In our opinion: A smoke-free Capitol complex encourages healthy behavior

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 16, 2017 11:49 a.m.

    MMA is a destructive activity that rewards causing a head injury (concussion), but the combatants engage in it by mutual consent. Those who inhale second hand smoke do not have the option of not breathing. As a sign in the UK said, "If you must smoke, do not exhale."

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 16, 2017 10:08 a.m.

    From a medical standpoint, why is this even a question? Timid legislators fearful of the tobacco lobby must face the reality that second hand smoke is a public health hazard.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Nov. 16, 2017 7:08 a.m.

    It is ok to smoke if your family or friends don't mind and you are ok with shortening your life 10 years. That's an average so you may die in your 30's. Heart attack is the most common cause of death and it is very hard to quit. Marijuana becomes an addiction in 25-50% of regular users and has a number of harmful effects also a dumb habit. L Larry is right boxing should be banned.

  • Flying Finn Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 15, 2017 3:02 p.m.

    Assuming you smoke a pack of cigarettes a day in the State of Utah that is only going to cost you an average of $2,500 a year. Chump change.

    Some of the minor side benefits associated with smoking include a dulling of your sense of taste, emphysema, heart disease, and cancer. Sounds like an intelligent idea to me.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Nov. 15, 2017 2:30 p.m.

    I think it's a work environment issue. The clouds make it hard to tell who is saying what and photos are hard to take.

    Maybe fog machines in the cloakrooms would be a good substitute.

  • Fitz Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 15, 2017 2:03 p.m.

    airnaut - Everett, WA - just a bit of info and perhaps a suggestion.

    It is illegal to smoke inside any businesses and you must be at least 25' from the entry doors to businesses to smoke. It has been the law for quite some time. Utah followed this concept from New York City.

    As a suggestion, people have a right to smoke, so on Capital Hill, perhaps there could be designated, covered areas to smoke. That is done in a number of Utah businesses that do exactly that.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Nov. 15, 2017 2:03 p.m.

    One of the first real evidence of smoking causing deaths was, the Ottoman Sultan Murad IV prohibited smoking in his empire in 1633 and had smokers executed.

    "The first modern attempt at restricting smoking was imposed by the German government in every university, post office, military hospital, and Nazi Party office, under the auspices of Karl Astel's Institute for Tobacco Hazards Research, created in 1941 under orders from Adolf Hitler." Well ahead of Seattle.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Nov. 15, 2017 1:44 p.m.

    "@Open Minded Mormon (and airnaut, both coincidentally of - Everett, WA)" actually a Utah resident and one in the same.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Nov. 15, 2017 1:42 p.m.

    "They outlawed indoor smoking over 30 years ago.
    I'm actually shocked it's 2017 and Utah has still not caught up to that yet."

    Utah's 1995 Indoor Clean Air Act was expanded in 2006 to ban smoking statewide in all enclosed workplaces in Utah, including bars and restaurants. Most states did not enact this kind of legislation until 2004 through 2015. So there is an actual list available when each state enacted such legislation. And given the attempt to denigrate the state of Utah no they did not outlaw indoor smoking over 30 years ago. Facts bite, when making up untruths.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Nov. 15, 2017 12:44 p.m.

    @liberal larry: "Why express judgement on just smoking?"

    It wouldn't hurt my feelings a bit if limited tax dollars were not diverted from classrooms (K-12 or University) to sports programs. But let's look at this rationally rather than just trying to be argumentative.

    Any single bill in Utah will only address a single subject. That doesn't mean that the legislature or society is expressing judgment only on smoking. We are lowering the legal DUI limit from 0.08 to 0.05%. We have outlawed texting and driving. (Social acceptance and enforcement of that law is another matter.) We have banned the use of wood burning stoves in many cases. We require automobiles along the Wasatch Front to pass an emissions test. We routinely discuss how best protect children from the risks of sexual activity. We've imposed lifetime loss of RKBA on anyone convicted of domestic violence. Society is having conversations on the risks of football and how to mitigate them; rules changes have been made.

    Attacking efforts to improve society in one area because 10 other areas are not yet perfect is not a very compelling argument. Smoking is not an individual right we must accommodate.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Nov. 15, 2017 12:06 p.m.

    @Laura Bilington:

    "This is the same state whose governor--always concerned about public health-- argued that people were better off without the Medicaid expansion?"

    No this is the State that determined we were not prepared to sign up for an open-ended financial commitment that we might not be able to maintain. While outside perspectives are sometimes useful, I'm often surprised by how much non-Utahns care about the public policies of this little State. Since you're so free to offer unsolicited advice about how Utah ought to order itself, are you open to counsel from Utahns about what Washington is doing wrong? After all, Wa State doesn't have nearly as good of upward mobility as does Utah.

