Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Guess Which "Culture" is Exempted From Vancouver's Anti-smoking Bylaw

The socialist nanny state in Vancouver has jumped to the cutting edge of the smoking debate by proposing strict bylaws aimed at restricting the habit on sidewalks, bus shelters and even in taxis that might happen across the city's borders. It seems that the government has decided that being close to tobacco smoke is bad. From the Vancouver Sun:

But Vancouver's planned new bylaw will prohibit smoking in any taxi travelling through Vancouver, even if the driver and all the passengers don't have a problem with it and even if the taxi is licensed in another municipality.

It will also prohibit smoking within six metres of any entryway, window or air intake for a public building, which will effectively ban smoking on most sidewalks in commercial areas, since sidewalks are only three metres wide and doors are often less than six metres apart.

And it will prohibit smoking on restaurant patios and at bus shelters.

The one foggy point in the new bylaw was whether it will apply to crack cocaine and crystal-meth smoking.

One disgruntled speaker, Angela Giannoulis, suggested sarcastically that she hoped the new bylaw would mean she wouldn't have to put up with crack and crystal-meth smokers outside her family's cigar-distribution business in Strathcona, while it forces her employees to go to dangerous alleys to smoke cigarettes and threatens to shut the cigar rooms for her customers.

But health-protection director Domenic Losito said he didn't think so, since the bylaw is aimed at cigarette smoke.
Hey doofus, do you recognize that she is making fun of you?
Coun. Suzanne Anton noted the bylaw refers to the smoking of "tobacco or other weed or substance."

Losito said he would have to check with the city's legal department about whether the bylaw will cover non-tobacco products.
Exempt from the bylaws? Hookah lounges that cater to immigrants from Muslim cultures.
Hamid Mohammadian, operator of the Persian Teahouse on Davie Street, thanked council for the exemption.

"We are very happy because this is our culture. I have one customer, 75 years old, who said 'I will have no other place to go if you close,'" he said.

Mohammadian brought two hookah pipes to show council. They included a 600-year-old model with a ceramic mosaic on the outside, fruit-flavoured tobacco, and charcoal to the meeting to show councillors what was at stake.

Emad Yacoub, who runs five restaurants in Vancouver, also attended Thursday's meeting to ask council to protect hookah lounges.

"I support no smoking on the patios," he said, saying it will make it easier for him since he won't have to settle fights between his smoking and non-smoking customers.

But he said hookah lounges are essential for immigrants from hookah-smoking cultures, because it helps them deal with the depression common for newcomers and gives them places like they have at home.
So, when will Canada become sufficiently established to form its own cultural stereotypes? Apparently generations of puffing by our northern neighbors haven't done the trick yet, but cultures take time.
Unlike other immigrants, they can't go to bars because their religion prohibits them from drinking alcohol.

"I took my cousin there and I only saw a smile on his face when I took him to a hookah lounge because that is what we do back home."
Hey, Canadians can do what they want to do in their own governance. However, it seems odd that their overreaching benevolence applies only to their own cultural icons and not those imported onto Canadian soil. Unless, of course, they simply deny Canadians the right to enter the hookah lounges altogether. That way the Canadians can stay healthy at the same time the Muslim immigrants can continue to celebrate their culture in health deriding fashion.

h/t Dhimmi Watch


Anonymous said...

Just curious, what are the quotation marks surrounding the word 'culture' supposed to signify?

I am fully in support of smoke bans in restaurants. They ensure that customers who are there for the food are not exposed to second-hand smoke. The same applies to bars, clubs, etc. In the case of hookah lounges however, consenting adult customers are there for one sole purpose. No customer is deterred by the smoke since hookah is the only reason for visiting the establishment. No one is unwillingly exposed to second-hand smoke.

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Anonymous said...

"No customer is deterred by the smoke since hookah is the only reason for visiting the establishment. No one is unwillingly exposed to second-hand smoke."

Try to open a cigarette smoking lounge, see what happens.

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