State Ban Damage Update
Smokers not eligible for jobs in some Ohio casinos
3,200 applicants will be tested for nicotine usage, refused if found positive.
January 26, 2012
By Laura A. Bischoff,
COLUMBUS — Job seekers who smoke, chew tobacco or even use nicotine patches won’t be considered for the 3,200 casino jobs in Toledo and Columbus when Penn National starts filling positions later this year.
Hollywood Casino Columbus General Manager Ameet Patel said applicants who test positive for nicotine will be disqualified and workers will be subject to random tests during employment.
Penn National’s policy will mean no tobacco use on or off the job for their 3,200 workers and Ohio’s indoor smoking ban means customers will have to step outside before lighting up.
Penn National is joining the ranks of thousands of companies and hospitals that refuse to hire smokers in the hopes of curbing medical costs and encouraging a healthier workforce.
Patel, a 22-year veteran of the casino world, called it an unusual if not unprecedented step in an industry where a vast majority of customers are smokers. “It is a very, very big change,” he said.
The Toledo and Columbus casinos will be the only two of Penn’s 21 properties that ban tobacco use among employees, Patel said.
Rock Gaming plans to hire 3,300 workers for casinos in Cleveland and Cincinnati. It won’t prohibit workers from using tobacco, but it will give employees and dependents cash incentives to quit, said spokeswoman Jennifer Kulczycki.
Twenty-nine states passed laws making it illegal to refuse to hire smokers, but Ohio isn’t among them, said Lewis Maltby, president of the National Workrights Institute, a spinoff of the ACLU and opponent of hiring bans.
Maltby calls smoker hiring bans misguided. “To not hire smokers, you would have to turn down the most qualified applicant one out of every five times,” said Maltby, noting that nearly 20 percent of American adults smoke cigarettes.
“Turning them down is a loss…The savings are very visible. The cost is less visible.”
He added, “When does this stop? There is nothing unique about smoking. Smoking is one of 100 things Americans do that are unhealthy.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 19.3 percent of American adults smoke cigarettes, while 22.5 percent of Ohioans do so. The CDC says smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in America and attributes one in five deaths to tobacco use.
The vast majority of casino patrons smoke. Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia do not have statewide smoking bans and Michigan and Pennsylvania’s bans exempt casinos.
Kulczycki said Rock Gaming isn’t worried that gamblers will shun the Ohio casinos because of the smoking ban. “We think there are a lot of things that will be attractive to smokers and non-smokers,” she said.
“There are casinos that are smoke-free and they’re still open,” said Shelly Kiser of the American Lung Association. “I’m confident (the Ohio casinos) will do fine. And I’m confident it is what the people of the state want.”
In hiring for its two Ohio casinos, Penn National has decided to exclude 25 percent of Ohio’s adult population: smokers, who use a legal product (“ For casino workers, smoking is no dice,” Dayton Daily News article, Jan. 27 Dispatch).
Of all the hypocritical moves. Consider:
• “Children of compulsive gamblers are often prone to suffer abuse, as well as neglect, as a result of parental problem or pathological gambling” (NORC, 1999)
• Case studies of 10 casino communities revealed that the majority of those communities witnessed increases in domestic violence related to the opening of casinos (NORC, 1999)
• Forty percent of clients in Oregon’s gambling-treatment system reported committing crimes to finance their gambling (Thomas L. Moore, 2003)
• Forty to 60 percent of cash wagered in casinos is withdrawn from ATMs, (National Opinion Research Center, 1999), suggesting how casinos encourage impulsive, sometimes addictive, behavior.
Casinos give free alcoholic drinks to patrons sitting at gaming tables or slots in states where this is legal.
I love the hypocritical moral standards of these two casinos. Ohio needs jobs. The legislature needs to step up and stop this employment discrimination.
If their use of a legal product disqualifies them from getting a job at Penn National casinos, smokers shouldn’t give them their hard-earned money.
Regional directorBuckeye Liquor Permit Holders Association
Walford Street Shooting Sends 1 To Trauma Room
January 21st, 2011
By Lauren Evans & Andy Long
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A man was taken to Grant Medical Center late Saturday night in critical condition with at least one gunshot wound.
Columbus medics were called to the 4400 block of Walford Street on a call that said a man was having difficulty breathing.? Responders found that at least one bullet wound was to blame.
Police say that 42-year-old Alberto Chavez was outside smoking when he was shot.
Police found no witnesses to the shooting.
Anyone with information about this shooting is asked to call Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at 461-TIPS.
