A third perspective on smoking...
"This is a debate over "Nannyism" rather than smoking in private businesses...yes, private business. Why can't the market set the tone for which establishments are smoker friendly? That means business owners could definitively and forcefully make their establishments "smoke free" -smokers should not be given special rights to smoke. "No Smoking" should mean "No Smoking."
"Businesses should also have the right to allow smoking if the entrepreneur is willing to lose the non-smokers' buying power without non-smokers being able to exert a "we know better than you do" sense of entitlement. Publicly-owned facilities could set smoking policies per the leadership of their elected political bodies. The voters can "fire" these politicians if the smoking issue is such a large issue."
"The issue of smoking rights has nothing to do with smoking. It has everything to do with allowing Nannies to use political weapons to forward their agenda. Strip away the rhetoric, view the political maneuvering, and it's obvious."
"Next, someone will try to ban fried foods (because they know better) or demand that all light bulbs be replaced with compact fluorescents (we know the environment better than you do). See where this heads once you allow the noble attempt at a government enforced smoking ban in places where natural market forces suggest that allowing smoking, or partial smoking, is profitable and desirable to a certain base of customers?"
"Personally, I don't smoke and won't spend money if I'm not feeling comfortable due to smoke levels. That's the market in action. If you want to do something legitimate, quit calling on politicians and organize boycotts. If you can't get "THAT MUCH" support to restrict smoking, then pulling political strings is an end-around method of subverting majority opinion."
That makes you "Holier-than-thou."
I will agree that calling local politicians is a waste of time, particularly since the recent election reinstated the "old guard" for yet another term.
As for boycotts, they are essentially in place now. Most non-smokers who are serious about avoiding the lethal fumes of tobacco have long since abandoned the "entertainment district".
I tend to agree with the previous writer who claimed that 80% of the "night-life people" smoke. They smoke in these establishments because it is allowed... and where it is not allowed, this same 80% abstain. (It is possible to drink, gamble and be social without smoking).
As I stated before, this is a war in which everyone loses! Until Greenville's population swells to 500,000 with enough restaurants and clubs to fit everyone's lifestyle and preferences, the smokers shall continue to inhabit the "social scene" of Greenville.
As for the 20% of "non-smoking night-life people", they will simply have to "suck it up" or shut up!