Smoking decision should be left up to the owners

May 18, 2009 at 9:00 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

A bill introduced by State Rep. Gary Smith that would ban smoking in bars is sure to elicit strong opinions depending on who you ask.

The state already has banned smoking in restaurants and workplaces, and Smith said that his bill is the next logical step. Smith has also prepared an amendment that would include truck stops and casinos in the smoking ban.

While the amendment would level the playing field across the board, it seems that private bar owners, along with the owners of casinos and truck stops, should decide for themselves when it comes to whether or not to allow smoking.

Most people know about the dangers of second-hand smoke, but they also know that it is their personal decision whether or not they should stay away from it. If they don't want to be around second-hand smoke, they should frequent places that don't allow smoking.

And if bar owners want to ban smoking, that's their right.
Some bars may find that a smoke ban would increase their business, while others may believe that smoking brings in customers. They should get to decide what works for them.

It's hard to imagine what a smoking ban would do to a place like Bourbon Street. If everyone that smoked had to go outside on the street to light up, the crowds would be so thick that others trying to get through would have difficulty.

So while Smith should be applauded for his concern with the health of Louisianians, the decision of whether or not to ban smoking should be left up to the individuals that own the establishments.

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