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Illinois Poised To Become A Smoke-Free State

Old 05-03-07, 06:15 PM
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Illinois Poised To Become A Smoke-Free State

http://cbs2chicago.com/topstories/lo...121111541.html
Illinois Poised To Become A Smoke-Free State
Legislation Passed By State House And Senate, Now Goes To Governor's Desk

(CBS) SPRINGFIELD, Ill. Get ready to snuff out those cigarettes. Illinois lawmakers have voted to ban smoking in bars, restaurants and other public workplaces. Illinois is one signature away from becoming a smoke-free state, and the governor already says he is ready to sign a statewide ban into law.

The legislation passed the House 73-42 Tuesday and now goes to Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who supports the ban "enthusiastically." If he signs the measure, the smoking restrictions would take effect Jan. 1 and make Illinois the 19th state the country to impose such a ban.
As CBS 2 Political Editor Mike Flannery reports, the margin of approval kills the possibility for a veto.

The statewide ban is meant to replace a patchwork of local laws. As CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports, Chicago bars were expecting a municipal smoking ban to take effect soon, but for suburban bars and restaurants, like Merrionette Park's 115 Bourbon Street, long operating under local ordinances that have allowed smoking, there was no such threat until now.

Critics complain that the current arrangement hurts business in cities with smoking bans, because smokers visit neighboring towns without such bans when they want to go out for dinner or a drink.

Smoking opponents portrayed the measure as a matter of public safety, little different from requiring restaurants to follow fire codes. Customers and the staff who serve them should not be exposed to dangerous smoke, they argued.

Experts say second-hand smoke kills about 2,900 people in Illinois every year.

"There's no doubt the actions of smokers are harming non-smokers," said the sponsor, Rep. Karen Yarbrough, D-Chicago.

Opponents argued the state is overstepping its authority by telling every Illinois business how it must operate.

Customers should be allowed to vote with their dollars and stay away from businesses that permit smoking if that's what they want to do, critics say. If smoking must be regulated, it should be done by individual cities.

"That's local control. That's the way government works best," said Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro.

"People go into bars, they expect smoke, they expect people smoking,” said smoker Jeff Hooker.

"They're nervous, they're watching the game, they want to smoke,” said bar owner Nick DiNovo.

The new law would ban smoking in every public place, every place of employment, every college dormitory, and even in for-profit private clubs like cigar bars, as well as within 15 feet of entrances to public facilities.

Police officers who smoke won't be able to do it in their squad cars – all government vehicles are off limits. And smoking will be banned in every riverboat casino in the state. The new law will also put an end to smoking exotic tobaccos in water pipes in the trendy new hookah bars and cafes unless 80 percent of their gross revenue is from selling tobacco.

"The lion's share of our sales come from the sale of tobacco and the smoking of pipes on the premises,” said Mark Heinze of Sigara Café and Lounge. “I would anticipate maybe no change."

The bill passed the state Senate last month and passed out of the House Environmental Health Committee last week.

If signed by Blagojevich, the ban would take effect Jan. 1, 2008. That would supersede a law currently in place in Chicago that would give bars and nightclubs until July 1, 2008, to implement a smoking ban.

The City of Chicago has banned smoking in all other indoor public places, and many other municipalities in Illinois have also instituted smoking bans.

The reality is that non-smokers now vastly outnumber smokers, with political clout to match. But while the tide of public opinion has turned strongly against smoking, the issue remains hotly debated.

Gov. Blagojevich said he expects to sign the bill into law. Blagojevich said in Chicago on Tuesday that he still needs to see the bill, but that it sounds to him like something he would "enthusiastically" sign.

Blagojevich made his comments at a rare news conference called to highlight the endorsement by the American Association of Retired Persons of the governor's proposal to provide state subsidies for health insurance.

The motivation for the bill is to protect people from secondhand smoke in the workplace, advocates say.

Working eight hours in a smoky bar or restaurant is the equivalent of smoking 16 cigarettes, the American Cancer Society says. It estimates secondhand smoke contributes to the deaths of 2,900 Illinoisans a year -- about eight a day.

When the bill passed the state Senate, opponents said decisions about smoking bans should be left to city and county officials. Forty-four Illinois communities have approved restrictions on smoking in public places, according to the Cancer Society.

