Smoking ban debate continues to smolder

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Jim Farrell and Jeanne Weigum have a discussion of the smoking bans already in place as well as those being considered for bars and restaurants throughout Minnesota.

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(00:00:00) From Minnesota Public Radio. I'm Greta Cunningham Minnesota Governor Tim pawlenty flew over storm damaged parts of Nobles and rock counties today. The governor has asked the US Department of Agriculture to do a crop damage assessment which is the precursor to securing low-interest loans to affected Farmers Southwestern. Minnesota was hit by 80 mile-per-hour winds heavy rains inhale on Tuesday plenty hasn't decided whether he'll seek a presidential disaster declaration to help residents and business owners who sustained structural damage President Bush urge several thousand supporters in Mankato yesterday to get out the vote and help him win re-election. The campaign rally followed a stop at Alice or Farm where the president announced expansion of a program that pays Farmers to take marginal Cop Land out of production. The president's 10th visit to the state since taking office Drew an assortment of protests at the Mankato stop more than two dozen union members called for improvements to the Healthcare System. Randall billmeyer represented a group of locked out sugar be cooperative workers in Renville bill Mayer says declining medical coverage caused his membership. To reject their contract which led to the lockout who's looking out for us health (00:01:04) care costs are out of control recent news tells us that prescription drugs arise in three times faster than inflation over 43 million Americans are without health (00:01:16) insurance the Sierra Club also held an event to criticized the bush administration's environmental record. Mostly sunny skies around the region today with highs ranging from 68 in the north to near 78 in the South and West Skies will be clear tonight with lows ranging from 40 in the north east to near 52 in the southwest right now in Hibbing. It's fair and 67 St. Cloud reports Fair skies and 66 skies are sunny and Duluth and 66 and in the Twin Cities Fair Skies a temperature of 68 degrees from Minnesota Public Radio news. I'm Greta Cunningham. (00:01:54) Good morning, and welcome to midday. I Mike Edgerly in for Gary. Eichten who's on vacation 29 years after Minnesota adopted the nation's first Clean Indoor Air Act. Here's a phrase. You may not hear much longer when you go out for a meal at a Minnesota restaurant or bar smoking or non Bloomington and Minneapolis have joined Moose Lake in Olmstead County and passing smoking bans. St. Paul is lurching toward some kind of band Ramsey County has a version of a band before it the Hennepin County Board will vote on ab and later this month Fargo has to and may have three versions of a ban on the ballot in November across the Red River from Fargo Moorhead has a ban on the books. But an implementation date for more heads band won't be decided until after the citizens in Fargo vote this hour, we'll talk about the restaurant and bar smoking bans already in place and those that are being considered throughout Minnesota. We want to hear from you and what you to join our Your guests in this conversation, but first, let's get a little background in some Minnesota communities smoking Bans are nothing new Minnesota public radio's marks a deck like reports on what's happened in places where smoking Bans are in place long after the contentious debate has subsided for years ago Moose Lake 40 miles south of Duluth population 2300 drew a lot of attention when it's city council narrowly voted to Outlaw smoking in the town's restaurants. Mayor Clayton Hartman voted against what became Minnesota's first smoking ban, which took effect in August of 2004 Hardman. It was a matter of principle. I felt that these decisions in terms of business place was appropriate for the individual owner to say yes. I want people to smoke in my place. Yes, I are I don't it rather than have it as a blanket policy. Now Hartman says prohibiting smoking and Moose Lake restaurants was a good idea. He remembers concerns raised by Fellow opponents people would be getting hauled off to jail for lighting up businesses would be forced to shut down the things that were put out there as potential problems didn't didn't occur such as violations arresting the people finally of people loss of business. I didn't materialize following Moose Lake nearby Duluth passed a smoking ban Duluth ban took effect, January 1st. 2001 Chris Wausaukee. The owner of the Pickwick restaurant had been an outspoken opponent when the ban was under debate hindsight is 20/20, but he look back on it and it was a battle and I would probably say that I like it. Now what sake says he likes it now in part because business which he says initially dropped ten to fifteen percent has returned to normal. He says his restaurant is also cleaner now and on a more personal note. He's not smoking as much as he used to still with sake. Lawrence communities debating bands not to be fooled into believing no businesses will suffer. You do take a loss in business. Definitely and what they preach to you is that they say that meaning the American Lung Association of the people going behind the band is that all these hordes and hordes of non-smokers are going to be coming and patronizing your establishments and stuff which is you know, not true Olmsted county home to the city of Rochester also adopted a smoking ban that ban went into effect January 1st of 2002 it prohibits smoking in any establishment in which food sales account for more than 50% of the business from the beginning of the debate there the owner of the Canadian Honker Restaurant and Lounge Joe powers, like the idea of number one reason, I really was for a band is because kids don't have choices and smoking areas apart from a truck. Stop Powers is convinced the band did not hurt area businesses the executive. Of the Rochester convention and visitors bureau Brenda Rickett says the ban cost the city a huge veterans convention that had booked five thousand hotel rooms for 2005 apart from that loss though rig. It is hard pressed to list casualties of Olmstead counties smoking ban certainly as the smoke settles. So to speak it isn't something that is part of our daily conversation around here anymore. It the ordinance has been in place now for several years and sometimes no news is good news, but I have you know, there has been some businesses have been impacted but we've adjusted I think as a community and a county rigid tells groups looking at Rochester as a convention site about the smoking ban. She says so far it's more of a warning than a selling point communities at the Forefront of the growing smoking ban movement seemed to agree the best way to handle the issue would be on a Statewide level that way. Businesses would all be playing by the same rules and what's been perhaps the strongest argument against smoking restrictions the prospect of smokers taking