In the October 21, 2007, issue of the Morrison County Record, a couple of articles touched upon the smoking ban.  One was the Little Falls City Council’s discussion of what it would take to get ash urns outside in front of businesses that smokers frequent, so they can put out their cigs before entering.  Another article discussed the ramifications of the smoking ban on charitable gambling, seeing as how so many tabs are pulled in bars and clubs where smoking used to be allowed.

Of course, part of the uproar around the smoking ban is that bar owners are worried about losing business because people can’t smoke.  The tenor of the discussion has turned to blaming non-smokers for this loss of business.  “Darn you, you non-smokers.  You’re making it so we can’t smoke in the bars!”  As my fellow new poster, Suckerlip Blenny pointed out, why are the non-smokers getting blamed for the loss of business?  The non-smokers in many cases (this fish, for one) didn’t frequent establishments that allowed smoking because we wanted to be able to breathe.  We weren’t part of the revenue stream.  If smokers want to see who is to blame for the loss of bar business, they need look no further than their own bathroom mirrors.  If they decide to stay home and smoke, rather than go to their favorite watering hole, that is certainly their choice – just as it has been the choice of non-smokers for years, but the feared crumbling of the bar business certainly isn’t the fault of non-smokers.  Non-smokers may even start contributing to bar revenue, now that they can breathe.   (Now, if we could just get bars to turn the music down a few decibels so we can hear each other speak, that’d really be something.)

Deaf, but breathing fine,

Phineas F. A. Pickerel

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