Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Wisconsin Goes Smoke Free

No-Smoking LogoImage by hegarty_david via Flickr
As of yesterday, 7/5/10, Wisconsin is smoke free!  That means NO SMOKING in a lot of places that used to be off-limits to me.  No smoking in bars and restaurants, no smoking in bowling alleys and other sports arenas, no smoking in hotel rooms, etc.  I'm sure smokers will still feel the need to light up in all kinds of outdoor areas like parks, fairs, festivals, and beaches, but at least it's a start.

Smoke-free areas include:
  • Bars, restaurants, and private clubs, including military service groups (VFW, American Legion, etc.)
  • Indoor worksites, including offices, facilities, and retail stores
  • Hotel/motel rooms, bed and breakfasts, other lodging establishments, and common areas of apartment buildings
  • Public transportation including taxis
  • Work vehicles if more than one person is present
  • Home offices with clients or employees other than the resident
  • Public and private educational facilities, auditoriums, and arenas
  • Meeting rooms open to the public, including Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, etc.
  • Day care premises, health care facilities, and clinics
  • Sports arenas of all kinds, including bowling centers, skating rinks, swimming pools, etc. (also includes
    large arenas such as Miller Park, Lambeau Field, etc.)

Honestly, I have a hard time figuring out why it ever would have been acceptable to smoke in some of these places - like Day care premises.  Of course, people used to smoke in the grocery store I worked at before I married Jeffrey.  I absolutely hated having to check them out.  And then there were the people who smoked in the laundromat.  Here I was trying to get my clothes clean only to have some idiot smoke right by the dryer right when I needed to pull my clothes out - so my choice was to leave the clothes in the dryer to get wrinkled while I waited and hoped that there'd be a break between smokers and time for the air to clear out or just pull my clean clothes out into the smoke-filled air, therefore negating the whole process of washing and drying them.

The whole point is that cigarette smoke is annoying, irritating, and most of all bad for your health.  Why smokers have been allowed for so long to impose their bad habits on everyone around them is really beyond me.  If the majority of them had been aware of the fact that their so-called 'right' to smoke was taking away non-smokers' right to NOT smoke, and been considerate, maybe we wouldn't have to have a LAW to tell them where they shouldn't smoke. 

I'm already afraid this law will have to be tightened up even more, because as of now it doesn't specify how far smokers must be from doorways and entrances before lighting up.  They've already shown complete lack of awareness, common sense, or consideration for anyone but themselves when they light up the second they walk out of a store, mall, or other non-smoking establishment.  It doesn't really do a lot of good to make a bar or restaurant no smoking, if potential customers have to walk through a haze of smoke to get in or out.

I keep forgetting that this isn't about me - no matter how much I hate smoke and how much it hates me.  This is about giving people a safe place to work.  I've always had the choice not to go out, to stay home instead of exposing myself to the smoke.  It wasn't fair that I had to make that kind of choice, after all, the smokers are the ones with the bad habit, shouldn't they be the ones to make the choice - go out without smoking or just stay home?  And now that's exactly what they'll have to do!  I'm thinking they can go longer without smoking than I can being surrounded by their smoke.  People who had to work in these smoke-filled environments didn't really have the choice to stay home - not if they wanted to keep their jobs.  Of course, maybe they were all smokers and really didn't mind being exposed to all that smoke...
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1 comment:

  1. England went smokefree like this about 2 years ago, I was so pleased!

    I loathe smoking and smoke so it was a big relief, apart from as you say the haze of smoke around doorways.

    I also wish it was prohibited at bus stops!


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