Note: Comments of readers are their own and do not reflect the feelings of Bob Lonsberry or lonsberry.com.
86 Responses to:
NYS SMOKING BAN IS TOO MUCH
# 1. 5/21/12 7:22 AM - Fairport
Bob Your suggestion re education rather the legislation will more than likely go up in smoke.
# 2. 5/21/12 7:30 AM by Rick G. - Spencerport, NY
The government makes a weird distinction between drugs. Tobacco is OK, but with limits to pacify the public. They could never shut off that revenue stream of taxes.
Marijuana is illegal, but beer is OK. Sex with a stranger in a bar is fine, but sex with a prostitute is bad.
I'd like to see people have a right to choose their vices, but that will never happen with nanny government.
The bottom line is taxes. Either tax it all or make a decision and ban it. Anything else is just pimping.
# 3. 5/21/12 7:37 AM by B Smith - Syracuse New York
As a non smoker, drinker or drug user, I agree with you, but how about taking it further. Weed is no more harmful than tobacco, yet we spend a fortune trying to control that. We could save a lot of money by handling all drug addiction as a health issue, instead of a police problem along with removing most of the crime associated with the drug trade.
# 4. 5/21/12 7:38 AM by rjs - Rochester, NY
I totally agree, and I don't smoke
# 5. 5/21/12 7:42 AM by Mary - Pittsford
The tobacco lobby would be proud of you.
# 6. 5/21/12 7:43 AM by Alan. - Geneva NY.
True that. But now the food police are knocking at your door.
# 7. 5/21/12 7:43 AM
F all smokers, because they play a big part in Health Insurance premiums come January.
# 8. 5/21/12 7:43 AM by tw - roch
"Forced righteousness is a sin."
Bob - a major tenet of the religious-right influenced GOP and conservatives nation wide is forced righteousness. What do you think the whole notion of a Christian nation is about?
I guess people should be allowed to kill themselves by smoking and then get their cancer and other smoking-caused diseases paid for by Medicare. Sure, I'll pay for your stupidity, moron smokers! Here's my wallet. I'm happy to fund your bad choices.
Cue the idiot woe-is-me, it's hard to quit wussie smoker response. Freedom? I guess we're free to be stupid, and we should make it as easy as possible for people to be stupid. Why don't we do away with stop signs, too. Sure, running stop signs is dangerous, but people should be able to choose if they want to die in a car wreck.
# 9. 5/21/12 7:53 AM by Jodi - Wayne County East
Good luck Bob.
This is NY not Texas, or Missouri.
This is the land of perpetual over regulation and government care via executive order, legislative mandate, criminal and civil law.
Mandatory seat belts and helmets, no swimming, no smoking, no junk food, no proselytizing no guns, no drinking, abundant welfare, oppressive taxation and on and on and on...
Allowing those not smart enough to prevent destroying themselves to do so does have a natural culling effect on a society.
Unfortunately if they become great enough in numbers they will likely take the rest of us down with the ship.
So much for individual liberty tempered by personal responsibility.
Quite possibly so much for the great experiment of self governance of the people, by the people, and for the people.
Only time will tell, but the near future isn't looking very good.
Do you know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?
Are you death or Rapture Ready.
# 10. 5/21/12 8:16 AM by John - Penfield, NY
The battle is over. Just like the freedom to decide whether to use a seat belt.
With the government about to pick up even more health care payments, then need to keep raising tobacco taxes and start enforcing import taxes when smokes are brought in from the "sovereign nations" spotted throughout the US.
# 11. 5/21/12 8:18 AM by Leo - Hammondsport
i just want the government to butt out of my personal choices! i should be able to smoke any where i want.
# 12. 5/21/12 8:22 AM by Dave - Caledonia
A restaurant not a public place. It's privately owned, and it should be the owner's call as to whether or not to allow smoking. It should be your call whether or not to eat there.
# 13. 5/21/12 8:22 AM
If your freaking smoke goes in my freaking lungs--I am going to punch you in the tooth.
# 14. 5/21/12 8:27 AM by Carla - Fairport
Most smokers were targeted by an unregulated rogue industry and tricked into addiction. The vast majority had no idea what they were signing up for when they tried their first cigarettes.
