Archive for Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Battle for statewide smoking ban looming

House could agree with Senate plan as early as today

February 24, 2010, 2:39 p.m. Updated February 25, 2010, 12:00 a.m.


— A showdown over a proposed statewide ban on smoking in indoor public places, such as restaurants and bars, may occur today.

In the House, supporters of a ban are expected to make a motion to concur with a plan already approved by the Senate.

Both sides of the issue said Wednesday there is a majority in the House to OK the Senate-approved bill, which would send the measure to Gov. Mark Parkinson, who strongly favors a ban.

Opponents of a statewide ban continued to fight what was coming down the track.

“This is not something you should cram down people’s throats,” said state Rep. Brenda Landwehr, R-Wichita, who is chair of the House Health and Human Services Committee.

Landwehr has an alternative bill, but it has been blasted by health officials, who said it would have allowed indoor smoking for a nominal fee, and overturned stricter local ordinances, such as the one in Lawrence. Parkinson called that bill a “fraud.”

On Wednesday, Landwehr called two meetings of a House-Senate conference committee, saying she wanted to try to craft a compromise. Both times, no senators showed up.

Landwehr said the proposed statewide ban approved by the Senate was unfair because it exempted state-owned casinos. But she said even if the bill prohibited smoking in casinos, she wouldn’t support a statewide ban because she said local officials should make that decision.

Health officials have said that they aren’t happy with the casino exemption but that the bill represents a major step forward toward reducing health problems from secondhand smoke.


chasmo 8 years, 3 months ago

The hypocrisy of state owned casinos not being affected is astounding! All the bars in Lawrence that fought our local ban tooth and toenail saying it would be bad for business. I guess the state agrees. But scr!ew Private business owners! We can't afford to hurt the state casinos. Just think of all the kids!! How they get all that extra school money. To heck with all those folks who have to work in second hand smoke at the casinos! Bah..... I will vote against every incumbent in every office no mater what stripe they are.

Clark Coan 8 years, 3 months ago

Clean air is a human right! Pass the Senate version now.

generalsn 8 years, 3 months ago

Johnson and Johnson, makers of Chantix and Nicoderm, fund the bans through their Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Many tax exempt political action committees (charities?) received millions to sell smoking bans from RWJ Foundation. These bans are nothing but clever marketing strategy, with lots of highly publicized "sky is falling" hype, similar to global warming.

And what the 99 million dollars was going to. Note on page seven the "inside -out", provision going for patios later, AFTER business owners spend thousands of dollars to build them to accommodate their smoking customers, clearly showing that the tobacco control activists have ABSOLUTLY NO CONCERN about local issues or businesses. You may need to CTRL and scoll to enlarge it.

Prohibition is their next goal.

woodscolt 8 years, 3 months ago

cough cough hack hack......same old tired crap generlsn, your the one preaching "the sky is falling" and Robert Wood Johnson is not nearly as married to Johnson and Johnson as you would like to mislead people to believe. Clean air is my right and if you don't like clean air its your right to choose to go somewhere you can smoke.

Angie Dick 8 years, 3 months ago

Shouldn't it be left up too the owners, to say smoking or not? They pay tax's, so they should have the right to say yes or no. Just as we'll as the smokers and non smokers, have the right to go to a smoking or non smoking place!

whiteknight00 8 years, 3 months ago

Leave it up to the owners to decide. Just like the owners could stop the carrying of concealed guns, make it the same.

woodscolt 8 years, 3 months ago

cough cough hack hack.

friend73 says "Shouldn't it be left to the owners to decide whether to allow smoking or not?"