their business elsewhere would no longer be part of the debate. This is Mark zdechlik, Minnesota Public Radio, Jeannie Wiggum and president of the association of non-smokers, Minnesota and Jim Farrell, the executive director of the Minnesota licensed beverage Association are in studios this hour to take your questions and comments. Mr. Farrow Ms. Wiggum. Thanks for coming in today. (00:07:21) Thanks for the opportunity. (00:07:22) Are we heading for in effect Jim Farrell a Statewide ban on smoking in bars and restaurants one city in one County at a time. I don't know, you know, the governor sets the tone at the state level and the governor came out and said that he had a daughter that was asthmatic that he search for restaurants. That would be smoke-free or not a smoky that he wanted to see things done. At a local level before looking at it at the state level. So, you know the assumption would be as it were probably going to be dealing with this at a local level before it's ever addressed estate Ms. Wagon. What do you think Statewide ban on the horizon? It's just a matter of time or not. (00:08:05) Well, it's a matter of time but the issue is what time period I wouldn't bet on anything for five years. I think at the local level we're going to continue to see progress. I think cities and communities are going to be doing things and they're not all going to be exactly the same and I think to some degree the differences between communities and among communities will be what drives the state to act when there are 50 ordinances in this state that regulate smoking and they're all slightly different. I think the pressure to do something at state level will Mount (00:08:38) join our conversation with Jeanne why gum and Jim Farrell at 6512276 thousand 6512276 thousand that's in the Twin Cities or you can reach us. Free anywhere you can hear our voices at one eight hundred two, four two two eight two eight one eight hundred two, four two two eight two eight or you may send an online question. Go to Minnesota Public Radio dot-org and click on send a question. Mr. Farrell, as you know to Governor pawlenty had said, he wouldn't support a Statewide ban. He wanted it initially to to be a local item. He did tell me last week when he was here that that if it did come to him now he would in fact sign it if the legislature passed it. I'm wondering what do you see is the support in the House and Senate for a Statewide ban any at all? Well, I think the Senate, you know, I didn't participate in the debate at all this past year because we didn't think it was worth spending any time because the author and the house was a Democrat who was in his first term and my experience having been a former legislator is is that on an issue like this. You better have someone from the majority party authoring the bill as the chief author, so I think the Probably passes something like they did this year and my guess would be is it the house that you know, they could possibly try to preempt but I don't see anything really coming forward when I've talked to legislators this summer at different fundraisers. Everybody's talking about budget budget budget wouldn't everyone just adjust more quickly. If we just went ahead with the smoking ban because it seems inevitable at this point, you know, you're probably right, but I'm going to dance here a bit and not try to anger at either House Republicans or or Senate Democrats. I just at this point don't see it happening and therefore that's why we've put forth our proposal for a regional solution at this time does are we going to have a regional solution? It seems that st. Paul wants to at this point Veer away from what Minneapolis and Bloomington are heading to have have done already which is to exempt some to exempt some bars who sell more Hall in food, I think we will end up with a regional solution and I think that we were probably one of the driving factors in that it once one side tries to let elected officials off the hook. They gravitate towards that and so I think that's where we're headed as we deal with a larger Geographic (00:11:10) footprint. I guess. I'd like to hear. Mr. Farrell give an example of how that has actually worked in anything. (00:11:19) Well, Jeannie. I haven't been involved now that I'm involved it'll work. (00:11:24) I'm now that's magical thinking look there has never been a situation where you expect hundreds of jurisdictions to suddenly all link arms and jump at exactly the same time in the same place. It's not going to happen a regional solution. If you call it a county that's a region a city. That's a region, but if you're talking Dakota War Shington Hennepin and Ramsey Scott Carver County. It's not (00:11:54) happening. Well, I just say Gene that I'm a little more optimistic. I think that what you'll see is Hennepin and Ramsey probably adopting the Olmstead County version because it's had success in another County in southern Minnesota. Then the question will be is the more conservative areas of Washington Anoka I would guess that Dakota County probably will adopt the Olmsted County version. So I think the five County Metro Area it's pretty reasonable to say that it's going to happen. (00:12:23) Seems like Fantasy Island (00:12:26) to me these two have obviously done this before we'd like for you to join our conversation with Jim Farrell and Jeanne Wiggum about smoking bans those in place which which at least in Minneapolis and Bloomington will take effect next year next spring those that are under discussion and on the ballots around the region, they'll filled your calls and take your comments at 6'5 12276 thousand 6512276 thousand or toll-free 1-800-221-9460 to 828 or you may go online at Minnesota Public Radio dot org and click on send a question Ms. Wiggum. Why now? Why all of a sudden we wake up and the radio is telling us that Bloomington and Minneapolis and Hennepin County and Fargo and Moorhead. How did this all happen? What's what did you what did you Nan? What did you opponents of smokers pull off here that we didn't happen to see (00:13:23) boy would I love To take credit for this but I can't I think that when Duluth occurred a few years ago, there was a huge political price that people paid on both sides and it frightened people people kind of had the feeling they didn't want to spend the rest of their lives dealing with tobacco issues. And I think I don't think that was an accident. I think it I think it was an issue that opponents made it a real painful issue for everybody and so elected officials wanted to be able to deal with other important issues. And so they just were unwilling to take this on. I think there was a Fear Factor then Along come other states and other communities that not only do it, but do it. Well do it without a huge political backlash and it's working. It's it people are going to New York and coming back and saying Jesus that nice and people have kids that are living in San Diego and they come back to visit and said was for this smoking in bars. What if and Getting this pressure from down below and then the research again again begins