Archive for Friday, February 5, 2010

Kansas Gov. Parkinson vows to veto House smoking bill

Bill would overturn Lawrence ordinance

Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson says he plans to veto a House bill that would ban smoking in public indoor places while allowing numerous exemptions. Parkinson says the bill is ridiculous.

February 5, 2010


— Gov. Mark Parkinson on Friday said he would veto a House bill that would establish a statewide ban on smoking in indoor public places but allow numerous exemptions.

Parkinson called House Bill 2642 “a ridiculous piece of public policy that is nothing but a fraud.”

Parkinson said he wants a statewide ban on smoking in public places like one already approved by the Senate.

A hearing on the House bill is scheduled for Wednesday before the House Health and Human Services Committee.

Under the measure, restaurants, bars and clubs could continue to allow smoking if there are separate smoking and non-smoking areas. Also, businesses could purchase exemptions. In addition to allowing exemptions, the bill would also overturn local anti-smoking ordinances, such as the one in Lawrence.

Parkinson said he expected a “meaningless” smoking ban to be introduced during the legislative session, but that this one was even worse than he imagined.

“The most meaningful thing the Legislature can do this year is pass a real smoking ban,” he said.

Parkinson’s comments came during and after a news conference on National Wear Red Day, which tries to raise awareness about heart disease among women.

State health and American Heart Association officials noted that a recent study showed that communities with smoking bans see a decrease in heart attacks.

In 2008, more than 4,200 women died of cardiovascular disease in Kansas — nearly 1 out of 3 of all female deaths. Risk factors for heart disease included exposure to tobacco smoke, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, obesity and diabetes.

A national study released Friday re-affirmed that indoor smoking bans increase the health of Americans.

“Exposure to secondhand smoke must be eliminated,” said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden. “Smoke-free laws are one of the most readily available and cost-effective methods to reduce health care costs, and prevent heart attacks and heart disease–related illness and death.”


Richard Heckler 7 years ago

Good for the governor.

Westport appears to be smoke free as is the Plaza.

gogoplata 7 years ago

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chzypoof1 7 years ago

Great job gov. There really shouldn't be ANY legislation on this. Let the businesses choose. If people want to go there, they will go....

QUIT leaning on the government to take care of our issues. It's ok to be self sustaining.....


generalsn 7 years ago

Here's the source of the bans, Johnson and Johnson, makers of Chantix, Nicoderm, and other quit smoking drugs. As can be seen, the ACS and the ALA get millions from them to support smoking bans. It's simple marketing strategy.


And where the money is going: Note on page seven, the "inside out" provision promising to return later for the patios AFTER business owners spend thousands to build them for their many smoking customers, clearly showing that they have absolutly no concern about local businesses


Adam Franz 7 years ago

I have to comment on the above posting: The study you reference comes from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, not Johnson and Johnson. RWJF is a wonderful public health advocacy organization that provides grants to non-profit organizations, especially for healthy living initiatives. For instance, they provided grant money for the Healthy Kids initiative in KCK, which, gasp!, introduces many lower income and urban children to the possibilities of living an active and healthy lifestyle, which includes not smoking.

Please check your facts before posting. The smoking ban was one of the best things Lawrence ever accomplished. And trust me, if you have been downtown any night of the week, the bars and restaurants are not losing any business due to the lack of a smoking section. I really can't believe this is still an issue worth debating in modern society.

sad_lawrencian 7 years ago

Kudos to our good governor. He is a wise man.

andrewjase62 7 years ago

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beaujackson 7 years ago

Most of my (old) smoking friends have died of either lung cancer or heart attacks. I miss them.

Our family will never go in a "smoking" restaurant.

jafs 7 years ago

Even if some businesses will make a little money selling patches, etc. to help people stop smoking, that pales next to the amount of money tobacco companies make supplying people for life with cigarettes.

AnonymousBosch 7 years ago

Well done, Gov. If smokers wish to endanger their health, they are welcome to it, but not anywhere that might endanger the health of others - employees, other customers, the family members they drag along and won't listen to when they plead with them to stop smoking. If any of you also want to claim that anti-smoking organizations are out to make money off this, that's hilarious considering how much money you pay cigarette companies to help you die a painful death. Public health regulations don't allow poisons in the kitchen; they shouldn't allow noxious smoke anywhere else in a restaurant/bar either.

dontcallmedan 7 years ago

The liberals will not stop at this if they are given their way. It is a slippery slope towards total population control by the liberal elite.--lawrenceguy40


woodscolt 7 years ago


Poor fella, the problem is you live in a shroud of fear. The sky is always falling on you. Stop listening to all the scare tactics from the wacko right and chill. People can still smoke.

chzypoof1 7 years ago

Good try's not about fear or the's about truth and the stripping of our rights little by little (I don't smoke btw). I would be glad to discuss the patriot act with you sometime, to show you that sky fell a LONG time ago (under bush, and continued with Obama)

Government for the people, by the people...not a government to tell the people how to live their lives...


Frank Smith 7 years ago

generalsn (Anonymous) says…

"The RWJ Foundation is owned by Johnson and Johnson."


