Here's some mud for your eye

Matt Westerhold
Mar 23, 2010

The move by some area bar owners to repeal the state ban on smoking in small neighborhood taverns sure is interesting, and it's not likely to be overturned without a court case. And a court case might be just what the doctor ordered. The bar owners contend that their property rights are being violated because they cannot allow patrons to smoke, which is still a legal way to pass the time.

Now I'm no lawyer, but I always wanted to play one on TV and I have watched many, many episodes of Law & Order, all three versions, (the original, L&O Special Victims Unit and L&O Criminal Intent). So I do have some expertise? And it seems to me that might very well be a good property rights argument and could win in a court of law.

But that's not likely to happen, would be my bet, and drinking habits locally could be changing even further when some of these neighborhood hangouts go out of business because the smokers stay home and smoke and drink their beer.

Comments

MontegoBay1

I cant believe I am saying this, but I agree with you Matt 110%. While I dont smoke, I think the government overstepped their boundries with this. I think if someone owns a business THEY should be the ones who says if people can smoke or not. No matter how hard the government tries, no way will they be able to stop people from smoking. Continue with the education of children, but a smoking ban in bars is just dumb!

MrSandusky

Let the free market do its job!!! If smoking really should be banned at bars the market will do its job and force PRIVATE PROPERTY OWNERS to change the rules for their own business. Not a group of people write a poorly worded and misrepresented peice of legislation.

Of course this only happens because people that make and pass laws know that the average voter is an idiot. We prove this by constantly voting away our rights and electing the same old tired people over and over again.

myopinion

There's a couple points here that need mentioned. First, if no one can smoke at any public place, how does this impact their business? It seems more like that the recession is to blame, not a smoking ban. If people are losing jobs or just cutting back, a $4 bottle of beer is probably one of the first things to go.

Secondly, where is their concern for the health of their non-smoking patrons and employees? With the economy the way it is, many people turn to restaurants and bars as a first or second income when times get tough. As a former restaurant manager (that is a non-smoker), I came home smelling like smoke even if I didn't set foot in the smoking section. It's also a fact that restaurant employees have one of the highest rates of lung cancer. It would be easy to say "find another job", but for many people, a restaurant or bar is their profession.

I know these are tough times but bringing smoking back to bars won't save your business. Have a clean establishment with good food and service at a reasonable price and you won't need to let people smoke.