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Ban Smoking in Clubs and Taverns

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Ireland has done it. So have New Zealand and Italy. And half a dozen states in this country have too. No smoking in bars, taverns and restaurants! So should it be in Utah.

It’s why KSL supports Senate Bill 77, a measure that would amend Utah’s Clean Air Act to remove an existing exemption statewide for private clubs and taverns. A similar measure has been introduced in the House.

In our view, though, the House version lacks teeth. It would leave it up to local political subdivisions to decide where smoking would be banned. Wouldn’t tobacco industry lobbyists love that! We could see them devising all kinds of cunning plans in an attempt to influence local decision making.

No, it’s important to have a level playing field among all private clubs and taverns statewide. And that’s what Senate Bill 77 accomplishes.

Clearly, smoking is a pressing public health issue. Non- smoking patrons and employees of clubs and taverns need protection from the proven dangers of second-hand smoke. Besides, a ban would surely lead to a reduction in tobacco use – even cessation – by smokers who frequent such establishments. When it comes to the issue of curtailing smoking, KSL believes Utah should be a leader, not a follower. Let’s not be the last state to enact broad smoking bans.

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