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Do you think Kansas should adopt a statewide smoking ban?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on June 28, 2006

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Photo of Jennifer Wiese

“No, because I think everybody has the right to make bad decisions. If they’re going to ban that, then they need to ban fast food, too. Obesity is one of the leading causes of death and illness as well, so where should it stop?”

Photo of Nick Herndon

“No. Anyone who is a smoker will be very upset. A lot of people have been smoking indoors for a long time. It won’t be enforceable, and it will never work.”

Photo of Rebecca Zule

“I don’t think it’s a bad idea. So I guess my answer is yes.”

Photo of Corey Eaton

“No, I don’t, because I smoke and that would make me unhappy.”

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Comments

tell_it_like_it_is 8 years, 5 months ago

No. But they probably will anyway. Give it about 5 more years and they will be coming after fast food too. Its a slippery slope.

sgtwolverine 8 years, 5 months ago

Jennifer: fast food combined with irresponsibility contributes to obesity. You can become just as obese buying prepared foods at the grocery store and eating them all the time, too. The more such things you ban, the less we need self-control, which means more needs to be banned.

Corey: here's a new concept: not everything is about making you happy!

Me, I think there should be a statewide smoking ban when cigarettes become illegal. Not before that time.

sweetpeagj 8 years, 5 months ago

of course they should why not?They sure like to ban the heck out of everything else. Next it will be alcohol..what a fuss would be made over that. Let's see, if I am smoking behind the wheel of my car I am so much more likely to cause an accident than say the one who has been legally drinking at a bar, friends house, social gathering. Give all of us a break and let us have some say in what we do and how we choose to live our lives. I don't mind the no smoking ban in the bars and restuarants. I am a smoker but also hate to walk into a smoke filled place to hang out or to eat but stop right there. The day I decide to smoke too many cigarettes and get behind the wheel of a car and cause death and carnage because I can't tell the difference between a green light or red one then jump on the wagon to ban it all around. What ever happened to personal responsibility?

Fangorn 8 years, 5 months ago

I only smoke when I'm on fire. However, I'd be willing to bum a cigarette off of someone occasionally if this ban goes into effect, just to enjoy a little civil disobedience.

We are well on our way to the nanny state to which blue73harley alluded. This process is driven by groups like the so-called "Center for Science in the Public Interest". Like they get to decide what's in the public interest. And all this time we've been told it's the right-wing of American politics that likes to tell everyone else how to live.

I will experience intense Schadenfreude when those who now push for this ban eventually find their own little vices coming under government regulation.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 5 months ago

"No, because I think everybody has the right to make bad decisions. If they're going to ban that, then they need to ban fast food, too. Obesity is one of the leading causes of death and illness as well, so where should it stop?"

Obesity while definitely not good is done to oneself whereas smoke travels.

Nationwide smoking bans in public places is probaly not to many years away. The impact on health insurance costs will help drive the move towards a nationwide ban. Smoke affects many with existing respiratory problems. Smoking will never become illegal because so many are addicted to the drug and it rakes in big profit bucks.

trinity 8 years, 5 months ago

arschloch, nertz to ya. "Only losers smoke!" my dyin' arse!

i am certainly NOT a loser-except when i try to play poker, hah-and yes i smoke. so put that in your pipe&sm-oh wait never mind.

shawn1040 8 years, 5 months ago

Comparing smoking to fast food is not a logical argument. When a person eats a double quarter-pounder at McDonalds it has no ill health effects on the people sitting around them, but when a smoker lights up indoors the people sitting around them are breathing in toxic air - therefore smokers infringe on the rights of non-smokers. That is why it should be banned. ANY time you infringe on the basic rights of others, it should be illegal..

But I know what you are going to say, if Bush weren't president then smoking wouldn't cause cancer.. ;-)

hottruckinmama 8 years, 5 months ago

i think it should be up to the owners. they should know their customers likes and dislikes pretty well. in bars it seems kind of silly because most people aren't there to do the most healthy things anyway. as far as restuarants i smoke and it doesn't much matter to me. if the food is decent i can go without that smoke for an hour so. its not that big of deal.

nekansan 8 years, 5 months ago

This might just take care of it's self. With this report, all we need is one employee to sue for the health effects of workplace smoke exposure and win. Then you will suddenly see employers take this seriously. As others have said, the fast food analogy breaks down at the seconday risk level. It is illegal for me to shove food down your throat that you do not choose to eat. Smoking is the same thing.

neopolss 8 years, 5 months ago

It is a valid comparison. The health nuts will argue that there is no positive benefit of eating the fattening food, even in moderation. Therefore, junk foods are equal to smoking, in that the health benefits are non-existant.

Nanny state indeed. What we lack in this new world is balls.

Dixie Jones 8 years, 5 months ago

well now if somoene wants to eat fast food and become large is that effecting the person sitting by them??? Now smoking on the other hand does effect the next person .so i say STATE WIDE BAN HELL YEAH ! ! ! !

southerngirl 8 years, 5 months ago

Posted by sgtwolverine (anonymous) on June 28, 2006 at 6:59 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Corey: here's a new concept: not everything is about making you happy!

EXACTLY my thoughts Sgt., everything is about making ME happy. It's all about ME!...right!?

Just kidding, I am a non-smoker, never have smoked and don't like to be around people smoking, but banning it entirely!?! Are they going to force us to be healthy whether we want to or not? How about manditory work outs? No junk food? etc. is that next?

southerngirl 8 years, 5 months ago

Posted by peachesncream (anonymous) on June 28, 2006 at 7:49 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"well now if somoene wants to eat fast food and become large is that effecting the person sitting by them??? Now smoking on the other hand does effect the next person ."

