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Archive for Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Committee revives statewide smoking ban bill

March 25, 2008

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Senate committee approves state smoking ban

A statewide ban on smoking is revived after appearing dead in recent days. Enlarge video

— A statewide ban on smoking in indoor public places, which appeared dead in recent days, was revived Monday, with many of the pleas on behalf of the bill coming from Lawrence.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee approved the smoking prohibition on a 9-2 vote to send the measure for a possible vote by the full Senate.

State Sen. David Wysong, R-Mission Hills, sponsor of Senate Bill 660, said the proposal may win approval of the full Senate but likely would get stopped in the House.

"I don't think it really has a good opportunity this year in the Legislature, but I believe now this will be one of the three or four top issues during the election cycle," Wysong said.

Under the proposal, smoking would be prohibited in public places such as restaurants, bars and businesses.

Exemptions were made for commercial vehicles, tobacco shops, a proposed casino in southeast Kansas, veterans and soldiers nursing homes and designated smoking areas in other adult long-term care facilities.

State Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, testified in support of the bill, saying the smoking ban in Lawrence has been a success. Sales taxes collected from food services and drinking places in Lawrence have increased since the ordinance took effect in July 2004, she said.

Francisco presented testimonials from several Lawrence business owners who support the ordinance and would like to see a statewide ban.

For example, Matt Hyde, general manager of Teller's, said, "I am a smoker, but I love the smoking ban in Lawrence. Visitors to our city appreciate it, and the students have no trouble adjusting to it."

But Philip Bradley, representing the Kansas Licensed Beverage Association, said liquor sales in Lawrence have lagged behind the rest of the state since the ordinance took effect.

Dr. Roy Jensen and Dr. Karen Kelly, director and deputy director of the Kansas University Cancer Center, supported the bill, saying it would save lives of people who get cancer from second-hand smoke.

"The irrefutable scientific evidence is that second-hand smoke is not just an annoyance but is a very serious health hazard that causes premature death and disease," Jensen said.

But the Rev. Father H Setter, pastor of All Saints Catholic Church in Wichita, said a legislative ban on private businesses was arrogant, hypocritical and selfish. Setter said the bill would kill his annual dinner and cigar event that benefits charity.

Comments

its_getting_warmer 6 years ago

Marion. Flee! Run! Hide! the Liberals have captured the Atlantic City Casinos!

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its_getting_warmer 6 years ago

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey (AP) -- Two years after New Jersey banned smoking in most public buildings, smoking opponents are optimistic that the last groups not covered by the law -- casino workers and patrons -- could soon enjoy its protections as well.The City Council is expected to give final approval next week to a total smoking ban on the 11 casino floors. Smoking would still be permitted in enclosed smoking lounges where there would be no gambling.New Jersey's Smoke-Free Air Act took effect April 15, 2006, prohibiting cigar, cigarette and pipe smoking in restaurants, bars, office buildings and other indoor spaces. It carries fines of $250 to $1,000 for people who light up and businesses that let them.

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its_getting_warmer 6 years ago

Oh no, the liberals of Olathe have struck again!

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Marion Lynn 6 years ago

toefungus (Anonymous) says:

One of these days, the rest of the state is going to burn us down. Again.

Marion writes:

The Big Government advocacy of The People's Republic of Lawrence will not be forgotten, however this works out.

Trust me on that one.

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toefungus 6 years ago

One of these days, the rest of the state is going to burn us down. Again.

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logrithmic 6 years ago

This is great. Can't wait until it's smokefree throughout the state.

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