Sunday, October 30, 2005

Oct 30, 2005
Statistics bring confusion to debate on smoking ban - Springfield, IL

Dear Chris Wetterich,

RE: Statistics bring confusion to debate on smoking ban

You consistently maintain a high standard in your news stories covering the political events in Springfield and have also been providing excellent coverage about the proposed Springfield smoking ban. I have never read a biased story in any of your reviews. That is why I would like to submit for your review an editorial letter from Sue Jeffers, owner, Stub and Herb's Bar and Restaurant, Minneapolis, explaining the effects of their smoking ban and published in the Chicago Sun Times newspaper on October 14th.

Her editorial may help to address some of the current business concerns now facing Springfield. or , when the Sun Times takes her letter off the web.
Garnet Dawn - The Smoker's Club, Inc. - Midwest Regional Director
The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter -
Illinois Smokers Rights - - Respect Freedom of Choice!
Statistics bring confusion to debate on smoking ban

Published Sunday, October 30, 2005

The nightmare scenario at the two smoking ban hearings held by the Springfield City Council occurred whenever a speaker went to the microphone and proclaimed that they were about to "give you a few facts."

Anyone attending the meetings could not help but be confused by the dizzying volley of statistics lobbed back and forth.

The smoking ban ordinance, which will be introduced by Ward 10 Ald. Bruce Strom at Tuesday's city council meeting, will prohibit smoking in all indoor workplaces, including restaurants, taverns and bowling alleys. Exceptions would be made for hotel rooms and nursing home rooms where all residents want to allow smoking.

The ban also would apply to private clubs such as the American Legion.

The most contentious argument between the pro- and anti-ban factions is over whether businesses, taverns in particular, will actually be hurt economically by the smoking ban.

Those in favor of the ban say study after study by reputable health and government agencies refutes the bar industry's claims that taverns will be crippled by a ban on smoking in their establishments.

Ban opponents cite their own studies that show, among other things, a 30 to 40 percent drop in revenue and a parallel drop in sales tax revenue from taverns.

The Springfield Smokefree Coalition has gone as far as to include the anti-ban talking points of the Illinois Licensed Beverage Association in its own binder of material supporting the ban. The binder has been handed out to alderman, the media and other community leaders.

The coalition poses questions about the factual accuracy or completeness of 16 of the 20 talking points advanced by the Illinois Licensed Beverage Association against the ban by citing other studies or calling into question the research methodology. For example, the ILBA says 1,000 bars and restaurants in California that serve alcohol closed their doors permanently the first year of the statewide smoking ban, according to the American Beverage Institute. The ILBA also says more than 200 pubs have closed in Ireland since that country's nationwide indoor smoking ban.

The pro-smoking ban side notes that such statistics fail to take into account the natural volatility of the restaurant industry, which has a high failure rate for startups.

But some opponents of the ban say California is not a good comparison to Springfield. Most of California, they say, has weather year-round that permits bars there to make extensive use of outdoor beer gardens and patios, where smoking still is permitted, which would reduce the likelihood of economic damage from the ban.

New York and Massachusetts are among the largest states with similar weather that have indoor smoking bans. The ILBA has statistics purporting to show the devastating effects in those states:

In 23 Massachusetts communities that had smoking bans before the statewide law, restaurant jobs fell by an average of 21 percent, according to the Massachusetts Restaurant Association.
But the pro-ban alliance said that study is flawed because it looked at the change in jobs in 23 cities between 1993 and 1995. Some of the towns included did not enact their bans until 1996, after the study period.

There are fewer liquor-pouring establishments in upstate New York in the first full year since the indoor smoking ban went into effect, according to the New York state health department, the ILBA says.
The report from the department indicates the statement is true. There were 7,178 liquor licenses for on-premise consumption in upstate New York in April 2002 before the ban and 7,156 in May 2004, a difference of 22.

But that's not the whole story. The same report shows on-premise liquor licenses increased by 565 or 3.5 percent statewide. This statistic includes New York City and its suburban counties.

The only ILBA tavern-related statistic the binder does not dispute is that a ban in Talbot County, Maryland hit that community's taverns hard. With a population of 34,263, there were 25 percent fewer liquor-pouring establishments in the eastern Maryland county in December 2004 compared to a year earlier when there was no ban, according to figures from Maryland's Office of the Comptroller.

The beverage association launched its own public relations blitz this week, publishing a full-page ad in The State Journal-Register with a link to a Web site showing a video of dank and dingy New York City streets packed with smokers and streets littered with cigarette butts. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the New York City Council banned smoking there in 2003.

The ad says downtown interests, including bar owners, have been working with the city to reduce noise and litter downtown. Forcing smokers to light up outside would reverse that progress, the ad argues.

The ILBA also provided the city council testimonials from more than 400 bar or restaurant operators who say their business suffered or even closed because of indoor smoking bans.

Steve Riedl, the beverage association's executive director, said he can't figure out why some seem to view the pro-ban's statistics as more credible than those released by his organization.

"The simplest way I can put this to you is if this wasn't bad for us - believe me, I've got a lot of things to do - I wouldn't spend my time on it," Riedl said. "The economic studies conducted by anti-smoking advocates conveniently conclude smoking bans are not bad for our industry. If this were true, the hospitality industry would be leading the charge to pass smoking bans or, at a minimum, voluntarily establish bans on our own."

Kathy Drea, policy director for the American Lung Association of Illinois and Iowa, conceded that supporters of a smoking ban cannot ensure that no bars will be damaged by a ban, but she said no research indicates widespread harm.

"We don't know every business in every town across the country. There's no reputable economic study that shows there's a negative impact," Drea said.

Chris Wetterich can be reached at 788-1523 or .

Oct 30, 2005
IL Petition to stop Chicago Smoking Ban; Joe Cherner - Chicago Committee Passes Smokefree Workplace Law

I have just updated the closing date on our i-petition to fight the Chicago Smoking Ban at to November 25th.

I have been able to extend the date because the City Council vote has been postponed again. According to an anti message I received today from Joe Cherner (see below), our dear Alderman Smith has extended the date to November 30th now. This does not mean that the council meeting will be held on the 30th, but the next scheduled meeting date will not be posted until after their meeting this coming Tuesday. We now have 105 signatures and I have re-linked the petition on the top portion of my Illinois Smokers Rights site. Jim also still has it visibly linked on his Forces Illinois site.

If you haven't signed it yet.....please do. I'd love to be able to send in 500 signatures, at the very least! Also, please tell your smoking friends about it or print out a hard copy to create your own petition to share.

The text I corrected now reads: "After closing our petition "open signature" time frame on November 25th, we will be delivering Mayor Daley and the Chicago City Council hard copies of this petition by November 30, 2005." - Garnet Dawn

Chicago Petition Closing Date Extended!
Please Sign, if you haven't already!

Print your own Petition to share


Chicago Committee Passes Smokefree Workplace Law
Bill goes to full City Council for a vote

Parts excerpted from the Chicago Sun-Times, 10/28/05

CHICAGO, 11/28/05 -- Smokefree workplace legislation finally made it out of a Chicago City Council committee Thursday, but officials gave opponents until Nov. 30 to try to weaken it. If passed as is, Chicago would join New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, and hundreds of other cities in requiring clean indoor air for workers.

The sweeping ordinance was championed by Health Committee Chairman Ed Smith and nudged along by the American Cancer Society. Mary Rondoni, a 39 year-old former waitress with Stage IV throat cancer, testified that workers shouldn't have to breathe toxic tobacco smoke any more than they should have to breathe toxic asbestos.

Alderman Pat O'Connor, Mayor Daley's unofficial City Council floor leader, suggested that the law might be weakened, "There will be some changes. At the end of this, I'd like to see both sides screaming. At that point, we'd know that we probably did a good job at trying to draw a line down the middle."

"The problem with legislatures is that they always look to compromise to appease powerful special interests, like the tobacco cartel," says Joe Cherner, founder of BREATHE (Bar and Restaurant Employees Advocating Together for a Healthy Environment). "If tobacco smoke causes cancer, as even the tobacco cartel now agrees, then all workers deserve equal protection from it."

To send a letter in support of smokefree Chicago, go to Chicago

Joseph W. Cherner

Oct 28, 2005
SHS Video Link; For Jennings, ABC Airs Lung Cancer Series

I wonder how much the "Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Cancer Institute and the North American Quitline Consortium" paid ABC to present these "special reports"? Have they forgotten that Peter Jennings had quit smoking for 20 years?

We have a must see video that completely negates their claims...please watch and enjoy. Just click on the link below.
Is Second Hand Smoke Hazardous? Penn & Teller

Also, check out the other new videos at

Garnet Dawn
'World News Tonight' Launches 'Quit to Live: Fighting Lung Cancer'

Series Focuses on Smoking Cessation and Lung Cancer Prevention

Oct. 27, 2005 — This November, ABC News' "World News Tonight" will launch "Quit to Live: Fighting Lung Cancer," a series of reports on smoking cessation and lung cancer prevention.