to support stronger action scientific information ends up coming out in the CDC ends up saying, you know, you really shouldn't be in any kind of smoke at all. If you have any kind of heart disease and there's that kind of pressure building then Dave thrown smoker biker bar guy. I mean totally credible on this issue except nobody ever thought of him on this issue and he stands up and says it's time it's just plain time. I have been a bar employee as a musician for many many years. I know what I'm doing to other people. I know what other people are doing to me. It's just time. (00:15:08) Mr. Farrell. What do you think what's going on here? All of a sudden that the seems to be sweeping the region? Well, I think Gene should give herself an amp add some credit. I think that they've prime the pump my understanding is what happened was Dave had Constituents on Grand Avenue that had trouble containing smoking a joint building and you know his only solution to it was to do this. I think that she's right in the fact that in the more liberal core areas. I think this is an issue that has been kind of percolating for a while and Minneapolis. You know, I think the fact that they have to Green Party folks on the council had an impact and yeah, that's where it is right now. It's it's a strange issue is my mother told me that you know at 70 she sees this and she says are we really at War because she doesn't think this would have been a discussion during the war of her time. Why is that I think that we really haven't felt the urgency of War at this point. I think we're going to see that in the presidential election. I don't think people buy it. So we're having conversations about issues like (00:16:19) this. So you don't think I got it interrupt here. This is crazy. I mean there are more (00:16:23) Beeping I'm not gonna call you (00:16:25) crazy. No, this is crazy. There are more people that died of tobacco-related disease who fought in World War Two then died of enemy bullets. We know that we know that six times as many people die. Annually of tobacco-related disease as died in all years of Vietnam. So we really are talking a war here. We're talking a war for people's lives and it's American lives were talking about we're trying to save them. (00:16:52) Well, what I'm getting at Gene is the question is where's Homeland Security the priorities and and clearly, you know, there's budget issues. But right now we're spending a lot of time talking about this and I think it's because people don't think we're really at War (00:17:06) I think it's because it's (00:17:07) important. Let's let's let's get our callers involved. Let's go to a Kelly and st. Paul you're on with Jim Farrell and Jeanne Wiggum. Hi. Yeah, I guess I think this is just a major public health issue, and I'd like to see the legislators or the governor really take some leadership on this and move. Forward with implementing a Statewide ban in bars and restaurants Minnesota used to be a leader when it came to clean clean air legislation and if States like California can do it cities like New York. There's no reason why Minnesota should not be right up there and leader as far as this country moving forward to that kind of Direction. Mr. Farrell. Well, let me ask the caller how he feels about the Olmsted county law. I think that would be showing leadership if that became the law of the region and possibly the state and with specifics in that law. Well that law makes sure that you know, there's a true compromise in defining what a restaurant and a bar is and it looks like it's worked very well and Olmsted County. It looks like it would eliminate some of the fears that people have had up in Duluth and it looks like it would be kind of a trendsetter if it happened Statewide. I guess I would be in favor of no smoking in any bars or restaurants in smoking is Right and it's not when they smoke it interferes and affects other people's public health and I think it's just be banned in public in spaces such as restaurants and bars. Can I ask you what bars you go to what parser I go to I go to many bars downtown Minneapolis. Okay. And so do you go to like neighborhood bars? Do you ever go to Jimmy's in Northeast Minneapolis? I live in Northeast Minneapolis. And I hate coming home with my clothes reek of smoke and it just find it offensive. Well what for what stops you from just going to the liquor store and buying a 12-pack and drink it at home. I enjoy going out you like the socialization. Exactly. Mr. Farrell. Why don't you tell us what your organization's position is? What would you what would your group like to see in the way of us of a smoking ban or are none at all? Well, we Like people to understand that we see a difference between restaurants nightclubs and bars and we don't think that they're all the same some of the bars that I just mentioned there. Jimmy's in Northeast Minneapolis. I mean, that's your old neighborhood bar with a 25 foot rail, you know not being able to prepare for a smoking ban. We've found in other areas has had an impact on those kind of establishments and so we're asking for Olmstead counties law. We think it works describe that for that would say that if 50 percent of your sales, so you look at your sales tax report to the state if 50% of that comes from alcohol, then you are exempt from smoking ban. If 50% or more comes from food, you're not going to be able to allow smoking unless you can put it in a designated area that would keep it contained and we think that that's a pretty good compromise at this point. You know, I have a lot of members that on both sides of the issue, but one thing they tell me is that none of the employees are really Clamoring for this in the numbers that sum would expect you don't see the AFL-CIO or the teamsters taking a position and that's because people are truly concerned about the economic impact that Chris wysocki a good member of ours mentioned earlier in your report. Jeannie Wiggum, (00:20:42) you know, I think offering as a quote compromise sacrificing the health of a bunch of workers is not my idea of a sort of a compromise Kathy lantry came up with the idea of a smoking room, which really was a compromise it allowed smoking st. Paul City Sao Paulo city council person who came up with the idea of allowing smoking in a small room that we're no workers were present. The only reason you'd be in there as if you wanted to go in there and have a cigarette and it would be separately ventilated that was a compromise compromising and saying will protect some of the workers. We're not going to protect all of the workers is completely a Defiance of the way public health is normally done. We don't say well some of the We'll get contaminated food but others get the good stuff. (00:21:27) We're not saying that dojin. I mean when Kathy can't you know, she's my city council member and she's my friend but that's not really a compromise with what she came up with because it compromised gets the two sides agreeing that it's a compromise and Olmsted County. They spent a year looking at this they they put a lot of effort into it and