Tell us what you think about the smoking ban... - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Tell us what you think about the smoking ban...

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I myself smoke and have read several of the emails posted. I saw alot of self centered and self serving comments out there. I think alot of them are missing the picture. Sure I would agree to not smoke in a restaurant, I normally don't anyway because I don't like it my. However if our government continues to dictate what you can and cant do soon all of our basic freedoms will be taken away. Think about it this fourth of July what FREEDOM means. To me it means that I have the freedom to live my life my way, within reason of course, and not have someone constantly looking over my should telling me I cant do this or that I. If you don't mind the government telling you that you cant have an abortion, you cannot have a legal commitment with the one you love, you cannot make your own decisions. Then freedom is lost and when it is I believe that No one will have the backbone to stand up and say NO MORE, as our forefathers did. I don't know about everyone else but I want to make my own decisions rather they are right or wrong. And lastly I think smoking should at least be allowed in bars almost 90 percent of bar patrons smoke, owners would lose business and that is their livelihood don't allow the government to take their work away too, they already reward companies to send work as well as your personal information to other countries, Do you know where your where all you health insurance information, name, address, ss# and etc. ? India, the Philippines, Africa and Jamaica that's where.

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Columbus , Ohio is pushing a smohong ban in bars, resturants and publis place at this time. I do not smok and have neverr smoke and I feel that the govermant is take my rigth away from me. If I wnated to smoke that would be my decision to do so not the govermant I know all the fact about smoking I'm over 50 years old. If we are going govern smoking way not how much perfume a person use or the way a person eats.It time for the goverment to let us be grow ups and do what we want

PMO

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I absolutely HATE cigarettes and smoke; especially when I'm trying to eat. I think they should be banned for ever from everything. In fact I wish there would never be another one made--EVER! But since they generate so many funds I know they'll continue. So, my wish is that no one would allow them into their restaurants, businesses, etc. When you smoke, you're not only affecting yourself, you're affecting everyone around you. If you want to smoke, do it at home, preferrably in your own yard and don't blow the smoke at anyone who doesn't smoke. IT STINKS AND IS HORRIBLE TO HAVE TO BREATHE!!!!

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I don't think It's fair for them to ban smoking in public places and then to serve alcohol I would like to know what the difference is. I'm not a smoker in paticullar but my mother and husband and stepfather all smoke but do you hear me complaining well of course not because it don't bother. Yes there is some under age kids smoking but at least smoking want get anybody killed like a dui will.

 A concerned citizen.

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The true problem with allowing people to smoke in ANY restaurant is that a restaurant is not only a place where people eat, but it also a place where people work. The issue then becomes about the legal obligation of any business owner to make sure their workplace conforms to OSHA standards. Like it or not, OSHA has established rules that govern the safety of workers. Since second hand smoke has been determined a dangerous carcinogen, a business owner that allows smoking is endangering the people that work there. Even if less people work in a restaurant than eat there, they are still protected under the law. That said, I agree with the person who mentioned the technology that exists to control smoke and improve ventilation. Just as paintshops and foundries are bound to OSHA regulations, so too are restaurants whose air quality, due to smoker-friendly policies, is measurably dangerous.

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SEEMS FUNNY TO ME THAT WITH ALL THE NEW AIR RESTORATION AND AIR CIRCULATION AND AIR CLEANSING APPLIANCES, SOME OF THE TECHNOLOGY COULDN'T BE USED IN RESTAURANTS TO SEPARATE SMOKERS AND NON - SMOKERS.

I CANNOT UNDERSTAND EITHER WHY SMOKERS ARE NOT ALLOWED AT OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES, SUCH AS FOOTBALL OR BASEBALL AT JOE DAVIS STADIUM.

R.F.W. NICHOLAS
HUNTSVILLE , ALABAMA

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I THINK THAT PEOPLE HAVE A WRITE TO DO WHAT EVER THEY WANT IF THEY WANT TO SMOKE THATS UP TO THEM I LOOK AT IT THIS WAY WHEN YOU START PAYING FOR MY CIGARETTES WELL THEN YOU CAN START TELLING WHERE OR IF I CAN SMOKE.PEOPLE SAY THAT CIGARETTE SMOKE STINKS WELL WHAT ABOUT THAT NASTY BEER WINE ANY OTHER DRINKS THAT HAVE ALOCHOL TO ME THAT STUFF SMELLS WORSE THAN SMOKE SO IF THEY STOP CIGARETTE SMOKEING IN RESTURANTS THEY SHOULD BAN DRINKING ALCHOL TO. CAUSE THATS AS DEADLEY OR EVEN WORSE THAN SMOKEING HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE DIED DRIVING WHILE SMOKEING

THANK YOU

DONNA
HUNTSVILLE

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Yes, second hand smoke is bad, even deadly for some.

I have severe asthma and a disease of my immune system. I try to stay away from smoke but there times that I can't avoid it. I have been hospitalized numerous times and missed months of work because I was exposed to someones second hand smoke! like the cashier that smokes at the convenience store or the person that walks up to me and ask for the time or walking into a restaurant or shopping mall when smokers are just outside the door smoking.

Smoke causes me to have an asthma attack and serious infections that my body can't fight off.

I feel so sorry for children that have no control over what they are exposed to.

Treatment for the disease I have is almost $15,000.00 a month but even that can't competely protect me from the harm that second hand smoke causes.

Yes, you have the right to smoke but I also should have the right to eat my meal without worrying that it may be my last! Please don't preach that second hand smoke doesn't harm others, I know better.

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The only comment I have is now that we have covered prayer, the Ten Commandants and smoking. When is some do-well group going to cover indecent wearing apparell. I go to a local restaurant, movie, shopping area (Walmart, etc) and someone has sit in seats that has been wearing shorts or the like wearing no underwear or a thong leaving no telling what in the seat. I put my child or grandchild in a cart that someone has had a child in with a soiled diaper. This also has a bearing on my health or the health of my family.

Where does all this end. There have been cases of consenting adults having sex in their own homes being spied on by well intentioned "neighbors" reporting them to local authorities. Where does this end. We are in Iraq killing our sons and daughters for the right to be free.

Yet we complacently sit here in the USA and let our freedoms be taken away.

A concerned citizen in Fayetteville, TN.

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As they say..."a smoking section in a restaurant is like a peeing section in your swimming pool."

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I AM A NON SMOKER!!! I CHOSE NOT TO SMOKE WHEN I PUT THEM DOWN IN 1979. IF THE LAW PASSES THAT A BUSUNESS IS A NON SMOKING PLACE, AND I ORDER FOOD AND YOU LIGHT UP A CIGARETTE, BE PREPARED TO EITHER TAKE THE CIGARETTE FOR A WALK OR SINCE I CAN NOT EATE THE FOOD I HAVE ORDERED, YOU CAN WEAR IT HOME!! PLAIN AND SIMPLE. EITHER WAY I HAVE TO PAY FOR THE ORDER.

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To Dennis who would rather smell perfume than cigarette smoke. I guess everyone has their own personal feelings about smokers/non-smokers. I did not mean to say perfume stinks, although most of it does, to me. It stops up my nose and gives me a sick headache. As a smoker, I realize that it is bad for one's health, but the point is that it is none of other people's business about other people's health, unless they are paying the bills. I haven't had a single offer for someone to pay my bills, in order for me to stop smoking. The point is that stinky perfume wearers have a right to wear it in public, just as smokers have a right to smoke in public. But they have nothing more important to do except to try to control other people by passing laws on personal habits of others who they don't like. The whole debate is stupid. If I am seated in a restaurant and someone's perfume is making me sick, I just ask to move to another table. I don't carry on about passing laws to make perfume illegal in public. If I want a cigarette, and I notice that it is, or might be bothering someone, I refrain until I am in my car. I mean MY car, not yours. Perfume wearers don't offer respect like that to others. They think they smell good, and that everyone must think the same. Well, I mean, I have never seen it happen. After they have gobbed it on, it stays until they bathe again. Cig. smoke will dissipate. Perfume/After Shave/ Cologne will not. My physician stated to me last week, that it is a proven fact that second-hand smoke does not cause heart or respiratory disease.

This world has gone crazy. This ignorant debate is comparable to the pro-life believers. They want to force their agendas on others, because they think they are right. They want all these unwanted babies to have a chance at a life, where they are unwanted from the start, and will be abused and not cared for like children should be, abandoned, etc. I don't see any of these pro-life believers out there banging down the doors of adoption agencies. The bottom line is that a lot of folks love to control other people, who they don't even know or care about their circumstances. They just want what they want to be law, with no thought or care about other's rights. I am not saying I think people who don't smoke should have to endure smoke while eating. Every restaurant I have frequented has adequate smoking sections, with additional ventilation. So what is the big deal? Can we get on with something meaningful to debate? Can we act like adult human beings and compromise? It would be an easy thing to do, and everyone could be happier. Actually, the non-smoker would not be happy if smoking were banned completely, or made illegal (which would suit me fine). Because it would cost non-smokers a whole lot more money to make up for lost revenues. I will not smoke in restaurants if you will stop wearing perfume in restaurants, and, oh yes, stop cooking on your outside grill and putting chemicals on your lawns and gardens, which are proven killers. You could also get educated That is a much more pollutant than a cigarette or two out in the open air. Look at the big picture for a change. Stop trying to controlmy life, without letting me control yours. In effect, this is a form of taxation without representation. Get off on something that matters, like education, taxes, crooked politicians, help for the needy and so on. GET A GRIP and GET A LIFE, and please leave mine alone.

aurora

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I think all back and forth is just crazy. This is the USA , and business owners have a right to decide what type of business they want to have. American was built by private entrepreneurs. The government doesn’t own those businesses, and have no right to legislate how those owners run their business or tell the business owner what type of clientele he is allowed to serve. The government must respect those rights, or it won’t be the USA for much longer. Every business owner should decide if his/her establishment place should be smoke-free, offer a smoking section, or not offer a non-smoking section. Then the public will decide where they want to take their business. I believe there is enough business around Huntsville for smoking AND non smoking business to do just fine. Actually, I think it would be great to have a TGIFridays (for instance) that is completely non-smoking, AND a TGIFridays where anyone can smoke anywhere! But, it should be entirely up to the owners of all private businesses to decide, NOT the Huntsville City Council.

And to all you who believe clean air is the only way to go; just consider how much the taxes on cigarettes pay for in your own lives. Before you condemn all smoking, think about this. If all smoking were to stop today, Riley’s mega-tax plan would only be the tip of ‘new taxes needed’ iceberg. Are you ready for even bigger additional new tax hikes? Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it!

Freedom to Decide!

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Both California and New York businesses decried smoking ban policies as a deathblow to their businesses, but quite the opposite happened! In fact, reports indicate that most have seen a rise in businesses for most bars and club! Having visited both states, I certainly appreciate the fact that one does not have to worry about asking for a “non-smoking” section!

Respectfully,

Patrick M Moise

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I beleive that smoking should be abnned in public places IF and only IF, they allow minors to enter the establishment. If only adults are allowed entrance such as a bar, nightclub, etc... then no ban for those places. What ADULT would expect a bar to not have cigarette smoke? Places that allow children to enter should ban since children are not allowed to smoke under Alabama Law; that should include second-hand smoke.

Kenn Pietrzak
Huntsville , AL

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This is in response to EB I completely agree that we should not smoke around our children, I am a smoker and god knows I want to quit, but it isn't that easy. But as far as it being a form of child abuse that is a terrible thing to say. If smoking is a form of child abuse what do you call letting children ride a school bus without a seatbelt. People should not lose their children because they smoke. I don't smoke around mine, but even if I did I would hope that the law would not come in and take my kids. I hope that you EB do not drink socially around your children because if smoking is a form of child abuse so is drinking and I don't drink at all.

So think of some bad habits you may have and think about whether those habits can be grounds enough for you to lose your children.

AM

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I think to ban smoking in public places will mean alot of Restuarants will lose most of there business that's what the work industry needs to be thinking about. I smoke and I have a 15 month old daughter but I do not smoke around her, me and my husband go outside to smoke. So she is not in harms way. I just think all of the people who does not smoke should show alittle respect to the ones that do, everyones not perfect, and theres probably something that the non-smokers do that bothers the smokers, so they need to think before they act and complain about everything. Us smokers have rights and hopefully the won't be taking away from because some people have to be complaining about everything. Everyone who goes for the needs to think before they go taking the rights away from others.

