Monday, July 09, 2007

Minneapolis Smog

Hennepin county in Minnesota, home to Minneapolis, has a smoking ban in place making it against the law to smoke within buildings--even bars and clubs. It's a ban that I fully support and actually really enjoy. Because I have sensitive eyes when it comes to smoke, it was always a pain filled and teary experience going to clubs, concerts, and bars. Now, however, it's just plain fun.

The one side effect of this law that I don't think anyone saw coming was the short range smoke haze that you'll find on every downtown street in Minneapolis. Since people can't smoke inside any more, you have groups upon smelly groups of people congregating outside buildings on the sidewalks smoking like it was going out of fashion. Since the sidewalks aren't all that wide, it means you're stuck walking through the clouds of smoke that lingers in the air, especially on windless days.

It's really annoying. I love the fact that I can be in any building and know that no one will be smoking, but on nice days like today I hate to go walk outside, especially around the lunch hour, because I have to put up with all of the smokers. It's sad, but I end up taking the skyway system on perfectly nice days just so I don't have to breathe in cigarette smoke.

So Hennepin county, now that you have a smoking ban in place inside buildings, I think the next step is to designate certain outside areas as smoking areas. My suggestion would be in the middle of traffic. That would get people to quit a lot quicker than any gum, patch, or limitation plan.

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