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No-smoking crackdown fires up some bar owners



Published: Mon, March 2, 2009 @ 12:09 a.m.

By William k. Alcorn

A bar owner said if she enforced the smoking ban, she wouldn’t have a business.

AUSTINTOWN — The Mahoning County Board of Health is stepping up its enforcement of the smoke-free workplace law, a move that has some business owners fuming.

Health Commissioner Matthew Stefanak said department sanitarians issued notices of violation, which occurred on Feb. 12, to two bars in Austintown and one in Sebring, businesses that had previously received violation warning letters.

Stefanak said the sanitarians were accompanied by police in both communities.

“They are health enforcement officers, but are not armed. So, we turned to the police for help,” he said.

The Austintown bars cited are: Ball Buster’s, 3661 Mahoning Ave., and Billy’s, 40 S. Meridian Road. The Sebring bar is Birdie’s Recreation, 126 E. Oregon Ave.

They could be fined up to $1,000 each, Stefanak said.

The health department can respond only to complaints that have been filed with the Ohio Department of Health. The objective of the smoking ban is to protect workers and customers from the dangers of second-hand smoke, officials have said.

There have been 541 complaints filed in Mahoning County since enforcement of the law began in earnest in May 2007. The number of complaints has tapered off over time to an average of one or two a week, and most of those are from just a few places, Stefanak said.

The alleged violators have 30 days in which to appeal, which is what Jim Krokoski, co-owner of Ball Buster’s, says he plans to do.

He said enforcement of the law is unfair, and he and other bar owners are working to get it changed.

“My biggest problem is that someone can just call in a complaint, whether they have been in my bar or not, and that’s the end of it,” Krokoski said.

Stefanak said complaints can be anonymous.

“I have 30 days to respond, so we do, every time. We do not smoke in here. We have signs posted and a roofed patio [outside] where people can smoke. My barmaids do the best they can, but they can’t watch everybody, and I can’t afford to hire a smoking patrol,” Krokoski said.

A health department sanitarian came in at 8:30 p.m.. He shows his badge, said he saw two people smoking, and walked out the door, Krokoski said.

“I’m doing the best I can. We adhere to the law. I have ashtrays. We don’t have anything for smoking in here. I can’t afford fines. I’m losing enough business as it is,” he said.

Caren Schindler, owner of Birdie’s in Sebring for five years, said she wouldn’t have a business at all if she strictly enforced the smoking ban.

Schindler said her customers, mostly construction workers, come in after work for a beer and a smoke. “I don’t hold a gun to nobody’s head and make them come in here.”

She said she was fined $100 for not having a “no smoking” sign at her side door. She said she has signs posted on the front door and inside.

“Absolutely nothing,” she said, when asked what she plans to do about the notice of violation and fine.

“I don’t feel I’ve done anything wrong. The sanitarian said he fined me because I had a couple of smoking violation warning letters. They are going to put small businesses out of business,” she said.

alcorn@vindy.com


Comments

1YTownPride(7 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

If these few bar owners would just wise up and follow the law, they'd be in compliance just like eveyone else. In which case, there wouldn't be any bars these patrons could smoke inside of. Eliminating her problems (Sebring) altogether.

It's not rocket science. If you're going to own a business and hold a liquour license, you follow the law. Just like the of us bar owners have done by building outside smoking patios where patrons can still smoke and drink at the same time.

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2rmzrez(114 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

I think everybody in Austintown should call and report these guys . Get them in compliance or get out of town

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3JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

This is not Nam, Smokey; there are rules.

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4scrooge(563 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

I don't like to be in a room with smokers, but I do feel they have every right to smoke.
This is a pure money making scheme by politicians. I'd love to see someone submit a bill that would outlaw the sale of cigarettes in OH and see how many politicians would stumble over themselves to try to stop it. The sale of tobacco in OH generates BILLIONS of dollars in tax revenue, but they want to dictate where the tobacco products can be used?
If you don't like to smell the smoke just go to a different bar! The people who are complaining are whiners pure and simple-probably the same people who call to complain if your kid accidentaly rolls their ball onto their property.
Once the weather warms up they can open the outdoor patios and life will be good again.

