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Bar Owner Says Kokomo Smoking Ban May Close Business

Kokomo’s Common Council is just two weeks away from approving a new smoking ban that would limit lighting up in 21 and over bars, clubs and lounges.

  • Stellas Smoking Sign

    Image 1 of 3

    Photo: Joe Hren

    Stella's Lounge in Kokomo opposes the proposed city smoking ban.

  • Stella Kling

    Image 2 of 3

    Photo: Joe Hren

    Stella Kling is owner of Stella's Lounge in Kokomo.

  • Stellas Lounge

    Image 3 of 3

    Photo: Joe Hren

    Stella's Lounge is just a couple miles south of downtown Kokomo.

Stella’s Lounge opened 21 years ago just a couple miles south from downtown Kokomo. It’s also the legal age to enter a smoking establishment. The 2006 ordinance only bans smoking in any place where minors may enter.

But that might change. Monday night, the city’s common council voted 5 to 4 in favor of an all-inclusive smoking ban.

Bartender Holly Long says she’s a single mother and won’t be able to make ends meet if the ban passes.

“You have your choice if you want to walk into the bar or not you know it’s smoking when you walk in there. If you don’t want to, then don’t come in,” Long says. “I’m not going to make the money I’m used to making. We may even have to close down.”

Her boss and lounge owner Stella Kling says they’re more than just a place to grab a drink, they partner with other bars in the area to raise money for charity.

“They’re trying to take our rights away, it’s not against the law, so what are we doing wrong? We’re keeping it away from the children; we’re not in your household… so I don’t know.”

There’s a final vote scheduled for September 8th. Mayor Greg Goodnight says it will likely come with amendments.

“I understand the personal freedoms and the personal rights. I always use alcohol as a prime example that even though it’s a legal substance, I can purchase alcohol, I just can’t take it with me wherever I want and go places and drink alcohol,” Goodnight says.

He says it will come down to – does the ban help Kokomo or hurt it.

Joe Hren

Anchor, Indiana Newsdesk - WTIU & WFIU News. Follow him on Twitter @Joe_Hren

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  • Lillianese

    Bars don’t seem to be hurting in Bloomington or the entire state of California!

  • Susan

    Doesn’t this come down to a business owners choice amd the patrons choice?? You are missing the boat..

  • sezoku

    What the smokers cannot get their minds around is that their behavior harms others. There is no debate on this, facts are facts. The other thing I see is smokers complaining about their rights being violated. Well then, what about my right to walk into a public establishment and not be forced to breath air that is contaminanted with poisons and carcinogenic vapors? I am sure smokers will counter with the “if you don’t like it don’t come in ” argument. I will counter that by saying if you want to drink and smoke stay home and puff away. Better yet, you could move to a town that does not have a restrictive smoking ordinance. Problem solved.

    It is my firm belief that no one has the “right” to intentionally harm my health through a behaviour of theirs. A wise civics teacher told me once, “Yours rights end when they violate someone else’s rights”

  • Mag01

    It’s America that’s popularized antismoking insanity – again, and which other countries are following suit. The problem with Americans is that they are clueless to even their own recent history. America has a terrible history with this sort of “health” fanaticism/zealotry/extremism or “clean living” hysteria – including antismoking – that goes back more than a century.

    Antismoking is not new. It has a long, sordid, 400+ year history, much of it predating even the pretense of a scientific basis or the more recent concoction of secondhand smoke “danger”. Antismoking crusades typically run on inflammatory propaganda, i.e., lies, in order to get law-makers to institute bans. Statistics and causal attribution galore are conjured. The current antismoking rhetoric has all been heard before. All it produces is irrational fear and hatred, discord, enmity, animosity, social division, oppression, and bigotry. One of the two major antismoking (and anti-alcohol, dietary prescriptions/proscriptions, physical exercise) crusades early last century was in America. [The other crusade was in WWII Germany and the two crusades were intimately connected by physician-led eugenics]. The USA has been down this twisted, divisive path before. Consider the following: The bulk of claims made about smoking/tobacco were erroneous, baseless, but highly inflammatory. Unfortunately, the propaganda did its destructive job in the short term, producing mass hysteria or a bigotry bandwagon. When supported by the State, zealots seriously mess with people’s minds on a mass scale.