A proud smoker

Rena Moore
Athens, Al

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A smoking ban in public is a wonderful beginning to provide healthful air for everyone to breathe. The next logical step is to make smoking around a child (specifically in the home where the child has no control) an offense of child abuse. Many children live in small homes or trailers and are forced to breathe second hand smoke equivalent to a pack a day. Such selfish parents should lose custody for not providing a safe breathing environment for their children. A child's tender lungs cannot develop adequately under such circumstances and often becomes a victim in the high incidence of juvenile respiratory disease. Naturally, this also contributes to the statistics of children starting to smoke at very young age. I could go on....

EB

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If smoking is ban from goverment and public buildings then they shouldn't receive any of the tabaco tax money. This money could be put to use elseware

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Now if we can get people to smoke at least 50 feet away from Government buildings...all will be good.

-Thinking out loud

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I agree with the smoking ban. I can not breathe when I am close to someone who is smokng. That means my freedom is violated, right?! Many others complained about freedom being taken away, but I believe non - smokers freedom is taken away when they have to breathe in smokey air.

As for the comment about SOUTHERN BAPTISTS TRYING TO RULE THE WORLD..... Why don't you come and join us? You might like us because you definitely have some misconceptions of what we believe and what our goal is. The Great Commission is our focus along with following the Bible. Southern Baptists do not rule the world, God does.

c.j.

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I hate to borrow a quote, but it seems appropriate. "Having a smoking section in a restaurant is like having a peeing section in the pool." We need to ban smoking so those that have chosen not to smoke does not have to breath it. Smokers can hold out long enough to eat, can't they? It is called going out to eat, not to smoke. Respect the non-smokers by not smoking in buildings. All we are pushing is fresh air.

Thank you,
Christopher

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Thank goodness for the smoking ban !! Long past due I might add. Too many people here in the TV suffer from upper respiratory illnesses for us to be forced to breathe *second hand smoke*. Now if we can get the public to do something about the perfume/after shave crisis we may be on an uphill swing. The amount of perfume that some women wear actually chokes me and the same goes for after shave. In this case, too much is too much.

Thank you for listening,

A Channel 48 viewer that will hopefully breath better in the future.

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I frequently travel to Orlando FL , where a restaurant no-smoking ordnance was put into effect about 2 years ago. This doesn't seem to have affected their tourism industry, and has not created problems that I can see. I do believe, however, that restaurants should be treated differently from bars or clubs. While I strongly support the no-smoking ordnance for restaurants, I believe there should be a different set of rules for a club - maybe smoking and no-smoking areas for those establishments. The two establishments are quite different, and I think it is short-sighted and unfair of the proponents of this ordnance to try to treat them the same. Even when I smoked (25 years ago), I did not like to be around other smokers while trying to eat. Surely the smokers can go without a cigarette for an hour or so in a restaurant.

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Smoking stinks and so do you.

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As a smoker for several years now I can understand everyone's comments and concerns.You know in the past several years legislation has removed cigarette commercials,liquor commercials,and beer commercials are still going strong.About every commercial break in the show you watch every night of the week there is at least beer commercial(don't think so ? wait until "SUPER BOWL SUNDAY" gets here and that's all you will see ) .That does not bother me.Legislation has put warning labels on music that could be offensive to your children.But what really bothers me and should bother you also is that about 1/3 rd. of the rest of the commercials is some pharmaceutical company telling your kids to ask your doctor or have your parents ask if this medication might be right for you.Why?Because the pharmaceutical and medical insurance companies is a BIG money making business.Don't think so ?Unless you have the best BC/BS plan with the real cheap $ 5.00 copay wait until you get the bill for your medication at the pharmacy the next time you get some prescription filled.People can say smoking is bad for your but so is the food you buy at the store.I had an uncle who smoked "Prince Albert" tobacco(hand rolled),dipped "Bruton Snuff ",cooked everything in "lard",had chickens for eggs,slaughtered cattle and hogs for meat along with deer he and his grandchildren killed during hunting season,churned his own butter, and lived to be 93,and guess how many times he went to doctor in his lifetime? Twice.Maybe he lived that long because he was not eating food that was full of preservatives and chemicals so that it could set of the shelf for years.So in closing this letter I will say this;it's my right to smoke if so desire and your right not to if that's what you want to do,and I should not be TAXED and TAXED and TAXED some more to pay for all the things our normal taxes are suppose to be paying for,and our taxes should not be paying for some county or city official to drive around in a 30 thousand dollar "Lincoln Continental Towncar".You know it really tick's you off when a small stretch of "Hobbs Island Road" got new pavement between "County Commissioner Hill's house and the entrance to the "County Truck Storage Shed" when there were numerous other places that really did need repaving.But that's what taxes are all about.Right???

So light one up for me !!!!!!

Randy

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It is not to smoke or not to smoke, it is free enterprise. The government wants to tell the private owners how to run their business. It is not the Governments money that started the business. It is not the Governments money that pays the taxes, but jus the opposite. I am totally against the Government telling a person what they can/cannot do in their own place of business. So what is next, you can go to church but you cannot worship? A person has the right to run his/her establishment the way that they want. They can post a sign up to indicate that it is a smoking establishment and the people who choose not to do business with that business, have the right to walk away. Give me the right of choice. God did. This is no longer the land of the free. This has become a communist country when the government tells you what you can/cannot serve in your own restaurant.

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For the person that hates perfume...

Ever sat next to a smoker? I have because I quit the habit and I would much rather smell perfume.

Dennis R. Custer

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Instead of banning smoking in all places, give businesses a choice. Either no smoking, or smoking. Let the market make the choice.

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To all you non-smokers:

Before you ban smoking, think about this. Your perfume, cologne, and after shave bothers me and many others, and pollutes the air as much as cigarette smoke. I get a whopping headache whenever I stand near you. I am a smoker and have always refrained when in the presence of non-smokers. I call this respect for other people. I have never seen anyone refrain from globbing on perfume, aftershave, etc. It lingers in rooms and elevators long after they have gone. I have no idea why people would pay perfectly good money so they can stink. Those stinking people have no respect for others, but try to legislate laws on smokers. We should be fair about this. So let's tax all forms of personal "aromas". Lets ban it from restaurants, since it nauseates me. After all, I should not have to sit next to someone wearing it while I am eating. I'm sure more of those products are sold than cigarettes. If people would stop wearing their "fragrances", the air would be less polluted, other people would not have to suffer headaches and stopped up noses, and other health problems. Additionally, we would have much more tax money to waste. So, lets legislate a ban on personal "fragrances", while we are at it.

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I spent several months in North Alabama in 1998. I found a grand total of one restaurant that offered a non-smoking section and very few businesses that banned smoking.

When I moved here, a little over a year ago, I discovered most restaurants offered non-smoking areas with many completely non-smoking. And most businesses are now non-smoking as well. I am delighted that some parts of Alabama have joined a small part of the 21st century without having to be dragged kicking and screaming against the tide of change.

Lake City Boop

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All right all ready, we get it, we hear it every day smoking is bad for you, second hand smoke is bad for you etc. etc. etc. I use to smoke, I don't any more, but if some idiot wants to smoke and pay the price literally for the smokers and illness that's there problem. But banning smoking isn't going to stop it. I eat out, yes I sit in the no smoking section. I'm asthmatic so smoke bothers me, restaurants, bars etc could install air filters, or they could just have a smoking restaurant or bar only. Listen we are supposed to be a fee country, everyone's rights are to be respected. Isn't time we stopped trying to run everyone else life and just minded our own business. We are not God's and we shouldn't try to act like little mini dictators. It's called freedom weather we like what some people do with there freedom or not some things are better just left alone already. We have more problems then worrying about smokers, like Education, Taxes, War, get the picture.

Claudia
Russellville, AL

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I think we should ban chewing gum. It's a disgusting habit that endangers yourself and others. Second-hand chewing gum can be found on every street corner, parking lot and any other public area. Stepping on second-hand chewing gum can ruin a pair of shoes and the costs involved with correcting cavities being fixed, jaws that have had to have surgery, along with all the hair that has been cut off, carpet that's had to be replaced. And, do these gum chewers pay taxes on each pack? I think not! According to a pack of cigarettes purchased in Huntsville, Alabama that the total cost was $2.43, 20 cents went to Madison County, 16.5 cents went to the State of Alabama, 18 cents went to state and city taxes. And, this state is one of the lowest in the country. So, let's tax chewing gum to repair the roads, get those nasty gum chewers out on the street scraping up all the second-hand gum and act like Singapore where they are caned for disposing of their gum in inappropriate places. While we're at it, let's also ban perfume. I'm sure ALL those people with allergies would appreciate it. There's nothing worse than being in a restaurant and having to smell some man's or woman's bath of cologne. It ruins my appetite and gives me an incredible headache. Where are my rights? Maybe we should also ban those same people, the gum chewers and cologne wearers, from being on airplanes. Oh, and what about those crying babies?

Before you place limits on the general public for what we call "freedoms", take a look at yourself and see how it will affect you!

S E

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What I want to say is, First what is happening to our freedom, every time you turn around somebody is trying to pass a law telling us what we should and should't do or what we can and can not do. I understand that you need laws to keep order and to keep the world together, but come on this is suppose to be ran by our elected officials, who are suppose to be there for the best interest of everyone. they are not suppose to running the city,state, or country like a religious leaders. I have never seen it so bad as I have here in Al. with all religious leader's, OH sorry meant to say elected officials. So I say it should be left up to the owners discretion on whether there should be smoking or not. Not our so called leaders.

thank you,

Aaron

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Smoking should be banned from Public places until an air filtration system is installed whereby I can stand next to a smoker and not smell their odor. Restaurant owners could help in their establishments by installing air filtration with charcoal activated filters at every table (central systems aren't adequate). A second dining area for smokers is a plus as long as the room has adequate charcoal activated air filtration around the room entrance and a separate high volume system that cleans the room air at the rate of 10 times per hour. It is obvious that restaurant owners like our patronage but refuse to give adequate care to their customers. My wife and I rely on these restaurants for subsistence daily and we refuse to eat in dining rooms where the smoking section is not partitioned off. Consequently, the owner doesn't get our business. It's unpleasant for my wife to eat while her nasal passages are swollen shut due to second hand smoke from anywhere in the room. We believe we are not alone in this dilemma and the immediate solution to this problem is to ban smoking.

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Greetings to all smokers and non-smokers alike,

My name is Dirk B. I live in Cullman, Alabama. Both of my parents smoked in the past. My father passed away a few years ago and, no, the cause was not his smoking. My mother quite smoking after loosing a bet she made with a friend. She has never felt better today. My sister and I both had to breath the smoke and second-hand smoke for many years as we grew up, not just at home but also when our parents had parties. Most people invited to the parties smoked. The result of this: Both me and my sister are allergic to several different type of cigarette and cigar smoke.

Now I live in Cullman, which is the wettest driest county in Alabama.

In regards to the smoking ban, why not let each establishment decide what they want to allow or not. For example, Cullman County is dry, so no alcohol is allowed. The Ruby Tuesday Restaurant that we have (the 2nd in the US that does not service alcohol) is a non-smoking facility. This was not a request by the city, county or state or federal government. This was a decision by the Restaurant Management itself. They have a sign in the front of their restaurant in the reception area stating: This is a non-smoking facility!.

People have no problem with this, even the smokers that I have seen. When they want to smoke, they go outside to smoke and they deposit their cigarette butts in the trash bin.

Existing restaurants in Cullman that have smoking and non-smoking sections do a lot to keep the smoke from not drifting to the other section.

So my point is: Let the establishment make the decision about a smoking ban, not the public. I think that is the best way to still have "peace" in Alabama.

