March 08, 2005
Smoking Ban Initiative Gaining Steam
Backers of I-901, for a public indoor smoking ban in Washington state, are off to a strong start raising funds for signature gatherers, and for the public vote that's increasingly likely this fall. They've raised $150,000 so far, and even conservative ballot initiative organizer and ban opponent Tim Eyman is impressed. He concedes if there's a vote, the ban will be a "slam dunk."
We've seen that feelings run very strong on the subject; both here, and here.
But more than a few conservatives and Republicans support the measure and heartily rebut the "personal freedom" and Chicken Little-ish "economic ruin" arguments put forth by ban opponents.
Though a few non-smokers oppose the ban, only 20 percent of Washingtonians smoke, according to the AP story.
Eyman's right: this one IS a slam-dunk if it makes the ballot. And if the campaign can afford to have designer water delivered to their offices, they can afford enough signature gatherers to get it in front of voters.
A few years after it passes, even opponents will stop and ask themselves what all the fuss was about.
Instead of fulminating about perceived overreach they're powerless to stop, conservatives should rededicate themselves to winnable battles, including important initiatives which may land on the ballot later this year. Such as measures for performance audits, and for a new county covering suburban King County. And, ah, how about an election reform initiative, requiring proof of citizenship to register and vote, plus a purging of voter rolls and a mandatory re-registration process?
Posted by Matt Rosenberg at March 08, 2005
10:32 AM | Email This
Fantastic! Count me as one more Republican supporting the ban. In fact, I'm going to look and see if they need volunteer help with this campaign.
Now if we can just get a new Governor's race on the ballot in November to go with it, my life will be complete. Wouldn't that be a great Christmas present this year, a smoke-free environment and Dino in the mansion?
2. You better hide all of your money now! When this passes along with the latest and greatest tax on cigarettes bringing the cost of cigarettes up to 25 bucks in taxes alone, lots of us 20% people might get inspired to quit and since us lowly 20% pay over 1 billion yearly in taxes...... you may need to protect yourself from the onslaught of other sinful things that need a tax...... I like latte's!
Your election reform proposals don't go far enough. Mandatory voting is what we need. The Australians do it, so should we. Besides, it's another thing to criminalize. Don't vote, go to jail.
4. Checxk out Florida...the entire state has a no smoking ban indoors. They are doing just fine!
As a non-smoker, the proposed ban doesn't adversely affect my behavior, but the libertarian in me really doesn't like the idea of the state government stepping in and dictating how a private business must run its business.
Some of the lefty pundits in this area are even taking positions on the 'private club' exception. You know, the situation whereby a private club can have members and allow smoking as an entity not specifically open to the public.
The lefty ruse will be to prevent these private clubs from being inspected in order to allow food/liquor licensing on the grounds that the inspectors will have to endure *horrors* an environment that allows smoking. Hence, no licenses will be issued. How crafty of them.
As to county realignment, I'm all in favor of a City and County of Seattle with the remainder being a separate administrative entity.
6. All right! It's about time we have another smoking flame war. I mean, it's been almost a month since the last one. I was starting to get bored.
Matt, I am starting to think you really are Sound Politics' designated "troll poster." Seriously, most of the stuff you post on here tends to stir up people's emotions. Not that I'm saying I have a problem with that, or even that I disagree with you, just making an observation.
Flame on, party people. Flame on.
Today's Columbian urges yet another "save us from ourselves" piece of legislation currently under consideration in Olympia in the form of a mandatory indoor-smoking ban.
Let me say from the onset that I am not a smoker. I will even go so far as to say that smoking killed my father and stepfather, as well as probably aiding in my mother's death. In fact, I hate it... almost as much as I hate "save-us-from-ourselves" legislation. As a result, my kids don’t smoke and I won’t have it in my home.
And guess what? I made that decision ON MY OWN, WITHOUT GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE!
All of which begs the question: does government have the right to assume a parental role in this matter to force a particular form of conduct? I don't believe they do.
The editorial tells us: "The correct path should be obvious. Of course Washington should ban smoking indoors in public. It's a matter of public health, which the state is charged with protecting. That obligation far outweighs any "smokers' rights" argument. Besides, smokers in those seven states are free to puff away to their hearts' content (detriment, actually), just not indoors in public. "
What's obvious in this increasingly litigious society is that we Americans engage in a great many "unhealthy" activities. Would the Columbian have Government outlaw all of them?
Drinking kills tens of thousands of Americans every year... costing us billions of dollars, with a ripple-effect (pardon the pun) of higher insurance and medical costs across the board.
You see, for me, if the Columbian's "logic" is to apply to the matter of smoking, then it must apply to every "public health" issue. So, when can we expect editorials of outrage demanding that the Propstra Family close down the Burgerville chain? How about an end to playing football? (I played, in one form or another, for something on the order of 20 years. Broke every one of my fingers at least once, my left wrist twice, tore cartilage in my knees, broke my nose, severely sprained both ankles countless times, dislocated a shoulder, broke ribs, and sprained my neck... among other, forgotten injuries. If that doesn't make football a "public health" issue, I can't imagine what does.) What about the end of driving cars... an act responsible for the deaths and maimings of tens of thousands along with billions of dollars of property damage every year? Oh, wait a minute... I forgot. The social engineers at the Columbian HAVE demanded we get out of our cars and get on light rail. Sorry.... my bad.
Government has no business banning smoking in any non-governmental setting. I practice my view with an eye towards economics, by going to private venues that either do not allow smoking or have separate areas for non-smokers.
