Absolutely! Then, the state should also double itâ€™s cigarette tax and start spending the projected collections â€“ which will, of course, not take into consideration the possibility that sales of a product whose use is simultaneously being restricted might decline.
If itâ€™s good enough for Cook County and Chicago, itâ€™s good enough for the rest of the state, right?
Will it lower my health insurance bill? I don’t smoke, but how much of my payments are used to cost shift charges that are provided to smokers. Why not simply tax the hell out of cigarettes? How many smokers will keep smoking at $10 a pack?
In response to GOP:
It is not harsh. It is a calm and measured response.
Also, I stand by my statement: 100% of smokers are litterbugs.
With regard to other trash: In my neighborhood, it is predominantly cigarette trash (and beer bottle caps, and I have a worse suggested fate for people who would toss those on my street).
I am curious as to the thought process though: Do smokers really think the world is their ashtray?
The cigarette tax revenue isnâ€™t forwarded to your health insurance company. The county, state, and municipal governments that collected it spend it on anything but covering the societal costs of smoking. Change that, and you may have a valid argument. As it is now, the expenses they use those taxes to cover will not reduce if people stopped smoking - but the revenue stream certainly would. Not exactly sound public policy.
Skeeter, perhaps the idea of allowing people to shove any cigarette butts, matches, or lightes left on the ground down the throat of any passing smoker is a measured and calm response in Riyadh, but here in the US, we typically donâ€™t allow roving bands of vigilantes to violently assault each other for littering â€“ or any other crime for that matter.
I find screaming childern in restaurants a nuisance too, can we take care of that problem after we get rid of smoking? Have a child or a non child section, yet another reason why I should be in the General Assembly :)
You have a valid point about the very real and serious effects of such littering. I am a dog person too, and I think your passionate concern is admirable.
I was not and am not saying that such littering isnâ€™t bad. It is â€“ undeniably. But the logic you use to justify your â€œsolutionâ€ is just as undeniably dangerous: Donâ€™t want your hand chopped off? Donâ€™t shoplift.
Forewarning potential offenders does not allow you to ignore the Constitutional ban on â€œcruel and unusualâ€ punishment.
It would be a good thing to ban smoking in all public places, but it would get watered down by exceptions for casinos, bars, and General Assembly offices. “Thinning the herd” is a harsh way of putting it, especially since the thinning takes decades of smoking to kill.
How about using all the cigarette taxes (except the normal sales tax) and the tobacco settlement money for ACTUAL PREVENTION PROGRAMS?
Yes, ban smoking, then ban drinking of alcohol and soft drinks, then ban fast food and put us on sugar and salt rations. Following that, HB666 could mandate a 6am exercise time and 10pm bedtime, followed by coffee enemas for one and all.
ISU Rep…If you ran for the general assembly, you’d have my vote. I’m a rabid non-smoker, but if given the option, I would much prefer to sit in a hazy, smoke filled restaurant than sit in the screaming child section any day.
Anyhow, depending what the description of “public places” involves, if that means eating establishments, bars, etc. then, no. The management should be responsible on making the decision to allow smoking. It would be up to each individual whether to patronize the place or not.
- Darrell Democrat - Tuesday, Feb 28, 06 @ 10:36 am said:
“Off the topic, but how about being able to pour dog urine or stuff dog doo-doo down the throats of any passing pet owner?”
I always clean up after my GSD, so there is never a solid waste issue. Urine is confined to trees and posts, which is much better than suburbanites who let their dogs do it in their back yards, and then allow their children to play in the yard. That is pretty gross to me.
On that note, I was not aware that walking through dog urine caused cancer, but I can assure you that when a dog tries to eat cigarette waste, it can cause some major problems.
With regard to Wumpus’s comments: When it is shown that my consumption of fast foods gives you cancer, then you can ban fast food, etc.
This is not a health issue for the person choosing to consume it. Frankly, nobody cares. If you smoke and you get cancer that is your problem. I am more concerned about the innocent victims who inhale (or in the case of German Shepherds, eat) cigarette products.
BAND SMOKING…second hand smoke has caused my family far more grief down through the years than all the so called”assult weapons” that the guv wants to band.Why not make it a Felony to pocess a pack. That way the state can build more prisons, hire more guards, then rob their pension system some more….what a wonderful state this is.
How about this… you let restauraunts, bars etc decide if they want smoking! A novel idea isn’t it? If people don’t want to go to a smoky bar, they don’t have to. But, some just have to diminish the rights of others. Screw public health… If we all wanted to be healthy, we wouldn’t eat fast food, we wouldn’t drink beer, and we would exercise more. Do we want the government to start saying we can’t have fast food, beer, and we have to exercise? No way! Then, why can they tell us that we can’t smoke? The government is wrong. We need to elect smokers into office… Judy and Rauschy… That would be a smokin’ team!
