice we had to make for ourselves.

So color us crazy for wondering why it is that some members of our city council think it wise to call for the most restrictive anti-smoking ordinance of any city in the entire country. According to the Sun-Times:

"The proposed anti-smoking blanket would cover outdoor sports stadiums, train platforms and virtually all of indoor Chicago, including restaurants, free-standing bars, theaters and shopping malls. Smokers who now huddle in doorways would even be prohibited from puffing away within 25 feet of an enclosed area where smoking is banned."

Because we're only a few months into this whole non-smoking thing, Chicagoist sees the personal advantages to such sweeping reforms. Just the same, we're not so sure we like seeing legislation that dictates how privately run businesses should operate because if it's smoking now, what is it later? Moreover, if we're talking about the health of a greater good, why are we wasting time with an ordinance not likely to pass through council anyway?

There are obvious answers to all of these questions, it's just that some in the Chicagoist offices aren't sure we agree with the measure, no matter how nice it might be to go out to a bar and not be tempted by Sweet Lady Smokey Treat.

Both sides of the debate are getting ready for battle: Today members of the Illinois Restaurant Association and the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and the Heartland Institute are gathering at the Chamber of Commerce offices at 330 N. Wabash to encourage businesses to mount their own campaigns in response to the American Cancer Society's $1.5 million push. Plus, Health Committee Chairman Ed H. Smith (28th), sponsor of the ordinance has scheduled a public hearing tomorrow.