In Boise there is a public smoking ban, one that affects even bars. This has been extremely frustrating for long time customers and business owners are feeling the burn of the ban. One bar owner went on to comment that his bar had lost at least twenty percent of its business. Suddenly the place where people could go to unwind after work had turned into a place where they could still, sort of, unwind.
It’s a story that is familiar to most places that have indoor smoking bans. Indoor smoking bans, particularly in bars, have been massively controversial. Bar owners have stated that it should be their right as private business owners to decide whether or not they allow smoking, not the local lawmakers. The idea is that as long as it is known to potential customers that smoking is allowed, there should be no problems with allowing it. However local lawmakers are still banging the drum that it’s the responsibility of the business owners to ban indoor smoking, whether their customers know the risks or not.
It’s a slippy and controversial slope, but the fact that businesses are hurting should concern lawmakers to an extent, shouldn’t it? It seems that this time it’s not just smokers who are getting the cold shoulder, but business owners as well.