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Waiting to Inhale

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Waiting to Inhale

By MICHAEL BRICK January 4, 2004

Quietly, and without the contraptions or planning of Prohibition, the cigarette smokers of New York have created their own modern rendition of the speakeasy, where their outlawed pleasure can be enjoyed once more. There are no passwords. You just have to wait.

The proper hour can be 11 p.m., or midnight or later still in places where the patrons do not like to go home. There is no schedule, no phone call, no listing in The Village Voice. The moment comes by common assent, by a shared appraising of all the people remaining in the bar and all the forces around them

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Anyone who has ever visited NYC will tell you that the money spent on stopping people from smoking in bars, would be better spent fighting crime or helping the hundreds of homeless WWII, Korea or Vietnam veterans find shelter.

I like NYC, the crime rate isn't as high as people think but it's not as low as it could be. No smoking in a bar has got to be the stupidest law of all, so it's no surprise people are ignoring it.

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I read that there was some talk of introducing smoking licenses, kind of the way bars get liquor licenses. Who knows. It was certainly interesting when they introduced it. There were often times more people on the sidewalk smoking than in the bar drinking. The neighbours really love it. I moved shortly after the ban went into affect and only went out a couple times while it was on. There was a unique social bonding going on. In other places where smokers have to go outside to smoke, there is often a socialness among strangers that you don't normally find in other situations. People who probably wouldn't have spoke to each other inside the bar, were carrying on like old friends outside.

I really couldn't bring myself to pay 10 bucks for drinks and then be forced to stand outside to smoke. The Europeans were very confused. :blink:

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I NOTICED THAT I was in a bar in Ottawa, Ontario where there was no smoking allowed- I'm not a regular smoker but when I drink I like to have one- The bar was kinda standoffish as many places in Eastern Canada are. As soon as I went out to have a smoke I knew the names of every other smoker. I noticed the same in Binghamton.

Its like a new social brotherhood that gets stronger as smokers are becoming like black sheep.

For a long time I have seen this same psychology among "pot-heads"

:o Love or hate the smoke however I find GOVERNMENT telling private industry what to do is ELITIST and AUTHORITARIAN. If this was govt. property like a courthouse then a smoking ban is a GOOD THING- but for Joe Shmoe's neighborhood bar on the corner...THAT'S HIS PROPERTY and let the people decide on whether to patronize or not. These laws are desensitizing people to "too much government"!!!!!!! :o

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