Throughout the month, "World News Tonight" will devote unprecedented attention to reports on smoking cessation, public health policy surrounding smoking and tobacco, and the latest medical advances on lung cancer treatment and prevention. "World News Tonight" producers will embed with several people trying to quit smoking during the month of November and periodically report on the highs and lows of their challenge.

"World News Tonight" is partnering with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Cancer Institute and the North American Quitline Consortium to provide resources to help people quit smoking. "World News Tonight" will direct viewers to the national network of quitlines, 1-800-QUIT-NOW, which automatically connects callers to their state-based quitlines, and to the Web site for additional resources on cessation and lung cancer, through

"Smoking and lung cancer are grave issues that all of us at 'World News Tonight' have now experienced firsthand," said Jon Banner, executive producer of World News Tonight. "Peter Jennings was at the forefront of reporting on the dangers of smoking and tobacco throughout his career, and we are committed to carrying on his work. Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer deaths in this country, but it doesn't receive nearly the attention that other cancers do. We are dedicating November to this subject, but these issues will continue to be our priority for a long time to come." will devote a portion of its Web site to "Quit to Live: Fighting Lung Cancer." The section will include links to smoking cessation resources; and a "Quitters Blog" documenting peoples' attempts to quit smoking — as well as "World News Tonight's" reporting on smoking and lung cancer.

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and November 17th is the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout. More than 51 million Americans smoke cigarettes, and each year 160,000 people in the United States die from lung cancer. The primary cause of lung cancer is tobacco smoke.

Oct 28, 2005
Springfield City Council Contact Info
Smoking ban looks certain - Most aldermen leaning toward it - Springfield, IL

Below is some info I organized for myself on the Springfield council from the news story below....thought I'd share the contact info. The contacts all forms, I'm afraid. The only council meeting currently scheduled is for Nov. 1st.

Mayor Tim Davlin's position, which has shifted as the debate has gone on, is irrelevant. Davlin, a Democrat, votes only if there is a tie on the 10-member council. - (form)

Support Ban
Ward 5 Ald. Joe Bartolomucci - form
Ward 6 Ald. Mark Mahoney (negative, but plans to listen to both sides at the hearings) - form
Ward 7 Ald. Judy Yeager - form
Ward 8 Ald. Irv Smith - form
Ward 10 Ald. Bruce Strom (Strom has yet to introduce the ordinance.) - form

Possibly undecided
Ward 1 Ald. Frank Edwards hedged his support slightly (supports ban) - form
Ward 2 Ald. Frank McNeil (will listen) - form
Ward 3 Ald. Frank Kunz opposes a smoking ban of any kind - form
Ward 4 Ald. Chuck Redpath (ban restaurants) - form
Ward 9 Ald. Tom Selinger said he hasn't made up his mind either way - form

Garnet Dawn
Smoking ban looks certain
Most aldermen leaning toward it

Published Thursday, October 20, 2005

As the Springfield City Council begins hearings tonight on whether to ban smoking in nearly all indoor workplaces in the city, a clear majority of the aldermen, including all five Republicans, are leaning toward a total ban.
Ward 1 Ald. Frank Edwards hedged his support slightly, saying he'd like to know whether private clubs would be affected and to consider an exception if they would.

The proposal by Ward 10 Ald. Bruce Strom calls for smoking to be banned in all indoor workplaces, including restaurants, taverns and bowling alleys. Smoking would be permitted in hotel rooms, private homes and nursing home rooms where all residents agree to permit it. Strom has yet to introduce the ordinance.

If there are six votes for the smoking ban, Mayor Tim Davlin's position, which has shifted as the debate has gone on, is irrelevant. Davlin, a Democrat, votes only if there is a tie on the 10-member council.

Other than Edwards and Strom, Ward 5 Ald. Joe Bartolomucci, Ward 7 Ald. Judy Yeager, Ward 8 Ald. Irv Smith, all Republicans, and Ward 6 Ald. Mark Mahoney, a Democrat, said they lean toward supporting a total ban.

Of the other Democrats, Ward 4 Ald. Chuck Redpath said he wants to ban smoking in restaurants but not taverns, which he believes could be forced out of business by a ban; Ward 2 Ald. Frank McNeil is leaning against a ban but plans to listen to what happens at the public hearings; Ward 9 Ald. Tom Selinger said he hasn't made up his mind either way; and Ward 3 Ald. Frank Kunz opposes a smoking ban of any kind.

Davlin sparred with reporters after Tuesday's city council meeting about his changing position.

At a June 9 news conference, he said he would oppose any ban on smoking in restaurants and bars.

"I've said for a long, long time . . . that I think it should be up to the individual businesses," Davlin said. "We're starting to meddle in somebody's business that we have no right to do."

In a Sept. 15 news release, Davlin's position had changed.

"The issue of smoking in public places is a very serious health issue, not only for patrons of the establishments but for the very people who work there every day," the mayor said. "As I have said many times before, I am in support of a ban on smoking in public places with a few exceptions."

Five days later at a news conference, Davlin said he did not think a total smoking ban had the votes to pass the city council. He said a smoking ban in the eating areas of restaurants had the votes to pass, but not one that bans smoking at freestanding bars in restaurants and in taverns.

Tuesday night, Davlin said he wanted to listen to what residents had to say at the public hearings before making up his mind.

Asked if that was a change in his position, Davlin said, "No, ... I'm in favor of a smoking ban, plain and simple. I've said that from the very first day. What has to be done is what exceptions there are to the rules."

When the idea of the ban was first discussed, only two aldermen, Smith and Strom, said they were in favor of it. Kunz, Edwards, Redpath and McNeil said they were against it. The others said they would consider the issue.

A massive public push by a coalition of groups that want smoking banned appears to have swayed some aldermen.

Mahoney, who plans to listen to both sides at the hearings, said he has received 25 to 30 calls about the issue, more than most that come before the council.

"You get people who are smokers saying they support the ban," Mahoney said. "They say they can sit for an hour in a restaurant and not smoke. There's a strong health issue."

Mahoney doubts there are many exceptions that could be made to ensure a level playing field for all businesses. Edwards, who has changed his mind, said restaurant owners have told him the same thing.

"The restaurants that have bars say don't just let the bars go free," Edwards said. "The one thing they've told me is it's fair as long as it's across-the-board. If we start picking and choosing, that's when I'm going to have a problem."

But Edwards argues that many private clubs do not have employees who would be affected by secondhand smoke and that their events are not open to the public. Therefore, they should be excluded.

"There's some clubs that don't have employees. The club members are doing all the work. I can't see us sticking our nose in when it's a private club," he said.

Redpath has modified his position to support a ban in restaurants. But he still fears for taverns in his ward should the ban extend to them.

"Some of them have said, 'If you cut smoking out, my business is gone.' A tavern is a little different than a restaurant," Redpath said.

But smoking-ban advocates argue that employees in a tavern are put at risk by secondhand smoke just as much as employees in a restaurant.

Yeager said a "vast majority" of the calls she has received were in favor of the ban.

"It took some time, but I've seen the light," she said.

Kunz and McNeil maintain that the council should not intrude on what they believe are the rights of business owners to determine what happens in their establishments. Kunz said he's made up his mind and won't attend the hearings.

"People should exercise their right not to go into (a smoking restaurant)," Kunz said. "You will be lucky if there's anybody on the east side that's there (at the hearings)."

McNeil said he's been surprised by the number of people who have contacted him who are against the ban.

"Normally the anti-people are not as vocal as the pro-people. There is no organized effort on the part of the smokers," McNeil said. "But when I'm downtown, the number of people on the street who stop me are against it."

Kunz said one of the few calls he's gotten on the issue was from a woman who lost her son to a smoking-related disease who vowed never to vote for Kunz again if he didn't support the ban.

"It's like abortion or anything else. People are going to take a side, and there's no in between," he said.

Today's hearing starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church, 1800 Martin Luther King Drive.

No advance signup is necessary to speak.

Chris Wetterich can be reached at 788-1523 or .

Oct 28, 2005
Smoking ban debate continues - City's second public hearing draws larger crowd - Springfield, IL

Springfield isn't going to ban smoking as easily as the proponents first believed possible.

Garnet Dawn
Smoking ban debate continues
City's second public hearing draws larger crowd

Published Friday, October 28, 2005

As citizens Thursday night continued to debate a possible smoking ban in Springfield, the executive director of the Illinois Licensed Beverage Association threatened to sue the city if it prohibits smoking in taverns and bowling alleys.

Opponents of a ban also attacked the idea that scientific studies show that secondhand smoke is harmful to those who inhale it.

Supporters cited reports by the U.S. surgeon general and numerous medical groups that secondhand smoke is a cause of disease, including lung cancer, in nonsmokers. They argued the issue is more about the health of patrons and workers than economics.

A proposed ordinance would ban smoking in all indoor workplaces, including bars, restaurants and bowling alleys. Exceptions would be made for hotel rooms, nursing home rooms where all residents agree to have smoking and private homes.