    For a brief history of antismoking, see:

    “Cigarette Wars: The ‘Triumph’ of the Little White Slaver” (1998) by Cassandra Tate. Google the following combination – “the endless war on tobacco” “seattletimes” – which should bring up a summary article of the book at the Seattle Times.

    Gordon L. Dillow (1981), “Thank You for Not Smoking” [The Hundred-Year War Against the Cigarette]

    Robert Proctor (1996), “The anti-tobacco campaign of the Nazis: a little known aspect of public health in Germany, 1933-45”

  • Mag01

    The current antismoking crusade, very much in the eugenics tradition –
    involving the same medically-aligned personnel and repugnant methodology, is
    much like crusades over the previous 400 years. It is a moralizing,
    social-engineering, eradication/prohibition crusade decided upon in the 1970s
    by a small, self-installed clique of [medically-oriented] fanatics operating
    under the auspices of the World Health Organization and sponsored by the
    American Cancer Society (see the “Godber Blueprint”). This little, unelected group, using much the same inflammatory rhetoric of its fanatical predecessors, decided for everyone that tobacco-use should be eradicated from the world – for a “better” (according to them) world. These fanatics were speaking of secondhand smoke “danger” and advocating indoor and OUTDOOR smoking bans years before the first study on SHS, and extortionate taxes on tobacco years before contrived “cost burden” analyses of smoking: In the 1970s, populations – particularly in relatively free societies – weren’t interested in elitist social-engineering, particularly by a group (medically-aligned) that had a horrible recent track record (eugenics). Given that their antismoking crusade would have otherwise stalled, the zealots conjured secondhand smoke “danger” to advance the social-engineering agenda, i.e., inflammatory propaganda. Until only recently the zealots claimed they weren’t doing social engineering, that they weren’t moralizing. Well, that’s a lie that’s been told many times over the last few decades.

    The zealots’ goal this time is not to ban the sale of tobacco but to ban
    smoking in essentially all the places that people smoke (combined with
    extortionate taxes), indoors and out. Up until recently the social-engineering
    intent has been masqueraded as protecting nonsmokers from secondhand smoke
    “danger”. But even this fraud can no longer be hidden in that bans are now
    being instituted for large outdoor areas such as parks, beaches, campuses where
    there is no demonstrable “health” issue for nonsmokers. This dangerous mix of
    the medically-aligned attempting social engineering is a throwback to a century
    ago. We seem to have learned nothing of value from very painful lessons of only
    the recent past.

  • Mag01

    Here’s a brief history of the antismoking madness (Godber Blueprint) over
    the last few decades.

    The first demand for a smoking ban was in the late-1980s concerning
    short-haul flights in the USA of less than 2 hours. At the time, the antismokers were asked if this was a “slippery slope” – where would it end? They ridiculed anyone suggesting such because this ban was ALL that they were after.

    Then they ONLY wanted smoking bans on all flights.
    Then the antismokers ONLY wanted nonsmoking sections in restaurants, bars,
    etc., and ensuring that this was ALL they wanted.
    Then the antismokers ONLY wanted complete bans indoors. That was all they
    wanted. At the time, no-one was complaining about having to “endure” wisps of
    smoke outdoors.