Local Bar Sued Over Smoking Ban
August 25, 2010
MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS, Ohio – For the first time, a Cuyahoga County bar is being taken to court in connection with Ohio’s smoking ban.
According to a lawsuit filed by the Ohio Attorney General’s office, the Suburban Inn on Bagley Road in Middleburg Heights has been violating the state’s workplace smoking ban ever since it went into effect three years ago.
“Basically they’re just snubbing their nose at the law and it’s just disregard for a law that 58.3 percent of the people in the state of Ohio voted for, it’s a good law, second hand smoke we know is hazardous to your health,” said John McLeod, director of Environmental Health Services for the county Board of Health.
The lawsuit contends that the Suburban Inn has been cited for 16 violations after the Cuyahoga County health department received 35 complaints. Fines total more than $49,000 dollars, and officials say the owners have paid only $100. Health inspectors say people inside continue to smoke.
“They would blatantly see smoking, they would see ashtrays on the tables, they would see the bartenders smoking and there was just a disregard for the law and they just refused to comply,” McLeod said.
Other businesses have been fined for violating the anti-smoking law, but this is the first one in Cuyahoga County to be taken to court over it.”
“I think they should respect people that are inside, if they don’t want smoking, then it should be prohibited,” said one Middleburg Heights resident.
“When the law says you gotta do that, you should do that, you still smoking, but you’re outside,” said another resident.
When a Fox 8 News crew walked inside the bar Tuesday afternoon, ashtrays were visible on the counter, which in itself is a violation of the law.
Havana Martini Bar is closing
Jun 07, 2010
By Stefano DiPietrantonio
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -This Saturday, June 12, 2010 is “last call” at a popular nightclub in downtown Cincinnati. The Havana Martini Club will close its doors for good.
The hot spot took a huge hit when the State of Ohio enacted its smoking ban. The club was known for it’s cool Latin music and the strong support of the Latin community.
But when the state put the kibosh on it’s cache, a humidor of Cuban cigars, it didn’t take long for a business built around being allowed to smoke, to get snuffed-out in the wake of “smoke-free” Ohio.
The club’s owner Sandy Meier spent upwards of 100-grand, transforming a former retail space into this upscale martini and cigar bar. She also spent a bundle on state-of-the-art smoke-eaters to help keep the air clear.
There were free salsa lessons and once the ban went into effect, the club even dropped cover charges, hoping to keep attracting business.
But it was not enough. Soon, the new tenant, The Penguin, which is a dueling piano bar, will be making music in the space once again.
“Unfortunately once the state moved forward on the non-smoking law that practically destroyed her business,” said Meier’s leading agent, Judie Guttadauro, Vice President at Realty Network Plus, Inc. “My space, the Havana space that I am putting The Penguin in, is exceptional. It’s embraced by two hotels, it’s two and a half blocks from the convention center it’s directly across the street from Fountain Square and everyone loves it.”
The Penguin is a chain of piano bars, based in Louisville, KY. Guttadauro said The Penguin will be doing a total reconstruction and modify the space to meet their brand.
Luckily, thanks to the Havana Martini Club, the infrastructure is solid.
Guttadauro called her client, Sandy Meier who leases the space for just a few more days, but Meier was tied-up in a dinner meeting and was unavailable for an interview with FOX19.
Guttadauro couldn’t say what Meier has up her sleeve next, but said you can be sure it will be something exciting.
State is hypocritical on smoking ban
March 4, 2010
Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray has asked the Franklin County Court of Appeals to place Franklin County Common Pleas Judge David E. Cain’s decision on hold pending appeal while the Department of Health continues enforcing the smoking ban as it always has: illegally (“Judge: Punish smokers, not bars,” Dispatch article, Friday). Cordray filed his appeal with the very court that made a ruling similar to Cain’s, back in October in the Pour House decision ( Dispatch article, Oct. 16).
Cordray seems to think the Ohio Department of Health is above the courts. The Health Department thinks so, too, since it ignored the Pour House decision by continuing to illegally enforce the smoking ban.
How does the state of Ohio plan to fine Ohio business owners when the state’s own actions say it’s OK to flagrantly ignore the courts, as the Health Department has since October?
Ohio’s top attorney agrees it’s OK, so long as he leads the charge.
Owners of Ohio’s bars and restaurants have been fighting to keep their businesses alive, their doors open and to feed their families. Against all odds, some are hanging on. Sadly, many are gone. When we see that the state can break the law, it angers us. Many who lost their businesses could have broken the law and stayed in business.
But they didn’t.
We will not forget who turned their backs on us and we will not forget that the state thinks it’s above the law.
