Global Prohibition states, wiki,
(exceptions include most of afrika, Saudi Arabya, Russia, Mongolia, North Korea).
Smoke-easy, wiki data.
Nobody looks like the type who'd rat the bartender out to the health department.
So she pulls out a stack of black plastic ashtrays -- the kind that used to be so prevalent in bars across Washington -- and casually places them in front of her customers, who immediately begin digging out packs of cigarettes.
The bartender tells them, "You shouldn't smoke" and "Don't do it," partly because she just graduated from nursing school and really thinks people shouldn't smoke, and partly because the bar doesn't "officially" endorse smoking.
Then she walks from behind the bar over to the front windows and closes the red velvet curtains.
There's no fanfare, no "smoke 'em if you got 'em." Just a silent signal in the night, followed by the sense of being safe from anti-smokers. Soon virtually all the customers who have been yo-yoing all night -- outside to smoke, then back inside to drink -- are smoking inside, feeling a hint of defiance and nostalgia at the same time.
Almost six months after the nation's toughest statewide smoking ban went into effect in Washington, smoke has virtually disappeared from all bars and restaurants in Seattle.
But in places reminiscent of speakeasies from the Prohibition days, smokers are still finding opportunities to take a drag in between sips of their favorite libations.
Smokers say the locations of smoke-easies are spread by word of mouth and usually involve a swearing of secrecy. In most of the five smoke-easies visited in neighborhoods across Seattle for this story, the transformation from otherwise-law-abiding bar to underground nicotine den happens late in the evening. There is no official witching hour, just the sense that for the most part only the regulars are left.
So how can you tell if there's a non-smoker in the house, the tattooed bartender was asked? She said there's no way to be sure, really. But a red flag would be "if there's a table that's been here for a while, and no one has gone out for a smoke."
Like other employees at smoke-easies, she agreed to talk freely about the practice so long as her name and the name of her place of employment weren't revealed.
Overhearing the conversation, a man sitting at the bar said he works as a bartender in Ballard and the smoke-easy transformation works much the same way there, with the exception of the dramatic curtain-closing. The signal comes when he pulls a jar out from behind the bar and makes an announcement:"State law prohibits smoking in public spaces," he says"
"the Ballard bartender noted that it's too risky to allow smoking in trendy bars like the ones in Belltown. "If you're in the Frontier Room or the Rendezvous," he said, "you can't tell who's going to mind the smoking or not because there's a different crowd there every night."
""This is just the way I relax after working all day," he says. "I can't afford a therapist or a yoga instructor, so I smoke and drink some whiskey.""
Smoking isn't allowed in the bar upstairs, but those in the know walk down the stairs to the basement
"Sometimes the smoke wafts up into the bar upstairs. Someone complains, and they open the windows downstairs. So far nobody's called the health department."
Nine other states -- California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Montana, Rhode Island and Vermont -- also have banned smoking, but none as comprehensively as Washington, where smoking is barred not only in public places but also on the sidewalk within 25 feet of doors and windows if smoke can get inside.
To many bar workers who do not work at smoke-easies, the ban has been a godsend. But with cigarette in hand, this bartender said, "There has to be some personal responsibility. ... If you don't like to be around smoke, don't go to a bar where there's smoke."
"It's sort of like don't ask, don't tell," he said.
Slowly, the law is catching up to the smoke-easies. Thus far, the local health department has only fined two establishments: Brewsky's Bar & Grill in White Center was fined $200 for two separate violations of allowing smoking, and the Rim Rock Steakhouse in Lake City was fined $300 for three violations of allowing smoking. Dozens of other businesses have been issued warnings. - Seattle pi.
"New York city's M2 Ultralounge, one of the largest, most popular nightclubs in Manhattan, is in danger of being shut down by the city for failing to comply with the city's strict smoking ban and, according to health officials, even promoting lighting up inside the club.
According to a New York Times report, the city went to trial with the posh club last week in a special administrative court used for the purpose of seizing property. If the city succeeds in shutting down M2, then it would be the first time a business has been closed for violating the smoking ban, according to the same report.
The city claims undercover inspectors, dressed in hip garb so as to infiltrate the elite M2 nightclub, spotted repeated instances of indoor smoking in the club, including customers smoking cigarettes on the dance floors. According to the report, one inspector claims a bouncer told her she could smoke near a back entrance of the club, while another said he could buy loose cigarettes in the men's bathroom."