Dec 4, 2008

Workplace smoking ban inches toward reality with conference committee


Time is running out for the Michigan workplace smoking ban, including bars and restaurants, despite action in the House on Wednesday, but the person dragging his heels is the person who has done so all along, Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop.

On Wednesday in the Lame Duck session, the House moved to send House Bill 4163 to a conference committee to work out the differences in the version passed by the House and the one passed by the Senate. You may recall that in December 2007 the House passed a version that excluded casinos, tobacco retailers, bingo halls, horse racing tracks, cigar bars and private residences where a business is run with the owner being the only employee. But Bishop sat on the bill and refused to allow a vote.

However, pressure by constituents, voters and lobbying by the sponsor of the Senate version, Sen. Ray Basham, led Bishop to allow a vote, and in May the Senate passed a clean version of HB 4163 that did away with the exceptions.

The conference committee consists of three members from each body, and they work out a compromise. Once the compromise is reached, they present the conference report to their respective bodies. The conference report gets an up or down vote, and no amendments or substitutes are allowed.

The conference committee members on the House side are Rep. Andy Meisner, D-Ferndale, Rep. Brenda Clack, D-Flint, - the sponsor of HB 4163 - and House Minority Floor Leader Dave Hildenbrand, R-Lowell.

Bishop has not assigned any conferees from the Senate side, and he has indicated he has no intention to do so because he opposes a bill that has exceptions. The common sense thing to do is pass something and join the 33 other states to date that protects the public from deadly secondhand smoke.

Today is the last day of session, with three tentative days next week and three more the following week before the session is over and all bills die. Word is the Senate will meet next week, but not the week of Dec. 16. We need to act now.

Please contact Bishop and urge him to allow a vote on this important public health issue. He can be reached at (517) 373-2417 via fax at (517) 373-2694 or email at senmbishop@senate.michigan.gov.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...wasn't it the Democrats who said second-hand smoke was a health hazard UNLESS you worked in a casino in which case it was okay to be exposed to the threat...and, of course, some of these same Dems get campaign contributions from casinos.

Forget the Republican bashing for one second, if you possibly can, and answer this: Why ban smoking in the neighborhood bar (where people have a right to stay away if they don't like the smoke), but it's okay to smoke in a casino?

bluzie said...

Public places should be smoke free and Republicans are wrong in their defense of smoking in public places.
How Republicans can be so wrong most of the time is stunning! This is public safety and workplace safety issue.

Communications guru said...

Hmmm..wrong again, anonymous troll. It was not “Democrats who said second-hand smoke was a health hazard .” It was the U.S. Surgeon General. It is Detroit-area Representatives who mistakenly believe the Detroit casinos will loss money and cut jobs if a smoking ban is enacted there. There is no way less than 25 percent of the population controls that much money. It’s been some 12 years since I last smoked, and a pack of smokes was about $5 then. I’m sure it’s more now, so they can’t have than much more extra money than the majority of people who happen to be nonsmokers.

I got news for you, this is not just a Democratic issue. The Republicans control the Senate, and any bill approved there has to have Republicans voting for it. The bill passed the Senate in May by a vote of 25-12. There are only 17 Democrats in the Senate.

Why ban smoking in the neighborhood bar? That’s easy. Because secondhand smoke kills. People working in the bar have a right to breathe clean, healthy air, as do patrons.

Anonymous said...

But you don't have that right if you work in a casino? You just won't criticize a Democrat will you? You call them Detroit-area reps. To which party, I wonder, do most of them belong?

I'm a non-smoker. Always have been. If I don't like a place because of smokers, I don't go there. It's called individual choice, which is something Democrats surprisingly often are at odds with...because, you know, Democrats are so much better at making my decisions for me than I am.

I do find merit in the employee issue though. But what I seldom see is employee groups pushing for this law. It seems more like another we-know-what's-best-for-you ploy by the Dems.

Take away the exemptions for casinos and the rest. Then if the Dems support it and the GOP blocks it, you've got an argument. For now it's just another petty political game.

bluzie said...

