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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Smoking ban

A statewide smoking ban is now more likely in the next year, and I definitely welcome this. It's about time.

The article quotes naysayer Tom Emmer, who continues to add to his credentials as craziest Republican in the House (with Michelle Bachmann gone, there will be a new craziest senator). Completely ignoring the realities of secondhand smoke, he says "If this is what government is for, let's go to the next step -- why not cheeseburgers?" Well, I don't know, Rep. Emmer. If you walked into a bar and they started shoving cheeseburgers down your throat, however, then perhaps it would be a different story, wouldn't it?

Smoking bans exist to protect employees first and foremost, and then the non-smoking customers. There is no such thing as a secondhand cheeseburger, which is why they aren't regulated. This isn't hard to understand, and I hope we do get a statewide smoking ban soon.

Incidentally, I don't support a ban on trans-fats since there is also no such thing as secondhand french fries. However, I would support a requirement that all businesses serving food over a certain size post the nutritional information of all of their dishes, including trans-fat content. Consumers can't make good choices if they don't have good information.

35 Comments:

At 6:16 PM, December 10, 2006, Blogger American Lung Association of Minnesota said...

The opposition (what's left of them) has lost most of their key points they pushed last time. The 'private property" mantra doesn't work, nor does the "economic ruin" stories these Chicken Little types spun before the many municiapal and county ordinances began in Minnesota (which proved this just wasn't true). Unless the MLBA is prepared to argue that Minnesota liquor sellers are worse business people than the bar and club owners who are making a profit in 17 smokefree states and a slew of smokefree cities and counties in Minnesota. I don't see how they are going to defend Big Tobacco when the evidence against secondhand smoke is so clear.

 
At 2:45 PM, December 11, 2006, Blogger KT said...

Since I don't smoke and haven't since 1987 I too welcome the smoking ban. I would suggest we go one step further than just the smoking ban. We should ban the income that is earned by the state from cigarettes too. Just like the smokers who will now be outside looking in, the state should do the same with the funds they take from poor (mostly ignorant) people who still haven't decided to quit smoking. I would be very impressed if this ban were proposed by anyone with an ounce of decency within their heart.

 
At 6:18 PM, December 11, 2006, Blogger Swiftee said...

Bob "The Lung" said:

"The opposition (what's left of them) has lost most of their key points they pushed last time."

This is the funniest thing I've read all day!

The Lung's BS got so completely shredded he dried up and blew away from the blogosphere.

Hey Lung..if economic ruin isn't a fact of life under the nanny state...why is Saint Paul paying bars to build smoking areas?

Pfft. You're pathetic Lung..no, really.

 
At 11:22 AM, December 12, 2006, Anonymous John said...

If someone has a problem with second hand smoke then why do they show up to an establishment where there will be smoking? I can see the ban in a public or family restaurant and would agree with that ban. However, you do have a choice to go to a bar or an event where smoking will be present.

You also mentioned you support the ban to protect the health of the employees. Don't you think the employees are well aware of the workplace "hazards" when they apply to work in a bar setting? Since smoking was banned at the Mall of America nearly every single bar on the 4th floor has been closed (only one left open is Hooters). Luckily, the employees are now "safe" from second hand smoke, but they no longer have a job and we are all paying for their unemployment benefits.

In addition, you made a comment regarding trans-fats and other grease saturated food. Granted, this doesn't impact the health of other individuals, but it does affect your pocket book. If you believe that you aren't paying higher healthcare costs to accomodate these unhealthy individuals you are being naive.

 
At 11:55 AM, December 12, 2006, Blogger American Lung Association of Minnesota said...

For John:

Q: "If someone has a problem with secondhand smoke then why do they show up to an establishment where there will be smoking?"

A: Smokers and nonsmokers alike are always welcome in Minnesota restaurants, bars and clubs. The smokers just need to step outside to smoke. No one needs to be excluded.

Q: "Since smoking was banned at the Mall of America nearly every single bar on the 4th floor has been closed..."

Q: Interesting that you mention the Mall of America locations. The out-of-state company (Jillians) that owned most of the 4th floor bars still open (several closed long before the Bloomington ban) was in already in bankrupcy. They were bought by Dave & Busters, who soon closed the MOA bars. Yes, they publicaly cited the ban as a reason for closing (other locations in cities with smoking also closed).

