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Do you think bar owners, patrons or both parties should be cited for smoking violations?

Asked at Royal Crest Lanes, 935 Iowa on January 28, 2005

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Photo of Wayne Martin

“I think it should be given to the patron and the owner. It’s impossible to monitor the entire place, so it has to be both.”

Photo of Cheryll Anderson

“The smoker should absolutely get the ticket. They are the one that did it. They know the rules.”

Photo of Wilson Yeung

“I think it should be the owner, because they should enforce the law there.”

Photo of DeLisa Olson

“I would definitely say the patron. They know it’s illegal to smoke inside. The owner should probably get a warning the first time. They have so much going on with other customers and running their business.”


Redneckgal 13 years, 4 months ago

Sure kns haven't you ever heard the term educated idiot?

Richard Heckler 13 years, 4 months ago

I'm with Hong Kong and Lulu. Some bar owners would not enforce it otherwise. Those who have received citations were reported by their patrons? Lulu...well spoken. This family goes out more often.

tell_it_like_it_is 13 years, 4 months ago

Come on now non smokers 'fess up and be honest. YOU JUST DON'T LIKE THE SMELL OF SMOKE. Therefore you have to impose your will on everyone thats the real issue

SlappyJenkins 13 years, 4 months ago


Redneckgal 13 years, 4 months ago

BunE your right is a slippery slope and we're picking up momentum all the time. Smoking bans are okay for now because its pretty unpopular but just wait till they come after the hamburgers and steaks and twinkies. Don't think it can happen? Well I wouldn't bet the farm on it.

Lulu 13 years, 4 months ago

I AM FOR REAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Stop questioning my credibility!!!!!!!

I am tired of it.

remember_username 13 years, 4 months ago

Fangorn, where ya been?

To answer the question: What is the current case with underage drinking? Fine the smoker, but include the bar when it is clear they are not enforcing the ban - like after several smoking violations. The cops shouldn't have to keep returning to a offending bar.

tell_it_like_it_is 13 years, 4 months ago

I think the whole reason behind laws like this that take away our individual freedom to run our own businesses homes and lives (think about zoning laws, seat belt laws, the deal with the drug sniffing dogs we discussed earlier in the week and so on) they are meant to "prime us" "condition us" get us ready for even worse things down the road.

kansas 13 years, 4 months ago

Correction: I said "state", when, in fact, it's actually the city of Lawrence that I should be referring to!!!!

Lulu 13 years, 4 months ago

I am so happy most of you people support my views. It makes feel like a large movement is going to happen.

A smoke free society, except for the occasional hannibus of course :) - In the privacy of your own home.

tell_it_like_it_is 13 years, 4 months ago

kansas I couldn't agree more! It's stupid! Them kids are gonna get them smokes somewhere anyway.

Hucklebuck 13 years, 4 months ago

hey fangorn where are you stationed at?

Larry 13 years, 4 months ago

By the way Jonas - I wasn't saying that your views were similiar to Lulu's. That isn't possible since she isn't real. I'm just saying that I think you sometimes say things to get others ticked off or get their goat. That is Lulu's purpose in life. No real human being believes as she does. She is a fake, always has been a fake and always will be a fake.

jonas 13 years, 4 months ago

I won't try and dissemble, though. There ARE occasions when I post things just to shake things up and press a few buttons. I have faith that I don't do any lasting damage. >}B-)>

This is not one of those times.

Lulu 13 years, 4 months ago

Bar owners should be the only ones who get the ticket if one of their patrons gets caught. They should be shut down for a week. That will show them who is boss. In a capitalistic pig society, the business should always be blamed for wrong doing, regardless of who did the wrong.

This bar owner is suing and it will get thrown out of court. Our commissioners decided the fate when they passed the smoking ban. Nobody sues a city and wins.

If you want to smoke, do it in your own home. Don't pollute the air of some business. It is a hazard to the workers and the non-smoking patrons. Hats off for this wonderful law and our commissioners who had the guts and gusto. It was needed. I can take my children to the bar and grill without fear of one of my kids getting a respiratory malfunction.

