Advertisement

Archive for Saturday, June 23, 2007

City’s smoking ban upheld

Opinion suggests Lawrence has legal authority to make law stricter

June 23, 2007

Advertisement

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled in favor of Lawrence's smoking ban and against nightclub owner Dennis Steffes, who had challenged the constitutionality of the ban. The ban, which has been in effect since July 2004, prohibits smoking inside businesses to protect the health of residents. Pictured is a resident smoking a cigar outdoors.

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled in favor of Lawrence's smoking ban and against nightclub owner Dennis Steffes, who had challenged the constitutionality of the ban. The ban, which has been in effect since July 2004, prohibits smoking inside businesses to protect the health of residents. Pictured is a resident smoking a cigar outdoors.

Kansas Supreme Court snuffs out smoking ban challenge

Those on either side of the ban finally agree on something - the significance of today's decision upholding the ban. But the two sides certainly don't see eye-to-eye on the long-term implications for Lawrence or the rest of the state. Enlarge video

The Kansas Supreme Court once and for all extinguished the debate over the constitutionality of Lawrence's smoking ban: It's legal, justices ruled Friday.

And it wasn't even close. The state's highest court squashed a challenge from Lawrence nightclub owner Dennis Steffes like a Marlboro in an ashtray. The court sided with the city on every argument made in the case.

"We conclude : the Legislature has invited cities to regulate smoking in public places to the maximum extent possible," the court wrote in its opinion.

In other words, Lawrence doesn't need to make any changes to its nearly three-year-old law that prohibits smoking in nearly all indoor workplaces. The city also has the legal authority to make the ban stricter, the opinion suggests.

"I'm elated," said Kathy Bruner, who helped organize public support to create the Lawrence ban. "This was the decision we had hoped for. The wonderful thing about it is that it sets a floor, not a ceiling."

That's the most troubling part about the ruling for Steffes, who owns the nightclubs Last Call and Coyotes. He said he fears the ruling will embolden local governments across the state to become more intrusive on the practices of private businesses.

"This is a very dangerous day for free enterprise," Steffes said. "Very dangerous."

Steffes acknowledged that the court's ruling - which he said he respects - ends the legal challenge to the ban's constitutionally. But he said he will be watching the city to see how the ban is enforced and whether the city begins enacting other laws that threaten the rights of business owners. He said his unsuccessful challenge has done nothing to dissuade him from challenging the city in the future.

"Depending on what the city does from here on out will determine whether we can stop all this, or whether it is just beginning," Steffes said.

City leaders said they were pleased with the ruling. Toni Wheeler, the city's director of legal services who argued the case before the court, said the case was being closely watched by other Kansas cities. The case was viewed as a precedent-setter in how far cities could go in establishing smoking bans.

Bruner said she hoped the disposition of the case would allow efforts to begin in earnest on a statewide smoking ban.

Steffes, who is a nonsmoker, said a statewide smoking ban may be an issue he ultimately lobbies for. He said that may be the best way to level the playing field for Lawrence businesses. He said his business' sales are down by 40 percent since the ban was enacted, and he believes some of his customers are going to nearby communities that do not ban smoking.

"What we really need is a smokeless society," Steffes said. "But I don't like living in a town where you can legally sell something but you can't use it. If it is bad for you to smoke inside my building, it is bad for you outside my building, too."

Reaction to the ruling among Lawrence residents was mixed Friday. Brett Baugh was smoking a cigarette outside a downtown restaurant. He said he was hoping the court would allow bars and other over-21 establishments to allow smoking if they chose. But he also said he was learning to live with the ban.

"It is still a huge pain to go outside and smoke in the winter when it is how many ever degrees below zero," Baugh said. "But most of the time, smoking outside is fine."

Paul Holmes was with his grandson, Grant, sharing an ice cream cone Friday. He saw nothing but positives from the ruling.

"I think it is excellent news," Holmes said. "The concept just makes all kinds of sense to me."

Bruner said she will be interested to see whether other Kansas cities use the ruling to create even stricter smoking bans, such as banning smoking on business patios or other outdoor areas. She said she could see the day where such bans would be the norm, but she doesn't plan on pushing for it in Lawrence anytime soon. There's also been no such talk in City Hall.

"I think the people in Lawrence are ready to put this behind them," Bruner said.

Comments

monkeyhawk 6 years, 1 month ago

"How long before we have "Louise's Follies"?

"Hot Nights At The Harbour"?

"Tittilation At Teller's"?"

Why even bother? Just go to the Legends where they accept everyone's money.

0

blue73harley 6 years, 1 month ago

The LJW is doing more time travel than a modified DeLorean.

0

KsTwister 6 years, 1 month ago

Next it will how many vehicles and children you can have. Big brother is on a roll.

0

Pilgrim 6 years, 1 month ago

And the nanny state marches on. Sieg heil!

