Jan 11, 2010
Special interest group still trying to kill workplace smoking ban with lies
In less than five months, Michigan’s bars and restaurants will be safe and smoke free after the workplace smoking bill that was signed into law last month, and people all over the state are looking forward to it with baited breath.
Not the opponents. Even though a decade-long fight that has overwhelming public support was won, they are not giving up. They have formed a Facebook group called “Amend the Michigan Smoking Ban.” So far, it has a whopping 446 members. That’s in sharp contrast to a group I am a member of called, “Michigan going smoke-free May 1st, 2010.” It has 61,766 members.
Good luck amending that law. I would like to see the lawmaker willing to introduce a bill to overturn something so popular.
Actually, I agree that we should amend the law, and hopefully that will happen soon. Proponents of clean air and public health will go after the exception for casinos.
This pro-smoking group has been floating an email trying to gain support. The first line says it all for me.
“We are not in any way funded, supported, endorsed or affiliated with the MLBA, nor the tobacco industry, any special interest, political group and/or party, whatsoever.”
That means this is just another attempt by the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association (MLBA) to prop up the tobacco industry. This group formed a web site last year to highlight debunked studies that say smoking bans hurt business and cost jobs. That is simply not true, and the results from the 37 other states and numerous foreign countries with smoking bans prove they are lying. No one has explained to me how less than 25 percent of the population can have than much of an effect on the economy.
Here’s another lie, “Michiganders were not asked if we supported this law, nor do we believe the State has the right to dictate to private business owners.”
Poll after poll said the opposite, and many people wanted to start petitions to put in on the ballot because the Legislature refused to act. In fact, it was only constant pressure from constituents that forced lawmakers to do the right thing. The government not only has the right to dictate to private business owners, they have a constitutional obligation to protect the public health.
But they save the best for last, and they just outright lie. Listen to these outrageous false claims:
“Studies show that for every customer gained by smoking bans, five are lost.” Show me that study. Study after study says the opposite, and the latest was from the University of Michigan Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy last May that said it will not hurt business.
“Drunk driving increases, on average, by 13% in areas where smoking bans are introduced. As patrons stay at home longer and consume alcohol, and/or are forced to drive longer distances to seek places where they can smoke while drinking.”
Where the hell did they come up with this BS? Do they think the 22 percent who still smoke only drink to get drunk? Where are they going to drive to seek places where they can smoke while drinking? There are only 12 states that do no ban smoking in bars and retirements. Indiana is the only state in the Midwest, and they are close to doing the right thing.