My Thoughts on the Proposed Smoking Ordinance

 

I will first state that, at the time, I agreed with the 2003 ordinance limiting smoking in Springfield. It was nice to go to some of the busier restaurants in Springfield and not have to sit close to a smoking section. Some restaurants even went completely smoke-free because of the limitations.

The 2003 ordinance cost small business owners a pretty penny if they wanted to keep their smoking customers happy. Places like Ziggie's Cafe on North Glenstone installed ventilated smoking rooms to meet ordinance requirements.

The ordinance did exempt small restaurants such as Waffle House. In 2008, my daughter and I ate at the Waffle House on South National. It was strange to see someone smoking at a restaurant that did not serve alcohol in the Springfield city limits.

The 2003 ordinance has had its pros and cons, but the ordinance was an example of compromise between a council wanting to raise air quality in local restaurants, and the needs of the business community that serves smokers.

This new proposed ordinance would eliminate smoking in all indoor public places, including the restaurants and bars that provide smokers a comfortable and fun place to both drink and smoke. The restaurants and bars who chose to spend the money on smoking room infrastructure to cater to both non-smokers and smokers will be hurt the most by this ordinance.

I want our City Council to leave the current ordinance in place. I am afraid if this ordinance is passed, and the Council stays with its same member configuration, future outdoor limits on where smokers can smoke may become city ordinance.