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Letters to the Editor

Statewide ban

February 23, 2007

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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,

Lawrence

Comments

Pilgrim 7 years, 1 month ago

Posted by scott3460 (anonymous) on February 26, 2007 at 1:17 a.m.

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

It is a necessary, beneficial & welcome restraint on the actions of self interested businessmen & serves the good of society.


That might be all well and good if the alleged danger is unknown and unseen. But walking into or remaining in a business that allows smoking is completely voluntary. So this is another of those "I'm smarter than you so I'm going to protect you from yourself" letter writers. Gee, thanks, but no thanks.

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.


Now there's a progressive and enlightened attitude. But it is based upon a false premise. You don't have to put up with it. You can leave.

Let adults make adult decisions.

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scott3460 7 years, 1 month 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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scott3460 7 years, 1 month 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.

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Marion Lynn 7 years, 2 months ago

Yes, I see that in face of a reasonable and rational questions they have run away to hide under their rocks.

Thanks.

Marion.

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Pilgrim 7 years, 2 months ago

Posted by Marion (Marion Lynn) on February 24, 2007 at 9:40 p.m.

Still NO response from the Nanny-Staters.


Don't hold your breath (pun intended). They're all so much smarter than everybody else, they can't possibly allow adults to make adult decisions. It just wouldn't do to have folks ignoring their elitist paternal condescension.

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Marion Lynn 7 years, 2 months ago

Still NO response from the Nanny-Staters.

Thanks.

Marion.

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Godot 7 years, 2 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.

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Marion Lynn 7 years, 2 months ago

Hmmm....................................................

No reply from the Nany-Staters.

Thanks.

Marion.

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Marion Lynn 7 years, 2 months ago

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

If I choose to open a joint which caters to smokers why do the smoking ban people have the right to tell me that I can't do it?

If the employees CHOOSE to work in a smoking place, the ownership CHOOSES to run a smoking place and the customers CHOOSE to enter the smoking place, whointheHell are these people to tell them that they can't do it?

Do smoking ban people have "special rights" which say to them, "I have the RIGHT to enter your place and I don't like smoke so you have to stop?"

What is up with that?

If you don't want to be around smoke, DON'T GO WHERE THE SMOKE IS!

Thanks.

Marion.

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swan_diver 7 years, 2 months ago

Smokers are a pathetic, pitiable and sorry lot... Their apologists amongst bar and restaurant owners are even worse.

The wave of smoking bans across the western world in the 21st century is one of the best social and political developments our societies have witnessed.

Smokers can and should keep their filthy habit at home -- to their own thrall, and that of their spouses, children and friends.

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oldgoof 7 years, 2 months ago

This thread speaks to Darwin and the local gene pool.

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Dambudzo 7 years, 2 months ago

Since I'm going to die anyway, I choose second hand smoke diluted a million parts per air.

How do you all tight arses choose to die?

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Pilgrim 7 years, 2 months ago

Posted by erod0723 (anonymous) on February 23, 2007 at 6:11 p.m.

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?


Not as long as it is their choice whether to walk into the restaurant, knowing that the ownership allows smoking in there.

Let adults make adult decisions!

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Marion Lynn 7 years, 2 months ago

Well, having been raised on raggedy a**ed old Jaguars, pre-war Buicks and even raggedier Bentleys, I prefer the both arms straight out position much loved by our British counterparts.

Thanks.

Marion.

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Tom Shewmon 7 years, 2 months ago

I'm the first to denounce second hand smoke, but where WILL the gov't stop at controlling everyones lives?

Will we be eventually given a citation for not driving with the '10 til 2' hand position?

Here's a great answer for eating/drinking establishments---even in Lawrence:

BUILD A COUPLE WALLS AND INSTALL SOME FRIGGING SMOKE EATERS!!!

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erod0723 7 years, 2 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?

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Tom Shewmon 7 years, 2 months ago

Agnostick, you are starting to emulate my alarmist, sweeping accusation style-----I love it!!!

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erod0723 7 years, 2 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.

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Pilgrim 7 years, 2 months ago

Posted by Agnostick (anonymous) on February 23, 2007 at 2:30 p.m.

Republicans want everyone to smoke. The grand plan is to:

1) End all abortions, produce as many babies as possible

2) Get these kids smoking in their early teens

3) Let 'em smoke themselves to death, so that corporate HMOs and hospitals can run up big, fat bills.

The Republican Party, and the oligarchs that run it, are out to screw screw SCREW the United States of America into a feudal state, with GOP and TaliBaptist elite serving in the Almighty Kingdum.

Conservatives are bending the American Middle Class over a barrel.


I can't decide who hijacked Agno's profile. Oliver Stone or bozo.

Either way, hyperactive imagination. Delusional, really.

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davisnin 7 years, 2 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,

well,

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

...right?

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davisnin 7 years, 2 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.

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Agnostick 7 years, 2 months ago

Republicans want everyone to smoke. The grand plan is to:

1) End all abortions, produce as many babies as possible

2) Get these kids smoking in their early teens

3) Let 'em smoke themselves to death, so that corporate HMOs and hospitals can run up big, fat bills.

The Republican Party, and the oligarchs that run it, are out to screw screw SCREW the United States of America into a feudal state, with GOP and TaliBaptist elite serving in the Almighty Kingdum.

Conservatives are bending the American Middle Class over a barrel.

Agnostick agnostick@excite.com

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Leprechaunking13 7 years, 2 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.

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Pilgrim 7 years, 2 months ago

Let adults make their own decisions!