But that is a VOLUNTARY decision, driven by economics on the part of the business-owners in question... and it is sheer, utter hypocrisy to ban one form of unhealthy conduct without banning them all… not just those forms of conduct that happen to be under the cloud of the moment.
So, for the anonymous editorial writers and those who agree with you… if you don’t like a private environment where smoking takes place… here’s a clue: Don’t go.
That’s right. You don’t like a smoker’s environment? Then stay away. No one FORCES you to go to such a place. No one forces anyone to work in such a place… just like no one forces the obese to eat triple cheeseburgers or for you to sip your martinis, turning your livers into a lump of coal.
In short, stay out of our lives. There are many, many more important issues for you to solve then acting like you’re our nanny.
Taking away someone’s ability to partake in a legally sold item is right out of Demolition man. What's next the elimination of salt? Sex? Free Speech?
If you truly want change use our monetary power. The FREE market WILL change to meet the demand of smoke free environments.
Jon - Yes, Florida is one of the states I no longer visit. AND I don't smoke.
The problem with these bans is they target the wrong problems. A business owner who wants to cater to a smoking crowd and people who are willing to work in a smoking environment should not have that right taken away from them.
Where smokers do not have rights are
- right to smoke near me when I'm standing in a public transportation terminal, coming out of a building, or anywhere else where I have no choice but to breathe their smoke.
- right to throw their cigarettes out of cars causing multiple fires that cost the public millions of dollars to fight and sometimes substantial loss of property and life. The law against this should be enforced and toughened with extremely high fines.
I'm as conservative as they come, but I get crazy when smokers trample on my rights.
I'm a liberal democrat, non-smoker, with a little bit of asthma, but I'm against it. Too totalitarian for me. I'd like to see more smoke free bars (I come out of my favorite pub smelling of smoke), but I'd rather leave that to the market and local regulation than some blanket statewide prohibition.
I wonder whether super ventilating fans and filters would work to reduce the health hazards for the bar workers.
I do have to say though, I enjoyed the smoke free bars in Cali.
You can't have sex in a public place either John. Deal with it.
At the same time, I won't sign this initiative, and I won't vote either way on it. The last signature gatherer I talked to said that he has run across a lot of nonsmokers with a similar attitude--but that lots of smokers are happy to sign on. Funny world, eh?
I like Matt's reports! I will let my dollars talk and they are being spent on Fort Lewis for cigarettes and gas! The money goes to the Army & Air Force Exchange Service which benefits soldiers, instead of Washington State tax coffers! I am soon to be 52 and am retired, so if I do get a burning need to go to a smoking establishment, it can always be on an Indian Reservation. They will still have smoking, which is why so many businesses DID suffer recently in Pierce County, when their indoor smoking ban was enforced.
I am not flaming anyone though. I have always put out a cigarette when asked, except for one time years ago in the Las Vegas Airport, when a very haughty woman came into the smoking section sat down right beside me, even though all the benches around me were empty, and rudely asked me to put that thing out and why couldn't I find somewhere else to smoke. I said no, this is the smoking section and pointed to the 3 foot tall sign less than foot and half away from us!
She moved, but she was quite pained to do it and she continued with her evil looks and attitude until I left the smoking section.
13. You Libs are pathetic.You scream PUBLIC HEALTH,and that people are dieing from second hand smoke,Yet under the guise of a womans right to choose,you support wholesale murder of the unborn!PATHETIC
Your pathetic evergreen state has become a benign version of Haiti. Voters by the millions have been disinfranchised, the election system has been horribly corrupted and public officials responsible for these travesties continue in office.
Yet, there you are with your panties in a twist because in some small bar one hundred miles from your home full grown adults may be voluntarily using a perfectly legal (and government-subsidized) product on the private property of the bar's owner.
Well, bucko, here's hoping you remain free of sin your entire life, and failing that, that you are at least spared the gimlet-eyed, hectoring busy body who insists under penalty of law that you live your life in accord with his dictates.
15. How many people have actually died from second hand smoke? Proven cases?
Amen. All smokers will get back to us and thanks us in a year or so when this restrictive ban was finally enough to make them quit.
There's just not a lot of positive things you an say about cigarette smoke.
17. I think we had a pretty good debate on this last month. Not sure what more there is to say. If even the opponents of the ban think it will be a slam dunk, then all there really is left to do is sign the petitions and vote on it in 8 months.
18. I really can't believe so many so-called Republicans are in favor of government involvement of a private business. The legislators won't even touch it. I'm a non-smoker and I would NEVER vote for something like this. If it's something the market wants, the market will dictate it by flocking to businesses with no smoking allowed.
19. Isn't the next logical step to ban smoking in homes where children live? Pre-school children of smokers are exposed to second hand smoke all day and night. They (the children) have no choice in the matter, unlike employees and patrons at businesses who can work, shop, eat, etc. elsewhere. Doesn't the state have an obligation to protect the underaged?
Although I am an advocate for property rights, I will go on record as saying that I owe a debt of gratitude to the Pierce County smoking ban initiatives that have been undertaken over the last few years.
I have a local restaurant/lounge that I prefer above all others, however it used to also be frequented by this horse face that insisted upon carrying on her conversations with others in her party at amplitude that could be heard from the street.
Her mere presence ensured that the noise level in the rest of the room would soon become insufferable, instead of enjoying a relaxing dinner and quiet conversation one had to shout just to be heard, the background noise was reminiscent of a Chucky Cheese.
A few years back this establishment was bought out by the Anthony’s chain of restaurants and smoking was no longer allowed in the dining room. Although I thought that this move was unnecessary I noticed that it had the unintended consequence of eliminating the presence of this individual and an air of decorum once again ruled.
