пятница, 24 февраля 2012 г.

Restaurants and bars don't wait for ordinance to go smoke-free

smoke-free environment

While the City-County Council continues to work on a stronger smoking ban, some bars and restaurants have already made the switch to a smoke-free environment.

Some, such as the Slippery Noodle Inn, eliminated smoking in early January. The Old Point Tavern went smoke-free last week.

Other local bars and restaurants to go smoke-free recently include Claddagh, Old Pro's Table, MacNiven's and the Front Page.

Pizzas go beyond basic
Pizza fans, take note: the Indianapolis area has even more types of pie to try.

BoomBozz Taphouse opened last weekend at 2430 E. 146th St. in Carmel's Cool Creek Commons with a menu that includes appetizers, pizzas, sandwiches and pastas.

The Louisville, Ky.-based chain's gourmet selections include the Pollotate, a pie that's topped with chicken breast, red onions, roasted potatoes and asiago and mozzarella cheeses. It was included last year in a Food Network Magazine feature on the country's 50 top pizzas.

BoomBozz pizzas range in price from about $8 for an individual-size pie to about $18.

The restaurant offers $5 appetizers from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. until closing. You'll also find beer specials, such as $1 off local beers on Monday and Thursday.

For more information, visit bookbozz taphouse.com.

And Coal Pizza, which serves up Neapolitan-style pies made in 900-degree coal-fired ovens, opened last month at 36 E. Washington St.

Executive chef/partner Charles Mereday's artisan pizzas, ready in about 90 seconds, feature such toppings as duck confit, caramelized onions, goat cheese and fig ($16) and smoked salmon, red onions and caviar ($18).

The restaurant also offers such pastas as ricotta ravioli ($16); sandwich prices range from $10 to $16.

Bill calls for statewide ban on smoking in public places

municipal smoke-free

The Alabama Legislature is stepping up efforts to become a smoke-free state with the filing this week of a third bill that would ban smoking in all public places, including bars and restaurants.
Proposed by Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin, R-Indian Hills, House Bill 383 would implement stiffer fines than the current proposals – $100 for a first offense instead of $50.
Business owners and operators that violate the law would face fines up to $1,000 and possible revocation of permit or license for a third offense.
Unlike two similar bills sponsored by Sen. Vivian Davis Figures, D-Mobile, McClurkin’s proposal makes no exception for private clubs. In municipal smoke-free ordinances, some businesses have used the private-club exemption as a loophole to bypass the ban by claiming to be a private club.
McClurkin called Figures’ legislation, Senate Bill 198, “better than nothing.”
“It has some exemptions that I don’t particularly like,” she said.
While McClurkin’s bill is assigned to the House Committee on Health, Figures’ is already out of committee and could theoretically come up for a Senate vote as soon as the Rules Committee schedules one.
Figures also filed this session SB 197, which is nearly identical to SB 198 except it requires a constitutional amendment and thus a vote of the public.
Each of the bills would ban smoking in all enclosed public places and places of employment.

New smoking bans hit public areas

smoking bans hit

SMOKERS won’t be able to light up in pub beer gardens, sports grounds, bus and train stops or in building doorways under sweeping tobacco reforms.

Health Minister Jillian Skinner this week announced she will introduce NSW Tobacco Strategy legislation, banning smoking in all commercial outdoor dining areas from 2015.

Under the tough new laws, pubs could be forced to set up designated “no food” smoking areas or even ban food from beer gardens to ensure diners don’t inhale second-hand smoke.

Ms Skinner said smoking-related illnesses accounted for about 5200 deaths every year and cost the NSW economy about $8 billion a year.

“The distress and cost that smoking inflicts on families and the burden this imposes on NSW’s health system, is simply not acceptable,” she said.

But the ban will not come into effect until March 2015 because of the Memorandum of Understanding struck with ClubsNSW in which the coalition agreed to “uphold existing smoking restrictions”. Smoking will also be banned in playgrounds, sports grounds and swimming pools.

‘The aim of this is to reduce the number of people who are smoking, and to reduce the exposure to people, particularly children and families, of third-party tobacco smoke,” Ms Skinner said.

GEORGE Skepevski believes the new smoking laws will have little or no effect on his business.

The owner of Aroma’s at Crowne Plaza Terrigal said he had a designated smoking area but patrons would soon adapt to the new rules.

“As they did when pubs and clubs forced their smokers into special areas, they will cope,” Mr Skepevski said. “We don’t have a high percentage of smokers among our clientele - perhaps 5 per cent.

“But this will inconvenience them and no business owner likes to see his customers inconvenienced.