Keep your smoke out of my lungs.


Hong_Kong_Phooey 13 years, 4 months ago

Well, 'Lulu' is a nutjob, but I do agree with at least one part of her post. The no smoking law is a godsend. Finally, I can go out to a bar and not come home smelling like a dirty ashtray. Smoking ban opponents say that the ban infringes upon their right to choose to smoke. What about my right to go out to a bar and not have to ingest smoke when all I want is a beer. Just because some people have chosen to make smoking a part of their alcohol ritual it doesn't, and shouldn't, mean that I have to.

On to the main question. I think that the person smoking should get the big ticket. I think that the bar should get a certain amount of "allowed violators" so that they don't get screwed with one customer, but if they get more than a designated amount - then they get fined because, hey, it is difficult to police 100+ people...

Punkin 13 years, 4 months ago

The City has neither the resources nor the political will to actually enforce the smoking ban, particularly against the smoking individual.

The fire department has way better things to do; the code and zoning folks don't work at night.

And the police department? HAH HAH HAH! As if!

The Lawrence Police Department is far too busy issuing traffic tickets and having meetings to actually enforce silly laws. Hell, they don't even deal with theft and robbery. Like smoking anything that isn't green and leafy is going to get their attention!

I suspect enforcement will be pushed off on the bar owners, and it will come from the City in the form of a nasty letter from City Hall.

As with most eveything else in this town, the victim (in the case, the bar owners who are hemmorhaging money over this thing) will take the brunt of the responsibility.

jonas 13 years, 4 months ago

H.K.Phooey: I wasn't aware that there was a right to do either of those things: smoking in a bar or getting clean air while in a bar or resteraunt. Where did you hear about it?

Since it is a law, now, both parties should be punished, but which party gets the higher punishment should be based (aaahh! Anti-bureacracy alert) according to each individual situation. Surely there is a difference between a setting where a bartender is knowingly infringing the rules by allowing smoking, and where a rogue patron is simply refusing to go along simply to be breaking the rules. Both situations are plausible, and it would be wrong to punish them both in the same way.

David Ryan 13 years, 4 months ago

If bars are to be the enforcement arm of the city government -- a responsibility normally given to the police -- then bars should be compensated monetarily for their trouble.

I'm not a fan of the smoking ban -- a bar should be able to decide, based on the free market, what works and what doesn't for its particular patrons (I don't buy the canard that ban supporters are interested in workers' health).

But if the city is expecting bars to enforce laws, they should be compensated at the same rate the police department is AND they should be involved in drafting the laws they are legally required to enforce.

craigers 13 years, 4 months ago

So if people don't want to be exposed to secondhand smoke, then they should just stay home and eat a home cooked meal and never go out to a restaurant. Isn't that flawed logic Merkin. By saying that they are free to choose to not be subjected to polluted air is bogus because that gives the smokers the right to smoke wherever they want to because of their right to choose and then eliminating the same choice for non-smokers to not be subjected to smoke. Your right to do what you want with your life is your choice. However when that choice starts to hinder other people from exercising their choice to go to a restaurant and not want to be exposed to secondhand smoke toxins, then there is a problem. To me it is the best of both world's. Everybody gets to eat in a clean and good smelling restaurant and that sounds much better than sitting in the "non-smoking" section and still smelling like an ashtray when you are done. Long live the smoking ban. And Merkin, you seem a little stressed, you might want to light up another your own home of course.

As for the question, fine the smoker, they are the ones who lit up.

Linda Aikins 13 years, 4 months ago

You go Merkin! You are absolutely right! Why don't people learn to take responsibility for their own actions instead of making others adjust their lives to fit theirs? I am so sick of this!!!

Let the bar decide if they want smoking, and then let the patrons decide where they want to go! If nonsmoking is so popular, there should be lots of options for both puffers and nonpuffers.

Or in the words of Joan Rivers, OH GROW UP!!!!

