All restaurants and bars in Connecticut are 100% smokefree. On October 1, 2003, Connecticut's restaurants and bars without cafe or tavern permits became 100% smokefree. On April 1, 2004, all bars became 100% smokefree, including bar areas of bowling allies, race tracks and off track betting establishments. Workplaces with 5 or more employees may permit smoking in separately ventilated employee-only smoking rooms, and workplaces with fewer than 5 employees must provide nonsmoking work areas for employees who request them.
2014 State Legislative Session: 2/5/2014 - 5/7/2014
State Quitline Number: 1-866-END-HABIT
State Law Compliance Complaints: Employees: Call Connecticut State Department of Labor at 860-566-4550 Citizens: Call local police department. Complaints can also be directed to the American Lung Association of Connecticut. Call 1-800-LUNG-USA within the state.
American Cancer Society Quitline: 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669)
Smokefree & Related News
How About Showing Veterans Some Respect?
Department of Veteran Affairs Cancels Scheduled Smoking Ban
Fuming Over Smoking Limits At State Veterans' Home
Law: Employment laws to be aware of
administrators want to stub out e-cigs
to be illegal for minors
expected to sign e-cigarette ban for minors
Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services ...
Editorial: Fuming over e-cigarettes
smoking ban sparks mixed reviews from students
Letter to UNH, who is proposing a tobacco ban
and Yale-New Haven doctors push for stricter e ...
Senate passes bill that bans e-cigarette sales to minors
Malloy Applauds: Governor Dannel P. Malloy yesterday ...
wants tobacco-free parks
Follow Our Instincts On E-Cigarettes
Bill Aims to Curb Teen E-Cigarette Use
Vape Or Not To Vape? E-Cigarettes Raise Questions
smoking rates decline, disparities remain
FDA must regulate e-cigarettes, liquid nicotine
Pens attracting young kids to smoking
up, thumbs down
Endangers Health of Kids? Connecticut to Ban Sales to ...
seeks to ban sale of e-cigarettes to minors
Keep E-Cigs From Minors
present fire risk
districts urge Norwich to ban tobacco from city parks
sellers say no to warning labels
Colleges should be smoke-free or taxed
urges colleges to go smoke-free
Council approves increased sewer fees Monday night
E-cigarettes, marketed as a safe alternative, should be approached with
Council sets hearing on tobacco, alcohol ordinances ...
Vaporz brings vaping to Thomaston and Waterbury
selectmen approve location of smoking ban signs
ELLINGTON The Board of Selectmen on Monday unanimously approved the locations of new signs that alert the public to the town's new ordinance banning ...
of Directors Considering Banning Smoking at Public Events
When the Manchester Board of Directors met earlier this week they discussed establishing a policy that would ban or restrict smoking at town sponsored or ...
teen on quest to ban smoking in local parks
Legislator Proposes E-Cigarette Ban
lawmaker looks to ban e-cigarettes from public places
long effort for smoke-free Putnam parks pays off
lawmakers consider adding e-cigs to smoking ban
ignore smoking ban
Republicans line up against bylaw banning smoking in parks
Could Ban Smoking in Public Places
consider smoking ban in parks
smoking an issue with Foxwoods workers
overwhelmingly ratify Foxwoods contract
Evicted After New Smoking Ban In Apartment Complex
passes no-smoking ordinance in a 10-4 vote ($$)
residents to vote Tuesday on proposed no smoking ban ($$)
considers restricting smoking in town parks
selectmen approve no-smoking ordinance that would affect beach, other
areas of town ($$)
Fresh air at the park?
residents split on proposed beach smoking ban
hearing set for tonight on proposed smoking ban at beach ...
enact smoking bans at recreational facilities
Rocky Hill Grounds and Properties Will Be Smoke-Free
At its latest Town Council meeting, the Council proposed and adopted a motion to make all Rocky Hill municipal properties smoke-free. "I think this is the way to go and I'm 100 percent for it," Mayor Timothy Moriarty said as he introduced the proposal. "Everywhere you go it is already smoke free. All state buildings, hospitals and schools are smoke-free. I think its the direction we are going in."
City considers leash law, smoking ban
High School Places Ban on E-Cigarettes
High School sounds the alarm on e-cigarettes
UConn smoking ban would be a misguided move
lawmakers consider e-cigarette ban
'third-hand' smoke; Stratford Health Department sparks ...