You've obviously never sat next to a large person sitting in a very small airline seat...

ksmattfish 8 years, 5 months ago

According to a NPR article I heard the other day second hand smoke contributes to less than 500 deaths in the USA every year. Lets make a list of all the things that kill more than 500 Americans a year, and tackle those problems first. High on the list will be automobiles. Lets ban automobiles; no more crash fatalities, no need to support terrorists with oil money, and America will begin dealing with obesity. That'll save millions.

reginafliangie 8 years, 5 months ago

What about the effects that drinkers have on others when they have too much. That puts everyone at risk, even the people who were not around this person while they were drinking.

Nekansan: I agree, but then it would only take one person to sue the workplace because somebody got too intoxicated and chose to hurt me or damage things, whatever.

conservativepunker 8 years, 5 months ago

Yes. I think it would be hilarious. What would all the workers that smoke use as an excuse to goof off 1-3 times an hour for 10 minutes. I say....take a smoke break..and "THEY'LL DOCK YA!" (Thanks Hudsucker Enterprises! )

shawn1040 8 years, 5 months ago

Why ban smoking??

Well if you aren't concerned about getting cancer then you probably wouldn't have a problem with restaurants using asbestos in the ceiling tiles or floors. How about if they paint the inside with lead based paint? Who cares if something has been proven to be a health risk, the government shouldn't protect the people, right?

craigers 8 years, 5 months ago

Doctors:

The number of doctors in the U.S. is 700,000. Accidental deaths caused by physicians per year are 120,000. Accidental deaths per physician is 17.14%. Statistics: courtesy of the U.S.Dept of Health & Human Services

Guns: The number of gun owners in the U.S. is 80,000,000 (yes! that's 80 million). The number of accidental gun deaths per year, all age groups, is 1,500. The number of accidental deaths per gun owner is 0.001875%. Statistics: courtesy of the FBI

So statistically, doctors are approximately 9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners.

Remember, guns don't kill people, doctors do.

FACT: NOT EVERYONE HAS A GUN, BUT ALMOST EVERYONE HAS AT LEAST ONE DOCTOR.

Please alert your friends to this alarming threat. We must ban doctors before this gets completely out of hand!!!

We must ban doctors, not smoke!!!

I do like the ban but don't think smoking should be banned in clubs/bars.

cutny 8 years, 5 months ago

Smoking what? Crack? Weed? I'm waiting to see what Marion has to say so I won't need to form my opinion.

Kathleen Christian 8 years, 5 months ago

No and it's true if they ban smoking they should ban fast-food industry as well.

Sgt wolverine - good analogy and true - one ban will leads to others until people begin to take a stand against them.

Sweetpea - there has already been an uprise against banning alcohol called the "Prohibition." Then the Gov't tried to ban it again but met with great opposition from the alcohol industry so instead they banned Ads on TV and elsewhere.

What the bottom line is the Gov't is taking more and more control over our lives. But we, the average people are sooooo busy with our everyday lives and so caught up most of the time we don't notice the changes, too tired and stressed to care or just think its best for a few people and ourselves that all these controls just limit our liberty and our pursuit of happiness.

What the Gov't need to stick its nose into is updating, revising our court system and criminal law to where it helps the victims not benefit the criminals. Amen!

Ceallach 8 years, 5 months ago

No, I do not support a statewide smoking ban. While I do not agree with comparing smoking with eating fast food for the above stated reason that your eating french fries will not cause me to gain weight. However, I do have asthma and your smoking will cause me immediate and sometimes lingering distress. Nothing major -- I just can't breathe!!! That little rant aside, our courts have better things to do and should not be bogged down by smokers who want to defend their right to pollute the air others must breathe (and you know they would). More effective education regarding smoking would probably be more effective in reducing the number of our fellow earthlings who smoke.

Although, a national ban might keep the French from invading :)

Neo, it may be that what we actually lack in this new world is ovaries :):)

sgtwolverine 8 years, 5 months ago

Craigers, at that point you should just leave it up to any business, and not just clubs and bars. And really, if you're going to do that, then don't even bother with a wide ban like that. Make it a very local decision, always leaving businesses the choice to allow it. There are numerous businesses that do not allow it, so there's no reason to complain about those that do.

Maybe they should pass a concealed doctor law.

Dixie Jones 8 years, 5 months ago

lol i got removed lol cause i said BAN SMOKING lol ..... have you ever sit next to someone that is having a asthma attack because the person at the next table at the eating establishment is smoking like a train ? and yes we did leave when that happened actaully we went straight to lawrence memorial where my 3 yr old son spent 3 days in the peds unit... now when he sits next to a "fat" person while they are eating a monster buger he never ends up in the ER... WOW isnt that just ironic..... I still say BAN SMOKING in public place if you wanna kill yourself i have no care but if you wanna kill the rest of us i do have a CARE ! ! ! !

mert1717 8 years, 5 months ago

I really think it is silly to compare fast food to smoking.

1 person smoking in a restraunt can provide second hand smoke to the entire room. (aready proved to be dangerous to our health)

I belive that if a restraunt wants to have a smoking section it needs to be secluded in order to prevent second hand smoke from affecting everyone else. If the resturaunt can't afford to do that they should be smoke free.

I am a former smoker who has quite and personally I wanted to respect people around me. and did not have a problem stepping out side to smoke.

I support having smoke free resturaunts.

ms_canada 8 years, 5 months ago

fangorn - delighted to see you once again on this board. Your erudite comments have been missed. And if it is schadenfreude that you seek, just head on north to my city of 1 1/4 million plus. You will see plenty of misery in others as we have a total smoking ban in all public places. All, that is.
It was a gradual fazing out. Began with family restaurants, then all restaurants. Last to go were the bars. One smart bar owner hired a bus in the winter and parked it on the street for smokers in his establishment to take a smoke break and still keep warm. In summer they just standa on the sidewalk. But there was virtually no big fuss made here at all.