Fine the abusers-not the bar owner if you have to fine someone. They can't physically stop someone from lighting up.

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5Rocco(99 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

I still say it should be up to the bar owner. Period!!! If the employees don't like smoke, they can work elsewhere. We have nanny states everywhere you go. I'm sick of it.

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6MichaelJMcFadden(14 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

So let me see if I understand this correctly. Bartenders and waitresses and such, people with no training or expertise or pay for enforcing a law are indentured by the state to act as such enforcers and are offered no protection at all. Meanwhile, the Enforcers themselves, well-paid and trained in their profession, get official armed police escorts to deal with their dangerous duties. Yeah, that makes sense, right? After all, slaves are expendable - the State can always find more.

Last February 3rd the Columbus Dispatch ran a story by Matthew Marx about a similar situation. In that case an Enforcer named Calvin Collins came in and walked out without doing anything other than speaking to a bartender about smoking patrons puffing away in front of him. When asked about this singular failure, Collins was quoted as saying, "We can't make them stop. We're not police."

And yet innocent young waiters and waitresses as well as sometimes elderly and somewhat infirm bartenders are expected to play the part of untrained, unpaid, and unarmed Rambos in enforcing a law that is hugely unpopular among the affected populace (bar staff and patrons).

Is that what America is supposed to be about?

Michael J. McFadden,
Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"

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7Rocco(99 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Michael, where are your books available? Very cool.

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8MichaelJMcFadden(14 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Rocco, I won't list my site here for ya or I might get tagged as spam, but just enter me into Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Amazon usually gets them to people in two to four days.

Meanwhile, if anyone here goes to any of the bars listed and would like to help them out, try printing out a copy of the Stiletto that's freely available at:

http://encyclopedia.smokersclub.com/2...

It's short and one-sided, but its facts are accurate, their presentation is honest, and the booklet is specifically designed for quick and easy reading in a dimly lit slow bar type atmosphere. It basically rips apart both the economic and secondhand smoke lies at the base of these bans. The more that people realize how much they were lied to by the Antismokers during the ban campaign the more they'll support amending or overturning the ban.

Michael J. McFadden
Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"

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9ichoosefreedom(2 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Here's a question. For you OCSEA/AFSCME employees, reps and union stewards: Is the State of Ohio (therefore counties) violating the Bargaining Unit Contract?

According to the Ohio Department of Health website, the reason for this ban is that there is "no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke". The law is called the Ohio SmokeFree Workplace Act. So why does the State of Ohio violate its own law by not protecting its employees?

If truly, there is no "safe level" of exposure then the State of Ohio is violating Article 11.02 of the AFSCME/OCSEA contract by not providing personal protective equipment. These inspectors are sent in where there are allegations of smoking being allowed. Therefore, the State of Ohio INTENTIONALLY exposes its employees to harm without providing them respirators.

Which is it Ohio?

IS there a safe level of exposure to SHS and your website is wrong, therefore the law is wrong?

OR are you violating your Collective Bargaining Agreement?

You can't have it both ways now can you?

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10YTownPride(7 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

"Bartenders and waitresses and such, people with no training or expertise or pay for enforcing a law are indentured by the state to act as such enforcers and are offered no protection at all."

GIVE ME A BREAK. How hard is it to say, "Hey, this there is no smoking in t his bar. Please put it out or leave the bar."

Geee...how hard was that?

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11MichaelJMcFadden(14 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

YTown wrote, "GIVE ME A BREAK. How hard is it to say, "Hey, this there is no smoking in t his bar. Please put it out or leave the bar."

I don't know YTown. Why don't you ask the Health Department officials who insist upon armed police escorts to do it? After all, it's truly THEIR job... not that of the staff of these places.

