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Smoking ban hurts small businesses
Letter to the Editor
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Published: 12/6/2008 12:08 AM

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When you think of the smoking ban in Illinois you think of all the people being saved due to the loss of second-hand smoke. Have you ever thought of the hundreds of businesses that are losing countless revenue, because smokers aren't eating at bars and restaurants?

The first point that I would like to make is that when smokers get forced to go outside to smoke they are contributing to the disturbance of near by residents and to a loitering problem that Chicago has yet to solve. The security of residents is being harmed by the security that is hard to come by.

Another point is that Illinois is the 22nd state to undergo the statewide ban of smoking. They should have learned that in both New York and L.A. lost up to 30 percent of revenue to the smoker business it was a bad idea. Many restaurants and bars have already lost 25 percent of their revenue to the ban. This has caused many "mom and pop" bars that have been around for generations and mean a lot to this city have had to file for bankruptcy. Over 1,000 bars closed in Los Angeles and cost over 475 jobs in Boston.

With second-hand smoke on the rise there is an easy solution. Hundreds of businesses would prefer investing in high-tech ventilation systems to reduce second-hand smoke.

The consumer can just decide on which bar lets smokers in or not. When you think about the falling economy today, it may be time to think that the millions of dollars in revenue and jobs lost to the smoking ban in Illinois may have played a factor in this recession that we find ourselves in today.

Jeff Marta