Legislator: Statewide smoking ban could pass in 2011

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A statewide ban on smoking in all public places might have the momentum it needs to finally pass the Indiana General Assembly in 2011 after four unsuccessful attempts.

State Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary, said last week he will offer a bill in the coming legislative session that would ban public smoking without an exemption for any establishment.

There are indications, he said, that the issue has “a stronger possibility of passing” the Senate than it did this year, when a similar bill—laden by numerous exemptions tacked on in the House—failed to get a committee hearing.  

Even the lobbyist who represents some of the principal opponents of a statewide ban said it’s just a matter of time before smoking is prohibited across Indiana.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that eventually we will have a smoking ban,” said John Livengood, president of the Indiana Restaurant Association, the Indiana Hotel and Lodging Association and the Indiana Hospitality and Tourism Foundation. “I think public opinion is on that side. Even though I personally feel like it is not something government ought to do, clearly it’s where we’ve been heading for a long time. It’s more of question of when than anything else.”

Gov. Mitch Daniels “prefers home rule,” according to spokeswoman Jane Jankowski, but has said “he would sign a bill if he received one.”

Consequently, “I think the stars might be lining up” for a ban's being enacted, Livengood said.

That would be a culmination of five years of work by Brown, a 28-year lawmaker. His efforts to have Indiana join 27 other states with statewide bans on public smoking failed the past four sessions. But the votes were not along party lines, leading Brown to surmise that the bill is not doomed merely because Republicans, who already controlled the Senate, also took control of the House in the Nov. 2 election.

Brown’s co-author for the past three years has been Rep. Eric Turner, R-Marion.

“It may be that Eric Turner may have to take the lead and carry the legislation as opposed to my being out front,” Brown said. “So be it. I just want the legislation to pass.”

He said he was heartened when Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, told him late in the 2010 session that reviewing the matter in a summer study committee would give Senate Republicans time to learn about the issue. He was further encouraged when Sen. Beverly Gard, R-Greenfield, told him Long had asked her to sponsor the ban bill since its previous sponsor retired. Neither Long nor Gard returned phone calls from IBJ.

Brown said he would resist attempts to amend the bill to exempt certain establishments, such as casinos or bars, “because once you start saying you are exempt because of these reasons, then everybody’s going to come up with a reason as to why they should be exempt as well.”

In past sessions, “the argument has always been, you’re going to hurt the small businesses and small restaurants and bars may go out of business as a result of you restricting their customers from smoking,” Brown said. “My argument against that has always been that only 24 percent of the population of Indiana smokes. That means that 76 percent does not smoke. It appears as though, with those numbers, your business stands to increase clientele as opposed to losing clientele.”

Brown said that no data exist to support the business argument, just supposition. Cities such as New York and Chicago have banned public smoking and “no one has complained about persons being unable to smoke in public places,” he said.

Indianapolis tourism leaders, in fact, told IBJ earlier this year that the city’s refusal to ban all public smoking turned off tourists and cast a backward image.

Livengood said “probably most of our members in Indianapolis would prefer an across-the-board ban rather than the partial ban that we have in Indianapolis now just to have a level playing field,” he said. “But the people who benefit from having the exemptions … don’t feel that way.

“It is an issue that both for the restaurant association and the hotel association puts us in a very difficult position. That’s why I’ve said the only thing that satisfies everybody is no position at all, so they can make up their own policy.”

But that was then. This is now. In the years during which the statewide ban failed, a number of cities, including Fort Wayne and Bloomington, passed smoking bans.

“For a lot of our members, that changes the landscape,” Livengood said. “They’d just rather have the same rules for everybody that they’re competing against.”

Consequently, “we will not be adamantly opposed to it as we were” in the past, he said.


