Thursday, November 13, 2008

Good news: Less than 20% of U.S. adults now smoke.,2933,451425,00.html Unfortunately, a goodly number of that 20% hang around the entrances to the St. Marys Walmart and the exit door at Aunt B's, rudely forcing patrons to run the gauntlet of their second-hand smoke, in spite of Georgia law prohibiting the inconsiderate SOBs from smoking within 50 feet of the entrances and exits. GEORGIA CODECopyright 2008 by The State of GeorgiaAll rights reserved. *** Current through the 2008 Regular Session *** TITLE 31. HEALTH CHAPTER 12A. SMOKEFREE AIR O.C.G.A. § 31-12A-5 (2008)§ 31-12A-5. Smoking prohibited in enclosed areas within places of employment; required communications (a) Except as otherwise specifically provided in Code Section 31-12A-6, smoking shall be prohibited in all enclosed areas within places of employment, including, but not limited to, common work areas, auditoriums, classrooms, conference and meeting rooms, private offices, elevators, hallways, medical facilities, cafeterias, employee lounges, stairs, restrooms, and all other enclosed facilities.(b) Such prohibition on smoking shall be communicated to all current employees by July 1, 2005, and to each prospective employee upon their application for employment.HISTORY: Code 1981, § 31-12A-5, enacted by Ga. L. 2005, p. 1184, § 2/SB 90.Title Note O.C.G.A. § 31-12A-7 (Copy w/ Cite) Pages: 1 O.C.G.A. § 31-12A-7 GEORGIA CODECopyright 2008 by The State of GeorgiaAll rights reserved. *** Current through the 2008 Regular Session *** TITLE 31. HEALTH CHAPTER 12A. SMOKEFREE AIR O.C.G.A. § 31-12A-7 (2008)§ 31-12A-7. Smoking prohibited in designated nonsmoking places Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, an owner, operator, manager, or other person in control of an establishment, facility, or outdoor area may declare that entire establishment, facility, or outdoor area as a nonsmoking place. Smoking shall be prohibited in any place in which a sign conforming to the requirements of subsection (a) of Code Section 31-12A-8 is posted.HISTORY: Code 1981, § 31-12A-7, enacted by Ga. L. 2005, p. 1184, § 2/SB 90.Title Note TITLE 16. CRIMES AND OFFENSES CHAPTER 12. OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC HEALTH AND MORALS ARTICLE 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS O.C.G.A. § 16-12-2 (2008)§ 16-12-2. Smoking in public places (a) A person smoking tobacco in violation of Chapter 12A of Title 31 shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, if convicted, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100.00 nor more than $500.00.(b) This Code section shall be cumulative to and shall not prohibit the enactment of any other general and local laws, rules and regulations of state or local agencies, and local ordinances prohibiting smoking which are more restrictive than this Code section.HISTORY: Code 1933, § 26-9910, enacted by Ga. L. 1975, p. 45, § 1; Ga. L. 1982, p. 3, § 16; Ga. L. 1994, p. 650, § 3; Ga. L. 2005, p. 60, § 16/HB 95; Ga. L. 2005, p. 1184, § 1/SB 90. Sec. 58-3. No smoking ordinance. (a) Smoking in city buildings, vehicles, and within those areas of buildings which are operated or occupied by city employees, including leased office space, city motor vehicle of every type owned, leased, or operated by employees, elected and appointed officials, is hereby prohibited. (b) Smoking is prohibited within a distance of 25 feet from the doorway or enclosed area of buildings or facilities leased by or owned by the City of St. Marys. (c) Each city department head may designate outside areas as smoking areas. In making these designations, attempts should be made to accommodate the needs of all smoking and nonsmoking employees and citizens using the facility while complying with subsection (b) of this section. (d) The city manager shall post "No Smoking" signs in all hallways, restrooms, and public meeting places. Employees and citizens should note that it is a violation of state law (O.C.G.A. § 16-112-2) to smoke in an area which has been designated with a "No Smoking" sign. (e) The city's police department, and all other law enforcement officers, shall be authorized to issue citations to violators of any provisions of this section. Such citation shall state the time and place at which the accused is to appear for trail, shall identify the offense with which the accused is charged, shall have an identifying number by which it shall be filed with the court, shall indicate the identity of the accused and the date of the service, shall be signed by the officer who completes and services it. (f) Any person violating this section, or provisions hereof upon conviction, shall be punished up to the maximum punishment, which may be imposed for violation of a city ordinance; and in no case shall the maximum punishment of the violation of such ordinance exceed the fine of $100.00. The jurisdiction over violations of this section shall be in the city court of St. Marys, Georgia. (Ord. of 3-22-04, § 1)


Anonymous said...

"Bad News: Tobacco farmers bankrupt, more individual liberties sacrificed in the process"

Sorry, Any law telling private business owners how to regulate smoking on their property is unconstitutional. Because smoking is unpopular these laws recieved little or no opposition but make no mistake, when you start telling businesses how to regulate the habits of customers you are on the road to fascism. The free market sorts these things out... as smoking becomes less socially acceptable, the businesses that welcome smokers will become fewer and fewer. If you dont want to be smoked around don't patronize the business. Asking for govenment regulations and more of them is for the democrats (and currently these big government republicans).

Jay Moreno said...