Buckeye Liquor Permit Holders Association
Smoking Ban Opponent: Bars Can Fight Fine
February 25, 2010
COLUMBUS, Ohio — An opponent of Ohio’s ban on workplace smoking said a judge’s ruling in favor of a Columbus bar means other taverns who have been cited by the Ohio Department of Health could have their violations tossed.
The state plans to appeal the Franklin County ruling, which says the department exceeded its authority by holding bar Zeno’s responsible for the actions of its patrons.
Judge David Cain said the department fined Zeno’s despite “no smoking” signs, the removal of ashtrays and requests by employees that smokers extinguish cigarettes.
The bar was defended by the Columbus-based 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, which says the ruling allows bars across the state to challenge fines.
Health department spokeswoman Sara Morman said several similar cases have received opposite rulings in the same court.
Babysitter guilty of burning boy’s fingers
Dec. 16th, 2009
by GARY HUFFENBERGER
A local woman accused of burning the fingers of a boy she was babysitting was found guilty Tuesday of felonious assault after she admitted guilt as part of a negotiated plea agreement.
Thirty-seven-year-old Teresa J. Moore signed a court document admitting that on May 9 she knowingly caused serious physical harm to the 8-year-old boy “by using matches and a lighter to burn multiple fingers of the child.”
Clinton County Common Pleas Judge John W. Rudduck referred Moore’s case for pre-sentence research in which Moore’s background will be examined and information about Moore will be provided to help the judge when he sentences Moore on the second-degree felony conviction.
The Clinton County Adult Parole Authority will conduct the pre-sentence investigation of Moore and provide the judge a report by the sentencing date. The judge encouraged Moore to cooperate in the process.
The maximum prison term in the case is eight years and the maximum fine is $15,000.
As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors consented to recommending to the judge that a second charge, endangering children, which also is a second-degree felony offense, be dismissed.
If Moore is sentenced to prison, a period of supervision by the Adult Parole Authority after release from prison is mandatory.
The sentencing hearing is scheduled for Jan. 21, 2010, at the common pleas courtroom.
Earlier this month, Rudduck ruled on a motion by defense to exclude from evidence statements Moore made during a children services interview days after the incident.
Defense attorney Anthony J. Baker, in late October, filed a motion to suppress, challenging if statements by his client were obtained in violation of her federal and state constitutional rights.
The issue revolved around an interview of Moore conducted at the Clinton County Children Services facility by a children services staffer in which Moore was not given Miranda warnings. In Miranda v. Arizona, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that certain procedural safeguards must be afforded defendants to protect the privilege against self-incrimination.
In Rudduck’s Dec. 8 decision on the motion to suppress, he wrote, “Central to any constitutional analysis of this sort is determining whether the defendant was in custody and subject to a custodial interrogation at the time alleged incriminating statements were provided. No reasonable person could conclude defendant was in custody on May 15, 2009, when she voluntarily appeared before [children services] investigator [Jodi] Brisbine and voluntarily consented to answer her questions.”
Rudduck concluded that Moore’s statements were not obtained by violating her constitutional rights and denied the motion to suppress the statements.
The children services interview wasn’t the first time Moore’s willingness to talk about the incident came into play in this case. The crime was reported by Patricia Waelti (pronounced “well-tee”), a Wilmington woman who on May 14 offered to help a woman she didn’t know with a broken-down car in the Kroger parking lot. After some conversation, the stranded woman reportedly confided in Waelti that she had burnt a boy’s fingers as a punishment for smoking cigarettes.
In a News Journal interview last May, Waelti said the woman, later identified as Moore, showed her the boy’s fingers. To describe their color in her interview, Waelti pointed to a bright Christmas-red sweatshirt. The blisters on the boy’s fingertips “looked like they had been popped and clipped,” said Waelti.
The child victim’s mother, 37-year-old Michelle M. Worthington of Wilmington, previously was sentenced in the incident to four years in prison for permitting child abuse. Her boyfriend, 39-year-old William L. Ballard of Wilmington, was sentenced in the incident to one year in prison for permitting child abuse.
Worthington and Ballard reportedly witnessed the finger-burning, according to Clinton County Prosecutor Rick Moyer.
VFW Post 1090 had been making $40,000 in annual donations to local charities before the smoking ban but you don’t see too many stories talking about the impact of the ban on such things.
The antismoking lobby is trying to make sure people focus on the “positive,” such as the nice clean air inside the empty bar, rather than on such unimportant negatives as the veterans slipping on the ice while forced to stand out in the cold or the children’s charities that close down due to lack of donations.