After the no smoking in the dining room rule went into effect if Horse Face was to enjoy a cigarette while ‘entertaining’ every one in the room with her witticisms she would have to do so in the bar.
As a non-smoker I disagree with the ban based on it should be up to the property owner. If state and county government wants to ban it in their building go ahead. They should have the right to allow smoking in their establishemnt, and I have the right not to go there, which I use. Also there is no right to work where you want in an atmosphere you want. Until smoking is banned free enterprise should rule.
I do think the financial impact is a complete red-herring.
I am a non-smoker, but lost my father and several extended family members to lung cancer from cigarettes. However, I cannot support a measure that takes away the right of people to engage in a legal activity that is already designated to only few establishments. If my smoking friends invite me to a tavern, I know what the environment will be like and I can make the choice not to go.
Likewise, if the market determines that a non-smoking tavern would be profitable, then the market will make the decision for us.
We need less government intrusion in our lives not a big brother state that knows what's best.
Also I can't help but believe that this is another way to cut funding to conservative causes since tobacco companies overwhelmingly support Republicans.
23. Might as well weigh in on this hot topic. I too am a non-smoker and would love it if some of the bars and clubs I go to were non-smoking. But I realize that its my choice to go or not go and I don't want the government telling anyone what to do in the privacy of a privately owned establishment. Who... me? hit the nail right on the head. If the government wants to ban smoking for the public health then they better ban driving, red meat and slinkys (strangulation hazard). Or, here's an idea, outlaw tabacco (oh, wait, tried that with alcohol in the 20s and 30s, led to a huge crime wave).
And here's an interesting statistic supporting the market approach to this problem. Currently 80% of Washington restaurants are voluntarily non-smoking. As for restaurant employees, well, most of them that work in a smoking establishment smoke themselves (I used to work as a dishwasher at Hooter's. Every girl there smoked). For those who don't the food service industry has a 200% annual turnover rate. That means that, on average, every food service worker works in two establishments a year and since 80% are non-smoking, you do the math and tell me if it's difficult to find a job there.
To all supporters of smoking bans:
You are judging this based on whether smoking harms people or by how much you hate smoke or smoking. But that's not the issue.
The issue is: Should government/society limit the property owners right to decide whether or not to allow smoking on their own property? If a business owner chooses to allow smoking on the premises, the only people affected are those who choose to be there. How does that violate a non-smokers rights? Employees have choices too.. I'm allergic to perfumes.. so I would never choose to work at store selling perfumes there are other choices.
If the public wants and will support non-smoking establishments, supply and demand will provide them - that's why we have so many smoke free restaurants now.
This is about property rights and whether you smoke or not it is in your interest to protect the rights of all property owners to engage in a legal activity that can only affect those that choose to be there.
I'm also very conservative, and I find cigarette smoke to be annoying and repellant in most ways. That said, I do enjoy a good cigar from time to time. There is NO WAY I'll be voting to increase our current nanny state.
I realize that my next statement will make people upset, because it's convenient to ignore facts, but the truth is that there is still no credible link between second hand smoke and lung cancer.
To the people supporting this ban, and the proposed ban on cell phones while driving, and numerous other things, why do you people insist on making these things LAWS?? Things can be good ideas, and be encouraged, but it truly is overstepping to make a lot of these issues into punishable offenses. (to quote you libs - what happened to "choice"?)
Sensible, responsible gun owners have been fighting garbage like this for many years now. And now that WA has total democrat control, there are a LOT of "gun control" bills being written, and I hope to God that none of them pass. The two worst ones have conveniently not been given bill numbers (so people can't look them up), but they both include a provision for allowing those who currently possess such firearms (so-called "assault weapons", and .50 cal rifles) to keep them – but ONLY after registering it with local police, undergoing yet another background check, and the best part: Law enforcement agencies are allowed to conduct an annual inspection of your home to ensure you are “safely and securely” storing the so-called "assault weapon" or .50 cal rifle "properly" (no definition is given).
Anyway, there is a bright side. I think the dems are trying to push through all this hooey all at once because they believe their time is short. Olympia won't be dem-controlled for very much longer.
26. I don't smoke. I have a problem with people who do in so much as I consider them to be either weak or stupid, HOWEVER, these stinking liberal tobacco NAZI'S need to get a life. You would think that there is bigger problems in this world to give their attention to than people harming themselves with tobacco. It's just another example of lefty liberal wacko's having a pathological need to control other peoples's lives. Their arguments are all so weak.
The issue is: Should government/society limit the property owners right to decide whether or not to allow smoking on their own property? If a business owner chooses to allow smoking on the premises, the only people affected are those who choose to be there.
The issue is: Should government/society limit the property owner's right to decide whether or not to serve potentially unhealthy food / allow sex on the tables / have a building that may fall down at any moment? If a business owner chooses to allow potentially unhealthy food / sex on the tables / building that may fall down at any moment the only people affected are those who choose to be there.
28. Hey Matt, thanks for the perspective and I think I agree with you. Perhaps it isn't worth the trouble of active opposition but I will still go on record as saying I (as a non-smoker) am against it.
29. Skor, You are comparing something that is illegal everywhere (serving unhealthy food - I assume you mean food that has gone bad, not McDonalds - etc.). Smoking is legal.
There are plenty of legal activities that are also restricted. Drinking alcohol is legal (if you are of age). Driving a car is legal. But you can't drink in your car, even if you aren't driving.
Restrictions on how business owners run their businesses are also common place, with standards for cleanliness and safety, and even what employees have to be paid.