"They're the ones who are best equipped in order to make this decision," said Sen. Dale Righter, R-Mattoon.

But some business owners object to letting each city make the decision. Bars and restaurants covered by bans are put at a disadvantage against their competitors just outside city limits, they argue.

An association representing bars and other businesses that serve alcohol argued that a smoking ban would be devastating to their bottom-line, especially for small businesses.

"What you're going to have left is a homogenous TGI Friday entertainment industry, because they're the ones with deep pockets. Mom-and-pop places, there's no way they can withstand this," said Steve Riedl, executive director of the Illinois Licensed Beverage Association.

Riedl said bars in Springfield and other cities with smoking bans have seen business drop sharply.

In the Senate version, people violating the ban could be fined $100 to $250. Businesses that allow violations could be fined $250 a day.
Being a non-smoker who lives in Illinois, all I can say is

Speaking as someone who had lunch in the "non-smoking" section yesterday, while inhaling the smoke of the loser that took a puff between bites 12 feet away, January 1st can't come fast enough.

"People go into bars, they expect smoke, they expect people smoking,” said smoker Jeff Hooker.
Umm, no, when I go to a bar I expect to see people drinking.



(I'll admit that I don't get the part about banning smoking in "for-profit private clubs like cigar bars". That seems weird, but I'm sure it's explained in the details of the bill.)
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Old 05-03-07, 06:25 PM
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Morans.
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Old 05-03-07, 07:02 PM
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I think it is too bad when there are some businesses that make money by getting people to come in and smoke. The WA law didn't make the exception either, though.

But the Indian Casinos have become much more popular.
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Old 05-03-07, 07:21 PM
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If it is true that smokers are now a minority, we need to protect their rights with some hate crime legislation to protect them.
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Old 05-03-07, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Vandelay_Inds
Yeah. People don't have a 'right' to smoke my lungs. Good for Illinois.
agree 100%
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Old 05-03-07, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
If it is true that smokers are now a minority, we need to protect their rights with some hate crime legislation to protect them.

I'm sure that smokers would be the only minority willing to let the free market decide who business owners cater to. It's the other minorities and majorities that go running to government.
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Old 05-03-07, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
If it is true that smokers are now a minority, we need to protect their rights with some hate crime legislation to protect them.
poor comparison, real minorities such as gays, blacks etc are not something people choose, people choose to become smokers
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Old 05-03-07, 07:42 PM
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Hmm, I was just thinking about this issue last weekend. I was in a nice Irish pub north of Boston, sipping on a niiiiice pint of Guinness, and I looked around and noticed nobody was smoking, anywhere. My pal and I have been going to this pub for a few years, and I'm quite sure it USED to have a smoking section---not sure when it changed, if it's a local law, or just a management decision.

But anyways, I don't smoke and have never smoked (nor do any of my friends, actually). But I do enjoy my simple pleasure of a nice pint, and I'm not that comfortable with the PC nanny state coming in and telling my neighbor it's ILLEGAL for him to enjoy his cigarette in the same way. I personally like having a smoke-free SECTION in the pub, so I'm not walllowing in a cloud of smoke, but I would rather leave those things up to the management, at least when it comes to an establishment like a pub. I do accept the fact that second hand smoke is carcinogenic, and the people there can't choose not to inhale it, but to me it's not dangerous enough that I would criminally outlaw it in all circumstances in a bar.
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Old 05-03-07, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Ky-Fi
But anyways, I don't smoke and have never smoked (nor do any of my friends, actually). But I do enjoy my simple pleasure of a nice pint, and I'm not that comfortable with the PC nanny state coming in and telling my neighbor it's ILLEGAL for him to enjoy his cigarette in the same way. I personally like having a smoke-free SECTION in the pub, so I'm not walllowing in a cloud of smoke, but I would rather leave those things up to the management, at least when it comes to an establishment like a pub. I do accept the fact that second hand smoke is carcinogenic, and the people there can't choose not to inhale it, but to me it's not dangerous enough that I would criminally outlaw it in all circumstances in a bar.
I can see your point, and would agree with it IF the businesses could ensure that no smoke would enter my lungs. Give the smokers a hermetically sealed room with a seperate HVAC system, and I wouldn't have a problem going to such a place.

