Smoking in Bars Within the last several years, health issues toward smoking have become a very popular issue. All over the nation, college students are having to deal with secondhand smoke any time they want to go out and socialize with their friends in a bar. Secondhand smoke can be very detrimental to anybody that it encounters. It is associated with an increased risk for lung cancer and coronary heart disease in nonsmoking adults (TIPS). For years communities have been working to get smoking out of their workplaces, restaurants, and now they are pushing to ban smoking from bars. If you are a non-smoker, this is a very positive movement.

It is never very much fun when you go into a bar to hang out with some friends and the whole place is covered with smoke. The whole next day, on top of maybe having a slight hangover, you will probably be coughing up a lung. Where is the fun in that? This law has already been passed in many places all over the United States. Only a select few are against what is trying to be done.

When these laws were being debated at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, some bar and restaurant owners showed up to voice their opinions. They called it extremist, draconian and overly broad, saying it would cause the loss of jobs and the loss of city liquor taxes. They also said the law would set an uneven playing field because it allows smoking at restaurants with outdoor patios (Cooper). Of course, you might upset a few customers, but are people going to quit coming? Troja, a manager at Johnny's Tavern in Lawrence, does not foresee the ordinance chasing customers away. "When it comes down to it," he said, "they " re not going to stop going to their favorite tavern just because they can't smoke there" (Cooper, par. 7).

An estimated 1, 700 cities across the country restrict smoking, but only 74 have smoking bans that, like in Lawrence, include the workplace as well as restaurants and bars. (Cooper) This is great. Why can't more people follow suit? An estimated 3, 000 lung cancer deaths and 35, 000 heart disease deaths occur annually among adult nonsmokers in the United States as a result of exposure to secondhand smoke (TIPS). College students do not realize that they are putting themselves at risk every time they step foot into these bars. What kind of numbers is it going to take for students to understand that these smokers are not just killing them self, but they are also killing the people that they are surrounded by? After New York passed laws that banned smoking in bars they had one bar owner that would not comply with these new laws. Patty Glanville claims that, "She should have the choice since she is the sole proprietor in this matter" (Stith B 1).

What is she doing wrong? She is the owner and the only worker in this bar. In the writing of the law this lady is right. In this case the law was designed to protect employees, but the intent is also to minimize the effects of secondhand smoke on the public in public places. At what point do you draw a line between the laws and the owners' choice. You would think if these laws are being designed to benefit the welfare of their employees, than more bar owners would be more accepting to these laws. One thing you could prove wrong with these laws is that, if you pursue this type of ban, it could hurt some restaurants' and bars' revenues.

If this law was that detrimental to their revenues, nobody would have ever tried to pass these laws in the first place. The only people that are going to hate these laws are the chronic smokers. Why would they not hate a law that compels them from enjoying their addictive habits? If you are a smoker then you have great reasoning to be upset about these laws that hopefully will sweep the nation. Many people believe that they should have the choice of whether their bar is going to be a non-smoking bar or not. How many bar owners want to upset their customers, especially since a pretty good percentage of their customers do smoke? Almost any college kid that has gone out to the bars on a Friday or Saturday night can agree with how disgusting you feel the next day.

Your clothes smell horrible. You probably haven't brushed your teeth so they are all s limed over in gunk, and you are coughing up some of that nice second hand smoke. If The University of Kansas was able to get rid of smoking in their bars, than why can't every college town across the nation? There are issues to both sides. How do you go about coming to a compromise? There really is not a place where you can meet in the middle. You either have smoking in bars or you do not.

The biggest problem you face along the way is with owners like Patty. The best option is to get rid of it so the number of deaths per year relating to secondhand smoke will hopefully decrease. This is something that should be taken seriously so we can slowly get rid of secondhand smoking altogether. Works Cited Cooper, Brad.

"As smoke-free movement grows, area weighs options." The Kansas City Star 5 May 2004: C 8." Secondhand Smoke" Fact Sheet. Tobacco Information and Prevention Source (TIPS) Feb. 2004. web Stith, John.

"Bar Owner Bucks Law, Allows Smoking." The Post-Standard 7 Dec. 2003: B 1.