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Smoking or non-smoking?


I recently moved and it's been an adjustment, I have to say. One of the things I'm having to get use to now is answering the question: Smoking or non-smoking? I'll admit that the first time I was asked that at a restaurant here, I was taken aback. I use to live in an area where all the surrounding cities had a public smoking ban. I had gotten use to dining without cigarette smoke. But here, I'm having to choose my dining choices a little more carefully. Last week, my husband's gastronomical desires won out, though. We went to a nice restaurant and do you know where the non-smoking section was? In the back of the restaurant. We still had to walk through a cloud of smoke to get to our table or to the bathroom. So, when I heard that a nearby town was voting on a smoking ban of its own, I couldn't contain my excitement. I immediately emailed my mayor asking if there were plans for Southaven to adopt a smoking ban. To his credit, he responded immediately, but the short answer was: business over health (unless there is a statewide smoking ban). A business can choose to prohibit smoking at that establishment, and I can choose to eat at that establishment over another. Apparently it will take a state law before I'm able to choose a restaurant based only on service and food quality. And it doesn't appear that's going to happen any time soon. If you've read our latest Legislative Watch: "Jumping on the Ban Wagon" you'll remember that Kentucky, Indiana and Mississippi had proposed legislation for statewide smoking bans. All three failed to pass into law.I grew up with parents who smoked; I've had my share of second-hand smoke. I'm sure a lot of us grew up riding around in cars with the windows rolled up while someone smoked. Fortunately both of my parents kicked the habit years ago, and we've all tried to live healthier lifestyles. Unfortunately, for the time being, other people's health will now be affecting me again.

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