Monday, January 24, 2011

Letter to County Executive Dooley

Dear County Executive Dooley,

The County smoking ban has been in place for less than a month. Hot Shots, along with many of the other currently exempted establishments, might not keep its exemption for long as the Health Department and Department of Revenue sort things out over the next few weeks. Back when she proposed this law, Barbara Fraser stated her ban would probably exempt 60 or so drinking establishments and the final number exempted may well be close to that. But why go after locally owned Hot Shots at this point when Harrah's Voodoo Lounge just got voted an exemption by the Council? Please be patient with this law as the people voted it in, unless you want to make it truly rational and fair by exempting all "over 18" establishments. That would simplify everything, be in accord with the will of County voters, and would indeed tighten the current smoking ban which now allows smoking in establishments those under 18 can still enter. An "over 18" exemption would treat all County businesses equally since any business could allow smoking by simply keeping kids out. The Tennessee smoking ban exempts "over 21" workplaces and so keeps kids away from smoke without unduly limiting personal freedom or hurting the bar business. Please find the Tennessee smoking ban attached.


Bill Hannegan