Tobacco use

April 17 in Birmingham City Council voted to ban smoking in bars, the last refuge for the residents of Birmingham who want to smoke in public places.

The crowd of supporters and opponents spoke for more than two hours before the debate ended, and advisers voted for a resolution, as most anti-smoking audience applauded the council chamber. In accordance with the new regulation, smoking is prohibited inside all companies and, within seven feet of the entrance of any business (except for the cigar stores, and “hookah” bars that are at least 80 percent of revenue from tobacco products). The changes take effect on May 17.

In speeches in support of the law included Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman, whose husband died of a respiratory illness at the age of 50 years, although a non-smoker. Chapman, who has respiratory diseases, said: “We as a society would never intentionally hurt the patient’s body with hemophilia or put a large amount of sugar in people with diabetes, the body against their will. So why should we allow others to put a large amount of smoke in the body of the people with respiratory illness against their will? “Once admit that she was smoking 30 years ago, Chapman admitted:” I beg you to do everything possible to eliminate even the slightest possibility of another life to be endangered because of we knew it was dangerous. “

Another supporter of the ban, a local physician and clinical assistant professor in the company to carry the device of oxygen, and also admitted that a former smoker. “Even walking through the crowd, where people smoke usually affects the breathing, because I’m such a bad residual [lung] function,” he said.

While proponents often say passive smoking as the main reason to pass judgment, opponents pointed out that people were already free to avoid smoky bars, and that most bartenders working in such establishments smoke themselves. Even more disturbing was the suspicion that no such prohibitions be initiated simultaneously in neighboring towns, Birmingham bars will see many of their customers go to smoke-friendly establishments outside the city limits.

James little, representing the five points of South Merchants Group, said that more than $ 25 million in 2011 tax revenue of the city came from the “food and restaurant taxes.” Along with other business owners, the Small expressed his disappointment that the final text of the decree was posted on the website of the city just 24 hours before the April 17 public hearing, to give merchants a little time to consider it. The Board ignored the request to postpone the vote on the Little week.

Stillwater Pub co-owner Jason Branson objected to the new regulation as unfair “in a place where we do not even check emissions.” Brunson said, “Passing the old car can be as dangerous as someone walks in the outer region, having to go through cigarette smoke someone to get to the door of the establishment of non-smokers.” However, another resident was shocked that she had to walk on the sidewalks, where social workers and patrons to sit in a “chair” on the patio, which are not large enough to be a real patio. “You see that smoke, before you even get to him,” she said. Stroke victims support for the ban to blame their conditions on past smoking habits, while others described how cigarette smoke destroyed the life of families.

UAB researcher who studies the effects of nicotine on the vision asked the Board to remove the “electronic cigarettes” (electronic cigarette that evaporate the liquid, which typically contains nicotine) of the regulations. “I use the electronic cigarette in two and a half years. I have not smoked for two and a half years,” she said. “I can not breathe. I do not smell bad. I’m not a risk to other people. My health has improved…. a couple of e-cigarettes are no more dangerous than a pair of cups of coffee. It is much less harmful than too much in the spirit closed rooms.

“E-cigarettes were later given the OK after councilor Valerie Abbott said that the FDA has not brought about the withdrawal of the dangers of secondhand pair. If FDA determines that such harmful, the law will be amended. The most interesting statement was made member of the mayor’s office, speaking as a citizen, who suggested the Council that, if tobacco is bad “, let’s ban it and stop the collection of income tax on it.”

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