So a smoking ban sets no new precedent in either area of law. Besides, I think an initiative is absolutely the best way to go about this. Because if passed, it will be a true measure of the will of the people, not some government imposed restriction by the legislature.
Skor, You are comparing something that is illegal everywhere (serving unhealthy food - I assume you mean food that has gone bad, not McDonalds - etc.). Smoking is legal.
Will all due respect Jonathan, you are completely wrong. I am certain that there is no law against me buying some hamburger patties and eating them raw if I want to. I could even have a party at my house and serve extra-rare steaks. With unhealthy food and having sex (although maybe not so much with the unsafe building, I'll admit) we're talking about restricting a completely legal activity. I was trying to point out that it's already done all the time. The argument that "It's legal, so stop restricting it!" is ridiculous. Many things are legal, but also restricted, as Jason explained well.
Just a thought... but I really doubt, for example, that an establishment selling "unhealthy" (in this instance, presumed to mean 'spoiled or contaminated') food would be in business all that long.
Again, market forces would solve the issue, and I thank you for providing the example. Even you must have noticed that an increasing number of establishments are smoke-free. And what do you think drove that decision?
Clearly, based on the comments contained within these responses... Matt is once again wrong. It isn't nearly the "slam dunk" you make it out to be... and if this thing hits the ballot, the fur's gonna fly, and the "pro" side will get buried by the money on the anti-side.
No market-force conservative could support this. A leftist "Republican" from King County, OTOH... well... that's a different matter.
33. Little lemmings marching off a cliff.But the government already regulates blah blah blah.Go ahead ,give the guvmint more control over your lives.IMO the founding fathers are spinning in thier graves watching this assault on individual freedom.
34. Sweet. I think that may be the first time that it has been even tangentially implied that I may be a "leftist." Heh.
Again, market forces would solve the issue, and I thank you for providing the example.
Perhaps market forces would solve the issue, but the fact is that they don't have a chance to, since the laws restrict this issue. And I don't hear anyone crying out about these laws, either.
Ever here of the concept of a wrap around scale? It's used in the context of the statement that the difference between genius and lunacy is a very short distance. As on a clock face, the different between 11:59pm and 12:01am is a very short distance.
Individual freedom is on a wrap-around scale as well. At once extreme we have a police state like North Korea, at the other end of the scale you have anarchy and chaos, like in parts of Africa. Individual freedom is great, in moderation. It can't be the primary concern of the state, because absolute individual freedom is anarchy. Thats why we have laws, to restrict individual freedom to that point that we can all still pretty much do what we want, as long as we aren't adversely affecting others.
In my opinion, second hand smoke does adversely affect others. I know it adversely affects me, from the runny eyes, scratchy throat, and smell clothes. So I am all for this restriction of Individual Freedom. Because I see it as my opportunity to be free from the adverse affects of someone eles's choice.
As far as comparing spoiled food, sex on the table etc at home, I am assuming the smoking ban did not include home. Driving laws are all based on the PUBLIC street, not PRIVATE property. Many of the other laws mentioned are related to behind the scenes activities - cleanliness. Though there are ploenty of food establishments that I wouldn't go near even with the cleanliness rules.
Saying that it is truely the will of the people doesn't matter. If the will of the people wanted a certain group to sit at the back of the bus it would not matter. This is an issue of property rights and who can take them. King County voted for CAO - is everyone for that as it is the will of the people?
Consistency is required. I hope to keep to that, but nobody is perfect... :)
37. Jason,I concede we are a nation of laws.My point is,at what point do we draw the line?In my opinion your letting the government make a decision for you,why not just frequent establishments that adhere to your way of thinking,instead of forcing your way of life on everybody else?
38. one more nail in the coffin. the coffin being washington state and their unfriendly business practices. yes, smoking is bad. so is communism, socialism, fascism. i do not wannabee a californian. i don't think i wannabee a washingtonian anymore either. this is really really sad. proponents of this initiative don't realize how liberal, out of touch and arrogant they sound.
Smoking impacts the people around the smoker, not just the person smoking. Much like indecent exposure would impact others, except cigarette smoke actually physically harms people.
What we have here is a behavior that has been legal for a long time, made legal during a time of ignorance of health and cancer, and now it’s time to correct this mistake.
I hate to think of the USA as a place too traditionalist to accept that sometimes changes based on newly gained science & knowledge has to happen in order to make the free world a freer place to breathe in.
40. But more than a few conservatives and Republicans support the measure and heartily rebut the "personal freedom" and Chicken Little-ish "economic ruin" arguments put forth by ban opponents.
True. The initiative is has bi-partison support. Some of the strongest avocates are republicans.
Basically, having either asbetos dust or carcinogen laden smoke in an enclosed space isn't a good idea and causes cancer.
One should have the personal liberty to eat at McDonalds, drink heavily or smoke.
However, there is no liberty to drinking while operating a motor vehicle or exposing others to carcinogens and placing them in danger of having cancer.
If the issue gets on the ballot, I suspect it will pass by 65 to 70 percent.
As far as the economic impact, approximaely 30 percent of the US now bans second hand smoke indoors. All studies show either a positive or neutral effect on business.
There is still the challenge to get the measure on the ballot.
Those interested in helping collect signatures can contact the campaign at:
Healthy Indoor Air for All Washington
6560 Latona Avenue NE, Suite A
Seattle, WA 98105
Healthy Indoor Air
Skor tells us:
"Perhaps market forces would solve the issue, but the fact is that they don't have a chance to, since the laws restrict this issue. And I don't hear anyone crying out about these laws, either."
Those laws don't institute a restriction on property rights, either... which is why no one complains.