Fangorn 8 years, 5 months ago

I have a novel idea. If you don't like smoking in the restaurant, you can 1) eat at home, 2) develop a taste for some other establishment's fare, 3) write a letter to the restaurant owner asking for a policy change, or 4) buy the restaurant and ban smoking when you're in charge.

It's disturbing to see how many people support the idea of government telling others what they may or may not do with their own property. This is not so much a smokers' rights issue as it is a property rights issue.

mooseamoose 8 years, 5 months ago

Well I'm for a drug free society and tobacco is a drug...

Someday drug enforcement units will be busting down the doors of people trying to grow tabacco in their basement.

Sweet. :>)

Ceallach 8 years, 5 months ago

moose, what about caffeine? Can you even imagine what it would do to this society if caffeinated beverages were banned because caffeine is also a drug? Probably be a giant spike in violent crimes :) Not to mention the unemployment rate due to baristas losing their jobs.

sgtwolverine 8 years, 5 months ago

Can I smoke aspirin or benadryl? That would be the ticket (so to speak).

Chrissy Neibarger 8 years, 5 months ago

Are they going to say next that we can't smoke in our own homes.. try to stop me! I don't mind waiting until I am finished eating in a resturant to step outside and have a smoke, but now places, like LMH, are even banning smoking outside in thier parking lot.. in our OWN cars in thier parking lot. Where will it end? I understand that smoking can affect others, that's why i'll always be curtious and smoke away from non-smokers and take it outside, but as for a state wide ban...

shawn1040 8 years, 5 months ago

Fangorn - I have an even better idea. If you like smoking, you can 1) eat at home, 2) smoke and cough at home, or 3) buy the restaurant, make it a private establishment and allow smoking when you're in charge.

This is not so much a smokers' rights issue as it is the right of a non-smoker to breath smoke free air.

mooseamoose 8 years, 5 months ago

Bob - don't worry, a cartel will arise to supply your needs.

merrywidow033 8 years, 5 months ago

so, is it alright if i piss on your foot while you smoke your cigarette and blow it all around?

i'm sorry, but cigarettes smell like crap, and if you are that addicted you can't wait an entire 45 minute (sometimes less) meal without puffing on a coffin nail, than that's pretty pathetic. can we say "addiction"?

ms_canada 8 years, 5 months ago

Speaking of rights - what about the rights of the restaurant staff to work in an environment that is not injurious to their health. This is the reason for the ban on indoor smoking in my city. This is not just a ban in restaurants, etc. Do not secretaries, accountants and so on have a right to breath clean, smoke free air. Unlike restaurant patrons, they cannot just up and move to a different venue. No one should have the RIGHT to pollute the air of others. And if it takes legislation, then I am all for it.

shawn1040 8 years, 5 months ago

Make it private by allowing 'members only'. As far as I know most restaurants are public (but owned privately). Do I need to draw a picture for you?

sgtwolverine 8 years, 5 months ago

"This is not so much a smokers' rights issue as it is the right of a non-smoker to breath smoke free air."

This isn't about rights, period. I wish people would stop overusing (and misusing) the word. It means almost nothing anymore. This is about an unecessary, overreaching broad governmental ban.

stbaker 8 years, 5 months ago

Let's ban smoking indoors in restaurants without age restrictions. If you are a bar that doesn't serve food, then you can have indoor smoking, or if you serve food, restrict admittance to 18 and older and again, allow smoking indoors. This enables everyone to have access to social outings where you can choose a more family-friendly environment (non-smoking) vs. an adults-only oriented environmet. My dad is a 54 y.o. man with a recent COPD/Emphysema diagnosis as a result of chronic smoking. Wouldn't recommend smoking in excess.

jonas 8 years, 5 months ago

Or caffeine, for that matter. Let's ban coffee, soda, and chocolate too.

A second on Fangorn, with the addition that one should be wary of people pushing ideas that only require OTHER people to make all the sacrifices.

An old idea, but no one's ever answered it for me: Is it proven that second-hand smoke from public venues is harmful? We have lump statistics on SHS deaths (that, I might add, jumped suddenly in advertisements from 3400 to 56,000! when the ban started being talked about), but there has never been a clear delineation of what demographics make up those deaths (as in, is there a difference between someone who encounters SHS in bars and resteraunts, parks etc. vs someone who, say, lives at home with a smoker) nor has the public ever been informed, to the best of my knowledge, what guidelines the statistics are based off of. (Holy crap, this person has cancer AND THEY EAT AS RESTERAUNTS!!!!! SECOND HAND SMOKE IS KILLING THIS PERSON!!!!!)

Also, the line there is no safe level of exposure to smoke is crap. There is no level that does not do damage to you, the same as car exhaust. However there is a level that will not cause irreperable harm, because the body does in fact have it's own healing mechanism. Well, yours may not, but that's because of all the fast food and beer you've been pounding down, McFatty.

Linda Endicott 8 years, 5 months ago

Peachesncream, I have been in a restaurant when someone was having a violent asthma attack because a person near them was wearing practically the whole bottle of perfume or cologne.

Most people who have asthma or any other lung condition (not all of them are smokers, by the way) have big problems with the way a lot of people try to perfume the entire environment...either with that perfume, or air fresheners, cleaning products, etc. I myself have had problems in restaurants because most places mop the floors with bleach, even though other cleaning methods are just as effective in killing germs. Ever walked into a restaurant where they'd just mopped the floor, and the whole place reeked of bleach, and everything you ate suddenly tasted like bleach?

Average people don't even think about that, do they? They still load up on the perfume every time they go out. Maybe we should ban perfume in public, because it's a definite health risk to others. A friend of mine almost died once because of a reaction to perfume. But people still insist on wearing it. Restaurants still insist on mopping the floors with bleach.

As for the comparison with smoking and overeating not being fair...well, how about cars? Inattentive drivers kill others every day. Drunk drivers kill others every day. Car emissions kill others every day, and mess up the ozone for everybody.