Are you sure about Democrats wanting smoking in casino's? It doesn't seem quite right, you know Democrats get asscused of a lot of things by Republicans that just are not true.
How about the one that says Democrats are going to take away your guns?
Or another good one was that Democrats did not want to say "under God" in the pledge of allegience! These are lies that the Republicans tell each other in hopes they will believe it.
So Democrats wanting smoking in Casinos seems like it may be more of the same old bull crap.

Communications guru said...

How do you reach the conclusion I don’t criticize Democrats on this issue? I said the Detroit lawmakers are wrong. All Detroit lawmakers are Democrats, except one, and a Democrat is taking his place next month. I apologize; I thought everyone knew that. Second, this is a bipartisan issue.

Here’s the thing: People who work at bars and restaurants have to endure deadly secondhand smoke. If you work in an office you don’t have to put up with that. To me, that doesn’t seem fair. The majority of people support this ban, and 33 states and entire countries have such a ban. What employee groups are not pushing for this? I don’t think bartenders and waitresses have much of a voice because they are not unionized.

As far as patrons, only 25 percent of the population smokes, if that many; why do they rule the roost? Why does the minority get to harm the majority’s heath?

This is not about choice. Secondhand smoke kills. That is not in dispute. Do you have a choice not to wash your hands after you use the restroom if you work in a restaurant? Do you have a choice to ignore health department rules about storing meat, about cleaning the kitchen or about having employees wear gloves or hair nets? I don’t think so.

I agree with you, Democrats are so much better at making decisions for you, but again, this is not a partisan issue. I would love to have a total ban that includes casinos, but a partial ban is better than what we have now. When the results show what other states have demonstrated, that a smoking ban does not hurt business, a total ban will come.

Not Anonymous said...

I've been searching for over an hour now since I read where you said that "second hand smoke kills. That is not in dispute." There are ZERO deaths proven to be from second hand smoke in this country. I won't waste my time with the rest of your errors.

ka_Dargo_Hussein said...

Since Not Anonymous is having trouble with teh google, I've taken the liberty of posting a few links regarding 2nd hand smoke.

According to teh google, it took .14 seconds, much less than his obviously wasted hour.

One
Two

bored now

Here's the rest.

Communications guru said...

I appreciate my friend Dargo providing the links, but I immediately saw the problem with the ones he provided; you will make the ridiculous claim that the source is biased. So, with that in mind, here's the actual U.S. Surgeon General's report:
http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/secondhandsmoke/

In it, he concludes:
Secondhand smoke exposure causes heart disease and lung cancer in adults and sudden infant death syndrome and respiratory problems in children.
There is NO risk-free level of secondhand smoke exposure, with even brief exposure adversely affecting the cardiovascular and respiratory system.
Only smoke-free environments effectively protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke exposure in indoor spaces.

Perhaps now you can waste your "time with the rest of my errors." Good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

Atleast you admit that you feel you are part of the annointed and are better equipped at running my life than I am. That's amazing but at least you are honest.

It's nonsensical to ask where are the employee groups that are not pushing for this? The question is: Where are the employee groups who ARE pushing for this.

Finally, if the vast majority of people are turned off by second-hand smoke, they can vote with their wallets by not frequenting smoking establishments. But that doesn't happen. People with free will -- choice -- are making individual decisions; you don't agree with those decisions and it drives you crazy so you want a law that forces people to abide by your choice.

Your best point is the employees who have to work in a bar/restaurant that allows smoking. Your point would be stronger if: Dems didn't cave in and let casinos off the hook; and, if you could provide some examples of such employees whose health was harmed by second-hand smoke; and, here's the biggee, if Dems would introduce a law that says it is illegal to smoke in a home with young children. Otherwise, you are saying that the health of young children isn't important.

Which is just another way of saying that this is just another hypocritical ploy where Dems try to make political points by telling people how to live their lives. They won't risk the ire of donors by including casinos and they won't risk the ire of voters by including households.

