Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Smoking Ban

On the plate for this session is a State Wide Smoking Ban. For the record, I am against government meddling in the personal choices of individuals. If you don't want to go to a smoke filled bar, then don't go. But don't force a business owner to risk his livelihood over it.

Craig Westover does a nice job of laying this one out.
If Mr. Moffitt has read my columns, then he would know that I oppose smoking bans on the basis of private property rights, on the basis of the right of contract between employee and employer, on the principle of limited government and on a criteria-based approach to public health. If those rights and principles are “indefensible,” then we’re in more trouble than Mr. Moffitt realizes.
Later on, Craig points us to this site which chronicles the battle going on in Grand Forks. It is a warning from a bar owner in New York, a current victim of their recently enacted ban
I own a bar in Manhattan. I've lost nearly half my business to New York's smoking ban. The economy, the blackout, the tragedy of Sept. 11 (which was mere blocks away from my bar), none of these things kept us down for long. We're a popular place. We've been around for seven years (which is ancient in this fickle business). I had every intention of being around for at least seven more.

Now, I and my managers have not been paid for three months. We've gone without so that we could pay the bills. I've had to let go a third of my staff. And there's no explanation other than the smoking ban.
The reason some bars and restaurants are smoke filled, is because there are smokers in them. Ban smokers, you are banning their customers. Sure they may still stop by, but not for as long, and certainly not as often. If it is the goal of the 2005 legislature to systemically destroy an industry in this state, then go ahead and pass the ban. But at least be honest about why you are doing it.


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