Readers React To Smoking Ban, Tolls
Supports Bill Banning Smoking In Cars With Kids
Smoking In Cars With Kids? Can't Outlaw Stupidity
Ban? Here's Where Cigarettes Are Still Allowed
lawmaker mulls smoking ban in cars with children
Rule To Stay At Fairfield's Jennings Beach
lawmakers may consider ban on smoking in cars with children
clubs put their own limits on smoking
Connecticut helping its smokers quit? Yes and no, says report
clubs slowly move to snuff out smoking
admits disguising tobacco shop donations to speaker
Windsor Town Council Majority Against Banning Tobacco Sales in Pharmacies
Windsor Town Council to Discuss Prohibiting Pharmacies From Selling
SUBMITTED: No Ifs, Ands or Cigarette Butts: S&S Going Smoke-Free
to discuss ban on cigarette sales in local pharmacies
Council to discuss ban on cigarette sales in local pharmacies ... discussions Monday on banning the sale of tobacco products particularly cigarettes from ...
Smoking Ban Approved For New London Parks
The City Council voted 6-1 on Tuesday to enact an anti-smoking ordinance for New London's parks, although the decision does not ban smoking outright and ...
What Do You Think Of The New London Anti-Smoking ...
In the region, smoking bans are also in place for the parks of Groton, Montville, ... advocates supporting a smoking ban as well as residents concerned that the ...
Memorial Medical Center to impose smoke-free ban on ...
Schools Smoking Ban Aimed at Adults
BOE member Dora Kubek proposed adding e-cigarettes to the ban. The
legal reference for the policy is Connecticut General Statute 19a-342:
SUBASE smoking policy urges cessation, lists prohibitions
Published this month, Naval Submarine Base New Londons new smoking
policy outlined in the base instruction "Tobacco Use Policy for
Naval Submarine Base New London," highlights the dangers of smoking
and secondhand smoke and urges cessation as it redefines areas and limits
of tobacco use.
Banned in East Lyme Parks and Beaches
Smoking bans in public parks and beaches have been a matter of much debate in some towns but in East Lyme, a smoking ban went into effect on July 15 with very little fanfare. That may be because the ban isnt an ordinance, which would have had to be approved by the Board of Selectmen. Instead, its a Parks and Recreation policy and the
mulls ban on pharmacy tobacco sales
Town mulls ban on pharmacy tobacco sales ... ways to ban tobacco products,
particularly cigarettes, from being sold in local pharmacies. ...
Seeks to Ban Cigarette Sales in South Windsor Pharmacies
"My hope is to restrict pharmacies from selling tobacco-based products because they ... to excess, can lead to health problems, and tobacco-related products like cigarettes. ... 25 communities have banned the sale of tobacco products from pharmacies and ... Related Topics: South Windsor Government and cigarette bans ...
advance Putnam smoking ban plan
... and Drugs, or TRIAD, last year with a goal of banning smoking on
town property. ... state statutes regarding whether the town could pass
a smoking ban.
a poor choice for health program
I was interested to read in May 30, Region section of The Day that
the local launch of the Million Hearts national initiative to prevent
heart attacks and strokes will take place at the Mohegan Sun Wolf Den.
As a public facility that still permits indoor smoking, this is an ironic
and poorly chosen choice of venues for an event with a mission to educate
the public about prevention of cardiovascular disease.
is permitted within the casino, both its patrons and employees are at
high risk for secondhand smoke exposure, a well-documented cause of
Housing Authority discussing possible ban on smoking ...
WALLINGFORD - At its last two meetings, the Wallingford Housing Authority's
Board of Commissioners has discussed the idea of making its properties
Housing Authority Goes Smoke-Free July 1
Bristol's Housing Authority has decided its facilities will go smoke-free
on July 1.
The number of current smokers who will be impacted
by the ban is not known. ... The anti-smoking group, Match Coalition,
supports the bans, ...
using Windham parks soon won't be able to smoke
ban considered for Windham parks
The town is trying to pass a law so that all the park in Windham will
be smoke-free. By FRANCESCA KEFALAS When Windham parks officially open
Memorial Day ...
may make tobacco-free zones
"Creating tobacco-free zones will take the onus off people who
ask others to stop smoking," said Town Board member Peter DeLucia.
