Ohio smoking ban just stinks.

October 4, 2007 at 1:07 am (politics) (, , )

The state of Ohio has a ban on smoking in effect. The details of this ban can be found in the Ohio Revised Code, Chapter 3794. Essentially, this law prohibits anyone from smoking inside of a public building or near outside doorways. The law is broad sweeping and allows for few exceptions.  This law blatantly tramples on the rights of business owners. If someone operates a business that is currently regulated by the state (such as a bar), that normally requires the patrons to be of a certain age, they should be able to operate this business as smoking or non-smoking.

If it is true that the majority of citizens living in Ohio are non-smokers, why should they trample the rights of the minority with their voting power? Rather, shouldn’t people be encouraged to vote on economic items with their wallet and feet? In other words, if people really wanted to go to a non-smoking bar, they should have gone to them. The reason that most bars were smoking is that the majority of bar patrons liked to smoke when they were at a bar.

The Ohio smoking ban is clearly a type of abuse of power. Majority voters have used the law to control the behavior of people who patronized certain establishments. The voters clearly were not the people regularly patronizing bars and clubs. Whenever I visit a bar or club at this time over half of the customers are usually outside where they are still allowed to smoke. It is even common at times to find far more people outside then inside the establishment.

If you did not like being in a bar or club where people smoke, simply go to one where people don’t. Why wield the broad arm of the law to control what everyone does, just because you personally don’t like something?

As an ending note, it is interesting to point out what the Ohio Revised Code (3794.03(g)) defines as a “Private Club”. One would think that if a club was “private”, and only open to members, then if the members wanted to smoke, it would be acceptable. Not so in Ohio. Here is what the ORC states:

(G) Private clubs as defined in section 4301.01(B)(13) of the Revised Code, provided all of the following apply: the club has no employees; the club is organized as a not for profit entity; only members of the club are present in the club’s building; no persons under the age of eighteen are present in the club’s building; the club is located in a freestanding structure occupied solely by the club; smoke from the club does not migrate into an enclosed area where smoking is prohibited under the provisions of this chapter; and, if the club serves alcohol, it holds a valid D4 liquor permit.

So lets get this straight.  You need to have the following in order to qualify:

  • No employees (can they all be contractors?)
  • Organized as a not for profit
  • Only members can enter the club
  • No members are permitted in the building who are under the age of 18
  • Club must be in a free standing building
  • If the club sells alcohol, it must have a D4 license

All of these together basically make it impossible for any club to function as a “Private Club”.  Clearly this was added by the voters and law makers as an impossible exception.  “Sure we made an exception for Private Clubs, but you’ll never be able to use it”.  Just another example of a nanny law.

Shouldn’t this law have cleared the air?  Instead it sure seems to stink.



  1. Pam Parker said,

    I totally agree with you. Why don’t more people get it? Why are people so apathetic? Why aren’t they outraged? My husband and I own a bar. We own the building, too. What the voters of this state did to us with this smoking ban goes against our personal property rights. And, again, you were right. If a majority of our customers would have wanted us to be smoke free, we already would have been. But they want to smoke. And the pretense of wanting to protect our employee…all 3 of our bartenders smoke. They want to work where they and their customers can smoke. These people who voted for this don’t even go to bars. I don’t vote on what happens in their home-how can they vote on what happens in our business? Not to sound paranoid, but doen’s there seem to be a bigger picture to you? HB177 just passed defining gambling as almost every thing there is (that pays out cash or prize worth $10). You don’t think there’s not a movement afoot to ban alcohol? Think about it. Not many bars will survive this smoking ban. Then, they swoop in for the kill with banning alcohol. Who’s going to object? The people who are now drinking and smoking at home who aren’t going out anymore? And way to go, American Cancer Society. You now put drinking and smoking that used to be done in a bar (where you had to be 21 or older to enter) in the home with the family. Don’t tell me that the home isn’t next for them to target. The writing is one the wall for us all and no one sees it. I leave you with this quote:

    “Prohibition…goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.” -Abraham Lincoln, December, 1840

  2. Michael J. McFadden said,

    Interesting. According to “The details of this ban can be found in the Ohio Revised Code, Chapter 3794. ” the burning of any plant material is forbidden other than incense in a religious ceremony.

    As a law it needs to be enforced to the letter without exception or room for interpretation.

    Unfortunately this means that restaurants and halls and such are no longer allowed to burn incense or candles.

    Perhaps smokers who know of such violations should visit such establishments and inform them that they will be turned in unless they cease and desist. Clear notices should be posted that such things as birthday celebrations and romantic dinners can no longer be accompanied by candles, as demanded by the state government.

    Violations should be immediately reported.

    The Ohio smoking ban was passed based upon falsehoods promoted by a coordinated media fear campaign based upon claims that so greatly exaggerated the effects of secondary smoke exposure upon health that those claims are little different than outright lies.

    A law based upon lies is not a proper law at all and deserves neither respect nor support..

    Michael J. McFadden
    Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”
    Mid-Atlantic Director, Citizens Freedom Alliance, Inc.
    Director, Pennsylvania Smokers’ Action Network (PASAN)
    web page: http://pasan.thetruthisalie.com/

  3. Chuck Calvert said,

    “If it is true that the majority of citizens living in Ohio are non-smokers, why should they trample the rights of the minority with their voting power?” It is unfortunate that this law was not passed by the majority of voters, only a majority of those that voted. The reality is this law was passed by 31% of the registered voters which equates to 17% (?) of eligiable voters. (I believe the last census was approximatele 11 million people over 18 in Ohio). The reasons are it was an off year (non presidential) election, many smokers felt it would not stand a chance, SFO and ACS used questionable (false) scientific statements on the hazards of second hand smoke and they had mobilized a minorty of anti smoking advocate to vote. Also SFO used biased economic ananlysis and many people did not understand the ballot language. This was done delibertly by SFO to defraud the voters of Ohio (my opinion, and I can’t prove it)

  4. Luke said,

    I hope all of these anti-smoking hitler wannabes truly get what’s coming to them. The US supreme court has already stated that if a business owner owns the property the business is on, it is privatre prperty, and is entitled to the protection of private property.

  5. Pam Parker said,

    Opponents of Ohio Bans has announced it intends to seek a Congressional Hearing to investigate the truth behind smoking bans that are plaguing this nation. In particular, they are seeking investigations into:

    The studies that claim that SHS kills
    The Surgeon General Carmona’s 2006 report
    The claim of 53,000 deaths annually
    The money behind the bans
    Those who profit
    Why do we have bans when it’s OSHA’s job to protect workers for everything else?
    Why there is no legislation to create lifetime limits on foundations’ donations? Foundations and Special Interest Groups are running this country.

    An on-line petition can be found at their website: http://www.opponentsofohiobans.com as well as the petition in its entirety. So far, this group has collected 270 signatures and their support is growing nationally. They are also calling for a global boycott of Johnson and Johnson products who financed these smoking bans. The shocking reasons are listed in the petition.

    The comments from the signers of this petition are quite interesting. Because this is an election year, it would behoove those running for office to hear what Americans think of the direction in which this country is headed.

    Opponents of Ohio Bans
    P.O. Box 402
    Grove City, OH 43123

  6. Cialis said,

    hCV1gw Excellent article, I will take note. Many thanks for the story!

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