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NJ Statewide Restaurant Smoking Ban


rozrapp
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Last month, the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee unanimously approved a proposal to ban smoking in all workplaces in New Jersey, including restaurants, casinos, and most bars. The bill is known as the Clean Indoor Air Act. Its goal is a sweeping ban similar to those recently enacted in New York City and New York State. It is now scheduled for a second hearing in the Assembly Health Committee.

With the current state law, restaurants do not even have to provide non-smoking sections. All they have to do is put up a sign telling customers whether they have a non-smoking section, and many restaurants don't even do that. Bars are not covered.

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I'm sure this law will draw the typical response from the restaurant and cigarette trade-- whining about loss of business; But as we can see from New York and California, the restaurant business actually goes UP when these laws are enacted! Hope this bill passes ASAP!!

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I find it hard to imagine a smoke free bar! While business might have improved at some establishments, what about the "old man bars" as we used to call the small neighborhood places?

I do hope it passes from a selfish point of view. I avoid establishments with smoking because I hate the smell. Even those with separate smoking areas are not able to completely keep the smoke in one place. There are restaurants we have not gone to in the past that we would visit if this law passes.

KathyM

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I'm sure this law will draw the typical response from the restaurant and cigarette trade--  whining about loss of business;  But as we can see from New York and California, the restaurant business actually goes UP when these laws are enacted! Hope this bill passes ASAP!!

In the past, any smoking-ban legislation in New Jersey has gone absolutely nowhere, thanks to intense opposition by restaurant and alcoholic beverage interests, and the tobacco lobby. Most of the time, it hasn't even gotten out of committee. But supporters are hoping the momentum started by the New York bans will give this bill a boost. As for it passing ASAP, it first has to pass in the Assembly's Health Committee, then I guess it goes to the floor of the Assembly, and who knows what will happen there? The fact that the Dems are now in control might be a positive. Then there's the Senate side of the Legislature. I haven't heard that anything is happening there yet. So, ASAP? I don't think so. :angry:

birder53 Posted on Apr 4 2003, 01:26 PM

I avoid establishments with smoking because I hate the smell. Even those with separate smoking areas are not able to completely keep the smoke in one place. There are restaurants we have not gone to in the past that we would visit if this law passes.

I agree! But these days, more and more NJ restaurants are smokefree. They do it because they know that 85% of NJ residents don't smoke and prefer to dine in a smokefree environment. The restaurateurs have also found that it does not hurt their business.

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It does not have the votes in the Environment Com, might be reintroduced in Health Committee. Gusciora is chair of ESW committee, doesn't have the clout to push it through quite yet.

Senate has not found sponsors to introduce as bipartisan legislation.

I think there should be an exception for all bars. The owner has a right to determine the policy. I know ALL the arguements,including putting employees at risk, but ther eis just enough libertarian running through my veins to be bothered by a ban.

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I'm a non-smoker who detests the smell of cigarette smoke but I still think the law is a bit ridiculous. I tended bar part time for several years and had to endure massive volumes of second hand smoke - it was MY CHOICE to work there. Anyone with brains rather than rocks in their head knows that people smoke in bars and can choose whether to work in one or not. IMHO the same should apply to restaurants. If a restaurant owner (or bar owner, for that matter) wants my business.... they need to be non-smoking or have an adequate division between smoking and non-smoking areas. No one forces me to go anywhere (except my beloved GF but let's not get started on THAT one!). I find it troubling that business owners are not being given the choice - what happened to a free market economy? I can't stand the smell of mackerel when it's cooking and plenty of folks agree with me. Perhaps we should legislate on the issue as well?

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Anyone with brains rather than rocks in their head knows that people smoke in bars and can choose whether to work in one or not.

what about offices? people used to sometimes smoke in offices. i suppose they should have continued to allow this, as people were making the choice of working with smokers indoors?

the mackerel analogy was just plain ridiculous. sorry. :rolleyes:

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I, too, hate the smell of cigarette smoke and especially the smell of it on my clothes on the rare occasion that I go to a bar. But the decision to allow smoking should be the establishment's and not the government. Little by little the government is getting away with taking away our freedoms. I have a choice, at least. I can endure the smoky bar, go to one that is smoke free, or not go at all. Years ago, no one complained about it. I even miss the smell of cigars at Shea Stadium. Most restaurants have a non smoking section. I hate intrusive government. What's next, a fine if you are not wearing a jacket on a cold day? so that you don't get sick and possiibly pass on your second hand germs?

