Public Health

Reason.tv: Michigan Bar Owners Ban Lawmakers for Banning Smoking! (Nanny of the Month, Aug 2011)

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They're banning pet pigs in St, Charles, Missouri (even small, hypoallergenic ones like Pepper!) and Nice Cream in Illinois (even though it's packed with natural ingredients and the owner says its bacterial levels are well below state-approved levels!), but neither can claim the top slot because, well, this time Nanny of the Month is doing something different…

For the first time ever Nanny of the Month is cheering a ban.

That's right, starting September 1 , more than 500 Michigan restaurant and bar owners will begin turning state lawmakers away from their establishments. State Senator So-and-so wants a brew? Too bad. Politicians won't be served until they revisit the state's 2010 smoking ban, which, owners say, has devastated business, and left bars like Sporty O'Tooles on the verge of collapse.

Approximately 1.17 minutes.

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"Nanny of the Month" is written and produced by Ted Balaker. Opening animation by Meredith Bragg.

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  1. This politician ban won’t have any effect until they get the prostitutes and gay bath houses to join in solidarity.

    1. and lulz!

      1. Sorry smokers, but smoking affects those around you — badly — and so doesn’t fall under natural rights in the presence of nonsmokers. So unless the public place in question (bar, park, sidewalk whatever) serves/services only smokers… then anywhere outside of your own *private* property, or that of another who permits smoking, smoking bans are the right way to go.

        On your own property (or that of a like-minded person), man, suck that cancer stick down. Make it a cigar. A big, fat, unfiltered one! Or chew! Yessir, nothing is as pretty as lip cancer accompanied by a pool of black spit, that’s what I always say. :^)

        1. Really?

          When were you ever forced to

          Non-smokers had/have a choice whether or not to spend their money on establishments that allow smoking on the premises. No one forced you to go to that smoky bar. You chose, knowing they allowed smoking, and then act as if smokers interfered with your rights.

          For places like government buildings, your logic makes sense. For places where you have a choice whether or not to spend your time and money there, it doesn’t.

          1. No problem guessing which party fyngyrz supports…

            1. I don’t support any party. They’re all nests of religious kooks, constitutional violators, and outright liars. And they get worse when elected. I’m just waiting to see if US society is going to collapse of its own stupidity, and occasionally amusing myself here while I do. I’ve got lefty views, rightie views, libertarian views, constitutionalist views, and a whole pile of morals and ethics you absolutists generally never even bother to consider. Makes it fun to watch you all thrash about, though, I can tell you. Smokers — you realize that they’re just about as clever, and for the same reasons, as the person who repeatedly shoots their own foot, don’t you? No, of course you don’t. lol.

              1. I don’t smoke, save the VERY occasional cigar.

                It’s anti-smokers, who have the so-called moral superiority.

                BTW, that collapse of society isn’t slowed by passing anti-smoking laws on private businesses.

          2. Yes, really. It’s not OK to poison the air in a public place. Your right to swing your carcinogens ends at my breathing apparatus, and mine has as much right to be in any public place as yours does. End of story. Do it at home, cancer boy. Freedom is a balance; it’s not just for you so you can choose to shit where other people eat and then claim they should have known to go elsewhere — you have to learn to act to a standard where you don’t hurt others. Otherwise you’re just a junior sociopath.

            1. Do you also think allergy sufferers should require public establishments to cater to their needs? Allergies are more serious health risks than smoking, after all – sometimes they can kill people instantly.

            2. That’s just it, though; a bar or restaurant ISN’T a public place. It’s a privately-owned establishment whose owners can decide for themselves whether or not to allow certain kinds of behavior.

              1. I wonder if he also thinks it’s reasonable to wander into a boxing ring and declare “Your right to swing your fist ends at my face.”

                1. State-lovin’ fyngyrz fails to respond. No surprise.

          3. Fyngyrz is a fool. The 2nd hand smoke hype is one of the biggest scams perpetrated against the public by an out of control government.

            I am 68 and in perfect health. I grew up in a home where both parents smoked a pack a day. My ex wife (of 33 years) was a 2 pack a day smoker and she is 62 with no sign of lung problems. I also smoked a pipe and an occasional cigar for 20 years. So stop with the hype already.

            Do smokers smell bad to non smokers? Yeah. That’s one reason I quit, but so do people that don’t bathe regularly. I don’t see a ban on non bathers.