Michael J. McFadden
Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"

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12aeparish(669 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

How hard is it to say that?

Try saying that to a drunk who has an anger problem. Do you think a tiny little barmaid is gonna wanna risk getting beaten to death over something stupid?

Maybe that example was a bit extreme -- but you never know in Youngstown...

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13philobeto(85 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Smoking and drinking go hand and hand like baseball and apple pie, and I think bar owners should be able to make that call whether their patrons should be able to smoke in their establishment. Scrooge hit the nail on head, that this is a money making scheme, and is so hypocritical in that the Government taxes the hell out of tobacco on one hand, yet will fine you for smoking in public places. Politicians should be thankful nicotine is addictive, because people would have quit a long time ago, and the whiners, will be whining again when their taxes go up. And another thing isn't slam taxing cigarettes sort of taking advantage of an individual’s dependency on nicotine sort of unethical? I believe it is. But, there is nothing more relaxing than drinking scotch whiskey, and a fine cigar. Well, maybe one other thing comes to mind.

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14gistol(72 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

This is only about the money. If the State of Ohio truly cared about the 'health' of the citizens, they would ban the sale of cigarettes. That will NEVER happen as the state uses smokers as their cash cow. Need more money? SIN TAX! The feds just raised the tax on cigarettes nearly a dollar a pack. Does that help save lives or just make money? If it was about health, which we all know it isn't, then state officials would require all health insurance companies to fully cover patches and other aids to quit smoking. In many cases, addicted smokers can receive no help for their addiction. If this was a 'health' issue, then use the monies collected from these ridiculous fines and give smokers trying to quit free patches and other aids to help them. But it isn't really about health, is it? This ban is nothing but a money maker and strips business owners and residents of their constitutional rights. In addition, as the state is in shambles and police & fire are being laid off, the state finds the money to send patrols out to write up fines for someone smoking a LEGAL substance? Great use of our tax dollars! Personally, I'd prefer to see my money used for drug task forces, more cops on patrol, more fire departments open, etc.. instead of paying smokey the bear to head out and write up frivolous fines.

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15cambridge(3013 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

The STATE of Ohio has nothing to do with baning smoking in public. The CITIZENS of Ohio placed it on the ballot and the CITIZENS of Ohio voted for a smoking ban in public places. This is a law that the people of Ohio want. If you don't like the law move to another state.

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16aeparish(669 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Cambridge, ultimately, it does have to do with the state of Ohio.

Someone in the state government decided somewhere along the way, "oh, let's propose a smoking ban."

These mongoloids that live in our state just decided to hop on the band wagon and vote for it because they saw an opportunity to sit in a restaurant or bar without smoke being around them and their families.

Well guess what -- a lot of those restaurants and bars don't have the money to operate any more because they've lost many customers. How is THAT helping our economy? So, these people that always whined and cried, "we have to stay at home and do things because we don't want to be bothered with the cigarette smoke.... wah wah wah" are now still going to whine and cry when there aren't any decently priced restaurants and bars aound to go to now either because they're all gonna be CLOSED.

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17cambridge(3013 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

aeparish:

The vote on a smoking ban does not land on a ballot because "someone in government " put it there. Voters in Ohio got other voters in Ohio to sign a petition to get it on the ballot. You need a certain number of signatures for it be voted on. When it made it to the ballot the "mongoloids" of Ohio that are to stupid to smoke voted to ban smoking in public places.

The "mongoloids" in California did the same thing 15 years ago. The result is the the percentage of smokers in California is half the percentage of the country.

Do you really believe that exposing others to cancer causing chemicals is a right?

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18aeparish(669 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, and it's not like the voters in Ohio can just put it there. The government took those voters' issue into consideration, and THAT is how it got there.

This is the same government that, as someone else mentioned above, is too busy fining business owners instead of putting that money towards smoking cessation programs and medications.

I'll be the first to tell you I can't stand being around cigarette smoke. But you know what -- if I didn't like being around it at a restaurant or bar, I went somewhere else.

