Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Minnesota Health Department is angered by private businesses defying the new smoking ban

The MN department is throwing a public tantrum by issuing an empty threat to bars and restaurants which are using a legally allowed exemption in the statewide ban.

The Minnesota Department of Health served notice Wednesday that it is prepared to punish bars that try to get around the state indoor smoking ban by using a theatrical production exemption.

MN attorney Mark Benjamin discovered an exemption in the smoking ban that allows smoking by actors during the performance of a hundreds of bars and restaurants in Minnesota are hosting performances nightly and allowing actors / patrons to light up with reckless abandon.

More on the story here:

The 6-month-old smoking ban has an exemption for theatrical productions, but Health Department Commissioner Sanne Magnan said bars appear to be improperly circumventing the law..... "It's time for the curtain to come down on this play of theatrics and get on with the business of protecting Minnesotans from the harms of secondhand smoke," Magnan said.

Sorry to burst your maniacal desire to control businesses with unreasonable restrictions Sanne, but protecting Minnesotans from workplace "health hazards" is OSHA's mandate. And air quality testing by Johns Hopkins University, the American Cancer Society, a Minnesota Environmental Health Department, and various researchers whose testing and report was peer reviewed and published in the esteemed British Medical Journal......prove that secondhand smoke is 2.6 - 25,000 times SAFER than occupational (OSHA) workplace regulations:

As for the businesses using the legal exemption to allow Mark Benjamin said he would gladly defend anyone cited as violating the unnecessary and apparently unenforceable statewide smoking ban.

The American spirit always finds a way to overthrow the yoke of oppression.....even here in liberal Minnesota.

Furthermore, Clearing the Air thinks that the state law has no legal merit at all, afterall OSHA federal workplace regulations cannot and should not be ursurped by local workplace smoking ban regulations. Especially since these bans are closing down hundreds of businesses and eliminating thousands of jobs.

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