Smoking Issues

As I approach my anniversary of buying Buzzy’s Country Store from him in August of 2007,  I am reminded of an exchange he and I had the day after we had done the deal.  

I was in the process of putting up No Smoking signs in the Store.  Buzzy asked me if I really wanted to do that which was his way of saying he didn’t think I should do it.  He advised me “You’re going to piss people off.”  I told him that I didn’t care because I was allergic to second hand smoke and wasn’t going to stand around breathing it in as he had done for the 54 years that he ran the Store.    

He then told me that the Maryland legislature had just passed a law that would ban smoking in all businesses effective February 2008 and suggested that I hold off banning smoking in the Store until then.  I reluctantly agreed with him to hold off doing so.  However, come 1 February of 2008 I had the signs ready and posted.  The State of Maryland thus saved me the trouble of, in Buzzy’s words, “pissing people off.”

As shown in the chart below,  26 states across the U.S. have also enacted smoking bans.  Ten other states have partial bans leaving the rest of the states, shown here in black, with no statewide bans.  

List of smoking bans in the United States – Wikipedia

In many of those states with no statewide ban, numerous localities have enacted their own local bans.  For instance, Mississippi has over 160 localities that have enacted smoking bans.  Texas has 150 localities with varying smoking bans.  South Carolina has 63. (Click on link below chart and scroll down to look at how individual states have dealt with this.)  

As I mentioned above, this topic popped up in my anniversary recollections.  However, I also thought of it just the other day when I overheard a discussion of businesses requiring patrons to either wear a mask or provide some proof of having been vaccinated when they come into your place of business (click here.)  The conversation centered on folks being allowed to do what they wanted with their own bodies versus being told what they could or couldn’t do.  (The old abortion argument.)    

I have yet to impose any mask-related or proof-of-having-been-vaccinated requirements in Buzzy’s.  However, given that I have several folks coming into the Store who have not gotten their vaccinations, I am considering doing so.  I hear Buzzy’s words echoing in my head about “pissing people off.”  As with the smoking ban though, I may be forced to do something sooner than later.   Closing down for awhile is also an option I am considering.  Stay tuned. 


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