Another Ban Failed: MI Grand Traverse County


Michigan Grand Traverse County says NO to ban

Smoking bans not based on scientific findings

June 4, 2007
Dr. Michael Siegel, a well-known advocate of smoking bans, openly condemns Richard Carmona, the surgeon general, for misrepresenting the scientific conclusions in his own 2006 report.
Smoking ban advocates must be required to produce the evidence, yet the scientific evidence does not prove casual contact with secondhand smoke results in health damage. This only stands to reason, since the dosage of any substance determines the potential effect, there is no such thing as “clean air.”
Our politicians – local and state – must be held to the same higher standard of due diligence we require of professionals and business owners. I would bet 99 percent of them have never read beyond the first page of the 2006 Surgeon General’s Report to the real conclusions of the toxicology studies. Elected officials (and the media): Do your homework!
The current health hysteria will not stop with smoking bans. We can always justify less liberty in the name of something. Smoking bans are a smoke screen to the truth and our “liberty and justice for all.”
Al Garcia
Traverse City resident


Last night, the city commissioners voted 7-0 in favor of the smoking ban in all public places, excluding bars and restaurants.
– A Newsletter Reader

Smoking ban snuffed out
County Board decides not to study proposal


By Brian Mcgillivary,


TRAVERSE CITY — Grand Traverse County residents concerned about secondhand smoke won’t get any relief from the Grand Traverse County Board.


The county board on Tuesday refused on a 5-4 vote to study the possibility of preventing exposure to secondhand smoke with a county-wide ordinance to ban smoking in public places and all businesses, except for restaurants and bars.


Citing health concerns, several members of the public urged the board to adopt a smoking ban. No one from the public spoke against an ordinance.


“Any commissioner who thinks there is no great problem with breathing secondhand smoke should be run out of office,” said Marc Ryan, of Traverse City.


Commissioners Addison “Sonny” Wheelock, Bruce Hooper and Dick Thomas said the measure isn’t about health effects but about more regulation on businesses.


Thomas called it “more big brotherism.”


Hooper said smokers carry enough of a stigma without “criminalizing smoking.”


Commissioner Larry Fleis dismissed studies linking secondhand smoke to premature death, calling such studies “supposition.” He said a smoking ban was something expected from the former Soviet Union.


“I’m disappointed, but it’s what I figured,” said Commissioner Herb Lemcool who has pushed for a smoking ban with past boards.


“With this current board you are not going to get it done,” he said. “We’ll wait two years (for the next election) and try again.”


Traverse City officials last month asked the county to consider adoption of a smoke-free ordinance.


City Manager Richard Lewis said experts told the city a ban would be more beneficial if it was county-wide.


If the county did not back such a plan, city commissioners planned to consider a city-wide ordinance,


City Commissioner Ralph Soffredine said he was disappointed but not surprised by the county’s action. He said the city commission should continue to pursue its own ordinance.


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