Ever heard of this? Smoking in restaurants?

sue36December 28, 2006

Last week DH and I decided to use a gift card we were given to a chain restaurant in Portsmouth, NH. We walked in, were seated and ordered immediately (it was (9:00, I was starved). A few minutes later I asked DH if he smelled smoke (I'm like a bloodhound). He said there was someone smoking behind me. When the waitperson came around with our drinks I asked if smoking was allowed in this area. She said it was. I then asked to be moved to the non-smoking area (I have severe asthma and allergies). She told me that there is NO non-smoking area. The entire restaurant (not just the bar, the whole place) is smoking. Have any of you ever heard of this? I wrote to the restaurant chain to complain. I mean, this is a place with a children's menu! I live in Maine and used to live in Mass., and smoking is banned in all workplaces in both states. Apparently NH (live free or die of lung cancer, apparently) doesn't have restaurant smoking laws. Have you ever heard of a chain restaurant not having a non-smoking area? I honestly think the last time I ate in a smoking area was in the 1980s.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

State laws vary widely. Last spring the NH state senate did not pass a law that would have banned smoking in bars and restaurants.

Here is a link that might be useful: Smoking ban defeated

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 12:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm so used to non-smoking as the norm that I would have been shocked, too. I visited a friend in the south a couple of years ago and was reminded of life before no-smoking laws. If a place is full of cigarette smoke, it usually triggers a migraine with me so I can relate to your consternation.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 12:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Chicago no smoking ban doesn't go into effect until 2008. I will only patronize all smoke free restaurants.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 7:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

WOW. In California, there is no smoking in any public establishment anywhere. All restaurants are smoke-free. Defintely write to them - change won't happen unless they know it needs to happen!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 8:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Houston recently went all non-smoking in restaurants and before that there were smoking and non smoking sections. However, bars are exempt, and I recently made the mistake of going to dinner at a restaurant which is also mainly a bar. The bar area was packed to the brim with drinkers and smokers, and the restaurant was relatively empty. They seated us at a table which was almost as far from the bar as you could get but all I could smell was smoke. Yuck. We stayed long enough for me to whine about the smoke and we left.

It's surprising that some cities/states still do not regulate smoking in public places, especially restaurants. It's way past time for that to happen. And generally restaurants do not restrict smoking unless they are required to by law. The way it was explained to me, smokers drink, alcohol is a high profit item, telling people they can't smoke reduces profits. Don't know how true that is.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 11:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I live in Minnesota and it is only recently that non-smoking is more the norm than smoking in public places. Most restaurants always had a non-smoking section but it was always smaller than the smoking section. Now that is changing and many restaurants are completely non-smoking. It is so refreshing. As a non-smoker, my nose is very sensitive to smoke, not to mention that it often brings on a migraine. In the last few years, the Minneapolis, St.Paul area has tried some smoking bans, including bars. As another poster mentioned, smoking and drinking seem to go hand in hand. Counties that adopted the no smoking in bars were really hard hit. Bars that were on the edge of those counties noticed huge increases in patrons as the smokers were going to bars where they could still smoke and drink.
I know it can be a touchy subject, but most smokers have absolutely no idea how much their smoke affects everyone around them. My mother smoked for about 60 years. We had to wash all of our clothing and everything else that was washable after a visit. She could never understand how much it bothered us until she quit smoking herself. I am proud to say that she has not smoked for several years now. Yeah Mom! It was really strange to hear her comment on how much cigarette smoke smelled bad and how she could smell it on people's clothing.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 11:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am very anti-smoking. My father quit in his 40s. My mother quit the day she found out she had terminal metasticized lung cancer. DH (before he was DH) knew I hated smoking, so he hid his habit from me. When I finally discovered it (he was good at hiding it, it took 2 weeks), I made him quit. I was relentless. 10 years later he is very happy I made him quit.

I was just shocked that a restaurant wouldn't have a non-smoking section. Especially a national chain restaurant. If I get a response to my email to them I will post it here.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 12:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In answer to the question about nonsmoking bars having less customers/money, there is a columnist here in Oregon who is trying to get the bars to be smoke-free. (The restuarants are), she sites statistics from California which prove revenue actually went up in nonsmoking bars. It is a myth places will lose money when they become nonsmoking. People are becoming used to nonsmoking restaurants and most people don't smoke.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 4:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

NY has had a no-smoking law in effect for the past few years, NJ's went inot effect this year I believe.

