Catch your breath, and try again

Tougher smoking ordinance fails, but fight should continue

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No one should be horribly upset at the failure of a tougher smoking ordinance at the Augusta Commission.

Opponents prevailed, dismissing the proposed ordinance in such a way as to kill it, perhaps intending to extinguish all hope. But proponents should use the 6-4 defeat to work harder to find an accommodation that will win the needed six votes. And, after all, they should want to have to make their case and win people over.

Mayor Pro Tem Corey Johnson, who sponsored the ordinance, was understandably disappointed, as were the many supporters in the audience Nov. 5. And truth be told, they deserved better than they got from the Augusta Commission. Like, oh, maybe a little honest debate on the issue.

But we refuse to believe some compromise can’t be reached.

The proposed ordinance would extend the current statewide smoking ban in establishments that admit and employ minors to bars and such that do not.

The original incarnation would’ve banned it in private clubs, such as the American Legion, which was a huge mistake and a profound intrusion into our private lives. What were supporters thinking?

Yet, even with that provision on the way out, the ordinance failed.

Our best understanding of the opposition to it is a principled stand that the government shouldn’t be telling businesses whether to allow smoking or not.

As a conservative page, we understand that point of view. We just disagree with it in this particular case.

The fact is, the government already tells businesses whether to allow smoking or not – thanks to the state law that prohibits it as explained above.

In addition, the government regulates restaurants’ food preparation and many other aspects of commerce.

And, as we’ve pointed out before, if a restaurant was serving up polluted water, the government would step in immediately, as it should. Why is dishing up toxic air any more tolerable?

We would argue it is less tolerable; not everyone orders a glass of water, but we all breathe.

We urge supporters of an expanded smoking ordinance to keep their chins up and work even harder in the coming months to persuade commissioners to their side.

And we would remind commissioners that, by one estimate, 82 percent of residents support the expanded ban – and, by our own estimate, 100 percent of voters breathe.

Johnson intends to start over and bring a new ordinance back to the commission in the first of the year. Between now and then, supporters should stay strong and smart and hone their case as best they can.

Here’s hoping that patrons and employees will breathe easier in the new year as a result.

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jkline
527
Points
jkline 11/12/13 - 03:33 am
6
4
Totalitariansim

This is an editorial in favour of totalitarianism. The outcome of the vote, which the author complains about, demonstrates that the majority of people are not in favour of totalitarianism (i.e., government rules and regulations for all details of life). In the same way that dripping water hollows out rock, this editorial is intended as another drip to bring the majority around to accepting totalitarianism. Enough said.

Bodhisattva
7316
Points
Bodhisattva 11/12/13 - 05:58 am
8
4
Truthiness?

In the survey, 82% said that "smoking should never be allowed indoors at workplaces", not that they supported the extended ban/ordinance. In the same survey, only 45% said smoking should never be allowed at bars or clubs which is what they claim is the reason for the ordinance. Of course, in the same survey, 63.9% said smoking should never be allowed inside homes. Let freedom ring when almost 2/3 don't think you should be able to smoke in your own house. The ordinance bans smoking in many more places. Parks, stadiums, even hotels can't rent a smoking room, and quite a few other places that they somehow neglect to mention, and probably hope people don't read. They're after an all out ban. They know they have to piecemeal it, and that's exactly what they've been doing. They say they just want smokers to step outside but include a great portion of the outside in the ban. It won't be long before they're back to ban the rest of the outdoors. Then they'll ban smoking in your car, because smoke escapes when you open the doors. Then finally your home and a total ban. It's nothing to do with health. They don't like smoking so they don't want people to do it. It's a power grab. Nothing more, nothing less.

Little Lamb
49247
Points
Little Lamb 11/12/13 - 08:40 am
8
4
Ordinance

I am grateful to Sean Moores who provided a link to the proposed ordinance a few days ago. The ordinance was twenty pages long. It was extremely complex.

And, folks, it covered much more than bars. The ordinance would have banned smoking outdoors on all property owned by the city of Augusta on which there stands a building! Where in the world did Corey Johnson latch on to that hare-brained scheme?

The ordinance would ban smoking at outdoor ATMs, even if there is only the smoker standing there. It even tries to ban smoking at drive up restaurant windows. Who is going to enforce that?

The commission was correct to send that twenty page ordinance down the tube.

