Irving Is Having a Lot of Trouble Passing a Smoking Ban

Categories: Healthcare

CigaretteCostumeWalkingFlickr.jpg
Flickr user CascadeFoto
Don't fret, Mr. Cigarette. You're still welcome in Irving.
For the most part, Americans have come to accept restaurant- and workplace-smoking bans. Even in freedom-loving Texas, most residents view them less as an encroachment on individual liberty than a reasonable measure to protect the health of nonsmokers, even if their politicians don't. The alarmed cries of nanny-statism are now reserved for Michael Bloomberg and his war on soda.

Irving, however, is still warming up to the idea. Earlier this year, the city's health board introduced a proposal to ban smoking from the few dozen bars, restaurants, and workplaces that still allow patrons to light up.

"To do our job as a health board we have to recommend what is healthiest for the people of Irving," chairman John Drake tells Unfair Park.

Specifically, he points to an study published by the American Heart Association in late 2012 showing that comprehensive anti-smoking laws were associated with significant drops in hospitalizations for heart attacks, strokes and respiratory diseases.

Drake's concerns were not shared by a solid chunk of people -- elected representatives and ordinary citizens alike -- who showed up at Irving's City Council meeting last night to protest the proposed ban.

The Twitter feed of The Dallas Morning News' Avi Selk gives a good play-by-play of the ensuing debate:

Webb, for context, is an Irving City Council member. He joined with two of his colleagues in voting to kill the proposal ban. Instead, it's being kicked back to committee.

Drake is exceedingly diplomatic about the whole thing. Asked if he expects the ban to ultimately pass, he would only say that he remains confident that the health board brought forward a "great option to consider."

He sidestepped a question about the opposition in similar fashion..

"Irving is full of great people, and they're not all going to be on the same side of every issue."

And some day, they may step into the 21st century.

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53 comments
TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

Avi's first tweet is pretty damn hilarious.

roadsidecouch
roadsidecouch

How about smoking be left up to the property owners?   If you ban smoking why not ban restaurants in response to the number of  obese citizens we have?  After that Nanny Drake can go after a ban on cars.

garlandreallysucks
garlandreallysucks

irving is stupid for not having the ban just by the numbers ... what pisses me off is the places that have banned vaping for no reason at all other than stupidity.

wes.house
wes.house

It should be up the property owner in ALL cases..

kitty9573
kitty9573

If people don't like the smoking they can always choose go to a different restaurant or bar. There are plenty of non smoking places. Let the addicts have the one ot two places without no smoking policies. JESUS you assholes. Are you really so self entitled and controlling that you feel like you have to be able to go to every establishment on earth without having to ' suffer the heath risk of second hand smoke' oooooh poor you!!! Blow it out your ass, it is the 21 century, and America is turning into a whiny bunch of HOA ass kissing, webMD addicted, self righteous pussies laboring under the false assumption that anyone else gives a shit about how they feel. When it comes to the health of the smokers, we've made our beds, let us lay. I am far less concerned with dying of lung cancer that I am ending up in a twisted hunk of metal because your spoiled ass kids are texting and driving. Stay the crap out of Irving and Addison you horrible Yuppies.

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

Look, I'm a liberal. And even I will never understand why they don't just let businesses make the decision for themselves. Before the Dallas smoking ban went into effect there was an Italian restaurant on Buckner called Alfonso's that didn't allow smoking.....it was their choice and my choice not to go there again. And if you want super weird, try going to a strip club post smoking ban. Just let the businesses choose.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

The negative health affects of being exposed to second hand smoke are indisputable.

A City Council that decides its population doesn't deserve protection from this easily prevented health risk sure isn't doing their jobs as stewards for the community.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Eighty percent of Americans do not smoke.  That's why we have laws banning smoking in public places.

mbcez
mbcez

To do your job you do not need to do what is healthiest for the people of irving, by taking away choice!  You take away health issues that aren't visible, ones that cannot reasonably be controlled by the people themselves.
Choosing not to goto a certain bar or restaurant that still allows smoking is a choice.  If you don't like it there are 1000 other places to goto withen a reasonable distance.  Nonsmokers have 99% of restaurants to goto and not worry about it.  Shouldn't you do the right thing and give smokers a last refuge, and people the right to make the choice.

If you don't like drinking you don't goto a bar, if you don't like smoking you don't goto a bar with smoking, it should be owners choice what they allow, and patrons if they are okay with it!

You cannot child proof America, but you can do something important and stop wasting your time on this, and focus with the real health issues causing the most harm, which involve food!

right
right

@kitty9573 Apparently those who get lung cancer don't endorse the, "I made this bed, and now I should lay on it".  They cry their eyes out, express hatred for God, and even get mad at the health providers as if they were the ones who told them to continue smoking..so be quiet about all that stuff...

fracquestions
fracquestions

@kitty9573 kitty, YES, I DO have the right to walk into a public establishment without being subjected to second-hand smoke, and if you don't like it, then you are welcome to smoke in your own home and car until the day you die from smoking and the adverse health effects it causes.

