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Smoking ban will not be bad for restaurants

| April 22, 2005 12:00 AM

To the Editor:

I read with interest the recent article on the upcoming smoking ban in public places and would like to comment with regard to restaurants.

That local restaurant owners are worried about losing patrons is completely understandable. They are in business and need their customer base to survive. With the upcoming ban they are understandably worried they will have fewer customers. I wish to point out that the ban on smoking will also bring people in.

I eat out, on average, seven times per week. Sometimes lunch, sometimes dinner. Off the top of my head I can think of at least three area restaurants I have not patronized in at least 10 years because of the smoke inside. After the ban is in force I will again patronize them. I am not alone in this. There are plenty more people like me and that will represent an increase, rather than a decrease, in business for some restaurants.

Also after the ban is in force I doubt those who smoke will just stop going out to eat. I'm sure we will all continue to eat pretty much as before. Libby's residents are all normal intelligent people and I doubt anybody will give up the pleasure of dining out.

In writing this letter I am not advocating or denouncing the upcoming smoking ban. Rather I am just trying to put forward my belief that it will not have any dire consequences for our local restaurants which now allow smoking. Bars - maybe so. Restaurants - I doubt it.

Bruce Chadwick