Cigarettes and chocolate milk...

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.

Nosmoking 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.

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Wow you go to bars? I have a faint recollection of what that is like :)

Nilsa S.

I gave up going to bars long ago. The second hand smoke gives me headaches ... and hangovers. Since I'm not a heavy drinker, I never could understand why I'd wake up with such terrible headaches. Until I went to a bar in California (where they went smoke free a decade ago) and woke up the next day feeling fresh. Smoking is a disgusting habit and I couldn't agree with you more about how pleased I am our state finally played catch-up (though entirely too late!).


Sheesh, are you serious? We've been smoke free out here on the West coast for so many years I've fogotten what it's even like to light up inside.


We're smoke free here too (I think.) But then again, I've only been to two bars in my life. Seriously. Sad, isn't it? The restaurants have been smoke free for years and years, for which I am grateful!

Tin Man - I think it got better, but it's still a B-movie. I watched it. Writers strike being annoying and everything, it's better than reruns.


coming from california, it's weird to be around so many smokers in washington. i'm like, "uh, didn't you guys get the memo that smoking is BAD for you?" this said from a former smoker. (me!)

it does stink. i remember thinking no one would notice if i smoked but no matter the shower, air freshener, breath mint, etc. you can't really easily get that stank off. eww.


When I quit smoking I stopped drinking too. Not on purpose, and not completely, its just that drinking wasn't the same without a cigarette in the other hand.

But it could also be that I stopped smoking when I met my future hubby (he hated it and he meant more to me than smoking) and thus I stopped going out to bars 5 nights a week to fill my empty existence and look for a boyfriend. :P


I watched "Tin Man." It wasn't bad but then I like stuff that's kind of weird.

And I see all the other Californians have spoken. Actually the ban on smoking in bars was 8 years ago here, not quite a decade yet. The ban in restaurants was prior to that. But it's not actually all bars here. If a bar has a private room, then they can allow smoking there. Also if all of the employees are also owners, they can opt to allow smoking.


One of the big things that bothers me about "Progressive and Ultra Liberal Portland" is that we aren't smoke free yet. Thankfully it is illegal to smoke it cabs so I'm grateful for that, but still ... annoying. One of the worst parts of my job is hunting down someone inside a smoky bar. Well, that and the karaoke thing, but that's another rant. :o)

Thankfully we do have a date for the smoke-free thing, Jan of '09. That's a year away though.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the "once you become an adult you should be allowed to do what you wish as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences and it doesn't harm others" school of thought. But if it could cause harm to others, keep it behind the door of your home. Yet another rant. heh.


g-man, every once in a while.

Nilsa, and now you can go back. It really was nice not having to take an immediate shower after going home last night. I just went to bed. So nice!

Lisa, yep, we're that behind the times. But at least we finally caught up.

Kyra, right now I'm not even sold on Tin Man as just a quick fix for the writer's strike. It's been weird. I may try watching part two and see if it gets any better.

Nat, wow, so that wasn't just me pulling a "fact" out of my butt?

sizzle, I remember how much washing it took to get the smell of a single cigar off me. My goatee was the number one victim.

Tana, amazing what love can do to you, isn't it?

Dagny, tobacco stores can still allow it. Not sure about private rooms. I'd have to look into that one.

Michelle, I'm surprised you don't, at the very least, have a city ordinance. Is the Jan '09 date for city or state?


Same as Sizzle here....when we traveled through Oregon and Washington, I was freaked out by the question "Smoking or NON?". Of course, I've been around smoke in Vegas but let's face it....even non-smoking in Vegas is still smoking.

Anyway, I am one of the few people that liked Tin Man. I tried to take it for what it was rather than put an expectation on it and it was quite enjoyable.


I haven't personally visited any smoke-free spaces since the ban, but I am excited to see what it is like in the restaurants.

I have read all the ridiculous flack (in the comments section) in the newspaper about it. Smokers here are PISSED.


Hilly, I don't think I have an expectation on Tin Man other than enjoying it. And that hasn't been happening just yet. But I'll keep going and see what happens.

kilax, as far as I'm concerned, they can deal with it. We're the 19th state to do this so it's just a matter of time before the rest do. And I've read that all of France went smoke free on the New Year as well. It's the way of the world, people!

Johnny C.

The laws about smoking in GA are half and half. Some parts of Atlanta will not allow youto smoke at all inside, but there are bars in midtown/downtown that you can still smoke in.

Being a past smoker I honestly think that there should be some bars that smokers can do their thing in, it's part of the experience, at least for them.


It is weird how much Washingtonians love to smoke, especially in Seattle. I suspect it's the leftover image thing from the grunge movement. I have to agree with you though that sans cigarette smoke will probably smell worse than they did with the odor of burning nicotine.


The "no smoking" bans are taking hold in small segments here, but nothing that big. Cool.


Can't stand smoke. I stopped getting my haircut at this one place because all the stylists smoked... not inside or while working, but I could smell it in my hair after I'd been there. Bleh.

I enjoyed Tin Man. I appreciated that the story developments weren't drawn out (e.g., the reveal at end of part 1 wasn't saved until the end of part 3). The weird of it appealed to me. Is it the best thing ever? No, but I still enjoyed it.


Johnny, yeah but if a nonsmoker or someone with allergies wants in, why should they be denied this right? Think GA will go smoke free statewide?

Dustin, I don't know that it's worse. Just that it's not this sinus miracle that everybody thought it might be. Will take some time to truly clear up.

ajooja, nothing statewide yet? You're a suburbanite down where you come from, right?

claire, I hate when I smell smoke on someone's breath, clothes, etc. that I have to work very closely with. Bugs me to no end. Good observations about Tin Man. Thanks!


I tried to watch Tin Man but didn't even make it through the first two hours. It just didn't grab me and keep me engaged.


I hear ya and, so far, agree!


I hated the smell of cigarettes even when I did smoke. I hated smelling it when I went to bars or when I was eating. This year more than any other time, I am noticing that when Hubs smokes around me, my eyes and my sinuses burn. I am turning into the nagging ex-smoker....I hate that person and it's someone I don't want to be. But I have no choice.


The smell of people sweating out beer is truly revolting. Ugh.


metalmom, I'm asking this in all sincerity and not to be a smartass or anything... but how did you keep smoking if you couldn't stand the smell of it? I'm really curious.

Bre, I totally agree.


Correct. Some of the individual towns are smoke-free, but I don't think any of the county or state governments have gone down that road.

Lots of Republicans got into office in typically-Democratic areas during the Bush years, and most of them have been doing everything they can to keep the status quo and not upset any potential voters.


ahhh, one of my favourite Rufus songs. Now it's stuck in my head, but in a good way...

I love that we're smoke free where I live, but I never was a smoker anyway. I love that I can come home from a night at the bar and not smell like stale cigarettes and beer. Now it's just beer. ;)


ajooja, I guess Republicans need all the help they can get right now, eh?

suze, isn't it wonderful to not worry about smelling like cigarettes?


"no smoking within 15 feet of entrances, windows, or air conditioning units."

I. Am. So. Jealous. As soon as you leave any public place and enter the 'fresh air' you are immediately assaulted by clouds of cancer smoke. 15 feet would put them all in the middle of the road. Nice.


Bec, the problem is enforcement. Smoking indoors is easy. The 15 feet requires a tape measure. Never fun.

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