Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Non Smoking

When I go to a restaurant, I usually get asked where I would like to sit, whether in the smoking section or non-smoking section. I usually say the latter. However, if you go to Omaha, Nebraska, the non-smoking section begins at the city limits. What am I talking about? (WorldNetDaily)

The ban to smoke in Omaha began October 2nd and applies to nearly all public places. How about this for violators: $100 for first offense, $200 for second offense, and $500 for third and subsequent offenses.
The Nebraska city's elected leaders and police department are urging residents who see violations to call the 9-1-1 emergency system for an immediate response.
Yes, that's right. Omaha residents are encouraged to report violations of the non-smoking ordinance to authorities just like any other crime.
Douglas County Emergency director Mark Conrey said people should not call 9-1-1 every time they see someone light up in a restricted area. He said the very idea threatens Douglas County's emergency system.

But, even after Conrey's concerns, Omaha police insisted residents should use 9-1-1 to report smoking law violators.
I agree that smoking is bad for your health, but potential use of tax dollars for literally the "smoking police" may be a bit much.

I can just see this --> (Cue announcer voice) Next on COPS: From Omaha, Nebraska -- Don't even think about lighting up a cigarette. Watch as our TV cameras follow Omaha's Finest bust chain smokers -- Saturday at 8pm. HA!


Stephanie said...

we have that law in seattle now. it is so nice! I can go to a club or even just out to dinner and not worry about having to immediately burn my clothes becuase of smoke. They have this law in L.A. too now.

Dr. A said...

Hi Stephanie, thanks for stopping by. I agree that this is a good idea. The problem I have is calling 9-1-1 for anyone smoking. That's probably a little much :)

Brittney said...

Here in Lincoln, Nebraska we've had it for a couple years. I love it! I can actually eat out at a resturant or go to a bar, and not have to worry about my asthma kicking in because of the smoke.

I think calling 911 is a bit over the top to report a violation. Calling the non emergency number and informing them is a better idea. I don't think the cops should respond, but maybe do random checks on places that have been reported. Saves money, and doesn't tie up the 911 call center.

Lea said...

Oh, how I wish NC would go non-smoking in public places! But alas, we are the home of tobacco and it will never happen.

The Curmudgeon said...

Tying up the 9-1-1 center with trivia such as smoking calls will probably kill someone on Omaha one of these fine days... and I'd be sooner rather than later. No municipality can afford enough trained 9-1-1 operators.

And I can tell you from my own experience how 9-1-1 operators get all sorts of stupid, non-emergency phone calls which not only tie up the lines, they sometimes numb less-trained operators against recognizing a real emergency when it's presented.

And not because I'm a 9-1-1 operator, either. I'm talking about tort cases.

In which people died.

Gerbil said...

The Bay Area (where you appear to be vacationing!) is full of non-smoking ordinances--including a prohibition on smoking within 20 feet of any bus stop. No one observes this one. People sit on the benches and pick at the "NO SMOKING" stickers while puffing away. It would be a fantastic ordinance if people actually observed it. The air's bad enough already!

Smoking is also illegal wherever food is served... which applies to most bars in San Francisco. Combine this with an open container law, and you get the regional joke about having to take a cigarette break from your beer and a beer break from your cigarette.

skinnylittleblonde said...

Can one smoke, say, in their vehicle or front yard, when inside the city limits?

Anonymous said...

Well, as a formerly-heavy smoker who is currently seriously addicted to nicotine replacement products...

I think no smoking in restaurants and public spaces is good lawmaking. Heck, I hate smelling smokes while eating. Even when I smoked, I didn't want to smell smoke while dining.

But WTF are they thinking, allowing smoking violations to call in on 9-11? That is wrong. Um, secondhand smoke just does NOT adversely affect exposed individuals that fast.