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19cambridge(3013 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

aeparish:

You are misinformed. For an issue to make a ballot you need a specific number of signatures. If you went to the public and got enough signatures by registered voters you could put an issue on the ballot to get rid of the law. The voters in Ohio could then vote to repeal the current law and smokers would be free to smoke anywhere they want.

This is the state of Ohio enforcing a law that was passed by the the majority of the voters. Democracy at work. Would you rather that the state ignore the will of the people? I'm not against people smoking but you have to see it for what it is. People smoke to get the nicotine they need for their addiction. I have no problem with that. But besides nicotine, cigarettes are full of cancer causing chemicals. People that set these chemicals on fire in a public place expose the public to the fumes of burning cancer causing chemicals. Who is infringing on who's rights?

If you patronize a bar or restaurant and someone decided to go to the bathroom in the middle of the dining room instead of using the area dedicated for that purpose would their rights be violated by the law against that? The exposure to someone taking a leak is less hazardous than being exposed to second hand smoke. All smokers have to do is smoke in an area that is dedicated to smoking. Why is that such a big deal?

As far as helping people quit. There are products and programs available for anyone interested in not smoking. Also, letting people smoke anywhere they like sends a message to children. When the majority of voters say it's not OK to smoke in public places, that also sends a message to children.

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20gistol(72 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Bringing the children into it.. please. Cambridge, you are misinformed. There are NO designated smoking areas in any business in Ohio. Yes, there are smoking cessation programs out there, very costly ones. Do you think it is fair that if a person is on heroin, the state will call them disabled and not only PAY for rehab facilities and free health care but also PAY them SSI since they are 'disabled'? Same goes for any other drug or alcohol. Yet nicotine is a legal substance that is more addictive than coccaine, but there is no aid for smokers. The laws and viewpoints of those for the antismoker ban is hypocritical. If you claim that smoking is so harmful and is so bad, then why is it not recognized as such by menas of requiring healthcare insurance companies to cover all smoking cessation programs? Also, if smoking is soooo awful, as others posted, then why is it a legal substance? Doesn't that contradict the antismoking law? You can buy them but can't smoke them. I have an idea, let's ban the sale of cigarettes in Ohio. All those smoker-haters would NEVER pass that into law, because smoking is a fat money maker for Ohioans. This law and those that are for it are very hypocritical as they love spending the money smokers give to the state, but yet ban them from public property and even jobs.

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21cambridge(3013 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

gistol:

You mock people that say smoking is harmful as if it isn't.

I just "Googled" How many people in the US die from smoking. Below are the results.

5.4 million world wide.
443,000 in the US.
50,000 in the US from second hand smoke.

The only reason I brought children into it is because I think we might want to set a good example and warn them of the danger of smoking. If that makes me a hypocrite than so be it.

You are right about no designated areas inside any business. That's why it's called smoke free. the designated areas are in your own home, car or outside.

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22gmann415(268 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

hey everyone, its okay to go into a bar get drunk drive your car and maby kill someone or youreself in the process. but please dont make me breath your second hand smoke. makes alot of sense to me. or how bout this, IF A BAR ALLOWS PEOPLE TO SMOKE THEN THE NON SMOKERS DONT HAVE TO GO TO THAT BAR. ITS THAT SIMPLE.JUST LIKE IF SOMEONE DOESNT APPROVE OF SEEING STRIIPERS BUT WANT A DRINK, DO THEY GO TO A STRIP BAR?NO CASE CLOSED.

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23gistol(72 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Cambridge, please reread my post as my intent was not to mean that I believe smoking is not harmful. Also, I referenced your comment about there being no public places to smoke based upon your statement saying "All smokers have to do is smoke in an area that is dedicated to smoking. Why is that such a big deal?".

My anger lies in 2 places:
1- using tax dollars to enforce a ban on legal substance, at the same time allowing police to be laid off and using the remaining officers to step on cigarette butts. With the murders, shootings, thefts and more, I think there are better things to worry about than smoking a legal substance.

