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Ban Busts and Butt Huts

By Margaret Lyons in News on Jan 29, 2008 4:51PM

So how's the smoking ban going so far? Y'know, other than cold? Well, Helen's Two Way Lounge on Fullerton nabbed the coveted title of First Bar to be Cited by a City Inspector. (The bar owner got off on a technicality.) But maybe people would be more willing to step outside if bars has "smoking shelters."


Companies across our fine state are putting up these bus stop–like structures, where smokers can huddle together with a little protection from the elements. One manufacturer of such huts estimates his business has doubled in the state, and other distributors agree that business is increasing. The shelters can't have doors, because that would make them "enclosed" (and you can't smoke in enclosed spaces), and they have to be free-standing. We can sort of imagine these outside corporate HQs in the burbs and stuff, but we doubt there's room for them on most Chicago sidewalks.

Shelters, no shelters, frostbite, cancer, etc--can we all at least agree that bars should be doing a little something to control the butt population? Get a bucket, and ask patrons to put out their ciggies in there. The number of cigarette butts on the sidewalk has increased nine million-fold since January 1. [S-T, Trib, image via Duo Guard, who build smoking shelters]