    @Open Minded Mormon (and airnaut, both coincidentally of - Everett, WA):

    1-Industrial pollutions are part of the cost of a modern society. The work that produces such pollutions--like the pollution from heating homes, having lights, etc--provides tremendous benefits to society. Smoking provides no social benefits.

    2-Utah pollution doesn't affect Washington. West coast pollution, does very much affect Utah.

    3-What justification to violate rules with multiple accounts?

  • Flying Finn Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 15, 2017 11:26 a.m.

    Re: justsomeguy... - Salt Lake City, UT

    Justsomeguy asks if a ban can really be considered encouragement?

    No one is try to ban smoking outdoors. Taverns and private clubs went smoke free in January 2009 over the howls and screams of smokers, and smoking in airliners was banned in 2000.

    The goal wasn't to encourage smokers to stop. We just don't want to be involved in that dirty, risky behavior. John Wayne could explain the concept if he hadn't already died of lung cancer.

  • imsmarterthanyou Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 15, 2017 11:24 a.m.

    at liberal larry -
    Typical thought process from a liberal. Smoking is offensive to anyone within 100 feet of the person smoking. Farther than that if there is a breeze. MMA & boxing are only unhealthy to those participating, and they know the danger before hand. MMA and boxing generate millions of dollars from fans everywhere and make a lot of people rich without hurting anyone other than the idiots participating. Tobacco has made a lot of money for people but at the expense of the lives of not only those participating, but everyone around them who don't have a choice to inhale the smoke or not.

  • justsomeguy... Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 15, 2017 11:10 a.m.

    Can a ban really be considered encouragement? Was prohibition encouragement not to drink? Is the war on drugs encouragement to not use drugs? Isn't the answer to all three of those questions an easy no? If you want to encourage people to live their lives in a healthier way, you can not simply ban their legal choice to engage in a particular behavior. To encourage isn't to ban something. If that were to really be the case, there would simply be no crime. isn't the far better way to encourage people to live healthier lives to accommodate their choices, even if in a very limited way (i.e. - designated smoking areas and the current policy on smoking) and then provide resources and incentives to people to make choices to change their unhealthy behavior. In the context of our constitutions and our basic liberties, I believe a tobacco ban is a step over the line between living in a free society where we have the liberty and freedom to make choices for ourselves, healthy or not.

  • justsomeguy... Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 15, 2017 11:06 a.m.

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be
    better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes
    sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without
    end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

    - C.S. Lewis

  • imsmarterthanyou Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 15, 2017 10:56 a.m.

    A smoke free environment would be great. Now if I could just get my next door neighbor to move away and stop filling my apartment with cigarette smoke.

  • Misty Mountain Kent, WA
    Nov. 15, 2017 10:51 a.m.

    @liberal larry wrote,

    "Shouldn't we ban activities like boxing, MMA, and other sports that have been shown to cause long term health problems?"

    I'm not sure if the question is serious, but, in my opinion, yes.

    @DN Subscriber wrote,

    "The smoking ban is not "encouraging healthy behavior" but a nanny state crack down on legal (but very obnoxious) behavior."

    It is definitely cracking down on behavior that is harmful to everybody who chooses to breathe. And the truth is that it does encourage healthy behavior, specifically, quitting smoking or not starting. They don't call my state Rain Country for nothing. Here, the sight of tobacco addicts having to puff away outside, huddled under an umbrella, seems to discourage teens from even starting to smoke.

    More than a few employers, myself included, will not hire smokers.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    Nov. 15, 2017 10:29 a.m.

    I've never smoked anything. So, other than being interested in clean air, I don't have an ax to grind. But I see an awful lot of hypocrisy here.

    There is much evidence that tobacco smoke is dangerous to your health. There is zero evidence that marijuana is addictive. Without even touching on recreational use, there is plenty of evidence that it is useful for treating several medical conditions.

    Guess which one is banned in Utah.

    And the same commenters that decry this no-smoking proposal as us libs wanting a nanny state, have, in this same forum, insisted that marijuana use be banned--for everybody, in every situation.

  • airnaut Everett, WA
    Nov. 15, 2017 10:20 a.m.

    Flying Finn - Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 15, 2017 8:49 a.m.

    Open Minded Mormon - Everett, WA

    It's the concentration of poisons you inhale when smoking that makes the difference.

    ======

    Wrong --
    It is a factor of concentration AND time exposed.

    A single individual,
    starts to smoke as an adult,
    puffing a cigarette for 5-10 drags over 5 minutes is less than,
    vs
    100% of the population,
    inhaling 24/7, day after day, week after week, month after month , year after year.
    1st breath to last breath.
    moment of birth until death.

    BTW -- I'm not promoting smoking tobacco.
    This is not a "Word of Wisdom" issue, it is a health issue.
    and I'm just being open minded to ALL the contributing health factors.