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I have asthma, and I am SEVERELY allergic to cigarette smoke. If I even get a whiff of it, I start coughing and wheezing. Non smoking sections do not do me any good because the air from the smoking sections is pumped through the same ventilation system as the air in the non-smoking sections. Also, where the smoking section is located is another problem. For example, I love to eat at Ryans. They have a self serve food bar located in the middle of the restaurant, right next to the smoking section. When I go there, I literally have to hold my breath to get any food located on that side of the bar. Is that fair to me? Don't I have a right to go to a restaurant and enjoy my food? Even smoking right outside the door doesn't help. If someone is smoking in the doorway of a building I want to enter, I again have to hold my breath or risk having an asthma attack. As for only banning smoking in places that serve people under the age of 21, I would like to be able to go out dancing or play pool or just to hang out with friends, but I cannot breathe in bars or clubs that allow smoking. Even places like bowling alleys have this effect. I had not been bowling in as long as I can remember until the Redstone Arsenal bowling alley went smoke free. Yes, I agree that people have a right to smoke if they want to kill themselves, but that does not give them the right to endanger the health, and, yes, lives of others!!!

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if they ban smoking in public places then lets ban drinking in alabama all togather drunk drivers kill more people than second hand smoke not to mention over high blood pressure and heart attacks so do away with drinking and eatting in public places then we cann all go crazy togather

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I would like to seeing all smoking banned in public places, indoor and outdoor. I would also like to see additional taxes on cigarettes for the cost of cleaning up after smokers who throw stubs on the ground. A hefty fine for those who throw their cigarettes out the car window would be welcome as well. There is no comparison between cigarettes and alcohol or any other habit. Passive smoke is deadly. Those who choose to do so have the right to smoke on their own property and that is where their rights should end. Those of us who choose not to pollute our lungs should be free to breathe smoke-free air in restaurants, public parks, walking into buildings, etc.

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The city counsel sounds alot like President Bush, and now the Southern Baptist wanting to rule the world. Smoking does cost in terms of dollars for health care. But, let me tell you a little secret! One night of drinking can cost in terms of dollars, more than a life time of smoking. When a drunk (New York's Finest) runs a family of 6 over and kills them all.

Let's ban Alcohol!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Then let's work on Smoking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Then let's work on Obesity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hope you caught my drift.

Sincerely,

Clifford A. Phillips, Jr

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All most of you people are focused on is, "What about my right to smoke?" That right isn't being taken away. Step outside. What about non-smokers' rights to not inhaling your awful habit? I as an asthmatic have to avoid several restaurants because they think as long as you have a non-smoking section it's ok. What most restaurant owners are doing now is designating one side of one party room as smoking and the other as non. That's just like having a peeing section in a public swimming pool. Sick people urinate in public pools, other people end up snorting it or swallowing it. Same way with smoking. Smokers smoke in buildings, and the smoke sort of spreads out in the air. Even though it's not very visible, it's there. It's also difficult for people who are trying to quit smoking. It's not fair for them to have to suffer, or not be able to go into a public place for fear of getting a craving. You're focusing on your right to smoke where and when you want, what about others' rights to not have to inhale your habit and ruin their lungs and bronchial tubes even though they haven't taken up that habit. I don't want to have to use a rescue inhaler every where I go several times a day, and I know others are the same way, and I don't think it's fair for asthmatics to have to use all of their inhaler contents and have to pay twenty, thirty, forty, even fifty dollars for each inhaler. Buying an inhaler isn't like buying cigarettes. You can't just walk into a pharmacy and say, "I want the cheapest inhaler you have." You have to pay for a doctor to diagnose and prescribe, then you have to pay for the inhaler, and then even more doctor visits to get updated prescriptions. The second largest cause for home fires is cigarette ignited flames. People, practice courtesy, step outside to smoke where there is open air, not four walls, and a ceiling preventing the smoke from evaporating completely! It's also not fair for people who are allergic to some of the fumes inhaled with second hand smoke. There are chemical fumes from what I've gathered that you release when you spew smoke from your nose or mouth. Besides, if they ban smoking all together, that would be great. Because people complain of being broke, but yet they can afford a pack or more a day. Another reason they should ban it altogether: YOU'RE RUINING NOT ONLY YOUR BODY, BUT EVERYONE AROUND YOU SUFFERS TOO! It's dangerous for a baby to inhale smoke. If they inhale enough, it will kill them. They don't consider that as murder in court. They consider it natural causes, or they go after and accuse the parents. Please, use common courtesy. And as for one comment I read, "I personally do not like looking at hicks", smokers are hicks. And, yes, second hand smoke does cause lung cancer. My grandmother never smoked anything a day in her life. Her husband smoked 3 packs a day, she suffered from emphysema, and died from lung cancer and collapsed lungs, so, yes, second hand smoke does kill.

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BAN SMOKING!!!! It's disgusting. Not to mention the fact that so many people die because they get addicted to this horrible habit.

Rebecca Knobel

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I am in favor of banning smoking, or any other "habit" that infringes on others in a public environment. I agree with the person who said "having a smoking section in a public place is like having a peeing section in a pool!". There is no way to have that section separated unless in a totally different building.

 I realize smokers have rights too, but not when non-smokers have to endure the effects of the smoke. We have no alternative but to endure. The smokers do. They can step outside, and be just a little more courteous to the other patrons.

I realize alcohol is more of a killer than second hand smoke; however, those who consume alcohol, don't drink it in, and spew it out. Even though there are dangers of drunk drivers, there is also a law against driving under the influence.

Smoking is a nasty habit. There is no law against it, and I doubt there will be. And smokers already do have rights - the right to choose to smoke. Non-smokers just have to endure. So, why not make it illegal to smoke in public facilities we all frequent, and the smokers can exercise their rights outside.

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To be honest, I do not know the extent of the ban. I am just going on the comments posted. I am a smoker. I am courteous to non-smokers with my smoking. I do not smoke in a non-smokers home or vehicle, even when I have their permission without asking for it. I do not smoke in posted non-smoking areas. I smoke down wind when outside. I have even asked other smokers not to smoke for the previous reasons. However, do not tell me not to smoke in my home or vehicle. You are going to say that you are not. Maybe not with this proposed ban, but it will soon be tried if this is passed. Banning smoking in bars is ridiculous. Almost all persons that patronize bars are smokers. Non-smokers are in the minority, and children are nonexistent. I do not patronize a non-smoking restaurant unless it has a drive-thru window, I am getting an order to go due to no window, or I am with a non-smoker. I do not patronize the "Malls" because they are non-smoking facilities, unless there is something I need and cannot obtain it elsewhere (rarely). I do patronize discount stores and grocery stores even though they are smoke-free facilities, but no longer than is necessary. Now, as for the smell of the smokers, it is no worse than some of you that do not bother to bathe on a somewhat regular basis. Bring on the next law to force people to bathe before going into public areas. Oh, let's not forgot the people that like to bathe in perfumes and other scents. And, no, perfume/colognes do not smell good you when pour it on and your scent is still in the air fifteen minutes after you leave.

If smoking is so harmful, as you non-smokers and the doctors at the conference in Chicago claim it to be, then petition the government to make cigarettes an illegal drug. I would love for that to happen so I could quit. I would not purchase them if they were illegal. But wait, we cannot do that. Think of all the farmers that would lose their farms and livelihood. The extra taxes that the non-smokers would have to start paying because the governments does not have that money from US smokers coming in. Think of all the government programs that would go broke (i.e. schools, fire departments, police departments, roads, government sponsored social programs, etc.)

When you non-smokers are willing to push to make cigarettes illegal, then you can stand up and shout. Until then, sit down and shut up.

Just think about this. When cigarettes are gone, what is next? Alcohol, sugar, salt, books.

Steven

P.S. I would rather pass someone on the road with a cigarette in their hand than someone with a beer. (And yes I drink too.)

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Please ban smoking in restaurants. The non-smokers should not have to smell it or walk by it in a restaurant. I am sure some of the waiters would like to ban it, but can't say anything for fear of their job. If a smoker knew what they smelled like to a non-smoker, than they would not want to smoke. And please, do not stand by the front door of a building and smoke. If restaurants would put their non-smoking sections in the back and enclose them, that would at least be a big help. I have been to restaurants where you had to walk through the smoking section and pay at the smoking section. I have been to them only once, and I did not go back. A non-smoking bar would do good, I would love to go play pool, but not for the smokers. Why take a shower and put on cologne & clean clothes if you are going to be around a bunch of smelly smokers. You have the right to smoke, not the right to make non-smokers have to put up with your smoke. Thank you.

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Business people...wake up! Only 24% of Alabamians smoke! Do you want the business of the other 76% of us or not?

 Debra L. Traughber,
President/CEO Family Services Center, Inc.

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I think all restaurants and any other places of business should ban smoking. Why should non-smokers have to sit in a place that has that nasty smelling scent getting in their lungs and all over their clothes and skin. I have went to restaurants to eat and ask to be seated as far away from the smoking section as I could be and they would put me a table or two from the smoking tables and I WALKED OUT. There was other tables on the other side of the room. If I have to walk through the smoking section to get to the non-smoking , I walk out.

I am not saying people have to quit smoking, but at least don't smoke when you are in a place of business. ( You don't smoke when you are at church or the Dr's office, etc.

If smoking is not banned, then at least put the smoking section two ( 2 ) rooms past non-smoking section. ( Plesae ) Mable

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It is wonderful to go to Canada and not be smoked on in public buildings. We should have the same rule that prohibits smoking in public buildings where children can enter. It makes my sinuses hurt when I go to certain restaurants in Huntsville because of the smoke. I also have to be careful where I can take my mother so that the smoke does not set off an asthma attack.

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Dear WAFF48 Team,

I presently work in New Jersey, a state that is also trying to pass the "New Jersey Clear Indoor Air Act.", a bill that I fully support.

Having married a wonderful woman from Florence, Alabama, I try to follow the Alabamian news via www.waff.com  and recently read the proposal concerning the Smoking Ban in Huntsville. As two sufferers of asthma, we have chosen to avoid areas that entrap us in an extremely smoky environment. These areas are not limited to restaurants. Other areas that are affected with smoking include bars, pool halls and bowling alleys. But, ultimately, these risks being taken by being exposed to second-hand smoke are not limited to decision-making adults. Children tend to be the silent and under-represented citizens who suffer tremendously because careless and thoughtless adults adopting the "me-first" and "It's my right" attitude while pre-determining the futures of their children by making them more likely to develop respiratory diseases, bronchitis, asthma, coughing, and wheezing.

If you need any more information concering this, please research the following website, www.kiiss.org . It is titled, "Kids Involuntarily Inhaling Secondhand Smoke." If we required to discuss the pros and cons of the proposed indoor smoking ban in Huntsville, please keep the children in mind.

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I'm a non-smoker who does not like being around smoke and would love to see restaurants and bars voluntarily become smoke-free. On the other hand, I think the government should allow the public to decide the issue with their dollars. Anyone can avoid the smoke by not going to the restaurants and bars which provide inside smoking areas. If you want a smoke free meal, you can eat at home or eat at one of the many smoke-free restaurants.

You might say, "smoking is a health hazard". I say, "not to those who only patronize smoke-free establishments." It is our choice whether to patronize the establishment and it should be the private busniess owner's business decision that determines the smoking policy NOT the government.

You might say, "but the kids don't have a choice." I say, "but the parent should have a choice and should be the ones to choose." Give parents the information they need to make an educated decision. Continue the ads against smoking and make sure the word is out to everyone of the great dangers of smoking and second-hand smoke. Then allow the parents to make the decision about the safety of their children.

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I AM A FORMER MADISON COUNTY RESIDENT THAT NOW LIVES IN FLORIDA WHERE THE SMOKING BAN WAS PASSED. I WORK IN THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY. THERE ARE A LOT OF PROS AND CONS TO THE BAN. I WILL BE RETURNING TO MADISON COUNTY IN A FEW SHORT MONTHS (FLORIDA IS JUST TOO DANG HOT) AND IT HAD NOT REALLY AFFECTED MY WORK ENVIROMENT OR MY DINING PLEASEURE. BEING A SMOKER AND MOTHER I CAN SEE BOTH SIDES OF THE COIN, YES I WANT MY CHILDREN TO BE ABLE TO DINE IN A SMOKE FREE ENVIROMENT, BUT I ALSO THINK AS AN AMERICAN ADULT I HAVE THE RIGHT TO DECIDE WHERE AND WHEN I SMOKE. THE ONLY PROBLEM FLORIDA HAS SEEN WITH THIS LAW IS ENFORCING IT. THEY HAD NOONE TO MONITOR ITS SUCCESS OR FAILURE. ALTHOUGH, EVENTUALLY IT WILL BE ENFORCEABLE IN THE MEAN TIME ANY ESTABLISHMENT THAT HAS I THINK IT IS OVER 60% REVENUE FROM ALCOHOL CAN STILL ALLOW SMOKING. ALL IN ALL RESTURANTS WITH A LIQUOR LICENSE SIMPLY HAVE TO DO SOME STRATEGIC RENOVATIONS THAT HAVE THE EXIT SEPARATE TO THE DINING ROOM AND RESTROOMS ACCESSIBLE WITHOUT GOING THROUGH THE DINING ROOM. AS WITH EVERYTHING ELSE THERE IS A WAY AROUND IT. SO IF YOU DRINK THEN BE PREPARED TO SMELL SMOKE. IF YOU ARE WORRIED ABOUT YOUR CHILDREN BEING EXPOSED TO SMOKE DON'T TAKE THEM INTO A BAR.

