Here in the state of Washington, smokers have taken one of the worst legal blows seen in history. Initiative 901, which was recently enacted into law, provides 30 days for smokers to get a tape measure. A tape measure, you ask? Yes, Initiative 901 prevents smokers from “doing their business” within 25 feet of any public building, door, window, or vent. In fact, if you read the revisions to Section 3 of the new law, it outright prevents smoking in any public area, regardless of distances, buildings, or people. So one must only “light up” inside the privacy of their own home or risk a $100 fine.
This legislation is the most restrictive seen enacted by a state in the entire history of the United States. Smokers in the state are outraged as the realization of this law going into effect sweeps over them. I am outraged, not just as a smoker, but also as an activist for freedom. To add insult to injury, the law specifically addresses “cigar lounges” which will effectively kick these types of businesses to the street. Sorry, no choice, you are going out of business. Period. Should have chosen another type of business. Not that a non-smoker would have ever thought to grace a cigar lounge.
Previously, I felt that there was a good balance between smoking and non-smoking restaurants, bars, and other types of businesses. I even saw that the majority of these were non-smoking establishments. There’s no doubt that non-smokers had many choices where cigarette smoke would never infiltrate their precious little noses. No more, the anti-smoking Nazi’s have taken their millions of dollars and pressed their will upon the tens of thousands of smokers & business owners in this state. Not only that, but they have kicked them past the curb, into the rain and unsheltered area, far away from them.
Even worse, this will give the anti-smoking crusade just the power they need to be total pricks. I see it now – the smoking police people telling on us to the cops, creating an us-against-them type atmosphere. I see people calling police to report rogue groups of smokers that might be within 24 feet of a building. I see employers and cops having talks with people about how they’re not far enough from the building, that they must venture even further out in nasty -20 degree, 30 MPH wind weather. It’s just not enough, sorry, you must leave downtown to have a cigarette as there is NO PLACE within the inner-city that is compliant with this law.
As a final note, I would like to see a law on the next ballot that prevents non-smokers from coming within 25 feet of a smoker. Punishable by a $200 fine. I would also like to see provisions that if a non-smoker talks to a smoker about smoking that they must spend 30 days in jail and are punished by a $500 fine. Tit for tat the way I see it. The fines provided in Initiative 901 are far excessive considering the “crime” that’s been committed..I want to see the same thing against the now righteous anti-smoking pricks that have just the ammunition they need. Bring it on you anti-smoking Nazi, concentration camp creating, grassmoles.