I think it's a good model and I think it's a true compromise we can live with I know that you want to see it. Remember the one time I think when I was in the legislature, you said you wanted smoking to be like sex in the bedroom behind closed doors. (00:21:58) I don't remember saying that but it would sound (00:22:00) like me and I just think that we're not there yet. And I think if you know, look at I have a hell of a history for protecting workers and when two thirds of the Local 17 Union does not (00:22:13) want this. I think we got to listen to what people (00:22:15) want. Let's let's get back to the phones gym and Minneapolis you're on with our guests. Yeah II just wondering if he could I have a comment on been in the restaurant business for ten years. I run a general manager of a bar restaurant in Minneapolis and feel that the the City by City smoking ban is really going to have a huge economic impact on bars and restaurants in Minneapolis because if if smokers can't come to my bar and smoke and they can go 10 minutes out of their way to st. Louis Park. I think they're going to do that. (00:22:47) Right, you know, let me comment to anyone that yeah the proposal that's before the Ramsey County board right now is modeled after the Olmsted County ordinance that mr. Farrell is recommending and let me tell you how divisive that's going to be if that happens to pass no facilities in Roseville will allow smoking and the facilities in Little Canada will and the reason for that is that Roseville only licenses facilities that have 50% or more of their sales in food. So the county looks like it's creating a Level Playing Field, but it is In fact creating an extremely unlevel playing field and those those who are promoting the the Olmstead County model are kind of ignoring the fact that you're going to end up with a place right across the street one place is going to allow smoking the place right across the street will not allow smoking and to me to say that's allowing a Level Playing Field is not true. I think what that really does is it really protects Jim Farrell's members and doesn't protect the people who don't primarily belong to his (00:23:57) organization. Guilty Jim Farrell. No, I've got y sakis a member of mine up at the Pickwick and he wouldn't qualify. So that's not true Gene. We've got a lot of different members, but I think that the members that are restaurants they're okay with going smoke-free. Okay, as long as everybody else does it and the hard-drinking bar where 60 to 70% is alcohol? I understand that they're going to be the most impacted by this and so we've got consensus out of our group and we're we are one hell of a wide spectrum of owners. Let's get an online comment the question from Mariano's of Minneapolis. The question is what will happen to cigar bars after March 31st such as Cafe Havana. Will they have to close their humidor that's on that's an under the Minneapolis smoking ban the answer to that would be yes and if Minneapolis law stays the way it is, they would have to close Sandy from Minneapolis rights. How do MLB a members inform employees of the health risks of working in an environment in a smoky environment so they can make an informed decision about whether they want to work there Jim Farrell, you know, that's a good question. We've thought about adding it into our training for alcohol server training that we do to make sure people card and don't serve somebody that's obviously intoxicated Phyllis Kahn had a bill that's got Benson sent over to me. It had some language about providing Express consent similar to what a lot of people do with sexual harassment and educating and so we're going to probably just incorporate that ourselves, but we look forward to anybody that wanted to put that into law (00:25:36) Jim. I'd like to kind of do a follow on that. Have you done any kind of training for people on preparing to go smoke-free because everybody is saying hey, this is the wave of the future it's coming. So what have you been doing to help your members make the kinds of adjustments they're going to need in this Brave New World. Well, (00:25:54) we've been talking about where they should be on some of their numbers. I mean our biggest problem right now. Gene is dram shop is we had the Saint Paul paper report and I've been telling people don't make decisions with a banker where you're going to have 10 to 15% of your business not disappearing. I think what Chris said is true up in Duluth. And so we've been warning people that if this happens don't get yourself in a position where you can't pay the bank monthly we're talking to Gene ey Gump A tenth of the association for non-smokers Minnesota and Jim Farrell the executive director of the Minnesota license beverage Association there in our Studios this hour talking about the smoking Bland a smoking bans in place already in our region and those communities that are considering some version of a smoking ban and we'll continue our conversation with them. But first let's get a look at news headlines with Greta Cunningham. (00:26:47) Thanks Mike. Good morning, the wife of an Upstate New York Muslim leader arrested in an alleged Terror plots as the accusations are quote. Totally false Federal officials. Say the leaders of an Albany mosque have ties to a militant group and were plotting to acquire a shoulder-fired missile President Bush has signed a four hundred Seventeen billion dollar defense bill that provides an additional 25 billion dollars for Iraq and Afghanistan the bill passed congress with overwhelming bipartisan support. The president returns to the campaign Trail later today for his 20th trip as president to Ohio. He's also planning to stop in Michigan Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. Says he'll lift up those who are left out in America speaking to minority journalists in Washington DC today. The Presidential candidate disputed President. Bush has claimed that the country has turned a corner for the first time journalists are being allowed to watch review tribunals for Terror suspects being held at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba u.s. Military officials are expected to release information on the first eight hearings this afternoon, but only after authorities review it for classified information. The hearings will determine whether the detainees should remain in prison that you 585 detainees being held at the US prison camp are accused of links to Afghanistan's ousted Taliban regime or the Al Qaeda Terror Network in Regional news a tent city has been erected on the University of Minnesota's West Bank for the 12th. Annual Minnesota stand down. It's a place where homeless veterans can sleep in a bed get a meal and receive free services from medical treatment to financial counseling hundreds of volunteers were work at the event. It runs today through Saturday on the University's West Bank Recreation fields. Mostly sunny skies around the region today with high temperatures ranging from 68 in the far Northeast to near 78 in the South and West Skies will be clear around the state tonight