SIZZLING IN SW FLORIDA

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I received an email from someone that sums up the truth about smoking and it goes like this;

"Isn't having a smoking section in a restaurant like having a pee section in a pool?"

Eventually your bad habit is going to drift into my area, and since I have the right to not smell the smoke you have the right to step outside and have a cigarette. Lets compromise and preserve both if our rights!

Morgan county

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Hi: I'm Donna Mahone.

I think they should leave the smoking alone. I thought we had freedom rights. It seems like they are being taking away every day. I bet if the govenorment wanted to smoke where they wanted to, they would do it.

Sincerely

Donna Mahone

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There is already a different section in most restaurants for smoking and nonsmoking, so why don't all these who keep whinning about people smoking just SHUT-UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As far as bars are concerned they have always been a place a person could smoke so leave it the heck alone!!!!!!!!!!!!! Smokers are people too, and they have rights also!!!!! The last time I checked smoking cigarettes was not illegal, therefore I say once again SHUT-UP ABOUT IT AND LEAVE US SMOKERS ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Drunk drivers leaving these bars and restaurants kills more people than second hand smoke. If you don't believe it look at the statistics!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anthony Locke
Athens, AL

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The general public seems to like the taxes and revenues from smokers, but it seems that responding (to the Smoking Ban Comments) Huntsvillians can't stand smokers. Perhaps we should just set up different bathrooms and water fountains for smokers. It's illegal for a business to have a "smokers only business" (it was tried some time ago, but non-smokers wouldn't stand for it. It seems they thought their rights were being violated) but it's legal right now to have a non-smoking facility. I say let the business owner decide, not the government. Obviously, the government is NOT considering the wishes of those who would be affected by this.

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Second hand smoke is harmful. Smokers should understand that IS a matter of life and breath for some of us. The ban is a step toward protecting those that NEED protection. Let the smokers kill themselves in private!

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I am definitely in favor of a city ordinance against smoking in all public restaurants. However, I doubt that any city ordinance will be enforced since I read just 2 days ago that the current city ordinance regarding smoking in public places has resulted in "zero" citations. I believe the current ordinance has been in effect about 8-10 years. Can you believe zero citations in this length of time. Presently, restaurants can set aside 2-3 tables, draw an imaginary line in same room with smokers, and be in compliance with separate smoking/nonsmoking regulations. Meanwhile, the city issues about 2,500 citations each year for residents not cutting their grass. How does the Mayor and her Department Heads justify this imbalance in citations (yes, I do cut my grass every week). Several years ago I worked part-time in the Civic Center's security department. I constantly told smokers to put out their cigarette when they where smoking in nonsmoking areas. At the same time, permanent type Security personnel would walk right pass a smoker and not say anything to them. The top management took a "hands off" position regarding smoking in prohibited areas. The whole nonsmoking idea sounds great, but it will not likely be enforced.

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[Sarcasm mode on] Nice comments from some of you.  Glad to know that the spirit of compromise and tolerance is alive and well in our fair city! [Sarcasm mode off]

 
I understand people wanting to ban smoking in restaurants and other family-oriented establishments.  I have never hadproblem with curtailing my smoking in such establishments for  a short time.  Besides, I'm sure patios will be built and life will go on until the next crusade to ban smoking outdoors as well.  I'm surprised that smokers still have the right to live in Huntsville.  Oops, maybe I shouldn't be giving some of you ideas!
 
What I find amusing is that you zealots (you know who you are) want to ban smoking in establishments that the vast majority of you would never set foot in.  I am speaking of bars of course.  Catering to a minority of Huntsvillians and certainly not family establishments because the kiddies aren't allowed, these dens of iniquity nevertheless represent a special challenge to you health-conscious crusader-rabbit types.  For bars are filled with adults engaging in all kinds of vile and unhealthy habits.  Smoking, drinking, listening to politically incorrect (and sometimes immoral) music performed at sound levels above 85 decibels; illicit sexual liasons planned, et cetera et cetera.  Some patrons even dress oddly, but the government has been unable to establish any direct linkage between evening wear and health hazards...yet.
 
Ban smoking in bars and you would still have to tolerate the drunks and the second-hand Rock & Roll noise.  Not really a fun evening for a politically correct pillar of the community; mingling with the music freaks and other degenerates.  But no worries, you won't sully yourself and you will have the self-righteous satisfaction of knowing that, even if you wouldn't be caught dead in the place, at least nobody is smoking there.  And that's what really matters isn't it?
 
If the total ban passes, I hope that every single bar in Huntsville relocates outside the city limits.  I'll glady make the drive to have a smoke with my beer & music; you uncompromising anti-smoker zealots won't miss me at all and you will have your glorious moral victory; and the city council can figure out how to make up the tax revenue shortfall.
 
By the way, I will continue to smoke until I (not you) decide that it's time for me to quit.  If the smell of tobacco smoke on my clothes offends you...walk away.

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When my family tries to go to a nice restaurant we have to specify non-smoking where we cannot smell any smoke. Last week we had to wait 20 minutes extra for a non smoking seat while they set everyone else in the smoking section. There are several restaurants we cannot go to because the non-smoking section is a joke. They set aside 3 tables for non-smoking, but the tables right next to it are smoking. We are so glad that most of the new restaurants in town are smoke free.

We wish Captain D's would be smoke free. Since you have to walk around the smoking section to get in and out of the restaurant and there are only a few tables were you can keep away from the smoke. Whenever we try to go there, there is often one person smoking, often it is an employee on break or someone waiting around for an employee to get off. This one person in essences holds the rest of the people in there hostage with their smoke.

I and two of my kids have asthma and we have had to rush an leave far to many meals because of inconsiderate smokers. I also wonder about Joe Davis stadium. The signs say it is smoke free, yet they only in force it in the stands. Underneath the bleachers everyone seems to think they have the right to smoke, including vendors. I also think any place that caters to children should be smoke free even if they is outdoors. That includes playgrounds and ball fields. Since I have asthma, I think I am fixing to file a complaint under the ADA laws because I cannot get away from people smoking at my children's ball park.

I wish this law was state wide. I travel around the state, and was surprised to find how many places do not even have non smoking sections. I know it has been brought up in the state legislature before but it dies with no action taken.

Kim
Huntsville

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I just moved here from Florida almost 2 years ago. They have the Indoor Clean Airspace law there, and it's wonderful! I assure you, businesses have not suffered! In fact, they've flourished. The smokers still go out to eat, and now, the nonsmokers can go out to eat as well! It's not a matter of rights. Smokers still have to right to smoke. They just can't do it in enclosed areas, which would violate the rights of nonsmokers. The ban gives nonsmokers the right to breathe clean air. It's a win-win situation.

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I am most definitely FOR the smoking ban. People become livid, saying it's violating their rights as a smoker, but they fail to realize that their smoking forces others' to smoke second-handedly, which violates their rights! The ban will not prohibit them from smoking--it will just prohibit them from smoking indoors, in the presence of those who don't want to smoke. That way, no one's rights are violated. I've heard the argument that Hormone Treatment may as well be banned also, since it causes cancer. That is a ridiculous notion because the people who choose to take Hormone Treatment don't cram the medication down someone else's throat while they're trying to enjoy a meal at a restaurant. If there's a risk of cancer, they are taking it upon themselves and not endangering the people around them as a result. Smokers endanger not only themselves with their toxic fumes, but they also endanger everyone in their vicinity. I've heard another argument saying that small businesses will close down because their clientele will refuse to come as a result of the ban. I don't think they will have anything to worry about because I don't believe that smokers will uphold any such boycott for the duration. I highly doubt that smokers are just going to stay home for the rest of their lives because some ban prohibits them from violating others' rights. They'll get over it. As far as clientele, I know that I am less inclined to go to a place that I deem "smoky" and am more inclined to attend a location of cleaner air. The small businesses may find that their clientele will INCREASE as a result of the ban. Smokers will quit pouting and return to their restaurants (smoking outside) and nonsmokers will be more likely to frequent that business now that they know they'll be able to breathe freely. I plan to vote YES YES YES to the ban!

Juls Weatherford
Athens, AL

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ALL YOU GOODY TWO SHOES PEOPLE NEED TO WAKE UP. OH, I DON'T LIKE EATING IN A RESTAURANT BECAUSE I SMEEL THE SMOKE(HA, 1800WAAAA). OKAY, THEN YOU DON'T LIKE BEING OUTSIDE AND SMELLING THE POLLUTANTS IN THE AIR. GUESS YOU BETTER LOCK YOURSELVES UP IN YOUR HOUSES TO STAY AWAY FROM IT ALL, OOP'S THATS WHAT THEY WANT TO DO TO THE SMOKERS.

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The biggest falsehood about this proposed ban is that it's to ban smoking in public places. Smoking has been banned in public places for nearly 2 decades. The ban is actually against smoking in private places. If the city wants no smoking in private places, they should purchase these private places from the owners thus making them public places. Then the city can ban anything they want. If any of the pro ban people don't want smoking in a private place, they can buy the place thus allowing them to set the rules and they can ban smoking. Unless the city and the pro ban people want to make these private places their own, they need to butt out and let the people who do own them make their own decisions. Our forefathers must be crying in their graves over what has become of this once great republic!

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I would like to take the ban a step further. All City owned properties should be SMOKE Free. I've spent many a summer evening at the ball park with my children, only to have an obnoxious smoker light up in the stands surround by kids. If asked to move, it's always "I got the right". Children have the right to breathe. Today there is no recourse to remove this threat to my children. You've got to have a lease on a friendly dog because he might bite you. But, a smoker can kill you and you can't do anything.

Make it happen Huntsville City Council.

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If We The Government Keep taking "rights" from ourselves I really don't know why we are living here in "America The Land of The Free." Also, One of the best "rights" or privileges you can take away from anyone is Harmone Treatment, it really does cause cancer. Thank You Joyce D.

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I am fine with it. I am tired of eating somewhere and the smoke from the smoking section or the bar drifting over the half partion that divides smoking from non-smoking. The only problem with this? Now we will have to WALK through all the smoke to get inside the restaurant/bar which I don't want to do. I don't want my kids having to walk through it either.

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 What's the rule going to be? You can only smoke under the covers, in your house, with the lights turned off? Given all the other issues, I would hope that the Huntsville City Council had better things to do, but apparently not. I thought I had grown up, and left the good graces of my mother and father to do what I would, as long as it wasn't hurting anyone, except myself maybe, but apparently not. I guess to the city council, we're all ni need of saving from th, e menace that are smokers. Have they ever thought of going after the real criminals, say murderers, thieves, rapists, wife-beaters, child-molestors? No? I didn't think so. That would make sense.

Greg Gaffney

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As a non-smoker and occasional visitor to the city of Huntsville, I strongly support a ban on smoking in any public facility.

Bill Williams
Florence

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Regarding the smoking ban: Bars, no. Restaurants, YES! Especially those restaurants like the Pizza Hut on Governor's Drive which is about 35' x 35' and has a smoking and non-smoking section. That's such a joke! There is no possible way for the non-smoking crowd to enjoy a smoke free meal in an establishment like that! Besides, if you are a smoker and you can't go for one hour without a NIC STICK, then you've got serious problems!

Jennifer
Huntsville

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My name is Carrissa McCoo, and I am a 15 year old teenager, going for the smoking banning.