    While they pursued indoor bans, the antismokers were happy for smokers to be
    exiled to the outdoors. Having bulldozed their way into indoor bans, the
    antismokers then went to work on the outdoors, now declaring that momentary
    exposure to remnants of smoke in doorways or a whiff outdoors was a “hazard”,
    more than poor, innocent nonsmokers should have to “endure”.
    Then they ONLY wanted bans within 10 feet of entrance ways.
    Then they ONLY wanted bans within 20 feet of entrance ways.
    Then they ONLY wanted bans in entire outdoor dining areas.
    Then they ONLY wanted bans for entire university and hospital campuses and
    parks and beaches.
    Then they ONLY wanted bans for apartment balconies.
    Then they ONLY wanted bans for entire apartment (including individual
    apartments) complexes.

    On top of all of this, there are now instances where smokers are denied
    employment, denied housing (even the elderly), and denied medical treatment.
    Smokers in the UK are denied fostering/adoption. Involuntary mental patients are restrained physically or chemically (sedation) or multi-day solitary confinement rather than allow them to have a cigarette – even outside. In some countries there are also compounded extortionate taxes.

    At each point there was a crazed insistence that there was no more to come
    while they were actually planning the next ban and the brainwashing required to
    push it. The incessant claim was that they were not doing “social engineering”
    (prohibition) when the current antismoking crusade has been so from the outset,
    just like pretty well every previous antismoking crusade. There has been
    incessant (pathological) lying and deception. Many medically-aligned groups
    have been committed to antismoking – their smokefree “utopia” – since the 1960s,
    and are also in the pay of Pharma companies peddling their useless “nicotine
    replacement” products. They have prostituted their medical authority and
    integrity to chase ideology (this is exactly what occurred in the eugenics of
    early last century). All of it is working to a tobacco-extermination plan run
    by the WHO (dominated by the American “model”) and that most nations are now
    signed-up to (Framework Convention on Tobacco Control).

  • Mag01

    Sezoku, you sound like a rabid antismoking zealot.

    Nonsmokers are simply people that do not smoke. There are
    nonsmokers that like the aroma of tobacco smoke and there are plenty more that are not fussed one way or the other. Antismokers, on the other hand, are a different mentality altogether. Antismokers hate [tobacco]
    smoke/smoking/smokers. There’s even a name that’s been given to this hatred of smoke that probably originated in the antismoking fanaticism in America a century ago – “misocapnist”. Even with the antismoking barrage of the last 30 years, antismokers are still a small group. So, to get their way with legislators they typically hijack the entire nonsmokers group, pretending to speak for all nonsmokers. The history of antismoking is that antismokers will hijack anything – science, religion, history, language – to depict their bizarre hatred as “normal”. It’s rabid antismokers that are neurotic bigots.

    It’s antismokers that find tobacco smoke as “obnoxious”…. that it “stinks”. It’s antismokers’ subjective experience that they then depict as “objective”. And then follows the “filthy”, “disgusting”, “dirty” barrage. Antismokers’ hyper-reactivity to tobacco smoke is inordinate, disproportionate; many react to even a whiff of smoke as if they’re being led to the gallows. Even their vocabulary in describing smoke is terribly exaggerated – they have
    to negotiate “walls” or “tunnels” or “clouds” of smoke as if they’re navigating through a hail of bullets. Just spend a little time with a rabid antismoker and it becomes quickly apparent that they can’t be reacting to the physical properties of smoke. They seem to be troubled minds projecting their significant inner turmoil (fear/hate) onto smoke. And the State/authorities have approved projection onto smoke, i.e., State-approved bigotry.

  • sezoku

    Has it ever occurred to you that the reason for public smoking bans is that it is harmful to others around you?

  • sezoku

    Yes, I hate tobacco smoke. I hate the smell, the mess and the health problems it creates. I also hate when someone who chooses to damage their own health wants to damage mine as well because they cannot go a few hours without a cancer stick in a public establishment. If one chooses to smoke I believe that is fine. Just don’t subject me to your poison.

  • Mag01

    Has it ever dawned on you that you might be a neurotic bigot? What “harm” are you referring to? Manufactured “harm”? The manufactured “harm” concerns the indoors. But it never ends with even indoor bans. Now there is a frenzy to institute outdoor bans. The latest is Oregon contemplating banning smoking on its entire 300+ mile coastline.

