Smoking bans trending in downtown restaurants, but not all eliminate vaping

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Humphrey’s Bar & Grill in Huntsville is the fourth downtown establishment to ban smoking in the last nine months.

After a month-long social media poll, the owners decided to kick the habit in the restaurant and on the patio.

“We just felt like it was a sign of the times and we wanted the majority of the people to be heard,” said Humphrey’s manager Becky Vibbart.

“Eighty percent of the people that were polled wanted us to go non-smoking,” said chef-owner Chris McDonald, “and even people that haven’t been here before, would say they would come to Humphrey’s if it was a non-smoking establishment.”

McDonald also owns Humphrey’s adjacent restaurant, the Bottle.

He says he made the same decision there last month.

“We saw an increase in our sales,” said McDonald. “We had new customers, new guests I should say, that came in and thanked us for going non-smoking that they’ve been wanting to come in, but they just can’t tolerate the smoke and they will not.”

Humphrey’s also won’t tolerate electronic cigarettes.

“It’s kind of been set in California and over in Oregon and in Washington, so we’re just going to set the standard for ourselves and just say no vaping and no smoking right from the start,” said Vibbart.

The Office Break Room and Bar is another smoke-free restaurant in downtown Huntsville.

It never allowed smoking in the short time that it has been open, but for now, it has not banned e-cigarettes.

“We don’t necessarily have a policy because we don’t know much about it yet,” said co-owner Gregory Glass.

Other downtown locales, like the Voodoo Lounge Bar and Grill, openly allow vaping.

Most smoke-free laws were enacted before e-cigs became popular, so they don’t explicitly mention e-cigs.

Until those laws do, most business owners are left to navigate through the haze.

“Until there’s a major complaint or something like that or people just bring it up, then I think we’re okay with it,” said Glass. “We don’t have a real stance either way until the rest of the customers get affected by it.”

As for Humphrey’s, the restaurant is closed so the walls and air ducts can be cleaned of the smoke smell.

The doors will re-open Wednesday at 4:00 pm with a ribbon cutting scheduled for 5:00 pm.

21 comments

  • Wes

    After going to Humphrys one time, I said I would never go back due to the smoke. I will now be happy to spend my money there! Great decision!

  • David

    It’s nice to see a city allowing the owners freedom to decide about smoking, and smart of the business to hear their customer base.

    • John Davidson

      About 90% of secondary smoke is composed of water vapor and ordinary air with a minor amount of carbon dioxide. The volume of water vapor of second hand smoke becomes even larger as it quickly disperses into the air,depending upon the humidity factors within a set location indoors or outdoors. Exhaled smoke from a smoker will provide 20% more water vapor to the smoke as it exists the smokers mouth.

      4 % is carbon monoxide.

      6 % is those supposed 4,000 chemicals to be found in tobacco smoke. Unfortunatley for the smoke free advocates these supposed chemicals are more theorized than actually found.What is found is so small to even call them threats to humans is beyond belief.Nanograms,picograms and femptograms……
      (1989 Report of the Surgeon General p. 80).

      • Michael

        While you make good points, there’s still the concern that many non-smokers have that the smoke, harmful or not, is just plain terrible to smell.

  • Nuclear Mike

    Perhaps the Downtown, Inc. will establish a “smoking zone” as Huntsville Hospital has just across the street from their main entrance on the sidewalk there….

  • John Davidson

    This pretty well destroys the Myth of second hand smoke:

    http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/28/16741714-lungs-from-pack-a-day-smokers-safe-for-transplant-study-finds?lite

    Lungs from pack-a-day smokers safe for transplant, study finds.

    By JoNel Aleccia, Staff Writer, NBC News.

    Using lung transplants from heavy smokers may sound like a cruel joke, but a new study finds that organs taken from people who puffed a pack a day for more than 20 years are likely safe.

    What’s more, the analysis of lung transplant data from the U.S. between 2005 and 2011 confirms what transplant experts say they already know: For some patients on a crowded organ waiting list, lungs from smokers are better than none.

    “I think people are grateful just to have a shot at getting lungs,” said Dr. Sharven Taghavi, a cardiovascular surgical resident at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, who led the new study………………………

    Ive done the math here and this is how it works out with second ahnd smoke and people inhaling it!

    The 16 cities study conducted by the U.S. DEPT OF ENERGY and later by Oakridge National laboratories discovered:

    Cigarette smoke, bartenders annual exposure to smoke rises, at most, to the equivalent of 6 cigarettes/year.

    146,000 CIGARETTES SMOKED IN 20 YEARS AT 1 PACK A DAY.