Banning smoke may not apply for me in a bar but it certainly applies to me in a restaurant when my family and I go to eat. Even though we are asked for a non-smoking and placed there, I can still smell the smoke through the air, and I don't know about many people but for me I can't stand the smell of smoke when I am trying to enjoy my meal.

So,yeah, I do think the banning of smoking in bars,and restaurants will help the people who don't smoke out a lot. Even though we cant take smoking out of the w, hole world, we can at least slow it down bit by bit.

Sincerely,
Carrissa

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As a smoker I say:

In a restaurant, yes. Alot of people don't like breathing in smoke while they are trying to eat. Also as a parent, I wouldn't want to take my infant into a restaurant with a smoking area. Just because I smoke and others do to doesn't mean my 4 month old should! In a bar? That is pretty stupid. For one most of the people that walk in bars smokes. And there is no kids. And what about the dancers. They can't go outside with their outfit on, they would have to change into their regular clothes and walk outside e, verytime they want a cigarette? That's taking a really big risk of an attack or even a murder.

Melissa Sparks

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I have been a smoker for many years and while I understand that it is not good for my health nor my pocketbook I still elect to do so. I go out sometimes and normally I always wait longer to be seated at local restaurants due to the lack of seating for smokers and I normally freeze to death because that area is always well ventilated. But I am not complaining, I CHOOSE to smoke so in essence I am thankful that restaurants still choose to have seating for me. But I think the decision to nix smoking are, as should fall under the power for the restaurants to decide. I think by letting our local government choose whether we have smoking areas gives them one more way to control my life. The next thing you know they will be telling me that I cannot smoke in my home because some non-smoker 5 blocks away finds it offensive! Oh dread! I truly hope that local businesses stand up and oppose this because whether or not I smoke I do have MONEY and I will refuse to spend it locally if they choose to persecute me because of one of my lifestyle choices. I find it very hard to believe that I am offending someone while I smoke in a well ventilated area of a restaur, ant, if they have have to walk past me, then they can hold their nose. They are walking past my seat in the SMOKING SECTION, it's not like I am cruising through the non-smoking section blazing 5 of them in my mouth. I do not smoke around children or anyone who requests that I do not smoke. I am not inconsiderate NOR stupid as SMART NON SMOKER would have you believe. And hey, SMART NON SMOKER, why not learn how to spell infested (your spelling-infedted) after all, your so smart anyway. And to our local legislation, think hard on this one, our economy is already suffering and if you choose to ban smokers I am sure that I know many who spend more on a night out at local bars and restaurants than the usual family units that hit the sack by 9. Taking away people's right to smoke means war to some and more often than not a ban placed on businesses that just lay down and take it.

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Huntsville should, pattern this issue after Tucson, AZ. In that city they have a smoking band and if the restaurant chooses to have smoking, they have to provide the smokers with an enclosed area and a separate air conditioner. Having only one A/C is like having a peeing section in a pool.

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As an asthmatic, I am all for the smoking ban inside public buildings. Tobacco smoke is one of the strongest triggers for an asthma attack for most people with this condition. There have been many times that I have had to get up and leave the restaurant because I was seated in the non-smoking section & cigarette smoke from the smoking section drifted over & caused me to have a severe reaction. I do frequent restaurants that post a sign that states they are a non-smoking facility. My husband and I love to dance and it would be nice to be able to go to a club to dance and socialize with other adults without fear of being sent to the hospital for asthma treatment.

Laura
New Hope, AL

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Really, it doesn't matter, to me one way or the other. I do believe that there will be a decrease in business across the Huntsville business' if this is passed. Really, the City Council is shooting themselves in the foot on this. I've seen this in other cities, and usually what happens, is they have to RAISE taxes after they pass this kind of ordinance. Thats not what the people want. Lets face it, its all about money. I am a smoker, have been for years. There is always a compromise one way or the other. And yes, it is a personal attack on smokers If it weren't, it wouldn't be an issue. We have great ways of painting the picture that we want others to see to get our way. If it is such a problem, then BAN the sale of Cigarettes in the City. Or would that affect tax revenue to? No, they can sell them, you just can't smoke them. Seems we are sending the wrong signals the wrong way. I'd also like to know where the facts come from of how many smokers, and how many non-smokers there are in the area? I didn't see numbers. How about backing that up? Freedom of choice is the foundation of this great country of ours. No matter what happe, ns, smokers, and non-smokers will have to co-exist. Like I said, this isn't the wisest move the council has ever made. It will affect local business. That could be what they want. Who knows. I've been in plenty of restraunts in Huntsville, and it just didn't seem to be a problem. Most of the restraunts catered to both quite well, and they co-exsited quite well. These business' pay taxes just like everyone else. I do believe that the Council is over stepping thier bounds Constitutionally.

Sincerly,
James Lawson

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Freedom. We have had people die to protect our freedom. We have people placing their lives in jeopardy evey day to protect our freedom. Why do people want to keep on taking all of our rights away? Where does this ban and that ban all stop? Yesterday the freedom to wear your seat belt or not, today smoking, tomorrow fast food, in the future who knows. I could go on and on about some of the small freedoms we, have already lost. If they determine it is detrimental to your health or safety, then they can ban any acitivty, , habbit, sport, or whatever they decide is unsafe or unhealthy. I am just waiting for some of the larger freedoms to start hitting the "ban" list and see how some of you react. Some towns in the north east have banned smoking in your own home. Where does it stop? To you non smokers who want to push this through, what will happen when they start trying to push something through, that bans something you enjoy or partake in? You people need to wake up before all of your rights are banned as well. I love this country we live in because of our freedoms. Don't let a smoking issue be a part of the continued banning of the freedoms we now enjoy.

Ben Ryland

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The proposed smoking ban ordinance is nothing more than a violation of the right of a citizen to act freely and peaceably in public. I do not smoke and I do not enjoy when people smoke near me. However, I am grown up enough to tolerate behavior of others who are free to do what they choose while in public and in private. Clearly, some Huntvillians are not tolerant or the smoking ban would not even be entertained. The city of Huntsville does not have the right to use threat of force (legislation enforced by the police) to dictate the choices of individuals, especially in privately owned facilities such as bars, restaurants and other businesses. If this ban is adopted, what is next, the government telling us what we can and cannot do in our own homes? This is simply frightening and contrary to the principles of freedom this nation is founded upon. Counter to what some believe, this country, state and city are not run by the majority. We are a representative form of government. Mark Russel is not representing the people of Huntsville if he is not willing to protect the individual rights of it's citizens. Clearly the smoking ban ordinance does not afford people the protection they deserve. If the ordinance passes there will be negative economic impact as well as loss of freedom. This would be a no win situation.

Mark

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the people that think that putting a ban on smoking is going to help. I hate to break it to the people, but that just means that the people that want to smoke will step outside. Then go back in after they are done. THe ban on smoking may help with the clubs that charge an entrance fee but the resturants that people can just walk into it isn't going to help. As a smoker, I think that the smoking ban may pose an inconvience but if i am at a resturant and order a meal after i finish i usually have a cigerette. If they ban smoking in resturants i wil just get up and go home and smoke on the way to my car. the only bad thing about putting a smoking ban on resturants and bars is that it is going to kill business in the bars and resturants. Why u ask because people that smoke go out to have a drink and while they are doing it the light up. The ban is not going to far well with the business owners that cater to the drinking public, bars will lose business cause a person that don't smoke get upset cause the person next too him decides that they want to smoke.

In my opinion if you think that a smoking ban is going to help you are sadly mistaken. The only thing it is going to do is decrease the business that caters to the smoking population like bars and resturants

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As a former smoker I believe smoking should be banned inside of buildings so that non-smokers would not be subjected to the 2nd hand smoke. It is just a common courtesy to not subject others to ones own bad habits, keep them to yourself, I always did and it really wasn't that hard to do. Do not infringe on the non-smokers rights by polluting the air around them, step outside and smoke until you are in the privacy of your own home. I think most smokers really do not know how bad it smells to others. Decatur

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I feel we as smokers , pay the same taxes as non smokers and if the establishment has the ability to have smokers and non-smokers they should have the choice. It should not be forced on them to loose potential customers. if a non smoker choose not to patronize such an establishment so be it but they have a choice so give me the same choice.......

John

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If I was a business owner I would be fighting for a choice option as the businesses in Huntsville will lose their patrons that smoke to business owners in other cities close by that doesn't have this ban going. I for one would rather drive a few miles and have the freedom to light-up after lunch/dinner than have to go outside while those with me wait at the table.

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Ban smoking in all places where smokers and non-smokers interact. Inside or outside! I personally do not care if a person wants to inhale smoke, as long as it does not affect me as well. Unfortunately, smokers are generally inconsiderate of non-smokers and light up when they feel like it! As a non-smoker - I would like to go to restaurants and bars and night clubs and other social events and not have to plan the event around the amount of smoke that I must consider.

I know that smoke causes health problems - major health problems. If some one wants to smoke and not force me also inhale their byproduct - then go ahead - but do not force me to have to breath their smoke as well.

I really object to the sme, ll as well as the health affects! Clothing basically stinks after even a small exposure to cigarette or cigar smoke. Even locations where people have smoked - STINK ! Rental cars, hotel rooms, smoking sections in restaurants at night that get turned into non-smoking areas during the day - also stink! the smell lingers and attaches itself to everything - including lungs!

I use to hate to even go to a gas station to purch, ase gas, because most of those establishments have employees that chain smoke. Thank God for pay at the pump. It saves me from having to enter the store to pay. I will actually do not stop at a gas station / convenience store unless I can pay out side.

Unfortunately restaurants and bars and other social gathering places, I cannot just avoid the inside. MOST restaurants and bars do not have adequate non-smoking areas. The air conditioning systems are not completely separ, ated. Most do not have Plexiglas type barriers to prevent the smoke from migrating into non-smoking areas. When visiting most restaurants or bars etc. you usually smell the smoke or have to walk through the smoking area to go to the bathroom or to pay or to exit. Owners of these establishments want the money and will not change until forced to do so!

Having a few tables that are labeled non-smoking is a joke! If you want to have a smoking section - then do it like the airports - have a glassed in area with an automatically closing door and a totally separate air conditioning system. Otherwise - completely ban smoking!

Restaurant owners are basically in the business to make money. The buildings are not constructed to completely separate the smoking sections from the non-smoking sections. Bathrooms and cashier stations are not placed in non-smoking areas! I really hate when asked upon entering: Smoking - non-smoking or FIRST AVAILABLE! To me this just shows the greed of the establishment!

A smoker can choose to eat in a non-smoking area - a non-smoker must sit and wait until a table is available! The only sensible solution is to COMPLETELY ban smoking! Customers that smoke, can smoke at home, in their private cars or step outside to fill their lungs with smoke. In other words - they can smoke until they get to the establishments and smoke after they leave or even go out and smoke in a manor that does not affect non-smokers. Why MUST they also affect non-smokers? Is smoke so addictive that they cannot even wait for a couple of hours without inhaling more smoke. Actually I know that it is, which is another reason that they should quit - but they will not and the restaurant owne, rs will not stop with the greed issue - so the only solution is to ban smoking completely!

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I can not believe these insonsiderate smokers that say they have the right to smoke regardless where it is beause they say it infringes on their "RIGHTS". As I understand the constitution, your rights ends, where my rights begin. I have the right to sit in a resturant to breathe air not infedted with smoke. Restuarants that have a "smokers" section only has one air conditiong unit. so, does the air conditioner know where to distribute the air to the different sections? I can not believe that these insonciderate smokers would even contest such a law. If they had any consideration for others, there would not , have to be a law passed. To quote Mr. Paul Harvey (news commentator) "when people do not have the common sense to govern themselves, then big brother has to step in and do , it for you". So the same logic applies here as well. The government is run by a "MAJORITY" and the majority of the people do not smoke. One person wants a sign put on the front door to imply that smoking is permitted, well the same could be done for the same place by placing a sign that says, "NO SMOKING ALLOWED". Then you would know befo, re you entered. Once the law is passed, good luck on "fighting it" as one inconsiderate person vowed. Just goes to prove what I have always been told and I have witnessed, that smokers are the most inconsiderate people in the world, including the French.Only smokers are so brilliant that they would pay someone over a thousand dollars a year to get cancer or other diseases.