0

Marion Lynn 6 years, 1 month ago

Oh, poor snap, the furry, just can't handle things well.

And "Sodomite"?

Oh, my; let's not even go there!

That little fellow detests it when people obey the law as they are doing in Minnnesota. In Lawrence, the ban was upheld by the Supreme Court in Kansas, thus confirming that the so-called "acting" exemption, which is included in the Lawrence ban, is 100% legal.

How long before we have "Louise's Follies"?

"Hot Nights At The Harbour"?

"Tittilation At Teller's"?

What I really see here is big-government "liberals" squriming as though they are being held by their noses while being kicked in their kiesters!

Or having their little tails twisted, as it were!

heh, heh

I do so love it when folks obey laws exactly as "liberals" have written them!

0

Flap Doodle 6 years, 1 month ago

snap writes:

Celebrating with Spam, nick danger, outingbulkerbiz, swampfox1951?

BTW,

still

having

a

wonderful

un-outed

internet

life

despite

the

threats

of

grumpy

old

men

.

0

Sodomite 6 years, 1 month ago

I see marion eats tater tots while lapping up the lies and twisted BS from foxnews.

0

Marion Lynn 6 years, 1 month ago

And for 10,001 I will post this link to how bars are now getting around smoking bans and Lawrence has exactly the same exemption in its ban!

I love it!

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,335771,00.html

0

blackwalnut 6 years, 9 months ago

Marlboro_Man2 says: -So let's get this right. Smoking in a place that sells tobacco is okay because it's less dangerous? You statement alone should be proof of how this "ordinance" is all B.S.! Why should they be omitted from the ban?

My God, is this so hard? The whole reason for the smoking ban is not to protect smokers. It is to protect the general public from the second-smoke of smokers. A place that sells a certain percentage of tobacco is presumed to be a specialty business that is for smokers! No one else would have any reason to go there, hence nobody would be forced to breathe the second-hand smoke.

0

Eride 6 years, 9 months ago

"Marion Lynn Marion (Marion Lynn) says: Eride: You are a halfwit.

Just when I begin to think you might have something to say that might be worth reading, you start in with the name-calling.

Grow up. What is wrong with you people?"

Once Marion loses an argument he goes straight to insults!

0

Jackalope 6 years, 9 months ago

Has the death rate in Lawrence subsided since the ban?

0

spywell 6 years, 9 months ago

Marion: Is this the place above where the Paridise Cafe used to be. There always playing middle-eastern music from the second floor.

0

Marion Lynn 6 years, 9 months ago

The smoking ban also proibits smoking in places where food is served.

Unless you are LEBANESE!

0

Marlboro_Man2 6 years, 9 months ago

"And just for your information almost every single aspect of almost every single business is regulated. "

-You are right, and unless we start standing up against the city commission every single aspect of your LIFE will be too! Why should a panel of 5 jackasses have the right to tell me how to live my life? Shouldn't we put these things to a vote and let the public speak?

0

Marlboro_Man2 6 years, 9 months ago

Let me propose a hypothetical situation. As an employee you have the right to work in s smoke free environment, yes? And I have the right to smoke all I want in my own residency, right? So what do you do in a situation where a smoker lives in a nursing home and they have medical staff that helps them with some of the day to day tasks and in turn the staff is subjected to second hand smoke? What about the other people who live in the complex or the people who come to visit that are forced to breath the second hand smoke in the hallways and commonplaces? Who's rights supercede who's here?

On one hand you have a worker that has the right not to breath second hand smoke, and on the other hand you have a person who has a right to smoke within their domain.

0

Marlboro_Man2 6 years, 9 months ago

"If you read the ordinance yourself you will see it makes an exception for businesses whose sales are a certain percentage of tobacco products. Unless you have the ability to prove your assertion that the establishment is not actually meeting that sales percentage you should probably just shut it."

-So let's get this right. Smoking in a place that sells tobacco is okay because it's less dangerous? You statement alone should be proof of how this "ordinance" is all B.S.! Why should they be omitted from the ban?

0

Marion Lynn 6 years, 9 months ago

Spywell:

Nope!

Try READING what I posted!

I refer to the LEBANESE joint!

It is ILLEGAL under city ordinance.

READ the smoking ban ordinance.

If I open a bar I think I'll turn it LEBANESE, I really think so!

0

spywell 6 years, 9 months ago

Marion: There from Jordan, You are referring to Aladins, right.

0

Stain 6 years, 9 months ago

Marion Lynn Marion (Marion Lynn) says: Eride: You are a halfwit.

Just when I begin to think you might have something to say that might be worth reading, you start in with the name-calling.

Grow up. What is wrong with you people?

0

Marion Lynn 6 years, 9 months ago

Eride:

You are a halfwit.

READ the sections of the ordinance regarding FOOD; free or not.

I not have the ability, you RATBRAIN; the ordinance does it for me!

