The Kansas legislature enacted a smokefree law on February 25, 2010 that will finally bring smokefree air to most workplaces. The law took effect July 1, 2010. Although an important step forward for public health, the legislation unfortunately leaves behind casino workers - ironically in a state-owned casino. Kansas is also home to dozens of strong local smokefree workplace laws, including laws in Tokepa, Salina, Lawrence, Prairie Village, Olathe, Overland Park, and Manhattan.
For more information, visit the Kansas Department of Health's website about the law: www.kssmokefree.org.
To get involved with smokefree efforts, contact the Tobacco Free Kansas Coalition.
Kansas law does not preempt the passage of local smokefree laws. Read more about current tobacco-related legislation in Kansas.
2013-2014 State Legislative Session: 1/14/2013 - 4/29/2014 (Est.); Recess: 6/20/2013 - 1/12/2014
American Cancer Society Quitline: 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669)
Smokefree & Related News
banned in county buildings
Don't forget about cigarettes
alarms to ring, permanently
passes gaming reform in southeast Kansas
of 'e-juice' for electronic cigarettes can be deadly
Line Extra (March 24)
project shows extent of cigarette litter
hangouts for e-cigarettes on the rise
commission approves 90-day ban on new vapor or hookah bars in city to
commissioners OK 90-day ban on new vapor bars
to discuss vapor lounges, hookah bars
students propose more of a smoke-free state fair
_ An altternative to smoking tobacco
Wichita apartment buildings go smoke-free
being tried in Sumner County Jail [VIDEO]
employers urged to help fight cancer
smoking restrictions on campus would be pointless
introduces resolution that could be first step toward ...
seeks to regulate smoking lounges
regulations: Is KC next?
smoking, KC Chiefs
So how do we deal with the new idea of inhaling nicotine without smoking (1-9, A1, Clearing the air on e-cigarettes)? Let's be sure everyone understands what ...
board updates policies on bullying, e-cigarettes, other issues
City Community College will designate smoking areas ...
GARDEN CITY, Kansas - Tobacco won't be banned at Garden City Community
College after ... The original proposal was to ban tobacco across the
advocates say Kansas has underfunded smoking prevention
that specializes in e-cigarettes opens on 23rd Street; update ...
'a breath of fresh air' for smokers
trustees move toward tobacco-free campus
tribe seeks to expand casino into Kansas
schools ban electronic cigarettes
on hotel smoking will continue in Garden City
State University moves closer to smoke-free campus
Community College hopes tobacco-free policy will serve as ...
3rd anniversary to nonsmoking law
shows Kansans love clean indoor air
approves limiting smoking in parks, fireworks funds
council moves forward with set smoking areas in parks
The city of Bonner Springs likely will have some smoke-free parks, while others will contain designated smoking areas. In a workshop prior to its regular meeting, the Bonner Springs City Council revisited the issue that it last month remanded back to the Parks and Recreation Board. While the board originally recommended all parks be smoke-free, it suggested instead that larger parks have designated smoking areas, a compromise the council has tentatively supported.
City hotel operators seek relief from municipal ban on smoking
request change to anti-smoking ordinance
Wichita smoking lounge is for electronic cigarettes
food court smoke-free and other changes
parks pique local interest
trustees hear tobacco-free proposal
considers smoke-free parks
AG defends not releasing tobacco funds report
editorial: Close casino smoking loophole
litigation dollars higher than expected
invites public to weigh in on smoking ban
Senate Rejects Smoking Ban For State Casinos
Affairs Committee proposes smoking regulation
support of Kansas Clean Indoor Air Act continues to grow
Bevens square off in council race debate
group to open three concepts in Prairiefire
releases more platform initiatives
Anti-lobby bill too broad
bill would restrict anti-smoking programs
Smoke campaign praised by Kansas health organization
Line (Feb. 3)
Mixed on Impact of Smoking Ban in Kansas
smoking ban hasn't choked off bars, restaurants, study finds
ban boosts business at Wichita diner
scores poorly on American Lung Association's 201 'tobacco control' survey
Community College considers smoking ban
Goossen, D.; Hurd, S.; Shoults, C.C.; Williams, I.S., "Impact
of the Kansas Indoor Clean Air Act on restaurants and bars: issues brief,"
Kansas implemented a statewide ban on smoking in most public places
on July 1, 2010. The law was intended to protect the public health by
reducing exposure to secondhand smoke, which a large body of research
shows is harmful to health. However, questions have been raised about
whether the ban has reduced sales in the Kansas hospitality industry,
specifically restaurants and bars. This brief examines the financial
effect of the Kansas Indoor Clean Air Act on restaurants and bars, and
concludes that the statewide smoking ban does not appear to have had
an overall negative effect on food and liquor sales in restaurants and
smokes: smoking ban unethical, extreme
students create smoke-free campus survey
won't ban tobacco use on all campuses
LAWRENCE, Kan. -- The University of Kansas won't join a growing trend of banning all tobacco use. An advocacy group, Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights, says 562 college campuses banned all tobacco use as of July 1. The University of Missouri will implement a campuswide ban on tobacco on Jan. 1, 2014.
Star's editorial | Let's have smoke-free casinos
In Kansas, the current statewide smoke-free law does not include gambling floors. State lawmakers should rectify that mistake in the 2013 session. Smoking is ..
City group pushes for smoke-free casinos
Smoking isn't allowed inside Kansas public spaces like bars and restaurants, but it's OK to smoke in state-owned casinos. A coalition of health advocates wants ...
push is on to push smoking out of casinos
New push is on to push smoking out of casinos ... We want to be able
to have a conversation with you instead of fighting it out in legislative
hearings," Morrison ...New push is on to pus smoking out of casinos
include the American Cancer Society, the American Lung ... and bars
and other workplaces," said Bronson Frick of Americans for Nonsmokers'
ban on smoking a long shot for Kansas universities
e-cigarette law for minors doesn't go far enough, some say
A Kansas law goes into effect Sunday prohibiting the sale of electronic
cigarettes to minors. That's fine with some distributors - they say
they already do that - but ...
ready to snuff out e-cigarette sales to minors
Health risks of smokeless alternative are hazy, but for some the state's
ban isn't ... enjoying the smoking experience in areas where real cigarettes
are banned or ... to place e-cigarettes under smoking bans or other
restrictions to which actual ...
View: New law has local roots
Beginning July 1, e-cigarettes will be illegal for minors in Kansas
to buy or possess. Kansas joins Maryland, Idaho and Alaska as the only
states banning ...
New law bans
kids from e-cigs
The Legislature passed the ban last month, and Gov. ... Trudy Cooley, a spokeswoman for Safer Smoke Supply of Leavenworth, said the law won't affect her .... So backbeatboy has the only real solution but your wonderful Gov would probably want that banned also. ... Did banning alcohol stop people from drinking? What a ...
smokin' good times here
Jerri Davis has a fiery attitude about the new smoking ban at the Smoky
Hill River ... While there is no Salina law banning smoking in an outdoor
park, the Salina ... been made to ban smoking, it should have been banned
throughout the park ...
debate to have little local effect
House Ducks Debate on Smoking Restrictions
By AP The House voted 62-49 on Friday to send the smoking measure to
its ... The bill would create an exception to a statewide ban on smoking
in bars, ...
House members voted 62-49 today to send a bill that would have allowed
smoking in bars statewide back to a committee for more debate.
Bill Otto, R-LeRoy, suggested the Senate is unlikely to approve the
move and that an amendment to ban smoking on the floors of state-owned
casinos could get ...
By Paul Soutar | KansasWatchdog If you oppose smoking bans for any
reason property rights, individual liberty, you like smokers
youre now apparently part of Big Tobacco. Thats how the
American Cancer Society sees it, anyhow.
Dr. Roy Jensen, director of the Kansas University Cancer Center, on
Thursday tried to snuff out a proposal to weaken the public indoor smoking
ban and other tobacco-related measures. Jensen said weakening the smoking
ban could hurt KU's efforts to get National Cancer Institute ... Kansas
banned smoking in most private businesses in 2010.
seeks to allow smoking in bars in Kansas
TOPEKA A move to allow smoking in bars and other places where
only people age 21 and up are allowed has been revived, drawing immediate
criticism from the American Cancer Society and American Heart Association.
The House State and Federal Affairs Committee on Tuesday advanced a
bill that would allow smoking in private businesses that allow only
patrons and employees who are at least of legal drinking age.
Representatives from the American Cancer Society and American Heart
Association harshly criticized two tobacco-related bills passed by a
House committee Tuesday. Kevin Walker, of the heart association, said
one bill would gut the state smoking ban by allowing businesses to establish
smoking sections in which all ...
tale of two studies
In arguing that the state's 2010 Kansas Indoor Clean Air smoking ban hasn't hurt business, officials and activists pointed to Kansas Department of Revenue ...
VFW votes to go smoke-free
The Paola VFW Post 3712 now is a smoke-free facility after a recent
vote during the organization's monthly meeting. Commander Pete Bell
said there still ...
smoking ban survives legal challenge
upholds Hot Pockets' smoking penalty
The owner of a tiny cigarette outlet inside a bar struck a defiant
tone Wednesday after a judge upheld a $50 fine issued for violating
Topekas smoking ban, ending a two-year legal battle.
said he wont pay the $50 fine, and business will be as usual.
VFW may become smoke-free
The Paola VFW Post 3712 soon may become a smoke-free facility, depending
on the results of a vote next week. Commander Pete Bell said VFW members
Call: Wichita City Council to discuss taxi regulations
Area Legislators Anticipate Long Session
Could Allow Smoking In Kansas Bars
A house bill recently presented in Topeka could change a law that bans
smoking in most Kansas restaurants and bars. The bill would amend the
Clean Air Act and allow smoking inside bars that serve and employ people
21 and older. ...
Casino: Smoking ban could be devastating
At a Kansas legislative committee hearing Thursday, a lobbyist for
the group behind the new Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway said a
smoking ban would ...
The statute allows smoking on casino floors, but prohibits consumption
of ... Twenty-seven percent of gaming revenue from these casinos is
distributed to ...
grows to ban smoking indoors at Kansas casinos
Now, some opponents of smoking want to ban it on casino floors as well.
But casino managers say that could cost the casinos and the state
millions of ...
committee to consider bills on slots at tracks, smoking at ...
Later in the week, the committee is expected to hear arguments for
and against a proposal to ban smoking inside casinos, which are one
of a few places ...
conflict snuffs SE Kansas gambling reforms
The fuse of controversy was lit when the statewide indoor smoking ban
was manipulated to exclude gambling floors of state-sanctioned casinos.
supreme court to hear smoking case
Kansas Supreme Court justices are scheduled to hear arguments over
a portion of the statewide smoking ban that some bar owners say could
put them out of business. ...
Supreme Court to hear smoking ban case
scheduled for smoking ban case
Smoking ban hurts lottery sales
area casinos fail air quality test, health groups say
Bar Owner Crusades Against Smoking Ban
case hearing set for August
ban in state casinos materializes again
months into smoking ban, few complaints and no fines in Wichita
More than nine months after Kansas lawmakers passed a controversial
smoking ban, no one has been cited or fined in Wichita. ...
receives Tobacco Free Kansas Coalition award
to ban smoking in casinos advances in Kansas House
panel seeks end to casino smoking
House For Smoking Bills
Last year, state lawmakers passed a law that banned smoking in all
public places with the exception of state owned casinos. ...
Smoking War II started today at the capital. Owners of bars and clubs
pleaded with a House committee to allow them to once again allow smoking
in their establishments. ...
Legislation that would relax smoking bans in bars but would end state-owned
casinos' exemptions from the statewide smoking ban surfaced in the Kansas
House Health and Human Services Committee Wednesday. ...
survivors fight back against bill that would allow loophole in smoking
ban opponents propose exemptions for bars that would sell lottery tickets
Even though he still feels like deciding whether or not to allow smoking should be up to individual bar owners, Tracy Hawk says he isn't a fan of a proposed new exemption to the state's ban on smoking in public places.
