Letters to the Editor

Statewide ban

February 23, 2007


To the editor:

The article regarding Chuck Magerl's testimony to the Kansas Legislature against a statewide indoor smoking ordinance is of interest.

In the first year after the ban was passed in July 2004, there were 16 new liquor licenses issued in Lawrence. These businesses ranged from chains to gourmet restaurants.

According to the Kansas Department of Revenue, the general sales tax for the first year after the ban passed was up 3.9 percent and the bar and restaurant sales tax was up 7.3 percent. That was the year we lost to Bucknell and our general March partying was squelched. There were six states at that time with comprehensive smoking bans; now there are 21.

This week's "Business Week" features a cover article regarding tobacco use and health insurance costs, "Since 2000, employment-based health insurance premiums are up 87 percent. Each year, employers pay $8,500 for a family's coverage."

You, my friends, bear the soaring health care costs of the thousands of Kansans who have no health insurance and suffer from smoking-related diseases. Please continue to support our local establishments, but let the bar and restaurant owners (and your legislators) know how you feel about the smoking ban. Health care costs are something we all bear. Smoking ordinances are a worldwide cultural change and Kansas doesn't have to be the last state in the union to join in the movement. We'll be back to the Kansas Legislature next year.

Kathy Bruner, chairwoman of Clean Air Lawrence,



just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 3 months ago

"Has any study been done yet about how much increase if any there has been in lost production due to extra sick time from employees having to go out in the cold to smoke?"

What would be the point?-- you don't get sick from cold weather, unless it involves frostbite or severe hypothermia.

justsomewench 11 years, 3 months ago

"According to the Kansas Department of Revenue, the general sales tax for the first year after the ban passed was up 3.9 percent and the bar and restaurant sales tax was up 7.3 percent. That was the year we lost to Bucknell and our general March partying was squelched."

maybe it's early, but i don't see how either of these points are relevant.

Godot 11 years, 3 months ago

I wonder if Kathy had to file a Freedom of Information Act request and pay $30 an hour to get those figures about bar and restaurant receipts.

jonas 11 years, 3 months ago

"Kathy Bruner, chairwoman of Clean Air Lawrence"

Oh good. An unbiased source!

jonas 11 years, 3 months ago

meatwad, plumberscrack: I, too, derive great benefit from the smoking ban. It's been much easier to quit with it in place. But the fact that I like it, doesn't mean that it's right or fair.

mom_of_three 11 years, 3 months ago

I agree with Pilgrim's comment - Let the business owners decide to be smoking or non and the patrons can decide the rest.

classclown 11 years, 3 months ago

Has any study been done yet about how much increase if any there has been in lost production due to extra sick time from employees having to go out in the cold to smoke?

But then again with the amount of time lost due to people goofing around on the internet all day instead of doing their jobs, perhaps employers don't notice any difference in production when employees are out sick.

imastinker 11 years, 3 months ago

Her facts are interesting, but the economy has been improving - and all restaurants are showing those kinds of increase in sales. The facts aren't relevant.

Let adults decide.

tell_it_like_it_is 11 years, 3 months ago

Posted by Dambudzo (anonymous) on February 23, 2007 at 8:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

What's the death rate for 60 minutes of exposure to second hand smoke once a week?

Once a week is about the number of times people go out to eat

Probably about the same as winning the lottery and then walking outside and getting struck by lightening all in the same hour. They don't like smoke or smokers. It makes them uncomfortable and they are going to use the law to make sure that what they don't like is outlawed. Period.

oldgoof 11 years, 3 months ago

This thread speaks to Darwin and the local gene pool.

yankeelady 11 years, 3 months ago

I also am a former smoker, and I love the ban. I think the folks who want it revoked are backing a loser--too much data on the effects of smoking.

OnlyTheOne 11 years, 3 months ago

Definitely anti-ban! If you don't like cigarette smoke go somewhere smoking isn't allowed! It's that simple. Keep out of other's lives.

janeyb 11 years, 3 months ago

Love the ban. Notice how people smoke with their car windows down and their cigarettes hanging out their car window. Smokers don't even want to breathe their second hand smoke! Restrict it to a person's own property, in their cars with the windows up, and no public places including parks and sidewalks.

