Petitioner seeks smoking ban in Shawnee

Petitioner seeks smoking ban in Shawnee

There are 13 comments on the Kansas City Star story from Jul 30, 2007, titled Petitioner seeks smoking ban in Shawnee. In it, Kansas City Star reports that:

“I do know that the number of pro-smoking and pro-non smoking individuals on the task force is not indicative of what the non-smoking percentages are in the city”

Support for a proposed smoking ban in Shawnee might just be simmering to new levels.

Tony Lang, an ex-smoker, is trying to collect more than 1,000 signatures on a petition in support of the city going smoke-free.

Lang has been asking residents to sign the informal petition calling for Shawnee to adopt a public smoking ban ordinance. He claims to already have collected more than 300 signatures since he began his campaign last week.

Lang plans to present the petition to the city on Aug. 15, when a city task force assigned to study the smoking ban issue holds a public hearing on the topic. Read more

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Kansas City Star.

Concerned Resident

Kansas City, MO

#1 Jul 31, 2007
Shawnee should have a smoking ban for public safety. When I was pregnant I had to leave a several restaurants filled with smoke. I wasn't going into bars. I was just trying to get a bite to eat without risking harm to my child. I use to eat out alot but I'm concerned about subjecting my now 5 month old to smoke. Places that allow people to smoke indoors have lost alot of my business. I use to live in San Francisco and Boston which both have smoking bans. There are many things I love about living in quiet Shawnee but on this issue the town falls short. I would definitly sign Tony Langs petition if I see him.
Fed Up

United States

#2 Aug 8, 2007
You don't have to ban smoking to keep from being subjected to second hand smoke. Restaurants and bars should make thier own choice whether to allow smoking, but if allowed, should be required to structure thier business where second hand smoke from designated area's is not a factor. We as free citizens have the choice of being there. I'm truly fed up with government telling me and the businesses I frequent what we can and can not do. By the way, self rightous socialist views filling the air and taking away our rights are becoming even worse than the smoke. Have we considered the health risk when the free citizens of this country decide to revolt and send you back to California?
Business Owner Rights

United States

#3 Aug 8, 2007
Yes, I believe that non-smokers have the right to not be subjected to second hand smoke. However, what gives anyone the right to tell businesses how they can operate? In the Shawnee Mission area there are dozens of restaurants that are fully non-smoking. Don't go into one that isn't if you do not want to be subjected. For that matter, I don't know that it's a large issue for restaurants, but what about bars? In the three Kansas City area towns that recently passed non-smoking - Independence, Lees Summit, and Olathe; bars are going under at an alarming rate. There are lots of "so-called" non-smokers who smoke when they drink. For these many business people who have invested their lives savings, these bans have taken away their rights and plummetted them into bankruptcy.

I would also be interested in understanding why, at least Missouri gives its citizens the right to vote on these ordinances, while Kansas politicians just pass the laws.

Finally, I agree with Fed Up about the so-called liberals coming into the midwest with their "ideals." What part of "liberal" gives the right to tell business owners how to run their operation?

United States

#4 Aug 9, 2007
When people first started smoking they had NO idea it was carcinogenic, now that we know this, how can anyone possibly say it's ok. Yes, everyone has a choice in what they do but there comes a time when you KNOW something is wrong and hurting others NO ONE should be exposed to it. Not the employees, not the delivery people bringing items to the establishment, and certainly anyone entering the establishment. We will all pay the price when those exposed to smoking are hospitalized and in need of health care. Who do you think will help pay for this?? Yes the taxpaper. VOTE TO BAN SMOKING!!!
Tired of the whole thing

United States

#5 Aug 10, 2007
I am a smoker, and have always been a courtious smoker. I am tired of the whole argument. We smokers have the right to smoke, and non-smokers have the right not to breath our smoke. If they would give smokers a place to smoke that is away from the main eating area, but not out in the elements which is where we have to go now, I would be fine with that. We are made to go outside in the cold, rain, snow, heat, just to have a smoke, and that is why it is unfair to the smokers. Give us a place that is protected, and I am sure smokers would gladly go there. I avoid places that don't allow smoking, simply because of the reason.

