Smoking ban bad policy based on bad science

Is an exaggerated health risk more important than jobs?

I am a dying breed; an independent bar and restaurant owner. I have been trying to fight the smoking ban hysteria. Let me tell you about those involved.

First are the business owners, fighting for their livelihood, armed with well-documented studies, negative revenue statistics and available technology options begging for common sense: These people are ignored.

Elected officials pretend to care. A few council members attacked me personally because I used common sense, researched the facts and rightly called them liars. They tried to shut me up. Not an easy task. Eventually they will cave to special interests.

Other citizens fit into three groups: smokers, nonsmokers and smoke haters. The smoker and nonsmoker categories are self-explanatory. The smoke haters believe there is no greater evil than “Big Tobacco.”

Many smoke haters are taxpayer-funded activist organizations, using exaggerated risks, fear and lies together with billions of dollars, and are successfully railroading city councils, counties and states to pass smoking bans. These organizations don’t have to tell the truth, they just have to say it is about health. They cannot provide one death certificate stating secondhand smoke killed someone. Not one.

Their unchallenged figures are accepted as fact. The smoke haters will not tell you a federal judge told the Environmental Protection Agency their findings were “outright fraud,” nor that the figure of 3,000 deaths from secondhand smoke is computer generated.

Ban advocates cry smoking is unhealthy, and therefore our nanny state must regulate it. They repeatedly call my business public property. Bans are a bad idea. Bans do not make people healthier, nor make people quit. Bans cost cities and counties jobs, revenues and businesses for no gain.

I underestimated this battle. I did not realize no one would look at the facts. What is more important, jobs and revenues or an exaggerated health risk? While smoke haters rejoice, family-run bars and restaurants will slowly, but surely, fade away. I will grow old waiting for nonsmokers to come pouring through my door.

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