You are pissed because the campaign against smoking is so overwhelmingly on the side of non-smokers. That should tell you something, but apparently the smoke has already addled your brain to the point where your comprehension is a thing of the past.

People in Plano complained that a smoking ban in restaurants would kill their business as people flocked to other cities without bans where they could light up while dining. Instead, the exact opposite happened, as it has everywhere else. Even smokers admit that it is much more enjoyable being able to eat without having to breathe the smoke from some self-centered jerk like you who thinks she has the right to force everybody else to smell like the same ashtray that you smell like.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@mavdog a population that cant choose to stay out of, or not work at a work environment that is non smoking is a stupid population

fracquestions
fracquestions

@mbcez You will ALWAYS have the absolute right to light up in your own home or car! You do NOT have the right to foul the air I, or any other person, breathe! If you were not so self-centered, then you would recognize that simple fact.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@mbcez 

yeah, why should there be any regulations on what a business can do?

let's get rid of all those pesky health regs that apply to restaurants. They just are a pain in the butt! If a customer doesn't want to go into that business because they think they might get ill eating there, there's 1000 other places they can go!

and really, why do we have all those darn laws regarding cars? sure, it makes the roads safer when there is a requirement for functioning lights and brakes, but if someone wants to drive their car without those items why should they be prevented? there's 1000 other roads for a person to drive on if they don't want to be on the same road as a car with no functioning lights or brakes....

and those laws against hazardous waste! who do the people in government think they are by preventing people from storing whatever they want on their property. if someone doesn't want to live near the guy with the hazardous waste on their land, there's 1000 other places they can move to.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@fracquestions @kitty9573 Just because it works doesn't make it right.  A restaurant is not 'public' in the sense of operation or ownership, it is a privately owned establishment.  The government has no business telling private property owners or private business owners what they can and can't do on their property or in their business.  YOU do NOT have a right to walk into a privately owned home or business and demand that they conform to your wishes, you arrogant ass.

MissMacy
MissMacy

@fracquestions @kitty9573 I used to have the same attitude as you until I quit smoking seven years ago. You should try it, pal. And by not wasting money on cigarettes I'm saving about $1800 a year.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin

not me who is going to try and say the population isn't for the most part "stupid", so where does that leave us?

kitty9573
kitty9573

@mavdog @mbcez  That is a fallacy and not at all the point. You cannot compare food regulations and motor vehicle safety to choosing a restaurant based on it's smoking policies. 

Admit that you just don't like it. I know of maybe 4 places in Irving that allow smoking... cars move, waste moves, food poisoning can be instantly deadly and you would not be able to detect it upon arriving to eat... but if you walk into a place and smell smoke.... leave... there isn't enough smoke at that point to do you any harm. 

BTW if you're worried about your health, dining out and bars in general should be something you should reconsider as the leading causes of death in the US are directly related to eating large quantities of fatty crap foods. Cancer is on the list, but I bet you anything it's not all lung cancer, and emphysema isn't even up there, diabetes is, heart disease I could go on... but I think you get the point.  

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@TheCredibleHulk @RTGolden1 @CogitoErgoSum @fracquestions @kitty9573 Frankly I could care less what laws they pass regarding smoking.  I grew up in a home with a smoking parent, never smoked myself.  Always chose restaurants with completely separated smoking sections.  I think the vast majority of people would agree that these laws are, as you say, passed to appease an extremely vocal minority in their displeasure with another small minority.  Politically harmless.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@RTGolden1 @TheCredibleHulk @CogitoErgoSum @fracquestions @kitty9573 

It's nearly academic at this point anyway, this argument is spiraling its way into oblivion. It's just a matter of time at this point before the last dominoes tumble.

It's really kind of funny - A vanishingly small percentage of the population (employees that don't want to work in smoking-allowed establishments) vs. Smokers, another tiny percentage of the population.

I quit 5 years ago, and to tell the truth, couldn't stand to eat in a restaurant that allowed smoking even when I smoked. Although I am old enough to remember smoking in hospital waiting rooms, airports and even smoking in flight.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@TheCredibleHulk @CogitoErgoSum @RTGolden1 @fracquestions @kitty9573 The argument about employment and delivery personnel is valid.  I can admit I don't have a counter to that one.  I will say that employment is also a choice, although a much narrower one than dining out.  Patrons though, have no right to bitch, they are unencumbered in their choice of dining options.  Heaven forbid, they could even stay at home and make their own rules.  Microwave food is at least as good as Red Lobster or Applebee's anyway.

fracquestions
fracquestions

@RTGolden1 @fracquestions @kitty9573 Cry me a river! Apparently, "the government" does not agree with you. Restaurants are LICENSED to operate - it is a privilege, NOT a RIGHT!

Restaurants are subject to numerous governmental regulations and restrictions whether or not you like it.

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum

@RTGolden1 @fracquestions @kitty9573 I'd have chosen Golden Corral as a more apt purveyor of waistline-expanding fare.

