To the editor:
I would like to make a few observations/comments regarding the current smoking/no smoking battle being waged in the Kenora/Rainy River districts.
It appears to me the solution is a no-brainer, not all “public” places should be non-smoking.
Restaurants/dining rooms should be smoke-free as there quite often are children in those areas and it is a lot nicer to enjoy a meal without the smoke.
But bars/lounges/sports bars/nightclubs, etc. are another issue. People who are patrons of these establishments are supposed to be legal “adults” and, as such, should be able to make a personal decision to frequent those places or not, and if they want to tolerate the smoking.
The other part of my point is (correct me if I’m wrong) the “public” places that seem to be referred to are actually “private” places, owned by private individuals, who should be able to make a business decision on their own without having financial hardships placed on their business income.
If the person(s) believe that smoking and second-hand smoke is a “health hazard,” then do they also believe—with the same vigour and conviction—that consumption of alcohol products also is a “health hazard?”
If your answer is that they are not the same, then ask any person who has had their loved one maimed or killed, died of liver disease and other ailments, because of alcohol consumption if it is the same or not.
I do not hear or see the entity that is charged with “protecting the public’s health” by declaring that it is in our best interests to ban alcohol in all places (I believe that has been tried before, right?)
In the past few weeks, I have been observing which businesses have people smoking in them. So far, nothing has stood out, except for bars/lounges/sports bars/nightclubs and restaurants/dining rooms. The latter being, for the most part, a farce, especially when you have a smoking area one chair width away from the no-smoking area.
I have noticed the smoke never goes into the no-smoking part, maybe because of the signs put on the tables or walls (was that sarcasm I heard?)
You probably are wondering what side of the fence I’m on. I’m on both sides, to a point. I am a former smoker (no, I’m not one of those radical reformed persons) and I believe that what I have mentioned in the first part of my rambling is the answer to the problem.
If you haven’t figured out the answer from the above, then you probably will never get it.
If smokers can’t curtail their need for a smoke for an hour or two while dining (they have to on any airplane flight), and non-smokers can’t stand it in the drinking establishments, then maybe what one of our elected officials was reported to have said is true—go someplace else.
Of course, if our census and local economy continues to decline, we won’t have to worry about this problem because most of us won’t be here or be able to afford to smoke.