I don't smoke. And when there is a place that is too smoky, I don't go there. Apparently, though, despite your assertions, a lot of customers are stilling willing to brave the horrors of second-hand smoke. You don't want them to have that choice. But you seem fine with a 2-year-old living in a home with second-hand smoke.

Communications guru said...

Sorry troll, it was you who said Democrats were more equipped to make decisions for you, I just agreed with you.

What employee group represents bartenders and waitresses? That is the biggest group of workers that is affected, and they are not unionized and have no real voice. Factory workers and office workers are already protected, are they not?

Why is it fair that you can't go to your favorite restaurant or bar simply because it allows smoking? Moat restaurants are afraid to do anything to lose even one customer. Why not ban deadly smoking and let the minority smokers whose actions harm the health of those around them adjust, not the majority of people who do not smoke? It doesn’t seem fair to make the majority jump through hoops to accommodate the minority who do not care about their health.

The people who think this will hurt a casinos business are wrong. But it makes no sense to do nothing, simply because there is a stubborn faction who believe that. Pass a partial ban, and when Michigan demonstrates what the 33 other states have already demonstrated that smokefree bars and restaurants do not lose business then we can go after the casinos.

I personally never try to tell someone what legal activity they can or cannot do in the privacy of their own home.

Once again this is not a partisan issue. Republicans voted for this bill, and they had to vote for it, to get it out of the GOP-controlled Senate. Your scenario about a smokfree home is a red herring. Very few if any Republicans would vote for it, and I doubt a majority of Democrats would vote for it either.

bluzie said...

It is darn right silly to allow second hand smoke in the workplace.
Public places need to be smoke free!

Anonymous said...

First, bluzie, do some research. Dems oppose a full smoking ban. It's the Dems who want exemptions for casinos. That's not a Republican lie. It's a fact. Even McBluster concedes that.

Second, will bluzie or McBluster explain again why children don't deserve protection from second-hand smoke?

Finally, it's not ridiculous that I can't go into a restaurant because of the smoking. That's a choice..a free choice that I think I am entitled to make.

Your arguments contradict themselves. You say people overwhelmingly want the smoking ban, but you also say most bar owners are afraid to implement a ban because they might lose a customer. If the customer base is so overwhelmingly in favor of the ban, the smart thing to do would be to ban smoking.

It's typically presumptuous of you to say that bartenders and waitresses can't make their opinions known unless they have a union speak for them. How patronizing of you. You are just trying to hide the fact that this is another Democratic attempt to play the parent for us fools who can't make our own decisions.

Look, I hate the tobacco company. But you still can't provide a reason why the corner bar has to go smoke free while the people living in the apartment above it can smoke away, even with 2 small children. And, of course, your wonderful Dem leadership doesn't give a damn about the health of casino workers because they don't want to tick off their big campaign donors. Real nice. (Bluzie, it's a fact..spare me your indignation.)

It's hypocrisy and typical of your type.

bluzie said...

Wow... You are one angry fellow.
I don't care if the Democrats, Republicans, Green Party or Indepedents are for or against smoking in public places I am against it.
I think it is a workplace safety issue and an issue to all those who breathe.

Not Anonymous said...

Your link provided no proof of one death attributed to second hand smoke. Saying over and over it's dangerous, but with no substantiation doesn't make it true. You would get further requiring everyone going outside in the sunshine to wear a sunblock because the sun causes skin cancer. At least there is documentation of that. There still is not one death attributed to second hand smoke.

Communications guru said...

You are wrong again; “Dems” do not oppose a full smoking ban. Again, this is not a partisan issue. In September, the House voted on the version with no exceptions, and it got a majority of votes, it passed 50-49 with 10 not voting and one abstaining, but any law needs the majority of the 110 members to vote, 56, to become law. There were plenty of Democrats and Republicans on both sides. Here is a link:
http://liberalmedianot.blogspot.com/2008/09/smoking-bill-gets-majority-of-votes-but.html

Who said children don't deserve protection from second-hand smoke? Not me. You will never get a bill passed that restricts people from taking part in a legal activity in the privacy of their own home, nor should they. How the hell would you enforce a law like that?

