Monday, November 14, 2005

Let's See Who's Smoke-Free

While the Springfield City Council dithers about what to do about a smoking ban in the city (a vote on it was delayed tonight pending a compromise agreement), I noticed the SJ-R is now making a strange attempt at letting us know what area restaurants are already smoke-free.

I don’t know how long they’ve been doing this but if you look at the Restaurant Inspections part of the Sunday A La Carte column you will see smoke-free indicators next to the inspected restaurants that don’t allow smoking.

Now, I love the restaurant inspections bit every Sunday. I like to see who got nailed the worst by the health departments (city and county) each week (this Sunday it was Gallagher’s with two “Critical” violations and seven “Non-critical”. But what does the smoke–free thing have to do with health department inspections? Smoking is legal in restaurants (for now) so it’s not like the Health Department is busting restaurants for smoking violations. Perhaps the paper wants to provide information on what restaurants are smoke-free but can't figure out how to do it otherwise. Maybe they should just have a running list pending legislation requiring smoke-free environments.

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