Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Media Makes Up Your Mind For You On The PA Smoking Ban

I just read this article from the Tri-State Observer, some dishrag yellow paper published in Pennsylvania. What happened to objectivism in journalism? I think this writer is a little too excited about the fact that 30% of the population of his state just had their constitutional rights spat upon. First of all, there's the title of the page, "It's a Fact! Pennsylvania's New Clean Indoor Air Act" Is an exclamation point necessary here? Really? This person is way too excited before the story even starts.

The first sentence of the article is what I find the most highly objectionable though: "... making Pennsylvania the 33rd state to lawfully protect the public and hospitality workers from secondhand smoke exposure." I would have written this a little differently. How about " ... making Pennsylvania the 33rd state to hide behind a flawed state-level legislative system to illegally rescind the rights of 1/3 of all its citizens to enjoy a legal hobby". See how my I write it with one slant, and the journalist writes it with another? That's called bias, and subjectivism, and just like this writer, it has no place in modern ethical journalism!

I don't want to start a tirade about the appalling lack of journalistic integrity in our media, but come on, this is just piss poor writing. And what about the "quote" they got later on - "The Pike County Tobacco-Free Coalition asked several local restaurateurs how they feel about the smoke-free legislation. The response was unanimously welcoming." Really? What did you do, ask two people who work in the restaurant next door who don't smoke? You're telling me every restaurateur in your area loves it when the state passes a law telling them how to run their business? And did you really use an effective sampling technique when you took that poll? Lazy, sloppy, and disgusting journalism.

I would love to see this paper write about life before the civil rights movement, back when the gov't took rights away from black people, before they targeted smokers. "It's a fact! Negroes ain't welcome here anymore! Pennsylvania is the 33rd state to protect white people from the dangers of bad, nasty, scary black people." That is pretty much the same article they just wrote about us smokers. And you thought it couldn't happen in America?

Article repeated from the Source in case they pull it:

PIKE COUNTY, PA - Governor Ed. Rendell has signed a statewide smoking ban, making Pennsylvania the 33rd state to lawfully protect the public and hospitality workers from secondhand smoke exposure. The smoking ban covers restaurants, office buildings, theaters, arenas, sports facilities, mass transportation, and more.

The Clean Indoor Air Act allows for some conditional exemptions including bars when annual sales of food is equal to or less than 20% of combined gross sales, and a percentage of casino gaming floors.

Governor Rendell advocated such a ban as a way to cut health care costs. In June 2006, the Surgeon General released a report o­n the health consequences of exposure to second-hand smoke, stating that involuntary exposure is a serious public health hazard that can be prevented by making public places completely smoke-free. Exposure to secondhand smoke causes several forms of cancer. Tests have also shown this form of smoke to be particularly dangerous to children.

The Pike County Tobacco-Free Coalition asked several local restaurateurs how they feel about the smoke-free legislation. The response was unanimously welcoming.

The smoking ban will take effect 90 days from the June 13, 2008 signing, with fines for violators ranging from $250 to $1000

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Iowa Lawmaker Says Smoking ban rules overstep legislative intent

From Des Moines, Iowa:

The state’s proposed rules to regulate a statewide smoking ban treats hundreds of bars as restaurants, which means customers won’t be able to smoke in outdoor patio areas, some business owners and a few legislators said today.

"In my mind and in the minds of just about every single legislator I’ve talked with in the past week – and that’s about 20 or so – this is an absolute perversion of the legislative intent. Period," said Rep. McKinley Bailey, a Webster City Democrat.

The state's administrative rules are intended to help clarify and implement laws and spell out details of enforcement. The Legislature's Administrative Rules Review Committee discussed the proposed rules for the smoking ban today.

The Legislature this year approved a ban on smoking in almost all public places, including bars and restaurants, effective July 1. One provision in the law allows bar owners to permit smoking in their outdoor patio areas but prohibits restaurants from allowing outdoor smoking.

