Senseless Smoking Ban | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Senseless Smoking Ban

I just had to comment on this. Tried to avoid it, but it's really starting to peeve me off. I understand that people don't want to have to deal with cigarette smoke. Okay. I accept that. Non-smokers don't want their meals interrupted by the smell. Besides, we're trying to make a healthier Mississippi - right? Let me explain why this makes absolutely NO sense-- if it's so serious that we must waive the rights of citizens to smoke freely.....why then are they still legal!!!!?????!!!!!!

Why is it that for less than 5 bucks, I can buy a pack of cigarettes (death in a box) on any corner in any neighborhood in Jackson? Why are these cancer sticks still made available if they are so lethal? Seems to me that if the law makers REALLY cared about making MISSISSIPPI safe, they'd ban the SALE of cigarettes; not just it's use. I am a smoker and I promise I dont know what I'd do if they did ban the sell of cigarettes, however, if the point is to make us healthier, why not? It's to the point where the only place we can smoke will be in our homes anyway.

It's ridiculous that money means more to this state (and nation) than saving lives. This making MS healthier is a crap filled notion. If it was about that, we wouldn't be faced with this issue because they would not be made available for us. If the point is to make a grand statement about the improving the health of Mississippians they've missed the mark. STOP SELLING THEM and sacrafice making money for saving lives -- IF, that's the concern here! But if you ask me -- it IS NOT.

Previous Comments

ID
131918
Comment

It's two different issues, Queen. Many people are trying to raise the cost of smoking, but Barbour is blocking it. And the fact that you have the right to smoke doesn't mean you have the right to do it in a place of commerce. It's not just about eating. Many people want to have a cocktail without breathing someone else's cigarette smoke and going home stinking (especially people who don't wash their hair every day). And people want jobs where they don't have to risk breathing second-hand smoke. The good news is that the trend across the nation is non-smoking in bars and restaurants, and people are adjusting just fine. It's such a downright pleasure to go in a bar where no one is smoking. And lives will be saved over the long haul as smoking becomes harder to do in public places. Look, I held my daddy's hand as he died of lung cancer in the VA Center here. He had withered away to nothing; I had to lift him out of the bathtub. He fought for every single breath he took. He had finally quit smoking six months before but, of course, it was too late to keep himself from dying a painful, horrible, tormented death the day after Christmas. May he rest in peace, as I give thanks for the growing smoking bans.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-07-08T12:51:59-06:00
ID
131920
Comment

I'm not even challenging the idea that people don't want to smell smoke, that's fine with me. I recognize that not everyone wants to be infrindged upon by cigarette smoke, that's not the point I'm making. My point is....why go half way. If it's such a large concern for the health of the non smokers (because obviously the smokers are too far gone to be concerned about saving their lives) - then why not just ban the sell of them. The reason is because that would cause a huge break in the billions of dollars we spend purchasing these things and contributing solidly to the state and nation's economy. I have no problem locking up in my house smoking..although, I'd much rather have the willpower to quit. I think all people should have their right to eat in smoke free places if they want, as I stated in my post. But why sell them if it's so serious that we can't smoke them in a place of commerce or on state gov property. Just seems to me that it would make a better statement to say stop selling these things that are killing off Mississippians. I mean, if that's the concern here. Now if the concern is just that some folks with large amounts of money are hungry for power, and want to proove thier authority, then that's something totally different. The ban in restaurants won't stop people from smoking. It won't stop people from buying them either. However, if they were to ban them from being sold -- that might help end the addiction for most of us and solve the problem all together. That's what makes me wonder if it's all about resolution here or is it about control? Matter of fact, I doubt that raising the price will stop people from purchasing cigarettes. So all in all, we continue to get rich people richer and kill ourselves off in the meantime. When all that has to be done is shut down the tobacco companies! Period. And by the way, my father died of lung cancer too - (RIP Daddy).

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-07-08T13:04:16-06:00
ID
131921
Comment

My point is....why go half way. OK, I'm with you. I agree with that. The least we can do it to make the damn things too expensive for young people to afford them -- even if that makes it hard for tobacco companies. I think banning the sale is tougher, though, because then you do take away the personal choice, and they might even become as fought over as other illicit drugs. And we all know how well the Drug War is working. I don't vote for banning; I vote for taxing and regulating. That way, people can still make the choice to hurt themselves, but not have to make other people share their smoke. I mean, we regulate drunk driving. Secondhand smoke is also dangerous. I definitely think the smoking bans that leave out bars make little sense. They are going to end up costing the businesses more to comply and then it'll end up banned anyway.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-07-08T13:08:11-06:00
ID
131922
Comment

