I've been following all the letters here about the smoking ban and thought I'd add a little to them.
I am a bartender here in western New York, and we've had a smoking ban here since last July. I can say from personal experience that it will affect business, and not for the good.
Our business is down between 20 and 25 percent. We were also told all about the nonsmokers that would flock to our new smoke-free environment. Well, after seven months I'm still waiting for all these new patrons to start flocking in.
The fact is, people who come to our places of business want to socialize. If there is no one there to socialize with, they don't stay.
Our country was founded on freedom, and our economy is based on free market ideas. If this was such a good idea, businesses would have already filled this niche. They didn't, so that should tell you something.
One more thing that I want to let you all in on. The majority leader of our state Senate said after passing this law that sometimes we have to pass laws even if the people don't want them. Well I don't know when this started to be how our country is run, but the last time I looked our representatives were supposed to do the people's will. I know I can no longer support these people and will not vote for them when their terms are up. Just remember you need to fight for your rights, so let your politicians know strongly how you feel, or they will pass this and then you will see the true facts of this bogus law.