On September 20, Salt Lake City vegan restaurateur Alex Jamison used a fire extinguisher to put out a man's cigarette, after the smoker (Jon Bird) refused to move away from his outdoor dining area, despite being asked several times to do so. Bird taunted Jamison to spray him, and the restaurant owner complied. [See the encounter in the video after the jump.]
Honestly, both antagonists in this incident don't come off very well. Bird was an obstinate asshole, but Jamison did overreact. However! Coming from the perspective of someone whose loathing of cigarette smoke rivals anyone's on the planet, this was hugely satisfying to watch. Many smokers clearly don't give a fuck that they're loosing toxins into your nostrils. I've often dreamed of extinguishing cigarettes with a Super Soaker at outdoor music festivals. (Don't lecture me about "smokers' rights." You don't have carte blanche to inflict carcinogens on the public. Kindly keep non-smokers out of your slow-motion-suicide routine.)
In a statement, Jamison apologized. "I’m not proud of my behavior, I let myself get egged on and I overreacted. I’m a protective small business owner who has asked hundreds of people not to smoke near our patio in the interest of our customers and our neighbors’ customer.
"I try to be respectful and generally always get good responses. I asked him multiple times during the day to please go to the designated smoking area but should not have reacted to feeling disrespected. I certainly owe the other person involved an apology and would like to make it right with him however I need to. I did not mean to cause him any harm. Our business is committed to fighting for animal rights and this must include other people. I’m sorry." Bird says that he has suffered headaches and shortness of breath since the attack, and he is taking legal action against Jamison.