House Bill 2340 would create a new exemption under which bars authorized to sell lottery tickets under the Kansas lottery act could permit patrons to smoke.
An association of drinking establishments is behind the bill, which
was introduced by Rep. Joe Seiwert, R-Hutchinson. Seiwert said the bill's
purpose is to bring bars in line with an exemption that allows smoking
in state-owned casinos. ...
77% of Kansans back smoking ban
A survey of likely Kansas voters unveiled Wednesday demonstrated overwhelming support for the statewide ban on indoor smoking in most public places.
The poll financed by a coalition of groups endorsing the smoke-free law found 77 percent of Kansans support a prohibition on lighting up in workplaces, restaurants and public buildings. The easy-on-the-lungs law went into effect July 1.
There is a movement in the 2011 Legislature to repeal the ban. Opposition exists among lawmakers wary of government intrusion in the economy and among business owners who believe the change ran off customers.
"These results show what we have always known," said James
Gardner, a physician and chairman of the Tobacco Free Kansas Coalition.
"Kansans understand secondhand smoke is a serious health hazard,
and they don't want their right to breathe clean air taken away."
State-Wide Smoking Ban Changes
With Sam Brownback about take office on January 10th we will definitely see many changes, but will the state-wide smoking ban that took effect on July 1st go up in smoke? 27 News Political Analyst Dr. Bob Beatty thinks some compromises might be made. ...
Statewide Indoor Clean Air Law Is Good Public Health Kansas
As a supporter of the recently implemented Kansas Indoor Clean Air Law, I am concerned over recent statements by gubernatorial candidates who seem to oppose the new statewide smokefree law.
Clean air advocates report that the statewide regulation of smoking in public is supported by major Kansas organizations that regard restrictions on smoking in most workplaces as being a significant public health achievement for the citizens of our state.
I am speaking for health-related organizations, including Tobacco Free Kansas Coalition, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association Plains-Gulf Region, the Kansas Academy of Family Physicians, Kansans for Better Health, the Kansas Cancer Partnership, the Kansas Public Health Association, the Kansas State Nurses Association, American College of Physicians, Kansas Chapter, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and Susan B. Komen for the Cure, Mid Kansas, all of which stand in strong support of the current statewide smokefree law in Kansas. ...
Candidates Debate in Wichita
WICHITA, KS (kcur) - Republican gubernatorial candidate Sam Brownback says the state should lead by example by banning smoking on its state-owned casinos and leave local governments to decide the issue for themselves.
Brownback made the statement during a forum televised from the Wichita studios of KWCH.
State Sen. Tom Holland, the Democratic nominee, said that while in the Legislature, he voted against the statewide smoking ban because he believes those issues are best left to local control.
Libertarian Andrew Gray and Reform Party candidate Ken Cannon also said they opposed the statewide ban. ...
candidates: Change smoking ban
Smokers left out in the cold by the statewide smoking ban had reason to hope Thursday, when all four candidates for governor said they want to change the law to allow for more local control over tobacco use.
In a made-for-television forum Thursday evening at KWCH-TV, Republican U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, Democratic state Sen. Tom Holland, Libertarian Andrew Gray and Reform Party candidate Ken Cannon said they want changes in the ban, which prohibits lighting up inside almost all businesses and buildings open to the public.
Smokers standing outside in Old Town on Thursday night said they hope
the candidates carry through on giving business owners more of a say
on smoking policies. ...
City commissioners to take up smoking ban debate
GARDEN CITY, Kansas Garden City commissioners will bring up the citys smoking ban at Tuesdays meeting.
In question is whether to keep the ban or have a less stringent form of the law. The last time commissioners voted to amend the smoking ban it ended in a 2-2 stalemate.
The local ordinance bans smoking in public places, including fraternal
and private clubs in the city. The statewide form of the law exempts
private clubs from the ban if built before 2009. ...
City reopens debate on smoking ban
Garden City commissioners have reopened a debate on a citywide ordinance that went into effect in 2007 banning smoking in all public places.
A commission vote to amend a uniform public offense code, including local smoking ban policies, ended in a 2-2 stalemate during Tuesday's commission meeting following a disagreement about whether smoking should or should not be allowed in private clubs and fraternal organizations.
The city votes annually to make changes, if necessary, to a uniform public offense code instituted by the League of Kansas Municipalities based on the enactment of new state laws, according to City Attorney Randy Grisell.
The smoking ban discussion has been retriggered because the city could readopt its smoking ordinance to reflect that it is more restrictive than the state's law if it desires. ...
businesses adjusting to new reality as statewide smoking ban takes effect
As a statewide smoking ban takes effect in Wichita this week, local restaurants, bars, hotels and clubs are taking steps to make sure they can sustain their businesses while falling into compliance.
We have to do everything the state wants us to do pull
our ashtrays, pull our matches, says David Allan, owner of Mulligans
Pub near Rock Road and 32nd St. North. Theres not really
a good place for a patio, but well have to put one in, and it
will cost me a big chunk of money.
are statewide ban is here to stay
f you can't fight City Hall, as they say, you also can't fight a state law trumping a city ordinance especially one as shortsighted and weak as Wichita's 2008 indoor-smoking ban.
The local club owners who failed Tuesday to prevent the statewide law from taking effect in Wichita certainly are entitled to keep up their legal challenge, as are the businesses here and elsewhere trying to fight the state ban on constitutional grounds in Shawnee County.
But smoker-friendly Kansas businesses would be wise to move on and
update their business plans. In the wake of Sedgwick County District
Judge Jeff Goering's decision to lift a temporary restraining order,
odds are the state law is here to stay. ...
business scrambles to comply with smoking ban
A day after being told they have to follow the statewide smoking ban, Wichita bar Shooters is working to make sure they are in compliance.
The business was among more than a dozen in Wichita that fought the statewide smoking ban. A judge ruled against that lawsuit on Tuesday. His decision put the smoking ban into effect immediately in Wichita.
Today, workers at Shooters put up no smoking signs and painted lines ten feet from the doors indicating where smokers can light up.
They also put out buckets of sand for cigarette butts. ...
denies injunction; state smoking ban in effect
A Sedgwick County District Court judge ruled Tuesday that a statewide smoking ban should immediately go into effect in Wichita.
Judge Jeff Goering denied extension of an injunction being sought by 15 local businesses.
The plaintiffs, primarily bars and restaurants, contended in a hearing earlier this month that a Wichita city ordinance regulating smoking in public places was more stringent than the state ban.
Therefore, the plaintiffs say, Wichita businesses should be subject to the local, not the state, regulations. The state law says that in cases where a city or county ordinance is more stringent, it should supersede the statewide ban.
Under the city ordinance, smoking is prohibited in businesses unless they obtain a special permit for either a smoking room or the entire facility. A smoking room must have a special ventilation system, and to become a smoker-friendly establishment facility-wide, businesses must pay a fee, prohibit entry by anyone under 18, get employees to sign waivers saying they agree to work in a smoking establishment, and put up signs noting that smoking is allowed. ...
rules in favor of smoking ban; takes effect in Wichita today
A judge decides the statewide smoking ban will take effect in the city of Wichita today.
The ruling came down this morning and snuffs out the protests of some local restaurant and bar owners.
Judge Jeff Goering ruled against the businesses saying the statewide ban is legal.
15 Wichita businesses joined in the lawsuit against the state. Business owners argued they should be allowed to follow the Wichita smoking ordinance instead of the state's.A judge decides the statewide smoking ban will take effect in the city of Wichita today.
The ruling came down this morning and snuffs out the protests of some local restaurant and bar owners.
Judge Jeff Goering ruled against the businesses saying the statewide ban is legal.
15 Wichita businesses joined in the lawsuit against the state. Business owners argued they should be allowed to follow the Wichita smoking ordinance instead of the state's.
Under the Wichita ordinance, businesses could still allow smoking under certain conditions. The statewide smoking ban went into effect July First, but since a judge was considering this case, it didn't take effect in Wichita.
Starting today, owners must now comply with the statewide ban ...
ban injunction remains in effect in Wichita until further ruling
A judge agreed Thursday to add 12 plaintiffs to a lawsuit aiming to stop a state smoking ban from taking effect in Wichita, but delayed for at least a week or two any further decision in the case.
That means a local temporary injunction against the state ban remains in effect, and Wichita bars and restaurants still are subject to a city ordinance regulating smoking in public places.
Sedgwick County District Court Judge Jeffrey Goering told a packed
courtroom he would take the plaintiffs and states arguments
under advisement and would issue a ruling soon on whether the injunction
should remain in place for a longer period of time. ...
to hear arguments from smoking ban opponents today
Eleven more businesses want to a join a lawsuit that would protect them from a statewide smoking ban.
Mort's Cigar Bar, Heat Cigar Bar and Hookah Lounge, and Walts Sports Bar originally sued the state over the ban.
They haven't won yet, but a judge agreed to issue a temporary restraining order blocking the state law in Wichita.
The attorney who represents those three businesses confirmed to Eyewitness News that he filed a motion for 11 other businesses to join. ...
Fare Well In Wake Of Ban
smoking ban generally not hurting business
(KansasReporter) TOPEKA, Kan. Quitting smoking cold turkey has not produced economic withdrawal pains in Kansas, at least for the first month of the ban.
Although the statewide smoking ban went into effect on July 1, many restaurants that might have been seriously affected already had city ordinances or self imposed rules preventing smoking.
Restaurants like Fiorellas Jack Stack Barbecue, which has locations in both the Kansas and Missouri portions of Kansas City were not affected because the city of Overland Park already had an ordinance preventing smoking in place for years.
Others, like Bo Lings a Chinese food restaurant with locations on both sides of the state line, have not allowed smoking within their walls voluntarily.
Don Sayler, with the Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association, a lobbyist group, estimated about 70 percent of their members were already non-smoking establishments.
Furthermore, the Hospitality Association has not received any word from its members about how the smoking ban is affecting business.
Weve not heard much either way, good or bad, Sayler
said. So many were already dealing with a ban that there werent
that many more [who were affected]." ...
TOPEKA Smokers at Wichita bars and at private clubs across Kansas can continue to light up, but much of the state goes smoke-free indoors today. In a last-minute ruling Wednesday, Shawnee County District Judge Franklin Theis allowed 31 private clubs statewide that received licenses after Jan. 1, 2009, to continue to allow indoor smoking. Private clubs licensed earlier already were exempt from the ban.
Wichitans can continue to smoke indoors where the city's partial ban allows in bars and in restaurants with separate smoking rooms at least until a court hearing July 15.
The state's ban prohibits smoking in bars, restaurants and other public places. It also bars smoking within 10 feet of an entrance, open window or air intake for a building. It is one of several new laws taking effect today.
"We think today is a victory for the principal of the smoking
ban and how it is going to help public health around the state,"
said Attorney General Steve Six after the judge's ruling. ...
questions with the attorney fighting Kansas' smoking ban
In six days, Kansas' ban on smoking goes into effect in a majority of the Sunflower State's restaurants and watering holes. Bar and restaurant owners (and, of course, libertarians) are bristling about the state stamping out smoking, especially provisions in the bill that allow gamblers in state-owned casinos and blue-haired bingo players to keep puffing.
Topeka lawyer Tuck Duncan has filed suit on behalf of four establishments, initially seeking a temporary injunction to stop the law. He answered a few questions about his argument against the ban. ...
order delays state smoking ban in Wichita
A Sedgwick County judge on Friday issued a temporary restraining order that will prevent a statewide indoor smoking ban from going into effect next week in the city of Wichita.
District Judge Eric Yost issued the order, which will allow Wichita businesses to continue operating under the city's smoking ordinance at least until July 15.
"To make a long story short, the state law will not be enforced in the city of Wichita on July 1," said Harry Najim, who sought the restraining order on behalf of three Wichita businesses -- Mort's Cigar Bar, Walt's Sports Bar, and Phoenician Room and Heat Cigar Bar & Hookah Lounge. . . .
