Posts Tagged ‘smoke-free’

Who’s this guy and why is he speaking to the House Public Health Committee?

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

This gentleman didn’t just stumble into the House Public Health Committee yesterday (Tuesday, February 21, 2012).  He spoke on behalf of the Oklahoma Restaurant Association against HB2267/Restore Local Rights.  But he isn’t JUST representing ORA.  He didn’t mention to all of the members of the House Public Health Committee that he is also a registered Tobacco Lobbyist.  Because – why would a Tobacco Lobbyist speak at a House Pubic Health Committee?

This gentleman is Benny Vanatta – he is both a registered lobbyist for the ORA and Swisher.  But when he speaks against Restoring Local Rights  – is he speaking on behalf of the Oklahoma Restaurant Association OR Swisher?

It is common practice for tobacco companies to use  both the National Restaurant Association and State Restaurant Associations [like here in Oklahoma] ( in some states – not all.  Click here and see map) as a front to work against smoke-free policies.

“Since the 1970’s, tobacco companies have worked persistently to influence the policy positions of key hospitality trade associations for the purpose of using these third parties as front groups to undermine smokefree policies. Even though all legitimate economic studies show that smokefree air has no negative impact on business, tobacco industry strategists were successful in both buying off the National Restaurant Association (NRA) and convincing it that smokefree ordinances are bad for business.” - American for Nonsmoker’s Rights

When they say it is bad for business.  It isn’t!

When they say communities are not capable of making wise decisions.  It isn’t true!

When WE go to the Capitol and when WE speak to our legislators – we go as ourselves.
We use credible facts from ANR and the American Cancer Society.
We have nothing to hide – or another organization to hide behind.
We come as ourselves and will continue to do so until local rights are restored.

Oklahoma’s race to the bottom of bad health is NOT the race I want to win.

Find out how YOU can help.  Follow us on facebook and twitter.  Call and/or email your legislators and tell them that “You don’t want to get a job someplace else!   You want your city to be able to become smoke-free!”  Ask them to support HB2267/Restore Local Rights!

And don’t take NO for an answer!

-Paula

A firsthand story about secondhand smoke

Friday, February 17th, 2012

In today’s Oklahoman – there was a great letter to the editor with this very title - A firsthand story about secondhand smoke. The letter read as if I had written it.  I too grew up in a home with smokers and although a cigarette never touched my lips – I was breathing in all of the chemicals and class A carcinogens as IF I WERE A SMOKER.  Now – before some of you start thinking that this is a post against smokers it isn’t.  It is against smoking and secondhand smoke.

We live in a different age.  We know more.  YET – we still behave like we live in the past sometimes  and living in the past keeps our health and our State’s health status falling further and further behind.

What also struck me about today’s LTE was that many of the readers and followers of Breathe the Music are like the author.  Although they don’t put a cigarette to their mouths – they are breathing in enough secondhand smoke to make them a smoker.  As a matter of FACT – a pack in-a-half a day smoker.

What can we do in Oklahoma to help get the smoke OUT of your workplaces…..ALL workplaces?  We can restore local rights back to communities in Oklahoma so that they can THEN be able to work towards getting that communities workplaces smoke-free. (passing an ordinance)

Here is information about HB 2267/Restore Local Rights!  We hope that you will talk to your State Legislators about this.  Ask for them to support it!  Then share it with your friends and family and your fellow musicians and music loving friends.  You know….the ones who want to come out and support you but can stand the smoke.

We can do this!

- Paula

A firsthand story about secondhand smoke LTE

SFO HB 2267/Restore Local Rights Fact Sheet

Happy Valentine’s Day

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

HB2267 will be heard in the Public Health Committee NEXT Tuesday – February 21, 2012.  HB2267/Restore Local Rights is a similar bill to what we supported last year.  This bill, if passed and signed by Governor Fallin, will finally allow cities and towns the right to decide to have smoke-free public places!  Like BARS – where most musicians work.

This seems like the long hard way to get OUR workplaces smoke-free – but it is the ONLY way to undo what both the Tobacco Lobbyists (there are 14 registered tobacco lobbyists up at the Oklahoma State Capitol) and the Oklahoma Restaurant Association did in 1987.  But we CAN do it!

