Wednesday, February 08, 2006

No ifs, ands, or cigarette butts in Illinois

Good news for nonsmokers: "Smoking could be banned throughout Illinois in less than a year under a plan that gained initial support from lawmakers Tuesday," according to the Daily Herald.

One of my personal favorite arguments against the ban is when "critics say the ban would drive bars out of business." I wonder if those same critics are out there defending small businesses when Wal-Mart or Home Depot or Border's look to build a new superstore and destroy all the local mom-and-pop shops.

As for the half-assed smoking ban in Chicago, my initial skepticism seems to have been unfounded. I expected most businesses to carry on with business-as-usual, but the ban seems to be working. The bowling alley I frequent with my fellow Garbage People is now smokefree, and the difference is incredible. Although the pizza still tastes bad and the place is as dark and foul as ever, absolutely nobody is smoking. On Tuesday mornings, as I struggle in front of this damn keyboard, I don't have the same lingering headache that I used to have. And here I thought those headaches were PBR-induced. The other benefit from the ban seems to be the improved play of the Garbage People, who are quickly moving up in the standings.

Go team! Pick-it-up!


Blogger art attack said...

I agree with you regarding the smoking ban and that would be awesome if the ban was statewide. What then, the hipsters in Lincoln Park are gonna drive to Indiana to get their jones in? Like they would drive to a suburb in the first place just to get to smoke and drink. Indoor smoking is finally on it's way out. Finally.

As for bowling, just wait till I stink up the joint next monday.

7:03 AM  
Anonymous Mr. Molitor said...

Interesting point about the correlation of smoking and our bowling standings. As a matter of fact,we were rising before the ban.

I believe that our new found "positive energy" has more to do with it.

Let's hope that the art attack "stink up the joint" quote does not affect the energy.

9:06 AM  
Blogger ap said...

Maybe he meant stink it up with joints

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Mr. Molitor said...

Hey AP I Just read this on Yahoo I don't believe this is true.

Doesn't Chicago already have this "Litter" tax anyone else. There has to be a reason we pay 10% sales tax for a meal......

Can anyone help me with this answer?

Oakland First City to Tax Fast-Food Trash 47 minutes ago

OAKLAND, Calif. - Fed up with burger wrappers, french fry containers and paper cups, Oakland is the first city in the nation to force fast-food restaurants, convenience stores and other businesses to help pay for cleaning up street trash.


Under a tax approved Tuesday night by the City Council, businesses will be assessed between $230 and $3,815 annually, depending on their size. More than three-quarters of the affected businesses would only pay the minimum fee, which amounts to 63 cents a day.

"I don't think that's too much to ask so neighbors don't have to keep picking up trash from their doorways," said Councilwoman Jane Brunner, who proposed the measure.

The city would use the projected $237,000 a year to hire small crews to pick up litter in commercial areas around high schools and middle schools where most of the garbage is found.

The fee was opposed by the Metropolitan Oakland Chamber of Commerce and business organizations that say the costs will be passed along to customers, including low-income residents and young people who are the biggest consumers of fast food.

Businesses say the city should educate the public and enforce littering laws. Some say they already pay employees to pick up trash in their neighborhoods.

Litter from fast-food restaurants has become a major problem in communities nationwide.

Recent surveys show that fast-food packaging makes up about 20 percent of all litter, with packaging for chip bags, drink containers, candy wrappers and other snacks comprising another 20 percent, said Rob Wallace, a spokesman for Keep America Beautiful, a Stamford, Conn.-based nonprofit group.

11:15 AM  

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