    A bartender would have to work in second hand smoke for 2433 years to get an equivalent dose.

    Then the average non-smoker in a ventilated restaurant for an hour would have to go back and forth each day for 119,000 years to get an equivalent 20 years of smoking a pack a day! Pretty well impossible ehh!

    • Say What

      John, it sounds like you have your life’s savings in tobacco stock! You better sell it and invest in something else before you lose your shirt!

      • John Davidson

        Why the massive black market trade in cigarettes affects you even if you don’t smoke

        Fake Western brand cigarettes for sale in Shaqlawa, Iraq

        A National Academy of Sciences committee meets this week to study a large, growing and little-understood black market in drugs. But rather than cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine, the committee members will be discussing tobacco cigarettes.

        The global black market in tobacco is estimated to supply 11.6% of the world’s consumption, a startling 650 billion cigarettes a year. And there are two components to this market that have drawn the particular scrutiny of law enforcement: fake cigarettes and tax avoidance.

        The reason why fake cigarettes are big business will be obvious to anyone who tunes in to Mad Men. Cigarettes have arguably been marketed internationally more effectively than any other American product. The resulting worldwide recognition of the Marlboro Man, Joe Camel et al. means that hundreds of millions of smokers are willing to pay a premium for famous Western brands. This has created a lucrative opportunity for criminals – overwhelmingly based in China — to repackage over 100 billion cheap cigarettes a year as marquee Western brands.

        While not enthusiastic about the amount of revenue being generated by fake cigarettes, U.S. policymakers have been even more concerned about smugglers avoiding taxes for selling genuine cigarettes.

        Some of the tax avoidance is conducted via off-shore suppliers who take orders over the Internet. But in recent years policymakers and law enforcement have cracked down on this trade, with formal and informal controls on credit card companies, shipping companies and the U.S postal service.

        However, there is a simpler way for criminals to evade cigarette taxes which requires neither a shipper nor an Internet connection: Buy them in bulk in a low tax jurisdiction and physically transport them to a high tax jurisdiction. For example, the tax difference between Virginia and New York State cigarettes is just over $4 a pack, and even more in New York City where further taxes are applied. An individual who throws two cases of legally-purchased cigarettes in his car trunk and drives from Richmond to Brooklyn can make a thousand dollars re-selling them illegally; someone driving a loaded tractor trailer truck can make over a million.

        This smuggling raises multiple problems. First, criminals sell the smuggled cigarettes at a lower price than locally-purchased cigarettes in the high-tax jurisdiction, thereby undermining the public health benefit of higher prices (i.e., more smokers quitting). Second, governments in high-tax jurisdictions lose an unknown but undoubtedly large amount of tax revenue from smuggling. Third, major league criminals – perhaps including terrorists – are reaping substantial income from the trade, with which they can fund other even more dangerous activities.

        California has had some success reducing tax evasion by requiring more sophisticated, hard to counterfeit tobacco tax stamps. But the policy that would help high-tax states the most in the battle against cigarette smuggling – increased tobacco taxes in low tax states – is the hardest to implement. States with low tobacco taxes tend to have significant tobacco production and the economic and political clout that goes with it to protect those low rates.

        Could the federal government end the smuggling incentives that are created by the disparities in state-level taxation? A hike in the federal tax on tobacco, which the Obama Administration proposed last year, would not change the dynamics of cross-state smuggling because the differences between state tax amounts would stay the same. A federal tax that was partly or fully refunded to states which set their taxes within a particular range could in contrast reduce the financial incentive for cross-state smuggling. But at the moment that idea appears to have no strong advocates in Washington.

    • John Davidson

      Change is coming like going back in time 80-100 years…………you doof don’t you read history

      Heres a time line starting in 1900,dont be surprised to see the same thing playing out today nearly 100 years later.

      1901: REGULATION: Strong anti-cigarette activity in 43 of the 45 states. “Only Wyoming and Louisiana had paid no attention to the cigarette controversy, while the other forty-three states either already had anti-cigarette laws on the books or were considering new or tougher anti-cigarette laws, or were the scenes of heavy anti- cigarette activity” (Dillow, 1981:10).

      1904: New York: A judge sends a woman is sent to jail for 30 days for smoking in front of her children.

      1904: New York City. A woman is arrested for smoking a cigarette in an automobile. “You can’t do that on Fifth Avenue,” the arresting officer says.

      1907: Business owners are refusing to hire smokers. On August 8, the New York Times writes: “Business … is doing what all the anti-cigarette specialists could not do.”

