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Posted by JEANNE M BOLE (+39) 17 years ago
I just read an article in Time Magazine that smoking has been
banned in all bars and restaurants in Montana.
Can someone please tell me if this is true. I can't believe no one
has commented on this. I smoked for over 50 years and finally quit.
thank god with the prices now I would have to give up food.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17732) 17 years ago
Yep, our good governor just signed this into law. It was a compromise measure with the Montana Tavern Association; for their support, the law does not come into effect until 2009 for bars and casinos, and no community can pass a more restrictive ban than the state law (this last provision is why groups like the American Cancer Association refused to endorse the bill/law).

Rational, considered compromise coming out of the state legislature is simply amazing to me. Kudos to the lawmakers on this one. They've actually been doing a pretty good job (well, with the exception of the whiner boys in the Republican leadership) this session. Luckily this time around there's enough legislators on both sides who can buck the party line to vote the way the voters back home would want them.
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Posted by Dan Siegfried (+61) 17 years ago
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1291) 17 years ago
Yes it is true, the brain trust in Helena Montifornia have decided that the bussiness owners have no say in how they run their operations. They have alowed 4 years for the taverns and casinos to comply, and for most of them to get out of office before the s--t hits the fan.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15082) 17 years ago
I really don't understand this. ban the smoking of cigarettes yet legalizing the smoking of marijuana. So now that you're on this path of abolition, which will be banned next Alcohol, Guns, or Christianity?
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17732) 17 years ago
Boo hoo hoo whiner boys! Keep the nonsensical drivel coming.

I believe, Chuck, that our representatives are not all Helenans or Californians, but have been elected by the citizens from around the state. Hey, what part of California does that Speaker of the House come from?

Richard, if pot has been legalized and cigarettes have been outlawed, that sure is news to me. If I lit up a cigarette outside, no one would care less, but I don't think I'd try that with a number. And if I walked around the streets with a beer in my hand I think that too would run afoul with the law.

And, "outlaw Christianity"? Give me a freakin' break! Last I checked, this country was being turned into a theocracy in the hands of zealots like Tom Delay. When movie theatres refuse to show movies because they endorse evolution, it shows just how this country is heading down the toilet. These days, "Jurassic Park" wouldn't be a blockbuster hit, it would be shown in small art houses with dozens of Baptists walking around with signs.
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Posted by jackie (+161) 17 years ago
The bill of which ye all refer to is HB 643 which also many other type of facilities beyond just bars and casinos. Bars and casinos got a break with the 2009 deadline. Other facilities will have to put this law into effect in October 05 and January 06. I understand there were several agencies that backed this law including EPA, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Health Department, DEQ, etc, etc.... penalties involve misdemeanor charges with fines. should be interesting to enforce.
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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+3704) 17 years ago
Don't bogart that camel my friend, save a little bit for me. Just pass around another one just like the other one.

OOPs! its the smoking task force, jiggers, act stock, anybody got Binaca? Quick! pass the patchuli.
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Posted by Dona Stebbins (+825) 17 years ago
Isn't it sad that people who smoke are so careless of their own health and the wellbeing of others that government feels it necessary to legislate on their behalf?
I don't believe that the Legislature would have passed this bill if they didn't know that the majority of the voters supported it. I contacted my legislators in support. How many of those who opposed it bothered to pick up the phone, or send a fax or email? Let's hear from you.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15082) 17 years ago
I hate cigarettes and cigarette smoke. And while it will be nice to have a beer in the Bison during the Bucking Horse Sale in May of 2009 and not have to breath the smoke, it is NOT the governments responsiblity or right to regulate in this manner.

The abolitionist mentality is a very slippery slope. It won't be long until other behaviors which the PC crowd deems unacceptable will also be banned in the name of "safety" or "security". If you don't stand up for the individual freedom of others you are destined to lose some individual freedom you now enjoy.

[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr (edited 4/20/2005).]
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1291) 17 years ago
I would bet and give good odds that by Oct. 2009 the Montana Tavern Owners will come up with a way around this intrusion. At any rate it will be near imposible to enforce and regulate. Maybe it would have been better to put another BIG tax on them, say $2.00 more a pack.