The rules, also effective July 1, say that bar food is limited to ice, pre-packaged snacks, popcorn, peanuts and the reheating of commercially prepared foods that do not require assembly, such as frozen pizza.

Under that definition, bars that have a grill and serve a burger, for example, would be considered a restaurant.

The draft rules were recommended by the Iowa Department of Public Health, along with a number of other state agencies, including the attorney general's office and the Department of Inspections and Appeals.

"This is a clear case where a state agency is going beyond the scope of the intended legislation," said Tom Baldwin, owner of Drink, a Clive bar.

Roughly 3 percent of Drink’s sales are from food. But because of the proposed rules, the facility would be considered a restaurant for the purposes of enforcement of the statewide smoking ban, he told the rules committee today.

The Iowa Board of Health is expected to vote on the rules at 2 p.m. today The rules are likely to be put into place by July 1 even though a public comment period will continue through Aug. 6, said Don McCormick, a spokesman for the Department of Public Health.

State officials involved in the rules committee could revise them as a result of public input, even after the July 1 start date, he said.

More information on Iowa Anti-Smoking Laws:

RULES: The rules, including information about the rule-making process and how to send state officials a comment about the law, can be found at

Smoking ban details

PLACES WHERE SMOKING IS BANNED: Bars; restaurants; restaurants' outdoor seating areas; financial institutions; public and private educational facilities; health care provider locations; laundries; schools; public transportation facilities, including buses and taxicabs, and the ticketing, boarding and waiting areas of these facilities; reception areas; aquariums, galleries, libraries and museums; retail food production and marketing establishments; service establishments; retail stores; shopping malls; entertainment venues, including theaters, concert halls, auditoriums and other similar facilities or sports arenas; polling places; convention facilities and meeting rooms; waiting rooms; public buildings and places of public assembly owned, leased or operated by the state; private residences when used as child care facilities or health care provider locations; and child care facilities.

PLACES WHERE SMOKING IS ALLOWED: Outdoor areas of bars; veterans organizations, except at functions where the general public is invited; farm tractors and trucks; fairgrounds; designated areas of National Guard facilities; designated areas of correctional facilities; areas of casino gambling; some hotels; tobacco stores; semiprivate rooms in long-term-care facilities; many outdoor areas that are places of employment; most limousine services; and homes, except those used as child care facilities.

Smoking ban enforcement

FINES: A person caught smoking in a banned area is subject to a $50 fine. Employers or caretakers of public places who fail to enforce the law are subject to a $100 fine for the first offense, $200 for a second offense, and $500 for other violations within one year.

EMPLOYERS: An employer who fires, refuses to employ a worker, or retaliates against an employee who complains about a violation is subject to fines of $2,000 to $10,000.

SIGNS: The proposed rules outline the responsibilities of property owners or government officials to post no-smoking signs.

COMPLAINTS: The state's health department designates each law enforcement department in the state to help with enforcement. A toll-free number will be set up for people to complain about violators. Complaints may also be filed with state officials online at

RULES: Once legislation is signed by the governor it becomes part of the Iowa Code. Some laws require or authorize a state government agency to adopt administrative rules, which are the regulations the agency uses to implement the law.

EXPEDITED: The state's standard rule-making process takes at least 108 days and frequently lasts six months or longer. Because the smoking ban was signed into law by Gov. Chet Culver on April 15 and takes effect July 1, state officials are using an emergency rule-making process.

HEARINGS: The process involves public hearings and public comment periods. State health officials will hold at least five public meetings throughout the state. The public may comment now through Aug. 6. The dates of the public meetings will be posted online at

PUBLIC: Even though the rules may be adopted, public comments made before the Aug. 6 deadline will be considered and could play a part in revisions to the rules. Revisions would probably be made in October.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Bar in Ohio Continues Last Fight for Freedom in America

The owner of Zeno’s Victorian Village, 384 W. Third Ave, a bar in Columbus, Ohio is still fighting to stop the smoking ban. They will be the first bar to challenge the right of the city to enforce the statewide smoking ban at a hearing Wednesday.

