Amend the smoking ban |

Amend the smoking ban

Alex Johnson, Breckenridge

With all the recent articles and letters in the paper regarding businesses losing customers to the smoking ban, I couldn’t help but wonder how long it would take for Don Parsons to write in and put everybody in their place.With all the talk about a level playing field, it seems Don and SmokeFree Summit don’t quite understand what they have done to the playing field.They have completely ripped it up, torn it apart and bulldozed the whole thing over. A level playing field, in the business sense, is when all businesses can compete fairly for their niche market. Before the smoking ban, nonsmoking bars could compete for the nonsmoking customers and smoking bars could compete for smokers.All could choose to change at any time, if they wanted. But now, the “Don Parsons’ Project” has taken away the ability for many bars to attract their niche market.Don complains that allowing some exceptions to the ban would make the field unlevel, but that’s exactly what it is right now. It was level before.As for the health of the workers issue, I don’t think there is going to be any worker that is going to be happy about losing his or her job as a result of the smoking ban.I wrote a letter to this paper last fall before the election explaining how bars and taverns in Buffalo had lost up to 30 percent of their business after the statewide New York ban.Many SmokeFree people wrote in saying that that just wouldn’t happen here; that we were different than New York because we have so many health-minded people here that would actually go out to the bars if there was a smoking ban.They said business would actually increase. Well your information just wasn’t right. All the nonsmoking people who didn’t go out to the bars still are not going out to the bars and now many smokers aren’t either. Nice job. In order to be a world-class resort destination, we need to welcome all people, not just the ones Don Parsons and SmokeFree approve of.I fully support the idea of amending the smoking ban to allow some exemptions so business owners can fairly compete on a level playing field once again. Alex JohnsonBreckenridge

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