I was in San Francisco last Aug. and it apeared to me that if you wanted an ash tray in a bar all you had to do was ask. I did not see one cigarette cop on patrol, but I did notice a number of butts on the ground outside the bars and restaurants. Good luck with this insane law and all the future invasions it brings.
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Posted by David Schott (+17521) 17 years ago
Here in Seattle the head ("Executive") of King County government recently announced the county is close to signing a deal with the unions whereby employees who engage in "healthy lifestyle practices" will get benefits such as reduced health insurance copayments.

Can you imagine having your employer (or your health insurance company) bust you in the process of supersizing yourself at McDonald's and wind up fired or without health insurance coverage?

No more ice cream socials at the church, folks, because ice cream isn't healthy for you. We might be able to host watermelon socials, though, as long as the watermelon is certified organic and you are consuming portions in line with your "activity level" as outlined in one of the U.S. government's numerous and ever-changing food pyramids. Of course all participants will be required to sign a waiver releasing the church of liability in the event you were to choke on a watermelon seed.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17732) 17 years ago
I stopped in a tavern last night and was quizzing the bartender on the law. One interesting thing I did not know is that as of October 1 this year, children under the age of 18 will be prohibited from bars and casinos that still allow smoking.

Now that is good thing. The last thing on earth I want to see when I am in the bar sucking down a Wild Turkey on the rocks and swearing at the Eagles on the screen is a bunch of kids running around, with their moms scowling at me for using foul language. Here in Helena, people have turned the sports bars that have the NFL ticket into family day at the bar. That will now end.

The bartender also told me that the owners of the establishment where I was at last night already were developing plans to build a sheltered area for the smokers to head to when they need a fix. So I don't see it being a big deal.

Believe me, I am against the smoking law as much as anyone (I was in the one-third minority that voted against it in Helena a few years ago), but in the grand scheme of things, it's pretty small potatoes. The Patriot Act and the War on Drugs are far more egregious assaults on our personal liberties than a ban on smoking in public buildings.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15082) 17 years ago
"foul languge swearing at the Eagles" That is really funny. Maybe you wouldn't have that problem if you were a BRONCOS fan!
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Posted by JEANNE M BOLE (+39) 17 years ago
I can't imagine trying to watch a football game with a bunch of
kids running around. I of course would be watching the Steelers.
I never even liked football until 1972 and we lived in Pgh.
We were listening on the radio because the game wasn't a sell out.
Franco made his fantastic catch and I was hooked.
Now we live in Denver and its never been the same.
Thanks for all the information.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4455) 17 years ago
You have to swear if you are a Broncos fan. You only have to swear about half as long. When the season is over halfway through the season you can begin to relax.
22 weeks of swearing at the Eagles doesn't do much good for the blood pressure.
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Posted by Chad (+1758) 17 years ago
Thank goodness for common sense. Us non-smokers have put up with the minority of smokers stinking up the place for long enough! I look forward to restaurants where I can smell the food, not the smoke. I look forward to walking into a restaurant and NOT turning around and leaving because it wreaks of cigarettes.

I look forward to being at a soccer game or softball game and not being stuck next to the chimney family, puffing away and chain smoking.

Smoking is absolute stupidity in my mind. For the little bit of a boost you get out of it, you sure give up a lot. You would be better off smoking pot; I'm told at least then you really learn to appreciate fine things like fast food, Twinkies, candy bars and homemade brownies!
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Posted by Dona Stebbins (+825) 17 years ago
Chad, the unfortunate thing about common sense is that it is not that common. I truly agree with you about smokers and the rudeness of inflicting their secondhand smoke on others. My mother, who is a nicotine addict of 60+ years, thinks nothing of lighting up at the dinner table before other have finished eating, and blowing smoke in their faces. We no longer dine with her.
Others on this post have stated their belief that smoking is a "right" which now has been taken away, and that surely other "rights" will follow. I agree with Gunnar that the Patriot Act and the War on Drugs are far more dangerous to our personal rights and liberties than a smoking ban.
Don't non-smokers have a right to breathe?
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15082) 17 years ago
It seems to me that the Patriot Act and the War on Drugs and Alcohol are part of the same abolishinist movement that has banned smoking in public. Again, what is next, guns, SUV's, Anchor Steam...

