Smoking ban back on the table

November 19, 2008
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Smoking in public places is in retreat across the country, and now Charlie Brown, the state representative from Gary, wants to ban it in bars, casinos and other enclosed places in Indiana.

Brown plans to introduce a bill during this yearâ??s General Assembly, and will probably get immediate push-back from interests including bars and restaurants.

Indiana isnâ??t the only place where smoking refuses to die without a fight. In the Netherlands, some bars are refusing to heed new anti-smoking laws.

What do you think? To what extent should smoking be banned, and in which locations?
  • It's amazine how little written by the IBJ exposing the lawmakers that avoid voting up or down on these types of issues. Reserve some of your precious web pages for something simple like the status of bills and their outcome. Then, expose the lawmakers that kill them or chicken out of a vote. No one will do this. Not even the IBJ.
  • I really feel that if you are going to a Drinking bar where you have to be 21 or older to pass through the doors, then you should also be able to smoke... but if there are families (ie.. Applebees, Fridays) where the building is split between 21 and older section and family section then smoking privalages should go the way of the dodo, in side the building.

    I sometimes go to Nikki Blanes bar (off the circle) not just for the marttinis but also the atmosphere of the ciggars. If bars are banned from smoking inside the building, then places like Nikki Blanes will lose half of their product and most of their customers.

    Family oriented places, in my opinion, should have the ban, but places that require a 21 and over ID, i say, let them have smokes, (and eat it too ;) ).

    By all means, I have not smoked a day in my life, but to Hinder those who are smokers (regulars or otherwise), I feel that I shouldn't hinder their smoking privlages in bars. It just seems that if you are going to go to a place to intoxicate yourself (with beer) it goes hand and hand with smoking (first or second hand).
  • So as someone who is allergic to cigarette smoke, I shouldn't be able to go to a bar? Smoking and drinking are not synonymous.
  • Good timing and good question, Norm. In fact, the following was posted by Bruce Hetrick at just this morning:

    Smoke gets in your eyes (and everywhere else)

    A friend sent me some interesting data Sunday. First, he e-mailed a story from Los Angeles, where terrible fires were raging. It said that public health leaders had issued a smoke advisory because of the health risks posed by fine particulate matter in the air. Citing what's called a PM2.5 reading of 226, they deemed the air quality very unhealthy.

    Next, my friend sent a study of indoor air quality in Indianapolis prior to passage of our city's smokefree-workplace law. It showed an average PM2.5 reading of 432--even more dangerous than the very unhealthy air in L.A.

    Because Indianapolis made many of its workplaces smokefree, our average reading today would be far lower.

    But because we exempted from that law such places as bars, adult-only restaurants, bowling alleys and gaming establishments, people who work in those environments still must inhale very unhealthy air, shift after shift, day after day, year after year.

    And because many Indiana cities, towns and counties still have no smokefree ordinance whatsoever, employees in those communities have no legal protection at all.

    There's movement afoot to provide for Indiana what's been delivered in 24 U.S. states, including Illinois and Ohio: a statewide smokefree workplace law that protects workers in all workplaces, including restaurants and bars.

    My view: We'd all breathe easier if Indiana enacted such a law. And a level playing field would provide the fairest economic climate for all businesses. What's your view?
  • ban it!!! who cares about the smoker. apparently not even themselves. i would imagine if you ask, 95% of all smokers wished they could quit. well this just makes it more difficult for them to light one up in the bitter cold. the other 5% just dont want anyone telling them what they can and cannot do. but they are idiots at best.
  • I grew up in Chicago where smoking was as normal as breathing. Just about half of my family smokes or smoked at one time. I just went up to visit and it was such a pleasure to have a non-smoking restaurant. There's less wait time for a table (and most often, no downtime because they can utilize all tables without restrictions). Even when I went to S.F.California, the smoking ban didn't have an impact on the bars or restaurants.
    Actually, it was the first time since college that I went to a bar because I could breathe easy and enjoy the music without a smoke-induced migraine.
    If Chicago can do it, so can we. Smoking isn't a right, it's a privilege! It's bad enough that so many kids are exposed to smoke from parents that smoke in their homes and automobiles - where are their rights? It's time this country started putting people and not bad habits first.
  • It simply is not fair to force employees to inhale carcinogenic second hand smoke by virtue of having to have a job to survive.

    Too, I couldn't agree more with Bruce Hetrick's post today. As a resident of both Indianapolis and Los Angeles, I am very happy with the fact that while in Los Angeles I do not have to worry about being forced to inhale carcinogenic second hand cigarette smoke -- anywhere. However, when I'm in Indianapolis, it's a constant concern. As an example, two weeks ago I was invited to dinner with friends at the Great Divide on east New York street. I hadn't been in there in a year or more. Their food and service are very good, but when the smokers began lighting up, I was reminded of why I don't go there. It was terrible. I had to open the back door just for some fresh air. I kept thinking of what it was doing to my lungs, and was reminded of my own mother's death from smoking-related lung cancer ten years ago.