Liberty 13 years, 4 months ago

I think if you look into the roots of where this smoking ban comes from, you will find that it comes from the United Nations (along with the international fireworks ban). If this goes through, you will then see a ban on obesity, (government telling you what you can eat), then you will see an effort to put a meter on personal water wells and then be taxed on your own water. Then for the people in the city, a regulation to limit water use in the city to 10 1/2 gallons a day per person. If you want these things, just go back to sleep and let the government control you. After all, they know what is best for you, not you. The attack starts on smokers because the weak in mind will go for that... it sounds reasonable...hum...doesn't it. The above restrictions are happening in Missouri and Arkansas now.

BunE 13 years, 4 months ago

While this horse is dead, I must beat it one more time.

Letting the state make decisions for you is just the first step down a slippery slope. Smoking is a legal activity and I am an adult. You don't like smoky bars? Start a no-smoking one. You don't like smoky restaraunts? do the same! By allowing the CC to control you, you are giving up choice.

GW wants an "ownership" society. Doesn't this fly in the face of this goal?

If you don't like smoke, don't go to places that have it. Jeez, it makes me want to smoke just to spite you whiny ban backers!

Huckleberry 13 years, 4 months ago

Debating freedoms that the government is and is not taking away is pointless, the ban is here to stay. The question is who should be punished. It should be the smoker, no question. A bar owner cannot keep a constant eye on every person in the bar. How about if three citations are issued at a bar, then that bar gets a ticket. It is rediculous to fine a bar for something they have very little control of. I really do not think this will turn into a slippery slope.

Lulu, you're an idiot.

missmagoo 13 years, 4 months ago

Well, I am not a fan of the smoking ban..but..if we're going to ask this question I would really say the smoker. It's not like serving alcohol to a minor where the bar furnished it and should be punished; the smoker had his/her own cigarette and chose to smoke inside, knowing or not knowing the city ordinance. As long as bar owners are doing what they can to enforce it..... then ticket the smoker..

and, overturn the ban and we wouldn't have this problem.

craigers 13 years, 4 months ago

I would agree about creating a non-smoking establishment and seeing if it could survive. However, do you really think that smokers really make up that much of the revenue in regular restaurants? If there was a restaurant that only allowed people that were smoking and one that only allowed non-smokers, I believe the one for non-smokers would win. However, when given a choice the non-smokers would rather eat out at restaurants and smell like smoke, while smokers get a burr up their rear and if they are told they can't smoke they refuse to go there. That is why restaurants have a small smoking section and then a large non-smoking and the wait for the non-smoking section is always longer, because smokers don't make up the majority of the patrons. However, I do feel that bars should allow smoking. Bars are not a family atmosphere where children and pregnant women should be. Restaurants should cater more to the non-smoking crowd because if it wasn't for them then the business would take a dive.

Fangorn 13 years, 4 months ago

Huckleberry: no doubt, the British, in early 1776, believed they were here to stay. Revolutions come in all shapes and sizes and in diverse times and places. The tyrants on the city commission should take note of this historical fact.

For the record, I only smoke when I'm on fire, which thankfully has never happened. But I support the right of others to smoke if they choose. I also support the right of property OWNERS to make decisions regarding their property. (To those with understanding, I apologize because I realize all caps is the on-line equivalent of shouting. However, the cranial density and willful aural dysfunction of many in this city makes it a necessity.)

Others have said this today and I have said it before in this forum and in others: if you don't want smoke in your favorite bar or restaurant, let the OWNER know about your preference. If enough of the establishment's other patrons agree with you, the OWNER may even decide to prohibit smoking on his or her own. Failing that, invest money and buy the bloody place, then you will be the OWNER and can ban smoking.

