Jun 14, 2010

Support the workplace smoking ban by playing the lottery on Saturday

Apparently the billons of dollars the tobacco industry has spent over the years to convince smokers that they have some constitutional right to smoke and poison the majority of non-smokers with deadly secondhand smoke is paying off.

A group of bar owners is claiming that 22 percent of the people who still smoke in Michigan is having an effect on their business, despite studies and the results of bars and restaurants that are doing a booming business after the May 1 workplace smoking ban went into effect and numerous studies and results from the 38 other states with bans.

Apparently, bar owners will refuse to sell Michigan Lottery games from 11 a.m. Saturday, June 19 to 2 a.m. June 20. They have a Facebook page full of lies, and they say they will not sell “Keno, pull tabs, Lucky Lines, Daily 3 and 4, Fantasy 5, and Classic Lotto.”

I don’t play the Michigan Lottery much, but I am going to make it a point to go to a local bar in downtown Howell and play one. I urge you to do the same.

The group is claiming that this is a “private property” issue when the fact is that this is a public health issue, and the Michigan Legislature not only has the right to protect the public health they have a Constitutional duty to do so.

This is not the first Facebook group to spread lies to stop something that has overwhelming support of Michigan residents, and according to the Detroit Free Press, the person organizing the boycott claims they have “enough supporters to cost the state lottery between $12 million and $18 million in sales.”

That claim is as ridiculous as the one that just 22 percent of the population can have such an economic impact.

That’s money bar owners will lose in commission from lottery sales, and I’m more than happy to make sure that the commission goes to bars that care about the health of their customers and employees.

The Free Press said “a boycott would draw the attention of the Michigan Lottery Bureau.” Lottery spokesperson Andi Brancato said “lottery retailers have agreements with the state to sell tickets, and those contracts could be reviewed by the lottery bureau.” In other words, they could lose their license to sell lottery products if they refuse to sell to customers.

The “leader” of the misguided boycott is trying to pass the lie that such a boycott will not hurt public schools. That is simply not the case.

The fact is the Michigan Lottery has contributed $15.2 billion to Michigan's educational system since 1972, including more than $600 million in 10 of the past 12 fiscal years. Almost all of the money, 95 percent to be exact, goes to fund K-12 public education. Unfortunately, lottery money only makes up 5 percent of the $12.8 billon K-12 budget.

Go to your favorite local bar next Saturday and play the lottery. If they decline to sell you a game ticket, go to another bar that will, and then lodge a complaint with the Michigan Lottery at (517) 335-5600.


Not Anonymous said...

Doug Pratt, director of communications, Michigan Education Association, sees the lottery's impact on public schools as minimal. The organization is the largest school employee union in the state, representing more than 157,000 teachers, education support professionals, higher education faculty and staff, student-teachers, and school retirees.

"Frankly, the lottery has very little to do with school funding," Pratt said. "The approximately $700 million from the lottery that goes toward school funding pays for public education in this state for about one week."

He added that the money from the Michigan Lottery supplants — not supplements — other funding for schools.

"So, if the lottery brings in more money, less money comes from other sources," Pratt said. "It's not a cash cow for schools. The billboards talking about the billions of dollars the lottery has brought to schools are misleading in that way."


Communications guru said...

Apparently you can’t read very well, anonymous coward. I wrote, and I quote,“Unfortunately, lottery money only makes up 5 percent of the $12.8 billion K-12 budget.”
Cutting more than $600 million from the school that have seen cuts the last two years is
not a good thing. The lottery money doean’t go awwhere else, other than paying the pots.

Not Anonymous said...

Bar owners in Macomb County tell the Macomb Daily, the smoking ban is hurting their businesses.
For [Nick] Kyprianides [owner of Kick Ass Sports Bar], the impact hit like a bomb as soon as the ashtrays were removed and “no smoking” signs were affixed to the interior wall. For many bargoers, a drink or beer go hand-in-hand with a cigarette, he said.
“I was down $2,000 or 80 percent of my business on the first day,” he said. “I would say 25 to 30 percent of my customers are smokers and they represent 90 percent of our business. The remaining non-smokers have not stepped up to fill the void.”

Bowling alleys say smoking ban hurts
Published: June 12, 2010 at 6:54 PM
DETROIT, June 12 (UPI) -- Owners of Michigan bowling alleys say the 6-week-old ban on smoking has hurt business at the bar.


Communications guru said...

I’m still waiting, anonymous coward, for you to explain to me how less than 22 percent of
the population - and shrinking - has so much of an economic impact. I’ll answer it for you,
anonymous coward, because you refuse too or can’t; it doesn’t. I would also like to hear from Nick of Kick Ass Sports Bar how less than 22 percent can account for 80 percent of his business.

Even if all this propaganda were true, it’s irrelevant because this is a public health issue.

snowbird said...

It is not a public health issue and it never was a public health issue.
It is all about..
1. Quarantine/isolate the smoker
2. Denormalize smoking.
3.Big Pharm..follow the money


Communications guru said...

It is a public health issue and has always been a public health issue. Of course it is to “Quarantine/isolate the smoker.” That’s why it’s a public health issue. The reality is that secondhand smoke kills. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has classified secondhand smoke as a Group A carcinogen containing 4,000 chemicals, including 43 cancer-causing chemicals. In Michigan alone 3,000 people die each year from secondhand smoke. You want to keep smoking, go for it. Just do it outside or in your own home.

Seriously, “Big Pharm..follow the money?” What utter nonsense. You want to talk about big money, you should look into the billions and billons of dollars spent by the tobacco industry to convince people that smoking is somehow a constitutional right. That was after the billons it spent to convince people smoking was an acceptable practice for everyone including women, and them it spent billons more convincing us that "9 out 10 doctors smoke their brand.” Then billions more marketing to children. Follow the money.