Smart non-smoker

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All the smokers reading this need to calm down. Those of us that are for the Clean Indoor Air ordinance are not making a personal attack on you. Basically, it comes down to this - you have a choice whether or not to light up a cigarette, but when you do light up, the others around you do not have a choice whether or not they want to breath in your second hand smoke. Second hand smoke is a known cause of cancer, heart disease and other respiratory ailments. We are not saying that smoking should be ba, nned (although that would be nice) rather, we are saying that if you choose to smoke you need to do so in an area that is not affecting those that choose not to smoke. The proposed ordinance would only restrict smoking in areas where it may affect children and non-smokers. It does not take away anyone's right to smoke. Nearly 75% of adults in Alabama are non-smokers - their health deserves to be protected. There are laws that prohibit drinking and driving because it interferes with the health of others, even though drinking is legal. This ordinance wou, ld follow the same logic - it protects the health of children and nonsmokers.

By the way, for the person who compared smoking to eating unhealthy greasy foods - that is the worst comparison I have ever heard. When you smoke it effects those around you. When you eat unhealthy foods the grease won't jump off your plate and land in someone else's arteries.

Jacqui - Huntsville

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I am a non smoker but a beliver it is the right of the private buisness owner to decide wheather or not they would like to have smokeing in their buisnesses. If the council would take the time to look at what has happened in New York City they would see a loss of revenue from sales taxes. At a time when the city clames to need money this angle also makes no sense. I would hope the council would not infringe on the right of the private buisness owner to run his or her buisness as the see fit within the law. Tobacco is at this time a legal product.

Doug Maze
Arab Al.

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I just moved to Huntsville from Florence, and if this ban passes I will literally consider moving back. Why? Even though I'm a smoker at age 30, my reasons have nothing to do with the "health issue". Smoking establishments are an option for non-smokers. It has everything to, do with the "rights" of the business owner. If an owner of a restaurant, lounge, club or bar decides he wants to have a smoke free environment, then that is his and only his right to do so. It is not the city government, that happily takes his taxes and tobacco taxes, to decide that for him. He owns that establishment, and I'm against this ban strictly based on his and other owners rights. These smoke-free lobbyist should focus there concerns on real public heat, h issues that we as citizens do not have a choice in avoiding. For example, waste in the air from local chemical and nuclear plants, drainage from golf courses and lawns that reach our water systems, and most importantly now spraying mosquitoes to prevent West Nile Virus. I bet if a study was done on the consumptions of foods and alcohol in these establishments, the high cholesterol and fat content would pose a much more serious health risk than cigarette smoke from the smoking section. Which in most establishments today, the smoking sections are well isolated from the non-smoking sections with vent systems, air conditioning vents and usually a wall! Let me guess, next they will try to ban frying foods!

I will be at the city council meeting, and I encourage business owners that value their ownership rights to attend as well. As a new citizen, I hope this city and it's government is not an overshadowing "mother" that decides what is best for legal, tax-paying business owners.

Suggestion to the problem? Sure, require business to post a sign that smoking is permitted in an establishment. Now you have a choice before you go in. If anyone has started a lobbyist group that supports smoking in restaurants, clubs and bars, please email me so I can join!

With all respect to non-smokers,

Jason Young Guy (J-Bird)

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I DON'T THINK THE CITY OF HUNTSVILLE OR ANY OTHER CITY HAS THE RIGHT TO LIMIT A PERSON'S RIGHTS WHETHER THEY ARE SMOKERS OR NOT. IN ONE OF YOUR E-MAILS I READ THE PERSON SAID IF A SMOKER DOESN'T LIKE NOT BEING ABLE TO SMOKE THEN THEY CAN LEAVE. WELL, THAT GOES BOTH WAYS IF A NON-SMOKER IS SITTING IN A SMOKER SECTION THEN ITS THAT PERSONS CHOICE, BECAUSE ITS BEEN MY EXPERIENCE THAT THE RESTAURANT ASK YOU WHICH YOU WOULD PREFER. I REALISE THE NON-SMOKERS HAVE RIGHTS BUT SO DO THE SMOKERS AND ITS NOT RIGHT TO LIMIT ONE GROUP ESPECIALLY WHEN RESTAURANTS HAVE A NON-SMOKER SECTION.

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I just have one additional quick comment. I was just looking at the postings for today and noticed how many people are blaming this possible ban on Alabama or even Huntsville. Apparently, the people making these comments must not have read the article in the paper and have not been keeping up with smoking laws in other states. If they had, they would know that smoking is already banned in all public buildings in California and New York.

Susan
Toney, AL

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I don't see how the smoking ban can legally be passed because that would be stripping us smokers of our rights. We have already divided restaraunts and bars for smokers and non smokers. We have our right to smoke just has they have their right to not smoke and sit in a non smoking section. If this ban passes I hope every non smokeing person realizes that well fight it !!!!!!

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Tobaccophobes are determined to eliminate smoking from bars and restaurants regardless of what the evidence shows. But those of us who have more respect for the truth should not let them banish skepticism along with cigarette smoke. ......."The results do not support a causal relation between environmental tobacco smoke and tobacco related mortality, although they do not rule out a small effect....Given the limitatio, ns of the underlying data in this and other studies of environmental tobacco smoke and the small size of the risk, it seems premature to conclude that environmental tobacco smoke causes death from c, oronary heart disease and lung cancer."

Source: http://reason.com/sullum/051603.shtml

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 I say NO.

A. A. Jones
Huntsville

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If Huntsville decides to ban smoking, they should also give up any money from taxes on smoking products ! Fair enough ?

A. Non Smoker

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I think it's about time that Huntsville instituted a smoking ban. As a non-smoker, I get terrible migraine headaches when exposed to cigarette smoke. I rarely go to public events because I spend the whole time dodging cigarette smoke. Evidence shows that second-hand smoke harms everyone, both smokers and non-smokers, and that the children of smokers are particularly affected. This is not an attempt to lay blame. It is a scientific fact. We prosecute people every day for inflicting injuries on other people by guns, fights, etc., and I see this no different. Why should we allow anyone to poison those sitting around them? What if you took a container of some harmful chemical to the restaurant with you? Could you claim it was your "right" to bring a hazardous chemical in with you? Poisoning others by secondhand smoke is no different and the situation stinks. The problem is that smokers want to smoke and non smokers don't want them to smoke. There is no solution unless a dictatorial group decides for others. While smokers may feel put-upon by the majority because they are relegated more and more to the nooks and crannies of society, the spill-over costs to society in terms of second-hand smoke, the social and fiscal costs of treating smoking-related diseases, grass fires caused by cigarette butts thrown from car windows, and the litter we all now endure greatly outweigh any right smokers might claim to enjoy their ha, b, it.

Thank you,
N. Putman

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As a former smoker, I think it is ridiculous to ban smoking in restaurants. People talk about the smell, health issues but if you look at the plates of those complaining I bet you will see a quarter pound cheeseburger with a large order of fries, coke and dessert, now tell me how healthy that is! Yes, smoking is dangerous to your help, so is drinking alcholol, eating fried foods, stress, high blood pressure, the list could go on and on. It is an individual's right to smoke or be smoke-free, if you don't want to patronize a restaurant that allows smoking then don't, its your choice.

Terri S. Morris

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Just get down to the end results, outlaw smoking and drinking anywhere in the state of AL. Take all that tax's and drop it in on the gas tax this way it will finally be fair for everybody. I smoke but I also get upset sitting to close to a non-smoker thats choking and rolling around on the floor. If you non-smokers could see behind the scenes in the kitche, n you will find several SMOKERS that has paused for a few minutes to prepare your nuturious meal. I suppose I can still chew tobacco after a meal, don't worry I always use a clean cup to spit in. The group of people that started this is probably the ones I see everyday that is talking on cell phone while trying to drive and when they get to there destination they pull up in the front door of a business, fire lane or handcapped space and jump out in exercise cloths and jog in to the establishment. This law is not a real biggie for me I usually don't care to dine with a lot of strangers around me, I can eat at home cheaper and I'm on a first name basis with the cook.

A Smoker.

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How much ignorance is going on in this state? First, you have the govenor wanting to raise taxes without justification and now they want to ban smoking in restaurants and bars. Apparently these people haven't heard about the same concept in Washington State where they stopped smoking in bars and restaurants. The food industry business lost approximately 25% of their business. Even if I didn't smoke, I would boycott places that do this. How much more "freedom" are they going to take away from us?

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If this ban is enforced I will no longer visit Huntsville. I will be forced to go elsewhere to shop and dine out.

M.Jones, Cullman

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This is a response for the president of the North Alabama Veterans and Fraternal Coalition comments that are below this comment. I am a Veteran of 2 wars (Just Cause in 1989 and Desert Storm in 1990/91) and you do not represent me about the smoking ban. I hope the ban passes and people like you quit representing the veterans. Veterans can speak for themselves and do , not need someone like you (probably a smoker) to represent them on a smoking ban. Let the people of Huntsville vote on it. That is why we have veterans, so people have the right to vote.

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Oh my lord here comes another invasion of privacy. I cannot believe you people want to ban smoking but yet you allow alcohol to be drank in the same establishments. As of now it is not illegal to smoke and drive, but it is illegal to drink and drive. Why not ban drinking. To me this would be the most reasonable and smartest thing to do. If we did abolish drinking in public, maybe you so called rightous non smokers would change your mind and think some one was invading your privacy!

And what about the drinker. What does he smell like when he walks by you?

I, think you should be worried about that person who has several glasses of wine with his meal and then driving home with his family and on the same road as you. Maybe you will meet him somewhere along the way. Maybe he won't be smoking so he won't kill you.

Some peoples cologne makes me sick, but I don't want to ban your after shave or colonge. And then your fast food bag that you tossed out the window or the chewing gum wrapper your child threw out the window is just as bad as the cigarettes that are thrown down.

 If you don't smoke then you have no idea what it is like. It is an addiction just like alcohol, twinkies, chocolate, sodas, aspirin, shopping, gambling. All of those addictions that you NORMAL people have.

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I support the ban!!! I am highly allergic to cigarette smoke so I agree that smoking in restaurants, bars, etc. should be stopped. Although restaurants have smoking/non-smoking sections; it isn't enough. Cigarette smoke does not stay only in the smoking section, unfortunately it travels. If smokers want to smoke, they need to do so outside. Smoking is deadly so, smokers should not be allowed to puff in areas where there are non-smokers. If they (smokers) want to kill themselves that's fine because it's their choice but, when their bad habit affects others' health, then as far as I'm concerned smokers have no rights!!!!

Vanessa M. Akins

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As a non smoker, I cannot stand to go into a restaurant and the person(s) next to you are all smoking BUT you are seated in the supposed non smoking section. I am all for the ban in restaurants, as for clubs, etc- they can smoke there all they want. It is expected there. Restaurants are for families also, clubs are not.

Susan Buchanan

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Dear Mrs. Moon, Mr. Watson, Mr. Showers, Mr. Kling, and Mr. Russell;

I am sharing this email with the membership and friends of the North Alabama Veterans and Fraternal Coalition.

Coalitions organizational leaders are in disbelief that the Huntsville City Council would entertain a no smoking policy, which would affect private organizations. We deem this proposed legislative action as intrusive concerning operation of privately operated agencies. If passed, it will violate individual member's privileges and rights. Our organizations poll their membership and ask them if they wish to ban smoking or provide smoke free areas within their facilities. Decisions affecting so many people are based on the majority of the members vote, not by a select few.

There are so many serious considerations before the City on the docket why would any member of the City Council even consider introducing such a bill taking away valuable time needed to address issues related to managing city projects.

Should this bill become law, how will it be enforced? Who will be the "Smoke Police?" Will our organizations be responsible to stop members and guests if they "light up?"

This bill, if passed, will affect our organizations revenue. We're still reeling from the effects of the loss of video games, this bill will only add to our memberships frustration.

Consider the ramifications of this bill pertaining to our organizations (and the private sectors) revenue loss, membership decline, and intrusion on private and personal decisions. We respectfully request that you do not support such a proposal.

