Senate approves bill banning smoking in most public places

The Senate Tuesday approved a bill sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Vivian Davis Figures, D-Mobile (seen here on March 8, 2013) that would prohibit smoking in most public places.  (Montgomery Advertiser, Mickey Welsh)

The Senate Tuesday approved a bill sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Vivian Davis Figures, D-Mobile (seen here on March 8, 2013) that would prohibit smoking in most public places. (Montgomery Advertiser, Mickey Welsh)

The Alabama Legislature usually defies the best prognosticator’s predictions, but a few things are certain: The Senate may drift into dysfunction; the General Fund budget will be in trouble, and Vivian Davis Figures will bring up her anti-smoking legislation.

The Senate Tuesday passed the Senate Minority Leader’s bill banning smoking in most public places by a 21 to 8 vote. The bill would prohibit smoking in restaurants, retail areas, sports arenas, bingo facilities and certain outdoor areas. Bars, private clubs and retail tobacco shops would be excluded from the ban under the legislation.

The legislation now goes to the House of Representatives, where it has frequently died in each of the 16 years that Figures, a Democrat from Mobile, has introduced the bill. As in previous years when the bill has passed the Senate, Figures Tuesday was cautiously optimistic about its prospects in the lower chamber.

“You never can tell until it gets there,” she said.

Figures said without a smoking ban, Alabama will lose out on business from organizations that will not hold conferences in states without smoke-free policies. But primarily, Figures said the smoking ban was a health issue, citing the number of cancers that smoking tobacco can cause.

“Liquor is legal, but we don’t allow people to drink and drive a vehicle because we put people in danger,” she said. “This is the same thing. Smoking tobacco is legal, but we shouldn’t allow be to smoke around other people . . . because we know it can cause respiratory ailments and a group of cancers.”

Establishments violating the law would be subject to a fine of up to $100 for a first offense; up to $200 for a second and up to $1,000 for each subsequent offense.

The Senate Health Committee introduced the amendment exempting bars. Sen. Bill Holtzclaw, R-Madison, introduced a series of amendments to the bill Tuesday, including one that struck language that would have banned future private clubs from allowing smoking. Holtzclaw said he is not a smoker but wanted to respect the rights of smokers and private organizations to do as they see fit.

The bar exemption has been in previous versions of the legislation, and has drawn criticism from the Alabama Restaurant Association, which has said excluding bars unfairly singles their members out.

– posted by Brian Lyman

5 thoughts on “Senate approves bill banning smoking in most public places

  1. This pretty well destroys the Myth of second hand smoke:

    Lungs from pack-a-day smokers safe for transplant, study finds.

    By JoNel Aleccia, Staff Writer, NBC News.

    Using lung transplants from heavy smokers may sound like a cruel joke, but a new study finds that organs taken from people who puffed a pack a day for more than 20 years are likely safe.

    What’s more, the analysis of lung transplant data from the U.S. between 2005 and 2011 confirms what transplant experts say they already know: For some patients on a crowded organ waiting list, lungs from smokers are better than none.

    “I think people are grateful just to have a shot at getting lungs,” said Dr. Sharven Taghavi, a cardiovascular surgical resident at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, who led the new study………………………

    Ive done the math here and this is how it works out with second ahnd smoke and people inhaling it!

    The 16 cities study conducted by the U.S. DEPT OF ENERGY and later by Oakridge National laboratories discovered:

    Cigarette smoke, bartenders annual exposure to smoke rises, at most, to the equivalent of 6 cigarettes/year.


    A bartender would have to work in second hand smoke for 2433 years to get an equivalent dose.

    Then the average non-smoker in a ventilated restaurant for an hour would have to go back and forth each day for 119,000 years to get an equivalent 20 years of smoking a pack a day! Pretty well impossible ehh!