One of the things I do while not smoking is read. A lot. And one of the things I read frequently is this archaic little document called the Constitution of the United States. It says absolutely nothing about a right to smoke, nor does it have a single word to say about a right to a smoke-free environment. It does, however, address the issue of property OWNERSHIP. My oath of office requires me to "support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic". I take this oath seriously, even at the local level. Our city "leaders", apparently, do not. Does that make them domestic enemies of the Constitution? Others may disagree, but it looks that way from where I'm sitting. All you ban supporters should take Redneckgal's prescience seriously. What happens when the town hall despots ban something you enjoy?

Fangorn 13 years, 4 months ago

Of, I forgot to answer the question. Fine neither the owner nor the smoker. Unjust laws should never be enforced. Instead, fine the idiots who passed this law. And make them compensate, out of their personal assets, the financial losses local bar and restaurant OWNERS (there's that pesky word again) have suffered because of this nanny-state law.

If I wanted the government to make all my decisions for me I'd move to Iran, China, or at least Massachusetts.

thomgreen 13 years, 4 months ago

Both are responsible, but what should be brought to the forefront here is that the owner of the bar that is crying about this whole (Dennis) is so full of sh*t its ridiculous. After the ban he openly encouraged his patrons to continue to smoke, kept ashtrays out on all the tables and did little to abide by the law. He didn't start enforcing it until it started hitting him in the pocket. So he has no right to sit there and complain about the fines when he openly encouraged an environment to break the law. Responsibility falls first on the owner, then on the patron. If the owner cannot get the patron to stop smoking then the proper authorities should be there to back that owner up. And Huckleberry, Lulu is not an idiot, I don't know too many people with their Phd's that are idiots.

Hong_Kong_Phooey 13 years, 4 months ago

First, there are some really freaky, conspiracy theory-lovin' individuals on this board.

Second, was it just me or did 'Fangorn' make a threat against the City Commission? Your oath of office?? In what, the Nutball Militia?! Is 'Liberty' your PR officer?

Third, if everything dealing with bars was left up to the owners, we would have some pretty dangerous places to drink in. The smoking ban is not the first requirement given to owners. What about the fire code? Building code? If these dumbarse smokers could just put their deathsticks away for the two hours they are at the bar, everything would be fine. A bar is a place to go socialize with friends and have a DRINK.

Carmenilla 13 years, 4 months ago

But man, that drink tastes good with a cig in my hand! Anyway, it seems only fair to punish the person who commits the infraction. I was in a bar recently and someone from out-of-town lit up. It took a minute for any of the bar staff to notice but they informed him after he had been puffing away for half a cig. Now should this bar have to pay the fine if someone complains? No! They did their duty. I think it should 1-2-3 warnings and the smoker gets a fine. Hey, I'm a smoker! Whata mees a sayin'?

acg 13 years, 4 months ago

I don't understand why there can't be a compromise. I also smoke, but don't and have never, in restaurants. It's rude to people who are trying to eat four tables away to be bombarded by smoke. You're never going to be able to have a smoking and non smoking section in a restaurant and have it work out, unless the sections were in two separate buildings. Bars, on the other hand, are another thing altogether. When I go out to bars, everyone I see is smoking. Even a lot of non smokers light up at bars. I don't understand why the business owners can't decide for themselves. When you get right down to it, if this was such a big issue, and non smoking places were such money makers, wouldn't the bar owners have decided this on their own long ago?

Non smokers seem to think that smokers don't know that their smoke is irritating to them. We know. At least those of us that care. Non smokers also have to remember that smoking is an addiction. A bad one. If you've never been addicted to nicotine, you can't know. I've spent countless hours, dollars and sleepless nights trying to quit smoking. If I could do it without killing people, I would. So would 90% of smokers. We don't want to smoke any more than you want to be around our smoke. Ahh if only I could turn back the clock 17 years to when I was a punk ass kid and thought smoking made me cool. :)

Fangorn 13 years, 4 months ago

Remember_username: I've been very busy with family and travel since early December. I haven't had the time to write that I would like. I still don't, but I couldn't resist today's topic.

If Lulu's got a PhD, it only proves that education does not always correlate with intelligence or even coherence.

