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San Antonio smoking ban protests

The proposal to strengthen the smoking ban in San Antonio has drawn protest from a previously silent constituency.

LULAC, the San Antonio Mixed Beverage Association, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the San Antonio Restaurant Association joined forces to create the Save Our Jobs Alliance. The coalition opposes strengthening the city’s smoking ban.

LULAC got involved, [its President Rosa] Rosales said, because the organization believes “there is a disparity in the application of this ordinance.”


The proposal would adversely impact small, minority and women-owned businesses, Rosales said.

She took aim at cigar bars, which could be exempt from the new ordinance.

“Who goes to a bar to buy a $30 cigar? Who goes to a bar to buy a $40 cognac?” she said on the steps of City Hall during the alliance’s news conference Monday. “We don’t do that. We don’t have that kind of money. And that’s disparity treatment.”

Others, including Mi Tierra restaurateur and restaurant association president Ruben Cortez, said the proposed ordinance would put San Antonio businesses at a disadvantage.

“It’s all about economics,” Cortez said. “We’re not fighting the science.”

The San Antonio Mixed Beverage Association’s Bill Johnson, a bar owner who led Monday’s news conference, offered a doomsday scenario if the proposal were adopted later this year. He said it could lead to the loss of “hundreds, possibly thousands” of local jobs in the bar and restaurant industry.

San Antonio’s proposal doesn’t differ that much from what is currently in place in Austin, Houston, and Dallas. El Paso’s “strictest in the nation” smoking ban was enacted in 2002. Only the Alamo City and Fort Worth have more lenient ordinances. I have to ask, how does San Antonio differ from those other cities? Houston’s ordinance specifically exempts cigar bars, too. I don’t recall anyone making this argument about it back then, though I suppose I could have missed it.

As for the claims about job loss, again I say we have many examples to study. The results in El Paso after a year of their new ordinance showed that bars and restaurants did just fine. What San Antonio’s Council is studying isn’t anything new or untested. If you want to make claims about its potential economic impact, show me some data from Austin, Houston, Dallas, or El Paso that backs up those claims. We’re long past the hypothetical stage on anti-smoking ordinances, so please spare me the hyperbole. Show me jobs lost in other cities, or I call BS.

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  1. Reverendcrash says:

    These folks should point out the $700 Million Dollar negative fiscal impact the Smoking Ban has had on Ohio.

  2. mark w says:

    “Show me jobs lost in other cities,…….”

    OKs here’s the 400 closed bars and restaurants (10,000 job losses) in Mpls, St. Paul since smoking bans were enacted:

    Here are thousands of other closings across the U.S. from smoking bans:

    And here are tens of thousands of closings across the world from special interest, Nicoderm funded, smoking ban laws:

  3. harleyrider1978 says:

    About 90% of secondary smoke is composed of water vapor and ordinary air with a minor amount of carbon dioxide. The volume of water vapor of second hand smoke becomes even larger as it qickly disperses into the air,depending upon the humidity factors within a set location indoors or outdoors. Exhaled smoke from a smoker will provide 20% more water vapor to the smoke as it exists the smokers mouth.

    4 % is carbon monoxide.

    6 % is those supposed 4,000 chemicals to be found in tobacco smoke. Unfortunatley for the smoke free advocates these supposed chemicals are more theorized than actually found.What is found is so small to even call them threats to humans is beyond belief.Nanograms,picograms and femptograms……
    (1989 Report of the Surgeon General p. 80).

  4. harleyrider1978 says:

    According to independent Public and Health Policy Research group, Littlewood & Fennel of Austin, Tx, on the subject of secondhand smoke……..

    They did the figures for what it takes to meet all of OSHA’S minimum PEL’S on shs/ets…….Did it ever set the debate on fire.

    They concluded that:

    All this is in a small sealed room 9×20 and must occur in ONE HOUR.

    For Benzo[a]pyrene, 222,000 cigarettes

    “For Acetone, 118,000 cigarettes

    “Toluene would require 50,000 packs of simultaneously smoldering cigarettes.

    Acetaldehyde or Hydrazine, more than 14,000 smokers would need to light up.

    “For Hydroquinone, “only” 1250 cigarettes

    For arsenic 2 million 500,000 smokers at one time

    The same number of cigarettes required for the other so called chemicals in shs/ets will have the same outcomes.

