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See a Smoker in a Non-Smoking Area? Call 911

 
Anonymous Coward
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10/19/2006 04:51 PM
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See a Smoker in a Non-Smoking Area? Call 911
See a Smoker in a Non-Smoking Area? Call 911
By Kate Monaghan
CNSNews.com Correspondent
October 19, 2006

[link to www.cnsnews.com]

(CNSNews.com) - If you catch someone smoking in a non-smoking area in Omaha, Neb., call the police. The Omaha Police Department (OPD) is encouraging city residents to call 911 in the wake of the citywide ban on smoking that went into effect on Oct. 2.

Teresa Negron, sergeant in charge of public information of the OPD, explained that the department encourages observers of infractions to pick up the phone to report the infraction -- just like they would for any other crime they observe being committed.

"Citizens or business owners that observe a violation to the smoking ban are urged to call 911 and report the violation," Negron told Cybercast News Service. "[It's like] any other crime that happens in any city -- if somebody sees a crime happen, they can call 911 and report it."

Negron did not necessarily endorse immediately calling 911 but still saw it as a viable option.

"What I would recommend for people to do is bring it to the attention of the management, and if that doesn't stop, then obviously contact us, and we'll respond and we'll handle it," she said.

However, the calls are not high priority.

"The first week, we had maybe 10 calls in the entire city," said Negron. "Calls concerning the smoking ban were not high-priority calls, so we have a system in place that calls that come in and have a higher priority will be handled."

The penalty is a citation and fee for individuals caught violating the ban -- $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second and $500 for the third and subsequent offenses, according to a summary of the city ordinance posted online.

"Obviously, they would receive a citation for violating the smoking ordinance," said Negron.

According to some, however, the new law will encourage people to become "snitches."

"I think that it's one thing for people to monitor themselves," said Amy Kauffman, research fellow for the Hudson Institute. "It's another thing to ask people to monitor their friends, neighbors and cohorts. It is turning people into snitches."

Kauffman called this "a horrible thing" and a waste of city resources.

"To use 911 for this purpose goes against what 911 is designated for. It is an emergency service. These are not emergencies," Kauffman said.

She further classified the situation as over the top.

"To take 911, which is supposed to respond to someone within I guess one to three minutes, and use it for this and to clog the lines with busybodies phoning in on their neighbors is ridiculous."

Mark Welsch, president of the Group to Alleviate Smoking Pollution (GASP) of Nebraska, disagrees.

"It's not an over-reaction, it's a good use of our city resources" that are being squandered on smokers, according to Welsch.

"I think about 13 percent of our total Medicaid expenses are caused by tobacco," Welsch said. "So, I'm paying too much. I don't want to subsidize tobacco use in my state. We should have just enough to break even. For next year, we would have to raise the tobacco tax by about 50 cents per pack -- just to break even."

Smoking isn't the only problem that needs fixing to trim down the costs, Welsch said. There's also a problem with food consumption that needs attention.

"We're such a fat country, by and large. Somebody needs to do something, or our Medicaid and Medicare costs are just going to continue to go up and up, not just because of smoking, but because of people being overweight and too lethargic to take their butts outside and walk," said Welsch.

Kauffman noted that smoking is not good for your health but insisted that 911 calls are not the answer.

"Smoking has been proven to be bad for one's health," she said. "But I really think that sometimes, these people go a little bit too far. It is a trend, but this is different because not only is it a trend where they're saying 'no smoking,' but now they're asking people to actually phone in and report other people."
WICKER MAN

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10/19/2006 04:53 PM
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Re: See a Smoker in a Non-Smoking Area? Call 911
Yup, instruct the populace to tattle on one another...where's the, See An Illegal Call 911 bill...
Hmmm
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10/19/2006 04:57 PM
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Re: See a Smoker in a Non-Smoking Area? Call 911
Seems like I read something about things like this in a history book or something....
Anonymous Coward
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10/19/2006 05:03 PM
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Re: See a Smoker in a Non-Smoking Area? Call 911
ring ring ring

"911 what is your emergency"

My 300 lb neighbor is in the 'fat free zone again!!
Anonymous Coward
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10/19/2006 05:04 PM
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Re: See a Smoker in a Non-Smoking Area? Call 911
ridiculous.

since only 13% of illness are related to smoking, what is the other 87%??