Sounds like a definite health risk to me. But nobody has ever seriously proposed banning cars.

Because, of course, that is probably YOUR own particular little vice, and you would squeal like a pig if they ever dared to come after anything you want. I agree with Fanghorn...if you support banning smoking, this isn't where the banning will stop. Eventually, you will find your own vice facing a ban.

craigers 8 years, 5 months ago

Sgt, I think an establishment that is known as a family place, ie Applebees, Chilis, restaurants in general should adhere to the policy. But bars and clubs are not a place to bring children or your pregnant wife for that matter. Why? Because that smoke can harm the baby, your family, etc, but once the people are adults they can choose to go into bars and clubs which would be a more at risk area.

And to your other comment: Is that a doctor in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? All joking aside, I don't think I could fit a doctor under my trench coat.

jonas 8 years, 5 months ago

SgtW: There are two "rights" issues that should come into play in this discussion, that are, of course, the two least talked about.

1: As Mrs. Canada said, the rights of employees to work in safe environments.

2: The rights of private business owners (Shawn, you need to learn the definition of private and public, but alas I'm not holding much hope) to run an establishment the way they choose to.

There is no right to smoke, there is no right to breathe clean air.

reginafliangie 8 years, 5 months ago

I think the employee issue is stupid. It's just like anyother job. If there is something you don't like about a job you don't apply for it. I am not a firefighter because I don't want to take the risk of getting burned or fatally injuried. If the place has smoking, don't apply for a job there. That is just pointless. Every job is going to have it's risks. It's up to the person applying to deem if they want to be in the type of environment.

ms_canada 8 years, 5 months ago

sgtwolverine - I do beg to differ, it most certainly is about rights. And stop complaining about the gov. butting in to all areas of our lives. Do you want to do away with all gov. regulations? Most laws and by-laws are for our own safety or rights. Can you drive at 140 Km/hr any where you please? Can you play your radio at astronomical decibels at 3am in your apartment? Can you throw your garbage on your neighbours lawn at will? You get my meaning. We humans are governed by rules which have value to make our lives bearable and pleasant. How do you decide whose rights supercede the rights of another? You could not put a foreign harmful substance in the drinking water of others so why should you be allowed to put one in the air they breath. And I will say it again. This ban in my large city has caused relatively no problem. People cope.

reginafliangie 8 years, 5 months ago

crazyks you took the words right out of my mouth, thank you!

Rena 8 years, 5 months ago

According to the CDC, 438,000 deaths in American last year were directly attributed to smoking. This is more than those deaths attributed to AIDS, alcohol, car accidents, fires, homicides, illegal drugs and suicides combined.

38,000 of these deaths were in Non-Smokers, with 3,000 from lung cancer, and the rest from other cancers, emphysema, COPD, asthma complications, etc.

Nicotine blocks the body's ability to fight off cancer, while more than 40 known carcinogens are in tobacco smoke.

Just a few facts one can find if they look....

happyone 8 years, 5 months ago

Well if this is a "clean air" issue then we need to ban PBR Beer the day after is dangerous for anyone within 1000ft

jonas 8 years, 5 months ago

Thanks for the stats Rena, but how many of those are from random exposure in public places, and how many from more intense exposure, like living with a smoker?

Soloman: Good point.

Rena 8 years, 5 months ago

According to the Surgeon General's report yesterday, non-smokers that live with a smoker have a 20-30% higher risk for lung cancer and a 25-30% higher risk for heart disease than those that don't live with a smoker.

sgtwolverine 8 years, 5 months ago

Right. This is not a ban on smoking on a crowded street corner; this is a broad ban on smoking in many places. That is why I say it's overreaching. The law against driving at recklessly high speeds does not ban driving; the law against excessive noise does not ban noise. Those are not equivalent to the proposed smoking ban.

And I think there's a lot of ground between my position against broad smoking bans and removing government restrictions altogether.

Besides, don't I have a right to complain about the government and its laws? ;-)

ms_canada 8 years, 5 months ago

I have driven in the USA. Some freeways allow speeds of 75 miles per hour, some highways 70. Our top speed on any freeway or highway is 110 KMH. That is approx. 67mph Your 75mph is 120kmh. 140kmh is over 85mph. Toooo fast. TOB - there are many, many people who make the wrong choices, either through ignorance or inability to control their appetites and I don't just mean food. Our smoking ban is in every public place in our city. Every public place. Hospitals, clinics, libraries, offices, stores, buses, trolleys, restaurants, bars and clubs. and we do have laws to protect us from ourselves. The speed limit is only one.

Liberty 8 years, 5 months ago

No. There is no authorization in the Constituton of Kansas by the people for the Kansas government to make any ban at all. Besides, people would not obey it and the State couldn't afford to enforce it.

ms_canada 8 years, 5 months ago

sgt - complain away, you have that right.

Rena 8 years, 5 months ago

There are now 11 states with 100% smokefree laws in workplaces. There are 3 more with proposed smoking bans being debated.

The surgeon general's report also says that separate areas for smokers and non-smokers, even with separate filters do not eliminate the dangers of smoke for the non-smokers. As long as they're in the same building, they are still exposed to the chemicals in the smoke.

shawn1040 8 years, 5 months ago

Clean air isn't a right? Ohhh yeah it is!

The 5th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution guarantee all people equal protection under the law. An equal protection challenge to a smokefree ordinance is based on the theory that an ordinance discriminates against either smokers, or businesses because it does not treat everybody the same.

Courts, when faced with this argument, look to see two things- if there is a rational basis for distinguishing between groups of people, and if there is a rational relation between the ordinance and a legitimate government purpose. No court has EVER found smoking to be a fundamental right, and therefore, has never found that distinguishing between smokers and nonsmokers infringes on any fundamental right. Moreover, courts have found that protecting people from exposure to secondhand smoke is a legitimate government purpose.