Veterans clubs here in Philadelphia have a similar problem but it’s all just a matter of what antismoking advocates call proper “Perception Management.” Perhaps the post should be asked to rearrange its dumpsters so that the vets could stand out of sight behind them and the ban would get better support. Maybe that would make the Antismokers happier…. although it won’t help the children.
Michael J. McFadden,
Author of “Dissecting Antismokers Brains”
Fuming Over Fines
November 11th, 2009
By Bill Rodgers – Tribune Chronicle
WARREN – In the three years Ohio has been smoke-free, not a single building has qualified for the ”private club” exemption, according to state officials, leaving some clubs like the VFW Post 1090 in Warren expressing outrage and frustration.
That club on High Street has racked up four smoking violations totaling $1,600 since enforcement began.
Despite a pitch during the 2006 election campaign to make the state smoke-free that smoking would remain permissible at private clubs, Ohio Department of Health spokesman Kristopher Weiss said this week that none of the 280,000 public places covered by Ohio’s ban has been able to meet the stringent rules outlining a private club exemption.
”They just want to be left alone,” said U.S. Marine Corps veteran and Post 1090 member Richard Harvey.
According to Harvey, the post just recently and grudgingly began directing its members to obey the law and smoke outside, but they’re filing a brief with the city board of health arguing that they should be exempted as a private club as promised during the election. The post argues that the public is not allowed in the building, that there are no members younger than 18 and that employees are OK with smoking continuing.
In short: They feel cheated.
”Veterans organizations including the VFW were told that they would be exempt, which caused many of our membership of age not to bother to vote at all,” the brief states.
The brief carries signatures from the post’s membership and employees.
According to the Ohio exemption, private clubs must adhere to a number requirements such as having a nonprofit liquor permit, having a building that is not shared with another entity, requiring that only members be present in the building and that all members are older than 18. In addition, the club must have no employees – paid or unpaid, Weiss said. If a club has an employee, the smoking ban is in effect.
”Employee is defined as a person who provides any service regardless of whether they’re compensated,” Weiss said.
That means volunteers, or employees who are also club members, cannot exempt the club from the ban. According to Weiss, this requirement is written into the law itself, meaning that the committee charged with writing the rules of enforcement could not change it to offer exemptions for volunteers or member-employees.
“That would be overstepping our (the committee’s) authority,” Weiss said.
In June 2008, the Ohio Supreme Court rejected an appeal that would exempt veterans halls and other private clubs from the smoking ban. The decision let stand a ruling that said the Ohio Department of Health didn’t have the authority to write rules exempting private clubs.
The ban passed with about 60 percent of the vote in 2006.
Harvey and Post Commander Jack Hilles said the ban was costing the post, but in more than fines. Hilles said this hurts the post’s income as veterans decide to meet in other places that allow smoking. Harvey said the post donates about $40,000 a year to local charities and worried that the fines coupled with a loss of income could hurt that.
Still, both Warren’s Deputy Health Director Bob Pinti and Weiss said enforcement was going smoothly since it began almost three years ago. Numbers from the state support this: Investigations, warnings and most fines have shown a downward trend in 2009 when compared to 2007 and 2008.
“I would say complaints slowed down drastically,” Pinti said.
People report sightings of smoking violations by calling a state hotline. The state then sends the complaint to a local health agency to investigate. If the health worker finds smoking at the location, the owner of the building can face a warning or escalating fines. To date, the state has invoiced more than $1 million in fines, and has collected more than $400,000, according to figures from the state health department.
Group Uncovers Massive Ohio Election Fraud
November 18, 2009
A group of Ohio hospitality industry business owners and concerned citizens met last Friday to discuss allegations of election fraud surrounding the SmokeFree Ohio Petition Initiative in 2006. According to an audit conducted since June, 2009 (via public records requests), Opponents of Ohio Bans has discovered multiple violations of elections laws, each of which carries penalties ranging from misdemeanors to felonies, and the blatant disregard of a court order. Glancing through over 9,700 petitions, only obvious violations were noted. OoOB was assured by a representative of the Secretary of State that we have “everything” relating to the 2006 SmokeFree Ohio Petition Initiative petitions. OoOB alleges the following election law violations:
Inconsistent application of the laws by Boards of Elections
Improper validation of signatures by Boards of Elections
Part-petitions that should have been invalidated
At least 47 convicted felons hired as petition circulators and/or supervisors (who completed Form 15s) – part petitions should have been invalidated
This is perhaps the most frightening part of our investigation. Felons who had been convicted of rape or who were listed on the Ohio Sexual Offender website supervised and/or collected a staggering 1,236 signatures. Whose mother or daughter unknowingly gave a rapist or sexual offender their address? Now incarcerated, one such petition circulator, with a previous felony conviction for gross sexual imposition, went to court last month for the rape of a child under the age of 13. He pled to a lesser charge. Five hundred fifty-one people gave their signatures to people who were convicted of forgery-their signatures! Circulators and supervisors also had felony convictions for drug trafficking, grand theft/theft, aggravated arson, burglary, breaking and entering, weapons, kidnapping, etc. Who let this happen?