Interestingly, the same company opened a large Dave & Busters facility in smokefree Maplewood earlier this year. Hopefully, they hired some of the folks they laid off at the MOA sites. My guess it was high rent, not smoking ordinances, that doomed the MOA stories. Anywhay, they are back, and still smokefree.

 
At 8:45 AM, December 14, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to comment abount the Am Lund Assn statement that "smokers can just step outside for a smoke if they are in a bar". Guess What? My husband and I will not be patronizing these bars anymore. Why pay $3 for a beer in a bar where I cannot smoke when I can buy a 12 pack for $ 12 and invite all my friends over to my heated garage. I for one will not be stepping out into -20 degree weather here on the Canadian Border of Minnesota for a smoke, just for the privilege of further enriching the state sales tax fund.

 
At 9:42 AM, December 14, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Previous Anonymous,
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At 7:30 AM, December 15, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, we do not smoke in our house, we have two teenagers at home.

 
At 4:21 PM, December 16, 2006, Blogger American Lung Association of Minnesota said...

Good for you, anonymous! You got the right idea. If you do smoke, please take it outside.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and hope your party is a big success. Have a cold one for me!

 
At 3:01 PM, December 22, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the smoking ban has done more bad than good. I know people with kids who never smoked around their kids at all -- they always just went to the neighborhood bar that allowed smoking and ONLY allowed adults over 21 to go inside. Now they do invite over friends and smoke at home, plus kids see adults smoking on the street. The smoking ban in bars was NOT good for kids!

Plus, there are bars that only really had smoking customers and employees. They haven't stopped smoking either. They just go somewhere else. Hey, if they want to smoke there, let them. Doesn't mean I have to go there (I'm a non smoker). I mean, if you really wanted to cure this problem, why not just try to ban cigarettes? Why just go after bars where you have to over 21 to get inside? Doesn't make sense!!!

 
At 3:16 PM, December 27, 2006, Blogger American Lung Association of Minnesota said...

"...Doesn't make sense!!!"

Keep thinking about it, Anonymous, maybe you will figure out why the American Lung Association of Minnesota supports smokefree workplaces.

In the meanwhile, I'm happy to report that the City of Hutchinson voted yesterday to go smokefree on June 1, 2007.

 
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At 1:25 AM, January 03, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last time I checked, I still didn't see anyone holding a gun to someones head to work in, or patronize a business that allows smoking.
Can't wait till the health nazis ban red meat too!

 
At 3:59 PM, February 12, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI ...

Recently there have been reports in the media suggesting there may be additional criteria to be met when determining electability of a candidate for President of the United States - namely, whether or not that candidate smokes cigarettes or not. I am specifically referring to the latest reports regarding Barack Obama's bid for the presidency, and the fact that he smokes cigarettes. Well if smoking cigarettes can determine whether or not a candidate is qualified to serve as President, then presumably one could assume that's probably based on health concerns, correct? The ones more noteably that come to mind are lung conditions such as lung cancer, emphysema, etc, etc. Obviously, the healthcare industry has certainly done a good job as of late convincing us these conditions are a result of smoking, so it's understandable how people might refer to that as a basis for their concern.

However with regards to this issue, there is a dirty little secret the healthcare industry has conveniently forgotten to mention over the years. In addition, it's quite apparent they have no desire to come forward and divulge this to the public any time soon, much less make an effort to correct/dispel any inaccuracies or rumors associated with the issue either. Yes, it appears they are quite content the way things are - no matter how many people may be affected by their silence, or omissions. But with reference to the healthcare industry, there can never be any good that will ever come out of dishonesty, or blatant omission, so I feel strongly the public has a right to know, and absolutely deserves to know exactly what these "medical professionals" (aka the medical mafia) have been deliberately keeping from us. Having said that, what I'm about to tell you is really just the tip of the iceberg as far as what they've truly been able to distort, and keep under wrap. And keep in mind, if they can get away with misleading the public about one thing, is it not logical to assume they might very well be doing the same thing in other areas of concern as well? - Say, for example heart disease, obesity, etc., etc? Just remember, if there's a profit to be made in some way, often times that far outweighs the desire to be forthright. Case in point ... our state health departments literally make millions of $ each year off the backs of smokers (through higher taxes, etc), so is it any wonder they would ever want to upset that gold-filled apple cart, and do anything that could possibly jeopardize that income? Well, maybe it's about time the truth comes out, and our so-called medical professionals are held accountable for the chaos they've enjoyed inflicting on the public - all in the name of good health.

