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Banning us from ourselves

Don RogersDaily Managing Editor

A sure sign that local government has run out of things to do is when the politicians start talking about imposing bans on smoking in bars and restaurants. Isn’t a town’s services and operations difficult enough to manage as it is? But you really have to wonder what the Avon Town Council is smoking when they propose that the county do their dirty work for them. Whatever special fascination Avon has with joining Ireland, California, New York City and Summit County in imposing such smoking bans, the notion does not seem to be shared by Eagle County’s other municipalities. Or, thankfully, the county commissioners.Avon flirted with imposing a townwide bad a few years ago, until bar and restaurant owners – and customers – raised a fuss. Now they’d like the Eagle County commissioners to float a ballot measure on the notion. That’s not going to happen, nor should it. Besides, the market is already bringing the desired change without government interference where it is not necessary.We know smoking bears health hazards. So does drinking, driving and skiing, for that matter. Life, alas, is risky. Shall we ban it? Visiting a bar that allows smoking is a good deal healthier than breathing in, say, Los Angeles, that’s for sure. Outlawing LA for its particulate hazard makes as much sense as telling Bob of Bob’s Place who he can have for customers. Besides, who is going to write the citations? Is it worth the expense of adding cigarette police to keeps us safe from ourselves?No, the answer lies in the bars and restaurants adjusting to their customer base, which just happens to be turning away from smoke-filled halls all on its own. No need for government to meddle here. D.R


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