By Bruce Hagevik, NewsRadio 830 WCCO

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — A Minnesota lawmaker wants to let bar patrons smoke again, more than three years after a statewide smoking ban took effect.

Republican Rep. Tom Hackbarth of Cedar introduced legislation Monday that would allow smoking in bars, including bars attached to restaurants.

Smoking would still be banned in restaurants. Bars attached to restaurants would have to be separated physically by walls and doors kept closed.

The bill would give bars as long as six years to install ventilation systems, depending on how much of their sales come from drinks. The ventilation requirement would kick in next year for bars that sell more food than alcohol.

The bill has been referred to a health panel.

The American Lung Association in Minnesota was quick to speak out against the proposal to allow smoking in bars.

“Frankly, this is a solution to a problem that doesn’t really exist,” said Bob Moffitt of the American Lung Association.

He said it would mean two sets of health standards for workers — one for those who are employed in bars and another for those working in offices.

“The Freedom To Breathe Act Of 2007 was a big step forward in protecting the health of workers in bars, restaurants and clubs and to go backwards now just doesn’t make much sense,” said Moffitt.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Bruce Hagevik Reports

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (161)
  1. Bpb says:

    Finally, a Republican I can like.

    1. jan says:

      i have a karaoke/dj show and since the smoking ban i use to be booked 2-3 nights a week, now im lucky if i get one booking a week, there are at least 5 bars that are either now for sale or closed which doesn’t help the unemployment any or the economy. when the bars are filled with 80% smokers and the others don’t really care and usually feel bad and end up outside with the smokers anyway cause otherwise their left alone sitting at bar that should say something, when our veterans who can go off to war and defend our rights, but can’t even smoke in their own legions or vfw’s makes you wonder where our rights are, when the non-smokers can tolorate smoking in a casino while their gambling they should beable to tolorate it in a privatly owned bar and a place that is paying taxes. where did our rights go?

      1. Jeff says:

        TO blame the downturn in business on the smoking ban is just shortsighted and makes your point seem weak. The downturn in the economy is a much more logical reason why your business decreased. Also, since when are bars filled with 80% smokers? Being one of the apparently minority non-smokers, I’d like to see where this fantasy statistic is coming from. And your rights as a smoker are still there. You still have the right to smoke; smoke at home, smoke outside, just don’t do it where I’m forced to cough and smell like your cheap tobacco when I leave the bar.

      2. laracroft_390 says:

        No offense to bar owners and non-smokers. I am a smoker and I prefer to drink at home. I save more money going to the liquor store then spending twice the amount for 1 or 2 drinks at the bar. I don’t mind going to a bar and having a good time with my friends, stepping outside for a smoke, but I do mind paying more for drinks and dealing with schmucks on a ego trip and drama-seekers airing out their issues in the public to kill the positive atmosphere.

    2. Richard in Minneapolis says:

      Your right to smoke stops at that point where my right to breathe begins.

  2. monti says:

    one step forward, two steps back.

  3. dsr says:

    Republicans and tobacco industry, in bed together

  4. monkeyfurball says:

    I’m a Republican but FK this. Don’t change the no smoking laws.

    1. Matryx says:

      I am a Democrat and I agree with you Monkeyfurball. I am a lifelong nonsmoker that lost practically half of my family to lung cancer. I would rather not have to deal with second hand for myself or others that just want to go out.

      1. Non-smoker says:

        If there were such incredible demand for non-smoking bars, there would be non-smoking bars. There are 2 simple facts here: Smoking, by itself is a legal activity, and bar owner’s property rights are violated by the smoking ban. There is intellectually no difference between telling one property owner that they can’t smoke (or allow others to do so) while not doing the same for all property owners, so public smoking bans violate the 14th amendment’s equal protection clause.

  5. Callie's Mom says:

    I’m with you monkeyfurball!

  6. Ben says:

    Finally is right, if you don’t like it go somewhere else. Why should smokers get descriminated we pay a majority of YOUR taxes.

    1. dunnski57 says:

      And cost the rest of us for your cancer, COPD, emphysema…..

      Not to mention the diseases you give the rest of us from second hand smoke.

      1. Lung cancer not on top of cancer list says:

        Is there a question on your insurance form that asks, Are you around people that smoke? NO, the reason being second hand smoke is harmless.

    2. Robyn Riley says:

      Isn’t this the same guy that was lurking in the parking lot of a Planned Parenthood with a loaded gun? Yeah, he’s a rocket scientist.

  7. Brady says:

    This should not happen Minnesota is one of the best state we want to keep moving up not back down

  8. negirl says:

    It would be interesting to see what bars would actually switch back. Let them decide, if you don’t like it, go next door.

    1. Wallys sipping says:

      bet a helluva lot fewer than one thinks. I’m a smiker but I actually like the ban. I can breathe in the places – imagine that. Breathe semi-fresh air. Smoke free anyone ….. I hated it in the beginning until I realized it makes sense

  9. smoker says:

    Right on! Leave it up to the bar. If you don’t smoke, don’t go.

    1. dunnski57 says:

      Suck your poison outside. You are an addict. Face the facts.