From the news story:

Zeno’s first encounter with the city came early on, with an investigation that started a year ago this month and resulted in a warning letter sent in late July. In October, the establishment was fined $100. That fine was paid.

In early December, the city fined Zeno’s $1,000. That’s double the base level for a second fine. The law allows the city to double the fine when inspectors believe the violations are “ intentional,” said John Richter, supervisor for Columbus’ smoke-free program.

The business has not paid that fine and instead requested the administrative hearing to take place Wednesday. A hearing officer will make recommendations to the Board of Health, which will take up the matter at its next meeting.

In the meantime, city started a fourth investigation in March, resulting in yet another fine, this time for $2,000, Richter said.

Each investigation was prompted by a complaint called into the city.

Dick Allen, owner of Zeno’s, could not be reached.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Hackers target pro choice websites

Looks like the anti-smokers are at it again. Long time members of will remember when this site was hacked 2 years ago by some non-smoking zealots, and the site was down for a while. Couldn't stop me for long! We were back up within hours. Looks like they're going after a few groups in the UK now, just rec'd this press release:

The websites of two prominent pro choice organisations campaigning against smoking bans were yesterday targeted by hackers in a "pharming" incident that redirected traffic to the NHS Smokefree website. The DNS poisoning, a high level and sophisticated hacking technique, affected all UK based internet service providers.

Andy Davis, Vice Chairman of Freedom to Choose, one of the affected websites, says: "It appears that Freedom To Choose has annoyed someone high up, it seems they don't want the truth to get out."

Stephanie Stahl, President of Forces International, claims: "To re-direct our UK visitors to an anti-smoking website shows that the antismoking movement must be very nervous about the information our pro-freedom groups provide. Domain names are sacred on the free-spirited information super highway; we trust that those responsible for this serious violation will be identified and held accountable. "

Both groups campaign against government interference in private life and property, maintaining that blanket smoking bans are based on fraudulent scientific claims about passive smoking. According to Andy Davis: "5 out of 6 studies show second hand smoke to be entirely harmless. In the UK the ban is needlessly devastating the hospitality and entertainment industries, yet modern air filtration can remove 99.97% of airborne particles and make indoor air cleaner than outdoor, regardless of smoking."

The hacking incident has been reported to the relevant authorities and is under investigation. In the meantime, both and have restored normal service.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Smoking Ban Increases Accidents 12 Percent

Ban on smoking causes crashes - study

A ban on smoking in American bars has increased the number of accidents apparently caused by drinking and driving.

US jurisdictions with a smoking ban have seen, on average, a nearly 12 percent rise in the number of drink-related accidents at the wheel, researchers say in a paper published in the Journal of Public Economics.

It's based on data from 2000 to 2005, drawn from counties that enforced a ban on smoking in bars during this period and from accident statistics before and after the ban was introduced.

Researchers found that instead of heading to their local bar for a drink and a puff, smokers ventured farther afield in search of a place where lighting up is still allowed

They may not be drinking more than before but they are certainly driving more - and that's what is increasing the risk of a crash.

The study said: "Banning smoking in bars increases the fatal accident risk posed by drunk drivers.

"Our evidence is consistent with two mechanisms -- smokers searching for alternative locations to drink within a locality and smokers driving to nearby jurisdictions that allow smoking in bars."

According figures cited in the report, nearly a one-third of the US population lives in cities, counties or states where there are restrictions on smoking in bars.

Study authors Scott Adams and Chad Cotti of the University of Wisconsin say the increase in drunk driving has to be weighed against "potential positive health impacts" from smoking bans, and this may take years to determine. - Sapa-AFP


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wisconsin Statewide Smoking Ban Snuffed Out in Legislature

WISCONSIN - Hopes for a statewide smoking ban are once again on hold. The Assembly ended its session Wednesday without giving the bill a vote, which means the debate is likely over until 2009.

