Monday, May 28, 2007

Annotation #12

Ban to alter life as smokers know it; Gov. Pawlenty is set to sign the bill that bans indoor smoking, including all restaurants and bars
Star Tribune Minneapolis, MN; May 13, 2007
Mark Brunswick and Pat Doyle
The Minnesota legislature approved a ban on indoor smoking that included all bars and restaurants. This ban is expected to change everyday life across Minnesota. Some restaurant owners believe that the government should not be controlling how they work their business, and how their customers go about their lives. Some people believe that the smoking ban is a violation of personal choice and people's rights. Many people pushed hard for the bill to ban indoor smoking to be passed. Many bar and restaurant owners are on-the-fence about this issue. Many have concerns about lost business. Others feel that the ban is a good thing for their customers, and that their income has not changed at all drastically. Still, some restaurant and bar owners who do allow smoking in their business feel that if you do not want to be in a smoking environment, do not come to their business.

Annotation #11

No Longer Tres Chic, Smoking Loses Favor in France
New York Times
Elaine Sciolino
A ban on smoking has been established in public areas in France. Many smokers and bar and restaurant owners feel that the smoking ban had caused them to lose their rights as an individual. Even still, almost 80% of France supports a smoking ban in public places. The other 20% are smokers. 70,000 people die in France every year due to smoking and secondhand smoke. Some restaurants are supporting the ban, saying that smoke is a problem for their employees and clients. There has also been some opposition towards the ban throughout Europe. Many French businessman feel that the ban will change their businesses and decline their profits, and are planning on asking the government for reimbursement. Restaurant owners have heard that there can be up to a 25-30% drop in sales after a ban. However, some supporters of the ban would like to take the ban on smoking to the next level.

Annotation #10

France Smokers Divided on Ban
Daily Register
Elaine Ganley
Associated Press Writer
Smoking has recently been banned in public areas in France. Some people believe that this ban will change the image of their country. There are to be many agents and fines to enforce the ban. Many French writers are known for smoking, and some people believe that a smoking ban will cause these important figures to not be remembered as notably. There are 66,000 smoking-related deaths per year in France. Almost 1/4 of French people smoke. Some people are angry about the ban and feel that they will smoke more because of it. Others are happy about the ban because they feel it will help them cut down on smoking. The French government is reimbursing $65 per person per year for aids to help them stop-smoking, and letting companies have special smoking rooms inside workplaces. Pro-smoking groups are saying that the ban limits smokers' freedoms, and that enforcement of the ban is going to be hard.

Annotation #9

Smoking ban similar to communism
Peoria Jornal Star Inc. May 9, 2007
Greg Washburn
Government should not be able to tell businesses what to do. The government banning smoking is similar to communism. Both smokers and non-smokers have rights. You cannot take smokers' rights away. China, Cuba, and North Korea's governments tell them what to do, and are also communist. If there is a smoking ban, the government will keep on taking away our rights.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Annotation #8

Statewide smoking ban looks more likely; With a new DFL majority, advocates are optimistic, while opponents seek to limit impact
Star Tribune
Mark Brunswick
Minnesota is close to banning smoking in bars and restaurants. Law-makers believe that they may have enough votes to get a smoking ban passed. Even people who once were against a smoking ban are now accepting it. Bar owners are not very optimistic about this idea however. But more and more major cities in Minnesota are favoring smoking bans in bars and restaurants. Supporters of a ban say this is because of the Surgeon General's report that said that even brief exposure to secondhand smoke is a health hazard. It is believed that this subject will bring up a lot of controversy over the next year. More people that favor smoking bans are being elected into the House of Representatives.

Annotation #7

Why ban smoking in restaurants and other workplaces?
Michigan Smoke-Free Dining and Workplace Petition Drive
There is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke. Even brief exposure has health effects, including a greater risk of developing heart disease or lung cancer. Ventilation systems do not eliminate secondhand smoke. The only thing that does this is a smoke-free environment. Many non-smokers die every year from heart disease and lung cancer caused by secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke contains many poisons. A smoking employee costs the employer $1,000 a year. Bar and restaurant workers are more at risk of dying from lung cancer. Brief exposure to secondhand smoke greatly increases the risk of a heart attack. No studies show a bad economic impact of smoking bans. Some show that smoking bans actually improve business. By allowing smoking in their businesses, restaurant owners pay many expenses. Ventilation systems help reduce smoking odors, but not secondhand smoke's health dangers.

