The state of Florida passed a law in May that bans smoking in most public establishments. Now, as restaurants and public buildings finish their transition into smoke-free environments, business owners worry about their revenue and smokers worry if they’ll ever enjoy their meal without the sweet aroma of burning tobacco and tar.
For nonsmokers, however, this mandate is heaven sent. Those who would rather not coat their lungs with poison can finally go out in public and not worry about others poisoning them.
Some business owners and smokers feel the decision should have been left up to individual businesses to make, but it seems that in this case the government did the right thing.
What smokers do in their private areas is their business, but once they venture out into the public domain, their dangerous habits become an issue of public health.
As for businesses’ fearing a loss of customers, rubbish.
Except for the few places built just for smokers, most people don’t leave their houses just to smoke.
Smokers and nonsmokers go to restaurants to eat food they can’t or don’t want to make themselves. They visit bars to drink and socialize with people they don’t necessarily want to invite to their homes.
Until restaurants cease serving better meals than most people can cook, and bars become barren, smokers and nonsmokers alike will continue to frequent their favorite establishments.
What’s the alternative, stay at home smoking, eating and drinking alone?
This law was a long time coming and a victory for nonsmokers everywhere. Even if you disagree with the law, at least it’s one less decision to make before ordering.
Marie Frasier for the Editorial Board.