No, the arguments do not contradict themselves. If a customer tells a bar owner he will leave if smoking is banned it scares him. But the person who cannot go into a smoke filled bar he never sees. They are not as vocal because they are not there. Most bar owners just want a level playing field. No one has yet answered the question of why are we catering to the minority who are engaging in an activity that endangers innocent people around them.

“It's typically presumptuous of you to say that bartenders and waitresses can't make their opinions known unless they have a union speak for them?” Are you serious? You are the one who said no worker’s groups are pushing for this. How do waitresses making minimum wage make their voices heard? That’s exactly why people ban together to form unions; to have a greater voice. There is power in numbers.

Again, this is a nonpartisan issue, and members from both sides of the aisle are voting both positions.

I certainly have proved a “reason why the corner bar has to go smoke free while the people living in the apartment above it can smoke away, even with 2 small children.” We can’t even get a common sense smoking ban passed despite the fact 33 states and entire countries have the ban and it’s a scientific fact that there is so safe amount of second hand smoke. There is no way we will get a bill passed to ban a legal activity in the privacy of your own home, and I wouldn’t want them to. How the heck would you even enforce that kind of law?

You are wrong again, by saying the “Dem leadership doesn't give a damn about the health of casino workers.” They allowed a vote on the smoking ban three times beginning last December. The GOP leadership only allowed one vote in May after considerable pressure from the public. Now, individual members from both parties voted for and against the bill that exempted casinos, but it was primarily lawmakers from Detroit. They are under the mistaken belief the casinos will lose business and jobs will be lost.

And what “type” am I , troll?

Anonymous said...

Since, according to you, the vast majority of people don't smoke and approve of banning second-hand smoke at restaurants, then why not leave it to the bar and restaurant owners to make the decisions? Obviously, they would like to appeal to the vast majority who would support their decision. Even if they lost a smoking customer or two, they would make it up by all the grateful new customers they would get. So why not let "choice" prevail.

Yes, is second-hand smoke is a workplace health hazard, then Dems have thrown casino workers under the bus. It's a fact. Deal with it.

Is it really true that you can't supply a single example of an employee death caused by second-hand smoke? If that's true, then this bill has no business being passed. And can you produce even one workplace employee in favor of the smoking ban?

I'm curious. Should we ban lifeguard jobs unless a dome is built at the beach? After all, skin cancer deaths caused by the sun are very real. Why should a person have to work under such conditions?

Communications guru said...

Because it’s a public health issue. We don’t leave it up to the owners if they don’t want to follow sanitary conditions, so why are we leaving this up to owners?

Once again, this is not a partisan issue. Representatives from both sides of the aisle voted for HB 4163 in December that contained the exceptions for casinos. I have no idea how you reached the ridiculous conclusion that anyone “got thrown under the bus.” I’ll take a partial ban now, and when it is shown the ban does not hurt business like it has in the 33 other states that have a ban, then it will be extended to casinos. Anything is better than nothing.

No it’s not true second hand smoke has not caused deaths. Apparently, you didn’t read the link to the U.S. Surgeon’s report on secondhand smoke. In it, Admiral John Agwunobi, Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said when he announced the results of the 2006 report,
“Secondhand smoke causes tens of thousands of heart disease deaths and approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths among American nonsmokers every year.”
Here’s the link, again:
http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/news/speeches/06272006.html

And can you produce even one workplace employee not in favor of the smoking ban?

That is the most asinine comparison I have ever heard. When I go out in the sun, doesn’t hurt you, it hurts me. When you light up, it harms me, as well as you and other nearby nonsmokers. Plus, limited exposure to the sun is healthy. There is no safe exposure to secondhand smoke.

Anonymous said...

There is no safe exposure to secondhand smoke? That's quite an assertion. So every time a parent lights up a cigaret, he or she is endangering an infant child? And you see no reason to legislate that? Amazing.

