After four months, students react to ban

“There was a time not too long ago when a bar was a bar. People acknowledged that it was a place of genuine, good-hearted decadence. However, for some reason, people want to turn them into havens of health. In November, voters passed a ban restricting smoking from both restaurants and bars and it went into effect in December.”

There was a time not too long ago when a bar was a bar. People acknowledged that it was a place of genuine, good-hearted decadence. However, for some reason, people want to turn them into havens of health.

In November, voters passed a ban restricting smoking from both restaurants and bars and it went into effect in December. This action directly took away the liberty a bar owner had to decide if smoking would be allowed in his or her establishments.

I think it should be up to the individual establishment to decide whether or not to allow smoking, unless it is a taxpayer funded venue, University of Akron student Andrew Miller said. However, the law is in place and should be followed unless it can be shown to be unfair or wrong.

A problem people see with the new ban is that there is still not a set penalty for violation of said ban, since bars only have no-smoking signs with a telephone number on it to report violations.

Fellow UA student Ashley Hendrix is for the smoking ban so long as it can be enforced.

It’s really hard to be for or against the smoking ban when no one really enforces it, she said. It’s nice to be able to come home from a bar and not smell like an ashtray.

A few area bars still allow smoking indoors, but they did not want to be named for this story.

Most area bars still abide by the new ban, but at what price?

Nearly every bar owner or manager the Buchtelite contacted reported that business has not changed too drastically. They do admit, however, that a few regular patrons decided to switch bars, but there is no migration of drinkers from bar to bar.

Alcohol is near and dear to people’s hearts; it is many college students’ drug of choice. For many, the combination of alcohol and cigarettes is like spaghetti and meatballs; often it is just a natural tendency to light up while drinking a beer.

Nobody expects a small-time bar to be a glitzy and shining example of exceeding health code standards. Obviously, it’s not good for the body to ingest a mountain of shots and rivers of beer, but it’s done anyway because sometimes it’s nice to escape from test stress and the murk of work.

Even some non-smokers, like student Ben Austin, seem to have a problem with the smoking ban.

Even though I don’t smoke, he said, I have to say I’m against the ban because it should be up to the owner of each bar to say whether smoking is allowed or not on their property.