Jun 17, 2009

Senate takes up beer keg bill but continues to ignore popular smoking ban bill

LANSING - No one is buying the lame excuse that Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop is using to delay taking up the popular workplace smoking ban that he wants to concentrate on the budget, and that tale was further exposed by action on the Senate floor on Wednesday.

The Senate Committee of the Whole took up Senate Bill 470 for a third reading and passed it favorably. It was introduced by rightwing Sen. Alan Sanborn, R-Richmond. The bill would require a retailer selling beer kegs to attach an ID tag to it to create a paper trail to address underage drinking. Now, tags and beer kegs are important to someone, but I wonder how many people sent letters, emails and made phone calls to lawmakers urging passage of this? I wonder how many rallies have been held in Lansing to urge lawmakers to pass this?

Lawmaker’s offices have been overwhelmed with letters, emails and calls urging them to pass the workplace smoking ban. Bishop does not support the ban, so he is trying every thing he can to stall something that has overwhelming support.

Underage drinking is a problem, but it is no where near as pressing as the dangerous effects of secondhand smoke.

It seems ironic that Sanborn voted against the smoking ban last session because he apparently things business should make their own decision and does not like government interference and regulation, but the argument against his bill is that “the bill would impose an undue regulatory burden on retailers. The small business community needs less government intervention, not more, in order to thrive. Stores already are short-staffed and would have to bear the cost of compliance,” according to the nonpartisan Senate Fiscal Agency.

For even more irony, Sanborn was part of the Conference Committee tasked to work out a compromise between the Senate passed version and the House passed version of the smoking ban last December, but he refused to negotiate in good faith and the bill died.

It will cost nothing to implement the workplace smoking ban, and it will not hurt a bar or restatement’s business. The same thing can’t be said for Sanborn’s bill.

The bill would increase the costs to the Liquor Control Commission. The LCC “would be required to provide retailers with identification tags for beer kegs and signs describing keg policies. The LCC also would be required to develop receipts to document keg sales.” The cost of the keg tags is estimated at $10,000, and it would also cost to administer the program.

When the Senate takes up SB 470 on Thursday they can also take up SB 114 and House Bill 4377.


Anonymous said...

These smoking bans will probably go down in history as one of the greatest marketing scams ever. They want to "hurry up and pass the bans" before people find out who is paying the lobbyists pushing for them.
Here's the beginning of the ban movement in the USA.

Here are the instructions from Johnson and Johnsons' (makers of cessation products) RWJ Foundation for their tax exempt political action committees.

Communications guru said...

The smoking bans will go down in history as the biggest single move that improves the health of people all over the world since the invention of Penicillin.

The smoking ban has nothing to do with the cessation of smoking. You can smoke all you want; you just can’t pollute the lungs of nonsmokers and endanger their health.

kevins said...

"the biggest single move that improves the health of people all over the world since the invention of penicillin."

What an amazing display of ignorance. Even if your claims of second-hand smoke are true, there are countless more important medical advances.

Let's see. You say that 30-some states have banned smoking in public places. Then, since this is the greatest health improvement since the invention of penicillin, there must be drastic health improvements -- tied to smoking bans -- across the nation. You refered once to a weak study in one town in Colorado. But there must be scores of studies proving the improved health of non-smokers since all these other bans took place.

There must be. Unless, of course, there aren't.

Communications guru said...

You should try proving your point before you stoop to the insults, brett, but I know that’s not your style. That is correct, brett, the smoking bans will go down in history as the biggest single move that improves the health of people all over the world since the invention of Penicillin. If my “claims of second-hand smoke are true?” There is no doubt they are true. I would challenge you to provide some proof that it’s not, but that’s not your style, either brett.
What makes it weak, brett, other than you don’t agree with it?

There’s the American Psychosomatic Society in March that tied secondhand smoke to depression. http://liberalmedianot.blogspot.com/2009/03/studies-of-harmful-effects-of.html

There is the study published in February in the British Medical Journal that links it dementia or similar cognitive problems.

In November 2008 the Henry Ford Health System’s director of Cardiac Imaging Research released a study that said if smoke free air were implemented in Michigan a 12 percent drop in heart attack admissions would be seen after just the first year.

In June 2008 a study in, “Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association” said in just one year after Italy enacted a national smoking ban, researchers in Rome found an 11.2 percent reduction of acute coronary events in persons 35 to 64 years and a 7.9 percent reduction in those ages 65 to 74.

ka_Dargo_Hussein said...

As a smoker, I just don't understand the folks who are fighting against a smoking band.

I know the following:
**When I smoke, I smell...bad
**As a smoker, I have experienced increased illnesses (colds, higher blood pressure, higher pulse rate, lack of energy), etc.
**Smoking has been proven time and time again to cause cancer, among smokers and NON SMOKERS
**It uses up healthcare resources which could be used elsewhere
I know, as a systems analyst, that when you put garbage into a system, the system will output garbage.