No one has the "right" to provide bad food. That is a condition for selling food, explicit in the licensing requirements of this state.
But everyone has the "right" to smoke. And, as I pointed out, unless ALL "unhealthy behavior" is to be banned, because ALL "unhealthy behavoir" flunks the same tests applied to smoking, then singling out smoking and smokers due to their conduct is inherently unfair.
If the statistics are accurate, and only 20% of Washingtonians are smokers, then isn't it they who are forcing their way of life on everybody else by subjecting us to their second hand smoke?
Also, as I said, I'm glad this is an initiative, because it is the voice of the people who will tell the government how we want this behavior regulated, not the government imposing it upon us.
HHHmmmm.... can there be a more worthless statistic than "Only 20% of Washingtonians smoke?"
The qurestion is: how many of them will vote? Does 20% mean of all adults? Or are we counting all children in that as well.... children who can't vote? And what was the source for that number, again?
44. No one has the "right" to provide bad food. That is a condition for selling food, explicit in the licensing requirements of this state.
That's one way I have thought of the issue. Does one have the right to sell e coli filled hamburgers or just serve undercooked hamburgers which pose a health risk?
The answer is no. Every health department in every county would shut the operation down as it poses a public health risk.
(however, I suppose one could eat raw hamburger at home. No public health hazard there.)
Erik, If I voluntarily go into an establishment that the owner allows smoke NOBODY is exposing me to the carcinogens other than me. I have the liberty to decide. Going into establishments with loud music damages peoples hearing, should we regulate that too.
Again, the driving is on public street. The public, within reason, can permit what the public wants on public property. This law extends into private property which, like CAO, is wrong.
Jason wrote: if passed, it will be a true measure of the will of the people, not some government imposed restriction by the legislature.
Hogwash. Getting enough signatures to have this on the ballot is one easy task. After it finds it's way to the ballot special interest will take over on the campaign, fanatics will come out of the woodwork to vote for it, and the 20% of the people who this affects will have no voice. That is not representative democracy and it is fundementally what is wrong with these types of initiatives.
Jason, how are the 20% forcing their way of life on anyone. Nobody is forcing you to go to an establishment that permits smoking. Just as no one is forcing smokers to go to a non-smoking establishment - unless this law passes.
Again, if 80% wanted a certain group to ride at the back of the bus does not mean that it is right.
48. and only 20% of Washingtonians are smokers, then isn't it they who are forcing their way of life on everybody else by subjecting us to their second hand smoke?
That's usually what one sees at a bowling alley. A few people filling up the place with cancer causing smoke while the rest of the people are forced to beathe it.
If you don't like it leave...
I suppose one could argue that one has a right to operate a business without fire escapes, improper wiring, asbestos dusk everywhere and with typhoid Mary in the kitchen who never washes her hands.
However, I think most people believe that there should be some minimal standard of safety when dining at a restaurant so as not to die from eating or working there.
49. Erik, since when do you have a right to hang out at a bowling alley? Since when is ANYWHERE smoking is allowed someplace you MUST be? You don't have any more right to the air than the smokers do, and if the proprietor allows smoking, you can exercise your right to freedom of association and spend your time elsewhere.
The 20% of the people whom this affects do have a voice, fortunately for the rest of us, 20% isn't enough to force the other 80% to bend to their will.
You are correct as far as riding buses go, good thing that's not what we are talking about here. And just because 20% of the population wants to breathe noxious smoke ladden air doesn't meant that it is right for the rest of us to have to put up with it.
51. Again, can ANY of you point to a place where you are FORCED to breathe cigarrette smoke?
52. Jason, you do not have to put up with it, you can go elsewhere. You do not have the right to go on someone else's property and have conditions meet your standards. The bus is purely an example that just because 80% want something doesn't make it right.
53. Again, can ANY of you point to a place where you are FORCED to breathe cigarrette smoke?
Maybe Jack in the box could have had the same position.
If you don't like e coli hamburgers, then let the market decide and don't eat here.
How about a business who fails to clean up asbestos dust after a remodel.
I didn't force you to come in here. If you don't like it leave.
Unless you don't believe there should be any health and safety regulations of any kind in restaurants, a law banning cancer causing smoke is a pretty reasonable expectation of all businesses.
54. If you really want to ban smoking where it effects others how about in cars? The number of times (as smokers apparently can't stand smoke and the smell of old butts either) that billows of smoke come out of a car in front and inevitably gets into my car and butts going out the window too. Here I have no choice to breath it when in public. That is different than on private property.
55. The difference with asbestos etc is that as a customer you do not know what is there. With smoking it is a clear choice as it is visible, or at the very least you can smell it. Also asbestos is not legal anywhere.
Jonathan, it's also a very dumb commercial they have on tv linking smoking up with someone shooting bug spray directly in people's faces at an office. It's not the same at all simply because the bug spray will cause cancer much much faster and can cause other things like skin irritation. As irritating as being in a smoky bar gets is smelling the smoke on your clothes. Rashes don't occur and soap and water takes it all away.
If anyone can't tell already, I'm adamantly against this legislation and I've been a lifetime non-smoker!
Matt, et al,
Your argument that in a short while everyone will wonder what all the fuss was about is just plain wrong.
What you’re hearing in the mainstream press is that everything is rosy where they have banned indoor smoking is wrong. Seems that the groups and governments that got the ban in place will show wonderful sales increases. If you look at the raw data (which I have) you will see how it has been manipulated to fulfill their agenda. (Does that sound similar to another event that Sound Politics is reporting on?)