0

Eride 6 years, 9 months ago

"The City will inevitably find its smoking ban overturned because of the unequal enforcement shown by permitting the Lebanese smoking joint.

If you doubt me, READ the ordinance.

This one is so simple, I may choose to cahllenge it myself."

If you read the ordinance yourself you will see it makes an exception for businesses whose sales are a certain percentage of tobacco products. Unless you have the ability to prove your assertion that the establishment is not actually meeting that sales percentage you should probably just shut it.

0

Eride 6 years, 9 months ago

"-Again, the key word here is regulate not eliminate."

Again, what reality do you live in? What level of education have you received? Smoking is being REGULATED. Can you smoke outside? In your home? In your car? Yes? It isn't eliminated entirely, it is being regulated to places that limit the danger to those around you. Just like...

"-No, but I can get wasted and get a ride or take a cab and therefor my drunkenness only affects me. Mass street and other streets are public places whereas a bar is a privately owned entity."

Yes that is correct. If you take a cab you are not posing a danger to those around you, that is why drinking and driving has been regulated. That is exactly my point, that like smoking, thousands of other things have been regulated to protect society at large. Why can't you understand that? Your own statements support my argument.

And just for your information (because you obviously do not own a business of any kind, and never have) almost every single aspect of almost every single business is regulated. You can't do what you please at all times simply because you run a business. You follow the laws and regulations or you get sued and shutdown. This is called REALITY. This is called the 1st World where citizens aren't allowed to do everything and anything they can to make a buck.

If you want to live in a place where anything goes, where you can expose people to toxins intentionally to make a profit with little to no penalty go live in China. If you want to live here, where you don't need to worry about your toothpaste or food containing enough toxins to kill an elephant you might want to rethink your view on your "rights".

0

Stain 6 years, 9 months ago

"-Why do I have to protect the public?"

Because you do. You cannot operate a restaurant with a chandelier hanging by a thread that might come down on top of the heads of your diners. You cannot take risks with their health by refusing to keep your kitchen sanitary. You have to take reasonable measures to be sure you are not exposing the public to danger. You just do. Because this is America. Because there are responsibilities that go along with the privilege of doing business with the public and making money off them.

(Are you one of those people who denounce anarchists? Because that would be rich.)

There are plenty of third world countries who do not require you to protect the public. You can spray DDT, use lead paint, serve meat covered with flies, transport people in poorly maintained buses driven by drunks, eat in restaurants where the employees don't wash their hands, and all sorts of things. Go down to Nogales or Tiajauna, for example, to see how that works.

0

plumberscrack 6 years, 9 months ago

Anonymous user

Marlboro_Man2 (Anonymous) says:

But, as long as your privately owned business is open to the public, you have to follow the rules in place to protect the public! This is how it affects the "well being or health of the general public".

-Why do I have to protect the public? It is a private business that is open for people who like to smoke. I don't want non-smokers coming in to my bar. My bar isn't a public place for anyone who chooses to come in. Just as you have to be 18 or older to come in, you have to like smoke. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

"Why do I have to protect the public?"

With thinking (Or lack of) like this....you shouldn't be in business anyway! Try telling the health dept. it's your private business and you'll run it any way you see fit....They'll have a good laugh at your expense....Trust me!

0

Stain 6 years, 9 months ago

Marlboro_manz says Again, the key word here is regulate not eliminate.

Yes. You can go outside, or into a private place.

0

Marlboro_Man2 6 years, 9 months ago

"You are doing nothing but indirectly supporting my argument: drinking is also regulated as to where you can do it and in what circumstances to protect you from harming yourself and those around you. Can you drink your beer out on Mass St? Can you drink your vodka as you swerve through the streets of Lawrence?"

-No, but I can get wasted and get a ride or take a cab and therefor my drunkeness only affects me. Mass street and other streets are public places whereas a bar is a privately owned entity.

"Can you swing your gun around as you chug down tequila in a bar? The government has thousands of laws that exist solely to REGULATE behaviors that have a potential to harm others. Banning smoking indoors is in no way any different then any other dangerous activity that has been REGULATED."

-Again, the key word here is REGULATE not ELIMINATE.

0

Marlboro_Man2 6 years, 9 months ago

But, as long as your privately owned business is open to the public, you have to follow the rules in place to protect the public! This is how it affects the "well being or health of the general public".

-Why do I have to protect the public? It is a PRIVATE business that is open for people who like to smoke. I don't want non-smokers coming in to my bar. My bar isn't a public place for anyone who chooses to come in. Just as you have to be 18 or older to come in, you have to like smoke.

0

coneflower 6 years, 9 months ago

spywell (Anonymous) says: If you get cancer from second hand smoke, you will more than likely get cancer anway.

Write the Surgeon General with that information, because he doesn't know. And include your supporting data. Hurry, because millions of smokers and would-be smokers will be thrilled.

