The Linear Canvas
This journal is about the wrongs and rights of the world, as I see them.

The Linear Canvas

Columbus No-Smoking Law

February 13th, 2005 . by Alexander Fisher

I was living in the Toledo, Ohio area when the city council there approved the smoking ban in 2003. I heard and saw the same debate that I now see in the Columbus area news. There were threats that bars and restaurants would close and those customers were being forced to drive or move to other areas so they could smoke. One Toledo bar owner complained in a front-page newspaper story that yes, maybe, more non-smokers would start coming to her bar, but non-smokers would leave by midnight to go home. Only smokers would stay until the bar closed at 2:30AM. Just a few days later a bar customer, said that since he couldn’t smoke in a Toledo bar, he and his friends would start frequenting bars in surrounding communities more often that did allow smoking. When a bar went out of business within days of the ban, smoking advocates pointed to it as an example of this law’s devastating effect.

Maybe I am the only one that thinks this anymore, but if less people stayed out drinking until 2:30 AM and didn’t drive home drunker than they would have been at midnight, I would say that’s better, not worse. How many lives and marriages could be saved if bar patrons went home earlier?

Now, disgruntled bar patrons threaten they will be leaving the city and driving more miles impaired, subjecting them to a greater chance of being pulled over by police, just so they can smoke a product that is killing them. The truth about bars is that any person that leaves one is probably incapable of passing a breath analyzer test. I would not be surprised if Columbus police start setting up checkpoints leading in from these suburban communities.

There is a call now for a vote to exempt bars from the smoking ban. One bar I drove past in Toledo back then had a message on its sign that suggested that people register to vote to overturn the no smoking law. Clearly, that is the one good suggestion that can come out of this whole thing. As a non-smoker, occasional beer drinker, and voter, I welcome all bar patrons to join the democratic process. I don’t have much of an opinion about whether a bar should have smoking allowed or not. Just keep it out of the places where I am and where I would go. In addition, keep your impaired driving to a minimum. That’s all I want.

One Response to “Columbus No-Smoking Law”

  1. comment number 1 by: Shane Coffey

    I agree with you totally. I was out in California when they banned it there. What they need to do in reality is ban smoking all across the United States in public places and then we would not have this discussion. I have left bars at 2:30 AM and spelled bad because of the smoke. I used to hate to go to my mom’s house because of the smoke. You would walk in and a big cloud would hit you. Mom will tell you that the government has no right to tell you where to smoke. I say that the majority of the people in the world don’t smoke so what about our rights? Last time I checked in this country majority rules. Oh, wait that was before Bush became president.

    Check out my website.
    I just released a press release to get some visitors.
    I also have a blog.

    Shane Coffey

    Posted by: Shane Coffey at March 18, 2005 05:17 PM

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.