Archive for Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Senate passes smoking-ban bill that is stricter than Lawrence’s

Legislation would prohibit smoking near access points to buildings

The Kansas Senate passed a bill to ban smoking statewide on Tuesday. The House has not yet considered the bill.

March 31, 2009, 12:58 p.m. Updated April 1, 2009, 2:45 p.m.


— The city of Lawrence started the public smoking ban movement in Kansas, but a proposed statewide ban is stricter than Lawrence’s ordinance.

House Bill 2221, approved by the Senate on Tuesday, would prohibit smoking in enclosed public places, including near so-called access points to those places.

But what is an access point?

According to the bill, that means the area within a 10-foot radius of any doorway, open window, or air intake leading into a building.

That would seem to prohibit some smoking close to bars, restaurants and maybe some of their patios.

And what, under the bill, is considered an “enclosed area” where smoking would be prohibited?

Basically, a room that has a floor, ceiling and walls is considered an enclosed area. It is not considered enclosed if the rooms or areas are permanently open to the elements and weather.

Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, who has supported the statewide smoking ban, said if the bill became law, some Lawrence businesses would have adjustments to make.

“The adjustments are going to have to be very individual depending on how a business handles outside smoking,” she said.

The proposed statewide ban could require many downtown sidewalk dining areas to become smoke-free because they could not meet the requirement of being at least 10 feet away from the entrance of an establishment.

That change would happen at the same time that city commissioners have approved new rules that give downtown bars more ability to create sidewalk seating areas to accommodate smokers.

Mayor Mike Dever said he may suggest that the city undertake some lobbying efforts in Topeka to persuade lawmakers to remove the outdoor portion of the ban.

“I think we have done a pretty good job of accommodating public health and the interest of businesses,” Dever said. “I would like to see that continue.”

Lawrence’s smoking ban has been in effect since 2004 and was upheld by the Kansas Supreme Court.

The proposed statewide ban was approved by the Senate 25-15 after an approximately two-hour debate that was at times contentious. It will now be considered in the House, where Republican leaders have voiced opposition to the bill.

House Speaker Mike O’Neal, R-Hutchinson, however, said a more limited smoking ban may be possible.

“There are talks about it, I think there’s even talking about are there circumstances where a compromise could be reached,” O’Neal said.

He mentioned Senate Bill 81 as “floating out there.” That bill includes numerous exemptions to a smoking ban, which would allow smoking in designated enclosed areas of bars, clubs and restaurants. But an attempt to pass that bill as an amendment Tuesday in the Senate failed.

— City reporter Chad Lawhorn contributed to this report.


urthatguy66044 9 years, 1 month ago

We have already forced smokers outside, now we are going to be regulated where we can smoke in public? You won't even be able to walk down Mass st. and smoke? How retarded are these people..? Since Lawrence already has a plan in place why can't we just stick with what we have? I think we have compromised enough...!

Damn the man, save the empire lol :-)

cthulhu_4_president 9 years, 1 month ago

Yet another misguided move forced upon the public by people who are under the mistaken impression that you have the right to be safe wherever you go.

By the way, I don't smokerealize that our rights are more important than my comfort.

Light one up for me!

cthulhu_4_president 9 years, 1 month ago

should say "I don't smoke. I just realize....."

not sure what happened there.

thomgreen 9 years, 1 month ago

Personally, I have been a supporter of the smoking ban here in Lawrence. But, I think the statewide ban is taking it a bit too far. Basically, what I take from the bill, is that you can't smoke within 10 ft of any public building. I think you would be hard pressed to find somewhere within 10 ft of a building that isn't near a door, window or air intake.

staff04 9 years, 1 month ago

Am I wrong, or isn't it fairly well documented that restaurant receipts go up significantly when these bans are enacted? I may have gotten that from some whacko ban enthusiasts, but I feel like it would be in the better interest of most business owners that would be subject to such a ban?

Emily Hadley 9 years, 1 month ago

I know that this would complicate the smoking patio situation, but I now work in a building that does not have the 20' rule that KU had, and I miss it. I have to pass through a thick cloud of stale stink that is drawn into the airtight building every time someone opens the door.