  • smoking is my right
    my rights as well as the rights of private business owners rights are violated by this smoking ban. i can see banning smoking where there are children, hospitals, drs offices nut to ban ALL public smoking is wrong.there are thousands of places non smokers can go and enjoy a smoke free atmosphere and very few places that smokers can go to enjoy smoking. if you dont like smoke then dont go places where people smoke, period. there are very few cases of people getting sick from second hand smoke and most of them included some other form of health issue. NO ONE has the right to ban all smoking just as no one has the right to ban freedom of speach. this law is ridiculous as well as the people who are whining about smokers. i have 3 kids as well, i chose not to smoke around them and i certainly do not take them to places where people smoke. it is not hard to avoid. you people act like smokers just light up and blow the crap in your face. i can see having the choice to ban certain establishments but forcing ALL establishments to have a smoking ban is total and complete dictatorship and i for one will not stand for it. i will smoke where i want and indiana with all its non smoking people can get over it. i do not hurt anyone, i do not smoke around kids, and i do not force you to come near me when i smoke so stop forcing your beliefs or laws on me.
  • Something else for people to argue about!
    Everyone is mad about a smoking ban as usual. Non Smokers are wanting it to pass. Sadly enough Hooosiers that are on welfare will suffer the most which is just how it works. Those that regular fast food joints and weigh far beyond their expected average weight shouldnt have a say. If you arent a smoker or in good health you opinion really should be silent. It has been proven all day everyday that fat people die from heart attacks and a laundry list of other illnesses on a much greater scale than smokers or second hand smoke. Fact of the matter is, we shouldnt have to walk outside and see fat people every where on that same health topic. Maybe if kids werent exposes to people with such little self control we wouldnt need billions in tax dollars to take care of 15 year old moms and kids with fat ass parents. If cigarettes go they better lose some weight and get of there backs because that is nearly the largest chunk of revenue in Indiana.
    • Smoking in Public
      I would gladly sign a petition that bans smoking in public. I never likes to endure secondhand smoke, but after having a child, I dislike it even more. I think smoking is a very self-centered and deadly habit. I took my daughter to a public park over the weekend, and it was like being at a smoky bar. If I wouldn't venture to a smoky bar, I definitely would not take my child to such a place. So, we left the park. It's horribly that a person goes out to breathe fresh air and enjoy the day and runs into such circumstance. If the parks aren't safe for a child, then what is?
    • cars kill
      OK. Ill stop smocking If and when cars are ban ...They pollute more than smokers...Want me to stop smoking i want you to ride a bike!!
    • Aggregate Businesss Loss
      In the Summer 2010 Cato Institute policy paper "The Economic Losers from Smoking Bans," the author states,

      "A 2003 study that I also conducted
      with John Dunham of Wisconsin bar and restaurant owners concluded that bar owners
      lost business 50 percent more often than restaurant owners following adoption of a local smoking ban. Smoking ban studies
      that disaggregate to the level of business in the United Kingdom,Scotland, and India also yield evidence of differential effects. . .

      "Some might also worry that smoking bans in effect target specific locations for harm such as those catering to smokers and alcohol drinkers. That raises the possibility that bans are used to systematically target individuals who gather at bars, veterans associations, and fraternal organizations. It would appear that these individuals matter less in our definition of communities than those not targeted, when one accepts the validity of a â??community effectsâ?? methodology to
      judge whether or not a ban causes economic harm. If true, it would be more ethical to simply state that targeting such locations
      for harm is appropriate rather than pretending that no one suffers harm or that, even if there are more winners than
      losers, that bans do not systematically penalize some in our communities more than others."
    • Government as handicapper
      "In past sessions, 'the argument has always been, youâ??re going to hurt the small businesses and small restaurants and bars may go out of business as a result of you restricting their customers from smoking,' Brown said. â??My argument against that has always been that only 24 percent of the population of Indiana smokes. That means that 76 percent does not smoke. It appears as though, with those numbers, your business stands to increase clientele as opposed to losing clientele.'

      When NJ passed its full-scale smoking ban, I stopped going to bars because I no longer enjoyed it. A local tavern I used to go to called Chauncey's, which had been in business since 1946, went under a year after the ban was implemented because 95% of its clientele were smokers.

      Your math is flawed because your logic is flawed. If smokers in Indiana do what smokers in NJ did, there will be 26% less business for everyone (or in any event) less business for everyone than exists now. All this law does is handicap businesses who cater to smokers. This is EXACTLY why Livengood identified a total ban as "leveling the playing field." He knows smokers patronize places that allow them to smoke.

      I'm waiting for states with full-scale bans to wake up to the possibility that they'll have to enact legislation mandating a minimum number of times annually that smokers patronize smoke-free bars and restaurants because--if they don't--there will inevitably be a significant decrease in aggregate hospitality industry business.

      In bad financial times, this is a really, REALLY stupid move.