"This ordinance will give ...
may outlaw smoking in parks
After Putnam High School students proposed the idea, the Board of Selectmen
will research the possibility of imposing a smoking ban on all town-owned
BOS Rejects Smoking Ban at Parks and Fields
to ban smoking in city parks dies in committee
New London A City Council committee has snuffed out a proposed ordinance to prohibit smoking in city parks. The request for smoke-free parks and playgrounds died after a tie vote Monday in the Education, Parks & Recreation
London may ban smoking in parks
London to consider banning smoking in city parks
Lounge Ban Narrowly Passes Committee Vote
Lounges Face Possible Changes
A bill that prohibits smoking in Connecticut hookah lounges, except
those open before the end of last year, is facing a key legislative
council votes for ban on tobacco in parks
The Montville Town Council late Monday night banned the use of tobacco
products at all recreational facilities, making it the third community
in the state to adopt such a provision. ...
Assembly: Committee extends smoking ban to small businesses
Even the self-employed who work alone would be banned from smoking
under a bill that passed the legislature's public health committee Monday.
Wars Heat Up In 4 States
The smoking battle is moving into high gear in South Dakota and Connecticut. The two states have joined, or may soon join, several other states that are debating -- or litigating -- whether there is a right to smoke in private clubs and restricted-entry establishments. Currently, 29 states have banned smoking in all public venues including bars and restaurants. But some states have also carved out exemptions for such private venues as cigar bars, veterans' clubs and video poker lounges, among other commercial establishments that are not open to the general public. ...
lawmakers consider ending smoking in clubs
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Some state lawmakers want smoking snuffed out in private clubs, one of the few places where people can still lawfully light up in Connecticut.
The General Assembly's Public Health Committee heard testimony Wednesday on a bill that would add clubs such as the local VFW, The Hartford Club or a golf club to the list of places where smoking is now prohibited under state law joining restaurants, bars and businesses with five or more employees.
While proponents argue that extending the ban would help protect workers from being exposed to the health dangers of second-hand smoke, representatives from the clubs believe the General Assembly is overreaching, telling a private entity that's governed by its own boards and commissioners how to operate ...
Health Center campus to become smoke-free
The University of Connecticut Health Center is preparing to become an entirely smoke-free campus in a few weeks.
Smoking has been prohibited since 1990 inside John Dempsey Hospital on the center's Farmington campus. The new policy, which starts Nov. 18, will prohibit tobacco use of any kind anywhere on the property. ...
Ban: Seven Years Later, Dramatic Changes in Fairfield County Bars
As it turns out, a lot has changed since the law took effect seven years ago, restauranteurs [sic] in New Canaan and other Fairfield County towns tell Patch. For starters, the number of disgruntled patrons who puff has declined -- a sharp contrast from when the law took hold . . .
According to the Connecticut Department of Public Health, the number of cigarette smokers in the state peaked in 1999 at 22.8 percent. In 2009, the same year that the state cigarette tax was raised from $2 to $3, that number fell to 15.4 percent. ...
Ban in Town With Tobacco History?
would restrict smoking to designated areas at Fairfield
Smokers have been kicked out of bars, restaurants and workplaces. Now, a Fairfield resident would like to see smokers be restricted to designated areas at the town's beaches.
Susan Hersh has asked the Parks and Recreation Commission to consider designated smoking areas when it meets at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Postol Recreation Center.
Right now, the town does not allow smoking at in parks when youth recreational activities are taking place or at playgrounds.
The proposal to restrict smoking would apply to Fairfield's five shoreline
beaches as well as the beach at Lake Mohegan. ...
ban set for public housing units
Following strong encouragement from the federal government, Norwalk is planning to follow several other Connecticut towns in implementing non-smoking policies in its public housing facilities.
According to Candace Mayer, deputy director of the Norwalk Housing Authority, one of the 13 buildings at the Roodner Court housing complex will soon be designated as a smoke-free area.
"After specific requests from the families, we're definitely working on establishing a ban at the complex," Mayer said. "We reviewed it with our housing officer and we decided that legally, there isn't really any right to smoke."
runs out on 2 Conn. smoking ban bills
The General Assembly's 2010 session ended Wednesday at midnight.
Rep. Betsy Ritter is co-chair of the Public Health Committee. She says there wasn't enough time to vote on the two bills in the House of Representatives. Both had passed the Senate.
One bill removed the minimum number of employees required for the current ban on smoking in workplaces to kick in.