Appleton's working smoking ban won't be going statewide after lawmakers failed to cast a vote on an issue that's been divisive, especially among bar and restaurant owners.

"I'm disappointed. I think for everybody across the street, on a fairness question, it would be nice to see it on a level playing field," Mark Dougherty of Mark's East Side Restaurant said.

Dougherty supports a statewide ban. He says the local smoking ban has brought in more business to his restaurant.

Still, others say if a tavern doesn't sell food the losses are there.

"I don't think just because I'm hurting my neighbor in another community needs to be hurting also. There has to be some sort of compromise," Brian Striegel of Camelot Bar said

The Wisconsin Tavern League fought for a phase-in period of up to three years for bars. Others felt there should be exemptions for ventilation systems or rooms open only to smokers.

Still, one lawmaker isn't giving up. Representative Steve Wieckert plans to bring back the smoking ban bill next January.

"The bill has to start from ground zero, so to speak, next year," Wieckert said. "It has to be introduced, but we can say it has the support of both committees previous session."

With bans already in Minnesota and Illinois, it's an issue eventually state lawmakers will have to vote on.

"They're just standing in the way of progress here. I think they should take it on instead of putting it off. Wisconsin should lead it a little more," Dougherty expressed.

Article Source

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Smoking Ban Proposed For Renters

Proposed Legislation To Prevent Renters From Smoking In Apartments

March 3, 2008

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA — A new smoking ban is in the works that could make it illegal to smoke in your own apartment.

New legislation is being proposed by democratic senator Alex Padilla of Van Nuys that would allow, not require landlords to ban smoking inside their rental units.

The Rental Association of Sacramento Valley supports the legislation and has already mailed out thousands of informational leaflets to apartment complexes in the Sacramento area.

Cory Koehler Deputy Director of the Renters Housing Association discussed benefits of the legislation, " there's the reduced costs, reduced cleaning cost, reduction of fire danger to the property and really a healthy living environment for other residents."

Some renters like Enrique Rojas disagree with the proposed legislation, " that law doesn't make any sense at this point, I understand bars maybe they should ban it in bars but not in your own apartment. I don't believe that's right."

The smoke-free housing bill has been read in the committee and unlike similar bills that have been proposed in the past, housing experts say this has a better chance of passing because it is not mandated and up to each landlord to ban smoking or not.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Protesters gather to oppose state smoking ban

This article just appeared in the Southern. Hmm, wonder why they didn't bother to do just a little research to learn that the FORCES website is located at, not They even mentioned they tried to do a google search and couldn't find the site. If they did just a little research, like type the phrase " smokers rights" into Google, they would see is the 3rd result (and with a little pat on the back I might mention is the first two results :)

But it doesn't detract from the point of the article, which is to mention the very successful protect that Jon Hemminghaus organized. Kudos to him, a non-smoker, who believes enough in our rights as citizens of a free country, to fight government control and censorship in any form.

Source: The Southern

WEST FRANKFORT - Erik Lind drove all the way from Minneapolis to show his disdain for Illinois' statewide smoking ban.

Jon Hemminghaus, owner of Wounded Rig Fiberglass and Gel Coat Repair in West Frankfort, hosted a protest at noon Saturday against the ban that began in January with stump speeches, greeters in Revolutionary War costumes waving the American flag - and smoking. While the smoking took place outside, Hemminghaus said anyone was welcome to smoke inside his establishment.

"This is the only thing you can do to get noticed," Hemminghaus said. "You can sign a petition and write a letter, but it doesn't do you a bit of good."

Lind, who said he was a contributor to a smokers' rights group called, said he made the drive from Minneapolis because he was inspired by Hemminghaus' willingness to fight for smokers' rights.

"It's a fairly rare opportunity, and I wanted to be a part of it," Lind said. "Maybe it will grow from here."

The protest didn't gain much attention from law enforcement, although Hemminghaus did say some police officers checked on the parking situation earlier.

