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Archive for Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Bill seeks to allow smoking in Kansas bars

May 2, 2012

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— A House committee has approved a bill that would allow smoking in Kansas bars.

The bill approved Tuesday by the House State and Federal Affairs Committee would allow smoking in any private business that has only patrons and employees who are at least of legal drinking age.

Bel Aire Republican Rep. Steve Brunk, chair of the committee, said it's unlikely the bill will become law this year because it was introduced so late in the legislative session.

Brunk, who doesn't smoke, told The Wichita Eagle he supports the bill. He says it is consistent with state law that allows smoking in state-owned casinos and it protects private property rights.

Kansas banned smoking in most private businesses in 2010.

Comments

Hooligan_016 2 years, 7 months ago

I also like to go out and not come back smelling like an ash tray. I know the defenders of smoking in bars are going to say to take my business elsewhere, but if it's allowed in all bars, then I pretty much can't go anywhere now, can I?

Liberty275 2 years, 7 months ago

Stay home and drink. You can decide whether people can smoke on your own property.

JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 7 months ago

You take your libertarian views too far. Your right to do something in this country has ALWAYS been limited when it harms others. Without such limitations, society would devolve into anarchy. I know you know that.

Liberty275 2 years, 7 months ago

Why would a person that fears second-hand smoke go into a bar that allows smoking? They could as easily go to a bar that the owner has chosen to make "smoke free".

Is there an enforcement body that forces people into bars and makes them breath smoke? Or do patrons do it because they choose to.

I prefer to allow consenting adults the freedom to make the choice regarding whether they patronize a bar based, among other things, on it's smoking policy. It seems you just want to force others to do what you think is best for them.

America is what, 200 and something years old? How many outbreaks of anarchy can you show that are attributed to smoking in bars?

FarneyMac 2 years, 7 months ago

If you don't like abortions, don't go to doctors that perform them.

Liberty275 2 years, 7 months ago

Be careful, this guy will take your makeup and big floppy shoes. He knows what's best for you,so just be a nice clown and give up your freedom. Also, be glad he hasn't yet taken away that pollution-belching little car you 20 guys ride around in. CO kills in minutes!

patkindle 2 years, 7 months ago

i always felt the bar owners should make the rules and tell the world what customers they prefer but they do not want to burn any bridges so they let the law be the bad guy

the downside is many smokers will sit all nite and drive home drunk , while the non smoker, just drinks and leaves after a couple of shots the bar owners want both of them for covering thier overhead

JackMcKee 2 years, 7 months ago

I'm surprised the Kansas House members can tie their shoes in the morning. Worst group of legislators in the country.

gsxr600 2 years, 7 months ago

The fact that our legislator would spend one second of time on this is the worst part. It's fine the way it is. Oftentimes I still come home smelling like an ashtray anyway because people smoke 3ft outside of bars.

I agree bar owners should be able to choose the rules of their own bar. If any bar owner is stupid enough to allow smoking in there private business they'll see their profit margins decline.

KevinBacon 2 years, 7 months ago

"I agree bar owners should be able to choose the rules of their own bar." "The fact that our legislator would spend one second of time on this is the worst part."

So to clarify, you agree that the smoking ban was a mistake?

"If any bar owner is stupid enough to allow smoking in there private business they'll see their profit margins decline."

I have to disagree with you there. Plenty of smokers go to bars, some more probably stay home since smoking isn't allowed. Certain bars would become known as smoking bars and lose some non-smokers but also gain some smoking customers. Eventually we'd reach an equilibrium and I'm not sure what the ratio of smoking to non-smoking bars would be, but there's certainly a market for both.

Liberty275 2 years, 7 months ago

The owners are responsible for creating a legal environment. It is up to the employee to decide if they want the job. If this bill is passed, those that feel endangered by second hand smoke can find a job in a non-smoking workplace.

You may not like freedom to make choices for yourself, but lots of other people do.

Liberty275 2 years, 7 months ago

"should make the environment as safe"

Should make it in compliance with law, not "safe as possible". If you want "safe as possible" all bars would be forced to serve nothing but filtered water in sterilized glasses and patrons would never be allowed to touch each other.

Keep giving up your freedoms. Sooner or later they will take a freedom you'll miss and you will only have yourself to blame.

.

jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

And when the laws are about workplace safety, then they should comply with those, right?