Smoke that!

jonas 8 years, 5 months ago

"Moreover, courts have found that protecting people from exposure to secondhand smoke is a legitimate government purpose."

Yes, which is, of course, the point of contention. Thanks for your contribution.

reginafliangie 8 years, 5 months ago

Good stats Rena, but what about the general public. Last time I checked smokers didn't live in the bars or restrurants. I think what we are looking for is the stats on people who are exposed to small amounts at various locations. I don't think that that was the issue. You live with somebody who smokes and are exposed at all times in a confined area, I would expect nothing else but those numbers. Also, what about those people who have never smoked and developed those type of cancers or problems. What is that atributed too? There probably isn't a study that can give us those numbers, but it would be interesting to see.

Rena 8 years, 5 months ago

Approximately 21% of Americans smoke. Which means 79% of Americans are non-smokers. So why do the "rights" of 21% of the population outweigh those of the rest of us?

BDitty 8 years, 5 months ago

you say that eating fast food doesn't effect the people around you, I beg to differ: 1. You eat fast food- you get fat- go to doctor alot- have to det diabetes or cholesterol medicine- drives up cost of my health care 2. You eat fast food- you get fat- take a bus or plane trip- i have to sit next to you all sweaty and smelly- make me not enjoy trip 3. You eat fast food- you get fat- you don't excersise- my gym goes out of business- have to find new gym out of my area- waste more gas- have to get second job to buy gas See, it does affect those around you.

reginafliangie 8 years, 5 months ago

BDitty I agreed with your earlier comment. But I have to say not all fat people are sweaty or smelly. There are several fat people who take very good care of their selfs have good hygene. Some people are fat because of certain medical conditions that they have no control over. Please don't lump them in the same catigory.

jonas 8 years, 5 months ago

Rena: But the problem is, the smokers are not really the ones who's rights are being hurt, it's the owner of the business, who wishes to allow patrons the opportunity to engage in a legal activity, but are unable to, due to people voluntarily placing themselves in danger, and then retroactively complaining about it. If you are unable to use public facilities (parks, sidewalks, streets etc.) that are funded through public revenues, and not voluntary contributions to a private venue, then you have, in my reasoning, a case for the banning of smoking in those places. But I believe that once you set foot on to private property it is their rules and guidelines that you must follow, or choose not to participate.

shawn1040 8 years, 5 months ago

Das_Ubermime,

The main point is that smoking is NOT a fundamental right. Secondly, I never said "protecting people from second hand smoke is within the government's rights", rather "protecting people from exposure to secondhand smoke is a legitimate government PURPOSE" - so it is legal for them to ban smoking in public places. I am not in support of a total ban, I like the taxes that smokers pay!! $3+ a pack?? Smokers are a very good source of revenue :-)

BDitty, How many people have died from sitting next to obese people?? None that I could find, perhaps you can tell me differently.

Rena 8 years, 5 months ago

The 38,000 number is determined by medical history, personal history(such as frequency of being around smoke) and medical data, such as measuring the amounts of metabolites from nicotine and other tobacco-related substances in the patients' system. This is how they determine whether the disease a non-smoker has can be attributed to secondhand smoke, such as in the case of Dana Reeve.

Serum cotinine is a metabolite specific to nicotine. More than 90% of the U.S. population has significant levels of serum cotinine in their blood.

I haven't found anything that compares those non-smokers that live with smokers to those that don't, other than the 20-30% numbers posted earlier.

Rena 8 years, 5 months ago

How do you know smoking bans hurt businesses? Consider this:

New York City implemented its comprehensive smoke-free workplace law in 2003. Within a year, business tax receipts for restaurants and bars increased just under 10%, compared with the same period the year before, and about 10,600 new jobs were created as a result of the ordinance. 23% of New Yorkers said they eat out more often since the implementation of the ordinance, while only 4% say they eat out less.

I realize this is New York, and we're in Kansas, but this is proof that a smoking ban does not necessarily harm businesses.

I, for one, do choose not to go into places where smoking is allowed, but many other places would get my business if they didn't allow smoking, and I know many people that feel the same way.

jonas 8 years, 5 months ago

Shawn: "How many people have died from sitting next to obese people?? None that I could find, perhaps you can tell me differently."

You underestimate the power of the Fast Food Lobbyists. They have the Surgeon General to the wall, so deaths by sitting next to fat people are always just listed under "asphyxiation."

jonas 8 years, 5 months ago

Rena: Hurting or helping business is not the issue. The freedom of choice is, at least to me.

SayWhat 8 years, 5 months ago

What's with all these comparisons to restricting people from drinking or eating fast food?

If you choose to drink and then go out and hurt somebody, hopefully you will be held accountable by law. If you choose to eat nothing but fastfood, you have every right to eat yourself into an obese stupor.

With a statewide smoking ban, you would still have the right and ability to smoke your brains and lungs out. The difference is that you would no longer have the right to take people with you.

IT'S NOT ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT YOU WOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO SMOKE. IT'S ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO HARM OTHERS WHEN YOU SMOKE.

jonas 8 years, 5 months ago

Holy crap Say What, thanks for explaining that to me. If you hadn't shouted it, there would have been a whole position to this argument totally unknown to me and, I'm sure, everyone else.

ms_canada 8 years, 5 months ago

We in Canada are in a different situation than most of you in the US, I believe. Consider this: we have public health care + a bit of private insurance. But mainly all our health care is publicly funded, meaning that we all pay through our tax system. So, consequently, when someone deliberately abuses their body and their health, when they require medical care, we all pay. It is well known that smokers and the morbidly obese are not as healthy as those who take care of their bodies. A lot of us can get very irate when we see statistics that tell us that these abusers are using an inordinate amount of the funds that pay for our health care. There is only so much to go around. Now then, I can just see the fur flying out there and the anger this statement has whipped up. Under our system doctors can only be paid so much annually and when they have received their quota, they do not take anymore patients on their rolls. Now, would you not be angry if you had, oh say, a broken arm and you could not find a doctor to take you as a patient because his rolls were filled with the obese and smokers Does this sound far fetched to you? Have you looked around you as you are out and about and noticed all the overly obese young people there are out there? We have an awful lot of down right fat young teens. We have people who are up in arms over the snack machines that are found in school corridors. And their squacking is having an effect. These machines are being removed in many schools, but not all, YET. Face it people, we have to look after each other. Those who don't know any better need a helping hand. And that is what some laws are all about.

