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Group vows to continue smoking ban effort

Members not happy about quick demise

Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013 7:39 PM
Last updated 8:28 PM
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A day after the sound defeat of a proposed tougher smoking ordinance by the Augusta Commission, the group pushing it was holding its weekly meeting Wednesday and planning to continue to advocate for it. While there is a solid philosophical opposition among some commission members to considering the ban on smoking in almost all public places, the fate of future ordinances is up in the air.

Members of the BreathEasy Augusta coalition were still smarting from the quick demise of the proposed ordinance by a 6-4 vote, in part because they were not allowed to present their arguments and evidence for it, said coalition chair Jennifer Anderson, a respiratory therapist at Georgia Regents Medical Center.

“That’s what was so frustrating about yesterday is being so summarily dismissed in such a way that we’re not even going to give the people a chance to answer some of the questions they have,” she said.

Commissioner Joe Jackson made the motion to dismiss the proposed ordinance because he said it is “an infringement on personal rights.”

“Where does the regulation stop, I guess is my question? Once it’s cigarettes and cigars, next it’s going to be Boy Scout’s campfires, backyard trash. Where does personal responsibility come in? If I want to go to a bar, I know it is smoky, I’m making that choice. I shouldn’t have the government decide what I can and can’t do when it comes to smoking in a bar.”

Anderson said she rejects that argument, noting that products like lead paint and asbestos, once found to be harmful, were then banned.

Sorry, you don’t have a leg to stand on,” she said. “We’re not trying to decide something here in our small community of Augusta, Ga., that will infringe on anyone’s rights that were outlined in the Constitution of the United States. What we’re trying to do here is really make an impactful decision to improve the health of our citizens.

“If Joe Jackson wants to hang his hat on that, that’s fine but it is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard in my life.”

But Jackson is not alone on the commission in this view – at least two others, Commissioners Wayne Guilfoyle and Alvin Mason – made similar arguments about the ordinance infringing on personal rights during a committee hearing on it.

“That’s basically what it boils down to is rights,” said Guilfoyle, whose position has not changed since opposing the previous ordinance. But there is a way that he sees the smoking ordinance could pass.

“Impose it on government properties only,” Guilfoyle said.

The group that ended up killing the smoking ordinance was not a solid voting block, however, Guilfoyle said.

“It was a blend of everybody,” he said. And while he would not vote for it, had one of the other commissioners changed their vote “it would have went the other way,” Guilfoyle said. A 5-5 tie would have allowed Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver, a supporter of the coalition, to vote and break the tie.

In fact, the coalition believes it has made progress from its previous failed attempt last year, Anderson said.

“It will happen in Augusta,” she said, “I’m certain of it. It’s just when is it going to happen.”

Jackson, whose term expires at the end of 2014 and is term-limited, said his opposition will not change.

“It can be passed next year,” he said. “It can be passed when I am off the commission. But I am going to fight it as long as I need to.”

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Gage Creed
17246
Points
Gage Creed 11/06/13 - 10:17 pm
6
5
http://www.lni.wa.gov/Safety/

http://www.lni.wa.gov/Safety/Basics/HazAlerts/asbestos0101.asp

Ms, Anderson, it seems there is still asbestos is still made into products.... Your argument is invalid and you do not have a leg to stand on....

oldredneckman96
5095
Points
oldredneckman96 11/07/13 - 12:01 am
4
6
Smoking
Unpublished

You cna not ban smoking in bars only. You can ban smoking in public, some thing we all own. Public includes anywhere there is an employee and thus most public bars would be incuded.

agustinian
689
Points
agustinian 11/07/13 - 07:35 am
5
7
We Ban All Sorts of Stuff

1. Try going into a restaurant/bar and screaming obscenities about the government and making a racket. You can be arrested for disturbing the peace of others, even though you would be exercising your 1st Amendment right.
2. Try going into a place not having bathed and reeking of body odor, then being removed because you disturbed the other patrons, even though you have a personal right to not bathe.
3. Try going into a place, eating, then regurgitating your meal at the table because you suffer from bulemia. You will be removed, because it disturbs the other diners.
4. Smoking - it's gross, and when you partake you are imposing on others a burden they don't want to accept, similar to not bathing, or people screaming, etc.

So what right are we protecting? The right to stink up other people with cigarette smoke? Really?

seenitB4
87304
Points
seenitB4 11/07/13 - 08:40 am
4
5
Cars kill

Can we ban cars.....a drunk driver is more likely to take you out than a smoker in a car....or a textaddict driving beside you....we can not legislate every desire--emotion--habit etc.

Little Lamb
46022
Points
Little Lamb 11/07/13 - 09:02 am
8
5
Testy

Commissioner Joe Jackson said, “I shouldn’t have the government decide what I can and can’t do when it comes to smoking in a bar.”