Najim argued in his motion for the restraining order that the city's smoking ordinance is more stringent than the broader state law, which goes into effect Thursday.
In his filing, Najim cited a portion of the state law that says, "Nothing in this act shall prevent any city or county from regulating smoking within its boundaries, so long as such regulation is at least as stringent as that imposed by this act.
"In such cases the more stringent local regulation shall control
to the extent of any inconsistency."
of Pittsburg aligns its no-smoking policy with the state of Kansas
In a policy the city plans to formally adopt at Tuesday night's commission meeting, the city of Pittsburg will ban all forms of smoking in city buildings and vehicles.
The ban extends to a ten-foot radius around doorways, windows, and air intakes.
City officials say it is providing a healthy work environment.
"I think everyone has the right to breathe clean air, that is what the lawmakers wanted to pass and they did, so we are going to enforce it," says interim city manager John VanGordon.
The policy will also ban littering with cigarette butts on city property, and city employees who smoke must dispose of their tobacco remains in fireproof containers. ...
smoking ban challenged two weeks before it takes effect
It was bound to happen: a group of bingo parlors, bars and pool halls in Wichita have challenged Kansas' new state-wide smoking ban alleging that it unfairly exempts state-run casinos.
The smoking ban - which prohibits smoking in bars, restaurants and almost every workplace - is set to go into effect July 1. Lawmakers passed the measure earlier this year.
The businesses - two bingo parlors and a chain of bars and pool halls in the Wichita area - say it's unconstitutional for the state to set out rules for one businesses that don't apply equally to another, especially when the state stands to make a profit by treating the businesses differently. They've asked a judge to allow them to intervene in an existing lawsuit filed by a private club in Tonganoxie. The club is challenging the law's restrictions on smoking in private clubs. ...
bingo parlors challenge Kansas smoking ban
Four Wichita-area business operators have gone to court to prevent Kansas from banning smoking in many public places, partly because its new law contains an exemption for state-owned casinos.
Their attorney said Monday that the law is unconstitutional because it treats similar businesses differently. Starting July 1, smoking will be banned in most public places, including bars and restaurants, and in some private clubs, though not all of them.
Critics have pointed out repeatedly that smoking still will be allowed in the gambling areas of up to four new casinos to be built and operated by private developers for the Kansas Lottery. Smoking will be banned in bingo parlors.
The Wichita-area businesses argue the law restricts customers' right
to associate with whom they choose and denies the businesses equal protection
of the law, guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment. They
want a judge to intervene and block the law's enforcement. ...
Right to Choose files motion to join lawsuit over statewide smoking
Kansas Right to Choose is now taking legal action in its fight against the statewide indoor smoking ban, which takes effect July 1.
The group of more than 50 business owners and others concerned about the ban formed a couple of months ago. It has hired Topeka lawyer R.E. Tuck Duncan in its fight.
Duncan has filed a motion for intervention on a lawsuit that the Downtown Bar and Grill in Tonganoxie has filed against the state of Kansas over the ban.
Theres a hearing in the suit June 29. Duncan says hes hoping for a temporary injunction on the ban pending a full court hearing on whether there ought to be a permanent injunction." ...
Owners Ask Kansas Courts to Stop Smoking Ban
Owners of private clubs and bingo operations have asked the courts to stop the statewide smoking ban (HB2221) from taking effect July 1.
Attorney Tuck Duncan Friday filed a motion to intervene in a temporary injunction sought by Michael Merriam to stop implementation of the ban while courts hear claims that the ban violates various U.S Constitutional rights.
Duncan and Merriam represent bar and bingo owners. The Shawnee County Court will hear the motion to intervene Tuesday, June 29 at 9:30 a.m.
Duncan, in an email to interested parties, said, I want you to know that we do understand the hardship that HB 2221 will create for you. Every effort will be made to tell your story, and to overcome the position that will be promoted by the State of Kansas through the Office of Attorney General which is these bans have been upheld elsewhere, so why not in Kansas? Why not? Because HB2221 treats the private organizations different from the state, and that is not right!
The ban exempts certain locations, including state operated casinos, but prohibits smoking in most privately owned bars and bingo operations. ...
County Commission takes action to comply with state's new smoking law
Leavenworth County commissioners responded Monday to the new state smoking law by banning smoking on all county property, including the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds in Tonganoxie.
With the measure, no smoking signs will be posted on all county buildings.
The commission's action only rubber stamped what was already in the new state law, which become effective July 1. It bans smoking in all public buildings and forbids smoking within a "reasonable distance" of a door, window or ventilation system or where smoke could be expected to enter a building through such openings. ...
to smoking ban could affect local businesses
As city commissioners change Lawrences smoking ban to comply with a new state law, many businesses worry about inconveniencing bar and restaurant patrons when the new policy takes effect July 1.
City commissioners confirmed June 8 that it planned to update Lawrences existing regulations to comply with state law before it goes into effect on July 1. Six years after the city passed its ordinance, the state has outlined slightly different regulations in the Kansas Indoor Clean Air Act. Fixing the discrepancies between the two is now the primary concern, said Scott Miller, staff attorney of legal services for the city. The newest draft of city ordinance was presented at the City Commission meeting Tuesday.
Some state regulations are more stringent than Lawrence law, some are less, Miller said. We are required by law to change the ordinance, if were going to have one, to incorporate those provisions that are stricter as defined by the state.
State law more narrowly defines smoking near access points, banning
smoking within a 10-foot radius of a doorway or window. This provision
has significant implications on downtown business owners who dont
have the property necessary to accommodate regulations and maintain
outdoor smoking areas. Frank Dorsey, manager of The Bourgeois Pig, said
he expected the new law to affect business operations to a huge
County Housing Authority considering ban in its apartments
A new type of smoking ban may be coming to more than 400 Lawrence homes.
The Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority is considering a ban that would prohibit residents from smoking inside authority-owned apartments, such as Edgewood Homes, Babcock Place, Peterson Acres and Clinton Place.
We understand they are all adults and can make the choice of whether to smoke, said Barbara Huppee, executive director of the authority. But there is an issue of social justice for people who dont smoke but are affected by the secondhand smoke and the impact it has on their property. And then, theres the risk of fire. ...
Lawrence city commissioners need to take the needed steps to preserve provisions in the citys existing smoking ban that arent included in the state ban that goes into effect July 1.
The Kansas Indoor Clean Air Act is similar to the local law but there are some important differences. For instance, Lawrence has to accept the stricter state provisions on smoking near building entrances and the percentage of rooms a motel can designate for smoking.
However, if Lawrence simply repeals its law and accepts the state law,
several important restrictions will be lost. Among those are the existing
smoking bans in adult day cares, long-term care facilities, some private
clubs and outdoor recreation facilities, such as country clubs. The
states smoking ban also fails to cover smoking vegetation other
than tobacco and may open the door to more businesses qualifying for
exemptions granted to tobacco shops. ...
Senate rejects bill to expand gambling
The Kansas Senate narrowly rejected a bill late Friday night aimed at reviving the states dog- and horse-racing industry by bringing slot machines to racetracks.
The vote was 20-19 against the measure.
Senators debated the bill for six hours and became mired in a side debate over whether smoking should be banned at state-owned casinos. . . .
The debate over smoking overshadowed the reasons some senators are pushing the gambling bill. Supporters argue the state could reap up to $20 million a year from slots at racetracks, plus additional revenues from a southeast Kansas casino. ...
refuses exception to smoking ban
The City Commission refused to bend an antismoking ordinance for American Legion Post 86 at a Monday night meeting that also saw the commissioners vacate a block of Iuka Street to make way for a new fitness facility.
The Legions Rick Wittig, who does not smoke, told the Commission the citys ban could spell the end for the organization even though a more relaxed state ordinance is set to take effect July 1.
Were hurtin, said Wittig. July may be the end of it.
The new state ordinance grants an exception to private clubs, such
as the Legion. The city ordinance applies equally to all businesses,
although it allows smoking to begin after 10:30 p.m. ...
of Kansas launches website to smooth implementation smoking ban
TOPEKA | Kansas officials are launching a new website to help with the implementation of a new statewide smoking ban.
Lt. Gov. Troy Findley and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment will announce the new site today.
The ban was signed in March by Gov. Mark Parkinson and takes effect
July 1. It prohibits smoking in most enclosed public places, businesses,
taxis, limousines, restaurants, bars and within 10 feet from entrances
and air intakes at such facilities. ...
House declines to reconsider new law banning smoking bars, other ...
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - The Kansas House has refused to reconsider a new state law that bans smoking in bars, restaurants and other public places beginning in July.
Legislators approved the ban last month. Some House members wanted to reconsider parts of it, including an exemption for the gambling areas of state-owned casinos.
The House had planned a debate Thursday on delaying the smoking ban
until next January. But the chamber decided on a voice vote to send
the matter back to a committee, where it's likely to die ...
drive against Topeka smoking ban fails
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Organizers of a petition drive to overturn Topeka's smoking ban have failed to gather enough signatures.
Charles Baylor, chairman of Topekans Against the Ban, says the group missed a deadline of last Wednesday to turn in any petitions.
The group began its petition drive last October seeking to repeal the ban on public smoking indoors and at places of employment, with some exceptions. The ban started Dec. 4.
Opponents wanted the city to reinstate smoking rules the city had previously
used, or give the public a chance to vote on the issue. ...
group of business owners and others forms to fight indoor smoking ban
More than 50 business owners and other people concerned about the states new indoor smoking ban met Thursday for the first meeting of Kansas Right to Choose.
Everybodys upset, says Ali Issa, who hosted the meeting at his Heat Cigar & Hookah Lounge.
The group is trying to organize a public meeting for next week for other business owners and also people who do not smoke but dont like the idea of the state telling you what to do, Issa says.
He says people from around the state are joining the group.
to hear Hot Pockets case
Shawnee County District Judge Franklin Theis has been assigned to hear a lawsuit filed last week against the city of Topeka by Jim and Sharon Suwalski, court records show.
The case initially was assigned to Judge Charles Andrews, who recused himself from hearing it Monday while noting that he and Bruce Harrington - the attorney representing the Suwalskis - practiced law together for about 15 years. Recusal refers to the act of abstaining from participation in an official action, such as a legal proceeding, due to a conflict of interest of the presiding court official. ...
case judge recuses self
Shawnee County District Judge Charles Andrews recused himself Monday from hearing a lawsuit filed last week against the city of Topeka by Jim and Sharon Suwalski.
Andrews noted in a telephone interview with The Topeka Capital-Journal that he and the Suwalskis' legal counsel, Bruce Harrington, practiced law together for about 15 years.
"It just would probably be better for somebody with less contact with Bruce to hear the case," Andrews said. ...
shop owner sues city
Tobacco shop owner Jim Suwalski and his wife, bar owner Sharon Suwalski, filed suit Tuesday against the city of Topeka seeking to overturn its recent ruling that he violated the city's smoking ban.
Bruce Harrington, an attorney representing the Suwalskis, filed the petition in Shawnee County District Court asking that a judge overturn the ruling issued by Kendall McVay, administrative hearing officer for the city.
The petition contends McVay violated city rules by failing to issue his order within 10 business days of the hearing held in the case. Harrington asked that the court consequently overturn that ruling as being void for lack of jurisdiction. ...
changes already be coming to new state smoking ban?
The states new smoking ban will go into effect July 1st. Many business owners across Kansas are upset and are asking for changes. And some in Topeka are listening.
The Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association, among others, has complained about the new ban and a House panel is also considering changes to the law even though it doesnt go into effect until this summer.
The bill would change the effective date to January 1st and would reduce the outside smoking distance from doorways from 10 feet to three feet.
Some say smoking should be allowed in certain clubs, like the Players Bar and Grill in Wichita, which built a special smoking room to comply with the local ordinance. That smoking room would be illegal in July. ...
eyes exemptions to state's smoking ban
Less than a week after the governor signed an indoor smoking ban into law, House committee members were considering changes to the prohibition.
House Bill 2741 would move the date when most of Kansas would go smoke-free back six months to Jan. 2, 2011, from the current July 1 date.
