On January 1, Illinois became smoke free. No smoking in restaurants, bars, workplaces, etc. Also, no smoking within 15 feet of entrances, windows, or air conditioning units.
I gotta admit that I love this.
I've never been a cigarette smoker. I've never even taken a puff to try one out. Never wanted to. Both my parents smoked when I was younger. Although both quit, I remember hating the smell of it. So I never tried it. I don't know if this was some alternate parenting philosophy or just dumb luck, but it seems to have worked. With me. Not my brother.
I did smoke cigars every now and again, but have long since given that up.
Simply put, in my mind, this law presents nothing but positives.
Except for one thing I noticed last night... bars stink.
When you clear out the nasty stale cigarette smell, what's left is not much better than a frat house. Instead of smoke, we get the stank o' Homo sapiens.
I also discovered that there is a direct correlation between secondhand smoke and alcohol buzzes. For smokers, it may not be that big a deal because they're accustomed to the feeling they get from nicotine. But for us nonsmokers, it appears that the secondhand high really does a lot to enhance the feeling when you're drinking. It takes a lot more to get drunk.
Bar owners should be happy about this realization. The extra drinks they'll have to sell to get a person drunk should more than offset anything lost by those patrons who declared they would stop frequenting local bars and restaurants and head to Wisconsin, Indiana, or Iowa instead (yeah right you will).
That is, if you can sit through the stink long enough to down those drinks.
Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): Did any of you watch SciFi's miniseries Tin Man when it aired in the beginning of December? I have been saving all three episodes on my DVR and finally started watching it on Monday night. I got through the first two-hour installment and, well, it's weird. I can't really put it any other way. Just plain weird. I haven't watched the other two episodes and that's where you come in. If you saw it, is it worth me continuing to watch? Does it get better than the first episode? If not, I'm just deleting it. But I'd like to at least say I gave it a fair shake if you all think it's got some redeemable value.