BreathEasy chairman Jennifer Anderson responded, “Sorry, you don’t have a leg to stand on.”

That comment made in open commission session is rude, crass, and insulting to our elected commissioners. It could easily be construed as offensive to the amputees of Augusta, as well.

BreathEasy is a group of zealots who are so frenzied over their one issue that they demonstrate lack of respect for others. They are bullies.

What Augusta needs is an ordinance that if a motion fails, that issue cannot be brought back up before a committee or commission meeting in less than five years.

Little Lamb
46022
Points
Little Lamb 11/07/13 - 09:09 am
5
4
Liberty

Augustinian posted, “We ban all sorts of stuff.”

My momma taught me, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

Yes, governments have trampled many rights by banning things “for your own good.” But if you use that as an argument for more banning, you have created a despotic government that acts capriciously rather than bound by a constitution. The constitution exists to limit government from going too far, and banning tobacco smoking in bars is going too far.

I was wondering about this — do you suppose any of the delegates to the U.S. Constitutional Convention smoked any tobacco during the deliberations where the Constitution was drafted, discussed, and ratified?

johndavidson
125
Points
johndavidson 11/07/13 - 09:59 am
0
0
JOINT STATEMENT ON THE
Unpublished

JOINT STATEMENT ON THE RE-ASSESSMENT OF THE TOXICOLOGICAL TESTING OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS"
7 October, the COT meeting on 26 October and the COC meeting on 18
November 2004.

http://cot.food.gov.uk/pdfs/cotstatementtobacco0409

"5. The Committees commented that tobacco smoke was a highly complex chemical mixture and that the causative agents for smoke induced diseases (such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, effects on reproduction and on offspring) was unknown. The mechanisms by which tobacco induced adverse effects were not established. The best information related to tobacco smoke - induced lung cancer, but even in this instance a detailed mechanism was not available. The Committees therefore agreed that on the basis of current knowledge it would be very difficult to identify a toxicological testing strategy or a biomonitoring approach for use in volunteer studies with smokers where the end-points determined or biomarkers measured were predictive of the overall burden of tobacco-induced adverse disease."

In other words ... our first hand smoke theory is so lame we can't even design a bogus lab experiment to prove it. In fact ... we don't even know how tobacco does all of the magical things we claim it does.

The greatest threat to the second hand theory is the weakness of the first hand theory.

Bizkit
31475
Points
Bizkit 11/07/13 - 10:02 am
8
3
The Breathe Easy ruse it is

The Breathe Easy ruse it is about health when it is just plain fascist and using Nazi tactics. If I had ulcerative colitis I'd be a smoker-because it alleviates the symptoms-no different than medical marijuana. What's worse the smell of a cigarette or the smell of the slaughter house rendering as you stand outside the Hospital. These epidemiology studies are interesting but I wouldn't put too much credence in it, because the bar of association is so high. I've done research directly with a biological process, manipulated it, produced all kinds of data that indicates a "direct" role-yet scientist are skeptical and even after numerous researchers have found the same-no one says it directly or is the only path. Now that is with something I can manipulate and study. Making associates in populations like epidemiology doesn't mean cause and effect. I have studied a proteins function, and done my best to indicate "direct" cause and effect and produced numerous experiments to suggest it-but still no one would accept that it is cause and effect. I like monozygotic twin studies and they never die of the same thing-even if smokers, nor do they both get a genetic disease if they have the same defect. Turns out our DNA isn't a blueprint but more of a script that has lots of room for play so one twin may get it and one not. The same way that smoking doesn’t perfectly determine lung cancer, or body weight and dietary health doesn’t perfectly determine diabetes status. These risks factors associate with cancer and heart disease but don't cause the disease. We often develop cancer cells in our body that our immune system kill (lots of research to teach the immune system to be a better killer) but sometimes we don't. That is the question I want the answer to. Why does one twin smoker get lung cancer and the other not? What cause it could have been tobacco but we are exposed to numerous other carcinogens not in tobacco too. Which one caused it? As though that matters if you have cancer.

Bizkit
31475
Points
Bizkit 11/07/13 - 10:11 am
5
2
I played sports as youth. But

I played sports as youth. But now I don't care for any of it. Fact is it is dangerous and has no place in the education setting. But I am not going to go around and save the world from the ravages and long term health problems associated with these sports. Cause I'm not a fascist.

nocnoc
42680
Points
nocnoc 11/07/13 - 10:27 am
9
3
Breath Easy vows for more $$$$

As along as BREATH EASY is reciting bogus reports and flawed data that has already been dis-proven. I also VOW to email any GA commission REAL, opposing, NON-Tobacco paid for studies. To counter any misinformation or slanted PRO-BAN studies and made
misleading bullet points.