Editor's Note: poor victims
# 15. 5/21/12 8:28 AM by kittynana - Lewiston NY
NYS was smart to implement the ban. Too many health problems created by cigarette smoking were being paid for by us, the tax paying citizens. Even those with private insurance saw higher premiums related to smoking.
I'm not just speaking about first hand smokers. I'm also speaking about health problems related to second hand smoke, the greatest being asthma in children. And guess what- it's my suspicion that those children brought up in heavy smoking houses (read: heavy) grow up to be smokers because their little bodies crave it.
My parents smoked but not heavily. My sisters and I never smoked but my brothers did for awhile. I have a sneaking suspicion the one has resumed the habit.Environmental or physiological? Who knows.
Nope. I'm glad NYS stepped in. Next step will be smoking with kids in the car.
# 16. 5/21/12 8:30 AM by DD
I do not smoke. I don't care if others do. It is time to show this tyrannical government the true American spirit. We are the People. We are united by our love and lust for freedom. We must start fighting and stop merely complaining about a dictatorial government regime that is picking us off one group at a time.
Boycott all parks, beaches and campgrounds in New York State whether we smoke or not. Let NYS feel the punch of a free people. Let us no longer sit back and permit this regime to regulate and demonize our smoking brothers and sisters, using them to build up their strength before coming after the rest of us.
Refuse to enter any and all state parks. Let the government know why your money will be spent in another state. Sacrifice a little for freedom for all by avoiding NYS parks. Our state parks are already hurting for money. Every year the government threatens us with closure due to lack of funding. One season. That's all we need to buckle this regime. One season of sacrifice to show them we are Americans who will not be controlled anymore. Can you do it? Is one day of pleasure more important than standing a stand?
Boycott all NYS parks!
# 17. 5/21/12 8:32 AM by Hm - Rochester
Forced righteousness is a sin.
What an interesting concept. So telling people that they will burn forever unless they follow these 10 rules (you know - the Commandments) is a sin?
I'd hate to be the one to have to tell the Big Man that one. But he loves me so he'd probably just forgive me on the spot.
Or, you just revealed the hypocrisy of the entire Christian faith. The whole thing is based on forced righteousness.
Otherwise, the concept of Hell would not need to exist.
It's been proven over and over, and continues to be proven every day, that people will not be righteous unless there is some checking force to bring them in line.
I would argue that smoking is a sin. Think about how these people are harming themselves and others through this disgusting habit. Sorry, but your rights end at the point where they begin to negatively affect someone else.
# 18. 5/21/12 8:42 AM by Ted - Batavia
Thank a smoker. We donate(under the gov't gun) to State Children's Health Insurance Program.
# 19. 5/21/12 8:42 AM by Sara Hogan
Hey changing subject..What happened to John Carr of the weekend Wham home improvment show? The others on the show were trashing him on Saturday..said he was in Attica.I met Mr. Carr and of the 3 he was to be trusted and a true gentleman and A Vet. Jim Salmon is a plump,knew him in high school was known as the stitch back then and the school brown nose.
Editor's Note: carr's a great guy. they were just teasing. i think he's on vacation or something.
# 20. 5/21/12 8:45 AM by A Gazillion Brazilians
Gazillion? You at a loss for words today or sumthin? Try some "pseudopolysyllabification" next time. (Like filum or currums or newas.)
Or maybe "overradiofication", like you personality types do all the time.
The nice thing about words like gazillion is that it gets our attention and gets the point across without wasting "real" words.
Ferdinand J. always said that first you gotta get their attention - WOW!
But are "real" words ever really wasted?
On Friday I got a pop-up on the D&C site saying that I only had one more free article left, and that would be the end unless I paid up.
The real question is the end for whom?
And I lied awake all weekend worrying that it would be me...
# 21. 5/21/12 8:46 AM by Heather - Penfield
What kind of world do idiots like you want to see? No rules, no regulations..... grab a club and crawl back into a cave?
# 22. 5/21/12 8:48 AM by Tim - Rochester
Your Republican clock is going off again....cuckoo....cuckoo.....cuckoo......