I think it is better when it is voluntary, but I can see the futility of having to go through the dense smoking area just to get inside a non-smoking place. Besides, ten feet isn't much at all.

If everyone were considerate, this wouldn't have come up, but some people just ruin it for everyone else. Inconvenience, smell, smoke in one's face and all else aside, I can't recall how many times I was burned by inattentive smokers in bars before the ban.

I think it will all work out after an adjustment.

The_Voice_of_Reason 9 years, 1 month ago

Don't these people have anything better to do? Ya know like improve the school system, or work on budget problems, or maybe even work on attracting more jobs to Kansas??? Just my two cents here, but it sounds like these "politicians" have their priorities out of whack...

gogoplata 9 years, 1 month ago

I know lets just make nicotene illegal and declare war on it. That ought to take care of it.

WilburM 9 years, 1 month ago

If France and Ireland -- two countries with heavy smokers -- can deal with this, you'd think that Kansas could. And re Lawrence businesses -- it's a level playing field if the state goes smoke-free indoors.

cthulhu_4_president 9 years, 1 month ago

"Smokers stink, they pollute, they force others to breathe their poisons, they start fires and they are a drain on the health care system."

I know plenty of people who fall into this category, but the funny thing is that none of them smoke!! Everyone stinks sometimes, everyone pollutes in some way, if you stand close enough to someone to smell them then you are breathing in their poisons (bacteria, sweat, etc).

Are you supporting the statewide automobile ban, too? Cars do everything you complained about, but even more so!!

Contrarty to popular belief, we do not have the right to be safe wherever we go. (this message was brought to you by a non-smoker)

mcontrary 9 years, 1 month ago

Would that I could read the entire article without an ad blocking the text of the last paragraph- and with no "X" to close it. The only option is "click here" and I don't wanna! Last thing I need is it adding cookies for belly fat. Hah! A bad pun. As for the smoking ban- HURRAH

somedude20 9 years, 1 month ago

How far away do fat people have to be from a building when eating a twinkie? You may not get second-hand fat, but we all (those with jobs) pay for their fatness in many many ways.

davidsmom 9 years, 1 month ago

Ten feet is nothing...when people are smoking within 10 feet of the door, you still have to walk through a cloud of smoke to get into the building. They should make it a lot more than 10 feet, but maybe keep a back door exempt so smokers can smoke there.

Danimal 9 years, 1 month ago

This seems a little excessive. Pushing smokers outside or into separate rooms with their own venting I'm fine with, but this goes too far. Why don't we just go ahead and outlaw cigarettes while we're at it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 1 month ago

"According to the bill, that means the area within a 10-foot radius of any doorway, open window, or air intake leading into a building."

This is not unreasonable. It merely means that if you want to smoke a cigarette, you have to move away from the entrance 10 feet. As it is, you often have to run a gauntlet of smokers just to get inside a building, which greatly defeats the purpose of the ban.

mablehazel 9 years, 1 month ago

I am a non smoker and actually quite bothered by smoke due to asthma. However, I do not agree with this new bill. I agree with the Lawrence policies which currently are in place. I think that it is perfectly reasonable to have the smokers in designated smoking areas outside the businesses, such as smoking porches and sitting areas.

skinnee11 9 years, 1 month ago

As a smoker, I realize that I have what some consider a "filthy" habit. I can live with that because it's my choice. And because it's my choice, I take a little personal responsibility and already smoke far enough away from others. All this new ban does is make me walk 10 feet further away to enjoy something that IS STILL LEGAL TO DO!

So, I ask that other smokers show their personal responsibility and just comply without complaining. You still get to smoke. That's the point, right?