    So,OSHA finally makes a statement on shs/ets :

    Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)…It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded.” -Letter From Greg Watchman, Acting Sec’y, OSHA

  5. harleyrider1978 says:

    ’They have created a fear that is based on nothing’’
    World-renowned pulmonologist, president of the prestigious Research Institute Necker for the last decade, Professor Philippe Even, now retired, tells us that he’s convinced of the absence of harm from passive smoking. A shocking interview.

    What do the studies on passive smoking tell us?

    PHILIPPE EVEN. There are about a hundred studies on the issue. First surprise: 40% of them claim a total absence of harmful effects of passive smoking on health. The remaining 60% estimate that the cancer risk is multiplied by 0.02 for the most optimistic and by 0.15 for the more pessimistic … compared to a risk multiplied by 10 or 20 for active smoking! It is therefore negligible. Clearly, the harm is either nonexistent, or it is extremely low.

    It is an indisputable scientific fact. Anti-tobacco associations report 3 000-6 000 deaths per year in France …

    I am curious to know their sources. No study has ever produced such a result.

    Many experts argue that passive smoking is also responsible for cardiovascular disease and other asthma attacks. Not you?

    They don’t base it on any solid scientific evidence. Take the case of cardiovascular diseases: the four main causes are obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension and diabetes. To determine whether passive smoking is an aggravating factor, there should be a study on people who have none of these four symptoms. But this was never done. Regarding chronic bronchitis, although the role of active smoking is undeniable, that of passive smoking is yet to be proven. For asthma, it is indeed a contributing factor … but not greater than pollen!

    The purpose of the ban on smoking in public places, however, was to protect non-smokers. It was thus based on nothing?

    Absolutely nothing! The psychosis began with the publication of a report by the IARC, International Agency for Research on Cancer, which depends on the WHO (Editor’s note: World Health Organization). The report released in 2002 says it is now proven that passive smoking carries serious health risks, but without showing the evidence. Where are the data? What was the methodology? It’s everything but a scientific approach. It was creating fear that is not based on anything.

    Why would anti-tobacco organizations wave a threat that does not exist?

    The anti-smoking campaigns and higher cigarette prices having failed, they had to find a new way to lower the number of smokers. By waving the threat of passive smoking, they found a tool that really works: social pressure. In good faith, non-smokers felt in danger and started to stand up against smokers. As a result, passive smoking has become a public health problem, paving the way for the Evin Law and the decree banning smoking in public places. The cause may be good, but I do not think it is good to legislate on a lie. And the worst part is that it does not work: since the entry into force of the decree, cigarette sales are rising again.

    Why not speak up earlier?

    As a civil servant, dean of the largest medical faculty in France, I was held to confidentiality. If I had deviated from official positions, I would have had to pay the consequences. Today, I am a free man.

    Le Parisien

  6. harleyrider1978 says:

    Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, Vol. 14, No. 1. (August 1991), pp. 88-105.

    Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is derived from cigarette smoldering and active smoker exhalation. Its composition displays broad quantitative differences and redistributions between gas and respirable suspended particulate (RSP) phases when compared with the mainstream smoke (MSS) that smokers puff. This is because of different generation conditions and because ETS is diluted and ages vastly more than MSS. Such differences prevent a direct comparison of MSS and ETS and their biologic activities. However, even assuming similarities on an equal mass basis, ETS-RSP inhaled doses are estimated to be between 10,000- and 100,000-fold less than estimated average MSS-RSP doses for active smokers. Differences in effective gas phase doses are expected to be of similar magnitude. Thus the average person exposed to ETS would retain an annual dose analogous to the active MSS smoking of considerably less than one cigarette dispersed over a 1-year period. By contrast, consistent epidemiologic data indicate that active smoking of some 4–5 cigarettes per day may not be associated with a significantly increased risk of lung cancer. Similar indications also obtain for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Since average doses of ETS to nonsmoking subjects in epidemiologic studies are several thousand times less than this reported intake level, the marginal relative risks of lung cancer and other diseases attributed to ETS in some epidemiologic studies are likely to be statistical artifacts, derived from unaccounted confounders and unavoidable bias

  7. RBearSAT says:

    Ah Charles you got hit with harleyrider1978’s campaign against smoking bans. All the data he puts out is actually tainted and, in many cases, statistically weak. I’ll have to give him one thing. He’s relentless. Today the E-N published a list of the top 25 cities and their smoking ban status. About 90% have enacted a smoking ban and the impact is minimal if any at all. I was in Houston this past weekend and talked to several in the hospitality industry about the Houston ban. They fully support it and haven’t seen any drop in business. harleyrider1978 needs to give it up. After San Antonio, he’ll only have Memphis and Nashville to deal with. The rest of the battle is over.