United States

#6 Aug 12, 2007
The dangers of smoking is by far one of the biggest hypes in the world. If there were no smoking, there would still be cancer, heart disease, and all the other so-called related illnesses. Look at statistics from 50 years ago. Lots of smokers...far less cancer. My grandparents smoked, my parents smoked, I smoke. My daughter is 22 and has never been hospitalized or sick, not even as a child. My grandparents lived to their upper 90s. My parents are alive and well in their 70s. No one in our family has ever had cancer. This propoganda is a huge excuse to raise insurance premiums. Hundreds of thousands of people die of cancer and never smoked in their lives...what does that tell you? You non-smoking radicals believe everything you hear...just like the hundreds of thousands of you who vote a party simply because you always have...without bothering to get any facts. Get a life, Tony Lang. If you don't like smoking, don't go where it is.
good to me

Junction City, KS

#7 Aug 16, 2007
it may or may not be propaganda,Propaganda. But I smoked for twenty years and quit for my own reasons.If smoking does not harm you why to people in fires die from inhaling too much smoke,propaganda? If I was a betting man I would say it was smoke that killed them,my father retired in 1994 he had smoked all his lve he has had two operations to clean the tar out of his caratide atery's,I have an aunt we buried 10 years ago who died of lung cancer from smoking,my mom has infazima,from smoking.I work in a coal fired powerplant we are not allowed to smoke there something to do with smoke being bad for you. so believe as you will but when you or one of your loved ones is sucking air throuh a mask or living in a iron lung please don't sue the tobacco for your stupidity,it will raise the price of cigarettes for all your smoking buddies.
The Rights of Business

Kansas City, KS

#8 Sep 13, 2007
It is my belief that in America, land of the free, a business owner should have the choice to allow smoking or to not in his or her establishment. For instance, the proprietor of a bar would no doubt lose business if his/her patrons were no longer allowed to smoke, but the owner of a sandwich shop probably would not.
The patrons also have a choice. No one is forcing them to eat anywhere. If one wishes to avoid smoke, a non-smoking establishment can be found in any city within fifteen minutes of Shawnee.
It is wrong to force a dictum down the throats of business owners and paying customers, and it is easy to forget amidst this controversy that smokers have rights as well.

Overland Park, KS

#9 Nov 12, 2007
I completely agree...why should I go home smelling like smoke if I don't smoke. Let us all breath clean air. Clearly those who are in favor of smoking indoors haven't done their research on second hand smoke. Smoke all you want just don't make me breath in your toxins!
cough cough

Overland Park, KS

#10 Nov 12, 2007
Where do I sign this petition!!! The majority of people have either wised up and quit smoking or just never did...majority should rule in this case. Why is it so hard to go outside to smoke...get some fresh air while you are killing yourself! I am an ex-smoker and I hated smelling like smoke even when I was smoking and never did it in the home or restaurants. Now I am more sensitve to it since I quit. I understand that the smokers want rights or whatever...but seriously we aren't saying don't smoke! Just don't subject the rest of us who are trying to be healthy to it. Please don't pollute the air we all breathe. I especially feel bad for those in my position...I am pregnant and don't want to be around it nor when I have my baby. Learn the facts of second hand smoke and if you can tell me it is fine then we can discuss options but it is so bad for you. Smokers should care more for themselves and take care of their bodies. Wise Up!

Since: Jul 07


#11 Nov 12, 2007
Let Property Fights Rule Smoking Decision -

A system of absolute respect for private property rights is the best way to handle smoking, as it is with all issues. The owners of bars and restaurants have, and should continue to have, the absolute right to permit or deny smoking on their property.

