While home for Christmas, I have been reading letters to the Empire concerning making all bars and restaurants smoke-free. Some owners and employees of bars have been opposing this proposal.
I am currently working as a dancer in New York. As a necessary supplement to my income, I work in New York City bars and restaurants which are now smoke-free. I and the majority of other workers very much support having a smoke-free workplace for reasons of both comfort and life-saving health.
Concerns about economic damage to businesses from going smoke-free have proven to be completely unfounded. Was not too long ago we had to sit on airplanes, or go to the mall and be forced to breath secondhand smoke. Smoke-free laws have not stopped people from flying or any other destination that doesn't allow smoking.
It is difficult for bar and restaurant employees to openly support smoke-free workplaces when their bosses strongly oppose change out of economic fear. My experience tells me that smoke-free bars and restaurants will be a great health benefit to employees (and also patrons) and will not harm the businesses they work for. I have not met one person who isn't grateful, especially the next morning, to not have been forced to sit in cigarette smoke all night. As an employee and a patron at bars, both situations are much more enjoyable with the smoke-free laws. From personal experience I know that smokers still come.