No argument for smoking, period
I just finished reading your piece on the potential smoking ban for Savannah bars and nightclub, and am grateful to see that a long overdue local issue is being addressed.
There are many arguments from the owners of our local bars and restaurants that banning smoking will adversely affect business. There are speculations on how the ban might drive potential patrons to bars and nightclubs in Pooler and other areas. There is even at least one argument concerned with the impact the ban would have on public and underage drinking, with smokers forced to go outside with or without their drinks in order to smoke.
First of all, no one is forced to smoke, so no person is obligated to go outside unless she or he wants to. Secondly, with regard to the open container law, if open containers were also banned, as they are in most progressive cities, the potential for underage drinking, public drunkeness, litter, and the problem of an economic "hit" of any given bar would be greatly reduced. Period.
In regard to the issue of litter, I have watched hundreds of smokers take the extra step to throw a butt into the street or flower garden, rather than to use the outdoor ashtrays provided for them. I have heard the appalled comments of my own friends as a local cafe owner reprimanded them for littering outside of his hard-earned and well-kept establishment.
The attitude of the average smoker is rude, disrespectful, and arrogant. I saw a man yesterday smoking in the walking meditation garden of our local birth center, a place designed for the relaxation and exercise of the healthy mother in labor. Remind me again whose freedom is being infringed upon?
I hear people complain that the potential law infringes on their civil liberties. Pardon me, but go complain in a closed room full of other smokers, and when you come out, take a deep breath before talking to me about your freedom. Smoking infringes on the right of the healthy citizen, as well as children and dogs, to walk about in public and breathe clean air. Smoking leaves behind loads of disgusting, unsightly litter on our beautiful streets, desecrating our charming landscape.
Smokers who toss butts into city streets should be fined, just as anyone throwing garbage from cars on the highway. Dispose of your own trash, and take responsibility for your own unhealthy habits.
If you have been alive at anytime since 1990, you can't NOT know that smoking is a killer, that cigarettes are known to be highly and surely addictive, not to mention expensive, and that your hard-earned dollars are funding a machine that is designed to make you one increasingly addicted consumer. Second hand smoke adversely affects otherwise healthy people, unborn babies, and those of us who appreciate the beauty of clean air.
My brother-in-law recently took my sister and their four children on vacation. For the first time in seven years, he could to afford to do this. He attributes his rise in finances to quitting smoking, attesting that the habit cost him time with his children, and as much as $200 a month.
I also hear the argument that "what works in another city... doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to work in Savannah," as well as others of like thought.
What you are really saying is that Savannah is lazy and not open to change, even if that change is one for the better. The real issue is that of awareness, and a lack of responsibility, both personal and social, on the part of the smoker.
There is NO legitimate argument for the benefits of smoking. Not one. If you want to smoke, smoke inside of your house. Let the rest of us breathe the air that is ours.
Smoking ban is extreme
I was hoping Connect Savannah will spend some more time focusing on the possible extreme smoking ban the mayor wants to push through. If it's passed, it will totally ruin the cool and unique atmosphere the downtown nightlife offers. Savannah already has a smoking ban imposed by the state of Georgia.
So, it's not about offering places for non smokers to enjoy, they are already there. It's about government control and intrusion into privately owned businesses, the progressive agenda, and big pharmaceutical companies selling nicotine gum and patches.
Michigan passed an extreme smoking ban that went into effect May 1st of this year and has caused quite a backlash. It has also hurt bar owners. After three years of hurting the bar business, Ohio is getting ready to let smoking back in the bars.
Neither Michigan's or Ohio's smoking bans are as extreme as the one Mayor Johnson wants to impose on Savannah. His smoking ban is implausible, unenforceable, impractical, and downright crazy.
I hope Connect Savannah will really inform their readers that enjoy the downtown nightlife of what's about to be forced upon them by a city council who are probably never out after 10pm.
"Art of War" piece was inspiring
Stephen Davies' article "The Art of War" reinforced my belief that art can have a positive impact on people and a community. I will be starting painting classes at the VA clinic August 13th in Savannah.
The veterans are excited about the art classes. I'm a local artist and I know that creative expression has a way of completely engaging a person in expressing their inner moods, feelings, and thoughts. I appreciated the article, it was very encouraging
Kenneth Martin, Coordinator
Sherrod column nailed it
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