0

coneflower 6 years, 9 months ago

Does the Hookah Bar serve food or alcohol? If not, Marion, I don't think you have a case.

I have a cousin who died of lung cancer. He was not yet 50. He had never smoked. He did, however, grow up in a home with several chain-smoking adults, and even as an adult, spent much time in that household. We'll never know why he got cancer.

I don't want to breathe any person's second-hand smoke (I've breathed plenty) and I don't want to expose my kids to it.

I think a new specialized type of business ought to be defined, called smoking parlors. Let them serve alcohol and minimal food too, but not so much they could be called a bar or restaurant. Smoking would be the primary activity.

Why not let a restaurant have a smoking parlor - a totally separate room cut off by four walls from the restaurant and well filtered and ventilated, where they didn't serve food? People could retire there after a meal in the other part. The non-smoking sections never worked, they were never truly separate because you can't separate air.

0

Marion Lynn 6 years, 9 months ago

The City will inevitably find its smoking ban overturned because of the unequal enforcement shown by permitting the Lebanese smoking joint.

If you doubt me, READ the ordinance.

This one is so simple, I may choose to cahllenge it myself.

0

Eride 6 years, 9 months ago

"That isn't the point. The point is; if you don't like it then don't go there. Drinking in excess is proven to be bad for you but yet thousands of people do it every day in this town. They know the effects of excessive consumption but that doesn't stop them does it?"

You are doing nothing but indirectly supporting my argument... drinking is also regulated as to where you can do it and in what circumstances to protect you from harming yourself and those around you. Can you drink your beer out on Mass St? Can you drink your vodka as you swerve through the streets of Lawrence? Can you swing your gun around as you chug down tequila in a bar? The government has thousands of laws that exist solely to regulate behaviors that have a potential to harm others. Banning smoking indoors is in no way any different then any other dangerous activity that has been regulated.

I understand what your point is, I am just telling you that it isn't rational as your own comparisons don't support your argument.

0

monkeyhawk 6 years, 9 months ago

"Smoking was not banned indoors because of the smell. It was banned because of second hand smokes KNOWN health risks that are deemed unnecessary and dangerous to nonsmokers."

How many times do I have to post the following before you mindless puppets get it?

a minority view by walter e. williams release: wednesday, april 11, 2007, and thereafter

Phony Science and Public Policy

The public has become increasingly aware that the science behind man made global warming is a fraud. But maybe Americans like bogus science in pursuit of certain public policy objectives. Let's look at it.

Many Americans find tobacco smoke to be a nuisance. Some find the odor offensive, and others have allergies or asthma that can be aggravated by smoking in their presence. There's little question that tobacco smoke causes these kinds of nuisances, but how successful would anti-smokers have been in a court of law, or public opinion, in achieving the kind of success they've achieved based on tobacco smoke being a nuisance?

A serious public health threat had to be manufactured, and in 1993 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stepped in to the rescue with their bogus environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) study that says secondhand tobacco smoke is a class A carcinogenic.

Why is it bogus? The EPA claimed that 3,000 Americans die annually from secondhand smoke, but there was a problem. They couldn't come up with that conclusion using the standard statistical 95 percent confidence interval. They lowered their study's confidence interval to 90 percent. That has the effect of doubling the margin of error and doubling the probability that mere chance explains those 3,000 deaths.

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) said, "Admittedly, it is unusual to return to a study after the fact, lower the required significance level, and declare its results to be supportive rather than unsupportive of the effect one's theory suggests should be present." The CRS was being kind. This kind of doctoring of research results would get a graduate student expelled from a university.

0

plumberscrack 6 years, 9 months ago

Marlboro_Man2 (Anonymous) says:

Can someone please give an example of how smoking in a privately owned business affects the well being or health of the general public? +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Don't open your doors up to the PUBLIC to come in and you can smoke in your PRIVATELY owned bussiness. Because the only one you are hurting is yourself!

But, as long as your PRIVATELY OWNED business is OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, you have to follow the rules in place to protect the PUBLIC! This is how it affects the "well being or health of the general public".

0

spywell 6 years, 9 months ago

If you get cancer from second hand smoke, you will more than likely get cancer anway. The employee's can choose where they want to work, So, it really boils down to the smell.

0

plumberscrack 6 years, 9 months ago

erod0723 (Anonymous) says:

I have been to bars that have air scrubbers, and the air looks and feels the same as smoke-free air. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

You can't see, taste or smell carbon monoxide. With each puff of smoke their is carbon monoxide in the air for others to breathe in. A room full of people, puffing away can add a lot of carbon monoxide for others to breathe in. Now, knowing from carbon monoxide....you CAN'T see, taste or smell it...You were asking what about the "air scrubbers, that the air LOOKS and FEELS the same as smoke-free"?

Answer: The air is NOT better, even with these "smoke eaters"!

