Topeka, KS (PRWEB) March 5, 2009
Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, President Obama's nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, is apparently at odds with the Occupational Safety & Health Administration. She also may be steering her state into the teeth of multiple business failures, hundreds of job losses and millions in lost tax revenues, says Chris McCalla, legislative director of the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association.
Governor Sebelius has been cheerleading a smoking ban through the Kansas legislature along with a bill to punitively raise the state's excise taxes on non-cigarette tobacco products which would be on top of the recently federally legislated excise taxes imposed on all tobacco products to fund SCHIP, the State Children's Health Insurance Program. She is reported to have called the ban 'likely the most significant piece of health-related legislation that could come out of Topeka this year.'
"Governor Sebelius apparently is unaware of OSHA's standards for safe levels of secondhand smoke that are up to 25,000 times higher than would be found in restaurants, cigar bars and other businesses," McCalla said.
As for job losses and business failures resulting from legislated smoking bans, McCalla cited the Federal Reserve Bank and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
"Based on impartial data generated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Federal Reserve Bank has found that significant employment declines result from forced smoking bans, especially in bars and restaurants," he said. "That means businesses die, workers lose their jobs and the state and nation lose federal, state and local tax revenues."
According to McCalla, the constitutional rights of Kansas business owners are also at stake with a legislated smoking ban.
"The marketplace has been very effective deciding which businesses elect to allow smoking or not. That's as it should be: up to the individual business owner. For government to control private businesses is depriving citizens of the rights given to them by the United States Constitution," said McCalla.