John Thies—Athlete and Bouncer

John Thies 

John Thies is a track and field player who works for Campus or Big 12, which us old timers like to call the bar and restaurant.

Here is how our interview went:

John: My name is John and I work at Big Tweezie.

Me: Did you work there before the smoking ban took place? And do you still work there?

John: Yes, on and off. I started in August of 2006 and then had to quit because of baseball, but started back up this year in August this year and have been working ever since.

Me: So like a little over a year?

John: Yes.

Me: You mentioned you played baseball. Do you still play baseball?

John: Um no, I played baseball here at the University of Missouri for two years and I transferred over to track and field and I throw the javelin

Me: Okay, before the smoking ban, did you feel it was harder being an athlete and being around smoke for you to work out and perform like you were expected too?

John: Ah, yeah it has been difficult I have always been around secondhand smoke. My parents smoke and then when I moved out it was the first time I hadn’t been around smoke and it got better. Since I am a bar junky I could tell my performance lowered a little bit. I could tell mostly with my running. It was harder to breathe because of the effects nicotine had on me.

Me: Since the ban have you appreciated the non-smoking in public places or does it really matter to you?

John: Yes. You can definitely tell the difference like it’s really noticeable because for one you can wear the same clothes twice to a bar in two different nights because you don’t smell like an ashtray, but ah it’s most appreciate able when you go to a different town that doesn’t have the smoking ban and you walk in and they ask you smoking or non-smoking and you are sitting in a non-smoking section eating this tasty cheese hamburger when all of a sudden you get a big whiff of cigarette smoke and you want to throw up for a second. I mean it’s definitely much cleaner like less bar scene and more social because you don’t reek of a pack of Marlboros.

Me: So do you think it should be up to the local government to ban smoking or do you think the owners should have the say in how to run their businesses?

John: Ah well, if you think about it businesses are government ran through taxes and such, but ah. I have talked to a couple of bar owners, but um I have asked them how the smoking ban has affected their business and not a single person said that the smoking ban affected their business um yeah, you kind of have to let the government control the bars because if you let the bars control themselves than the bars kind of becomes a monopoly a little bit. By the government doing it it becomes a city local election supposably all the little people have a say in what’s going on in the voting system and if that’s how it is then that’s what the city wants and if the city appreciates the non-smoking ban then the government is going to continue issuing the non-smoking ban. It doesn’t seem like it’s been a big a issues for an individual to go outside and down there cigarette and actually I have heard that it has helped individuals to quit smoking because they can’t go out to there favorite place anymore to smoke um so I feel like the government can’t operate without businesses and businesses can’t operate without government.

Me: So do you think it is fair for the smokers to have to give up their right to smoke in public places because of the government’s decision?

John: Well, you are kind of asking the wrong person because I have a strong feeling about smoking, but I don’t think that the smokers have a right because what they are doing is influencing everyone around them it’s not just affecting them. There’s more affected by one person smoking a cigarette you know and like 10 people affected by that one person. I do not feel like smokers should have any rights, but if you are looking at it in a neutral aspect yeah you are taking the right away from that person. This is supposably America were you can quote “live the freely and do what you want,” but as far as health concerns then why do we put filters on business factories who pump out tons of chemicals into the air because it affects everyone else. One cigarette affects everyone else around it and I don’t think smokers see that. So yeah it takes away that power and rights of that individual to make their decisions, but it is the power of everyone else saying we don’t want you to kill us just because you are going to do this in our environment you know, so it’s kind of like a populated decision, but I don’t think it’s going to affect the bars either way. I hope that it continues I could care less about what smokers say.

Me: So does the smoking influence you on whether or not you go out more often than others? Like say in other cities that do not

have the smoke free public places?

John: Yeah because when you leave you just feel groody.  Your skin feels disgusting, your clothes, and your hair everything smells. You notice a difference in how you are breathing, how you are talking, your sinuses it affects everything it not just one aspects of anything it’s the whole picture effected by the smoking environment. It doesn’t stop me from going out, but it just makes me hate going out. I’m still going to go out I’m just going to bitch about the smoking environment.

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