But I Liked It When My Pizza Tasted Like Menthols

Most laws passed by the TN legislature traditionally go into effect at the beginning of the next fiscal year, July 1. That’s why Gramma needs to take her driver’s license with her to Kroger to buy cooking sherry even though we took away her car keys years ago.

But in an effort to appease the tobacco lobby, the Smoke Free Tennessee legislation will not officially be enacted until October 1, 2007. Smoke `em if you got `em.

But not at Bosco’s in Hillsboro Village.

They decided to formally eliminate smoking inside their Tennessee restaurants more than two months earlier, beginning Monday, July 16. They kicked off their smoking ban with a weeklong promotion last month called “Trash Your Ashtray,” whereby the company donated one dollar to the American Lung Association of Tennessee for every ashtray that customers dropped off at either of the two locations.

To ensure that the fundraising component got off to a solid start, Boscos guaranteed a minimum donation of $1,000 to the American Lung Association of Tennessee. Says Chris Kizer, manager of the Boscos in Nashville: “Some people are surprised that a restaurant such as ours would be so adamantly in favor of the statewide smoking ban since some of our customers enjoy smoking in our bar areas and on our decks. However, the health concerns we have for our customers and employees far outweigh any loss of business that we may experience as a result of the ban. This is simply the right thing to do, and that is why Boscos made the decision to ban smoking ahead of the formal implementation of the law.”

A silly promotion? Maybe. A good idea? I think so. I, for one, am glad they stepped up early. I’ve been to both Manhattan and Ireland in the first month after their respective indoor smoking bans. Despite all the hewing and crying about how it would ruin the social scene and the bar experience, people adjusted very quickly.

As a matter of fact, standing outside of the building enjoying a smoke has become a new opportunity for singles to meet like-minded vice sharers. “Yeah, my friends banished me out here too. That’s a cute trach tube you have there. You wanna go get a cup of coffee?”

8 Comments so far

  1. Katherine Coble (unregistered) on August 16th, 2007 @ 4:14 pm

    However, the health concerns we have for our customers and employees far outweigh any loss of business that we may experience as a result of the ban.

    I find it absolutely adorable that a stranger I’ve never met is concerned about my private affairs simply because I occasionally buy a plate of gorgonzola pasta from him.

  2. CeeElCee (unregistered) on August 16th, 2007 @ 4:26 pm

    I knew this would tweak your Libertarian sensibilities. 8^)

    That’s why they call it “copy.”

  3. Jay (unregistered) on August 16th, 2007 @ 6:34 pm

    Companies have every right to regulate activities within their walls. Governments, on the other hand, don’t.

  4. fishwreck (unregistered) on August 16th, 2007 @ 8:35 pm

    Governments don’t have the right to regulate activities within their walls? I’m pretty sure that’s not what you meant, but I think it makes about as much sense as saying that governments don’t have the right to regulate what goes on inside a company’s walls. I’m not saying governments have unlimited rights to regulate, but you appear to be saying that governments have no right to regulate and that strikes me as a rather absurd (read: untenable) position to take. The question is where to draw the line and based on what principals.

  5. Jackson (unregistered) on August 17th, 2007 @ 8:49 am

    Marriott made every room in every hotel in every state, non-smoking. There is no smoking in the lobby, bar, restaurant, etc either. They did this last year (I think).

    Kat, I read being concerned for customers and employees as concern for the non-smokers who are exposed to health risks as a result of smoking in his restaurant. And, since his restaurant is public, it has absolutely nothing to do with your private affairs :)

    just saying.

  6. News 2 Me (unregistered) on August 17th, 2007 @ 1:56 pm

    Jackson has his head up his ass.

    Just saying.

  7. Compassion in Politics (unregistered) on August 20th, 2007 @ 4:32 pm

    While I feel for smokers and share some libertarian sensibilities, I don’t understand why this is an issue, except for the issue of the massive tobacco lobby in tennessee….

    The oceans, the air we breath, and the water we drink at the tap are all collective goods that form a commons that makes life livable. Individual rights as trumps fail to recognize our collective destinies that it “takes a village to raise a child.” Otherwise enabling funding for collective goods education, transportation, the natural wonders of our local and national parks would be rather impossible to come by. Even John Locke recognized that safety and health were natural rights. Additionally, the negative ripple of health effects imposes a hidden coercion on tax payers. Workers in the restaurant industry shouldn’t have to face a wall of smoke as a fundamental barrier of entry. I for one like coming home from a night out not smelling like cigarette butts and don’t think should be the norm. In light of the above, is it so hard & such an infringement of rights to take 15 steps and smoke on the sidewalk?

    Sorry for the rant…

  8. Dawn (unregistered) on August 21st, 2007 @ 3:46 pm

    While I’m a non-smoker, I do think it’s a bit overboard to not allow smoking on the deck. I’d rather folks smoke there than have them blocking the door or parking area and making me walk thru a veil of smoke before even entering the place.

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