I know that the Grand Central Steak House in Sumner closed due to the illegal smoking ban we had last year. They were so close to the King County line that their customers just left and never came back. Many others were on the brink when it ended. What the tribal gaming establishments didn’t kill in charitable bingo was pretty much killed off by the ban here in Pierce County. So much for the funds that groups used to receive to help the less fortunate. Many private organizations have lost chapters on the East Coast due to bans. Elks, Eagles, VFW, AMVETS and whole host of other groups have been forced to close their club’s doors when a smoking ban was put into place. Seems like old soldiers (who, BTW…fought for freedom) won’t go to their clubs when they are told they can’t have a smoke with their drink.
If you look closely, compliance in Ireland continues to drop where pub owners are faced with complying with the law or going out of business. Canada faces the same problem where pubs and taverns are going out of business when their customers head for the tribal lands.
Just remember when a ban goes into place…you won’t see all the businesses go under right away…it is one here, two there and their passing won’t be noticed by many.
The only good thing I see is that with a ban…and many smokers
quitting (when also faced with a large tax increase-again!) is that the billions and billions of dollars that smokers have been paying will be shifted to the rest of the tax paying public. Seems like the free ride will be over…and won’t we hear a lot of screaming about new/increased taxes here on Sound Politics?
Every wonder why there is now such a push for smoking bans all over the country? Thank your friends at “Big Pharma.” The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (majority stockholder in Johnson & Johnson) has spent $200 million over the past few years. Is this for better public health? No. It is a marketing plan (and a very good one, I might add). As soon as a ban takes place huge amounts of advertising is placed in local media selling patches, gums and the like. So spend $200 million on “marketing” and reap billions in sales. Other “Big Pharma” companies are doing likewise…and are working to make the “obese” their next target. So if they didn’t get into your pockets on this one, they will on the next. Like the old Dupont Slogan: “Better living through chemistry.
Hmmm...Smoking is bad for you....Hmmmmm Second smoke is bad for you....Hmmmm If I smoke, why should I inflict damage on another person's lungs and quality of life if I smoke.....Hmmmmmm Gee If I am addicted to smoking then I am powerless of causing harm to another human being because of my addiction to nicotine.....Hmmmmm Now I wonder why people are upset and want me to control my addiction......Hmmmmm Gee! No wonder everyone is upset about me......
SMOKING AND SECOND SMOKE IS BAD FOR EVERYONE
I am a reformed smoker. I quit smoking in 1982 after smoking for 20 years. I have emphysema and have the effective use of about one lung. I can walk two miles in about 34 minites. I can attest personaly and add to the discussion that smoking should be banned from all public places because of the damage smoking causes not only on the person smoking but also on the all other people in the area.
BTW - I am a conservative republican in most of my views (except for the death penality - If the jury is wrong then you can not undo death!) but letting other people influence my health with their lifestyles is wrong!
59. If you really want to ban smoking where it effects others how about in cars?
Nah. I wouldn't advocate banning it in cars as they are private and are not licensed for public accomodation. Same for houses.
If one wants to drive with no brakes on your own car, go for it. Though if you crash into someone you might get a ticket (or go to jail if you kill someone).
If you want to operate a Limousine service and have the vehicle run with no brakes, most people would disagree with your actions as they believe there should be a minimal standard for safety.
Yeah...but if I told everyone that the brakes were bad, it was their choice to ride in the limo right?
60. Seems that the groups and governments that got the ban in place will show wonderful sales increases.
Yes. Actually, every study performed has shown that smoking bans have either a positive or neutral effect on businesses.
Millions of Americans live in states and cities where smoking is banned in restaurants, bars and other public places where employees and customers benefit from clean air.
The following states are now have completely smoke free workplaces:
What do you say to the family that owed the steakhouse in Sumner? What do you say to the tavern owner in Tacoma (this is a true story) that wants to retire, but can't sell his business since no one (including the banks) feel that with a smoking ban possibility there will be a profit to be had?
What do the money lenders know that you don't?
You didn't address all the clubs and organizations that have had to close? How about all the wait staff that have been layed-off and can't support their families? What about those? Are these real people or does that matter?
62. How about all the wait staff...
New York gained 10,600 jobs promptly after the ban went into effect.
All of the studies performed in multiple states show that eliminating cancer causing carcinogins is good for business not bad.
There are numerous studies which have been run well before 9/11 and after.
As Matt correctly points out, the doom and gloom predictions have been proven to be baseless.
63. You didn't answer my questions Erik
64. You didn't answer my questions Erik
Sure I did.
I responded by stating that your question has a false assumption that employment is going to go down because of the smoking ban which is a false one.
Your assumption is an invalid one.
Smoking bans have proven to be either positive or neutral for businesses.
Now, what do you say you say to the fact that
Smoking related illness kills over 8,000 people in Washington every year, from lung disease, cancer, asthma, and heart disease.
The most heavily exposed non-smoking workers in smoking restaurants and taverns inhale the equivalent of 1 1/2 to 2 packs of cigarettes everyday and are 75% more likely to get cancer than the general public.
Waitresses are more likely to die from lung cancer or heart disease than any other female occupation group.
Bartenders are twice as likely to die of lung cancer, heart disease and other smoking-related causes as workers in other industries.
Well, we all know there are lies, damned lies and
I'm a working journalist and during the ban in Pierce County I went to many places to see how it was going. I had been to all before the ban.
(My "beat" is entertainment and those who provide it.)
Places like The Firwood in Fife was hit really bad. Same bands...same everything else. Business got so bad they layed off their entire wait staff. Had to go to the bar to get a drink.
Great American Ca**no (was known then as the Grand Central) lost $86,000.00 in the first month alone. This info was also reported to the state gaming commission. Same for the other ca**no in Lakewood.