Bizkit
35756
Points
Bizkit 11/12/13 - 09:02 am
3
4
Well it's not a democracy

Well it's not a democracy it's a republic so who gives a crap what the majority think. I guess the paper think that segregations should have stayed in place because the majority. "And, as we’ve pointed out before, if a restaurant was serving up polluted water, the government would step in immediately, as it should. Why is dishing up toxic air any more tolerable?"
Right-brings up a good point-more people are negatively affected by obesity than tobacco or smokers. so these restaurants are serving "poison" to the populace and must be closed. If you are going to support a nanny action let it be a good one that will affect more people-ban all restaurants and fast food in Richmond County. I studied health disparities in minorities-most publication try to blame blacks poor health on "lack" of access. But that isn't the case as the studies exposed poor eating habits of fried foods and high salt diet (no wonder stroke is so high). It isn't a "lack" but a failure to seek preventive medicine-studies show this population generally insists on specialists and emergency rooms. Closing all fast foods in Richmond County would save African-american lives and reduce obesity. I can't believe the commissioners are so irresponsible and racist to allow poor blacks to die because of their lack of concern for this major health concern.

Bizkit
35756
Points
Bizkit 11/12/13 - 09:17 am
3
4
Well it's not a democracy

Shameful that conservatives and Rep are just as fascist as progressives and Dems. Really little difference between the two parties in actions-just they preach different rhetoric.

deestafford
32200
Points
deestafford 11/12/13 - 09:32 am
2
4
ACE folks, as much as I love y'all you're off base on this issue

As far as I know there has never been a death certificate issued in GA which says the cause of death was "inhaling second hand smoke". The statistics on this issue are widely inflated by the proponents.

I cannot understand what it is about the phrases "personal responsibility" and "freedom of choice" that y'all seem to be overlooking when it comes to this issue when you see it so clearly on everything else.

dichotomy
37619
Points
dichotomy 11/12/13 - 09:34 am
4
5
This ordinance was the

This ordinance was the No-Smoking version of Obamacare....and the crusaders hoped nobody would read the whole thing. It was purported to be an ordinance about smoking in bars but it was a totalitarian stomping out of freedom of choice. This was NOT about "protecting" the young waitresses' "rights"....it was about Nazi style jackboots wanting to remove 25% of the population from their sight....completely banning them from appearing in public....anywhere.....and denying business owners to the RIGHT to choose who they serve.

I don't know where the 82% number came from but apparently more people were concerned about the jackboot crusaders pushing more oppressive government and stamping out FREEDOM OF CHOICE.

I cannot believe the Chronicle sees fit to start stirring this pot of crap again already. If you want to do some REAL reporting why don't you do some in depth studies of how much the Marriott, the TEE, and the Parking deck have cost , and still are costing, the TAXPAYERS and who is reaping the profit from those facilities. Why aren't you exposing all of the fraud and waste involved with the Laney Walker development?

Is the best you got is to spend your time and printed page on an issue that has had 2 (two) votes and been soundly rejected both times? Really Chronicle? Tell me more about who is putting MY money in THEIR pockets from the Marriott, the TEE, and the parking deck. Tell me where all of the money has gone on the Laney Walker project. Leave the smoking issue to the jackboot crusaders who want to eliminate 25% of the population from public access. Let them do this themselves. It gives them something to do and keeps them from bothering other people....like fat folks or soda pop drinkers....or maybe even them fat women with potpourri perfume.

Bizkit
35756
Points
Bizkit 11/12/13 - 09:52 am
2
2
I am not a smoker but I would

I am not a smoker but I would encourage smokers to protest because people who love freedom will come to your support from this gestapo like activity. Maybe boycott downtown businesses to really hurt them so they will reconsider. I noted a stop and frisk like activity on River Watch. My wife went through and told me how "threatening" the whole incident was. More gestapo tactics. We can all kiss freedom good bye. I will now support killing freedoms-gay marriage forget about it, guns take em all, smokin' shoot the perpetrator on site, obesity-lock em up with no food, religious freedom-burn all the houses of worship, freedom of speech-Kent state comes to mind, all incomes should be confiscated by govt. This is what people want obviously.