Confrontation 11 years, 3 months ago

Hey OnlyTheOne:

Definitely pro-ban! If you do like cigarette smoke go somewhere smoking is allowed! It's that simple. Keep out of other's lives.

Jackalope 11 years, 3 months ago

Have health care costs and mortality rates dropped in Lawrence? Does anyone have the stats on that?

Gary Sandell 11 years, 3 months ago

Maybe this is one thing that this old "conservative person who believes in a person's individual rights" and liberals who still have the common sense to believe that individuals should not have their lives invaded by "big brother" can agree on. Smoking tobacco is still a legal activity, the last time I checked. We have made concessions out the ying-yang for the non-smoker activists and they always want more.
It is one choice that I still have that allows me to do something I enjoy without having to look over my shoulder to see if someone is going to report me for illegal activity! Whether it is a crutch, a curse, an addiction, a dirty habit, etc., it is still my choice and I still have a right to do it. I do not think that I should be restircted from smoking out in the open air. I do not make a point to offend anyone and I go out of my way to be considerate of other people and their choices. I just ask the same consideration from them when it comes to my choices.
You have already made us 2nd class citizens for being smokers. Maybe I don't quit because I don't want someone telling me what I can and cannot do.

LawrenceRes 11 years, 3 months ago

I do believe that the smokers of Lawrence were given a chance to support a smoking establishment; The Men's Lounge (Ladies welcome) and it is already out of business. It seems they chose to go to non-smoking establishments instead of somewhere they could have smoked indoors. Hmmm.......

Tobacco is the only legal consumer product in the United States today that when used as intended by its manufacturer, can kill you. Ponder that!

Bruce Bertsch 11 years, 3 months ago

Consider NYC and the surrounding metro. The entire area banned smoking including bars. The biggest supportersare...Bar owners. Their buildings are cleaner, take less time to clean and take less maintenance. As a bonus, the smoking rate in NYC went down 11% after the ban. The bar owner loses his right to allow smoking when it endangers the health of his employees, ie, constant exposure to second hand smoke. Perhaps we could also follow NYC's example and raise the price of a pack of cigs to $8.00+.

LawrenceRes 11 years, 3 months ago

I'm not a liberal, thank you. Just someone who enjoys not sitting in other people's smoke.

Manufacturers do not intend for you to fall off your ladder.

If someone hits your car and kills you, that person killed you, not your car.

If the lawn mower "gets out of control" and kills someone, that is not the original intent of the manufacturer.

Paint gases, once again, not the intent of the manufacturer.

Bath tubs, their original intent is souly for the purpose of cleansing oneself, not slipping.

Snow shovels do not induce heart attacks. Bad example.

A motorcycle doesn't kill it's user, however the user can be killed while riding a motorcycle.

It seems to me Marion attempted to stray from the subject of the Letter in order to be sarcastic. Never seen that on before. Let's stay on subject, shall we?

Bottom line is that smoking is harmful to the people around you. And it is not outrageous for them to ask that you take it outside. Smoke all you want, I really don't care as long as it doesn't affect my health as well.



LawrenceRes 11 years, 3 months ago

Maybe the smokers should have gone where the smoke is. Way to support a local smoking establishment.

All the smoker has to do is not go where they don't allow smoking.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 11 years, 3 months ago

All a nonsmoker has to do is keep the smoke to themselves. If you can't wait a few hours to get your fix, then alarms should be going off that you have an addiction problem.

The reason she brings up these statistics is lots of people thought bars and restaurants would shut down because of the ban. In reality, I know several people in the Johnson, Leavenworth, Jefferson areas, who drive to Lawrence for a good meal, because of the ban. The biggest problem with the band is the guy who owns Last Call and sued over the ban. He has decided to curse us with his violent clientele, because he can't stand the fact that he lost.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 3 months ago

Oh, please, Dorothy...do you really think smokers don't already know they have an addiction? Do you really think we all needed your wisdom to tell us that?


What are you addicted to? Everyone has their vices, you know.

Can you pass up that Fri. or Sat. night at the bar? Many people can't, you know, think they have to be there every damn week, but they claim they don't have a problem. And yeah, try to tell me how all of the people who go to bars and drink too much are all following the rules about designated drivers, and not getting behind the wheel themselves to get home...yeah.

