Tuesday, March 04, 2008

City Lawmakers Drop Ball on Smoking Ban

Why would Kingston lawmakers even consider bringing back to committee a law that would increase the quality of life for Kingstonians? It boggels my mind that a law that Alderwoman Ringwood has proposed that would ban smoking on City property is being brought back to committee..where it will die a long death...like the people who get cancer from breathing in second hand smoke in our parks.

The reason the committee sent the proposed law back to committee were due to questions on how to enforce the law. While I agree it will be hard to impose the $100 fine that has been set up if someone was caught smoking, but like Alderman Landi said it's symbolic and sends a message to the community. Furthermore, the majority of people that read a sign that says "no smoking", won't smoke!

Alderwoman Ringwood's tenure has focused heavily on improving the quality of life for residents of Kingston and it's a slap in the face to her legacy to pass this off because of questions of enforcement. It's the job of legislators to make laws that will benefit their constituents........ not to enforce them. The Common Council should pass this law and the enforcement will fall into place.

BTW- I'm an occasional smoker.


dan gartenstein said...

Sorry Jeremy, but you have this one all wrong.

I would think the postings on this issue last week would have convinced you.

This is the perfect example of government overstepping its bounds, legislating for the sake of legislating, losing sight of real priorities.

If government is not willing to enforce a law, the issue addressed by that law is not a priority. Laws should only be passed when the government is committed to enforcement. Laws are not symbolic, they are not suggestive, they are mandates from our government. When laws are enacted and not enforced, our government loses credibility and loses the respect of the public.

When those who legislate publicly say that they are more concerned with messages than enforcement, we are in deep trouble.

Why not simply pass a memorializing resolution that says that smoking is bad and people who smoke around children are rude. Such a resolution would be about as useful as passing the current legislation with the understanding that it will not/cannot be enforced.

P.S. Does this mean that you are no longer going to encourage me to run in ward 1?

Anonymous said...

Where has common sense gone? You are telling me that it is OK to pass a law that will not be enforced? This Common Council is already laughed and joked about because of all the other laws they passed that are not and cannot be enforced. What we don't laugh about is the annual tax increases, the reval done using last year's home prices, since nosedived, the ever increasing "For Sale" signs, and now the new brainstorm to kill the taxpayer, the "trash tax." Where will it end, and when will the people of this city find a brain and get rid of the nine assholes.

Jeremy Blaber said...

Smoking marijuana even in your own home is a violation of the law... I think it's fair to say that it's a hard thing to enforce. However, there are penalties in place if one is caught.

Same with this proposed law, there is a reason why it's in place, there will be signs that would show that smoking is not permitted on City property and there would be a fine imposed for those who are caught violating this law.

The issue of enforcement is just an excuse to stop the law from moving forward.

And, Dan, I already have your nominating petitions drawn up...I hope that answers your question.

Anonymous said...

I wuz smokin mad-chronic with Clint Brown the other day and we agreed that the smoking ban is wac.

Smokey Robinson

BeenThereDoneThat said...

shame on you, Jeremy!
You know better as to NOT smoke.

Anonymous said...

Jeremy, even your most staunch supporters do not agree with you on this issue.

Since when did you become a researcher, and discover that OUTDOOR second hand smoke causes cancer in non-smokers. There is already plenty of data dispelling the hazzards of indoor secondhand, but I won't argue that. Even from a smoker, I think it's a good thing to prevent smoking in the workplace.

Law is NOT symbolism. Law is NOT meant to educate. I agree with the poster who recommended a RESOLUTION. Hey, you can even come up with signs to put in the parks, saying, "The City of Kingston has deemed smoking to be hazzardous to you and it is rude to smoke around children. res.225145"

Anonymous said...

'Like the people who get cancer from breathing second hand smoke in our parks."

That statement defies scientific fact and common sense. Outdoor smoke is too dilute to measure. Perhaps as tobacco nazis get more and more absurd, the common man will be too embarassed to follow them.

Anonymous said...

Do you ever think before you write anything? Of course they should concern themselves on whether it will be enforced. This was stupid and a waste of time. Who is going to enforce it? You do not put a law on the books if you have questions of how or if it will be enforced. The police will not write these tickets that is obvious. What is the rational for the law? Because it will stop people from inhaling second hand smoke when they are OUTSIDE. I would hope our council has more important things to do than to enact silly laws for symbolic reasons. Are they missing all the probelms in this city.

Anonymous said...

YOu make no sense. There is a big difference between hard to enforce because you cannot get into someones home to witness them smoking and a complete refusal by the police to enforce a ban on smoking in parks. Law that will not be enforced are overkill make our council seem like a joke for enacting them. I would hope you could see the difference. You just lost my vote for school board...you are just like the people in Kingston government now. Go along to get along.

Anonymous said...

So Jeremy, reconsidering your position yet?
Not a single positive comment from an overwhelmingly democratic crowd.
Doesn't that say it all?
Forget the meaningless legislation and get down to the real work that needs to be done.

Anonymous said...

Jeremy- Although you didnt print my original response for stating that this was a bad law, I will again reiterate it. As a four time survivor of various forms of cancer, I can admire and respect Jen and the common council members who brought this forward, I have to disagree with its intent. Sure we all know that second hand smoke is deadly, but to allow the government to legislate a ban on this most important health issue is wrong. I was proud to be part of a committee that outlawed and banned smoking in Suffolk County restaurants back in the early 80's but that is a completely different aspect of the law. This law was able to be enforced and did bring about a change in lifestyles. It also lead to the beginning of anti smoking laws through out the United States including NY.Smoking in the park, may eliminate cigarette butts and filth in specific areas of the park. But this effect could be produced if designating smoking areas. It is an issue that should be explored. As for outlawing smoking in the park, and enforcement of this become two completely seperate areas. The debate over smoking and non smoking will be a debate that will continue. But until people are educated on the dark side and results of continued use of tobacco, then all the legislation in the world is not going to work. Yes- the resolution is a step forward but to where. Is the next one to outlaw cigarette sales? hmmmmmm

Shelly Zimbler

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