0

Marlboro_Man2 6 years, 9 months ago

"Yes, there are many jobs that pose health risks and all of them are heavily regulated to protect employees and/or customers. How is a regulation requiring coal mining companies to have under a maximum level of coal dust particles in the air any different then requiring restaurants and bars to limit their patrons and employees exposure to carcinogens and toxins?"

  • Ahhhhhh, they key word here is "HEAVILY REGULATED", not "banned". Yes they can regulate it to a certain extent but they can't eliminate it. They don't say that you can't have ANY dust particles. You can limit, fine, but not eliminate
0

Marlboro_Man2 6 years, 9 months ago

"I feel sorry for anyone who thinks that comparing an annoying smell with carcinogens and toxins is a rational comparison. Smoking was not banned indoors because of the smell. It was banned because of second hand smokes KNOWN health risks that are deemed unnecessary and dangerous to nonsmokers. I am sorry if you lack the ability to think logically but that doesn't make your opinions any less asinine."

-That isn't the point. The point is; if you don't like it then don't go there. Drinking in excess is proven to be bad for you but yet thousands of people do it every day in this town. They know the effects of excessive consumption but that doesn't stop them does it? YOU know the effects of second hand smoke, so if you can't accept them, don't go to bars that allow smoking.

How does smoking in a private business affect public health? It doesn't. If you don't go in to the establishment you will not suffer from any of the effects of second hand smoke. Just because you may be a non-smoker does not give you the right to mandate that a PRIVATE business should not be allowed to permit smoking.

Can someone please give an example of how smoking in a privately owned business affects the well being or health of the general public?

0

Eride 6 years, 9 months ago

"Eride: I can't stand the smell of Old peoples perfume when I pass them on the side walk but I don't want the city deciding who stinks."

"If I don't like the smell of mexican food, guess what? I'm not going to go eat at a mexican restaurant to eat. If I do, it is my own problem that I don't like the smell."

I feel sorry for anyone who thinks that comparing an annoying smell with carcinogens and toxins is a rational comparison. Smoking was not banned indoors because of the smell. It was banned because of second hand smokes KNOWN health risks that are deemed unnecessary and dangerous to nonsmokers. I am sorry if you lack the ability to think logically but that doesn't make your opinions any less asinine.

"Many jobs have certain health risks such as coal mining or working in a chemical plant. As a worker in one of these fields, you know full well in advance what you are getting into and the risks involved."

Yes, there are many jobs that pose health risks and all of them are heavily regulated to protect employees and/or customers. How is a regulation requiring coal mining companies to have under a maximum level of coal dust particles in the air any different then requiring restaurants and bars to limit their patrons and employees exposure to carcinogens and toxins?

0

Godot 6 years, 10 months ago

Beatrice, ever watch Seinfeld? Get a life.

0

Liberty 6 years, 10 months ago

If non-smokers voluntarily attend a place where there is smoking permitted, and they decide that the smoke is a hazard to themselves, they should just leave and attend a place where there is a non-smoking environment. Non-smokers wishes should not be forced on everyone by a city/state government. It is bad law. I am a non-smoker.

0

kchuskerfan 6 years, 10 months ago

I appreciate the views of those that want to keep smoking out of restaurants and away from kids. However, If I'd like to go to a bar that doesn't serve food (Sandbar, for example) on a Saturday evening at 11pm and have a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other while with friends, why is that a problem to most of you? It's 11pm on a Saturday evening. There's no kids out, it's an establishment that would require 21 and older adults to be there. I do not want to go outside to have a smoke and leave the drink inside. I cannot take my drink outside. There should be allowances for people that are not commiting a crime, and are enjoying a legal substance. Some find smoking objectionable, some find drinking objectionable. I happen to enjoy both occasionally and am willing to be accomidating and considerate of others rights. However, where are my rights here? I'm willing to have restrictions placed upon my rights to be considerate of others but what adults chose to do at 11:00pm, if legal, should allow for me to have a drink and a smoke and I think that there should be a fairly simple compromise here.

0

Stain 6 years, 10 months ago

Let a certain number of bars be smoking bars, and charge them higher taxes because you know smokers cost us all more.

0

spywell 6 years, 10 months ago

Eride: I can't stand the smell of Old peoples perfume when I pass them on the side walk but I don't want the city deciding who stinks.

0

spywell 6 years, 10 months ago

Steffes's bars have been targets for racial illegal searchs for about a year . Ron Olin's natze'storm trouper approach to combing every car in the parking lot and looking for anthing that they can use to shut him down has been his ajenda. He has had the help of the journal world to fuel this racial bias to the public . That why all the cases have been dissmissed by our local judges. There has been some trouble there yes . The only shooting was done by a local mexican thug who's family owns the a bar in north Lawrence . If you search every car in every parking lot in Lawrence, You would find my guns as well. Yes, blacks are prone to violence. Anyone can be violent if you push them. Mill spec. does a good job at last call and at the cowboy bar, they are a little rough at times. But they allow no tolerence. Lets leave them alone and be honest about reality. Black culture is here to stay, I do not care for it but I am being honest about reality. Steffes, I am sure feels like most Americans, When the city decides to intrude into our personal habits and lives, Hey, lets be honest the city can't even fix the the pot holes with out whinning about there budget crises. Fire them all and start all over. Start with Ron Olin, and Dave Anderson.

