The smoking ban


Jan 16, 2006
I just read about this law that has just come into effect banning smoking in restaurants, bars and clubs and I sort of have mixed feelings about it on one hand the air in those places is gonna be a whole lot nicer to breath but on the other I sorta worry that those places aint gonna be as "happening" as they have been.I am not currently in Argentina so I have not wittnessed the effects of this myself yet but when I add it all up in my mind it looks to me like this is a bad idea.What do the rest of you think?
The smoking ban is a very positive thing for the health of the Argentine citizens who have one of the highest figures for death by smoking in the world.
I am all for this ban and have noticed it has made no difference to the atmosphere in the restaurants anbd bars just made them much much more enjoyable
The smoking ban has been a great success. There was some initial drop off in customers however it seems that business is back to normal. I eat out on a regular basis and have not experienced a single violation of the law. This is one case in which the politicians truly deserve a tip of the hat. Let's hope that the Province of Buenos Aires follows!
Hey there Chris, Ramon Thanks for your replies, I'd like to ask though, are you guys smokers? Have you wittnessed any negativity or complaints from smokers regarding the ban?
I heard complaints the first week, not after. I do not smoke. People I know who are smokers tell me that they agree with the ban. They acknowledge the health risk to smokers and passive smokers alike.
I am a smoker...although I spend hours without the craving.....or manic outbursts. I applaud any health initiative. But the gov't has yet to meet the concurrent phase of this law which is the free distribution of nicotine patches. No mention of this on the press.
I also think this law is somewhat punitive to proprietors of cafes, bars, pubs, restaurants, etc. who do not have access to sidewalk service. If smoking is bad for your health....and I have no doubt it could be...why allow tables on the sidewalk or exempt establishments with open patios. I continue to smoke the same 4 cigs per day but my patronage at the
cafes has diminished. I am just finding more crowded park benches. Why not let the market decide? Each owner should have the choice to offer a totally non-smoking facility...or continue with business as usual. Those who welcome the chance to use nicotine patches, could receive them for free. Those who select to continue would have a place to congregate. It's a beginning.....
I don't understand Gracielle's comment about sidewalks and patios. Smoking IS allowed in these areas, presumably because smoking in the open air is far less objectionable and dangerous to non smokers than it is in closed quarters. The smoking ordinance is actually flexible: restaurants of 100 meters or more may have a smoking section. The issue of public health and comfort is too great to leave this to the discretion of restaurant owners who would most likely revert to the former practice of favoring smokers.
Here are my two cents. 1. This ban is bs really, very few places are smaller than 100 square meters and the bigger places will eventually put signs on tables in 30% of their establishment saying smoking zone and that will lead people to use the entire place as a smoking zone. 2. Handing out free nicotin patches is bull, nicotin patches, gum, sprays and other such products are a big waste of time and handing them out for free is not gonna help anyone or solve any problems, it might however create some new problems.
"chris" said:
I don't understand Gracielle's comment about sidewalks and patios. Smoking IS allowed in these areas...
Come on, Chris. Sure you do. Gracielle was saying that for bars/cafés that do have sidewalk tables they can attract refugees like me unlike the ones that don't outdoor seating. That wouldn't seem fair to me if I owned a joint with no sidewalk tables.I haven't written a post on my blog about the prohibition yet...but don't think I'm not composing it in my head! I have a great deal of respect for anyone who does not want to be subjected to tobacco smoke, however (full disclosure: I'm a smoker) the subject is complex and deserving of both thought and more than the 50 some days that have yet elapsed.I do, though, know of at least one café that has gone out of biz because of the law.I also wonder if it was necessary to eliminate smoking in EVERY bar/café in Buenos every hour...of every day.The US has many similar local ordinances...however, the exemptions are usually for smaller rather than larger establishments. The local law seems, at least at this point in my thinking, unfairly skewed to the advantage of the already rich, large establishments such as La Biela...even though their "air-tight" area is a sham.Furthermore, I see the "first of Spring" timing as being more than coincidental. I rather think that an July 31 date of enactment would have been an immediate failure.
As far as complaints go...I haven't compiled any locally yet. However, I am reminded of a recent comment from a Parisian in regard to his city's ban, "I will end my days as I began them: in the boys' room...hiding from the school principle."Another interesting angle is how this is a wholesale import from the northern hemisphere...something very porteño in itself. Question: are we the first in the southern hemisphere?Even more porteño than that: is the ban in effect within the Naval Prefecture (Puerto Madero, specifically)? The Navy has a long time record of disregard for Cap. Fed. edicts...e.g. the ban on beer sales by kioskos.
Yet another curious point...tobacco smoking is legal; is there some similar ban of the public consumption of a legal item? (Be NICE, now!)
Sincerely...I would like to protect you and see everyone like you protected from unwanted tobacco smoke. However, I put it to you nicely: was an outright, universal indoor ban necessary to do that? (I already know about tobacco shops.)Could you and yours have felt comfortable and protected with something less draconian? Lemme know...I'd appreciate your views.
First of all, I did not understand Gracielle's point about outdoor seating - it was not clear. Is it unfair that some cafes have outdoor seating and can retain some of their smoking customers? I don't think so. These cafes had an advantage before the smoking ban - they were able to attract more people on good days. Presumably they pay higher rent for more attractive locations. You ask if this is the first smoking ban in Latin America. No. The ban began in some of the proivinces of Argentina. I have no idea how effective the provincial bans have been. Also before the smoking ban was implemented in BA the Uruguayan legislature enacted a nation-wide ban on smoking. Now in Uruguay there is no smoking whatsoever in bars, restaurants, offices, casinos etc. Like it or not, this is the international trend. It is not just the US. I believe Italy has a no smoking law. European capitals are moving in the same direction. I can see no room to negotiate this point. It is a matter of public health. Passive smoke is dangerous. The law in BA has been enormously successful and that speaks very well for the attitude of Portenos - most of whom, incidentally, do not smoke. As is always the case when there is change, some will be adversely affected. I'd support a ban on nuclear weapons if it would work - and I wouldn't worry about the arms manufacturers' loss of profits. By the way, why is La Biela's smoking area "a sham". It seems quite effective. Regarding Elpanada's comment that owners will eventually allow 30% of their space to be used for smoking, I am almost certain that the law requires ENCLOSED smoking areas. Small establishments (I believe many in the city are under 100 meters) are not too likely to go the inconvenience and expense of constructing barriers. I suspect they will comply with the law.