Opinion

Take a drag on your constitutional right to vote

I’m a bartender at a popular chain restaurant in Kendall-a chain owned by a corporation that has already decided to implement the no-smoking policy that was passed a couple months back, and is expected to be in statewide effect sometime around August. And I have to tell you, I’m getting pretty sick and tired of having the same conversation every day with some chain smoker annoyed with having to walk 20 feet from the bar to go smoke their cigarette outside.
Don’t get me wrong, every now and then I like to light up while conversing and drinking away a stressful week-I do sympathize with the utter, gut-wrenching inconvenience of not being able to kill your liver and your lungs at the same time-but where the hell were all these people on elections day? It’s certainly not the bartender’s fault that they didn’t bother to come out and vote “no.”
Of course, I didn’t vote either, but in my opinion, how bad is the smoking thing anyway? Surely getting a good dose of second hand smoke at a bar on Friday night doesn’t come close to the toxins we’re constantly exposed to all the rest of the week – car exhaust, factory emissions, microwave radiation, diet coke . . . but I’m not the one complaining.
My issue is not with the smokers; my issue is that I speculate the majority of the people complaining were too busy to try to prevent it. They should have voiced their opinion four months ago. Bottom line-they should’ve nipped that mandate in the butt when they could. Now, it’s too late.
To the smokers who voted, I’m sorry; but to all the other smokers, just go outside and be quiet because it’s ridiculous to complain about something you could have influenced had you bothered. As of this summer, all food-serving places in Florida will be smoke free-except for the smoke you’re still blowing. So stop whining and take this as a lesson: maybe next time you’ll make more of an effort from the get-go.

Whitney W. Friedrich is a senior majoring in Advertising and English. She can be contacted at witz615@aol.com.

February 25, 2003

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