I’m not a smoker…never have been, never want to be.
I loved it when the State of Maryland passed the law banning smoking in bars and restaurants. All of those bar owners who complained that they would lose business, remember them? Hear any bellyaching from them lately about lost revenue?
Of course not, because they haven’t lost a dime!
How great was it that it was YOUR choice whether to wash your clothes or take them to the dry cleaner after a night at the local tavern? No longer did they reek of smoke.
How great was it that you didn’t HAVE TO shower before you went to bed, and smell the steam from the hot water bouncing off your head laced with the rancid odor of smoke?
How great is it now that you can pull up a comfortable bar stool, have a conversation with your favorite bartender and actually have a meal there without having to choose when to take your next bite while dodging the billowing essence of tobacco?
Remember the old saying, “She’s a 2 at 10 but a 10 at 2”? Now that the air is clear in the club and there isn’t a wall of smoke to peer through, well maybe that old cliché needs an adjustment – “She’s a 2 at 8 but an 8 at 2”.
I can see clearly now the smoke is gone…
Surely I jest – sort of.
The point here is I am a billion percent behind that law that changed nightlife forever for the better. That said, I’m not a fan of having to hold my breath as I enter my favorite establishments, meandering my way past the patrons who have been literally kicked to the curb to burn their cancer sticks.
But if that’s my opportunity cost for a smoke free pub, I’ll gladly pay it.
Recently we learned of another law that has been passed targeting smokers. No longer are they free to light up in previously assigned smoking areas at M&T Bank Stadium or Oriole Park at Camden Yards thanks to the Maryland Stadium Authority.
And despite all of the aforementioned pleasures I enjoy at smoke free bars and restaurants, this time they’ve gone too far!
Fans of the Orioles and the Ravens who happen to be smokers will have to comply with some sort of queuing method whereby they’ll receive a stamp or a wristband or maybe they’ll just slap a fluorescent sticker on the smokers’ foreheads to allow them to exit the stadium and then re-enter the stadium vis-à-vis their badge of smoking courage.
Maybe it won’t be so bad for those smoking fans who have seats in the lower level, but what about those in the upper deck?
What if team owner Steve Bisciotti is caught on camera in the owner’s box puffing on a Cohiba?
Are those designated smoking areas that have existed for years really that bad? And if your answer is yes, couldn’t there be another way to sequester the lung polluters and contain the smoke? Do they really have to kick them out? And won’t kicking them out lessen the home field advantage?
Less people in the stadium + Less noise = Diminished home field advantage.
Look, don’t take this as an endorsement for smoking. It isn’t! Maybe this new brainstorm from the cerebrally challenged lawmakers of our great State, does have the greatest good for the greatest number at the core of their decision.
But is this really the answer?
Can’t you just see a whole host of other problems blossoming from this “ingenious” decision?
What’s next, they implement some system to top you off at two beers because some numb-nut with too much time on his or her hands has determined that profanity climbs dramatically after two adult beverages and such language can leave permanent scars on the children in attendance?
Will S.A.F.E. management start wearing swastikas?
Limit your trips to the restroom?
Tax your PSL?
When will enough be enough?