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Ohio's New Smoke-Free Workplace Law


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we just voted in an issue (i do believe it was a 2/3 majority, but don't quote me) into law that protects workers' rights in the workplace. now smoking is illegal in any business establishment, including bars and restaurants. (i guess that's bad for cigar bars).

our law is very far-reaching. it eliminates smoking huts, because no worker is allowed to smell smoke at all going in and out of work, and there are also space measurement provisions. it an establishment has, say a balcony or porch off of their main building, even if it is open air, if it connects to the building (there's one wall) and has another wall (more than 2 walls), it is considered to be a part of the building and no smoking is permitted.

naturally, business owners are very pissed, as are smokers. we also passed a pretty heavy new tax on cigs (in my area at least, i don't know if that tax is state-wide) to finance the arts.

workers have a right to a smoke-free work environment. many workers do not have much of a choice about where they work, and are basically SOL if they try to change jobs. patrons also have the right to not have to endure second-hand smoke. i think especially children will be protected.

however, it imposes on the right of property owners to decide what they will and will not allow on their property. as the owner of an establishment, should someone have the right to allow smoking?

right now we have $100 fines for smokers and $2,500 fines for business owners if anyone is caught smoking in an establishment.

i voted for the smoking ban and the cig tax.

i don't know how long this is going to last until someone come up with a state constitutional amendment against the law, but for now, i'm a happy camper. horray! smoke makes me sneeze and gives me breathing problems!

what do you think of our new law? i know a lot of you are smokers so this may be a biased vote- i don't smoke, so my vote was probably biased.

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i consider it valid (i'm in columbus) because it was voted on by the citizens...it wasn't simply passed into a law by the house or senate. in other words, i feel it was a true democratic decision. i also didn't like issue 4, the partial ban, because that was a change to the ohio revised code (akin to a consitutional amendment) & i didn't want that.

so i voted for it too & felt good about because it was the 'will of the people'.

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Oregon as a state does not have a smoking ban. Eugene as a city did. Portland as a city did not but I know is looking to ban it.

The two wall thing is weird, though. What's a wall? I know you're only allowed to take your drink outside if there's a certain amount of "walls" or fences or patio or some area that's clearly defined... so most Eugene bars have a patio off the back where you can smoke and take your drink. But if a patio wall counts as a wall wall, then you couldn't smoke there in Ohio.

In Portland, they're also trying to ban smoking in Pioneer Courthouse Square which is basically a city block which has been turned into an open air ampitheater multi-use kind of place. While I support restaurant/bar bans, I think banning smoking in an open, outside public block is stupid. I think banning smoking in public parks is stupid. If it's outside, it's fair game.

That said, I don't really care if there's an establishment ban or not. I don't mind going outside to smoke. I might prefer it.

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We got that law june 05. I'm a smoker, so naturally I don't like it. It's fucking freezing to stand outside and smoke in the wintertime! However, I've worked in a restaurant and I know it can be bothering with people smoking when you, as a waitress, are not. I saw some research about if you work fulltime late at a bar you inhale the equivalent of a small pack of cigarettes. Every night. Also, when there are smoking rooms, you tend to meet the most interesting people.

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Individual cities in Colorado are non smoking in public altogether, too.

Boulder, Ft Collins, Colorado Springs... I don't know where else. You cannot smoke within fifteen feet of any public entrance, nor in any public building.

In Boulder, I don't think you can smoke outside at all, but I'm not sure. The rumor is you can as long as it isn't a cigarette ;)

abi

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As a business owner, shouldn't I be able to decide if I want to allow smoking? Sure, post a bigass sign on the door and let people decide if they want to enter. Same with workers. You could make anyone applying sign a form saying they understand they may be exposed to smoke and accept the possible consequences.

You would end up with smoking and no smoking establishments as well as places that are mostly non-smoking with smoking areas.

I have no problem with people smoking. I used to smoke, but quit when I was pregnant with my oldest. Unlike many reformed smokers, I am not an anti-smoking nazi.

I am going to sound weird though when I say I don't like the smoking in public outdoors. If I am a non-smoer taking a stroll, I really don't want smell someone elses smoke or battle the huddled smoker pack outside the door of places that don't allow smoking. The public spaces should be nuetral.

But if I am in my store that I pay for with my money, it should be my business whether or not I allow a particular behavior.

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But if I am in my store that I pay for with my money, it should be my business whether or not I allow a particular behavior.

*nods* i agree. i bet several bars would go non smoking (those that cater more towards the yuppies and granolas lol) and many would still allow smoking (the ones for goths and bikers and "rougher" sorts hehehe). why would it matter? people could choose what they want.

even when i smoked, i have to say i had no problem with restaurants that catered to families (especially with small kids) being non smoking. even if the smoking was in a different room. i wouldn't want MY kids around it.

of course, i'm an anarchist, i don't like the rules to be forced from on high. people can make their own choices.

abi

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I don't enjoy inhaling smoke when I am trying to eat. That is why I choose not to eat places where smoking is allowed indoors.

I don't think anyone should have the right to tell a business owner what he can and cannot do within the walls of a building he owns. But that's just me.

edited for spelling.

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I don't think anyone should have the right to tell a business owner what he can and cannot do within the walls of a building he owns. But that's just me.

Not just you...but we are apparently a minority.

To me these new laws are all backwards.