The bill, which had a sparsely attended, last-minute hearing Wednesday in the House Federal and State Affairs Committee, would also reduce the distances people had to be from entryways and windows to smoke at some bars to 3 feet instead of the current 10 feet.
The measure also would create an exemption for nonprofit organizations to hold cigar- or smoking-related events, such as Father H. Setter's annual fundraisers in Wichita.
The changes "would weaken the bill and reduce the public health benefit we were anticipating," said Chris Masoner of the American Cancer Society, who testified Wednesday. ...
Pockets owner loses case
City of Topeka hearing officer Kendall McVay has levied Hot Pockets tobacco shop owner Jim Suwalski a $50 fine after ruling he violated the city's smoking ban ordinance.
McVay issued a ruling dated Friday concluding Suwalski violated the ordinance's intent, which is to recognize that "the need to breathe smoke-free air should have priority over the choice to smoke."
Suwalski said a notice of the ruling was received Monday by his attorney, Bruce Harrington. Suwalski said he wouldn't pay the fine and planned to file a lawsuit to try to get the decision overturned. . . .
Suwalski -- to test the ordinance -- smoked a cigarette in front of police in his 10-by-10-foot tobacco shop, Hot Pockets Retail Cigarette Outlet. The shop is located inside Hot Pockets Billiards and Sports Bar, 1909 N.E. Seward, which Sharon Suwalski owns. The tobacco shop has no walls. Its boundaries are marked off by duct tape. ...
signs smoking ban bill
To advance the fight against cancer and improve the overall health of all Kansans, Governor Mark Parkinson signed into law HB 2221, the Kansas Clean Indoor Air today. Joined by First Lady Stacy Parkinson, former-Senator David Wysong, Secretary of Health and Environment Roderick Bremby, state legislators and health advocacy organizations, the governor held the signing in the South Wing of the Statehouse.
The journey of passing a statewide public smoking ban has been long and hard, but today we are able to cross the finish line knowing that we have built a better future for generations to come, said Parkinson. With this legislation, our state takes the necessary steps to save Kansas lives by reducing cancer, tobacco-related diseases and teen smoking. I appreciate the vision of former-Senator Wysong, the bipartisan collaboration in the legislature and the continuous support of so many Kansans.
HB 2221 amends current law concerning cigarette or tobacco infractions and the taxation and unlawful use of cigarette and tobacco products. ...
to sign indoor smoking ban bill on Friday
TOPEKA Gov. Mark Parkinson on Friday will sign a bill banning indoor smoking in most indoor spaces.
The measure, House Bill 2221 would bar indoor smoking starting July 1, although it does allow smoking on the gaming floors of the state-owned casinos. The measure overrides less comprehensive local smoking bans such as the one in Wichtia.
The governor, a Democrat, has pushed for the smoking ban this year and been a vocal supporter of the measure.
He is scheduled to sign the bill 10 a.m. on Friday. Additional ceremonies
are scheduled in Kansas City, Kan. and Salina, the times and locations
are listed below. ...
to sign copy of state smoking bill in Salina
When Salinas first ban on smoking in restaurants went into effect in 2002, such laws were relatively rare.
Since then, however, smoking bans have become more widespread and have grown to cover far more than just restaurants.
In recognition of the citys role in smoking bans, Gov. Mark Parkinson will come to Salina to sign a copy of the states new smoking ban at 3:30 p.m. Monday.
We were the first to get a clean indoor air ordinance in the state, said Del Myers, health education supervisor for the Salina-Saline County Health Department. We kind of got the ball rolling. ...
Court upholds smoking ban
The Kansas Supreme Court issued a decision Friday upholding Newtons smoking ban.
The Whitesell-Finnel Post No. 971 Veterans of Foreign Wards and Wayne G. Austin American Legion Post No. 2, both of Newton, filed a lawsuit Dec. 20, 2007, against the citys smoking ban.
The two fraternal organizations argued the law was unconstitutional under the Fourth and 14th amendments. They also alleged they should be exempt from the ordinance as private clubs. . . .
The Supreme Court, in its decision Friday, said the ordinance did not violate the organizations members rights to due process under the 14th Amendment or the right to privacy under the Fourth Amendment as asserted by the VFW and American Legion.
Plaintiffs argument is apparently based on the simplistic
notion that a private organization with a private clubhouse has a constitutional
right to privacy, the court said in its judgment. ... Upon
the merits of the argument, the city pointed out that a right to privacy
action requires the existence of a fundamental privacy interest and
that no court, to date, had recognized the smoking of tobacco as a fundamental
Smoking Ban To Override Wichita Ordinance
OK'd to snuff smoking at Kansas restaurants, bars, workplaces
Get ready to say goodbye to smoking sections. Kansas is kicking the habit by becoming the latest state to outlaw smoking in bars, restaurants and workplaces.
In a landmark move, the Kansas House on Thursday voted to send a statewide
smoking ban to Gov. Mark Parkinson, who has promised to sign it into
law. Parkinson, a Democrat, called the legislation "a victory for
workers, families, businesses and future generations."
All restaurants, bars and workplaces would be covered by the ban ...
ban pre-empts city consideration
PITTSBURG At Tuesdays Pittsburg City Commission meeting,
the commission asked city attorney Henry Menghini to draft an ordinance
for consideration about a ban on smoking in enclosed public places.
Legislature passed a bill banning smoking in public places throughout the state.
Pittsburg Mayor Rudy Draper said the state measure takes the pressure off the city.
I havent talked to the city manager about it, Draper
said. It might slow ours down a bit. Once the governor signs it,
I think it goes into effect July 1. That would take precedence over
ours. Itll probably put a halt to ours. Unless the governor vetoes
it, then well restart ours, but I dont expect that to happen.
smoking ban trumps state's
A smoking ban bill approved by the Kansas House of Representatives wouldn't allow for smoking in Topeka private clubs and might help snuff out cigarette use in the city's "Hot Pockets" retail outlet, officials say.
The House voted 68-54 on Thursday to approve the smoking ban bill, which Gov. Mark Parkinson is expected to sign.
The measure includes exceptions that would include allowing smoking
in class A or class B clubs that held a license before Jan. 1, 2009,
and that notify the state secretary of health and environment in writing,
no later than 90 days after the effective date of the new law, that
they wish to continue to allow smoking on the premises. ...
for statewide smoking ban looming
A showdown over a proposed statewide ban on smoking in indoor public places, such as restaurants and bars, may occur today.
In the House, supporters of a ban are expected to make a motion to concur with a plan already approved by the Senate.
Both sides of the issue said Wednesday there is a majority in the House to OK the Senate-approved bill, which would send the measure to Gov. Mark Parkinson, who strongly favors a ban.
Opponents of a statewide ban continued to fight what was coming down the track. ...
asked to draft smoking ban
PITTSBURG City attorney Henry Menghini said Tuesday that he had not seen so many people at a Pittsburg City Commission meeting since the meetings had moved to the Beard-Shanks Law Enforcement Building early last year.
The larger home did not seem to matter, as the meeting began with a standing-room only crowd there to express support for an ordinance banning smoking in enclosed public places. Members of Citizens Against Smoking pressed the commission to draft and pass an ordinance similar to that of other Kansas cities including Newton, Lawrence, Garden City, Shawnee and Derby. In fact, the members brought copies of those cities ordinance as a guide for the commission. ...
Pass a true public smoking ban
But as a statewide smoking ban, the House bill is a "fraud," as Gov. Mark Parkinson put it when he vowed to veto the measure if it reaches his desk. . . .
The Wichita-like "compromise" House bill was offered by House Health and Human Services Committee Chairwoman Brenda Landwehr, R-Wichita, who personally prefers no ban and even questions whether secondhand smoking increases incidents of heart attacks. "What hard data do we have?" she asked at a hearing last week. "Or are we just guesstimating?" . . .
If they're smart, legislators will not pass weak legislation that overrides the stricter local bans passed in 39 Kansas communities and three counties, as Landwehr's bill would. Nor will they carve out an exception for state-owned casinos -- an element of the Senate bill that Landwehr has criticized deservedly as unfair to private business.
Instead, lawmakers should recognize it's time for Kansas to respond appropriately to the public health danger of secondhand smoke and join the 28 states (including tobacco king North Carolina) with true statewide public smoking bans. ...
Decision On Smoking Ban Violation On Hold
It will be more than three weeks before a hearing officer decides
whether a Topeka business owner violated the city's smoking ban.
The shop's boundaries are marked off with duct tape inside the "Hot Pockets" bar owned by his wife.
Suwalski says he's not in violation since the ordinance makes exceptions for smoke shops, and he was smoking inside the smoke shop boundaries. The city, however, says he is skirting the intent by being within the physical confines of a business at which smoking is not allowed. ...
ban's impact debated
While some taverns said the local ordinance is bad for business, Clean Air Kansas, which favors a comprehensive smoking ban passed by the state's Senate, said studies show smoke-free ordinances have no effect on revenues.
An economic impact statement issued by the Kansas Health Institute in 2009 found total sales at restaurants and bars in Lawrence increased in the first two years after a smoke-free ordinance was implemented there in July 2004. However, the same study found liquor sales declined during the first two years. Researchers said it wasn't known if the slowdown was linked to the smoke-free ordinance.
Lyle Butler, president of the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce, said anecdotal evidence suggests the smoke-free ordinance hasn't had any negative impact on businesses. ....
bill would trump local smoking bans
Legislation in Kansas would replace local public smoking bans with a weaker statewide prohibition that would allow bars and restaurants to opt out by paying a fee.
Supporters call it a compromise, but the idea angers groups that have long fought for a statewide ban on indoor public smoking.
"It takes us backward," said Kansas first lady Stacy Parkinson,
a leading advocate of a statewide ban. "It's a slap in the face
to public health."
"Compromise is a good fit for everyone," said Bill Nigro,
a tavern owner who represents the Free State Business Rights Coalition.
for compromise smoking ban
Former opponents of a statewide smoking ban have found a bill they can support.
But advocates of a complete ban say House Bill 2642 does very little.
The bill would override more stringent local indoor smoking bans.
advocates urge Kansas legislators to pass comprehensive indoor smoking
Clean air advocates rallied Wednesday, urging passage of a statewide ban on smoking in indoor public places, such as restaurants and bars, and defeat of a proposed bill that contains numerous exemptions.
Stacy Parkinson, Gov. Mark Parkinsons wife, described House Bill 2642 as a slap in the face of public health.
Stacy Parkinson, wife of Gov. Mark Parkinson, speaks Wednesday during American Cancer Society event. Parkinson urged passage of strong statewide ban on smoking in indoor public areas, such as restaurants and bars. She talked about how her father died from cancer when she was 23.
The bill, which is being considered by the House Health and Human Services Committee, was roundly criticized during Kansas Smoke-Free Lobby Day, an event put on by the American Cancer Society. ...
smoking ban fires up critics in Topeka
TOPEKA | Legislation in Kansas would replace local public smoking bans with a weaker statewide prohibition that allows bars and restaurants to opt out by paying a fee.
Supporters call it a compromise, but the idea angers groups that have long fought for a statewide ban on indoor public smoking.
It takes us backward, said Kansas First Lady Stacy Parkinson, a leading advocate of a statewide ban. Its a slap in the face to public health.
The House bill, HB 2642, would allow bars and restaurants to allow smoking in separately ventilated areas of their business if they agree to pay a fee of $1 for each square foot of their smoking section. Bars and restaurants could also allow smoking throughout the entirety of their business.
Compromise is a good fit for everyone, said Bill Nigro, a tavern owner who represents the Free State Business Rights Coalition.
The bill is a hit with lawmakers who say tougher bans are an onerous intrusion into businesses.
During a hearing on the bill Wednesday, Rep. Brenda Landwehr, a Wichita Republican, questioned the link between second hand smoking and increased incidents of heart attacks.
What hard data do we have? she said the states top medical official. Or are we just guestimating?
The legislation, if approved, would replace all local city and county smoking bans now in place. ...