Hemminghaus carried a cigar with him throughout the protest, despite not being a smoker. He said the protest was more about the government telling people what they can and can't do.

"That flag out there," Hemminghaus said referring to the American Flag. "A lot of people can remember when that stood for freedom."

Hemminghaus thanked people for attending and let others take the stage, including a representative from, which doesn't show up as a Web site in a Google search. The representative encouraged those in attendance to fight the ban and gave examples of reasons to fight the smoking ban, including an allegation that the smoking ban that Mayor Michael Bloomberg enacted in New York City in 2003 forced several casinos to file for bankruptcy. However, according to casino directory, there are no casinos in New York City.

For Hemminghaus, the main purpose for the protest was to let the government know that he won't let the smoking ban inflict peoples' rights.

"Smoking doesn't really affect me," Hemminghaus said. "It's just taking rights away."

Monday, February 25, 2008

Smoking ban unjust, unfair to younger people

This is a great opinion piece by Michael Cannon published in the Middle Tennessee State Univ. paper, Sidelines:

Full Article Source

Governor Bredesen slighted working Tennesseans by restricting our right to light up in public

On Oct. 1, 2007, a dark cloud descended upon the homely town of Murfreesboro, replacing the gray cloud of cigarette smoke that was there before.

We all knew that this day was coming. Although we tried to relegate its existence to some far off future, on that somber fall day we all reckoned with fate as an old man reluctantly resigns himself to the inevitability of death.

This infamous day marked the end of an era: citizens were now prohibited from smoking in all enclosed public places within the State of Tennessee with a few exceptions including private homes, private residences and private motor vehicles unless used for child care or day care, and non-enclosed areas of public places.

With this stunning jargon blitz, the Tennessee state government dragged us one step closer to totalitarianism. We all awoke that day to find that our glorious homeland had undergone a frightful social transformation. The blood-curdling screams emanating from dorm rooms and surrounding restaurants were seared upon our collective memory forever.

The sole vanguard of Southern hospitality and the embodiment of man's aspirations for freedom, Tennessee, had fallen to the dark armies of extremely bored, fundamentalist legislators. These villainous mercenaries have exacted much sadistic pleasure from depriving the Tennessee masses of their inalienable right to self-inflicted health problems.

This act of legislative terrorism was the culmination of a concerted campaign against civil rights and poor people. We were first alerted to the threat during the late '90s and early 2000s, when a wave of smoking bans swept the globe.

However, just as Americans felt safe from the Nazi war machine that enveloped Europe 70 years ago, we too thought we were safe in the South, where we possess a proud tradition of vice, from moonshine to fried foods. This false sense of security gradually withered away however, and was decisively shattered in May of last year with the advent of a 62-cent cigarette tax increase.

This event awoke us to the imminent threat to our civil rights, just as the attacks on Pearl Harbor opened our ancestors' eyes to the menace of fascism. When drafting this Draconian decree, lawmakers were certainly aware that poorer people have much higher rates of smoking than those well above the poverty line. As such, this bill should be viewed as a brazen assault on our state's poor and destitute.

This tax essentially forces many poor folks to choose between satisfying a nicotine addiction or eating lunch that day. Smoking is not like biting your nails. Addiction is a disease and you cannot just instantaneously end the habit. These foul villains are aware of this fact and use it to their advantage.

The revenue from these taxes is being used to fuel Lord Bredesen's nefarious plot to make a more hilarious joke out of our state's public school system. Rather than taxing people who work for living and suffer from a disease, perhaps we should look into levying fees on such oceans of untapped tax revenue such as Brentwood and Belle Meade.

This is unlikely, however, as the aforementioned lawmen tend to cohabitate in these dark lands to the west. Therefore, it is quite logical to conclude that the government's anti-smoking campaign is merely a microcosm of a larger war against working, freedom-loving southern folk carried out by a state government dominated by wealthy white men who have no real sense of what an average person's life is like. This enables them to extort us without conscience.