[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr (edited 4/22/2005).]
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1291) 17 years ago
Richard, save your breath they are just not going to get it. It's not about smoking it is about the right to choose. It's about the right of a bussiness owner to decide what kind of LEAGLE activity he wants to allow in HIS bussiness. It's about my right to decide what bussiness I spend my money at. And it's about Donna's and Chad's right to stay the hell out of those smoke filled establishments they find so offensive.

Chad, I think that you may still have to sit next to the chimney family at the soft ball game. I don't think the bill addresses any out door activities but I could be wrong. I guess you still have the right to get up and MOVE.......... FOR NOW.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17732) 17 years ago
I pretty much had the same opinion you have, Chuck, until it was pointed out to me that the 16-year old kid washing dishes in the smoky casino didn't really have much other options for employment. Its not like the streets are crawling with opportunity for teenage employment. Given the low wages in this state, I think its fair to say that there are a lot of non-smokers who take jobs in smoking environments just because they are thankful to have a job.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4458) 17 years ago
I hear WalMart is hiring, Gunnar
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Posted by mgfarren (+3) 17 years ago
Here in Ireland, there is a ban on smoking within bars and resturants, hospitals and workplaces(includes company cars and other commercial vehicles etc). Compliance is very very high - active prosecution of non compliant premises. Smoking permitted in outdoor rooms and at street tables. Ban brought in to protect health of staff but public enthusiastic about their eating and dining in smoke free establishments especially as their clothes no longer stink of foul exhaled smoke. I cannot believe Montana could defer banning smoking for years if it agreed that it was a health assuring measure. Will the Governor and state representatives provide personal financial indemnities to cover the costs of citizens who have cancers/coronary diseases from smoking where they have to dine or work in the period 2005 -2009. Their caving in to vested interests should not be personally costless.I have no doubt that legal action will be taken in the near future. Montana is not paying them for the purpose of injuring citizens when they have already admitted the health damage and/or death that smoking causes. See a cigarette pack for the warning it carries.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4458) 17 years ago
"where they have to dine or work"

I guess those of us in an increasing minority believe that it is a privelege to dine or work in another person's establishment rather than an entitlement.
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Posted by Chad (+1758) 17 years ago
You smoker defenders are just as backawards as your arguments. If a smoker has some God given right to smoke, don't us non-smokers have as much of a God given right to breathe clean air. I would say that the right to breathe clean air has been around a lot longer than smoking.

And if you think that banning smoking is going to lead to banning other priviliges, you're likely wrong there, too. I don't believe the ridiculous "War on Drugs" is curbing drug use in the way it is being fought. I think there are more effective ways to curb drug use. At the same time I think we have horrible double standards about drugs vs. alcohol.

I've never heard of a person high on pot wanting to get in a fight or run through town on a vandalism spree- I have seen drunk guys do that on numerous occasions. Back to the smoking ban....

I love it and want to see it expanded. If you want to smoke fine, but I don't want to smell one wiff of it!
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Posted by J. Dyba (+1345) 17 years ago
Anyone that wants to post the argument about it being the owners right to decide if smoking is allowed in their establisment would then also have to agree that an owners right is being infringed upon by OSHA and the FDA and several other organizations that regulate certain aspects of their business pertaining to the publics health.
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Posted by Lee Akers (+266) 17 years ago
I for one have lost too many friends and family members to lung cancer. Now, I don't know if second hand smoke causes it or not. It is said to do so by people much smarter than I.

Here's my thought. If banning smoking in public places saves even ONE life, it is a sucessful piec3e of legislation.

I for one am glad it no longer will be allowed in restaurants. I don't go into bars, but in the days that I did, they were terribly smokey places. When I played music, I had to shower every time I came home. otherwise the nicotine, and other things in the smoke burned my skin like it had acid on it. Couldn't be too good for you.

As to the right of a person to regulate conduct in his/her own establishment: They closed the brothels didn't they? Yes, a person ought to have as much right to catch lung cancer as the clap. But it jist aint thataway no more.