  10. Bill says:

    In case anyone wants to contact Rep. Hackbarth with their thoughts:

    1. Maria L says:

      That’d be like talking to a piece of concrete. Same thing … thick and inert

      1. dunnski57 says:

        Plus he packs heat wherever he goes, including stalking women.

    2. Joe says:

      Tried that .. he doesn’t even reply to emails.

  11. lib says:

    Smoking is a legal activity and bars are private property. The State never had the legal right to make the law in the first pl;ace. I am not a smoker, but people have rights, it you don’t want to be in a bar that allows smoking don’t prtronize the establishment. There will be plenty of bars that will remain smoke free.

    1. Do unto others says:

      You got it right – the problem is it’s legal. Cigs are legal too.
      I say just drop some acid and warp away so I don’t have to listen to you anymore. Fly off the 50th floor …. burds can do it. Surely you can too

    2. Fred says:

      The bar is a public place, like the mall , grocery store, hospital, restaurants, etc.

      1. lib says:

        Hi Fred, bars are not State property, they are privately owned. The taxes and bills are paid by a person who took a risk to invest in a business. The State should not have the right to make something legal (smoking) into something illegal.

      2. Fred says:

        Lib Grocery stores, hotels and other places are privately owned. Can’t smoke there. If your smoke stayed inside you and did not spew over everyone in the facility then I would not care if you smoked. Guns are legal to own. Can’t discharge them in many places within a city limit nor can you carry them everywhere. Sex is a legal activity, you can do it just anywhere. It is social norms. If the person smoking did not effect others then it would not be a problem.

  12. soapboxgod says:

    Another Republican who still can’t exhibit the intestinal fortitude to lead on principle. Private property is private property. It should make no difference whatsoever whether said property is a bar, restaurant, bowling alley, pool hall, or health club for god’s sake. Stand over there or stand over here and if you can’t quite decide just politely get the hell out of the way.

  13. T.L. says:

    That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard, let’s hope he’s not taken seriously. Why would we take a major step backwards?

    1. Eric says:

      BECAUSE BUSINESS ARE LOSING MONEY…Banning smoking in bars was definatly not a step forward.

    2. Patrick says:

      @ Eric – Bars could make money holding death matches in cages but when that got banned would you complain about profit loss. With the law as it is all bars are on the same playing field and nobody has to risk second hand smoke just to go out and have a drink.

      1. Matt says:

        @Patrick — RIGHT ON! You’re exactly right. It can’t all boil down to money. I feel for the bar owners who claim to have lost money–I really do. But…

        Have any of you “pro-smokers” sat on the bed side of a family member on hospice care for lung cancer? That disease reduced my burly uncle to nothing but a shriveled bag of bones. I watched him suffer for months before finally passing away. He was making swimming motions with his arms as if he was drowning for the last couple days. The nurse said this is common because the patient gets the feeling that he’s drowning…for DAYS…due to lack of lung function. It took over a week before he got the relief of death.

        How much revenue is that worth?

  14. jd says:

    You’ve got to be kidding me – nothing like taking society backwards.
    Let’s see how far the tobacco taxes go when treating the various illnesses associated with smoking – I bet there would be a lot of smokers going without medical treatment.

    1. lib says:

      statistically smokers die young and rarely use the amount of health care of non smokers.

      1. AnneC says:

        Actually they use a TON of health care, and non-smokers pay the price in higher premiums and higher health care costs. This bill has no justification, other than the tobacco companies are trying to find a politician who will bring forward their agenda.

  15. why you need it? says:

    Save a life or 100 …… but smokers….do it. Blow your lungs out as long as you are private pay insurance. As in just yours. I’m sick of paying rates jacked sky high for drunks and smokers. Just use a gun and be done. 😉

    1. carla says:

      tired of paying for people with diabetes too due to being obese? Tired of paying for risk takers of extreme sports when they are paralyzed? Get over paying insurance rates for others. We all do and we always will.

  16. Kevin says:

    I smoiked for 15 years….I quit when the ban took effect to protest the fact that I would not contribute my smoking dollars to the State. I feel better….still mad….but a healthier mad….I said back then that fat people cost the state system alot more that smokers….they do…..and they will put taxes on fat foods soon….already have in some states….big brother is funny…..he doesnt care what he is doing while he watches you…..but he sure cares about what your doing…..

    1. Burnsville Bubba says:

      like it Kevin – pounded down the heaters for 41 years. Took it’s toll for sure and someday I’ll be a burden on the system too I suspect. But they sure loved my tax money all those years.
      I sensed when I ceased drinking in the 70’s they may have had a short term cut back somewhere. Damkit – I supported more silly stuff with my sin taxes over the years than I care to think about.
      To me it is so funny when people are in a bar with a drink, pounded down a smoke and complaining about taxes. That always made my day bright. Many have zero clue as to how much they handing out to Big Bro

    2. soapboxgod says:

      The notion that smokers place a heavy burden on the system and are subsidized by said system has been disproven numerous times. In short one need only consider the amount of taxes paid in by smokers coupled with their shorter life expectancy. True when they are hospitalized their care will likely be more costly than it otherwise would but they tend to not have repeated and prolonged stays compared to their non-smoking counterparts.

      1. Fred says:

        Please tell me where you get your statistics from. It would be an amazing article if were written by someone other than the tobacco companies.

