Issue 5 -- Smoke Free Ohio -- and why it's wrong
(stolen from Joey Nicholson -- aka, DJ Joey -- fast becoming one of my favorite people in this city :-))
Obvious problems with Issue 5 (Ohio)- the State's Smoke-free Workplace initiative. I'm sure there's much more than what's stated here :::::::: (for those who are not ohioans, in November, we voted on a 2-1 margin to enact a law banning smoking in any place anybody is employed, superceding any local laws... this includes bars and restaurants; a few days ago we got word that it may be unenforceable due to the fact that there were no rules, just the law we voted it, which is kinda silly, and there was no method of enforcements, so it technically doesn't count, but that may or may not be true; to make it worse, they even put up a SNITCH LINE for people to call in and tell on people breaking the law... no, seriously)
1. There's NO provisions for enforcement (therefore it's not even really a law yet, just merely a suggestion). Provisions for enforcement, and the actual finalizing of the law will not occur until June 1, 2007. Therefore, Issue 5 is illegal.
2. It places unreasonable burdens on businesses that DO elect to allow smoking, within confines of the laws and ordinances of cities, villages and counties in Ohio.
3. The basis for the law is based on falsehoods and ''junk science'' ie; the Popular Lie, and has no scientific basis in fact. For example, 21 out of 22 studies commissioned by the U.S. government found NO correlation between second-hand smoke and lung cancer. The only study that ''found'' this link only had an accuracy rate of around 80%, whereas 90% or greater is generally considered acceptable in scientific studies of this nature. Naturally the ''SIGs'' a/k/a/ The American Lung Society and The American Cancer Society cite this ONE study to prove their ''facts.'' It's all based on falsehoods.
4. The stipulation of ''No Smoking'' within 20/25 feet of a building entrance, window or ventilation intake in impractical and unenforceable. Again, based on junk science.
5. The requirement for *ALL* businesses, government offices, etc. to remove *ALL* ashtrays from anywhere near building entrances and in all public places (I don't know if this includes outdoor areas where citizens are ALLOWED to smoke), will surely result in hundreds of thousands of Ohioans becoming criminals overnight, as they'll have to throw their cigarette butts on the ground, violating litter laws.
6. As more tobacco smokers take up ''chew'' to compensate for lack of legal tobacco smoking, the floors, ground, and other areas where people normally walk, and public places therein (bars, restaurants, etc.) will become a slimy mess as people spit out their chew everywhere.
a. This will result in a health hazard (spitting everywhere).
b. This will become a smelly, disgusting, slimy mess everywhere.
c. This will result in hazardous conditions everywhere, with more people slipping and falling as a result of slimy grounds.
7. Issue 5 was purposely worded to be misleading and obfuscating, resulting in a lot of voters voting ''Yes'' when they meant to vote ''No.'' A lawsuit shall be initiated on these grounds alone to overturn Issue 5, and make it illegal to have ''No means Yes'' and ''Yes means No'' questions on ANY ballots in Ohio, ever again.
8. Issue 5 will result in a loss of revenue in those establishments that have traditionally, for 230 years, allowed smoking tobacco products; especially to ''border'' states around Ohio. This would include Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Businesses so affected shall, at their discretion, be able to sue the Ohio Department of Health for up to 10 times actual loss of revenue, according to financial statements starting in fiscal year 2006. Compensation shall be in the form of monetary payments for actual and liquidated damages. These payments shall come from the Ohio General Fund.
9. Issue 5 supercedes any city, village or county oridnance in effect in Ohio, disallowing for a municipality's sovereignity in their own affairs. For example, the Ohio Supreme Court just recently upheld differing cities bans on assault rifles as Constitutional. Therefore, Issue 5 is UNconstitutional on this basis alone. It should be overturned on on these grounds.
10. Issue 5 CANCELS ALL city, village and county ordinances, essentially meaning that NO WHERE in Ohio is ANY smoking oridiance in effect until June 1st, 2007. This could create a problem in places such as grocery stores, movie theaters, government offices, etc. as people are ALLOWED, by law to light up ANYWHERE in the State of Ohio, in ANY building.
11. Issue 5 is an unnecssary State issued burden for those last few places that people have traditionally been allowed to smoke. For example, in Cincinnati- smoking is allowed in pool halls, bingo halls, most bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and other ''adult'' entertainment venues. The provision in establishments that serve food is that there's separate smoking and non-smoking sections, with adequate ventilation to keep the smoke out of food preparation areas and non-smoking sections. This has been a workable compromise between smokers and non-smokers rights. Issue 5 interferes and unfairly burdens that compromise.
12. Issue 5, with the ''Snitch Line'' and provisions for fines ranging up to $2,500 per violation against the business owners, goes against all common sense in determining ''punishments equal to the crimes.'' For example, a typical liquor violation results in a fine of up to $500, a more grevious offense against the permit holder than allowing tobacco smoking.
13. Issue 5, in stipulating that smoking is not allowed in any work situation, including 18-wheeler trucks, cabs, or any vehicle used in business; is unworkable, unenforcable and unconstitutional. It intereferes with quiet enjoyment of personal property as well.
14. For the above reasons and those not listed, Issue 5 violates Due Process.
15. For the above reasons and those not listed, Issue 5 is unconstitutional.
Welcome to 1984.
All Your Rights And Tobacco Are Belong To Us.