      1917: SMOKEFREE: Tobacco control laws have fallen, including smoking bans in numerous cities, and the states of Arkansas, Iowa, Idaho and Tennessee.

      1937: hitler institutes laws against smoking.This one you can google.

      • Say What

        John, that same lame argument is made by people like you about gun control. The new right-wing tactic is to attach Hitler to everything you do not like. That did not work for Senator Joseph McCarthy and his “red scare” campaign, and it is getting old today when you use it in a new way!

      • John Davidson

        About 90% of secondary smoke is composed of water vapor and ordinary air with a minor amount of carbon dioxide. The volume of water vapor of second hand smoke becomes even larger as it quickly disperses into the air,depending upon the humidity factors within a set location indoors or outdoors. Exhaled smoke from a smoker will provide 20% more water vapor to the smoke as it exists the smokers mouth.

        4 % is carbon monoxide.

        6 % is those supposed 4,000 chemicals to be found in tobacco smoke. Unfortunatley for the smoke free advocates these supposed chemicals are more theorized than actually found.What is found is so small to even call them threats to humans is beyond belief.Nanograms,picograms and femptograms……
        (1989 Report of the Surgeon General p. 80).

  • John Davidson

    The Führer thanks you from the grave:

    Hitler was a Leftist
    Hitler’s Anti-Tobacco Campaign

    One particularly vile individual, Karl Astel — upstanding president of Jena University, poisonous anti-Semite, euthanasia fanatic, SS officer, war criminal and tobacco-free Germany enthusiast — liked to walk up to smokers and tear cigarettes from their unsuspecting mouths. (He committed suicide when the war ended, more through disappointment than fear of hanging.) It comes as little surprise to discover that the phrase “passive smoking” (Passivrauchen) was coined not by contemporary American admen, but by Fritz Lickint, the author of the magisterial 1100-page Tabak und Organismus (“Tobacco and the Organism”), which was produced in collaboration with the German AntiTobacco League.

      • John Davidson

        The inconvenient truth is that the only studies of children of smokers suggest it is PROTECTIVE in contracting atopy in the first place. The New Zealand study says by a staggering factor of 82%.

        “Participants with atopic parents were also less likely to have positive SPTs between ages 13 and 32 years if they smoked themselves (OR=0.18), and this reduction in risk remained significant after adjusting for confounders.

        The authors write: “We found that children who were exposed to parental smoking and those who took up cigarette smoking themselves had a lower incidence of atopy to a range of common inhaled allergens.
        “These associations were found only in those with a parental history of asthma or hay fever.”

        They conclude: Our findings suggest that preventing allergic sensitization is not one of them.”
        The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
        Volume 121, Issue 1 , Pages 38-42.e3, January 2008

        .
        This is a Swedish study.

        “Children of mothers who smoked at least 15 cigarettes a day tended to have lower odds for suffering from allergic rhino-conjunctivitis, allergic asthma, atopic eczema and food allergy, compared to children of mothers who had never smoked (ORs 0.6-0.7)

        CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates an association between current exposure to tobacco smoke and a low risk for atopic disorders in smokers themselves and a similar tendency in their children.”
        Clin Exp Allergy 2001 Jun;31(6):908-14

  • John Davidson

    The inconvenient truth is that the only studies of children of smokers suggest it is PROTECTIVE in contracting atopy in the first place. The New Zealand study says by a staggering factor of 82%.

    “Participants with atopic parents were also less likely to have positive SPTs between ages 13 and 32 years if they smoked themselves (OR=0.18), and this reduction in risk remained significant after adjusting for confounders.

    The authors write: “We found that children who were exposed to parental smoking and those who took up cigarette smoking themselves had a lower incidence of atopy to a range of common inhaled allergens.
    “These associations were found only in those with a parental history of asthma or hay fever.”

    They conclude: Our findings suggest that preventing allergic sensitization is not one of them.”
    The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
    Volume 121, Issue 1 , Pages 38-42.e3, January 2008
    http://www.jacionline.org/article/S00…(07)01954-9/abstract

    .
    This is a Swedish study.

