Hitchens – he’s even right about blanket smoking bans.
I used to like going to Nora’s on Florida Avenue. But then it became all nonsmoking and I moved my custom elsewhere. A loss to both of us, to be sure, but a reasonable agreement between two adults. There are enough nonsmoking restaurants in the District to satisfy even the most exacting believer in the vileness of secondhand smoke and those places that have sections for both classes of customer have put in special ventilation, as doubtless they should have done.
The move to abolish the distinction is therefore not justifiable as a move to protect nonsmokers. It is a move to give smokers no resort, no recourse, no corner of hospitality in the city that they can call their own. It also turns proprietors and barmen and waiters — many of them smokers themselves — into enforcers instead of hosts.
Update: Those anti-smokers claiming that a blanket ban is not about them trying to impose their own lifestyle choices on the rest of us but is merely a response to the demands of bar workers might want to check out the latest poll results:
In a major new study of people working in pubs, nine out of 10 said they were happy to work in smoking premises. The study undermines the government’s claim that it is acting to protect the health of workers by banning smoking – as the majority in the trade say they would rather be left alone.