BDitty 8 years, 5 months ago

Bob- please show me where I said "only way" people get fat is by fast food. I just choose to focus on that. There are several other ways too. Like Regina said-medical. Don't suggest something I was not. Shawn- I never said people (or myself) would "die" from sitting next to obese people just that they affect my ability to enjoy my trip by invading my personal space. They take away my right to enjoy myself. Regina- i know what you are saying. Genetics plays a HUGE role in weight. I wasn't refering to those people.

Rena 8 years, 5 months ago

TOB: I waded through a few to get to that one, but I believe the original stats came from www.nyc.gov.

Rights, freedom, whatever you want to call it--why do the rights/freedoms of 20% of the population outweigh the health risks to the rest of the 80% of the population who do not choose to smoke?

neopolss 8 years, 5 months ago

Speaking of Canada, you wouldn't know by watching there, but many of the shows and movies you watch have been edited and censored because of certain nanny laws on decency (is that spelled right?). It's amazing what things we give up for "public safety" Eventually we find the restrictions so unbearable that we start all over again. Many things I have learned:

People understand mostly that the smoking ban is wrong by way of what our country has established, yet since it does not affect them, most do not care and want it anyway. In a very extremist view, most didn't mind regulations on wearing stars of david either (nazi reference fulfilled).

We are eager to warp viewpoints to meet our own satisfaction. Public health is such a simple excuse.

I've made comparisons like this before, but I will restate. Some like to live at mom and dad's house (China). Everything is taken care of, but you have a to follow a few rules, and there is no negociating. Or you can choose to live on your own (USA). It's rougher, because youn run the risk of losing your money, going hungry, etc. but there's no greater feeling than setting your own rules.

Fangorn, your point is what I get at everytime, but no one actually cares. We love to tell everyone else what to do besides ourselves. I guess a lot of people didn't heed the advice, "worry less about others and more about yourself."

ms_canada, if you have ever driven across Montana, you'd know that 67mph would be entirely too slow. Or Arizona for that matter.

SayWhat 8 years, 5 months ago

See. Jonas gets it. Sorry if I hurt your ears. Sometimes the best argument is the simplest one. Although it's tough to slam my deep-fat fried burrito, run to the liquor store and wade through the mountain comments during a working stiff's lunch hour, I get the feeling most of those against the ban prefer the "what about my rights" canard. Keep fighting the good fight jonas. Gotta get back to work now.

neopolss 8 years, 5 months ago

(quote)Those who don't know any better need a helping hand. And that is what some laws are all about.(quote)

You're point is well intentioned ms_c, but where do you put the limit on that? Would you welcome home intrusion to correct how you raise your children or how much time you should spend with your husband? It does touch on the issues of mental health. How much decision making are you willing to give up? Should the government intervene if you allow the kids to have unhealthy cocoa puffs? You are afterall, setting the example for their future eating habits. At what point do you draw a line between helping hand and unwelcome decision making?

That's entirely my crux of the argument. You don't really know what is too much until the line is reached. By that point, it is too far. Therefore, I oppose any sanctioning, as we have well proven that technology is making slaves of all of us, and at this point in history, we are at the peak of the most intrusive governments ever. Perhaps it goes back to balls, or ovaries. There was a time when we as people had to accept that not everything would be pleasing to us, and that confrontation to the individual often corrected the issue. That said, how much time is healthy behavior really buying us? A few more years in a wheelchair at the nursing home?

sgtwolverine 8 years, 5 months ago

This time I actually have a relevant link from my locality: http://www.mlive.com/news/aanews/index.ssf?/base/news-18/1151505641138030.xml&coll=2

Anyway.

Rena, if the 80% choose to enter businesses who choose to allow the 20% to smoke, then that is their responsibility. This is a vote-with-your-pocketbook issue.

ms_canada 8 years, 5 months ago

Neopolss - I have driven across Montana, Idaho when there was NO speed limit a few years back. All the sign said was reasonable safe speed. But you can only go so fast. I have driven south on I 15 at 145KPH. My daughter nearly peed her panties so I slowed down 110KPH seems fast enough for me. It gets me there. It is all what you get used to. when I come into the city off the freeway and have to slow down to 50KPH it seems like I am crawling and I will never get home.

ms_canada 8 years, 5 months ago

neopolss - yes, I agree with you. Where do we draw the line at government intervention. It is a tricky question, all too true. I don't know, we are just fallible humans and we try to do the best we can. We certainly are a long way from perfect in both our countries. And when my gov, be it provincial or federal comes up with something so intrusive that it gets me, I will be both vociferous and active in protesting along with the rest of the population. We have a little dictator/premier in our province who wants to implement more private health care and he has not done so yet because of the VERY loud opposition to that. You can fight city hall or the legislature.

sgtwolverine 8 years, 5 months ago

90mph is fairly fast. But on highways in Michigan -- particularly 3-lane or larger highways -- 85 is not an uncommon speed. Technically, 70 is the speed limit on highways (with some exceptions), but that is seldom enforced. Often enough, you'll get ticketed for doing over 80, but 80 is usually tolerated. Speed does not seem to be the concern of the state police here.