Hong_Kong_Phooey: Just because you exhibit little concern for the constitutionality of the laws that govern our lives doesn't make me a "nutball". And Liberty certainly has a firmer grasp of the broader issues involved here than you do. My oath of office is a commission in the United States Air Force. I earned it, and I take it seriously. I despise tyrants in all places, including our home-grown variety. If our city "leaders" want to consider this a threat, they are certainly welcome to do so. But I doubt very much that any of them will recover from their collective cranio-rectal condition long enough to notice.

TheBowman 13 years, 4 months ago

This is an issue that individual business owners should have made, not the Lawrence City Commissioners.

A question must be raised: what was the real impetus behind this action by The Lawrence City Commissioners?

I have a feeling that the concern for the health of all of Lawrence's citizens was NOT its prime motivation.....

I would be very interested as to what others think about this....

acg 13 years, 4 months ago

Bowman, I, personally, am not naive enough to think the the city comm. gives a crap about the health of anyone in Lawrence. They're motivated by the same things all politicians are motivated by. Power and greed and that's all. I don't think a politician has had altruistic motives since, well....ever. Some may say that makes me "paranoid" or a "conspiracy theorist" but just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you, right. ; )

PigFarmer 13 years, 4 months ago

The bar owner should not be held responsible if an attempt is made to point out the law or if they feel they could come in harms way by comforting a smoker and notify law enforcement instead. It's a dum ass law anyway and it would be better to put law enforcement emphasis elsewhere, but while it is the law the owners shouldn't be unduly pressured to enforce- that is the authorities job.

kansas 13 years, 4 months ago

I'll tell you what's a dumb-ass law! A dumb-ass law is making cashiers/clerks pay a whopping $1,000 fine for selling cigs to minors!! Right now it's something like a $300 fine, but last I heard, Kansas was thinking about raising it to $1, 000!!! Where the heck is some 18 year old clerk going to come up with a $1, 000??? I don't know too many high school or college age youths that got an extra thousand bucks to spare, do you?? Ain't that why he or she is working part-time at Dillon's in the first place??----To make some money for school or whatever??!!!

Geez! Give me a break! I think $300 is steep enough!!

And then the business that the clerk works at gets fined too!!! WTF??? Selling cigs to minors appears to be a cash cow operation to the state, or so it would seem!! Why should the business get screwed for the clerk's mistake or carelessness??!! So for selling a pack of smokes to a minor---who will just get some older person to buy him a pack of smokes someplace else---assuming he can't buy it himself at Dillons, the state makes a thousand bucks or more on the offense------or should I say "deal"!!!

Give me a break!!!!

jonas 13 years, 4 months ago

Fangorn: Well said, well said.

Craigers: Yes, you've summed up two of your theoretical choices very well. Ideally, to preserve everyone's right to choose, you have the choice of breathing polluted air (which you do everyday anyway, see that smokey stuff coming out of the back of your car?) or you can stay at home and have a homecooked meal (which is the wise choice anyway if you are truly concerned about your health). There could have been, of course, other options. You could have gotten some of your similarly-minded concerned citizens, and perhaps Persuaded your favorite resteraunt to voluntarily adopt a smoke free policy. If you notice, there were other smoke-free resteraunts around town. The reason for that is because they knew they could make a good business being non-smoking. A business owner who has any sense will go where there is profit. If others did the same thing, there could have been quite a number of smoke-free establishments where you could have had a nice smoke-free dinner. Sure, it may have taken some work, organization and perhaps even a few failures, but it could have worked out, and you could have had places you could go, and smokers could have places that they could go. A compromise where all parties had to make some sacrifices, and everyone got at least some of what they would want.

The way it is now, you take all the benefit, and you make no sacrifices. Of course you think it's a great idea, you're getting what you want and you don't have to give up anything, and you didn't have to do any work, someone else did it for you. However, now other people have to give up what they enjoy, because you are unwilling to make sacrifices.

