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Monday, November 15, 2004

Smoke-free & market failure 

Well, it appears that the market did not entirely fail to respond to those desiring a smoke free bar environment, although in this case it appears the "demand" was led by the proprietor, as opposed to the public. Still, this story is "news" in part because it has been so unusual for bars to go smokefree in the absence of regulations requiring them to do so. Quite why fairly strong public preferences for smokefree air never really translated into widespread market responses I'm not quite sure....

A few thoughts to follow up our earlier debate on this issue.

First, I find it hard to take seriously arguments that requiring bars to be smoke-free is totalitarian ... it's hardly the most intrusive government regulation you'll encounter, and I expect that after an initial adjustment time, smokers get very used to walking the 5-10 metres to a door or outdoor patio where they can light up. This rapidly became standard practice in Vancouver after smokefree bylaws were introduced in 2000-01. Not really a major inconvenience I wouldn't have thought. A bit different in a really large venue like a casino, but even then, I'm sure access will be provided to outdoor spaces.

Second, I think there is a strong workers' rights argument here. I just can't accept that "bar workers accept that they will work in a smokey environment" line. Either all workers have the right to a smoke-free environment, or none do. Take this argument back a few years, prior to the 1989 legislation, and you could argue the following:

"Teachers must accept a smokey environment because smoking has always been allowed in school staffrooms"

"Nurses must accept a smokey environment becayse smoking has always been allowed in hospital waiting rooms"

Or a few years before that:

"Univeristy students must accept a smokey environment because smoking has always been allowed in lecture theatres and libraries".

You get the point ... we really require regulation to uphold the rights to clean air of the 75% of us who don't smoke.

I don't think any employer has the right to expose his/her employees to a known and readily-avoidable carcinogen, and that is the flip side of the "bar workers know what they're getting into" argument.

Comments:
Why does your hitmap on the left of the screen show a huge number from Sydney, but absolutely no hits coming out of Korea?? Is there a bug there too?
 
I just feel sorry for the bar workers and cab drivers who have to be in an enclosed space with people with alcohol on thier breath.

Surely, there's a case for eliminating this dangerous practice? I feel sorry for the workers.

What about a change to the law to ban drinking alcohol from pubs? I think that's fair on everyone.
 
I just feel sorry for the bar workers and cab drivers who have to be in an enclosed space with people with alcohol on thier breath.

Surely, there's a case for eliminating this dangerous practice? I feel sorry for the workers.

What about a change to the law to ban drinking alcohol from pubs? I think that's fair on everyone.
 
I just feel sorry for the bar workers and cab drivers who have to be in an enclosed space with people with alcohol on thier breath.

Surely, there's a case for eliminating this dangerous practice? I feel sorry for the workers.

What about a change to the law to ban drinking alcohol from pubs? I think that's fair on everyone.
 
Only difference is inhaling 'alcohol fumes' doesn't give people nearby lung cancer, and other respiratory problems, a cough, stink their clothes and hair out, and red eyes. Not to mention the fact that I've never heard of anybody complaining about that issue.... until now.

Also people go to pubs/bars etc, with the express purpose of buying alcohol or other non-alcoholic drinks.

If they don't buy drinks or food then they generally are not considered customers and therefore are not allowed in there.
 
see moan, I think there's something definately wrong with the map. We get sod all people from Australia coming to it and obviously at least two of us in Korea using it.

So it may turn out to be tits on a bull. The IP addresses obviously aren't registering.
 
6 comments?
 
This is where people have come from see moan in the 8 months the hit counter has been running...

TLD Country # %of total
.nz New Zealand 6021 64.7
.net Network 1025 11.0
.jp Japan 566 6.1
.au Australia 458 4.9
.ca Canada 440 4.7
.com Commercial 389 4.2
.uk United Kingdom 102 1.1
.edu USA Educational 53 0.6
.sg Singapore 45 0.5
.nl Netherlands 36 0.4
.fr France 27 0.3
.mx Mexico 26 0.3
.ws Samoa 20 0.2

plus a few dozen other countries which have registered a handful of visits each.

No signs of Korea registering at all despite the fact that I've accessed the site from a dozen or more computers.

I think it's to do with the IP address in Korea as they roll over every day and are impossible to track. It's a great privacy protector in Korea meaning nobody can ban you because the service provider changes your IP address daily.
 
566 visits from Japan...

You've been busy, xman!
 

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