Not everyone agrees with this simple truth. Charlie Claycomb, co-chair of the Tobacco Free Wichita coalition, asks in The Wichita Eagle why clean air is not a right when smoking is a right. The answer is that both clean air and smoking are rights that people may enjoy, as they wish, on their own property. When on the property of others, you may enjoy the rights that the property owner has decided on.

It's not like the supposed right to breathe clean air while dining or drinking on someone else's property is being violated surreptitiously. Most people can quickly sense upon entering a bar or restaurant whether people are smoking. If you do not want to be around cigarette smoke, all you have to do is leave. That's what I do. It is that simple. No government regulation is needed: just leave. If you wish, tell the manager or owner why you are leaving. That may persuade the owner of the property to make a decision in your favor.

Employees may make the same decision. There are plenty of smoke-free places for people to work if they don't want to be around smoke.

Some think that if they leave a restaurant or bar because it is smoky, then they have lost their "right" to be in that establishment. But no one has an absolute right to be on someone else's private property, much less to be on that property under conditions that they -- not the property owner -- dictate.

Property rights, then, are the way to solve disputes over smoking vs. clean air in a way that respects individual freedom and liberty. Under property rights, owners will decide to allow or prohibit smoking as they best see fit, to meet the needs of their current customers, or the customers they want to attract.

A property rights-based system is greatly preferable to government mandate. Without property rights, decision are made for spurious reasons. For example, debate often includes statements such as "I'm a non-smoker and I think that …" or "I'm a smoker and …" These statements presuppose that the personal habits or preferences of the speaker make their argument persuasive.

Decision-making based on personal characteristics, preferences, or group-membership happens often in politics. Wichita City Council member Jim Skelton, evidently once a smoker and opposed to smoking bans, is now receptive to bans since he quit smoking. Mr. Skelton, I ask you for this courtesy: would you please publish a list of the things you now take pleasure in, so that if you decide to quit them in the future, I shall have time to prepare myself for their banning?

Lack of respect for property rights allows decisions to be made by people other than the owners of the property. In the case of a smoking ban, the decision can severely harm the value of property like bars or restaurants that caters to smokers. This matters little to smoking ban supporters like Wichita Vice Mayor Sharon Fearey. But we should not be surprised, as her record indicates she has little respect for private property.

By respecting property rights, we can have smoking and non-smoking establishments. Property owners will decide what is in their own and their customers' interests. Both groups, smokers and nonsmokers, can have what they want. With a government mandate, one group wins at the expense of the rights of many others.

Source URL:

“Sugar Hill Gang Member”

Since: Dec 06


#12 Nov 13, 2007
I'm no doctor but smoking is harmful to the smoker
and the people around them. Just because your family all smokes and none have died *yet* doesn't mean smoking is good for you. Are you friggin stupid?(rhetorical question).

I prefer not to have smokers around me when I'm eating. If I chose a place that does then it's my
own fault not the establishments. I don't want to ruin the majority of bar peeps by telling them to stop smoking because I'm there. I have a choice.

I smoked for 11 years and currently smoke-free so I can see both sides. I also have had a family member die to lung/brain cancer caused by smoking for decades. I believe second hand smoke is harmful, maybe not cancer but definately not good for you.

I'm happy as a clam letting the local and regional governments deciding *by voters* on how they want their respective business to be smoke free or not.
The owners of these business's will simply adapt or die.

Non-smokers should understand that most of the public services you take for granted as well as the funding for schools is based on smokers. The unfair taxes they impose on cigarettes account for a majority of the local governments coffers.(pun)
If you ban or get rid of smokers you better find another cash cow...or these local governments will be bankrupt in months.

Since: Jul 07


#13 Nov 13, 2007
My favorite paragraph in what I posted is:

Some think that if they leave a restaurant or bar because it is smoky, then they have lost their "right" to be in that establishment. But no one has an absolute right to be on someone else's private property, much less to be on that property under conditions that they -- not the property owner -- dictate.

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