Humanity Getting Smarter

Kim and I were in Utah last weekend, and I’ll be posting about that soon, but one of the really cool things about Utah is that smoking is prohibited in all public places including restaurants and bars.  It was so nice to go out to eat and not be bothered by the smoke that never fails to infiltrate the "non-smoking section" in Pennsylvania restaurants.

When I learned about Utah’s public smoking ban, I looked it up and found lots of other good news on the subject:

On September 25th, a public-smoking ban went into effect in Philadelphia.  And Allentown is making noises along the same lines:

On Sept. 20, Allentown City Council approved a resolution urging the state of Pennsylvania to enact a statewide ban on smoking in public places.
This is not an issue of choice.  Those directly affected by second-hand smoke did not choose to bear the negative effects of someone else’s habit.  Taxpayers do not choose to shoulder the financial burden of those who require regular, costly treatment for lung disease.  In fact, most consumers are in favor of indoor bans.  According to a national Zagat Survey of more that 110,000 restaurant patrons in the United States, 80 percent of respondents said that all restaurants should be smokefree.  In California, 70 percent of respondents said they would eat out less if smoking were permitted again in restaurants.

Earlier this month, Philadelphia became the latest major U.S. city to go smoke-free indoors.  This continues a trend at the state and municipal level that is spreading across the United States.  According to Americans for Non-smokers’ Rights, a California-based lobbying organization, 17 states and 474 municipalities have enacted smoking bans in restaurants, bars and other workplaces.  Hawaii begins a ban in this November, and Washington, D.C., is going smokeless in January.

Even those crazy Europeans are on board with this:

Four fifths of EU citizens support a ban on smoking in offices, shops and other indoor public spaces, according to a poll marking World No Tobacco Day.

However, they are less sure when asked specifically if they support a ban in bars - in this case, 61% are in favour.
The world’s first nationwide smoking ban in public places was imposed in Ireland in 2004.

Italy and Scotland have outlawed smoking in enclosed public places and the rest of the UK is following suit in 2007.
"More and more of us don’t smoke and don’t want to be anywhere near smokers either."

The poll suggests that young people are the most likely to find smoke unpleasant, for reasons such as its smell.


This is January 2005, and even Italy, where it is not unusual to see doctors smoking in hospitals and pupils lighting up in school corridors, has moved with the times by introducing a harsh new law banning smoking in public places, including bars and restaurants.


France is to ban smoking in all public places from next February, the prime minister has announced.

Cafes, nightclubs and restaurants are to be given until January 2008 to adapt, said Dominique de Villepin.
Smoking kills more than 13 people a day in France, said Mr de Villepin - calling it an "unacceptable reality".
Opinion polls in France - often considered a nation of smokers - suggest 70% of the people support the ban.

And the BBC has this roundup of smoking bans around the world.

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