Virginia Law Makers Rally Around Big Tobacco.

 In an effort to safeguard the interest of Altria and other large cigarette manufactures, Virginia law makers are working on legislation that would classify certain retailers as manufactures. All that would be required is that a seller sell roll your own type products and can make available to their customers the equipment for them to roll their own cigarettes. Keep in mind that these retailers do not themselves manufacture cigarettes or any thing else for that matter.  Imagine a retailer who sells you flour and baking soda so that you can bake you own bread.  Now imagine a law requiring this retailer to adhere to all the laws and regulations that govern Wonder Bread. Sound ridiculous, but this is exactly what is happening.

You may not see how this affects you, the non smoker. Consider that once this monkey is out of the cage, the next banana grab may be something dear to you.  Might home beer and wine makers be next? Where does it stop?  If nothing else, what about fair play!

Personally, I have no aversion to large tobacco companies. They make a legal product available to a willing cliental. But I can’t be silent as I see government enlisted to clear the playing field of competition on their behalf. It is unfair to these small business people that have invested so much. It is also unfair to the consumer. To say the least, it is un-American.  It should not be the business of our elected officials to rid us of the small businesses that dare to compete with the big guys.

If this becomes law, then anyone who sells anything that can be made into something else is at risk of at some point being classed as a manufacture. Why not, the ground work will have been laid.  It is a slippery slope.  If you don’t believe it, just look at what smoking bans have already become. There are certain foods banned in New York and California.  In some localities, toys are banned in happy meals.

There is also a health issue that goes with this. When an individual make a cigarette for themselves it is typically 100% tobacco. When a manufacturer does it, there is as little as 37 % tobacco used. The rest is fillers and  chemicals. This affects all of us. How can we justify allowing our government to close the door on those who wish to avoid these additives.

Please contact your representatives and tell them no to House Bill HB 314 and the Senate equivalent SB 74.

Joe’s Inn again. A follow up. April, 7th

There seems to be some skepticism of my assertion that Joe’s new smoking policy will have a detrimental impact on their business. These impressions were based on my visit of March 28th. I have been told that Mondays are always slow. Also, it was the first day of the new smoking policy, that given a few days, they (the smokers) will return. So it’s only fair that I consider the possibility that I had indeed jumped to a conclusion.

Needless to say another visit was in order to insure that what I had witnessed wasn’t simply an anomaly. So here we are again, this time a Thursday (April 7th) 12:20pm – 1:20pm. As you can see from the photo below, things are at least as dismal as they were on the Monday visit.   I do regret that I don’t have a pre March 28th photo to show. If you’re a Joe’s customer then you know how packed the place always was at lunch time. If you weren’t, then you have to take my word for it.

 

 

 So where does this leave us. One very good restaurant operated by very good people that had made one very bad choice. They believed that they could rebuff their loyal customers without consequence. I have been one of those customers for years now, and even though I quit smoking last December, I still use the smoking side. Honestly, I really can’t tell much deference in air quality since the new policy has been in effect. I wonder which of the nearby smoking restaurants are picking up Joe’s refugee customers. That could make for an interesting next post.  Here are some of the possibilities; Aladdin, BANDITOS BURRITO LOUNGE, Mulligan’s Sports Grille, Penny Lane Pub and The Republic to name a few.

 I am very proud of these customers for standing up for themselves. I understand that in some parts of the state they are more like sheep. Incidentally, even though I quit smoking, I still support these smokers by avoiding nonsmoking restaurants as much as possible. The free market has been handicapped, not killed by the smoking ban. What you, the customer does still makes a difference. Keep up the good work.

Garmin Smoking Restaurant POI’s

Find them with ease!

As many of you are aware smokefreelyva provides POI (favorites) files for the Magellan brand GPS. We are now adding the same service for owners of Garmin GPS. We currently have a “rough” version ready for testing. If any of you brave Garmin owners would like to give it a whirl we could really use the feedback. Keep in mind this is a very useful tool but is not a substitute for the occasional visit to SmokefreelyVa.com. We update to website almost immediately when new restaurants are found. We update the POIs every two or three months.

Personally, I have been using this feature of my GPS for going on one year. I find it very useful and would not be without it.  The other good thing is that it’s free. (Not a bad price for something so handy).

Keep in mind that these file are not perfect. Sometimes the coordinates we get for some addresses are a little off. We correct this on subsequent versions as we find them.

If you are interested in this (bata) version then drop me an email list@smokefreelyva.com.

Thanks, Moe

11/13/10 there ready. Both magellan and Garmin files have been updated.

 

What’s Next ?

Some say that smoking bans won’t pave the way to too much government control over our lives. They say these bans are reasonable. But little by little more rights will be taken away from all of us , not just smokers. Each time a little more far reaching, until no one will be in a position to oppose anything the government wants. For America to see it’s future it need only look to those that have had smoking bans longer than us.

Here is your future, America….no don’t turn away , look at it! It’s just the beginning.

SmokefreelyVa’s everything we web.

Web Resources We Own.