0

Fudgepop 6 years, 10 months ago

Thats okay I like being compared to Hitler myself I am bald and unpopular these days too and when people make me mad I shout too.

Public health issues??

Oh well I really do not have an opinion. Oh I do.

STOP LYING ABOUT EVERYTHING TO GET YUOR WAY.

I am not your brother you think it is funny to get in trouble and grounded so that you can watch TV all night and week and I have to stay in my room dungeon.

I think there should be public healing rituals and that includes breathing together. They do it in India. There should be public laughing ceremonies as well they do it in India.

0

Marlboro_Man2 6 years, 10 months ago

Look at it this way. Yes, it may be better for the public health but we are talking about privately owned businesses here that are being forced to operate in a way that has a negative impact. Nobody said you had to go to the bar where smoking is allowed. You CHOSE to go into a bar where smoking was permitted. You KNOW that people in bars are going to be smoking. If you don't want to be affected then don't go in it. If you don't go in, no smokey and you are not affected. You have no right to go into that privately owned business and breath smoke free air. If I don't like the smell of mexican food, guess what? I'm not going to go eat at a mexican restaurant to eat. If I do, it is my own problem that I don't like the smell. I can either deal with it or go somewhere else to eat.

Many jobs have certain health risks such as coal mining or working in a chemical plant. As a worker in one of these fields, you know full well in advance what you are getting into and the risks involved. I don't work in a coal mine because I have assessed the risks and decided it was against my better judgement. Same rules apply to consumers.

Next, some bible thumping mormon is going to try and ban strip clubs because it is against their religion to see some chick boobies but yet they still want to be able to go into the club. Doesn't that said mormon have the right to go out and not see naked girls?

0

beatrice 6 years, 10 months ago

Godot, comparing people who wish to rid the air in the work place of cancer causing smoke to German Nazis who exterminated 6 million Jews and started a World War that killed many millions more is a tad bit of an exaggeration, don't ya think? Time for a reality check. As far as comparing smoking to fatty foods, please remember, no matter how many Big Macs you eat, it won't make the butt of the person sitting next to you get any bigger.

This is a public safety issue. They ruled correctly. End of story. Case closed. Next.

0

jayhawks71 6 years, 10 months ago

The Lawrence City Commission has its "power" because of the concept of home rule, which is given by the state. The city commission made the ordinance because of the home-rule power granted by the state. The Kansas Supreme Court, the highest State judiciary body in Kansas, has jurisdiction. They didn't create a law. The ordinance was made in accordance with home rule.

Actually, had the people who collected signatures for the petition for referendum a few years back actually submitted them, the people of the city of Lawrence would have spoken. Those who misrepresented their role and the duty given them by the petition signers, should be ostracized. They spooked when it looked like the referendum would fail and their options would have been greatly reduced given the difficulty of overturning a referendum that passes.

0

kneejerkreaction 6 years, 10 months ago

Godot, you have puffed up and exploded over the horizon and read "Eat At Joes". You've been attending too many survivalist camps.

0

Godot 6 years, 10 months ago

I bet the smoke nazis won't comment on the fat issue. Either because it hits too close to home, or that little item is next on their list.

0

Godot 6 years, 10 months ago

Could this decision, confirming that property and/or business owners are responsible for not allowing anyone to commit the illegal act of smoking inside their buildings on the assumption that a smoke-free atmosphere is in the public good, be construed to hold bar owners responsible for not allowing their patrons to get drunk, because a drunk-free society is in the public good?

0

kneejerkreaction 6 years, 10 months ago

"Godot the (Anonymous) says:Liberty is right. Kneejerkreaction is just that."

Whatever you meant by the above godot, you're the one sniveling about losing your right to.....not smoke? Are you clutiching your throat right now in anquish as your constitutional rights are now slowly peeled off your body? Can you feel your freedom being sucked out of your veins? Your civil liberties violated and tossed aside.

Pullllleazzzzzeeee Godot. Reality check.

0

Godot 6 years, 10 months ago

I hope there are lots of fat people who support the restriction of smokers' freedoms because once Universal health care is implemented, the government will tell you what, when and how much to eat, and require everyone to exercise, or face a penalty, such as higher health care costs, or no health care at all. Then I will just laugh at them when they whine and complain about government's intrusion into their own lifestyle choices.

0

Fudgepop 6 years, 10 months ago

Gotta smoke!!!