You could argue that you were making all of the sacrifices before, and it was the smokers that were taking all the benefits, but the smokers were simply doing something they were then allowed, by permission of the owner of the property, to do. There was no right for them to smoke, simply the tacit consent that they could. I've seen voluntary transitions to non-smoking environments, and they happened quite peacefully. A few got surly and left, but most everyone accepted the transition and coped. It's very rare, I suppose, but then, it's also very rare for concerned citizens to band together to fix a problem on their own, without relying on the government to do their work for them. It's a shame, in my opinion.

PigFarmer 13 years, 4 months ago

When it comes to tobacco products I think the governing body has a super colossal brain fart while making policy. Just as already mention fining a store clerk making minimum wage, smoking ban in bars and enormous cigarettes taxes. They think the tax will stop people from smoking, bull; all it will do is cut into the groceries. BTW I don't and never have smoked regular tobacco.

PigFarmer 13 years, 4 months ago

Keep the cig and get rid of cell phones in bars, restaurants, and all public places. Nothing spoils an evening out like some big mouth talking on the cell for an hour. They surely must be mighty important to be talking for that long. If I get a call it vibrates and I get up, go somewhere as not to distribute those around. Actually, I normally won't answer the damn thing. You would think these people with fancy cell phones that take pictures would have a vibrate setting? Lets add driving and talking on a cell phone as against the law. These all are either as or more important as smoking in a public place. Then those that think they will be healthier in a bar with no smoke while they sit there and drink for hours- go figure.

Fangorn 13 years, 4 months ago

Hucklebuck: My unit is at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey.

Everyone: you know, I've really missed the give and take, the opposing views, the stirring of the ant hill (I do it too, Jonas). :)) All of you, even Lulu (perhaps even especially Lulu), make Lawrence an interesting place to live.

btw, Lincoln, Nebraska, enacted a similar ban on Jan. 1. The nannies are everywhere.

Larry 13 years, 4 months ago


The more you post, the more I think you're related to Lulu.



As for the question, the smoker gets the fine - period. To ticket the owner would be like ticketing a Highway Patrolman for anyone who breaks a traffic law within his jurisdiction.

Hummm - interesting! How about we punish McDonald's because some idiot decides to drink HOT coffee while driving a car when she could have requested COLD coffee. Better yet, maybe we should punish educators when students don't study or put forth an effort in obtaining their own education. How about we hold the police liable when some idiot won't lie down when being arrested? I mean - to heck with the safety of the officiers. If the idiot wants to fight them, they better not use any force to subdue him. That would be criminal and down right selfish for a police officer to think of his own safety. Police officiers should only be able to use soft spoken words to subdue a criminal who is obviously on drugs. Maybe we could all say Iraq has WMD's, then invade Iraq in search of them, but once we discover that the WMD's have been removed to Syria, we can all yell at the President and say he is crazy - Saddam never had WMD in the first place. Ya know - kinda like a Monday morning quarterback. Never mind - none of this stuff would ever happen. It is just too crazy to imagine and makes me think that I'm in the TWILIGHT ZONE! Let's just ticket everyone in the bar including customers. Face it, the customers could have made a citizen's arrest just like Gomer once did in Mayberry, North Carolina. What a ridiculous question of the day LJWORLD!

jonas 13 years, 4 months ago

Larry: Sorry you think that way. I'm just being honest, and calling things as I see them. I think the smoking ban is rediculous, and I think that it is the incarnate of selfishness on the part of anyone who supports it, especially for the reason of enjoying a smoke-free meal, which they could do already, just not anywhere they wanted whenever they wanted. If you want to talk about worker's rights, then we have another argument. If I seem harsh about it, that's because I truly think it's an inutterably crappy thing for a community to do to itself. What was it about what I posted that made it seem like I was just trying to anger someone just because. Did I not make legitimate points?

We've been on agreement about Lulu and her legitimacy for a long time.

Larry 13 years, 4 months ago


Larry 13 years, 4 months ago

It isn't the Twilight Zone any longer. It's the LULU ZONE!

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