(I know, that flies in the face of the People's Republic of Lawrence nanny state, but I don't need protection from myself. I need protection from the nanny state.)

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imastinker 7 years, 2 months ago

IT'S NOT ABOUT BUSINESS!

IT'S NOT ABOUT BUSINESS!

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.

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uhadmeatsmellthis 7 years, 2 months ago

I wonder if they'll ever make special accomodations for handicapped people to smoke indoors, you know because of their limited mobility?

I saw a guy parking his car in the handicap spot at the store the other day and was smoking and hacking and coughing and spitting up bloody lugies on the pavement and I nearly hurled.

It's one crazy bunch we've turned into.

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Marion Lynn 7 years, 2 months ago

Well. Iused to be good for $150-200 as week in business lunches, dinners and my own consumption; all spent in Lawrence.

I now RARELY spend a dime in any of the joints, restaurants or coffee houses here.

I meet my business associates in Westport, JOCO or The Legends and there are hundreds of people like myself who are taking their business elsewhere because of the smoking ban.

Thanks.

Marion.

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uhadmeatsmellthis 7 years, 2 months ago

One time in a movie, I saw a guy take one of those things that businesses have like a spike on a board that you place completed tickets on and impaled a guy in the forehead, and ever since, I shutter when I see one of those things on a counter----maybe they need to be looked at by the federal government.

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Linda Endicott 7 years, 2 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?

Duhh...

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...

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 years, 2 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.

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LawrenceRes 7 years, 2 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.

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Marion Lynn 7 years, 2 months ago

All a non-smoker has to do is not go where the smoke is.

Thanks.

Marion.

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LawrenceRes 7 years, 2 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.

Thanks.

LawrenceRes.

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uhadmeatsmellthis 7 years, 2 months ago

Cars, motorcycles, farm machinery, boats and anything like it are pretty darned dangerous too....how many people a year die in a car wreck?

When will the government step in to protect us from dying in car wrecks?

The government needs to do more protecting of Americans from themselves, even if taxes must be raised considerably. Aren't there enough rich folks who have way too much money and tromp on everyone else? Maybe they can afford to stay safe, but the average "Joe" needs some extra help getting through life.

Americans are exposed to many risks every day. The governemnt needs to address them and I don't know if they can stop all the needless deaths.

Well, allowing abortion is a different type of death, so they should allow that to continue I suppose.

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Dambudzo 7 years, 2 months ago

Next they will ban "dutch ovens".

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Bruce Bertsch 7 years, 2 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+.

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uhadmeatsmellthis 7 years, 2 months ago

Also, tampons killed women back in the 70's and 80's.....which again flies in the "use as intended" rule.

Tragic.

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Marion Lynn 7 years, 2 months ago

LawrenceRes wrote:

"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!"

Marion writes:

Typical liberal BS lie!

Included in the list of things which can kill you even when properly used:

(1) Ladders; you can fall off.

(2) Automobiles; someone else can hit your car and kill you.

(3) Lawnmowers which can and do occasionally get out of control and kill peopole.

(4) Paint, which occasionally gases out and kills people.

(5) Bath tubs in which people slip and fall, much to their detriment.

(6) Snow shovlels, the use of which is reknowned for inducing heart attacks in users.

(7) Motorcycles which kill users left right and center even when properly used.

And the list goes on.

Thanks.

Marion.

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uhadmeatsmellthis 7 years, 2 months ago

What if you slip on some ice going out of doors to smoke and break a bone, or worse yet, crush your skull in? Wouldn't that be grounds to sue your employer or the state or even this Bruner lady? Think of the cost and long term effects about that.

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LawrenceRes 7 years, 2 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!

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hawkperchedatriverfront 7 years, 2 months ago

The "hawk" has stopped eating out at most places in Lawrence because they are plain nasty outside with the cigharette butts. It is surprising that the City commissioners and the Downtown Lawrence Inc. havn't figured out that the filth outside businesses is yet another reason downtown is in the dumps.

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Gary Sandell 7 years, 2 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.

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Jackalope 7 years, 2 months ago

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

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Confrontation 7 years, 2 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.

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janeyb 7 years, 2 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.

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OnlyTheOne 7 years, 2 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.

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Dambudzo 7 years, 2 months ago

Liberals are all for "science" when it comes to their issues like global warming and evolution.

But "lacking the science" behind once a week, 60 minute exposure to whispy second hand smoke that has drifted 30 feet across a room is inconsequential.

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yankeelady 7 years, 2 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.

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tell_it_like_it_is 7 years, 2 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.

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imastinker 7 years, 2 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.

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mom_of_three 7 years, 2 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.

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Dambudzo 7 years, 2 months ago

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.

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justsomewench 7 years, 2 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.

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Marion Lynn 7 years, 2 months ago

Nothing like LEGISLATED "CULTURAL CHANGE"!

Thanks.

Marion.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 2 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.

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jonas 7 years, 2 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.

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jonas 7 years, 2 months ago

"Kathy Bruner, chairwoman of Clean Air Lawrence"

Oh good. An unbiased source!

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classclown 7 years, 2 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.

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Pilgrim 7 years, 2 months ago

"We'll be back to the Kansas Legislature next year."


Oh, now we're issuing threats, are we, Kathy?

You still should allow adults to make adult decisions. Let business owners designate their establishments as either smoking or non-smoking, then let the public decide which ones it will patronize.

Why are you so afraid of letting adults make their own decisions? Because you think you're smarter than everybody else? Hmmmmmmm?

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Meatwad 7 years, 2 months ago

I LOVE LOVE LOVE THE SMOKING BAN!!

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