Cottonwood Creek Civic Association

Smoke-free, why not Richardson?

Posted in: Greenwood Hills
almost ALL North Texas Cities can go smoke-free, why not Richardson?

Fellow Richardson Citizens:
Are you tired of not being able to go to many popular Richardson eating and drinking establishments because you have to fumigate your clothes and take a shower afterward? Amazingly, Swan Court, Fox and Hound, Humperdinks, and many more Richardson establishments still allow smoking. Why do we put up with it?
I am really sick of the fact that we still have smoking in our restaurants. If France, Ireland, California, New York City, and almost ALL North Texas Cities can go smoke-free, why not Richardson? Why is Richardson still the region's smoking sink hole?

Why should the 18% of the population that smokes RUIN the eating and dining experience for the 82% who do not smoke?

Based on health issues, and with voters, this issue is not a contest. In elections, Smoke-Free wins every time! If necessary, I may raise a petition to put this issue on the ballot.

If Richardson follows the full Frisco/Plano/McKinney model, we will have a far healthier City. The smokers can have their tobacco shops and private clubs. The rest of us (82%) will be able to dine where we want.

How hard can it be?? There should not be any concern about ''strategy'' for our City. No one on Council needs to be scared of a few bar owners who represent the very small minority. Fellow citizens, PLEASE do not go down the absurd road of exemptions for ''bars''. If any of that kind of feeble, wimpy, cowardly protectionist language comes out of Council, many community leaders and residents who are sick of smoke will become very motivated in opposition. I will join them, and I will put my financial support behind a full smoke free ordinance.

There are no justifications for weak, half-measure ordinances. There are no justifications for ''bars'' claiming exemptions. Second hand smoke is more toxic than directly inhaling! Please make your voice heard now to Richardson leaders who are considering a very weak ordinance. Richardson must be a healthy, green, progressive City. Ending public smoking is the most obvious demonstration of a City public health policy. Civil Liberties? Please read the article below.

Dr. Ken Cooper of Dallas' world-renowned Copper Clinic says the number one action to prevent risk of death is to not smoke. Number two? wearing seat belts! Civil liberty arguments were used against mandatory seat belts too. Those arguments look silly now. Government should regulate against obvious mortality risks. A strong smoke-free ordinance is something we can do at the local level, and we must act now.

Please take another 2 minutes to read the below article about France going completely smoke-free as of January 2, 2008. It will be worth your time.

Finally, for the Richardson ordinance, be sure to do what McKinney did, and move the smokers at least 25 feet away from entrances to buildings. Nothing is fouler than running the toxic gauntlet of smoke while entering a building.

Contact your Council! Demand that they enact the full Frisco/Plano/McKinney smoke-free ordinance, and we will have a far healthier City. Richardson must be a healthy, green, progressive City.

In Health! In 2008! (Early in the Year!)

Hank N. Mulvihill, Jr., CCM, CFP?®
Mulvihill Asset Management?®
Path of Progress?®
Proud Sponsor of FED FRIDAY?® ~
972-234-2001 ofc, 972-234-8850 fax
P. O. Box 831945
Richardson, TX 75083-1945 USA

By Hank N. Mulvihill,
Smoke Free Richardson-yeah

Well said....

I might add that I quit smoking many years ago and I don't endorse smoking, but for those who want to smoke, I think they should as long as it does not impose on anyone else. You know, they should smoke in their car, house or garage... keep it to themself, whatever. In fact, for my friends that do smoke, I keep ashtrays on our patio outside just for them. It's not a problem as long as I don't have to breathe it.

As a lung cancer survivor (and, no smoking did not cause my lung cancer either, it was most likely the massive doses of chest radiation I had in 1987 for lymphatic cancer that did) and also as someone with asthma, smoking flat out makes it hard for me to breathe. So, it is an issue with me.

Several months ago Richard and I stopped in at McCarty's for the first time. As soon as we walked in the front door, I was overwhelmed by the haze and I immediately asked for us to be seated outside. Well, everyone one the patio was smoking also and so it was still difficult for me. If there was just a few folks smoking, it wouldn't have been a big problem since we were outside. So, that is one restaurant off our list.

It also bothers me that the bowling alleys are smoke pits too. I recently went to one for my grandson's 8th birthday party and it was tough on me. I can't imagine it's very healthy for the young kids either.