Whether you like it or not, smoking in an enclosed space is a health hazard for employees.

jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

That was in fact one of the main arguments for the ban.

cozborn 2 years, 7 months ago

private club, right to work state, open saloon act... so yes they can.....mostly

Kevin Haislip 2 years, 7 months ago

what do you know . my bar just lost 40 % in the last 30 days . and the people that support this move would never have thought to enter. and never will you stay out of my bar i will stay out of your home.

obamasocks 2 years, 7 months ago

Time to make tobacco smoking illegal. Idiotic that its not since other less harmful substance ARE.

KevinBacon 2 years, 7 months ago

" I quit 9-10 years ago and STILL have strong urges to smoke." "I wouldn't be opposed to banning smoking all together."

So since you don't smoke anymore nobody should be allowed to? Seems fair...

Liberty275 2 years, 7 months ago

Don't hang around people that might take you with them when they go. Why would you in the first place?

RDE87 2 years, 7 months ago

I love coming home from the bars NOT smelling of disgusting smoke! I hope this bill does not pass. People who smoke are just fine outside on the patios.

gatekeeper 2 years, 7 months ago

I smoke and don't want smoking in bars. Smokers can go outside for our fix. I'm disgusted by how bad it gets inside bars when it's allowed. I want to smoke my cigarette, not everyone else's too. I go outside at home because it's just too gross to smoke indoors.

Eride 2 years, 7 months ago

"I go outside at home because it's just too gross to smoke indoors."

This is the most amusing point of this whole debate. The vast majority of smokers don't smoke inside their own homes but many of them are more than willing to sit inside at a bar and force feed that stuff to the rest of us. Thankfully you and other smokers like you "get it," I wish everyone did. The law banning smoking indoors is only necessary because of the lack of common decency by smokers towards the general population.

Jayhawk1958 2 years, 7 months ago

Dear Bar Owners-You just lost 80% of your business.

MarcoPogo 2 years, 7 months ago

Dear Jayhawk1958 - You just made up that number.

Jayhawk1958 2 years, 7 months ago

Dear MarcoPogo-The vast number of Americans don't smoke. Why should we jepordize our health for a small minority?

Jayhawk1958 2 years, 7 months ago

Only 25% of Americans smoke. Is that good enough for you?

MarcoPogo 2 years, 7 months ago

Saying that 75% of Americans don't smoke does not mean that a bar automatically loses 75% of their business. That's the logical fallacy in the original statement.

Jayhawk1958 2 years, 7 months ago

I don't know one person who doesn't smoke that would frequent a smoking bar. Why would they? Seriously. 2nd hand smoke is much worse.

Jayhawk1958 2 years, 7 months ago

Maybe the non-smokers should go outside. That would be the only reason they would go.

Orwell 2 years, 7 months ago

Nope – it'll still kill you. Problem is, there are bar owners that think a smoking ban costs them money. And in the Kansas Legislature, private profit trumps public health every time.

Kirk Larson 2 years, 7 months ago

I have a simple compromise: smokers can smoke in bars, but non-smokers get to spit in their drinks.

brutus 2 years, 7 months ago

I have a new bill to propose-outlaw smoking in casinos.

jonas_opines 2 years, 7 months ago

This is just posturing. Anyone who believes that this bill has ANY chance of passing or being implemented is a fool. We've had this fight already, non-smokers won. Property rights and everything else, you can give the argument if you want, but it fades in front of the simple truth of strength. Non-smokers have the strength of numbers, by a large margin. They used that strength, and they got what they wanted.

The end.

Shane Garrett 2 years, 7 months ago

Although tobacco use rates generally have declined over the last 40 years, some 4,000 individuals become new regular smokers every day. Given that more than 85 percent of smokers drink alcohol, and that drinkers are 75 percent more likely to smoke than are abstainers, the public health ramifications of joint use of alcohol and tobacco may be substantial indeed. From: KENNETH J. MUKAMAL, M.D., is associate professor of medicine at the Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. He had a whole paper on the subject of heart disease and smoking.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 7 months ago

Make a law that in order to buy a pack of 20 cigarettes, a user has to turn in 40 butts. Every 6 months, the toll rises by 5. That's my $0.02.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 7 months ago

I'll add that to your ever-growing catalog of limp retorts.

TinmanKC 2 years, 7 months ago

Hmm. Same kind of bill with similar language introduced in Missouri on the same day. Sounds like ALEC at work again.

jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

Wouldn't it be more logical to say it's allowed in places where all of the employees, customers, etc. were of legal "smoking" age?

