Wednesday, February 11, 2009

House Puts Holes In Smoking Ban Legislation

The opponents of a statewide ban on smoking in public places knocked two big holes in the legislation by successfully attaching amendments to exclude Indiana bars and casinos from the law's reach. In other words, the legislation is no better than what we already have on the books in Indianapolis under the city ordinance.

I wonder if the casino industry has bothered to check out how many customers they are losing because of their smoke-filled casinos. I purchased a trip to French Lick for my parents a little more than a year ago as a Christmas gift. They travel to places like Las Vegas and Branson on a regular basis, and I thought they would really like it. Neither have any desire to return to French Lick because the smoke in the casino was so bad they couldn't stay in it any length of time. I went down there later to check it out for myself and found the same thing to be true. The smoke was so bad I felt ill after about a half hour in the casino. I will never go back to that casino again as long as it is a smoking establishment. If the smoke in the French Lick casino won't get to you, the clientele will. It's as much of a turnoff. I suspect the clientele would become a little more upscale if they made it a smoke-free establishment.

If you've ever traveled to other major cities in the U.S., you quickly see the benefit of having these smoking bans. I didn't hear bar and club owners in New York complaining about the smoking ban and, by all appearances, it wasn't keeping the crowds away from the popular watering holes and clubs there. There is just something about Hoosiers and their desire to cling to anything that makes us look backwards. I just don't have any tolerance for smokers any more. It's bad enough that they are deliberately destroying their own health by smoking, but their complete disregard for the harm they are doing to others with their second-hand smoke is what really bothers me. Notice how smokers always hold their cigarettes so their smoke is all going directly up your nose instead of their's. And the queens who walk through crowded bars holding their cigarettes at eye level and deliberately brushing other people with them should be arrested on the spot. But that's my anti-smoking rant for the day. I'm sure we can go to bed tonight rest assured that Indiana will probably be the last state in the country to ban smoking in all public places.


Mike Kole said...

If I had to bet on it, I imagine the testimony from the Casino industry was persuasive. It went: Casinos are the #4 source of tax revenues for Indiana. We pay roughly $1 billion in taxes to Indiana. We estimate that if the ban is passed, we will lose about 15% of our business, ergo, Indiana will lose about $150 million in tax revenue.

Governments are first and foremost interested in collecting tax revenues, hence, the casino exception. Now, I am surprised that bars were exempted.

Fear not, though. County governments such as Marion fund the proponents of bans. (Is that an indication of government run amok, or what? Drawing money in and then using it to promote public policy?) They are committed, and will likely introduce yet more legislation in next year's session. It's easy to play the game of attrition when you have other people's money to spend.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I must say I am pretty disappointed with your nanny state support in pushing prohibition style bans on smoking.

Since you invested $0.00 in all likelihood in restoring/building the French Lick Casino, and you state that you will not return, what gives you any say on how they choose to run their business?

The casinos in Northwest Indiana have both non-smoking floors and smoking floors, ah the free market.

So instead of wishing for big government to do your dirty work, either open your own casino, or become a patron of a non-smoking casino. - geesh

The irony of you whining over smoking in a casino is quite hilarious, seeing how gambling was once a sin according to politicians in this state.

So let me get this straight, you desire to blow your money on a bunch of rigged games in a smoke-free atmosphere?

Is that so you can see your paycheck dwindle unencumbered by haze?

Shame on you, for advocating the limiting of one sin to aide and abet yours.

Patriot Paul said...

I agree 100% with your anti-smoking post today. Despite some jabs I've received from my libertarian friends who feel that the supposed right to choice trumps the right to life, no business should operate with unseen killers running rampant that quietly contributes to the demise of their own employees for the sake of greed. Article 1 of the Indiana Constitution reflects an inalienable right to life. Businesses are not a safe haven for a different standard. There are no exemptions that this somehow stops at the doorstep of businesses.

Concerned Taxpayer said...

If smokers like it so much, why do they throw their cigarette butts out the windows of their cars?

Which, by the way, carries a huge fine for throwing a lighted cigarette out of a moving vehicle.

artfuggins said...

If you have visited a casino with a nonsmoking area, you will quickly realize that the smoke migrates into the smoking area and after a while, there is not much difference in nonsmoking and smoking areas.......smoke if you wish but dont expose me to your spewing of toxic poisons into the air.