Thursday, January 22, 2015

Leave your opinions at home, put your cigarettes out

A right to smoke?

City Council, this morning, is ready to go with the smoke-out.
A proposal that would make it illegal to smoke in most indoor public places, including bars and casinos, appears poised to win approval from the New Orleans City Council on Thursday as long as the measure does not require that the New Orleans Police Department act as an enforcement agency for the ban.

Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell, who introduced the ordinance, said she believes at least four other members on the seven-person council will vote for it.

“I think we’re in good shape in taking a step toward protecting our residents, our employees, our musicians,” Cantrell said Wednesday
The last minute appeals of the vapists seem to have fallen on deaf ears. 
The ordinance may ultimately end up including other amendments — from council members and Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration — that would, for instance, allow smoking on certain patios and balconies.

Cantrell said, however, that she has no plan to remove a prohibition on smoking electronic cigarettes indoors despite pressure from e-cigarette lobbyists to exempt the devices.

“The data is not concrete as it relates to (the safety of) e-cigarettes,” Cantrell said. “Until they’ve been regulated, we have to just wait on that.”
I agree with Ms. Cantrell that vaping seems pretty gross and that inhaling large concentrated quantities of nicotine-spiked chemicals is, in all likelihood, not very good for you.   On the other hand, it has been decades since the dangers of second hand smoking have been widely understood and we're only just now confident enough in our legal standing to impose a ban on smoking.  Interesting that we can just plunge ahead and bad e-cigarettes as well with next to zero data available.

But plunging ahead is what this city government tends to do nowadays. And, even though the public is still treated to the spectacle of "public input," One gets the distinct impression that decisions are made far in advance and further from the public eye than they've ever been.

In this case, it's all in the cause of providing hospitality employees with a safer workplace so we can laugh it off a bit.   But it's something to keep in mind, particularly when this comes down.

We're pretty sure all of the relevant decision-makers there have already made up their minds as well.

Update: Looks like the vapists are getting their clause.  The word, "vape" will be an official legal term in the City of New Orleans.

UpperdateThe ban passed.  Actually quite reasonable in its amended form.  In all likelihood the harsher provisions (25 feet from doorways, anti-vaping, mandatory sentencing) were in there for negotiating leverage in the first place.

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