Smoke Free Rally at the Capitol

13 05 2008

Today (Tuesday) was a huge day for hits on this site.  Almost all of them came for info on the smoking ban.  I ain’t stupid…if that’s what your coming for, then that’s what I’ll give, but while you’re here, be sure to check out the reviews and be sure to give me your opinions on places and suggestions on where to eat next….oh yeah, and don’t forget to bookmark the page 😉

Now,  back to the business at hand.  While I was sitting at home waiting for our new kitchen table to be delivered, the American Cancer Socity held a rally at the Capitol.

Meanwhile the American Cancer Society spent the day on the Capitol lawn reminding lawmakers that they can make a difference in the fight.
Smoking,  lung cancer, and heart dissease are just a few of the battles in that war.

“Many states have successfully passed this legislation and it hasn’t hurt business and I’m encouraged we’ll move forward as well” said Rep. Rick Shaffer (R-Three Rivers).

Miss Shoreline 2008 Stephanie Marion added, “I actually think it will bring more business into resteraunts and bars because it will bring those people that don’t like the smoking environment into those facilities and it will raise profits.”

WILX has a report on their website about the ban as well.  They shed some light on why the ban wasn’t voted on today as expected.

“We will have and opportunity to concur our not concur with what the Senate has done as soon as they send it to us and we receive the bill from the secretary, we can do that,” said Andrew Meisner (D) Hazel Park.

So that’s why ther was no vote today.  Again, the bill is not listed on tomorrow’s calendar, so it must not have been transmited to the house as of the end of the day today.  I’ll try to watch the House session again tomorrow and live blog it just in case 🙂


Liveblogging – HB 4163

13 05 2008

MGTV is airing the first half hour of today’s House of Representatives session live.  I’m going to try and live blog the proceedings if they bring up HB 4163.  There is also a feed on the House of Representatives Website, so if it goes past 2:00, I’ll try to watch the webcast as well.

 1:30 PM – The video feed is up, but the chambers still look pretty empty.  The session was gaveled to order. 

1:34 PM – Now members are starting to slowly file in for roll call.

1:51 PM – Still waiting on a quorom.  Rules were just suspended for Rep. Rick Shaffer to introduce representatives from American Cancer Society who are in the chamber.  Pretty much the entire gallery is filled with ACS folks

 1:58 PM – Both parties have called members to caucus, so we may be waiting awhile.

2:40 PM – It looks like the Republicans are filing back into the chamber. 

3:30 PM – Still waiting on the Democrats.  All that’s happened in the last hour is a few recognitions of school groups in attendance.

3:31 PM – Speak of the devil.  It looks like the Dems are filing back in.

3:40 PM – The House has been called back to order.  They’re starting with some resolutions.  I keep losing my connection to House TV….but I’ll do my best to keep updating on the days proceedings concerning HB 4163

4:21 PM – I think they ajourned for the day without calling the bill.  The message on the voting board says “At Ease Call of the Chair” 

4:56 – The House looks like it’s reconvening, but they’re introducing bills for first reading.  I don’t know a whole lot about the process here, but I have a feeling HB 4163 won’t be called today.  I’ll keep an ear open so keep checking back just in case I’m wrong.

4:58 – It’s official.  The House is now adjourned.  They will reconviene tomorrow at 1:30.  I’ll try this again then.

Smoking Ban Vote!

8 05 2008

It seems Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop will allow a vote on HB 4163.  There was some movement on the bill today as it was place on Order of General Orders.  A vote could come as early as today. 

I’ll update this post as more information becomes available.

UPDATEWOOD-TV is reporting via the Associated Press that the smoking ban has passed in the Senate by a vote of 25-12.  The bill now goes back to the House where they will decide if they will carry out the full ban or come up with some exceptions.  Governor Granholm has said in the past she will sign it. 

UPDATE – Governor Granhom released the following statement HB 4136

“I congratulate the State Senate for approving legislation that bans smoking in public places.  Their action sends a strong message across Michigan – and the nation – that we place a high priority on the health of our citizens.  It will go a long way toward influencing the actions of our young people, too.  I urge the House to act as quickly as possible.”

UPDATE – Reaction from the American Cancer Society and Campaign for Smoke Free Air.

“The Senate has been a major hurdle on this issue for many months and today we are very excited to clear that hurdle and continue moving forward,” said Judy Stewart, spokesperson for the Campaign for Smokefree Air (CSA) and government relations manager for the American Cancer Society Great Lakes Division.  “We appreciate Senate Majority Leader Bishop allowing a vote on this important issue, even though he is still opposed.  It shows that he has heard our concerns about the greater good for all Michigan residents.”

I agree with the comments about Sen. Bishop.  I have e-mailed him and told him the same thing.  In Illinois, this never would have happened.  If the leaders don’t plan on voting for something, they won’t call it…unless they can use it for political reasons.

I’m working on getting a comment from the Michigan Restaurant Association.  If they reply to my e-mails, I will post their reply as well.

One thing I overlooked when I originally posted this is the Senate took away all exemptions.  The House version of the bill gave casinos an exception.  The reasoning behind this is because the State of Michigan can’t regulate Indian casinos, so in order to level the playing field for the casino’s in Detroit and other non-Indian casinos, they made the exemption.  This could be a hold up when it goes back to the house.  The House has adjourned for the day, so hopefully they will tackle this soon, but it looks like the fight isn’t over and this isn’t a done deal yet.

Smoking Ban may SIGNIFICANTLY Lower Youth Smoking

5 05 2008

I’ve already made it clear where I stand on a public smoking ban.  This new data from Boston University published in this months edition of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Minds really makes a strong argument to outright banning smoking in public places.

Results  Youths living in towns with a strong restaurant smoking regulation at baseline had significantly lower odds of progressing to established smoking (odds ratio, 0.60; 95% confidence interval, 0.42-0.85) compared with those living in towns with weak regulations. The observed association between strong restaurant smoking regulations and impeded progression to established smoking was entirely due to an effect on the transition from experimentation to established smoking (odds ratio, 0.53; 95% confidence interval, 0.33-0.86).

Conclusion  Local smoke-free restaurant laws may significantly lower youth smoking initiation by impeding the progression from cigarette experimentation to established smoking.

You can read the entire study HERE.  More importantly, contact your local legislators and encourage them to ammend HB 4136 to ban smoking in all workplaces including bars and restaurants.  Contact Senators that sit on the Government Operations and Reform Committee (Senators Bishop, Patterson, Cassis, Kuipers, Schauer , Clarke, and Olshove, which hasn’t met since Nov. 2007) where the bill is sitting now and encourage them to call the bill and pass it on to the full Senate.