DIET!! so how about if we call 911 when we see a morbidly obese person taking out fast food? or report a diabetic for using needles?

this is the most ridiculous thing i've ever heard. i'm a smoker and i'm tired of being treated like a second-hand citizen.
how about workplace sickness?
want to know how many people miss more time from work for flu, colds, respiratory illnesses and infections?
NON-SMOKERS!!

so stick that in your pipe...
Atma

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10/19/2006 05:05 PM
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Re: See a Smoker in a Non-Smoking Area? Call 911
"The first week, we had maybe 10 calls in the entire city," said Negron. "Calls concerning the smoking ban were not high-priority calls, so we have a system in place that calls that come in and have a higher priority will be handled."


So by the time we get there, the smoker will be gone so stop bothering us with this silly shit.
Anonymous Coward
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10/19/2006 05:05 PM
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Re: See a Smoker in a Non-Smoking Area? Call 911
"is what?

You know violating the fat ordinace!
* Evil Rex *

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10/19/2006 05:06 PM
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Re: See a Smoker in a Non-Smoking Area? Call 911
"OMG! He's going to light it! OMG! OMG! OMG! He did! He's smoking!"
Do not believe anything I say or write.

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Anonymous Coward
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10/19/2006 05:06 PM
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Re: See a Smoker in a Non-Smoking Area? Call 911
This dangerous advice could hurt many innocent people, including children. 911 is for emergencies-ONLY.
Omega

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10/19/2006 05:08 PM
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Re: See a Smoker in a Non-Smoking Area? Call 911
They can kiss my Texas white ass.

One of these days heads on pikes I tell you.

damned
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rabbleRouser
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10/19/2006 05:10 PM
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Re: See a Smoker in a Non-Smoking Area? Call 911
What a monumental waste of time. There must be no crime in Omaha, Nebraska. No theft, no rapes, no murders. It must be a utopian place this Ohaha, Nebraska. Un*f'n believable. And all of you cheering you had better not be fat 'cause you're next!
Anonymous Coward
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10/19/2006 09:37 PM
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Re: See a Smoker in a Non-Smoking Area? Call 911
no one cared when it was snitching on your neighbor for smoking weed/grass/marijuana/blunts. it was "good" to turn your neighbor in. it was "good" to have police ask kindergarter's "do daddy or mommy do drugs?" get those nasty people.

it was "good" when they came and took the over 1,000 American arabs away after 9/11. it made you feel "safe". it was and is still "good" to turn your neighbor in who has darker skin and dresses differently because they "may be a terrorist".

now it's coming for smokers. turn your neighbor in. don't feel bad though because you're doing "good" in getting those nasty people. it's good to spy on your neighbor to see if they are committing the serious crime of smoking. the city will make money and that is "good".

who is next? you decide. you the people.
Anonymous Coward
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10/19/2006 09:41 PM
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Re: See a Smoker in a Non-Smoking Area? Call 911
Thous shalt not snitch on thy neighbor.
stoner
Anonymous Coward
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10/19/2006 09:43 PM
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Re: See a Smoker in a Non-Smoking Area? Call 911
That's okay, hospitals call 911 when sick people land on their doorstep, why shouldn't offended non-smokers?
Jomama

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10/19/2006 09:46 PM
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Re: See a Smoker in a Non-Smoking Area? Call 911
Got an idea.

Make a bunch of fake calls with phoney ID until they're tired of all the fake calls and don't respond anymore.

They want to bury us in bullshit, throw it back like a live grenade.
to herd or not to herd
[link to djomama.blogspot.com]
Anonymous Coward
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10/19/2006 09:48 PM
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Re: See a Smoker in a Non-Smoking Area? Call 911
Got an idea.

Make a bunch of fake calls with phoney ID until they're tired of all the fake calls and don't respond anymore.
 Quoting: Jomama


I think that's already been done.
SHRModerator
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10/19/2006 09:55 PM

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Re: See a Smoker in a Non-Smoking Area? Call 911
Liberal hippie smelly ass fucktards.
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