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Council Passes Smoking Ban

Bill To Go Into Effect In 90 Days

POSTED: 8:47 pm EDT June 28, 2004
UPDATED: 9:15 am EDT June 29, 2004

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Columbus City Council passed a proposed public smoking ban Monday night during an emotionally-charged meeting that drew supporters from both sides of the issue.

The legislation would ban smoking in Columbus bars, bowling alleys and restaurants, NewsChannel 4's Monique Ming Laven reported.

The citywide smoking ban passed by a 5-1 margin and will go into effect in 90 days. Councilman Richard W. Sensenbrenner voted against the smoking ban. Councilman Michael Mentel was not present for the vote due to a death in his family, Laven reported.

The original ordinance was amended to allow smoking in outdoor patio areas and the elimination of escalating fines and a 20-foot smoke-free zone outside the establishment.

A representative from Mayor Michael Coleman's office said the mayor expects advocates of the bill to lobby surrounding communities to join the city and pass their own smoking bans. If the communities do not, more amendments could be made to the bill, Laven reported.

The ban also would allow for amendments in the future if ventilation systems are invented that do a much better job of filtering air.

Monday night's debate -- which happened inside and outside of Council chambers -- was emotional.

"The problem is that these businesses rely on their smoking customers," said bowling alley owner George Hadler.

"The ban promotes "the right to breathe, man," said ban supporter Sam Gresham. "That's more fundamental than anything else."

Opponents called the vote a defeat.

"I think our business will drop dramatically," said bartender Janet Stoltzer. "On any given night that I work, 95 percent of the people that are in the bar are smoking."

Many citizens who oppose the bill believe it infringes upon business owners' rights and could cost the city money. If the ban is passed, some smoking customers say they'll travel to establishments outside the city where smoking is permitted.

The Coalition for Consumer Choice, which opposed the ban, will meet Tuesday to decide what to do next. Options include a lawsuit against the city, putting the issue to a vote on the November election ballot or asking the mayor to veto the bill. A representative for Coleman said he would not veto the bill, Laven reported.

A council representative said the city received more than 21,000 e-mails and 600 phone calls in support of the citywide smoking ban.

Advocates of the bill believe the ban would protect customers as well as employees.

The ban would not apply to open-air patios and would allow for changes in the future if ventilation systems were invented that would improve filtering air.
I believe this is a major restriction on the property rights of the owners of these establishments. Shouldn't they, as owners of the property, determine whether or not smoking is allowed and then you as the consumer deside whether to go there? Why is it a right for you to eat at any particular restarant, drink at a particular bar, or bowl at a particular bowling alley? Let the market determine where smoking is and is not allowed in these private establishments! And I say this as a non-smoker who can't stand being around those who do (unless it is a fine cigar or course).

"Necessity is the plea of every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves." --William Pitt
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Fort Collins has been 'smoke free' since last autumn, and it's been great, imo. I haven't seen mass closings of bars and bowling alleys either. Hell, even the martini and cigar bar is still open. I think it's great to come home from the bar and not have to leave your clothes outside because they reek like an ashtray.
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Let the market determine where smoking is and is not allowed in these private establishments!

Absolutely... if this is so damn great, why aren't ther more non-smoking bars... all the non-smokers would flock to them I would think.

Anyway... I see both sides of this... I just don't think its any of the government's business.
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Boston implemented the law as well, and it is so nice to be able to have a few drinks and not stink when you get home. It was sorta funny to see all the smokers huddled outside the bar in -20 degree temps this past winter!

I forget who, but a comic said that a smoking section in a restaurant is like having a pissing section in a public pool. :biggrin:
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I am a big fan of this. Tempe did this when I was out in Arizona, and that didn't effect the bars. I worked at a bar in Scottsdale and always had this nagging cough....since I have left, so has the cough. I feel that all the smoke I inhaled during the night was killing my lungs.
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The fact that everyone appears to love this law just goes to show you that the political test everyone took was completely biased. Almost everyone on here tested as a liberterian, yet no true libertarian would ever support this law.

I guess nobody cares about property rights anymore. :(
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I'll jump on the bandwagon as well- Delaware passed a law like this which took affect last year. I love it. Everybody bitched about bars and restaurants losing business, etc. It hasn't happened. People still go out to eat and drink, and now we can do it without getting choked out by cig smoke.

The only downside to this is that there's nowhere to smoke a cigar....
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Please excuse me while I go vomit.
I'm sorry, but I can't stand to hear those of you whine about smoking, especially at bars. You sound a damn pussy.
Be a freakin' man and stop whining.

Oh no, my clothes smell like smoke! :sob:

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In order to get around the property rights argument in NYC Bloomberg said that the law was a protection for the workers of typical smoking establishments. So, private owners, who do the work themselves, can allow smoking. Of course, I haven't seen this, likely because everybody has some employees.

Anyway, the funniest part was that nearly all of the bartenders and servers in the city were against the ban, though it was supposedly enacted for them.

It is interesting to see Columbus take this step, for the most part the bans have been on the coasts in CA, MA, NJ, CT, NY etc. Maybe just the state bans are on the coasts. . .
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What I don't understand is business owners bitching about going out of business if this occurs. Well if everyone in the market has to deal with the same laws isn't everyone in the same boat?

Where would smokers venture to to smoke in establishments, Zanesville?
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i just wish the gov't would get the F out of everyones businesses and personal lives.....the attorneys too......

my brother is alive today only b/c he WASNT wearing a seatbelt...
my uncle died of liver cancer at 56 and NEVER drank nor smoked...
my grandfather smoked and drank and died in his sleep at 93.....

pretty soon the gov't is going to require that two aides stand by my toilet so i dont fall off and harm myself while taking a dump......

btw...im a non-smoker....if you dont like smoke....dont go to a bar.
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