Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
John W.

Smoking Ban in DC

Recommended Posts

Mr. Eagan's, RIP.

Hear hear.

I cannot conceive of a place like Eagan's being non-smoking. :blink:

Has the smoking ban really had an affect in Montgomery County? There's not really much dining except for family restaurants, and no nightlife to speak of. Now, DC establishments will have issues if the ban extends to nightclubs and not just restaurants.


Edited by hjshorter (log)

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

John: FWIW, I do think any smoking ban should have exemptions for places like cigar bars that do a substantial amount of business in tobacco products and are "themed" around the consumption of tobacco products. It's really too bad that the NYC and NYS bans do not have such a provision.

I also agree it's not a good thing that no one seems to know about it in DC and that there isn't more debate happening there.


--

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahem. AHem. ahEM. Cough.

Despite the fact that I'm an evil smoker, I can sympathize with those who would like to see it banned. Ideally, I'd like to see it remain up to the owner/mgmt, but I've seen only a handful of totally non-smoking establishments (at least with a bar) that appear to be trying to cater to the non-smoking crowd. If the demand was really so great from non-smokers, I'd expect to see more places ban smoking on their own.

Unfortunately, leaving the decision to the owner might work for how smoking affects patrons, but it doesn't address how it affects employees. In other words, it might be fair to tell a patron they can choose to go to a smoking or non-smoking establishment, but it doesn't seem fair to tell an out of work bartender that if he/she wants to remain out of the cloud of smoke, they'll have to limit their job market to the few places that are non-smoking.

If a ban were to occur, I'd still go to Firefly-- not only because I dig it more than enough to put up with a little inconvenience, but also because, to me, it isn't the type of environment where smoking seems to fit in. My limited experience with BdC, however, makes me think it would have to be off my list of places to go. Dammit, ya gotta smoke at a French bar.


peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Delaware also has a no-smoking law, in effect for about a year now.

I admit, my partner and I moved to Rehoboth Beach only a month ago, but we've been looking around town quite a bit during that month. It's supposed to be off-season right now, and many places are packed! Restaurants, bars, they're doing very good business. Even at the bars where we were expecting more people, the bar staff told us "Everyone comes in later, more like ten or eleven." The smoking ban is not destroying business.

This mirrors our experience in California, where we were hearing stories of gloom and doom when their smoking ban took place. Never happened. When people who smoke really want a smoke, they go outside for their nicotine fix, then come back in. If anything, having a crowd of smokers around the door signals the popularity of a joint. That's good for business, in my book.


We'll not discriminate great from small.

No, we'll serve anyone - meaning anyone -

And to anyone at all!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DC is a Federal Government town and it also hosts diplomats from around the world. Add in all the lobbyists and so on, and this is going to be a tough battle for the No-Smoking Proponents to win, IMO.

I am a non-smoker and I am cool with the ban if it goes into effect, but I can see it definitely hurting businesses, especially the bars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Links from RAMW website

this and this


Firefly Restaurant

Washington, DC

Not the body of a man from earth, not the face of the one you love

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It'll happen eventually, so it may as well happen now...

Not such a bad thing. Smokers, we aren't that weak are we? Who's quitting with me?

Plus there are always those cigar lounges that have a 'special permit'. For example, The Oak Room at the Plaza. The rich will always be allowed to smoke...


...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Smokers, we aren't that weak are we?

:blink:


peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

wouldn't quitting in order to conform to societal pressure be more of a sign of weakness?

(not saying you're weak - just making a point)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wouldn't quitting in order to conform to societal pressure be more of a sign of weakness?

(not saying you're weak - just making a point)

That is a good point, but I meant more like, if you smoke, go outside. Don't stop going out entirely, don't stop having good dinners. That's weak. Like, not being able to do the things you enjoy b/c smoking ain't allowed. There's a happy medium...

Step out in the fresh air for a second. Sneak into to the back alley or something...

I defend public health and I defend friends in local hospitality.

I'm not so strong, but I'm also not going let something that kills people (me) rule me.


...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's typical that government gets involved when it's not needed anymore. Most restaurants where it matters go non-smoking or have a very segregated smoking area. Truck stops and bars, of course, will never give up smoking until forced. But big wup.

As a non-smoker who never has and never will smoke, I still thinks it's bad law. More annoying to me are the people who rudely stand in front of doorways smoking so that I have to walk through their fumes. I don't think it should be illegal, but it doesn't surprise me that people want to ban even smoking on sidewalks.

Ben Franklin, I think, was asked what kind of government we have after the convention. He answered something like: "A Republican if you can keep it." In other words, good government demands some level of responsibility by the citizenry. Be rude, take advantage of loopholes, light security, etc, and you'll get bars on windows, cops on street corners, a whittling away of the 4th and 5th amendments, and more and more authoritarian governement. These anti-smoking laws are just part of the trend that develops from people being selfish and rude.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder if a potential solution might be to offer a limited number of (very expensive) smoking licenses to the affected establisments in a jurisdiction. That way, if a bar or restaurant was really so dependent on smoking for business, they would be willing to apply for a special license and fork over a significant chunk of change. The licenses would have to be expensive and scarse so that the businesses would have to determine whether it was really worth it to them from an economic standpoint rather than just paying the fee automatically as the default position. The BdC, for instance, might decide it was worth $10k a year to allow smoking (hypothetical number, of course).


--

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mr. Eagans....how I miss that place. Smoked one of my first cigarettes there.

Restaurants should either be smoking or nonsmoking. Smoke does not know how to keep itself from traveling into the nonsmoking section. Now that I am a nonsmoker, nothing ruins a meal more than someone elses smoke.