2 - State Law Makers claiming the dangers of smoking, yet doing nothing to stop smoking - only ways to make money from smokers. I believe in Ohio the taxes per PACK is about $3. Based on that, tell me the state/federal gov't would not be in deeper financial crisis if they banned cigarette sales. This is about money, not saving lives. They ban smoking from public places (yes, it was voted on, but the ballot and advertisements were misleading developing in a controversary surrounding it), when money is needed they start up Sin Taxes (which is how Jacobs field was built) and they raise State and Federal Taxes on cigarettes when they feel like it. There is nothing ever done by State Law Makers that truly recognizes the dangers of smoking and the highly addictive nature of smoking. They speak of the dangers of smoking whenever they want to discriminate smokers and make money from them, but if those opposed to smoking REALLY were concerned about the dangers of smoking, there would be some help out there. The state allows this product to be sold in a legal nature, yet claim it is dangerous to use in any form. Don't you find that hypocritical? This is the same thing as permitting heroin or coccaine to be a legal purchase, taxing people on it, then fining you for using it. So again, smoking is dangerous and will kill you, but since it is legal, then why the ban on using it? I find this law to be very hypocritical. I am sure most smokers out there will agree that they would love the monkey to be off their back. Smokers are punished over and over by businesses having the legal right to NOT hire smokers, having repeated tax increases and the overall snide comments and rude looks given by people even when they are outside. State lawmakers prey on people's prejudices against smokers by gaining support to enforce these bans and tax increases. So again, if smoking is so harmful, then why is it legal and why are there no programs or aid for smokers? I'm not asking for a handout or SSI by any stretch, I'm saying to use monies collected by enforcing this ban and ALL tax dollars generated from smokers to be used SOLELY for smoker cessation programs. In that case, this law would make a tiny bit of sense as it would truly be about saving lives, not just making money and allowing discrimination.

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24ts1227(137 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

I have no idea why people in the comments are still arguing the merits of this ban... the fact is it is law and had been for 2 1/2 years; voter initiated and approved.

This article really does not strike me as news either. Of course bar owners who are disobeying the ban are going to be angry when the chances of them being fined increase.

Also gistol, the state tax on a pack of cigarettes is not even close to $3 per pack, it's $1.25 per pack. Federal tax is 39 cents per pack (and is going up to $1.01 on April 1)

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25gistol(72 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

ts1227, I was referring to total taxes. You are right on the fed tax going up to $1.01 per pack. Here are the totals, $1.25 in taxes per Pack for State, + $1.01 for Fed + various county rates (approx $.40) = $2.66 per pack or more:

Ohio Dept of Taxation: The current rate, $1.25 per pack, was set by
the Ohio General Assembly effective July 1, 2005.
In Fiscal Year 2007, total receipts from the sale of stamps were over $955.2 million, an amount that does not include other tobacco products. This amount was credited to the state General Revenue Fund.

Can you imagine if the State did not have the nearly ONE BILLION dollars in State Cigarette Tax Money? What merits are there on this ban that you are referring to? Does this help people quit smoking? If you agree with the smoking ban, then I suggest you write your congressman and other state officials and ask to ban the sale of cigarettes. In that case, this law would make sense. I wonder though, how bad the state would be without the smokers paying $955 million per year to Ohio Taxes?

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26ts1227(137 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

It would be foolish to outlaw cigarettes when people won't even bat an eye at paying the tax on them. They never will. It's simple economics. You could charge $20 a pack and say that you're only allowed to smoke them underwater while doing a handstand and sales would still be strong as ever.

And regardless of feelings on the ban (good, bad or indifferent) the fact is it exists; there's no point going around about it anymore, as I said.

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27aeparish(669 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Then why do you keep commenting about it? Haha.