    • and since I overlooked your NYC bar/club comment....
      You obviously have never read this article about how many NYC bars and nightclubs continue to thumb their noses at Mayor Bloomie's smoking ban, 71/2 years after it was enacted(which was back in March 2003, but approved in late 2002). You're just foolish to not accept reality about how much smoking bans hurt business, and what obviously at least some Indy bars/clubs will do, if either local Indy/Marion County lawmakers or Indiana state lawmakers are ever foolish to enact a total smoking ban including bars/clubs(and for all I know if the anti-smoking lobby were to completely get their way, also casinos, private clubs, and restaurant/bar outdoor patios):

    • Re: Dave in Indy
      If you want to remain brainwashed, and pretend smoking bans don't harm businesses that are smoker-friendly, great. Just don't be angry when the government goes after a vice you may enjoy later on, and one that gets demonized by health nanny groups like the American Cancer Society, plus groups related to Big Pharma companies(namely the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, founded by Johnson and Johnson) that care about nothing other than fattening their own profits. We both will just have to agree to disagree on this issue, and it's your own loss that you don't care that smoking bans just hurt the livelihoods of businesses and employees that want to cater to smokers.

      In case you ever wake up, here are national lobbying instructions for smoking ban coalitions from country to country. Smoking ban lobbyists do nothing, except harass local and state lawmakers to incrementally increase restrictions on smoking every year(even if it takes years to accomplish it), until all exemptions are gone(even ultimately requiring 100% of a restaurant/bar's outdoor patio to be smoke-free):

    • prfsnlwannabe
      I second the other comment. Oh the bars are going to close, Chicken Little says BUT HOW DO THE BARS AND CLUBS IN NYC STAY OPEN? And, yep I'm screaming. LOL.
    • Kids
      Kids often MUST fly, but they aren't FORCED to go to a bar. Most bars don't allow them anyway.
    • Re: Dave in Indy
      Your comment basically summing up your ridiculous point saying that all workers want smoke-free air, and that it's very hard for workers to switch jobs is very ludicrous. There are TONS of professions and businesses out there where one is never exposed to smoke whatsoever, and outside of bars, and extremely few restaurants, bowling alleys, pool halls, etc., one can live a smoke-free life without ever having to go to one smoking establishment in parts of the country that are smart enough to let private businesses make their own decisions on smoking(like Indy). And if someone doesn't make an attempt on their own to apply for other jobs, it isn't my fault that the person wishing to get another job is obviously lazy! And another major point, there are TONS of workers out there who work in smoker-friendly businesses on purpose(open your eyes, what I am saying is true!), just for the fact that the business respects the rights of people to smoke indoors, and so that they can freely associate with like-minded people that aren't the arrogant anti-smoking type. Last time I checked, has anyone been forcing you to patronize the very small minority of businesses(which increasingly are only bars, nightclubs, casinos, and extremely few businesses beyond adult-only businesses) that are smoker-friendly? I didn't think so, bud. If you greatly disagree with a business' smoking policy, and desire going to completely smoke-free businesses, what's so hard with hitting that business back by not patronizing it at all, and reminding a manager you chose not to patronize it because it was not 100% smoke-free?

      And whoopityfreggingdoo that your workplace eliminated smoking in the past, since that was just a choice the owner of the business you work at made on its own. Your comment on those who take smoking breaks is pathetic, since you essentially stereotyped all smokers there as heavy smokers(most personal friends I know are not heavy smokers whatsoever, and are only minimal smokers). I have no problem whatsoever with smoking bans in privately-owned businesses, as long as the bans are being instituted by the business owner, and not one that some busybodies on a city council or state legislature selfishly imposed on all private businesses against their will. (and very quick before I say my next point, I'll add that I have nothing against smoking bans inside government buildings, public transit, and any other types of government-run facilities that smokers and non-smokers must use together) However, government-imposed smoking bans that are imposed over all private businesses(including bars and nightclubs) are very wrong for legislators and councilmembers to push for, due to the fact they don't respect the right of entrepreneurs to operate an establishment catering to legal adults who want to associate with smokers, and non-smokers who don't mind smoking. Any entrepreneur who owns a smoking establishment obviously knows the risks and costs with operating one, such as that they will lose the business of certain non-smokers that are anti-smoking minded, and that they have to spend money to ensure filtration systems they installed continue to properly work to minimize the amount of smoke staying in the air.