I think in the next ten years (if not less) it will be impossible to smoke in any restaurant in the country.

My question to the foodie smokers out there is how do you fully enjoy your food when you taste buds are numb from smoking?


True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My question to the foodie smokers out there is how do you fully enjoy your food when you taste buds are numb from smoking?

"Numb" is too strong a word. Would I have a sharper sense of taste if I quit, sure. It's all relative anyway. If we could somehow definitively quantify our ability to taste, each of us would have widely varying abilities to taste different things regardless of whether we smoke, don't smoke, swallow flaming swords, etc.

I like the smoking license idea, perhaps. Maybe smoking patrons would pay $5 to "rent" an ashtray-- $8 for a really nice ashtray. :blink:


peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

think that the license idea is good and would be an excellent source of revenue for the district. there is a semi-precedent for this... south carolina restaurants had to stop selling alcohol by 2400 on saturday nights. you could only get drinks in "private clubs" after that hour but generally those were open at the discretion of the management. the state realized that significant food revenue was lost on sundays and began to allow restaurants to purchase liquor licenses at an addtional cost for sale of beverages on sundays. i don't know what happens in s.c. now-we can only hope that some of these blue laws have been revised. now that the once powerfuil tobacco lobby has pretty much ceased to exist in d.c. obviously someone pushing wellbutrin in the pharmaH lobby has taken over the vacuum. just don't get me started on how i feel about the commonwealth of virginia taking away my grilling rights AND no live christmas tree for chrissakes!! most "fine dining " establishments here in norfolk have gone to smoking after 2100- a good compromise i think!


"Ham isn't heroin..." Morgan Spurlock from "Supersize Me"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WTOP mentioned this morning that there's an alternate proposal - to give a 15% tax credit to restaurants that go smoke-free voluntarily. I'm curious as to how much 15% credit actually works out to be, and would it be enough to balance the presumed loss of business from the ban?


"Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cookbook! Little Red Cookbook!" --Eddie Izzard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In order for something like that to work, the "penalty" for allowing smoking has to be large enough that establishments will only choose that path if it is absolutely vital to their business.

The whole point of a ban is to prevent smoking in the vast majority of such extablishments. Any exemption, licensing or tax scheme would have to be constructed in such a way that only a very small minority would ever choose, or be eligable for that option.

That said, I have no idea whether a 15% tax break is large enough to incent the majority of bars and restaurants to disallow smoking. People in the restaurant biz could give a better idea about that. Personally, I am higher on the idea of charging restaurants for smoking rather than rewarding restaurants for not smoking. A 15% tax break may be little incentive to change for smoking bar that makes decent money at the current tax rate, whereas a 15% increase in the tax rate (or a similar fee) would likely be a good incentive to change.


--

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

how about a tax break for non-smoking restaurants and license fees for smoking establishments? and while we're at it the district could legalize marijuana for use in coffee bars and open brothels too!


"Ham isn't heroin..." Morgan Spurlock from "Supersize Me"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have calls out to some people who attended (two days notice is not enough for me to do anything). I hope to post something tomorrow.


Firefly Restaurant

Washington, DC

Not the body of a man from earth, not the face of the one you love

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The BdC, for instance, might decide it was worth $10k a year to allow smoking (hypothetical number, of course).

according to the evening news this bill doesn't have enough votes on the DC Council...and our mayor says he will veto it...because it will impact businesses in DC. I was approached by a person working against the ban last nite at a very smokey BAR. She said she actually didn't smoke but thought the proposed bill was unjust to businesses...did I mention she was a Libertarian. I'm all for no smoking in restaurants...Many restaurants ae non-smoking and it works fine for all...but a total ban in bars! I'm gonna be bumming hard when I lose my paycheck playing Keno in some dive bar and I can't have a smoke...I think the idea of a "tax" on bars that allow smokers to actually smoke is called "extortion". As a filthy smoker I know that this ban is going to eventually happen pretty much everywhere..except possibly Virginia and North Carolina...but lets keep this all in perspective..sure smoking does kill you..but so does one too many Hoegardens at the BDC at 2 in the morning...


listen to Black Sabbath..often

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
but lets keep this all in perspective..sure smoking does kill you..but so does one too many Hoegardens at the BDC at 2 in the morning...

Whoa...do you have proof of this?

I'll wait to hear back from people at the hearing yesterday.

Washington Post link


Edited by John W. (log)

Firefly Restaurant

Washington, DC

Not the body of a man from earth, not the face of the one you love

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
but lets keep this all in perspective..sure smoking does kill you..but so does one too many Hoegardens at the BDC at 2 in the morning...

Whoa...do you have proof of this?

I thought it was common knowledge that Hoegarders at 2am will kill you. At 9am is just fine though.


peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
but lets keep this all in perspective..sure smoking does kill you..but so does one too many Hoegardens at the BDC at 2 in the morning...

Whoa...do you have proof of this?

I thought it was common knowledge that Hoegarders at 2am will kill you. At 9am is just fine though.

There are a few people on these boards that can attest that both times haven't killed them...yet.


Firefly Restaurant

Washington, DC

Not the body of a man from earth, not the face of the one you love

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a big article in the Post today (Metro Section) about a DC Council hearing on the proposed ban. The hearing was evidently packed, generating one of the biggest crowds in DC Council memory. Carol Schwartz has evidently backed down somewhat from her initial proposal for a flat ban, proposing instead some sort of tax credit for restaurants that go smoke-free. Haven't seen the bill, so I don't know what to say about it. Apparently, Mayor Williams is reluctant to support the ban, as he is wary of the fallout on DC nightlife.


Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...