    BTW2 -- I lived in Seattle for many years.
    They outlawed indoor smoking over 30 years ago.
    I'm actually shocked it's 2017 and Utah has still not caught up to that yet.

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    Nov. 15, 2017 10:15 a.m.

    DN Subscriber - Cottonwood Heights, UT

    "So, they will also ban sugary drinks at the Capitol?"

    I am not aware of anyone who has gotten cancer because someone beside them was drinking a soda, the same cannot be said of smoking.

  • Cactus Pete Centerville, UT
    Nov. 15, 2017 9:51 a.m.

    DN Subscriber - Cottonwood Heights, UT

    This isn't a "nanny state" issue. The IMC Hospital in Murray is just one example of a smoke free campus.

    Like somebody else already said - if you want to smoke that's fine. We just don't want to participate.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 15, 2017 9:36 a.m.

    So, they will also ban sugary drinks at the Capitol? Force Legislators to get up and run around the complex for a couple of miles before sitting down to pass new laws? Close the parking garage so government employees will have to take public transportation and avoid fouling the air with car pollution?

    The smoking ban is not "encouraging healthy behavior" but a nanny state crack down on legal (but very obnoxious) behavior.

    If they want to stop smoking, just make tobacco sale, possession or use illegal and that will totally stop unhealthy behavior. Oh, wait, banning marijuana and a host of illegal drugs that are all far more harmful than tobacco does not seem to cut their use.

    You cannot legislate common sense or force everyone to stop doing stuff that they know is harmful to their health. No matter how hard liberals try.

  • liberal larry Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 15, 2017 9:20 a.m.

    The state capital doesn't promote MMA, or other high risk sports, but our high schools, state universities, and heavily subsidized private schools, spend millions on sports like football.

    It seems that if you are advocating for public safety in state sponsored activities a degree of consistency should be observed.

    Why express judgement on just smoking?

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    Nov. 15, 2017 8:53 a.m.

    Several years ago, Washington State banned smoking in ANY place of employment--that included taverns as well. The response was overwhelming positive. And the percentage of adults smoking, which was already low, has dropped further.

    This is the same state whose governor--always concerned about public health-- argued that people were better off without the Medicaid expansion?

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Nov. 15, 2017 8:52 a.m.

    I don't hang around the Capitol much but I can say for sure I wish that more Nevada casinos were non smoking. Especially those without really serious HVAC, mostly the older ones.
    The old Utah ladies in West Wendover can just about choke me out.

  • Flying Finn Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 15, 2017 8:49 a.m.

    Open Minded Mormon - Everett, WA

    It's the concentration of poisons you inhale when smoking that makes the difference.

    Yes, we could turn off all the industrial lights and send all those folks home but then where would we get the taxes needed to pay for all our socialist programs?

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, WA
    Nov. 15, 2017 8:35 a.m.

    Can someone please explain to the state legislators,
    there is no difference between breathing tobacco smoke and industrial smoke.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 15, 2017 8:23 a.m.

    liberal larry - Salt Lake City, UT

    No one is asing to ban smoking. Non-smokers just don't want to participated in that unhealthy activity.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Nov. 15, 2017 7:58 a.m.

    @liberal larry:

    I don't believe the capital complex regularly hosts MMA matches or other high risk activities. Also, unlike smoking which imposes both inconvenience and real harm on others, participating in sports, over eating, etc, directly harm only the individual choosing to participate.

    There are some 480,000 tobacco-related deaths in this nation,each year. Nearly 40,000 of those deaths are among non smokers exposed to 2nd hand smoke.

    Smokers also seem to be disproportionately inclined to litter. A person might walk around the capital, a university, or a business and find very few candy wrappers or other litter, but will almost certainly see a large number of cigarette butts.

    While it must happen, I don't recall the last time I saw someone throw a soda cup or food wrapper out a car window. I can't go a week without seeing someone tossing a cig butt--often still glowing--onto the road.

    High personal and social costs. Low or no benefits. And not a recognized individual right. Time to further reduce the legal ability to smoke in public.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 15, 2017 7:42 a.m.

    When anyone would want to fill their lungs with pPoisonous gases is beyond me. Your lungs are required if you want to get oxygen into your blood stream.

    If I ever decided to smoke I'd want to start a trend. I always though that it would look cool to smoke two cigarettes at a time. One cancer stick dangling from each corner of my mouth would make people sit up and take notice.

  • liberal larry Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 15, 2017 6:44 a.m.

    There is no doubt that smoking is bad for people's physical, and financial health, but shouldn't we discourage other behaviors that are dangerous to one's health?

    Shouldn't we ban activities like boxing, MMA, and other sports that have been shown to cause long term health problems?