I love to drink beeer at keg parties too. I do it all I like loud music and such glad I will be gone for the summer and so because mommie and daddie will pay for my trip to the beaches across by California and down to Baja. We have a bungalow for the summer and we did last year too. So it is nice and air conditioned. I never learned any spanish but the help can wait on us hand and foot. We have so much money that if they try to rip us off we wont have to worry about it.

Cant wait to come back to KU next year. I dont care the city can give me a ticket if they want to they have to catch me first and my daddy bought all my grades anyway I am just killing time until they actually give them out.

0

Eride 6 years, 10 months ago

His case had little to do with smoking at all. Everyone is missing the point here. We have to make a stance against the city because if we don't they will have a free pass to start making all kinds of new ordinances and telling US how we are to live OUR lives. Let's face it, the city commission isn't the smartest group in the world. Their ignorance is taking away our freedoms. They will do whatever they have to do to "mold" Lawrence into this perfect little town.

Your argument if taken to its natural extension would mean the repealing of all regulations. Driving 120 mph down a neighborhood block? Drinking vodka while operating a vehicle? Burning brush during a drought warning? Food safety regulations for restaurants? Etc, etc. Part of the responsibility of government is to regulate its citizens lives for the equal protection of everyone. No one citizen should be allowed to harm another citizen under the guise of liberty and free will. There is no scientific debate at this point that second hand smoke is harmful. As such it is the responsibility of government to step in and prevent smokers from subjecting everyone around them from breathing in carcinogens and other toxins against their will. Other business are regulated against having certain levels of noxious chemicals in the air, why should restaurants not be regulated against having high levels of known toxins in the air? This is no different then any other government regulation enforcing the health and safety of the public at large.

If your goal is to prevent these types of regulations.... you are a few decades too late. 99% of Americans would rather have laws protecting them from your selfish actions.

0

Eride 6 years, 10 months ago

"How can the Kansas Supreme Court make a decision for something that is NOT specifically allowed in the Kansas Constitution by the people? Answer: They really can't legally, but with this decision, they create new law and exceed their authority."

How can you, with little to no understanding of the state constitution nor the legal system in general, make a claim that something is not allowed by the states constitution? What basis of knowledge do you make that claim from? Why don't we stick to presenting our opinions as just that, opinions. No one here is buying your opinion as the fact you make it out to be.

0

Eride 6 years, 10 months ago

"It is still a huge pain to go outside and smoke in the winter when it is how many ever degrees below zero," Baugh said. "But most of the time, smoking outside is fine."

Hah, how often is it ever below zero in Kansas?

0

Godot 6 years, 10 months ago

Liberty is right. Kneejerkreaction is just that.

0

bethnbob 6 years, 10 months ago

I agree with the smoking ban. When it first came into existence, I was a smoker and felt rather put out. At the same time, I knew I needed to quit, so the ordinance actually helped me to do so. I've been smoke-free for almost two years and today, I am glad to go into an establishment where I no longer feel tempted to smoke. Even when I did smoke, my spouse and I did not light up inside our house or cars. I'm not a Nazi ex-smoker, just someone who is trying to do the right thing for herself.

0

kneejerkreaction 6 years, 10 months ago

"Marlboro_Man2 (Anonymous) says: We have to make a stance against the city because if we don't they will have a free pass to start making all kinds of new ordinances and telling US how we are to live OUR lives."

This is true Marl. Man, Lawrence seems to be a city fraught with non-sensical regulators no matter who is elected to CC. But we need to pick a better battle than one already lost from the getgo. The only winner here is the lawyer who told Steffes he had a rat's chance, which he didn't.

0

kneejerkreaction 6 years, 10 months ago

Well, erod0723 I'll just wait and see if this escalates into another Nazi Germany.

"Godot (Anonymous) says: Am I happy with it? Personally, yes, because I do not smoke and really like the smoke free restaurants.However, from the standpoint of personal freedom, property rights and constitutional rights, it stinks, it totally and completely stinks."

Godot. If you wake up 10 years from now and find your constitutional rights one iota less than they were when Lawrence, KS banned smoking in public places I'll be really surprised. I'm sure if you look for problems you can find them, but turning the smoking ban into anything more than a general convenience is reactionary malarky. If anything, your personal freedoms as a non-smoker are now enhanced by getting rid of an annoying indoor public nuisance. Now we need to work on the outside smokers and butt litterers.

0

erod0723 6 years, 10 months ago

"For all of you cretins blowing this decision into something more than it is and whining about Big Brother, consititutional rights and "where will this all stop" remember that we're talking about smoking::only smoking. That's all." Isn't that how it always starts? If memory serves me correctly, didn't Hitler just take power only to help create a solidified Germany. The erosion of personal freedoms at any level cannot and should not be tolerated.

0

erod0723 6 years, 10 months ago

b3, Maybe the people complaining are people that think there are other alternatives to banning smoking. See: my post at 10:35 am.