Despite the glaring injustice of this action, we grudgingly accepted it. We thought the worst was over, but we could not have been more wrong. Only five months later, the blanket ban on smoking would strike fear into the hearts of millions of peaceful Tennesseans.

As citizens are now aware, we can no longer smoke in most public places, including restaurants. These past months, we have all had to deal with the severe psychological stress and separation anxiety that has resulted from losing the right to smoke in Waffle House. Sunday morning hangovers will never again be the same.

This law outlines some truly oppressive restrictions. However, one of the few exceptions to smoking in public buildings is bars and venues. There is a catch though. The bar must become 21 and up only. This aspect of the bill is particularly unsettling for me, as teenagers such as myself now find it much harder to enjoy Murfreesboro's thriving music scene.

Furthermore, once you think about this section of the law for two seconds, the complete stupidity of our "representatives" becomes hilariously clear. Okay, so I am 19 and can legally go buy cigarettes and chain smoke in an enclosed space all day if I so desire. However, I am not allowed to go to a venue where people are smoking in a large room. Through some goofy reasoning, exposure to second smoke from 21-plus people in a bar endangers my health so much more that it necessitates a law. To put it plainly, this makes no sense whatsoever.

Then again, I am kind of a small guy and if some older bar-goer smokes more tobacco than he can handle, he might attack me in a fit of nicotine-induced rage.

This ban on public smoking is also a blatant falsification of historical facts. There is a universal consensus amongst scholars that 20th century French philosophy would have never developed without smoke-filled Paris cafes serving as the breeding ground for movements such as existentialism. So next time you pick up your favorite Albert Camus novel, remember that it would not exist without smoking.

These lines are essentially a call to action for all freedom-loving southerners to band together and defeat the great menace that is corrupting our progressive and advanced society. Phil Bredesen, together with his cohorts, should be removed from office and tried for their crimes against the people.

The only punishment appropriate for this treacherous act is to tar and feather them with nicotine patches on the steps of the capitol building. Only then will justice, democracy and freedom be reborn in our state. The struggle of the smoker is the struggle of humankind and we must preserve to the bitter, cancerous end.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Lawmakers douse all bills that ban smoking in public

RICHMOND, The Virginian-Pilot -- The proposed statewide ban on smoking in many public places, including restaurants, all but died Thursday night when a House subcommittee quickly spiked several smoking bills after an hour of emotional testimony from people on both sides of the issue.

The vote means it's unlikely the Republican-controlled House will entertain the Senate's smoking ban bill, which passed Wednesday. Democrats control the Senate. A statewide smoking ban in restaurants is also a top priority of Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, a Democrat.

The subcommittee of the General Laws Committee also squashed bills to give localities the right to impose their own smoking bans, a blow to cities including Virginia Beach and Norfolk that pushed for the power.

The unanimous action disappointed advocates who said secondhand smoke is dangerous and pleased those who saw the proposed ban as government intrusion into private affairs.

"This gives you some idea how much control lobbyists have," said Del. Algie Howell Jr., D-Norfolk, who sponsored one of the ban bills. "It's unbelievable that a handful of people will decide what's in the best interest of the people of Virginia."

Randy Estenson, owner of Poppa's Pub in Virginia Beach, who said 80 percent of his customers smoke, praised the ruling.

"I'm very happy," he said. "I honestly believe businesses are doing what they need to do on their own."

Delegates who voted against the measure took a similar position.

"It's not up to the government to tell people what to do," said Del. Thomas Gear, R-Hampton, chairman of the General Laws ABC/Gaming subcommittee.

Gear said many of his favorite restaurants in Hampton have decided to ban smoking on their own.

Del. John Cosgrove, R-Chesapeake, who is the only South Hampton Roads lawmaker on the subcommittee, also voted against the bills. Del. Terrie Suit, R-Virginia Beach, who leads the full General Laws Committee, spoke against them.