Sharon Aikins 9 years, 1 month ago

Ironic though, isn't it, that you can't smoke in a bar but you can go in there, drink yourself silly and then get behind the wheel of a car? Yes, smoke stinks, smoking kills, but alcohol creates idiots and causes far more deaths of innocent people. I can walk away from a smoker but how quickly can I get my car out of the way of a drunken driver. Maybe it's because the drunk kills me a lot quicker and I won't have to suffer? The duplicity of all this amuses me. It's time we also stopped glamorizing alcohol. Being drunk is perfectly accedtable behavior but lighting up one cigarette is almost illegal. We teach our kids not to smoke as we hand them a drink and tell them it's okay. Oh, I know there's too much money to be lost by making alcohol illegal. And it's the one legal drug of choice. I always laugh when someone tells me they need a drink to relax, loosen up or just to be social. And how many stop at that one? I haven't had any alcohol for several years and I'm still relaxed, loosened up and fully capable of driving. Guess I'm just not a "social" person. But you can sit outside my door and have a cigarette if you want. I even have a chair there for you.

trinity 9 years, 1 month ago

kansas has the most idiotic and randomly enforced dui laws of nearly all the states. people are getting 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, etc tell me, how is that happening? and the case of the guy in wichita that mowed down a mother and child-he was dui and it was his 4th or 5th...yeah smoking is nasty and i am sincerely working on quitting. but damn-i don't even know what to say.

Bruce Bertsch 9 years, 1 month ago

Being drunk is NOT perfectly acceptable behavior.

Patricia Davis 9 years, 1 month ago

I applaud the new proposed smoking ban. As someone who has severe allergies to smoke, I have found it impossible to enjoy downtown Lawrence passing by all of those smokers turned to the sidewalk by our current local law. People have a right to smoke in their own private spaces. My husband and I had parents who smoked and each of them died of some related lung disease. It's not a pretty way to go. People who are still too stupid to give up smoking should not be allowed to contaminate the air of those of us who wish to breathe free.

samsnewplace 9 years, 1 month ago

CNN says today that a carton of 10pk of cigarettes now cost $58.00, this is truly a rich man's addiction, pleasure, habit. As a non-smoker I can't imagine lighting up $58.00 a week more or less and just letting it burn, filling my lungs with smoke and the health risk alone is terrible. I would back a nationwide smoking ban, for the sake of the non-smokers who like to breathe air.

Greg Yother 9 years, 1 month ago

redmoonrising said: "Ironic though, isn't it, that you can't smoke in a bar but you can go in there, drink yourself silly and then get behind the wheel of a car?"

No, you can't according to the law. It's not not ironic; they would both be against the law.

Drew Alan 9 years, 1 month ago

I do think it would be interesting to take a look at how many lawmakers are for both the smoking ban and building those coal fired power plants. The power plants would pollute the air a whole lot more than cigarettes do.

That said I think with the increased restrictions and costs of smoking, especially with the tax increasing today, now is as good a time as any to quit.

gccs14r 9 years, 1 month ago

Now maybe the idea of turning downtown into a pedestrian mall will gain traction. If there were no streets or parking spaces in the way, it would be easy to set up outdoor areas that were more than 10' away from the doorways.

BTW, if you're going to smoke while driving down the street, keep your windows rolled up. The people behind you don't want to smell it.

Ralph Reed 9 years, 1 month ago

Let's see, the majority of you are complaining about a lousy ten feet. Go look at a Federal building - it should say something like, "No smoking within 50 feet of this entrance."

I smoked for years and it was harder than H*** to quit.

I see nothing wrong with the proposed ban. Much better than a greater regressive tax.

Kryptenx 9 years, 1 month ago

I quickly tire of stupidity and ignorance, can we ban that too?

And log- tobacco as a gateway drug? While many drug users may also smoke cigarettes, that doesn't make cigarettes a gateway drug. The overwhelming majority of cigarette smokers have never moved on to substances such as heroin, coke, or even pot.

Scott Drummond 9 years, 1 month ago

"I'm not a smoker and don't like to breathe it, but this is more arrogance in modern American government."

It's not arrogance, it's called democracy in action.

Kryptenx 9 years, 1 month ago

I really don't care who publishes a study that commits a logical fallacy. I'm not claiming to know more than JHSPH, but I do know that correlation does not equal causation.