The other bill would have banned smoking at child day care centers
and group day care centers licensed by the Department of Public Health.
Senate Bill Bans Smoking In Day Care Centers
A bill that prohibits smoking in hundreds of state-licensed child care facilities across Connecticut has cleared the Senate.
The bill passed the Senate, 35-0, on Thursday. It awaits action in the House of Representatives.
The legislation bans smoking at child day care centers and group day care centers licensed by the Department of Public Health. Smoking in DPH-licensed family day care operations would be prohibited during business hours.
Violators would face fines ranging from $35 to $90. ...
Senate would restrict smoking
The state Senate has voted to expand a ban on smoking in the workplace
by removing a minimum number of employees required for the law to kick
in. The bill, which passed Thursday on a 24-11 vote, moves to the House
of Representatives for further action. The prohibition on smoking now
applies to workplaces with five or more employees. But some lawmakers
said secondhand smoke is harmful no matter how many people work in an
office. The bill applies to a person whos self-employed, whether
or not that person has any employees, but doesnt apply to an employers
home. Republican Sen. Robert J. Kane said the bill intrudes on the rights
of a small businessperson and that its not the role of government
to keep people healthy.
Restrictions And Bans Spreading To Private Clubs In Connecticut
Private clubs throughout the nation are either choosing to go smokeless or being forced to clear the air by workplace laws meant to prevent exposure to secondhand smoke, said Bronson Frick, associate director of Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights [ www.no-smoke.org].
"It's definitely a national trend," Frick said. "Increasingly, even in private clubs, people don't want to have to breathe toxic air. ... We've heard of a number of different private clubs around the country that are going smoke-free as part of an effort to refresh their membership."
On March 16th, the Milford Redevelopment and Housing Partnership adopted a smoke-free facility policy covering all 465 units of public housing. The policy went into effect on March 17th for all new residents and all guests and staff; the policy is effective November 1, 2010 for all current residents. It covers all 465 units of Milfords housing for families and the elderly and disabled. We at SFELP are pleased to have been able to assist them and pleased that they were able to use our model policy for their own. This is the first public housing authority in Connecticut to adopt a smoke-free policy for some or all their buildings. To access the Milford Redevelopment and Housing Partnership web site, click above.
MIDDLETOWN At the bimonthly membership meeting of the Polish Falcons Nest 519 on Prout Hill Road last week, a motion was brought before the membership to ban smoking in the clubroom.
Smoking is allowed currently in private clubs under Connecticut law.
After discussion from members on each side of the issue, it came to vote. When the vote was tallied, the motion passed 90-51.
As a result of this vote, beginning May 1, smoking will not be permitted in the club room. ...
gets smoking ban on Newell road
BRISTOL City councilors Tuesday gave their unanimous backing to naming a municipal street beside Bristol Hospital a no-smoking zone.
The hospital made a formal request last year to have Newell Road declared a tobacco-free zone, the first city street to gain that designation.
City Councilor David Mills said that while he voted for the measure, he is concerned it may be a problem. ...
table-games dealers, Mashantuckets give tentative nod to historic ...
Mashantucket Fourteen months after negotiations began, the union for some 2,500 table-games dealers at Foxwoods Resort Casino and MGM Grand at Foxwoods have reached tentative agreement on a historic first-ever contract with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, which owns the casinos. ...
Other key provisions of the agreement address health and safety issues,
creating "an industry model," the union said. The contract
would extend the length of medical leave for seriously ill workers from
six months to a year and provide for the establishment of a 24-table
"smoke-free pit" separated from other gaming areas for the
benefit of dealers susceptible to secondhand smoke. Under the agreement,
the tribe and the union would work together on air-testing protocols
and ventilation systems. Such steps go beyond those the state called
for in an agreement the tribe reached last year with Gov. M. Jodi Rell,
the union said ...
Hospital wants city to declare Newell Road smoke free
BRISTOL Bristol Hospital recently made a formal request to have a city road that runs through its grounds declared a no-smoking zone.
Hospital President Kurt Barwis asked the city to have Newell Road the primary entrance for its emergency room, medical office building and Connecticut Spine and Pain Center designated as smoke-free under a new law Bristol passed last summer.
Barwis said that having the street made into a no-smoking zone would be "the last step in allowing us to change over the entire hospital campus as smoke-free," a move it began in 2008.
