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Smoking Bill Snuffed Out For Good

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Smoking Bill Snuffed Out For Good
A bill to ban smoking in Utah’s private clubs and taverns was snuffed out for good Tuesday by the Utah Senate.?

Smoking Bill Snuffed Out For Good A bill to ban smoking in Utah’s private clubs and taverns was snuffed out for good Tuesday by the Utah Senate.?

Feb 15, 2005
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A bill to ban smoking in Utah’s private clubs and taverns was snuffed out for good Tuesday by the Utah Senate.

Senators killed the bill on a 16-13 vote. The bill’s final vote had been held up for weeks as its sponsor, Sen. Mike Waddoups, R-Taylorsville, worked to secure support. It only passed with a handful of votes on its first reading Jan. 28.

Utah’s 1996 Indoor Clean Air Act already bans smoking in most buildings, but private clubs and taverns are included on a long list of exemptions to the act, including airport smoking rooms and country clubs. Waddoups’ bill would have amended the act to remove private clubs and taverns from those exemptions.

Waddoups had deemed the measure a “worker’s rights” bill, because banning smoking in taverns would protect employees from exposure to secondhand smoke.

Secondhand smoke kills 50,000 people annually in the United States, and costs Utah businesses millions each year, Waddoups said, quoting from various studies.

“Members of the Senate, let me just remind you, smoking kills people. People will die. Perhaps we can save some lives,” Waddoups said, making his final push for support.

Previous discussion of the bill had sparked vigorous debate about whether lawmakers should reach into private clubs and impose behavioral restrictions upon members.

There was no debate of the bill Tuesday.

Sen. Ron Allen, D-Stansbury Park, cast his vote against the bill as a vote against big government. Clubs and taverns can already elect to post “No Smoking” signs in their establishments if they choose, Allen added.

“I’m wondering how effective this tool really is?” Allen said, adding that he encouraged business owners to choose voluntary bans and “make Utah a better place to live and work.”

Bob Brown, owner of Cheers To You, a downtown Salt Lake club, said in a telephone interview after the vote that he understood how the issue left many senators torn between the health issues, the rights of workers and the rights of business owners.

“Ultimately, I think the right to choose is what won out,” said Brown, who had lobbied against the bill. “Obviously, I’m very happy in the outcome. I guess freedom is just slightly more important than the health issue here in Utah.”
Senate Re-ignites Smoking Ban Bill;=151069

Smoking ban for bars barely flickers in Senate

January 28, 2005
By Thomas Burr
The Salt Lake Tribune?
A proposed smoking ban in bars squeaked by a preliminary vote Thursday in the Senate, suggesting the legislation could go up in smoke.
?? Senate Bill 77 passed 16-10 in its first vote, but several senators said “aye on two,” a signal they may vote against the bill when it comes up for a final vote, as early as today.
?? “I still have questions,” said Senate President John Valentine, R-Orem, who voted for the measure Thursday.
?? SB77 would repeal a decade-long exemption in the Indoor Clean Air Act allowing patrons of bars and private clubs to light up as long as the owner allows it. The bill, though, would still allow country clubs and fraternal groups, such as the Elks Lodge, to have indoor smoking. Salt Lake International Airport also would be exempted.
?? “Most?? people don’t realize how dangerous second-hand smoke really is,” bill sponsor Sen. Mike Waddoups said, referring to the bill as a “workers’ rights” issue. “This is a confined area with extreme levels of dangerous materials.”
?? But he faced opposition from some senators from both parties.
?? “I suppose we’re all going to die,” said Sen. Bill Hickman, R-St. George. “Maybe the next thing? we ought to do is ban red meat. . . . That’s going to kill a bunch of us.”
?? Restaurant chain magnate Tom Guinney has pushed the ban , saying he is concerned that his employees are stuck breathing second-hand smoke. He recently said he would ban smoking in his establishments Feb. 1.
?? A group of bar owners, though, contend the law already allows bars to ban smoking. Besides,?? they said, when people go to a bar, they know it’s a smoking environment.
?? Sen. Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake City, tried to amend the bill to cut out all exceptions. His amendment would mean that smoking would be prohibited in all areas.
?? But that amendment failed after arguments that it was going too far.

Take a deep breath: A ban on smoking in bars?
SB77: A Senate committee endorses, by a 4-1 vote, legislation that would ban lighting up in taverns and private clubs by next June

January 22, 2005
By Thomas Burr
The Salt Lake Tribune
Lawmakers are one step closer to barring smoking in bars.
?? A Senate committee endorsed legislation on Friday that would ban lighting up in private clubs and taverns as soon as June. Attempts to amend Senate Bill 77 to apply the ban only to fine-dining clubs failed. So did a proposal to bar smoking in all buildings, including those at Salt Lake City International Airport.
?? Despite a 4-1 vote to pass the bill, supporters of the smoking ban said other hurdles lie ahead.
?? “This is not a slam dunk by any stretch,” said lobbyist Dave Spatafore, who is pushing the ban, along with restaurant owner Tom Guinney. “It’s much easier to kill a bill than pass one.”
?? Opponents hope the bill will be killed.
?? “It should be a matter of choice – period,” said Bob Brown, owner of the downtown bar, Cheers To You. “Twelve percent of Utahns smoke. They need a place to go.”
?? Utah law now allows bars to choose whether to ban smoking, and some clubs tout themselves?? as smoke-free. Most of the state’s 245 private clubs, though, allow smoking.
?? Brown argued to the committee that those entering bars know they are entering a place where people smoke. He added that almost all his bar employees smoke and didn’t want a ban.
?? But Sen. Michael Waddoups, R-Taylorsville, the sponsor of the bill, said that isn’t representative of the employees and patrons he has heard from. He worries the employees are forced to inhale smoke and can’t leave the jobs because they pay? so well.
?? “That’s really where I’m coming from. I’m concerned about the employees,” Waddoups said.
?? Sen. Ron Allen, D-Stansbury Park, unsuccessfully tried to amend the bill in two ways; one would only ban smoking in fine-dining establishments while leaving private clubs alone. The other would have been a complete ban that took away exemptions for fraternal and social organizations, such as the Elks Lodge.
?? Allen, who ended up voting for the bill, said he wanted to preserve?? a spot for smokers, but didn’t want some places to face a ban while others were left alone. “At least they [the patrons] know they’re going to a place where they know smoking is,” he said.
?? SB77 now heads to the full Senate. If passed by the Legislature, Utah would join seven other states and many cites in stubbing out smoking in bars.

Utah Lawmakers Consider Smoking Ban in Bars Etc.

December 17, 2004

Smoking in Utah’s private clubs and taverns may soon become a thing of the past.

Some lawmakers plan to propose bills making it illegal to smoke in private clubs.

Similar laws banning smoking in bars exist in California and New York.

Supporters of the move say it’s dangerous for non-smokers when smokers are free to light up.

Current Utah law has an exemption for private establishments.;=139559

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