  17. Dave Campbell says:

    What gives smokers the right to tell no smokers not to go to go to a bar if we don’t like smoking? Where does it say that having a drink and smoking go hand in hand? Just because you pay taxes so that you can enjoy your foul habit that poisons the rest of us with second hand smoke, you don’t have the right to tell us where we can go to have a drink with friends. As far as I’m concerned the tax on cigarettes should be no less than $20.00 dollars a pack. You people cause more deaths in this state than all the violent crimes combined. Smoking is no more of a right than shooting someone on a street corner! Hackbarth doesn’t have a clue!

    1. fed up says:

      Hey nonsmoker what gives you the right to say that we have to go somewhere eles. Just so that you don’t have to breath in the secondhand smoke. When the people who go to bars and have drinks. Then what they drive home and there drunk. So then what is the number of drunk drives killing people. I think that it is about time everybody stops judging people for what they do to themself. If they want to die from it let. There is a lot more stuff out there who get cancer from other things you going to ban that to.

    2. Common Sense says:

      What gives non-smokers the right to tell smokers they can’t light up if they don’t like smoking? -Sincerely, Non-smoker

    3. Calley says:

      What gives non-smoker’s the right to decide that smoker’s should not smoke? You do realize what drinking alcohol does to your liver? Look up how many deaths were a direct result of alcohol consumption. This ranges everywhere from car accidents, to domestic violence, to liver disease. So before you preach on about smoking and how it may or may not affect you while drinking poison. You should do some research.

    4. paab says:

      How about pot man? You don’t have to patronize a bar if they allow smoking. Go to a bar that is non smoking. Your dollar will speak louder that your voice.

  18. Ricky M says:

    First of all LIB learn to spell. Second of all the gov’t has every right to enforce the smoking ban. Using your logic the gov’t should not step in if a restaurant is serving food that is making people sick. After all the restaurants are private property. Smoking affects everyone who breaths it in.

    1. Sarah says:

      I completely agree. Just because you’re addicted to smoking and want to increase your chances of lung cancer and a premature death doesn’t mean that the rest of us that go out in public have to suffer from your nauseating smell.

    2. lib says:

      Selling spoiled food isn’t legal, and second hand smoke is bad science in the name of poliitcal correctness.

      1. CG says:

        I am really sorry for any children you may have. Not only because you’re killing them with your 2nd hand smoke, but because they have to put up wtih a moron like you.

  19. Alex Danzberger says:

    You have got to be kidding me! Lock this moron in a room with a dozen smokers and throw away the key.

    1. lib says:

      Alex, you should be up for reasoned discourse, even if someone doesn’t agree with you.

  20. Lee says:

    I like the smoking ban, I will not accuse anyone of costing taxpayers more money than someone else, I would not support this change after it has taken so long to happen. Plain and simple… stop pointing fingers people! We are all responsible for our own actions.

  21. Get Real says:

    Here is the main difference between a republican and a demoncrat

    If a republican doesn’t like smoke, he doesn’t smoke.

    If a demoncrat doesn’t like smoke, nobody can smoke.

    1. CG says:

      TO GET REAL:
      But your Republican smoker is passing along 2nd hand smoke to me and all other non-smokers in a bar I also want to enjoy. Or is this just a republican bar. That makes sense – you can all get cancer together.

    2. Get Real says:

      If it was up to me, you would not be at the bar because i would stop your welfare checks and you would not have any money to go to the bar

  22. Jaquelyn Mack says:

    It seems that the people who are most upset about this would never even step into a bar. Leave the business owners alone and let them decide. Everyone should take their negative energy about this and do something about a real issue.

  23. Alex Danzberger says:

    This guy is a wing nut. Google his name and you’ll see he was picked up by police when seen carrying around a Planned Parenthood clinic. He explained it all away, stating that he was looking for a “girl friend” he had met online that had declined to have dinner with him. He was stalking her to be sure that she wasn’t out with another guy!!! How do idiots like this get elected in the first place and stay in office?

    1. pat says:

      Like the mental case who is now Governor?

      1. Wendell says:

        aaah Pat – least the Gov hasn’t been this dumb now.
        You trying to sound like an idiot or are you indeed one? 😉

  24. jeandermer says:

    Let’s see–bar drinking or lung cancer–bar drinking or lung cancer–hmmmmmmmmm!

  25. glass houses says:

    All the BS in the world is not going to change the fact that smokers have just as much rights as no-smokers… All of us are equal, just some (non-smokers) are more equal…

    1. Wendell says:

      I’m a heavy smoker — but think the ban was a wise move. BTW – my Brother owns 2 bars. Not a problem. 😉

  26. merks says:

    Now that is going to take away my fun. While I am outside having a smoke I got to see people stumble out buzzed and drunk and wrap their cars around a pole.
    And they didn’t smoke.

  27. Dave Campbell says:

    Jaquelyn, having clean, safe air to breath is an issue. When filling out forms for health care enrollment, I watched three smokers state on their forms that they were none smokers to get a lower rate. I’m guessing that this is not an isolated incident. They lie to get lower insurance rates and the poison the rest of us with their second hand smoke!

    1. ZERO PROOF says:

      There is ZERO proof that second hand smoke causes anything.