City officials said they plan to ask the Hearings and Assessment Committee to look into the request and make a recommendation to the City Council. Little opposition is expected.
The citys new ordinance, which hasnt been used yet, allows it to designate public streets and sidewalks as no-smoking zones, except where state law dictates otherwise. ...
zone encircles hospital
Bronson Frick, a spokesman for Americans for Non-Smokers Rights in California, said Friday that more than 1,000 communities nationwide have enacted some type of ban on smoking in various public places, which can include parks, restaurant patios, transit facility stops, certain areas of commercial districts and doorways to certain buildings and other places.
He said the issue is a local one, and communities that adopt such bans often do so when a particular problem is identified, He said perceived problems tend to be in areas where people congregate. It is a growing trend, he said. ...
Pledges Fight For A Ban On E-Cigarettes
State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal called on consumers and retailers Tuesday to avoid electronic cigarettes, discounting claims that the devices are safer than real cigarettes.
The e-cigarettes, as they are known, are powered by batteries and produce a mist containing nicotine and propylene glycol, an organic compound. Users inhale the mist, satisfying their craving for nicotine.
"I will vigorously fight to ban e-cigarettes, unless approved by FDA, and any attempt to retail the devices in Connecticut, as well as work with federal authorities to regulate Internet sales," Blumenthal said at a press conference in Hartford.
He cited the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's finding last month that two brands of e-cigarettes, Smoking Everywhere and NJoy, contain known carcinogens. An antifreeze ingredient, diethylene glycol, was found in a Smoking Everywhere cartridge. ...
No-smoking zones proposed for the area outside of Danbury Hospital and the city public library make sense. Tobacco smoking is unquestionably bad for one's ...
zone up in flames
The Waterbury Board of Aldermen balked at an effort Monday to create a smoke-free zone around Saint Mary's Hospital. Several aldermen claimed it was unfair to prohibit pedestrians on the public streets, sidewalks and walkways a block from the hospital from smoking. The board took no action on a proposed ordinance to ban smoking on city property located inside a circle surrounding the hospital's campus. ...
club owner plans appeal, may sue
MILFORD A lawsuit against the city isnt out of the question for the owner of the Olive Tree Hookah Lounge, which was ordered to close for the second time Saturday.
Sammer Karout said he is working with two lawyers to continue fighting health officials demands to close the lounge at 2007 Bridgeport Ave. because of public health concerns.
Im fighting to go after them (city officials). I want to
try to sue them because they caused me a lot of harm. They shut me down,
said Karout, who opened the lounge May 15. ...
smoking ban snuffed out
The legislature's Finance Committee killed through inaction a pair of controversial bills Tuesday afternoon, including a proposal to ban smoking at the state's two tribally owned casinos.
The committee did not take up the smoking ban bill before adjourning around 1:30 p.m. Under legislative rules, bills referred to committee must be acted upon within seven calendar days or three legislative session days. That rule means the smoking ban was effectively killed by the Finance panel's failure to take action today. ...
The smoking ban - which is vigorously supported by organized labor but opposed by Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods - is dead for this session, and unlikely to return, said Sen. Eileen Daily, D-Westbrook, the co-chairwoman of the committee and an opponent of the bill.
"Aside from any promise of a legal challenge it would be very costly... in terms of lost revenue because of lost business for the casino," Daily said. "So our businesses, all of them, are in enough trouble without our taking action today that would be more costly." ...
appears smoking in Conn. casinos will continue
NECN: Brian Burnell, Hartford, Conn.) - Smoking is banned in most public places, but one place it is not is in Connecticut's casinos. There has been an effort underway for a couple of years now to change that, but the economic climate dictates it won't happen this year.
Unionized workers at Foxwoods have spearheaded the effort, saying smoking in the casino is detrimental to the health of employees. But, there are economic considerations that even people who agree with the workers say make a ban right now impossible.
There has been talk of banning smoking at the two indian-owned casinos in Connecticut for a couple of years. Though they have opened smoke-free gaming areas, the tribes have resisted an outright ban, saying it would hurt business. Officials at Mohegan Sun commissioned a study they say shows a total ban at the casino could result in the loss of between 2,000 and 4,000 jobs because smokers would go elsewhere to gamble. ...