By the way, should smoking be banned in the White House so that puffer B. Hussein Obama doesn't endanger White House employee?

Anonymous said...

So, mama in her apron could breathe easy at work and then go home and poison her infant children with her second-hand smoke? What a wonderful world you envision.

Communications guru said...

Yes, for once you are correct; there is no safe exposure to secondhand smoke. Are you doubting that? Twice I provided links to the U.S. Surgeon General’s report where he says that in clear language even you can understand. Do you want me to provide it again?

Yes, every time a parent lights up a cigarette - I‘m not sure what a cigaret is - he or she is endangering an infant child. How the hell do you legislate what somebody does with a legal substance in their own home? Install cameras? Install smoke detectors? Your argument is a red herring, and you know it.

Wait, you just hammered me on another thread because I called you out on your attempt to smear President Obama with the B. Hussein Obama line. Who uses that name besides bigots like you?

By the way, genius: The White House is already smoke free, because it’s a workplace, and smoking is still legal. Employees at the White House are protected from secondhand smoke, but you don’t want to give employees of bars and restaurants the same protection.

Communications guru said...

Again, genius, how the hell do you legislate what somebody does with a legal substance in the privacy of their own home? Install cameras? Install smoke detectors? Your argument is a red herring, and you know it.

Anonymous said...

So...it would be foolish to make laws forbidding murder or rape or theft if they happen within the privacy of their own homes? You are the one who has plunged off the deep end with that foolish logic.

People exercise a choice every time they frequent a bar or restaurant. No one MAKES them go there. But you don't like Americans to exercise choice if it goes against your vision of how the world should be. Infants, however, have to live in the home where they are born, but you don't want to give them the same protection that you will give to bar employees (but not to casino employees.)

I'd like to see some interviews with bar or restaurant employees...past or present...who say they support the smoking ban.

Talk about red herrings. This is all about Dems trying to run our lives. Surely, there is a need for workplace safety and the government is the proper authority. The argument is over where does the government intrude too far. I don't smoke and a smoking ban wouldn't affect me directly at all. But I worry giving the government control over individual choice. If the public opinion is as great as you say, then restaurants/bars would benefit by banning smoking. Many have. It's their choice, which I applaud.

And give me a break on the White House being smoke free. You think that's going to be enforced on the new president who, I guess, if free to try to kill his two children. Thank God those precious kids aren't working in a Michigan bar...it would be much worse to get second-hand smoke from a stranger.

But you inadvertently make my point. Smoking is legal. Restaurants/bars make a legal decision to allow or ban smoking. You want to make it illegal. I disagree with that.

Anonymous said...

So...it would be foolish to make laws forbidding murder or rape or theft if they happen within the privacy of their own homes? You are the one who has plunged off the deep end with that foolish logic.

People exercise a choice every time they frequent a bar or restaurant. No one MAKES them go there. But you don't like Americans to exercise choice if it goes against your vision of how the world should be. Infants, however, have to live in the home where they are born, but you don't want to give them the same protection that you will give to bar employees (but not to casino employees.)

I'd like to see some interviews with bar or restaurant employees...past or present...who say they support the smoking ban.

Talk about red herrings. This is all about Dems trying to run our lives. Surely, there is a need for workplace safety and the government is the proper authority. The argument is over where does the government intrude too far. I don't smoke and a smoking ban wouldn't affect me directly at all. But I worry giving the government control over individual choice. If the public opinion is as great as you say, then restaurants/bars would benefit by banning smoking. Many have. It's their choice, which I applaud. Lots of work places have made that decision, including mine. But it was a freely-made decision; not a government law.

And give me a break on the White House being smoke free. You think that's going to be enforced on the new president who, I guess, is free to try to kill his two children with second-hand smoke. Thank God those precious kids aren't working in a Michigan bar...it would be much worse to get second-hand smoke from a stranger than from them cigaret-puffing daddy. (Thats a bit of sarcasm; you are often slow on the uptake.)