"The issue has been elevated to the level that so many restaurants have gone smoke free, so it's not longer necessary for the government to do it," Suit said.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

ASH Ireland Creates Smoking Ban to Further Own Existence

Here's a prime example of why the gov't was duped into creating smoking bans by self-interest groups. ASH Ireland is one of those bogus anti-smoking groups who popped up a few years ago to collect tobacco settlement money to prevent smoking. They started getting false scientific claims that second-hand smoke is bad for the public's health (despite massive evidence to the contrary that secondhand smoke is NOT bad for anyone).

So then they convinced the Irish gov't to ban smoking. Now, you may ask, why does this group still exist? Their sole purpose was to ban smoking; they did, but here they are a few years later and they won't go away. They want to self-preserve. So what do they do? Come up with more and more false scientific claims to create ever more restrictive bans on smoking so that they can stay in existence and continue to draw more taxpayer's money into their own pockets.

Their latest claim is that secondhand smoke in cars is worse than smoking indoors. If this was true, why didn't they ban car smoke in the first place? Why rush to ban indoor smoking if it wasn't the worst kind of secondhand smoke? The truth is there is no medical evidence to support the claims of any kind of secondhand smoke danger, so they create it to line their pockets and further their own existence.

It is only a matter of time before the public realizes they are only crying wolf. As more and more indoor smoking bans are being revised and repealed, these groups will have plenty of reason to exist -- hiring lawyers to defend their false claims!

Article from the Irish Examiner follows:

Anti-smoking group, ASH Ireland, said passive smoke in a vehicle is 23 times more toxic than it is in buildings or open spaces.

The group, which successfully lobbied the Government to introduce the work-place tobacco ban, is calling for a ban on smoking in cars carrying children under 16.

ASH chief executive Dr Angie Brown said the workplace ban protects adults from the harmful effects of passive smoking, and it is now time to focus attention on protecting children.

ASH said smoking in cars carrying children has been banned in parts of Australia, Canada and the USA.

Dr Brown said: "In households where parents smoke, children are more likely to suffer from respiratory illnesses. Often it exacerbates a child's asthma.

Research shows that passive smoking might be even more harmful in a confined space like a car, even if the windows are open."

She said: "It will not only have an effect on their health, it also has an effect on their schooling because they might have to miss school if they become ill."

ASH said it would eventually like to see an all-out ban in cars, but the protection of children under 16 is its main priority.

"We would much prefer a total ban on smoking in cars as it is such an unhealthy practice," said Dr Brown.

"Children are unlikely to ask adults to stop smoking, so we must take this important decision out of their hands," she said.

Dr Brown denied that her organisation wants to create a so-called "nanny state".

"An adult can make their own decision whether they want to smoke or not. We have to protect those who can't protect themselves."

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Another smoking ban revised

Looks like Kansas City is the next place to come to it's senses and left a previously restrictive smoking ban. Now they will allow smoking in 25% of public places, and in any bar where only patrons 21 and older attend:

KC Council revises smoking ban

A revised smoking ban becomes effective in Kansas City on March 23.

About two weeks later, in an April 8 special election, Kansas City voters will consider another, different smoking ban.

Previously, it appeared that voters would have to weigh both a petition initiative and the City Council's ballot measure to limit smoking. But on Thursday, the council stubbed out the ballot measure it had approved earlier this month, instead changing the city's existing smoking ordinance.

Now, voters can override the current ordinance with the petitioners' ban.

The city's revised ban excludes generally 25 percent of hotel and motel rooms, tobacco stores, bars and casino gaming floors. Businesses with liquor licenses that admit only people 21 or older can be exempted from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. or closing if they post a sign indicating smoking is allowed.

Establishments with both a restaurant and bar could allow smoking in the bar if it is completely enclosed and separately ventilated.

"What we tried to do ... is if it's an establishment that those under 21 are able to be admitted, then there's a smoking ban," Councilman Ed Ford said Friday. "We tried to be consistent."

The petition initiative would exclude only casino floors and concourses at Truman Sports Complex.

