Does My Vote Matter

March 2, 2010 by admncc

I normally avoid posts about specific ballot issues in my state, unless I believe they would produce a discussion which all readers could participate in.  This might be one of those rare examples.

In November 2006, Ohio voters overwhelmingly approved Issue 5, which banned indoor smoking at businesses and also eliminated smoking in many public places.  Admittedly, I voted for the ban, because for example, I enjoy going to restaurants and not having to worry about my daughter being exposed to second-hand smoke.

But it made me laugh to hear the bar owners complaining about how they were losing business as a result of the ban.  I wanted to point out to them that this wasn’t a countywide ban – it was a statewide ban.  So their patrons weren’t going to other places to smoke – because there was nowhere else to go.  Let’s face it -people still go out – they just live without smoking indoors now.  And if people weren’t going to their bars and restaurants after the ban, as my one buddy put it, “It’s not because of the no-smoking.”

After the change in the law, first there were complaints about enforcement.  So an enforcement agency was created.  Then there were complaints about the lack of fines.  So fines were given out.  Now, according to an story, “Newly released Ohio Department of Health figures show the state has spent $3.2 million to impose $1.2 million in fines on violators of Ohio’s smoking ban.”  And State Senator, Bill Seitz, of Cincinnati, has been rumored to be working on legislation which will allow restaurants and bars to purchase smoking licenses – the exact thing that Issue 5 banned.

The Senator’s approach is going to have strong opposition since smoking is such a hot topic.  Really, I just wish the crybaby bar owners would realize that the voters have spoken.  Quit complaining about smoking not being allowed and find another way to attract customers.  The hilarious thing is this…I think what you’re going to find are restaurant and bar owners not buying the smoking licenses (if that idea is approved) because they realize “the majority” of people don’t want to deal with it anymore…

All Posts / Business / Family/Lifestyle / Law and Order / Politics / Restaurants Cincinnati / Indoor Smoking Bans / Issue 5 / Ohio / Ohio Department of Health / / Restaurant and Bar Patrons / Smoking in Public Places / State Senator Bill Seitz / Voters /


  1. Titfortat says:

    Lol, smokers are just like gun owners. They figure it doesnt matter how their “rights” can negatively affect the rest of us.

  2. Dan says:

    Great (and true) comparison, Titfortat.

  3. We’ve had the no smoking ban in place for awhile now. It varies by city but the bars are just as packed as ever.

  4. NeoConDon says:

    The Ohio smoking ban is communistic in it’s entire nature, BUT, it was voted in an overwhelming fashion by the communist voting block of Ohio (and several other states). I certainly can appreciate the state senator that is realizing how broken the law is, but it would be an obscene act to simply write a law to overthrow the will of the people of the state. If the citizens of the state wish to change the law because it’s a bad one, so be it, but having the legislature do it is entirely inappropriate and illegal, just like gun restrictions are inappropriate and unconstitutional. The legislature should simply not fund the enforcement, and get the citizens back in to fix the mistake.

    As a professional musician, I have witnessed first hand the destruction of this law, AND the success of this law. There is nothing wrong with someone trying to make sure this issue is handled fairly, but it must be done correctly. Senator Seitz is 100% correct in his assessment of the broken law and his desire to fix a huge and unfair mistake, but he’s 1000% incorrect in the way he’s going about it.

  5. Titfortat says:

    As a professional musician(NCD)

    Hey Don, figured you might appreciate these lyrics from your fellow musicians. 🙂
    Dont tell me youre a smoker too!

    Hand guns are made for killin’
    They ain’t no good for nothin’ else
    And if you like to drink your whiskey
    You might even shoot yourself
    So why don’t we dump ’em people
    To the bottom of the sea
    Before some ol’ fool come around here
    Wanna shoot either you or me

  6. NeoConDon says:

    Former smoker…over two years now! I was a smoker when the communist law in Ohio was passed. I LOVE Skynard…!!! My first hand gun was a “Saturday Night Special” because it was all I could afford at the time, but I sold it a few months later and bought the one I carry now. I’m buying another one this weekend so I can take my oldest boy to the shooting range this summer.

  7. Jen says:

    We went through this last year and people who are addicted to nicotine will adapt. Trust me! They will continue to go to the bars and restaurants and go out to smoke. Maybe when they are feeling uncomfortable outside smoking they will understand what I feel like if I’m forced to sit next to them smoking!

    Listen, I’m all for personal freedoms as long as YOUR freedoms don’t rob me of MINE. You don’t have the right to anything that infringes upon the rights of others (to breath fresh air)

  8. Zig the "People" person says:

    Look, if you don’t like people smoking at your favorite bar or resteraunt, don’t go to your favorite bar or resteraunt. You feel that they are taking away your freedom, but you are wrong. It is not communist. BTW, NCD, Communist can be used as an adjective. Communistic is redundant, idiot! It is stupid to allow smoking in places where people congregate and I can imagine a time when many lawsuits will result from this behavior. In the long run, allowing people to smoke in public places will cost entrepeneurs business. There are more people who dislike smoking than there are smokers… If you don’t like smokers, don’t go to places that allow smoking. Vote with your patronage! CC, grow a sack and stop being a crybaby!

