Archive for Thursday, January 18, 2007

Statewide smoking proposal raises ire

January 18, 2007


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— Lawrence bar and restaurant owners Wednesday brought their dissatisfaction with a Lawrence indoor smoking ban to the Capitol to fight against a proposed statewide ban.

"I believe government has no role in accommodating personal preferences at the expense of private business," Chuck Magerl, owner of Free State Brewery, told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The committee is considering Senate Bill 37, which would prohibit smoking in public, indoor areas.

Magerl said if the state believes secondhand smoke is devastating to nonsmokers, then it should "have the courage to ban the sale of tobacco in Kansas."

Several other Lawrence businessmen wrote letters to the committee telling them that the 2 1/2-year-old Lawrence ban has hurt their establishments.

Tom Conroy, owner of Conroy's Pub, said that since the smoking ban went into effect, he has had to cut his work force from 27 to 13 because of a loss of business.

"A smoking ban, in my experience, is bad for business," Conroy wrote.

But proponents of the Lawrence smoking ban and numerous health officials testified in favor of the measure.

Kathy Bruner, chairwoman of Clean Air Lawrence, said Lawrence residents consider the smoking ban the norm.

"They only comment when they go outside of the city and have to endure the smoking environment of the uninformed and the unfortunate," she said.

Dr. Howard Rodenberg, state director of health, urged the committee to approve the bill, saying it would save lives and also influence others to quit smoking or not start.

The committee took no action on the bill.


Richard Heckler 11 years, 3 months ago

Should the non smokers not go out business would definitely be affected. Business owners had several decades to create a real non smoking section and failed to do so. There are several statewide smoking bans including Nevada.

Smokers have had their 100 years now it's the non smokers turn.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 3 months ago

I don't understand this whole bar thing that so many of the rabid non-smokers keep talking about.

You can put up with smoke if it's in a bar, but not in a restaurant? Why?

Maybe because you know your trip to that bar wasn't the healthiest choice you ever made, either, so you shouldn't be ragging on the smokers for their choices while you're there?

I think personally it would be funny if the police would set up a patrol outside bars at closing time. Then they could just follow people to their cars and arrest them as soon as they start the engine.

How do they think most of those bar patrons are getting home? Taxis? Get real...

But that's not a health hazard, apparently.

budwhysir 11 years, 3 months ago

First of all, didnt we read an article about this already, and next what is the last word supposed to be?

Seems like the old printing press may have been on the fritz. Im thinking it could be:


Linda Endicott 11 years, 3 months ago

Having a statewide smoking ban isn't going to "encourage people to quit"...

It's just going to p*ss them off.

nekansan 11 years, 3 months ago

Again I question why, if the ban is so damaging to Lawrence business, they would fight to prevent a statewide law that would require the rest of the state to live by the same law. I'd wager that many businesses have seen an increase in sales and they would loose the exclusive benefit of smoke free dining while placing the "blame" on the policy on the government. Do we all really believe that these business owners scream about the profits one moment then lobby the legislature in ways that would further hurt their profits?

cowboy 11 years, 3 months ago

latest figures i saw were that 21% of adults smoke and its dropping about 1 % a year.

let 20% of the bars in town have smoking and see whose business grows .

KS 11 years, 3 months ago

choffman - I totally agree with you/ I do not smoke either. I am an ex-smoker. Would NEVER take it up again, but as I have said, as long as it is a legal product, the business owners should have the right to allow it or not.

I do get out a lot. More than I should. Hard to diet when one eats out a lot. What I really don't like about this is that there seems to be "NO" compromise. It's their way or the highway. Many communities have reach compromises of no smoking in restaurants, but it is okay in bars (some after 9 pm).

I was under the impression that one of the local bar owners had filed a law suit which was to be reviewed by the Kansas Supreme Court. If that is still on the docket of the court, I would think that would satisfy the issue one way or another?

The point I was trying to make is that this is about the third day in a row that the LJW has set us all up for postings on this same subject. You and I are not going to finalized this policy. Let the courts decide.

KS 11 years, 3 months ago

I think we chewed this up and spit it out yesterday. Time for a new article.

Richard Heckler 11 years, 3 months ago

Had we grown up with no smoking in all public places we might have the same feelings if smokers were wanting to change that.

Some landlords do not permit smoking probaly for insurance and due to smoke residue being a bitch to clean off cuz it goes everywhere. Perhaps that yellowish brown color is not in their color scheme.

jafs 11 years, 3 months ago

As a liberal with somewhat libertarian leanings regarding "victimless crimes" who supports legalizing drugs, prostitution, etc. and who also supports the smoking ban I'd like to try to articulate how that can be.

Any behavior which only harms oneself should be legal. Behavior between consenting adults should be legal. Behavior which harms others without their consent should be regulated.

For example, it's legal to drink, but not to drive while under the influence. Why? Because driving drunk increases the chances of harming another. We don't wait until the drunk driver has killed someone - we try to prevent that.

In the same way, subjecting others to second-hand smoke increases the chances of their health being affected.