EDWARD J. "Ed" BANVILLE
President, North Alabama Veterans and Fraternal Coalition

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I think it's a great idea! Kudos to the ones who came up with it; I wish it would spread to the Shoals area. I cannot stand to be around cigarette smoke, and it should be banned in all public places. I think smokers can surely go without a cigarette for an hour or so while they, and others around them eat. If not, they know where the door is to the outside where they can smoke their life away and then re-join the others in a smoke-free environment. Why should we non-smokers be punished while we try to enjoy our meal?

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I am a non smoker. I believe it should be right of the owners to ban or allow smoking in their establishment.

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I just returned from a trip to Californi, a and it was so nice to go to a restaurant and not have ANY smoke! All the patrons seemed to be enjoying themselves and I didn't hear any negative talk from fellow diners concerning their "right to smoke".

I didn't have to specify non-smoking and didn't have to wait on a non-smoking table. I also didn't have anyone trying to convince me to sit in the smoking section since "there are tables available".

It seems to me that restaurant owners would welcome the new law since it would mean less hassle for their staff and better utilization of the tables. The only reason someone would be waiting for a table would be if there was no table - not because they wanted to be seated where they could breathe while they ate!

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I would dearly love to see a smoking ban, especially in restaurants. Separate smoking and non-smoking sections work only if they are in entirely separate rooms. This past week I ate at a Pizza Hut and it was l, udicrous that they tried to have smoking/non-smoking sections since it's all one small room with smokers in booths right next to non-smokers. This obviously does not work. We moved here from California where smoking was banned in all public buildings and it was wonderful to be able to enjoy ourselves without smoke. Smoking is banned in all federal buildings and I believe smoking should be banned in all public buildings. I hate to get all dressed up, go out and come home stinking of smoke.

Thank you. Becky Taylor

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 I am seriously allergic to second smoke and there are restaurants in Huntsville where you must walk through a smoke-filled room to get to the non-smoking area and places where you must pay in a smoke-filled room. There are also MANY places that separate smoking & non-smoking by a half-wall (or less), as though that prevents smoke from traveling into the non-smoking area. Granted I could avoid these places & many of them I do. Because of my allergy to smoke, I KNOW how much longer it usually takes to get a seat in non-smoking and often times no one is sitting in the smoking area. (Or at least no one who is smoking.) This seems like a ridiculous waste of space to me.

Many times the US has ruled that someone's right to do something only extends to the point that it does not infringe on someone else's rights. I say secondhand smoke infringes on my rights.

Susan Toney, AL

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Please ban smoking in restaurants. The non-smokers should not have to smell it or walk by it in a restaurant. I am sure some of the waiters would like to ban it, but can't say anything for fear of their job. If a smoker knew what they smelled like to a non-smoker, than they would not want to smoke. And please, do not stand by the front door of a building and smoke. If restaurants would put their non-smoking sections in the back and enclose them, that would at least be a big help. I have been to restaurants where you had to walk through the smoking section and pay at the smoking section. I have been to them only once, and I did not go back. A non-smoking bar would do good, I would love to go play pool, but not for the smokers. Why take a shower and put on cologne if you are going to be around a bunch of smelly smokers. Thank you.

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As a non smoker, I cannot stand to go into a restaurant and the person(s) next to you are all smoking BUT you are seated in the supposed non smoking section. I am all for the ban in restaurants, as for clubs, etc- they can smoke there all they want. It is expected there. Restaurants are for families also, clubs are not.

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Smokers should not feel like the proposed ban is a personal attack against them, or that a non-smoker’s concerns/attitudes toward smoking are personal either.

It’s not the smoking that is the problem – it’s the smoke. In other words, if it were possible for a smoker to smoke and inhale all fumes; and for no fumes/odor to be emitted from the cigarette or when the smoker exhaled; there would be absolutely no problem.

However, that is simply not possible. Thus, a smoker’s smoke AFFECTS the non-smoker. Whether it be the non-smoker’s health concerns from second-hand smoke, or as in my case, significant allergies to tobacco.

It is not a personal attack. It is not that a non-smoker just can’t mind his/her own business and likes to tell others how to live their lives.

For me, personally, it is of no concern of mine whether or not someone smokes. Rather, it IS of my interest when it affects me. When I am in a public place, it bothers my allergies, it affects my meal (even many former smokers will at, test to the fact that once they stop, the smell of smoke is not something pleasant), it is bothersome overall. I cannot go to a bar/club/restaurant and enjoy myself because of the a,, ffects smoke has on me.

When people liken banning smoking to b, anning overweight people or obnoxious children as many have voiced, it shows complete ignorance of the problem. Rather, the situation should be likened to drinking. If a person drinks at home, that is their own business and NOONE who does not have a personal relationship with that person should have a voice in the matter. But, when that drinker leaves the house and chooses to drive, he can hurt people. It should not be allowed, nor is it. In the same matter, when a smoker smokes at home – it is that person’s business and right. But, when that person does so in public -- it has negative affects on people both short and long term. Is it USUALLY life or death consequences like drunk driving – no. BUT, nonetheless, it has negative affects on a daily basis and does indeed affect the health and well-being of those who do not smoke.

That is the matter. That is the problem. And until the perfect day comes when a perfect cigarette can be manufactured where no odor or harmful fumes are emitted, and a second party is completely unaffected – then a smoking ban in public places just might be the answer.

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HERE GOES HUNTSVILLE AGAIN. STOP THE SMOKING .I , FOR ONE DO NOT SMOKE NEVER HAVE. TO THOSE THAT DO ITS FINE WITH ME ITS THERE LIFE. YOU SO CALLED DO GOODERS SHOULD DO SOMETHING BETTER WITH YOUR TIME THAN WORRY ABOUT PEOPLE THAT DONT CARE ABOUT THERE HEALTH. I FOR ONE AM WELL OVER THE AGE OF 18 AND CAN MAKE MY OWN DECISIONS ABOUT WHAT IS GOOD FOR ME. I DO NOT NEED THE BIG BROTHER TO TELL ME WHAT AND WHERE TO DO IT.YPU PEOPLE SHOULD BETTER SPEND YOR TINE DOING SOMETHING THAT MAKES MORE SENCE. IF THEY WANT TO SMOKE THAN LET THEM DO IT. YOU ALREADY HAVE TAKEN TO MANY RIGTHS AWAY FROM THE SMOKER. WHY DONT YOU PEOPLE SPEND YOUR TIME ON SPEEDING. BY THE WAY THE FINE FOR SMOKING IS 500.00 AND THE FINE FOR BEING A WOMEN OF THE NIGHT IS ONLY 70.00 I GUESS HUNTSVILLE NEEDS THE MONEY.

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Not ONE benefit comes from smoking!! There are ONLY horrible health and filthy discharges that come from smoking!! Other cities have banned smoking completely - why can't the smartest community in Alabama do the same? * signed: HATE IT!

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I believe smoking should be banned from every public facility. When I go to a restaurant for a meal I do not expect to have to smell cigarette smoke. Recently some friends and I ate at TGI Fridays. We did not want seating in the smoking section but we were placed next to the smoking section. It was terrible to have put up with that nauseating smell all through our meal. Then to top it off our clothes and hair smelled like disgusting smoke all day. Also to response to the comment about taxing ugly people, banning fat people and to much perfume .....these issues are not health related to another person as second hand smoke is. Also there is the issue about cigarette butts just thrown all over...they throw them out their windows of their cars, there are cigarette butts on streets, sidewalks etc. it's disgusting also. signed : FED UP with having to smell disgusting smoke.....

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 i am a smoker ...though i do not smoke in public places ...i do smoke in PRIVATE bars...what we do in PRIVATE BARS ,is our buss. if you dont like it ,,dont come here ....bottom line ....i resprect your rights in PUBLIC ...YOU stay out of my PRIVATE life.....what does ofend me is when i go out to a PUBLIC rest. ,,i have to put up with YOUR BRATS... MAKING UNDO NOISE .....RUNNING AROUND ..... what you think is CUTE ....others dont....you need to control them....lets make a deal ....i control my smoking ,,,YOU control your kids . when i go out to eat i dont want to listen to your KIDS ....i want only a QUITE peaseful dinner .....OK....UNRULLY KIDS ARE A PAIN.........SMOKING BAN IN PUBLIC OK....stay out of PR, IVARE BARS & EST.......T.MEDLEY959@AOL.COM

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I grew up around second hand smoke and have dabbled in smoking myself over the years, the problem is not whether second hand smoke is unhealthy - what isn't unhealthy for us these days. The problem lies with making more laws to govern what Americans can and can not do. Everyday the government is passing more laws that dictate what we can and can not do to our own bodies. I believe there should be laws to protect our children whether it be seat belt laws or cigarette bans, but I also realize that I can't expect to take my children into a certain environment without making them accessible to certain harmful substances. I would not let my child be held by someone who is smoking cigarettes but I also wouldn't let them swim in a hazard waste pond, we have to make responsible decisons - that is part of being an adult. All of the non smokers sending in there opinions act like everytime they sit down in any restaurant , , in Huntsville they are choked out by cigarette smoke, 90% of the time I sit in the nonsmoking section and very rarely do I even notice someone smoking nearby, if I choose to go into a bar I can only expect to m,, eet the smell of cigarette smoke - that is my choice!! Before long Americans will not be able to do anything without asking the goverment's permission and I don't think that is the way we want to head in society as we know it today. Life as adults is about choices not laws, I was taught the dos and donts a long time ago. There are laws against drug use and now we are talking about laws for cigarette use, where are the laws against alcohol use?? Ask any child that is in a smoking/drinking environment at home which they would prefer their parent to give up? Alcohol causes the majority of family issues in this country whether it be domestic voilence or physical or emotional neglect but none of use are even discussing this issue. I think we should get over the little stuff and get on to some real issues. If a restaurant or bar does not want to allow cigarette smoking that, should be their decision not the governments.

Sincerely,
Heather Robinson

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I think that there is a place for everything and a public establishment is not a place to smoke. But on the other hand a bar or lounge is totally different. Drinking and smoking go hand in hand. I use to be a smoker until I was told that I had throat cancer. My husband and I both quit. Now my Father -in-law has "Small Cell Lung Cancer" known to be attributed to smoking. My mother -in-law still refuses to quit and even smokes in the same room as my father-in-law, now talk about inconsiderate. When you are in a public setting you may not realize what kind of health problems say cancer, asthma or allergies that the person in the next seat may have that your smoking creates problems for. I am not saying that as an individual that you need to quit , that is your decision, just have enough respect for the other people around you. Try to put yourself in the other persons positions. If there is someone with asthma in a restaurant that allows smoking and you smoke close to them (because a small wall is not enough separation), it may cause an attack, they (more then likely) will have to go to the hospital for a breathing treatment, all because you had to light up. Look around and think before you smoke. What if that sick person were your husband, wife, SON or DAUGHTER, or GRANDCHILD!

Huntsville
Mary

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You know, I have read all of the mesages posted on this subject and I find it amusing that the "SMOKERS" are fed-up with the laws passed to prevent the smoking in all eating establidhments. I have read the reference to Hitler and the land of the FREE. Lets just stop for a moment and examine the whole picture. Snoking is a choice. the smokers made a choice to smoke in as much as the non smokers have. My question is if the non-smoker making a choice to not smoke, why does this give the smoker the right to invade their space. If a smoker could smoke in a restaurant and contain the smoke just at their table, then there would not be an issue to debate. However this is not possible, so we have to do the only thing that makes any sence. Just stop all of the smoking and the sooner you get through, the soner you can go out and light-up. This will expedite the turn-over and the ones waiting in line can get served sooner, the ones that do not smoke and can taste the food cn actually enjoy their food. Why is this so difficult to accept. Can the smokers not do without smoking for about thirty minutes. If you fly anywhere you will not smoke or a federal marshall will be waiting for you to explain the reasons. The Hitler issue is about as stupid as any statement I have heard in any issue. It is the land of the free and the non-smokers are free to choose to smoke or not, just as the smokers are. The non-smokers have been insulted telling them to stay at home if they didn't want to smell the smoke. Well, on the same issue, the smokers can sit at home as well. wh, o died and left them in charge of the air? If we were meant to breath smoke, I am sure God would have provided it as he did the rain, sun and the air. So if you have a problem with the non-smoking thing, talk to God about it. If you need it he will make provisons for it for you.

