Smoking Ban Exemption Introduced

Earlier this week, a new bill was introduced in the Minnesota House of Representatives that would allow smoking in bars that install ventilation systems.

Our friends at the Minnesota House, Tom Hackbarth, Larry Howes, Tom Rukavina, Bruce Anderson, and Mark Buesgens, introduced this bill that would allow smoking in establishments (HF 188) the meet the definition of a bar or tavern as described by Minnesota Licensing requirements. Under this exemption, the bar would be required to install a ventilation by a specified time period, which would be determined by the amount of liquor sales. The full text of the bill can be found here.

So, what is the likelihood of this bill being enacted? Well, it’s much more likely now that we have a new House and Senate. But, we do need your help. Currently, the bill has been referred to the Health and Human Services Reform Committee. We NEED you to contact the committee members and let them know that you support this bill. You can email them, call them, or write a letter to them. You can find their contact info here.

Remember, without your input, it’ll be difficult to get this bill moving forward. The anti-smoking organizations certainly have their people writing to these reps about this bill, so it’s important you let them know how YOU feel.


Ban the Ban on Twitter

twitter I feel slightly embarrassed that we’re making this, “leap”. I’ve often laughed at those who use it, and I’ve thought it was pointless and downright  worthless.

But, we’ve finally done. Yes, I’m referring to the online social network that was established in 2006. Twitter has clearly established itself and has come a long ways from the simple “I’m walking across the street and it’s raining on me” posts.

As you’ve noticed, I rarely have ample time to right out a well thought out and researched blog. It’s much simpler for me to simply write out things like, “Anti-smokers are neo-prohibitionists” from my smart phone, than it is to devote several hours to a well researched blog post.

Don’t get me wrong, research is a good thing. I try to avoid conjecture, and like to back my facts up with weblinks. However, you’ve seen that my posts are becoming more and more infrequent, which may lead people to believe I’ve lost some of my passion on repealing the smoking ban. And that’s simply not true.

I’m also not going to abandon this blog. I believe, in my humble opinion, that many articles/blog posts have been well researched and thought out. I do plan to continue with that and hope to have a few new blog posts every month.

But, with twitter, you’ll see at least one post a day, all relating to anti-smoking activities around the world, as well as developments within BtBMN.

If you don’t have a twitter account, you’ll need to sign up, and you can follow Ban the Ban Minnesota at the following link:

I’ll also be posting a link on the main BtBMN website, and I hope we get you to follow us!

BtBMN Endorsements

2010 stands to be a big election year for us here at BtBMN. Many citizens of our state and county are becoming fed up with our heavy-handy government, and the effects of that could be incredible for our cause.

So, I’m pleased to announce the creation of the “BtBMN Endorsement” page on our website. We already have several candidates that we are endorsing, and we’ll be adding a lot more candidates to the list as we get closer to the election. Please take a moment to check out the page at We’ve included links to the candidate’s website, as well as maps for the appropriate legislative district, if applicable.

Please be sure to offer these candidates your support. Also, if you are aware of any Gubernatorial, Senate, or house candidates, let us know! We’d also appreciate any feedback you have or any suggestions you can offer.

Ban the Ban Party!

Keep your calendars open to come join us for the first official Ban the Ban Minnesota Party! Here you’ll have an opportunity to meet with Ban the Ban Organizers, Members, supporters and other like-minded people who think the smoking ban is an unconstitutional government intrusion. We’ll have several speakers, promotional materials, but most of all, fun!

The Ban the Ban Minnesota party will be held on Saturday, October 17th, at 7:30 PM at Dixies on Grand in St. Paul. To view the online invite, click here. Also, feel free to view and share the PDF invitation.

We hope to see you there!

The Next Step: Banning Smoking on Patios

It’s commonly known (or maybe not so commonly known) that the anti-smoking special interest groups are targeting a wide array of other areas to ban smoking: apartments, condos, parks, cars, and even bar patios.

The City of Minneapolis has recently invoked a 20 year old ordinance to deter bar patrons from walking out to attached patios and lighting up. An owner of Lush Restaurant in Northeast Minneapolis found this out the hard way.