If all drugs were legal, we wouldn't want people to operate heavy machinery while stoned, etc.

The idea is to allow personal freedom and create good public policy at the same time.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 3 months ago

"most people can deal with smoke in a bar because that's expected, along with the smell of booze, stinkin drunk people, vomit, and urine."

At one time, smoking in restaurants, or almost anywhere else, was expected, too.

So your need for booze makes you able to overcome all of that? must really like the stuff.

No, I don't drink anymore. Yes, I used to. Too much. I quit.

See what a b*tch people can be who used to be addicted to something and then quit can be?

Well, that was the intent of the law, jafs, but it doesn't stop people from drinking and driving. They still do it, and they still wipe out whole families at one time.

Maybe if they changed the law so that you'd have to take a taxi to get TO the bar, it would stop some of that.

Honestly, if you go to a bar you intend to drink, and a lot of people evidently don't realize how little alcohol it takes to impair your driving. Why do they allow people to drive their own cars to a bar, when they surely know most of them will be driving them home again?

Richard Heckler 11 years, 3 months ago


Medical and scientific basis for bans

Research has generated scientific evidence that secondhand smoke causes the same problems as direct smoking, including lung cancer, cardiovascular disease and lung ailments such as COPD, bronchitis and asthma. Specifically, meta-analyses have shown lifelong non-smokers with partners who smoke in the home have been shown to have a 20-30% greater risk of lung cancer, and those exposed to cigarette smoke in the workplace have an increased risk of 16-19%.

A study issued in 2002 by the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization concluded that nonsmokers are exposed to the same carcinogens as active smokers. Sidestream smoke contains more than 4000 chemicals, including 69 known carcinogens such as formaldehyde, lead, arsenic, benzene, and radioactive polonium 210 , and several well-established carcinogens have been shown by the tobacco companies' own research to be present at higher concentrations in sidestream smoke than in mainstream smoke.

Air quality Bans on smoking in bars and restaurants can substantially improve the air quality in such establishments. For example, one study listed on the website of the CDC (Center for Disease Control) states that New York's statewide law to eliminate smoking in enclosed workplaces and public places substantially reduced RSP (respirable suspended particles) levels in western New York hospitality venues. RSP levels were reduced in every venue that permitted smoking before the law was implemented, including venues in which only secondhand smoke from an adjacent room was observed at baseline. The CDC concluded that their results were similar to other studies which also showed substantially improved indoor air quality after smoking bans.

A 2004 study showed that in New Jersey (which had not yet enacted its ban), bars and restaurants had more than nine times the levels of indoor air pollution of neighboring New York City, which had enacted its ban.

Research has also shown that improved air quality translates to decreased toxin exposure among employees. For example, among employees of the Norwegian establishments that enacted smoking bans, tests showed improved (decreased) levels of nicotine in the urine of both smoking and non-smoking workers (as compared with measurements prior to the ban).

In the later part of the 20th century, as research studies on the health risks of second hand tobacco smoke were made public, the tobacco industry launched "courtesy awareness" campaigns. Fearful of revenue losses, the industry created a media and legislative program that focused on "accommodation."

whiskeysour 11 years, 3 months ago

The solution is simple, have establishments either decide to be smoking, or non-smoking and eliminate seperate sections. That way an establishment can decide based on clientele, and people can decide what sort of experience they want. If they don't care about second hand smoke, its their decision to expose themselves to it. If they do, then they know how to avoid it. Also, owner's cannot say that it hurts their business, because all are still welcome.

budwhysir 11 years, 3 months ago

Man if I complained about all the stuff I see that drives me crazy, no one would listen to me. Its amazing how when something becomes a political issue, the supporters and objectors come out of the woodwork.

I think we should ban political arguments, then maybe we could argue about having nothing to argue about. At least for a while then we could argue about being tired of arguing about arguments and this would solve the problem

Linda Endicott 11 years, 3 months ago

Nah. Someone would be sure to figure out a way to argue about the best way to not argue.

budwhysir 11 years, 3 months ago

Crazy, I agree that one would argue the best way not to argue but I can also argue that you have a point.

Politicaly speaking arguments are like opinions, everyone has one and now adays they feel like they must share it with everyone else.

Richard Heckler 11 years, 3 months ago

Nicotine content rising. Tobacco companies are like the heroin dealer who does not use heroin:

Angie Dick 11 years, 3 months ago

Here's a thought?? Leave it up to the owners of the establishment wheather they allow smoking or not?? geez last I Knew this was american.. Land of the free.. Take away cigerettes but allow pot and guns?? gee sounds like a plan to me.. WRONG!! This is just so stupid.. Law makers got it all bass ackwords, if you ask me?? You take away someone's cigerettes but allow them to have pot and a gun?? You thought you were worried about second hand smoke?? You'd have idot's running around like loons.. I think I'd stick to the cigerettes if you ask me??

budwhysir 11 years, 3 months ago

I agree with the old saying:


Sounds like a HOT topic here on this smoking band

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