Restaurant Smoking Ban

By: Ryan Dearbone Email
By: Ryan Dearbone Email

The City Commission recently held its yearly retreat to discuss topics of major importance to the city this year.

One item left off that list was an across-the-board restaurant smoking ban.

"At no point during that retreat did any of the Commission or the mayor even bring up the concept or idea of initializing a smoking ban for the upcoming year," says Commissioner Brian Strow.

Commissioner Strow says the reason the issue isn't being discussed now is because it was talked about so much during last November's election.

"It was one of the major campaign issues but there was not a consensus of commissioners at the time, of those who got elected, that moving forward with the smoking ban was the way they wanted to go," he notes.

Strow says he's personally against putting a smoking ban on all restaurants because he says it violates private property rights when the government tells a business what to do.

He also believes that the battle over whether to allow restaurant patrons to smoke has more to do with leveling the competition's playing field.

"They might like it for their own personal benefit of not breathing as much smoke but they're scared from a business perspective that if they do it on their own, they will lose business," he says.

Strow says while some citizens have come to him with differing opinions on the smoking ban, he has yet to see anyone approach the Commission formally.

"I think if community members or restaurant owners came to the city and said this is something we all are behind, then I think someone at the Commission would surely put it on the agenda to at least look at," Strow says.

WBKO talked to several Bowling Green restaurants to see what they had to say.

Several of the restaurants said they were definitely in favor of creating a smoking ban for all restaurants in town.

However, they declined to have their names mentioned in this story.

Others we talked to said they don't think a ban is actually necessary.


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