    7 October, the COT meeting on 26 October and the COC meeting on 18
    November 2004.

    “5. The Committees commented that tobacco smoke was a highly complex chemical mixture and that the causative agents for smoke induced diseases (such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, effects on reproduction and on offspring) was unknown. The mechanisms by which tobacco induced adverse effects were not established. The best information related to tobacco smoke – induced lung cancer, but even in this instance a detailed mechanism was not available. The Committees therefore agreed that on the basis of current knowledge it would be very difficult to identify a toxicological testing strategy or a biomonitoring approach for use in volunteer studies with smokers where the end-points determined or biomarkers measured were predictive of the overall burden of tobacco-induced adverse disease.”

    In other words … our first hand smoke theory is so lame we can’t even design a bogus lab experiment to prove it. In fact … we don’t even know how tobacco does all of the magical things we claim it does.

    The greatest threat to the second hand theory is the weakness of the first hand theory.

  3. Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence: Third Edition

    This sorta says it all

    These limits generally are based on assessments of health risk and calculations of concentrations that are associated with what the regulators believe to be negligibly small risks. The calculations are made after first identifying the total dose of a chemical that is safe (poses a negligible risk) and then determining the concentration of that chemical in the medium of concern that should not be exceeded if exposed individuals (typically those at the high end of media contact) are not to incur a dose greater than the safe one.

    So OSHA standards are what is the guideline for what is acceptable ”SAFE LEVELS”


    All this is in a small sealed room 9×20 and must occur in ONE HOUR.

    For Benzo[a]pyrene, 222,000 cigarettes.

    “For Acetone, 118,000 cigarettes.

    “Toluene would require 50,000 packs of simultaneously smoldering cigarettes.

    Acetaldehyde or Hydrazine, more than 14,000 smokers would need to light up.

    “For Hydroquinone, “only” 1250 cigarettes.

    For arsenic 2 million 500,000 smokers at one time.

    The same number of cigarettes required for the other so called chemicals in shs/ets will have the same outcomes.

    So, OSHA finally makes a statement on shs/ets :

    Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)…It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded.” -Letter From Greg Watchman, Acting Sec’y, OSHA.

    Why are their any smoking bans at all they have absolutely no validity to the courts or to science!

  4. As we can all see the END GAME is to first ban car smoking and then follow it up with a ban in the homes,likely using the children for this purpose yet again. Then if they can get their final smoking rates at a certain level tobacco control plans on pushing the government for OUT RIGHT PROHIBITION ON TOBACCO PRODUCTS!

    Second Hand/ Third Hand Smoke: Trigger For Outrage –Catalyst For Change?
    •Smoke Free Public Places
    •Smoke Free Work Places
    •Smoke Free Parks/Open Spaces
    •Smoke Free Private Transport
    •Smoke Free Homes
    Positioning Tobacco Endgame In The Post-2015 Development Agenda
    UNSustainable Development Goals Or Expanded Millennium Development Goals

    Can tobacco control endgame analysis learn anything from … · PDF file

  5. Endgame Concepts On The Table
    •‘Endgame’is a strategic plan to reduce prevalence within a set period (E.g. < 5% globally by the year 2040)
    •De-normalizing tobacco use
    •Tobacco-free Generation (No sale to those born after the year 2000)
    •Focusing on supply-side measures; nicotine regulation; taxation and price controls
    •Addressing tobacco as a systemic issue
    •Removing profitability from the business of tobacco
    •Making the tobacco industry liable


    Citibank Scenarios
    Scenario A:
    Existing trend of slow decline continues till zero
    Scenario B:
    Decline comes to a halt due to hardcore addicts
    Scenario C:
    Smoking gets to a tipping point, where it becomes easier to regulate or even ban


    Second Hand/ Third Hand Smoke: Trigger For Outrage –Catalyst For Change?
    •Smoke Free Public Places
    •Smoke Free Work Places
    •Smoke Free Parks/Open Spaces
    •Smoke Free Private Transport
    •Smoke Free Homes?


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