Aaron E. Potts

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Fine, ban smoking. You won't get my money anymore. And while you are at it - ban unruly children to include the parents who won't discipline them or teach them how to act in public; people who make others sick just by looking at them while they are gorging themselves on there overfilled plates, etc. The list goes on and on and on....

Sign me: I like cooking at home

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Its a stinking filthy habit that affects everyone around the smoker.It should be banned completely. Grady Dodson

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hmmm... let's see - the democracies are becoming communistic- and communistic societies are becoming democracies - AND it is the democracies that are trying to change the communistic parties because they feel it is "wrong" to tell a society in general what they should do.... hmmmm....

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It is time to stop picking on the smokers. Start over taxing ugly people and ban FAT people from restaurants, Obesity is the number 2 killer. There is no date to prove second hand smoke also causes cancer. Your offended by smokers? I am just as offended by the woman who puts on way to much perfume and goes in a restaurant, or the person who keeps kicking the back of my chair, or the person next to me that talks to loud and won't shut up. Pass a law to keep them out and I might back you on this one. No, I don't think it is a big health issue. Tell me, that everything in the air, in our food and in our water is completely good for us. Instead of complaining about the air that can't be completely fixed, these people pushing this law, should spend there time more wisely by fixing world hunger. Aren't you tired yet, of people trying to tell us how to live our lives?

Signed,
Fed Up

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 I'm all for a ban on smoking in restaurants. I work for a large firm that requires that I travel regularly to AZ and CA. I have found several cities that have bans on smoking in restaurants and its wonderful! The food even tastes better.

Restaurants owners just don't get it. People that don't smoke don't like to sit next to a smoker. Just because you seat smokers on one side of the wall doesn't mean that the non-smokers are breathing clean air. Unless a different venting system is installed for each, its not going to happen. Then the owners would complain that HVAC is too expensive!!

Teresa

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I find it telling that a restaraunt owner wants the ban. In Minnesota there have been several towns and cities trying to ban smoking, and in most of the cases the impetus has come from bar or restaraunt owners. If these people were truly principled and concerned about the effects of second-hand smoke they would have already made their establishment smoke free. But they do not have the courage of their convictions, so they are trying to tell other people what to do with their own private property. All of this talk about the "right" to smoke, the "right" to not breathe secondhand smoke is, pardon the expression, a smokescreen. T, he only "right" in question is the property right of the owner. If the owner wishes to allow smoking, that is his right. Non-smokers have the right to boycott those establishments that allow smoking, just as smokers have the right to boycott smoke-free establishments.

As regards the "costs" of smoking, most of the studies I have seen only look at the anti-smoking side of things. There have been a few balanced studies which look at costs and benefits (taxes smokers have paid, how much shorter their lives are (thus reducing Social Security costs, long-term insurance costs, etc.)). These studies have shown that overall society makes money off of smokers, they are not a drain on the system.

Sincerely,
Bruce W. Krafft

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I would like to comment on your question of "Should it be against the law to smoke"? I don't think it should be against the law to smoke; however if you look at this subject from a logical stand point, if the creator had intended for humans to smoke there would not be all the deaths that are attributed directly to smoking each year. I realize not everyone will share my thought along this line. I do think smoking should be banned in all public places. Why? because not everyone smokes cigarettes. Smokers have for so many years simply disregarded the rights of non-smokers. That is, the non-smoker's right not to be subject to second hand smoke.

Several years ago the Army (and I don't know about other branchs of services) stopped smoki, ng in all work areas. Of course now those who smoke take about 4 to 5 smoke breaks per day and in some cases more. A non-smoker is authorized one 15 min break every 4 hour of work time. Seems a little one sided affair doesn't it? I definately think so. Just look at all those years that us non-smokers had to inhale all that smoke in cramped quarters. Looks to me as if the smoker still has the advantage.

Just think, if everyone who smokes cigarettes quit smoking our medical doctors would be virtually put out of business. I heard a story back in the 1970s about a man who had health problems so bad from cigarette smoking that he had to take several pills daily to to keep going. Seems like it was something like 8 to 10 pills. His doctor informed him is he would quit smoking he could cut his pill intake by half. Just to show you how much of strong hold nicotine has on people, the man refused.

I read a statement someone made recently concerning a possible ban on smoking in resturants and bars. The comment was "If the ban passes its infringing on my right to smoke". Well shame on that attitude. A person's right to smoke also infringes on non-smoker's right to not smoke. So lets have a Mexican stand off. You can go to any public place establishment you wish and ask to be seated in a non-smoking area; however the ventilation system by no means protect non-smokers from second hand smoke. Advantage to the smoker one more time.

Madison county resident

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Personally, I think establishments will loose and probably go out of business. People like sitting down and enjoying a smoke after dinner and while they are waiting on their meal to be served. Also, I must agree with the person who reminded everyone that smoking is not illegal however, drinking and driving is so why are they serving alcohol. Also, all these people talking about taking California's lead. Marijuana is legal up to certain amounts and you can also go into bars to smoke it in California so just how much should we follow them?

****

I respect people that dont smoke, but what about the ones of us that do? Are we not to have any rights anymore? I feel that smokers are being discriminated against and our rights are being taken away. We're suppose to be in the land of the Free. From what I can see, we are nno longer the land of the Free. All of our freedom's being taken from us. If we choose to smoke, and can afford to purchase our cigarettes, then it's our right to do as we wish. Tobacco is legal and now people want to make it illegal to smoke in public places. Our society is becoming a Joke.

Kathy

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I am now retired but worked about 40 years around smok, ers. Yes, I am a nonsmoker and have never smoked. My observation about smokers is that you never could get much work out of them. They were always lighting up, puffing away, smashing cigarette butts in ash trays, dishes, trash cans, or on the floor. Five minutes later the same routine again. In between puffs you were lucky if you could get any work out of them. Today I have a lung problem which I attribute to secondhand smoke over a period of 40 years being around puffers. At one point I was border line in needing a lung transplant. Needless to say I am in favor of any action that limits public smoking.

****

I hear a lot about people's 'right' to smoke in restaurants. No one has such a right!!! This is a privilege. Now that we know and understand the harmful effects of smoking, that privilege should be taken away and smokers should thoughtfully consider the devastation to their own health. We, the total society, will ultimately pay for their habit through taxes and higher health care costs and I don't have any right nor privilege that removes my liability for either!!

A court of law has determined that smoking is harmful and that punitive damages in billions should be paid to smokers for lack of communication of it's harmful effect . Given that decision, should we non-smoker be allowed to hold smokers responsible and liable for any health risk they might cause to us after officially being warned about the harmful effects of smoking????

Find just one positive to support smoking ... if it can be done ... weigh it against the negatives. Consideration of this law has been done already. Now it's time to finish the job. ALL facilities publicly occupied should be smoke free! Once done, the law should be STRICTLY ENFORCED!

Rich

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I agree that others' smoking is an annoyance while I am trying to enjoy a nice relaxing meal. But whining and crying children are even more annoying. So while they are at it, outlaw the kids too!

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I am a non-smoker and I hate smoking and the smell of smoke. I hate the smell of smoke in my hair. I hate the smell of smoke in my clothes. I hate seeing all the butts piled up at intersections where all you smokers toss them out the windows. I even hate going outside my office to my vehicle when I have to walk past a group of smokers and smell th, e nasty smoke. Outside smoking is wasting time and I think your pay should be docked.

I think your health insurance premiums should be doubled or tripled. You get sick more than me. Your children are more prone to asthma. You cost more to insure, just like a drunk driver. Tuff, you earned it. Now cite me a report that says drinking and driving do not cause any wrecks or deaths. You seem to be able to discredit any study that insinuates smoking might be the least bit unhealthy. Make sure that the next time your wife or daughter gets pregnant that they smoke and smoke often. At least a pack a day. It's not bad for them or the unborn baby, right? That's what I have been reading in these comments. Lets also make sure that when we read our children or grandchildren a story at night we have a big ole stogie in our mouth and blow the 2nd hand smoke in their little face, it's not going to hurt them, right? That's what you are saying. I think I will start chewing tobacco and I will spit in your hair. Your smoke gets in my hair. Then I will spit on your clothes, your smoke gets trapped in my clothes. I then I will do the same to your children. You don't seem to have a problem doing it to mine. Don't know how I can get my spit in your lungs but I'll try to find a way. Let me also encourage all chewers and dippers to save their spit cups and pile them up at an intersection of their choosing, just like you smokers thump out you butts.

I totally support the ban of smoking at all public establishments. I also support any increase in taxes on any type of tobacco.

****

I personally have experienced damage to my lungs due to second had smoke. I know of several others that have experienced this same condition. From a health perspective, I firmly believe that anyone that chooses to smoke be forced outdoors. I also believe that they should be forced to conduct this nasty habit no less than 100 feet from any building entrance. Smoking is a choice and I choose to keep my body healthy by staying away from it.

Its a known fact that those who smoke waste more time on the job due to smoke breaks. If you review the statistics I'm sure they will show that smokers utilize more sick leave versus Us non smokers.

****

I think thi, s, whole thing is crazy, yes I am a smoker, have been for 16 years. Yes I do have a right to smoke any where I want because guess what I LIVE IN THE USA!!!!!! You people always want to take everything away from everybody because you have the right to do so. But guess what we have the right to call you out on it!!What if you owned a bar and 90% of your patrons smoked and some idiot passed a ban that you could no longer smoke in bars. YOU WOULD GO BANKRUPT!!!!

I thought this was the land of the FREE, free to make your OWN decisions not have some holier than thou person come up and tell you what you can and can't do!!!

Things like this make me feel like I am living in a communist country!! I don't want to offend anyone or "blow smoke" in anyone's face, but if you don't like my smoke in the restaur, ant or bar, either stay home or move to Russia!!!

****

Smokers have a right to smoke. Do smokers have the right to assault me with noxious carcinogenic fumes. Smokers will dispute the adverse affects of sidestream smoking. Yet, the medical literature is full of documentetion of the adverse health affects on the passive smoker.

A nonsmoker often must pass through the smoking section to get to the nonsmoking section. In some restaurants the air circulation is such that while seated 50 feet from a smoker you might as well be next to them. When did a smokers right to inhale and then exhale an addictive carcinogenic substance supercede my right to breathe clean air. Why is it that some smokers addiction is so strong that they must assault all those around them with at best a nasty habit that in reality takes thousands of lives every year.

It is time for the health of the whole to take precedence over the selfdestructive behavior of the minority. Arguements will be made that resaurants will lose money. Yet, studies in Texas and California have shown a neutral economic impact!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

****

It should NOT be against the law to smoke in restaurants OR bars! Establishments should have the right to make their own decisions as to whether or not smoking will be allowed. Some will probably go non-smoking, and others will not, which will provide places for ALL citizens to enjoy a meal or drink, not just the "favored" few.

In addition, the most recent determination on second-hand smoke is that it is NOT the danger we have been led to believe. Do our councilmen think they are going to pull the wool over our eyes, or are they too stupid to check the latest data before they make such sweeping and controversial rules? S,

mokers DO have rights, especially when you consider the huge tax burden imposed upon us! Smokers continue to get less and less for such an unfair tax burden. Foul, foul play! The smell of some foods, perfumes, deoderants and hairsprays turn me off, what about them?

Another human being with rights.

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There is no scientific evidence that "second hand" smoke causes any health problems for people. The one study that all the "anti-smoking" people site as evidence and all the other studies are based upon, was proven to be a bogus scientific study. To quickly research this for yourself, a good place to start would be to review the Penn and Teller show on HBO( or Showtime) where they looked into this subject and give the facts, not opinions. Cars cause more "second hand" smoke than tobacco users, yet no one is whining about banning them. As far as the smoke smelling "nasty" or "foul", that is strictly opinion as some people like the smell and think it smells "nice" or "comforting". We cannot have laws regulating human actions based on preference if we wish to live in a free society. I personally do not like perfume smells or looking at hicks or stupid people that yack about subjects they have not studied such as the effects of "second hand" smoke or a bunch of other things, but I would never support a ban on such things or people in public places. Another place to look for good information on "second hand" smoke is http//laissezfairebooks.com If you have not studied the facts and relevant information , on 'second hand" smoke then please keep your comments to yourself as your opinions are just that - opinions, whi, ch have no place in determining laws to regulate society. Please do your homework before you post your imbecilic opinions.

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