Monday, February 25, 2008

Ringwood's Smoking Ban Moves Closer to Law

The Kingston Laws and Rules Committee unanimously recommended that smoking be banned in all City owned property. The penalty for violation would be $100.

This is really a no-brainier, the effects of smoking and second hand smoke are extremely dangerous and Innocent bystanders on City property should be protected.

One example of how this will improve the quality of life for Kingstonians is this: After the Kingston hospital banned smoking on their property, hospital employees go over and smoke at city hall. Senior citizens coming to pay their taxes should not have to breath that smoke. While hospital employees are moving to city hall, in the long run they will be sending City Hall employees to Kingston Hospital.

I commend Alderman Ringwood and urge all the members of the Kingston Common Council to vote in favor of this.


Anonymous said...

It's not going to work.

Anonymous said...

Oh please, Jeremy!! I'm so sick and tired of those people who feel they have to dictate how others should live. Remember the "CB" craze in the 70' & 80's? Every 3rd car had a CB with the driver holding a microphone to their face and yapping as they drove down the road? No rash of pile-ups from people unable to drive and talk at the same time. Then the cell phone came along and look what the do-gooders have done to laws and values. And we let them get away with it. Who's the fool in this picture? And what's next? Hey--we dont want our kids to think unhealthy life choices are OK, do we? What about a law prohibiting overweight people from being in the parks, city hall, or other govt. buildings? Sincerely, Jeremy- NO disrespect intended, but I dont think you'd support THAT!

Anonymous said...

There comes a time when government must stop overextending itself and must take steps to set and follow real priorities. Enough of the passing bills for public relations sake. Enough of drafting unenforceable legislation disguised as well intentioned government action. When does it stop?

Sure, people should exercise discretion and common sense and not smoke in the presence of children. Sure people should be courteous with their smoking so as not to offend or endanger others. That does not mean that more legislation is the answer.

What is next, pass a bill that prohibits unsafe sex? Pass a bill that prohibits overeating? Pass a bill that requires all parents to read a book with their child every night?

Given the real issues facing this city and this administration, this kind of legislation reminds me of the story about rearranging deck chairs on the titanic.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't you post my comment about being careful about supporting laws which chip away at personal freedoms? Someday, the same people may be comming after some of your favorite vices.

Anonymous said...

Just in case you refuse to post my previous comment.

As dangerous as secondhand smoke is, INDOORS, it has never been conclusively determined to be a hazzard OUTDOORS! What comes out of your tailpipe, is far more dangerous. One car at a stop light, spews more in volume than 20 smokers in a sitting.

Anonymous said...

Jeremy....I think you may be overlooking some issues here. It is not against the law to smoke, nor is non smoking a requirement for most employment. Being a non smoker is certainly not a requirement for paying taxes...taxes that support public parks. What a sweeping ban on smoking on city property dis-enfrancise an entire group of residents of the city.

When we make the case about children and seniors not having to be around smokers we are trying to avoid the complexity of the issue. There are laws in place that cover indoor smoking, confined spaces where we are forced to share the same air. It's a harder case to make when talking about the top of the hill at Hasbrouck Park, with a good breeze blowing off the river and an acre of ground between the smoker and the next guy.

Whether it's at work or in a public park, some accommodation should be made that recognizes, no matter how unpopular the acivity has become, it is legal to have a cigarette...somewhere. Smokers have as much a right to congregate and to enjoy public space, as everyone else. Enjoying the parks for a family picnic or strolling along to be outdoors should not be burdened by city lawmakers with absolute restrictions that don't differentiate between abuse and the recognition that many people do smoke and grew up in a culture that accepted smoking.

Perhaps in a more perfect future, no one will smoke and the issue will be moot, but for now, a minority of the population is feeling increasingly dis-enfrancised.

Anonymous said...

If you can, please define what is and what is not city owned? Is there a list somewhere that sets up a list? Buildings, vacant lots, foreclosed on property, sidewalks, streets, parking lots and so on.

What if you are sitting inside your privately owned car in the parking lot of a city owned park?

Aren't there more important matters to deal with in Kingston?

Anonymous said...

You can argue about the personal freedom being infringed, etc. My question, how in God's name will this be enforced? I'll tell you how. The same way the sidewalk shoveling law, the scooper pooper law, the snow emergency law, the cellphone law is. Why does this council continue to waste time and money on issues like this, and continue to ignore the important issues, like the roads falling apart, the For Sales signs, etc. Thank God Ringwood is going to Syracuse. It looks good on paper, in reality, totally useless. As if our police force has any time to give out fines in the park.

Anonymous said...


I agree with 1:21. Where are our priorities? Here in Kingston we have an increase in crime (regardless of what anyone official says), we have a rapidly disappating tax base due to the massively disproportionate share of social service programs, shelters, Family of Woodstock, "affordable housing", and other not-for-profits; and we have no jobs in Kingston.