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i'm actually really happy about it. i think that if you can't drink in pubilc, then why should you be able to smoke in public? but then that raises the question of bars. well, if you are drinking, you're not forcing me to drink. if you're smoking, you're forcing me to smoke.

while i think it is a business owner's right to decide what they do and do not want to do on their property, i also think that there are a lot of cases where poison is controlled. there are certain substances that are dangerous that are not allowed in places. we know that cancer is caused by smoke and second-hand smoke, so that is a dangerous substance. i think it is our right as a state to rule that smoking is dangerous and ban it in public places.

i don't believe that all workers have a choice about where they work. when i was in college, i went to a small, private liberal arts school of about 800 students. we had 1 restaurant in town. i was a worker there. i worked on kariokie (i know i butchered that spelling) nights, and the smoke was so thick and disgusting. i needed that money so badly for school, but i had to quit because i couldn't take it anymore.

i got a much lower-paying job (that ended up leading into my career in IT), but it still sucked. i think it protects everyone's health to ban smoking in pubilc places.

i'm not sure how many feet away you have to be, and i'm not sure if you're allowed to smoke in the Metroparks or not.

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HA! agreed!

then there are those of us who get 20oz bottles of diet coke and spike them with rum, and then take them down the street to a nice park, and just have our drink while watching the lake. ahh, the summer, when no one suspects a thing. you're just calmly sitting, doing nothing except sipping on your diet coke... ;)

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I never understood the ban on public drinking...it's not like the beer is going to jump out of the mug and force itself down your throat or anything. Who ever heard of being 2nd hand drunk anyway? LOL

s'okay... i don't know why we can't drink and drive, but you have to drive to the bar....

then again, drive through liquor stores crack me up too.

abifae

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I understand that banning drinking in public might lower a persons risk of being involved in an alcohol related crime. I think keeping drinking out of the streets will keep drunk people out of the streets and drunk people in the street can lead to fighting, muggings, etc...crimes that may not take place if we keep drinking in the house!

I am not against banning smoking in public places like parks and such...I think a family should be able to go to a public park without having to step over cigarette butts everywhere and what not. People are generally indiscriminate in regards to discarding their burnt out butts and it can be ugly and hard to pick up. Plus after the paper rots away, you're still left with the filter...if it's not biodegradable it doesn't belong on the ground. (Not to say that it is acceptable to leave other types of biodegradable trash strewn about).

But if I own a building and have a diner in that building and some law man tries to come and say that I'm breaking the law by letting people smoke in my building...man, I'm going down for something a helluva lot heavier than disobeying the smoking ban. (If you catch my drift).

To me, that's like someone telling me I can't smoke in my house! If I own the place and pay the taxes, I don't think anyone has the right to tell me I can't allow smoking.

Really rubs me the wrong way...ugh. I guess that

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  • 3 months later...
Guest corey mccomas

I THINK THAT IF A BUSINESS IS PRIVITLY OWNED THEN THEY SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO SMOKE AND IF THE PUBLIC HAS A PROBLEM WITH THAT THEN THEY NEED TO TAKE THE BUSINESS ELSE WHERE. PEOPLE HAVE RIGHTS BUT THEY ARE GETTING THEM TAKEN AWAY LITTLE AT A TIME AND SOON THEY WONT HAVE ANY RIGHTS FOR THEM AND THEN THE WHOLE WORLD WILL BE MISSING OUT ON WHAT THEY ONCE HAD THE RIGHT TO AND I ALSO THINK THAT WHEN THEY MENTIONED THE ISUE NUMBERS THEY DIDNT MAKE IT CLEAR ON WHAT EACH ONE WAS. MOST PEOPLE WERE A BIT CONFUSED ON WHAT THEY WERE VOTING ON IN THE FIRST PLACE SO I DONT THINK IT WAS A VERY FAIR VOTE FOR THE PEOPLE AND WHY IS OHIO THE ONLY STATE THAT IS SMOKE FREE ;)

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WHY IS OHIO THE ONLY STATE THAT IS SMOKE FREE ;)

It's not. I think I recently read/heard that there are only 13 states that aren't smoke-free. California was the first... at least a decade ago.

I'm one of those people that can smell cigarette smoke if someone two cars ahead of me at a stoplight is smoking and all the windows in both cars are closed. So I'd support a ban on smoking anywhere! Thank god my neighbors don't smoke. Even though I have almost an acre, I know I'd be able to smell it in the summer if our windows were open.

I'm unfortunately in one of those 13 states and I don't think we're even close to getting such a law here *sniff.*

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Guess I had it backwards... not as many states have a complete ban on smoking as I thought. Damn.

http://www.smokefreeworld.com/usa.shtml

Sunshine,

I live in a place with very strict smoking regulations. No smoking in an outdoor stadium, no smoking on the beach, no smoking anywhere on a school property, etc, etc.

Like you, I can smell a micro-mini-molecule of smoke and immediately get a headache. I love our no smoking laws.

Plus the taxes on cigs are so high, everyone I know has quit or is trying to. I believe studies prove that the best way to keep kids from smoking is to raise the price of a pack. There is a direct correlation between pack price and kids starting the habit. A good thing all around, to my way of thinking.

Pickle

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I went to New Hampshire & they smoke in restaurants there, some while still eating their food. Very appetizing. Especially the moms blowing smoke in their childrens food while they're eating. They are proposing a new bill in either MA or RI that would make it illegal to smoke in a car when there are kids under 5 riding in it. Do we really need a law to tell people they shouldn't do that? Unfortunately we do. Common sense isn't so common these days.

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