SmokeFreelyVa.com

Main Site: contains confirmed list of Virginia’s smoking restaurants and important information for smokers.

https://smokefreelyva.wordpress.com/

Smoking ban information, news and opinion (my rants). Tracking smoking bans across the world and their local impact.

http://smokefreelyva.yuku.com/

Our Message Board: Join us and get it off your chest. Meaning full conversation to help prevent greater smoking bans in Virginia or to lessen the one we have.

Talk about it here

http://twitter.com/getsmoke Underdeveloped at this Time

SmokefreelVa on Facebook

Our Facebook page. Short banter and sharing info from other great facebook pages.

Web Resources We Administer.

The Following Facebook pages…
Places you can smoke at in Petersburg, Hopewell, and Colonial Heights, VA,
Places you can smoke at in NOVA,
Places you can smoke at in Fredericksburg, VA,
Places you can smoke at in Charlottesville, VA,
Places you can smoke at in Virginia Beach and
Places you can smoke at in Richmond, VA

Thanks to Kulture for creating these pages and  for your faith in Smoke Freely Va. to Administer.

New, not just newly discovered.

I just wanted to say something about this because I think it is important. As you know we are continually adding restaurants to our list. The one thing you may not be aware of is that not all of these are simply restaurants that have been smoking and we are just now finding them. Many of them are restaurants that have only recently become smoking restaurants. Believe me friends, this is a good sign. They did not just jump right on board; instead they waited to see what impact going non smoking would have on their business.

They waited for free market forces to show that offering a smoking option would have a positive impact on the health of their business. This is good for two reasons, first it means that we can expect this trend to continue for some time and that the overall numbers will increase. Also it proves you can have an impact.

Keep up the good work. Use the list (smoking restaurants) as much as you can. Pass the word on to friends and family. If you know of anything not on the list that should be, please let me know about it.

For inspiration, here’s a reprint of an email from one of our most regular contributors.

Moe– Heard that Kelly’s Tavern near Hilltop in Virginia Beach had converted an area for smoking… went in this afternoon while on a trip back from the grocery store and lo! and behold! they had converted their entire bar and gaming area plus a number of adjacent booths and tables to a smoker-friendly area (about 60% of the restaurant).
What makes this especially significant is that they operate about a dozen locations in Hampton Roads.  I talked to the manager-on-duty and she informed me that they are reviewing all of the other sites for similar re-modeling although she feels a few won’t be able to meet the state criteria.  The Hilltop location, while not their oldest, is their flagshp operation and also their corporate HQ.
Kelly’s has been the consistent winner for years of the “Best at the Beach” award given by the Virginian-Pilot for best hamburger.  They offer a full-service menu and could be considered a destination for dining out by many.
Parenthetically, while the smoking area was jam-packed, there wasn’t a soul in the non-smoking area….
Their information for The List:
 
Kelly’s Tavern
1936 Laskin Road #201
Virginia Beach, VA 23454
(757) 491-8737
Hours: 11AM-2AM Sun-Sat

Breathe Easy, Virginia’s Attorney General Reels in Rogue Health Department.

July 8, 2009

Everyone should have a hero and now even “Vapors” (e-cigarette users) have their own. She is Saint Alice of the Virginia Smokers Alliance.

Alice contacted her representative to question the enforcement of the Virginia Smoking Ban with respect to e-(electronic) cigarettes. Representative Peace then contacted the Attorney General, Kenneth Cuccinelli to look into the matter. Here are the Attorney Generals findings.

All of this is good news,  however is anyone else perplexed as to why the Health Department would even try to get away with a stunt like this?  It is more then obvious that an e-cigarette is in no way banned under Virginia law. So why would the Virginia Health Department behave as a self ordained legislative body. For that matter, why would Keenan Caldwell of the American Cancer Society say “”Allowing them (e-cigarettes) would really be turning back the clock on what we’re trying to do in Virginia to create smoke-free workplaces and environments that promote health,”

Here’s the thing, smokeless tobacco products are not banned under the law, so why should it come as any surprise that a tobaccoless, smokeless product would also not be banned. To fully understand the opposition to e-cigarettes by ban proponents one must examine their mission. Now here where the confusion starts, I said their mission, not their stated mission. There is a huge difference. Their stated mission is to protect the public from the supposed dangers of secondary smoke. But let’s take a moment to look at the real mission.

The mission is to capture the occupants of an enemy encampment. Let call the enemy smokers. You have the resources to set up one trap and you decide to set it at one of the three  bridges leading out of the encampment. The name of this bridge is Chantex.  Now all you need do is light the camp on fire, let refer to this fire as smoking ban. The fire also destroyed the bridge known as cigarettes but left standing the one known as e-cigarettes. The obvious problem is that some of the enemy (smokers) may avoid the drag net set up at bridge know as  Chantex and escape across e-cigarettes. You must find a way to make the fire (smoking ban) also consume the other bridge known as e-cigarettes.

If successful, it could mean $$$$ from grateful big Pharmaceutical Companies waiting to pick off ban refugees.

The truth is that secondary smoke does not pose an appreciable health risk to the public at large. The truth is that they need you to believe in the risk in order to justify the violation of liberty of American Citizens.  The truth is that charitable societies and politicians don’t really care one way or the other about your health. Why else would they waste their time with e-cigarettes?

Big Tobacco is simply no match for the influence of Big Pharmaceutical.

Always follow the money!