So.. let me get this straight. Folks like me, whose sinuses slam shut and who get headaches with 15 minutes or so of inhaling even a whiff of tobacco smoke should simply not shop at Walmart or anywhere else that rude, inconsiderate, scofflaw assholes decide to smoke just outside the entrance in violation of Georgia law?

Clearly, Sir, the law is not unconstitutional or it would have been successfully challenged and struck down long ago.

I'm all for the right of those louts to go on out to their cars, roll up the windows, and asphyxiate themselves.

Anonymous said...

Nope thats not what I am saying. I am saying its up to walmart to regulate smoking in front of their building. The law is still unconstitutional because it violates the rights of places like Huddle House which would obviously rather cater to the smoking crowd. If you remember years ago when Steffans became non smoking (I think the owner had some health problems?) some people werent happy but they survived and made money still. This was before the smoking ban and this is a great example of someone controlling their private property. See how it can work in your favor?

And saying that a law is constitutional because it hasnt been stuck down isnt really an accurate way to gauge constitutionality! Roe vs. Wade? The supreme court has a brilliant history of ignoring the constitution. I mean, any other reason why the Patriot Act wasnt over turned? The Bailout? I could go on for hours.

And alot of people are allergic to various types of perfume! Lets ban perfume and colonge in public places because people break out and have adverse reactions.

The point in a nutshell is this: Under no circumstance should the government EVER EVER EVER tell someone what to do on their property. Public property, sure. Government property, sure. But at my house or at my business when someone steps on that property they follow my rules. My rules of course would be very customer orientated and friendly if I ever hope to make money. The free market solves these problems not more bigger government.

Jay Moreno said...

Walmart HAS opted to ban smoking in their stores. So far, I can not find the law that says you may not smoke within 50 feet of the entrance to such an establishment, but I trhink I remember reading about it. A internet search shows that such laws are legion in many countites and cities across America. If Wlamart wants to protect their customers, employees, and merchandise from tobacco smoke, it is clearly their right under Georgia law (which I'v now provided). It only makes sense that mthye should at least post signs requesting louts not smoke within 50 feet of their dorrs. (But then, again, it makes sense that they should vet people solicviting for bogus charities at their doors as well).

Let's follow your Libertarian logic to its logical conclusion. People from certain foreibg cultures are not nearly so freaked out by the presence of roaches, rodents, and rodent droppings in their food preparations as we Americans are. Trust me - after twenty plus years of inspecting merchant vessels from all over the world for the Quarantine Division of U.S. Public Health, I know of what I speak. So,suppose some of those folks legaly immigrate to this country and open a restaurant.
A county health inspector finds roaches, rats and rat droppings in the kitchen and the food storage pantry. He shuts them down. Would you consider that a violation of your laissez-faire theory of government non-intervention in favor of public health? How about smoking in the kitchen and having ashes fall into the food? Any problem with that? How about urinating into the public water supply? If not, why not? You have no problem with polluting the public air supply.

And yes, to you usual suspects - before you tune up - native born Americans of all enthnicities are quite capable of running absolutely filthy restaurants.

Anonymous said...

The difference in smoking and health code violations in restaurants is that you can walk into a restaurant and see people smoking or call ahead and know what the deal is. A normal person probably doesnt know much about food saftey other than the obvious stuff so the government hires people to make sure everything that a person cant see is in good working order. Big difference. I have no problem with state and local governments looking over things that the average consumer would find it too time consuming to research, its a convenience and a luxury for us provided by our tax dollars but never neccessary. The Libertarian arguement would be that the free market would weed out places that are run like this, probably at the cost of some serious food poisoning cases and even death. We forgo that by allowing our government to hire people to make sure this doesnt happen. However anyone knows that smoking is unhealthy so we try our best to stay away from it. I don't smoke and I find it very easy to avoid it if i wish to.

I'm not completely Libertarian but I do recognize that some of their ideas work and some of their ideas are alot harder to implement in the current American culture. The people here are used to being protected automatically thus pay no attention and get lazy when it comes to their lives. The current best example is the proposed bailing out of people that can't pay their house loans. Sure those evil banks gave them low teaser rates to entice them, but in the end the choice to borrow money under the banks' contract was theirs. You cant legislate bad habits and you cant use government to fix people's mistakes.

Jay Moreno said...

Some school teachers smoke. Why should they have to refrain during class? Simply post on the public school website which teachers smoke in class. If your child draws that teacher, you can either find a non-smoking private school or home school the child. Wouldn't that be intirely consistent with your position that smoking is not a legitimate health concern for the government toi get involved in?

By the way, when I have to run the gauntlet of a lout or louts smoking in my path, I generally clear my throat or get their attention in some other way, give them a well deserved dirty look, then visibly take in a big breath and hold it while I rev the old wheelchair up to full speed to get by the bastards and clear of their smoky miasma.. That works for me for the most part, but I still occasionally get blindsided by an unseen smoking lout.

Jay Moreno said...

By the way, for those occassions, I carry two pseudoephedrine tablets in my wallet at all times.

Anonymous said...

jay, here is the law on that smoking.
1-if it goverment building
2- hospitols that are non for profit.
so why should goverment get invoved with another law they cant enforce what they have.
and if k mart went to smoke free
on whole property wal mart would do same. no sales drop