Ban cigarettes and they'll go underground. They will then become a "gateway" drug for other drugs, not because of the addicting qualities of cigarettes -- which are formidable -- but because they're illegal. By virtue of they're being illegal, you introduce users to a criminal enterprise, which offers them a gateway they might otherwise not encounter. Prohibition never works, particularly in an otherwise reasonably free society. Indeed, it just cuts into those aforementioned freedoms. Instead, make all drugs legal, tax them heavily (but not so heavily as to create a thriving underground market) and make it a crime to use them in a way that could harm others -- in public spaces and when driving or operating machinery while under their influence.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2008-07-08T13:41:32-06:00
ID
131923
Comment

I always find that this discussion hinges on personal liberty interests and societal rights to not be offended by those liberty interests. I'm a libertarian, which means that I believe people should be free to do whatever they want as long as they don't harm other people. Secondhand smoke is an invasion of other people's rights- therefore the government has full power to ban it outright. Liberty interests are being infringed in the sense that private business owners are being forced to change their policies- in my Libertarian world, the free market should work out these problems, but that never seems to happen. Banning them raises certain concerns, the one I think most potent being the slippery slope argument. Alcohol can be bad, so let's ban that too. (In fact, I'm pretty sure I can't kill myself today with cigarettes, but I could probably very well drink myself to death in a matter of hours.) Trans fat is hurting us- let's make it illegal? Red meat- no more. Guns are banned shortly thereafter. With cigarettes, I think the best we can hope for is what Ladd suggests- heavy taxing and better regulation. If a kid under the age of 18 buys cigarettes from a store, ban that store from selling cigarettes for 6 months if they didn't check for an ID. I assure you the business would quickly change their ways.

Author
Yorick
Date
2008-07-08T13:45:37-06:00
ID
131925
Comment

I'm a libertarian, which means that I believe people should be free to do whatever they want as long as they don't harm other people. Secondhand smoke is an invasion of other people's rights- therefore the government has full power to ban it outright. You sound like my kind of Libertarian, Yorick. I can't stand the type who are only interested in the rights of one side, especially when that right infringes on others' rights, which is what happens in the case of smoking in public spaces and places of commerce. I've never quite understood how the rights of the smoker trumps those of the non-smoker in that case.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-07-08T14:32:41-06:00
ID
131926
Comment

http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080708/NEWS/80708021 Man Shot after Refusing to Give Away Cigarette. Let's, like Donna said, address the root cause of this problem. Problem: Cigarettes are expensive. Solution: Lower cigarette taxes. Problem solved!

Author
QB
Date
2008-07-08T15:30:25-06:00
ID
131929
Comment

The guy was shot after telling someone to "get a job" when they tried to bum a cigarette. So, class, does that suggest that the most obvious solution is: (a.) Lower the absurdly high cost of a cigarette in Mississippi (what -- 15 cents?) in order to avoid shootings, or (b.) Try not to be an a$$hole when someone bums something from you that costs 15 cents. ;-) Granted, you ought not shoot people for being a$$holes, but, ya know, when everyone is running around armed, then being polite can't hurt, right? ;-)

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2008-07-08T18:08:29-06:00
ID
131933
Comment

Yeah, that was bad. I don't smoke, but, after this, I'm thinking of buying a pack to keep in the truck just in case someone with a pistol or shotgun ask me for one. I'm about to head to the East coast for a week. Surely, I'll need a carton of cigarettes, hand full of change or small bills, a gun and a northern or eastern accent to survive this trip.

Author
Walt
Date
2008-07-09T08:01:54-06:00
ID
131934
Comment

Y'all nicotine is probably the worse drug possible. Never been on crack or heroine or cocaine, but I will say that nicotine has to be more addictive. You'd be surprised what a smoker will do for a cigarette when one isn't available. That's why this gets me! I just can't understand why something so harmful is first of all legal and second of all too lucrative to dismiss. I've thought about everything you mentioned, todd, but the fact of the matter is IF the people and their health (as well as the health of those around them) was the TRUE reason for concern, then stopping them from smoking in particular places just skims the top of the issue. That's not about keeping us healthy. That's about control. Talking about taking away people's rights....they're taking away my right to smoke after a good hardy meal.

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-07-09T08:16:54-06:00
ID
131936
Comment

Y'all nicotine is probably the worse drug possible. You're right. People have decades-long addictions to cigarettes and other tobacco-related products, something you don't hear about as much with much harder drugs like crack, cocaine and marijuana. Yet, cigarettes are legal and thus other drugs are not. True, cigarette smokers are not likely to rob a store to support their habits like crack addicts would. Perhaps, would this be the difference in making one drug legal and others illegal? Also, a little money slipped in on the side by the tobacco lobby doesn't hurt either.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2008-07-09T08:58:08-06:00
ID
131942
Comment

I've never quite understood how the rights of the smoker trumps those of the non-smoker in that case They don't trump - but the fact of the matter is that you can choose to go to a bar or restaurant that doesn't allow smoking, if you are so inclined. It's your responsibility to make that choice, not the government's responsibility to make it for you.