Kansas Gov. Parkinson vows to veto House smoking bill
Gov. Mark Parkinson on Friday said he would veto a House bill that would establish a statewide ban on smoking in indoor public places but allow numerous exemptions.
Parkinson called House Bill 2642 a ridiculous piece of public policy that is nothing but a fraud.
Parkinson said he wants a statewide ban on smoking in public places like one already approved by the Senate.
A hearing on the House bill is scheduled for Wednesday before the House Health and Human Services Committee. ...
A bill introduced in the Kansas House this week is taking consideration of a statewide smoking ban in the wrong direction.
About the only positive thing to say about HB 2642 is that it is, indeed, a statewide ban. However, the ban it proposes is far weaker than the bans already imposed by many Kansas cities. The bill also expressly prohibits local governments from passing more stringent laws, meaning that Kansas cities, like Lawrence, that already have smoking bans of their own would have them wiped off the books. . . .
The bottom line is that this legislation would make the smoking problem in Kansas worse, not better. Its hard to imagine that the legislators making this proposal really thought it even would be seriously considered.
Lawmakers should set this proposal aside and try again for a real statewide smoking ban. ...
Air Advocates Critical Of New Smoking Ban
Advocates of a statewide smoking ban are critical of a new bill they say would overturn local anti-smoking ordinances and actually allow smoking to return to some public places where it's currently banned.
House Bill-2642 would ban smoking statewide. It would allow smoking in public places with ventilation, seperate smoking and non-smoking sections. Also some businesses that pay a fee could allow smoking.
Jake Lowen of Clean Air Kansas tells the "Lawrence Journal-World" the bill undoes a decade of good public policy on the local level. Lowen called it "the tobacco industry's dream bill." ...
initial worry over city smoking ban, Wichita businesses see no big changes
Taking one approach, Dave Chaffin spent $45,000 to create a smoking room at Players Sports Bar & Grill.
Taking another, Richard Hunt put up a "no smoking" sign at Town & Country Restaurant.
Neither has noticed much change in business since the city's smoking ordinance went into effect 17 months ago today.
The ordinance requires any business that allows patrons under the age of 18 to ban smoking or to build a separate room, with separate ventilation, to contain it.
Many local restaurants and bars feared they'd lose business by going
nonsmoking, but in general that hasn't been the case. ...
court will rule on VFW, Legion smoking case
TOPEKA Oral arguments were presented to the Kansas Supreme Court Wednesday in Topeka in a case in which the Newton VFW and American Legion are seeking an exemption from the city smoking ban.
The fraternal organizations originally filed suit against the city on its clean air ordinance on Dec. 20, 2007.
The Newton City Commission unanimously approved the clean air ordinance in November 2007, with the ban going into effect Jan. 1, 2008. The ban prohibits smoking in all enclosed public places, as well as 20 feet from a public entrance.
During arguments Wednesday, the attorney for the Whitesell-Finnel Post No. 971 Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion Post No. 2, Orlin Wagner, did not argue against the constitutionality of the law itself, but that the two organizations should be exempt from the ordinance.
The law stipulates any business with employees or that serves the public are subject to the law. ...
set in smoking ban case
Suwalski said he plans to be represented by Topeka attorney Bruce Harrington, who has agreed to serve as his counsel free of charge for that particular hearing.
Suwalski is accused of violating the city's clean air ordinance banning smoking in most public places, which took effect Dec. 4 after being approved by the Topeka City Council Sept. 29. ...
drive to continue
Gail Trembley, the Topeka woman spearheading a petition drive to overturn a city smoking ban, on Friday called off her suggestion made earlier this week that the drive might end next month.
Trembley had written in a blog published Tuesday that supporters would end the initiative Feb. 15 if it continued to see the "lack of support" it was getting. But she indicated in a blog posted Friday that there had been new developments.
Trembley wrote: "Due to some very convincing pep talks to not give up the fight, it looks like someone will continue on with the petition drive, even if I am not able to due to health problems. So for those of you who thought it would be over by the 15th, I am sorry to disappoint you. Confidence has been restored to the committee and I feel it will be a successful drive." ...
ban supporters cite cost savings, too
TOPEKA Supporters pitching a statewide smoking ban are pointing to cost savings as well as health benefits.
Jason Eberhart-Phillips, health director for Kansas Department of Health and Environment, can run down a list of costs attributed to smoking.
If a statewide smoking ban prevented just 100 heart attacks per year, Kansas would save about $5 million, he said.
Studies of the impact of smoking bans in public places, including Lawrence's ban, show a 36 percent drop in heart attacks three years after a smoking ban has gone into effect, physician Michael Munger, president of the Kansas Academy of Family Physicians, said Wednesday at a presentation on a statewide smoking ban.
The data is starting to pile up, said Rep. Jill Quigley, R-Lenexa, at the same presentation. A 2007 poll found that 71 percent of those polled favored a statewide smoking ban. It was commissioned by the Sunflower Foundation, an organization that seeks to help improve the health of Kansans. ...
Smoke Shop/Bar Owner Cited
Topeka (WIBW) - A man who's using creative means to get around Topeka's smoking ban was issued a citation Wednesday night.
Hot Pockets owner Jim Sulwaski says four Topeka Police officers came into his business just before 6:30 pm and cited him for violating the city's indoor smoking ban. He says he was standing behind the counter of the smoke shop portion of his business at the time.
Sulwaski contends that while a portion of his business is a bar, a
taped off area is a smoke shop and the ordinance has an exception for
smoke shops. ...
of Topeka Smoking Ban May Drop Petition Drive
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - One of the main organizers of a petition drive to overturn Topeka's new smoking ban says the group is considering dropping the effort because of a lack of support.
Organizer Gail Trembley says in a blog published Tuesday that the petition drive will end Feb. 15 unless it gets more support. She asked business owners to take a more active role in the effort. ...
exception now permanent
Pratt, Kan. The City Commission voted 4-1 Monday night to repeal part of a city ordinance that would have ended all indoor public smoking in Pratt this month.
The repeal will leave in place a transitional provision in the ordinance that has allowed smokers to light up after 10:30 p.m. in bars, clubs and restaurants for the last seven months. Public smoking at any other time or place is still prohibited.
Commissioner Willy Peltier voted against the motion.
The problem that I have is that servers are still subjected to that smoking environment, he said. Ive talked to several servers ... and they think the city should protect their health. ...
Ban Exemption For Casinos In Kansas Has Others Crying Foul
Unlike in many other states where developers own the casinos and pay taxes to the state, the four approved casinos in Kansas will be owned by the state. If lawmakers approve a smoking ban that does not include the casinos, owners of other businesses may begin to cry foul.
"It would seem that if the state passes a smoking ban and the casinos are exempt, that lawmakers would be considering the economic impact of a smoking ban in the casinos," said Barry Walten, "But at the same time, they would not be worrying about how other businesses would be effected by the ban." ...
Statewide Smoking Ban Faces Hurdles in House
One of Governor Mark Parkinsons priorities laid out in the State of the State address this week is a statewide smoking ban, but that issue has run into challenges in the legislature in past years. The Kansas Senate passed a smoking ban last session, but couldn't reach a compromise with House leaders. House Health and Human Services Committee Chair Brenda Landwehr (LAND-wear) says one of the major stumbling blocks has been an exemption for state-owned casinos. ...
Topeka Business Continues Lighting Up
...it's looking to see if it's legal for an establishment to continue to allow smoking, despite the city's new smoking ban.
The owner of Hot Pockets bar and Hot Pockets Retail Cigarette Shop
says it is legal to allow smoking since he is separating his businesses
using duct tape. Smoking is allowed in retail tobacco stores, but not
in bars. His building houses his bar and a smoke shop separated only
by duct tape on the floor. ...
Made Regarding Loophole Around Smoking Ban
"It says not withstanding any other provision of this article to the contrary the following areas should not be subject to the smoking restrictions of this article, and it says retail tobbaco stores," said Jim Suwalski "I don't know how this can be misinterpreted."
But someone is misinterpreting it. Jim Suwalski says it's the city, the city says its Suwalski.
"If it interferes with people's right to clean air, it violates the ordinance and our job is to enforce the law," said Topeka Assistant City Attorney, Kyle Smith.
Suwalski owns Hot Pockets Retail Cigarette Outlet which would be exempt from the new smoking ordinance but for the fact it is in a bar, Hot Pockets Sports Bar, and the only thing separating the two is a line of duct tape. ...
Hot Pockets Still Smoking
The owner of Hot pockets bar and Hot pockets retail cigarette shop says it it legal to separate his businesses with duct tape. Smoking is allowed in retail tobacco stores, but not in bars. His building houses his bar and a smoke shop separated only by duct tape on the floor. ...
shopkeeper: Light 'em up
He was the fictional newsman in "WKRP in Cincinnati," a television comedy of the 1970s and 1980s. Nessman, an odd sort of fellow, was determined to have an office, walls be damned. So he used masking tape to mark off his space. And, as he saw it, his office.
Fast forward to Topeka 2009. A loophole may have been found in the city's ban on smoking in public places. Tape again comes into play.
On Wednesday, Jim Suwalski said an oversight by the Topeka City Council barring smoking in almost all public places opened the door to allow smokers to light up in his tobacco shop, which just happens to be inside his wife's bar, Hot Pockets Billiards and Sports Bar, 1909 N.E. Seward. ...
Keep eye on petitions
At a time when petitions targeted at overturning a citywide smoking ban were recently reported stolen, Shawnee County election commissioner Elizabeth Ensley recommends circulators take care to obey state laws requiring them to keep a close eye on the signing process.
Ensley, who has been election commissioner since 1992, noted Monday that Kansas statute requires each circulator to sign a statement saying he or she has personally witnessed the signing of the petition by each person whose name appears on it.
Any circulator who signs a false statement could be convicted of making a false writing, she said.
Ensley's office has historically verified whether petitions submitted in an effort to force ballot question elections contain names and signatures of registered voters.
She recalled this week how her office found hundreds of forged signatures
-- including one of Ensley herself -- after one such petition was filed
in August 1994. ...
Finds Loop Hole in Smoking Ban
Inside Hot Pockets they're still lighting up because of what the owner says is a loop hole in the law.
"These laws do not apply to retail cigarette stores, which is what we have here," Jim Sulwaski owner of Hot Pockets Retail Cigarette Outlet said.
Sulwaski operates Hot Pockets Retail Cigarette Outlet inside Hot Pockets Billards and Sports Bar.
"It's two separate businesses, separate tax licenses, separate everything," he said.
The two business are separated only by duct tape, ...
ban contest changed
Topekans Against the Ban, the group behind a petition drive seeking to overturn a smoking ban that took effect Dec. 4, announced some changes Tuesday regarding a contest in which it will award prizes to those who collect the most petition signatures.
Gail Trembley, an organizer of the drive, said the time frame for the contest has been reser to run from Wednesday through 5 p.m. Dec. 22. ...
alleges anti-smoking ban petitions stolen
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Organizers of a petition drive to overturn Topeka's new smoking ban say signed petitions are disappearing from city businesses.
Topeka police Capt. Jerry Stanley said Thursday that Gail Trembley, an organizer of the drive, filed a police report Wednesday alleging several petitions were missing. Stanley says it's not clear how many petitions are gone.
Trembley says organizers of Topekans Against the Ban won't pursue theft charges if the signed petitions are returned. ...
begins without incident
A citywide ban on smoking in most public places became official without incident early Friday, as Topeka police said they received no calls linked to it.
The clean air ordinance imposing the ban took effect at midnight Friday morning after the Topeka City Council adopted it Sept. 29.
The measure prohibits smoking in public places and places of employment, with limited exceptions, as well as within 10 feet of the main entrances and air-handling units of those buildings. The ordinance authorizes the police chief or hisdesignee to enforce it.
At least one establishment located just south of Topeka city limits was using its status of not being covered by the ban to seek Friday to attract customers.