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28gistol(72 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

"It would be foolish to outlaw cigarettes when people won't even bat an eye at paying the tax on them"
ts1227 - you proved my point - this ban is hypocritical. Punish the smokers by increasing taxes on cigarettes, but claim 'health' as to why you can't use them in public. This ban has ZERO to do with health, if so, cigarettes would be banned. Since it is solely about money, Ohio gaining nearly a BILLION per year on Cigarette Sales Tax isn't enough so now they want to waste our cops' time by stomping on cigarette butts and writing fines.
You want the money from the smokers but don't want them to use the product in public. I say ban cigarettes and find another way to gain State Funding. It should not go both ways, discriminating smokers and profitting from them.

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29mstng_sally(13 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

I now live in Maryland, and it is a non-smoking state. They tried banning it everywhere except bars, but the bars were required to 'isolate' the areas from the general patrons. Since there were numerous violations, the policians did it statewide.

Everyone here keeps saying it's "Ohio". It's not only Ohio - do a search in Google on "List of smoking bans in the United States" and see how many states completely banned smoking. (If I remember correctly, either California or NY were the first states to completely go no-smoking).

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30colclippers2005(3 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

If you dont like smoking, dont go to the bar.

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31cambridge(3013 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

California did not ban smoking. In California the workplace is smoke free, you can't smoke indoors in a place open to the public. You can smoke in a private residence, automobile and most places outdoors.

Voters in California obtaind the required number of signatures by registered voters to have it put on the ballot and the vote was for smoke free work places and places open to the public. Same as Ohio.

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32aeparish(669 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

If you can say California did not ban smoking, then did Ohio not ban it, either?

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33cambridge(3013 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Ohio did not ban smoking. In Ohio the workplace is smoke free, you can't smoke indoors in a place open to the public. You can smoke in a private residence, automobile and most places outdoors.

Voters in Ohio obtained the required number of signatures by registered voters to have it put on the ballot and the vote was for smoke free work places and places open to the public. Same as California.

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34gistol(72 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

I understand how a ballot works. Why can't any of those that are antismoking and pro-smoking ban answer any of my questions with a real answer? Is it that you see the hypocracy in this discriminatory law? If you are for a ban to eliminate the use of cigarettes in public due to 'health' reasoning, then why aren't you just as passionate about the sale of cigarettes? Ban the sale of cigarettes and find another cash cow to fund a Billion dollars a year to Ohio. Smokers are discriminated against, yet those who discriminate have no problem at all spending the smokers' money.

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35cambridge(3013 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Renters have no problem spending home owners property taxes.

People that don't drive cars have no problem spending the revenue from registration fees.

People that don't drink alcohol have no problem spending the revenue from the tax on alcohol.

I have no problem spending the tax on tobacco.

I guess we are all hypocrites.

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36gistol(72 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Smart landlords factor in all costs associated with their units and charge a 'rent' which is determined by the landlord/property owner, not the renter.

Revenue from registration fees goes towards the DMV funding and equipment and also towards road repairs (www.oplates.com). If you don't drive, then you won't use the roads repaired by registration fees.

Yes, some people drink alcohol, some drink soda, some eat at retaurants and buy groceries - there are taxes on practically everything you do. But we are all equal on our choices there. If you choose to pay tax to a restaurant or I choose to buy my food at a grocery store, we both ay taxes to eat.
Another difference is with alcohol, and any other drug BUT nicotine, the government recognizes the addiction that can result from these drugs and offers aid to those addicted to alcohol. Insurance companies are required to offer rehabilitative services for alcohol & drug dependency. Again, no help for addicted smokers.

It's really a shame that you enjoy taking advantage of addicts, and are actually gloating about it.

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37cambridge(3013 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

I don't care if they smoke 10 packs a day. More beer for the rest of us.

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38gypsygirl720(186 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Due to this "Smoking Ban", we no longer support the local eateries/bars.
Therefore, various establishments are losing thousands of dollars per month, just from two of us.
We now entertain extensively in our home.
Our family and friends do the same.

Alot of the businesses in the valley cannot afford to build outside seating. This is a very unfortunate situation.

