Archive for Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Health advocates urge Kansas legislators to pass comprehensive indoor smoking ban

Advocates of a statewide ban on indoor smoking in public places gather in February 2010 on the east steps of the Capitol. They placed 380 pairs of shoes to represent those Kansans who die annually from second-hand smoke.

Advocates of a statewide ban on indoor smoking in public places gather in February 2010 on the east steps of the Capitol. They placed 380 pairs of shoes to represent those Kansans who die annually from second-hand smoke.

February 10, 2010, 11:24 a.m. Updated February 10, 2010, 11:40 a.m.

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— Clean air advocates rallied Wednesday, urging passage of a statewide ban on smoking in indoor public places, such as restaurants and bars, and defeat of a proposed bill that contains numerous exemptions.

Stacy Parkinson, Gov. Mark Parkinson’s wife, described House Bill 2642 as “a slap in the face of public health.”

Stacy Parkinson, wife of Gov. Mark Parkinson, speaks Wednesday during American Cancer Society event. Parkinson urged passage of strong statewide ban on smoking in indoor public areas, such as restaurants and bars. She talked about how her father died from cancer when she was 23.

Stacy Parkinson, wife of Gov. Mark Parkinson, speaks Wednesday during American Cancer Society event. Parkinson urged passage of strong statewide ban on smoking in indoor public areas, such as restaurants and bars. She talked about how her father died from cancer when she was 23.

The bill, which is being considered by the House Health and Human Services Committee, was roundly criticized during Kansas Smoke-Free Lobby Day, an event put on by the American Cancer Society.

The clean air advocates favor a bill that has already been approved by the Senate, which is a more comprehensive smoke-free measure. The bill under consideration by the House committee would allow smoking in restaurants and bars that have separate ventilation systems for smoking areas, and that pay $1 per square foot of smoking area for an exemption.

State Health Officer Jason Eberhart-Phillips put together a “Top 10” list of reasons why HB 2642 is “the bad bill.” One of the reasons is that the bill would nullify anti-smoking ordinances in numerous cities, including Lawrence and Topeka.

A strong statewide ban on indoor smoking in public places is needed to reduce the health problems caused by second-hand smoke, advocates said.

After statements by public officials, about 50 supporters of a statewide ban marched to the Capitol where they had earlier placed 380 pairs of shoes on the east steps. The shoes represented the number of Kansans who die each year from second-hand smoke.

Comments

JohnFrancis58 5 years, 2 months ago

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

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.

And these places could be lmited in scope as to what they allow. For example, they would not be able to offer live music. Therefore, there would never be a situation where a band is playing in a smoking establishment that a nonsmoker wants to go see.

I would also support increased ventilation requirements.

Limiting, licensing and regulating smoking establishments is a reasonable compromise. In hindsight, the prosmoking faction miscalculated by not going down this road 10-15 years ago. And from what I've read, the current bill offered up by prosmoking forces is also a miscalculation by being too liberal in its smoking exemptions.

Unfortunately, now that the anti-smoking forces have the momentum on their side they are becoming more and more determined in opposing even the most reasonable exemptions.

Zealotry of any kind is myopic, unmindful of the rights of others and always oppressive.

Again, it is not the health concerns (of innocent third parties) that are behind the mania for absolute bans, it is the idea that smoking is an evil and needs to be eradicated.

San Francisco currently bans smoking on public golf courses. Where is the health issue there? Some have used the logic that smokers litter. Well, so do soda drinkers and snackers. If littering is a problem, start enforcing the littering laws for everyone. Banning smoking on public golf course is not a health issue. It is a "puritanical" (ironic, for San Francisco) "though shalt not" mentality that is way too commonly seen in both the extreme left and extreme right.

We're headed down a slippery slope and the desination is scary.

ksjayhawk74 5 years, 2 months ago

Going out to bars, clubs & restaurants is soooo much nicer now that there is no smoking at all.

Before the ban, people were just used to all the gross stuff associated with cigarettes like thick clouds of smoke hanging in the air, ash trays and spilled ashes, drinking glasses used for ash trays & cigarettes butts on the floor. Oh, let's not forget coming home with clothes that reeked of cigarette smoke.

And the smoking ban isn't puritanical. People who want to smoke in public places just don't care how their behavior affects other people and that's really sad.

BHannegan 5 years, 2 months ago

We really don't know if anyone dies from secondhand smoke. 380 deaths is speculation based on what could be mere statistical static.

http://ww.acsh.org/factsfears/newsID.800/news_detail.asp

housewife 5 years, 2 months ago

I've lived in this world for well over half a century. I don't really want to live another half a century. The changes I've seen in this country are tremendous. Not for the good. People curse the smoker and blame them for all their health problems. My grandfathers died of a heart attack and a stroke. Neither of them were smokers, nor were they around second hand smoke. Both of my grandmothers died of cancer. One of Leukemia, the other of cancer to the pallate. Neither of them were smokers, nor were they around second hand smoke. My son's best friend is fighting leukemia. He's only 25 and has never smoked and would not stay around those who were. I also knew a Nun who was 101 years old, smoked since the 20's and died of natural old age at 103. She was a fiesty little thing and could run circles around me.
You can play the blame game for eternity. The trouble is......people die.....people suffer. That's life and the end is death.
If people want to smoke, they will find a way no matter how bad you treat them.....and I've seen people treat smokers pretty bad. If people don't want to be around it, they certainly don't have to be. It's a choice, either way.
I just hate to see people go from polite, caring individuals to hateful, sneering hurtful fiends all because they don't like what another person does. The situation with the taxes is that smokers are being taxed without rightful representation. I think the founding fathers held a little tea party over that very thing some time ago.

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