The Thirsty Camel, at 5912 S.W. Topeka Blvd. in Pauline, indicated online at http://splash.topeka.net/bars/dance/thirsty-camel that "The Thirsty Camel will remain smoker friendly after the city's ban takes effect." ...
prepare for smoking ban
At the Dutch Goose last month, work continued on a partially covered outdoor seating area outside the bar's back door that will be heated and have music piped to it from outdoor speakers. Sidelines Bar & Grill is adding heaters, and McB's Sports Grill is capitalizing on its existing patio space with outdoor speakers by partially enclosing the area with canvass and adding heaters and comfortable seating.
"We're trying to do what we can," McB's owner Jerry Berger said. "We're even thinking about putting a TV out there -- a big-screen TV out there -- so they can watch games." ...
ban takes effect Friday
Against Smoking Ban Miss Goal & Deadline, But Still Collecting Signatures
The Topekans Against the Ban coalition needed to collect 5,744 signatures by November 14th for the ban to be repealed.
The group had a larger goal of 10,000 signatures, but has collected only 3,409 as of November 16th ...
Salina's smoking ban in public places caused bar receipts to go UP IN
But has the ban, which went into effect May 1, hurt Salina's bar business?
It may be too early to tell from sales data, but many bar owners and managers are ready to declare that it has.
"The customers don't come in like they used to," said Marlene
Best, bartender at Ringers Tavern, 433 S. Broadway. "It's not been
Tax data from the state of Kansas doesn't show any clear changes. But then, numbers are available for business activity through the end of June, so only two months of the ban are covered.
The Salina Journal asked the Kansas Department of Revenue for the most recent 24 months of sales tax and liquor tax data for six counties -- Saline, Reno, Harvey, Ellis, Riley and Geary. ...
ban petition drive offers Web site
Supporters of a petition drive to overturn a smoking ban adopted by the Topeka City Council have begun offering a Web site at topekansagainsttheban.com, said Topekan Gail Trembley, one of the drive's organizers.
Petitions can't be signed on the site, though it can be used to download petitions or donate money to the effort.
The Web site indicated Sunday that 1,609 people had signed the petition as part of an effort to repeal the council's decision in a 6-3 vote on Sept. 30 to ban public smoking indoors and at places of employment.
has 1500 signatures
Organizers say they have gathered 1,500 to 2,000 signatures on a petition targeted at repealing a smoking ban recently approved by the Topeka City Council.
That estimate was released Tuesday by Gail Trembley, who is part of efforts to gather the 5,744 valid signatures of registered Topeka voters required to put the matter to a public vote.
Shawnee County counselor Rich Eckert said that according to state law, the petition will become null and void if it isn't submitted to the county election officer or other designated official within 180 days of the date of the first signature on the petition. Organizers have been gathering signatures for about two weeks. ...
Held To Collect Petition Signatures
Topeka (WIBW) - Supporters of an effort to overturn Topeka's smoking ban held their first public signing rally Wednesday night.
People were invited to the Boobie Trap Bar to put their names on the group's petition. It seeks to repeal the ban on smoking in most public places. ...
Smoking ban should pass
Sen. David Wysong (R-Mission Hills) has been trying to pass a statewide smoking ban for the past three years. Recently, Wysong has asked the Board of Regents to back his efforts. . . .
As an asthmatic, secondhand smoke is especially harmful to me. . .
Consequently, students, faculty and other members of the KU community should urge the Regents to also support a statewide smoking ban. Although people do have a right to endanger their personal health by smoking cigarettes, students, employees and other citizens also have a right to breathe clean air and not contract illnesses and diseases caused by secondhand smoke. ...
certified as valid
30 to ban public smoking indoors and at places of employment. The ban,
which takes effect Dec. 4, makes exceptions for retail tobacco stores;
outdoor places ...
Ordinance Petition Getting Tweeks
Those working to make a smoking ban for Topeka go up in smoke hope to have wording set on their petition Tuesday.
Gail Trembley is leading the effort, with support from the Libertarian party.
Trembley says her original wording didn't meet approval from officials, so she's created a new petition, which she'll have reviewed Tuesday. The Columbus Day holiday prevented her from doing so Monday. ...
join petition effort
The Libertarian Party of Kansas is joining a petition drive seeking to repeal the smoking ban the Topeka City Council approved last week, party chairman Andrew Gray said Monday.
Topekan Gail Trembley, who announced last week she was starting the drive, said Libertarian Party members will seek support from business owners while she plans to work with other volunteers to focus on getting petition signatures from private citizens.
Trembley released a statement from Gray indicating the Libertarian
Party's stance on the smoking ban focuses on the concept of a property
owner's determining what legal activity is allowed on his or her premises.
gets strong response
won't be 'smoking police'
Don't expect the Topeka Police Department to become the "smoking police" in the wake of Tuesday's city council adoption of a smoking ban.
"The TPD will only be involved in the enforcement of the ordinance at the point that the businesses need help with those who refuse to comply," Police Chief Ron Miller said Wednesday.
Miller spoke after the council voted 6-3 Tuesday to amend city rules by banning public smoking indoors and at places of employment, except in retail tobacco stores; outdoor places of employment; private places; private residences, except when used as a child care, adult day care or health care facility; and no more than 20 percent of hotel or motel rooms that are available to be rented to guests. The ordinance also bans smoking within 10 feet of the main entrance or air handling unit of a public place, which is defined as "any enclosed area to which the public is invited or in which the public is permitted." It requires the owner, manager, operator or other person having control of a place where smoking is banned to take all necessary steps to prevent it. ...
City Council snuffs out smoking
The Topeka City Council snuffed out smoking in public places at Tuesday night's meeting. Council members passed a city-wide smoking ban that will take effect in 60 days.
The ordinance amends city rules by banning smoking at:
Places of employment
Retail tobacco stores
Smoking Ordinance (PDF)
Hearing for Smoking Ban
Douglas Place goes entirely smoke free
WICHITA In what could be the first nonsmoking apartment building in the city if not the state, 250 Douglas Place has gone entirely smoke free.
With the progressiveness that Ive seen in Wichita, I think that there is a market for that, says Larry Weber of Builders Inc., which owns the Garvey Center where the apartment building is.
A lot of apartments dont allow smoking in their common areas. Nor did 250 Douglas Place, but now residents wont be able to smoke in their rooms, either.
Before making the change, Weber conducted a survey of tenants in 143 apartments.
Almost half responded. Of that half, Weber says 87 percent identified themselves as nonsmokers, and 67 percent said they wanted the building to be completely smoke free. ...
you support Gov. Mark Parkinson's push for a statewide smoking ban?
"I would support a state wide ban on indoor smoking as the governor has proposed....
hearings set for proposed smoking ban
pushing for smoking ban in new Kansas casinos, arguing ADA problem looms
An advocacy group wants Kansas to ban smoking at its new casinos.
It says the state will be responsible for denying full access to individuals with lung and breathing problems because its lottery is legal owner of the new gambling in three planned casinos. ...
To the editor:
As the executive vice president of the American Heart Associations Midwest Affiliate and Kansas resident, I applaud Gov. Mark Parkinsons pursuit of a statewide clean indoor air law.
The governor clearly recognizes the dangers of secondhand smoke and how vital it is for all Kansans to avoid exposure to this life-threatening product. We appreciate the governors guidance as we work to join the 27 other states that have already passed smoke-free legislation.
Exposure to secondhand smoke is associated with health risks in both children and adults. Because of these dangers, 35,052 nonsmokers die from coronary heart disease (CHD) each year as a result of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.
The Kansas Health Policy Authority estimates nearly 4,000 Kansans die each year from smoking-related diseases, including 290 blamed on secondhand smoke. ...
board rejects proposed smoking law
The Raytown Board of Aldermen on Tuesday night voted down a proposed smoking ordinance.
The ordinance would have prohibited smoking in all public places except where people younger than 18 are not allowed, such as bars and billiard parlors, said Nancy Thompson, city attorney. Smoking in restaurants would have been prohibited, but restaurants could have operated a separate smoking area if that area was separately ventilated, she added.
The ordinance needed six affirmative votes to pass, Thompson said.
The vote was 7-3 against. ...
to request smoking ban
PITTSBURG The saying goes that nothing in the world is free. But if a Pittsburg group has its way, bars and restaurants would be free, of smoke that is.
Cathy Newby, chairwoman of the Pittsburg Clean Air group, said the organization was currently in the middle of educating the public about the need for a smoking ban. That effort has gained steam in recent months, Newby said, with help from the Kansas Health Foundation, Pittsburg Area Young Professionals and other groups.
We have teamed up with multiple groups to educate people on the
dangers of second-hand smoke, Newby said. If we can educate
the public, we can gain more public support. ...
new twist on the smoking ban debate
There are lots of different opinions on a potential citywide smoking ban, and the decision will come down to the votes of the nine members of the Topeka city council.
At city hall the question is not whether to get public input. It's how and where to do it:
Here are the options: During public comment at the city's weekly council meeting, at a town hall meeting at city hall, or at a series of meetings in different communities across Topeka. I
It's that last option that has some city council members concerned.
Some council members were not comfortable with Council woman Karen Hiller's suggestion of town hall meeting throughout Topeka, because of how rowdy town hall meetings across the country have gotten over the last few months. ...
governor says he'll push for statewide smoking ban ...
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson says he will push for a statewide smoking ban next year and may work to raise the state's tax on cigarettes.
A statewide ban on indoor smoking passed in the state Senate this year
but failed in the House. Parkinson said Tuesday he'll try to get support
from some House members for the proposal when the Legislature convenes
in January. ...
ban a burning issue
Personal rights are a focus of both sides in the debate over a proposed smoking ban in Topeka.
Supporters say families have the right to patronize businesses without having to breathe harmful, second-hand smoke.
Opponents say business owners have the right to decide if a legal activity will be allowed on their property.
City council members can expect to hear those and other arguments often
over the next four weeks as the public debate smolders over a clean
air ordinance sponsored by Councilwoman Deborah Swank. ...
opponents fired up
People are driving from Topeka to Lawrence to eat in smoke-free restaurants.
The Topeka City Council heard that argument repeatedly Tuesday evening as it considered an ordinance to ban smoking in public places in Topeka.
One of the speakers under the public comments portion of the meeting was Ed Serrano, an economic development specialist for the state of Kansas. He said he knows people who are driving to Lawrence for the clear air.
"I don't know of any people who are driving to Topeka to sit in clouds of smoke," he said.
The ordinance was heard on first reading Tuesday, meaning no action could be taken on it. Normally an ordinance is on the next city council agenda for a vote, but council members decided to put off final action until Sept. 29 to give more people the opportunity to express their feelings on the matter.
Meanwhile, the council will conduct two public hearings to listen to the public -- on Mondays Sept. 21 and 28. ...
to consider smoking ban
The Topeka City Council is being asked to ban smoking in public places, with limited exceptions.
A clean air ordinance sponsored by Councilwoman Deborah Swank is set to be heard on first reading when the council meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday in its chambers at 214 S.E. 8th. ..
City smoking ban will stick
Garden City officials have decided to keep the citys smoking ordinance as is. Since January 2007, the city has had a ban on smoking in establishments where food or drink is served and in public buildings.
Commissioners had been looking at whether to exclude Class A establishments, including war veterans clubs because members felt they should have the right to smoke in their own private facilities. Tuesday, that idea was dismissed as commissioners voted 3-2 to keep the ordinance the same. ...
Thanks, but no thanks
While we appreciate the efforts involved in the petition drive, we also are thankful the attempt failed.
Certainly it can be argued that the ban infringes on individuals' rights to run their business the way they see fit, and if nonsmokers don't like a cloudy bar then they can go somewhere else.
But we put clean air requirements in the same category as food safety and fire codes. It is good public policy, and ultimately good business, to make environs as safe and pleasant as possible.
Besides the safety issue, we also don't like the way ban opponents held off filing their petition until after April's general election. By waiting, a successful petition would have triggered a special election costing taxpayers $20,000.
It's another example of ban opponents putting their own agenda above the best interests of other city taxpayers.
