I do not live in the city of Cape Girardeau. However, when I do get a night to go out, I like to visit downtown Cape Girardeau and listen to live music at one of the many bars featuring good local talent. The downtown music scene attracts many visitors to Cape Girardeau during the week and even more during the weekend.
Throughout the country, areas that have instituted smoking bans have witnessed a mass exodus of entertainment venues.
The Dec. 29, 2007 issue of the Columbia Tribune featured a story about a local bar closing due to lack of business, a result of the smoking ban. According to one source interviewed in the article, 16 businesses closed in the first year the ban was instituted.
The July 2009 St. Louis Federal Reserve website also provides information to ponder by giving statistics concerning the loss of casino revenue in Illinois because of a statewide smoking ban. It states: "We estimate that the smoking ban is associated with a 20 to 22 percent revenue decline, amounting to a total loss in casino revenue of more than $400 million."
Those who smoke will frequent establishments that allow smoking. Those who do not can patronize one of the many establishments that voluntarily prohibit it.
We don't need government interfering with our economy or our liberties. Let the free market decide the fate of businesses.
CLINT E. LACY, Marble Hill, Mo.