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Stogie News: Golf Course Smoking Bans Spreading

7 May 2009

Spokane, Washington ran into some resistance recently when it’s public officials attempted to expand the city’s already expansive outdoor smoking ban to include municipal golf courses. Only after “an outcry from players and smoking rights advocates” did the city council back off on its attempt to ban cigar smoking on the city golf course. At least for now. Jimenez

Ban advocates on the city council said they’d “wait for people to calm down” before trying to pass the bill again, possibly in a year or so. Apparently they see no connection between the lack of “calm” and their action to sever the longstanding link between golf and cigars.

Many professional golfers, including Rocco Mediate, Davis Love III, and Darren Clarke, are cigar smokers who will take their stogies on the course with them. Spanish golfer Miguel Ángel Jiménez (pictured), winner of 18 professional tournaments, is often seen playing tournaments with a Cohiba.

Amateur golfers are even more likely to light up a cigar, given that, for them, the golf course is simply a place to relax and have fun, not a job. In fact, with it’s open spaces and generally smoke-friendly attitude, the golf course may be the ideal place to smoke a cigar. But that doesn’t mean anti-tobacco advocates aren’t trying to ban smoking on the golf course, and even with some success.

While the Spokane golf course ban failed, such a ban would hardly be unique. Jurisdictions in Hawaii, California, Colorado, Indiana, Texas, and Minnesota have already pushed smoking bans to include the greens, fairways, tee boxes, and bunkers of local golf courses. A public smoking ban that covered Torrey Pines, host to last year’s U.S. Open, meant that spectators were banned from smoking, although golfers were still permitted to smoke.

Patrick Reynolds, the turncoat heir to the R.J. Reynolds tobacco fortune who is now a spokesman for the Foundation for a Smokefree America, stated that the golf course smoking ban was “cutting edge” but “reasonable.” He also told a local reporter that the law would combat litter.

With statements like that, it seems that there is likely to be many more fights over outdoor golf course smoking bans in the coming months and years.

Patrick S

photo credit: Timeinc.net

Drew Estate

6 Responses to “Stogie News: Golf Course Smoking Bans Spreading”

  1. furious Thursday, May 7, 2009 at 8:32 am #

    Soon us lovers of the leaf are going to be completely restricted to our backyards only. And then perhaps our dwellings. And then in covert, underground, and illegal smoking dens akin to speakeasys from Prohibition. What a sad state of affairs in the land of the free.

  2. Thelema Thursday, May 7, 2009 at 9:35 am #

    Look, I hate tobacco. HATE Secondhand Smoke. Not gonna lie. But it seems obvious to me that banning smokng in roofless, open outdoor areas is pointless.

    If Smokers and Non-Smokers are going to get along, there's going to have to be 'some' compromise.

    Let Smokers smoke in roofless areas. Under the open sky. There is no reason to ban smoking in open outdoor areas like parks and golf courses, because no one is being exposed against their will to Secondhand Smoke. Like I said, I don't like smoke. But I don't believe in restricting freedom when no one is being harmed by the activity in question.

    I think allowing smoking in parks and golf courses is a great alternative to allowing people to smoke in building hallways and restaurants. It only makes sense.

  3. CWS Friday, May 8, 2009 at 1:07 am #

    Thelema – out of curiosity – if you hate tobacco, why are you commenting on a cigar site? Why would you even be reading this commentary?

  4. BubbaGene Friday, May 8, 2009 at 2:36 am #

    Slowly they are chipping away at our freedom…

    The gov'mint will be in our houses next, telling us how to live our lives ….. wait.. they already are.

  5. John Ozed Friday, May 8, 2009 at 5:10 am #

    The 'gov'mint' was in our houses already telling consenting adults what they can or cannot do in the privacy of their homes. You really should have spoken up earlier.You take away the rights of one group (even if you don't like said group) what is going to stop them from taking away the rights of others? You need to fight for the rights of everyone, not just your pet group. I am a cigar smoker btw.

  6. Beau Monday, October 4, 2010 at 2:52 am #

    Smoking bans like these have nothing to do with health or litter – it is just a bullying government excercising its power