      Alcohol is a posion, if you are at the bar drinking (posioning yourself) funny you would be worried about second hand smoke.

      1. Erhovie says:

        What drugs are you on? There are plenty of studies that show a link to second hand some having more of an impact that first hand smoking. But then again, when science and reason show a link to something, why not just make up facts if it doesn’t agree with your option?

      2. Cancerguy says:

        To Zero Proof
        Try reading a lttle more


        Richard, a 42-year-old marketing executive, has been a smoker for 22 years. Dealing with the stress of his fast-paced job, Richard feels his smoking provides him with much needed breaks throughout the day and the ability to relax in the evening at home. However, he is surprised when his youngest daughter, Madelyn, is having trouble breathing and is diagnosed with asthma. The family pediatrician explains that in addition to undermining his own health, Richard’s smoking may have triggered Madelyn’s asthma. Realizing the danger his behavior poses to himself and his family, Richard joins a support group and quits smoking.

        Maryanne and Julia, two English professors at a local university, carpool to work to save gas and keep each other company during the commute. Julia has been a smoker since her teens but now smokes only in the car while she drives. Maryanne’s father has recently been diagnosed with lung cancer and she is acutely aware of the risks associated with smoking. Concerned about her own exposure to second hand smoke, Maryanne compiles information from the Internet and the university library. She gives the resources to Julia and asks if she would be willing to stop smoking in the car. Julia, understanding the possible impact of her smoking on her own health and realizing that a carpool buddy is more important than her morning cigarette, decides to quit.

      3. ZERO PROOF says:

        This is a response to Cancer Guy

        The first article says “may have”

        The second article says “possible impact”

        Quit reading between the lines!! I said PROOF

      4. Common Sense says:

        Case examples that use “may” and “possibly” have to be suspect… You may be right, but you will sure need to dig deeper.

      5. ZERO PROOF says:


        Sounds like you are a fountain of information. Name ONE of the many studies.
        Again I said PROOF.

      6. Come on says:

        Cancer guy

        If I have a daughter that has asthma and no one around her smokes. Then your example has to be thrown out. Try again.

      7. Cancerguy says:

        Zero Proof
        Check it out, do you need more than that. They go into the different research studies.

      8. Zero Proof says:

        Cancer guy

        Nice try, did you read any of those reports???? All of them contain “may” and “could” Again I say there is ZERO proof, you have had the wool pulled over your eyes for political correctness science.

      9. John says:

        So when the CDC says it “does” not it “can” that means nothing to you? What about the stories about life-long waitresses that never smoked and ended up getting lung cancer? Also no proof, or are you just deliberately too obtuse to see it?

    2. fed up says:

      Hey dave campbell what are you doing spying on someone well they fill private papers. You get pleasure well you look at other peoples paper that don’t involve you. And beside the insurance companys find out the truth without people like you spying where you shouldn’t.

  28. seehuts says:

    That is a good idea. Smoking is legal why should it be banned everywhere?

  29. Keith says:

    If not smoking in bars is such a brilliant idea why didn’t bar owners ban it in their bars on their own? Answer because they lose business. This is not a “smoking issue” it’s a property rights issue. With proper ventilation the health issues can be addressed. Bar owners that want to be allowed to decide which way they want to go, smoking or smoke-free. Smoking is still legal. Be very care what you wish for. When the smokers go away, an they wil, there are less and less all the time, where will the government make up that time money. It could be on a product or service that you use. When I started smoking cigarettes where 35 cents a pack. Now they are over $5. I used to spend quite a bit of money in bars, I haven’t had more than one beer in any bar ever since.

  30. JJ says:

    I smoke and honestly I do enjoy going outside. If the law changed I would probably go to a bar that didn’t allow smoking. But the government should not decide, it should be up to the bar owner. PS…Dave if you lie on your insurance forms the Insurance Company will deny you your claim when they find out. So don’t worry about it. Everyone has bad habits (food, alcohol, smoking, not exercising, just being crabby can give you a heart attack) So like i tell my 4 year old, worry about yourself and not anyone else.

    1. Common Sense says:

      Aye. Then they can sue you for past claims they paid and cancel you. Then there’s the criminal aspect: Fraud.

  31. Jonathan Demarcus says:

    They need to keep that crap banned ANYWHERE inside. Go choke on your cancer sticks somewhere else, smokers. You made life sucky inside for years, now it’s your turn to be stuck outside freezing your butts off. Good riddance!

  32. Rich C says:

    Why not allow bars to choose to buy a “Smoking License” if they want their establishment to allow smoking or not. This way people can have a choice about going to a smoking or non-smoking establishment.. Signs can be displaced telling the patron if it is a smoking or non-smoking establishment. It can also raise needed funds for the state selling a “Smoking License”. After all, smoking is legal, and people should have the freedom to choose where they’d like to go. I think this is a fair comprimise.

  33. Someone Else says:

    How far do we take the rational of “I’m sick of paying for the insurance costs incurred by smokers when I don’t smoke?”
    I can almost see the future headlines:
    “In a separate proposal, it was suggested that drinking alcohol in bars be banned because data shows more people die in accidents on the way home from bars than would occur if they had just stayed home and drank.”.
    Not to say that smoking doesn’t impact society as far as health costs go, but so does drinking, among other things.

