Sunday, December 31, 2006

Others Are Looking

The Bloomington Pantagraph uses the Springfield area to examine inequities in the city and county smoking bans. The article reinforces my belief that we need a statewide ban to prevent the addicts from screwing with things.
SPRINGFIELD -- Owners of The Still successfully annexed into nearby New Berlin to avoid a smoking ban affecting the unincorporated areas of Sangamon County.

“If we would not have, we wouldn’t be around today,” said bartender Sherry Freesmeyer. “Eighty percent of our customers are smokers.”

And, she said, those customers could have gone a few blocks into town to smoke at the downtown bar. Now that customers can smoke at The Still, Freesmeyer said, “We’re starting to get people from Springfield.”


In Springfield, state employees working in a leased building were among the first to receive tickets for violating the new ordinance. But they challenged the charges and forced a legal opinion on the matter. The decision: While state facilities are exempt from the ordinance, leased buildings are not.

The citations were dismissed because of the confusion, said Jim Henricks, director of environmental health at the Sangamon County Department of Public Health.

There’s even more confusion elsewhere.

Henricks said there are establishments within the county that have to abide by the smoking ban, but others -- literally next door or across the street in one of several small municipalities -- allow smoking.
Some people are arguing that the current local smoking bans need to be modified or rescinded altogether unless or until the ban is made uniform statewide. I say we keep the gains we’ve made, even if somewhat inequitable, pending further action on the state level. I just hope that action is actually coming.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'll be quite surprised if the Illinois legislature does anything to advance a statewide smoking ban in 2007. Instead, they'll defer to local governments.