Let's look at the numbers and see if they support that fear. There are more than 11 million people in the state of Ohio. Approximately 20 percent, or 2.2 million, of them smoke. That leaves 8.8 million who do not smoke.
Scioto County has about 80,000 people or about 16,000 smokers and 64,000 non-smokers. Wouldn't you rather draw from the non-smoking customer base?
The percentage of smokers has been falling and 70 percent of all smokers say they would like to quit. The American Cancer society is hoping for a drop to 12 percent.
The average smoker spends $715 per year on tobacco products. That's expendable income that could be used for dining and drinking. There were smoking sections in restaurants but to a non-smoker that is like having a peeing section in a pool.
Will there be a drop in business? That remains to be seen. I think many smokers will stay home at first out of protest but will eventually return.
I also think that non-smokers will come back to businesses they have avoided. I, for one, plan on taking my kids bowling, going out with my wife for a drink and even playing bingo.
I encourage all non-smokers to get out and support businesses you avoided because of the smoke. Most people who drink in bars also smoke. Not because there is any relationship between people who drink alcohol having a significantly higher rate of tobacco use.
The minority smoking group has simply run off the majority non-smoking group. People who smoke tell me even they can not handle some places. Your clothes, coat, shoes and underwear will reek of smoke.
How can one make the argument that their constitutional rights are being infringed. This is not prohibition.
You are still free to smoke in your home, your car or in the open air. The voters of Ohio have simply stated that we would like our rights to breathe smoke free air while patronizing public places. We have voted in overwhelming numbers to make it so.
Now if we can only get people to stop burning their leaves!