# 23. 5/21/12 8:50 AM by Non-Smoker
Have to admit that in my salad days I did try to be sophisticated and smoke cigarettes. No matter how I tried to like it I just didn't, so I gave up on it. Have lost a brother and several relatives and dear friends because smoking contributed to their health problems. However much I agree with personal freedoms, I do like the fact that I can now go to restaurants, public functions, etc. and enjoy a smoke-free atmosphere.
# 24. 5/21/12 8:50 AM by Paul - Rhode Island
Agreed, it's too much. But how do you feel about government funding of the education efforts you (and I) prefer?
Meanwhile, can we get certain commenters on your site to understand: Thumbs Down means you DISAGREE with Bob? It's not complicated.
# 25. 5/21/12 8:58 AM by GEORGE (THE OTHER ONE) - GANANOQUE ONTARIO CANADA
Every pack of smokes should carry the additional costs of the insurance premium necessary to cover the health care needed to treat both smokers and those who can reasonably claim to have bee affected by smoking. So that if you smoke your entire life ( no matter how sadly short that life may be) the costs of treating you for the consequences of that action will be covered by, if you will, a 'user fee'.
The resultant high costs of smoking would result in;
1 - the high costs of post-smoking health care associated with that activity being covered by the user not the public.
2 - the continued collection of taxes by the greedy state.
3 - the reduction of new, young smokers because of the extremely high costs of smoking.
4 - the reduction of the environmental effects of smoking ( ever seen the high tide line on the beach in Florida? It answers the questions of "how long do cigarette filters stay in the environment?" and " where do all the butts go that are dropped in the ocean?")
5 - the effective demonstration that the free enterprise system does work.
This principle can be extended to other high risk activities too. But that is the subject of another column.
# 26. 5/21/12 8:58 AM by Oh Canada!
The transgender lost in the Miss Universe Canada pageant. He/she/it smokes but only after sex, and only big cigars...
# 27. 5/21/12 9:02 AM by Charley - Ellicottville
If second hand smoke is so dangerous then everone over 50 years old should be dead.
# 28. 5/21/12 9:05 AM by Jo
I started smoking when I attended business school. It was fashionable at that time. 46 years later I quit cold turkey so I know it can be done. All these patches and pills are just gimmicks to line the pockets of big business. You really have to want to stop.
# 29. 5/21/12 9:05 AM by Mark
Disagree totally. Just got back from Vienna and it was like going into a time warm as far as the smoking rules. They believe that they have the right to smoke wherever they like. Very dangerous for us non-smokers. Could not find a restaurant that my daughter and I could eat in. Smoking is dangerous to all. Ban it completely as a health issue! PS: my children don't have a mother as result of smoking. Yes, educate, but it is also good to have a push. One of the few times I'm for govt intervention.
# 30. 5/21/12 9:05 AM
I was a human smoke stack for 35 years. It was 3 packs a day. the last 5 years I smoked it was 12 Titan cigars a day. Yes, I went thru 2 boxes of large cigars each week.
When anyone mentions the words freedom and individual liberty in regards to smoking rights I can only feel sorry for that person and their misunderstanding of what smoking does to many peope. Smoking is the exact opposite of freedom and individual liberty.
Smokers lose their freedom and individual liberty from smoking itself, not from laws against smoking. Do gooders who mistakenly think they are standing up for freedom and individual liberty in letting smokers smoke is what makes the Devil howl in laughter.
When I quit smoking at the millenium change 12 some years ago it took a full year to have the smell of cigarette or cigar smoke to stop smelling delicious. The allure of smelling that smoke is nearly overwhelming and many times almost dropped me on the spot and take it back up. I found that a key to quitting smoking is staying away from smokers. Seriously stay away, I mean.
Another trick I found was to not try to kick the mechanical kinetic habit of having an object in my hand or mouth and the motion of hand to mouth. I replaced the tobacco product with a plastic straw, a good sized straw like one gets at a fast food place. I still retain parts of that particular habit but it's harmless. I say honestyly that many mornings I crave my straw. I learned when I quit chain smoking that I actually had a 2nd hand to do things with.
I'm not for governments having to be our nanny but in the case of smoking, yes, ban it everywhere because smoking is itself an assault on our freedom and individual liberty.
