Friday, September 22, 2006

Murrieta City Council votes in smoking ban

This is just one of those stupid things that somehow seem to get voted by City Council peons who're just trying to make themselves feel important.

MURRIETA -- Lighting up in Murrieta just got a little tougher.

Aiming to limit the effects of secondhand smoke in public places around town, the City Council on Tuesday unanimously adopted a new ordinance that bans smoking in restaurants' outdoor dining areas, children's play areas and schools.

The ordinance also bans smoking within 15 feet of the "main entrance" of a wide range of businesses.

So now restaurants who've been grasping at straws trying to salvage their smoking clientele can't have open air patios were patrons can smoke, you can't smoke at school (you couldn't smoke at schools to begin with, it's already illegal, so what's the point of this one), and now the infamous smoke break has undoubtedly been ruined since you can't smoke outside a business entrance.

Just for the record, I don't smoke. An occasional cigar is nice, but I don't smoke cigarettes. I think it a disgusting habit. But what's worse is the government telling businesses how they should operate. Why can't a bar open that wants to cater to the smoking crowd? Can't we have a cigar lounge where people can light up? Shouldn't a restaurant decide whether or not it wants to allow smoking? For legal reasons all these places would probably have their workers sign releases saying that they're aware that by working here they will be exposed to smoke, etc. And besides it'd be the business that's taking the chance. Maybe a bar that allows smoking won't catch on and will fold after a couple months. That's how a free market economy works.

To The Californian's credit they published this editorial as well that hammers the city for being redundant, not having the means to enforce these new laws, and just being generally ass-backwards.