Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Why Illinois Shouldn't Lift the Smoking Ban




    Getty Images
    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 16: A woman smokes in a Times Square pedestrian island on September 16, 2010 in New York City. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed a ban on smoking in city parks, beaches, and parts of Times Square. Citing the danger of second hand smoke, the mayor sees the proposal as an extension of a popular public smoking ban in 2002 in workplaces and a ban in 2003 in restaurants and bars. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

    The Illinois House just opened the door for smoking to return to some bars and casinos. Um ... way to go?

    For years now, we've had the privilege of clean air. But a few bar owners start flailing their arms about sales declines and the House wants to back up the toxic sludge truck to our collective esophagus.

    Cigarette Legislation Kills Lights

    [CHI] Cigarette Legislation Kills Lights
    Roughly 400,000 people die every year from smoking, and light cigarettes have prevented most of those people from quitting earlier. (Published Tuesday, July 28, 2009)

    The owners say revenues dropped since the law went into effect in 2008. Gee, was anything else going on around that time? Oh yeah. The recession. Everybody is getting slammed by this thing. It has nothing to do with smoking.

    I have friends who smoke. I love them, but they are incredibly dumb. They're so addicted to those little cigarettes, they voluntarily stand out in the howling Chicago winter wind so they can satisfy their urge.

    News Flash: Smoking Can Kill You

    [CHI] News Flash:  Smoking Can Kill You
    The warning labels on cigarettes will soon be going from innocuous to graphic. (Published Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2009)

    If you want to increase sales, just hand out liquor licenses to anyone who asks. McDonald's. Little kids' lemonade stands. Whatever. Instant cash.

    Legalizing smoking in bars will make me and my healthy-lunged colleagues ditch out early. So you're losing money either way.

    Cities With Smoking Bans Have Fewer Heart Attacks: Study

    [HLTHO] Cities With Smoking Bans Have Fewer Heart Attacks: Study
    Researchers found that cities with implemented smoking bans have lower instances of heart attacks. (Published Monday, Oct. 5, 2009)

    Are you listening, Gov. Pat Quinn?

    My brother once put it this way: "You don't have a peeing section in a pool. Why do you have a smoking section in a restaurant?"