Archive for Thursday, May 3, 2012

Jensen urges legislators to reject bill to weaken indoor smoking ban

May 3, 2012


— Dr. Roy Jensen, director of the Kansas University Cancer Center, on Thursday tried to snuff out a proposal to weaken the public indoor smoking ban and other tobacco-related measures.

Dr. Roy Jensen, director of the KU Cancer Center.

Dr. Roy Jensen, director of the KU Cancer Center.

Jensen said weakening the smoking ban could hurt KU's efforts to get National Cancer Institute designation for the Cancer Center.

And, he said, it would be bad for the health of Kansans.

"We simply cannot go backwards," Jensen said during a briefing of legislators on KU's application for NCI designation.

Earlier this week, the House Federal and State Affairs Committee approved a bill that would allow smoking in Kansas bars. The measure, now before the full House, would allow smoking in any private business that has only patrons and employees who are at least of legal drinking age.

Kansas banned smoking in most private businesses in 2010. "Tobacco cessation has clearly been identified as the No. 1 thing we can do to improve the health of citizens," Jensen said.

The committee also has recommended at the urging of tobacco lobbyists that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment study whether the state should promote smokeless tobacco products as a way to reduce cigarette use.

Asked by legislators if smokeless products could be seen as safer than cigarettes, Jensen said "hogwash."

Of requiring KDHE to conduct a study, he said, "That would be a pretty silly waste of everybody's time."

Jensen was also asked his opinion about electronic cigarettes, which use a battery powered tube that looks like a cigarette to dispense nicotine to the user. He said nicotine produces cardiovascular problems and that electronic cigarettes are "gateways" to tobacco products.

The Senate has approved a bill that would make it illegal to sell electronic cigarettes to minors.

On the issue of NCI designation for the Cancer Center, Jensen said he was cautiously optimistic about KU's chances. Getting the designation, he said would increase the amount of research that the Cancer Center could do.

He said a committee will give the Cancer Center a score this week from its site visit earlier this year.

The NCI will probably decide this summer on whether the Cancer Center receives the designation, he said.

He said his most immediate concern was over federal budget problems and whether that would impact NCI decisions.


patkindle 6 years ago

haters got to hate An energy businessman is donating a record $35 million to the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History to build a new dinosaur hall on the National Mall, the museum complex announced Thursday.

The donation by David H. Koch, the executive vice president of Koch Industries Inc. of Wichita, Kan., is the single largest gift in the museum's 102-year history. The Smithsonian Board of Regents voted Monday to name the new dinosaur hall in Koch's honor

Read more here:

pace 6 years ago

"Over the past 25 years, America's economy has more than doubled in dollar value, an expansion that all of us helped produce. Yet in that period, the bottom 90 % of Americans saw their income fall by an average of $4,000 - while the richest 0.01% saw their income jump 384%." --Jim Hightower

Orwell 6 years ago

But… but… what about our freedom to burden the health care system and our loved ones, then die prematurely? Next thing you know, they'll be taking away our freedom to do an inward two-and-a-half from an overpass into the path of a school bus!

optimist 6 years ago

This is all about economics. Why no discussion of the healthcare and pharma lobby making money from tax payers. The department's of health from around the state purchase tons of smoking cessation patches and other products to provide free to smokers wanting to quit. The smoking ban drove this business. Sounds like profiteering to me, especially when the tax payers are footing the bill for others wether we like it or not.

What really bothers me is the lack of discussion about the role of government and it's intrusion into the lives of individuals and private business. I hate smoking and hardly ever went to restaraunts because of the smoke but I would never impose my will on others. It's simply inconsistent with American traditional values.

Liberty275 6 years ago

These guys don't distinguish between public and private property. To them, it's all the same. I don't know if they just don't know the difference or they hate that people own things they don't, but that's the status quo in this little leftist backwater town.

JackMcKee 6 years ago

What is the typical education level of the average Kansas House Member? Did any of them graduate high school?

Jayhawk1958 6 years ago

Well they say education in really poor in the rural areas...

John Hamm 6 years ago

Hey Jensen, If you don't like cigarette smoke do NOT, I repeat NOT, patronize locations where it is permitted. Plain and simple. Jeezzzzzzz, trying to claim a weakening of the ordinance would jeopardize the Hospital's hopes for a title is absurd - if their chance of getting recognition hinges on KS being a smoke free state they're in pretty shaky shape......