Example: Where does the study prove that cigarette smoking CAUSES drug use? Is it not just as feasible that people who have a propensity to use drugs will also use cigarettes? Just because the tendency may be tobacco -> alcohol -> pot -> coke -> meth -> heroin does not imply that smoking tobacco will cause you to use harder illicit drugs.

Finally, "Funding for this study was provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse."

Hmm... a little NIDA bias? Definitely. This study is propoganda laden with logical fallacies.

samsnewplace 9 years, 1 month ago

ArumerZwarteHoop it is my understanding that this would include any type of tobacco, including chew.

Kryptenx 9 years, 1 month ago

To expand more on my 2nd paragraph, the study just flat out fails to examine other possible causes. Consider this example:

As ice cream sales increase, drowning increases Therefore, ice cream causes drowning

Obviously false. Ice cream sales go up in the summer, as does drowning, because there are more people in the water.

So back to the cigarettes: Cigarette smokers are more likely to have tried illicit drugs Therefore, cigarette smoking leads to illicit drug use

Which ignores the very plausible explanation that both cigarette smoking and illicit drug use may be caused by having an addictive personality.

And if that's not good enough, I'll use one more: Patients on chemotherapy die at higher rates than the rest of the population Therefore, chemotherapy causes death

Wrong. The cancer causes both the chemotherapy, and the increased rates of death.

As you can see, correlation is a good hint towards where to look to determine causation, but determining causation requires a lot more work. Finding correlation and then assuming causation is a bad move, especially for an institution of higher education!

dweezil222 9 years, 1 month ago

The "outdoor" aspect of this, should it pass the House, will be a nightmare to enforce. How often are all the air intakes of a building blatantly visible? You could be breaking the law and not even realize it.

down_the_river 9 years, 1 month ago

Quick correction of the facts in the lead sentence. Lawrence was not the first city in Kansas to enact a smoking ban. Salina was the leader in that regard.

butterfly80 9 years, 1 month ago

Geez let the smokers atleast enjoy life

down_the_river 9 years, 1 month ago

Actually, if you want to review the heritage, Carry Nation helped enact the earlier smoking bans in Kansas. The efforts that followed came from the Mormon state in Utah and the progressives in 1930's Germany.

denak 9 years, 1 month ago

Being smoke sensitive, I love the idea of a smoking ban and I like the idea of a ban within 10 feet of a building.

However, I think a compromise should be made. This doesn't have to be a "either/or" situation.

Why can't there be no smoking between the times of 2:00 a.m. (or whenever bars close) and 9:00 p.m. but smoking allowed in or around bars from 9:00 p.m. -2:00 a.m. If you are in a bar and old enough to drink, you should be able to smoke if you want.


karkinrich 9 years, 1 month ago

Half-way through I started substituting cigarettes and tobacco with weed and marijuana and wonder why its not legal and viewed so differently from tobacco

storm 9 years, 1 month ago

There are two ways to wean yourself from smoking -

Plan A is purchase tabacco without nicotine then roll your cigs, put them in your silver case. Because the tobacco doesn't have nicotine, it'll be easier to wean yourself. For your used butts, you place those in the other side of your case (because it's against the law to litter).

  • Plan B is to replace the cigarrettes with a pacifier. With a pacifier, you don't have to go outside, anymore.

Good luck!

ThatGirl2 9 years, 1 month ago

I only stopped by to watch Marion's head explode. I have to say....I'm a little disappointed.

Kryptenx 9 years, 1 month ago

"The researchers recognize the need for further prospective studies because the data used were not initially taken for the purpose of this study. Also needed, they said, are additional investigations into the causes of associations between cigarette smoking and illegal drug use, such as the roles played by behavioral genetics, developmental psychology, and the ethnography of adolescent drug using patterns.

“Despite the need for further research,” says Dr. Lai, “the study does clearly indicate that in the overall population surveyed, early tobacco use at least can be used as a predictor to identify those who will use illegal drugs later on in life.”"

log: Re-read this statement, taken from your own post. This confirms what I have been saying all along, and in no way shows that tobacco is a gateway drug.

