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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Tuesday, February 27

Gapers Block

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Andrew / January 17, 2008 11:23 AM

Non-smokers, are you going out to bars more often? Smokers, how are you handling it? Are bars being strict? Are there any "smoke-easies" popping up?

samb / January 17, 2008 11:44 AM

not bad, but i don't do to bars very often. i'm fairly used to practicing the craft out of doors already.

Mikey / January 17, 2008 11:45 AM

I hear Richard's is a smoke-easy now...

I went to Mystic Celt shortly after the ban went into effect and was surprised by how few people ducked outside for a smoke...

The smoking ban definitely mitigates the incentive to stop by the bar on the way home from work...

I'm in the midst of my third (smokeless) day on Chantix ((feelin' good, keepin' my fingers crossed), so anything that helps, smoking ban included, is welcome...

Carrie / January 17, 2008 11:51 AM

Being a non-smoker, I love it! Though it does get a bit lonely when your whole table leaves you for 5-10 minutes to go smoke. My smoking companions have noticed that they don't smoke as much, which is good.

One downside- the smell of bars, ITP in particular. You know how the bathrooms stink there? Turns out the smoke was covering that stink in the main part of the bar. (Sorry ITP)

Kelly / January 17, 2008 12:14 PM

I'm a pretty regular smoke (especially when drinking) and I haven't minded the ban so far. I like waking up after a night out and NOT smelling like the inside of a semi-truck.

KVG / January 17, 2008 12:24 PM

Love it, love it, love it. I'm a non-smoker who would not go out some nights just because I didn't want to have to deal with smoky atmospheres and the smell afterward. I feel bad for my friends who smoke, though (but not enough to advocate switching back(.

p / January 17, 2008 12:26 PM

it's going fine except for catching a cold. direct correlation. prudes having their druthers always sucks. but on the plus side more boy and girl smokers are meeting because of the ban and that's cool. laundry rotations are lengthened. plusses of the ban will outweigh the hassles though i guess.

oh and snitches and talkers get stitches and need walkers. tattling will never be in style no matter how sissified the barometer of cool becomes. ssshhh.

Tonic / January 17, 2008 12:34 PM

I suppose it's going OK. Ony 50-some-odd reports from what the papers say.

Just still wondering why, in a city of 50 gazillion bars, a compromise of some sort couldn't be reached... creating smoking and non-smoking bar, smokin/non-smoking areas (if you can vote a whole neighborhood dry, why not vote it non-smoking?)... Doesn't seem fair that some old guy on the far northwest side in a tiny bar that only regulars visit has to give up smoking at his stool. Anyway...

Oh, and I used to smoke, quit a few years ago

tortor / January 17, 2008 12:44 PM

as a non-smoker, i find myself going out and drinking more (eek)! also, i find it's okay to wear sweaters or my good coat to bars... and i don't necessarily need to wash my hair the next morning

also eliminates the smoking i sometimes do when i've had a few too many at the bar...

Patrick / January 17, 2008 1:09 PM

I've only had to make seven or eight citizens' arrests for smoking violations since January 1, so that's a good thing.

taj / January 17, 2008 1:27 PM

LOVE IT. came home the other night..not smelling of smoke. love it!

porgy / January 17, 2008 2:11 PM

I hear you...
seems I've heard that somewhere before.
2 years ,
good luck.

T / January 17, 2008 3:45 PM

Just looking forward to the government closely regulating other legal activities. If banning smoking is a good idea, why not just make cigarettes illegal? One word: taxes.

Dragonslayer / January 17, 2008 4:13 PM

My smoking friends use to distinguish bars by their smoking policy and avoid those that were non-smoking. Now, there's no distinction so we get around to more bars.

Coach / January 17, 2008 4:19 PM

T...I agree 100% with you. I was just talking to some friends about it.

This is such a crock. If politicians were serious about this being a "health" issue, they would ban the sale and distribution of cigarettes.

But they get their tax money, so instead they will pass this "moral" legislation without giving the bar owner a choice to be smoke-free or not.

I'm a non-smoker and I think the ban sucks!

What's next? Banning booze at bars?

I wonder if AA meetings are affected by the smoking ban.

Steven / January 17, 2008 7:54 PM

Haven't noticed because I haven't gone out. My friends (some smokers) and I (non-smoker) are alternating our parties at our homes where not only can the smokers smoke inside (or on a sheltered porch at my place), but also we get to choose the music and what plays on TV and we save a bundle on the cost of alcohol. Why didn't we think of this before?

miller77 / January 17, 2008 9:21 PM

Uh, T, you realize the govt has always regulated scores of legal activities, including booze, airline flights, driving, housing construction, food preparation via health inspections and FDA rules, employment and business activity, farming, etc.

I don't really see how you can think this.

SR / January 17, 2008 9:55 PM

I kinda miss the second-hand buzz...

Bill V / January 17, 2008 10:18 PM

Since the ban I never have to do laundry, just wear the same stuff over and over without that smoke smell!

