Smoking Ban Ends Up Not Really Being Such a Huge Deal After All
So it's week three of the Statewide smoking ban. How's everyone holding up? Apparently well, since there has been a shockingly low number of violations, 54, in the city so far. We suspect that's partially due to the fact that it takes a number of complaints before the city will actually send someone out to issue a citation, but mostly we think it's because people are quick to adapt and have just moved the party outdoors. At some point things will loosen up, and much like New York, some bars will begin to quietly allow smoking. Certain establishments with covered patios have already begun allowing folks to smoke in those spaces since they're technically outdoors. So look for more loosening of the rules along those lines.
Overall though, people have just taken the change in stride. Personally, we've found we smoke just as much, but are now meeting far more people by standing out front than we ever did trying to shout over the DJ in a crowded bar. So, socially, this ban has been a bit of a boon. On the other hand, while we're smoking just as much, we're actually drinking less. This is primarily because no one really wants to leave a drink unattended at the bar while they step out front to smoke, so one tends to finish the one they have, and space out the alcohol intake to keep in pace with the smoke breaks. In fact, the only real annoyance we've encountered is with certain 4 a.m. bars that force smokers to wait in line to get outside, because the line to get inside is so out of control. So we're searching out less popular late-night bars so we can get our smoke on whenever we feel like it.
Sure, it can be a hassle from time to time, but it seems as if almost no one wants to be the total tool to get a bar or restaurant slapped with a fine. So there you have it, despite all the griping and grumbling leading up to the ban, it appears life has changed very little since its implementation.
Photo by fotofill