Sunday, January 13, 2008

New York Health Department seeks to remove smoking ban waivers

That story is found online here.


Chautauqua County health officials are at least considering the idea of rescinding waivers that allow some local businesses to include designated smoking rooms at their respective locations.....local business owners plan to attend the meeting in support of the smoking waivers, which began to be distributed after the 2003 smoking ban went into effect in New York state...Brenda Perks, one of the most outspoken critics of the smoking ban in Chautauqua County, fears that many businesses that are starting to bounce back thanks to the waivers will once again feel the sting of a drop-off in customers .....‘‘You take that smoking room away from them and they are going to drown,’’ said Mrs. Perks....‘‘There’s not a club in this county that’s not struggling.’’ Waivers have been given on an annual basis if proprietors could prove they suffered a signficant drop in business because of the anti-smoking regulations....

The interesting thing this article points out is that New York's smoking ban allows exemptions. Activists who testified in favor of the bans here in Minnesota never divulged that piece of information to lawmakers, they merely stated that smoking ban in New York did not cause financial harm, smoking ban exemptions would explain the reason why.

For the record however, New York's smoking bans closed down 160+ establishments.......even with the exemptions that NY lawmakers are now trying to eliminate.

Meanwhile, Minnesota's smoking bans have closed down 151+ establishments and offer no such exemptions, except for tribal casinos, even as air quality testing by groups such as Johns Hopkins and the American Cancer Society proved that secondhand smoke is up to 25,000 times SAFER than occupational safety air quality regulations require:

Update: An attempt to elimiante NY smoking ban waivers for select bars and restaurants was defeated 1/18/08.

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