    We’ve tried to ban alcohol; it made the situation so bad that they repealed that amendment to the constitution. In a free society, bans on personal behavior don’t work well because they aren’t as enforceable as they are in a closed society. We’re not set up to have a draconian system of punishment like some authoritarian systems do. Such brutality would probably be the only effective means of enforcing an outright ban of something such as alcohol; but there’s no proof that that would work, either.

    Banning smoking in bars, in a place where people are already engaging in behavior that’s damaging to themselves as well as to society, is a curious approach. It’s kind of hypocritical to allow one and not the other. Not to mention the drop in revenue that bar owners have had to endure since the smoking ban was first introduced.

  34. Anne says:

    No one is saying you can’t smoke, I am saying you don’t have the right to do it in my air space, if it’s a property rights issue, smoke in your own home, see if I care about that, if you’re a business open to the public and the majority of the public are non-smokers, it would seem feasible and a nice compromise to do as we now do; you take your smokes outdoors where the impact is miinimal to people who don’t like it. I personally have saved a lot of money not having to take an inhaler with me to a bar or restaurant anymore because I have asthma and also the money I have saved not having to have my clothes cleaned after a night out has bought more drinks and resulted in my being able to leave larger tips. At First Ave, I can actually now see the performers on stage instead of an obscured version of my favorite band through a cloud.

  35. Conquis70 says:

    Never has second hand smoke killed anyone.. You are a brainwashed ignorant… Now they see their taxes go down because after 3 years it shows they screwed themselves in the turn around… Idiots.. Let’s just ban non-smokers from bars..They will start making money again but this time without the idiots..Done!

    1. dunnski57 says:

      And the astronauts never walked on the moon.

      Can’t believe you are that ignorant. Hold it. Yes I can, and it is sad.

  36. Merry Mary says:

    My thoughts exactly! Something is strange.

  37. Keith C. says:

    Lets have our law makers do something important. This makes no sense and is just wasting taxpayers money!

  38. Dave L says:

    Lost in this is what the smoking ban has done to the lung health of the workers in the bars. Yes I know most of them are nicotine addicts but the law has sure reduced their exposure to secondhand smoke. Leave the law alone. Here is where the libertarians and right-wing religious nuts in the tea party come to blows with each other. 🙂

    1. Common Sense says:

      No one forces anyone to work at a certain business.

      1. Richard in Minneapolis says:

        Commen Sense: I can’t believe you actually made a comment like that in this economy. For most people in the hospitality industry (where my wife works) you be thankful that you have job and you eat whatever sh|t boss man dishes out.

    2. pat says:

      Hi Dave, could you give me a description of a Democrat?

    3. Pat says:

      Hey Dave, you left out the fact that Tea Partiers are all about upholding the Constitution too.

    4. chimp says:

      so funny how you forget when these people got into this line of work they knew smoking was involved, maybe they should have done something w their life instead of a pro waitress or bartender

  39. Tim says:

    I work in a bar and I don’t know any of my customers that quit drinking because they couldn’t smoke, However, I do know several that have quit smoking. Bar owners are hurting for business because fewer people are drinking, not the inability to smoke. The bar owners that have adapted to the new reality are doing fine

    1. der says:

      Fewer people are drinking? do you breathe on your own i hope not, single most clueless comment on here, you’re seeing them drink less because they’re not at your place of work

  40. Someone Else says:

    If we really want to be fair to business owners, and to non-smoking citizens, if there must be a smoking ban then that ban should apply to Native American casinos doing business within Minnesota borders as well. The vast majority of the casino patrons come from within our own state, Their smoking related health cost burdens are therefore a burden to this state. Because of the casinos sovereign nation status an outright ban probably wouldn’t be enforceable, but a huge tariff to their tobacco suppliers might get the job done.

    1. Common Sense says:

      Reservations don’t pay as much tax for wholesale tobacco because they are sovereign nations. I can’t assume, but suspect similar policy when american tobacco producers export.

    2. paab says:

      Good point, they should pay taxes on their revenue as well.

      1. Richard in Minneapolis says:

        Being sovereign nations what foreign government would you have them pay taxes to?

    3. Fred says:

      The Native Americans reservations are a sovereign nation within our borders. They pay no taxes. Not property, nor cigarette money and they may not even have income tax. In Scott county they contribute willingly to have good roads to the casino.

  41. ECB says:

    Funny how this subject comes up after the coldest days of the winter. Is there anything better than watching people stand in the cold yellowing their teeth (or tooth as the case may be), ruining their lungs, wrinkling their skin and smelling up their clothes?

    There is a saying, “Your right to make a fist ends at my nose.” Thankfully your right to cause cancer gets to stay in your lunges.

    Why did you ever start smoking? Image, good choice look where it has gotten you.

  42. ECB says:

    Yes, typo. “lungs”.

  43. Jeffrey Brian Clark says:

    Why don’t they allow a tobacco license like they allow liqour ones? That way not every bar will be allowed to smoke. Make a lottery and whoever gets them first gets it. If the bars think the smoking ban has killed their business then also let them pay more taxes than the non smoking ones and have that tax money go dicrectly to the healthcare industry.

