Letter: Consider what a smoking ban will do to business

June 14, 2013

In regards to whether or not Sedalia should put in a smoking ban through-out the city, I’d simply say: Look at Columbia. In 1995 and 1996, Columbia voted on and implemented a smoking ban citywide that affected many bars, lounges and restaurants. The decision was such a debacle that many business shut down for lack of patronage. Now Sedalia isn’t as big nor as thriving as Columbia and we’ve lost a lot of businesses in recent years for just economic reasons. Just because there’s a CVS Pharmacy coming to town, we shouldn’t begin to act like Sedalia can afford to lose the business from the smokers. After all, if nonsmokers want to go where there’s a known history of cigarette smoke, that’s their own dumb fault, isn’t it? When 33.7 percent of the polled respondents don’t want the ban, then we should think that they represent 33.7 percent of this city’s economy, and what business wants to loose $34 cents from every dollar they earn? Can we say “Out of business?”

And what about the fair? When tens of thousands of out-of-towners come here to find that they can’t smoke for 10 days straight, do you think the fairgrounds won’t be moved elsewhere, too? According to the Supreme Court, “public” is any location that doesn’t have a reasonable right of privacy, and that includes stepping outside your own front door. So, how public is public with this proposal? You’d better know the difference now, not later.

Scott Shipley

Law Student