Brian / January 17, 2008 11:57 PM

I don't go out anymore. I stay home, have some drinks, and a cigarette with my drink. Well, at least until the legislature decides to ban smoking inside residences, too. Maybe we'll even see the return to prohibition! Because, well, that went so swell for Chicago!

peta / January 18, 2008 8:04 AM

When I asked to be seated in the nonsmoking section of a restaurant, I was reminded that smoking was gone inside restaurants. It was a strange, but nice feeling. Otherwise, business as usual for me.

spence / January 18, 2008 9:29 AM

I don't really go to the bars too often and even when I did, I never thought about the smoking. It never was a deal breaker for me. That being said, it is pleasant to walk out and not have the smell clinging to me. I think after the initial growing pains and some warmer weather arrives, people will stop complaining about it.

ls / January 18, 2008 9:54 AM

LOVE IT. Though I agree with the previous comment of the bathroom smells being more noticeable now in some bars, but whatever. Not being consumed by smoke has made for fewer (or not as bad, maybe) hangovers. Lots of friends are quitting too!

Mucky Fingers / January 18, 2008 10:47 AM

I used the opportunity to quit smoking. I did it cold turkey. So far, so good...although I haven't announced to anybody that I quit. I really miss those cigarettes that compliment a proper wine buzz.

I never went to bars much in the first place.

kate / January 18, 2008 10:57 AM

I'm a smoker and the ban doesn't really bother me. I get to mingle with more people now. Sure it's cold out but it's January in Chicago - zip up and deal with it.

Carrie - you're right. ITP has gone from smelling to downright stinking like bathroom.

paul / January 18, 2008 12:45 PM

I'm wondering if bars feel the slight loss of revenue from the exodus of smokers who spend 25% of their time at bars, outside. Does that add up to 1 or 2 lost drinks a night per person?

If I was really anal about it, I'd be pissed that now I can't walk past a bar, restaurant or office building without passing through a cloud created by smokers inhaling and exhaling as fast as they can.

annie / January 18, 2008 3:57 PM

I smoke when I drink and decided the new year was the perfect time to quit since I drink a lot. I had dinner at LaScarola last night, drank too much wine and had a breakdown, sent the hubby for a pack and smoked. But it was damn cold last night so I only had a few. And people were smoking outside of Richards, so I don't think it's a smoke-easy. But I do love not having to febreeze my coat in the morning.

zoenotcool / January 18, 2008 4:10 PM

My Mister has one less excuse for not going out now. Maybe he will be a bit more social. But he still doesn't drink and still doesn't like (most) people. Huh...I don't frequent bars/pubs/clubs much, but this is a welcome change. I only wish it had happened sooner (when I was a server).

pebblemonk / January 18, 2008 7:36 PM

I agree with Carrie... It turns out that the fresh smell of cigarettes had been covering a terrible ancient compilation of odors in many bars. So now we have non-life-threatening but truly vile smell combos composed of ancient fried fat, sweat, industrial cleaners, and mass-use potties.

franki / January 19, 2008 2:40 AM

I can go to bars! and not smell like smoke! I dont ever have to wash my hair! and im an asshole!

adam / January 19, 2008 10:49 AM

I play at a restaurant/bar weekly, and noticed the difference quite a bit. It's still hotter than I'd like, but much easier to breathe.

Plus I was at the Green Mill last night, which was typically packed, but without smoking it was MUCH more comfortable. Didn't seem to hurt the business of either place at all, as far as I could tell.

Oh, I do smoke occasionally, but usually when I'm out at a bar drinking. But I'm not heading outdoors to do that now.

Cletus Warhol / January 19, 2008 1:37 PM

One unforeseen consequence of the ban that I've noticed at the bar next door to my house: a constant group of folks jabberin' yellin' and carryin' on out front (pretty much a "closing time" level ruckus that goes on all night).
I'm guessing that noise complaints are going to skyrocket once the weather turns nice. And a lot of "Don't disturb our neighbors while you're out smoking" signs will probably start popping up in area watering holes.

Brian / January 20, 2008 1:21 AM

You know, this has become a nation of complainers and busybodies. You don't want smokers to smoke inside. You don't want smokers to smoke outside. You don't want people to talk while outside or make the slightest noise. You don't want people to drink. Or enjoy themselves in any way.

If its all such a bother to you, why don't you pack your things and head back to Crystal Lake or Lake Villa or wherever it is you're from?

Maybe instead of the seemingly expected “Don’t disturb our neighbors while you’re outside smoking” signs, maybe a bar or ten will display a sign to residents stating “Don’t disturb our patrons with your whining while they’re outside enjoying a cigarette!”

Cletus Warhol / January 20, 2008 3:55 AM

Chill Brian. It was just an observation, not a complaint. I never wanted the smoking ban in the first place, and if twenty years here doesn't make me a Chicagoan (you're obviously Pottawatomie or perhaps a descendant of du Sable?), then you can pretty much kiss my pale furry ass.

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