  9. NeoConDon says:

    Jen, you do not have a right to breathe fresh air, but you do have a right to think that.

  10. Jane says:

    I think we do have the right to breathe fresh air Don. Anyone who knows the true ingredients of cigarettes will most likely agree.

  11. tera says:

    We had the same thing happen here a few years ago. I was still working in the food industry at the time. I don’t think that very many places noticed a difference. And I had some business owners/managers tell me that they found it INCREASED business because more people were willing to come in if they didn’t have to deal with the smoke.
    Overall, I was very happy! I didn’t want to work or play in the smoke either 🙂

  12. NeoConDon says:

    I still go to bars in Ohio where the bar allows its patrons to smoke because the fine is less than the cost of not allowing his customers to smoke…especially since the fine is NEVER collected.

    There is absolutely no right to breathe fresh air, otherwise I could sue every farm owner I passed by, or every person who’s house I entered that didn’t have an ionic breeze, or every old person, or every baby with a dirty diaper. A private property owner has a right to allow his guests or customers to smoke or not smoke. That’s it. The market will decide the rest.

    BUT, to get back to the topic, the smoking ban has NOTHING to do with smoking, and EVERYTHING to do with power. What Senator Seitz is trying to do is wrong. The people created this illegal mess, the people should fix it.

  13. Timmy says:

    I am not sure why your vote should count. Although I enjoy being in restaurants that do not allow smoking, it shouldn’t be up to me or anyone else but the owner of that business to decide how its run. Private business owners should be allowed to run THEIR businesses in anyway they chose. You can vote with your pocketbook by not patronizing establishments that continue to allow smoking. How long will it be until people who DON’T own my house decide whether or not I can smoke there. How long until we decide fast food is not healthy for us and we determine what others are allowed to eat. How long until Big Brother governs the way we think. It is a slippery slope that we are headed down and I don’t like it at all

  14. Jen says:

    A ban needs to stay in effect. Giving out licenses is just counterproductive. I am a non-smoker so am biased but asking people to put up with second hand smoke is wrong.

  15. Jen says:

    Don, I actually snorted some apple from my lunch out my nose when I read your comment! You crack me up 🙂

  16. NeoConDon says:

    The truth can be hard to swallow, Jen. I’m frightened to know what other kinds of rights you think you have….Is health care one of them?

  17. Extreme John says:

    I can remember a time when I thought the smoking bans were the greatest thing ever, I don’t smoke and never have. Now as time goes by I see how sad it really is, one freedom at a time pecked away at, regardless if it’s a freedom you like or not.

    Bars are bars, and if people enjoy smoking in bars than so be it. I don’t bring my kids to bars, I bring them to restaurants where I hope there is an area that no one will be smoking. Of course there won’t be because based on how much food you serve you may or may not be permitted to have smoking here.

    The bottom line is this, I hate smoke it bugs the crap out of me, but banning it everywhere on earth is hardly the answer. For every single thing that you do or don’t like there is someone else out there that either loves it or hates it, you can never make everyone happy. Never. However, taking away freedom after freedom isn’t the answer either. Everything from smoking to indoor tanning, and just about anything else someone on here might like is at risk as long as the freedoms keep getting picked off one by one.

    I guess the best way to look at it is this way, for every freedom that someone else enjoyed that you see go bye bye and smile about, you better be willing to watch one of the freedoms you enjoy go out the window one day too, and of course be willing to watch other smile about it.

    I like porn, most of the Government doesn’t. Does that mean it should go bye bye? – Regardless of your answer there’s a team working hard everyday to get rid of it at all levels.

    I like drinking and pounding shots every once and a while. Does that mean those things should go bye bye because those actions might make someone else sick? My though is tough $hit if it makes you sick, stay home. Don’t come to the bar and get pissed when everyone except you is getting smashed, stay home where the non-smashed people are 🙂

    Hope everything is going well brother, been crushed with business lately but figured I would blow through and say hi!

  18. Tristan says:

    Thanks for being reasonable, John, and seeing what this really is, even if you hate the stuff. I hate cigarette smoke also, but I would never have the audacity to tell someone else he can’t smoke in his own place. That’s exactly what anyone who voted for this filth did to business owners. Like you said, they now deserve to watch as something they love is stripped from their lives, much to the amusement of others, of course.

    I can’t believe we spent $3.2 million to collect $1.2 million. The fact that no one here even seems to blink at that would infuriate me if I weren’t so numb to stupidity. I only take comfort in knowing that what remains of freedom is going to beat us senseless before long. Likewise, the remnants of the free market will squeeze the juice from such ignorant fruit as this smoking ban and ferment a fine wine of liberty…

    There is no right to go to a restaurant. There is no right to a cell phone. There is no right to a life free of suffering or discomfort. The only right we were granted is to have the freedom to try. If you don’t get it, please tell your children to pay attention in school at least.

    And as for titfortat or anyone else who believes that my owning firearms encroaches on your “right to never having bad things happen to you,” keep watching those cuts in the police force. When people get desperate enough or realize that the police have become incapable of enforcing the law effectively, you’ll hope to God you know someone who knows how to defend himself so he can save you from those bad, mean people when they come your way. Because guess what–criminals will have guns whether they are illegal or not, and there’s nothing like taking candy from a baby.

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