Archive for Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Editorial: Smoking bans

A local resident is seeking to eliminate all smoking both inside and outside public buildings in downtown Lawrence.

July 30, 2014

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Lawrence was the first city in Kansas to approve a ban on smoking in most public buildings, but a petition drive currently underway to extend the smoking ban to the outdoor areas throughout downtown probably may be a step too far.

After an unpleasant stroll in downtown Lawrence, Mike DuPont has begun a petition drive to convince city commissioners to ban smoking throughout downtown. DuPont said smoke was so prevalent during his recent walk on Massachusetts Street that he returned home smelling like smoke, which raised his concerns about exposing not only himself but his infant child to second-hand smoke.

Lawrence banned smoking in most public buildings in 2004. That ban was extended by state law in 2010 to include areas within a 10-foot radius of the entrance to a business, which includes many sidewalk dining areas in Lawrence. Although the ban on indoor smoking has been largely accepted in Lawrence, there has been little enforcement of the outdoor smoking law. The local fire marshal said he couldn’t recall the last time a citation had been issued under the state law, and that only a handful of such citations are handed out each year.

Increasing enforcement of the 10-foot radius law is the obvious first step to address the downtown smoking issue. Enforcing that law seems far more practical and feasible than trying to define and enforce a ban on all downtown smoking. Would an overall ban include people who are smoking in their cars? Or someone who lives downtown and steps out on a balcony or fire escape to have a cigarette?

It would be interesting to know what downtown business people think of this idea. Many businesses, especially bar owners, were fearful that the city’s initial indoor smoking ban would seriously impact their businesses, but a study done two years after the statewide ban went into effect found that sales at establishments that served alcohol actually increased during that time. Maybe businesses would welcome more stringent enforcement of the 10-foot rule or even a broader ban.

At this point, a ban on outdoor smoking downtown probably shouldn’t be a top city priority. An overall ban seems too difficult to enforce, but if city officials see downtown smoking as a problem, increased enforcement of the existing state law would be a good first step.

Comments

9 months, 1 week ago

Nice article! If people are interested, please sign the petition and visit our site smokefree.changelawrence.us

Chelsea Kapfer 9 months, 1 week ago

from the author "The reason why I started this petition is that I was downtown in the evening with my wife and newborn and we wanted to walk around and have a coffee. There was so much smoke around and we had to doge though large groups of smokers. Then when I came home I had this cigarette smell that I could not get rid of, finally figured out my head was covered in some tar goop that stunk like an ashtray. It was so disgusting that I sat down and wrote this petition. If that did not happen I don't think I would have done it."

Brock Masters 9 months, 1 week ago

Remind me never to get on your bad side.

I think this should be settled with Chelsea and Mike squaring off with tar balls at 10 paces.

Chelsea Kapfer 9 months, 1 week ago

awesome idea. Now if only we could figure out exactly WTH a tar ball is.......?

Chelsea Kapfer 9 months, 1 week ago

I find it curious that LJWorld keeps removing Mike Duponts wife's statements that insult the entire state of Kansas, stating that we have a "poor life" and that we think we are so exceptional we cannot take criticism, and accusing us of being racist and to dumb to know our states history or be politically active. One should stand behind their direct quotes, or at least address them, or at least NOT have them censored and removed, especially when that same person is accusing us of not allowing their "freedom of speech". It is Ironic, to say the least.

Jay Reynolds 9 months, 1 week ago

It would be interesting to lift ALL smoking bans for about a week. Smoke at work, in hospitals, on airliners, in restaurants, concerts, ballgames, college classrooms. Wherever, light 'em up!

I doubt most people would think any of those bans went too far.

Richard Heckler 9 months, 1 week ago

"Increasing enforcement of the 10-foot radius law is the obvious first step to address the downtown smoking issue. Enforcing that law seems far more practical and feasible than trying to define and enforce a ban on all downtown smoking"

Of course …… then again will enforcement require a citizen complaint by way of a phone call?

Who's responsible for the millions of butts laying around? Talk about tacky...

Brian Mellor 9 months, 1 week ago

Really we just need to ban infants from public spaces. Noise pollution, they smell terrible, and they're probably carrying all sorts of diseases.

I'm not saying that you can't have an infant, or can't enjoy one. Just enjoy it on your own property, and not in public places.

Chelsea Kapfer 9 months, 1 week ago

Toddlers too. They are as bad as infants AND they are mobile. They are like a tar ball with legs. :)

Brock Masters 9 months, 1 week ago

One time I held a toddler and when I set him down I smelled something. I rubbed my hand on my shoulder and felt something sticky and stinky - must of been a tar bar.

9 months, 1 week ago

They probably don't agree with taking birthing control pills though ...makes me wonder if the dear thing was planned...

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