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Thursday, March 5, 2009

HB 1240: Smoking Ban Awaits Governor's Pen

HB 1240, the house version of the ban on smoking in public places and places of employment, passed the Senate 21-14 yesterday. This a month and a day after the same Senate failed to pass its own smoking ban 17–18.

Who flipped votes? Not our man Russell Olson (R-8/Madison), who remains determined to keep the world safe for Big Macs and shifting externalities. Fortunately, Senators Vehle, Ahlers, Gray, Kloucek, and Peterson negated Senator Olson's intransigence by flipping their nays to yeas. Senator Bartling flipped the other way.

The Senate did make one change, knocking the penalty down from Class 2 misdemeanor to petty offense for bar owners who don't notify their patrons of the ban.

Governor Rounds is playing coy on this one, probably hoping he can find some form and style reasons to veto the bill and thus skirt actually answering the question.

Should the governor veto this law, those of us who have urged passage of a smoking ban will just have to resort to the very choice and free market principles that ban opponents have touted all along. Much as I'll miss steaks at the Moonlite, those of us who prefer not to have other people's waste crammed down our throat will just have to boycott every establishment that still allows smoking within its confines. We can settle for places like Buffalo Wild Wings in Sioux Falls, which realizes a smoking ban is both good health and good business.


  1. Well, after all you people think THERE is no way to go but put the small man trying to make a living out of the locaL SMALL TOWN BUSINESS cafes and bars (AS if there is no place for you to get away from smokers)most of them you have never stepped foot into, Are you going to start now so they can make a living? I highly doubt it. In case you havent noticed, alchol and gambling and obesity kill people too. Maybe you can create and pass a law in those areas too.Im sure one of these has affected everyone at some time or another.Then we coould have perfect people in a perfect world and live forever.

  2. Anon, I have no obligation to support businesses that adopt unhealthy or unsustainable business models. But please offer some documentation of your assertion that the only way a local café or bar can turn a profit is by facilitating unhealthy behavior.

    Of course, I suspect a lot of small town businesses could add to their profits if we let them sell marijuana and prostitutes as well. Hmm....

  3. [By the way, Nick Nemec says Anon's comment is a fallacious slippery slope argument... but uses slightly more PG-13 language to say so. ;-) ]

  4. What are you getting so sensitive about Cory? You cram waste down our throats with every blog. Your mere existence as a liberal athesist causes me alot of undue stress. Does this mean we should ban you from public places or at least from teaching our children your biased unsubstantiated and tainted hocus pocus?

  5. I'm glad we're joining the many states who have outlawed smoking in public gathering places. Other states have not seen dramatic revenue declines, but the effect it can have on future health costs may offset any revenue loss. This is one case where the people spoke via email, letters, phone calls, meetings and the legislature listened in a majority. When 80% of our citizens don't smoke, it makes sense that smokers don't need to infest everyone else's clean air. It will be nice to leave a bar or restaurant not smelling like an ash tray.

  6. I've been waiting forever for it to pass in SD!
    Lets face it, in Madison I go down to the Stadium to have a drink, just because it is no smoking. The food really isn't all that good, the service stinks, but hey they sell beer and at least I don't leave smelling like an ash tray!
    It would be nice if we had other options besides the Stadium.

  7. expect a veto and the inevitable referendum.

  8. I think non-smokers need to realize that they are the one`s that makes the choice to be around smokers. If you don`t want to be around smokers! Don`t go into bars or restaurant that smokers are in.

    The CHOICE is yours to make. End of story.

  9. This no-smoking law might improve our unemployment in SD. Think of all the openings for a part-time ticket-writer whose job it is to go into bars and write a ticket for every violation. Has anyone thought seriously about how this law is going to be enforced?
    Last time I checked, cigarettes are still a legal substance, and did you know that our Federal Government USDA still subsidizes tobacco growers? i think instead of ostracizing people who are using a legal substance, we would be better off directing our anger at our Government for subsidizing a substance that is known to be dangerous and unhealthy.
    The members of congress who are from tobacco growing states throw a fit every time this is brought up, and then of course the tobacco lobby is right in with them supporting their campaigns. Its time for the USDA to come up with programs to teach these tobacco growers how to make a living growing alternative crops, something that does good and does not kill us.

  10. Smoking kills people, so does alcohol, Lets outlaw everthing that kills people!!
    Guns,gambling,driving,alcohol..ect ect..
    Let the government rule our lifes with a iron fist. Telling us all what we can or can`t eat. Because food kills people too.

    Let not worry about the homeless or the starving people in the world. but your non-smokers rights.

  11. The very idea that our Government is still subsidizing tobacco is the height of hypocrisy. Its all nothing more than a big money machine--for the tax revenues cigarettes produce.
    Wait until some of our small town bars close and the State of SD has a shortfall in video lottery receipts and sales tax receipts.
    Then watch our sales tax increase, and every other tax and fee they can come up with.

  12. Sorry for the PG-13 language Cory. In the future I'll be more decorous.

  13. I hope this passes. I can't be around tobacco smoke at all without getting a severe migraine -- the kind where all you can do is just lie down and hope you don't throw up. In my small-ish South Dakota town, all the bars allow smoking. That means I can never go to a bar with friends or hear the bands that play there. Under the new law, smokers will still be able to go to the bars, but will have to step outside to smoke. That will still give them greater ability to enjoy a drink with a friend at a bar and to listen to live music than I have right now.

  14. i love cigarettes

  15. This was taken right from keleland site:The state's Gambling Control Board released a study that showed gambling in Minnesota dropped by 12 percent once the ban went into place.

    And South Dakota Senator Tom Nelson has cited a study saying 200 bars and restaurants closed in Minneapolis after the ban passed.

    So lets see if gambling drops 12% how much money does that take away from the general fund that video lottery creates...15 million. Then lets say that only a 100 bars and restaurants close, low end guess 1500 people out of jobs. Then someone said"I'm glad we're joining the many states who have outlawed smoking in public gathering places. Other states have not seen dramatic revenue declines," my answer to that is other states do not have gambling and with gambling goes drinking and smoking. To the comment about BW3 going non smoking... it would not have anything to with few thousands of dollars they just spent on lcd tv's and projectors?? I personally don't smoke and not a fan of it but its a personal choice, just like drinking. If you are looking for a happy medium, make a law that allows you to smoke in establishments that are 21 and over and let owners decide if they want it in their places. I just see the state loosing money and then trying to raise taxes to make up for it. Also if you are going to ban it...ban it everywhere and make it fair.

  16. I personally have spent time in bars where there was a really high quality air filtration unit, and it really makes a difference. I think that would be a good option for bars--either install one of these units or don't allow smoking!

    One of the messages referred to gambling, smoking and drinking all going together hand in hand. I agree--Almost 80% of the people I see throwing their money in the video lottery sit their with cigarett in one hand, plunking on the keys with the other hand, and their drink sitting on top of the machine.

  17. This is too funny, I was wondering when SD would finally ban smoking. We went through the same concerns in Colorado, but when it finally happened guess what...Nothing! Businesses didn't fold, in fact many gained business because people don't like to smell like cigarette smoke. It's not even a good comparison to say that its the same as drinking, I could drink at the table next to you all night and you won't smell like a beer. Smoking is to invasive to do in public and no, I shouldn't have to just "not go where the smokers are" I have the right to a meal out without choking on smoke.


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