Author
imajeep
Date
2008-07-09T14:51:27-06:00
ID
131943
Comment

I have a serious issue when non-smokers are so judgemental and act as if smokers are not and should not be afforded any rights at all. I mean, since I am not a complete virgin to being discriminated against, I can handle yet another reason for folks to think they are better than me. However, I will say that I expect that non smokers will offer me the same respect I offer them. I could easily be of the opinion that if a person doesn't want to smell smoke or smell like smoke, go to a smoke free place, you wont' find me there- i guarantee it. But I dont take that notion because I know too many people who dont smoke and hate to be around it. So I just choose my battle with that. However it does steam me up when I'm treated like I don't deserve to be out in a restuarant of my choice because others don't want to be infrindged upon.

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-07-09T15:32:19-06:00
ID
131961
Comment

They don't trump - but the fact of the matter is that you can choose to go to a bar or restaurant that doesn't allow smoking, if you are so inclined. It's your responsibility to make that choice, not the government's responsibility to make it for you. So you would support allowing smoking on planes? (Because people could choose the non-smoking airlines?) Or what about movie theaters? (People should choose the movie theaters they go to?) The problem is, these are public accommodations, not private clubs. As such, they have to be governed by ordinance and, for a multitude of reasons, it's more in the public interest to ban smoking indoors in these establishments than it is in the public interest to allow smoking in them. I have a serious issue when non-smokers are so judgemental and act as if smokers are not and should not be afforded any rights at all. That's an individual issue -- I don't judge smokers for smoking, but I do take it personally when they blow smoke all up in my space. I'd feel the same way if they farted, frankly. ;-)

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2008-07-09T17:54:17-06:00
ID
131970
Comment

phblllt. excuse me.

Author
daniel johnson
Date
2008-07-09T21:10:25-06:00
ID
131971
Comment

Ah. It's so fulfilling to see a young man such as Daniel exercising his natural, moral rights.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2008-07-09T21:14:33-06:00
ID
131972
Comment

Queen - i can accept your indignation at duplicitous lobbying efforts. Often times groups who wish to enact change will slowly gravitate to the easiest justifications for their agendas rather than the most honest. However! When you are a large group which is lobbying for change you often must fight within a legal framework which only allows incremental changes. While Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi might want to ban cigarettes they simply cannot because it is an issue of a persons right to personally injure oneself. They can however confront the issue where it begins to infringe on others rights. Perhaps they are working for the health of non-smokers who are suffering from the personal choices of cigarette smokers? - iTodds first post was pretty damn succinct. i concur.

Author
daniel johnson
Date
2008-07-09T21:16:17-06:00
ID
131973
Comment

i usually exercise such rights silently but damn if it isn't satisfying to make myself heard every once in a while.

Author
daniel johnson
Date
2008-07-09T21:18:20-06:00
ID
131974
Comment

So you would support allowing smoking on planes? (Because people could choose the non-smoking airlines?) Or what about movie theaters? (People should choose the movie theaters they go to?) The problem is, these are public accommodations, not private clubs. As such, they have to be governed by ordinance and, for a multitude of reasons, it's more in the public interest to ban smoking indoors in these establishments than it is in the public interest to allow smoking in them. Absolutely I would support an airline's right to allow smoking - the same with a movie theater. I'm no libertarian, but, especially in this case, the market (not the government) should be the decider. If a smoking airline is viable, why not? You don't have to fly it. Same with a movie theater. And they're not public accommodations - that's where you're wrong, assuredly - they are private businesses in which the business owner can do business as he or she pleases, so long as protected rights of potential customers are ensured (aka non discriminatory practices). If there is more public support, then the public who wish to have smoking removed should vote and lobby with their dollars, not with the government. If non-smoking bars were viable within the free market, don't you think there'd be more of them without government interference?

Author
imajeep
Date
2008-07-09T21:22:59-06:00
ID
131975
Comment

Private businesses are located in the public sector and therefore susceptible to regulations preventing individuals from harming those around them.

Author
daniel johnson
Date
2008-07-09T21:34:13-06:00
ID
131976
Comment

i'm sorry - i was completely wrong about the definition of public sector.

Author
daniel johnson
Date
2008-07-09T21:35:03-06:00
ID
132051
Comment

Todd, I see your point. Again though, you wouldn't have this issue, nor would I, if they weren't available. I'm just concerned that this isn't about this state's health at all. Why use that as a platform for making this decision when it's clearly not the purpose. If it was, then the enormous amount of money that's spent on cigarettes would not trump the health of smokers or non-smokers. It's so funny to me how everything in this country always leads down to separation and division of it's citizens. Even smoking.