Regarding indoor establishments, the petition initiative would exclude only casino floors.

Ford said there probably would be a "vigorous campaign" to tell voters about the council's action and educate them about the differences between the bans.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Look at other side of smoking ban

This letter to the editor appeared in Chicago's Daily Herald today - thought it was worth repeating:

Look at other side of smoking ban

To the anti-smoking folks writing letters to the media: There seem to be two major themes coming through loud and clear.

First is a patent hatred of people who smoke. These are your friends, relatives, co-workers, employers and employees, not to mention perfect strangers who have done you no harm. Somewhere between 60 and 90 million of us … depending on who is counting.

It takes a special kind of hate and heartlessness to force people from all walks of life, race, economic status, age, disability, etc. out into the cold to smoke. And outdoor smoking areas --no more than three walls mind you -- can't serve drinks, food, entertainment, TV, heat? This is America?

The second notion is that somehow smokers are forcing you to inhale their smoke. Can someone cite one instance where a smoker forced a non-smoker into an establishment that allows (excuse me, allowed) smoking? Maybe it's just me, but if there is something about a place I don't like, I don't go there. What is so difficult about this concept? A cigar bar? Why then Mr. and Ms. Non-smoker, don't go there if it offends you. But rather the attitude of these people seems to be "change the world to suit me". After all, isn't it "all about me"? No compromise? Again, this is America?

The most successful propaganda is based on the theory that the biggest lie repeated often enough sinks into the subconscious. Then, it becomes religion-like.

Spencer Hendron
Lake Barrington

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Virginia Smoking Ban Opposed By Some

Staunton's Depot Grille went to a smoke-free environment 18 months ago, and Manager Erin Smith said the response has been positive.

"A lot of customers wanted it," Smith said Monday.

The restaurant had previously only allowed smoking at its bar.

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine renewed his legislative request Monday for a statewide ban on smoking in Virginia restaurants, including public and private clubs.

The ban would include any area of public or private clubs where food is available and includes the restaurant areas where the food is prepared, served or consumed. The ban would be indoors only.

Kaine, whose proposal was defeated in the General Assembly a year ago, said the health risks associated with secondhand smoke offer convincing evidence for the ban.

"Recognizing the negative health effects and high public costs of secondhand smoke, Virginia must act to protect the workers and consumers in its restaurants," Kaine said.

The Virginia Department of Health estimates that 1,700 deaths a year are caused by secondhand smoke in the commonwealth.

The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids says Virginia spends $124.9 million a year on health-care expenditures related to secondhand smoke exposure.

Smith said the Depot's smoke-free environment attracted employees who wanted to get away from cigarette smoke.

Another Staunton restaurant owner, Jennifer Lynch of the Baja Bean, said operating a bar without smoking would be tricky.

She said such a prohibition could lead to smokers cutting back on cigarette consumption. But it could also affect bar business at her restaurant.

"A lot of people who smoke do so when they drink," she said. Lynch said many of her employees are smokers.

Area legislators don't favor the Kaine bill.

Del. Chris Saxman, R-Staunton, said he prefers a smoke-free environment in a restaurant, but does not think all restaurants should have a smoking ban.

"I don't support a ban on every place. I'm a bigger fan of someone's liberty to smoke," he said.

Saxman said it is a case of government going too far.

"If I don't like something on TV, I don't watch it. I rent the movies and watch the movies I want to," he said.

Both Saxman and Del. Steve Landes said they voted against the legislation a year ago and will do so again.

Landes, R-Weyers Cave, said while many restaurants are voluntarily elminating smoking, they should have the option to allow it.

"If a business wants to cater to smokers, shouldn't they be able to do it?" Landes said.

Gordon Hickey, Kaine's press secretary, said the restaurant industry is already heavily regulated.

And he said none of the 25 states that have already insituted a similar ban on restaurant smoking has repealed it.

"It [smoking ban] has been done quite a lot around the country and no one has regretted or repealed it," he said.