    2. If the Gay bath houses ban politicians where will the pols be able to find work?

    3. If the Gay bath houses ban politicians where will the pols be able to find work?

  2. It won’t be long before discrimination laws are rewritten to include members of the political class.

    1. These people were not born politicians, they actually had to seek the position. In democratic politics, the office does not seek the man.

      1. Religion, most physical handicaps, and military service status aren’t innate either, yet you can’t discriminate on that basis.

        1. seriously though no one is going to give a rats ass about banning politicians.

          1. Except the people that make laws.

  3. Maybe the anti-smoking crusade was the evil genius of MADD.

      1. Are you also a member of the Double Posters Club?

        1. Nope. But my computer forgot to stay at a holiday in last night.

          1. comeback and spelling fail

  4. They all said business would die when they made a smoking ban here in NJ.

    It didn’t happen.

    Why is Michigan special ??

    And I’m a smoker. The ban pissed me off but it didn’t stop me from bar hopping like the dirty old man I truly am.

    This story is bull-shit.

    1. Places wont fail. And that is why the law is unnecessary.

      1. NABC-Grantline in New Albany IN is basically two bars/restaurants (with a kitchen in between).

        One was smoke-free, one allowed smoking. All the staff wanted to work the smoke-free side because that was where the big money was made.

        The owner got rid of smoking, despite being a huge cigar fan himself.

        No smoking ban necessary.

        1. But that doesn’t involve government force; what’s the fun in that.

          Anti-smoking nannies don’t want to go to establishments in which one cannot smoke. They want EVERYONE to go to be forced to go to establishments in which one cannot smoke.

          These are the worst sort of people.

          1. This is anecdotal, but I attended undergrad in MI (as well as grew up there) at one of the larger state universities. During my 4 years tenure, of the 11 “main” bars in the prime drinking area, 3 were completely smoke-free. They were open and thriving all 4 years I was there, never had any trouble finding customers or competing with the smoky bars. Unnecessary ban is unnecessary.

            1. And as of me attending nephew’s graduation this past may, all 4 are still open.

        2. That’s odd, because when I waited tables all the servers wanted the smoking section. Smokers are better tippers.

    2. There were a couple of truck stops in the city limits here that lost 75% of their business due to a smoking ban. Both buildings are sitting empty now. Casinos see a drop in business when smoking bans are in place and people are in driving distance of a casino that allows smoking. Metropolis IL lost a good part of it’s tax base/revenue sharing from the casino after the IL smoking ban was enacted.

    3. its not about if businesses fail or not. its about a property and business owner having the right to do what they want with their own property.

  5. Cool.

    Wonder, though, if this will lead to lawsuits from the ACLU or some shit.

    1. Wonder away, FiFi. Let us know when that actually, like, happens.

      ACLU, althought not libertarian, are big fans of the BoR (yeah, I know, except for the Second), so are generally on our side. And since they mostly sit out Second Amendment cases they are at worst neutral to our aims but generally on our side.

      1. Tonio, apparently you didn’t get the sarcasm in my post.

        1. Sarcasm being: The ACLU would be just as likely to stand up for the poor, downtrodden lawmakers for not being allowed into the establishments they fucked with this smoking ban.

  6. That’s an excellent idea. Every company in the country should band together and refuse service of any kind to federal politicians. Maybe the rest, too, but let’s start small.

    1. Awesome ideas, I wonder if we can get the airlines to join in?

      Flying home for the weekend? I dont think so.

      1. That’s a no-fly list that I can get behind.

      2. I think it would be more benefitial to the country if they let the politicians fly home, and then refused to let them fly back to DC.

    2. Actually, expanding it to all government employees would have a bigger impact.

      1. A nonprofit association should list politicians who shouldn’t get service from any business in the United States. Everyone defaults to being on the list.

    3. I have thought for a long time that gun dealers should refuse to sell firearms to law enforcement officers until they get the National Association of Chiefs of Police and FOP to oppose gun control. But gun dealers are surprisingly apolitical when their revenue stream is threatened. And gun shops make a lot of money on supplying police depts in bulk.

      And don’t get me started on how much Class 2 and 3 manufacturers/dealers depend on law enforcement business.

  7. I wonder how long it takes before the bar owners find themselves with more infractions of minor/stupid laws they’d never heard of, drop-in health inspections, etc.

    1. Good point, Dagny, but I think that would blow back on the Pols. Too much obvious thuggery, even for them.

      1. “Too much obvious thuggery, even for them.”

        There is no such thing.