You inadvertently make my point. Smoking is legal. Restaurants/bars make a legal decision to allow or ban a legal activity, which is smoking. You want to make it illegal. I disagree with that.

Communications guru said...

Another red herring of an argument comparing apple to oranges. Murder and rape are illegal, smoking is not.

Your line that “People exercise a choice every time they frequent a bar or restaurant” is also a false argument. Many people cannot go into a bar or restaurant where this is smoking for health reasons, and many more don’t want to put their lungs at risk. Why should the minority who is engaging in an activity that endangers innocent people get the choice? What choice do bartenders and waitresses have?

You’re wrong, I want to give all people, including casino employees, the same protection, but there is a minority of misguided lawmakers who disagree.

Again, this is not a Democratic or Republican issue. It passed the Republican controlled Senate. How does the minority get any bill passed? You are wrong again; lots of workplaces like yours have not “made that decision, including mine.” it’s the law.

Yes, the White House is smoke free. It’s a public building owned by the people. Yes, it will be enforced. Who said President Obama smoked in the House when he smoked? The few smokers I know don’t smoke in the house; they step outside. I also believe President Obama has quit smoking. But again, the last time I checked it was still legal. Am I correct?

Bars and restaurants aren’t trying to ban smoking. You just can’t endanger the health of the people inside. This is a health policy issue, not a freedom issue. Once again, there is no amount of safe secondhand smoke, and its kills more than 3,600 people a day. Are you Denying that?

Anonymous said...

I'll give you credit for saying that you disagree with lawmakers who want to give casinos a free pass. Nicely done.

However, you defeat your argument when you keep stressing...correctly...that smoking is legal. Of course it is legal, which is why it should be up to the businesses if they want to permit it.

That's the way it is where I work. The company banned smoking. But it was the company's choice. There is no law that forces them to do so. So why should a privately-owned restaurant have to obey a law that doesn't apply to my employer? If it's because of the customers, then those customers can CHOOSE not to go there. If it is for the health of the employees, then why isn't that protection extended to all employees everywhere?

Or is that your ultimate goal...to prohibit private companies from allowing a LEGAL activity on their own premises.

And, yes, Obama still smokes. He was questioned about that just this week. He has not been able to kick the habit. I hope he does. I happen to like the guy...his daughters deserve him to stay healthy and not suffer a tobacco-related disease.

I am not a fan of cigaret companies. I hate them. But I also don't like the government telling me how to make personal choices. I know there are some times when I have to give up that right, but I don't think this is one of them.

Communications guru said...

Yes, smoking is legal. I have never, ever disputed that. This is not about banning smoking. It’s about banning secondhand smoke from killing innocent nonsmokers. It’s a public health issue. Your attack on President Obama proved you believe secondhand smoke is unhealthy, but then why do you want to let it go on?

Why it should be up to the businesses if they want to permit it? Should it be up to business if they want to server uncooked food, if they don’t want to require their employees to wash their hands after using the restroom or to store meat at a certain temperature? The answer is no.

Sorry, it was not the company’s choice, it’s the law. Hell yes it’s “my ultimate goal...to prohibit private companies from allowing a LEGAL activity on their own premises.” That legal activity kills innocent nonsmokers. How is that fair? If you want to smoke, do it in the privacy of your own home or outside where it does not kill and make people sick.

I don’t think Obama still smokes, and even if he does, I don’t care. It’s irrelevant to this argument. He’s an adult, and it’s legal.

Anonymous said...

How about a few examples of the innocent people killed by second-hand smoke?

I'm sure it's easy to find examples of people killed by poorly prepared food, or by drunk drivers, so why not some examples of these employees killed by second-hand smoke.

Your examples are not relevant, by the way. When you eat a meal, you have no way of knowing how it was prepared. So this is a place where the public good justifies state intrusion. But no customer is tricked into breathing second-hand smoke. They know the smoke is there. If they don't like it, they can leave.