City commission amends smoking ordinance to allow gamblers to lilght
up in casino
DODGE CITY, Kan. (AP) Dodge City commissioners have amended the city's smoking ban to allow gamblers to light up on the floor of a planned casino.
The original ban did not include the casino because the state hadn't selected a developer for the project at the time the measure was approved.
Smoking still won't be allowed anywhere except the casino floor and
an adjacent lounge. Opponents of the change say other businesses should
be given the same consideration, with one commissioner asking if making
an exception for the casino would set a precedent. ...
agree to reopen smoking ban issue
By a split decision Monday, Salina city commissioners agreed to reopen the issue of a public smoking ban in Salina by having hearings so people can appeal to for an exemption. ...
Members of the local American Legion Post asked the City Commission on Monday to exclude their facility from a new ban on public smoking, saying the organizations non-profit status, its members sacrifices for the nation and the services the organization provides have earned them that right.
Mayor Jeff Taylor expressed both sympathy for the Legions situation
and appreciation for its members sacrifices. The Commission would
consider the organizations arguments, he said, especially if they
brought a petition demonstrating public support, he said, stopping short
of promising an outright change in the rules. ...
federal report: Ban smoking in casinos
Kansas City, Kan., bars opt out of smoke ban
It's hard to tell there is a smoking ban in Kansas City, Kan., because many businesses have paid for an expemption.
The owners of 69 businesses, bars and restaurants have paid a $250
to continue to allow smoking in their establishments. ...
for the ban?
Complying with Salina's new clean indoor air ordinance might seem as easy as bar owners such as Earl Graybeal reminding customers they can't smoke inside. But Graybeal says it won't stop there.
With the ordinance slated to take effect Saturday, Graybeal, the owner of Rendezvous Bar at 249 N. Santa Fe, is making plans to add a rear outdoor patio where customers who do smoke will be welcome to light up. The estimated cost? $15,000.
And inside the bar, replacing ceiling tiles, fixtures and sprucing and freshening up the place -- "getting the 'funk' out of there to make up with customers who don't smoke," -- he says will easily cost $25,000.
Graybeal notes with irony that state lawmakers' concern for public health stopped with plans to exempt state-owned casinos from a proposed statewide clean air ordinance. Senate Bill 25, containing the ordinance, has not advanced out of the Legislature.
"They excluded the things that they owned because they know it will effect revenue," Graybeal said.
Under the city's new ordinance, staff, customers and visitors will not be allowed to smoke inside any public place or place of employment. ...
considers allowing outdoor smoking areas at bars, restaurants
ban supporters rally in Topeka
Topeka Supporters of a bill that would ban smoking in indoor public places blew out 400 birthday candles on Wednesday to symbolize the lives that they said would be saved each year in Kansas through the reduction of secondhand smoke.
Everyone has the right to breathe clean, smoke-free air, Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Rod Bremby said during a rally that took place as the Legislature convened the wrap-up session. ...
ban set to move forward
Salina city commissioners Monday discussed, but let pass, the opportunity to repeal or delay a comprehensive citywide ban on smoking in public places scheduled to take effect Saturday.
They took no action after commissioner Aaron Peck chastised the leading advocate for repeal for insinuating that voters would be too stupid to figure out their ballots if opponents petitioned for a public vote.
"Let's face it, some voters are more or less likely to be confused, and or less sophisticated than others at the ballot," Gary Swartzendruber, of Salina, told commissioners.
"I am asking for one of you to initiate the motion to repeal the
ban. And I'm asking that at least three of you vote for a repeal,"
he said. . . .
petition introduced here
would we vote on the smoking ban?
Whether she likes it or not and she doesnt Salina Mayor Luci Larson said there definitely will be a special election to decide whether to repeal or uphold the proposed citywide smoking ban ordinance scheduled to go into effect May 2.
Its a question she said should have been on the April 7 election ballot, but opponents of the ordinance failed to turn in their petition by the Feb. 23 deadline.
Now, if Salina City commissioners vote to repeal the ordinance, supporters of the ban will petition to have a special election to reinstate it, she said. If the ban is upheld by commissioners, opponents will turn in their own petition to have it overturned. ...
issue draws debate at city meeting
A tougher, citywide smoking ban covering bars, bowling alleys and bingo
parlors, in addition to hotels, motels and restaurants, would be more
fairly decided if Salina citizens voted on the ordinance, rather than
choosing whether or not to repeal the ordinance once it was in place.
The legal wording of their petition, calling on the city to adopt the proposed ordinance, "eliminates voter confusion. You vote 'Yes' for the ban, or 'No' for the ban. . . .
Arpke said an informal poll on a Salina radio station Web site showed 72 percent of those responding said they did not want a special election to decide the ban. Officials have estimated that election might cost as much as $20,000. He suggested commissioners meet with representatives from both sides to try and find a compromise. ...
Smoking Ban Survives Recount
A recount in Emporia confirmed passage of a smoking ban there, and actually increased the margin of victory for the "yes" votes.
Lyon County Clerk Tammy Vopat announced Tuesday that the margin went from six to eight votes after the recount. Vopat says a tabulator error or tally error are probably to blame for the two lost "no" votes.
Michael Helbert, who filed for the recount on Monday, tells the "Emporia Gazette" he has accepted the outcome. ...
request filed for smoking ban question
The smoking ban question will be looked at again after a recount request was filed this morning at the office of the Lyon County Clerk.
Lyon County clerk Tammy Vopat said the special election board will
begin the recount today at 1 p.m. The board of canvassers will meet
at 4 p.m. at the Lyon County Courthouse to certify the results of the
Under the circumstances, I thought that for the amount of the investment that was made by the various people in this community, we ought to have somebody take a look at this and just verify that this has been done, Helbert said.
Helbert stressed that he does not doubt Vopat or election workers.
Emporia now has a smoking ban.
After nine months and volumes of commentary from both sides of the issue, the ordinance was voted in by a margin of six votes.
Lyon County Clerk Tammy Vopat announced the results of the vote canvass Friday afternoon at the Lyon County Courthouse.
After Tuesdays election, the results gave ban supporters an 11
vote margin, with 2,336 votes in favor of a ban and 2,325 votes against.
An earlier Gazette article put the start of the ban at midnight tonight, but city attorney Blaise Plummer said that technically, the ban is in effect as of right now.
smoking ban too close to call
The question is still burning. Will Emporia ban smoking?
"We're definitely not in a position where we can celebrate, but we're hopeful it will come out in our favor on Friday, so I'm not writing that concession speech yet," said Teresa Walters of Committee for a Healthier Emporia.
"It still could go either way," said Matt Slater of Emporia Open for Business.
Both sides thought this would be a tight race, but not this tight.
"I knew it was going to be really really close, but I mean 11 votes, wow," Slater said.
"When I left last night it was down to 15, which was close enough, but they found a few paper ballots that hadn't been counted," said Walters....
passes smoking ban again
The 25-15 vote sends the language, inserted in a bill regulating the sale of tobacco products, back to the House for consideration.
A bill approved by senators in February was tabled by a House committee and not likely to be debated this year.
The second attempt forces the House to consider the changes to its bill. If the smoking ban language is accepted, the bill goes to the governor. If not, it would go to House and Senate negotiators to resolve.
"It's going to get a shot," said Sen. David Wysong, a Mission
Hills Republican who has been pushing the ban for several years. ...
ban smolders on in Kansas Legislature
The Kansas Senate has passed another proposal to ban public smoking statewide, but theres little reason to believe it stands a chance in the House.
The measure would ban smoking in bars, restaurants and other public places. The Senate passed the bill 25-15. Its the second time this year the Senate has passed a smoking ban.
The earlier version got stuck in the House where it was tabled by a committee.
Sen. David Wysong, a Mission Hills Republican and the prime supporter of the ban, acknowledges the legislation faces a tough crowd in the House. But he said a House vote would help proponents strategize for next year.
focuses on Salina's economy
The issue that's drawn the biggest headlines to date in the race for Salina City Commission -- support or repeal of an all-inclusive ban on smoking in public buildings -- likely won't be decided by whoever wins the election for three open commission seats.
The candidate's forum Wednesday evening, sponsored by the Salina League of Women Voters, touched on a host of subjects, but the leadoff question about the smoking ban drew the prediction of candidate Samantha Angell that the issue was headed for a special election regardless of views of new commissioners.
Angell said she spoke this week with a representative of the Salina Area Tobacco Prevention Coalition, supporters of the measure, who told her that if the new commission takes action to repeal the ordinance, they're prepared to move forward to circulate a petition for a special election to undo that repeal.
Foes of the stricter smoking ban already have said they have the requisite
number of signatures on a petition to force a special election on repealing
the ordinance if the new commission chooses not to act on its own.
committee resuscitates smoking ban
TOPEKA An action by a Senate committee on Thursday gave new traction to a bill that would ban smoking in most of the states public places.
The Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee replaced the language in House Bill 2221 with language from Senate Bill 25, a statewide smoking ban.
The move was in response to a House committees vote Wednesday to table SB 25, effectively killing it for the session.
HB 2221, as originally written, would have allowed state health officials to make public the names and addresses of child care providers. It passed the House, 125-0.
tables smoking bill
The Health and Human Services Committee voted 11-7 to set aside the legislation approved last month by the Senate.
The House committee devoted more than three days to hearings on the bill, but settled the issue today in less than 90 seconds.
Sen. David Wysong, a Mission Hills Republican and chief advocate of the smoking ban bill, said he was disappointed but not surprised by the House committees action.
He said the policy debate on smoking in public places in Kansas would remain on the Legislature's agenda.
House panel to vote on smoking ban
Kansas House committee is likely to vote Wednesday on a bill banning smoking in most public places statewide.
But Chairwoman Brenda Landwehr, a Wichita Republican, says she
issue not to be on April ballot
Citizens will not be giving their input on stricter smoking regulations in the city, at least not on the next election ballot.
When Herb Llewellyn, city manager, looked into putting the non-binding question on the ballot as requested by the El Dorado City Commission at their previous meeting, he found they could only put binding questions on the ballot.
I was uncomfortable with putting it on the ballot with it being binding and never having discussed it, he said during the March 2 city commission meeting.
Llewellyn suggested the commission wait and see what the state does because a smoking ban has passed the Senate and is on to the House.
ban considered in Junction City
Junction City is the latest town in the area to consider a smoking
If the city commission isn't able to come to a decision, it could go to a special election.
Lawrence, Wichita, Emporia and Manhattan all have bans or restrictions
on where smokers can light up. If some get their way, Junction City
will be next on that list.
Wichita residents support a smoking ban, poll shows
More than half of Wichitans support a statewide smoking ban according to a poll released Wednesday by the American Cancer Society.
The numbers come hours before a House health committee is scheduled to hear from opponents of Senate Bill 25, which would ban smoking in most indoor public areas.
On Tuesday, the House Health and Human Services Committee heard from
the bills supporters including Kansas Department of Health and
Environment Secretary Rod Bremby.
After watching battles over smoking bans in Salina and Wichita, Dodge City Fire Chief Dan Williamson was expecting some resistance from local businesses when Dodge adopted its ban last fall.
But so far, he's been pleasantly surprised.
"In reality, business compliance and business acceptance have been very favorable," Williamson told the Globe on Tuesday. "We have appreciated the businesses that have taken the steps to comply and make it an easy transition."
By April 1, Dodge City businesses must either ban smoking on their premises or finish building special smoking rooms to meet the city's standards. Those rooms must be enclosed on all sides by solid, impermeable walls or floor-to-ceiling windows, and they must have self-closing doors.
The rooms are required to maintain a negative air pressure that is, more air is exhausted from the area than is directly supplied by heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. In addition, the rooms must include a ventilation system that exhausts air from the room directly to the outside.
Smoking will not be allowed in those rooms until the business passes a city inspection, pays a $100 permit fee and registers as a smoking zone. The business must renew the permit each year for a $25 fee.
Committee Considers Kansas Smoking Ban
The House Health and Human Services Committee has started hearings on a bill to ban smoking in most public places in Kansas, including bars and restaurants.