I like MavDog's argument above that others besides patrons must enter the facility and are subjected to the poisonous fumes.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@fracquestions @RTGolden1 @kitty9573 Except the logic that says if you wish to avoid the health risks of 2nd hand smoke, you can CHOOSE to go to an establishment that does not allow smoking.  Nobody in the General Public is forced to patronize any restaurant, so there is no need for governmental bans on smoking in a privately owned and operated restaurant.

Obesity is a far bigger health threat, but I don't see them banning Ruth's Chris anytime soon.

fracquestions
fracquestions

@RTGolden1 @fracquestions @kitty9573 WRONG! If you cater to the general public, then you DO have to abide by laws that protect the public. That is specifically why we have federal, state and local health departments to inspect those "private businesses" that sell food and beverages to the general public, unlike in your private home where you are not selling food and need no license or inspection.

Your argument falls apart when logic is applied.

fracquestions
fracquestions

@MissMacy Thankfully, I never took up that habit and have saved myself a lot of money over five or more decades, and I did not go around smelling like a filthy ashtray, either!

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum

@TheCredibleHulk @ScottsMerkin @mavdog More compelling is the public health concern, as MavDog points out above. If a proprietor were pumping carbon monoxide into their restaurant ventilation system, should not the health department have a word on that, especially considering the fact that many people besides patrons enter and spend time inhaling the carbon monoxide?

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin @mavdog 

An establishment that allows smoking necessarily prevents a certain segment of the population (militant anti-smokers) from seeking employment there.

This is the issue, then: Unfair hiring and employment standards.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@mavdog well you have given the best argument yet for plumbers postman deliverymen having no choice.   The postman at one local bar just drops the mail through the mail slot so he avoids going into the bar

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin 

it isn't just consumers, what of the vendor who has to go into these smoked filled establishments a a course of their work? the deliveryman, the postman, the occasional repairman such as plumbers? the city inspector?

do you advocate they shouldn't be considered? absolutely they should.

Reducing the amount of smoking is positive for everyone, and anything we as a society can do (short of making tobacco illegal) to achieve that result should be done.

fracquestions
fracquestions

@ScottsMerkin @fracquestions @kitty9573 How hard is it to know which places do or do not allow smoking? And, how do you justify forcing employees of a restaurant to endure the smoke of customers? Does their health and safety not also count?

If marijuana is against the law, then a product that, when used as directed by its manufacturer, kills 440,000+ Americans every year should also be prohibited from growth, manufacture, sale or use. I am unaware of any death scientifically attributable to smoking marijuana, but the exact opposite is true for tobacco.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@kitty9573 @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz @MichaelinLH 

Can you now, somehow, absorb second-hand carnitas?

Why wasn't I informed of this ghastly health threat!

kitty9573
kitty9573

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz @MichaelinLH  No he seems to be stating that just because most people don't smoke, doesn't mean that some places should still accommodate those who do. 

If you don't like Mexican food don't go to a Canina. Don't like smoke? Stay away from the 20% of people who do and the places that allow smoking. Simple. I don't know why we need all the stupid rules.

fracquestions
fracquestions

@Maddshillz My god, you really are stupid! Heartland is hardly an objective source on ANYTHING. It is an un-American, far right Fasicst propaganda machine. Thanks for clarifying where you get your information. Sieg Heil!

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@Maddshillz 

hey dumbass, your lame attempt to introduce the issues of eating fatty food and driving are nonsensical and have no correlation to the subject.

come back when you can bring your brain to focus on the issue being discussed.

yeah, I'd take that link of heartland over the scientific research...so very credible don't you know!

http://www1.umn.edu/perio/tobacco/secondhandsmoke.html

http://www.tobacco.ucsf.edu/sites/default/files/u795/glantz_circulation_ambulance.2013.pdf

circ.ahajournals.org/content/111/20/2684.abstract

Maddshillz
Maddshillz

@fracquestions @kitty9573 @mavdog @mbcez 

Nice strawman arguments, dipshits.  Point still stands; the fatty food you love oh so much will kill you faster than cigarette smoking.  As will driving.  As will breathing our lovely, polluted air.  Get off your pedestal.  You have zero moral high ground

fracquestions
fracquestions

@kitty9573 @mavdog @mbcez You really are an idiot, kitty! Every year, over 440,000 Americans die as a direct result of cigarette smoking - more smoker deaths in a single year than from illicit drugs in the entire history of the nation COMBINED!

You are the poster child for why smoking should be banned and the growth, manufacturing and sale of tobacco outlawed.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@kitty9573

if you are so stupid to become a nicotine addict who is commiting suicide, sobeit. it's your choice to be that idiot.

keep your hazardous smoke away from others, be they customers, workers at the venue or vendors who enter the establishment where smoking is occuring. those who us who choose to not be addicted and cut our lives short have a right to not be exposed to the shit your beloved cigs put into the air.

BTW dining out is not a "leading cause of death". eating too much fatty foods, like smoking those cancer sticks called cigarettes, is a leading cause of death. apparently your idea of "dining out" is going to Church's Chicken or gorging at Golden Corral....I think you get the point.

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