I just read that tobacco companies invested heavily in flame retardant furniture because of so many house fires caused by smoking in bed or on the couch or chair that were not flame retardant.
We now find out that the toxins released from flame retardant s in furniture are deadly.
Please, quit smoking any way you can. It is chemical addiction in it's most insidious form. Smokers should be outside if they want to smoke.
# 31. 5/21/12 9:07 AM by Mark
#12, you are wrong. Restaurants are public places with private ownership. Employees are also subject to the smoke. Wake up.
# 32. 5/21/12 9:07 AM by Sparky - NC
I am a non-smoker, and I must agree with you. I want non-smoking rooms available to me in restaurants and hotels, and certainly my own office, but if somebody in a room with a separate air handler wants to smoke, what business is it of mine?
# 33. 5/21/12 9:16 AM by Gary
#11 - Leo. And I should be able to breathe wherever I want and not inhale your toxins. Your right to smoke does not supercede my right not to.
# 34. 5/21/12 9:18 AM by Don - Fort Worth
Bob, you sound exactly like me when I was small with smoking parents. I always hated it when my mother lighted up in a restaurant. I would deliberately make wheezing noises to annoy her as the smoke drifted in my face. Since I was born, both my parents were heavy smokers. My mother died of lung cancer when I was twelve. My father died of a brain tumor when I was twenty-three. My sister is still a heavy smoker and she has that "smoker's cough". My brother and I are the only non-smokers in the family. The best way to stop smoking is to not start in the first place.
# 35. 5/21/12 9:22 AM by Smoken Joe - Elba
Isn't having a back yard grill out akin to polluting the neighborhood's air? And they don't ban grills.
# 36. 5/21/12 9:29 AM by Troy - Rochester
Bars and restaurants have actually seen a increase in business since the ban on smoking. It would be bad for the economy to mess with the smoking laws.
Editor's Note: bars have lost business
# 37. 5/21/12 9:38 AM by Matt - Rochester, NY
Very simple: You smoke, you are stupid.
# 38. 5/21/12 9:38 AM by MABEL - WEBSTER
Sorry Bob. I disagree with you on this one. If people want to smoke, simply go outside as many now do. Everyone wants the government out of their lives, particularly when they want to do things that they feel adds to their quality of life, but negatively to others' quality of life. We can't have it both ways; it's too darn costly to society. Smoking and drinking and doing drugs is bad for society one way or another and they all need to be dissuaded through education about how to live a clean healthy life starting at home when kids are young by parents leading by example. Weed and booze in particular are nasty, nasty substances because there is the myth that they are relatively harmless. Bob Marley smoked pot and died when hes was 36 years old from lung cancer. My wife smoked when first met. I told her to quit, she did and never regret it at all. I tell my kids that life is a precious gift from God and that smoking, drinking and doing drugs are sins. My problem is that I eat too much so I am working on getting that under control.
# 39. 5/21/12 9:39 AM by little john - Mt.Morris,N.Y.
Peace Pipe Paranoia. Too much of anything is not good for you. A normal smoker, light smoker, or a heavy smoker, all have different odds on the problems and consequences of dragging. I smoke, have smoked, and smoke much less now, for financial and health reasons. No salt. No bacon. No sugar. No booze. No sex. They just want me to breathe so they can donate my organs I guess. I am not an organ donor. Who in their right mind would want any of these misused things in this ugly body.
Two dollars a carton, (or less), RVN, bought, sold, and distributed by Uncle Sam, for drafted privates making $90.00 a month. Born losers we were; the dog soldiers who worried more about lead poisoning and booby traps, than a puff or two of smoke...
"And that is all I got to say about that..." Thanx Forrest..AXM
# 40. 5/21/12 9:42 AM by DiGiorgio
Re: the poll. No, there shouldn't be smoking rooms and people shouldn't be allowed to take "smoking breaks." If they smoke during their one break a day, fine -- go away and smoke. Let's say gambling is my vice. Am I allowed to go outside and shoot craps while everyone else around me is busy working? Should my workplace be an enabler? Why give valuable office space up to the minority and their bad habit? Smoke on your own time.