Bizkit
35756
Points
Bizkit 11/12/13 - 10:13 am
3
2
Ground-level ozone has become

Ground-level ozone has become an issue in the CSRA. In 2011, the region experienced three days when the amount of ozone in the air was considered unhealthy for certain groups. Few people may know that vehicle exhaust accounts for 37% of the air pollution that forms ground-level ozone in the region. Commuter traffic contributes to a large part of this smog problem. So here is a a major health problem and the commissioners need to enforce carpooling and restricting traffic in congested areas like downtown. A car ban would be much more effective in dealing with a major health risk. If you are going to do something do it right. The problem is the smoking ban is like gun bans-they do nothing about a real concern but just make people "feel" safer.

Jon Lester
2480
Points
Jon Lester 11/12/13 - 10:37 am
0
1
Sometimes freedom is a minority cause,
Unpublished

as you've said yourselves in other contexts. Are we about majority rule now?

oldredneckman96
5115
Points
oldredneckman96 11/12/13 - 10:55 am
2
4
Guns and Tobacco
Unpublished

So, I am walking down the street with a revolver that has one bullet loaded, Russian Roulette style. Now, every now and then, while on a sidewalk, in a store, anywhere I want to go in public, I point at someone and pull the trigger. Five out of six times nothing happens, but there is number six. Now these are special bullets, they might cause you too have a heart attack, maybe trigger your child’s asthma, or only make your eyes water. If I point at you every day and every day there may be a bullet is in the chamber, you will die from some complication of these bullets.
I am protected by the Constitution to keep and bear arms, right? Everyone knows you can not just walk around in public shooting anyone you want. Why would tobacco users be any different? A smoker walking down the sidewalk is no different than some one with a gun.
For smoking ordnance to be legal it has to be uniform in scope and application. We have to ban the use of tobacco in public. Not just some places or some bars, but in public, everywhere in public. Chewing, dipping, smoking, vaping, anyway a person is addicted to nicitine, the effects on the public are harmful. We must ban tobacco use in public just as we changing the way we use DDT, leaded gas, cocaine and many other formerly legal products. As we learn more about a product, we sometimes have to change the way we deal with that product, we know tobacco when used as currently sold is harmful.

nocnoc
49636
Points
nocnoc 11/12/13 - 11:10 am
2
0
dupe deleted

AC E-paper sure is loading slowly today?

nocnoc
49636
Points
nocnoc 11/12/13 - 11:12 am
2
2
The problem with Liberal Groups and Government

is once it gets its foot in the door of your life you can't shut the door.

Simply put: Less Government means more person freedoms.

If Breath Easy really feels that the populous wants NO smoking, they should get it put on the Ballot just that plainly stated. But convincing 6 Commissioners for votes and future support is easier than 60,000+ voters.

Question:
Breath Easy Is it because they don't want to deal with a MAJORITY of Voters? Voters who are,were or never smokers, that your own private research shows, feel it is a individuals right, and not a group of politicians pressured by some National Liberal Political Group who wish to impose/force their will on others?

Sean Moores
702
Points
Sean Moores 11/12/13 - 11:42 am
1
0
@ nocnoc

I found out we are having a few web problems today. Hopefully they'll be cleared up soon. Sorry.

Little Lamb
49247
Points
Little Lamb 11/12/13 - 11:43 am
2
2
Exhaust

Bizkit posted:

If you are going to support a nanny action let it be a good one that will affect more people — ban all restaurants and fast food in Richmond County.

Isn't it crazy that the 21-page proposed smoking ban was trying to ban smoking while waiting in lines at drive-up fast food windows? It is not okay to smoke while in line, but it is okay to breathe second-hand gasoline exhaust from others’ idling engines. Crazy world these BreathEasy folks live in.

Bizkit
35756
Points
Bizkit 11/12/13 - 12:35 pm
1
1
Redneck that's a poor

Redneck that's a poor analogy. A gun will kill someone if you shoot them in a lethal area-a cigarette will increase your risks of a health problem. It isn't a certainty. The American Cancer Society posted these contributing factors:
Lifestyle factors (nutrition, tobacco use, physical activity, etc.)
Naturally occurring exposures (ultraviolet light, radon gas, infectious agents, etc.)
Medical treatments (chemotherapy, radiation, immune system-suppressing drugs, etc.)
Workplace exposures
Household exposures
WHO classifies air pollution as a cancer causing agent. Formaldehyde is a potent carcinogen we are exposed to daily.
PollutionAccording to a 1997 report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, formaldehyde is normally present in both indoor and outdoor air at low levels, usually less than 0.03 parts of formaldehyde per million parts of air (ppm). Materials containing formaldehyde can release formaldehyde gas or vapor into the air. One source of formaldehyde exposure in the air is automobile tailpipe emissions.

