Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Smoke and a pancake?

Just what we need another law?

I used to smoke many years ago and I hate being around smoke now, but I understand if I go to a bar folks will smoke and I accept that.

I would find a bar with more and better ventilation. Also why not make smoking only bars and non-smoking bars then?

Bar owners breathing fire

Ashlie McEachern The Herald-Zeitung

Dennis Howell took his seat Friday at the Scores Sports Bar in New Braunfels, pulled a pack of Bugler cigarette papers from his pocket and began rolling a cigarette.Howell enjoys smoking. He especially enjoys it when he's out having a drink.

However, he and many others who smoke soon could be forced to take a walk outside when they feel like lighting up in a bar.The Dallas City Council recently voted to ban smoking in all bars and pool halls, and lawmakers say the decision might open the door to a smoking ban in all Texas bars.“I think it should be the bar owner's decision to decide whether or not their business allows smoking,” Howell said. “Back in the 1960s, I'd go into bars and there would be a fog of smoke. It's different now. Places like Scores have great ventilation.”

Scores’ owner Hampton Eudy said a statewide ban on smoking is an infringement of his rights as a business owner.“If a person doesn't like smoking, they can go somewhere else,” Eudy said. “This is America, and these are my rights. Where will lawmakers stop? The last thing I need is someone who doesn't even come to my establishment telling me how to do things.”

State Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, is defending another perspective.“Public health is not a personal right,” Wentworth said. “It is the responsibility of the government.”

Gloria Garcia is a non-smoker who would like to see the ban go into effect.“The other day I walked into my closet, and the clothes I wore out to a bar the night before made my entire closet smell like smoke,” Garcia said. “I don't mind being around it sometimes, but I'm in favor of getting smoke out of bars.”

Non-smoker Alton Stanfield has spent time in Russia, where he said the majority of people smoke.“I was in Moscow for quite some time, and everybody smoked in restaurants and bars,” Stanfield said. “When I go to a bar, I accept that smoking is part of the atmosphere.”

Victor Connway, a bartender at The Black Whale Pub in New Braunfels, is weary (I think she meant to write leery) of how a smoking ban will impact business.“More people will stay home,” Connway said. “People will decide to drink at their houses and not in a controlled environment like the bars, and that will be more dangerous. It's going to be bad for business, and I'm completely against it.”

Others said they believe smokers are always singled-out in society.“The United States is the leading consumer of sugar and (has) the most people with diabetes,” Victoria Sok said. “Is there a tax or ban on all the sugary foods Americans consume? No.”Although New Braunfels has yet to encounter the smoking ban, those who smoke, like Sok, want their voice heard.“When I go out for a drink, I want to smoke,” Sok said. “That's my right and freedom as an American citizen.”