John the hot dog guy

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I think the next logical step is to ban drinking in bars. As we all know, drinking is linked to social pathologies that affect not only the drinker, but second-hand drinkers, as well -- employers that lose money due to sick days; drunk driving and the related deaths and injuries; the burdens of std's, illegitimacy and divorce; uninsured health care costs, litter and vomit on the streets.... You can say that drinking is a personal choice, but I say that when it affects my wallet, I should have a say!

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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It does not have the votes in the Environment Com, might be reintroduced in Health Committee. Gusciora is chair of ESW committee, doesn't have the clout to push it through quite yet. 

Senate has not found sponsors to introduce as bipartisan legislation.

I think there should be an exception for all bars. The owner has a right to determine the  policy.  I know ALL the arguements,including putting employees at risk, but ther eis just enough libertarian running through my veins to be bothered by a ban.

Kim, If you read my original post again, you will see that it has already passed unanimously in the Assembly's Environment & Solid Waste Committee, and is now before the Health Committee.

There is an exception for some bars, but I don't know what that is.

Note to all: Again, this legislation is called the Clean Indoor Air Act and covers not just restaurants, most bars and casinos, but all workplaces.

Edited by rozrapp (log)
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Anyplace north of Trenton with red leatherette banquettes and large, dim mirrors, or the lounge attached to an Italian restaurant with a neon sign and a two wiseguys (wannabe's OK) in the corner.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Anyplace north of Trenton with red leatherette banquettes and large, dim mirrors, or the lounge attached to an Italian restaurant with a neon sign and a two wiseguys (wannabe's OK) in the corner.

clearly you're describing scuttlebutt's, in nutley.

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all i know is if I can't have my sweet smelling stogie while throwing the bones down in AC then there's gonna be problems! :wink:

Yield to Temptation, It may never come your way again.

 --Lazarus Long

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When the first no smoking legislation was passed in NYC for the larger restaurants (about 8 years ago I think) there was the same hue and cry as in these threads about gloom and doom in the restaurant business, restaurants will suffer, it's anti-libertarian, etc. Well, many years later, there are MORE restaurants in NYC than before the ban-- business in restaurants actually INCREASED after the smoking ban came into effect-- none of these old bromides hold any water-- it's like wishing for horse feces in the street instead of cars....

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I don't think the increase or decrease in business is the point. The point is that people want -- need, even -- a social milieu in which they can relax and enjoy a little legal vice. People don't go to bars for their health, they go to have a good time. Surely if the demand for non-smoking bars is great enough, people will build them. Or a compromise can be reached -- a special license or something. Banning smoking in all bars (people at restaurants have a much better point, though not as strong as they think) bespeaks an arrogance and a pettiness that rightly irritates many people.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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It does not have the votes in the Environment Com, might be reintroduced in Health Committee. Gusciora is chair of ESW committee, doesn't have the clout to push it through quite yet. 

Senate has not found sponsors to introduce as bipartisan legislation.

I think there should be an exception for all bars. The owner has a right to determine the  policy.  I know ALL the arguements,including putting employees at risk, but ther eis just enough libertarian running through my veins to be bothered by a ban.

Kim, If you read my original post again, you will see that it has already passed unanimously in the Assembly's Environment & Solid Waste Committee, and is now before the Health Committee.

There is an exception for some bars, but I don't know what that is.

Note to all: Again, this legislation is called the Clean Indoor Air Act and covers not just restaurants, most bars and casinos, but all workplaces.

Hmmm.I was there this past March whenn it came up for a vote, ESW meets before the PHS committe which I am a lobbyist for...I can be mistaken..certainly, not the first time, but I recall an acrimonious vote. However, I must admit that in thinking about it, I recall that it was legislation about smoking in bars and rest...not general workplaces...so maybe its different? I was in the galley waiting for the next meeting, so I could have perceived the entire thing incorrectly. I am @ the Capitol in Trenton 2x a week, I'll make a point to review this and update myself. I'll talk to Reed Gusciora, he's my assemblyperson, anyway.

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I don't think the increase or decrease in business is the point.  The point is that people want -- need, even -- a social milieu in which they can relax and enjoy a little legal vice.  People don't go to bars for their health, they go to have a good time.  Surely if the demand for non-smoking bars is great enough, people will build them.  Or  a compromise can be reached -- a special license or something.  Banning smoking in all bars (people at restaurants have a much better point, though not as strong as they think) bespeaks an arrogance and a pettiness that rightly irritates many people.

They used analogous reasons to these for NOT preventing smoking in offices and the workplace, and even against passing Civil Rights legislation-- but, thankfully, in the end, right and reason prevail.

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