KC Bans Smoking

"Smoking kills. If you're killed, you've lost a very important part of your life." -Brooke Shields

Apparently Kansas City (my home town) took Brooke's words seriously and, as of today, smoking is officially banned in restaurants, taverns and tobacco stores. Until today, smoking had been allowed in Kansas City’s bars and taverns at all hours, and in restaurants with liquor licenses after 9 p.m. Some think that the law is unfair because smoking is still permitted on the gaming floors of Kansas City’s two casinos.

I am all for the ban. It is nice to be able to dine out and not have to be concerned about where your table is located. On the flipside it does concern me that smokers are becoming outcasts in our city. Maybe these folks need to take some encouragement from Mark Twain who said:
"Giving up smoking is easy...I've done it hundreds of times."
What do you think about these kind of laws? Does your city have any limits on where people can smoke?


  1. I agree that it's nice to eat out without experiencing lung damage from "smoke inhalation." (Non-smoking sections are usually a joke.) If a person can't make it through a meal (45 min. to an hour) without a smoke, they have a serious addiction.

    That said, I do wonder if this hasn't begun to go too far in the other direction. One extreme doesn't justify another. I mean "tobacco stores?" Come on! "Taverns?" A person who's pickling their liver with Jack Daniels shouldn't be too concerned over a little second-hand smoke!

  2. "pickling their liver with Jack Daniels "

    ..that one just made me smile :)

  3. It's now banned in all public places like restaurants and things like that. It's a statewide law in Illinois so the cities don't have much say anymore.

  4. Dude, It totally blows my mind that some states are just NOW banning smoking. It was banned here many, many years ago. I am always shocked to go out of state and see people smoking in RESTAURANTS!!!!

    Here in CA smoking is not even allowed OUTSIDE in most public places. There are beaches where you are not allowed to smoke, and around most buildings, etc.

    I personally think smokers should have some rights as long as it doesn't infringe on non-smokers rights

    (I guess I just want everybody to be happy...no wonder I am miserable - :)

  5. Smoking bans are the real health hazard

    The bandwagon of local smoking bans now steamrolling across the nation -
    from sea to sea- has nothing to do with protecting people from the supposed
    threat of "second-hand" smoke.

    Indeed, the bans themselves are symptoms of a far more grievous threat; a
    cancer that has been spreading for decades and has now metastasized
    throughout the body politic, spreading even to the tiniest organs of local
    government. This cancer is the only real hazard involved - the cancer of
    unlimited government power.

    The issue is not whether second-hand smoke is a real danger or a phantom
    menace, as a study published recently in the British Medical Journal
    indicates. The issue is: if it were harmful, what would be the proper
    reaction? Should anti-tobacco activists satisfy themselves with educating
    people about the potential danger and allowing them to make
    their own decisions, or should they seize the power of government and force
    people to make the "right" decision?

    Supporters of local tobacco bans have made their choice. Rather than
    attempting to protect people from an unwanted intrusion on their health, the
    tobacco bans are the unwanted intrusion.

    Loudly billed as measures that only affect "public places," they have
    actually targeted private places: restaurants, bars, nightclubs, shops, and
    offices - places whose owners are free to set anti-smoking rules or whose
    customers are free to go elsewhere if they don't like the smoke. Some local
    bans even harass smokers in places where their effect on others is obviously
    negligible, such as outdoor public parks.

    The decision to smoke, or to avoid "second-hand" smoke, is a question to be
    answered by each individual based on his own values and his own assessment
    of the risks. This is the same kind of decision free people make regarding
    every aspect of their lives: how much to spend or invest, whom to befriend
    or sleep with, whether to go to college or get a job, whether to get married
    or divorced, and so on.

    All of these decisions involve risks; some have demonstrably harmful
    consequences; most are controversial and invite disapproval from the
    neighbours. But the individual must be free to make these decisions. He must
    be free, because his life belongs to him, not to his neighbours, and only
    his own judgment can guide him through it.

    Yet when it comes to smoking, this freedom is under attack. Cigarette
    smokers are a numerical minority, practicing a habit considered annoying and
    unpleasant to the majority. So the majority has simply commandeered the
    power of government and used it to dictate their behaviour.

    That is why these bans are far more threatening than the prospect of
    inhaling a few stray whiffs of tobacco while waiting for a table at your
    favourite restaurant. The anti-tobacco crusaders point in exaggerated alarm
    at those wisps of smoke while they unleash the systematic and unlimited
    intrusion of government into our lives.

    We do not elect officials to control and manipulate our behaviour.

    Thomas Laprade
    480 Rupert St.
    Thunder Bay, Ont.

  6. Your comment Thomas seems a bit too copy/paste-like for my taste.

    I doubt that we will see you again but if you come back maybe you can share a bit of your personal smoking story with us and how Thunder Bay or Ontario or Canada deals with this issue.

  7. I certainly don't think families going out to dinner should have to be concerned with second hand smoke. However, Ohio recently passed one of the most obtrusive and comprehensive smoking bans in the country. No longer can you smoke OUTSIDE at the stadium. No smoking even in private clubs. No smoking in bars.

    I think people should have places where they can go have a cigarette and a beer. While it's much nicer in the bars now that they are not so filled smoke, I'm guessing that most people who voted for the more aggressive form of the ban (we had two on the ballot) don't frequent bars. I don't understand the need to control others' behavior.

    A poor guy I had met just a few months prior to the ban had opened a very, very nice cigar bar. He had put about $20K into smoke handlers and lockers where you could store your stogies, etc. Guess what? His "cigar bar" is a cigar bar no more. He's still open. Not sure how's he's doing.

    I'd like to see "smoking bars" allowed. I'd like for people to be able to smoke in private clubs.

  8. Thanks for the thoughtful comment Brian. I guess that we need to control others' behavior when it impacts other people.

    I like your suggestion about having smoking establishments.. I wonder how they would do.. would children be admitted?

  9. I have no problems limiting other's behavior when it affects ours. But, as someone else pointed out, a person sitting in a bar drinking a Jack Daniels' probably ain't too worried about second hand smoke. As a non-smoker, I prefer not to have cigarette smoking wafting over me when I'm eating. But, I don't recall that being a problem before the ban. The problem I have with the ban is it doesn't allow a smoker a place to go hang out and have a cigarette.

    I think the only exception the law left was tobacco stores.

    I'd like to see bar owner be able to apply for a "smoking license". If the majority of your revenue is from alcohol (it's a bar not a restaurant) and you don't allow clientele below legal drinking age, you should be able to become a smoking establishment. You could force them to put up big ugly signs outside so no innocent people would get confused, stumble in and get be subjected to second hand smoke.



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