The Art of Compromise
Look. Chicagoist is just as tired as you all of the Smoke-Or-Not-To-Smoke discussion and we know there is only so much left to be said on the topic to ban smoking in restaurants, bars and basically all public indoor areas of Chicago by April 1. However, as the vote approaches -- Wednesday, to be exact -- it's worth taking up space here.
Look for the kids over at the Illinois Restaurant Association to ... well, we're not exactly clear but they're sure not fans of the proposal done by Health Committee Chairman Ald. Ed Smith (28th) and an American Cancer Society anti-smoking coalition, which, according to our friends at the Sun-Times, includes " a six-month phase-in; allowing smoking at sidewalk cafes by reducing -- from 25 feet to 10 -- the ban on smoking near building entrances; and a proposed "hardship exemption" for restaurants and bars that can prove sales dropped by 15 percent after one smoke-free year."
The Illinois Restaurant Association and the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce back a proposal by Ald. Burton F. Natarus (42nd) to allow restaurants, bars and bowling alleys to apply for a smoking license with revenue marked for smoking cessation programs and cite this as a more reasonable compromise than that of Smith's and the American Cancer Society.
Chicagoist is going to come right out and say that we think the ban will pass and smoking in bars and restaurants in Chicago will be history. It's the trend, people. Whether we agree or not is besides the point -- we don't and Chicagoist is now smoke-free, though don't you think we don't long for a P Funk every now and again. We'll be watching to see what happens on Wednesday and color us magenta if the damn thing doesn't pass.