Speaker Dillon Wants Movement on Smoking Ban

29 04 2009

Got this statement from House Speaker Andy Dillon today.

“As I’ve said before, we want to move the smoking ban before summer. I trust my Chairman will move the smoking ban when it is ready.”

OK

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House Bill 4099 – The New Smoking Ban Bill

26 01 2009

Doesn’t it figure?  I just put a post up this afternoon about the smoking ban bill not being filed.  A few hours later, I get a comment on that post with a link to a Flint Journal story.  The bill was introduced last Thursday and sent to the Commerce Committee.  Today, the bill was filed which is why it just showed up on the Legislature’s website. 

HB 4099 differs from the bill introduced last year because it is a total ban on smoking…including casino’s and cigar bars.  That was a big issue a few months ago.  The Detroit legislators don’t want and probably won’t let the bill pass without an exemption for the casinos. 

To me, a ban with the those two exemptions is acceptable.  I don’t like it.  I think if the casinos are exempted, then bars (not any place that serves any kind food) should be exempted as well and I don’t want to see that.  Exemptions start a slippery slope and everyone thinks they should be an exemption.  It’s not a matter of Big Brother telling you want to do as the tobacco lobby will try to tell you.  I can’t think of any other thing that people are allowed to do that makes others physically uncomfortable.  If smokers had an ounce of respect for people around them, this wouldn’t be an issue, but most smokers feel like it’s their god given right to make everyone around them uncomfortable.

I wouldn’t expect this to move pretty fast.  In the overall scheme of things, this bill isn’t high priority.  Michigan has bigger problems than a smoking ban and I would guess they will drag it out to the next election.  You don’t want people to forget that you voted in favor of the ban.  It’s one of those social issues that get people on both sides fired up.





Press Release – “Michigan Legislature Delivers Lump of Coal”

19 12 2008

From a Campaign for Smoke Free Michigan press release –

Michigan Legislature delivers lump of coal – no smokefree air for state residents
CSA frustrated with disregard for public health

Lansing, Mich. – Unable to work on a final compromise for smokefree air in Michigan, the state Legislature wrapped up Lame Duck this week and left the legislation to die.

Since both the House and Senate had passed different versions of House Bill 4163, the bill was sent to a conference committee to work out the differences. (The House had passed a version with exemptions in 2007; the Senate passed a version with no exemptions earlier this year). But leadership from each chamber was unable to work together on a final bill, and have left Lansing for the year.

“In the end, political gamesmanship is the only winner here,” said Susan Schechter, spokesperson for CSA and director of advocacy for the American Lung Association of Michigan. “Michigan workers are holding their breathe waiting for this law to pass. The leaders of these chambers know the public wants smokefree air, they have seen the science and economic numbers behind the movement, but instead they are listening to the dollars from Big Tobacco, casino and restaurant industries that flow into their campaign coffers.

“We have worked hard to educate lawmakers on the benefits of going smokefree and despite Michigan residents’ support on this issue, a select few legislators have chose to disregarded the public’s health and kill the bill. It’s an utter shame and a waste of time and money to start over this legislative process again in 2009, but that’s exactly what we have to do.”

Schecter did thank Reps. Brenda Clack, D-Flint, Andy Meisner, D-Ferndale and Dave Hildenbrand, R-Lowell and Sens. Ray Basham, D-Taylor, Alan Sanborn, R-Richmond and Alan Cropsey, R-DeWitt for their hard work and dedication to smokefree legislation during the conference committee.

Currently, more than half of Americans live in a city or state with smokefree workplace protection laws (34 states have smokefree workplace laws in effect). Gov. Jennifer Granholm has called on legislators to pass statewide smokefree legislation and vowed to sign the bill if it crossed her desk. CSA plans to continue to fight for smokefree air in 2009.





Now You Know How the Rest of Us Feel

31 07 2008

You can smoke in restaurants in Michigan, but apparently, you can only smoke approved cancer sticks at some joints.

“On Saturday my brother and I were enjoying breakfast at Fleetwood Diner (on South Cedar Street). This is our normal destination for meetings, and has been since the diner opened.

“As usual, when we finished our meal we sat and had cigarettes and talked about different issues.”

Suddenly the two men were asked to take it outside. It seems that the smoke from their peach-flavored cigarettes offended the nostrils of somebody who worked at the diner.

That’s how I feel every freaking time I walk into a restaurant that allows smoking, but I deal with it.  The Fleetwood just made a case for banning smoking in restaurants and they don’t even know it.  My nostrils are offended by all cigarettes…not just the flavored ones.  If you can you kick patrons out because you don’t like their certain cigs, you should ban smoking outright!