Local businesses and Penn students have mixed reactions to the smoking ban Mayor John Street has vowed to work on in the coming year -- a ban similar to others in cities and states nationwide.
Such anti-smoking regulation is designed to address the long-term health dangers smoking poses to the employees of bars and restaurants.
However, some establishments are concerned that a smoking ban would harm business by driving away customers who smoke.
"A lot of my business is from people who smoke," said Brian Pawliczek, manager of Cavanaugh's Restaurant on 39th Street. "I am against it."
Pawliczek also mentioned the problems such a ban would create if people were coming in and out of the bar to smoke. Bar managers would have to set up an entirely new system to monitor who had paid a cover fee.
Paul Ryan, who owns Smokey Joe's on 40th Street does not think that a ban would affect his business, though he believes that the ban in New York City has hurt a lot of small taverns. He has his own idea for a plan the city could implement.
He believes the city should phase in the law over three years, and allow establishments to decide if they will ban smoking in the meantime, Ryan said.
Interestingly, many Penn students --even those who are smokers themselves -- seem to support the ban.
"From a public health standpoint, I think it's a really good idea, especially for the people who work there every day," College senior Angela Desmond said.
College freshman Seth Shapiro, who lives near New York City, also supports such a ban. He feels that the policy implemented in New York City "seemed to work well and hasn't caused a great deal of havoc, so I don't see why you couldn't implement it in another big city."
Some smokers reported little aversion to spending a few minutes outside to satisfy their cravings. Faculty member Nicola Gentili recognizes that "as smokers, we bother the environment."
Other students are strongly opposed to the ban.
"When I drink, I want to smoke. The two just go hand in hand," College sophomore Stilianos Plakas said.
One of Smoke's frequent customers, Michael McFadden, has written a book opposing the movement for smoking bans. He is working hard to rally bar owners to support his cause.
"The only reason the ban will work is if the bar owners cooperate. If they fight it, together, as a union, the ban has no hopes of succeeding," McFadden said.Comments powered by Disqus
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