Regards

Lee
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15082) 17 years ago
I just wish that those who smoke would take responsibility for their action so that the government would not be compelled to take up the issue and mandate behavior.

This is a difficult issue because I REALLY like the concept of a smoke free society. On the other hand I am concerned where this mandate leads.
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1291) 17 years ago
Lee, I am sorry for the loss of loved ones for any reason and I will concide that smoking is a risky behavior. But as of now it is a leagal activity, unlike prostition, and I must come down on the side of choice in this matter.

There have been many lives saved from bad laws, proabition and the 55 mph speed limit come to mind. Imagine how many lives could be saved from making it illeagal to own fire arms. I have to still feel that in Montana we would find that to be a bad law, but hide and watch it is on the hit list.

It has been easy to single out smoking and smokers beacuse they are in the minority and the habbit is so replusive to the non-smokers, but be affraid be very affraid of where this may lead.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4458) 17 years ago
Really, if the issue comes down to "saving lives" we should enforce a 15 mph speed limit on all travel, definitely outlaw motorcycles, and lastly, abolish the peanut, since it is the most common cause of food allergy deaths.

No amount of peanut enjoyment is worth risking the death of so many children. Those restaurants that sprinkle peanuts on their sundaes should be held criminally liable for exposing our children to such unacceptable risk.

Like the others, the idea of no smoking in public places doesn't bother me in the least, but the idea that we are starting to tell private businesses what legal activities they can and cannot accomodate draws us further down the road to meaningless relativism. They just don't have the guts to outlaw smoking altogether.

[This message has been edited by Rick Kuchynka (edited 4/24/2005).]
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Posted by William S. (+66) 17 years ago
I have yet to see a response to J. Dyba's post of April 23rd. Very well put. OSHA regulates workplace safety issues every day of the week. It seems to me the health effects of exposure to smoke would fall very nicely under OSHA's Safety and Health Standards regarding carcinogens.
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Posted by David Schott (+17521) 17 years ago
Take a look a OSHA's website:

http://www.osha.gov/pls/o...p_id=13369

And OSHA's reason for withdrawing its proposal:

http://www.osha.gov/pls/o...p_id=16954
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Posted by Dona Stebbins (+825) 17 years ago
David, that's good information! I think I would much rather have state government overseeing a smoking ban than the Feds.
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Posted by Ken Minow (+382) 17 years ago
What exactly constitutes a "public place"? Is this anywhere in the state except private homes/property/vehicles? Out of curiousity,I checked the Montana laws website but couldn't find a legal definition.
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Posted by Dona Stebbins (+825) 17 years ago
Ken, I believe a "public place" is defined as an indoor area where the general public is welcome. Private clubs, i.e. "country clubs" or spaces like the Eagles, Elks, and Moose lodges are exempt, to the best of my knowledge. Restaurants w/o beverage or liquor licenses, retail stores, city and county buildings, federal and state buildings, etc.
As I understand, smoking is prohibited in all of these. I work in media, and smoking has been banned in those buildings (radio, TV, print)for at least 5+ years.
I am not sure that adequate language is in place on this ban. I would welcome more information.

[This message has been edited by Dona Stebbins (edited 4/28/2005).]
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1291) 17 years ago
There you go Rick, It seems to me that you where wondering what could save the Elks club in Miles City, promote the Elks as a place where Americans still have the right to practice freedom of choice. This may be just the ticket to save the private clubs, like the Elks, Eagles, VFW, Trails Inn social club, Brothers of the 600 lounge,the Bision club and so on. I think you can catch my drift, try an enforce this law.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4458) 17 years ago
I can't say the thought didn't cross my mind.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17732) 17 years ago
I am in 1000% (that's not a typo) in favor of Chuck, Rick, & co. smoking themselves into coal seams in their own private Elks Club.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4458) 17 years ago
I love you too Gunnar
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1291) 17 years ago
Gunnar, that's all we want. We just ask to be allowed to slowly kill ourselfs over a cold brew and a hot camel with like minded morons.

