It's time... to protect the children hanging out in bars and playing video lottery?

According to the Argus and other sources this AM, Jennifer Stalley of the South Dakota Tobacco-Free Kids network issued the following statement in reference to Senate Bill 196, an act which revised where smoking is prohibited. The act eliminates smoking in bars, restaurants with a liquor license, and video lottery establishments:
"We need to create a healthier, cleaner, safer environment for all of our children, our visitors, our workers and ourselves... It's time."
Read that here.

Since she's talking about "a healthier, cleaner, safer environment for all of our children" and since she represents the Tobacco-Free Kids network, my thought is this - If there are kids hanging out in bars and video lottery establishments, they have much bigger problems than having a a smoke free environment to drink and gamble in. (hint: it involves law enforcement and/or social services).

For god's sake, let adults be adults. If they choose to drink, gamble and smoke, and to patronize establishments that allow that, that is their choice - isn't it?

God save us from the nanny mentality of some of those in government.


Anonymous said…

Apparently you’ve never been to Roslyn, Pukwana, Zell or any other of the numerous small towns where the only meal served is in a bar. Get out of Brookings and Pierre once in a while. Plus I believe her quote was children, visitors, workers and ourselves, not just children.
Anonymous said…
The key point here is that I have the right to go to a bar and NOT have my lungs polluted by second hand smoke. I have a right to clean air, even in a bar.
Anonymous said…
Bars can do this, the government shouldn't. I'll gladly go to a smoke free bar.

No one is forced - FORCED - to eat, work, or even go near any establishment where people smoke.

There's your right to clean air, you commie pinko.
Anonymous said…

Not everyone lives in Sioux Falls or Rapid City, not everyone is blessed with all those options. Tell that to the waitress in Faith or the bartender in Buffalo.
Anonymous said…
It's about property rights and freedom of association.

Wants AREN'T RIGHTS. If you choose to enter a bar or anywhere else that there is smoking, it's "your body, your choice". BTW, how many of the sponsors of this bill vote "pro-choice" on other issues???
Anonymous said…
People keep whining about their "right" to smoke, or their "right" to go into a bar and not have their lungs "polluted" by those evil smokers.

So whose right trumps the other? The people that smoke, or the people wishing to be smoke free? Both? None? Who decides who has the greater "right"?

Boils down to this... let the free market, the free economy, and the FREE PEOPLE decide. Keep the Nanny State and the fringe moralists out of it.
Anonymous said…
Fringe moralists huh? That's the same mentality the oppostion to the tobacco tax used. Look what happened, 61% of SD voted in favor of passing the tax.

The fact is there are very few "Rights" in this country and people throw that word around way too much. You do not have the "Right" to smoke.
Anonymous said…
I do not smoke and I avoid being around smoking if I can. I watched a parent die from lung cancer after having smoked for 40 years, so my opposition to smoking is pretty strong.

However, I also understand that thanks to the most recent non-smoking laws which ban smoking in public places and restaurants without liquor licenses, I have choices. And for the most part, I do choose not to frequent establishments where smoking is allowed.

I agree with pp that this is an issue about child welfare, not smokers or non-smokers rights!

Last year I visited Deadwood, and my spouse and I were very surprised to see more than a few people gambling with their children just an arm’s length away. Apparently in Deadwood at least there is an ordinance that mandates that children in casinos (and I can’t believe I’m typing those words!) need to be kept a certain distance away from the machines. I am guessing this distance is only a few feet, as I saw a number of parents with babies in strollers and baby carriages which were just within their reach as they played the machines. And most of them were smoking. Ick.

For me, the bottom line is children don’t belong in casinos, period. And before someone jumps on me for that statement, let me say I am not opposed to gambling. I occasionally do it myself, but would never, EVER think of bringing my children into a casino to wait while I sat and gambled. Parents who do this should be ashamed!

I’m going to guess that the logic (and I use the term loosely) behind the Deadwood ordinance is that there are going to be tourists passing through the town with children, and without allowing their children in the casino, the tourists would not be able to gamble. Well, that doesn’t fly with me either. If you want to gamble on your vacation, leave your kids home. Or bring a babysitter who can care for them while you’re in the casino.

As for bars, I don’t think children belong in the smoking sections of bars, either. Most bars now have a non-smoking section. Take your kids there. And if your small town only has 1 bar and it is your only option for eating out, then stay home. Or order your food, pick it up and eat it at home.