Paid circulators provided FALSE ADDRESSES
The law required the circulators to provide their permanent address, not a motel (ORC 3501.48(E)(1). One circulator who travels state to state for the lucrative petition industry, listed 11645 Chesterdale Rd., Springdale, Ohio as his address. The Form 15 he filed listed a Florida address. The State of Ohio had a copy of the Form 15 and his petitions with conflicting addresses, yet allowed the petitions to be validated. Another circulator also listed the Chesterdale Road address as her residence, as did circulator employer Ron Lovell. The over 7,200 signatures Lovell paid for listed the Chesterdale Road address as Lovell’s business address. That address is the Extended Stay Motel in Springdale.
Serious mathematical errors on Worklog-Supplemental 2 which accounted for a 5,617 signature error.
Form 15s not filed, not timely filed or filed under a different name than provided on circulator statement
Violating 3501.381 ORC invalidates all related part petitions and is a misdemeanor. At least five petition employers filed Form 15s with the Secretary of State either after signatures were collected by their employees, filed no Form 15 at all, or filed under a different company name than was listed on the circulator statement, as evidenced by the copies provided by the SOS. The employees of these five employers submitted over 29,000 signatures.
Memo from one Board of Elections to the SOS Office asking what to do with a petition with the sole signature dated days prior to the issuance of the petition. The reply from the SOS Office was, “If this for the Smoke Free petition-this does not invalidate an otherwise valid signature”. What if it wasn’t a SmokeFree Ohio petition?
Expenditures for payments to petition companies not reported as such on the Secretary of State’s website as an expenditure for SmokeFree Ohio, as required by law.
Judge David Cain court order ignored (In re Protest of Evans Against Initiative Petition Proposing Smoke Free Workplace Act, 2006-Ohio-4690) May 4, 2006, Franklin County Common Pleas Judge David Cain (In re Protest of Evans Against Petition Proposing Smoke Free Workplace Act, 2006-Ohio-4690) ordered a “complete list of the circulators not employed by ACS but who listed ACS as their employer”. Exhibit A contained circulators from 28 counties, invalidating between 43,403-44,664 signatures. However, of Ohio’s 88 counties, 77 counties had circulators who listed the ACS as their employer, not 28 counties. We received incomplete copies of some petitions from the first supplemental, therefore we could only verify that at least an additional 3,470 signatures should have been invalidated. Why were 49 counties left off the list? Those signatures alone would have kept Issue 5 off the ballot.
September 8, 2006, SmokeFree Initiative ordered placed on ballot by SOS.
September 11, 2006, Supreme Court upheld Judge Cain’s decision
September 19, 2006 SFO told to submit additional 23,270 valid signatures
September 28, 2006 SOS received 2nd supplement of petitions from SFO; SOS told County Boards of Elections they had 2+ business days to check signatures against voting records, check data base for duplicates & properly tally the numbers
October 5, 2006, SOS declared SFO had enough signatures
Note that Issue 5 was place on the ballot 20 days before the petitions were received and nearly a month before the SOS declared enough signatures.
Had any one of these voting laws or even the court order been adhered to, the SmokeFree Workplace Act would not have been on the ballot in 2006. OoOB contends the State of Ohio was aware they did not have enough signatures. They pulled Issue 1 off the ballots after it was certified the same election year. They should have Issue 5 as well. “Clearly, the law is for sale in Ohio,” stated Bill Brown, OoOB.
It is the duty of the Secretary of State to certify the sufficiency of the petitions and investigate the administration of election laws, frauds.. (ORC 3501.05). This ballot issue wreaks of violations of numerous laws. The BOE employees did not do their jobs. The Secretary of State did not do his job. Someone needs to enforce the laws and pursue convictions. The lucrative industry of non-grassroots, bussed in petition companies must stop. Background checks must be done on all circulators and they must carry state-issued clearance photo ID. Circulators should not be able to collect signatures for competing issues, as LIN-V-CO did in 2006.
The people demand honesty and integrity in the electoral process; we had neither with Issue 5. The laws governing the petition initiative process are in place; they’re just not enforced.