Annotation #6

Lighters Out; A year later, progess on smoking bans
The Washington Post
Washington, D.C. Mar. 28, 2007
Maryland and Virginia law-makers voted down some smoking bans in restaurants and bars. However, about a month later, the bans were looked on more favorably. Maryland will soon be putting up a ban, and Virginia is also considering a smoking ban. Maryland's ban consists of banning smoking in bars and restaurants. In Virginia, the Governor proposed a bill that required businesses to put up a notice that told customers whether or not smoking was allowed. It also banned smoking in restaurants and bars. Some law-makers are opposed to this bill. Smoking bans have proved to make employees healthier and restaurants more pleasant and lively. Advanced ventilation systems are not good enough for removing secondhand smoke.

Annotation #5

American Lung Association: As Other States Move Forward, Minnesota's Grade Drops in Annual Tobacco 'Report Card'
PR Newswire. NY
Jan. 9, 2007
A report by the American Lung Association said that Minnesota is falling behind other states in four areas related to tobacco. Minnesota scored a C in tobacco program funding. Their grade was at a B last year. Minnesota scored an F for smoke-free air. This is the grade we have earned for 5 years in a row. We earned a C for youth access policies and a C for cigarette taxes. These other grades have stayed the same since last year. The report also estimated the economic cost of smoking in Minnesota to be $2,743,123,000. Minnesota used to protect nonsmokers and smokers from secondhand smoke by passing a Clean Indoor Act, but now there is hardly any money going out to help Minnesotans quit smoking. We are falling behind other states with smoke-free laws.

Annotation #4

Secondhand Smoke Debate 'Over'
Liz Szabo
USA Today
A report from the U.S. surgeon general says that non-smoking sections and good ventilation systems do not help. He says that secondhand smoke is a health hazard and smoking bans are the only way to protect non-smokers. Even though many states and cities have smoke-free laws, there are still many Americans that are exposed to secondhand smoke. The surgeon general also said that nonsmokers who are around secondhand smoke increase their risk for heart disease and cancer. His report also said that many children are exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes. The surgeon general claimed that smoke-free laws to do not hurt business for bars and restaurants. Tobacco companies disagree, but the truth is that bartenders, waiters and waitresses are exposed to high levels of secondhand smoke and are at a high risk for certain diseases.

Annotation #3

Activists Continue Smoke-Free Push
Reno Gazette-Journal
Martin Griffith
More than half of Americans live in a city or state with laws that require workplaces, restaurants or bars to be smoke-free. It is becoming more and more common. It is believed that the Surgeon General's report is fueling the push against public smoking. His report said that even a few minutes of inhaling another person's smoke harms nonsmokers. It is proven that separate smoking sections are not offering enough protection for nonsmokers. Even the biggest tobbaco states are now considering smoking bans. However, not everyone smiles upon the idea of smoking bans. Some business owners believe that smoking bans would cause them to lose customers and profits. Some other people say that a smoking ban is unconstitutional. Supporters back up those oppositions by saying that from what they have read, smokers keep going to bars and restaurants even after smoking is banned. This means that businesses would not lose very much business due to a smoking ban.

Annotation #2

Respirable Particles and Carcinogens in the Air of Delaware Hospitality Venues Before and After a Smoking Ban
Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine
September 2004
Repace, James MSc
There are many risks of indoor air pollutants. Some of these risks include respiratory disease, cancer, heart disease, and strokes. These risks could be greatly reduced through smoke-free laws. There were some tests done in some public places that allowed smoking. Measurements were made of the particles in the air to see how much air pollution secondhand smoke accounted for. Test results showed that a very high percentage of the air had pollution caused by secondhand smoke. These tests showed the danger that workers and customers faced everyday. Smoke-free laws would end this problem.