As it is, we don't allow people to walk into a public place and start spraying pesticide around, or carrying a smoldering bowl of pine needles, but why not? Because we know that they are poisonous or irritating. Yet smokers seem to think they have the god-given right to make us endure their castoffs simply because we should "expect smoke in a bar". Lame.
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Old 05-03-07, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Canadian Bacon
poor comparison, real minorities such as gays, blacks etc are not something people choose, people choose to become smokers
Don't many hate crime laws protect members of religions as well?
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Old 05-03-07, 09:29 PM
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And isn't addiction a disease? What's the difference between alcoholic addiction and tobacco addiction?
I think smoking is stupid, and try to avoid being near smokers esp. when they smoke, but I'm not sure about this bill. Better the state than a federal law, but better the individual counties/cities. I can definitely see a state law saying that the non-smoking section should be *nonsmoking* and non-smoky, not next to the smoking section and separated by a decorative latticework.
Ultimately I would love for there to be "smoking establishments" and "non smoking establishments" and let the market decide--I know some hotel chains have voluntarily gone fully smoke free (at least in their rooms).
My wife and son both have asthma, and while my boy hasn't gone to any bars, my wife and I used to enjoy going out for a pint or two, but we also hated coming home coughing and covered in smoke.
Smoking in a public place that doesn't have well defined and separate smoking and nonsmoking areas is sort of a violation of the "my right to swing my fist ends where your nose begins" idea.
Oh, and even smokers/smoking venues discriminate--I used to smoke a pipe, and virtually every place that allowed smoking, banned pipe or cigar smoking--even though pipe smoke, especially a nice aromatic, smells a million times better than the exhaust fumes that are cigarette smoke.
Mom and pop places only stay in business because of smoking/smokers? Interesting...the last few times I've been to a "local" place, the service was lacking, the clouds of smoke were nauseating and distracting, and the sound system wasn't laid out very well. Food was pretty good though, which is odd for a bar.
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Old 05-03-07, 09:29 PM
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AZ just went smoke free on Tuesday.
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Old 05-03-07, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Numanoid
Umm, no, when I go to a bar I expect to see people drinking.
Totally. I love the smoking ban in DC bars, I can actually go out now.
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Old 05-03-07, 09:40 PM
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Once again, government gets away with taking property and personal rights away from us, partially because most people are so selfish they're happy about it.
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Old 05-03-07, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Vandelay_Inds
Yeah. People don't have a 'right' to smoke my lungs. Good for Illinois.
Because you were forced at gunpoint to go to bars and other places of business that allow smoking, right?
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Old 05-03-07, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Vandelay_Inds
No.
Agreed. It's a choice to get addicted just like alcoholism. It's also a choice for non-smokers to be around people who choose the habit, as it should be a choice for a business owner to allow people a place to smoke. It's all a simple matter of choice...or it should be.
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Old 05-03-07, 09:54 PM
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"the disease concept was originally applied to alcoholism and has been generalized to addiction to other drugs as well. The "disease of addiction" is viewed as a primary disease....drug addiction is a brain disease that develops over time as a result of the initially voluntary behavior of using drugs. (Drugs include alcohol [and tobacco])

The consequence is virtually uncontrollable compulsive drug craving, seeking, and use that interferes with, if not destroys, an individual’s functioning in the family and in society. This medical condition demands formal treatment."
http://www.hopenetworks.org/addictio...%20disease.htm

"In reality addictions are more closely related to a neurological disorder like Tourette's Syndrome* than they are to diabetes....The new neurological pathways are permanently established, and they will not just disappear." http://www.medical-online.com/addict.htm

"Most people probably continue to think of addiction -- particularly to illicit drugs -- as primarily a moral or character problem, something caused by degeneracy or lack of willpower.