    1. Come on says:

      Smokers are alreading paying for the additional health costs. It is called a smoker rate. Some of you people are getting it confused with our rising health care costs of today, which is from the un-insured.

  44. Rose says:

    The problem with this is that people always go quoting up the old “Well this is America, I should be able to do whatever I want to” argument. But the fact is, when the people themselves can’t make the right decisions, shouldn’t there be SOMETHING there to lend them a guiding hand? Say there was a total ban on smoking (something I doubt would happen anytime soon). Oh those smokers wouldn’t be happy about that. But think about when they got past the addiction. Chances are they would be very grateful they quit, getting to spend more time with their family or friends than they would have had nothing intervened with their smoking. I’d say that the duty of America is not to let it’s people get away with whatever they think they want, but to care for them and guide them. I lost someone in my family to cancer. He was both a smoker for many years and overweight. Had something stepped in, he might still be here.

    1. Come on says:


      Then let the guiding hand be family, not govt.

    2. lib says:

      Hi Rose,
      How about a guiding hand on everything we put in our mouths? Ready to give up chips, cookies, sour cream, candy, butter? Welll the same folks who have put in the smoking ban are eyeing what you eat as well. I am a non smoker and I enjoy going to bars without smoke, but it is a legal activity and the bar is private property. We need to protect everyone’s rights even if we don’t engage in the activity ourselves. have a good day

  45. red says:

    Why would non smokers want to breathe, drink and possible even possible eat that disgusting second hand smoke? It was gross and a pleasant relief when smoking was banned in bars. It was not to go home and not have get to get in to the car and smell it up and then have to shower before going to bed cause the stench so nasty. Some bars serve food but my friends and I could not order anything cause the thought of eating with the cloud of smoke in the air made us sick to our stomachs. I know a lot of smokers who won’t even smoke in their own homes cause of the smell. PLEASE keep the ban going. I have not heard to many complaints from smokers occasionally stepping outside over the years

  46. Bob says:

    We know who funded his election? It’s pay back time for bankrolling his election. Wait we haven’t seen anything yet where the ‘special interests’ want payback.

  47. HERB says:


    I guess you think only you have rights. You are obviously an arrogant entitled Republican that thinks your way is the only way. It is immoral persons such as yourself that want their will imposed on the people, no matter how many laws are broken (Pawlenty’s illegal tax on cigarettes that was “back doored” as a fee, in violation of State agreed settlement with the tobacco companies that no new taxes would be imposed on tobacco products in return for a large monetary settlement from the tobacco companies. He took the money and then did an “end run” by calling his new tobacco tax a “FEE”).

    I am sure you supported Pawlenty’s “skirting of the law” (violation) because people like you believe only they have rights. So take your meds and get to bed early, remember, tomorrow is a very special day, your first day of school.

  48. Come on says:

    there is no way in hell dave campbell is a republican. can’t wait for his response.

  49. fed up says:

    I think everyone needs to stop complaining about every little thing that they hear about. Cause I’m teird of complaining about everything that just happens to go against your judgement. I think that complainers should be banned.

    1. dunnski57 says:

      As you post a complaint.

      Irony. A concept conservatives just don’t get.

  50. Wipe'emOut says:

    Yoooooo MN – soon we again can pollute the air as we get smashed before we put the keys in the ignition and head out onto the highways or trails. Yahoo – I shall consume all I can when Freedom Day comes! God Bless Cigarettes and Cancer, Alcohol and Accidents.
    Go Minnesota !!!!!! ;-O

    1. blahblah says:

      yep i cant wait thks for your blessing, as you sit home and another day goes by and you get 1 day closer to death in your repitive life, il be out pounding drinks with old friends and new friends, id rather live happy everyday now , then live an extra 5 years bored my whole life..

  51. E.H. says:

    smoking is not only disgusting but it also causes cancer, many different kinds. There is plenty of air OUTSIDE an establishment for people to go and enjoy a cigarette. if I am paying money inside a bar, restaurant or club it is NOT to smell and inhale the cigarette smoke from other people.

  52. FREEDOM says:

    Who cares… when they banned smoking all they did is move us one step closer to socialism… i don’t smoke, but give the freedom of choice back to the people and business owners…

  53. Whatyagonna do says:

    I personally wish they would close down all the bars and have proabition again, I hate drinking but oh well.

  54. Brad Eilers says:

    i work in a plant with 40 welders going all day, breathing welding smoke, even with the OSHA approved ventilation . Thank goodness someone is afraid for me and i don’t have to breath cigarette smoke too. I am a smoker and think its stupid to make laws to make sure i’m safe. That is my responsibility. So lets live our lives on the edge, be a little daring, and not be fearful. We are all gonna die anyway.

  55. mk says:

    If you have a right to a smoke free bar, who is obligated to provide it? If you don’t like smoke, go to the smoke free bar. How simple can it be? I don’t like loud music in bars, it can damage your hearing. I don’t go to the ones that crank it up. I also don’t DEMAND they all be quieter by order of the GOVERNMENT. To each his own. What a great saying.

  56. Anonymous says:

    I do understand that people are concerned that they are losing their right to make their own decision when the smoking ban started. We all have to follow things in our lives that we don’t agree with, correct? I don’t think the smoking ban is too much to ask. You have to follow food handling procedures and cleaning, right? Are those bogus too? Maybe I’m wrong.