      I will end my post by saying you really need to learn to stop stereotyping those who oppose smoking bans, and truly learn for once that once nanny state laws like this are passed, those same people rarely stop trying to get their tentacles into controlling the lives of others against their will. After smoking bans, these same nanny staters may eventually strike against a vice you may enjoy, and how is going down the slippery slope of nanny state laws good for anyone? The state of California has perfectly demonstrated what I long suspected would happen after their statewide smoking ban affecting bars and nightclubs passed 12 years ago, that many communities in that state pathetically compete to have the strictest ordinance possible. Many communities there don't even allow you to smoke in ANY OUTDOOR AREA of a park(including outdoor running/biking trails), in any outdoor sidewalk within a downtown business district(i.e. Calabasas), any bar or restaurant outdoor patio, beaches, the list goes on. Heck, if it wasn't for Governor Schwarzneggar's courageous veto earlier this year, a state park and beach outdoor smoking ban for all state parks would be in effect as of now. Finally, what is the point of a bar and club smoking ban, if it's only going to cost a major number of jobs, decrease wages for all employees working in smoking establishments(which btw from Save Indianapolis Bars' data, only consist of 1% of Indy-Marion County establishments), and are almost completely based on junk science?
    • Just do it!
      Having been involved as an airline public relations representative when smoking was officially banned on commercial aircraft, I know that finally getting rid of smoking in all public places is the ONLY way to keep this scourge of public addictive drug use away from two unrepresented peoples: workers and children. Both of those groups will be unprotected in Indiana until this ban finally passes. Let's move our state into the modern era and get rid of a horrible menace to our children's and bar, restaurant and other public employees' health.
      My rant:
      Smoking is a nasty , disgusting, expensive habit. I know because I smoke. No argument here. However the "extra" tax money I am forced to pay "should buy me and fellow smokers some rights". Instead government bans are depriving smokers of their rights without due process. I am taxed far greater than someone in the same financial situation as I am because I choose to smoke. I pay about $4000 dollars a year more than a non smoker in taxes alone. Everything from my insurance to my cleaning bills is higher. However I chose this as acceptable for the enjoyment I get. However I don't see any non smokers volunteering to suddenly jump in to cover my tax burden.If you want to take away my rights and liberties under a ban then I should be compensated under eminent domain as part of due process. Non smokers should not expect me to be taxed higher and receive less, on the contrary non smokers should be taxed more to receive more.
      Serious part:
      I know firsthand because the same debate happened where I live. First it's a ban on smoking in "this type "of establishment. Then a year or so later it's on another group of establishments and restrictions on a third type. Then it's a ban on smoking in public establishments (bars, restaurants, etc) then in other public places (parks, parking lots,including so many feet from a structure, etc). Now the ban includes "at home" businesses (that is where someone converted part of their home into something open to the public), smoking is banned in peoples homes and autos. Once the flood gates open they will not stop.

      Personal rights and property rights be damned.

      Not so serious part:
      Now some municipalities are looking at food bans under the same premise of "public health".
      I hope they get it . Because quite frankly you cooking a cheeseburger on your grill released more radical hydrocarbons ( cancer causing agents) into the atmosphere than 5 CARTONS of cigarettes!!!
      You eating it caused you to ingest more hazardous chemicals than 17 CASES (24 cartons each) of cigarettes!!!
      It doesn't have to be meat either. Cooking any food changes the chemical structure of that food and invariably produces some cancer causing agents. If the food is "pre-processed" then the effect is worse and more chemicals become radicalized.
      So in order to protect public health there should be a ban on cooked food, because the science PROVES it is bad for you and those around you. People are provably dying from second hand eating. Just the other day a man had a stroke behind the wheel of a car and killed 3 people including a child and seriously injured 6 others. Had he not been overweight (obviously an "over eater" of cooked food)with high blood pressure, those poor souls would still be with us today. If cooked food were banned then it would be much harder to digest and so obesity rates would definitely be lower. If people are forced to eat their meat raw , especially chicken, people would probably get downright skinny.

      It is really the only way to protect the children.
    • Mitch
      Bye Bye to your Presidential aspirations Governor Daniels
    • its over
      Illinois pondering returning smoking to casinos


      11/16/2010 3:29:25 PM
    • prfsnlwannabe
      It's going to happen sooner rather than later. AND Indiana would be better off doing it for themselves, with exemptions added as necessary instead of letting the Feds do it and mandate it everywhere. If it does not happen this year, it will happen next.

