No smoking

The new “smoking ban”:,1,161125.story?coll=chi-news-hed (hooray!) includes an interesting performance-based exception that I hadn’t seen before: “if a restaurant bar or tavern can show it has installed air purification equipment that ensures the same air quality inside as outside, it will be granted a permanent exemption from the smoking ban.”

Well, if the goal is to ensure indoor air quality, I suppose that regulating the actual air quality rather than how you get there (banning smoking, purifying air) gives the same result.

What’s most remarkable about this, of course, is that the mayor largely stayed outside the entire debate. City Council hasn’t had a good floor fight in years, since most legislation (including, in the end, the smoking ban) sees the arms twisted behind the scenes. But this time, we got real politics.

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