    Now I do have a few comments on what people have posted starting with the “smokers and non-smokers and equal but non-smokers are more equal”. Smokers can still smoker, just outside. Am I correct? When smokers are smoking inside now I have lost my right to choose not to smoke. I remember coming home from the bowling alley, bars, and restaurants and smelling like smoke! Let alone whatever kinds of second hand smoke I have inhaled. Are smokers upset they are going home now smelling like a non-smoker? Or maybe even that the non-smoky air in the bars now will have some sort affect in the future? No, I don’t think so.

    Has anyone thought of the people who work in the bars? When I went to a town hall meeting about banning smoking in WI, many people were concerned they affects of long term affects of second hand smoke over a long period of time. I know some people will say.. well get a new job. Why should they?

    1. der says:

      they should get a new job becuase they chose this job, that they new smoking would happen, perhaps not being a lifetime waitress or bartender is their problem not mine

  57. Victim Du Jour says:

    The US Constitution guarantees private property rights and limited government.

    Funny how you have to explain the word freedom to people who think we live in a socialist country.

  58. Victim Du Jour says:

    Look up the words “FREEDOM AND LIBERTY”

    Liberals are like “Freedom does not compute, we are Borg, you must be assimilated, resistance is futile”

    With a 60’s monotone robot voice.

  59. deal-w-it says:

    I dont even smoke, but i always felt this law was foolish, listen if your out drinking at the bar then health isn;t your top priority or you’d be at home not drinking out, i say let them smoke after 9pm when most food is done being served, if you employees have a problem with second hand smoke perhaps you should have done more with your life than to be a a waiter, waitress or bartender and so on, be carful what you complain about perhaps prohibition will return and you’ll have no job…

  60. soapboxgod says:

    It’s astounding the number of posters herein who still think the debate is between smoker vs. Non-smoker and that employees are “forced” into the work environment where smoke is prevalent as if they are slaves.

  61. Keith says:

    Back to my original comment. If a smoking ban is so smart then why did it take a law to make it happen? Why didn’t bar owners step forward and do it on their own if it would increase their profits? I allow smoking in my house, my vehicle and if I owned a bar I would allow it there and have the balls to fight the law. Its property rights people. A bar is not a public place. Have you not ever seen the sign that says “we.reserve the right to reserve service to anybody”? You talk about seondhand smoke? These nuts have been talking about third hand smoke for a few years now. There are people that have never smoked that get lung cnacer. It’s genetic people. If you’re pre-disposed stay out of the smoke. Again let the bar owner decide what he or she wants to do.

    1. Robyn Riley says:

      Keith, how does one know if they are pre-disposed to lung cancer?

    2. Joe says:

      Excellent comment Keith, couldn’t have said it any better.

  62. Keith says:

    You don’t know but I have smoked for over 30 years, I have not developed cancer, I have a dear friend that got lung cancer that never smoked, there are countless cases like that. Survival of the fittest Royyn is a good thing.

  63. Keith says:

    Again I remind everyone, be very careful what you wish for. When the smokers die off and the tax revenue disappers where will they make up that revenue? More tax on liquor, property, your boat, vehicle, maybe a child tax, marriage or food. You think it can’t happen, these anti smoking people have passed laws in numerous states where it’s illegal to smoke in your vehicle with an open window with children in the car. They will not stop until it’s against the law to smoke in your own home with children present. They will start with foster kids and get child protective services involved.

    1. loser says:

      i disagree with ban, but smoking in your car with kids in their is sad, you have to have a serious problem to expose a infant or child to smoke in a car.

  64. hje says:

    No Smoking in bars. Most smokers even say it is nicer without all of the smoke.

  65. Leah says:

    All along I’ve believed that bars that are privately owned should be able to CHOOSE whether to allow smoking or not. Then, the employees can choose to work there, or not. People can choose to come there, or not. I just want the government to stop trying to tell us how to live! It’s not, nor ever will be a perfect world. A lot of truly mean and despicable behavior is going on. Let the lawmakers concentrate on the big issues.

  66. tom says:

    About time common sense returns

  67. MIKE says:


  68. Fumarium says:

    Yes! Let the “grown ups” smoke in bars. We allow 18 y/o folks to vote & join the armed forces to protect and defend our country. They SHOULD be allowed to make the smoke or not smoke decision themselves.

  69. AJ says:

    If you don’t wanna stand out in the cold to breath in your poison, then you either stop smoking or go home. I like the law that says no smoking in bars! I’d rather not get secondhand-smoke from your toxic air, thank you very much.

    So NO NO NO NO, is my vote. Good day everybody. 🙂

  70. jim says:

    who voted for this dumb ass?

  71. Carlene Orloff says:

    If smoking is SO bad and SO dangerous stop allowing it to be produced…Oh wait a minute you don’t want to do that ~~ that is where you get tax dollars…I am against anything the government mandates…clean up your own closets first don’t come into mine. BTW I used to smoke and I am a non smoker now. If a bar allows smoking don’t apply to work there! simple as that!

  72. J says:

    WORST IDEA EVER TO ALLOW SMOKING INDOORS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Too bad if the law is reversed I will stop supporting all establishments that allow smoking. That’ll stimulate the economy!