      As far as 25% controlling 75% of us - I have never seen such a "vocal minority" expressing themselves on a topic such as the smoking debate. I'm thinking more of the workers than patrons - and it's not easy to get a new job just because you can't breathe.

      Our workplace eliminated smoking inside almost 20 years ago. Yes the walls no longer have tarry deposits all over them and the air quality is better. The odd thing is the "special treatment" that smokers get and take for granted. They arrive at 6 AM, take their first smoke break at 6:30 and repeat this trend every 30-90 minutes.
      • Hey Troy
        How do all those bars in NYC stay open?
        • Look again

          While you may be correct that bars that do go non-smoking may increase revenue that does not hold true on an aggreate level. Think of it this way - if all bars in a town allow smoking non-smoking customers have no choice. A single bar decides to go non-smoking. All the non-smokers who desire that atmosphere will now go there. They have now fullfilled a need in the market and probably will benefit. Eventually others will notice their success and follow. In the end there will be both smoking allowed and non-smoking establishments.

          This article also states there is no evidence that smoking bans hurt business. There have been several studies done be economist and published in economic journals that all show damage on some level. Even the Fed released a study that studied Columbia, MO and it concluded economic damage.
        • links on the myth of shs
          Scientific Evidence Shows Secondhand Smoke Is No Danger

          Written By: Jerome Arnett, Jr., M.D.
          Published In: Environment & Climate News
          Publication Date: July 1, 2008

          The Heartland Institute



          BS Alert: The 'third-hand smoke' hoax


          The thirdhand smoke scam


          Heart attacks Frauds and Myths..

        • The myth of second hand smoke
          â??They have created a fear that is based on nothingâ??â??
          World-renowned pulmonologist, president of the prestigious Research Institute Necker for the last decade, Professor Philippe Even, now retired, tells us that heâ??s convinced of the absence of harm from passive smoking. A shocking interview.

          What do the studies on passive smoking tell us?

          PHILIPPE EVEN. There are about a hundred studies on the issue. First surprise: 40% of them claim a total absence of harmful effects of passive smoking on health. The remaining 60% estimate that the cancer risk is multiplied by 0.02 for the most optimistic and by 0.15 for the more pessimistic â?¦ compared to a risk multiplied by 10 or 20 for active smoking! It is therefore negligible. Clearly, the harm is either nonexistent, or it is extremely low.

          It is an indisputable scientific fact. Anti-tobacco associations report 3 000-6 000 deaths per year in France ...

          I am curious to know their sources. No study has ever produced such a result.

          Many experts argue that passive smoking is also responsible for cardiovascular disease and other asthma attacks. Not you?

          They donâ??t base it on any solid scientific evidence. Take the case of cardiovascular diseases: the four main causes are obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension and diabetes. To determine whether passive smoking is an aggravating factor, there should be a study on people who have none of these four symptoms. But this was never done. Regarding chronic bronchitis, although the role of active smoking is undeniable, that of passive smoking is yet to be proven. For asthma, it is indeed a contributing factor ... but not greater than pollen!

          The purpose of the ban on smoking in public places, however, was to protect non-smokers. It was thus based on nothing?

          Absolutely nothing! The psychosis began with the publication of a report by the IARC, International Agency for Research on Cancer, which depends on the WHO (Editor's note: World Health Organization). The report released in 2002 says it is now proven that passive smoking carries serious health risks, but without showing the evidence. Where are the data? What was the methodology? It's everything but a scientific approach. It was creating fear that is not based on anything.

          Why would anti-tobacco organizations wave a threat that does not exist?

          The anti-smoking campaigns and higher cigarette prices having failed, they had to find a new way to lower the number of smokers. By waving the threat of passive smoking, they found a tool that really works: social pressure. In good faith, non-smokers felt in danger and started to stand up against smokers. As a result, passive smoking has become a public health problem, paving the way for the Evin Law and the decree banning smoking in public places. The cause may be good, but I do not think it is good to legislate on a lie. And the worst part is that it does not work: since the entry into force of the decree, cigarette sales are rising again.

          Why not speak up earlier?

          As a civil servant, dean of the largest medical faculty in France, I was held to confidentiality. If I had deviated from official positions, I would have had to pay the consequences. Today, I am a free man.

