Vice Squad
Sunday, January 02, 2005
Smoking Ban Geographical Slippery Slope

In November, voters in Columbus, Ohio, upheld a public smoking ban that their City Council earlier had enacted. The ban will now go into effect at the end of the month. In the meantime, what has happened to those bar and restaurant owners who opposed the ban? Replicating a scenario that has played out in many communities, these owners now have switched sides: they are lobbying to extend the public smoking ban to all of Ohio. Their (stated) motive is not their newfound concern with the health of employees or customers, of course. Rather, they want to make sure that potential customers do not search out smoking-legal establishments located beyond the reach of the Columbus health department, the enforcer of the new ban.


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