These are three major issues that could keep the common council busy for years; however, they choose to reinvent the wheel and concentrate on minutiae.

I like the comment on rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. That is exactly what Jennifer Ringwood is doing.

Set our priorities and tackle the major issues!

Anonymous said...

As one of those feeling disenfranchised, who also struggles with a disability, I recently decided to give a part time job a shot once again.

However, two things struck me immediatedly: One, a sign that said there was no smoking allowed on the grounds (which would mean a considerable walk to the street, which is a disability issue) and Two, a sign that the organization was exclusively a Christian organization (I am an agnostic/humanist).

I would have been very good at this job, I think. I have great ethics. I have some great assets. And the time frame, etc. seemed workable.

However, I can't deal with my disability, start a new job, stop smoking, start "hiking," and suddenly become a Christian all at the same time, can I?

In fact, if the smoking rules and regulations keep going the way they are going, you folks might as well set up all smokers for Welfare, SSI or SSD, whether they have other health issues (as I do) or not.

Smoking is an ADDICTION. It is an addiction that was SOLD TO US by the government and the advertising industry!

And now we smokers are nothing but dog-doo? Do you all have your pooper scoopers in hand?????????

Come on folks! Of course smokers should be respectful of others, especially children. We are NOT DUMB.

But do we need more laws and restrictions around all of this - or is disenfranchised soon to equate with unemployable and/or DISABLED for even larger numbers of the population??????

Overweight people should not be targeted for hurtful words and/or actions. Neither should smokers.

And if you really want to get to the crux of the cigarette smoke problem you should go after those who MAKE the products, ADVERTISE the products, and SELL the products!

AND offer FREE rehabiliation services (whether these be programs, patches, lozenges, or whatever) for those that have been victimized by these snaky sneaky individuals and organizations (in collusion with the US Government) [many such folks have become quite wealthy from selling thier vices, I might venture to guess...]

There are larger implications to all of this folks!

Smokers are NOT scum. They have, contrarily, been the victims of scumbags.

Why make THAT (already having been horribly victimized and unjustly stigmatized...)WORSE than it already is??????????????????????

Anonymous said...

This is just hysterical that our common council can, in the blink of an eye, make a useless determination regarding smoking OUTDOORS, but cannot figure out what to do with crumbling city infrastructure, raising crime and an all but dead city economy. Seems like this smoking decision was made quicker than where to buy the next pair of Sottile's boots. I guess our police officers are going to write out these tickets...yeah good luck with ever seeing that happen. You ahve to be kidding me with this. At this point it is so bad around here I would just like to see them try something, anything. Even if it doesn't work, at least they would be trying. It seems like for the last three years all we got was rhetoric, but no action.

Anonymous said...

As to the second post... I'm happy to report that on the subject of driving while using cell-phones....

The states of Utah and New Hampshire have recently DE-cimalized the use of cell-phones while driving.

People really CAN drive and talk at the same time! Hooray!

Anonymous said...

Wow! So many excellent posts, ALL of them thinking this ban is stupid. I wonder who all these folks Ringwood says are behind her? Just the TFAC Lobby I guess.

Anonymous said...

Yes Jeremy, I can see by the writings on the blog,The Ringwood departure is long overdue. Time too for the other four vote happy law makers to get their act together as well on this Commitee.

I guess if you can't get anything right, as is the case lately with Jimmy and the Crickets, then you go home and kick the dog,(or in this case the smokers) that will justfy your feeble exsistence and paycheck.

Anonymous said...

You can have all the law's they want, but i tell you, they are never, never enforced so why the hell have them in kingston.

Anonymous said...

You know what would be good laws to pay attention to?

Loitering/grouping laws
Stronger noise ordinaces
Anti 'Boom Car' laws. (I heard this car booming on Washington Ave 3 blocks comming, and 3 blocks going, and I was IN MY HOUSE! and I don't even live on Washington).
Stronger Graffitti laws
Off Street Parking
Crack down on inspection stations passing cars in violation of Federal EPA laws, and the cars owner.

These are WORTH going after. And actually has a REAL positive effect.

Anonymous said...

City Hall employees and even members of the Common Council smoke right outside City Hall and that sickens me.

The same occurs just outside the City Police Department and City Court with "officers of the court".

There is a law ALREADY on the books that no one is to smoke within 50 feet of a structure.

Alderman Ringwood, you ought to get Jim Sottile on board to stop the smoking and abide by the current laws too!

Anonymous said...

Yo. Have you listened to the latest (nationwide) socio-economic reports? Don't ya think we have some issues afloat that are a wee bit more important than cigrarette smoke? Have you huffed any car tailpipes lately? Have we all gone off our rockers?


Do ya' want to know what makes ME sick?

Children with no food. Children with no heat. Children with no medical care. Children who are being neglected, abused, sexually abused and/or abandoned by their parents AND/OR THEIR GOVERNMENT!

Grow up! Look around. PASS SOME LAWS THAT REALLY MATTER!!!!!!!!!!