Scientific research into addiction, however, has led experts to conclude that addiction is actually a disease....But addictive drugs, such as alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, and heroin, can affect the structure and function of the brain -- and hence our motivations -- in long-lasting ways. They can actually alter and "usurp," in one scientist's term, the "circuits" in the brain that are involved in the control of emotions and motivation, impairing an addicted person's will. "What addiction really is, is a result of brain changes that over time get translated into behavior changes,""
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/closetohome/.../crossing.html

The nonsmoker in me says yay for this legislation, but the libertarian in me says let the people and the marketplace decide. If Joe's Food Shack wants smokers' business more than nonsmokers, so be it. And of course this doesn't jive with the "hands off my body" thinking.
And, of course, if tobacco is that bad, ban the stuff, or quit profiting from it by taxing it and subsidizing tobacco farmers.

What about smokeless tobacco? (When I interned with the local PD one of the officers had some chaw in his mouth most of the day. While it didn't stink up the car like a cigarette would, it was still pretty nasty.)
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Old 05-03-07, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Ky-Fi
Hmm, I was just thinking about this issue last weekend. I was in a nice Irish pub north of Boston, sipping on a niiiiice pint of Guinness, and I looked around and noticed nobody was smoking, anywhere. My pal and I have been going to this pub for a few years, and I'm quite sure it USED to have a smoking section---not sure when it changed, if it's a local law, or just a management decision.

But anyways, I don't smoke and have never smoked (nor do any of my friends, actually). But I do enjoy my simple pleasure of a nice pint, and I'm not that comfortable with the PC nanny state coming in and telling my neighbor it's ILLEGAL for him to enjoy his cigarette in the same way. I personally like having a smoke-free SECTION in the pub, so I'm not walllowing in a cloud of smoke, but I would rather leave those things up to the management, at least when it comes to an establishment like a pub. I do accept the fact that second hand smoke is carcinogenic, and the people there can't choose not to inhale it, but to me it's not dangerous enough that I would criminally outlaw it in all circumstances in a bar.
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Old 05-03-07, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by wildcatlh
Once again, government gets away with taking property and personal rights away from us, partially because most people are so selfish they're happy about it.
As a libertarian, I am against laws like this. As a non-smoker, however, I have to say that I love how it's changed things here in Washington. I can throw a couple back with my friends and not come out smelling like I stood over a campfire. It's great.

But if I had to vote on it, I would vote against it.
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Old 05-03-07, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by CaptainMarvel
Don't many hate crime laws protect members of religions as well?
Don't even open that particular can of worms.
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Old 05-03-07, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by CaptainMarvel
Don't many hate crime laws protect members of religions as well?
Yes, but I don't see the point. The Constitution already protects religion or lack thereof from discrimination, along with race, orientation etc etc. Eh, I guess this probably belongs in hate crime thread.
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Old 05-04-07, 12:00 AM
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Boy, there are some whiny non-smokers. "Wah! It smells like smoke! Wah! It's gross! Wah! Wah! Wah!" Jesus, people. I've been in places that reek of alcohol, or of foods I don't like. When I go to Vegas, I know Mandalay Bay pipes in some kind of coconut scent that I find pretty vile. Whatever. I put up with it or I leave. I don't act like I'm being water-boarded merely because I'm exposed to something unpleasant.
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Old 05-04-07, 12:15 AM
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I'm cool with the smoking ban for government cars.

But I'm surprised that casinos were on the ban list. Usually, casinos and nursing homes are immune from these smoking bans.
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Old 05-04-07, 01:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Canadian Bacon
poor comparison, real minorities such as gays, blacks etc are not something people choose, people choose to become smokers
Choice? I thought the reason the tobacco companies had to give billions upon billions to the states was that because it was and addiction and there was no choice. It's a disease....just like alcoholism, and every other thing you can't fire me for so long as I tell you I'm seeking medical treatment.
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Old 05-04-07, 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted by JasonF
Boy, there are some whiny non-smokers. "Wah! It smells like smoke! Wah! It's gross! Wah! Wah! Wah!" Jesus, people. I've been in places that reek of alcohol, or of foods I don't like. When I go to Vegas, I know Mandalay Bay pipes in some kind of coconut scent that I find pretty vile. Whatever. I put up with it or I leave. I don't act like I'm being water-boarded merely because I'm exposed to something unpleasant.
You mean as a nonsmoker I don't have the right to dictate to a business owner that (s)he must accommodate whatever situation I desire in a business I have absolutely no stake in? Shocking! What is America coming to!?!?

And no coconut either!
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