Letters to the Editor: Smoking bans are good business



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To the editor: It was enlightening to see that the New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association will be taking a neutral position with Rep. Sheila Francouer’s bill to ban smoking in bars and restaurants statewide. Similar legislation has already been adopted by every other New England state and many more throughout the United States. It also is being passed around Europe, led by Ireland which banned smoking in all restaurants and pubs. While we respect the individual right to smoke in space that does not affect others, we agree with a statewide ban on smoking in all restaurants and bars. It is the right thing to do for the health of customers and employees. The fact is non-smokers do not always have a choice of where to eat or work. They subject themselves to secondhand smoke to please others or to make a living. A statewide ban also provides a level playing field, where all communities, restaurants and bars follow the same law, and there are no special exclusions. Some operators are concerned about a significant loss of revenue, yet it has been proven that statewide bans do not affect the bottom line. There are many reputable studies with findings that support this conclusion, such as the one conducted by The Harvard School of Public Health that was recapped in The Boston Globe on 4/4/05: “Restaurants, bars gain business under smoke ban,” by Stephen Smith. It also has been our experience. We are local New Hampshire people, who operate many restaurants in New Hampshire as well the other New England states that have bans. Statewide bans on smoking in all restaurants and bars is a win-win for the public and the operator, it is the right thing to do. Shawn Joyce President Margaritas Restaurants

 

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