Skeeter, Darrell Democratâ€™s point is certainly not without merit. Perhaps you clean up after your dog, but many do not. Perhaps many smokers litter, but many are courteous enough to discard their butts and spent lighters in garbage cans . Most cities have ordinances fining both dog owners who donâ€™t clean up after their pets and anyone who engages in littering of any kind. Both should be enforced more strictly.
Our country is founded on individual rights and responsibilities. If you are a responsible dog owner who wishes to walk your pet in an outdoor, public place, then you should be able to. If I wanted to take up smoking again and do so outdoors in public, I should be able to. As long as we are both responsible and pick up after ourselves, so to speak, why should either of our right to do so be restricted based on the irresponsible actions of someone else?
- Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, Feb 28, 06 @ 11:12 am:
Hey, just ban the sale of tobacco products. Worked like a charm for alcoholic beverages, right?
I’m no fan of smoking and don’t mind limited smoking areas I can avoid (such as in restaurants) but this creeping nanny form of government has turned into a full gallop!
Of course, even if you did want to pass a sweeping ban on smoking, I still that allowing citizens to unilaterally penalize violators with a violent reprisal â€“ even if advance warning was given â€“ would not be considered a measured response.
In all seriousness, being from Chicago my perspective on this is interesting.
Chicago does not allow indoor smoking in offices. That system works. Smokers can still go outside for their fix, and their cancer causing agents are diluted.
When I go to offices outside Chicago, I am amazed when people light up inside. The non-smoker often does not have an option. You are forced to breath the cancer causing agent. I usually don’t have any real choice in the matter. As a practical matter, I cannot just leave the premises.
Louis et al: Please note the original post. It referred to PUBLIC PLACES. It is not a suggestion of a complete ban.
An indoor smoking ban is fair and reasonable because smoke causes cancer to those not choosing to smoke. Fast food only causes the consumer to get fat.
As a final note: Would somebody please explain why cigarette smokers toss their trash on the street? It is a fact — nearly all smokers do that and it is really disgusting.
How about making driving while intoxicated legal also. I agree, screw public health and safety. A drunk driver is putting themselves and the motoring public at risk. A smoker in a resturant is putting themself and everyone else in the resturant at risk. So what? Life is full of risks!
I smoked for years and I never knew what a pain in the ass I was to non-smokers.I can tell if a person is a smoker just by their smell.Not the best smell in the world.Lord how old age changes our perspective.
Free markets cater to a variety of public desires - including the desire for smoking-allowed or smoke-free bars, restaurants, and public places. Consumers are free to vote with their feet should they find the policy adopted by an establishment objectionable. Government need only pass an ordinance requiring that all commercial places of public accommodation establish either a no-smoking or smoking-allowed policy, that those businesses prominently post the policy at entrances, and that the state or local government establish a means of enforcement as a part of existing inspection activities to ensure that businesses comply with their posted policies.
Oh if only it were that simple. If I am an employee in one of these establishments that decides to promote smoking and I come down with lung cancer, is my employer responsible for my health care under workers’ compensation laws?
Iâ€™m fine with an indoor smoking ban, depending on the definition of â€œpublicâ€ place. A privately owned bar or restaurant is not a â€œpublicâ€ place. Any place owned by someone else where you â€“ despite perhaps having a right to â€“ do not have a necessity to be in is not a public place.
As far as the system of smokers simply going outside for their fix: Apparently, its doesnâ€™t work. Your dog might eat their butts, and so we should pass a law allowing people to shove any cigarette butts, matches, or lighters left on the ground down the throat of any passing smoker (ie, the â€œmeasuredâ€ solution), right?
Please, donâ€™t! It will drive businesses out of Illinois. Businesses will pack up and move away with all the trucking companies. Hardworking families will move to states where they can sit in bars and restaurants that allow smoking.
“Please, donâ€™t! It will drive businesses out of Illinois. Businesses will pack up and move away with all the trucking companies. Hardworking families will move to states where they can sit in bars and restaurants that allow smoking. ”
So it is a double win?
Not only do we get rid of the smoke, we get rid of the smokers! Illinois insurance rates will plummet.
I sure hope you are right, Hicks.
“…If I am an employee in one of these establishments that decides to promote smoking and I come down with lung cancer, is my employer responsible for my health care under workersâ€™ compensation laws?”
Good luck proving that the establishment “promoted smoking”, or that the employee’s cancer was caused by second-hand smoke, an issue fraught with contention by ‘experts’ on all sides.
What would prevent an employee from “voting with their feet” and choosing a smoke-free job in the first place?
Okay, in the great spirit of compromise that has sustained our nation for so many years:
The GA can go ahead and pass a smoking ban in all public places. Heck, Iâ€™ll even give you the bars and restaurants, just for good measure.
In exchange, they must either (a) repeal all the horribly regressive excise taxes on tobacco, and mandate that all counties and municipalities do the same (sales taxes would, of course, still apply), or (b) dedicate all revenues from said excise tax to cover expenses that would decrease with the rate of smoking: anti-tobacco campaigns in schools; public healthcare entitlement expense incurred by tobacco usage; heck, maybe even hire some unemployed and/or homeless people to pick up the butts so skeeterâ€™s dog doesnâ€™t eat them. You can even go ahead and raise the taxes if you want to encourage people to quit. It wonâ€™t matter if they do then, since the revenue loss will only impact programs that wonâ€™t be needed anymore.
