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Smoking Ban of Allegheny

Essay by   •  March 11, 2011  •  Essay  •  608 Words (3 Pages)  •  948 Views

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Although I have had to deal with secondhand smoke in my own home my entire life and I know the effects that secondhand smoke can and will have, I still feel as if people have the right to choose whether or not they want to smoke. This includes public establishments, especially places like restaurants and bars, which will be most affected by the Allegheny County smoking ban. Preventing people from smoking in such places will dramatically slow down business, which in turn will cost many people jobs as waiters, waitresses, bartenders, etc. Also, and perhaps most importantly, not allowing people to smoke is an infringement on their fifth-amendment right to free choice.

Ramy Andrawes, manager of the Sphinx Cafe, a South Side hookah bar specializing in tobacco sales, said the newest twist to Allegheny County's proposed smoking ordinance -- an amendment that would remove almost all exemptions -- would force him to close his doors. "When they say you're not allowed to smoke, that means they want to put us out of business," he said (Tribune-Review). Shouldn't the restaurant be able to make its' own decision as to whether or not to allow smoking? If people prefer not to go to a place where they are not allowed to smoke, then they can certainly go somewhere else. However, what is a place that relies primarily on tobacco smoking to do if public smoking is banned? "In the 17 months after the Minneapolis, Bloomington & St. Paul, Minnesota public smoking bans went into effect on 03/31/05, 83 establishments went out of business, including such major chains as Denny's, TGIFriday's and Perkins." If such major establishments as Denny's and Perkins were unable to survive, then how can we justify this ban to small business owners who rely so heavily on return business, many of whom expect to be able to have a cigarette and enjoy their meal.

Inevitably, if restaurants and bars are losing business, then the individuals working for these establishments are going to lose jobs. Is it really necessary for hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of young bartenders and waiters to lose their jobs so that a few people who hate smoking do not have to sit twenty feet away from the smoking section? Perhaps a more reasonable solution would be to require more space between the smoking and non-smoking sections. Dividing the restaurant evenly in half, with the doors and windows open in the smoking section,

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