The researchers themselves recognize that more studies are needed to determine the causation! And in the second paragraph, Lai claims that early tobacco use can be used a predictor. You are still confusing correlation and causation. A predictor still does not imply causation. As with my example before, if tobacco use and drug use are caused by an addictive personality, then early tobacco use can still be a predictor of drug use without being the gateway. The gateway is NOT cigarettes, the gateway IS an addictive personality. Of course, I am not claiming to know the cause, but just using the very plausible example I put forth earlier. Until you disprove this plausible explanation of the causation in the case, you cannot call tobacco the causation.

Come on, I can spell logic from your username, but can't find it anywhere in your posts. You're not going to find anything in that article that will help you here unless they amend the article and post how they ruled out every other cause, yet the article itself pointed out that they need to look into the cause more! You pasted something that proved my point, thank you!

Kryptenx 9 years, 1 month ago

And to mushbhiorlo: I don't like the smell of flatulence, so by your logic we should ban people from farting too? Why stop there? Let's ban taking a poo too!

Kryptenx 9 years, 1 month ago

Then cite cancer as a reason for banning, not the smell.

kmat 9 years, 1 month ago

This is almost the same law they have in CA. Out there, it's 20 feet. They don't even allow smoking on the beaches! And it's wonderful. I'm an ex-smoker. Best thing I ever did was quit. You really don't know how disgusting it is until you quit.

Log - agree with Krypto. Being someone who smoked for 20 years, enjoyed some good partying in my early days and also has the addictive gene - cigs aren't a gateway drug to harder drugs. The addictive personality is the key.

And it is also a habit. Some of the hardest parts of quitting are getting used to changing your habits - smoking while driving, after eating, etc....

And Denak - just because I want to go to a bar doesn't mean I need to suffer from others smoke. My having a couple drinks on occasion and seeing a band doesn't mean I want to breath in nasty smoke.

Quit people. You will be sooo much happier. I loved smoking. BUT, life is so much better not smoking. I don't get sick as easy, I have more money, my teeth look better, I have more energy. Chantix is a great drug and makes it much easier to quit.

shopaholic 9 years, 1 month ago

before long there will be men stomping around with bullhorns yelling what we can and can't do. what happened to making our own decisions .smoke is not radioactive.we all have to die sometime, i know that comes as a shock. but i am less likely to hurt someone other than myself than a drunk on the highway..

paavopetie 9 years, 1 month ago

I shouldn't have to walk through ten smokers huddled under the front porch when I enter a bar. I'm looking at you, Jackpot Music Hall.

Make them leave their drinks inside and stand out in the rain, I say.

Kryptenx 9 years, 1 month ago

Log: Your last post had nothing to do with your original claim that cigarettes were a gateway. You did not claim that cigarettes were a predictor. Your claim was loud and clear: tobacco is a gateway to harder illicit substances.

Now you have moved on to not even using the gateway claim, probably because even you can see that that claim is false. You still conveniently ignore that tobacco use can be a predictor without being the cause. The cause is the gateway, not the predictor. Again ignored, an addictive personality is also a predictor, not only for illicit drug use, but for tobacco use as well. What makes tobacco as a predictor more significant or a better cause (consider that addictive personalities not only predict your predictor's results (drug use), but also predict your predictor!)?

Are you disagreeing with my statement that addictive personalities are also predictor for nicotine, alcohol, and drug use?

Kryptenx 9 years, 1 month ago

If you don't disagree with my last question, then you have proven my point. If you do disagree, then you need to cite specific evidence that smoking a cigarette actually changes the chemistry of your brain to increase the likelihood that you will ingest illicit narcotics.

Which is infinitely more plausible? 1) Smoking a cigarette somehow makes you more likely to do drugs which you would never have done before smoking tobacco or 2) The likeliness of you smoking cigarettes or doing drugs has been there all along, and tobacco is merely the first step.