Parents, this is a no-brainer. Nobody should have to tell you that children don’t belong in casinos, smoke or no smoke.
lexrex said…
actually, pp, i've been in those local smalltown steakhouses where children sit right next to their parents in the bar while their parents play video lottery, and while the restaurant employees look the other way.

i wouldn't say it's common, but it happens more than we care know. that's because those are the some of the few restaurant choices families have in small towns.

i don't think i'd support this bill but i do think it's more of an issue than we think.
Anonymous said…
Smoking ban in bars was approved in Hennepin County,MN, which is probably larger than the population of SD. Those bars are much more pleasant to be in w/o the smoke. Would they all be that way if it wasnt an enforced "law"? No.

Smoking is losing its "right", and becoming more of a "nuicance" to the general public. I support the bill.

The issue, in my opinion, is that our economy of scale is too small to allow a bar to make money w/o the smokers. Banning smoking would would be a great thing for the workers, and ALL who enter the bar, not just the kids...which I think is an awkward way to go about introducing a bill! Keep the kids out of it!
Anonymous said…
Again, get out of AA towns and visit the small towns. You can't eat without hearing the video lottery jingle in the background.
Anonymous said…
Guess they don't teach civics in the gov't schools anymore... Property rights are actually enumerated in the Constitution we used to refer to when crafting legislation and policy...
lexrex said…
"Property rights are actually enumerated in the Constitution we used to refer to when crafting legislation and policy..."

amen to that.

but when talking about civics, also lost in that education is the issue of a state's police powers. in the history of the united states, no matter how difficult it is to define the boundaries of the police power, it was never doubted that the state had a power to preserve the health, safety, and morals of its citizens. (see u.s. supreme court rulings: "slaughterhouse cases," "butchers' union v. crescent city," "powell v. pennsylvania" among others.)

if a state may determine health codes for the slaughter and butcher of livestock to protect the health of its citizens, it may also consider smoking regulations. if a city may regulate nude dancing, it may regulate other subjects. no business or home owner would be allowed to stockpile sewage in their basements. our state forces restaurants to cook foods at certain temps and lengths.

again, i don't think i'd support this bill*, but let's not act as if it's wrong for the state to pass health and safety codes that apply to all persons, equally.

*for among other reasons that it is inconclusive as to whether short-term 2nd-hand smoke is more than just a nuisance (and it is indeed a nuisance, though i like to smoke a good cigar myself). though, it may be more provable that long-term exposure to 2nd hand smoke is unhealthy, which may effect employees.
Anonymous said…
When is enough going to be enough?

The government should not be messing with ideas like this.
Anonymous said…
"A city may regulate nude dancing"

True, and now some legislaters don't want us to be able to smoke in them "because of the children" - lol
Anonymous said…
I choose not to go to bars. It is not that complicated. As far as kids go, I grew up around smoking parents, before anyone thought too much of it, and I am alive and well. No, I don't care for it these days, but I oppose another law, another crime, etc. I thought this was a republican state where less government was considered a good thing.
Anonymous said…
Anon 8:54, you have no such right to smoke free air in a bar. Private business is free to allow or disallow smoking in their establishments; it is their right. You are just as free to not frequent their establishment; that is the only right you have relative to how someone operates their bar/restaurant/casino. I doubt you would claim a "right" to "clean" air when visiting the home of a friend who smokes. Private places of business are no different.
Anonymous said…
I completely think that this ban would be for the good of all. Some people are going to complain about it, but in the end more people will be healthier. I am 21 years old. I have never smoked a single cigarette in my life. I am not only allergic to cigarette smoke, but I also lost a grandmother to an aneurysm caused by enphysema when I was two years old. I have little to no memories of this grandmother and let me tell you it sucks. While in some towns you may have the choice to go to a different restraunt if there is smoking going on, that is not always the case. I currently live in a college town. There are no actual sit down restraunts that are completely smoke free. There are no bars that are. I can't go our for supper with friends or out for a few drinks without being sick due to my allergy. It is ridiculous that these people are doing as much harm to the non-smokers as they are to themselves. If they want to do it in their own place where it won't effect anyone else that is fine. But keep it away from me.
Anonymous said…
People please stop with the "I lost my mother/father/sister/dog" to smoking arguments. I agree, these anecdotes are heart rending. That said, I lost my own mother this past year to cancer. She smoked two packs a day for twenty years. I'm 27 years old and losing my mom at the age of 49 was the most painful experience of my life. That said, she knew the risks associated with smoking and chose to do so anyway. Your pain at the loss of a loved one is not signifigant justification for curtailing the rights of free citizens to make poor choices in relation to their health.
Anonymous said…
I see the pro choice wingnuts are spouting off again.
Anonymous said…
10:19 AM "61% of SD voted in favor of passing the tax" (cigarette tax)

So you support rule of the perpetually aggrieved, a tyranny of the easily offended?

