Archive for Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bars fight smoking ban proposal

September 25, 2008


— Kansas legislators have struggled for several years with whether to ban smoking in public places, and now Emporia seems destined for a similar debate locally.

Emporia bar owners and employees are organizing opposition to a proposed ban on smoking in enclosed spaces and businesses. The City Commission plans to have a hearing Monday on the plan, from a group called Clean Air Emporia.

Backers say a ban will protect residents' health and believe most of them support the idea.

Critics question whether the ban is enforceable. They also believe it will hurt businesses such as restaurants and bars.

"It's not just bar owners who will be affected by this," bar owner Sandy Bastin told The Emporia Gazette. "If we lose business, the money issues will affect employees, customers and ultimately the city through lost tax revenue."

Bartender Becky Mishler said people still want to preserve business owners' right to choose whether to allow smoking.

Proposals to impose a statewide ban on smoking on public places have failed to pass the Legislature because of opposition from business owners. But public health advocates are pushing the idea, and supporters have promised to try again next year.


Confrontation 9 years, 9 months ago

A national smoking ban would be wonderful. Smokers are too ignorant to quit smoking, so the government needs to step in to protect the rest of us.

SettingTheRecordStraight 9 years, 9 months ago

I hate cigarette smoke almost as much as I hate gestapo laws that keep private businesses from making decisions about whether or not they will allow smoking.

PosseComitatus 9 years, 9 months ago

I guess the best compromise would be to just outlaw bars then, in the name of public health.

cthulhu_4_president 9 years, 9 months ago

Confrontation, you are entitled to your opinion, however the decision to smoke does not reflect intelligence (unless you are privy to a new study that I am not!). Dismissing an entire population as ignorant, just because they don't do something you like is very dangerous, especially when laws governing public conduct are based around these opinions. Could someone who rides a bike to work everyday say that I am too ignorant to stop driving to work? When I get McDonalds, does a vegan have the right to come up to me and say that I'm too ignorant to eat healthy, and then petition for a law against fast food? No, of course not. It's my right to eat crappy food, and if it makes me fat, pimply, and prone to heart failure then it's my fault. Vegans probably don't eat at McDonalds, so they don't go there. The exact same logic follows through with smoking. It is a right to smoke, and if it makes people smelly, and prone to lung cancer, then it's their fault. We have no right to judge. If a place caters to smokers, then non-smokers will not go there. If, even for a second, a business owner thinks that a smoking ban will improve business, you can bet that he will be first in line to support it. As for second hand smoke, I've said it before, and I love saying it again:Contrary to (very) popular belief, you do not have the right to be safe wherever you go.Am I the only one who sees the humor in the complaints about outdoor smoking as busses belch their way past me and semis scream down the highway hurling more carcinogens into the air in one trip than a smoker will in his entire life?-I may not agree with what you say, but I agree with your right to say it.

SettingTheRecordStraight 9 years, 9 months ago

logicsound04,So, given your logic, if a business put up a Smoke Eater, it could exercise its right to allow patrons to smoke?

SettingTheRecordStraight 9 years, 9 months ago

"...the government needs to step in to protect the rest of us." -confrontationTo all free-market capitalists: Fear this type of mindset with every fiber in your body.

bad_dog 9 years, 9 months ago

"Tobacco is subject to federal excise tax and since it is the function of BATFE and the Treasury to collect such taxes, a case could well be made that smoking bans interfere with the generation of and therefore collection of federal tax."Care to expand upon your theory that banning smoking in bars and other public places interferes with the generation and collection of tobacco taxes? Aren't there other places where an addict can still go to buy/use tobacco products?Using this mindset you could equally argue (albeit foolishly...) that buying/driving hybrid cars interferes with the generation and collection of federal highway taxes due to the resultant reduction in gasoline usage. Ban the hybrids now. It's un-American. Long live Big Oil!

kidicarus 9 years, 9 months ago

"ese (Anonymous) says: The government should ban aids also. People are too stupid to not spread aids around and we need protection from them."Wow.

SettingTheRecordStraight 9 years, 9 months ago

Alas, logicsound, the problem is not Smoke Eaters but rather the government's misperception that it somehow has the right to tell a private business that it may not allow smoking on its private property. All this because of the nanny-state mentality that only government can protect those who voluntarily eat there and voluntarily work there. And what's the response from those like merrill? "Who cares! As long as I get what I want from others, I'll feel free to force my views upon this once great society." Too bad.And for the record, I am a lifelong non-smoker who hates cigarette smoke.

sfjayhawk 9 years, 9 months ago

STRS - we have seen with the bailout that free market capitalism is not alive and well in America. Perhaps you should be fearful of bush and/or wall street. The argument that a smoking ban will hurt businesses has been proven wrong again and again. They banned smoking in Paris for crap sakes. The argument that 2nd hand smoke is harmful has been proven true in every test not sponsored by tobacco company people.

sfjayhawk 9 years, 9 months ago

madmike, why so scared? Does this man threaten you somehow? Im guessing he is not like some other mayors that want to talk about banning books or anything.

Confrontation 9 years, 9 months ago

ChiHawkInKS, I'm glad to see your 3-year-old self is able to join us today.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 9 months ago

Now non smoking....Kansas City too.Westport is great as a non smoking venue.Perhaps if smokers could devise a method to stop their smoke from traveling.... just contain it all within themselves.People find second hand smoke a threat to their health, annoying and smelly.

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