The bill passed the Senate last month. It includes several exemptions, including private clubs and the gambling floor of state-owned casinos.
Supporters testified Tuesday that the bill would reduce the amount of exposure to secondhand smoke. Opponents are scheduled to testify Wednesday.
follows city smoking ban with its own
The Pratt County Commission this week passed a county wide smoking ban almost identical to a ban passed by the Pratt City Commission.
The county ban will begin Friday, May 1, the same day as the Pratt city ban, and prohibit smoking in all enclosed public places in Pratt County with a couple of exceptions.
The County Commissioners told the City Commission they would support their smoking ban by establishing a ban for the county, said Pratt County Commissioner Dwight Adams.
city commission should not take up ban, but let voters decide
You have to hand it to Leonard Dahl. He and other opponents of a new and tougher smoking ban are excellent strategists.
Dahl is one of the organizers of a petition drive to repeal the near-total ban that was approved by the Salina City Commission in January. They were successful at collecting more than 1,600 signatures -- more than the 1,390 signatures required to trigger a public vote.
As reported by the Journal's David Clouston, organizers deliberately chose not to turn in the petition by Monday's deadline for getting the proposal added to the April 7 school board and city election ballot.
Now the petitioners can call a special election for a later date, which will cost city taxpayers about $20,000 because an additional public vote will be held.
Dahl said they purposely passed the deadline to give smoking ban opponents
two shots at repealing it.
take positions on smoking ban
Salina bar owner Leonard Dahl calls himself a "primary issue" candidate, his primary issue being repealing a controversial, near-total ban on smoking in public places before the ban takes effect.
He said Tuesday he's heard not one gripe about what amounts to forcing city leaders to hold a special election to consider the smoking ban's fate -- at a cost of about $20,000.
"It's all been pats on the back. The law is the law, and we're staying well within it," Dahl said. "And anyone who is in favor of getting rid of (the stricter ban) agrees two shots is better than one."
to wait on smoking ban
Pittsburg City Commissioners are going to wait a while before deciding to put the citys cigarettes out.
Commissioners heard a presentation Tuesday night from Pittsburg residents Kim Wilson, Cathy Newby and Brandon Brill, who asked the commission to pursue a city-wide smoking ban that would prevent smoking in all enclosed public places.
Brill said he felt that their rights, and the rights of our children have been impeded upon.
Newby cited statistics from the Sunflower Foundation, and said that restaurants and bars carried 2-5 times more smoke than a house where smokers lived. Her sister, Wilson, then told personal stories about how her athsmatic husband and athsmatic daughter faced challenges when going to bowling alleys or restaurants.
But commissioners said they would deal with it later rather than sooner,
or more specifically, after the state of Kansas decides where its
going with a statewide smoking ban. The Kansas Senate passed a statewide
smoking ban, and the bill currently sits in the Kansas House.
smoking ban faces repeal effort
for Kansas to go smoke-free
However, Missouri and Kansas are among the 15 other states that stubbornly remain on the sidelines.
The Show-Me State is at the back of the pack. Missouri legislators have been unwilling to even debate serious bills that could help prevent health problems and thus cut medical costs for residents and taxpayers.
But a breath of fresh air just blew through Kansas on this issue.
The Kansas Senate has approved a proposed statewide ban on smoking in most public places, including bars and restaurants.
state ponder smoking bans
Thirty-two Kansas cities have passed smoking bans, and three Pittsburg residents are going to ask if Pittsburg can become number 33.
Tuesday night, Kim Wilson, Cathy Newby and Brandon Brill will approach Pittsburg City Commissioners about taking a look at a smoking ban for the city, one that would ban smoking in all enclosed public places.
We know it is going to be a challenge, Wilson conceded. But its something that weve felt like doing for a while.
to decide if to restrict smoking
Smoking may be further prohibited in El Dorado in the future.
The El Dorado City Commission looked at their options for smoking bans in the city during their meeting Monday.
Mayor Tom McKibban asked to have the item put on the agenda for the meeting, but he said he did not ask to have the commission pass an ordinance for this, as stated as one of the suggested motions in the agenda.
I would like the people of the community to have the opportunity
to make a decision on this, he said.
commission votes to postpone smoking ban
In a 3-2 vote, commissioners moved the effective start date of the ban from March 3 until April 8, provided the ban doesnt get voted down in the ballot measure.
Commissioners Kevin Nelson and Jeff Longbine and Mayor Bobbie Agler voted for the postponement; Commissioners Julie Johnson and Jim Kessler voted in favor of going ahead with the ban in March.
The ban ordinance originally was proposed last summer by Clean Air Emporia, and was discussed for several months before going before city commissioners to be voted on.
The city commission passed the ban ordinance in December, to take effect after 90 days.
Opponents to the ban, a group of citizens and business owners known as Emporians Open for Business, subsequently collected enough signatures to put the ban question on the ballot for the April elections. The group then requested that the commission postpone the ban until after the public has a chance to vote.
Before the vote on the postponement took place, the commissioners explained their points of view.
group wants smoking ban put to public vote
"All you have to do is fill out this card and you could become a registered voter, said bar owner Elizabeth Owens, who is organizing the petition.
A bar is probably the last place you would go to register to voter, but across Salina bartenders are registering voters so they can sign a petition, pushing the proposed smoking ban to a public vote.
It's about a business owner's right and five people shouldn't tell the whole community of Salina how to run their businesses, Owens said.
Nearly 1,400 signatures from registered voters are needed by Monday and each petition is accompanied by an authorized circulator.
Senate approves statewide smoking ban
A proposed statewide ban on public smoking in Kansas has a long way to go before it's the law.
The Kansas Senate approved the ban Tuesday on a 26-13 vote, but the measure faces long odds in the Kansas House. Still, it's the first time a smoking ban has passed either chamber of the state's Legislature.
"It's just a matter of time," said Sen. David Wysong, a Mission Hills Republican who pushed for the ban. "This is happening all over the country and all over the world."
The bill would ban smoking in bars, restaurants, workplaces and most other public areas. Private clubs, casinos, beer gardens and tobacco shops would be exempt. The ban would replace the myriad local bans now in place.
ban slated to take effect May 1
By Conrad Easterday After months of wrangling, the City Commission
on Monday settled for a smoking ban that is more restrictive than any
earlier proposal. ...
would permit minors in businesses with smoking licenses
Unified Government Commissioner Mike Kane wants to amend KCK's smoking ordinance, less than three months since the original version was approved and less ...
Drive Underway to Get Smoking Question on Ballot
A petition drive is underway to get the newly approved smoking ban in Salina onto the April ballot.
Petitions are being circulated at several area businesses including The Pit Stop Convenience Store, Big Cheese Pizza, Napolis Italian Restaurant, and the SpeakEasy Bar and Grill.
sparking statewide smoking ban debate
The full Senate is likely to vote Monday on a proposed statewide smoking ban covering restaurants, bars and places of employment.
Attempts to push similar legislation in Kansas failed the past two years, but Sen. David Wysong, R-Mission Hills, said today the latest measure had a 50 percent chance of gaining enough votes to emerge from the Senate.
Twenty-six states have done this. Dozens and dozens of countries,
under fire in state Senate
A proposed statewide ban on smoking inside most public places could soon become eligible for a debate on the Kansas Senate floor.
The Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee is scheduled today to mull over a bill that would prohibit lighting up in bars, restaurants and nearly all places of employment.
For the measure to pass out of the committee, a majority of the nine-member
panel would have to back the legislation. At least five senators on
the health panel figure to be strong supporters of the proposal, because
they've firmly backed similar state-level limits in the past.
"There are number of senators on the committee who have already sponsored legislation in the past," Barnett said. "If the bill comes out of committee, it is unknown to me whether the bill can pass the full Senate. That will be the next test."
gets smoking ban
The Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee is scheduled to mull over a bill today that would prohibit lighting up in bars, restaurants and nearly all places of employment. For the measure to pass out of the committee, a majority of the nine-member panel would have to back the legislation.
smoking ban sparks hot debate
As state health officials advocated a statewide smoking ban this week, some opponents pointed to Wichita.
The city adopted a partial ban in September, prohibiting smoking in businesses that allow children. Bars that don't admit children can still allow smoking. Smoking also is allowed in restaurants that have an enclosed smoking room with a separate ventilation system.
The partial ban, said Wichita bar owner Larry Doss, is preferable to a complete ban. The Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association and the Kansas Licensed Beverage Association also testified against the bill and advocated an alternative that looks more like Wichita's plan.
"The decisions I make are in response to my customers, because they vote with their pocketbooks," Doss, who owns Walt's Sports Bar and Grill, told the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee on Thursday. He chose to allow smoking when Wichita's partial ban went into effect.
But health advocates -- who also proposed increasing the tax on cigarettes by 75 cents to $1.54 a pack -- say a complete ban is needed in public places for health reasons. It's the top policy goal for health officials this year.
ban petition verified
In an e-mail at 11:23 a.m. today, Tammy Vopat, Lyon County clerk, said
the petition organized by Emporia Open for Business has been verified
with 793 signatures of qualified Emporia registered voters.
vote on smoking ban
One person who no doubt supports the smoking ban that will take effect in Salina in about 90 days is Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius.
The governor on Tuesday said that with the growing number of cities that have enacted their own smoking bans, soon the majority of all Kansans will be living in a community that has some sort of mandate. She would like all Kansans to live in a smoke free environment.
Sebelius says that she supports a state-wide smoking ban. She says
it is the single best thing that can be done for the long-term health
of Kansans, and it doesn't cost a thing.
commission votes 3-2 for smoking ban
After listening to an hour and half of comment, primarily from opponents, Salina City Commissioners on Monday voted 3-2 to pass an ordinance that will ban smoking in basically all indoor places, except for private homes.
Proponents call the ordinance a good step for Salina and for the state.
"It moves Salina to the direction of being a truly progressive city. It will change the mind-set in a positive way," said Trent Davis, a local neurologist and member of the Salina Area Tobacco Prevention Coalition.
The ordinance will replace the one that Salinans passed in 2002.
The new ordinance prohibits smoking in all areas of a building that the public or employees would be expected to occupy. It includes lobbies, hallways and break rooms, all city-owned buildings and vehicles, all vehicles used for public transportation, all restaurants, bars, bingo parlors and bowling alleys, all private clubs and the area within 10 feet of a building's primary entrance.
Locals Submit Petition Against Smoking Ban
Local business owners submitted a petition against the smoking ban in Emporia today.
Representatives of Emporia Open for Business gave the city clerk about 1400 signatures to force the issue to a public vote. They needed to gather more than 700 signatures by February 2nd.
Local business owners expressed a concern that the smoking ban will
negatively impact their business.
delays KCs ban on smoking in bars and restaurants
Nine establishments sued to challenge that law, and Circuit Judge John O'Malley issued a temporary restraining order Wednesday preventing enforcement until he could hold a hearing June 20 on the merits of the lawsuit.
In the meantime, the city's existing smoking restrictions remain in effect. Those restrictions, approved earlier this year by the City Council, allow smoking in bars but prohibit it in restaurants without liquor licenses. For restaurants with liquor licenses, smoking is allowed after 9 p.m. if all the patrons in the restaurant are age 21 or older.
The more stringent voter-approved measure, if upheld, supplants the council version.
Mission ordinance restricts smoking
The city of Mission has become the latest community in the metro area to snuff out smoking in bars and restaurants.
Council members, in a 5-3 vote Wednesday, adopted a citywide anti-smoking ordinance.
The ordinance, which will take effect on Sept. 1, prohibits smoking in all enclosed places of employment throughout Mission, including bars and restaurants.
upholds Lawrence smoking ban
In an opinion released this morning, the court sided with the city on all matters that had been challenged by Lawrence bar owner Dennis Steffes.
Lawrences ban on smoking has been in effect since July 2004. It had been challenged by Dennis Steffes, owner of Last Call and Coyote nightclubs, who said the ordinance is unconstitutionally vague and illegally supersedes state law.