I do try to see both sides of issue though.... maybe smoking establishments should advertise as such and also have signage at their building entrance stating that policy. If I saw such a sign, I'd just keep going and find another place.

So, yeah, I'd support a smoking ban.

By Lois Ferrara
Smoke Free Richardson-yeah

I have been reading the exchange about smoking in public places and think 3 important facts are being overlooked.

First, the sale and use of tobacco products is legal and in fact are used by politicians for a wide variety of taxation opportunities for a wide variety of uses. Smoking bans in my opinion are nothing more than an attempt to criminalize legal behavior for the preference or convenience of others.

Second, this country has historically been a country of independence, individual responsibility, and the ability for groups of individuals to freely associate for whatever legal purpose they choose. If a public restaurant or bar chooses to allow smoking (or not allow it) it is a reflection of their independence and freedom personally and in the operation of their business. Those who chose to visit that smoking (or non-smoking) restaurant or bar make the personal choice - also a refelection of their independence and personal freedom.

Finally, each of us has the responsibility for our personal actions. If one choses to smoke or visit smoke-filled restaurants or bars - they should have the right to do so and whatever outcome will be an outcome of their exercising their personal responsibility.

The social discourse in this nation is heading in the wrong direction - away from personal responsibility and independence toward control by a few over others that are expressing their legal personal choices and preferences.

Given all of the challenges facing our country, our state, county, and city, I think the smoke-free issue is an issue receiving far too much attention at the expense of significantly more compelling matters.

The City of Richardson should avoid the mistakes of France, Ireland, California (especially San Francisco), New York City, and the other north Texas cities that have been duped into passing ill-conceived ordinances banning perfectly legal activities.

So to answer the question ''If France, ireland, California, New York City, and allmost ALL North Texas Cities can go smoke-free, why not Richardson?'' - because it violates the rights of all Richardson residents to freely chose whether or not to participate in legal activities (smoking) and whether or not to associate in public places (visiting smoke-filled restaurants and bars).

I freely make this choice many times per week and chose NOT to visit smoke-filled restaurants or bars and do not smoke or use tobacco products.

I am comfortable with my choice and grateful l that this is my choice to make. Freedom of choice for participation in legal activities and freedom of association sure sounds like Constitutionally protected activities.

For those who disagree with this consider an alternative movement that requires everyone to smoke as it lowers body weight in a nation deemed to be obese, it provides significant funding through taxes for important social programs, provides opportunities and funding for medical research for the cure of cancer, and, over time, reduces traffic congestion, and our dependence on foreign oil.

My point is that most any human activity can be argued from multiple points of view - with each point of view providing seemingly rational and beneficial results.

Just because your friends chose to drive their cars off a bridge into the ocean - would you? Group-think mentality rarely produces a valid solution.

The issue should be decided on its merits and from my perspective, the smoke-free issue has little merit and is just the next chapter in the attempts of the few to control the many.

By Jim Whitaker
Smoke Free Richardson-yeah

The only reason smoking is legal is due to the power of the tobacco companies and the addicts who support them. In rational terms, this menace to public health would have been outlawed long ago in much the same way as any of the other countless human activities that have been in the name of public health and safety. Yes, it is currently legal but that doesn't make it right. I do not appreciate nicotine addicts polluting my air with their toxic waste any more than I would Glen Rose casually releasing a cloud of radio active steam...because they can.

If some idiot has no better sense than to shorten their own life by consuming any of the many legal toxic substances available, I say go for it. The faster we can clean up the gene pool the better. Just don't get me involved. I don't want them to show up to consume public health resources set aside for people who live a clean life, and I don't want to be burdoned by any measure with their bad habits. They should be placed in the idiot classification for health care premiums so they can cover the cost of their own bad choices. I don't mind them paying more for a losing bet. I'm not going to ante up for a game I'm not playing...and I'll choose a health care provider that charges extra for stupid people.

Unfortunately, we have some very likable members of our community who's tobacco businesses would suffer. That's another poorly placed bet. It's pitiful that otherwise well-intentioned people insist on engaging in activities that are unpopular. They should have seen the writing on the wall long ago. It's too bad they have no better sense. Live with it. Meanwhile, it's a worse situation that they have been allowed to block progress for everyone else in the world.

Clean air. That's my choice when asked for a restaurant seating preference.


By N Morgan
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