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Indiana Supreme Court in reversing the smoking ban

March 5, 2014

I would like to congratulate Indiana Supreme Court in reversing the smoking ban decision that was enacted in the City of Evansville. I knew we were missing a third award in our city, now we can add the most Smoked Cancerous place to live in next to Most Obese City and Most Miserable City.

While I’m against this habit of smoking, I do agree with the argument of the legality issue allowing exemption to one entity vs. another.

Yes we do live in free society and business owners can choose to allow smoking in their establishment or not just like public can chose to patronize that establishment. Some might argue what about the workers rights if they are not smokers and now they are exposed to it on daily basis.

I say the free market would resolve this fast. For example, insurance companies might start rising rates on establishments that allow smoking inside (think fire hazard and risk), health cost for individuals and/or owners of such establishments might rise (think smoking effect on body), maybe Workers’ Compensation Insurance would rise for such establishments. Would smoking places be able to afford that?

What I request from pro-smokers is — do not cry foul and ask to be treated the same as everyone else — by not paying higher insurance premiums.

We are living in a changing environment with health cost on rise and companies trying to cut cost by encouraging their employees to quit smoking and have healthier habit. Only 18% (43 million) of adults smoke with majority 89% (38 million) of those have high school diploma or less. I ask our city official to work on educating the public about smoking health issues as the less educated public seems to be more skeptical to having their minds altered by the “coolness” of smoking.

Another note to the City Council which fell prey to casino claims about banning smoking and job loss, I would say look to your east (Ohio), while casinos in general are losing revenue, Ohio casinos are hurting Indiana casinos that border them. Ohio banned smoking at their casinos vs. Indiana still allowing it. What does this tells us? Tropicana didn’t want to be the leader by going smoke-free but followed the herd and in return, Indiana casinos had 1.2 million less patrons in 2013.

Those 1.2 million went to Ohio. Translation: less revenue for our state.

I wanted to congratulate Lamasco Bar & Grill and Mojo’s BoneYard for their stand and forward thinking and let us not forget CVS that took the initiative in removing cigarettes from their stores — a small step toward a healthier society.

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