Posted by: Nick | January 10, 2008

Attention Smokers…Return to the Cold (Louisville Smoking Ban)

After a brief hiatus, the smoking ban returns to Louisville. The Louisville Metro Council passed a revised smoking ordinance 23-2. No exemptions were included (not even for Churchill Downs). The ordinance will be signed by Mayor Abramson tomorrow morning, 1/11, at 10am. He is quoted saying, “Louisville has placed an exclamation point on the ‘No Smoking’ sign…” The ban will, most likely, go into effect starting this weekend.

Jodie in the comment below provides a very detailed case against the smoking ban. Here is a clip of her argument against the government’s case that smokers are a drain on social security and medicare:

“They claim this is to make up for the extra medicare paid out for smoker’s due to the health problems they occur in the future. That is all smoke & mirrors, the government doesn’t spend anything more on smokers than non-smokers when is comes to medicare. If you take into account that if on average a smoker dies 10 years earlier than a non-smoker, then that is 10 years less social security and medicare they have to pay out…”

Courier-Journal Article Here


  1. What’s next, you can’t smoke in your own home? This is stupid, I can’t believe we, the people, are allowing the government to get involved as much as they are in telling people they can’t smoke. Smoking is a harmful, yet legal, choice for people to make. If the government is so against smoking, then why don’t they just go ahead and make it illegal? Because there is too much tax revenue made from smokers. Did you notice, the cost of cigarettes keep getting higher and higher, not due to Phillip Morris, but taxes put on each and every pack of cigarettes you purchase. The government can tell by the tax revenue collected from the sale of tobacco products how many people are quitting smoking. When there tax revenue drops, they just keep adding more of a burden to the people that choose not to quit by levying more and more taxes on each pack sold. They claim this is to make up for the extra medicare paid out for smoker’s due to the health problems they occur in the future. That is all smoke & mirrors, the government doesn’t spend anything more on smokers than non-smokers when is comes to medicare. If you take into account that if on average a smoker dies 10 years earlier than a non-smoker, then that is 10 years less social security and medicare they have to pay out. Personally, I believe that would balance the what is spent on smokers and non-smokers. They are just using that as an excuse to bring in extra tax revenue for the government. The government is using smoker’s as an easy target to gain extra tax revenue. The same goes for insurance companys, and the government allows them to keep digging deeper and deeper in a smoker’s pocket. I just purchased life insurance and my monthly premium is two and a half times more than someone in my same condition, but doesn’t smoke. What are the odds of dieing in even half the time of a non-smoker. On average, that figure doesn’t even come close. It is just another excuse for someone to be able to profit off of smokers. Truth is, insurance companies don’t want smokers to quit either because they make more money from smokers. They will have collected more money from me at age 40 than they would from a non-smoker at age 100 …. There are more non-smokers passing before they reach age 100 than smokers before they reach age 40, or 50 at that.