JackMcKee 6 years ago

The guy lighting up the cig in the cover photo...he's actually only 28 years old. Smoking ages you fast.

JackMcKee 6 years ago

au contraire mon ami, it's everybody's problem.

Liberty275 6 years ago

You can have my part of his problem. You can be a hero twice.

Anthony Mall 6 years ago

I enjoy the occasional smoke when I am out having a drink and I don't mind stepping outside for a few minutes... It is nice walking into bars and not seeing the cloud of smoke that used to hover just above the lights...

MarcoPogo 6 years ago

Except for the Jazzhaus...that place just hasn't seemed the same since the ban. Did you know that they had a stage and ceiling? Weird.

Don Whiteley 6 years ago

For more than 50 years, I had to hack and wheeze my way through work places, restaurants, bars, and other establishments buried in a fog of smoke. Just when you thought it was safe to go back into a bar, the morons in our legislature want to re-institute smoking. Isn't this the same group who won't allow wineries in Kansas to deduct the tools of their business as farm implements? Hypocrisy reigns supreme. What else is new?

jafs 6 years ago

I believe that OSHA is a federal law involving workplace safety.

So your view that there should be no workplace safety laws is not the reality or law at the federal level.

Patricia Davis 6 years ago

Secondhand smoke becomes a problem for everyone. The diseases of cigarette smoking is a national burden. If NYC and Dublin can ban smoking in bars, certainly Kansas can.

gccs14r 6 years ago

Sure we are. Every time a smoker lights up, someone downwind ends up breathing some smoke.

George_Braziller 6 years ago

I smoke and don't have any issues with indoor smoking bans. However a lot of businesses ignore the reality there are people who smoke. It pisses me off when they don't even provide a trash can and I have to leave it in the gutter because there isn't any other place to put it.

Jayhawk1958 6 years ago

You need to cater to us and not the other way around.

jafs 6 years ago

I think that the city should provide more and convenient receptacles for disposal, and they should have done it when they passed the city ban.

Otherwise, as I predicted, the sidewalks wind up littered with butts.

But, you know there are trash cans at many corners - you could carry your butt to one of those.

George_Braziller 6 years ago

Not when it's a monsoon rain or 12 degrees outside and you're going back into the establishment after a smoke.

An empty coffee can near the door isn't rocket science.

greenworld 6 years ago

The guy in the photo looks like Jerry Fitzgerald to me.

Bob Harvey 6 years ago

I knew it would come to this at some point. I have been smoke free for over 4 years and I love it. Hate the smell and thankfully keep a heck a lot of money in my pocket. That being said, I can't be a hypocrite. I believe that bar owners should have the right to determine if their establishment allows smoking. It is the patrons right to decide whether they visit that establishment.

If I looked back I am not sure if I commented those many years ago when the ban was being discussed but it would have still been my decision. There is nothing good that comes from smoking...absolutely nothing. But if I change my song now it simply would not be right.

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

Drifting smoke does in fact invade the privacy of others. Drifting smoke anywhere knows no barriers.

KCMO news interviewed some bar/grill owners who formerly argued against any ban but now after investing so much money providing outdoor smoking space they will not support any new changes. Additional comments suggested they have come to appreciate leaving work without smelling of tobacco smoke.

If my memory serves me well McCoys of Westport cut off smoking on the outdoor deck somewhat recently.

I believe the medical insurance industry backs a smoking ban. They know of the carcinogenic dangers.

MarcoPogo 6 years ago

That's okay. McCoys cut off having decent food and service years ago so it's good that they're playing "catch up".

Sheila Martin 6 years ago

If KUCC does not deserve the designation WITHOUT being blackmailed to lobby by the NCI then KUCC doens't deserve the designation.

Sheila Martin 6 years ago

The medical insurance industry supports the smoking ban because the legal discrimintion of smokers lets them jack up the prices on that group. Obese people are next, as J&J sell Splenda and the most popular lap band procedure. Then KCUU will lobby for that also, as they get grant funded by J&J thru their "Robert Wood Johnson Foundation". J&J's "war" on smokers started the day they cornered the market on Nicoderm, Nicorette, NIcotrol, and NIcoderm CQ. The "war" on sugar started the day they bought Splenda.

I would expect people in, a town full of geniuses, to do the simple math here!

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