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Monday, December 10, 2007

Cigarette Smokers Welcome In Wisconsin...
For Now

This story is from the Sunday, December 9, 2007 St. Paul Pioneer Press aka Twincities.com, which may require you to register for free and sign up to their site before allowing you to read the story. If you don't want to sign up - and I don't blame you for not wanting to do so - just search via Google for the story titled: "A nearby haven for choice - or an ashtray?" - by Kevin Harter - and add the words Twincities.com to your search to hit upon the story.

    Sitting at Dick's bar in downtown Hudson last week, [Ken Foster, from Woodbury, MN; (Woodbury a suburb a stone throw away from the Minnesota-Wisconsin state border)], joined a group of Minnesota residents that has crossed state lines to smoke in a bar. They can be found at Dick's, Dibbo's, Ellie's On Main Sports Bar and other Hudson [Wisconsin] taverns - which use radios and newspaper ad to lure smokers.

    "I come over about three times a week," Foster said before railing about the growing number of restrictions on where people can light up.


    The [Wisconsin] bars have noticed a steady flow of Minnesotans, especially on weekends, said Willy Petersen, a bartender at Dick's.

Huh - a steady flow of Minnesotans are spending their money in bars and restaurants in Wisconsin instead of at bars and restaurants in Minnesota. Imagine that; imagine that. Amazing!

Amazing because Queen Bee Bitch of Stalinism And Social Engineering Mrs. Hitler Jeanne Weigum, executive director of
The New Nazi Movement The Association for Nonsmokers - Minnesota said, in April 2006, "the [no smoking] ban will not hurt the bar and restaurant industry."

Maybe, as all good little Socialists do, Weigum chose her words very, very carefully to allow her plenty of wiggle room. Maybe she meant that banning cigarette smoking in Minnesota won't hurt the bar and restaurant industry in Wisconsin?

Back to the St. Paul Pioneer Press story:

    Pete Foster, who owns San Pedro Cafe and Barker's Bar & Grill in downtown Hudson, agrees he should get to choose. And he opted to go smoke-free.

    San Pedro banned smoking when it opened in 2000. And when Peter Foster made Barker's smoke-free three years ago, he noted that business increased by about 15 percent.

    Pete Foster said he opposes a smoking ban for one reason: It gives him a competitive advantage.


    "Every peer-reviewed scientific study ever done show that when smoking stops, business increases," said Maureen Busalacchi, executive director of Smoke Free Wisconsin.

    Busalacchi said the ban is good for everyone, including the smokers who are trying to quit.

    Noting that secondhand smoke is a proven health risk, she said bartenders, waitresses and nonsmoking patrons in Minnesota are breathing the benefits of the state's smoking ban.

Maureen Busalacchi - in my wildest, scariest nightmares - her image is all that I expected it to be, and more.

Busalacchi must be Wisconsin's doppelganger of
Mrs. Hitler Weigum.

Busalacchi is either unfamiliar with the Heartland Institute recent report or she is deliberately lying. Bars and Mom And Pop type taverns have closed their businesses in Minnesota - all due to a lack of customers - since the no-smoking ban in Minnesota took effect.

As for the health effects of smoking on nonsmokers - there is no consensus that the health of nonsmokers is negatively affected.

Let's review, once again, the information from the November 1, 2007, Heartland Report:

    A 2002 analysis of 48 studies, also published in the British Medical Journal, found only seven showed a relationship between secondhand smoke exposure and lung cancer, while 41 did not.

    A 1998 World Health Organization (WHO) study covering seven countries over seven years actually showed a statistically significant reduced risk for children of smokers and no increase for spouses and coworkers of smokers.

41 studies - 41 studies out of 48 !- showed no relationship between secondhand smoke exposure and lung cancer. Once again, HERE is the link to the Heartland Institute's report. Click on it and read it.

