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Smoking problem shifts to patios

by: L.E. BASKOW, Nick Parker puffs away while relaxing with friends on the outdoor patio at East Burn restaurant. Many establishments have created smoking patios following Oregon’s year-old ban.

The ban on smoking in bars was great, but the outdoor patio scene is nothing short of moving the problem from one place to another (Smoking ban: One year later, Feb. 25). I used to enjoy East Burn or Bar of Gods' back patios, but now it's just as bad as when one was inside with smoke.

One four-letter word for smokers: QUIT. I did. Life is better that way.

Rod Richards

Southeast Portland

Citizens can make their own choices

It's nice to see that when the big hand of government comes along and takes away citizens' ability to make their own choices (i.e.: business owners choosing to allow smoking or not, staff choosing to work in a smoky or smoke-free environment, patrons choosing to go to a place that allows smoking or bans it), that those most affected by such nanny-state tactics find ways to circumvent the issue and make lemonade from lemons (Smoking ban: One year later, Feb. 25).

I'm a lifelong nonsmoker, and as a working musician who plays a wind instrument, hated breathing the stuff during shows and smelling of it when I got home and needing to clean my instrument every few weeks to scrape out the tar.

I would sometimes turn down a gig because it took place in a smoky venue, and just by happenstance I now play primarily in venues that have never allowed smoking - even before the ban.

But I don't need the government's help, and neither does anyone else. This is not a decision that the government has any business making for its citizens, and I fully and vehemently oppose this ridiculous ban.

James M. Gregg

Beaverton

The world is not an ashtray

What a difference in the same Tribune issue: One woman doing something great for her community, Jefferson girls basketball coach Ikeya Newton (Newton's law: Build trust, then coach your players, Feb. 25), and another woman doing her best to return us to the choking sewer of smoking in restaurants and bars (Smoking ban: One year later, Feb. 25). Because of the new law, I can comfortably go to the bars to listen to music, and I do most every night. Before the law was enacted I went once a week to a nonsmoking venue.

Am I against people smoking? No. Just don't do it where people congregate.

There wouldn't have to be a law if smokers on their own didn't smoke in indoor venues. Unfortunately, most smokers look at the world as their personal ashtray.

Jim Werner

Southeast Portland

State oversteps its bounds

The bottom line is if you don't like smoke, you shouldn't frequent smoking establishments (Smoking ban: One year later, Feb. 25). This smoking ban does nothing except to try and curb the nonsmoker's addiction to smoking environments.

There is far too much hypocrisy, such as hookah bars that are still legal. You can go to a hookah bar, and smoke tobacco there. Since the only legal justification was employee health (because of the overbearing cogent argument of the nonsmoker simply not going to the smoking bar in the first place; however, for some reason, bartenders are forced to work in bars, especially single moms who make the hearts bleed with ease), why is the hookah bar employee forced to be submitted to the smoke?

If you debate a nonsmoker about this, they will say, "Well, that is because it is a business that is about smoking, so if you don't like it, then don't go there." But you can say the same about a nonsmoker who can't help themselves from going to a smoking establishment such as a bar.

Furthermore, if you ask the nonsmoker if it would be OK for the business to give the hookah smoker a beer, then of course they say no because then it would be a bar. And you can't smoke in bars.

The government does not have the privilege to legislate whether you can, or can't, allow smoking in a business, as that is completely up to the property owner in a world where there is not synonymy between rights and privileges. We will correct this issue in our lifetime. And the government will lose, and freedom will prevail.

Article I Section I of the Oregon Constitution acknowledges the existence of our individual, inherent rights. The only part missing is Oregonians willing to accept their responsibility as Oregonians, and to put the state of Oregon back in its place using any means necessary, including the part about "abolishing our government."

Jackson M. Robbins II

Beaverton