I call bullshit! It is the "smoking public", a distinct minority, that is imposing its smoke on the rest of us.
[Illinois] House Bill 672, which would give local governments the power to ban smoking in indoor workplaces, including bars and restaurants, has passed both the House and Senate and awaits Gov. Rod Blagojevich's signature or veto. A spokeswoman for the governor said Tuesday his office is reviewing the bill.
Smoking bans have become all the rage among states and cities in the East and California, but four Springfield aldermen - Ward 1 Ald. Frank Edwards, Ward 2 Ald. Frank McNeil, Ward 3 Ald. Frank Kunz and Ward 4 Ald. Chuck Redpath - said they would likely oppose such a measure here.
Even though all four volunteered that they are nonsmokers, they said they are concerned about the effect a ban could have on businesses and are reluctant to impose their will on the smoking public.
"A patron who pays his money to come in should be allowed a certain level of entertainment and enjoyment," McNeil said.A certain level, yes; to the detriment of other's enjoyment, no.
"No, no, no, no," said Kunz. "It's none of my business. If you don't want to go to a restaurant that has smoking, then don't go. I don't think government ought to be sticking their nose into it."I think the burden here is on the smoker who can take their smoking to a place where it won't bother anyone.
California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island ban smoking in all private workplaces, including bars and restaurants. Five other states ban smoking in restaurants, but not standalone bars. South Dakota bans smoking in restaurants but not their bar areas. Georgia bans smoking in bars and restaurants, except the ones that serve and employ only those above the age of 18.And you know what, business is doing just fine in those states. Want a local example:
Ned Kelly's, an Australian-themed steakhouse on Springfield's west side, recently went smoke-free and has seen an increase in business, said general manager Alex Reynolds.
"You wouldn't believe how many people come out and just praise us for being smoke-free," Reynolds said. "They come here more. Our regular smokers, they still come. They just wait until they're done eating."
How 'bout that. It works for everyone.
Gawd, what a bunch of morons we have on the Springfield City Council.
UPDATE: ET posts another local example in the comments. He says:
Years ago I worked for a local, and popular, restaurant - which is still doing very well.
The owners of the restaurant decided to ask if they should ban smoking permanently (after participating in a smoke free week - part an annual program sponsored by the American Cancer society)
We distributed, I believe it was, over a thousand surveys to our patrons. We made them available for several weeks. We asked if they wanted the restaurant to become smoke free.
Overwhelmingly, (well over ninety pecent) they responded, yes, become smoke free.
True, we had a lot of well educated, professional types coming in - mixed with tourist. So not every bar, or restaurant will have the same experience.
We lost a few regulars, at first, but the business lost was more than made up for by very happy customers - plus most of those who couldn't smoke came back anyway - they were hungry - and liked our food more than the cigarettes.