    “Children of mothers who smoked at least 15 cigarettes a day tended to have lower odds for suffering from allergic rhino-conjunctivitis, allergic asthma, atopic eczema and food allergy, compared to children of mothers who had never smoked (ORs 0.6-0.7)

    CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates an association between current exposure to tobacco smoke and a low risk for atopic disorders in smokers themselves and a similar tendency in their children.”
    Clin Exp Allergy 2001 Jun;31(6):908-14
    http://www.data-yard.net/30/asthma.htm

  • John Davidson

    The Vetting – Holder 1995: We Must ‘Brainwash’ People on Guns like we did on cigarettes

    Breitbart.com has uncovered video from 1995 of then-U.S. Attorney Eric Holder announcing a public campaign to “really brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way.”
    Holder was addressing the Woman’s National Democratic Club. In his remarks, broadcast by CSPAN 2, he explained that he intended to use anti-smoking campaigns as his model to “change the hearts and minds of people in Washington, DC” about guns.
    http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-TV/2012/03/18/Holder-Outlines-How-To-Change-Public-Opinion-On-Guns

    “What we need to do is change the way in which people think about guns, especially young people, and make it something that’s not cool, that it’s not acceptable, it’s not hip to carry a gun anymore, in the way in which we changed our attitudes about cigarettes.”

    Holder added that he had asked advertising agencies in the nation’s capital to assist by making anti-gun ads rather than commercials “that make me buy things that I don’t really need.” He had also approached local newspapers and television stations, he said, asking them to devote prime space and time, respectively, to his anti-gun campaign.

    Local political leaders and celebrities, Holder said, including Mayor Marion Barry and Jesse Jackson, had been asked to help. In addition, he reported, he had asked the local school board to make the anti-gun message a part of “every day, every school, and every level.”

    Despite strict gun control efforts, Washington, DC was and remains one of the nation’s most dangerous cities for gun violence, though crime has abated somewhat since the 1990s.

    Holder went on to become Deputy Attorney General in the Clinton administration, and currently serves as Attorney General in the Obama Administration.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/03/18/Holder-Fight-Guns-Like-Cigarettes

    The video of Holder’s remarks was uncovered by Breitbart.com contributor Charles C. Johnson.

  • John Davidson

    The Vetting – Holder 1995: We Must ‘Brainwash’ People on Guns like we did on cigarettes

    Breitbart.com has uncovered video from 1995 of then-U.S. Attorney Eric Holder announcing a public campaign to “really brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way.”
    Holder was addressing the Woman’s National Democratic Club. In his remarks, broadcast by CSPAN 2, he explained that he intended to use anti-smoking campaigns as his model to “change the hearts and minds of people in Washington, DC” about guns.

    “What we need to do is change the way in which people think about guns, especially young people, and make it something that’s not cool, that it’s not acceptable, it’s not hip to carry a gun anymore, in the way in which we changed our attitudes about cigarettes.”

    Holder added that he had asked advertising agencies in the nation’s capital to assist by making anti-gun ads rather than commercials “that make me buy things that I don’t really need.” He had also approached local newspapers and television stations, he said, asking them to devote prime space and time, respectively, to his anti-gun campaign.

    Local political leaders and celebrities, Holder said, including Mayor Marion Barry and Jesse Jackson, had been asked to help. In addition, he reported, he had asked the local school board to make the anti-gun message a part of “every day, every school, and every level.”

    Despite strict gun control efforts, Washington, DC was and remains one of the nation’s most dangerous cities for gun violence, though crime has abated somewhat since the 1990s.

    Holder went on to become Deputy Attorney General in the Clinton administration, and currently serves as Attorney General in the Obama Administration.

  • John Davidson

    This post is intended to be facetious]

    There are two basic ways to ensure that public revenue and public health are protected by taxing those who engage in behavior that imposes costs on the rest of society.

    First, Health Insurance providers can be required to test their insureds (customers) for certain attributes such as BMI, or drug consumption (including all illegal drugs as well as alcohol and nicotine and/or marijuana). Customers who fail these tests can be requred to pay higher premiums, which will be split between various levels of government and the health insurance firms. If the health insurance is provided by the gov’t, then fines can be mandated for insureds who fail to stop smoking or lose weight etc. Incarceration should be an option for those who cannot or will not pay the appropriate fines, on the grounds that incarcertion will permit the government to impose the required healthy lifestyles. Or – as an alternative – the body parts of those who are unwilling or unable to pay the government-imposed fines can be sold on the open market, in order to generate revenue.

    The second option for the government is to extend the notion of “denormalizing smoking” to other behaviors that are considered inappropriate for the protection of the public health (i.e. excessive consumption of unhealthy food as indicated by blood tests, or other behaviors such as smoking). To bring the full brunt of “denomalization” to bear on the miscreants responsible for lowering the average standard of public health (and thus imposing burdens on innocent taxpayers), non-compliant members of society can be required to wear certain demarcations in public. For example, a scarlet “A” (for “adipose”) can be required to be worn by those who have an excessively high BMI or other such measure. Naturally, appeals to special courts of public health will be available, for those who can claim that they are unable to lose weight as a result of genetic conditions (etc.).

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