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Owners Say Smoking Ban Targets Indiana Bars

Bar owners say a smoking ban targets their businesses and could hurt their profits.

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Photo: Lago A. R. (Flickr)

Legislators want to pass a state-wide smoking ban before the Super Bowl.

Indiana bars and taverns say they are being singled out in the new smoking ban legislation working its way through the General Assembly.

The legislation provides exceptions to three classes of businesses: gaming floors in casinos, racinos and off-track betting parlors, existing cigar and hookah bars and social clubs whose members vote to allow smoking. Bill author Eric Turner says he knows plenty of groups will be coming forward, trying to get their own exemption put into the bill.

“You know, if we listen and pass all those exemptions, there’s not much sense of doing a smoking ban,” he says.

Bars and taverns are among those calling loudest for a carve-out. Brad Klopfenstein represents bar owners and says if a ban is going to be passed, it should not include any exemptions.

“To say that we value certain employees more than others, that’s doing a disservice,” he says. “However, if you’re going to allow exemptions, then you’re suddenly just playing favorites, and this becomes a business issue.”

A House committee heard testimony on the ban Monday, but could not vote because the House Democrat holdout stemming from a dispute over right to work prevented the bill from being moved to the committee.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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  • http://profiles.google.com/cantiloper Michael McFadden

    If I may add an additional thought further illustrating the possibility of insincerity on the part of the ban-pushers:  Your article notes that Rep. Turner claims “he knows plenty of groups will be coming forward, trying to get their own exemption put into the bill.” and says if they succeed, “there’s not much sense of doing a smoking ban.”   

    Plenty of groups?  How many? A 20?  A dozen? A half dozen?  Oddly enough, I can think of only three that aren’t already in the exemption list: bars, bowling, and bingo.  Don’t you think the complaint about “plenty of groups” and such a ban not making much sense is a bit of a mischaracterization?  

    I would think a ban would do just fine and make many folks happy if it just included malls, supermarkets, grocery stores, offices, public transport, school buildings, courthouses, licensing bureaus, indoor train/bus stations, libraries, family restaurants, legislative chambers, city hall, hospitals, concert halls, movie theaters, and such things. The insane need to extend it to places like bars exists only because of the background motivation of social engineering: trying to use the power of government to achieve behavior modifications by making smoking socially unacceptable and difficult to engage in.  

    The people in bars, and the employees who work at bars do *NOT* want such a ban.  If the legislators want to claim they do, then let the antismoking organizations fund a neutral polling, with proper oversight, of a random sampling of bars for a vote by those employees.  They’ll never agree to such a thing of course and you’ll also never see a pre-ban poll of such employees of course.  Why? Because they’re lying and they know they’re lying when they claim these bans are for the benefit of employees who are clamoring for them: the employees would much rather keep their tips, and their jobs, and the freedom to smoke themselves or have customers who smoke.

    So add that challenge to the mix and stir it in, and see if the ban soup still passes the truth taste test.

    - MJM

  • http://profiles.google.com/cantiloper Michael McFadden

    If “bill author Eric Turner” *REALLY* believes that the ban isn’t going to hurt the bars, and if he *REALLY* wants the ban to pass, and if he’s *REALLY* telling the truth, then the answer is simple.  He simply has to sign, and get his fellow legislators and antismoking groups to sign, a legal commitment to cover any business losses that occur because of the ban — out of both their own personal pockets and their organizational pockets.  
    As soon s that was done, with a nice rock solid legal contract, virtually all the organized opposition to a ban would disappear and they’d have the ban that they want.

    Will that happen?  Of course not.  They’re lying and they KNOW they’re lying.  All they have to do is look at other areas where bans have passed and read the ECONOMIC studies done by ECONOMISTS (as opposed to those done by antismoking advocates in medical journals).  Google the following just as written in a single line entry:

    “Phd Economists” AND “smoking ban”

    and you’ll find the primary article on that. 

    Think the pro-ban folks will take the opportunity to get their ban by guaranteeing their own money, instead of the bar owners’ and the taxpayers’ money, against the losses they swear won’t occur?

    Of course not: they’ll run away faster than a little girl from a pack of tarantulas.  Ask them.

    Michael J. McFadden
    Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sheila-Martin/100000104130795 Sheila Martin

    The 18 month old Kansas smoking ban is wiping out small neighborhood taverns. Seems elected officials don’t care. I guess little mom and pop places don’t make those big campaign donations like the big chain restaurant bars do. So, it must be alright to wipe them out. The Restaurant Association here wouldn’t even help to defend property rights! Wonder who is going to help THEM when the “behavior control gestapo” finishes off the bars and comes after the oil and salt users?

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