San Francisco, CA- Six months into the statewide ban on smoking began, and restaurants in Northwest Indiana have mixed feelings about the effects on business.
The smoking ban prohibits smoking in many public areas, and requires that those who choose to smoke stand at a minimum of eight feet from entrances before lighting up. Exceptions to the ban include gambling houses, cigar and hookah bars, tobacco stores, and fraternal clubs. Of course, private residences are exempt from smoking bans as well.
Restaurants that have bars have an option when it comes to smoking customers. They can choose to allow smoking only to customers who are older than 21 years of age to avoid the ban. The bar must not allow smoking if their business is within proximity to a company that can be affected by the smoke, such as bars within hotels. The other options is to be smoke-free.
For co-owner of the Sheffield’s Restaurant and Sports Bar, Phil Holub, the decision was to allow smoking in Merrillville. He did decide to go smoke-free in their location in Dyer.
Even with the options, Holumb feels that businesses are being given the short end of the stick.
“I think it’s unfair to the businesses,” he said. “It’s the business’ responsibility to accommodate all customers, but now we have to choose.”
He noted that in Dyer, he loses out on younger customers and that he pays for loss in heating and cooling as more traffic must use the door to step outside for a smoke.
Jason Evans, who operates Catch-22 in Merrillville does not see the issue as a big one. He stated that customers have adjusted fine to the change, and there is not a large negative affect on his bottom line.
“We get a lot of customers who are pleased that it’s not-smoking in the bar,” Evans said. “Even some of the smokers, they seem to be smoking a little less. It might be doing what it’s supposed to do, curtail people from smoking.”
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Abriel Liam Gordon
Official Wire Newsdesk