0

Godot 6 years, 10 months ago

Am I happy with it? Personally, yes, because I do not smoke and really like the smoke free restaurants.

However, from the standpoint of personal freedom, property rights and constitutional rights, it stinks, it totally and completely stinks.

0

kneejerkreaction 6 years, 10 months ago

For all of you cretins blowing this decision into something more than it is and whining about Big Brother, consititutional rights and "where will this all stop" remember that we're talking about SMOKING......only SMOKING. That's all.

0

Marlboro_Man2 6 years, 10 months ago

Have any of you been paying attention to what Dennis' stance on the smoking ban is? He isn't fighting the smoking ban. He was simply fighting the way the ban was adopted and enforced; thus he HAD to challenge the ban so it could be overturned and have to be mandated by state law. He was challenging the city's authority, not the ban. His case had little to do with smoking at all. Everyone is missing the point here. We have to make a stance against the city because if we don't they will have a free pass to start making all kinds of new ordinances and telling US how we are to live OUR lives. Let's face it, the city commission isn't the smartest group in the world. Their ignorance is taking away our freedoms. They will do whatever they have to do to "mold" Lawrence into this perfect little town.

0

b3 6 years, 10 months ago

The only people who are complaining about the smoking ban are all of the pot smokers in town who need the regular smokers for cover.

0

erod0723 6 years, 10 months ago

I do not see why a bar or other establishment shouldn't be allowed to be smoker-friendly if they meet certain criteria: 1. All fabrics and surfaces must be flame resistant. 2. A hospital quality air cleaner must be installed and inspected monthly. 3. Management may revoke anybody's indoor smoking privilege.

Wouldn't these three things be in the best interest of all involved? I have been to bars that have air scrubbers, and the air looks and feels the same as smoke-free air.

0

nutcase 6 years, 10 months ago

Somehow, I thought the Supreme Courts function was to interpret Constitution. Stupid me, I realize that only applies when I agree with their interpretation. According to some nutcases other than me.

0

americorps 6 years, 10 months ago

Bitter, Party of 1

Liberty (Anonymous) says:

A grand jury should be assembled to investigate the Kansas Supreme Court justices for possible impeachment proceedings for not operating within the confines of the Kansas Constitution.

0

Liberty 6 years, 10 months ago

A grand jury should be assembled to investigate the Kansas Supreme Court justices for possible impeachment proceedings for not operating within the confines of the Kansas Constitution.

0

spywell 6 years, 10 months ago

The Sun causes cancer too. What next gravity. The Constitution of the United States does not grant absolute priorty to any post home rule, ruling. I really don't like somke. But whats nexts. Freedom from minority special interest I hope.

0

nutcase 6 years, 10 months ago

Liberty, what in the Constitution specifically allows smoking? Or for that matter any of our other vices or actions, alcohol, safe food, restaurant inspections, fire and safety inspections, etc?

0

Liberty 6 years, 10 months ago

How can the Kansas Supreme Court make a decision for something that is NOT specifically allowed in the Kansas Constitution by the people? Answer: They really can't legally, but with this decision, they create new law and exceed their authority.

0

Richard Heckler 6 years, 10 months ago

" The behavior of patrons in and around Last Call and Coyotes might cause some local residents to conclude that controlling smoking in his establishments is the least of Steffes' worries. With the smoking ban issue settled, perhaps Steffes and his staff can turn their attention to more pressing matters related to the safety and security of their businesses and customers."

Ditto

"He said his business' sales are down by 40 percent since the ban was enacted, and he believes some of his customers are going to nearby communities that do not ban smoking." Why does Mr. Steffes keep the doors open? Better for Lawrence if he doesn't.

0

jayhawks71 6 years, 10 months ago

Steffes: "But I don't like living in a town where you can legally sell something but you can't use it."

Dennis is twisting the situation into something it is not. It isn't that you can't use it in the town it is sold, it is that its use is restricted. I suppose Dennis will next lobby to allow people to be able to pop open a beer while driving. You can buy a beer all over town, legally, but you cannot use it in certain situations, such as while you are driving. The same logic as the smoking ban; where the use is most likely to be harmful and place others at high risk, its use is restricted; that would be indoors!

As far as sales being down, what about absolute numbers. To claim people are going elsewhere should also be reflected in the number of people that frequent his establishment (and therefore he might have a stronger basis for his complaint) rather than them just spending less. Spending amount is impacted by the other costs in people's lives; for example, the cost of gas has gone through the roof since since the smoking ban was enacted. Perhaps people simply have less expendable cash to go out because it is costing them an arm and a leg to get to and from work. When people like Steffes try to make a point, they spend little time trying to identify alternatives to their viewpoint, because it does not serve them well. We call this phenomenon "confirmation bias."

0

KS 6 years, 10 months ago

Argument over! Done! Caput! Never again! We live with it. Don't agree, but that's the way it is.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.