What this is in reference to is called: Alpha-1 Antitrypsin - commonly referred to by doctors as Alpha-1. What it is basically, is a genetic deficiency linked to all kinds of lung problems - including lung cancer, emphysema, asthma, etc, etc, R-E-G-A-R-D-L-E-S-S whether a person smokes cigarettes or not, whether they've ever smoked in their life, or have ever even been around cigarette smoke - period. In other words, if for example there were no such thing as cigarettes, people would still get lung cancer, emphysema, etc, etc., simply because some of us are already genetically predisposed for having lung problems. A simple blood test in a doctor's office can determine whether or not you have the deficiency; but unfortunately, chances are, doctors are not going to willingly offer that test to you. But this is why there are some people who get lung cancer who have never smoked a day in their life, and this is also why other people might smoke 50 years, and never have lung problems. Again, it doesn't matter how much they try, and try, to put the blame for this on a person's lifestyle ... The fact is, there IS a genetic link to these lung conditions. But again, the medical community would prefer we not know about this, because otherwise, that would interfere with their true agenda - which is to put as much blame as possible on individuals for the medical conditions they may have. It's really a shame we've allowed them so much power that they've been able to get away with this; but from their perspective, it's better for them, and of course easier too, just to concentrate on blaming the people themselves for certain conditions/illnesses, and they can just wash their hands of it. That way, they don't have to worry about wasting valuable time studying genetics at all anymore if they don't want to, and they certainly wouldn't have to worry about being hounded to get a cure/treatment for something if they could just put the blame for that condition on the people themselves anyway. And of course, need I be remindful as to what happens when there is a cure for something, for example ... polio? The Doctors are the ones who end up with less $ in their pockets.

 
At 9:11 AM, March 02, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a Non Smoker (see how I capitalized the word? )Well, I am proud of it and when I am participating in an event, I deserve the same rights as the smokers. They choose to smoke, I choose not to smoke. The rudeness of people when I ask that their smoke not go into my face is appalling. This happened to me last night.(March 1, 2007) I was at Borderline Bar and Grill in Lakeland,MN and there was this guy smoking a pipe cigarette. It was so smelly and the smoke was thick and it was awful. My chest was tightening at one time after the smoke hit me. I asked him to please not blow it into me and he let into me about how I only pick on him about his smoking and I said "You are smoking something that smells totally raunchy and you are blowing into my area. It's rude." He told me I shouldn't be there and that some people like the smell. Mind you there is no ventilation, no windows that can be opened and I asked the guy running it "Eddie" to ask him to not smoke pipe cigarettes and he said to just tell him to move the chair he had it sitting on. Well,wasn't that accomidating. I think there should be proper air flow in a place like this and there should also be non-smoking tables.(they have this option at Acapulco in Stillwater) I am there to play poker, not get cancer. I have mentioned it to other smokers there and I wasn't picking on just him. I voice my opinion of not wanting smoke to go into my face and clothes and they should respect that. Most people do and are very considerate. This guy was a rude, old man with a comb over hairdo. It's clear that he is totally addicted to tobacco. He chain smokes. As soon as he's finished smoking a pipe cigarette, he switches to a regular cigarette, when that one's done, he smokes a pipe cigarette again. There's no "BREAK" from his smoking. Of course I had to say something. It's my right to not have second hand smoke. C'mon people, lets keep the smoke away from people participating in an event. Keep them away from the tables. Make them leave if they need to have a "smoke".

 
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At 12:05 PM, June 03, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Mr. Pipe Tobacco hater above. It seems you enjoy sitting at a bar playing cards at the Borderline Bar or Acapulco Resturaunt. I am wondering where you will sit when there is no more card nights at these pubs after the smoking ban takes into effect. Alot of people who show up at a liquor establishment to play poker generally might have a cirgarette or two.

 
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At 1:43 AM, November 20, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks to the smoking ban I know alot of people out of work and over 100 bars in the state out of biz. If the state would have brought the smoking ban to a vote I would not be so pissed about it.(yes I'm out of work also) No bars are looking for help because there is no cust. base anymore. Yes I'm a smoker. Thats my choice. I don't force you to smoke, but I don't want to hear you complain or preach to me about nonsmoking which is your choice.
I say let the people of the state of Minnesota vote about this smoking ban.
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