(A band came up from Ohio to do a show here, and during the show one of them said, "We love crossing the Michigan border because the speed limit is 70, and that really means 80.")

sunflower_sue 8 years, 5 months ago

Personally, I have to say that I love going into restaurants and not having to wade through billows of thick choking nasty smoke. Is this ban constitutional? Well, this is something I'm at odds with myself over. Being someone who's father died of lung cancer (and he was NOT a smoker), I tend to see it from the employee's safety issues. We are a college town. We have more restaurants per capita than any other city in KS. Where do you suppose all these kids are going to work? Do you really think they can just choose not to work somehere because they allow smoking? Whoever thinks that most people can just pick their custom made jobs is definitely smoking something. I don't want my child to have to work in a smoke infested building. Oh, I guess like everyone else's child, they will just dip into their trust funds and won't have to worry about it.

A statewide ban seems drastic. People should have the right to smoke in their own homes and outside (I guess...as long as it's not right at the entrance to a building where you have to walk through the cloud). I'm with whoever said more $ spent on education. My mother always told us kids that if you had ever watched someone die of lung cancer, you wouldn't smoke. That was all the education we needed.

I'm always happy to come back to Lawrence after visiting "smoking" towns.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 5 months ago

U.S. Surgeon General Urges Ban on Smoking in Public Buildings

The U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona is urging lawmakers to ban smoking in all public buildings because of the dangers of secondhand smoke. The government estimates 50,000 non-smoking Americans prematurely died last year because of secondhand smoke. Carmona also urged parents to stop smoking inside their homes because, he said, children are especially vulnerable. Recent studies have linked secondhand smoke to heart disease and lung cancer as well as breast cancer, childhood cancer, nasal sinus cancer, ear infections and asthma. Scientists have also established a clear link between second hand smoke and sudden infant death syndrome. Some tobacco companies have rejected these claims. A statement on the RJ Reynolds website reads: ''It seems unlikely that secondhand smoke presents any significant harm to otherwise healthy nonsmoking adults."

Richard Heckler 8 years, 5 months ago

The state ban is about public places...nothing more.

sgtwolverine 8 years, 5 months ago

By the way, I just wanted to make something clear: I do not smoke, and I do not enjoy being around those who are smoking. I especially do not enjoy watching people throw cigarette butts out their car windows. So I am not a fan of smoking. I just do not like the ban.

sunflower_sue 8 years, 5 months ago

merrill, I don't think we can all agree on what is "public" and what is "private."

You (or the surgeon general) did make a good point about smoking in your own home and exposing your child to the smoke. That child cannot simply choose to stay out of their own home because they hate it. I have cousins who grew up with smoking parents and dispite their childhood pleas, never got their parents to even "take it outside." I did have one uncle that took his youngest child to heart and actually quit smoking cold turkey (and he was a tobacco farmer). Got him anyway. He died of lung cancer in his early 40's. Very sad.

Dale Stringer 8 years, 5 months ago

But I'm a second hand smoker. I can't stand the taste of a cigarette, but I do like the smell (depending on brand).

For Rena - you said, "According to the Surgeon General's report yesterday, non-smokers that live with a smoker have a 20-30% higher risk for lung cancer and a 25-30% higher risk for heart disease than those that don't live with a smoker."

What's the chance for a non-smoker to get these? Let's says that it is 1 in a million, that only makes 1.3 in a million times more likely around a smoker.

"If you want to influence the world, don't become a politician, become a statistician."

Fangorn 8 years, 5 months ago

ms_c: When others are forced to pay for the irresponsible choices of others, for example when healthy Canadians pay more taxes to care for smokers or motorcyclists who don't wear helmets, that's not a problem with smoking or helmets: it's a problem with socialism. Let people bear the real consequences (and costs) of their choices and they just might be forced to make better choices.

A wonderful quote from Lord Vetinari in Terry Pratchett's "Going Postal": You see, I believe in freedom, Mr. Lipwig. Not many people do, although they will, of course, protest otherwise. And no practical definition of freedom would be complete without the freedom to take the consequences. Indeed, it is the freedom upon which all the others are based.

ms_canada 8 years, 5 months ago

Ahhh - cheers for Terry Pratchett!! Oh jeepers the old socialist vs. what? arguement! Yes we are more socialistic than you guys, but I guess it is because we like it that way. In fact we usually find ourselves screaming for more public benefits. We probably pay far more taxes that you guys, but we seem to be ok with that also. At least in my neck of the woods. I don't hear too many complaining about it. Mind you, someone will always want to pay less tax and still have the same benefits. I would gladly pay more tax if we could have more MRI units and CT Scanners.

Fangorn 8 years, 5 months ago

shawn1040: I apologize for taking so long to respond to your 9:43 post. Lots of planes thirsty for JP-8, you know.

The entire premise of your remarks are fallacious. "If you like smoking...." Click on my screen name and you can go back and read all the posts I've ever made. (It will take a while: I used to post a lot.) Nowhere will you find any evidence that I like or enjoy smoking. The reality is quite the contrary. I can't stand smoke. I don't allow smoking in my home or my car. Even my own mom has to step out on the deck for a cigarette. But that's the point I've tried fruitlessly to make (neopolss and I can commisserate on our failed efforts): it's my house and my car. If I owned a restaurant, I would most likely not allow smoking, except perhaps in an outdoor patio area. The only thing that might (and I emphasize might) cause me to change my mind is if several hundred smokers wrote to say, "We love your incredible Italian food, but we'd come more often if we could enjoy a bit of post-prandial nicotine." But even then, smoking would be in a separate room (not just an adjacent area) with exhaust ventilation and no one under the age of 16 allowed.

Even if you could find a "right" to clean air in the Constitution (I've actually read the document; no such right can be found there), you do not have a right to breathe it in my restaurant if I choose to allow smoking. You can feel fully free to exercise your right not to eat at my establishment, if it suits you. I might establish take-out or even delivery service to accomodate you, but your desires do not trump my property rights (which are found in the Constitution, btw).