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39Reverendcrash(2 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

gistol will be pleased to know that 4.5 times as many people die each year from preventable MEDICAL MAL-PRACTICE AS SECOND HAND SMOKE. That is a risk where the patient has NO choice. Think on that the next time you or a loved one has to go to the Hospital.

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40dmets(575 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

All i can say is that the law is not fair to those who smoke. I mean come on this is getting to be too much! Why can't a bar pay so much money to be able to have poeple smoke in it just like they do for alcohol? You watch they are goin to keep taking away people's freedoms, and then see what everyone will be saying! The land of the free? Oh, and by the way before any of you start with, this person is a smoker. That would be a negative!

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41cambridge(3013 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

"They" are using freedom.

Freedom to gather registered voters signatures for a proposition the be placed on the ballot and then voted on by "They".

Freedom for "They" to work in a smoke free environment.

Freedom for "They" to share public places indoors without being exposed to harmful chemicals.

Tell me which situation is worse. Spending your shift working at a bar, restaurant or any other place of business and having to inhale second hand smoke or stepping outside for five minutes to have a smoke and having to inhale fresh air?

Why are sum smokers so selfish that they would rather expose "They" to second hand smoke than step outside for five minutes?

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42MichaelJMcFadden(14 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

So Cambridge, do you think an employer should be allowed to hire only nonsmokers? That's become more common in recent years as antismoking groups like ASH have encouraged such policies you know.

By the same token the employer should have the right to hire only smokers. Once he/she has done that, then the basis for the ban in that place of employment, "the protection of the workers" is out the window. Patrons have the free choice not to go someplace else if they want... the law is based on employee protection.

Although actually, in Ohio, the law exempts family owned-businesses and private clubs, right? At least that's what the voters voted for.

Michael J. McFadden
Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"

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43cambridge(3013 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Yes I think an employer should be allowed to hire only nonsmokers. I would not want my employees to be going outside to smoke a half dozen times a day, smoking inside and exposing others to cancer causing chemicals and driving up the health care cost for everyone else.

But smoke em if ya got em!

Cambridge
Author of "Dissecting Smokers Lungs"

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44MichaelJMcFadden(14 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Cambridge wrote, "Yes I think an employer should be allowed to hire only nonsmokers."

Thank you Cambridge. And it naturally follows then that employers must be allowed to hire only smokers. Since the rational basis of the law was predicated upon protecting nonsmoking employees, such an employer would be able to allow smoking ... which would pretty much make most reasonable people happy.

Michael J. McFadden
Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"
P.S. I wouldn't dissect those lungs too quickly. You are aware I hope that the organ donation folks declared several years ago that smokers' lungs, even those of smokers who had smoked for 20 years or more, were considered quite healthy enough to be used for organ transplants.

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45dmets(575 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

By the way i am taking about only bars. I do not think that people should smoke in food establishments, at work, or even a mall. if you read what i said, why can't bar owners pay for a smoke permit for their bar? not all owner will do that and so non smoker will have choices too! Also i do not think that employeers ahould be able to only hire nonsmokers. That is discrimination!, just like it is to not hire someone due to their sex, religion, or race! I think an employer can say no smoking while at work. One employer I used to work for did that. If you are ao strong in thinking an employer does not have to hire smokers, do you think an employer should also be able to not hire people who drink?
P.S.:Cambridge I am a NONsmoker! Just wanted to clearify that for you!