        1. Quit yer whining

        2. Quit your whining, you.

    2. True, but if they make it known to the public and their patrons the reason for the ban, any retaliation by government thugs will illicit more sympathy and bans from the public… I hope.

      1. Hope away, fool.

    3. I’m not sure that would happen. There’s a lot of styrofoam between state legislators and local enforcement hounds.

      Now if they banned cops…they’d be in deep shit.

    4. Politicians won’t be served

      They will if they conveniently forget to display their STATE POLITICIAN ribbons that all Michigan politicians are required to wear in public. That way, no bar owner will be able to recognize them.

    5. Nice bar you got here. Be a shame if anything were to happen to it.

  8. This is pretty sweet. I hope some big nanny statist decides to “call their bluff” and shows up with his wife and kids and some media in tow, and gets summarily ejected.

  9. Are licensed businesses ALLOWED to refuse service?

    1. Yes, as long as its not done based on a protected class.

      1. The legislature can extend that protected class in whatever way they want, though. Homosexuals aren’t recognized as a protected class for federal purposes, but many state and local laws do so recognize them.

        1. I don’t think legislators adding themselves as a protected class is going to fly in any state.

  10. “[Stephen Mace of Private Property Rights In Michigan] said his group’s ban on lawmakers will have exemptions, just like the law does for casinos. He said rank-and-file lawmakers will be banned, but the head honchos — the governor, lieutenant governor and top members of the House and Senate — will still be allowed.

    “‘In the way that the smoking ban exempted the casinos … the big guys get looked after,’ Mace said.”

    Because some animals are more equal than others.

    1. That’s hilarious.

  11. I’m from Michigan – I’m certainly not the bar-hopper I used to be, but now my smoker friends just hang outside to smoke. The few bars I do visit, I haven’t noticed a huge drop-off in customers. It’s about the only place to go for people to “hook-up”, go listen to live music, and/or socialize with their friends.

    1. Yeah, we heard some bitching locally, but the places look pretty full, and certainly none have closed.

      OTOH, even as an ex smoker, I still think the law is bullshit, and love The Ban Hammer. You go, girl!

  12. It seems the nanny of the month award belongs to the politicians who bought the proverbial second hand smoke junk science to pass the ban……….DEMOCRATIC KOOLAIDE ANYONE!

  13. My friends have been toying with the idea of “requesting” city council list the things that are permitted in the city. This list should be much shorter than prohibited activities
    . Perhaps this will lead to a proliferation of WELCOME TO OUR TOWN we allow you to do X things.

  14. I will say that as a non-smoker, I prefer being able to go to places that don’t allow smoking because even when you’ve got “smoking sections”, the smoke – which is the real offender, not the smoker who spews it – doesn’t observe the boundaries. Whether there’s a health element to it or not, I don’t want to feel like I’m choking to death while I’m there and I don’t want to reek of the odor when I go home.

    The shame is that before smoking bans began being enacted, I don’t know of a single place that enacted a ban on smoking all on its own, it had to be forced.

    Sometimes we need the nanny. But not permanently, just long enough to break the lock-step thinking and get people to realize there may be a better way. Now we’ve had the nanny, maybe the better way is to repeal the laws and let the owners of the establishments decide if they want to stay smoke-free or if they want to cater to the smokers again. Maybe now there will be enough of the places to choose either path to keep everyone happy, and to give the bar and restaurant owners another way to distinguish themselves from each other and thus attract clientele.

    1. I don’t want to feel like I’m choking to death while I’m there and I don’t want to reek of the odor when I go home.

      Then don’t go there. Problem solved.

      Where does your right to dine out flow from, may I ask?

      1. Commerce Clause?

    2. Hey, guess what?

      Open up smoke-free bars and restaurants.
      That way you can make tons of money and shut the fuck up at the same time.

    3. I don’t know of a single place that enacted a ban on smoking all on its own, it had to be forced

      You clearly lead a very sheltered existence. There are tons, apparently not where you live. Too bad, so sad.

    4. I’m with Yet Another Dave on this one.

    5. “The shame is that before smoking bans began being enacted, I don’t know of a single place that enacted a ban on smoking all on its own, it had to be forced.”

      Yeah, I read in the bill of rights “That, the right of the people to be furnished with smoke-free entertainment facilities shall not fail to be provided for, regardless of the wishes of those who own and run them.”

