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Jonathan Potts

I don't think it is something that should be legislated, but quite frankly I'm a bit surprised that hospitals permit employees to smoke on the premises. Of course, I was also a bit taken back to learn, when my wife gave birth last year to our daughter, how unhealthy hospital cafeteria fare can be.

Sam M


I think that few if any hospitals still allow smoking anywhere in the buildings. (Which to me seems a bit much. Seriously. There is not some dank room in the sub-basement where they could let Old Mildred have a Carlton while she waits for her husband to die? But hey, they are hospitals, and I can see why they might restrict it.)

But there is a real problem with enforcement here. To make the smoking ban work the legislation has to forcefully deputize property owners. That is, it fines bar owners as well as smokers wjhen people up inside. Why? Because we all know what would happen if they didn't. Every bar in Pittsburgh would have someone by the door looking for cops, and everyone would put their cigarettes down as the cops entered. So the county is basically forcing bar owners to enforce its laws.

Well that's a lot harder to do when you are looking at a huge campus. Especially like the ones in Oakland. Seriously. Think about it. As structured, it is going to be illegal for people to smoke outdoors in huge swaths of Oakland. But these are students. And as I understand it, each time one of them gets nailed, UPMC will get nailed, too, for not ensuring that students wandering through aren't smoking.

In the meantime, Old Mildred is going to have to leave the hospital building in mid-January, in the dark and the cold, and walk five blocks to have a cigarette and a cry.

I suppose you could say she ought to quit. But it's her life. You could say that the ban is in place to make sure no nurses or doctors get sick from the SHS, so screw MIldred. But Mr. Robinson did us the favor of telling us that's not why that part of the ban is in place. That part of the ban is in place because Mr. Robinson doesn't like feeling uncomfortable. And he feels uncomfortable when he sees people smoke.

That's why Mildred has to walk a few blocks through the snow.

That does not seem right to me.

And honestly, how much of the rest of the ban do you tyhink has to do with worker safety? And how much has to do with anti-smoking people feeling uncomfortable?

And a final question: What's a "cigar bar"? Can I open a "cigarette bar"?

Sam M


And just to be clear, your comment says something about "hospital employees." The ban does not signify employees. No one will be allowed to smoke anywhere on hospital grounds.

Even Mildred.

And it is up to the hospitals to enforce it.

Jonathan Potts

I'm with you--I don't agree with the smoking ban.

Jonathan Potts

By the way, it appears the ban is in danger because of the state's exemption for casinos.

Sam M

Yeah. The casinos. I knew they had to be good for something.

Go casinos!

sean mcdaniel


anyone want to sign my anti-farting ban on public transit and elevators?

John Morris

In a rational society-- All hospitals would be pirivate entities and would have to compete with each other for patients. Hopefully, few patients would choose to go to a hospital or have thier relatives in a hospital where people smoked. Only homer would smoke in a hospital.

sean mcdaniel

in a rational society, i'd pave my own roads to cranberry and people would compete to drive on it. and only people with hummers who wanted to ban smoking and foie gras from dee's cafe would be allowed to drive on them...ground control to major john....homer is in charge of your re-entry.

Fred Mullner

Have you read the comments from Onorato concerning his veto? Onorato has some excuse about casinos and competitive disadvantage as to why he "has" to veto the ban, and County Council "doesn't have" the votes to override the veto (the ban passed 14-1).

This is pageantry, pure and simple.

My only concern is what other legislation the Council was passing while we were distracted by this red herring.

sean mcdaniel

i'd vote to allow smoking, prostitution, illicit drug use, transfat consumption and gun play in all casinos...that would clean up the town pretty darn fast.

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