Friday, January 11, 2008

Smoke up, Decker

Man, Russ Decker really isn't looking to redeem himself for his support of the Video "Not A Priority" Competition Bill. Instead, he's trying to gut the statewide smoking ban to the point at which it becomes useless. Way to go, jerk:

The Democratic leader of the state Senate said a proposed smoking ban isn't dead yet, but he wants changes that would allow smoking rooms in taverns.
There are 22 states plus Washington DC and Puerto Rico that have smoking bans that cover restaurants and bars: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont and Washington. The most important ones to note in that list are Illinois and Minnesota, both states that border Wisconsin. So the "but if we ban smoking people will just take their business across the border!" argument is pretty much a crock of shite.

Plus, the really good reason for a smoking ban is that it's the right thing to do, because smoking is nasty and causes real harm to everyone in the area, not just the smoker.

Look, I'm a musician who sometimes plays in bars and clubs and a social kind of person who likes to hang out at said bars and clubs. I'm sick and tired of having to decide whether or not I'm going to expose myself to smoker's Fumes of Death when I want to go out and/or play a show. Thankfully Madison already has a smoking ban (hallelujah!), but I have no desire to cloister myself away within the borders of this city for ever and ever, amen.

So PASS THE FREAKIN' BAN ALREADY! Hell, if France can do it, I think we can manage, too.

(h/t Jesse Russel at for his insightful opinion piece about all this, plus Kyle's comment)

P.S. On a somewhat lighter note, this is one of the side effects of smoking. Seriously, it's science:

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