    As far as smoking bans go, it should not be up to the government to decide whether or not a business owner can allow smoking. That should be solely up to the business owner. When did the government gain right to tell people what they can allow on there own property as long as it’s legal or a legal substance. They are saying, right along with smoker’s, that it is because they are public places and non-smokers should feel welcome. If they weren’t welcome, then why do they have non-smoking areas? Non-smokers already had more rights than smokers. They have the option to choose a restaurant that doesn’t allow smoking, then if they chose one that does allow smoking, they are offered a smoking or non-smoking area seat. That is the whole reason these are called public places – because you can choose to go or not to go to any single one of them. If a non-smoker doesn’t like the fact that a certain place allows smoking, they should choose not to go there. Now smokers aren’t having any choice at all, the government is making that decision for them. Non-smokers are supporting these smoking bans, but they won’t be so happy when the government feels ok to take away the right to do something that they like to do. When it all said and done, it comes down to money and politics. What we have is an overwhelming amount of non-smoking politicians that enjoy trying to socialize there cities and choose how people are going to live for them by abusing there power. Next, Louisville politicians have thrown up in the air the idea of not allowing people to smoke in there car while driving on Louisville’s public highways. WOW!!! You will be able to eat a hamburger with one hand (or two – to keep the ketchup from getting on your shirt) and drive with your knee touching the bottom of the steering wheel, but you won’t be able to hold a cigarette in one hand (or your mouth – to keep both hands on the wheel for safer driving). Doesn’t quite make a whole lot of sense to me. How do some of these politicians even justify opening their mouth. I’m definitely not saying that smoking isn’t bad for your health, but neither is a Big Mac from McDonald’s, but I don’t see too many politicians saying they don’t want one in their town (Don’t worry – that will be next if we continue to allow the government to step into our lifestyles like we have). Do we want to government telling us how many calories we can eat, how many push-ups we have to do, or how many showers we have to take? This would all be socialism, because they are telling us how to live, not letting us choose how we want to live our own lives. Do we want to live, or do we want to sit still and let the government live for us? I have heard of some rural area restaurants outside of Louisville getting comments in there suggestion boxes saying that they should eliminate the smoking area. Did someone ever think that if one of those restaurants did away with smoking, that there suggestion box would be full of comments saying that they should have a smoking area? The truth is, non-smokers are the only ones that think they have a reason for input in the suggestion boxes, us smokers need to start filling out comment cards saying “I really like the smoking area, it keeps me warm in the winter and cool in the summer.” I am going to end my comment with this —> Non-smokers argument to wanting these smoking bans to go into affect is that Scientists say that smoking CAN cause cancer. Well, Scientists also say that radioactive waves from cell phones can cause brain tumors. So, here is some food for thought – Next time you go out to eat, take a good look around you and see how many non-smokers left their cell phones in their car. Seems to me, if they are soooo worried about their health, they would take a look at all aspects that have been mentioned by doctors and scientists, rather than just focusing in on one of them and causing burdens to others in the process. Chances are, if they were that worried about there health, they wouldn’t be going out to eat a greasy meal anyway.

  2. Ummm…new Mountian Goats album is pretty good…(walk away slowly)

  3. The smoking ban is actually not about your safety as a smoker, it is about my safety as a non-smoker. You are free to smoke in your home, car and outside, but you are no longer allowed to pollute the air that everyone else breathes inside the confined space of public buildings. Its no different than not allowing running engines and fireworks indoors. There are many more examples of the government “infringing on the rights of business owners” for safety of the public: Fire codes such as smoke detectors, sprinklers and marked exits; electrical codes; child labor laws; liquor licenses; OHSA; food inspections and so on and so on.

  4. Fact: 1200 Americans die from tobacco-related illness daily.
    Fact: 86% of smokers say that they want to quit but can’t.
    Fact: 90% of smokers started smoking before they were 18 years old.
    Fact: Children that are exposed to smoking in their daily lives are more likely to begin smoking.

    This is directed at protecting the public from the 4,000 chemicals and 250 carcinogens released from cigarette smoke, but there is a larger and more dangerous function to public smoking bans. Unless we take steps to make smoking the exception in our children’s lives instead of an accepted and commonplace practice, they will be more inclined to experiment with tobacco. Children become addicted to nicotine more rapidly than adults and their brains and lungs are changed forever if they start smoking as teenagers. I don’t care if you smoke. I’d like to, but I just don’t. If you adults want to smoke, go right ahead and commit suicide one butt at a time. But don’t you go showing my children that it’s normal. Don’t you dare present your filthy addiction as acceptable behavior. I’m less concerned about second-hand smoke and more concerned about denormalizing smoking for our children. So smokers, get off your high horses, shut your addiction up and take a stand for the children. Show them that it’s isolating and exclusive. Demonstrate the desperation and depravity of addiction by huddling in the snow and rain to puff far away from everyone else. Show them that it’s not the way to look mature, dignified, sophisticated, cool, rugged, manly, feminine, rebellious, independent, or attractive, as the television, movies, and advertisements try to portray them. Show them the truth.

  5. Lifestyle choices are best left to the individual; leave the government out of it!

    A small businessman can’t even decide what to allow in an isolated, ventilated, designated smoking area of his or her establishment! Check out this video:

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