Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Smoke Circles

Economic damage from any Clayton smoking ban predicted in Central West End Word:

One owner with reservations is Larry Lampert, owner of Plush Pig Barbeque. “We have been no-smoking since day one, and that wouldn’t change, so I have nothing to gain from this, but I can tell you it would hurt business in Clayton,” he said. “I am opposed to a total ban, unless it is just that, a total ban statewide or even nationwide. To do it piece by piece in each municipality is absolute insanity.”

Lampert argued that a ban would worsen what he sees as an already poor business environment in the city. In the almost four years that his restaurant has been open, a number of other restaurants have come and gone, with the smoking regulations as they are, he said.

People who support of a total smoking ban “need to get off their high horses,” he said. “This would be a radical and unrealistic move.” Some people have the mistaken belief that “in Clayton that the streets are made of gold, but they are not.” Venues that are struggling to survive now would be forced to close as patrons who smoke would find new haunts outside the city limits, he said. “If Clayton had something like a bowling alley or a place where people could go shoot pool, forget it, this would destroy them.”