BreathEasy is a Political Cause with members being rewarded for their work and efforts.

Example of other Breath Easy groups $$$ in .
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CDkQ...

Advisory Council Meeting June 17, 2009
Breathe Easy: (Dr. Williams reporting) – CAPE GIRARDEAU
Breathe Easy received the grant for $200,000 for 18 months. Tomeka Merriweather was hired as leader of the coalition . A student activate will be working to coordinate campus activities, starting in August. Relying on Mizzo(University of Missouri) members to walk Breathe Easy though the process of getting an ordinance passed.

The minimum number of signatures that will be needed are 3,000 before the coalition approaches the city council members. What was found through a study was that the sample of restaurant managers would support going smoke-free if all other restaurant managers agreed to go smoke-free.

Sidepacks will be used in the next few months to prove that the ‘air quality control systems’ are actually ineffective."

IMPORTANT NOTE: these sidepacks have been used by other groups with similar agendas and were found to be deliberately tainted to provide false data.

In short, this is NOT a LOCAL group of people.
This is liberally funded Nationwide Political Action Group aligned with other poltical groups and causes used to garner political groups for DNC $$$$ in return for votes.

ralphinga
1235
Points
ralphinga 11/07/13 - 10:55 am
9
3
I was a smoker

I use to, since I was 12. Quit again and again the last time about 4 years ago. I'm 65 now. Went into a smoking restaurant /bar last week and turned right around. Couldn't take the aroma, but I refuse to demand that others be forced to give up smoking. Everybody had a mother and they don't need some left wing zealots forcing a life style change on citizens.

itsanotherday1
43272
Points
itsanotherday1 11/07/13 - 11:36 am
6
2
Same here ralphinga

I smoked for 20+years before quitting, and thoroughly detest the smell. I WISH the entire universe was non-smoking for my own selfish reasons; but I will NOT trample the rights of others to accomplish it.

itsanotherday1
43272
Points
itsanotherday1 11/07/13 - 11:40 am
5
2
Bar owners

Some have implied that bar owners would like to see an ordinance too; they don't want to unilaterally ban smoking and lose business to the ones that allow it.

If that is the case, why don't they all get together and agree to a self imposed ban?

Dixieman
14954
Points
Dixieman 11/07/13 - 01:03 pm
6
2
I used to smoke

but quit and don't like how it smells etc. BUT - I don't want any government to ban it and infringe on our freedoms.
Ms. Anderson, we are sticking to our guns and will continue to do so and you will lose again.

Little Lamb
46022
Points
Little Lamb 11/07/13 - 01:29 pm
2
2
Outdoor Smoking Ban

Sean provided a link to the ordinance that was voted down yesterday. It is twenty pages long. Here is a curious item in the proposed ban:

Sec. 4-2-84. Prohibition of Smoking in Outdoor Public Places.

Smoking shall be prohibited in the following outdoor places:

B. On all outdoor property that is adjacent to buildings owned, leased, or operated by Augusta, Georgia and that is under control of Augusta, Georgia, except that smoking shall be permitted within a reasonable distance of not less than 20 feet of an Augusta, Georgia owned or operated building when such building is leased or rented to a private person or entity.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Okay, let's look at the Marble Palace. Clearly there should be no smoking allowed indoors there, but shouldn't the employees be allowed to take reasonable smoke breaks outdoors on city property? This provision would seem to say that you cannot smoke on the outdoor property of City Hall, i.e., that immense parking lot, or on the sidewalk, because that whole parcel is adjacent to the building. That sounds unreasonable to me.

I'm sure there are some other city-owned properties that have buildings on them where employees (and sometimes the public) might want to smoke outside.

How about down at the Lock & Dam park and boat ramp? People like to smoke while they fish out there. And after you finish your grilled hot dog and Coca-Cola, it seems some might enjoy a smoke in the great outdoors around the pavilions. But no, there are buildings on the property.

What about at the landfill? There are office buildings there and garages. But you know the operators and other employees need to smoke outside somewhere, even if there is methane all over the place.

aintryt
189
Points
aintryt 11/07/13 - 02:17 pm
4
2
Breathe Easy Lies

Members of the BreathEasy Augusta coalition were still smarting from the quick demise of the proposed ordinance by a 6-4 vote, in part because they were not allowed to present their arguments and evidence for it, said coalition chair Jennifer Anderson, a respiratory therapist at Georgia Regents Medical Center.

They got to speak the Monday prior at the committee meeting. They are just pouting because their little bullying butts lost......AGAIN. The look on their faces and Donnie Smith about to bust out of his condescending skin was utterly PRICELESS!

