Save the stogies

My forthcoming article that I’ve alluded to a couple times this week is now up at The Atlantic:

If a time traveler from the early 1990s were to arrive in the U.S. bars and restaurants of today, what would notice first? Perhaps that the food has become more interesting and varied, or that a perplexing number of diners are photographing it with their remarkable phones. The most obvious change, however, might register on the nose: the nearly complete absence of indoor smoking.

California implemented the United States’ first modern statewide smoking ban in 1998. Today twenty-nine states and 703 municipalities require bars and restaurants to be smoke-free, according to data maintained by the Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation (North Dakota brought the tally to thirty states this month). Tobacco use has been banished from our culinary radar along with the question “smoking or non?” Most of us don’t miss it. Yet as a slew of new bans, taxes, and regulations drive smoking to the peripheries of society, it’s worth giving tobacco another look.

Read the whole thing. And for more context on some of the arguments, see my recent posts about the effects of new tobacco taxes and the failure of the FDA to establish an effective regulatory regime.


4 thoughts on “Save the stogies”

  1. In the last few days much scorn has been poured on many Americans’ love of personal freedom by the left wing (what you call liberal) UK media. In the UK, smoking is even banned in private clubs staffed by volunteer members – so no employees to harm. In fact the ban should more properly be called a ban on smoking in all non-residential buildings and secure mental hospitals. My question is,
    Is it legal in California for a group of people to buy a building, fit it out as a cafe and sit in it smoking?

      1. Indeed. The great Tiki-Ti in Hollywood allows smoking inside the bar on that condition: it’s owner operated (by a father and son) and has no employees.

        And it’s marvelous. 🙂

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