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Location: LaGrange, Kentucky, United States

The opinions and interests of a husband, analyst and Iraq war veteran.


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The upside to our downturning economy

It's pretty thin gruel, but this anti-anti-smoker will take whatever he can get:

Economic fears snuff out smoking bans

In this economy, lawmakers are more willing to let people smoke 'em if they got 'em.

As recently as last year, many states and major cities seemed ready to adopt complete indoor smoking bans. But the movement to kick all smokers outdoors has stalled as the recession worsens and lawmakers fear hurting business at bars, restaurants and casinos.

"This economy, it creates a little more sympathy for the business person. So when we say this is going to put us out of business, believe me, they're listening," said Mike Moser, executive director of the Wyoming State Liquor Association.

Twenty-three states, as well as Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, have indoor smoking bans covering bars and restaurants. No one else has adopted a ban in the early weeks of this year's legislative sessions.

In Colorado, lawmakers are considering easing the rules after they banned smoking in most bars, restaurants and casinos.

New Jersey put off a smoking ban for Atlantic City casinos after five of 11 casinos warned they could file for bankruptcy by year's end. In Virginia, a proposed statewide ban stalled this year after lawmakers expressed concern about the economy.

Moser's group opposes an indoor smoking ban that has been offered in Wyoming. After businesses raised objections, state lawmakers last month exempted bars from the legislation.

In cities that have banned smoking in bars, "it's just killing them," said Mike Reid, owner of a wine bar in Casper. Reid voluntarily banned smoking in his bar, but opposes the forced ban as president of the liquor association.

"When someone builds a business with a clientele that smokes, they should be able to go in there and smoke," Reid said.

(Via: The Anchoress)

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