DH and I went to London in '97. There was no no-smoking in any restaurants and people smoked in the train station, everywhere. Loved London, hated the smoke.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 5:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A few years ago, my town (in CA) went all non-smoking in bars (restaurants were already smoke free). There was much lobbying by some of the bars to defeat the measure. Their main argument was the amount of revenue that would be lost if their patrons could no longer smoke while drinking. However, the measure passed and lo and behold, not only did the revenue not decrease, it actually increased in many places, as theresafic stated. It seems that the amount lost to those who quit patronizing the establishment was made up for and in many cases exceeded by the amount brought in by those who had been staying away due to the smoke!

I will also add that there were many places that favored the smoking ban. That much smoke in a working environment is not only a nuisance and potential threat to patrons but a serious hazard to the employees.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 6:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The same thing happened in Boston.

Apparently the NH restaurant trade association did not even fight the bill, but it still didn't pass the Senate. They said it was because it was an issue of "personal choice". It's really taking "Live free or die" a little too far.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 8:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Shouldn't that be "Live free and so die"

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 7:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, if it's a matter of personal choice, more and more people who chose not to smoke will chose not to eat in restaurants in New Hampshire. A lot of restaurants will probably chose to have smoking/non-smoking sections to accommodate all those (summer) people. There's a lot of money at stake.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 7:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


you CRACK me up! "Live free and so die!"


    Bookmark   December 30, 2006 at 11:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My question is, what about the servers that have to work in the smoking section and have no choice. I am a flight attendant and for many years had to gag on peoples smoke in an enclosed airplane.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2006 at 11:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

there was a big battle about this in all the places where smoking bans were passed "except" in bars--those waitresses/bartenders were and are actually being hurt by secondhand smoke. The argument against considering their right to a smoke free environment was phrased as, essentially, "they have the right to work elsewhere, if they can find a job, so they can't be treated as though their right to a smoke free workplace matters."


    Bookmark   December 30, 2006 at 12:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If waitress/bartender is their chosen profession, they don't have much choice. Some people do it for the money, imagine that.
P.S. Christopher Reeve's wife Dana was a lounge singer which is how she contracted lung cancer.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2006 at 12:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

As promsised, here is the response from the restaurant I received. They clearly did not read my email very carefully since I was complaining about the complete lack of a non-smoking area, not smoke from the non-smoking area entering the smoking area.

Thank you for taking the time to share with us your concerns regarding the smoking section at Applebee's. We try to ensure the comfort of all guests by designing our restaurants in compliance with national, state and local requirements for air quality and for separation of smoking and non-smoking areas.

In cities and towns where smoking is allowed, most of our restaurants utilize a built-in smoke filtration system in and around the bar area, in an effort to filter out smoke and smoke odor before it can migrate to the non-smoking areas. The smoking areas in most new restaurants are
designed and tested to have a slightly lower air pressure than the non-smoking areas, thus minimizing air flow from smoking to non-smoking.

In compliance with some air quality codes, the mechanical ventilation system (heating and air conditioning) in many new restaurants creates a complete change of air in the dining rooms every ten minutes, replacing stale air with outside air that has been conditioned to make our guests
comfortable. Where called for by local ordinance, we have installed glass partitions separating smoking and non-smoking areas.

Any time a non-smoking guest is bothered by smoke migrating into the non-smoking area, it should be brought to the attention of the restaurant manager, as it could indicate a problem with the heating/air conditioning or the smoke filtration system.

We value you as a loyal Applebee's consumer and hope future visits exceed your expectations.


Peter Jones
Guest Relations Coordinator

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 1:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Truly a management response.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 8:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Smoking is the reason I don't visit Las Vegas.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 11:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I live in New Hampshire but do not usually go to restaraunts there because of that I go to mass
I went with my mom to a function in NH and forgot about the smoking
my eyes hurt and boy did i stink !!! afterwards
but as a non-smoker I should understand the smokeers point also is what I was told at a bar one time, well my breath and clothes never caused cancer to the person sitting next to me.
and non-smoking areas are a joke, remember when airplanes did this, where did they think non-smoking was when people were smoking, I don't allow smoking in my house so people go outside but then they come back in and sit on my furniture next to me PEEEEEEEEEW!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 9:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Matter of personal choice my arse. If someone is smoking near me, I don't get a choice as to whether or not I breathe in their waste.

SO glad I live in CA on this matter. When we travel outside of the state, I am appalled seeing people smoke in restaurants, near FOOD.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 4:48PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
KitchenAid Mixer - Sea glass or azure blue
I'm having a tough time deciding between the Sea glass...
Sink choice
I'm replacing my double bowl sink with a single bowl...
Here's as close to a reveal as I may ever get... :)
I'm not going to call this a reveal because I am not...
am I being too picky?
Ok, is my perfectionism is out of control..... I bought...
So confused!!
Okay kind people I need assistance as I am overwhelmed...
Susan McGoldrick-Meerdink
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™