  73. Gary Olson says:

    I am a non smoker. That does not mean I have the right to dictate to others thier lifestyle choices.
    Also by banning smoking, you are dictating to me what I can and can not do. So as for your logic, no one should be able to drive autos take busses etc. due to the more dangerous exaust fumes.
    If it is so bad, why allow autos, coal plants, etc. if you nare not ready to give it up by your own argrument, then business owners shoiuld be able to make the decision based upon economics.
    Please read Adam Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations.” Ask your self why healthcare providers and insurance companies are reporting record profits without healthcare reform not even fully implimented and small business owners are loosing more of thier livlelyhood and individual rights are being taken away?

    1. Richard in Minneapolis says:

      No is dictating to you what you can or cannot do. What is being dicatated is what you are allowed to force other to do – namely breath YOUR smoke.

  74. Joe says:

    What is funny is that when the bans were first proposed people from Clearway were saying 38,000 people died from second hand smoke each year in Minnesota then it was 48,000 then 11,000 then 5,500. Wow needless to say a certain group couldn’t keep their facts straight. If, for arguments sake say half of 38,000 people died as a result from second hand smoke, Id be the first one outside, but advocates and pro-ban people alike haven’t been able to produce even one death certificate saying this person died from second hand smoke. Some bars will still be non-smoking just go to st. paul and mpls. Im pretty sure Rybak and Coleman will continue to make the twin cities an unfriendly place for small businesses. But as long as they both get their bikepaths and water fountains then they’ll be ok

  75. Victim Du Jour says:

    Perhaps the State of Minnesota should be more concerned about drug dealers.

  76. Michael says:

    Wow! How cool would it be to have a cigar again in a nice bar, spending money and living like we use too. I’m all for it, I work hard, I exercise 4 times a week and I like to have some fun. Maybe we would get more business from out state for conventions too, one less negative, to off set the cold weather and more taxes for the state besides there are plenty of bars for smoke and non smoking. Let’s think out of the box on this one people.

  77. mk says:

    Here’s an idea: The smokers can go to a smoke friendly bar and the anti-smokers can go to a smoke free bar. Let’s try again: The smokers can go to a smoke friendly bar and the anti-smokers can go to a smoke free bar. One more time: The smokers can go to a smoke friendly bar and the anti-smokers can go to a smoke free bar. Hmmmm. Start to get the idea yet?

  78. Marc says:

    As a smoker, I personally don’t mind going outside to have a cigarette. At the same time I don’t think the government has no right to dictate if a person can smoke in a privately owned business.
    Having worked in many smoking environments, I will say though that consideration must also be made for the non-smoker. With good air exchangers, and separate smoking areas closed off from the non-smoking area it can accomplish this fairly easily and not offend anyone.
    Since this news story was on air, I have taken some time to look at second hand smoke studies. It appears most are skewed towards the anti-smokers, and don’t give all the facts. Personally I think it’s just a bunch of people that dislike the smell of smoke, and feel the need to impose this on everyone.
    The bottom line, businesses that hold liquor licenses do suffer economic hardships due to the ban. I say re-think the ban, or at least permit a smoking room outside, that can provide heat. Since smoking is not permitted in a building that is more that 75% enclosed, and that includes windows.

  79. Andy says:

    I recently quit my pack-a-day habit. When I was smoking, I never did it indoors, and I never did it around non-smokers. I think it’s just a common courtesy. I have a right to fart, but I’m not going to do it in a stranger’s face. Taking a dump is perfecly legal, but I’m not going to do it on your shoes.

  80. IPJoe says:

    I am a non smoker. But I also don’t think this ban is right. Give the employer and employees their choice. Everyone GOPer keeps saying keep government out of business and stop regulating. Well, now is your chance GOPers. If I don’t want to work for an employer that lets people smoke then I wouldn’t put my CV into that employer I would look somewhere else. The employer doesn’t have to employ you. It is their right to chose whom they want to work and it is up to you to chose whom you want to work for. If stopping the smoking ban would help business then so be it.

  81. Dbrau says:

    If you can’t smoke it’s not a bar

  82. GomersPile in TC's says:

    if you can’t drink it isn’t a bar Dbrau.
    I get plenty of booze today at my tavern, smoke ban or not. Actually – I like it smoke free. I’m not a lazy bum – I take a walk if I have to inhale a heater. So it no BFD unless one is unable to walk. 😉

  83. Amanda Anderson says:

    Ok, why should one party be discriminated either way? Yes, I am a smoker but at the same time I think that non smokers shouldn’t have to breath second hand smoke if they don’t want to. So how about a compromise… about leaving it up to the bar owners. If they want to permit smoking in their bars, have them pay an additional fee with their liquor license. Make them get a special permit and require them to hang signs that state that smoking is permitted there. That way smokers and non smokers can each have their own bars, and the state would get extra revenue from the fees.

  84. jacob says:

    where do your second hand smoke statistics come from?? SO you say millions die from second hand smoke i have never really heard of one person dying from it. Okay second hand smoke is bad so you say well then why are actual smokers not even taking the damage you say that second hand smoke deals out. I hear that it causes so many problems but i know many smokers and their health is just fine and not suffering any of the apocalyptic affects of your deadly second hand smoke

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