Piss on those who are fighting against this...they are arguing from a greedy and selfish position...we DO NOT NEED THEM.

ka_Dargo_Hussein said...

Anyone that is honest will admit they do NOT want to hang around a smoker.

Those opposing the bill choose to oppose because they want to be difficult, nothing more.

Just another example of Republican childishness.

Pathetic wankers.

kevins said...

Look dargo/guru/brett, I don't smoke and I don't like to be around smoke. I'm also an adult with free will -- a concept that is both foreign and scary to you -- so I decide not to hang around smokers.

Your argument at best has to be limited to those who do not have that choice. I would think that includes two groups: Children who live in a home with smokers (and guru has already said he doesn't give a damn about their welfare) and employees who shouldn't have to choose between a job and health.
Otherwise, it's free will. If I don't like smoke, I don't have to go to a restaurant that allows smoking, just as I don't go to a restaurant plays music I don't enjoy.

But what about the health hazard? Is it great enough to impose rules on private enterprise and to prevent people from doing something that is, in fact, still legal?

That's the issue and for all guru/brett's huffing and puffing, most of his studies don't prove that.

There is his favorite: That there is no safe level of secondhand smoke and that the only way to remove secondhand smoke is to ban it. That's stating the obvious. There is also no safe level of inhaling gasoline fumes, but no one is saying we shouldn't patronize self-serve gas stations.

Does second hand smoke significantly increase the chance of disease to employees? And what does that increase mean. If it goes up by 20 percent, that seems a lot, unless it is increasing the odds from one in a million to 1.2 in a million (that's a 20 percent increase, guru...use your fingers and your toes, if necessary.)

Even those who advocate the ban concede these studies are tricky because there are so many variables that are impossible to track: such as, health and genetic backgrounds of the employees, and whether they are exposed to smoke in places other than the work place.

Still, I hesitate to be in this camp because it sounds so much like the denial tactics used so long by lying tobacco companies who said smoking wasn't harmful. Of course it is.

Yet, when challenged to show how existing bans in America have improved health, guru/brett failed to do so. Instead he started talking about depression and projections from Henry Ford. Where is the evidence of immediate health gains in the 30-plus states that have bans. If all of guru's touted studies are correct, then that evidence should be overwhelming and should carry the day.

Of course, if that evidence existed, Detroit Democrats would have to explain why they are willing to kill casino workers in order to protect casino owners' profits. Power to the people, indeed.

Communications guru said...

It makes no sense to keep protecting a minority engaged in a practice that endangers their health and the health of the majority of people smart enough not to engage in the practice that endangers their health. If they want to smoke, be my guest, but their freedom to smoke ends when the smoke goes up an innocent bystander’s nose.

As for this free will crap you keep harping on, brett, the bartenders, waiters and waitresses should not have to choose between a paycheck and their health.

No, I never said I don’t “give a damn about (children’s) their welfare.” You won’t support a ban in a public place with overwhelming evidence of the harmful effects, and now you are taking the straw man argument that it should be banned in the home with children? That is just stupid, and you know it.

It makes no sense that, for example, if my family, co-workers or friends choose to go as a group to a bar or restaurant, I can’t go because 20-22 percent of the population who choose to endanger their health have to be catered to.

The scientific evidence of the harmful effects is undisputed, at least with evidence. I’m still waiting for something from you, other than your opinion, that it is not harmful.

“Does second hand smoke significantly increase the chance of disease to employees?” Yes, brett, by 50 percent for hospitality workers. Is that enough for you, brett?

I have showed you study after study that shows the harmful effects of secondhand smoke, and the biggest one is the Surgeon General’s report. The simple fact is I could present a 100 studies and that would not be enough for you.

I’m still waiting for any evidence to back up your opinion that it is not harmful.

First, the evidence exists, and you know it. Like I said about a 100 times now: the Detroit area Democrats are under the mistaken belief that a workplace smoking ban will hurt business and cost jobs. The evidence proves that is not the case. Perhaps they are as stubborn as you, brett, and they will not let facts and the evidence sway them from their misguided opinion.

The good news is this is not a partisan issue.

I wait with baited breath for the evidence to prove your opinion.

Anonymous said...

Here in Chicago, now that the warm weather is here, some bars that comply with the ban are getting hassled by police if a patron standing outside uses the bar house phone to call about a disturbance down the street. The police immediatly want to blame the bar. One police officer was shouting at the lady bartender that "I'll close this place down" Show me your license" (which is posted on the wall) The poor lady was almost in tears. The bars that ignore the ban are having no problems with the patrons safely inside, not getting involved with what is happening down the street. For the bars that comply with the ban, DON'T USE THE BAR HOUSE PHONE TO CALL POLICE if the patrons see a problem in the area. The bar will be blamed for the problem. Use a cell phone.

Communications guru said...


Anonymous said...

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