A representative of ACS said this is just another desperate attempt to overturn a voter approved ban. Voters never should have been able to vote for Issue 5 had anyone done their job. “You bet we’re desperate…desperate to be able to feed our families and not lose everything we’ve invested in our businesses,” said Pam Parker, OoOB. Secretary of State Brunner said there’s no precedent to invalidate a law passed by voters. “Sure there is. It’s called the Ohio Revised Code. The State of Ohio allowed this to happen. Amend the Ohio Revised Code to allow the exemptions for family owned businesses, private clubs and outdoor patios the people voted for, which were removed after the vote. Fix it before any more doors close!” said Linda Hubbard, OoOB.
Related Web site: www.opponentsofohiobans.com
Toledo Bar Wins Smoking Case
October 16th, 2009
By James Nash – Columbus Dispatch
COLUMBUS – Bar owners who try to keep their customers from smoking can’t be penalized under the state’s anti-smoking law just because a patron disobeys, an appeals court ruled yesterday.
The Franklin County Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s decision that a Toledo bar violated the statewide smoking ban because an inspector observed a lit cigarette in a mint tin.
The bartender at the Pour House, 4301 Bennett Rd., said she told the patron that he couldn’t smoke inside, and the man left with the cigarette still smoldering.
A Lucas County inspector, operating on a tip about smoking at the bar in early 2008, found the lit cigarette and cited the business for violating the 2006 smoking ban. The bar was fined $500.
Attorneys for the Pour House said it and other bars shouldn’t be punished for violating the smoking ban when they try to prevent customers from smoking.
The three-judge appeals court agreed.
“Without evidence that the proprietor permitted smoking, there is no basis for finding the proprietor violated the statute,” Judge William A. Klatt wrote.
The Ohio Licensed Beverage Association hailed the ruling.
“We’re pleased to hear that we can’t be the cops and that once we’ve told the customer to extinguish the cigarette, they’re the ones violating the law, not the establishment,” said Jacob Evans, a spokesman for the association.
During a hearing on the Pour House’s alleged violation, a hearing officer accepted the bar owner’s statement that he had posted no-smoking signs at entrances and attempted to enforce the ban. Likewise, the hearing officer believed the bartender’s explanation that she asked the customer to extinguish his cigarette.
Nevertheless, the hearing officer said the law is clear: Establishments caught with customers smoking or clear evidence of smoking are in violation.
Ohioans passed the anti-smoking law in November, 2006, and it has not been seriously challenged through a lawsuit or a referendum.
In August, the Ohio Department of Health sued two bars, including Zeno’s in Columbus, for repeatedly violating the ban. Zeno’s said the state’s enforcement was inconsistent and discriminatory. The suit is pending.
From: The Buckeye Institute [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, September 17, 2009 3:24 PM
Subject: 1851 Center Files Challenge to Ohio Smoking Ban and Seizure of Tavern
The Buckeye Institute
For Immediate Release?????????????????????????????????
Thursday, September 17, 2009???????????
Buckeye Institute’s 1851 Center Files Challenge to Ohio Smoking Ban and Seizure of Tavern
COLUMBUS – The Buckeye Institute’s 1851 Center for Constitutional Law yesterday filed a legal action challenging the constitutionality and enforcement of the Ohio smoking ban. Filed on behalf of the Columbus tavern Zeno’s, the action also seeks an injunction to prevent the Ohio Attorney General from seizing the tavern and its assets to collect on smoking ban citations. The suit is part of the 1851 Center’s ongoing defense of tavern owners unfairly victimized by the state’s smoking ban.
It was filed in Franklin County Common Pleas Court.
The filing alleges Ohio’s smoking ban unconstitutionally deprives business owners of fundamental property rights. It also argues that the Health Department’s actions while enforcing the ban are unconstitutional and at odds with the plain language of the ban.
If successful, the action would overturn key provisions of the ban and invalidate fines levied under the current framework.?
“This matter is first and foremost about private property. The smoking ban represents one of the greatest universal deprivations of property of rights in Ohio’s history,” said Maurice Thompson, 1851 Center Director.
“Small businesses like Zeno’s do not exist to sustain the fickle preferences of far-off voters who never patronize it.? Meanwhile, the Health Department issues crushing $5,000 fines without meaningful investigation.”
“The Attorney General has now threatened to seize Zeno’s. This message, that any Ohio small business that’s not fully on board with the state’s ‘public health’ edicts will be shut down, demonstrates the Orwellian ends of a regulation that many initially viewed as innocuous,” Thompson added.
The filing notes that none of Ohio’s neighboring states have statewide bans, and that local bans in other states typically make exceptions for taverns that are not family oriented.
The Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions, together with its 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, is a nonpartisan research and educational institute devoted to individual liberty, economic freedom, personal responsibility and limited government in Ohio.
Cigar Store Owners Support Appeal of Smoking Ban Enforcement Case
COLUMBUS, Ohio August 22, 2009 – Ohio’s three-year-old smoking ban is costing small businesses big money and jobs. That’s why the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association is siding with proponents of an appeal of a lawsuit against draconian enforcement of the ban.
In a case before the 10th District Court of Appeals in Franklin County, it is being argued that enforcement of the ban has gone too far when health department inspectors make no allowances for the best efforts of establishment owners to ensure that patrons adhere to the letter as well as spirit of the law.
“It’s a mess. Businesses are losing money and jobs in the midst of an economic crisis. This means the state is losing money, too, but the state’s loss of tax revenues are at least being partially offset by fines collected for alleged smoking ban violations,” said Chris McCalla, legislative director for the IPCPR.
McCalla cited a recent Federal Reserve Bank study of the economic impact of a statewide smoking ban in the state of Illinois. The study proved that the state lost more than $200 million in tax revenues from nine Illinois casinos directly stemming from the one-year-old ban. They collectively lost some $400 million in revenues while casinos in a neighboring state with no smoking ban had flat revenues for the year.
“And there are more losses where that came from – more lost business income, more lost tax revenues and more lost jobs – because of a smoking ban. It’s bad enough we have to put up with an economic downturn while legislators look for ways to make things more difficult for small business owners instead of helping them turn the economy around,” said McCalla.
“Not only should there be no such thing as legislated smoking bans, but the Ohio inspectors are slapping fines and citations willy-nilly against businesses that are doing all they can to enforce the law while their customers light up, inadvertently or not,” he added.
McCalla says the IPCPR, an association of some 2,000 small-business owners of retail smoke shops and premium cigar manufacturers and distributors, is not against an individual business owner’s right to ban smoking on their premises.
“When government decides to run those businesses by telling the owners they can’t allow smoking there, it steps across the line of freedoms as established by the constitution. If you don’t want to be with smokers, don’t go into an establishment that allows smoking. Period,” he said.
Congressional Hearing Request
WE THE PEOPLE request that Congressional Hearings be conducted to expose the truth about smoking bans being imposed throughout the United States. We desire to once again be a free nation whose health is not controlled by special interest groups or foundations whose parent companies profit. The corruption behind these bans is widespread. We have the right as citizens to ask that Congress conduct an investigation, utilizing neutral experts who have no connection to the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, World Health Organization, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation or any other organization or pharmaceutical company who has profited from these smoking bans. This petition has been signed by U.S. citizens who are of legal age to vote. This petition is not limited to one state. It is a national petition, as this plague has affected each state of these United States.
Smoking bans across the U.S. are legislated or voted in based on lies and pure greed for financial gain and/or power. We ask that the following areas be investigated:
1. Smoking bans are based on selected and cherry picked studies. Studies that show no causal relationship are either ignored, discredited or the author(s) discredited (sometimes to the point of professional ruination)
2. Ex-Surgeon General Carmona 2006 Report
3. The money behind the bans – the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
4. Those who profit
5. Who are the 53,000?
6. Why are total bans the law when we have OSHA whose job it is to protect all workers?
7. Global corruption (Congress must investigate the U.S. involvement)
8. Why are there no lifetime limits placed on donations from foundations?
Since this petition is limited to 1,000 words, please click on this link to view the supporting facts, statements and documentation: http://opponentsofohiobans.com
Because U.S. smoking bans are based on junk meta analyses, driven by corrupt organizations and foundations for pure profit (financially and/or for power), we demand an investigation. WE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE are losing at least 4 of our Constitutional Rights, all for the greed of the already wealthy. Private property shall not be taken for public use, and yet you deem our properties as public to make these laws. WE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE are losing our businesses, our homes, are driven to bankruptcy and we deserve an investigation-a Congressional Hearing. It is already out of control. This issue is tearing this country apart. The lies about SHS are creating the real death statistics: people who step outside their place of employment to smoke are being beaten and killed. Over 100 businesses in major cities have died in Ohio since the smoking ban. Hawaii bar owners are losing their businesses as are Colorado and other states’ hospitality industry establishments. Illinois elderly who live in retirement homes are being forced outside on walkers in horrible weather conditions to smoke. This isn’t about health or elderly wouldn’t be forced into Chicago weather! These are the real dangers and the real statistics. The ONLY people making money off smoking bans are the pharmaceutical companies who paid to have bans imposed. Businesses are dying. Why are special interest groups and foundations allowed to run our country? This has to stop. Who is going to give back the businesses to the people who have lost them? How will they get their homes back? Please stop this before it is too late.
