In re: Most ridiculous item

Taking the title cue from my boy Bill O’Reilly, but its on a subject I had thought about a few time “Smokeasies” (The name from the Other Paper cover story) about bars in Columbus that are allowing smoking, despite the ban. According to the paper B Hamptons, the closest bar to my house is the biggest culprite with over 100 complaints of smoking. This was really quite startling, as I myself go there and have thought of sending in a complaint (not knowing that there have already been so many) and also not knowing how weak and useless the smoking ban law was. Essentially 9 of these complaints yielded citations, and the citaions which don’t escalate in amount have cost B Hampton in almost the course of a year less then $300.

Hearing this, it would make bars think that there is little incentive to go non smoking as the law in Columbus requires. If the cost of a de facto smoking license is so little and you can bring in business you wouldn’t otherwise have, why bother. The bars point out (and rightly) that the law isn’t really being enforced as police don’t want to waste their time on it, and the health department is really not able to do much either. Considering that we passed the ban TWICE and by a resounding margin, one would think somebody, be it the health department or someone else should be equiped to start dealing with the violators, as it is unfair to the businesses that follow the law.


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