Signs Agreement For Limited Smoking Ban At Foxwoods
In an effort to extinguish a controversial issue, Gov. M. Jodi Rell signed an agreement with the Mashantucket Pequot nation Thursday for a voluntary, limited smoking ban at Foxwoods Resort Casino.
The agreement is similar to one that Rell signed earlier this year with the Mohegan Sun casino.
The deal was announced as the state legislature is still debating a highly controversial bill that would impose a phased-in, total ban on smoking at both casinos in southeastern Connecticut. Two major legislative committees have voted overwhelmingly in favor of the ban, and some proponents say the bill should still go forward even with the new agreements.
The tribes, however, have reacted strongly against the bill, raising
the specter of a potential battle over nearly $400 million a year in
slot-machine revenue currently added to the state's cash-strapped coffers.
Sun CEO asks legislators to kill casino smoking ban bill
The chief executive officer of Mohegan Sun urged state lawmakers Tuesday to kill a proposal that would compel the two tribally owned casinos in Connecticut to ban cigarette smoking by 2011, saying the resulting drop-off in business would cost the state millions in slot revenues and lost jobs.
We are now competing directly with thousands of slot machines in neighboring states, CEO Mitchell Etess wrote to the leaders and members of the legislatures Finance Committee, which received the bill Tuesday morning, when it was referred from the House floor. Patrons who smoke will take their business to other states, if a ban is approved in Connecticut, and revenues could drop up to 20 percent. There will be layoffs, and a cascading loss of business to us and our vendors.
Etess pointed to the examples of Illinois and Delaware, where the imposition of smoking bans cut casino business by 17 percent and 19 percent respectively, and also backed his conclusions with a new analysis from the Connecticut Economic Resource Center.
The think tanks study projects that business could fall by as much as 20 percent if a smoking ban is imposed on Mohegan Sun, which is operated by the Mohegan Tribe, and Foxwoods Resort Casino, operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation.
The groups study, commissioned by Mohegan Sun, projected a widening ripple effect from business losses at the casino. ...
Politics - State Weighs Ban on Casino Smoking
Now, the state legislature is trying to decide if it is willing to risk seeing that cash flow diminish, or even stop, in the name of public health by requiring the two tribal casinos to ban smoking by Oct. 1, 2011.
The tribes say that a smoking ban would drive away gamblers from a business already hurt by the recession. For the first time since the Sun opened in 1997, slot revenue to the state dipped by $19 million last year after a decade of steady growth.
Moreover, the Mohegans and Pequots assert that a legislative mandate on smoking would violate their tribal sovereignty, allowing them to withhold all slot revenue while they contested the issue in federal court.
"This is the first state to try to do something like this," said Bruce Bozsum, chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Council. "So it's my job right now to try to protect my tribe and to even reach further to protect all tribes across the country. Everybody is watching."
Jackson King, general counsel to the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, said the proposed smoking ban is the biggest threat to tribal sovereignty since the Pequots and Connecticut signed the compact in 1993. The Mohegans became a signatory after their federal recognition in 1994. . . .
Mr. Blumenthal said the smoking measure is defensible under the compact, which requires the tribes to abide by public health laws that the state imposes on itself. He said the tribes would have the right to challenge the law in federal court, but not withhold slot revenue.
"There is no legally justifiable reason to withhold that money, except, of course, to put a gun to the state's head," he said.
The Mohegans said they were not averse to limiting or, perhaps, eventually banning smoking, but only under the terms of their compact with the state -- through negotiation with the governor. . . .
Sovereignty is no small matter to the Mohegans and Pequots, two tribes driven to the brink of extinction, he said. Thirteen tribes in Connecticut went out of existence.
They are memorialized in a section of the Mohegan Sun, the "Hall of Lost Tribes."
It is smoke free.
Threats, Casino Smoking Ban Advances
Despite threats of legal action and a potential battle over nearly $400 million a year in slot-machine revenue currently added to state coffers, a key legislative committee voted Monday to ban smoking at the state's two Indian casinos.
The Democratic members on the legislature's government administration and elections committee said they have the right to ban smoking to protect the health of casino workers -- including those who have complained about the health effects of second-hand smoke.
But Republican lawmakers said the bill is clearly unconstitutional and would violate the compacts between the state and the Indian tribes that operate the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods casinos. They said the bill specifically targets casinos while allowing private clubs to continue permitting smoking.