More than 50 people had spoken about the ban as a second public hearing on the matter stretched into its fifth hour late Thursday. The tone of the debate was less polite than during the first hearing as aldermen squabbled over the format, the length speakers could talk and the fact that no ordinance has actually been introduced.

One speaker accused the ordinance's champion on council, Ward 10 Ald. Bruce Strom, of bringing back McCarthyism.

At least 145 people packed the Springfield City Council chamber at the beginning of the hearing, while at least 30 sat in the lobby of Municipal Center West watching the discussion on television.

Opponents of a ban came out in larger numbers than at last week's public hearing, although one ban supporter accused bar owners of packing the place with their workers. Bar owners have argued a ban will cause them to lose business, and they'll have to lay off workers.

Steve Riedl, executive director of the licensed beverage association, resurrected an argument first brought up by Mayor Tim Davlin's legal department.

He argued that the city cannot ban smoking because state legislators did not modify the definition of "public place" in the law they passed allowing cities to regulate smoking.

"We would have no choice but to file suit against the city," Riedl said.

But the legislators and lobbyists who wrote the law, which was signed by Gov. Rod Blagojevich in August, have said such an interpretation is incorrect.

State Sen. John Cullerton, D-Chicago, who is a lawyer and sponsor of the law, said the original Illinois Clean Indoor Air Act did exclude bars and bowling alleys from its definition of a public place, but that doesn't mean cities cannot regulate smoking within them.

"They could have always been regulated. It was our intention to have an expansion of the ability of local governments to consider regulating smoking, and that's the result of the bill as well as the law as it has existed," Cullerton told The State Journal-Register in August.

Riedl also disputed that secondhand smoke is unhealthy enough to warrant a ban.

"No one knows what the health hazards are," he said. "The science is not there to jeopardize hundreds of small family businesses."

Riedl also complained that bar owners downtown had worked with the city council to clean up areas around the bars. Sending smokers outside will reverse progress made, he argued.

Michael Manning, whose vocal cords are paralyzed, argued for a smoking ban because many smokers do not respect what he views as his need to breathe clean air.

"Do I have to sit and breathe in the smoke of people who sit right next to me and smoke after I've asked them not to?" said Manning, who has provided artwork that adorns several Springfield bars. "They refused and continued to blow smoke right in my face."

Manning said he was banned from a bar where his artwork is displayed after he got into an argument with a smoker.

Tom Kelty Jr., the owner of Sammy's Sports Bar downtown, maintained that Peoria, Bloomington and other cities without smoking bans would poach the city's convention business if the ban passed.

"How come nobody's opened a smoke-free bar? It's not profitable," Kelty said.

Smoking-ban proponents also pledged to pursue a ban in Sangamon County if it passes in Springfield. Ward 4 Ald. Chuck Redpath, who said he supports a ban in restaurants but not bars, has said neighborhood taverns could close because of patrons simply leaving the city limits to drink at places at which they can smoke. Ward 8 Ald. Irv Smith also has called for such a ban.

Davlin, Ward 1 Ald. Frank Edwards, Ward 2 Ald. Frank McNeil, Redpath, Ward 6 Ald. Mark Mahoney, Ward 7 Ald. Judy Yeager, Smith, Ward 9 Ald. Tom Selinger and Strom attended Thursday's hearing.

Strom has not yet indicated when he'll introduce the ordinance.

Chris Wetterich can be reached at 788-1523 or .

Oct 28, 2005
Employment smoking question - From Samantha

Please check out the new FAQ page for the Newsletter readers at

More will be added to the page as time goes on before it is linked to the main page for the public.
One question you can turn around and use the same logic at your workplace is:

Q: Are there any laws requiring a designated smoking area for employees? If so, where may I find these? Thanks.

A: Requiring... no. Employers have the right to have an approved smoking area or not. Just like you can decide on a dress code, Internet access, cologne policy, private phone call rules... anything you want or don't want at your place. "Casual Friday" isn't mandated by law, but most employees have grown to expect it. If you have smokers, accommodate them just as you would any other group of people.

If you've put a changing table for infants in your ladies room, or extra wheelchair considerations above what is required by law into your building, or supplied both coffee and tea water for your break room, or any of dozens of other things, you are already accommodating groups of people.
Employers never have problems until they start singling out a group for persecution. Would you line up your overweight employees and tell them they no longer have lunch breaks until they lose weight?

You know where you want to draw the lines in making your employees happy.

Please read these as well:
Antis: How to fight

Employment articles pulled from the issues:

If you read about the Weyco company situation, you can use that to show that smoking is just the first step, the employers will go after overweight people next.


Oct 27, 2005
Is it illegal

First, welcome Maria,

I agree with Jim and Greg...start putting out feelers for another job. Why let them make you miserable the majority of your waking day every week? They can't enforce not allowing you to smoke out front, if it is not their property, but they can make your job miserable over it.

I worked for a company where we had to go outside, in the back only or over in the drive way next to our building, because it "offended" some of our VP's to SEE us smoking through their windows....they tried to claim that the cigarette smoke came through the thermopane glass in their offices...

I seriously doubt your company will enforce preventing you from smoking in your own car...unless you are parked in their garage, but it's a last resort to be forced to do that. The insurance surcharge is another affront....sounds like a tyrannical corp.

Take care,

I work in HR and I believe Jim is correct in the vast majority of states. There would be federal protection if this was an immutable characteristic (race, gender, etc.) but smoking doesn’t fall in that category as unfair as the policies seem. Employers definitely have the right to prohibit certain behaviors on their private property and the hook they are using now is medical benefits. Smoker and non-smoker rates are legal in the insurance industry (hence the surcharge) and group plans do have the right to refuse coverage to individuals who don’t meet their criteria.

Once again, smokers are an easy target to blame by companies facing the general escalation in healthcare costs (nowhere near a smoking only problem) and they don’t know what to do. Blaming the smokers is an easy smoke screen-pardon the pun. I’m an ex-smoker coming up on two years but this stuff still makes me as crazy as when I smoked- ignorant, nico-nazis that have been somehow empowered to brow beat a still significant part of the US population.

The Weyco’s are still rare and this position is so far to the right on tobacco I don’t think you will see a huge movement to this position soon. Maria, it might be time to look for a new job with a company that has a more balanced outlook.


Maria, it sounds like your company's management has some real smoke haters
in it who are getting on the bandwagon of eliminating smoking from our
society. There are a few companies adopting policies like the one you
described with one (Weyco) going so far as to ban smokers from their work
force whether they do it on company time or their own.

As far as I know, it is legal as well it should be. Because it is the
company and its employees who work toward building the company and making it
a success, not the government, the government should stay out of the
company's policy making. The political process which determines this kind of
company policy should be limited to within the company, and because you are
a part of the company, you can be a part of the political process if you
choose to be. How much weight you carry with your company's policymaking
depends on how valuable you are as an employee and how much you can
influence your fellow employees to strike for a more relaxed smoking policy.

However, i f your management consists of hard core smoke nazis, this may be
easier said than done and the best thing to do is walk! Don't work where
you're not happy. Don't even give the jerks advanced notice, they don't
deserve it, and encourage others to do the same.

Best of luck in whatever you decide to do!


From: maria.....
Sent: Thursday, October 27, 2005
Subject: [illinoissmokers] Is it illegal

I work at a company that is banning smoking outside anywhere on company
property even in your car on the parking lot. We also can't smoke on
the sidewalk that is NOT on company property. To top that off they are
charging all smokers an additional $30 month if they smoke. If you are
caught smoking anywhere on the property or on the sidewalk in front on
the building and that sidwalk is OFF company property you will be

They made us fill out a questionairre about our medical history and it
asked some VERY PERSONAL questions. They of course said this was
optional, but if you didn't fill it out you were charged an additonal
$30/month whether or not your smoked. Not very optional.

Is all of this legal?

October 27, 2005
Letter to the Editor: Mom and pop bars could get smoking-ban break - Madison/Chicago

Chicago Tribune

Dear Editor,
cc: Kathy Bergen, Gary Washburn

RE: Mom and pop bars could get smoking-ban break

I am a smoker and have been since I was sixteen. I also refuse to quit and never will unless I am stranded on a desert island. I have never even tried! I like smoking...I enjoy it! I am ashamed of smokers who make excuses for smoking and apologize for themselves. It's time smokers speak up and explain why they boycott non-smoking hospitality environments.

I also find it difficult to believe that so few smoke-free proponents and non-smokers are able to understand the business differences between small privately owned restaurants/bars and large restaurant chains. I truly sympathize with small businesses struggling to survive under governmental smoking ban oppression, but I will not patronize them and become a victim too.

"Lettuce Entertain You" and similar trendy spots cater to those who want to see and be seen in a popular place. In an enforced non-smoking environment, the dinner tables turn more frequently because most parties do not stay long when they can't smoke. Diners naturally create smaller dinner checks, costing more in labor to buss and set up tables and require an increased food supply, because increased customer volume is necessary to remain profitable. The chains simply raise prices on the menu and recoup their losses. Smaller, individual businesses' customers will not accept these arbitrary price hikes as easily.

