Thursday, September 28, 2006

Smoke free in Philly

Philadelphia signed a no smoking ban in all restaurants, bars and public places into law last week. I am THRILLED. Go ahead, inhale smoke, kill yourself if you want but I really do hate breathing it in while I eat, smelling it on my clothes until I wash them again and having the stench permeate my hair so when I wake up hung over there is that disgusting stale smoke aroma in each and every strand of hair enveloping my face. Yeah, I’m pleased I won't have to deal with that again.

It was supposed to go into effect January 1st so bar and restaurant owners could “prepare” for it. Then over the weekend the mayor stated that the ban would go into effect immediately, because what was the point of waiting? As of this past Sunday (or Monday, I couldn’t follow it) there is no more smoking in bars, restaurants and other public places and health officials are going to start enforcing it. That’s when all hell broke loose. Apparently the owners of the bars and restaurants were up in arms that they haven’t had any time to prepare.

What the hell is there to prepare for? You don’t put out ash trays and then you tape a nice big sign to the door and any free wall space that reads, quite simply I might add, “NO SMOKING.” Hell, throw in an “ANYMORE” if you want but the premise is the same. The signs don’t even need to be fancy. If you don’t have a printer at your establishment take a nice piece of paper, hell go nuts and make it legal sized paper, and then take a nice big marker found in any store and write, “NO SMOKING” on it. Then buy some tape and stick it up. Now if you want to go crazy and spend lots of cash you can actually purchase “No Smoking” signs from hardware stores or, you can make it personal and take it to Kinko’s and have it laminated!

What exactly do you people need three months to prepare for? And if someone can’t read you can instruct your wait staff to go over and tell them, “I’m sorry, the Mayor signed a bill that states you can no longer smoke here.” How hard is that? Hell, everyone knows about the ban anyway. So you have the occasional tourist or business person in town on business who tries to light up, who cares? Walk over and tell them to put it out. New York City managed to do this, so did San Francisco. What is Philly’s problem?


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