with lows ranging from 40 in the Northeast 250 in the southwest right now in Moorhead. It's fair and 73 Rochester report Sunshine at 66 skies are sunny in Duluth and 68 and in the Twin Cities. Mostly sunny skies a temperature of 70 degrees Mike. That's a check on the latest (00:28:48) news and thank you Greta. This is midday coming to you on Minnesota Public Radio. I'm Mike Edgerly in this week for Gary eichten coming up at noon today will howl with the wolves and soar with the Osprey. We have another in our series of voices of many voices of Minnesota interviews to this country's most interesting predators and how they're faring in the wild where not interviewing the Predators were interviewing the people who work with the Predators. And in this hour we're talking with the genie Wiggum of president of the association for non-smokers, Minnesota and Jim Farrell the executive director of the, Minnesota. Licensed beverage Association about smoking bans and what we want to hear from you. You can reach us at 6'5 12276 thousand 6512276 thousand toll-free 1-800 to for to to 82818 hundred two, four two two eight two eight or you can reach us online with a question or comment go to Minnesota Public Radio dot org and click on send a question. Mr. Farrell. This is for you. We've heard of San Diego and New York. They were both invoked Lexington, Kentucky right in the heart of Burley Tobacco Company a country. They have a smoking ban. Why why not Minnesota right now? Why not Minneapolis and st. Paul and Bloomington and all the other cities in the region? Well, I don't think I'm really saying that I'm just saying do Olmsted County. I'm trying to figure out how to make it Regional the the problem with the Twin Cities area as we have is Gene indicated a hundred municipalities and were of Five County or seven-county metro area depending on what you had in and I'm just looking at the Local reality of what I think can get accomplished and so the Minnesota license beverage Association is saying look our biggest fear is the lack of uniformity and the second biggest fear is not being able to get ready for this. And so that's why we think Olmstead County regionally would help us out is why am I not a 50-50 approach and at least get the thing going at least get it on the (00:30:47) books. Well a couple reasons one is that really says the people who work in bars are not as important their lungs their life is not as important as anybody else's and virtually all workers in Minnesota are protected from secondhand smoke now, except bar and restaurant employees and to further dice that down and say well she will take care of the restaurant workers, but we'll ignore these bar workers. I don't know how you can ethically do that. You know, I can understand how you can politically do it. You can politically slice it any way you want. I don't see how you can ethically do it. The other thing is frankly the train is out of the station in terms. Regional approach Minneapolis and Bloomington are the regional Approach at this point and what mr. Farrell and his organization are trying to do is derail a train. (00:31:33) Are you doing that? Mr. Farrell? Are you trying to derail the train? You know, we came out with our approach before Minneapolis voted. It was a seven to six volt. I think Minneapolis is probably going to come back to look at this. The problem has been who's going first who's on second what you know, the counties are kind of going to have to take the lead on this and I think Ramsey did the first and that's six to one vote Ramsey I think is indicative of what I've been trying to say. Is that as you get a wider political spectrum and you get out of the core City what you find is more conservative folks and this is going to be more palatable at the time. Let's go back to the phones Dennis and Detroit Lakes you're on with our guests. Yes, I've been listening to the debate in Fargo smoking band and more headed past one. But that one's on hold because Fargo is having a hard time or they did pass a bill but now they're going to have another bill coming up on the ballot to have let the people vote on it and you got West Fargo waiting on them and then listening to a quite a bit out in my not there has been a band past year plus a goal and according to the talk show is 13 plus restaurants have gone out of business. But what I would like to see is is a state right Statewide law that would go into effect at a certain time that would cover everybody where you wouldn't have a situation where the the business people get hurt because of regions and various things like that. I think the homestead bill would be probably as the one to go after seeing (00:33:12) what You know my problem when if you say the state is the region we're going to go for what happens to border communities, you know, we happen to be bordered by South Dakota North Dakota, Wisconsin and Iowa, do they have to all do it at the same time? So border communities aren't affected. I think this is a matter of saying if it's a public health concern if people are in fact being killed by other people smoke shouldn't we do something about it rather than wondering and waiting for everybody to magically linked arms and jump together and then do as this writer this caller suggest jump together and protect some of the workers. I don't see it. I think we have to protect all of the (00:33:52) workers, you know, I think that it's laudable to be able to say that you want to protect everybody but I think that sometimes I'm learning now is a father of two daughters that the hardest thing for me is to watch and give them autonomy and and they make decisions that might hurt them, but I have to let them learn. And employees are not you know overwhelmingly telling us that they want this to occur and you got to keep in mind that in a lot of these establishments. Now if if in st. Paul for example Olmsted County were to pass out of the 800 plus establishments only 77 would probably qualify you walk into scarred is on West 7th right now and you're going to see the bartender hit in the heaters with the customer and you know, it's those are the guys that I look at and when you ask me, ethically I just say, you know Gene you're damn right? That smoking is harmful. I'm not debating whether or not secondhand smoke is harmful. But those people tell me that that's how they want to live and I think I should let him do that. We have an online comment or question from Bob and Coon Rapids. He writes will the ban apply to private clubs for example, the VFW legionnaires and and what is to prevent a small bar owner from charging a small fee and calling a bar (00:35:08) private. There's really aren't private places just as they are required to not allow rodents in the kitchen and Cooks need to have their hair covered so that there isn't hair in the soup. That's true. Whether you're a private club or you're not a private club health and safety regulations apply across the board and the fact that it's called a private club does not change that you have to have a safe working (00:35:32) environment. That's true. It would be