News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Business owners and patrons should have choice, not regulation

To The Daily: As a former Decatur resident, I am relieved to hear that Mayor Don Kyle has enough sense to consider vetoing the proposed smoking ordinance in Decatur. Patrons should have the freedom to visit the establishments of their choice, and business owners should have the opportunity to decide the smoking fate of their businesses.

Many businesses find that prohibiting smoking benefits them anyhow, so why not let businesses make that choice rather than enforce a regulation on all? By taking away choice, the city is not only taking away a business ownerís ability to weigh his costs and benefits to make the wisest choice for his business, but it is also limiting the choices and options of patrons as well.

I guess the city knows what is best for me better than I do, but itís definitely not choice.

Justina White
Cambridge, Mass.

Let those who put up money run their own businesses

To The Daily: What gives these council members the right to say what we can or cannot do inside our own businesses? Did they work and put up their hard-earned money to build these businesses? I think not.

So, what gives them the right? They say itís for public safety. OK, if that is so and they outlaw smoking in public places, then I say fine.

You must also outlaw the sale of these illegal cigarettes. What? We canít do that, you say. Why not? Oh, because it will take away from the tax dollars coming in for council people to spend at will.

Well, Iím not going to be someone who just complains without offering a solution. So here it is:

Businesses are mostly optional to the public with the exception of places like the courthouse and a few others where we are forced to go. So, with that said, create an ordinance that requires all businesses that allow smoking to post a sign up out front to the effect of: ďThis is a SMOKING establishment. Enter at your own risk.Ē Then the public has the freedom to enter or not. It should be the publicís choice, not the City Councilís.

On the other hand, public places such as the courthouse, where we are required to go at times, should be nonsmoking. I, as a smoker, can refrain long enough to do my business then leave.

All this smoking ban is hurting are those of us who work all day in the same establishment, and thatís not fair. You are trying to take away our rights as a free person in this already forcibly, free nation.

Tony Bradford

Why ban smoking but still allow alcohol to be served?

To The Daily: It is disturbing that the Decatur City Council can vote to ban smoking in public places but does nothing about the alcohol being served in some of the same facilities. It is socially acceptable to drink, even though some of the consequences include drinking and driving and killing or severely harming people. Is it the alcohol taxes that are so coveted? Is this why the city would rather ban smoking over alcohol? Anyone can be addicted to anything, whether it is cigarettes or alcohol. The stop-smoking pill does not always work for everyone.

Mayor Don Kyle said last week that he would veto the bill and now he seems to have changed his mind. I think it should be left up to the private businesses and not the councilmen. I do not think smoking a cigarette in a specified smoking area is going to harm or kill someone the way alcohol does.

Sarah Shelton

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