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    Rbear give it up, Bulgaria just repealed their smoking ban,englands new govmnt is close,nevada wants restaraunt smoking again.In massachusetts they are working on having smokin in casinos about to be built………In michigan the ones running for govmnt are saying they will repeal thet statewide ban if elected…………….The ban parade is losing its steam and money……..everything I posted is fact,what is statistically weak is the second hand smoke science……its all created propaganda from the govmnt on down to big pharma and the non-profits they bought off to push bans and sell NRTs nicotine replacement therapy drugs……..its over rbear……time for you to move to mother russia america is going to be free again!

  9. dmcnuggets says:

    Ha, I always love how smoking ban supporters always dismiss claims of truth about bans hurting privately-owned businesses catering to smokers in any way, when all the honest evidence our side brings up about ban losses is completely true. Smoking ban supporters should be extremely ashamed how they distort the truth about bans hurting businesses, when the data is out there all over the internet showing how past smoking bans have hurt businesses to this day. Many businesses and bars under bans ignore them to stay in business, and do I need to mention how many times your side has made tired and deceptive claims about bans causing fewer heart attacks? I won’t even begin to discuss the latter, due to the fact ALL of these fraudulent ‘studies’ have been debunked.

    What do anti-smoking supporters not understand about how smoking bans take away the rights of entrepreneurs to freely cater to smokers if they wish, smokers to assemble indoors if the owner wishes to permit smoking, and the right of employees(yes, there are many workers who don’t prefer smoke-free environments) to work in a smoking environment? There is no more right for one to smoke, nor is there one to breathe smoke-free air. People should vote with their wallets, and not patronize smoking or smoke-free establishments if their indoor policy bothers them.

    Here are numerous examples:
    Metropolis, IL casino laid off 30 people, and has a 23% drop in revenue after the Illinois smoking ban took effect:

    Illinois gaming board said statewide gaming revenue down 21% in 2008, and 9% in first 10 months of 2009:

    multiple antidotes about rural Iowa bar business down, and NOT having the means to attract any new non-smoking customers, unlike chain restaurants:

    Saint Louis County, MO bar chooses to close, instead of taking the risk of an upcoming county smoking ban putting it out of business:

    former owner of country music bar Hoot-n-Anny’s clearly says the Columbia, MO ban put it out of business:

    Michigan bars doing lottery boycotts to protest state smoking ban:

    Minnesota bars did “theater nights” to briefly defy the smoking ban, and bars got 2x to 4x as many crowds as they did right after the effective date of Minnesota’s ban:

    Ohio smoking ban defiance to this day, including many mom-and-pop bars:

  10. dmcnuggets says:

    Don’t forget Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Mark Neumann has been consistent in saying that he would repeal the state smoking ban, if elected governor there. Scott Walker just changed his position, and has started to say the same on the campaign trail:

  11. Rebecca says:

    Smoking bans really do hurt businesses. Look at the following article by Dr. Marlow from the CATO Institute. It was also published in the AAPS medical journal.

  12. Mntvernon says:

    RbearSat, I’ve looked at HR1978 & DmstrMcNguts online sources. Do you have any online sources besides the ambiguous & vague ACS & TFK public relation releases? “E-N” saying that 90 % have inacted the ban & basing your conclusions on talking with several in the hospitality industry is like assessing the gulf oil spill in Tony Haywards boardroom.
    HR & DMcNgs have provided real people & tangible reports of the damage, can you?

  13. HistoryBuff says:

    Beware of the studies that come from the no-smoke groups and their pawns. They gain their funds thru grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) which is a foundation of the Johnson and Johnson Company who currently owns at 250 pharmaceutical companies and they make the no-smoke products. Money is filtered down, even thru the American Cancer Society (a PRIVATE organization that profits) and other organizations such as Tobacco Free Kids which is their lobby arm, which the RWJF began with $84 Million. Follow the money and investigate the GOOD in nicotine along with who holds and wants more patents on nicotine.