"This, indeed, does buy us a substantial fight in the courts," said Rep. John W. Hetherington, a New Canaan Republican who serves as the ranking House Republican on the committee. "This is going to be a very long and costly fight for Connecticut." ...
years after ban: Smoky bars not missed
Five years after a ban on smoking in bars, bartenders and pub owners say a cloud of smoke has been lifted from their heads.
One local bar owner and a local bartender said the smoking ban has not damaged their business and has benefited their health.
"Smokers are going to come out, drink and have a good time no matter what," said Buckley Ryan, owner of B.J. Ryan's. ...
threaten suit over smoking
A controversial bill to ban smoking at tribal casinos in Connecticut becomes law.
In letters addressed to Gov. M. Jodi Rell and Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, Tribal Chairman Bruce "Two Dogs" Bozsum and Mohegan Attorney General Helga M. Woods said the smoking-ban bill, which was handily approved earlier this week by the legislature's Public Health Committee, would infringe on the tribe's right to sovereign governance under federal law. Its passage, they said, would lead to a long and costly court fight.
"I cannot and will not allow this legislative affront to go unchallenged," Bozsum wrote.
Bozsum and Woods also warned that the tribe, which contributes hundreds of millions per year in slot machine payments from its Mohegan Sun casino, could cease the payments or place them in escrow for the duration of any court fight - a potentially serious blow as the state faces huge budget deficits in the coming years.
smoking ban bill advances
The state House Public Health Committee released a bill Monday that would ban smoking in the states two American Indian-owned casinos by 2011. The process is in its infancy, but with a full Senate approval last year, advocates are hopeful of its passage and implementation.
Wed love to have it banned immediately. This is a workers
health issue and a customer health issue. But given the current economic
environment, we can support 2011, said Bryte Johnson, Connecticut
director of government relations and advocacy for the American Cancer
smoking bill seen lacking
Saying a bill to regulate smoking at the state's tribally owned casinos doesn't go far enough, unionized table-games dealers from Foxwoods Resort Casino and antismoking advocates voiced support Friday for Attorney General Richard Blumenthal's plan to phase in a complete ban on smoking at the casinos by October 2011.
In testimony before the General Assembly's Public Health Committee, members of UAW at Foxwoods, which is negotiating its first contract with the casino owned by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, said the bill offered by the legislature's southeastern delegation "falls woefully short," largely because it specifies no date for a total ban on smoking at the casinos, which many believe is inevitable. The bill, incorporating the terms of an unofficial deal the Mohegan Tribe, owners of Mohegan Sun, reached with Gov. M. Jodi Rell, calls for the tribes to enter into an agreement with the state "governing the reduction, removal and monitoring of secondhand smoke."
Ban or Bust
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is taking another roll of the dice, hoping Connecticut lawmakers will ban smoking at both Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos.
Two separate bills are currently before the legislature calling for a smoking ban. One of the bills calls for an immediate ban, and is supported by the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association and the American Heart Association. The other bill, would phase out smoking gradually over a three year period, and is backed by Attorney General Blumenthal.
Governor Jodi Rell is currently in talks with both casinos hoping to
find a solution that would respect tribal sovereignty while putting
an end to casino smoking.
high court upholds smoking ban
The state Supreme Court Monday upheld a 4-year-old state ban on smoking in bars and restaurants, rejecting claims that the law is unfair because it doesn't apply to private clubs and tribal casinos.
The highest court voted 4-1 in favor of the decision that the smoking prohibition for bars and restaurants is constitutional
Jan C. Trendowski, an Essex lawyer representing four bars that brought the court challenge, said he is "saddened by the decision," but that there are no current plans to appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, however, called the decision a "landmark victory that extinguishes the last legal challenge to Connecticut's smoking ban."
Smoking Ban To Clubs, Too
In response to the Feb. 6 article "Where There's Smoke ..." [Page 1]:
I am a nonsmoker and I belong to three private clubs, one of which I frequent about once a week. All three clubs have seen increased membership since the smoking ban went into effect. Why do I have to suffer and put up with annoying smoke while I am trying to have a drink or socialize?
I believe that any establishment in Connecticut with a liquor license should be required to abide by the no-smoking law. Most of my friends who smoke say they would have no problem going outside to have a smoke if they had to. I think it is very unfair that the casinos and private clubs are exempt from the law. They have employees and customers who also would like not to be subjected to cigarette smoke.