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I am extremely surprised and saddened to see the recent steam-rolling of the citizens in Bullitt County by an entity supposedly on our side.
The ‘survey’ taken by the Health Department on the proposed ‘Smoking Ban’ and the results presented to the public is an example of stretching the numbers to suit the situation, while completely fooling the public into believing the issue is protecting citizens from cigarette smoke - when in fact it is truly a step at MORE government policing of our daily lives.
First, the survey taken, according to an article in the Monday, February 14th edition of The Pioneer News, “The survey was conducted by telephone between Nov. 5 and Dec. 7 using a random sample of 400 Bullitt County residents 18 years of age and older.” 400 people in a county of how many? According to the Census Bureau estimates in 2009, the population in Bullitt County stood at 75,653. (quickfacts.census.gov) The County has only grown since then.
Additionally, the article in Wednesday’s paper entitled, “Majority polled would support smoking ban”, shows no number of people polled, only results on a graph - therefore one can only assume the Health Department used the results from the same survey - again sampling only 400 people. This presents a very slanted view, and accomplishes what the Health Department, I assume, set out to accomplish - convincing the citizens of Bullitt County that everyone wants it, so if you oppose, you may as well change your mind or learn to live with it. The only problem - this would more than likely prove completely untrue if they were to possibly, take it to the polls? I cannot help but wonder what the chart would say then.......
Citizens of Bullitt County need to realize this smoking ban is about anything BUT smoking. This ban is ultimately about the government getting a foothold on private business, dictating what they can and cannot do within the walls of their livelihood. It assumes the citizens of Bullitt County are not smart enough to simply avoid smoking establishments if they choose, and assumes businesses are not smart enough to follow the requests of their patrons. Remember, it took only one woman to have the 10 Commandments removed from schools.
As Chair of the Business Association of Lebanon Junction, I can assure the Health Department and Mr. Jett that our business owners are extremely savvy when it comes to pleasing their customers, and absolutely have the best interest of those patrons at heart. We work hard to bring customers in, make them comfortable and keep them coming back. Most establishments in Lebanon Junction are smoke-free by choice inside, but do allow patrons to smoke outside. These choices were not made due to the strong-arm of the law, but rather by simple common sense.
It is my belief the citizens of Bullitt County are smart in their own right, educated on many levels, and have enough sense about them to know whether or not they would visit a business which allows smoking in or on their property. If a person chooses to go to a nightclub or bar, they know there is a great possibility smoking is allowed, as it is an adult establishment with no children allowed. A person has a right to make a decision whether or not to enter such a business. Does the Health department assume the patron is not smart enough to make an informed decision? In establishments where children are allowed, very few, if any these days, allow smoking inside the building. Eateries such as McDonalds, Dairy Queen Taco Bell, Frisch’s, and Pizza Hut (only the tip of the iceberg of restaurants in the county) do not allow smoking inside. Therefore a ban in this case is a mute issue. The business has already made a decision regarding their establishment and do not need a law/rule/ban to ensure it is kept in place. Regarding employees in these establishments - they are aware what job they have applied for, are familiar with the environment, and if they have chosen to work at such a place, that is their right as an American citizen to do so. If they find the environment offensive, they have the right to change jobs - find a place that is smoke free already - without the assistance of the government holding their hand and creating a law/rule/ban to keep them in their current position.
I challenge Mr. Jett to poll every business in Bullitt County and ask them if they believe they are capable of making informed decisions which will help or hurt their business. Ask ‘if disallowing smoking in their establishment would increase sales, would they do it’? Have they already done it? Poll the citizens in a TRUE poll (more than 400 and closer to the population of the county) and ask if they believe they are intelligent enough to not patronize a business which allows behaviors they do not agree with or feel endangers them. At that point, we may have a viable consensus from the citizens of Bullitt County.
‘Smoking Ban Fever’ may be spreading like wildfire, but just because Jefferson County did it, does that mean we must follow suit? Or rather, should we not stick with the assumption that the residents of Bullitt County are smart enough to make their own choices, to eat, live and breathe where they choose, take care of their patrons, thrive and survive without further regulations from government entities. I wonder....