This could include much more than bars, as it could now, given the current wording.

The original argument that isn't addressed by this idea is that employees working in such an establishment may suffer ill health effects due to the second hand smoke, even if they don't smoke themselves.

I hate cigarette smoke, having grown up with two heavily smoking parents, and generally like the non smoking ordinance, but I do think there should be some sort of exceptions, so that smokers who want to go out and be with other smokers can do so. I just don't know how to frame the exceptions so that we don't expose those employees to those health risks unwillingly (ie. if they smoke, and are willing to inhale everybody else's smoke, fine by me).

Overall, I urge everybody not to smoke - it's terrible for your health, costs a lot of money, is perhaps more addictive than heroin, and makes your breath and clothes smell disgusting.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 7 months ago

I've always supported the idea of "nicotine dens." Each city/locality would issue a limited number of licenses, and these places would have a limited capacity-- say 45 or fewer. They wouldn't be allowed to have food service, and they'd have to take significant measures to limit employees' exposure to toxic second-hand smoke.

This would allow the hard-core addicts a place to swill and smoke without dominating the bar and restaurant scene.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 7 months ago

Let the market decide. Allow each bar owner to have a smoking bar or a non smoking bar. Those that want to go to a non smoking bar may do so. Those that want to go to a smoking bar are free to do that. To encourage non smoking, have two different types of licenses, the smoking license being somewhat more expense to the owner, who will then have to pass that cost on to his customers.

Of course, in the good old days of smoking in bars, each owner was free to have a non smoking establishment. I suspect there were very few, precisely because it was a bad business model. But as attitudes about smoking have changed, and with a price differential, it might be a business model that would work now.

jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

That's a funny combination of things - let the market decide, and a more expensive license for a smoking place.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 7 months ago

It's a sin tax. The kind imposed on smoking and drinking already. This just taxes the establishments that allow smoking. The bar owner would still have the freedom to choose which type of establishment they want to operate.
Remember, though, back when it was legal, every bar owner had the choice to operate his/her bar as they saw fit. They could have made their establishments non smoking any time they wanted. Why do you suspect so few did? My guess is that the numbers of people who go to bars and smoke far outnumbers the numbers of people who say they would go to bars if it were a non smoking establishment. Do you ever recall seeing a non smoking bar back when it was legal to smoke in bars? I don't recall such a bar.

jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

I know - but the idea of "let the market decide" wouldn't impose different taxes on different bars. That idea suggests that we leave the market alone, and let it function without interference.

Differing taxes are a form of government interference with the market.

I don't go to bars at all, so I don't know - but your view is reasonable. I think most people who go to bars like to drink and smoke.

cozborn 2 years, 7 months ago

thats what I was thinking,: lets tax this guy more on the free market", wtf

jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

Maybe we could do it proportionally - ie. if 25% of the population smokes, then 25% of bars, restaurants etc. could allow smoking?

jhawkinsf 2 years, 7 months ago

"if 25% of the population smokes ..." I'm just guessing here, but I suspect that number might be a lot lower if you asked that question of church goers and that number might be a lot higher if you asked bar patrons. Should that be taken into consideration?

jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

If we're only discussing bars, sure.

Make it whatever percentage applies there.

jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

Except that doesn't quite cover the health issues for non-smoking employees then.

JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 7 months ago

As a diabetic who takes excellent care of myself, I'm appalled by this bill. Second hand smoke raises blood glucose levels and blood pressure. As such, it is an assault against my health. I shouldn't have to stay home because stupid people want to destroy their health and mine. The GOP in this state is out of control.

Liberty275 2 years, 7 months ago

"I shouldn't have to stay home because stupid people want to destroy their health and mine."

Can't you go see a movie instead?

Liberty275 2 years, 7 months ago

Well, you could see a show at the Lied roadhouse or a student production at KU. You people of culture are so hard to please.

JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 7 months ago

Why can't you? The problem with smoking in public is you make everyone else smoke too. Kids, the elderly, diabetics, people with heart disease are particularly vulnerable to this type of assault. Your rights end where they harm me...

Liberty275 2 years, 7 months ago

"Kids, the elderly, diabetics, people with heart disease are particularly vulnerable to this type of assault"

Why would those people be in bars?

jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

Except for kids, why wouldn't they?

Old people don't drink?

People with various diseases don't drink?

JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 7 months ago

Sometimes people like to listen to music, dance, socialize with friends, and maybe even have a drink or two...

