Nicotine Fits

As many of you may already know, smoking is officially banned in all San Francisco bars as of 1 January 1998. I’ve been waiting to write about this, trying to find some version of logic which works for me on this subject, and so far I’ve been unable to.

Don’t get me wrong here. I don’t really have a problem with regulations covering smoking in restaurants, most offices, and stores. But bars? Give me a break. With all due respect, bars ain’t health clubs. People don’t go to bars for that warm fuzzy feeling that comes after a good workout or a really tasty smoothie. Frankly, bars are inherently unhealthy places, and frankly smoking is an important part of this ritual unhealthiness.

I’ve been really hard-pressed to find anyone who really supports this move, among smokers or non-smokers (although I’m certain I’ll hear a few comments to the contrary now). From a number of eavesdropping sessions, I’ve been able to learn that the police couldn’t even give a fuck on this issue, and that enforcement will probably be pretty lax.

So has the drive to create a prettier, healthier, sanitized, family-friendly San Francisco gone too far? Maybe I’m being completely irrational, but I think it has. I also think this law will have about as much weight as the prohibition against jay-walking.