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46former_smoker(1 comment)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

As a former smoker and bar employee, I think the passing and enforcing of this law is extremely ridiculous! Non-smokers expect smokers to go outside and smoke when it is subzero outside? This is not exactly Florida or California, you know! I have watched as business continues to decline with the smoking ban. Economic times are hard enough without driving out even more business. Yes non-smokers have the right to a smoke-free environment, but smokers also have the right to kill themselves at their own pace. If non-smokers are that concerned about their health, then what are they doing in a BAR in the first place? Go to a family restaurant somewhere that is smoke-free. Even when I smoked, I would never light up in a restaurant around your family. Actually I quit after 14 years when they passed the ban. The bureaucrats expect me to pay the exorbitant fees and taxes on cigarettes and then DICTATE to me when and where I can smoke them? I don't think so! How hypocritical can they be? They need to quit over-legislating and start worrying about things that matter. It's too bad that this is such a difficult addiction to break. If all smokers got together and quit smoking for awhile, they would be tripping all over themselves to reverse the law. It would never work though because people would stockpile their cigarettes, which would not get them where it hurts most - in the wallet. Last time I checked, this was a DEMOCRACY, not a DICTATORSHIP. For the Bible Thumpers who voted in this ridiculous law who don't want to breathe cigarette smoke in a dirty bar, then entertain at home, like smokers are now forced to do! Or better yet, move the the South and y'all can enjoy your smoke-free environment. As someone who relies on tips for her livelihood, this law has been extremely detrimental and financially devastating. Economic times are hard enough as it is, without driving a particular demographic out of the bars.

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47computer_rick(137 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

hey, come on down to Myrtle Beach (with the rest of the retirees)! You can still smoke in the bars here, restaurants, etc... Now, why do you think that is? Maybe, just maybe, they are thinking of the profits generated in a tourist location by letting folks have a smoke, an over priced beer, and the ever present all you can eat artery clogging fried seafood buffet! Yum! Do I think banning smoking in bars (in BARS for cris-sakes!) is ridiculous. Yep. Do I agree with Y-TownPride, (the cop who posts comments during his duty hours and made the stupid comment a few weeks back about the bar that would be "closed soon, you can bet on it"? Heck no. There are a lot of laws on the books that are overlooked. And not just when someone with a YPD "get out of jail free" business card" gets picked up DUI. "Oh, you're so-and so's friend? well, I'll follow you home this time, better not happen again..." How I LOVE MY CARD! HA!

Also, I don't smoke. Or play the lottery. Stupid habits that only tax the stupid. But if anyone wants to smoke in a BAR (for cris-sakes!) go right ahead. After all, you don't get fined, the BAR gets fined! Oh, and I notice that none of the bars getting fined are Pagans' hang-outs. Or any of the "known" places in Y-Town where you can still place a bet. Geee, wonder why? Your gutlessness is showing. I dare you! The citation would get "lost" before you made it back to your little civil servant cubicle.

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48YSUgrad99(200 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

I can't stand all these bar owners who cry foul about the non-smoking ban. I've been to many states that passed such laws years ago. All their bar owners initially cried foul in the beginning, but within the first year actually saw their patronage go up. Why you ask, because non-smokers could once again enter a bar and have a drink without breathing in a bunch of smoke.
I think the only exception should be private clubs, since they're member pay to be there.
Stop crying and follow the law! We all know smoking is bad for you, so why should non-smokers have to put their health at risk to have a drink and have some fun at a bar? I have no sympathy for these bar owners!

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49MichaelJMcFadden(14 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

YSU, "All their bar owners initially cried foul in the beginning, but within the first year actually saw their patronage go up"

Interesting YSU. Would you like to explain that to the pub owners over in the UK? During the first year after their ban their pub closure rate shot from 3/week up to 27 per week.

In the second year it's gone to over 36 per week.

I'm sure you could sit down in comfortably in a roomful of the ex-owners and ask them why they all decided to close up their pubs as their patronage was "going up." You could tell them how you have "no sympathy" for them, and then we could all sit back enjoy the ensuing enlightening discussion.

Michael J. McFadden
Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"

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50MichaelJMcFadden(14 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Whoops! It's hard to keep up with these things. According to a new story in the UK pub trade publication my figure of 36 pub closures a week is no longer valid.

It has now shot up to FORTY TWO closures a week. It was three per week before their ban.

You might want to bring something to mop up the blood after you explain to the 4,000 ex-pub owners how the ban didn't hurt them.

Michael J. McFadden
Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"

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