Do you eat fatty foods? Do you do it even though you know they're not good for you?

Do you still drive that car, even knowing you could be killed anytime whenever you drive (or kill someone else)? And yes, you can be killed by that car (even if no one hits you) during the intended use of that car...which, last time I checked, was simply to get from point A to point B.

Do you still go to those public places wearing tons of perfume, even knowing that the fumes are affecting you and everyone around you?

Do you still enjoy that microwave buttered popcorn every once in awhile, even knowing that people who work in the factories have been injured or killed by the fumes from the butter flavoring?

I don't know which is worse. Someone who has never smoked attempting to tell smoker's what's wrong with them...or the people who used to smoke that suddenly become avengers...

imastinker 11 years, 3 months ago



It's about personal rights. Not of the patron - but the business owner. The patron has no rights, other than to not return if they don't like the restaurant. You people are forcing change through legal means, not because the general public wants it. This is why it's so controversial.

I don't smoke - never have and never will.

Leprechaunking13 11 years, 3 months ago

I think that restaurants should have the smoking ban in their establishment, who wants to taste smokey food that wasn't prepared in a smoker right? However with bars, the bar owner should have the right to decide if he wants smoking in his bar or not. Drinking and smoking go hand and hand and smoke isn't going to affect the taste of alcohol. Bar workers health issues? YOU WORK IN A BAR!!! If are you going to apply to work at a bar you should expect to be working in a smokey environment, you are stupid otherwise. This is just more of the liberals of Lawrence wanting to run the rest of Kansas.

davisnin 11 years, 3 months ago

A-stick, That is just so ridiculous I had to post this to point it out and say that it doesn't warrant a response.

davisnin 11 years, 3 months ago

I'm pretty sure the owner of Freestate must be a neo-con republican fascist if he is anti-ban. The fact that he is ignoring the massive increase in his revenue just so he can make babies smoke and die.

I mean if he were really losing a significant amount of business,

if people were losing their jobs becoming homeless but lung healthy,

I mean,


the Clean Air Lawrence people would back off and say they were wrong...


erod0723 11 years, 3 months ago

I personally think that a statewide smoking ban would be great for this state, but I also believe that it should be not be determined by the legislature, but rather the voters. I think that this issue should be on the ballot for the next major primary or whenever is most efficient and effective for this state. It should be up to the people to decide what they want, not the politicians who are easily corrupted by interest groups.

erod0723 11 years, 3 months ago

I do not know what all you smokers have been smoking, but it has been proven and placed in well acnowledged medical journals that second hand smoke is dangerous and DOES cause cancer. Even if the risk to cause cancer was 1%, would YOU allow smoking in your restaurant (assuming you had 100 customers a night, multiply that by 250 [conservative estimate of nights open] anf that equals 250 customers that could get cancer from open hand smoke.) Even if I am 10 times too high on my estimate, isn't 25 people too many?

Scott Drummond 11 years, 3 months ago

"A-stick, That is just so ridiculous I had to post this to point it out and say that it doesn't warrant a response."

Wow, that's pretty funny!! In response let me just say that your response is so ridiculous that it also merits no response.

Scott Drummond 11 years, 3 months ago

"I do not understand why some folks think that they have the right to tell other folks how to run a business."

It's a little something called living in a society. Business people are told how they can run their businesses all the time, it's called government regulation. Ever heard of the EPA, or OSHA, or the ADA, or payroll laws, or discrimination laws, etc...? It is a necessary, beneficial & welcome restraint on the actions of self interested businessmen & serves the good of society. Much of the last several hundred years of American history is strewn with hideous examples of what happens when the good old American businessman is left unfettered to do whatever he wants to the public without consequence.

This regulation was imposed by a majority of the public via the democratic process. If you dislike it so much, get it changed.

You are arguing against the tide of progressive & enlightened thought, however, so I doubt that will be successful. Second hand smoke is harmful to nonsmokers and is a nuisance. I think regulation of the practice in public places is wholly appropriate. And welcome!! Smoking & smokers are a disgusting and unhealthy lot. I only wish it killed the smokers more quickly so that we would not have to put up with the secondhand effects of their selfish drug addiction.

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