    Has anyone bothered to ask the most pertinent question in the face of all these smoking bans – why, if ambient tobacco smoke is so “dangerous”, is there no mandatory national indoor smoking ban in the USA?

    The Centers for Disease Control and the Office of the Surgeon-General, for example, that claim that secondhand smoke is a “danger” or there’s “no safe level of tobacco smoke” have long been hijacked by the antismoking zealots in pushing for their smokefree “utopia”. The medical credentials of these organizations
    have been prostituted to chase an ideological agenda. Concerning tobacco, these organizations are propaganda outlets…. activist groups, their reports dominated by antismoking
    zealots/extremists. The standard deception inflicted on the public by these groups is promoting the logical fallacy of “appeal to authority” – the same occurred in the 1800s/early-1900s.

    Constantly omitted is the stance of the actual federal regulatory authority governing indoor air quality – Occupational Safety & Health Administration. OSHA does not view typically encountered tobacco smoke INDOORS as problematic, let alone outdoors. It does not support the view that typical SHS exposure causes lung cancer and heart disease. That’s why there’s no regulatory national ban on indoor smoking in the USA. The activist groups routinely ignore OSHA – they never refer to OSHA – and
    substitute their own inflammatory propaganda and promote the deception that organizations such as the SG and CDC are “regulatory authorities”. They are no such thing. And through this fraud the zealots have managed to get numerous baseless indoor and now even outdoor bans. See the Godber Blueprint.

  • Mag01

    Yep. You are a rabid antismoking zealot spouting the standard inflammatory rhetoric. You’re right about one thing. You’re a hater. And in tobacco smoke have you found something onto which to project your considerable hate. Great accomplishment!

  • sezoku

    So because I am concerned for my health that makes me a zealot? If you wish to purposely damage your health that is up to you. I only ask that you do not damage mine at the same time. It’s called common courtesy.

  • Ruth Ann Reedy

    Kokomo isn’t a big town nor is it a college town….Go to Michigan’s small towns & the bars are empty. ..people stay at home then go out cause of the smoking ban & the bars are either empty or simply closed down all together. & its not just there but the south as well like Louisiana..Kokomo is nothing but restaurants & bars & most we aren’t allowed to smoke in them…why not have a few places for smokers to go…what’s the problem with that…take Lafayette & west Lafayette for instance on Lafayette side you can smoke in west Lafayette you can’t. ..why cant we be like that…instead of non smoking all together. ..isn’t this America, where we have a choice instead of conforming to someone’s else’s. ..& if the ban does go in effect & Kokomo becomes a ghost town & looses a ton of jobs, can we thank the nonsmokers for that!! I dont like to conform to this socialism that our country has now founded upon taking our liberties , freedom, rights away to conform to other way of life…sounds like we need to stand up & fight !!! This should be up to the bar owners & the patrons not the Government telling us so!!!

  • Lillianese

    Smoking and tobacco smoke is a well researched health issue. What about my liberty not inhale your tobacco smoke? What about the workers’ rights not to inhale tobacco smoke? As an ex-smoker myself, I am well aware of how little smokers know about the impact of their addiction on others.

  • Lillianese

    Further, you gave up liberty when you became a tobacco/nicotine addict. I am so grateful that I managed to stop using. It is amazing how it curtailed my freedom at so many levels. I feel for smokers – so trapped by this addiction that tells them they don’t have an addiction and that it’s all okay. Well, it’s not okay for them, for their children and families, or for the communities in which they live. I feel badly that smokers feel “stigmatized” and unable to freely smoke when the compulsion hits them. They are as much victims of their addiction as those of us who must share air space with them. This is a case where the civic community as in your elected officials have to stand up for everyone by saying “no” it is not okay to smoke in public places, because smokers can’t make that decision themselves, servers are too dependent on pleasing the people who pay them to be able to say no but whose health is jeopardized by secondhand smoke, …

  • Mag01

    Another antismoking fanatic – a “born again” ex-smoker – spouting the standard rhetoric. Lill, “nicotine addiction” is also a throwback to 1800s America. We’re not going forward. We’ve regressed about a century into dangerous simple-mindedness.