          Le Parisien
        • Not a smoking ban
          Please stop calling this a smoking ban and start calling it by what it actually is: a disbanding of property rights.
        • Re: Dave in Indy's comment
          I laughed so hard at your comment where you said 75-80% of adults are trapped by 20-25% of a given population, referring to bars and clubs that choose to be smoking establishments. Geesh, what's so wrong with using your head and patronizing completely smoke-free bars and clubs instead(and which Indy already has a good number of). Here are some to get you started: Cracker's Comedy Club(both locations), Mort's Comedy Joint, Talbott Street, Jazz Kitchen, Buffalo Wild Wings(all locations within 465), Barley Island(Broad Ripple location is at least, wanna say the Fishers location is also this way too but not sure), Union Jack Pub(Broad Ripple location is, and wanna say the Speedway location also is as well), Brothers, Cloud 9, Jillian's, Radio Radio, Rick's Cafe Boatyard, and all Scotty's Brewhouse locations. Remember to walk out of establishments that have a smoking policy you disagree with, and make sure to see a manager before you leave and let them know you won't patronize that establishment, if you disagree with their smoking policy(this is what I remember when I read the article that stated why the Fishers Cracker Barrel location recently chose to go non-smoking at all times).
        • Re: Jacob's comment
          Jacob, what's so wrong if some bars and clubs choose to allow smoking? (IIRC, bars and clubs within Indy/Marion County have to post exterior signage if they decide to be a smoking establishment, and prohibit minors) It is their right to set their smoking policy as they wish, and if anything, many bars in the Indy area already begun to have listened to the increased demand for smoke-free bars and clubs, and've either banned smoking, or greatly reduced the times when one can smoke inside. Vogue has eliminated smoking for almost all shows now, excluding dance nights and limited special events(I've especially noticed an increased number of special events they've done than in the past are now surprisingly non-smoking), the comedy clubs Cracker's and Mort's both have gone completely smoke-free. Also, Talbott Street, Jazz Kitchen, Barley Island, Brothers, Cloud 9, Jillian's, Radio Radio, Rick's Cafe Boatyard, and Scotty's Brewhouse are among many examples of completely smoke-free bars. Why aren't you patronizing those, and for establishments where you disagree with your policy, vocally let the manager know you disagree with their smoking policy, and not spend a dime at their establishment and opt for a smoke-free establishment instead? I won't disagree that a voluntary tax incentive may help to push some establishments in the direction of prohibiting smoking, since such an incentive was successful in getting some establishments in Carbondale, IL to ban smoking before the Illinois state smoking ban passed.

          The closest big city to where I live is Chicago, and frankly the state smoking ban that started almost 3 years ago has totally killed my enthusiasm for going out to any bar or club in Illinois, and I know a lot of people(even smokers who are fellow infrequent/social smokers like myself) have given up on going to bars/clubs on the Illinois side, and greatly opt for either doing gettogethers at friends houses, or going to bars on the NW Indiana side nowadays, and/or the extremely few IL bars that are 'smokeasies' and look the other way on the ban. I know for sure I spend way more money in Indy bars, due to the fact I find them a lot more interesting than almost all NW Indiana bars, and at least that city has a decent middle ground between non-smoking and smoking bars, since I don't mind a non-smoking bar, but JUST ONCE in an infrequent while.

          I also don't believe it'd be right to deny a bar owner the right to cater to smokers, just because of a movement that doesn't care how much they use junk science to further their agenda(and in states with complete smoking bans including bars, do heavy pushes to ban smoking on all bar + restaurant patios, get unnecessary bans in place requiring either a very high percentage or even all apartments to be smoke-free, etc.). Do Indiana residents really want their state to go down the slippery slope of taking away more personal liberties from entrepreneurs and individuals, just to appease a vocal minority of non-smokers? And not to mention(sorry to say this, but it is the truth as I've observed the Illinois ban causes, like it or not), most of those anti-smoking whiners don't even properly come out to bars/clubs and casinos, even almost 3 years into our state ban. Like I said in the last IBJ article about a smoking ban, why can't a common-sense measure suffice over a total ban? Requiring any business permitting smoking to post exterior signage and for that establishment to not allow and/or employ minors inside during any hours it's open, for automatic disclosure of smoking policies to potential employees, and for automatic opt-out on applications for sensitive employees to work in only non-smoking areas, plus penalties for employers that don't honor an employee's opt-out request would be a far superior alternative to a total statewide ban. Like I've said in past IBJ articles, a total smoking ban would be a very major mistake for Indiana lawmakers to pass in 2011, unless it had an exemption for any establishment that elects to be an adult-only smoking establishment(including restaurants that opt to go this way), clear exterior signage posted that they chose to be a smoking establishment, and clear disclosure to potential job applicants of whatever indoor smoking policy that establishment chooses to have.
        • Oh Carl.....
          Carl, yes cigarettes should be banned. YES they are dangerous. Why won't they be banned? Simple, they make lots of money for businesses AND governments. And maybe hospitals and funeral homes, too. Look - if a prescription drug was as dangerous as smoking tobacco, it would be banned - plain and simple.