# 41. 5/21/12 9:44 AM by Original Lurker
I tend to agree with you, but I have a question: Why are smokers such litterbugs? What is the #1 (by far) item littered? Cigarette butts! Use your stinking (pun intended) ash tray, not my front lawn, curb, street, town, lake, park, state...
# 42. 5/21/12 10:05 AM by mr.v - rochester
You can smoke all you want in Seneca Niagara Casino. In fact, they have a no smoking room. Also, there are local bar/restaurants where you can smoke at the bar, but not at a table. Guess if you pay the piper you buy an 'exemption.'
# 43. 5/21/12 10:32 AM by Liz - SLC, UT
“Forced righteousness is a sin.”
Here’s a fun intellectual exercise: Try substituting the word “abortion” everywhere “smoking” appears in the paragraphs following the above statement. It gives 72-hour waiting periods and wand ultrasounds a new context.
Then try substituting “same sex marriage.”
# 44. 5/21/12 10:37 AM by Mark - Pocatello ID
The only regulation on smoking in public buildings such as restaurants etc should be a sign on the door, or a host(est) greeting you when you come in telling you that this is a smoking or nonsmoking establishment and let the business owners decide what they want to do with their own business.
I think that it is hilarious that smoking is banned in bars and taverns where the business is selling poison.
# 45. 5/21/12 10:48 AM by John W. Daughton - Bluffton, SC
Bob, I'm sorry about your family experiences with emphysema. My wife has pulmonary emphysema and is severely restricted and won't live out her full life. Your article does not consider the problems with 2nd hand smoke inhalation. We can't eat at a restaurant that allows smoking (even if the smokers are outside and we're not). I'd be surprised if you didn't have a predisposition to lung cancer because of your family's smoking.
# 46. 5/21/12 10:51 AM by Al - Gates
"Hello Beth.....Bob here". I compared you to chain sawing my apple tree on this morning's show. I was just defending Mitt so there was no offense to you directly intended. After all, Bain Capital is my boss.
Can we still be friends?
# 47. 5/21/12 11:17 AM by ~E~
Bob, I tend to agree with you, but I'm personally very happy with the laws here in regards to smoking. Like you, the stink that goes with smoking nauseates me.
It's laughable when we visit our kids in VA. They still ask, "Smoking or non-smoking?" in restaurants, then take you to "the other side of the same room." Okay....does the smoke know where to stop? Uh....no!
We live near the local high school, and it sickens me to see supposedly "smart" kids take one step off the school property and stop to light their cancer sticks. They think they look so "cool," when in fact, they look like ignorant fools! No one in today's world can possibly believe smoking is smart or good.
We have neighbors who smoke, but not inside their own unit (townhouse). Oh, no....take it out on the front steps, so the stench can go in our front door/window. Smokers are the most rude, self-centered, stupid people alive today! Cell phone users are close, but at least their vice doesn't physically affect others around them.
# 48. 5/21/12 11:21 AM by Carole - Greenwood,NY
I started smoking when I was 13. It was "the thing to do" back in the 50s... I am now 69 and stopped smoking 7 months ago. I just decided to quit cold turkey. I do not crave it but I miss it. I did enjoy smoking and it was a calming influence on me. I tell the children in my family to not smoke or to quit if they smoke but being a stubborn german like me they balk at anyone telling them to stop. Each person has to feel the need to stop themselves not be pushed into it because that will not work. So the government is wasting their time pushing smokers to quit. Cause it Ain't gonna happen!!!
# 49. 5/21/12 11:22 AM by MW
"Bars have lost business" Gee that's a shame.
# 50. 5/21/12 11:23 AM by Ben - Dundee
What is with all the vitriol towards smokers. Smokers get it, smoking is bad for you and you shouldn't do it.
Smoking designated areas are always disgusting and I'm not talking about the cig butts on the ground. If there is a bench it is invariably unpainted/cracking/unwashed in years. It's never in a nice area (say maybe a tree or two around) and the trash hasn't been taken out in months usually so the cig smell is the only thing bearable compared to the smell of putrid rotting trash.
We should be able to smoke inside and if someone complains we will just move away from that person.
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