How can the studies by both the British Medical Journal and WHO be ignored and dismissed by the anti-smoking zealots? We can be 110% certain that if the data of these studies were the opposite of what they found, people like Busalacchi would be citing them as solid as a rock "peer-reviewed scientific studies."

The Wisconsin bars that voluntarily chose to be non-smoking bars - and the property owners of those establishments have every right to do that - are the exception, not the rule. Why is it that the majority of Minnesota bars and nightclubs who decided to be nonsmoking establishments, before the nonsmoking law took effect, went out of business because they had no customer base? Why is that? Maybe Busalacchi can answer that for me.

If self-righteous crusading nonsmokers were intellectually honest and would simply admit and say that they don't like their clothing or hair smelling of cigarette smoke I could accept their militant stance. But they can't be intellectually honest about this issue. They prefer to lie, repeating talking points from studies whose results are determined beforehand to prove that secondhand smoke is..."an epidemic."

The story concludes with a quote from Geralyn Karl, the St. Croix County Health Department tobacco-free specialist who says,

    "The compromise is individual freedom for the common good."

Ahhhhh (sigh), the argument that it's for "the common good". Usually that phrase is quickly followed by, "the children" and [insert over-hyped alarmist issue being discussed] is "an epidemic."

Individual freedom...WHAT INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM WOULD THAT BE? Oh - only the individual freedom of the militant non-smokers, not the smokers let alone the owners of private property.

Individual freedom would allow the free market and the property owners to run their bars and restaurants as they please. If one wants to open a bar and not permit smoking, as does the San Pedro Cafe and Barker's Bar & Grill, so be it - maybe it will attract enough of a non-smoking customer base to be profitable. If the owner of a bar across the street from the San Pedro wants to allow its customers to smoke, then this is also both fair and equitable - it's supposed to be how the free market works. The last time I checked, no nonsmoker was forced to enter any establishment that allowed smoking.

Many a world dictator had to be removed from power because they claimed that the things they were doing were for "the common good." Little Nazis like Busalacchi and Karl and Weigum all Sieg Heil and goose-step to the same tune. They are all mentally deranged, subjective and in-your-face opinionated little Stalinists inserting their unscientific bias into our personal lives and the lives of private property owners.

Anyone with the smallest degree of objectivity realizes that the Big Tobacco lawsuits were simply a raid on the profits of a legal business, redistributing those profits to a handful of anti-smoking zealots who - instead of working at real jobs - set themselves up with a handsome salary and operating budget imposing their mentality and interfering with the private property rights of business owners.

I am only too happy to link to and again mention the Tavern League of Wisconsin who oppose this intrusion by militant nonsmoking Nazis into the free market and private property rights of business owners.


Linking Here:
Property Owner


youve never lost anyone to cigarette related illness or death have you?
Yes I have. It did not change me into being a militant, crusading non-smoker attempting to insert my beliefs into another person's private property rights or "change the world" on a product that is legal and taxed.

I am sorry for anyone you lost due to tobacco, but last I checked, it is a legal product. No one holds a gun to the head of another and forces them to smoke. Nor is anyone forced to enter any establishment that allows the smoking of a legal product.
Great Post,
Check out my recent blog posting, it will change the way you think...

Stephen Barth, Founder of HospitalityLawyer.com, Challenges the Industry to Go Non-Smoking

Please

and fyi...
HospitalityLawyer.com presents the 6th Annual Hospitality Law Conference, Monday, February 11th through Wednesday, February 13th 2008. The Conference will be held at the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston.

At the 2008 Conference, attendees can get current on pressing concerns in the hospitality industry including franchising, legislation, premises liability, and changes in employment and management contracts. There will be practical tips on metadata, ethics, and corporate compliance, and updates on the ADA and e-discovery.
OK hospitality lawyer.

Your blog appears to side with the non-smoking side of this argument, which is fine, you are entitled to do so.

We're going to agree to disagree that property owners rights are being infringed upon and that this whole issue could easily have been settled by the free market...but like I said, we're going to have to agree to disagree.
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