          The # of smokers is dropping (like fly's maybe?). In the early 40's it was 40% of adults. It is now down to just over 20%. I do not know why 75-80% of adults are trapped by 20-25% of a given population. Feel free to smoke, just not indoors at a public place.
        • Grown ups
          If tobacco is such a dangerous product that an adults only establishment must be banned from allowing smoking on private property, then cigarettes should be taken off the market. If you are old enough to buy cigarettes then you should be mature enough to determine whether or not you want to patronize a business that allows smoking.
          • Ken cracks me up...
            "Smokers have very few places indoors now to congregate and socialize." Huh? You mean other than practically every single bar in Indianapolis? I want to go to a bar an not smell like smoke at the end of the night. Other than Binkley's in Broad Ripple, where should I go? Let's move Indiana out of the 80's. BRING ON THE BAN! PLEASE!
          • Dave is right
            You can still smoke folks. You'll just have to do it outside. Where it won't bother anyone.
          • So selfish
            Ronny hit the nail on the head. The smoker's RIGHT to pollute the air around him/her trumps all. If you don't like it: tough luck. Right? :) The clock's ticking smokers. Enjoy smoking in public while you can...Or better yet, think about quitting. You'll save money, smell better, you'll be able to really taste the food you eat, and best of all you'll free up a hospital bed down the road for someone that needs it.
          • SMOKING
          • I hope that it passes too.
            My dad smoked. My wife's parents smoked also. We recently compared stories and my wife noted that as soon as they would go anywhere in a car, her parents would roll up all of the windows and light up. Dad might have been just a bit better - he might have opened up the "wing" glass but the results are the same - folks being trapped by smoke. Yes we could go to smoke-free establishments but what about the workers? Jobs are not easily changeable. Pass it now, get on with it. Folks can still smoke, just in their own cars, homes, yards and so on. Casino's may fight it but smokers WILL adjust.
            • Rational Behavior

              I understand what you are saying and to an extend agree with your free-market logic. Unfortunately, your logic assumes that business owners behave with predictable and economically rational behavior. The reality is that they don't. Bars that have gone non-smoking do substantially better, yet so few bars have budged. It seems as though many bar owners smoke and therefore want to be able to smoke in their own establishment. Eventually new owners will take over and the "free hand" will make them non-smoking as you are suggesting. However, this is an excruciatingly slow process that prolongs social non-smokers to the negative externalities of smoking behavior. You will say that it's my choice to not go out and I would agree, but I don't think we want Indy to be a sleepy town in the Midwest full of homebodies. Do we? I typically oppose government intervention, but believe that even my fellow small government advocates will find smoking ban legislation to be a worthy exception.
            • Choice of Business Owners
              The great thing about capitalism is that it is driven by what the consumer wants. A bar should have the right to allow smoking inside the establishment. If you do not wish to be around the smoke, you can choose not to spend your money at the establishment. If the consensus is so overwhelming against smoking, then logic would say that that establishment would eventually go out of business. The fact is, bars don't go out of business because they allow smoking. Therefore, your logic on all bars being non-smoking is not correct. The reason being is because smokers have very few places indoors now to congregate and socialize. Most bars cater to those who appreciate that atmosphere. If you do not like that atmosphere, go find a bar that doesn't allow smoking so you and all of your uppity friends can congregate and plot your next social takeover.
              • Free Choice
                An Air Breather,

