Jul 9, 2010

Another boycott to kill popular smoking ban launched

A boycott of the Michigan lottery by a few misguided bar owners last month failed, so they are trying it again this Saturday, July 10.

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 continues to pay off.

Just like the June 19 attempt at a boycott, a mall 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.

Like last month, a few bar owners will refuse to sell Michigan Lottery games from 11 a.m. Saturday, July 10 to 2 a.m. July 11. Like last month, 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.”

Those lies have extended to the Detroit News. Why they are giving this small minority so much free, earned media is beyond me. They should sell them an ad because the majority of Michigan residents support the workplace smoking ban.

According to the Detroit News, “A group called “Protect Private Property Rights in Michigan -- Amend the Michigan Smoking Ban” is calling for a second boycott of the lottery in bars across the state to “send a message to legislators about a law they say is keeping customers away.”

Not true. Bars and restaurants are doing fine. No one can tell me how less than 22 percent can have so much of an effect on business.

It also says, “the first boycott was June 19 and was for only a few hours. This weekend's boycott is all day Saturday and Sunday just like it was on June 19. The hours are identical.

Apparently, Beverly Hills resident Steve Mace is their spokesman. You may remember him from the American Legion Post in Royal Oak where he claimed “their reading of the state bill prohibiting smoking in public areas and workplaces such as restaurants and bars does not apply to private clubs.” He was behind a petition drive to exempt veteran’s clubs from the law.

"We're not promoting cigarette use -- ban smoking on a street corner, not in an adult-only establishment," said group spokesman Steve Mace.

That is stunningly inaccurate. Of course he’s promoting cigarette use. Non-smokers drink just as much as smokers, and my experience when I was a smoker was that when I was in a bar, my smoking rate doubled, at least, but my alcohol intake stayed the same as when I quit smoking. Smoke all you want on the street corner where deadly secondhand smoke is not harming the health of the 80 percent who do not smoke.

That’s just one of many false claims by these people. Last month they claimed the ridiculous boycott would cost the state lottery “between $12 million and $18 million in sales.” After the boycott, they were very silent. Now, they told the Detroit News, an “estimated 515 establishments joined the first boycott, based on e-mail and phone requests for protest fliers, and expects nearly 600 this time.”

The numbers simply do not bear that out, and they are again caught in a lie.

In fact, Lottery spokeswoman Andi Brancato said “about 220 retailers -- 2 percent of all Michigan lottery vendors -- turned off their lottery machines June 19 and revenue losses amounted to about $125,700.” That’s a far cry from 515 retailers and $12 million. The good news is that Brancato said “bars participating in both boycotts may face suspension or revocation of their licenses.” Good.

The Facebook page announcing the event has even more lies, like the one that says, “ JOBS ARE BEING LOST. BUSINESSES ARE CUTTING HOURS!! SOME ARE ALREADY UP FOR SALE!”

Not from the smoking ban.

Then there is this lie that it will not hurt Michigan public schools:
“**The Michigan Lottery's contributions to schools are so minimal, don't buy into that line. No one really knows where the money goes and they're not saying. YOUR TAX DOLLARS PAY FOR SCHOOLS.”

Again, not true. 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, and the rest goes to overhead and the pots. Unfortunately, lottery money only makes up 5 percent of the $12.8 billon K-12 budget. The required annual report makes it very clear where the money goes.

So even if you are not a fan of the lottery or gambling, stop by on Saturday and pluck a dollar down on Keno, pull tabs, Lucky Lines, Daily 3 and 4, Fantasy 5 or Classic Lotto to help Michigan’s health and public schools. You can always give the ticket to a friend or relative.


Not Anonymous said...

Caught you in yet another lie. You said, "Not true. Bars and restaurants are doing fine. No one can tell me how less than 22 percent can have so much of an effect on business."

And yet, these reports are coming out and only after just two months of the ban. Workers have been laid off. Hours have been cut. Businesses are going out of business, due to the smoking ban, or better put, just because the socialist Democrats want to control people's lives.

It's really too bad the those that need to stick their noses into a private businesses way they run their business but then don't step up to the plate to support those businesses. Just another example of the socialist Democrats trying to protect people from themselves and costing jobs, and businesses. Like Michigan needed another way to put people out of work after four consecutive years of the worst unemployment rate in the nation.

Maybe businesses should instead start banning politicians from patronizing their businesses, or better yet, charge them triple what the normal people are charged.




Communications guru said...

You have never caught me in a lie and never will anonymous coward because I don‘t lie. Bars and restaurants are doing fine, and the ones that aren’t have nothing to do with the workplace smoking ban. The only liar here is you.

You should read the Michigan Constitution, or better yet I’ll read it for you since you have a problem with that. The Michigan Legislature has a duty to protect the public health, and that’s what’s happening here.

