Point counterpoint: Win-win for bars because of smoking ban

Jake Tapley

There has been much debate  regarding the recent passing of a local smoking ban. This ban prohibits smoking in all private clubs and bars in Evansville, excluding Casino Aztar. Bar owners are becoming increasingly concerned (and consumed) with the idea that business will be negatively affected by this ban because they will lose many of their valuable customers.

Here is the thing, though. This ban does not only apply for a few bars. It applies for all of them. So this fear is essentially the fear that a considerable amount of people are going to opt out of going to local bars altogether.

But with the local bar scene being as big as it is, I do not think we will see a very dramatic decline in bar frequentation or sales. After all, they are the infrastructure to Evansville’s social scene. If someone really wants to smoke, they will just go outside. And the “inconvenience” this causes them will only pose as a minor setback to an otherwise enjoyable night on the town.

I really do not see the smoking ban as being detrimental to the local businesses in which it applies to. On the contrary, I can see the potential for growth.

There are plenty of people who would like to participate in the bar scene but cannot stand the second-hand smoke that has, in the past, occupied much of its facilities. These people will see this as an opportunity to get involved with their social community on a level in which they had not before. This would benefit bar owners by expanding their target audience and increasing their sales. It really is a win-win scenario here.

But the people who feel that the convenience of smoking inside of the facility is essential to its existence believe that, through all of this, they become victims. This is just not the case. The ban is simply a legal addition that is believed will be ultimately beneficial to Evansville. There is no true victimization being made on either side of the debate. People need to accept the fact that our societal laws and traditions change, and it is the natural way, as humans, for us to adapt to these changes. If they choose not to adapt, they will only be further depriving themselves of personal convenience.