Nonsmokers' tables turn on an average of twice as often as those serving smoking parties. I have observed this undeniable difference for years in every type of hospitality environment. So, smoking bans mean profit margins are greatly reduced. Smokers might as well go to a coffee shop or a fast food place, if they are to be treated like cattle and be herded in and out, simply to fill their stomachs and leave.

All the ambiance of dinner in a small or an elegant restaurant is completely lost. The same applies to having drinks in a bar or cocktail lounge. The still unproved health horror stories about second hand smoke are destroying dining as an entertaining, cultural and rewarding experience. Dinner or drinks in a non-smoking environment is a farce for smokers. If customers can't relax with a cigarette or cigar before dinner and another one after dinner, with coffee and an after dinner drink or meet with friends for a drink and a cigarette in a bar, what is the point of the entire activity? The real goal for the patron is to experience some relaxing enjoyment and not to be reminded of tyrannical controls, that have been implemented against our will, to control our activities. Of course restaurant and bar business revenues will be hurt by any smoking can it be otherwise?

I refuse to stop for a drink or have dinner in a non-smoking is uncivilized. If non-smokers don't like it, they can go elsewhere to enjoy their sterile lives and keep their "clean" air to themselves. I refuse to share "my" environment with anti-smoking health extremists or their paranoid disciples. If unconstitutional smoking ban ordinances won't allow smokers....the answer is simply....don't go where you can't smoke!

Garnet Dawn - The Smoker's Club, Inc. - Midwest Regional Director
The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter -
Illinois Smokers Rights - - Respect Freedom of Choice!
Mom and pop bars could get smoking-ban break

By Kathy Bergen, Tribune staff reporter.
Tribune staff reporter Gary Washburn contributed to this report
Published October 27, 2005

At Ole-N-Rick's Northside Inn, a blue-collar tap in Madison, Wis., sales have fallen about 50 percent since a citywide smoking ban took effect July 1.

The owners of the shot-and-a-beer spot, two retired firefighters, have cut staff hours and beer prices, and they are thinking of throwing in the towel.

We've lost all those third-shift guys who used to come in," said Terry Olson, co-owner of the 16-year-old bar and grill. Now, workers from a local bindery and a food plant are driving to taverns in a nearby village where smoking is allowed.

The experience at Ole-N-Rick's speaks volumes about how smoking bans are affecting businesses--a crucial question in Chicago, where City Hall sources say a sweeping smoking ban ordinance proposed by Ald. Ed Smith (28th) is expected to be approved Thursday by the City Council's Health Committee, which Smith chairs.

But by the time the measure reaches the council floor for a final vote, free-standing taverns and bars in restaurants that are separate from eating areas could be exempted in an attempt at compromise, the sources said.

For polished restaurants in prime locations nationwide, the fallout from smoking bans appears to be negligible. And such bans are virtually meaningless for fast-food chains, many of which banned smoking years ago.

But the government-imposed bans can deliver an economic blow to some operators, primarily to mom and pop taverns near towns that have no bans.

"If you are a restaurant or bar owner in a fringe area of Chicago, and you've got another city across the street from you, you could be dramatically affected," said Greg Ortale, chief executive of the Greater Minneapolis Convention and Visitors Association.

He's watching this phenomenon play out in his own back yard. Hennepin County, which includes Minneapolis, adopted a smoking ban on restaurants and bars this year, while some of its neighbors have no bans or have less restrictive ordinances.

"We're dealing with a situation where these are family-owned businesses, many running for three or four generations," Ortale said. "If they close, they are gone forever, and what happens to the stability of the neighborhood?

"We believe if there's going to be a ban, it needs to be statewide, so there's a level playing field," Ortale said.

In Chicago, the potential impact on small enterprises is a big issue, said Colleen McShane, president of the Illinois Restaurant Association, who noted that 70 percent of the city's restaurants are mom and pop operations.

Dan Cullinan, who owns Cullinan's Stadium Club in the Beverly neighborhood, says he's sure a smoking ban would mean lost business at his bar and grill.

"Seeing as the nearby suburbs have similar establishments, they are likely to pick up a lot more business," he said. "I'm afraid you'd start seeing less traffic in businesses on Western Avenue."

The restaurant association is willing to go along with a ban in dining rooms, but not in adjoining bars or in stand-alone bars, McShane said.

Many restaurants rely on alcohol sales for their profits, she said. And, "alcohol and cigarettes go hand in hand," she said.

Nationwide, 262 municipalities ban smoking in restaurants and 193 ban it in bars, according to the American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation. Just what that has meant for businesses, in dollars, is difficult to pin down. More than 150 studies have been conducted in various jurisdictions, with mixed conclusions.

New York City found tax receipts from bars and restaurants rose 8.7 percent in the 10 months after a smoking ban went into effect on March 30, 2003, compared with the same period the prior year.

In Dallas, where smoking was banned in restaurants, hotels and bingo halls as of March 1, 2003, alcohol sales declined 3.6 percent in 2003, according to a study prepared for the local restaurant association. A more recent study, however, found no evidence of a shift in restaurant business to the suburbs. Permits for new restaurants grew slightly in Dallas while declining in a neighboring county.

In the county that includes Minneapolis, the ban on smoking in restaurants and bars took effect March 31. A subsequent study found liquor sales in the second quarter continued to grow, but at a slower rate than in the year-earlier quarter. "There is some evidence that smaller businesses were more likely to show a decline in liquor sales and less likely to recoup the decline through increased food sales," the study said.

In contrast, smoking bans around the country don't seem to be fazing high-profile restaurants.

At Morton's, The Steakhouse, a sumptuous meal can include not only a prime, aged steak, but an after-dinner cognac and fine cigar at the bar.

"We are cigar-friendly in states where it's legal," noted Patty Pleuss, vice president of marketing and sales. But some of the chain's 69 restaurants are in cities or states where smoking is banned in restaurants and bars. And surprisingly, the bans "make no difference in our business," she said. "People come to Morton's for our steaks."

Other prominent Chicago-based restaurant companies, including Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises Inc. and Levy Restaurants, report smoking bans have little or no effect on their businesses.

"When large cities have gone non-smoking, we've seen no impact other than healthier guests and team members," said Chris Harter, president of Levy's restaurant group.

- - -
What's next

The City Council's Health Committee is scheduled to vote Thursday on a sweeping smoking ban proposed by Ald. Ed Smith (28th). If it passes, the measure would go before the full City Council for a vote Tuesday.

Copyright © 2005, Chicago Tribune

Oct 27, 2005
Another letter from IL DOR - On Behalf of Judy

I got another letter today from the Ill. Dept. of Revenue in
response to a letter that I had sent to the Governor, and as a
result, decided to call the signer of the letter, Macy Shepard,
Assistant Legislative Liaison. I thought I would share the contents
of the letter and the conversation with the group.

The letter basically said that it was in response to my letter to
the Governor, and stated that Ill. residents are responsible for
taxes when cigarettes are purchased from out-of-state retailers that
are not licensed with the State of Illinois. It said that
enforcement of tax laws "has been improved in the last several years
due to new collection technology", and that it is the intention of
the Department to "continue to enforce the tax obligations of
internet sales". It ended by saying that the Governor had aaked that
the Department abate the penalites and interest imposed on the
cigarette bills sent to taxpayers (What a sweet guy!), and that they
would work out a payment plan for anyone not able to pay the full
payment of tax due (See how thoughtful they are?).

Needless to say, I voiced my opinion that the collection of
cigarette taxes was discriminatory and that smokers were being used
as the test ground because there was already so much propaganda
against them. I told her that as it is people are giving up a good
part of their earnings to the government in taxes, and that people
were getting fed up with it. First an average of 25% goes to the
Federal Government for income taxes, then the state gets their cut.
With what is left, we are taxed for everything we buy with
additional taxes on gas, cigarettes, liquor, and whatever else. Then
when we pay mortgage payment, a large portion of the payment goes to
real estate taxes that are increased every year. I also told her
about a number of people that I know of and have talked to, who,
after paying mortgage payments for most of their live to pay for a
house that they would own at retirement, were forced to sell the
houses and rent because they couldn't afford the annual real estate
taxes. I told her that the government is driving into poverty the
people that they are forcing to support them. I also told her that
if things continue as they are, it won't be long before people
say "enough is enough" and there is another American Revolution. I
also told her that I hope the Governor enjoys his moment of power
because it was doubtful that he would serve another term.

After that Macy told me that every letter to the Governor was
reviewed and tallied, but from what she was hearing, they would not
relent on the collection of these taxes. Anyone refusing to pay was
being turned over to collection agencies, and this would also be
reflected on their credit report.

I told her that "if" I decided to pay the bill, I wouldn't pay it
all at one time, and that I didn't want a "payment plan" so that I
had interest added to it. I told her that I would break it into 3-4
payments and send a copy of the form with each payment. She said
that this would be fine.

So from what I gathered, it looks like they will be attempting to
collect not only cigarette taxes, but also sales taxes for internet
From: Alexandra
Date: Fri Oct 28, 2005
Subject: Re: Another letter from IL DOR


That's very VERY interesting...considering that the Federal government recently said that collecting taxes on internet purchases wouldn't happen. I read someplace that they prohibited it. I'll have to look for the place I found it.

