Letters to the Editor

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SMOKING: Ban aims at protecting workers

Letter by Catherine Oleson, Spanaway on Dec. 13, 2010 at 1:45 pm with 10 Comments »
December 13, 2010 2:16 pm

To those who have written about El Gaucho and its now-forbidden cigar room: I’ve read the letters on this topic, and, while all or nearly all of these writers repeat the mantra that the indoor cigar smokers at this restaurant aren’t bothering anyone else or aren’t hurting anyone, no one has mentioned the wait-staff, cleanup staff, stockers and various others who must work in that environment.

Unlike the customers, who presumably expect to come in for an hour or two once in a while, the workers must remain in that smoke-filled room for most of the duration of their shifts, eight hours or more, five days a week, 12 months a year. During their shifts, they will take in far more smoke than the cigar smokers who create the smoke and then depart for the fresh air of the sidewalk outside, leaving the employees to breathe all the smoke that has accumulated over the course of their workday, and which remains behind.

Anyone can see that this is a recipe for emphysema, lung cancer and other problems.

Remember, the Health Department does not prohibit the smoking of cigars or cigarettes. It only prohibits smoking them in the places where others can (will) be harmed by the secondhand smoke. This protection extends to the waiters and waitresses, busboys, cleaning staff and other employees.

Leave a comment Comments → 10
  1. Simple, don’t work there.

  2. aislander says:

    This letter is a tissue of lies. First I DID mention the employees when I noted that they are not compelled to work the cigar lounge. Second, the lounge is not “smoke-filled” when operating. It has an extremely effective ventilation system. Third, the EPA conclusions on second-hand smoke were debunked by a UN study, which, strangely enough, is now very difficult to find…

  3. I agree, but what about second-hand farts? Can you imagine the toxic gases that must be released into the atmosphere when some of our portly citizens cut loose? I expect the damage done by cigars pales into insignificance by comparison with Barney Frank’s personal contribution to atmospheric pollution. This problem requires swift government action. If you agree, be the first to sign my petition at your favorite Wal-Mart store, and leave those chili beans on the shelf.

  4. aislander says:

    I DID find that original WHO study on second-hand smoke (NOT the hastily improvised meta-analysis that appeared when the results were not what were desired), and the ONLY statistically significant conclusion was that children of smokers have a DECREASED risk of developing lung cancer, compared to those of nonsmokers. Spouses of smokers have no higher risk than those of nonsmokers. Kooky, as someone once observed…

  5. Roncella says:

    Velmak, Your post was one of funniest I have read since posting here !!!!!!

    You are exactly right about second hand farts being harmful, especially from some of the current Congressmen and women, like Barney Frank, Barb Boxer, Al Frankin, too many to name here.

    Velmak sincere thanks for a great laugh today…..

  6. APimpNamedSlickback says:

    Apparently the letter writer has not read everything about the El Gaucho cigar room. If they had, they would know that the cigar room was technically a separate business and that it had no employees. Everyone who worked in the cigar room was a partial owner of that separate business. El Gaucho employees did not enter the cigar room as any part of their work duties (although some may have chosen to enter on their own accord.)

    The cigar room was entirely tended to by it’s owners, so the employee safety argument (thin as it is, given that there is no such thing as slavery in the US) is wholly unconvincing.

  7. but what about second-hand farts?

    A subject that I trust you are well-versed in……

  8. Indeed I am. Hence my law suit against a certain “institution of higher learning.” Someone has to have the courage to speak out against this threat to the public health. I shall demand that farts be banned from all public spaces and that those harmed by long exposure to second-hand farts be duly compensated. Furthermore, the descendants of those so harmed shall be eligible for fair compensation. It comes under life, liberty, and the pursuit of easy money, not to mention certain emanations from the Bench. A favorable ruling may have a daunting effect on higher education and government at all levels. Nevertheless, those who can’t tell tell the difference in facts and farts deserve the full protection of the law. Ralph Nader, eat your heart out.

  9. velmak, pulling a drag from his erect cigar and carefully catching the spent ash in an elegant glass receptacle turned his head and, with the thick, raspy voice earned from years of not inhaling said, “Don’t you ever pull my finger!”

  10. Was that your senior thesis or your defense of your orals?

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