That's why the Lakewood City Council adoped the State Indoor Clean Air Act as local law to get around the Pierce County Ban... as one city councilman said...we may not like those establishements, but they pay taxes and they are hurting. Fife, Sumner also gave breaks on their gaming taxes to help these businesses.
These are all facts and you can verify them all if you wish...I've been "on the ground" when a smoking ban hits and it DOES hurt!
Just an FYI...the Emerald Queen (Puyallup Tribe) is always busy, but during that time you couldn't find a parking place, table at the club..and the place was wall-to-wall each weekend.
I can't wait for that initiative to hit the ballot. makes me (almost, but I won't!) want to do a "King County" and vote twice, vote dead, vote early, vote often, etc. to get that thing passed. I can smell the cleaner air at my favorite restaurant already.
If the legislature had any guts at all, they would have passed a better version of it already. But as with anything important, they punt it away to the people to do their work for them (gee, sound a little like King County!)
67. Besides, having to deal with second hand cigarette smoke is SO last century! What do the ANTI folks want? Bring smoking back into supermarkets, too??? I remember when you could smoke in the supermarket when I was a kid in California. Yuck!
Your anti-smoking obsession will be the number one cause of loss of support for this blog and all it is supposed to represent.
Your stance on the subject of smoking - runs completely contrary to conservative and independent principals. It is the liberals who constantly wish to curb the rights of citizens - usually for their own profit. (If the people want it - make them pay for it! )
Conservatives tend to believe in personal responsibility and Independents tend to live by the constitution and personal freedoms....Both do their homework with respect to the junk science surrounding the anti-tobacco campaign and the agenda of the United Nations...(who, by the way, is behind the anti-smoking campaign...)
So..Keep posting your anti-smoking threads - in the middle of an election contest update...and the Rossi camp may as well pack it up! If you add to this - a favorable thread about Ron Sims CAO and how we should all give our land up freely...for the (cough) good of the people -Goldy will have a spot open for you tomorrow in his blog!
Re: Smoking Ban Initiative Gaining Steam
The Stepford employees
By Bob Barr
70. I remember when you could smoke in the supermarket when I was a kid in California. Yuck!
At the time, I am sure everyone was predicting a great economic catastrophe if California went smoke free. Same thing happened with the other 6 states which are smoke free as well as the other 1800 municipalities.
Think of it, injecting carcinogenic smoke in enclosed spaces is good for business? The truth of the matter is that its good for lung cancer.
Your anti-smoking obsession will be the number one cause of loss of support for this blog and all it is supposed to represent.
I beg to differ.
I believe Matt set a record with his last post concerning smoke free workplaces. There were over 200 comments. I believe the number was around 230.
Some of the strongest support of smoke free work places comes from staunch republicans and some noteable republicans in the Legislature who have sponsored many of the smoke free bills.
The interest to breath clean air is bi-partison.
The opposition (smokers) are bi-partison as well.
quit smoking in 1982 after smoking for 20 years. I have emphysema and have the effective use of about one lung. I can walk two miles in about 34 minites. I can attest personally and add to the discussion that smoking should be banned from all public places because of the damage smoking causes not only on the person smoking but also on the all other people in the area.
You said it Timman. These young jokers are still believing themselves invincible.
71. In Washington State "staunch and notable Republican" is code for cheap immitation democrat. Real conservatives will use this issue as a litmus test.
72. In Washington State "staunch and notable Republican" is code for cheap immitation democrat.
Ok. I won't argue with your definitions.
However, a 65 to 70 percent majority of both parties: republicans and democrats will support the initiative in November.
73. Count me as one of those non-smoknig Republicans against the ban. Nice try at distracting us, Rosenberg. "Hey, isn't a smoking ban great, and if you don't think so, don't you think opposing it is a big waste of your time?"
74. Republicans will do so at their peril, especially if a revote is being held.
75. Unbelievable,conservatives my ass.Nothing but a bunch of BIG GOVERNMENT weenies.You blue states,and notice the states you list are ALL blue,deserve what you get.I can't wait till every body quits smoking(I'm already a non-smoker).Then ,when they raise your taxes to make up for the lost revenue,I will be on the sidelines laughing my ass off,while all you BIG GOVERNMENT weenies cry,what happened how can they do this to us!!heh heh
From a conservative non-smoker:
A smoking ban is contrary to the civic ethic we should be promoting in this state and this nation which is a strong and healthy regard for the personal interactions and decisions of individuals acting in private concert, i.e., let people alone to decide where they eat, smoke, work and how they run a business. A smoking ban is not just wrong, it is unethical in any reasonable code of civic ethics. Furthermore it represents the worst form of condescending statism that folks like Kerry are the expemplar of. Just say NO to anti-smoking statism.
77. It is rather ironic the tactic of using the 20% figure that ruin the public environments for the "majority who don't smoke"
It makes me raise an eyebrow to that logic as the 2% who don't celebrate Christmas have sure had their way with that one.
78. PC, please stop asking for consistency! How can we act as Big Brother if you expect us to have a principle to stand by?
Has anyone else noticed how original thinking and brilliant Erik is?
Thanks Erik, like Patty Murray, you solve all of our problems for us. You get an A because you showed up.
"I don't belong to an organized political party. I'm a Democrat." - Will Rogers
Let's see. "Big money" (the American Cancer Society and American Lung Associations, supported by voluntary donations) is getting "the government" (by citizen's initiative) to enact this ban.
