Staff Editorial: Smoke-free Williamsburg

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December 3, 2007

1:02 AM

The city council of Williamsburg will soon vote on a smoking ban in restaurants. The smoking restriction is a law that the city should enact for the benefit of all its residents.

p. While larger cities and states nationwide have introduced such a ban, Williamsburg has lagged behind. Particularly at the Delis, where students and local residents frequently congregate, there are minimal restrictions on smoking during nighttime hours. A ban on indoor smoking would merely require customers to walk a few extra feet to smoke, something that many residents in other areas of the country have grown accustomed to over the past decade.

p. A smoking ban in Williamsburg restaurants would provide a healthier, more enjoyable environment for both employees and patrons. While some might argue that large curbside crowds of smokers could cause congestion and could be dangerous, all of the Delis have access to alternative outside areas where people can smoke without blocking the main entrances.

p. Deli and restaurant owners who are worried about the prospect of losing business should not fear, as businesses in other towns that banned smoking do not appear to have suffered financially.

p. The time has come for Williamsburg to catch up. This is not an attack on smokers. Rather, it is a possibility for healthier and more comfortable eating and drinking atmospheres and cleaner places to work. The smoking ban is a logical maneuver for Williamsburg’s reputation as a pleasant community in which to live.

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