I plan on attending the hearing on the proposed anti-smoking ordinance which will be held in the City-County Building. The proposed ordinance would prohibit smoking in all public places except for private residences, hotel rooms that are designated as smoking rooms, private clubs, and tobacco shops.
I do not smoke but I am of course opposed to this ordinance because it violates the personal liberties of individuals and the property rights of business owners. But since nobody on the City and County Councils seems to give a flip about personal liberties or property rights, I intend to point out the following:
1. The new ordinance will cause locally owned restaurants and bars to lose business since it will drive away customers who smoke. The only establishments that smokers will continue to business with are places that have drive-thru or delivery service. In other words, the only places that will not be harmed by this are fast food joints and pizza parlors.
2. The new law would cause more "brain drain". Many young adults, including college students and recent graduates, smoke. Some have a regular habit, others smoke only in social settings. They all go to bars and restaurants in order to socialize and meet people. If this ordinance passes, these young people will have to choose one of the following:
A. Give up smoking.
B. Give up their social life.
C. Leave Allen County.
Which do you think they will choose?