the license that's regulated. And so the private club has the same licenses A1, that's not private. Let's go to Joe and Minneapolis. You're on with our guests. Yes. I want to make a comment has been made that a lot of these workers are not complaining. Well the way I see it. There's two reasons here one. Most of these people had a choice as to where they work. They knew they were getting into a smoke-filled environment or they're not complaining because they don't want to fear losing their jobs what I'm concerned with I'm a musician and sound tech working in this area and I actually had to turn down shows for certain places because the smoke is too bad and I can't survive in those places for a full night with my asthma and I guess nothing is really being said about that whole group of people that really don't want to work in that (00:36:24) environment. You're a hundred percent. Right and that's part of the motivation for Dave soon. The st. Paul council member who kind of Kick this thing out to begin with he plays in a band and he actually was playing at a wedding that both he and I were at at the prom Center and he was playing in a non-smoking environment and he found himself saying gee this is pretty darn fun and in the morning, he didn't feel hungover from smoke. He didn't feel horrible and that was part of his Epiphany that led him to say. The time is now. (00:37:02) Jim Farrell, do you have something to well, you know, he makes a valid point for himself. I can only tell you that one of the owners of a club in Minneapolis is concerned that there's musicians that just love to smoke and what's he going to do with them and it puts us in a hell of a position to try to figure out how to help everybody be happy. But I would tell him that the Dakota in Downtown Minneapolis is a great establishment. It's smoke-free. They made the decision before opening. They have their finances in their economics adjusted to that and I tell them to give them a call and see if he can get his band in there. (00:37:40) Right? You know, an interesting thing is I listen to this part of the discussion 15 years ago when we were talking about all worksites going smoke-free. There was a shortage of computer programmers and when we would be talking with Employers in White Collar companies and saying you need to protect all of your workers from secondhand smoke the thing I heard was we couldn't possibly do That we could we have to let people work at their desks because our computer programmers will all quit. Well, they didn't all quit and suddenly we discovered that there were many computer programmers who were bothered by smoke as who smoked and it's working beautifully people don't smoke at work unless they happen to work in a bar (00:38:21) restaurant. Let's get this question in from Brian in st. Paul. I think it's appropriate here. He writes has there been any credible economic impact study done on restaurant bars and other cities or regions that past smoking bans. What was the (00:38:35) outcome the the peer-reviewed literature all comes down on the side of little impact and what little impact there is is on the positive side. Now the tobacco industry has in fact funded a few studies that have shown a rather different outcome. And in fact, I've seen one study where the tobacco folks called Rita called rest. It's and says how's your business and if they say business is bad, they counted that as business is bad the credible economic research that has been done looks at sales tax numbers and does year-by-year comparison and that type of thing and that does show minimal impact slightly positive where there's much of an impact at all (00:39:23) when it comes to the studies. I feel like the old Stealers Wheel saw on clowns to the left of me Joker's to the right here. I am stuck in the middle with you. I don't believe any of the studies right now, but we do talk to members of a National Organization that are in other states and what we're learning is that the overall climate survives what happens is individual businesses go under and as we lobbied, you know in Saint Paul Dano Guerra would say, for example, I know there's going to be an impact. I just don't want to be the guy that goes under (00:39:59) and a Nogueira won't go under and Act on Cara's is one of the places that I in fact would like to go to it's two blocks from my house. I used to plant a garden in front of his bar because I wanted it to look nice. I tended that Garden as a volunteer for about five years and Jim who used to own all girls would come out and say come on in Jeannie come on in and just sit down and have a bite to eat. We'd like to give you something and I'd say I can't go in I'd love to I can't go in. I'd love to be able to go to ogres and listen to the music and have a bite to eat. I can't and not to say Jim o'gara. Couldn't Jim o'gara died of emphysema and I talked to him about this and he said Genie I can't go into my own place except early in the morning. (00:40:45) Well, and you know Jean I don't know if anything that's true or not. But let's say that Dan wanted to have part of his Barbie smoking and not smoking. We tried to discuss it with people in city of st. Paul and Lee Helgen said, no Kathy Landry said no, and so it's not that we didn't we don't Are you and I don't think that's not what Daniel gear the current owner. The third generation is saying it's just it what's frustrating is it somebody wants to be all or nothing right now and for him to get orange Whip or any of the bands that I don't know if you'd really here back in the garage, but maybe up front the Irish music you might enjoy those people are telling us that they're not going to go to establishments where they can't make a lot of money at the door. That's where the bands make the money and so if st. Paul were to ban smoking but Mendota Heights would not the bands are going to go to Mendota Heights because they can get more money at the door because more smokers show up, (00:41:38) you know, the fear mongering is not supported by what's happened. In other communities. The fear-mongering says business will suffer Life as we know it will end. It hasn't happened in the dozens and dozens of communities that have gone into (00:41:52) place now here we can get a little contentious if I'm working on a six percent margin and that's the industry standard. Okay and Chris why is sake up at the pic with Told the reporter that it would be a 10 to 15% drop. All right, now he was able to restructure but some places can't do that as quickly as you would like them to and I'm not lying when I tell you that bands make their money off the draw at the door. And so they're going to go we had the same problem with bands telling us they want 18 and up shows. We're arguing against 18 19 20 year-olds being present where alcohol is being sold. The bands are saying we're not going to come unless that happens. So we're not crying wolf. What would be great is if you yourself would be able to say, you know, I understand these guys are afraid because of some of the things that are being told why don't we work together on