WE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE are tired of being pushed around. We want our Constitution back. Our government has gone too far in its scope of duties.
A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned — this is the sum of good government. – Thomas Jefferson
Listen to some of the business owners in Ohio who desperately wanted someone, ANYONE, to hear their pleas: (taken by M. Link) http://vids.myspace.com/index
This petition by The American People, for The American People was initiated by:
Opponents of Ohio Bans
P.O. Box 402
Grove City, OH 43123 www.opponentsofohiobans.com http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/conghearing/index.html
On May 18, 2009 Ohio State University researchers claiming they had done a “New Study” that showed smoking bans do not hurt employment in “bars and restaurants.”
As is *always* the case with Antismoking research, there’s a trick involved.? Here’s the analysis by the Club’s Mid-Atlantic Director, Mike McFadden
The authors of this study had two separate sets of NAICS employment data:? Data for bars, AND data for full-service-restaurants.? They deliberately chose NOT to publish any analysis on what happened to bar employment.??
Some might conclude that they simply withheld such results because it would have damaged the political cause the researchers and their antismoking funders, ClearWay Minnesota, intended to support.?? There’s an obvious motivation to have performed such a separate analysis since the results, if they went the “right” way, would have made the study’s conclusion FAR more powerful! After all, just picture the headlines: “NEW STUDY SHOWS EVEN BARS GAIN BUSINESS AFTER SMOKING BANS!”
When I asked the study’s lead author about this I was simply told that the analysis of both together was “the most appropriate” approach.? I then noted that I found this puzzling unless the researchers were fairly new to the field since historically it’s always been thought that bars suffer disproportionately.? I asked, “Are you saying such a separation and its value to your study did not occur to you and your colleagues and that none of you or your peer-reviewers / journal editors thought to take a look at that data?”
Her response to me, instead of offering a reasonable explanation, was this:
“You may want to familiarize yourself with some of the scientific literature on economic effects on the hospitality industry.”
She then attached an old study blaming any contrary research results on tobacco industry funding and corruption.? This seemed a rather odd response since my own research has always been quite explicitly unfunded.
This is not what I would call a professional response to a reasonable question. Picture if I did a study on the economic meltdown, examining the data for its effects on Blacks and Whites. I know the Black community has a better reason for concern and has also been most featured in the media as suffering, but despite having both sets of data I simply decide it is “most appropriate” to combine the numbers for Blacks and Whites and present a report concluding that there was no harm from the meltdown.? I do this despite knowing that, since Whites outnumber Blacks ten to one, any Black suffering will of course be covered up.?
I then present my study to the media, arguing there’s no need for government change by saying, “We certainly did not detect anything close to the dramatic claims that opponents make based on the concerns that they have for Blacks.” (That’s an actual newspaper quote from the lead researcher with the word Blacks substituted for Bars.) The headlines the next day then read: “New Research: Economic Meltdown Does Not Hurt Blacks, Whites.”
And when asked why I didn’t examine Black suffering separately I simply reply that I felt combining the data was “more appropriate” while telling my questioner to study economic history and handing them a rather questionable racial pamphlet.
My opinion about researchers who would do such a thing may seem harsh, but I fail to see much, if any, path between the choices of incompetent or unethical. The fact that my emails did not elicit a response of “Gee, we ARE new to the field and just didn’t think of separating bars.” would seem to strongly imply the latter point of view.
The fact that the study cited only two pieces of contrary research, with one being an old radio broadcast and the other one being cited improperly (the only improper citing among all 36 references), lends support to that view.
The fact that the research compared the three main variables in an extremely odd way that lumped two of them together quite awkwardly gives more support to that view.
The fact that this study ignored an earlier study by the same organization that showed drastic customer reductions in 7 out of 10 bars in publicly shared data, refused to release the rest of their data, and seem to have somehow even removed the shared data from regular Internet channels adds even further support.
And the final fact, the fact that reasonable questions were met with noncommunicative responses, seems to complete the perception of ethical questionability in the case of this study.
Any legislature considering this research in their decision-making process regarding a smoking ban needs to go back and take a very hard look both at it, and at all the other questionable data they have been given.? I have done extensive research and writing in this field, and I can assure you: This study does not stand alone in its practices.
Michael J. McFadden
Author of Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains
Mid-Atlantic Director, Citizens Freedom Alliance, Inc.
Director, Pennsylvania Smokers’ Action Network (PASAN)