The letter "Smoke-free could help us get hip, hot" (July 20) claims that a smoking ban would make Cincinnati a cool destination hot spot like New York, Los Angeles, Miami or Boston. Oh, brother! Cincinnati is not other places and shouldn't try to be them.
Banning tobacco will not transform Cincinnati into a "progressive, cool place" - nor will the city trump Newport on the Levee by that means alone. Presently, everyone can visit Cincinnati's "everything-free," empty, downtown shell. Cincinnati must someday decide what it is - and then be it.
Bruce Schultz, Cold Spring
Lots of dangerous stuff could be banned
I think that all public places should ban not only smoking, but also alcoholic drinking, as well as unhealthful foods. Not only does smoking kill people, but so does drinking and the eating of unhealthful foods, such as fried foods. We also need to ban the use of cell phones in public. The radio waves of these products is causing tumors at an alarming rate, and why should I have to deal with another person's radio waves while I am eating my supper?
Instead of banning smoking, how about banning nonsmokers from certain places? Why not a smoking-only bar or bowling alley? What about a smokers-only company? Isn't it funny how smokers do not have the right to ban nonsmokers from places, but nonsmokers can ban smokers whenever they see fit?
Paul Jones, Green Township
Alcohol causes more trouble than tobacco
It seems to me that it is OK with everyone to ban smoking in most establishments except bars. Why is that? Seems like a money issue to me. The people complaining about the smoking issue are the first people to go to a restaurant and sit in the smoking section because they don't want to wait to be seated in nonsmoking, and then sit and complain about it. I am aware of the health problems it causes.
Doesn't alcohol cause health problems also? Yes, it does, but no one is trying to ban alcohol. Actually it is glorified. Smoking a cigarette doesn't impair your driving, but alcohol sure does, and yet alcohol isn't an issue. It is kind of like gambling - if you don't like it don't go there. The pollution the factories, buses and other sources put out isn't healthy either, but we aren't banning them.
If people want to complain about something, complain about the drunk who just left the bar and got in his car to drive home and killed an innocent family on the way. Now that is unhealthy.
Sherry Farkas, Covington
Servers' cancer often their own doing
In regard to the editorial "Cincinnati should go smoke-free" (July 18), there was a comment that "lung cancer rates for waiters and waitresses rank near the top for employee groups." I have worked in the restaurant industry my entire life, and it is my opinion that this statistic is not due to secondhand smoke, but the fact that the majority of people who work in this industry are smokers.
Jill Darling, Lockland
Look to New York for a scary example
I moved to Cincinnati from upstate New York earlier this year. In July 2003, New York state enacted an anti-smoking law very similar to the one the city of Cincinnati is considering. Let me tell you firsthand what I saw as a result of this law.
Bars and nightclubs became ghost towns. The reason? A vast majority of people who go to such places of business obviously do smoke. As a result, nightclubs in bordering states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey began thriving.
If Cincinnati wants to continue to help the Northern Kentucky economy, go ahead and pass this law.
Gregory Blosser, Mount Airy
Respect the rights of business owners
I feel that a smoking ban would be another way for a minority to force its will on a majority.
Those of us who smoke do it by choice. We don't try to force others to smoke. Nor do we tell them that they can't.
Any business owner who allows people to smoke on his premises has the legal right to do so. He or she is an American with all rights associated with that status. This is a free country. A person's business is like their home.
If I had the resources, I would open a saloon for smokers only. You would need an ID in one hand and smoking materials (legal) in the other. I'd serve the cheapest drinks in town and let all of the whining "holier than thou" critters wail about discrimination in their most hypocritical manner.
Richard Vayo, Colerain Township
Let consumers use freedom of choice
The current debate of banning indoor smoking has relevance to public buildings that citizens must utilize. However, to ban smoking in restaurants is absurd. I do not smoke. I tend not to patronize businesses that allow smoking or cannot adequately control the atmosphere. I seek out non-smoking establishments. This is called freedom of choice.
I may choose to go to a local cafe to listen to live music, regardless of the smoke, but that is my choice. We all have freedom to choose until we allow governments to choose for us. If you don't like the smoke, then go somewhere else. I will. Or maybe I won't.
Mike Mattingly, Anderson Township
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