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Buffalo bars hurting from smoking ban

I recently returned from Buffalo, N.Y., where my wife’s family lives. As many of you probably know, New York just enacted a statewide ban on smoking in public places.

Contrary to what we’ve been reading in this paper, the smoking ban has not helped business for restaurants and bars.

The Buffalo paper reported that pubs and bars are seeing at least a 30 percent decline in business since the smoking ban took place.



Their usual smoking customers who used to come in for a burger and beer and a smoke are now picking up a six-pack and going through the drive through at Mickey D’s or calling Domino’s and staying home.

The fast-food restaurants and pizza-delivery places are loving the ban, but not the small business restaurant owners. It has killed their business.



Restaurants and bars are not public places. They are private places that allow the public to enter. It is not a person’s right to enter a business, but rather the owner’s right to let you in. They don’t have to and neither do you. It’s your choice

On the same note, no one is forcing anybody to work at a place that allows smoking. It’s your choice. I know people have written in saying it’s hard for people to find a new job if they don’t like working in a smoke-filled environment. Why? I know the majority of the nonsmoking restaurants and bars in the county are always looking for well-qualified, good help. Most businesses in Summit County are. If you’re a good, responsible worker you’ll probably get hired. So what’s the problem?

I agree that smoking is bad, but as long as it is legal, and it is, it should be up to the individual business owner to decide if he or she wants it in their establishment.

We are all exposed to potentially harmful things in our lives every day. Do we really want a world where we are protected from everything that may or may not hurt us?

Do we need to be babysat and have our hands held for us every time we don’t like something? That will be a world where we won’t be allowed to do anything because just about everything can hurt us in one way or another.

I’d like to think that we as Americans and Summit Countians are capable of making our own decisions and not letting somebody else make them for us.

Last but not least I urge everybody to realistically think about the environmental impact this ban would have on the areas surrounding bars and restaurants. If you force everybody to smoke outside, where are his or her butts going to end up? Outside.

I know most smokers in Summit County will dispose of their butts properly, but I can guarantee that drunken college kids and the like will not.

They will throw them on the ground. The entrances to bars and restaurants will be littered with butts, not to mention drunken people scaring away the patrons.

Is that really the image we want for our dining and drinking establishments? Oh, I know what we can do! We can make another law making it illegal to smoke in front of restaurants and bars because it’s bad for the environment. Yes, more laws will definitely be needed.

Alex Johnson

Breckenridge


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