I present the following without regard to politics. While I have a definite opinion on the Springfield smoking ban, this is just about two old-timers and how the ban has affected them.
Old Guy Number 1 happens to be my father. He’s 73 and smokes (a lot). He doesn’t get around real well any more but in recent years he’s enjoyed going to White Oaks Mall and having a meal and several smokes at MCL Cafeteria. He would linger after eating sipping coffee and snuffing butts. He did this almost daily. This was the extent of his social life and he knew most of the workers and many of the regular customers. When the smoking ban went into effect, OGN1 cut back on his time at MCL, opting to just get a meal and then quickly leave. His social world shrank.
Old Guy Number 2 is a 75 year-old retired attorney with emphysema. He used to smoke but hasn’t in years. Because of his condition, he can’t even be around smokers for any length of time. He also doesn’t get out much. Back in his day working in downtown Springfield, he used to stop into Two Brothers almost every evening to hang out and have a few beers. One of the original owners of Two Brothers comes back to the bar every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving to get together with the old gang. OGN2 hasn’t been able to attend in recent years because of his emphysema. This year he did go. There was no smoke. He hung out and had a few beers.