                In the example you cite neither the smoker or the non-smoker has a right to be in that PRIVATE business establishment.
                • Kristy Misses the Point
                  This issue has nothing to do with smokers' rights or non-smokers' rights. It has to do with business owners' right to allow a legal activity on their property.
                • No quite
                  Its a much simpler answer: Marie just doesn't want to smell like your stinky cigarettes.
                • Free Choice?
                  I'm amused about the "free choice" comments being thrown around. Let's say there's an empty bar. A smoker and a non smoker walk in. The smoker chooses to smoke. The non smoker now has three choices. First is to breathe the smokey air, and have their clothes stink of secondhand smoke (not a great choice for the non smoker). Second is to not breathe (works for about a minute or so, clothes still stink). Third choice is to leave (the non smoker loses). Where is there "free choice" for the non smoker? The bottom line is that the smoker's rights end where the non smoker's rights begin. Since we share the air, we need to be amenable. Chew tobacco to get your nicotine fix smokers. Just don't make everyone around you suffer for your addiction.
                • public
                  I must have missed the argument my apoligies. Yes ban it at lucus oil, museums, govt offices, the library.
                  But if john doe flower shop wants to smoke then smoke up johny i will go to FTD.
                • Individual Rights
                  I agree that this statewide smoking ban should pass, and it's about time. I am a firm believer in the Constitution and individual rights. Individuals do have a right to smoke. Likewise, individuals have a right not to smoke. That said, non-smokers should be able to enjoy any and all public places smokers have a right to enjoy without having to breath the smoke. When there is smoke in a public place, non-smokers no longer have a choice. So what about the non-smokers' rights? How many people with asthma have to avoid certain great public places because smoking is permitted in those locations? If you ask me, this ban creates a more level playing field for the rights of everyone, especially considering 76% of Hoosiers do not smoke.
                  • saftey violation
                    I see a saftey violation someone call the police. Lets go down the list of unsafe acts, gee where do i begin? I enjoy smoke free places too, I do not go to places where people smoke (most of the time). What am i using but my freedom of choice.
                    This is the slippery slope of government protecting us from ourselves. Listen legislature spend your time doing nothing stop making laws, stop using grant money (tax dollars) to fund officers to do nothing but catch smokers or saftey belt violators or some foolish sole without a helmut.
                    Last i checked the majority of schools are broke (due to a clever shell game by the state) my taxes are just as high as they have ever been and every year some politician makes a name for himself by protecting us from the evils that are free choice.
                  • Economic Development Tool
                    Even the legislative study committee that looked at economic development issues this Fall had some brief discussion about the postive impact that a smoking ban would have on economic development.
                  • Why
                    Marie must be worried about getting cancer from second hand smoke. I wonder if she ever stands on the sidewalk and inhales diesel fuel emissions or maybe drives down the road near farms while the farmers spray chemicals on their fields, or ever sits around a camp fire. Better yet, does she drink the water around here. Marie must be a liberal...they like to run everyones personal life. Marie...mind your own business, and take the time to worry about yourself. Maybe we should ban grease, pop, farmers, factories, cars, planes, booze chocolatte, candy, etc. How about if the liberal up north work as hard on job creation rather then cigarettes. This is a stupid invasive law.
                    • Almost OK
                      While I still believe that this violates a form of free association (employees choose to be employed by a smoking establishment and employers should be able to offer a legal atmosphere that suits their wishes), I can grudgingly go along with it in the public sphere. However, if it oversteps that and regulates what can be done in one's private club (American Legion or whatever) that really does go too far. No one who supports this actually believes in the freedom of the individual. I am not a smoker and, in fact, despise and avoid the smoke. That is my choice. It is also my choice to kill myself.
                    • I hope it passes!!
                      This is something that is greatly needed.

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                      1. I never thought I'd see the day when a Republican Mayor would lead the charge in attempting to raise every tax we have to pay. Now it's income taxes and property taxes that Ballard wants to increase. And to pay for a pre-K program? Many studies have shown that pre-K offer no long-term educational benefits whatsoever. And Ballard is pitching it as a way of fighting crime? Who is he kidding? It's about government provided day care. It's a shame that we elected a Republican who has turned out to be a huge big spending, big taxing, big borrowing liberal Democrat.

                      2. Why do we blame the unions? They did not create the 11 different school districts that are the root of the problem.

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                      5. Funny thing....rich people telling poor people how bad the other rich people are wanting to cut benefits/school etc and that they should vote for those rich people that just did it. Just saying..............