“I have no doubt that our customers will adapt and smoke before or after their meal away from the cafe.

“If it is a law they will abide by it. I can’t see it affecting our trade at all.”

Statewide smoking ban may mean loss of business for some

Statewide smoking ban

A proposed statewide smoking ban has some folks concerned. Like Allen County's current ordinance it would eliminate smoking in restaurants and other public places.

Right now there's not a smoking ban in Whitley County. If passed, the manager of Richards Restaurant says it may effect her restaurant's bottom line. And as you can imagine smokers aren't happy about the possibility of a ban.

"Bunch of bologna," smoker Harold Waldeck said.

Folks sitting in the smoking section of Richards Restaurant in Columbia City aren't fond of the idea of a statewide smoking ban.

"Well it's freedom of choice, they're taking it away from us. What's next? Probably won't be able to chew gum after awhile."

Karen Schnorr's the manager at Richards. She says a decent percentage of money it takes in comes from smokers.

"15 percent of sales comes from smoking. The rest is from non-smokers, Schnorr said.

If the statewide smoking ban passes not being able to light up inside may mean a decrease in sales for Richards.

"I think it will hurt at first but I think in the long run sales will go up."

Schnorr says she believes that because people have walked out in the past once they saw how close they had to sit to the smoking section.

"Because of people leaving that are offended by the smoke. (Megan) And you guys have had that happen in the past? (Karen) Yes at least a couple of times a week."

At the end of the day Schnorr hopes the statewide ban will pass.

"Secondhand smoke is bad and I have a lot of employees that don't smoke, I have a lot that do. The ones that don't smoke and work in smoking find it offensive."

среда, 8 февраля 2012 г.

Ohio may ban smoking in cars

illegal to smoke

Hoping to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, ear infections, colds, pneumonia, bronchitis, and other childhood illnesses linked to secondhand smoke exposure, Ohio lawmakers are considering a bill that would make it illegal to smoke in vehicles when young children are present.

Some local residents say the bill, recently introduced into the Ohio Senate, is too invasive, while others say it doesn't go far enough because it would only protect children who are younger than 6.

Anthony Azzi, 21, of Marietta, said he smokes, but that he would never smoke with a child in the car.

"It should be illegal to smoke with children in a car with you," he said. "But if they're going to do this, they should look out for kids until they're at least 16...At that age, they should have the ability to drive themselves or commute some other way."

Kim Reinhold, of Cincinnati, was in Marietta visiting family on Monday. She said the proposed bill seems invasive, but that she would probably be in favor of such a law.

"It does seem over-reaching at first, but I would like to think a parent would think of their child first," she said. "I always thought of my children first and myself second. That's what a good parent does."

Ohio Rep. Andy Thompson, R-Marietta, said the bill seems well-intended but that he has concerns. He said the bill could be a slippery slope toward more laws that could affect personal choices.

"I don't know if we want to get into the business of reaching into the private lives of our citizens," he said. "My initial reaction is that this is an over-reach... And where does it stop after you start down that path?"

The sponsor of the bill, Democratic Sen. Charleta Tavares, of Columbus, told The Associated Press the goal of the bill is to protect children from secondhand smoke.

According to the National Cancer Institute, exposure to secondhand smoke irritates the airways and has immediate harmful effects on a person's heart and blood vessels, and increases the risk of heart disease by an estimated 25 to 30 percent.

Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome, ear infections, colds, pneumonia, bronchitis, and more severe asthma. Being exposed to secondhand smoke slows the growth of children's lungs and can cause them to cough, wheeze, and feel breathless, according to the cancer institute.

Ohio Sen. Troy Balderson, whose district includes Washington County, did not return a message seeking comment.

Corey McClung, 11, of Williamstown, said he hoped the bill would pass in Ohio and eventually become a national law.

"Secondhand smoke is just as bad as breathing in a cigarette," he said. "When you're in a car, there's no escape."

Smugglers Prosper in Spain’s ‘Perfect Storm’ for Tobacco

Spanish smokers

Spanish smokers, squeezed by higher taxes and a deepening recession, are increasingly relying on smugglers to feed their habit.

Illegal imports now account for 7 percent to 8 percent of Spanish cigarette sales, compared with almost nothing a year ago, according to the country’s tobacconists association. In southern provinces such as Cadiz, Seville and Malaga, the proportion is 20 percent.

“Smuggling and fake tobacco, which had been eradicated since 1993, came back strongly last year,” said Jaime Gil- Robles, corporate affairs director at Altadis, the Spanish unit of Imperial Tobacco Group Plc.

