I am in favor of amending, not rescinding the
Hennepin County and Minneapolis smoking bans.
I am favor of forcing all bar and restaurant owners
to provide a totally smoke free environment to their
patrons and employees. My only objection to the
bans, as written, is that they do not specifically allow
bars and restaurants to set up separately ventilated
indoor smoking lounges.
On the other hand, the organized bar and restaurant
owners who oppose the ban want to rescind, not amend
the smoking bans.
For a majority of bar and restaurant owners, setting up
a separately ventilated and heated room in order to
provide an indoor smoking lounge may be impractical,
or a big investment, and possibly a money losing
investment. And there may be a way around a complete
ban on indoor smoking for some bars and restaurants,
such as building a patio enclosure and designating it
as a smoking lounge.
Other Economic Impacts
Overall, the business done by bars and restaurants
is likely to fall off due to the loss of business from
cigarette smoking patrons, at least in the short run,
especially when smokers have to step outside to
smoke when the air temperature is below zero.
On the other hand, with all bars and restaurants
providing totally smoke-free environments, there is
a possibility that much of the lost trade will be
made up by nonsmokers. Some nonsmokers
cannot tolerate second hand smoke, and others
simply prefer a totally smoke-free environment.
-Doug Mann, King Field
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