I snickered all the way home =)

Little Lamb
46022
Points
Little Lamb 11/07/13 - 02:42 pm
3
1
Is This Really Necessary?

Sec. 4-2-85. Prohibition of Smoking in Outdoor Places of Employment.

A. Subject to the limited exception below for bars, smoking shall be prohibited in all outdoor places of employment where two or more employees are required to be in the course of their employment. This includes, without limitation, work areas, construction sites, temporary offices such as trailers, restroom facilities, and vehicles.

Bars may designate twenty percent (20%) of the outdoor serving area of their establishment as a smoking section, provided their outdoor service area is at least fifty percent (50%) of the size of their indoor serving area.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

No smoking in construction sites? Come on.

Bizkit
31475
Points
Bizkit 11/07/13 - 04:52 pm
3
1
Wow, next they will ban

Wow, next they will ban homosexual sex because it associates with STDs and AIDS, but then so does heterosexual sex so to be non-discriminatory they will have to ban all sex because you can get an STD or AIDS. Sheesh.

Little Lamb
46022
Points
Little Lamb 11/07/13 - 05:32 pm
3
1
Mobile Home Parks

Here is another curious item in the proposed ban:

Sec. 4-2-84. Prohibition of Smoking in Outdoor Public Places.

Smoking shall be prohibited in the following outdoor places:

H. In outdoor common areas of apartment buildings, condominiums, trailer parks, retirement facilities, nursing homes, and other multiple-unit residential facilities, except in designated smoking areas, not to exceed twenty five percent (25%) of the total outdoor common area, which must be located at least 20 feet outside entrances, operable windows, and ventilation systems of enclosed areas where smoking is prohibited.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Does this seem right and proper to you commenters? Let's say you own an apartment building which you have provided with a lovely courtyard for residents and guests to enjoy outdoor beauty. Now you are going to have to ensure that no one smokes in the outdoor common area except in an area you have to clutter up with signs saying "Designated Smoking Area." If someone complains to the Planning and Development Department or to the Sheriff, then you, as the apartment owner, will be subject to a misdemeanor trial and a fine.

Do you think that people smoke in common outdoor areas of our public housing facilities, owned by the Augusta Housing Authority? I would wager that they do. If the city were to pass this ordinance, then the Augusta Housing Authority would be on the hook to disallow such outdoor smoking.

And how about the catch all phrase in the proposed ordinance, “. . . other multiple-unit residential facilities.”?? That clearly includes mobile home parks. We have many, many mobile home parks in Richmond County. Many people who live in those facilities, and a fraction of them smoke. Do you think it is proper for our county government to forbid those people to smoke in the yard outside their mobile home?

crackerjack
150
Points
crackerjack 11/07/13 - 08:18 pm
2
1
Smoking

Breatheasy is always saying it has been shown, that bars that are smoke free do a lot better business. How many bars downtown don't allow smoking? Then there are the ads with the little ugly girl whining about smoke in the bars that doesn't have the intellegence to get a job that doesn't allow smoking. You used to be able to smoke on airlines, but then they made it only half the area, then a quarter, then the last two rows, then not at all. And this still won't stop private bars where you pay $5.00 annual membership and get the first drink free from allowing smoking. I don't like screaming kids and mannerless people, so I stay away from the buffets. I don't try and tell them to keep the brats at home.

A Non-Smoker

skycat
2
Points
skycat 11/07/13 - 08:49 pm
0
0
smoke vs. lead dust

Something as conspicuous as a smoke-filled bar hardly rates the intrusion of public health zealots as if they were protecting us from some hidden threat like asbestos or lead dust.

nocnoc
42680
Points
nocnoc 11/07/13 - 09:08 pm
2
1
More data

Like I said there is $$$$ in this protesting cause stuff.

There is a Community/Campus "Organizer" Site
http://www.casemo.org/campus/semo/activities.shtml

Actually tour the site and see how much of this fits in with the LOCAL "CHAPTER"

Then GOOGLE "Breath Easy Coalition"
and start reading..... note were the power base is.

It is not a local Grass Roots Movement.
It is nothing more than a group of Political Activists using
College Campuses to recruit and push their agenda.

In the 60's we called them Socialists & Radicals.

Now they understand how things work and collect $$$$$ to
fund and pay the "key personnel".

BTW: They are also in MACON
https://preventblindnessgeorgia.wordpress.com/2011/09/23/breathe-easy-ma...

dichotomy
32993
Points
dichotomy 11/07/13 - 09:32 pm
2
1
Breatheasy needs to put a

Breatheasy needs to put a sock in it and go do their witch dance around a smokestack somewhere.

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