    Hundreds of thousands of Americans die unnecessarily from smoking-related illnesses each year, an added financial burden in the billions of dollars for the rest of us as tax payers. Let's finally ban smoking in all public places, including restaurants and bars. It's being done successfully and without harm to businesses in half our nation already. If cities like Buenos Aires, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and many others can do it without harm to their businesses, so can Indianapolis and Indiana.
  • Why should anyone have to work in a room filled with smoke? This is a health hazard to all bar employees.
  • I hate smoking and smoky atmospheres. Played in bars for many years in a band and I hated it then. That having been said, all of you whom are decrying the fouling of our air and state that smoking is not a right, well neither is clean air in a building owned by someone else. I would rather not have any smoking anywhere, but at the same time, I'm sick of government intrusion into our lives. Bottom line, in a perfect world, it woudn't be an issue. Since we don't live in a perfect world, if you're allergic to cigarette smoke like Fisher's mom (BS), then don't go; if you don't like the smoky bar, find one that isn't smoky. And the next time you ask the government to do anything (since they were the ones (Congress) that caused the mess we're in now), take a shut the hell up pill and be happy.
  • Everyone here is missing the point. Nobody is forcing anyone to inhale smoke or work in an environment where they have to inhale smoke. Last time I checked it was an individual's choice to patronize a bar that allows smoking. And it is an employee's choice to work at a bar that allows smoking. They make that choice knowing full well what the environment will be like. Does a bar owner drag you from your home, kidnap you, and lock you in a smoky bar all night? I didn't think so. What proponents of these smoking bans want is to allow the government to go around to all of these private individual business owners, put a gun to their head and force them to uphold a ban on smoking. This is not the government's job. We as individuals are all capable of making our own rational choices.
  • Berwickguy,
    I assume that you just want to stir things up rather than have a civil discourse. How is it a choice when you want to attend a concert or event at a bar but can't because the place is so smoky that you end up having an asthma attack? And if you think that's BS, talk to a doctor.
  • Yes, yes, yes lets really make Indianapolis and Indiana smoke free by prohibiting smoking from all workplaces including bars and restaurants. Its true that Cali and Chicago have done it, but so have allot of other cities and states like Illinois and Ohio. As NonSmokers says if they can do why can't we? Why can't we be a trendsetter for a change instead of a lag-behinder? Plus by passing a law the over all health of the entire community will improve, so why not?
  • If it's a 21 and over establishment (not 18 and over), and in Indiana 21 and over is a bar... then smoking shouldn't be banned. A 21 and over establishment should be able to choose to be smoke free or not... and not be forced to be smoke free. Then some bars can choose to be smoke free if they want. They should be able to choose, since any patron coming to a 21 and over establishment is choosing to go there (i.e., no kids are being forced to come with their parents).

    If you are going to a 21 and over establishment, whose sales are primarily alcohol, then you're not doing something healthy either. Last time I checked, alcohol isn't healthy for your liver (and if you say studies have shown wine is healthy, well, those studies/articles say only 1 a day... most people that go to a bar aren't having just 1 drink).

    I completely agree that all other places should be smoke-free (such as restaurants, AND bowling alleys, etc.). But, 21 and over establishments shouldn't be included. Anyone going to a 21 and over establishment is choosing to go there, no one is forcing them to go there. Also, since they're 21 and over, no one can force their kids to be subjected to the smoke. And no one is forcing anyone to work at a 21 and over establishment. If you're a bartender, there are plenty of restaurants that are smoke-free to work at.

    If it bothers you that much, there are plenty of establishments that are smoke-free that serve alcohol... they may not be 21 and over, but they're smoke-free and have alcohol.

    So, let the 21 and over establishments choose whether or not they want to be smoke free... just as you choose whether or not to visit that 21 and over establishment.
  • It's about time! 'Bar' does not have to be synonymous with 'unhealthy'. I can drink moderately and not harm myself - more importantly, I can do it without harming anyone else. If I do harm someone else, then I am probably breaking the law. What makes employees of bars, casinos & bowling alleys a lower class of person than the rest of us?

    Kudos to Charlie Brown and colleagues for taking on this issue and trying to join the ranks of a majority of the country. But we don't have to wait for the state to finish it's 'long session'...can't the Indianapolis Council fix what it started 3 years ago?
  • Berwixk Guy is up to his usual stuff. :lol: SOOooo predictable.

    Look, my wife has asthma, and I hate ciggy smoke. So, yes, we don't go to smokey bars if we can help it. There is nothing Cool about smoking, and yes, 95% of the smokers out there WISH they could quit.

    Smoking is for losers, and only losers support smoking. :duh:

    Be a man and quit.
  • Sorry. I don't support a smoker's rights. If they somehow created a cigarette that only blew smoke an inch from a smoker's face and it stayed there, then maybe, but as soon as their exhale with a side of cancer gets in my airspace, they are intruding upon my rights. It is ridiculous to say go find a bar that isn't smokey. Please tell me where there is one? And no...I shouldn't have to go grab a beer at Chuck E Cheese.

    Sure, I agree, if you want to smoke in your home, in your car, or at a legally designated area, then fine, have at it. However, the majority of the people in this country do not smoke, and we shouldn't have to capitulate to a group of people that choose to kill themselves.