Thanks for being so understanding.
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Posted by jackie (+161) 17 years ago
Dona and rick

reviewing HB643 which is the smoking ban bill, a definition of public place is in its text which is also defined in 50-40-103(2) and (3). it defines "enclosed public place" as indoor area, room or whre the general public is allowed to enter or that serves as a place of work...... it is including bars, restaurants, health care facilities etc.....It is entirely possible that it may include elks if the public can access it. it also would include the local country club that allows public to dine. The interesting piece that i think gets missed when legislation is done is that it is the entity of public and private citizens that orchestrate the concerns to their representatives etc that eventually helps create bills that eventually turn into laws. The government doesn't do this all by themselves. As a government employee, i work in the area of regulation and i myself cringe at some of the "rules" people want implemented without realizing the overall impact.
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Posted by Sharon Clarke (+81) 17 years ago
I really dislike being around smokers (nothing personal). The smoke makes me cough, gag, and my throat sore. I don't go to the bars very often but when I do, I come home and have to take a shower and start my clothes in the washer before I go to bed because they wreak from the stench of cigarette smoke. The new legislation does not hurt my feelings, but I suppose that my response is somewhat common coming from a "non-smoker"
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Posted by Julie H (+193) 17 years ago
I think that the government shouldn't be making the rules on what people choose to do to themselves. If a person makes a CHOICE to smoke then that is what they do. I have already taught my kids about choice and consequence. For what choice you make there is always a consequence and it may not be a good one.

As far as smoking in a restaurant, I do agree about non-smoking there and no smoking in hospitals. These are common sense things. But in bars and casinos? Isn't this going too far? Couldn't this be taking away business for bar owners. Personally, I am a NON-smoker.

I also know, that when I make a conscious choice to go to a bar, there is smoke. People smoke when they drink and play cards, and that's how it has been for as long as the bars have been around. Taking smoking out of bars is detrimental to a bar owners business. How many people only smoke when they drink or gamble? If you don't like the smoke then don't go to the bar. If you do go, don't gripe about it. The smoker's don't get to make a choice in the bar issue. So why should only the non-smokers be satisfied in this issue? For those non-smokers that are admitting that they don't go to the bar very often but when they do it bothers them, what about the smokers that are there all of the time. Are they not the majority of the bar's business?

