Okay, I know that no one is going to agree on this topic, but it's one of
those instances where everyone seems to be speaking for someone else, and
letting emotions guide them where logistical thinking might be more
useful. Sorry if this is one of those topics that gives the admin a
headache, but I believe it should be the only time I'm going to post on
this particular subject, if that helps.
I'm an on-again/off-again smoker, which means I could stand on both sides
of this issue, if I wanted to. I don't smoke in my home, for insurance
reasons, but I'm not about to get into a heated debate with homeowners
insurance companies. It does me good to wait for that break in the day,
when I look foreward to stepping outside to enjoy my little indulgence. I
also haven't noticed a lack of friends coming to visit because they can't
smoke in the house.
I also can't smoke in a lot of my friend's cars, and homes, but I'm not
going to criticize their decision to have a smoke-free environment. It
hasn't inconvenienced me personally, to have to step outside of a
restaurant or bar, if I feel like having a cigarette, and I haven't
stopped going places affected by the smoking ban.
Ironically, I also no longer live in Mpls., having moved to St. Paul a
little over a year ago. However, I spend most of my time in Mpls., as
that's where I find the restaurants, bars, etc., with the kind of
personality that appeals to me. I used to be a homeowner in Mpls., a few
blocks away from Molly Quinn's. I ate there a few times - before the
smoking ban - but for whatever reason, it just didn't invite me back.
Nothing against the place, it just didn't have whatever it would have
needed to make me a regular customer. On the other hand, I frequent
Keegan's quite regularly. Point being, it wouldn't have mattered to me
whether or not I could smoke at Molly Quinn's, I just didn't feel like
going there, more often than not.
That's the risk of any business. I've been to businesses where they give
you those little survey cards to find out how your service was, and what
you did or din't like about your experience there. You know what?
Sometimes, it's just not something you can put your finger on. The food
was great, the staff was friendly, no problem. But for some reason or
another, you would rather go somewhere else. Hearing the example of Molly
Quinn's, being used to bolster the agenda of one side or another in this
seemingly endless debate is incredible, in this context.
Do some people really think that smoking is really the key to why some
businesses survive, and others don't? Living in St. Paul, I can tell you
that I actually LEAVE the city where you can smoke, in favor of places
with the kind of atmosphere I crave, in Mpls. If it means I curtail my
nasty little habit, so be it. It's worth it to me. If I like a
particular venue, it really isn't going to matter to me whether you can
smoke or not, or if I have travel farther to get there. I'm still giving
those places my money.
There are dozens of businesses I don't care for, which I pass on the way
to Mpls. They would even let me smoke in their businesses. Maybe there's
another reason I'm not giving them my money? I have a number of friends
and neighbors who share some of my feelings on this, and the consensus is
that there's not as much on this side of the river that provides enough of
an incentive to support the St. Paul businesses, just for the opportunity
to smoke a cigarette.
The only other thing I wanted to comment on was the notion that people
have a choice of being exposed to secondhand smoke. I actually can't
believe I heard that one correctly. Even as a smoker, I still have enough
respect for those around me to not smoke in anyone's immediate proximity,
but surely we all know that not everyone thinks this way. Since the ban,
I have seem individuals become downright threatening to others who have
asked them to take it elsewhere, so they didn't have to breathe secondhand
smoke. I do believe that people have the right to breath clean air, and
that it should supercede the right to smoke in certain areas. And I'm
sorry, but if the smokers who are screaming about their rights being
challenged are really that addicted to their habit, that might suggest
where the real problem lies.
Aurora - St. Anthony
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