    You can die on your own terms. I shouldn't have to die, too.
  • This isn't about smoker's rights. It is about business owners rights. It is a question of the government violating private property rights. An owner should not have to worry about the government bullying him about how he runs his bar. Believe me I hate smoking as much as the next person but I also know that when I go to a bar that allows smoking I am taking on that inherent risk. I accept it and move on. If it mattered that much to me I would go places that didn't allow smoking (and there are some). Going out to a bar and not being bothered by cigarette smoke is not a right.
  • I can bet you that the people who can't stand the smoke far outweigh the stinky minority of people who do smoke. Business owners won't be complaining if their business actually grows....

    Just silly...
  • Another point - since the last change in smoking ordinances in public places, have you noticed that those placesa that DO allow smoking have gotten far smokier? I sure have. Try the BWs in Broad Ripple, or the Casbah, or even the Vogue these days.

  • I agree with E101 and andrew on this. Granted, I have cronic asthma (since I was 1), but I support businesses who are of drinking age only to make the decisions of to allow or disallow smoking. I only go to wel ventelated bars (if smoking is permitted), or to locations without smoking because of my physical disability. If a business wants my money, they have to have good ventelation (like Nikki Blanes does). There are healthy ways around smoke bars. We don't have to resort to Life vs. Choice laws like some of you are suggesting.

    Granted, I don't support smoking by any means neccessary. It has claimed my grandmother, grandfather, and hindered my father's life span, but atleast they respect my wishes to living spaces (where children can be) being smoke free.

    If you want a smoke free location, there are alot of business (besides Chuck-E-Cheeses or whatever) who serve Drinks without smoking. Applebees and TGI Fridays for instance. If you go there after 9, most children are gone (if not all). On top of that, Children are not allowed to be in the Bar section (which is seperated from the rest of the restaruant). Drinks there are cheaper than at some other bars which I have gone to.
  • Fishers Mom and DaHooey - I agree with you guys 100%! I have asthma and have had it from birth. Cirgarette smoke irritates my lungs and causes me attacks. Why does someone else's bad habit that affects my health, called a right? I have a right to go to a bar where I enjoy the music and socializing without getting short of breath. I wish some of you that talk of smoker's rights would just once have a severe asthma attack. Maybe then would you understand what it feels like. I took my grandma to a casino for her b-day and did not realize that people still smoke in those places. It was awful! My eyes were burning by the time we left and we weren't really there that long.

    Please ban smoking EVERYWHERE. Businesses might find that more people will come out who have been avoiding smokey bars.
  • Fishersmom...I agree with you. There's alot of people that I know that just don't go to bars and clubs. I would love to be able to relax, have a drink and listen to a good band but I don't because smoking for me doesn't only stink but I feel like I am smothering in it and my eyes feel like they are going to swell shut. I have to leave so I have stopped going. I have no othe allergies except to smoke. My dr. said is probably from being exposed to it so much from my home life when I was growing up. I don't think it is right for people to have habits in public that hurts others health. Even if you are not allergic to smoking, it will still harm your health being exposed to it. Especially for those who go to bars frequently. I also feel that if you are next to someone that lights a cigerette and you have asthma why isn't that considered assult? If you grabbed them around the throat and they couldn't breath it would be considered an assult. It's just wrong to smoke in public period and even in your own home and car if you are exposing children to it.
  • Casinos are tthe WORST! Also - I'm goona go out on a limb and say that Brothers in BR will kick some royal Bar Wars a$$ starting ,um, today by apodting the no smokey policy.

    eventually everything will be smoke free. You know its coming.
  • I would love to see the bars go smokeless. I grew up in a house where my parents both smoked and I am now highly allergic to it. I can't go out and enjoy live music any more unless it is an outdoor venue, and even then you may not be safe. The cigarette smoke makes me physically ill now. A couple years ago, I was in Boston for training and was able to enjoy live music for the first time in years because they ban indoor smoking. I forgot how much I enjoyed the bands!

    I will admit because of this and a couple of other factors, I'm a little biased. My mom passed away due to emphysema and my dad already lost part of one lung thanks to lung cancer.
  • Fishersmom,, Firewoman, and Duh Hooey:

    You're right, your health is most important. That's why you use your brain and don't go to places that cause you harm. You probably wouldn't participate in the Bull Run in Mexico expecially if you were in a wheel chair either. I wish there were no smoking everywhere, honestly. But I am sick of the government sticking their noses in the business owner's matters. Simply put, if someone has a successful establishment that cater's to smoking, such as a cigar bar downtown, I'm not going and you won't either. Just don't ask the government to give you a crutch so you can go beat it over the head of the successful business owner.
  • Kathy,

    You can't be serious....assault??? Are you in law school to be an injury lawyer and can't wait to get on the cover of the yellow pages??? That attitude may be more dangerous than the casual smoker.

    Don't forget, we haven't made the product illegal, but we want to ban it's use. Careful, if you ask the gov'mint for something you'll get more than you bargained for..........

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