Olmsted County to limit the impact and we'll see how things phase in (00:42:46) I'll tell you why I can't I'll tell you why I personally can't is that I sat on May 10th is my best friend died. That's why and it was from lung disease and it was from tobacco (00:42:59) Jean my dad hit the heaters all his life. He died at 58 the SOB had a died the week before I take the bar exam. Okay, I go to Chicago every year with my cousin and we go to the race because I'm a big Open Wheel fan race. He's been told that if he keeps smoking, he's got the start emphysema. We all have examples of this in our lives, but it doesn't mean that we use them to try to control or harm other people and what I'm saying, is that the economic harm in the fears. They have are valid at least validate the (00:43:32) fear they aren't valid and the reason feeling really say their feelings are not valid. I'm not saying feelings aren't valid I'm saying the fears are not based on any economic reality. We've been able to find the research, you know, I got the research here Gene and it's one Professor (00:43:49) to professors that are doing it all the time that are getting the same grants. I told you I don't believe either side in the debate and that's why I've stayed away from tobacco. And that's why I've kept my guys in the middle all were saying is that we're working on six percent margins. We broke it down for the Pioneer Press the other day a $3 drink gives a guy a six percent. Margin. That means you got to make a million dollars in sales to make 60 Grand that's not a hell of a lot of money when you're putting in 60 70 hours a week on sale folks. Let's let's get our some of our listeners in here and see what they have to say Eva and Stillwater you're on with our guests. Hi. I like to make a comment and ask a question. The comment is it seems to me that we are taking personal responsibility from the hands of citizens and like that. I mean the owners don't have the right to make decisions about their own place with weather what kind of people they want to attract and having their establishment and all So we as Citizens, I think should be making choices whether you know, this bar is a smoke in this one isn't where do I want to go? And I think the problem of personal responsibility is just driving in all sorts of areas of Our Lives if we compared to, you know fast food chains and stuff. I mean the obesity's another huge problem. So are we gonna ban, you know fast food restaurants because people can control their habits even let's let our guest respond Ms. Wiggum. What about that? I don't have to go to a bar. I can do like, mr. Farrell suggested and get a 12-pack and watch the Ballgame (00:45:37) there. Right and I want to deal with the hamburger issue Eva's hamburger doesn't affect me Eva's cigarette smoke would affect me if it was in my vicinity. So those are really different kinds of issues and why don't we leave it too personal? Ice I guess is the real issue. We don't do that with public health. We don't have some clean water. We don't have some bacteria free food. We simply say if this kills people in and work environment. We don't let it be there. We just don't and you can use the example. Well, some people choose to work where they're going to be exposed to dangerous things. For example, every day nurses go to work and work with people who are sick and could get that illness from those people. It's a dangerous environment. So nurses are very very heavily trained. We provide all kinds of protections for them where there is a contamination in a room. There's reverse air flow. We do everything possible to protect them from things like that and yet when it comes to Bar and restaurant workers we say hey, you don't want to work here go someplace else. We don't do that in any other place. We only the only We do not protect in the state from secondhand smoke our bar and restaurant workers. It's (00:46:57) time, you know, this is the East Sider and me that would say to Eve. I don't think she's right and I would say that I don't think jeans right. I'm a middle-class guy that has come to realize that people get to make decisions and those employees that you're trying to protect their not asking you to protect them if the if you know Ray Waldron of the AFL-CIO was sitting here, I'd be listening to that argument but they're not the ones making it the teamsters are not making the argument those groups that represent employees are not making the argument because a lot of them smoke. Let me give you an example. There's a bar in Minneapolis a very nice night club where when the owner ended up getting it because he was the landlord in the business was in trouble. He got into the nightclub business for the first time in his life. He said to his employees. I'd like to be smoke-free because I can't stand the stuff the employees all said well we smoke And he said well, I still don't like the stuff. They said you know what we won't work here if we can't smoke in a three hour time frame when the music is playing and they make the majority of their money. They want to be able to smoke while they're working. I just don't think it's appropriate for us right now to tell these people. Hey, by the way get a new job come March because if there's a 10 or 15% drop, you may lose your job. And if there's a 10 or 15% job and you don't want us to stop smoking you may lose your (00:48:20) job, you know, it's interesting that you claim. You don't believe the research on either side and yet you continue to say 10 or 15% drop personalized research. Are you I'm quoting the lead in story. That's Chris (00:48:33) wysocki one of my members up in Duluth the owner of the Pickwick. So you're taking generation. I'm taking the guys that don't have any agenda. I'm taking my guys. Yeah, they don't have any reason to lie to me Gene. I'm their lawyer. I'm joking people lie to lawyers all every day. So get this comment in from Jean she writes from Eden Prairie if smokers have a choice that leaves her no choice to breathe smoke-free air and share the same space water my rights her rights to Simply breathe. Mr. Farrell. She has no rights. I mean I get tired. I think she thinks and think she's got rights rights are what are in the Constitution that you have a privilege to have a liquor license and the owner of the license is there to provide Hospitality? So the people that are smoking in the people that are non smoking are the same for that license holder and we need to stop this debate. Everybody thinks they have rights all over the place that they don't have and I get exasperated with that. You need to keep in mind this that you know chances are if you want to go into the Corner Bar you're going to be around people that are like yourself if you're a smoker if you want to go to Sydney's on Grand you can go there and there won't be any smoking. You want to go to the Dakota in Minneapolis and over time you're going to see more and more smoking and if you would agree with us on the Olmsted county law basically out of 800 and some establishments only 77 would be smoking in st. Paul and Minneapolis. There