What law says that my company has to ban smoking in the work place? When it was banned, it was the company's choice. Has that law changed? If so, why the debate about bars and restaurants?

Communications guru said...

That’s ridiculous. How many people die of cancer that’s not covered in the media?

The example is more than relevant. The cleanliness of a restaurant is a public health issue, just like secondhand smoke. I know some newspapers that publish the results of health department inspectors of restaurants. Why do that? No one is tricked into breathing secondhand smoke? I disagree. I don’t think a majority of people yet know there is no safe level of secondhand smoke. They are, however, also tricked into thinking nonsmoking areas are safe. Smoke doesn’t read the “no smoking in this area” sign.

You know what, you may be correct about your workplace. According to MCL Section 333.12601, smoking is banned in Child caring institution, child care centers, government facilities, County medical care facility, Educational facility, Health facility, Home for the aged, An auditorium, An arena, A theater, A museum, A concert hall And any other facility during the period of its use for a performance or exhibit of the arts.

I assumed that smoking was banned all workplaces, except bars and restaurants. It has been banned in every place I have worked in since about 1989, including on the U.S. Navy ship I served on. Wow. We really need this bill even more than I thought.

Anonymous said...

Well thanks for owning up to a mistake and thanks for the clarification.

But we disagree on the need for a law. There is not such widespread law now and, guess what, smoking isn't allowed in my work place anyway. A private firm made a decision without the force of a law from an overbearing government. Sometimes I get the idea that government-types won't be happy unless every solution comes from them.

Communications guru said...

“There is not such widespread law now?” Are you kidding? The smoking ban is in place in 33 states, and entire countries like Ireland and Italy have enacted indoor smoking bans. This has such a simple bottom line: secondhand smoke kills and causes disease in nonsmokers. It’s a public health issue, and it’s the government’s responsibility to protect the public health.

Anonymous said...

What I intended to say -- and I think I was clear -- was that my workplace voluntarily banned smoking WITHOUT the pressure of a law. That's my point. Still valid.

Again, you fail to name one employee sickened or killed by second-hand smoke.

So your argument is that we should have a smoking ban because 33 states have done so? Does that mean you support capital punishment in Michigan? Because more states in the nation have capital punishment than do those who ban smoking in restaurants.

Are you saying that folks don't know there is second-hand smoke in a restaurant, or that they don't know that it is dangerous? Either way you again think the public is too stupid to make their own choices. You have said that the public overwhelmingly supports the ban and now you are suggesting that the public doesn't even know that second-hand smoke is dangerous.

Customers might not know the conditions in the kitchen, but they sure as heck know if other patrons are smoking. If they still choose to eat there, that's THEIR choice...a choice your type doesn't think that are capable of making, I guess.

Communications guru said...

I don’t care if your “workplace voluntarily banned smoking WITHOUT the pressure of a law.” It is not relevant. How many workplaces can you smoke in? The only ones I can think of are bars and restaurants.

“Again, I fail to name one employee sickened or killed by second-hand smoke.” Again, show me the science that supports your position. You cannot possibly be telling me you don’t believe secondhand smoke causes lung cancer and other respiratory diseases? The evidence is undisputable that it does.

Yes, it is my argument is that we should have a smoking ban because 33 states have done so. Banning smoking endangers the health of nonsmokers. The death penalty serves no function, and it does not deter crime. I also don’t believe more states have the death penalty than ban smoking.

Yes, I am saying that some folks don't know there is second-hand smoke in a restaurant, or that they don't know that it is dangerous.” Even in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence that says secondhand smoke kills and causes disease, people like you are denying it. Why wouldn’t other people know or believe it? Second, people assume that if they sit in a nonsmoking section in a restaurant they are safe. Smoke does not respect an arbitrary section.

Yes, the public overwhelmingly supports the ban, especially when you consider less than a quarter of the population smokes anymore. Why are we catering to a minority whose actions endanger innocent bystanders?

As for your choice scenario, why, again, are we catering to a small minority whose actions endanger innocent bystanders? Let the smokers make the choice to smoke outside.