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HAVEN: Ban on restaurant smoking is ill-conceived, unnecessary 

Jump to full article: Corpus Christi (TX) Caller-Times, 2005-09-08
Author: Dee Haven is president of the Coastal Bend Restaurant Association.


Was your health really endangered in the 45 minutes to an hour you spent in the non-smoking section of a Corpus Christi restaurant that was fully compliant with the smoking ordinance as it existed before the passage of the ban last January? Let's be realistic; how many of those 3,000 deaths attributed to cancer caused by secondhand smoke were people exposed to quantities that low? Even if you ate out several times a week, was there sufficient concentration to have any effect whatsoever on your lungs? The truth is, we don't know; Smoke Free Now does not know, and the EPA doesn't know. Extremist proponents of the ban have misquoted EPA . . . .

The position of the Coastal Bend Restaurant Association opposing the ban is based upon our sincere belief that there is not a significant danger, especially during the short time people may spend in a restaurant. We doubt that even a measurable amount of carcinogens may be found in such a non-smoking section. Make no mistake about it, there is no scientific study proving otherwise.

Smoking ban proponents have expressed a concern for our employees, for children who might sit in smoking sections, and for people seated immediately adjacent to smoking sections. In the spring of 2003, CBRA offered to support changes in the ordinance to require that restaurant managers offer servers the choice as to whether to work in smoking sections, and to allow minors in the smoking sections only with parents or guardians.

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