  • Robert P. Gehrmann

    Well said Mago1

  • Robert P. Gehrmann

    A Public establishment??? That place is owned by someone that allows the “public” in. What right does the government (or health department) have to control that private property? Of course if you do not like it do not enter. You could move to a town that prohibits smoking!! The towns being conquered by ISIS is your heaven.

    Your firm belief is like any other religious dogma, similar to ISIS.
    Your “wise ” civics teacher was wrong. Typical liberal indoctrination, teaching you what to think, not how to think!!

  • sezoku

    Really? You upvoted your own post? LOL. Nice effort. Since you need this explained to you I will. Second hand smoke is harmful to others. There is no debate on this issue. It is a fact. In light of that, you have to acknowledge that smoking in public is intentionally harming others. If someone were to poison another little by little over time, like what happens with second hand smoke they would be charged with murder. Smoking in public is nothing short of a criminal act.

    Yes the government does have the right to step in where public health is an issue. Ever hear of food safety inspectors? Do you believe that if a restaurant is serving tainted food the government should not step in?

    Your argument is typical trollish tea party/right wing blather. Put a picture of someone with a uniform up, throw a reference to terrorism, insinuate that they are “indoctrinated” into a belief system so anything they say is not worthy of consideration all the while ignoring the facts.

    I have never said that I wanted tobacco banned. In fact I support anyone smoking any brand or type of tobacco product they wish to use. I just want the same choice. When someone sits next to me and lights up a smoke I am denied that choice. Smoking is a choice, breathing is not.

    No worries though, in a few days Kokomo, IN will be another town that is included in the no smoking in public buildings category.

  • Mag01

    “Smoking in public is nothing short of a criminal act.”

    Sezoku, you’re in a sick fantasy world. And I suspect
    that the critical idea of dosimetry escapes your understanding too.

    Air, generally, contains a multitude of chemicals (most of
    the chemicals in tobacco smoke are already in the air generally, plus many more), gases, particulates, bacteria, viruses, pollen, dust, manure dust, animal dander, dead skin scales. The determinant of safety is dose. In most instances the dose of all these constituents is well within permissible exposure limits.

    And then along comes the rabid antismoker: “I am an antismoker. Don’t you know that I am a superior being? I own the air…. all of it. I get to decide what is put in and not put in the air. I hate tobacco smoke. Tobacco smoke, or any remnants thereof, must never enter my breathing sphere or any area that I might ever or never frequent. I, your antismoking highness, so decrees.”

    For heaven’s sake!

  • sezoku

    I always see you argue around a point but never to it. Does second hand smoke harm others that inhale it. Simply answer yes or no.

  • Mag01

    The Federal regulatory authority – Occupational Safety &
    Health Administration (OSHA) – answers your question. The answer is NO. And that’s for indoor environments. For the outdoors, there isn’t even any contrived evidence of harm. Smoke is quickly diluting. You’d be hard pressed to
    measure anything of smoke, let alone hazard.

    Sezoku, 3 decades of inflammatory propaganda has had its
    effect on some. There are now even people that believe that a whiff of smoke, indoors or out, will strike them dead. They’ve been manipulated into an anxiety disorder through a nocebo effect. Google “nocebo” and “youtube” for a good
    short video on the nocebo effect.

    There are now people that are brainwashed disciples of the
    supremacist antismoking cult. The primary belief of this deranged cult is that disciples must never ever be exposed to tobacco smoke. The cult even demands that legislators pass laws to accommodate their deranged belief.

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