Walking down Boston’s Boylston Street at the late hours of the evening, the sidewalks are crowded with smokers taking their last hauls before entering the bars for a night of drinking.
Due to the smoking ban in all public work areas that has been in effect since May of 2003, restaurant and bar patrons of Boston bear the cold winter season approaching, and reminisce about the old days where it was legal to enjoy a smoke with a cocktail at a bar.
In May of 2003, Boston joined 90 other communities that banned smoking in Massachusetts, prohibiting smoking in all public establishments. There are certain exceptions to the smoking ban such as lodge halls, nursing homes, and businesses that obtain most of their revenue in the sales of cigars and cigarettes.
The ban has benefited the non-smoking customers of the Boston area, but many heated debates have ensued over the rights of smokers and of the bar owners of the city.
With the looming statewide ban, many smokers feel that they have had their rights taken away, and are left with very little options.
With the coming winter months ahead, smoking clientele feel it’s unfair that they should be forced to leave establishments in order to enjoy a basic freedom that slowly is being taken away from them.
“If it were a gym, I could understand,” said Ryan Lowell, a Northeastern student. “It’s not exactly like you are going to a bar to be healthy.”
Lowell added that smokers should be allowed to enjoy a cigarette and a cocktail because they go hand in hand. Rather then forcing establishments to ban smoking, he feels it should be decided by the private businesses themselves.
“There are already many establishments that don’t allow smoking as it is,” said...
... middle of paper ...
...oming to my bar for so many years that they have to go out in thirty degree weather to smoke,” said O’ Shay. “I probably would stay at home too, where I can drink at a cheaper rate and enjoy my cigarettes without having to endure the cold.”
It is yet to be seen whether the statewide ban will bring customers back to the bars, but there is always the question of other states affecting businesses as well. The MCF fears that if bans occur in towns near the border of New Hampshire such as New Bedford, clientele will travel the extra minutes to enjoy their cigarettes and cocktails, leaving the establishments in Massachusetts suffering from the lack of customers.
Whether the statewide ban occurs or not, a concerted effort from the community has been made to bring clientele back to the bars, through events and parties, in the hopes that the revenue in bars increases.
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