Then, when peopleâ€™s property and income taxes have to be raised to make up the gaping budget shortfall such a re-appropriation of funds would create, maybe they will start paying attention to how much money their government(s) waste and stop tolerating the rampant (at the state level, both parties have been guilty of it) and blatant (in Cook Co. and Chicago, only one group to blame) corruption, patronage (blue and white collar) and pork-barreling.
I like the idea of using cigarette tax money to hire people to clean butts off the street. And, hey, litter too while they’re there. Pretty soon, Illinois would look as clean as Disney World!
All together now…”It’s a small world after all”
Yeah Coloradem, let’s not make drunk driving legal, let’s just make driving illegal. It kills so many people. Many pedestrians that have never driven get killed every year (second hand driving). So let’s just make everything that kills somebody illegal. We need to get rid of aspirin, and fatty foods, and life in general. Life is obviously inherently bad because it leads to death. May my sarcasm be noted.
Illinois Senate approves letting counties ban smoking
Last Updated 2/28/2006 2:39:30 PM
County governments could ban smoking in public places under a plan that cleared half of the Illinois legislature today.
Lawmakers gave cities the power to ban smoking in restaurants, bars and other public places last year. The Springfield City Council recently used that right to impose a ban that goes into effect this fall.
Now supporters say counties should have the same right but only for unincorporated areas, so cities would still have the final say on bans within their borders.
The state Senate voted 45-10 for the proposal.
Some legislators questioned why county boards should have such power.
Others said it was a good step forward but didn’t go far enough. They’re pushing for a statewide smoking ban but acknowledge it might not get approved this spring.
“What we’re going to do is add more confusion … where people don’t know what the regulation is from one step to another,” said Sen. Terry Link, a Vernon Hills Democrat pushing the statewide ban.
The measure now heads to the House.
– Associated Press
I have made two trips to Ireland–2003 and 2004. There is a nationwide smoking ban in public places that began in 2003. The pub owners had the same complaints that it would be bad for business. Now, they aren’t complaining. Seems the Irish like to get together and talk and drink their Guinness even in cleaner air. Also, the health dept. reports workers in pubs and restaurants reporting fewer missed days due to respiratory problems.
Britain is also banning smoking in public places to take place in the next six months.
I think it will do more to improve the health of Illinois citizens if we “Ban All Fat People From Public Places”. And, let’s take it a step farther so we can bail ourselves out of the miserable financial situation that George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich have put us in. Let’s charge every Illinois citizen (adults and children)$1 per pound for every pound that they are above their ideal bodyweight! This “Illinois Fat Tax” must be sent to Springfield on a monthly basis until these slobs lose the extra weight. Then watch our health insurance premiums come down, no more cops hanging around in the donut shops, the state budget will have a surplus of money for our Illinois politicians to find some stupid cause or program to waste it on, and there will be far more room to pass each other on the narrow sidewalks.
No more stupid laws, please! Let people be accountable for their own actions. Let them smoke if they want lung cancer. Just make them accountable for their own hospital bills and don’t throw the burden for their stupidity on me and my children. No need to wear helmuts if you are on motorcycles. You don’t have to “buckle up for safety.” Do your own thing my friends but don’t be the deadbeats that you are by asking me to pickup the tab for your stupidity. They should enact laws down in Springfield that make people accountable for their own actions but we know that won’t happen because the politicians down in Springfield might be held accountable for their actions, God forbid.
Everything that’s fun in life is dangerous. Horse races, for instance, are very dangerous. But attempt to design a safe horse and you have a cow (an appalling animal to watch at the races). And everything that isn’t fun is dangerous too. It is impossible to be alive and safe. “P.J. O’Rourke-Satirist”
Where to start? There are so many legal substances that can cause serious illnesses and death in humans. Acetaminophen will rot your liver faster than alcohol. Lets ban that too.
Skeeter - I have noticed over that past few weeks you have been getting more and more nasty. What’s up? Need relief or sorts? Or are you upset that your untrainable dog can’t stop eating inedible crap it finds lying on the ground?
PL: The issue is not about protecting the person who uses the substance. Smoke away. Most people really don’t care. The problem starts when you engage in an activity that doesn’t just hurt you, but hurts me also. That is the case with smoking. Somebody else’s choice to smoke hurts me.
Regarding the GSD: Actually, the dog is highly trained. If you’ve worked with the dogs though, you would know that even highly trained dogs (like highly trained people) can have bad habits. Mine likes to eat things on the ground.
Even if he didn’t, I would still be disgusted by it. I just do not understand this view of those who smoke who believe that they can just toss their garbage on the ground. For a non-smoker, it really is ugly. Educate me. Explain to me why smokers act in that manner.