Gary Pesh, the incoming president of the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association, recently made some comments defending the right of bar and restaurant to be smoke-friendly establishments in the state of Virginia (living in Southern California, I’m kind of surprised that there are any such places left in the “Free World”). Here are some of his comments:
“No less an independent economic authority than the Federal Reserve Bank has concluded that smoking bans, wherever they occur, hurt businesses, especially bars and restaurants. Their findings include studies based on data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics regarding areas impacted by legislated smoking bans that found ‘statistically significant employment declines at bars, with loss estimates in employment ranging from four percent to 16 percent’.”
And here’s some comments from Chris McCalla, the IPCPR legislative director:
“The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is charged with protecting the well-being of employees in the workplace, has established secondhand smoke standards well above the range which might be found in any bar or restaurant,” McCalla said.
“In fact, secondhand smoke air quality testing in such workplaces conducted by the American Cancer Society shows typical secondhand smoke concentrations up to 25,000 times safer even than those already-liberal OSHA standards. And testing by the prestigious Oak Ridge National Laboratory confirms that results of air quality testing of secondhand smoke in bars and restaurants was ‘considerably below limits established by OSHA’,” he said.
My God. Even in Virginia we are fighting a losing battle. Wherever we turn we are hounded like some kind of monster. The only thing that separates us from Frankenstein is that instead of pitch forks the villagers are threatening us with taxes, regulations, and eventual prohibition. Ain’t it great living in the last beacon of freedom on this planet?