Hello all. I am a fifty year old smoker, (smoking since I was 14). The last thing I want to do is offend or hurt anyone, so I find out the policy of the restaurant as far as smoking before I am seated. I live in Virginia, a tobacco state, but so many places have become non-smoking in the last 15 years. At first, it made me mad and I quit eating at those places. In time I matured and figured that the world did not revolve around my habits. I also like a mixed drink or beer before a evening meal and after. I cannot drink without a cig, so I only go where smoking is allowed when it is a social event, rather than to eat just to fill my belly. So I plan my social nights with that in mind. It actually makes the experience more special when I have to plan it rather than just hopping in the car and finding a place. I guess if I were in an area that totally banned smoking I would have to become a better cook than I am.
It is also a sorrow when we use arguments pitting heavy people vs. smokers vs. peta people vs. conservatives vs. liberals vs. etc. etc.. Life is too short, and joy is too rare. Debate adds a spice to the flavor of life, but too much salt or too little can ruin the best meal. I hope that makes sense. In the end, love of or for, not power over, is the answer.
A good alternate is one I found at Bravo’s in Harrisonburg, Va.. It is an excellent Italian restaurant where smokers eat outside in a cafe setting. It is more romantic and social than inside where people sit in booths or tables. I have met more interesting people and felt freer to engage in conversation in the open air than inside where people guard their personal space. Unfortunately, it is too cold from November to March to eat outside.