Smoking, non-smoking night life can co-exist

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, February 12, 2004

Much of the discussion about whether or not Juneau bars should be smoke-free has hinged on the words "freedom" and "choice." The truth is that Juneau night life usually doesn't leave much choice for the non-smoker - either cope with the smoke or skip out entirely. For the bars this is a matter of economics. The majority of their customers want a place where they can smoke, drink, socialize and be entertained, so this is what is provided.

While some are pressing for legislation to take away people's right to smoke in our local bars, there is a more productive solution: creating a demand for smoke-free night life. Morally Improv-erished recently performed a smoke-free show in front of a standing room only crowd at the Hangar Ballroom. Likewise, the JUMP Festival at the Silverbow's Back Room Cinema produced a series of overflowing crowds in a non-smoking environment. With support of these shows and others like them, non-smokers can help create an environment that allows for more quality, smoke-free performances. And you don't need to take away the rights of smokers to make it happen.

Eric Caldwell


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