Second homeowners votes for a smoke-free Summit |

Second homeowners votes for a smoke-free Summit

Talbot Wilson - Destin, Fla., and Breckenridge

As a winter-only resident but full-time taxpayer in Summit County, I cannot vote on the Nov. 4 smoke-free issue, but if I could, I would vote for a “Smoke Free Summit.”

I am a Florida resident. I (and 80 percent of the people who cared to vote) voted to ban smoking in Florida. I had stopped going to local pubs or restaurants which allowed smoking and had even stopped eating out on waterfront decks which had become the smoking porch.

Now, we are free to dine and socialize where we please without being sickened by secondhand smoke.

In Florida, just today, my wife and I were at lunch on a restaurant deck overlooking the harbor and a group packing cigarettes sat down to windward.

I thought our meal was “up in smoke.” Luckily, under the new ban, it’s now a nonsmoking area too. We were free to enjoy our meal and the smokers were free to step off the deck and smoke amongst themselves. Tonight I’m happily going to a smoke-free happy hour. Yes!

I was in Breck for a week-long Labor Day vacation and dined at the Steak and Rib. Since last winter, it has gone totally smoke free and has now been joined by several other top restaurants in town.

We talked with the hostess about it and she said there was a little dip in business at first, but business is back. Now that the nonsmokers have discovered the change, they are choosing smoke free. The Quandary Grill has been smoke free since it opened and is consistently crowded. I understand the newly smoke-free Blue Spruce in Frisco is the same.

We should be looking at the established facts from other smoke-free communities.

Here’s a fact: Studies of sales tax data from Aspen, Snowmass and Telluride have demonstrated that smoke-free ordinances in restaurants had no negative effect on revenues. (Glantz, “Smoke-free Restaurant Ordinances Do Not Affect Restaurant Business. Period. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, January 1999.)

Here’s another fact: A study published by the American Medical Association found that smoke-free ordinances had no negative impact on tourism.

The research focused on tourism in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Boulder, Flagstaff and Mesa, Ariz. International tourism in California and New York saw an increase in tourists from Japan and Europe after smoke-free ordinances were in place, dispelling the claim that international tourism would suffer. (Journal of American Medical Association)

Talbot Wilson

Destin, Fla., and Breckenridge

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