Once again, anonymous coward, there is no such thing as a Socialist Democrat in the United States, and that is just a false, Republican smear. Not only that, the popular workplace smoking ban passed with bipartisan support. The unemployment is because of the Bush recession, the worst since the Great Depression. No smoking ban has ever caused job loss.

Again, anonymous coward, I’m still waiting for you to back up your outrageous lie that we were “nearly shoulder to shoulder once.”

snowbird said...

There is no reason to have smoking bans in this country.
Owners can hang a sign in their doors.
'This is a smoking venue.'
This is a non-smoking venue.'
This solution gives owners and customers choices.
Isn't this what American is all about??

Communications guru said...

There are a lot of reasons to have a smoking ban but here’s just the biggest one: secondhand smoke. It kills thousands of people each year and leads to a number of diseases.

Can owner of a mine just hang a sign on his door that says “this is a methane venue/” No. Employees and customers have the right to be protected from deadly secondhand smoke; just like they have a reasonable expectation that other health department rules will be followed.

Isn't this what American is all about??

Anonymous said...

Here in Illinois, as the second winter was approaching, it was clearly obvious that many small neighborhood bars had to decide to either allow smoking, or close. The fact that there are no complaints seems to indicate that the ban zealots religion doesn't allow them to enter a bar.

Communications guru said...

Anything to back up that wild claim? I continue to be at a loss as to how less than a quarter of the population that wants to continue to kill themselves have such an effect on business, and I’m just as amazed as to how that small minority has a right to poison those of who care about our health.

I’m not buying your story, and if true, so what?

Anonymous said...

Here's just a few. There are many more not being badgered by the TV stations.


Communications guru said...

I’m missing your point. Obviously, the small minority of smokers have no respect for the law, and the few unscrupulous bar owners have no respect for the law or for the health of their customers and employees, like the employee with asthma who was sent to the ER. Perhaps losing their liquor license will wake them up. Every bar I have been to has been smoke free. Plus, he won’t have to worry about Indiana for much longer.

Anonymous said...

The TV station had a text-in poll after the presentation. 65 percent of the viewers think the ban for bars should be repealed.


Anonymous said...

The Senator pushing for the Indiana ban wants to exempt the casinos in his district, which attract many gamblers from Chicago, but he doesn't want the other districts to have exemptions for their bars and vets clubs. Their ban is going nowhere. One Indiana casino is 1/2 mile from the bar on the TV station.

Communications guru said...

Real scientific poll, but guess what, it’s not going to be repealed. Like I said before, the billons of dollars the tobacco companies spent on advertising to convince people they somehow have a right to sicken and kill the majority of people smart enough not to smoke.

Communications guru said...

First, as I understand it, it’s a House bill that has passed the House twice. That’s very similar to Michigan’s ban, but a bill has already been introduced in the Senate to take away the exceptions for casinos. There are only 12 states left without a smoking ban. I guarantee Indiana will be smoke free soon, as well as the rest of the United States.

We have all heard the false argument that it will hurt business, even though there is no credible study that proves that or have we heard an explanation on how less than 22 percent of the population can have so much effect on the economy, but there is no doubt that secondhand smoke is deadly.

Not Anonymous said...

It's interesting that you use the line "no respect for the law" when it comes to smoking, yet you are all for illegal aliens breaking the law and being protected by the Federal government from deportation.

So apparently, some laws that fit your agenda are good, but laws that go against your agenda are okay to violate.

Communications guru said...

This from an anonymous coward who has no respect for the truth and lies and makes up fanciful stories at the drop of a hat.

Where do you get the idea that I’m “ all for illegal aliens breaking the law and being protected by the Federal government from deportation,” anonymous coward? It’s you that has no respect for immigration law. The U.S. Constitution gives the federal government, not the states, the power over immigration, naturalization and deportation. Arizona’s unconstitutional and racist show-me-your-paper law is breaking the law, yet you support it. Not only do you have no respect for the truth, you also have no respect for the law.

The fact is arrests and deportations are up under President Obama, and he is enforcing the law much more than Bush ever did.

Again, anonymous coward, I’m still waiting for you to back up your outrageous lie that we were “nearly shoulder to shoulder once.”

juandos said...

The commications guru is a liar: "There are a lot of reasons to have a smoking ban but here’s just the biggest one: secondhand smoke. It kills thousands of people each year and leads to a number of diseases"...

Your reply is total and complete bullshit but that's expected of a libtard...

You have deep dishonesty of spewing junk science to support an agenda...

Environmental tobacco smoke and tobacco related
mortality in a prospective study of Californians, 1960-98

There's lots more out there if one does a little homework...

Communications guru said...

Sorry pal, secondhand smoke kills. Talk about bullshit and junk science; you’re a perfect example.

Even if you are too stupid and dishonest to believe the U.S. Surgeon General and the EPA, you can’t,. though you will try, deny the drop in heart disease and other diseases after a ban goes into effect.

Why am I not suprised that a conservaidiot will deny science.