They are opposed by the poor, struggling businesses (Altria aka Phillip Morris, RJ Reynolds, Brown & Williamson, etc...) in their altruistic attempts to maintain freedom, protect democracy and fight for truth, justice and the American way.
Obviously outgunned, these poor, struggling businesses (current worth $154,407,499,980 - Dow Jones US Tobacco Index) are obviously fighting for their lives.
"I really can't believe so many so-called Republicans are in favor of government involvement of a private business."
Let me try to spell this out. Citizen initiative. The government will get stuck enforcing the ban, but it is not enacting it. We are. The citizens. Remember us? The people supposedly in charge?
"In Washington State "staunch and notable Republican" is code for cheap immitation democrat. Real conservatives will use this issue as a litmus test."
Ah, if only it were so... Fortunately(?) most conservatives are smart enough to avoid the "litmus test" trap. ;-)
(Side note - how many people talking about a "litmus test" have ever actually used litmus paper?)
This Republican supports the ban. Hooray!
To smokers I say- ABOUT TIME! You have injured enough people with your addiction. Get help and quit smoking.
82. The lost tax revenue is a straw man. The savings in health care cost for emphysema and other respiratory problems alone should more than make up for the tax on cigarettes.
83. You and me, both, Diva! Let's kick those smokers in the patoot! Let THEM stay home from restaurants if they want to foul the air. WE'RE not the ones lighting up and ruining it for everyone else.
The health care savings argument was debunked long ago. Whether you like it or not the government save considerably more in social security expenditures defrayed from premature deaths than expenses related to heatlh care financed by the government. That is why the activists are leary to make this claim in public anymore.
To John Barelli:
Your observations regarding the financing of this effort are in error. This effort is financed primarily through billions passed through the tobacco companies to a tobacco settlement trust fund that funnels the funds used by the anti-smoking advocacy groups to push these initiatives and pay for the blatently political PSAs (like the one making the 20 percent argument) on the radio. The idea that voluntary contributions paid for this effort sounds noble but it is untrue. As is the fiction that scores of citizens are pushing for this effort (they aren't, most to the extent of almost all who show up at legislative hearings, etc. on this issue are grant recipients of which there are now many because of the settlement trust fund). The real outrage here is the grant baby-political activist industry that was spawned by the tobacco lawsuit which was nothing more than a phony tax. And the fact that so many on this site are unconsious of the manipulation going on behind the scenes by the phony "nobles", i.e., the anti-smoking grant industry.
"Whether you like it or not the government save considerably more in social security expenditures defrayed from premature deaths than expenses related to heatlh care financed by the government"
Wow, that sounds exactly like the argument Big Tobacco was giving foreign governments as the excuse to allow smoking. Funny thing though, I thought the nicotine addicts were claiming that smoking didn't harm you. Oh and they now want us to beleive that if the filtered end of the cancer stick from which they inhale causes "premature death" (according to Barchester), that the UNFILTERED end has absolutely no adverse health consequences. Got a bridge to sell us too?
As for who is funding whom, it is well known that the National Restaurant Association (the OTHER NRA) along with many other front groups, receives bribe money directly from Phillip Morris. Here is a letter from Phillip Morris detailing their $250,000 bribe to NRA.
The nicotine addicts out there will have to shake the monkey off their back. No longer will they be allowed to endanger the health of non-smokers.
Where is that initiative? Where do I sign?
Say what you want about Big Tobacco...they've already made their deal with the devil...and we all pay. They weren't hurt a bit by the big settlement...they just passed it on to their customers...like all businesses do.
It's the bar and club owners who will get hammered. If you see my prev posts...saw it with my own eyes in Pierce County. That's who will really loose...it has happened all over the country...which has been hidden by the "nannys" and the MSM. Isn't it nice to know you have been had? Frank Zappa was right...we have you until the rights to you are sold.
You apparently think $250,000 (voluntarily given to the Restaurant Ass.) and approximately $ billion (to the Anti-tobaccco grant babies as a result of the tobacco deal --fake tax) are somehow equivalents. . . that's a little strange. Secondly, whether the argument about premature death might sound hypocritical coming from a tobacco company it is, nonetheless, true and I'm not a tobacco company, just a citizen who pointed out the errors and mischaracterizations you and others have made that you haven't refuted. As I pointed out before, the initiative is not a real grassroots movement but is instead driven by well paid grant recipients feeding of the tobacco settlement. . . it is, without doubt, the biggest fake grassroots movement in history . . . which should bother those who don't care for government programs whose main purpose is manipulation (not to mention political activism). The initiative is sponsored by Big Grant baby, who gets multiples more, under the phony duress of the tobacco settlement, than does the Restaurant Association. And cigarettes are not costing taxpayers $$ when you balance out the numbers.
At the end of the day it is you who are choosing to abuse the freedoms of others, not me and that is an ethical lapse, not a matter of spin. Shame on you.
To make my point Diva included in her unexplained rant against the Restaurant Association (apparently membership dues are bribes in her mind) a web site hosted by one of the Tobacco Settlement Grant Babies. That's rich with irony. . . Of course those folks at No-Smoke don't have the decency to explain that THEY are receiving their money through a government blackmail operation whereas the Restaurant Association is getting theirs voluntarily. Speaking of hypocrits. . .
It is so, and IMO I'd replace "smart enough" with "foolish enough"
90. Asking smokers to step outside for a minute is not "a slippery slope to a police state" as some would argue. Bar owners are not allowed to have Class A carcinogens in the workplace such as arsenic, asbestos, radon, and lead(yes, just like smoking, drinking water is also a legal activity). Allowing second-hand smoke, another Class A carcinogen, in the workplace is not something that should be "owner's choice" either,