Saturday, April 09, 2005

Smoke-Free please

I don't go to bars that often in this state, in fact, I bet I could count that number on one hand since I moved back for law school/good. Part of the reason is that smoking is permitted still in most clubs.

This year the legislature phoned in an attempt to ban smoking in these "private clubs for members only" and instead hold promos for bars that have banned smoking. [State Senator Waddoups' bill, which would have banned smoking in all Utah private clubs, passed the Senate by one vote but never even came up for debate in the House.]

The fun part about this is you get liberals like SLC mayor Rocky Anderson and public health groups rubbing elbows with the hyper-conservative UT legislators.

Everyone can agree that there is a major second hand smoke problem for employees and state inspectors, not to mention the guy that delivers the beer, or non-smoking patrons who want to get some booze.

They managed to do it in Massachusetts, and the whole state is better for it. The amount that Utah would loose in cigarette taxes is pretty minor considering only a few hundred thousand people smoke here (out of 2.2+ million people or about one12 percent ["thanks" Brian Watkins]). And really, I doubt that bars will be that poorly effected, we can even have them convert into cigar parlors that serve alcohol, and they would make even more with gourmet cigars and brandy, instead of cigarettes and beer.

"A lot of people told us we would never make it if we were smoke-free, but it's done nothing but help us," Red Door owner Louise Hanning said. ...Oyster Bar general manager Mark Robbins, [said his]... businesses is booming [sic] since the bar went smoke-free..."People are coming up to shake my hand and thanking us and saying 'way to go.' "

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