Jayhawk1958 2 years, 7 months ago

This is so ridiciulous I can't believe they are trying to do this. Must be some lobby money coming from somewhere. One more thing to be ashamed of would I travel out of state.

Quantrillsghost 2 years, 7 months ago

In Amsterdam you can smoke hashish legally in their businesses, think Lawrence might pass a bill for that? Anyways..puff away! Oh yeah, well this is the USA, where the morals are pushed onto others by others and others think they know what is best for free Americans.

Carol Bowen 2 years, 7 months ago

Doesn't Rep. Steve Brunk have anything better to do during the extended session?

cozborn 2 years, 7 months ago

I dont understand, if you dont like smoke dont go to a place with smoking. It seems pretty simple, dont legislate my morality.

JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 7 months ago

Smoke near me, maybe I'll punch you. Same thing. Don't I have the right to stand my ground? That is what some of you calmed to support on the Florida shooting case recently.

JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 7 months ago

Claimed not calmed. I love that the iPad thinks it is smarter than people...

Jayhawk1958 2 years, 7 months ago

Oh cry me a river. Your morality doesn't count when we are talking about serious health problems.

Liberty275 2 years, 7 months ago

Your serious health problem is your problem and it is far less important than personal freedom. Go cry your own river.

jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

Well, at least you're honest about your lack of concern for other people.

jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

So, no workplace safety regs then?

jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

I agree about the child endangerment.

jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

And, of course, cigarette smoke doesn't stay neatly contained in one's home - it comes out through windows, doors, etc. and affects those nearby as well.

Liberty275 2 years, 7 months ago

Is he kidnapping people and making them stay in his establishment?

Seriously, are you people so without the ability to reason that you will voluntarily go where you think your life may be endangered? Do you need mommy government making all the decisions regarding your health? How about the decision regarding your girlfriend's abortion? Do you want the government making that call too?

We are becoming a nation of dumb humans that can't make a correct decision because the government has convinced more and more of our citizens that government-enforced cookie-cutter decisions will suffice, therefore individual thought is not required.

JayhawksandHerd 2 years, 7 months ago

Jobs. Period. Seriously, stop with this foolishness and get to work on real issues.

jayhawklawrence 2 years, 7 months ago

Another reason we have to stop electing repubs in this state.

There are so many reasons to get rid of cigarettes it is not even worth talking about anymore.

mom_of_three 2 years, 7 months ago

So the state can have smoking in casins, but business owners cant make the decision about their own places? doesnt seem right

jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

What if the smoke wafts over to my house next door? Then it's on my property and I don't want it there.

According to LO, you don't have the right to pollute your air if it then travels over to my property.

jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

Then you don't have the right to smoke in your own house, since smoke travels through the air onto other people's property.

And, you certainly don't have the right to smoke outside your house, in your yard, for example.

2 years, 7 months ago

I guess you wouldn't mind me suing you when I get lung cancer.

jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

I see you're continuing your argument by assertion about property rights, now adding some capital letters to the word right.

Do you think you're convincing anybody that way?

jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

No - I just note that you are doing the equivalent of raising your voice to try to make a point, which is generally not very effective.

There are issues that can't be resolved by a simplistic libertarian philosophy, and this is one of them.

jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

Groups are just collections of individuals.

The employees working at a bar/restaurant are also individuals, as are the customers.

Would you really do away with all workplace safety regulations? If so, then your position would be consistent, if extreme.

jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

Your belief in freedom, to the exclusion of any other concerns, is extreme.

So you would in fact do away with all workplace safety regulations?

jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

Ok.

That's consistent, but extreme, as I said.

jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

And people need jobs, so they're not completely voluntary, as far as I can tell.

jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

If you have a hard time believing that people are forced to take jobs they don't like, you're not living in reality.

Especially these days, jobs are scarce, and people take what they can get.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 7 months ago

George Carlin said: "Is having a smoking area in a restraunt like having a peeing area in a swimming pool"?

gudpoynt 2 years, 7 months ago

I'm not allowed to put known carcinogens in the food my customers eat. Violation of my property rights? Nope.

I'm not allowed to put known carcinogens in the beverages my customers drink. Violation of my property rights? Nope.

I'm not allowed to put known carcinogens in the air my customers breath. Violation of my property rights? Yup.

Please explain.

gudpoynt 2 years, 7 months ago

But eating your fatty burger is no risk to other people. Duh.

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