Smuggling, encouraged by a December 2010 increase in tobacco taxes and a ban on smoking in public places, has eroded both government coffers and company revenues. Spain, which has the European Union’s highest jobless rate, collected 14 percent less tobacco taxes in 2011 than a forecast of 9.05 billion euros ($12 billion), excluding value-added tax, according to Altadis.

“The fiscal policy was disastrous as it forced an average increase of 50 euro cents per packet,” Gil-Robles said. “Add the crisis and skyrocketing unemployment to that and you have the best scenario for smuggling and illicit tobacco.”

In a single week last month, Spanish tax authorities seized more than a million illegal packets of cigarettes worth about 4 million euros. In December, officials said they confiscated 561,500 packets of fake Marlboro brand cigarettes which were imported from China and entered the country through the port of Valencia in a container marked “synthetic fiber.”

‘Tremendously Worrisome’

The increase in smuggling is “tremendously worrisome for the whole industry,” said Mario Espejo, chairman of the Spanish tobacco association, which represents more than two-thirds of the country’s 14,000 tobacconists.

British American Tobacco Plc, Europe’s biggest cigarette maker, estimates that 6 percent to 12 percent of the 5.5 trillion cigarettes consumed worldwide each year are obtained through illicit means such as smuggling, its website shows.

In Spain, the number of packets sold last year declined 17 percent to 3.02 billion from 3.62 billion in 2010, according to the Tobacco Market Commission. Altadis this month requested a two-year freeze on tobacco tax to help the market recover.

In May, Altadis cut the price of Fortuna, Nobel and Ducados in Spain to maintain competitiveness after it sold 16 percent fewer cigarettes there in the first half of the fiscal year.

“Last year, there were three big shocks in Spain for the consumer: the tough economic environment, excise increases and the smoking in public spaces ban,” Alison Cooper, chief executive officer of Bristol, England-based Imperial Tobacco, said in an interview in Madrid. “That caused the perfect storm in terms of the Spanish market.”

Mayor Ballard will soon decide on stronger city-wide smoking ban

wide smoking ban

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard has a few days to either sign or veto the latest version of a proposed city-wide smoking ban. It was approved by City-County Council with a 19 to 9 vote.

While the mayor has not vetoed the proposed ordinance, he has said he wanted an exemption for nonprofit private clubs and veterans halls.
The current proposal instead gives these businesses an option.

"If they'd like to come in a post and have a beer and a cigarette, I think it's their privilege," said Maria Ferguson, a bartender at VFW Post 2999 on the city's east side.
"The private clubs get to decide if they are going to be smoke-free or not so the ball is in their hand. We do not believe that children need to be exposed to secondhand smoke," said Maggie Lewis, City-County Council President.

Lewis and other Democrats call this latest version of the smoking ban a compromise.

It would expand the city's 2005 city-wide smoking ban to include bars, bowling alleys and hotel rooms, but it would give private clubs a
choice: go smoke-free or keep teens and kids out. Also, hookah bars and smoke shops would not be impacted.

"I voted, 'no.' I thought it was stupid to send something to the mayor that we all knew he was going to veto. It's a waste of time," said Councilman Ryan Vaughn (R).

Vaughn said the proposed ordinance is unfair, and he is concerned about how it could potentially impact business. It is an opinion shared by Ballard who has until Sunday to make a decision.

Still, the council can put the measure back on the agenda and override a mayoral veto if they can get 20 votes. That is one more vote than they got back in January.

Wrightsville Beach revisits smoking ban

beach smoking ban

A smoking ban on Wrightsville Beach will be considered by the town alderman next month. The ban, if passed, would make Wrightsville the first beach in North Carolina to go smoke-free.

The Town of Wrightsville Beach voted against a smoking ban on the beach in May 2010 because of enforcement issues and wanting to focus on other priorities such as education.

“I personally don’t believe in passing an ordinance that you can’t enforce,” said Robert Simpson, Wrightsville Beach town manager. He said he has received about 400 emails on the issue, many of which have come from outside the Wrightsville Beach area.

Wilmington’s Aaron Richardet, who is an executive board member of California-based Surfrider Foundation, is leading the push to pass the local beach smoking ban. The organization has launched an on-line petition to garner support.

Richardet said his family has removed 38,585 cigarette butts from Wrightsville Beach over 115 beach clean-ups.

About 126 beach municipalities in the country are smoke-free, including two in South Carolina, according to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation. On Monday, the town of North Myrtle Beach, S.C. will vote on prohibiting cigarettes on its beach, said K. Allen Deaton, Surfside, S.C. mayor.