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-07-14T10:05:51-06:00
ID
132053
Comment

And they're not public accommodations - that's where you're wrong, assuredly - they are private businesses in which the business owner can do business as he or she pleases, so long as protected rights of potential customers are ensured (aka non discriminatory practices). imajeep -- see (7) in the US Code quoted below: http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/42/12181.text.html Quoting partially: (7) Public accommodation The following private entities are considered public accommodations for purposes of this subchapter, if the operations of such entities affect commerce— (A) an inn, hotel, motel, or other place of lodging, except for an establishment located within a building that contains not more than five rooms for rent or hire and that is actually occupied by the proprietor of such establishment as the residence of such proprietor; (B) a restaurant, bar, or other establishment serving food or drink; (C) a motion picture house, theater, concert hall, stadium, or other place of exhibition or entertainment; (D) an auditorium, convention center, lecture hall, or other place of public gathering; {snip} Second-hand smoke is a health hazard and forcing patrons of public accommodations to accede to circumstances that endanger their health is not in the public interest. And the point isn't whether or not a "smoking airline is viable" but, rather, if it's within the government purview to regulate a health hazard within a public accommodation. It is, for instance, legal to build a campfire in many places in the United States -- but not in a theater or airplane. Or bar. Which is why "smoker-friendly" institutions would need to be private clubs, cigar shops or something along those lines.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2008-07-14T11:11:35-06:00
ID
132054
Comment

Todd, I see your point. Again though, you wouldn't have this issue, nor would I, if they weren't available. Queen, I hear what you're saying, put I'll put this back on you -- point to a circumstance where the government can manage to make something "not available." ;-) They can't -- that's Prohibition and it doesn't work. Not with alcohol, not with drugs. I think if you simply "prohibit" cigarettes, you'll drive them underground and create more criminality. Are we supposed to lock up smokers?

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2008-07-14T11:14:20-06:00
ID
132055
Comment

Well....you make a great point. The way I see it is, if you can't stop it, stop complaining about it. They prohibit others things in this country that lead to underground sells....so, what's the difference. I'm being a bit silly, granted, but my point is just that our society is focused on the wrong things. We put so much emphasis on simple things and not enough on improvement. That's my point. But I know that can't stop the sell of cigarettes no more than they can anything else. However, I can't see that a ban in restaurants is going to make us all healthier.

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-07-14T12:28:50-06:00
ID
132056
Comment

Everyone relax. The government knows what's best. They have top men working on it. Top. Men.

Author
QB
Date
2008-07-14T12:42:39-06:00
ID
132059
Comment

yes, that is *so* reassuring...I think bars and restaurants are much, much better without smoke. Much better.

Author
Izzy
Date
2008-07-14T13:22:56-06:00
ID
132061
Comment

They prohibit others things in this country that lead to underground sells....so, what's the difference. You're right -- there's no difference -- I just happen to believe that banning things that people desire (or that they get addicted to) doesn't work. I could be wrong. (Ask Donna...I'm wrong all the time. ;-) However, I can't see that a ban in restaurants is going to make us all healthier. For one, it'll make the employees healthier, and, two, it'll make for a more pleasant dining experience for people in that public accommodation who don't want to breathe smoke with their meal. This from the American Lung Association: http://www.lungusa.org/site/pp.asp?c=dvLUK9O0E&b=35422 Nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke at work are at increased risk for adverse health effects. Levels of secondhand smoke in restaurants and bars were found to be 2 to 5 times higher than in residences with smokers and 2 to 6 times higher than in office workplaces. When you think about the public safety risk, think about it this way. Say you're a really good bartender and you love making drinks and you get crazy tips and you decided it was the career for you. How would you feel if you were diagnosed with lung cancer -- and you NEVER made the decision yourself to smoke?!

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2008-07-14T18:22:29-06:00
ID
132064
Comment

House parties are back in anyway. Beer prices will probably go up now due to the recent buyout of Anheuser Busch. I'm sure the cab companies raise their fare everytime gas goes up. Dui's are JUST NOT worth it. And now there is talk of bars and bartenders being investigated for drugging customers and the police won't tell the names of these places. I will miss the good times at my hangouts but my safety is more important.

Author
saint H
Date
2008-07-14T22:55:40-06:00
ID
132383
Comment

I saw this on TV and thought about this thread: dontpassgas.org.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-07-24T10:36:36-06:00
ID
132386
Comment

Oh yeah, be sure to watch the PSAs. Hilarious.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-07-24T10:48:06-06:00

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