Kryptenx 9 years, 1 month ago

Please, learn to analyze things for yourself instead of blindly accepting the word of an "expert". That study wreaks of propaganda, and you have yet to convince anyone but yourself that cigarettes will cause you to try illicit substances.

Jeff Cuttell 9 years, 1 month ago

Outlaw farting in public too. That will be just as enforceable. So, I can't drive down the road smoking and go through a drive through for a meal? The whiners need to get over it. We've given up enough of our freedoms. This will never enforced in rural Kansas so why do we have to deal with it? We've already been kicked outside. Eating and drinking establishments are really going to have fit about this. They fought like heck to outdoor seating so they wouldn't lose anymore money and now the other shoe gets dropped.

I don't like seeing fat people wearing bare mid-drift shirts. Should they be arrested? No! I just deal with it. The whiners should too.

gccs14r 9 years, 1 month ago

"So, I can't drive down the road smoking and go through a drive through for a meal?"

Put your cigarette out before you get to the window. Restaurant vent hoods pull strongly through open drive-through windows and your smoke gets yanked inside, gagging the people who are making your food.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 1 month ago

Why does drinking and smoking necessarily go together?

Is it because both can be considered addictions?

Is it because smoking is just too damn difficult to quit for an hour or two or three?

Of course smoke is invasive as it travels throughout any space and the residue sticks to hair,clothing,the bar,the light fixtures,windows,curtains and ceiling. Imagine what lungs must look like.

storm 9 years, 1 month ago

jajacut, the second town in Kansas that implemented the ban is alot further west. I mean real far west. Past Dodge, even. Garden City, KS is the second town. The ban is being enforced, there.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 1 month ago

If my memory serves me well Lawrence Memorial Hospital forbids smoking anywhere on the grounds.

Jeff Cuttell 9 years, 1 month ago

What's that smell? Who farted? Arrest that man!

Maybe police should be given less of this petty stuff to worry about so they can catch actual criminals. With budget cuts everywhere, why give them more to have to deal with? Do you think they just have extra time to mess with a guy trying to smoke a Lucky Strike while he's on break instead of something of actual importance?

jayhawks71 9 years, 1 month ago

Ahh the good old days of talking about smoking bans is alive and well at LJ World. Same ol' weak counterarguments coming from some new players. I think I will sit this one out. What do you say Marion, c'mon, join me on the sideline for this one.

Practicality 9 years, 1 month ago

It does seem plausible that although most cigarette users do not smoke marijuana, most marijuana smokers first smoked cigarettes before ever having smoked marijuana. I know there was a study done that showed although not all marijuana users have used cocaine/crack and heroin, that the vast majority of cocaine/crack and heroin first used marijuana. It was in the DOJ website, do you want me to post it logrithmic?

spankyandcranky 9 years, 1 month ago

Could logrithmic and kyrptenex exchange phone numbers or emails so that the rest of us don't have to scan through their lengthy argument with each other?

dweezil222 -- I think you're right, if they pass this ban, it will be very difficult to enforce ...

However, there wouldn't be a necessity for this law if smokers could just be courteous to others, but clearly, that isn't happening. They don't respect their own health, it's unlikely they're going to consider the health of others.

Why so many fart posts? Could we please move on? While they are unpleasant to smell, they don't affect other people's health. Neither do fat people in crop tops. You're just being absurd, now -- although, that was probably the point. Smoking bans, on the other hand, are not absurd, in my opinion.

It's interesting, that in a city that barely passed this ban locally, most of the comments now seem to be in favor of it. I do think it's bothersome that in Lawrence, smokers tend to gather in front of doorways, creating a cloud of smoke to pass through. It's still better than being in a cloud of smoke the whole time you're inside the building they would've otherwise been smoking in.

storm 9 years, 1 month ago

I heard you lose your frequent-flier miles if you're caught farting in an airplane. OOooo that smell, can't your smell that smell?

madameX 9 years, 1 month ago

Not true about the signatures:

They got enough, they just wimped out of forcing a vote. I'm still kinda mad about that. Even if it wouldn't have changed anything, I signed one of those petitions because I wanted a chance to vote on it.

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