I would try and hold off until next's an election year. I know of one person who got one of those letters but was told they didn't have to pay and that it was a "misunderstanding". But he was a BIG contributor to the Gov campaign. Quid pro quo.....

Oct 27, 2005
City panel OKs smoking ban, but compromise likely - Chicago

The city council doesn't have the votes!!!

I seriously doubt that Smith is just being kind. When Burke started backing down, it was no longer decided. I was discouraged yesterday, till I read that. We need to keep up the fight! It looks like we'll be able to extend the closing date on our i-petition to fight the Chicago ban again too.....

No ban - No compromise! - Garnet Dawn
City panel OKs smoking ban, but compromise likely

By Dan Mihalopoulos and Gary Washburn
Tribune staff reporters
Published October 27, 2005, 9:30 PM CDT

A City Council committee approved a sweeping anti-smoking proposal Thursday, but a final vote on restricting smoking in public places will be put off while aldermen attempt to forge a compromise.

The proposal approved Thursday by the Health Committee would ban smoking in all restaurants and bars in Chicago. But the committee's chairman, Ald. Ed Smith (28th), said he would delay action to hear counterproposals from aldermen and other opponents of a blanket prohibition on smoking in all indoor public spaces.

Smith said he would not bring the proposed ban up for a vote at the City Council meeting Tuesday.

"I'm in no big hurry," he said. "I'm going to give [opponents] a chance."

Some council members and restaurant industry lobbyists are calling for an exemption for free-standing taverns and restaurant bars that are separate from eating areas.

"My sense is that most of the City Council would like to come up with a compromise," said Ald. Danny Solis (25th). "There is still some fine-tuning to be done."

Mayor Richard Daley also has voiced concerns about the impact a ban would have on businesses, and he has urged "some form of compromise."

Several aldermen met Wednesday at the office of Ald. Edward Burke (14th) to try to reach an accord, but they only agreed to keep talking.

"Nothing's been done yet," said Ald. William Beavers (7th), palming a cigarette as he walked from the council chambers after the meeting.

Burke did not return calls seeking comment.

The divisive nature of the issue also was evident in the packed seats of the council chambers during Thursday's Health Committee meeting.

The crowd appeared about evenly divided between those wearing "Vote Smoke Free!" T-shirts and opponents of the ban in shirts that read: "Save jobs. Support the hospitality compromise ban."

Steve Derks, CEO of the American Cancer Society-Illinois, applauded Thursday's committee vote. The group favors prohibition and has waged a heavily funded advertising and lobbying campaign for Chicago to join New York, Dallas and other cities that have enacted smoking bans.

"Our perspective is that there is no compromise when it comes to worker health," Derks said. "Everyone in this city deserves protection from the deadly and disease-causing effects of secondhand smoke.

"The City Council has an opportunity to save lives, prevent disease and diminish suffering and reduce health care costs by covering 215,000 hospitality workers from the effects of secondhand smoke."

Colleen McShane, president of the Illinois Restaurant Association, said her organization has moderated its position, agreeing to a ban in dining areas of restaurants.

"We have moved to the center," McShane said. "Based on input from the aldermen, they want a compromise... We are willing to give up dining rooms. We are asking you to exempt separate and enclosed bars."

If there were a total smoking ban, "we are deathly afraid of the negative impact this will have, especially on the `mom and pops,' " McShane said. "They will be the first to go, and the Chicago neighborhoods, that's what they are all made up of."

Nationwide, 262 municipalities forbid smoking in restaurants and 193 ban it in bars, according to the American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation.

The compromise put forward by restaurant industry lobbyists and some aldermen includes exemptions for restaurant bars, taverns, the concourses and lounge areas of bowling alleys, beer gardens and sidewalk cafes.

The restaurant association also wants the city to delay enforcing anti-smoking rules in restaurant bars for a year to allow owners to create bar areas that are walled-off from dining rooms.

Copyright © 2005, Chicago Tribune

Oct 27, 2005
Blase: State should (apply) same smoking rules on all towns - Niles, IL

Chicago hasn't even passed a ban and the state-wide ban issue is already being raised. This is the goal. Don't these officials realize how transparent they are?

Garnet Dawn
Blase: State should same smoking rules on all towns

If the city of Chicago votes to ban smoking in public places, including bars and restaurants, Niles Mayor Nicholas Blase predicts the action will "put pressure on many of the suburbs to start thinking about the same thing."

But Blase doesn't believe it should be up to individual communities to pass such restrictions.

"I think it's incumbent upon the state of Illinois, if they want to do something, to pass a no smoking ordinance and involve all [communities]," Blase said.

Leaving the decision to ban smoking in public places up to the communities themselves could hurt businesses if some towns have the ban and others in the area do not, Blase said.

"I'm not a cigarette smoker, but at the same time I don't want to hurt our local businesses unless we all [having a smoking ban]," Blase said.

Whether the state will actually move toward a state-wide smoking ban is still unknown, he added.

Blase made these comments during his annual Mayoral Address last week before members of the Niles Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Oct 27, 2005
Civilized Cities? - Anti-smoking crusader trying to thwart ban - Chicago

Hi Gary,

I will try to find a more complete list, but that's a great one for starters. I think Burke is irritated that Smith is receiving all the glory for proposing this ban, when it has been his pet project for years. This will be a platform that Smith will use for advancement to his career in the future...if it passes.

I also think the Chicago politicians "in the know" are bluffing about this proposed ban being an already decided issue and about having enough votes to pass it. Maybe Alderman Burke knows more about the outcome of this vote than the Chicago news media is sharing with the public. It has occurred to me that if "We have already won" is repeated often enough it might work to swing the votes of undecided council members. It wouldn't be the first time antis have used this method. - Garnet

Sun-Times quotes Mr.Burke as saying "We may be the last civilized city in the world where you can still smoke in restaurants and bars." Have had trouble finding up-to-date lists of ban-cities;but, I think London, Paris, Madrid, Vienna, Wash.DC, Philly, Memphis, Mobile, St.Louis, Kansas City, New Orleans, and Las Vegas, to name a few, would object to being labeled UNCIVILIZED. Would appreciate a link to more such cities.
Thank you much.
Gary K.

Anti-smoking crusader trying to thwart ban
October 27, 2005
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter

For years, Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th) has been the City Council's leading anti-smoking crusader.

His father and predecessor died of lung cancer. Burke has responded by introducing a steady stream of legislation aimed at curbing and taxing the habit -- including a proposed ban, advanced Wednesday, on the sale of flavored cigarettes.

Now, the City Council is poised to ban smoking in restaurants, bars and virtually all of indoor Chicago, culminating the alderman's career-long crusade. Why, then, has Burke been working behind the scenes to stall a Health Committee vote?

Twice in the last week, Burke has approached Health Committee Chairman Ed Smith (28th) and urged him to postpone today's vote on the controversial ordinance that Smith has championed, City Hall sources said.

Efforts joined by Schulter

It didn't work. The ordinance is expected to be approved today. That still leaves time for a compromise to be worked out before a full Council vote.

Burke reportedly made his first pitch for a delay last Friday, joined by License Committee Chairman Eugene Schulter (47th).

Sources said they warned Smith that there was "a lot of pressure on both sides" of the volatile issue, with the Illinois Restaurant Association on one side and anti-smoking advocates led by the American Cancer Society on the other.

Instead of forging ahead with a vote that has already been delayed once to give restaurant owners a chance to compromise, Burke and Schulter reportedly urged their colleague to postpone the vote again to give a joint Council committee time to hold a hearing on a compromise favored by the restaurant association: allowing restaurants, bars and bowling alleys to apply for a "smoking license."

Smith reportedly declined, prompting Burke to make a second appeal by phone on Tuesday.
Compromise sought
Although Burke has introduced ordinances virtually identical to the one that Smith is now championing, the powerful Finance Committee chairman reportedly warned Smith that Mayor Daley wants a compromise and that, if Smith forged ahead, he could lose votes and possibly come up short.

That argument was particularly curious, considering the unequivocal statement made again Wednesday by Ald. Pat O'Connor (40th), the mayor's unofficial City Council floor leader.

"The mayor is not gonna come in there and force a compromise, nor is he going to delay a vote to create a compromise. He has already made it clear where he's at. It's up to the City Council. The mayor is not and will not be involved in this matter," O'Connor said.

On Wednesday, Burke hung up on a Chicago Sun-Times reporter who called to question him on his behind-the-scenes efforts to block today's vote.

Similar laws elsewhere

Burke, who has a $2.2 million campaign war chest and another fund-raiser scheduled for next month, has received $51,500 in contributions from restaurant, tobacco and liquor interests over the last six years, records show.

Schulter confirmed Friday's meeting with Smith to talk about a possible hearing on the proposed smoking license. But Schulter denied asking Smith for a delay. Smith refused to comment.

When Smith introduced his proposed smoking ban in June, Burke appeared to be four-square behind the ordinance. He noted that even Ireland has climbed aboard the anti-smoking bandwagon.

