MY PAYING ADS

Monday, February 23, 2009

"I can't stop em" (article)

ARTICLE LINK


PEKIN — “I can’t stop ’em.”

That was the response of a bartender at one Pekin tavern when asked why people were smoking in the bar Saturday night.

“People have been smoking in this bar since it opened,” said the bartender, as she puffed on a cigarette behind the bar. She declined to give her name. “What does it hurt?"

“They’re not hurting anybody."

I love this bartender's attitude. A lot similar to my own attitude. It's also neat reading a rare article where the ban opposers are quoted first before you read quotes from those who love a smoke-free bar or restaurant.

She's right. You can't stop people from smoking in a tavern. Just like nobody can stop people from selling drugs AND cigs in the streets with a magic wand. But unlike dealers, people smoking in a tavern pose no serious threats to anyone inside unless someone has a gun or knife hidden. I seriously doubt anyone walks into a tavern with one of those anyway.

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PEKIN — “I can’t stop ’em.”

That was the response of a bartender at one Pekin tavern when asked why people were smoking in the bar Saturday night.

“People have been smoking in this bar since it opened,” said the bartender, as she puffed on a cigarette behind the bar. She declined to give her name. “What does it hurt?

“They’re not hurting anybody.”

It has been a little more than a year since the state of Illinois barred smoking in public buildings — including bars, where some people enjoy having a cigarette with their favorite alcoholic beverage.



Pekin Police Deputy Chief Greg Nelson said the department has not had many complaints from customers who are upset that the smoking ban is being disregarded in a number of bars.

“It may be a little bit surprising, but we have had very few complaints,” said Nelson. “We have had a few issues, but those have been resolved by talking to the bar owners.

“We did cite the Eagles Club a while back, but that is the only one so far. We don’t like to have to do that. A lot of times we can resolve issues by talking.”



In addition to the establishment where the bartender was smoking, the Times visited three other bars Saturday to see if the ban was being enforced.

Customers at a second establishment were smoking at the bar right in front of the bartender. But the smoking ban was diligently enforced at Goodfellas’ and Yesterday’s, where patrons stood outside and smoked.

“Everybody here seems to agree with the law,” said Charles Schramm, bartender at Yesterday’s. “I love being able to breathe in the air and not have all that smoke.



“Some people just don’t realize how smoking inside affects everything. Some of the bar owners just disregard the law.”

Customers at Yesterday’s expressed gratitude that the bar owner enforces the smoking ban.

“It’s nice not having the smoke,” said a man in Yesterday’s who did not want to be identified. “Especially in a place that serves food.



“I know people like to smoke while they drink and drink while they smoke, but this is much nicer.”

Kelly Wood, a customer at Yesterday’s, said she appreciates the ban and the fact that the bar enforces it.

“I don’t smoke and I haven’t seen anyone smoke in the bar since the ban started,” said Wood. “I agree with it.



“I don’t like to smell like smoke the rest of the night after I leave.”

One patron at the first bar mentioned, who is a nonsmoker, said smoking is to be expected in a tavern.

“It’s like this,” the man said. “If you’re that offended by it, you shouldn’t leave your house. If you want to gripe about something, gripe about taxes.”

1 comment:

Jay said...

The comment I left for this article:

If you always wanted to go to a smoke-free bar, how come you never looked into starting your OWN smoke-free restaurant or bar instead of waiting for the state govt to step in and force ALL businesses to go smoke-free?

I wasn't aware smoking in a bar is just about as violent as someone robbing a 7-11. Should a smoker suffer the same consequences as a literal law-breaker who's caught by cops?

I hope the nonsmokers in Pekin are visiting their favorite smoke-free places EVERY day so those owners can STAY in business.