During the 1970s, urea-formaldehyde foam insulation (UFFI) was used in many homes. However, few homes are now insulated with UFFI. Homes in which UFFI was installed many years ago are not likely to have high formaldehyde levels now. Pressed-wood products containing formaldehyde resins are often a significant source of formaldehyde in homes. Other potential indoor sources of formaldehyde include cigarette smoke and the use of unvented fuel-burning appliances, such as gas stoves, wood-burning stoves, and kerosene heaters.

Industrial workers who produce formaldehyde or formaldehyde-containing products, laboratory technicians, certain health care professionals, and mortuary employees may be exposed to higher levels of formaldehyde than the general public. Exposure occurs primarily by inhaling formaldehyde gas or vapor from the air or by absorbing liquids containing formaldehyde through the skin.

Bizkit
35756
Points
Bizkit 11/12/13 - 12:43 pm
1
1
Ban cigarettes all you want

Ban cigarettes all you want it won't really decrease your exposure to carcinogens or risks of cancer. No more than banning a gun will prevent a criminal from killing you. All you progressives and communist will ban guns, tobacco, bibles, and free speech before it's over-but then legalize pot and gay unions. I even support freedoms for those I detest-because I'm not a fascist.

SRD
472
Points
SRD 11/12/13 - 06:28 pm
0
1
Fascist Opinion

This is one of the most Fascist Promoted ideas I have ever witnessed in the AC and am once again disappointed in your views. You are willing to allow Richmond County to tell these business owners not to allow something Federally legal yet you want Richmond County to continue to have their tax base and thrive from businesses. Socialist, Fascists, next thing you will be supporting Communism. Very sad state of Opinion in News Reporting.

dichotomy
37619
Points
dichotomy 11/12/13 - 09:40 pm
0
1
oldredneckman..........Walk

oldredneckman..........Walk toward the light. Step away from the cliff.

You do realize that if tobacco smoke were REALLY as dangerous as those things you cited....if second hand smoke were dangerous AT ALL.....IT WOULD HAVE ALREADY BEEN TOTALLY OUTLAWED FROM OUR SOCIETY. All of those second hand smoke studies have been proven flawed.

And as for your totally illogical rants against e-cigarettes, there is NOT one piece of evidence or even accusation that e-cigarettes are harmful to ANYONE, not even the person actually inhaling the FDA certified as safe ingredients.

How about posting some actual facts when you demand to do away with something that I enjoy, doing ANYWERE I AM, that does not hurt, harm, or offend ANYONE. Just because you have some personal hate thing going on it does not make you right, factual, or accurate. It just makes you unreasonable and illogical.

Gage Creed
19454
Points
Gage Creed 11/12/13 - 09:59 pm
0
1
Russian Roulette implies suicidial tendencies....

amazing how venomous the zealots become...

oldredneckman96
5115
Points
oldredneckman96 11/13/13 - 05:40 pm
1
0
Addicts
Unpublished

As often noted when dealing with an addict, logic, reason and common sense can not enter the conversation. For our government to say I can not walk down the street shooting people is what it was designed to do. Our government was designed to be the referee between you and me. You can swing your fist all you want as long as they do not interfere with me. There is just too much info out in the real world that proves the ingredients in tobacco are harmful, even to those who do not directly use it. I will not argue with anyone on that. The promoters of these products will tell you anything and as an addict you will want to believe it. We do need to have a simple one-line proposal on tobacco, banning it and its ingredients use in public. Let “We the People” vote on it. That is what we do in this county, at least we used to, we have to reclaim that right.

Darby
29480
Points
Darby 11/13/13 - 05:47 pm
1
1
"And we would remind commissioners that....

...........by our own estimate, 100 percent of voters breathe."

.
Well, certainly not in Chicago and probably not in Augusta either.

Sad to read an alleged conservative suggest that since government already has control over parts of our lives, we should cede more freedom and control to that growing, grasping, invasive, insatiable monstrosity.

Cigarette smoking is just plain stupid.

On the other hand, stupid people (and smart people who do stupid things) should be free to make choices.

oldredneckman96
5115
Points
oldredneckman96 11/14/13 - 08:16 pm
1
0
Darby
Unpublished

Killing people with gun is just plain stupid too. But we do not let those stupid people make that free choice, do we? Smoke all you want to, just not in my direction.

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