Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Senate Passes Exceptions to Smoking Ban; Media Has Meltdown

The Indiana Senate yesterday added exceptions for bars, bingo halls, mental-health facilities and nursing homes to the bill imposing a statewide smoking ban in business establishments.

The media promptly had a meltdown.  Jim Shella of WISH-TV reported on his blog that the exceptions rendered the ban "meaningless."  Meanwhile the Star reported this morning that the Senate "guts" the smoking ban.

Seriously?  The bill would cover probably 95% of the businesses in Indiana, and because 5% are not included, the ban is worthless?   I don't get it.

Meanwhile the lobbyist for the American Cancer Society announced her group no longer supports the bill.  I just do not understand the legislative strategy of walking away from something you advocate because you're not getting 100% of what you want.  You get 95% of what you want, then come back next year and try to get the remaining 5%.  If ACS were truly interested in protecting people's health one would think they would gladly start at protecting people working in 95% of the business establishments in Indiana rather than opting for 0%.  Perhaps ACS prefers whining about how "backward" Hoosiers are than actually accomplishing anything.


marksmall2001 said...

If someone in a mental health facility is playing bingo and having a drink, why can't they smoke, too? I think Jack Nicholson's character in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" would agree.

Nicolas Martin said...

Mark, that's like suggesting that the problem with Pol Pot's death camps was the lack of billiard amenities. R.P. McMurphy, like all people incarcerated in "mental health facilities" (such a tidy euphemism) was not just denied a smoke, he was denied his humanity.

marksmall2001 said...

Once in a while (actually, frequently) I express myself through sarcasm. If I'm not mistaken, Kesey's style was flavored with sarcasm.