"We may be the last civilized city in the world where you can still smoke in restaurants and bars. It's time to see to it that Chicago gets in sync -- not just with the rest of the nation, but the rest of the world," Burke said at the time.

Over the years, Burke has introduced a parade of anti-smoking ordinances, many of which went nowhere. On Wednesday, the License Committee approved his proposal to ban the sale of flavored cigarettes marketed to young people.

"He's been on this no-smoking thing for the last 15 years," said one alderman, who asked to remain anonymous. "In my wildest dreams, I can't figure out why he isn't for it."

Oct 26, 2005
If you can't take the smoke, get out of the bar - A fair playing field - IL

I was published in the University of IL's Newspaper last week and I never knew it. The editorial is also below my letter.

A fair playing field

Michaelia Fosses' editorial, "If you can't take the smoke get out of the bar" was excellent. In addition, the restaurateurs in Chicago who are promoting a smoking ban because they are already smoke-free and claim business is booming, will loose their competitive advantage if a city-wide hospitality smoking ban becomes reality. Chicago will loose overall local resident business, tourist trade and conventions till these clueless entrepreneurs find their profits nose-diving, along with all the other restaurants and bars in the city.

The Health Industry lobby's next approach will have to be to propose a state-wide smoking ban. Can't Chicago smoke-free proponents read the news and learn from recent New York, Wisconsin and Minnesota hospitality tragedies from smoking bans?

Level playing field arguments clearly support why governmental regulation of smoking policies in the hospitality industry do not work.
Garnet Dawn - The Smoker's Club, Inc. - Midwest Regional Director
The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter -
Illinois Smokers Rights - - Respect Freedom of Choice!


If you can't take the smoke, get out of the bar
By Michaelia Fosses
Published: Monday, October 3, 2005

This week, supporters of a smoking ban in Chicago's restaurants will rally in the Federal Plaza at noon in anticipation of a vote on the Chicago Clean Indoor Air Ordinance. They will effectively remove smoking from all public places.

This ordinance is a more comprehensive form of the current ordinance, which only bans smoking in public places except for designated smoking areas. The new Chicago Clean Indoor Air Ordinance 2005 by Alderman Ed Smith of Ward 28, bans it completely from all public places.

Any adult that has lived in the public sphere for at least part of his/her life knows that smoking can be harmful to his/her health. And as an adult, a person has the right to ingest potentially harm-inducing substances into their body. McDonald's, anyone?

But Smoke-Free Chicago, the major campaign with TV commercials, ads on city buses and in newspapers, takes another angle. The ads, which, for the most part, depict very clean-cut, youthful men and women who are part of the service industry, (servers, hosts, and bartenders) telling their stories about how they deserve a smoke-free workplace just like many of the service industry workers in already smoke-free cities. The people depicted in the ads usually say that they have not smoked ever in their lives, but now are suffering the consequences of working in a smoke filled area.

The problem here is that Smoke-Free Chicago is denying the existence of choice. Choice, selection, free will, is the major discerning factor in this scenario. If a person does not want to work with in a potentially unsafe situation, then he/she could find another job or occupation. A person with a phobia of heights would not actively seek out a position as a roofer, they would find a job more suited to their needs. Or a server could seek employment at an already smoke-free restaurant or bar, since as it stands right now, owners of restaurants and bars can make the decision whether to allow smoking inside their establishments.

This decision, the choice of restaurants owners, is the key in understanding this situation. In this capitalist, free enterprise economy, restaurant and bar owners already have the choice of making a restaurant smoke-free. The logical conclusion here is that if a restaurant or bar owner was insistent that his/her establishment be smoke-free, it already would be, regardless of a law that would force the issue.

We all know that there are some things in the world that can harm us, physically, emotionally, or otherwise. A logical person would follow the path of harm reduction, knowing that if there is something happening at a place that he/she did not agree with, he/she would avoid that place.

Regardless, one of the most beautiful things about living in this country is the freedom of choice to which we are entitled. What is coming next for bars, if the smoking ban passes? No drinking? We tried that once already. Remember how great that turned out to be?

Oct 26, 2005
DeKalb Council continues to mull over smoking ban - IL

While Chicago considers a smoking ban, read the real numbers for the results from smoking bans below. Sounds like DeKalb's city council is a lot more intelligent than Chicago's. Seems like the representatives in the smaller cities actually listen before they decide issues. In the meantime, all Chicago's council can do is jump on a bandwagon and send the rest of our national conventions to Las Vegas.

Garnet Dawn
DeKalb Council continues to mull over smoking ban
By Diane Strand
The MidWeek

If banning smoking brought in more customers to bars and restaurants, the hospitality industry would have banned it long ago.

That was the message by Steve Riedl, executive director of the Illinois Licensed Beverage Association, who spoke to the DeKalb City Council at last week’s workshop on outcomes of a total smoking ban.

Riedl reported, one after another, on businesses and communities that have lost revenue, sales tax and jobs due to a complete smoking ban in bars and restaurants.

However, some members of the council argued that “the other side” of the issue, presented by groups such as the American Lung Association, was backed up by statistics in formal studies. The ban proponents even argue that some bars and restaurants gained customers after a smoking ban.

However, some aldermen described the anti-smoking evidence presented by Riedl as only “anecdotal”—that is, based on stories and letters from businesses and communities that reportedly lost revenue—rather than a scientific study.

Nevertheless, Second Ward Alderman Kris Povlsen, a supporter of a total smoking ban, told Riedl that he definitely did a good job in his presentation.

Riedl sited as one example a large restaurant in north shore suburb. In a written communication, the owner of the restaurant said his business was devastated when all smoking was barred. Though he had many regular customers from outside the community, after the smoking ban, many customers switched to restaurants in neighboring suburbs.

“There is a reasonable approach that bans smoking in all but a small segment of public places,” Riedl said. “This approach allows hospitality businesses to survive while banning smoking in dining areas of restaurants.

“Keep in mind, if hospitality industry businesses lose revenue, the city of DeKalb also will lose sales tax revenue. Can DeKalb really afford to lose a substantial portion of this revenue?”

That revenue is “trending between $l.3-$1.4 million” for this fiscal year, said Assistant City Manager Linda Wiggins. The figure includes restaurants, bars and retail liquor stores.

“The establishments include six private clubs, 15 retail stores and 40 fast food sandwich places,” she said. “The rest range from family type restaurants to bars.”

The sales taxes from these establishments amount to 13.8 percent of the total sales tax revenue received by the city.

Putting the issue in perspective, Wiggins said 10 percent of the $1.3 million is $130,000—”which could pay for two police officers or two firefighters, or one street sweeper or four squad cars.”

Restaurant and bar taxes brought the city $1,019,806 in FY2000 and increased to $1,244,821 in FY2005.

From his evidence, Riedl cited the following examples:
• The Massachusetts Restaurant Association study of restaurant smoking bans in 23 communities found that there was a 21 percent decline in restaurant jobs on average, and in communities with total smoking bans, the job loss averaged 30 percent.

• The American Beverage Institute reported that 1,000 bars and restaurants that serve alcohol permanently closed their doors in the first year of California’s smoking ban.

• The Madison, Wis. City Council is seriously debating amending their smoking ban ordinance. Former Madison City Council member Dorothy Borchardt surveyed 40 establishments that serve beverage alcohol and found business was down 30-60 percent, compared to the same time the prior year.

• A UCLA study that evaluated 100,000 people concluded their results do not support a casual relationship between second-hand smoke and tobacco-related mortality. Similarly, a British Medical Journal study tracking 35,561 Californians over 39 years, concluded: “The results do not support a causal relationship between environmental (second-hand) tobacco smoke and tobacco-related mortality.”

Supporters of a total smoking ban argued that a person working eight hours a day in a place where smoking is allowed ends up with the equivalent of smoking 16 cigarettes a day.

Riedl proposed an ordinance for adoption by DeKalb which will excuse only the following areas from a complete smoking ban:
• private residences;
• private vehicles;
• hotel and motel sleeping rooms that are designated smoking rooms;
• retail tobacco stores;
• bars, taverns and pubs;
• restaurant bars and any tables within 15 feet of a free-standing bar;
• bowling centers;
• gaming riverboats, horse track racing facilities;
• off-track betting parlors;
• adult entertainment facilities.

Riedl also supported a posted notice to employees and prospective employees of smoking establishments that warn them of the danger of second-hand smoke.

Sixth Ward Alderman David Baker asked Riedl for examples of more rural areas like DeKalb, saying it is more like “an island” than a suburb where people can go to the other cities in five minutes. Riedl said he would provide some information.

Steve Kapitan, who filled in for Mayor Frank VanBuer, told a standing-room only audience in council chambers that aldermen need more time to review the new materials just presented by Riedl. Though members of the audience, most of whom opposed the total smoking ban, wanted to talk about the issue, Kapitan said it couldn’t be done in a workshop session of the council. He noted, however, there will be a public hearing when the issue goes to the council at a regular meeting, and there will be plenty of time for input.