Check out this letter to the editor from last week’s Oklahoman:

Tobacco lobby damages Oklahoma’s health

Want to find out how you can help?  Contact Paula at: paula@breathethemusic.com!

Until then – Happy Valentine’s Day.

New Year’s Resolution, #1 & #7 and the Need to Restore Local Rights in Oklahoma

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Being in the Top Ten and more importantly being #1 is something that all Oklahomans strive for.  We can’t help it.  It is best described as a cradle to grave need to be #1.  Sometimes #1 will take us quicker to the grave than necessary, especially in relation to smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke. 

Today a study was released by The Daily Beast naming the top 30 cities with smoking problems.  Oklahoma has secured two positions on their list even making their Top Ten out of 30.  Tulsa comes in at #1 and Oklahoma City follows at #7.  Even with the U.S. smoking rate declining, Oklahoma still finds it hard to quit this deadly habit or even admit that we have a serious problem.  Lots of smokers translates into LOTS of secondhand smoke, especially in a musician’s, bartender’s and other employee’s workplaces. 

What Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and other cities and towns across Oklahoma don’t have is the ability or right to go smoke-free.  Even if Tulsa and Oklahoma City wanted to go smoke-free, currently they can’t pass a smoke-free ordinance.  This year all of that could change if a bill that is being introduced this session by Representative Kris Steele gets passed.  It will restore local rights back to communities across the state giving them the ability to become smoke-free and that is a start from where we are right now. 

When a city becomes smoke-free, it is easier for smokers to quit and more importantly EVERYONE in that city will have a smoke-free workplace.  Everybody as the right to breathe smoke-free air, no matter where they work!

What is your New Year’s resolution this year?  Restoring local rights and working on getting musician’s (and all Oklahoman’s) workplaces smoke-free is our top resolution.  Is it yours?  Take time to sign our petition, follow us on facebook and twitter.  Get involved and get us out of the one TOP TEN we do NOT want to be in anymore. 

Sincerely,

Paula James Warlick
Musicians for Smoke-free Oklahoma

Luchadors support Breathe the Music. Do you?

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

One of Tulsa’s newest places to hear great live music is Elote’.  Libby Auld tells us how much musicians tell her that they appreciate having a new venue that doesn’t have smoking.  We agree and feel that ALL workplaces should be smoke-free.  In the meantime, we hope that you go check out some of Oklahoma’ great local talent at this locally owned establishment that does care about the health of musicians.

Luchadors and Libby support Musicians for Smoke-free Oklahoma from Paula Warlick on Vimeo.

Everybody has the right to breathe smoke-free air – no matter where they work.

Follow us on facebook!

Elote’

Psst…..those rooms don’t work!

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010

There are so many great musicians playing in Oklahoma.  There is NOTHING like a great live show and there are many to see around the state.  Blues, bluegrass, jazz, folk, rock, the list goes on.  Oklahoma has a lot to offer and world class talent.

I got a call the other day from a musician and supporter of Musicians for Smoke-free Oklahoma/Breathe the Music.  He can’t and won’t (if can help it) play in smoky bars.  He was telling me all about a certain place (we won’t name it here) that is smoke-free.  “Well, they have the smokers in their own separate room!”

As much as one would think that a separately ventilated room keeps everyone else who chooses not to smoke protected – it doesn’t?   “What?”  ”I walk in and I don’t smell ALL of that smoke.”

Just as much as I hated to break it to him and now you, separate ventilation doesn’t  work.  They might keep some of the “smell” at bay or even mask the smell – it simply DOES NOT WORK!  Studies have been done and one right here in Oklahoma.

Nobody, a musician, your family and definately other employees are not protected from the hazards of secondhand smoke.  Not to mention, someone has to clean that room.

The only safe workplace for musicians, bartenders, wait staff and patrons is one that is 100% smoke-free.

Everybody has the right to breathe smoke-free air, no matter where they work.

For more information regarding separate ventilation and how it does not work, please go to the following links:

Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights
Don’t Buy the Ventilation Lie
Tobacco Smoke Pollution in Oklahoma Workplaces