Smoking Ban Reactions

9 05 2008

I’ve gathered some reaction from Senators on the smoking ban vote yesterday.  Most of them are in favor…having a hard time getting quotes from those who voted against.  Again, if I get them, I’ll update this post…

Senate Democratic Leader Mark Schauer (D-Battle Creek):

“Creating smokefree workplaces in Michigan may be the most important public health issue we address this year. It will help protect workers and families from harmful secondhand smoke and reduce long-term health care costs to the state and to businesses. Research has also shown that in other places that have gone smoke free the economy does not suffer as some have argued. I hope this legislation moves forward swiftly and the Governor has the opportunity to sign it into law as soon as possible.”

Sen. Ray Basham (D-Taylor)

“I have been advocating for the health and well-being of Michigan families for more than ten years, and this is a major victory today in ensuring they have a safe, smokefree environment to dine, work and play,” said Sen. Basham. “This is one of the biggest health concerns of our generation and a massive burden to state and commercial healthcare resources, and I urge my colleagues in the House to continue their support and act quickly to protect the people of Michigan.”

Senator Glenn S. Anderson (D-Westland)

“This is one of the most important issues we will debate this year, in terms of protecting public health and reducing preventable smoking-related illnesses here in Michigan,” said Sen. Anderson. “Workers in service industries shouldn’t be forced to choose between their health and their job.”

Sen. Hansen Clarke (D-Detroit)

“I first decided to support this legislation after hearing about a woman in her 20’s who never smoked, but died of lung cancer because she lived with her father, who was a smoker,” said Sen. Clarke. “We need to protect non-smokers from second-hand smoke, which numerous studies have linked to cancer, asthma, emphysema and other diseases.”

Sen. Ron Jelinek (R-Three Oaks)

“Michigan residents have been asking for this and it is time we acted to protect the health of everyone, including business patrons and employees. I am pleased to tell the residents of the 21st Senate District that very soon they will be able to enjoy a meal out with their families and not be subjected to the dangers of secondhand smoke.”

Sen. Alan Cropsey (R -Dewitt ) from Senate Floor Debate

I have the largest Indian casino or Native American casino in the state of Michigan in my district, and what’s going to happen? Just recently, I had a restaurant that had been a local landmark in Mount Pleasant. It’s been a landmark there for 50 years and has closed down, for whatever reason. Competition is tough in the restaurant business. What we are going to be doing by telling folks that, you know, all the restaurants and bars in Isabella County are going to be going smoke-free. However, the one at the Native American casino is not going to be regulated at all by the state. So guess where all the smokers are going to go when they want a nice meal or when they want a drink? They are going to go to the Native America casino. Now what is that going to do?

We are sending a currently tax-paying citizen of the state of Michigan and telling them, “You go to the casino where no taxes are being paid—no sales tax.” No property tax, no taxes are being paid-and we are going to be telling all the other restaurants in Mount Pleasant, “Sorry, you’re at a competitive disadvantage,” and more of them will go out of business. And what will happen then? Property values become depressed. Fewer sales taxes. And then you are going be coming back and asking me, as one of the members of Appropriations, we’re spending too much on the Department of Corrections because we don’t have enough money.

Sen. Valde Garcia (R-Marion Township ) from Senate Floor Debate

I opposed this bill not because I smoke because I don’t, but I believe this is a business decision best made by the business owners. People have a choice as to whether or not to frequent an establishment that allows smoking. They can choose to spend their money there. They can choose to work there. I’ve heard it said that we have a duty to protect the public health, but if it is our constitutional duty to protect the public health, then where do we stop? Let’s ban fast food. Let’s ban smoking. Let’s ban the use of alcohol. We have proof that all of these items harm the health of people. So why don’t we ban them? We don’t. We all know the answer to that. Just follow the money.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishiop (R- Rochester ) from Senate Floor Debate

Government, in this case, began with regulation of smoking. Then in its infinite wisdom began to mercilessly tax the product, and now government moves to ban its use entirely. This is a consistent pattern of government. It slowly intrudes into the private lives of individuals and businesses and ultimately attempts to govern every aspect of our lives. In effect, government is trying to protect us from ourselves.

As a non-smoker, I understand and appreciate the concern about the smoke and its hazardous impact. I sincerely do, and my heart goes out to all of you who have had relatives who have been impacted directly. But I want you to know that even though I respect the sponsor’s intent, he is a dear friend and I have been on the receiving end of a lot of his internal lobbying—as we would like to call it—over the years, having had the opportunity to sit next to him for so many years. I want you to know, I, as a father, as a husband, over the years make choices every day—personal choices. It is my responsibility to take control of my own life. In this case, I oftentimes choose smoke-free environments if my family chooses to go out. There are plenty out there—plenty. In fact, if you go to smokefreemichigan.org, you will see that there are over 5,000 smoke-free establishments—bars and restaurants—out there for you to choose from, and that list continues to grow at a rapid rate

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8 responses

9 05 2008
Ben Keeler

Here in Ohio, I voted against it, but I am kind of happy it passed. I dont think its right to tell people they cant smoke places, but at the same time I like how my clothes dont smell so bad when I get home

9 05 2008
Mid-Michigan Dining

I was against it the whole time it was being debated in Illinois…after it went into effect, I wonder why I was ever so stupid.

11 05 2008
LGH

As a former smoker who now suffers from COPD as a result of years of the filthy habit, I cant take the smell of smoke in a restaurant or bar. If the non-smoking area is too close to the smoking area I have a problem. I hate to tell people where they can or can’t smoke but it’s great to be able to just breathe clean air! I live in Illinois and travel to both smoking and non-smoking states. Pass the bill Michigan!

15 05 2008
fergyalex

I agree that smoking has no good qualities, and would like to see it erradicatd, but I can’t get past the fact that an owner of a business, who takes a lot of financial risk, doesn’t have the right to decide what legal activities can proceed within his/her walls. Haing the legislature decide for the business, rather than the laws of supply and demand, seems wrong from my old-school caitalist train of thought.

detroitescapade.wordpress.com

15 05 2008
Mid-Michigan Dining

I see your point, but the way I would counter that is strip clubs and dry counties. Many areas have passed bans on adult clubs even though it’s not illegal to take your clothes off for money (I just said TAKE your clothes off…not doing anything after that). Also many places have banned alcohol…there are dry counties all over the south, so again, I don’t buy the argument of the business owners rights in the smoking argument.

15 11 2008
fergyalex

Well, it’s not so much that they “have” the right, but I think they should have that right, and owning a business is a venture most don’t oblige, due to fear. The people need to control business not the government. Apathetic consumers generate the need for government. Sit back and let nature take it’s course; it will. Plus, I think people should be able to take their clothes off and fornicate if that is their free will. Oppresive facist counties that outlaw liberites of idividuals doesn’t mean it’s right. You can’t use an erroneous actuality to propel more erroneous law and governance.

8 01 2009
Cynthia

AMEN!! Fergyalex!!! Well said!

28 01 2009
Archie Anderson

Australia and Great Britian are Mourning the loss of their firearms that were taken without a whimper from citizens. The Gun grabbers took the guns just like the Public funded anti smoking cartel and their legislative flunkees are taking the rights of private property owners in America With lies Twististicks and massive amounts of public money and legislative co horts.

The Aussies and the Brits are warning Americans. “Do not give up your freedoms” The health Nazis are a very dangerous enemy.

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