was even an amendment that was put forward that out of 1400 establishments. Only 75 would have had smoking. So the privilege for both you'd it's breathe nonsmoker and for the individual to breathe smoke are I think could have been helped greatly if those two ordinances would have passed in Minneapolis, but they didn't so now you're prevailing and if you have a right then the person that would be seated next to you wanting to smoke should also have a right. But neither of you have a right Millie's keep that in mind as wykeham. (00:50:38) I find it rather appalling that mr. Farrell thinks that people have a right to pollute the air if I had walked into the studio. No Jean I said neither (00:50:45) side had a right and I get as a lawyer. I get tired of people saying that they have rights. They don't have rights unless it's in the Constitution letter. The build team is why I'm speaking, (00:50:55) you know, if I had walked into the studio and sprayed a toxic substance around here pesticide or something. I had both been run out of the building and you'd have said you can't do that to me. I should be able to breathe say fair and we make all kinds of decisions because of the safety of the group. We have decided that we're going to have safe food and restaurants. Therefore they have to have it at a cold temperature if its cold food and not hot temperature. Those are decisions we make because people shouldn't go to restaurants and be made ill they shouldn't go to work every day in a restaurant and be made Sick by other people smoke. I kind of doubt that one of your better moments Jim is saying you don't have a right to clean (00:51:37) air. You don't have a right Gene. It's not in the Constitution and we got to stop saying that we're not helping the debate when we say we have rights that don't exist. And you know what? I have not told you that restaurant. Shouldn't be smoke-free do the Olmsted county law and you'll get what you want. (00:51:55) It isn't what I want. I would like to (00:51:57) protect want a small (00:51:58) restaurant. I want all workers to receive equal protection protections equal to what I (00:52:05) receive Gene. I want to make sure the listeners know how much I really respect you and like you I want to ask you this straight up isn't this really about breaking up the Nexus between alcohol and tobacco because young kids start smoking at a young age or if they're around alcohol and if we could somehow make it more difficult for them to smoke in a bar when they're drinking isn't that what this really is and wouldn't we have a more honest debate if that's what it was all (00:52:28) about? No, that's not what it's all about. But I don't deny that if there wasn't smoking in bars young adult smokers would smoke less. That's certainly true that just says that's one of the real benefits of this. It's a public health win all the way around and that's no (00:52:45) secret. Let's get Tammy from Thief River Falls in real quickly Tami. Hi there. I just had a comment and and I guess I just wanted to say that I think that if people were truly armed with all of the facts about how deadly secondhand smoke is it make different decisions. I mean you talk about the members of the teamsters and union workers and certain employees. I think people who are resistant to this movement are less than educated about all the facts about how a secondhand smoke truly does kill us. Not just annoying. It's not just the somewhat harmful its deadly and I think that that they're confused. They're confused by some of those issues and I think there are a lot of fear tactics going on if your tactics by the tobacco companies by the hospitality associations may be other people who think they're going to go under or the employees aren't going to speak up because they're worried. They're going to lose their job or they are worried that the business they're working for is going to go under and their choice some of these people don't have a lot of career choices. We have to make a lot of will move somewhere else. Start all over again. And I think that's really scary. I just want to make sure we bring it back to how serious of a health issue. It is secondhand smoke kills. It wasn't very long ago where we had to get an airplanes and we had Teachers Lounge is where the teachers would open the door from break and smoke would go out nurses with with smoke in there are break rooms. We just we just weren't on top of it then like we are now when you know better you do better we've adjusted to those changes Tammy. Thank you. Let's let's let our guests get our get a couple of words in here alone. Mr. Farrell is start with you health concerns have to Trump economics. Don't they? You know, it's a pretty loaded question. You would sure hope that most people would agree with that. But I also think that people have a right to make decisions that may harm themselves. And right now I have you know, we're we have a proposal that would make about 90% of the establishments smoke-free. It would only be ten percent that were smoking would occur and I think those people should be allowed to do that Miz. Wykeham, you've got about 30 seconds here. You get the final (00:55:00) words final word. I just don't see how we can justify ignoring the science the science tells a secondhand smoke kills the last caller hit it right on the nail head secondhand smoke kills and it kills whether you work in a bar or a restaurant or an office. We have chosen to protect office workers. It's time to choose to protect (00:55:18) everybody. Well, thank you both for coming in today. Jeannie Wiggum is president of the association for non-smokers Minnesota. Jim Farrell is the executive director of the Minnesota licensed beverage Association. Thanks to all of you who've called this morning. I wrote your online questions and comments and I'm sorry that we didn't get all of them in. I'm sure we'll revisit this this topic sometime in the not-too-distant future. You are listening to midday coming to you on Minnesota Public Radio. The time now is 12 noon. Administrative public radio we're committed to bringing you thoughtful in-depth news from around the region Friday and midday tune in for discussion about the future of Minnesota Farms this week near Redwood Falls minnesotans and politicians are gathering for Farm Fest 2004. They're talking about conservation issues biotechnology the economy in rural Minnesota and more catch all the highlights Friday starting at noon on midday on the news and information stations of Minnesota Public Radio, including 91.1 klow in the Twin Cities. And this is 91.1 knnow Minneapolis st. Paul Twin Cities weather for today sunny the high around 80 clear and cool tonight. The low 55 sunny tomorrow morning partly cloudy tomorrow afternoon Saturday and Sunday a chance of thunderstorms. Both days.the highs around 80 degrees both Saturday and Sunday and by Monday, we should see again a chance of some showers with a high around 75 presently in the Twin Cities. We have mostly sunny skies. It's 72 degrees and 1201.


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