I just don't understand where the government has a right to get involved in all of the personal issues anymore. It starts out with one thing but is it just me or has everyone else noticed that the government has been getting involved in issues they shouldn't be involved in lately? It will just continue to get worse. In time, they will be more involved in our personal rights and what rights we won't have.
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Posted by kate scotty (+37) 17 years ago
The BAR OWNERS in MINNESOTA are going to COURT over our Smoking Ban. Certain Counties have Smoking Bans and they (THE STATE)want to make the whole state smoke free. I say NO, NO, NO.....!!!!!!!
Maybe the Buisnesses of Montana should go to Court over it.
We have Indian Casinos, SO "YOU CAN SMOKE THERE". Otherwise, alot of people would not go there. They would go to WIS.
If I had a Business. I personally fight the Smoking Ban. I want to have a right to have smoking or not.
I may not smoke, but most of my Friends smoke, so we go to Anoka County to eat or Drink, You CAN smoke in certain Counties. Until they take that away, too.
I think the Casinos and Bars, SHOULD be alowed to smoke in them and in Clubs, like the Elks and VFWs.
When I go out to eat, smoking doesn't bother me. So I eat where there is smoking and I do that by MY choice.
I am tired of Government telling me or other people I can't do something "LEGAL".
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Posted by jackie (+161) 17 years ago
Just a question: any concerns for the employees who are working in these bars and casinos who may not have the skills or opportunities to find employment elsewhere or who really like their job with the exception of long and frequent exposure to secondhand smoke. would we feel differently if our family or friend was diagnosed with lung cancer from the effects of second hand smoke. i am not advocating for government involvement. i just believe there is more to this than what others are wishing to see.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15082) 17 years ago
So if you don't like where you work, go get some skills so you can work in a more plesant environment. I did. And if I (as the last redneck to graduate from SHHS) can get a college education in the BIG 12 anyone who wants to can accomplish the same goal. I am tired of hearing that those of us who "can" must always be ruled by those who "can't".
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Posted by jackie (+161) 17 years ago
whoa pilgrim....just wanted to bring it up as a facet that i am not sure anyone has focused on... ie its just not a nonsmoker's lament....I'm not gunning for either side. But i am empathetic to the complexities to all sides. I am going to guess that probably many of the persons in the service industries are not lazy or uneducated by are our young men and women trying to work their way through college.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15082) 17 years ago
It must be nice to see things in shades of gray. Unfortunately, with me everything is either black or white. In this case the government has no right to tell people how they should live their lives. If smoking is that dangerous, then ban the substance. Otherwise, the government need to stay the heck out of the way and let business owners make decsions that make the most sense for their individual operation.
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Posted by Sharon Clarke (+81) 17 years ago
They've already banned it on flights and other places. Did you talk to your legislator a long time ago when they made that decision and let them know your discontent with the meddling in your rights as a human being? Because we all know that nothing will change unless we actually try to do something about it.
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Posted by Julie H (+193) 17 years ago
I agree about seeing things in black and white, or in color. There is no gray. People make choices about everything in life. There are many places to work that don't include smoke. There is always a choice to be made. People shouldn't use the excuse that they don't have the skills to be employed anywhere else other than where it is smoke filled and that is the only reason they work in a place filled with smoke. That's just an excuse for them to use. If someone doesn't want to be there then there is nobody forcing them to be. There are jobs advertised everyday, everywhere. There is always another option.
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Posted by Chris Griffin (+9) 17 years ago
I must be one of those people seeing gray. Although I dispise the government telling people what they can and can't do on their personal property, it's responsibilty is to protect the public. I don't think this has anything to do with education or the type of job you have. Why is a bar or restaurant employee different than the person in the cubicle next to you puffing away all day. Many legal substances become illegal when used in a way that will affect someone else. A can of legal pepper spray becomes a weapon if you discharge it in a public place. If someone elses actions affect your health it needs to be addressed.
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Posted by kate scotty (+37) 17 years ago
Drinking effects people, too. should we ban that, too.

Many things bother people, should we make those all banned, too.

Where do we draw the line?? How much more freedom are you will to give away?? Until you have none?
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Posted by Chris Griffin (+9) 17 years ago
Yes drinking affects people- those drinking. Those around them don't become intoxicated do they? It seems that I've actually gained a freedom- the freedom to enjoy a public space without suffering the effects of someone elses "choice"
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Posted by John Wayne (+129) 17 years ago
Ah, yes. Death to Smokies.
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Posted by kate scotty (+37) 17 years ago
Dinking does effect everyone. You drive the roads with people who drink and drive.

I may not smoke, but I would rather be in a place where people have the Freedom to smoke, than be on the road with a drunk.

Smokers, too have rights. I hope all the smokers will fight for their rights and take the new non-smoking law to court. Just like the people of Minnesota are.

Buisness is down 70%, since the non-smoking law went into effect here. Buisnesses are closing, because of lost customers.
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Posted by John Wayne (+129) 17 years ago
Smokers may have rights, but so do those who desire not to breathe tobacco smoke. The problem between smokers and those who don't want to breathe tobacco smoke is the origination of the smoke, or the smoker. Remove the smoker from the equation and there is no smoke. With no tobacco smoke, there is no complaint from those who don't want to breathe tobacco smoke.

Do we live by laws that regulate environmental polluting industry and do we require those polluters to accommodate those of us who don't wish to live in a polluted environment? Yes, Smokers should be restricted, regulated and relegated to the same status and category. POLLUTER.
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Posted by Carol Bean (+260) 17 years ago
Dinking does effect everyone. You drive the roads with people who drink and drive.

Correct, it does affect everyone, but the government has stepped in and made it illegal to drive drunk.
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Posted by Salli (Scanlan) Starkey (+241) 17 years ago
Wouldn't it be nice if everyone could be more considerate of others?
Oh, would-n't it be lov-er-ly.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4455) 17 years ago
Yes, John. Remove the smoker and there is no... United States.

Who will pay for your foodstamps?
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