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October 14, 2005

Chances Look Good For Smoking Ban

The Seattle Times reports that I-901 (aka "Drinking Without Stinking") is expected to pass easily: 

In a telephone survey late last month, independent pollster Stuart Elway found that 57 percent of registered voters supported the ban, and 37 percent opposed it, with a margin of error of 5 percentage points. Support for the measure "looks pretty solid," Elway said.

Yes on 901 has about a million bucks.  The opposition about $4500.  All the business interests that might have fought against the smoking ban chose to stay home.

Although it has fought previous proposals to ban smoking altogether, the Washington Restaurant Association is neutral on I-901, said Gene Vosberg, president of the industry group. While it saw "problems" with the measure, it decided not to help fund an opposition effort in part because I-901 sponsors assured the group that restaurateurs will not be responsible for monitoring compliance outside their businesses, Vosberg said.

Let's hope the polling data is reliable.  I'm looking forward to choosing from a larger range of nightlife options that threaten only my liver, not my lungs.

Posted by Jon Stahl on October 14, 2005 at 06:45 PM in Ballot Initiatives | Permalink

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The fact is if I-901 passes you'll have less choices. Why? Because many of the places you want to go will close. It's happened in every other state. Do some businesses do well after banning smoking? Yes. Does every business do well? Absolutely not!
If 50% or more of a businesses customers are smokers they can't just kick them out. That what I-901 does. It tells thousands of businesses they have to kick smokers out and further they have to walk 25 feet away.
All 29 tribes in this state are exempt and so is every tribal bar, tavern or any other tribal business. The three richest tribes own the land that surrounds where three quarters of the states population live. How nieve and selfish you are to sacrifice these businesss, which are on private property to you whims and wishes. You want a run a smokefree bar then go out and buy one. The fact is you'll be out of business in less than 60 days. Businesses that are within 20 minutes of a tribal facility will be hit with losses over 25% of their revenue. Employees will lose over 50% of their pay on average.
You guys call yourself progressive? You sound like something out of the old Soviet Union.

Posted by: Mike | Oct 16, 2005 9:11:28 AM

Last time I checked, the smokefree bars in my neighborhood -- 74th St Alehouse, Barking Dog -- were doing great. They're packed to the gills every night.

And, all of the actual research from places that have passed smoking bans, including Manhattan and California, shows that smoking bans have no negative impacts on business. Your histrionic assertions simply have no basis in fact, sorry.

For example, accorinding to Centers for Disease Control research(http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5307a2.htm), summarized at http://www.tcsg.org/sfelp/economic.htm:

"As of January 2004, five states (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, and New York) and 72 municipalities in the United States had passed laws that prohibit smoking in almost all workplaces, restaurants, and bars. The El Paso [Texas] smoking ban is the strongest smoke-free indoor air ordinance in Texas and includes stipulations for enforcement of the ban by firefighting and law enforcement agencies, with fines of up to $500 for ordinance violations. To assess whether the El Paso smoking ban affected restaurant and bar revenues, the Texas Department of Health (TDH) and CDC analyzed sales tax and mixed-beverage tax data during the 12 years preceding and 1 year after the smoking ban was implemented. This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which determined that no statistically significant changes in restaurant and bar revenues occurred after the smoking ban took effect. These findings are consistent with those from studies of smoking bans in other U.S. cities."

And we're not even started with the *positive* economics impacts of a smoking ban, in the form of lower health-care costs from people who *aren't* exposed to secondhand smoke in bars and restaurants. (Remember, there's no such thing as a "safe" amount of secondhand smoke.)

Oh, and by the way, name-calling ("communist!") is the last defense of those who have no rational arguments to back their position. If you want to call people names, go hang out over at HorsesAss.org -- Goldy loves trolls. ;-)

Posted by: Jon Stahl | Oct 16, 2005 1:01:26 PM

Soviet Union? I always affected workers like myself that want to breathe clean air were Nazis. As the bans become more common all over the world, each argument the opposition uses fall by the wayside. The fact is, we know how dangerous second-hand smoke is and that it costs U.S. taxpayers 10 billion dollars a year(from the Society of Actuaries and many business and health journals) Losing your rights? You're being asked to step outside for a minute and take 12 steps sideways(NO, YOU WON'T BE FORCED ONTO THE STREETS). THAT ARGUMENT HAS BEEN SURVEYED, WALKED AND INSPECTED, AND HAS NO MERIT. It was a nice try to perpetuate an urban myth, though. As has happened everywhere else, the ban will pass, opponents will sue and lose, the ban approval rating will go up to 75-82 percent and compliance levels will be at 98 percent. Smoking indoors is going the way of the Macarena and Ricky Martin's career.