Just because a business is "open to the public" does not make it a "public building"...
Anonymous said…
veritas - It amazes me that you are all for individual rights when it comes to smokers yet you opt for government intervention when the issue is pregnant women.

When do free citizens not have rights? When that person is a woman who happens to have a tiny embryo residing in her body.
Anonymous said…
There seems to be different 'nanny' states operating these days.

The 'Nanny' state in the sense of the nanny handling all the responsibility. No need to take responsibility for yourself on health care, employment etc, the nanny will do all that for you. A lot of democrats get hit with this.

Then there is the 'Nanny' state in the sense of the nanny telling you no you can't have gay marriage, you can't have an abortion, you can't have privacy etc. Republicans fall prey to this kind of 'nanny' or 'daddy' state.
Anonymous said…
Anon 6:11, it's simple really. One choice made by an individual effects that one person's health; the other takes an innocent life.

Let's bring to light one more of my hypocrisies so we can avoid the accusation down the road. I firmly believe in the death penalty, yet I am pro-life. Those positions may seem at odds until you consider the fact that in one instance a guilty life is taken as punishment for crimes committed, in the other an innocent life is taken to lessen burdens faced by his or her mother.

Now, stop being amazed and start paying attention to the reasoning behind the stances I take. In the end, if you're honest with yourself, I think you'll find them morally consistent.
Anonymous said…
Hey, that is where the state invests its money - in bars, lotterys and casinos, so why should we expect kids to hang out anywhere else?!? Lord knows we do not want to invest in education. A recent study showed that blue states are far more child-friendly than are red states. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why.
Anonymous said…
veritas, What about the woman's health when that is an issue? All the talk is about the innocent lives. Does the well-being of the woman ever count?

Another question -
If you could turn back time and there would have been more laws passed that would have encouraged your mother to stop smoking - and if that would have meant you would have had her for more years - would you have favored passage of those laws?
Anonymous said…
Anon 9:42, is one person's health more valuable than another's life?

As to your inquiry regarding my mother, since I made her part of the discussion I'll answer your question, tasteless though it is. Even given your hypothetical circumstances, no I would not have supported any such law.
Anonymous said…
veritas, Yes, I think a woman's health trumps the "life" as it is of an embryo.

Fertilized eggs are lost when it does not stick to the uterine wall. Embryos are lost each day through miscarriages.

When one compares that with the health of a woman, especially if she is a mother whose existing children rely on her, most people would say the woman's health must be the top consideration.

I do not take abortion lightly, and I am most uncomfortable with abortions beyond the first trimester. I believe, however, that there are circumstances where the well-being of the woman must be the first consideration.

If the fetus is viable, then every effort should be made to save it. But if the choice is between whether the mother is going to survive the pregnancy without any disabling physical damage or whether she will be forced to carry the embryo or fetus to term, the woman should be the top consideration.

If that makes me a terrible person in some people's eyes, so be it. But my position is one that the majority of people share. The vote on HB1215 underscored that fact.
Anonymous said…
Anon 11:27, I don't think you a terrible person. You are obviously well meaning and your position heartfelt. Nevertheless, the idea that such a vague term as "health of the mother", which can mean any number of things, trumps the life of an unborn child is monstrous.
Anonymous said… the heck did we get from smoking laws to the abortion issue (once again!)?? Will this be the fate of every discussion held in the state of SD from here forward? Ugh!!
Anonymous said…
The bigger issue here is when it is okay to be a "nanny state" and when it is not.

You don't want the government telling bars and small restaurants that they must be smoke-free. That is government intrusion.

You don't want the government to force you to put your children in booster safety seats. That is government intrusion.

You want the government to force women to continue an unwanted pregnancy, no matter what the circumstances or how early in the pregnancy.
That invasion of privacy is government intrusion at its worst.

Hypocrisy is alive and thriving in South Dakota.
Anonymous said…
This is starting to sound like Hillary's approach: it takes a village. let the village raise your kids, tell you how to manage your property, etc.. Not that the state already doesn't do it, but where does this regulation for the best interests of society end?

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