“We have some seating over here that we actually dinner and drinks to and a lot of people like to wander out and have a cigarette and kind of stand…Last Friday, an inspector came out and we ended up with two citations for the patio. I guess I thought it was kind of ridiculous.

According to, A public hearing is set for September 23rd to repeal this rediculous rule, but I’d be surprised if this rule disappears anytime soon. Several cities in Minnesota, including Bloomington and Rochester, already have restrictions on smoking on patios. And in the State of Iowa, it is illegal to smoke on the patio of any restaurant.

While I have no doubt that smoking prohibitions will eventually fall by the wayside (using history as a guide), the anti-smoking lunatics are far from finished. And they have billions of dollars available to spread their propoganda and lies.

Ron Paul on FDA Legislation

By now most of us are aware that our Federal Government is about to hand over regulation of tobacco products to the FDA. This “feel good” legislation is officially known as “The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act”. I could certainly think of many other more appropriate names for it.

My opinion of this “feel good” FDA regulation is not favorable, for multiple reasons:

  • It essentially brings Philip Morris one step closer to having a monopoly on tobacco products. Philip Morris fully supports this legislation, whereas other tobacco companies do not. Read more on this here.
  • It tarnishes the name of the FDA. The FDA is supposed to give the green light on on pharmaceutical and edible products, essentially saying they’re okay for human consumption. Tobacco products have been fairly conclusively proven to be harmful in many aspects.  The FDA taking control of regulating tobacco products essentially gives the products a virtual “seal of approval”. In fact, the head of the FDA opposes this legislation.
  • It further restricts freedom of speech. The first amendment to the US Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” This legislation will further restrict advertising by tobacco companies. Although many people are okay with censorship of advertising, it still erodes at the right of free speech.

Although I could go into great depth about other reasons I don’t agree with this legislation, I will simply allow you to watch Congressman Dr. Ron Paul of Texas explain his concerns. If we use history as a learning tool, I would have to wholeheartedly agree with his comments regarding prohibition.


Another BS Clearway “Study”

It truly amazes me how the media will take anything that fits its agenda and run with it without actually verifying the legitimacy of the information it is propagating. Case in point is the recent study completed by Ohio State University, which was funded by Clearway Minnesota, that purports that “Smoking Bans Do Not Cause Job Losses In Bars And Restaurants”.

The study makes the claim that employment trends were examined in Eight Minnesota Cities with varying types of smoking bans, and that employment did not seem to be affected by comprehensive smoking bans.

It’s interesting that the media would take this “feel good” study at face value, especially considering the financial backers of said study. It’s akin to a brewery financing a study that concludes that underage drinking is at an all-time low…such a study would be looked upon with intense scrutiny. However, a study financed by Clearway Minnesota is accepted as truth, without such scrutiny.Why?

An incredible number of media outlets have run with this study, as can be seen here. As usual, the methodolgy behind said study is flawed, and twisted in a way that will support Clearway’s agenda. For more information on the specifics of the study, click here to see a detailed review of the study by Jacob Grier. The bottom line is, restaurants have not been affected by the smoking ban nearly as much as small bars. However, the Clearway study does not examine the employment trends of bars alone. It lumps bars and restaurants into the same category, which can easily skew the final results of this study.

The non-biased study done in 2008, which used more recent data, concluded that smoking bans have a tremendous negative effect on charitable gambling, which one will typically find at stand-alone bars. For more information on the true impact of the smoking ban on small bars, go to our Economic Impact page.

Today, our friends at Opponents of Ohio Bans releases a press bulletin that discusses the flaws of this study. Will the media outlets that ran the original study run this press release? Time will tell, but check out the full press release here.

According to Pat Carroll, President of the Buckeye Liquor Permit Holders Association, “It’s obvious why it was done this way. It’s to distort the truth. You can’t lump bars and restaurants together. We have entirely different customers and provide different atmospheres. We demand this study be done again without restaurant data.”

Perhaps it’s time we hold the media accountable for its actions. I would encourage anyone and everyone to contact their favorite media outlet and ask why studies are published without even the slightest effort to verify any conflicts of interest.