Oct 26, 2005
Smoke Free City: How did ban affect NY? - Chicago, IL

Watch our video from my website: Is Second Hand Smoke Hazardous? , Penn & Teller, or at , then watch the ABC video Joe Churner is promoting.

I'm surprised that ABC didn't state at the end of Cheryl Burton's commentary that it had been "sponsored by the Chicagoland ACS, ALA, and AHA and Ed Smith". Her report is not an unbiased commentary on current news, but an advertisement for the antis. I wonder how much money has was spent to promote this obnoxious distortion to the public. Also notice the brief reference to NY "smoke easies".......

The majority of the public is too lazy to even listen to the issues involved or bother to read the reports on negative effects of smoking bans. A few of us have done everything we could for months to fight this ban. If it passes, there are going to be a lot of people who are suddenly interested...after it is too late.
Garnet Dawn - The Smoker's Club, Inc. - Midwest Regional Director
The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter -
Illinois Smokers Rights - - Respect Freedom of Choice!

You can tell how popular the ban is among bartenders in New York.

Out of 8 million people in the city the writer of the article was able to come up with two smoking bartender quotes supporting the ban. One near the beginning of the article, one near the end....and both by the same person.

Yep. Real popular law.

Michael J. McFaddenAuthor of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"


Smoke Free City: How did ban affect NY?
By Cheryl Burton
October 25, 2005 - A vote is expected later this week on a proposed smoking ban in Chicago's bars and restaurants. In 2003, New York City passed its own smoking ban. There was fear in the Big Apple that jobs would be lost and profits would plummet.

Related Links - Watch the Video

Some restaurant owners in Chicago have the same fears. What really happened in New York? And what might Chicago expect if a ban is passed here?
The scene on New York City sidewalks looks a lot different these days. Smoking was banned in bars and restaurants more than two years ago, forcing smokers to light up outside.

"At first, I was really upset about it, but once I got used to it, I understood," said Jessica Thomas, a bartender and smoker.

Most of the members of the New York State Restaurant Association were against the ban when it was first proposed.

"There may have been some places that have actually gone out of business as a result of it, but I think most have learned to live with it," said one member.

In survey after survey, New Yorkers say they are happier eating and drinking in a smoke-free environment. The fact most people feel that way should be no surprise since four out of five New Yorkers don't smoke.

"There are probably still some hardcore smokers that aren't coming to restaurants, but there are also people coming to restaurants that wouldn't go there before, because they didn't want to be around the smoking," said Chuck Hunt, New York State Restaurant Association.

Dan Meyer owns several Manhattan restaurants and says business has never been better.

"Every single fear that was injected into this argument in New York has not only not come to pass, but it's been quite the opposite. Restaurants are busier than ever. Bars are busier than ever," said Meyer, Union Square Hospitality Group president.

"I think we were a little slower than usual for about two days, and then after that, we've seen really no negative results from the ban whatsoever," said Michael Steele, Markt Restaurant Association GM.

And a public health study indicates those who work in New York restaurants are healthier now. Employees have fewer chronic sore throats, runny noses, and red eyes, all things that can be caused by secondhand smoke.

"Over the summer, new information came out that actually showed that by reducing exposure to secondhand smoke in restaurants and bars, the saliva of those workers showed a 78 percent reduction in cotinine, which is a key chemical that tracks exposure to tobacco smoke," said Louise Vetter, New York American LUNG Association CEO.

And the New York health department says since the ban, more people are now kicking the habit, and those who do smoke are doing it less.

"If I go out, yeah, I smoke less, which I guess is a good thing," said Jessica Thomas, smoking bartender.

The most common complaint about the smoke ban now comes from neighbors who say smokers gathered on the sidewalk make too much noise. But restaurants say the sidewalk crowds are good for business.

"Nothing draws a crowd like a crowd. Sometimes, you know, it almost looks like we're so popular, because there are so many people standing outside smoking that we get busier," said Michael Steel, Markt Restaurant Association GM.

Apparently, there are still places in New York where the law is not being enforced and others where it is being overlooked late at night. Those owners will pay a price if they are caught, a fine of up to $2,000.

The Chicago City Council Health Committee votes on its version of the smoking ban this Thursday.

October 27, 2005
UPS agrees to end cigarette deliveries to individuals

Chicago Flame - Univeristy of Illinois; ; Chicago Tribune; Daily Herald (Letters to the Editor); Daily Southtown - Letter to the Editor ; Sun Times: Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor:

Referencing (AP) Michael Gormley's news story, "UPS agrees to end cigarette deliveries to individuals" in on November 24, 2005:

I would like to know how a State Attorney General has the authority to negotiate or mandate policies on behalf of our Federal government with the United Parcel Service, an international company. I notice that no mention has yet been given to this new national US policy on the three websites referenced at the bottom of this story.
They are the Attorney General's Office: ;
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives: and

What kind of negotiation has taken place, or are our new US policy "agreements" now just made up as we go along? What documents are supposed to substantiate this new policy, since this announcement has already been released to the national press? Are we to believe UPS has based this change upon a handshake agreement with New York Attorney General Spitzer?

One more minor detail, how can this agreement be reconciled with our Constitution? Will this new policy soon be applied to internet shipments of alcohol , adult toys, and pornography other adult items to "protect the children" also? How can selective persecution of one retail product be applied as a national policy by any corporation complying with Federal regulations?

Of course UPS hasn't been able to deliver cigarettes to Illinois, as far as I know, for about a year now. The list of states requiring delivery via "USPS Priority Mail" has continued to grow over the past year. It appears the states are controlling Washington, D.C. now.

Garnet Dawn - The Smoker's Club, Inc. - Midwest Regional Director
The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter -
Illinois Smokers Rights - - Respect Freedom of Choice!

AP New York
UPS agrees to end cigarette deliveries to individuals
Associated Press Writer

October 24, 2005, 4:55 PM EDT

ALBANY, N.Y. -- The world's largest shipping carrier, UPS Inc., will stop delivering cigarettes to individuals in the United States under an agreement announced Monday with state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

The agreement is the latest in federal and state efforts to combat the sale of under-taxed cigarettes and to fight underage smoking. Most under-taxed or untaxed cigarettes are sold by Indian tribes, where the taxation of sales to non-Indians is disputed.

Monday's agreement leaves only the U.S. Postal Service among major carriers to continue to deliver cigarettes to individuals, Spitzer said. He called that practice "an embarrassment." Spitzer continues to negotiate with Federal Express, but they are thought to handle a small amount of the trade, said Spitzer spokesman Marc Violette.

Despite a new policy adopted by the Postal Service in September to refuse delivery of illegal products, the federal service allows employees to accept packages suspected of containing under-taxed cigarettes, Spitzer said.

"Internet cigarette traffickers are increasingly using the federal mail system to distribute their wares," Spitzer said. He said the Postal Service "clearly" has the authority to refuse to deliver cigarettes to individual smokers. "It is an embarrassment that major private companies have stopped carrying contraband cigarettes, but the federal government continues to accept them," said Spitzer, a Democrat running for governor. "Congress needs to step in and stop this practice immediately."

The Postal Service can't stop delivery even if it suspects a package clearly marked as coming from a retailer contains untaxed cigarettes, said Postal Service spokesman Gerry McKiernan.

"There could be souvenirs in the package. We don't know because we can't see inside the package," he said.

Instead, the Postal Service will watch for packages if advised by law enforcement agencies. They also will alert law enforcement agencies when the service is shipping those packages, he said.

"It's up to law enforcement agencies to enforce the law," McKiernan said.

He said private companies have contracts with firms that regularly use their services which identifies materials being shipped. The Postal Service doesn't.

"As far as I'm concerned, it's illegal," said Audrey Silk of New York City Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment and a Libertarian Party candidate for New York City mayor. "They are exploiting children ... when you employ `for the children' you can get the public to do anything."

Earlier this year, DHL banned cigarette deliveries to individuals nationwide and the nation's largest credit card companies stopped processing payments for cigarette sales.

Spitzer said Internet and mail-order cigarette retailers violate federal, state and local laws governing taxes and underage smoking. Sales to minors also violate federal wire fraud and mail fraud laws, he said.

The agreement with Spitzer matches a nationwide policy at UPS aimed at avoiding the difficulty of complying with a "patchwork" of different state laws enacted in 28 states since 2003, said Steve Holmes, spokesman for the global company based in Atlanta. He said he had no estimate of how much business would be lost.

"Regardless of that issue, we believe it's a prudent business decision and we want to do what's right, of course, by the laws, but we want to do right by our customers and we want to do right by our communities as well," he said.

Violations of the UPS policy would eventually result in suspension of service, according to the agreement.

States lose more than $1 billion a year in tax revenue from Internet tobacco sales, according to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Enforcement, however, has been difficult, even though in many states, including New York, the Internet sale of tobacco products is illegal.