Surfside’s town council enacted a smoking ban in 2008 following the state Supreme Court ruling that banned tobacco in restaurants, bars and other public spaces. The emphasis was on the public health issue of second-hand smoke, he said.

“Cigarette butts have been generated. That’s a real problem. We live on the ocean. If people smoke down the beach from us, [cigarette butts] are going to wash ashore. You are always going to have some of that, but [since the ban] we’ve seen a decrease,” he said.

At Surfside, about 87 miles south of Wilmington, the town has found most visitors to be compliant with its beach smoking ban. Visitors find out about it through brochures, visitor information, a few public signs and police officers.

“We haven’t had any official complaints,” Deaton said.

The Wrightsville Beach board of alderman will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 8 in the town’s Public Safety building located at 3 Bob Sawyer Drive.

Indoor marijuana grow operation found in Ellsinore home

Indoor marijuana grow

Acting on a tip, Butler County authorities seized nearly 40 suspected marijuana plants from an indoor grow operation found at a rural home.
The suspected grow operation was found inside Ronald Gayl Sheedy's mobile home on County Road 415.

The alleged operation was found after Sgt. Brandon Waggoner received information indicating Sheedy was "growing marijuana at his residence …" according to investigator Wes Popp's report.

The confidential source, Popp said, also indicated there was a "strong odor of marijuana" coming from within the residence.

Waggoner, Popp said, further was told there was a green four wheeler parked at the residence, which allegedly had been stolen.

When Waggoner responded at about 9:20 p.m. Monday and stepped to the door of the residence, Popp said, the deputy could smell a strong odor of marijuana, believed to be coming from inside the home.

Popp said Waggoner also reported seeing a green four wheeler parked next to an outbuilding.

As Waggoner knocked on the door, attempting to make contact with Sheedy, Popp said, a neighbor reported Sheedy was not home.

At that point, Popp said, Waggoner had Deputy Brian Kearbey secure the residence until a search warrant could be applied for.

Sheedy subsequently arrived and was told of his rights, said Popp.

Waggoner, he said, provided Sheedy with the information he had in regards to the suspected stolen four wheeler and grow operation.

"Sheedy admitted the four wheeler was stolen and also stated that he had 13 or 14 marijuana plants in various stages of growth," Popp said.

When Waggoner activated a voice recorder, Popp said, Sheedy reported he wished to speak to an attorney before continuing.

Based on Sheedy's admissions, Popp said, the 55-year-old was arrested on suspicion of possession of more than 35 grams of marijuana and receiving stolen property and booked at the Butler County jail.

Kearbey was left at the scene while officers obtained a search warrant, which was executed at about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The suspected indoor grow was found in a back bedroom of Sheedy's mobile home, according to Lt. Brian Evans. "The bedroom was divided; all the plants were in that area," he said.

A total of 36 plants were found growing in individual pots, said Evans, who described the plants as ranging in size from starter plants to some being close to maturity at about 5 feet tall.

Officers, Evans said, also found such items as artificial lights, fans and a humidifier in the room, as well as a ventilation system.

"He had vents going out the bottom of the floor and also through the roof," said Evans. " … He just watered them by hand."

Evans said officers also found potting soil and fertilizer in the bedroom.

During the investigation, Evans said, officers also came into contact with Michael Shawn Jameson, who arrived at the residence with Sheedy. However, when they saw officers at Sheedy's home they tried to leave and had to be stopped.

Sheedy, according to Waggoner's report, told him Jameson had asked to borrow $1,000.

"(Sheedy) stated that he advised Jameson that he needed collateral before he would loan the money to him," Waggoner said. "He stated that Jameson then brought the stolen four wheeler to him."

The four wheeler, Waggoner said, had been reported stolen Jan. 1 from a residence in the 2300 block of County Road 459.

Jameson also was contacted and told of his rights, Waggoner said.

"(Jameson) stated that he is aware of the four wheeler and asked me, ‘Are you talking about the green one?'" Waggoner said.

Jameson, Waggoner said, also reported he was "aware of the marijuana that was growing inside Sheedy's residence."

Waggoner said Jameson denied assisting Sheedy in the alleged grow operation and being responsible for the stolen four wheeler.

"Jameson then proceeded to tell me ‘how good the weed is' that Sheedy is growing," Waggoner said. "He also advised me that Sheedy has been riding the four wheeler around the property for nearly a month.

"He stated that he has never borrowed any money from Sheedy."

Jameson, 35, of Ellsinore was arrested on suspicion of receiving stolen property. He was booked at the Butler County jail.