Today is the day - as of midnight, Ohio was officially a smoke-free state. No smoking in any public places, including restaurants, bars, bowling alleys, etc.
I, for one, am THRILLED! It will be so wonderful to be able to walk into any restaurant in town and never smell cigarette smoke again.
But of course, there are some who just can't handle the new law.
A bar owner here in T-town is vowing to "take the ban down" and is claiming that he will still allow his patrons to smoke until someone stops him. He is one of those bar owners who probaby believes it's his (and his patron's) "Constitutional" right to smoke. Yeah, sure buddy. You find that language in the Constitution that gives you - or anyone else - the right to smoke and then you might have an argument. Until then, quit your bitchin' and obey the law.
Seriously, these morons need to recognize that the smoking ban is the LAW. It was voted on by an overwhelming majority of ALL Ohio voters. It affects the entire state.
There is an attorney in town who is supporting the smoking-ban opponents. He actually told them yesterday to break the law. No, I'm not kidding. This is what he said (as quoted in The Blade): "No! Do not put signs up!" Mr. Loeffler told the more than 120 people standing and sitting and squeezing through the door to a side room at Delaney's Lounge on Alexis Road. "As far as I'm concerned, there's no way to enforce this. There are no sanctions. So we don't need to put up the … [no smoking] signs. Nobody's authorized to enforce this locally. The authorizing agency is the Ohio Department of Health and they have adopted no sanctions."
So here we have a licensed attorney telling people to go out and violate the law. Yeah, that's good legal advice. Sure, smoke 'em if you got 'em. What an idiot.
I know that I will have this number in the speed dial of my cell phone: 1-866-559-6446. It's the number that individuals can use to report violations of the smoking ban. That's right...I'm the smoking police now, baby. These people think they have a right to smoke in public places in violation of the law? Yeah well, guess what -- my right to breathe in clean air and NOT breathe in your secondhand smoke trumps ANY right to light up in violation of the law.
For more on this issue check out these stories at The Blade. (Man, did I really just link to The Blade? Damn. I must be losing it). "Some area bar owners pledge to ignore new state no-smoking rules" and the editorial, "The smoke begins to clear".