    FYI: Tobacco in in the same food group as potato, tomato, cauliflower, green pepper, egg plant and other foods. They ALL contain nicotine! Are you ready to give up your spaghetti, pizza and mashed potatoes?

  14. John Smith says:

    I’d like to understand what is “statistically weak” about those studies. Just saying they are is not sufficient.

    If smoking bans help bar revenue, why are there still smoke-easies in Austin? It does not make sense that in these hard times, bar owner’s would decrease their revenue by permitting smoking in their bars.

  15. sheila says:

    Bars are closing already in Kansas. 6 In Salina ( one year smoking ban) It is small neighborhood bars that are closing, not the big chain bar/restaurants. Pool halls close first, then bars, then bingo, then bowling alleys in the very small communites. Cjarles has not done his homework, or he is simply another bought off hack for the pro ban agenda.

  16. rocky says:

    Rbear, taited you say, yeah so tainted that a Federal Judge by the name of osteen got a case dropped in his lap in North Carolina,the case was that of EPA’S study on second hand smoke/environmental tobacco smoke.The judge an anti-tobbaco judge by reputation spent 4 years going thru the study and interviewing scientists at EPA and came to the conclusion
    ”EPA’s 1992 conclusions are not supported by reliable scientific evidence. The report has been largely discredited and, in 1998, was legally vacated by a federal judge.Before its 1992 report, EPA had always used epidemiology’s gold standard CI of 95 percent to emeasure statistical significance. But because the U.S. studies chosen[cherry picked] for the report were not statistically significant within a 95 percent CI, for the first time in its history EPA changed the rules and used a 90 percent CI, which doubled the chance of being wrong.

    The judge threw it out! it was so crooked & a farce for a study. The American Cancer Society is in bed with the politicians & get a huge amount of money from special interests. These are all facts now and not made up – go do some of your own research, it’s all out there in black and white. The truth is all coming out now & you anti’s can’t stand it.

    This is NOT about health! It’s about taxing & big pharma & crooked evil greedy special interests passing laws that suit them & their companys.

    A growing number of independent policy experts from a wide range of professions and differing political views are speaking out against the anti-smoking campaign.
    How harmful is smoking to smokers? Public health advocates who claim one out of every three, or even one out of every two, smokers will die from a smoking-related illness are grossly exaggerating the real threat. The actual odds of a smoker dying from smoking before the age of 75 are about 1 in 12. In other words, 11 out of 12 life-long smokers don’t die before the age of 75 from a smoking-related disease.

    In a 1998 article titled “Lies, Damned Lies, and 400,000 Smoking-related Deaths,” Levy and Marimont showed how removing diseases for which a link between smoking and mortality has been alleged but not proven cuts the hypothetical number of smoking-related fatalities in half. Replacing an unrealistically low death rate for never-smokers with the real fatality rate cuts the number by a third.

    rbear, if Harley leaves there are thousands that will replace him as more & more of us learn the truth behind this cigarette tobacco farce and who’s behind this & what is really going on.

  17. John Smith says:

    I think it’s a bit fishy that OSHA does not ban smoking indoors. After all, they are the Federal agency charged with protecting worker health and safety. If SHS is so deadly, why has not OSHA banned it? If they had been bought off by Big Tobacco, then surely it would have come out by now, especially with the Left in power.

  18. mark w says:

    New federal tax revenue data shows federal govt profited from tobacco sales in a big way, look for more smoking bans to be repealed in the future:

  19. Rebecca says:

    We have members from many states!

  20. […] have the better of it. It was amusing to me to see the pro-smoking forces come out in droves in the comments to my previous post. I don’t know about you, but I don’t see them scoring a whole lot of victories in […]

  21. jpinsatx says:

    Here we go again, local politics at its worst! Mayor Castro and City Leaders, Why not address the Major Issues that really will make a Quality of Life difference in San Antonio? … Teen Pregnancies… High School Drop Outs… Extremely Low Pay Scale… Affordable Higher Education… Job Training… Obesity… Increasing Violent Crime… Outrageously High Property Taxes…etc. Smoking in restaurants is already strictly controlled by existing ordinances and poses absolutely no threat to anyone. As for bar patrons, they are consenting adults, government should leave them alone!