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Smoking ban passes

Friday, Mar 31, 2006

Judging by previous comments, this bill should be pretty popular here.

All Illinois counties would be able to ban smoking in public places under legislation approved Thursday and sent to the governor.

The measure gives county officials the power to prohibit lighting up in restaurants, bars and other public gathering spots. It’s similar to legislation passed last year that lets cities decide whether to snuff out public puffing.

The new measure covers unincorporated areas, so cities still would have the final say within their borders.

The Illinois House approved the bill 89-24. It already had passed the Senate.

I’m for this bill, but for purely selfish reasons. I have tried and tried to quit smoking, but I always end up going back because my ability to “just say no” is weakened when I’m in a tavern. I figure I’ll just have one, and then before I know it I’m right back to smoking full-time. So Springfield’s ban and Chicago’s ban ought to be good for my health. And if I can’t slip out to an unincorporated area to drink and smoke, so much the better. Selfish, yes. Sound policy? I’ll leave that up to others to debate.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

8 Comments
  1. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 31, 06 @ 6:24 am:

    Same with me on the drinking thing. I could quit smoking for several months at a time but would then have”just one cigarette” when I’d had a drink. I mean a couple of drinks. Ok, ok, I was half in the bag.

    Quiting drinking was very easy since I only drank a couple of times a month. So, Rich, go a couple of months without drinking and then check the long term effectiveness of your smoking ban.


  2. - Lovie's Leather - Friday, Mar 31, 06 @ 9:12 am:

    This issue isn’t about smoking. It is about a growing government bureaucracy. We were a country founded on the idea that an individual’s rights are more important than what the group thinks is best. We have to wear seatbelts, we can’t smoke in a bar that we own, our money gets redistributed to those who don’t work. I believe that personal liberty in America is at an all-time low. It is unbelievable, and the bureaucrats that use democracy to drastically rob people of their freedom should be ashamed!

    Rich, I am very disappointed in you….


  3. - Leroy - Friday, Mar 31, 06 @ 10:24 am:

    I’m for government limiting the sales and advertisement of fast food, but for purely selfish reasons. I have tried and tried to stop eating fast food, but I always end up going back because my ability to “just say no” is weakened when I’m out driving around and I see a place. I figure I’ll just have a burger, and then before I know it I’m right back to eating there five times a week. So a Springfield or a Chicago law limiting their sales & advertising ought to be good for my health. So much the better. Selfish, yes. Sound policy? I’ll leave that up to others to debate.

    Gambling, too.


  4. - VanillaMan - Friday, Mar 31, 06 @ 12:27 pm:

    In the old days, there used to be spittoons in public places. Tobacco was legal back then too, but folks mostly chewed it. There was black spit everywhere, and just like ash trays, low paid servants dumped the old black spit out of them when the owner demanded it.

    Why did this tobacco use end? Well, a hundred years ago, we had scientific proof that buckets of old spit were breeding grounds for diptheria, and a plethora of viruses. For sanitation purposes, spittoons and tobacco chewing was outlawed.

    So, to keep business florishing, the tobacco companies started making cigarettes.

    So, to all those who feel guilty over banning smoking, and all those who are opposed to it, lets recall our tobacco history a bit, and realize that banning tobacco use has been done before with many public benefits.

    Really, in a generation or two, folks will be as disgusted by smoking as chewing has become, and really wonder what in the world were we thinking. Yup, we’ll become the older fools too stupid for our own good, kinda like how we see our ancestors regarding women’s and civil rights.


  5. - Lovie's Leather - Friday, Mar 31, 06 @ 3:30 pm:

    Vanilla Man, I couldn’t agree more with your take on moral relativism. But the point isn’t that cigarette smoke is disgusting or that spittoons were outlawed. It is the simple fact that the government is telling it’s citizens, who have been smoking for hundreds of years, that smoking is no longer okay. We all know it is hazardous to our health… but so is driving… and so is fatty foods. Are we all gonna start walking everywhere with carrot sticks in our pockets? If a restaurant wants to allow smoking, let it. If people want to go to a place that doesn’t have a smoking section, let them do so. Democracy has become less about individual freedom and more about collectivist convenience.


  6. - Like clean air - Friday, Mar 31, 06 @ 3:50 pm:

    Lovie’s Leather-
    The problem with your argument is that the government is not telling you that you can’t smoke, they are telling you not to smoke when your secondhand smoke affects the health of those around you. I don’t care how much fatty food you eat since it doesn’t affect MY health. These arguments just don’t fit the topic.

    If the government stopped enforcing basic public health rules, you wouldn’t want to go to a restaurant because there is no one making sure that their refrigerator is the right temperature, that the employees wash their hands, and that the cutting board used for chicken isn’t also used to cut the bread. Just like those examples, smoking in indoor places is also a public health hazard. People shouldn’t have to choose between their health and where they can get something to eat or drink.


  7. - Smoking Nazi - Friday, Mar 31, 06 @ 3:56 pm:

    The Illinois Restaurant Association supports smoke-free ordinances now. Its only a matter of time now until we liberal yuppy do-gooders control every aspect of your lives good citizens!!! Must be time to move to Canada or Brittan or Italy or????? Oh wait, they already have smoke-free laws! But, there’s still Iran and North Korea! You can still smoke there! Maybe protecting people from selfish smokers’ indoor pollution has less to do with a government’s record on individual liberty and more with the fact that most governments figure protecting public health is more important. Why are bars and restaunarts in business? Becuase we pesky non-smokers keep them in business. Can’t depend on just smokers to stay afloat!!!


  8. - Gish - Friday, Mar 31, 06 @ 4:57 pm:

    Whether you agree with it or not, the easiest way to rationalize a smoking ban of this nature is due to occupational safety and health. People who work in restaurants are the primary benificiaries.

    We regulate all sorts of businesses to benefit the workers and like it or not bartenders and servers are a part of that group.

    Ultimately I could care less if people smoke and suffer problems from it. The only thing I wish is that insurers would drop smokers or charge ever increasing rates. I fell the same way about people who choose not to use their seat belts. Let insurers have the right to not cover death/health benefits if the injured were not buckled in.


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