Alabama committee approves restaurant smoking ban

An Alabama Senate committee has approved a bill to ban smoking in restaurants throughout the state.

Democratic Sen. Vivian Davis Figures of Mobile guided her bill through the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday.

Figures has tried for several years to pass bills restricting smoking in public places, but she has not had success. She said she decided to try again this year with a simpler bill that only applies to restaurants.

Hong Kong hires smoking ban enforcers

The government of Hong Kong has hired a team of ‘tobacco inspectors’, who will patrol public transport centers ensuring that no one is smoking. The step is intended to reinforce Hong Kong’s ban on smoking in public places.

Almost 100 enforces will be on the lookout for smokers. Culprits will face a 1,500 Hong Kong dollar ban (approximately ?130).

California Nears Park, Beach Smoking Ban

California lawmakers passed a bill Monday that will ban smoking in the state’s parks and beaches if Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signs it into law. If signed, the law would punish violators with fines up to $100.

The measure, though, does exempt campsites and some specified parking areas.

Poll shows support for smoking ban

Supporters of further limits on smoking in public have relaased anew poll indicating most Oklahomans favor banning smoking in bars and restaurants.

The poll commissioned by the Smoke Free Oklahoma coalition found 71 percent of Oklahomans favor eliminating indoor smoking in public places. It also found 94 percent of Oklahoma voters believe secondhand smoke is a health hazard.

Anti-smoking groups want crackdown

Several public health organizations in February asked the U.S. Supreme Court to impose new requirements for anti-smoking efforts on tobacco companies that were found misrepresenting the health risks of cigarettes.

A federal trial court in 2006 ruled that the nation’s largest tobacco manufacturers violated federal racketeering laws when they conspired in various marketing tactics that misled the public, particularly youth, about the addictiveness of nicotine. The Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund, the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Assn. were among six public health advocacy groups that joined the federal government in bringing the suit against Philip Morris USA Inc. and several other cigarette makers and retailers. The tobacco companies admitted no wrongdoing.

No smoking ban gets teeth

The Stark County Board passed an update to their food ordinance during last Monday’s regular meeting in order to help add some teeth to the no smoking ban passed in Illinois last year.
“The State of Illinois passed a law, but gave no direction on how to enforce it,” said Health Department representative Kurt Kuchle “With this addition, the county can now make an even playing field of all businesses in Stark County.”

Club smoking ban gets boost in NYC

No smokingMayor Michael Bloomberg and his aides are stepping up efforts to force nightclubs to comply with the city’s tobacco smoking ban, according to a report in The New York Times.

The report said city officials have targeted the M2 UltraLounge on West 28th Street in Manhattan via proceedings in a special administrative court. Most city businesses have complied with the 2002 law outlawing smoking in clubs and bars, but a few clubs seem to be promoting a smoke-friendly atmosphere to market themselves.

College to ban smoking

Westminster College will become a smoke-free campus on July 1, says Westminster President Dr. George B. Forsythe.

Smoking will be banned both indoors and at all outdoor places on campus. The campus is defined as “all owned facilities, athletic venues and college-owned facilities, athletic venues and college-owned residential facilities.” It includes the campus areas from Jefferson Street to Hackberry (east of Hickman) and West 8th Street to West 4th Street and inside all college-owned vehicles.

Fraternity houses will follow national fraternity guidelines and remain smoke-free indoors. Fraternities that opt to allow smoking on their property will be confined to one designated outdoor smoking area that is located away from main entrances, walkways and windows and has an appropriate cigarette disposal container.

Governor to sign smoking ban on Friday

Kansas – The governor will sign a statewide smoking ban into law on Friday. It’s a law that bans smoking inside and even some places outside.

The ban has some businesses trying to figure out how they’ll accommodate their smoking patrons. It’s especially difficult for some bars as the law prohibits smoking near a business entrance.

“I think it’s a bit confusing,” said Ben George, owner of the Anchor in downtown Wichita.

George joins other business owners across the state in wondering just how the statewide ban will work. Of course, everyone knows there will no longer be smoking allowed inside. But the ban goes beyond that.

San Francisco supes vote to extend smoking ban

San Francisco supes vote to extend smoking banSan Francisco officials have moved one step closer to expanding the city’s smoking ban to include numerous outdoor areas.
The board of supervisors Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution making it illegal to light up at sidewalk cafes, restaurant patios, movie and ATM lines and the common areas of housing complexes. The resolution also bans smoking near doorways and windows of offices, shops and restaurants and at bingo halls.