      The part I find humorous is how precious you types are; where you couldn’t even (a) work up the the resolve to successfully boycott places which continued to allow smoking, or (b) be enterprising enough to establish more smoke-free places for yourselves, you have no problem calling on armed third parties to physically force your wishes on others. Pretty. Fucking. Pathetic.

    6. Where were you living?

      I’m in Colorado and when the state passed a smoking ban, it affected only a tiny percentage of bars and dance clubs that still allowed it. Restaurants and most non-dive bars — even many casinos had already gone 100% smoke-free because of market demand.

      One explanation might be that it’s usually pretty easy to get a liquor license in Colorado. In states where liquor licenses were closely guarded and difficult to obtain, you might have fewer bars and restaurants generally, and fewer yet who feel market forces for smoke-free dining.

  15. Pundits have gone too far on smoking

    We’ve been told for years secondhand smoke is deadly dangerous but we are here alive and there are no deaths from it, not even close.

    It’s an exaggerated, created science all its own. It’s propaganda – fallacies created to have justifications for a new round of tobacco prohibition. I am for freedom, freedom for all people to have their own place in this world, including the smokers!

    Tobacco smoke maybe an irritant to some, but that’s about it. Its chemical makeup has been so exaggerated by tobacco control pundits, it’s insanity. Only 6 percent of tobacco smoke constitutes those 7,000 theorized and identified components of the smoke. Theorized is the word, since the claimed chemicals are themselves so small they can barely be detected. Nanograms, femtograms are the sizes of what can be detected so they theorize the rest. Four percent is carbon monoxide, while nearly 90 percent constitutes ordinary atmospheric air! These figures come from the surgeon general’s report in 1989.

    Oh the pundits may bring up benzene in tobacco smoke. The average cigarette produces roughly 300 micrograms of benzene (1986 report of the surgeon general. p.130) 0.3 micrograms – 300 nanograms.

    Benzene is normally found in fruits, fish, vegetables, nuts, dairy products, beverages and eggs. The National Cancer Institute estimates that an individual may safely ingest up to 250 micrograms in their food per day, every single day of the year.

    Thus, the “safe” exposure to benzene from one day of a normal diet is roughly equal to the exposure experienced by a nonsmoker sharing an airspace with smokers for over 750 hours.

    It’s a political movement and it was never about health.

    1. Cool story, bro

  16. This ban will soon be declared illegal for discriminating against the mentally-disabled.

  17. Who cares? Alcoholic beverages are the disease of agri[CULTURAL] civ{ILI}zatio(n). In hunter-gatherer utopia, no one would be enslaved by alcoholic beverage. Any slaver caught trying to grow hobs and brew beer, would be “Free” to give up his life to our stone clubs. TRUE FREEDOM!

  18. You people are gullible. It’s a PUBLICITY STUNT. No “politician” will be denied service.

  19. Whatever happened to the white indian guy?

    1. I think he’s in the climate change article comments (the one by Jesse Walker), posting links to internet-hosted websites as a form of argumentation. A true primitivist hero.

  20. He’s an alcoholic indian. Can’t even read about booze.

    One day at a fucking time.

  21. God I hate crusader groups. Who wants to start an anti-crusade crusade?

  22. The anti pol ban is a good idea. Can we expand it? You know, just ban pols.

  23. Now if prostitutes would only do the same thing as these bars we would be getting somewhere.

  24. I love the “protecting workers” claim. hahaha, makes me feel so safe.. Now I have this uncanny urge to nuzzle up into somebody’s lap and purr contently.

  25. If there ever was a model for both the imcompetence and self-serving hypocrisy of Michigan state government (and other states), look no further.

    Not only did they pass the most draconian ban in the country, one that bans even outdoor patio smoking, garnering the favor (and $$$) of the anti-smoking lobby. But they turned right around exempted the state casinos (garnering more special interest $$$). They basically refuted their own arguments about the merits of the law in one fell swoop, and screwed over hundreds of small businesses in the processes.

  26. The smoking ban is definitely overbearing, but what Reason all to often glosses over is a far more onerous burden put on bar owners: not being able to open.

    Michigan, along with several other states including California, Utah (especially Utah), and New Jersey have a quota past which the state cannot issue new liquor licenses. No new liquor licenses based on population, no new bars.

    If a bar can’t allow smoking, that’s pretty bad. But if a bar can’t open at all, isn’t that much worse? Where’s the coverage of that?

  27. This is a great idea we should start banning lawmakers from more places, I say we start with capitals.

  28. A governor, state senator, and attorney general walk into a bar. The bartender says “is this some kind of joke?”

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