Dixie Jones 8 years, 5 months ago

IT'S NOT ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT YOU WOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO SMOKE. IT'S ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO HARM OTHERS WHEN YOU SMOKE.

APPLAUDS OVER AND OVER................... to my knowledge i have never seen on tv or in a newspaper where a overweight person has killed someone like second hand smoke kills others.... anyway... have a great day all and i hope you all live a very long cancer free life....

reginafliangie 8 years, 5 months ago

ok what did I miss? I was out smoking....

Fangorn 8 years, 5 months ago

Peachesncream: Just to reiterate someone's earlier remark, all CAPS is the net equivalent of shouting. Since bold and italics are not options here, all caps or asterisks can emphasize a word or two, but whole sentences go a little overboard. However, I do thank you for your wish for a cancer-free life.

ms_c: I would gladly abjure any of America's socialist "benefits" if it also meant I could stop paying the taxes that provide them. I am quite willing to bear the full burden on my choices and their associated risks. I despise having to subsidize the choices of others. Nor should anyone be forced to subsidize the risky behavior I choose. You may be happy to pay for others' unhealthy behavior, and I'm sure they're happy to let you! :) // btw, I didn't even get time to read your email fully today. I'm going to make time (excuse me, MAKE time) to reply tomorrow.

ms_canada 8 years, 5 months ago

fangorn - I believe we went around this circle once before.
We do have differing opinions on the social welfare state, as I recall. But I must say, I, neither, am happy to pay for the bad choices of others, but, I guess sometimes you have to take the bad with the good. As I said above, we are human and we do not do a perfect job of running our affairs. That goes for individuals as well as government. I should not really talk though, because I have never lived under any other system. I just know that this one suits me fine. I think. :o) Everyone - have a nice evening. I am off to a lovely dinner with friends. It has been an interesting day.

sunflower_sue 8 years, 5 months ago

OMB, Shall I be expecting that fruitcake in the mail soon that you, no doubt, bought for your fellow Collin Street Bakery lover? I like the ones with all the pecans just in case you bought several varieties. :o)

p.s. were they smoking in the bakery?

Linda Aikins 8 years, 5 months ago

Holy Smokes, Batman. This turned into a long thread!!!

JHawker 8 years, 5 months ago

I would love it so much if there were a state-wide ban on smoking. Smokers can choose to dramatically shorten their lives but they do not have the rights to dramatically shorten the lives of other people, I am definetely in favor of this proposed smoking ban. I love what it has done in Lawrence.

killjoy 8 years, 5 months ago

speaking of deja vu, how about those roundabouts?

jayhawkalum 8 years, 5 months ago

If the obese have reduced lung capacity anyway due to organ displacement from the additional tissue and increase in the size of the fat cells naturally occurring around their vital organs, wouldn't subjecting them to second hand smoke just kill them even faster?

So, shouldn't Big Mac and Big Tobacco join forces to protect their financial interests from all of those skinny, boring-lived, do-gooders?

If all of the obese people die of second hand smoke exposure where will Big Mac & Big Tobacco's revenue base be when the smokers are prosecuted by the criminal-helping justice system (which by the way is a smoke-free environment, at least in KS)? There's irony there too, but my brain hurts too much to think more right now.

sunflower_sue 8 years, 5 months ago

Well, thanks for thinking of me anyway, OMBob. spoken in a very depressed Eeyore like voice
I'm going to go find my tail and go to bed...which may be easier said than done. The bartender at On the Border was very generous tonight!

Ceallach 8 years, 5 months ago

s_s: I just rolled home from El Mez . Worked late, went to g'baby's softball game then we all went out for dinner.

Well, omb went and let the cat out of the bag . . . now everyone knows that well made fruitcakes are delicious!! Thanks Bob!

sweetpeagj 8 years, 5 months ago

I find it extremely funny that throughout this entire thread we have gone ffom banning smoking, to obese people yet nowhere does anyone take the time to say no more drinking. But wait, that has been tried before and failed miserably. Personally, I smoke. I don't smoke around my children, my friends or any other non smoker. It is my right to light up and I choose to not do it around those that don't. Even when smoking was allowed in public places in Lawrence I always chose to sit in non smoking. I have also had to care for the morbidly obese

sunflower_sue 8 years, 5 months ago

sweetpea, prohibition was mentioned very early on. Feel free to go back and re-read. I always take my DD with me when I drink. I'm pretty much a lightweight so 1 drink and I don't drive.

Ceal, I tried to talk the birthday girl (#1) into La Trop by the tracks but she just HAD to go to OTB. Then to Sylas & Maddy's just to really over-do it!

Yossie 8 years, 5 months ago

Smoking is a right? Really! I had no idea. Is drinking a right, too? How about driving, is that a right? Wrong on all counts!

A right is something guaranteed by the United States Constitution. Period. So, there is no right to smoke. Trust me, I checked. =)

sweetpeagj 8 years, 5 months ago

It is our "right" in any sense of the word to treat our bodies and health any way we choose. Drivng is a privilage to be earned through responsible actions. Drunks who drive aren't responsible but they still have the right to choose to do it. There are penalties along with it just as in most everything we do. If you choose to overeat and become obese you have the right to do that also. We talk about smokers causing insurance rates to go up for illnesses so do drunk drivers, car and medical insurance and so do obese people. The population I worked with all lived on welfare and got funded for food and insurance by the tax payers. Why is it that over 50 percent of our children are obese today? Not because of people smoking around them. Bottom line, each vice has it's own place. Smoking shouldn't be allowed around children or public places. I smoke and wouldn't consider doing either of those things. I get offended by people who do smoke around their kids just like a non smoker does. Those kids have the right to have a smoke free environment so their little lungs can grow and function properly. I just wish more people spent the same energy used defending smoking in public and got kids and parents better guidleines to eating healthy.

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