Friday, March 20, 2009

A Non-smoking Section in a Restaurant is Like a No-peeing Section in a Pool... just can't avoid other people's gross human byproducts.Once upon a time, the non-smoking section of a restaurant was made up of the 3 tables without smokers. Nonsmoking sections in restaurants began to gain popularity in the 1980s. Today entire states mandate that all restaurants be completely nonsmoking.Last weekend, I travelled down to Ohio, a smoke-free state. On the way there, my travelling companion and I stopped at a restaurant in Ann Arbor. We sat down in the "non-smoking" section, which, was directly next to the "smoking" section. There wasn't even a barrier to make it seem like the smoke would somehow be blocked from creeping in. Seriously, it looked like this: Restaurants like this surprise me. It's like owners think the smoke will see the no smoking sign, read it, and turn itself around. Smoke is not a naughty puppy you can keep out of the living room. "Non-smoking sections" were a great idea when they were first on the scene, but now there are much better non-smoking restaurants. 35 state have smoke free regulations that include restaurants, including Virginia, Marlboro country itself (See image below: states in green have smoke free worksites, restaurants, and/or bars).* Seriously Michigan, shouldn't our state get with the program and get this legislation passed already?

*Virginia's recently passed law will go into effect on December 1, 2009. South Dakota's recently passed law goes into effect July 1, 2009.

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