On the Net:
Attorney General's Office:
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives:

October 25, 2005
Letter to the Editor: What's really in the Air? - Chicago

Chicago Sun Times
Dear Editor:
cc: Lori Rackl, Chris Fusco


I take extreme exception with today's Sun Times article, "What's Really in the Air", as an uncharacteristically biased piece that should have been presented as an editorial, not news.

I find it very questionable that two Sun Times reporters could find such amazingly multiplied numbers in their exposure readings of SHS, in comparison to the results obtained by using the very same meter in the very same manner that was employed by six attendees of the "2005 National Conference on Tobacco or Smoke" in 36 restaurants and bars in the downtown Chicago, just this past May.

Those results were analyzed under the direction of The Harvard School of Public Health and Roswell Park Cancer Research Institute less than six months ago, and the results were given at the Chicago Conference's Closing Plenary. It's strange that Roswell arrived at over six times the exposure rates this time. Of course, interpretations added by notorious anti health extremist, James Repace, also clarify the perspective of this "news" story. Weren't the first set of readings (by professionals) considered to be sufficiently convincing statistics for the promotion of a smoking ban in an entire city?

One other possible option for these greatly increased exposure readings could be that the American Lung Association of Metropolitan Chicago gave improper instructions to reporters, Lori Rackl and Chris Fusco, on how to use the TSI SidePak AM510 air monitor machine. Please reference ( published the story May 20, 2005: "Anti-tobacco group wants smoking sections declared illegal", although the story is dated May 6th). For a full reprint of the story, reference: for a recap of the May 2005 Conference and those testing results.

I have one more question about today's Sun Times story. Why was the sub headline "Pollution 195 times higher" used, when no further reference was made to that number till the next sub headline, and was never explained or validated in any way? The "Pollution" paragraph instead changed subjects to describe the widely debunked junk science of the "Helena Heart Study" in Montana.

I have greatly admired previous stories and editorials by the Sun Times, but I believe this "air analysis" story has not been properly researched, documented or edited.

Garnet Dawn - The Smoker's Club, Inc. - Midwest Regional Director
The United Pro Choice Smokers Rights Newsletter -
Illinois Smokers Rights - - Respect Freedom of Choice!


What's really in the air?
October 25, 2005

As debate rages over a proposal to ban smoking in bars, restaurants and virtually all indoor public places in the city, the Chicago Sun-Times used an air monitor to find out just how polluted those venues can get.

The newspaper found that workers logging a typical eight-hour shift in 12 of 22 places that allowed smoking would breathe in pollution levels that exceed federal clean-air thresholds.

Pollution was so bad in one room of one tavern, employees would be breathing air the Environmental Protection Agency deems "hazardous" -- the EPA's worst category that's rarely seen these days except in the event of forest fires or volcanic eruptions. There's nothing illegal about that, however, as the EPA doesn't regulate indoor air.

The controversial smoking ban is set for a City Council Health Committee vote on Thursday.

Air restaurant and bar workers are exposed to
Using a portable air monitor, the Sun-Times went to 25 Chicago bars, restaurants and other venues to measure microscopic particles that come from secondhand smoke. An epidemiologist used that data to compute average pollution levels based on spending eight hours -- a typical work shift -- in each place.

To test pollution levels, the Sun-Times obtained a TSI SidePak AM510 air monitor (pictured at right) from Ashtead Technology Rentals in Chicago. The American Lung Association of Metropolitan Chicago helped show reporters Lori Rackl and Chris Fusco how to use the machine.

At each of the 25 venues the reporters visited, Rackl carried the monitor in her purse, with its intake tube sticking out to continuously suck in air samples. The reporters stayed at least a half hour in each place, following a testing protocol used by researchers who have conducted similar studies.

The monitor measured microscopic pollutants known as PM 2.5, which stands for airborne particulate matter measuring at least 2.5 microns, or 1/30th the width of a human hair. The newspaper measured PM 2.5 because the pollutant is released in large amounts from burning tobacco, making it an accepted marker for secondhand smoke.

The monitor's readings were downloaded and sent to Mark Travers, an epidemiologist at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., who has extensive experience testing secondhand smoke.

Using the monitor's minute-by-minute readings of PM 2.5, Travers computed the average amount of pollution the reporters were exposed to at each place.

Overall, indoor air pollution was on average 39 times higher in venues that permitted smoking than in those that didn't.

The controversial smoking ban, set for a City Council Health Committee vote on Thursday, is aimed largely at protecting workers.

But a growing body of evidence suggests that even the time it takes to have a beer at a bar can have health consequences.

Research is telling

Studies have shown that fewer than 30 minutes of secondhand smoke exposure can spark potentially dangerous changes in the blood and arteries -- changes similar to what's seen in smokers.

Short-term exposure to tiny particles released by burning cigarettes, among other sources, also has been linked to increased hospital stays and emergency room visits among people with asthma and other lung conditions.

These microscopic particles, called PM 2.5, are what the Sun-Times measured at 25 bars, restaurants and other establishments that would be affected by the smoking ban. They're among the many ingredients in secondhand smoke, which contains at least 250 toxic or cancer-causing chemicals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some critics of smoking bans dispute the research that labels secondhand smoke a health hazard. The CDC and EPA say the hazards are well documented.

Indoor air: 'last frontier'

The EPA keeps a close eye on PM 2.5 -- responsible for an estimated 15,000 heart-related and stroke deaths each year in the United States -- to make sure levels don't get too high outdoors.

But the agency has no control over indoor air, the "last frontier" in air pollution, according to Jim Repace, a secondhand-smoke expert who worked in the EPA's air policy office for 19 years.

"We have laws that have been lowering the air pollution levels from automobile traffic and power plants for a long time," Repace said. "Indoor air isn't really regulated or controlled.

"Secondhand smoke is probably the biggest source of air pollution left in the developed world."

The Sun-Times hired an epidemiologist to help adjust its findings of PM 2.5 levels in Chicago venues to make a fair comparison to EPA's outdoor standards, which are based on 24 hours of exposure to the tiny particles. The analysis assumed workers logged an 8-hour shift in pollution levels recorded by the air monitor and spent the remaining 16 hours of the day breathing "normal" air.

Half of the 10 tested locations that allowed smoking but didn't exceed clean-air standards still logged PM 2.5 levels high enough to pose a health hazard to children, seniors and people with heart or lung disease.

One such place was the basement of Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church in Bridgeport, the parish where Mayor Daley grew up. The church hosts twice-weekly bingo games popular with smokers, such as LaVerne Florio, 77.

Bingo ladies, bar owners fuming

Florio bristles at the idea of snuffing out smoking at bingo.

"We've got rights, too," Florio said, her Viceroy cigarettes resting near her bingo cards.

And if the city council passes the ban?

"I'd go somewhere else," she said.

That's precisely what worries some bar owners and the state's powerful restaurant lobby: A smoking ban would be unhealthy -- for business.

David Gevercer, owner of the Matchbox, an intimate bar just west of downtown that had some of the highest pollution readings recorded by the air monitor, doesn't buy research that concluded tax receipts from New York City restaurants and bars increased one year after that city's smoking ban took effect.

"It's a horrible idea," Gevercer said of Chicago's proposed ban. "All of these little taverns would be forced out of business."

The bad-for-the-bottom-line argument doesn't sway Amanda Starcevic, who's worked as a waitress and bartender since she was 21. She's now 34 and has a chronic lung condition. The non-smoker from River West chalks up her diagnosis to secondhand smoke.

"It's ridiculous that people would be willing to put the health of their workers above profits," said Starcevic, who's cut back her hours behind the bar to one night a week. "I would love to go back in time and give up half my money to regain my health."

Pollution 195 times higher

Anti-smoking forces pushing for the ban in Chicago point to health successes elsewhere. In Helena, Mont., for example, hospital admissions for heart attacks dropped 40 percent during a six-month period when indoor smoking was banned, according to a study published last year in the British Medical Journal. Heart attack rates returned to normal when the courts suspended the ban.

In the Sun-Times analysis, the recipe for high pollution levels was simple. Take lots of smokers and put them in smaller spaces -- places like the Matchbox, Club Foot near Ukrainian Village, the Long Room in Lake View and Jimmy's Woodlawn Tap in Hyde Park.

Jimmy's, a popular hangout for University of Chicago students, was the smokiest place tested by the Sun-Times. Owner Bill Callahan said he wouldn't oppose a ban as long as everyone had to abide by it and no special provisions would allow smoking in some places but not others.

"Since I quit smoking, I certainly changed my attitude," said Callahan, who gave up cigarettes almost two years ago when his first grandchild was born.

Ventilation helps

Pollution levels logged at a table in the back room of Jimmy's were 195 times higher than in non-smoking places. Callahan said the back room of the three-room tavern tends to get especially smoky because it has the worst ventilation.

Good ventilation, high ceilings and smoke-filtration systems can be effective in mitigating secondhand smoke to varying degrees, experts say. Two places that touted their investments in such systems and said they service them monthly, Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse and ESPN Zone, both had relatively low pollution levels when the Sun-Times visited them.

Still, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers says no current technology should be relied upon to control secondhand smoke, and "the only way to effectively eliminate" the health risks associated with it is "to ban smoking activity."