Same old tired stuff. The owners profit from the public and therefore they are beholding to the public for certain regulations that protect the publics best interest. Lets put all the health codes and building codes on the table for the owners to decide which if any they choose to abide by. Most owners are interested in their profit, not the well being of the people who patronize their businesses. If all the business owners, instead of a few, had the best interest of the people whom they profit from as their main interest, then no health codes or building codes would be necessary.

gbulldog 8 years, 3 months ago

Smokers are addicted. I believe the best way to cure the addiction is to require smokers to eat their butts. When I was a todler, I ate a cigarette but. Immediately upchchucked and can not stand cigarettes when they are smoked or the "stink" of a smoker.

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 3 months ago

A ban would be wonderful for health but would be terrible for freedom, choice and personal responsibility.

ksjayhawk74 8 years, 3 months ago

People who think they have the "right" to smoke in public places don't care how their actions affect other people. They might think that if they show up in a restaurant, want to smoke and it bothers someone else there, then that person can just leave.... That is terrible egocentric thinking.

How about this, you can smoke in public but anyone else there is fully allowed to rip a fart in your face or hack a nasty loogey in your food. If you don't want your face farted in and food spat in, then just go somewhere else.

viagra_sailor 8 years, 3 months ago

ksjayhawk74 (anonymous) says...

People who think they have the "right" to smoke in public places don't care how their actions affect other people. They might think that if they show up in a restaurant, want to smoke and it bothers someone else there, then that person can just leave.... That is terrible egocentric thinking.

just like you have the right to public protest, even though it could make many people late for work and anger many more. is this terrible and egocentric?

people don't have to relinquish their rights because others may be bothered.

anyways... i think it's better when there's no smoking indoors.

ksjayhawk74 8 years, 3 months ago

Protesting is part of freedom of speech, which is protected by the 1st amendment and not comparable to the freedom to smoke in a public, confined place at all.

Also, you can't organize a protest inside McDonald's or any other restaurant, the police will come and arrest you.

puddleglum 8 years, 3 months ago

strs: A ban would be wonderful for health but would be terrible for freedom, choice and personal responsibility.

so then, shouldn't I have the freedom to NOT be required to have car insurance? it is a total waste of money and a racket.

ksjayhawk74 8 years, 3 months ago

You don't have the "right" to not have car insurance because if you wreck into someone else, or God forbid, kill someone when you're driving, then the person you hit is S.O.L. for compensation.

You don't have the "right" to punch people in the face but that certainly doesn't impede on your freedoms.

lawrenceRezident 8 years, 3 months ago

This is laughable... Someone said clean air is a right? Don't drive you damn car then because I don't want to smell the exhaust!!!

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 3 months ago


A smoking ban is different from auto insurance because a smoking ban, in essence, prevents a thinking person from making a choice. You and I, of course, can choose to not eat at or work at a restaurant that allows smoking.

I would argue that auto liability insurance is not analogous because its focus is on protecting individuals from accidents. Smoking bans are foolishly designed to protect individuals from their own choices.

ClaroAtaxia 8 years, 3 months ago

The smartest thing Ron Paul ever said is that governing is best left to the most local of jurisdictions. The state should not pass laws that override local ordinances. The federal gov't would be wise to do the same.

snowbird 8 years, 3 months ago

The controversy of second hand smoke could be ended quickly by a simple act of legislation. Anyone presenting information represented as science or health reliant information, which is later found to be false or misleading, would be rewarded with a mandatory ten year jail sentence.

I can guarantee the bandwagon of smoker hatred would end overnight and the profiteers would be making deals in self preservation convicting each other. Similar to the last time their ilk rose to prominence and Doctors were hanged at Nuremberg. The laws of Autonomy created in the wake, are largely being minimized by the bigots and zealots of Public Healthism, they are laws we found at the expense of millions who died without them. No one has the right to make health choices for others and no one has a right to demand rights to the detriment of others, especially with the convenience of a lie, as we find in the “toxic effect of second hand smoke”.

generalsn 8 years, 2 months ago

Exempting Casinos in many states certainly debunks the myth of bans not affecting business. It's a shame that lawmakers enjoy trampling on small bars that can't afford high priced lobbyists.

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