No one "owns" a foundation.

Get an education.

JohnFrancis58 7 years ago

If these bans were really about public health then I would say "great." They are not. These bans are about the majority of nonsmokers controlling the activities of smokers. Why not do either or both of the following: -- license establishments that only smokers could enter -- license establisments that allow smoking in only completely closed-off areas; plus, these places would be required to install modern ventilation systems that reduce tobacco air "pollution" to less than that of most modern cities.

These licenses could be limited (like casinos) to ensure that the majority does not ever have to go into a place tainted by smokers.

My point is that there is no conflict between allowing smokers places to gather in public and others (the majority) to enjoy a smoke-free world.

These bans are about enforcing the morals of of the majority at the expense of the minority.

Smoking is bad for one's health. So is sugar. And don't tell me that smoking hurts innocent third parties in ways sugar does not. As I've noted above, there are ways that smokers can gather in public without endangering nonsmokers.

At the crux of this is a narrow-minded puritan culture that is saying "I don't think you should be doing what you are doing so I'm going to pass laws to make it very difficult for you to do it."

compmd 7 years ago

lawrenceguy40, keep your tinfoil hat on.

JohnFrancis58 (Anonymous) says…

If these bans were really about public health then I would say “great.” They are not. These bans are about the majority of whites controlling the activities of blacks. Why not do either or both of the following: — license establishments that only blacks could enter — license establisments that allow blacks in only completely closed-off areas; plus, these places would be required to install modern ventilation systems that reduce tobacco air “pollution” to less than that of most modern cities.

These licenses could be limited (like casinos) to ensure that whites do not ever have to go into a place tainted by blacks.

My point is that there is no conflict between allowing blacks places to gather in public and whites (the majority) to enjoy a black-free world.

Do you see how silly your post sounds now?

JohnFrancis58 7 years ago

compmd I wish I could remember from my logic class (many years ago) the term for when an argument is so twisted and off point that it is impossible to logically respond to it. But I'll try. -- Skin color (nor sexual orientation if you want to bring that nonconnected issue to this debate) is not a choice. Smoking (or not) is definitely a choice. -- I personally do not believe in God ... so obviously I do not belong to any organized religion. Beyond that, I believe religion to be a clear and present danger to the continued growth and eventual survival of humans. Whether this threat comes from our own fundamentalist Christians or radical muslims in control of nuclear weapons, if we do not evolve past religion -- it will be the death of us all.

However, even as strongly as I believe that, I do not think it right, nor would I support, any restrictions on the rights of individuals who make the choice to gather in buildings (tax subsidized buildings at that) to worship.

I would have to admit that first of my original licensing examples should be reworded to ensure that no one is prevented from entering a licensed smoking establishment. But I've no interest in crafting a perfectly worded proposition so it can be discounted by some sideways analogy.

My main point is still valid. The super majority of nonsmokers is trying to impose its will on others.

The more smoking and smokers are marginalized the likelier we approach the day when tobacco becomes criminalized.

BTW: You meat-eaters out there. Meat is the next battleground. Using both health concerns and environmental arguments, the radical anti-meat crowd is positioning itself for increased taxation, legislation and eventually banning. Sound familiar?

JohnFrancis58 7 years ago

beobachter, question right back at you. Why should the minority of smokers be denied the ability to associate in a few licensed establishments? Are you really telling me that if there was an ordinance allowing two (for example) smoking establishments in Lawence that this somehow limits the ability of the majority to go where they please?

I actually agree that most places should be nonsmoking but why deny any recourse for people of like interests (like cigar smoking) to gather in a publc place?

The answer to the above has nothing to do with limiting the rights of nonsmokers to go where they please; it has EVERYTHING to do with imposing one group's mores on the minority.

JohnFrancis58 7 years ago

Are you people hearing me??!!

You do not have to enter the one, two or three licensed establishments that allow smoking. Smoking would not be allowed in the vast majority of bars. I'm just saying why can't a very few places (with advanced ventilation) be licensed to allow smoking?

I'll tell you why ... this has nothing to do with your being exposed to smoke ... this has everything to do with you deciding a behavior is wrong and trying to eradicated it.

BTW: Love the sound analogy. No one gives a flip if a stereo is blaring in the middle of nowhere to the enjoyment of only those who want the stereo to be blaring. Why should anyone care if I smoke in a bar licensed for smokers?

JohnFrancis58 7 years ago

none2 Never said this: "However, when you feel that you have the right to smoke anywhere and anytime you want regardless of the other people around you."

I don't feel smokers should be allowed to smoke anytime and anywhere they please. I just think a compromise can be reached where a very few public places could be licensed to allow smoking.

So I say again, it is not the health concerns that bother you, it is just the IDEA of someone being allowed to smoke in relative comfort that bothers you.

An absolute ban of public smoking is about control, not health concerns or the infringement of the nonsmoking public's rights.

jafs 7 years ago


I don't see any problem with a few smoking places, like cigar clubs, for those who feel the need to smoke in a group in public.

Assuming, of course, that the smoke isn't spilling out into the air around the club and bothering folks walking along the street.

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