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BAR OWNERS ARE WRONG TO FIGHT SMOKING BAN

After reading the recent News article, "Bar owners rally to fight smoking ban," I was appalled at the hypocrisy and ignorance of the leaders mounting a campaign to fight the state's new smoking ban, which will take effect July 24.

Assemblyman Richard A. Smith, D-Hamburg, commented that "this law went too far" and said, "People should have a choice -- it should not be shoved down their throat."

That is the reason legislative leaders agreed on the bill and Gov. George Pataki signed it into law in the first place! Nonsmokers have never had a choice not to breathe in secondhand smoke in bars or taverns. The only choice presented has been not to patronize the smoking establishments.

We now hear of threats from customers and campaigns by the Innkeepers Association of Western New York to seek the law's repeal, including discussions to boycott Quick Draw lottery machines in order to drain revenue from the state.

Little do these narrow-minded individuals realize that for every smoker, there are three non-smokers waiting in line. California has been a smoke-free state for five years, and business owners have seen an increase in traffic and revenue as a result of their smoke-free establishments.

There will be no disadvantages to any business owner since the law is statewide. As far as boycotting lottery machines, go ahead! The savings in state health care costs as a result of less toxins and secondhand smoke in the air -- not to mention a reduced risk of cancer -- will far exceed a boycott of some lottery machines.

RONN TRITTO

Amherst

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