Posted by: Jay | Oct 17, 2005 12:01:32 PM

Soviet Union? I always thought affected workers like myself that want to breathe clean air were Nazis. As the bans become more common all over the world, each argument the opposition uses fall by the wayside. The fact is, we know how dangerous second-hand smoke is and that it costs U.S. taxpayers 10 billion dollars a year(from the Society of Actuaries and many business and health journals) Losing your rights? You're being asked to step outside for a minute and take 12 steps sideways. (NO, YOU WON'T BE FORCED ONTO THE STREETS). THAT ARGUMENT HAS BEEN SURVEYED, WALKED AND INSPECTED, AND HAS NO MERIT. It was a nice try to perpetuate an urban myth, though. As has happened everywhere else, the ban will pass, opponents will sue and lose, the ban approval rating will go up to 75-82 percent and compliance levels will be at 98 percent. Smoking indoors is going the way of the Macarena and Ricky Martin's career.

Posted by: Jay | Oct 17, 2005 12:03:31 PM

I'm a non-smoker, but there is no way I can back this bill. Not only have the EPA documents about 'environmental, second hand smoke' been blown way out of proportion and knocked down by a surpreme court, but the bill is unconstitutional. This is where liberalism goes too far and starts to impede on the freedoms of citizens. Business owners should be free to do what they please within thier own establishments since its private property and you have the right NOT TO ENTER. How dare do supporters of the initative think that they have the right to march into any business, and if they are smoking, say 'Hey, put that out or I'll fine you $100'.. its just not right. Damn, fascism is going to enter this country on a stethescope and a lab coat supported by knee jerk liberals and conservatives alike.

Posted by: Jakob | Oct 23, 2005 3:43:49 AM

slayer!

Posted by: curt | Nov 1, 2005 10:38:29 AM

Jakob - I agree, and don't support the ban as written (I have a few problems with it), but perhaps you should back up your assertions rather than... er... blowing smoke?

Posted by: BenSchiendelman | Nov 1, 2005 1:14:42 PM

Ireland, and, more surprisingly, Spain and Italy have gone smoke-free. France has a legislation in the works (don't know if it will pass). So, if those traditionally smoke-friendly, bar and restaurant culutres can change their minds, and continue to thrive, I am sure the State of Washington and its restaurants and bars could adjust to the new demands of a smoke-free environment.

Cheers

PS -- disclosure -- I don't smoke, and would love a smoke-free environment. Although washington resident, am not an American citizen, so I will not be voting either way.

Posted by: vinsea | Nov 6, 2005 5:36:38 PM

Facts about Initiative 901
I would like to suggest a long hard look at where that million dollars came
from ,a visit to www.davehitt.com might surprise and enlighten you!
They’re coming for your French fries, your martini and your SUV’s!!
Just the facts Mam’
volpenta

Posted by: volpenta | Nov 7, 2005 11:47:41 AM

Whatever, your gustapo nonsmoking tactics are great. I hope you still die of cancer from all the cars that drive through seattle 24/7 while your having so much fun avoiding smoke. When the ticket for Impeeding traffic is less than smoking whilst walking down the sidewalk, watch for an interesting scenario of billowing clouds from the crowds of smokers clogging every street in this city. Have fun ultra-christians, keep ruining everything great about this country. Freedom aint free, so maybe i'll have to move to another state to get some of those freedoms back from you health nazis.

Posted by: Jake | Nov 9, 2005 7:31:27 AM

"I'm looking forward to choosing from a larger range of nightlife options that threaten only my liver [& asshole], not my lungs." ~ This thread.


Posted by: Jake | Nov 9, 2005 7:36:30 AM

I am a smoker that has smoked out doors for 13 years. I choose to smoke outside for my children. Also to help keep my home smoke free for them and clean. While I have done this, I feel that choosing to smoke is my right. I feel that this initative is harsh in the sence that 25 feet from any doorway, window or vent means that smokers will be pushed out into the streets. We will be the back alley crowd. I feel that the city and state government should provide clear marking to show where designated smoking areas are. Personally I can judge 25 feet from vented areas. But many people cant judge that space. If they want to fine me for smoking in the wrong area then they need to clearly mark it so I cant make a mistake.

Posted by: shelly | Nov 9, 2005 9:47:24 AM

And the rotten anti-smoker filth got their way by spewing lies and defamations and committing fraud! But don't worry, anti-smokers: we'll all just forgive and forget everything you did to us, and we'll all hug and kiss each other and sing God Bless America together. Of course this is after we lick your boots and thank you for taking control of our lives and helping us to quit smoking.

BS!!! May you and your filthy anti-smoker dictatorship be exterminated from the face of the earth! You just convinced me to support al-Qaida.

http://www.smokershistory.com

Posted by: Carol | Nov 11, 2005 2:47:21 PM

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