WA Residents Approve State-Wide Smoking Ban

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by -Cp, Nov 9, 2005.

  1. -Cp
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    -Cp Senior Member

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    I'm not a smoker, and quite frankly can't stand the smell - but I HIGHLY disapprove of this as it's going to really hurt the places that depend on smokers for business...



    Voters Approve Statewide Ban On Indoor Smoking

    November 8, 2005

    By KOMO Staff & News Services

    OLYMPIA - Bars and bowling alleys will be smoke-free starting next month, after voters overwhelming passed one of the most restrictive statewide bans on indoor public smoking in the country.

    As of early Wednesday, with about 62 percent of the expected vote counted, 686,981 voters, or 63 percent, supported the more restrictive statewide ban on indoor smoking, while 411,591 voters, or 37 percent, opposed it.

    "People saw how their friends and families were going to be protected," said Mike O'Sullivan, spokesman for the American Cancer Society, and backer of the initiative. "It's an easy measure for them to support because they understand the health impact."

    Backers of Initiative 901 argued that a more restrictive statewide ban on indoor public smoking was long overdue, citing health concerns and pointing to other states that have already made the change.

    Proponents of I-901 were celebrating the results Tuesday night at Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub, a Seattle bar that became smoke-free June 1 after owners took a vote on their Web site and found 85 percent of their patrons wanted them to eliminate smoking.

    "I was expecting a little bit of a hit, but we had no hit at all," said owner Patrick McAleese.

    The initiative calls for prohibiting smoking in bars, restaurants, bowling alleys, minicasinos, most hotel rooms and most other nontribal businesses currently exempted by the state's Clean Indoor Air Act, which already bans smoking in most public places. It also contains a provision for a 25-foot smoke-free buffer around doorways, windows that open and ventilation intakes.

    First-time violators will face warnings. After that, each violation will be punishable by a maximum $100 fine. The measure calls for offending businesses to face suspension of licenses to operate and serve liquor.

    Opponents called it an affront to small business owners, who should hold sway over what goes on inside their doors.

    Vito Chiechi, a retired longtime lobbyist and former chief clerk of the state House, who organized the No on 901 campaign, said ban opponents would look into getting the Legislature to modify the new law, perhaps by removing the 25-foot rule or making an exemption for cigar bars or private clubs.

    "How far can these things go?" he asked. "When do they say you can't go within 50 feet of a McDonald's if you're overweight? It's a real slippery slope and if we're not careful all of our freedoms are going to be taken away from us."

    Clyde Hohn, of Tacoma, voted against the ban.

    "I figure if I want to go into a tavern, it's my choice. I can go into a nonsmoking tavern," the former smoker said.

    The shrinking population of smokers around the country has helped prompt smoking bans elsewhere. Statewide bans that include bars are in place in eight states: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.

    Five states require all restaurants to be smoke-free, but exempt bars: Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Montana, Utah.

    North Dakota and South Dakota have banned smoking in workplaces, but not restaurants or bars. Many cities and municipalities have imposed their own smoke-free regulations.

    Many cities and municipalities have imposed their own smoke-free regulations.

    In California, the ban on smoking in bars simply moved many smoking sections outside. But I-901's 25-foot rule would effectively ban smoking on many outdoor patios and sidewalks.

    Supporters say businesses could work with local health departments to get waivers to the 25-foot rule.

    Supporters of the initiative raised more than $1.5 million - much of it from the American Cancer Society, with contributions from individuals and groups like the National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids and the American Lung Association of Washington. The small, but vocal, opposition raised less than $27,000.

    "I'm a phone call away from selling," said Alan McWain, owner of The Spar Cafe and Tobacco Merchant in downtown Olympia. "The general public doesn't appreciate my type of business, and my type of business caters to smokers. If you can't go to a smoke shop to smoke, where the hell can you go?"

    http://www.komotv.com/stories/40160.htm
     
  2. dmp
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    dmp Senior Member

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    This state is full of ninnies. Really...I hate this state more with each passing year.
     
  3. -Cp
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    -Cp Senior Member

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    I don't agree the the State is full of ninnies - I will concurr, however, that King and Pierce Counties are - who happen to make up the majority of the voting population.. : )
     
  4. ScreamingEagle
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    ScreamingEagle Gold Member

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    King and Pierce and Thurston counties - liberal central...a bunch of ninnies who want a nanny state.

    Of course telling a store/bar owner what he can do with his own private property is no big deal to liberals. After all, Kelo v New London says it's OK to take your private property completely away from you...all for the "public good". :mad:
     
  5. MissileMan
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    MissileMan Senior Member

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    Not that I disagree with your sentiment, but this is strange talk from someone who thinks the government should be a porn-nanny.
     
  6. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    And i thought you "left" coasters alway did this shit first....

    http://www.legis.state.ga.us/legis/2005_06/sum/sb90.htm
     
  7. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    There ya go and there ya are. Can't have it both ways, can we? :tng:
     
  8. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    I voted against the initiative, but I am not upset that it passed, only because my wife hates cigarette smoke and complains every time we pass within a quarter mile of a lit cigarette.
     
  9. William Joyce
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    William Joyce Chemotherapy for PC

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    I wonder why no distinction between bars and restaurants?

    Bars are places where smoking is a good fit: if you're pickling your liver, why not char your lungs while you're at it? Besides, cigarettes GO with booze: nobody would say a martini or a beer would clash with a Dunhill or a Marlboro. And it's not like you've got kids and babies in bars.

    Restaurants, not so much. Food is affected by the smell of cigarette smoke. And nowadays when I'm a restaurant in my smoking-is-allowed state, it's weird, after living in a smoke-free place. I preferred the smoke-free restaurant.

    Still, doesn't mean I like government butting in. Pun not intended.
     
  10. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    I agree. It’s the Business owners’ decision, not the Governments,
    and of course the customer as well in the end..
     

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