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Baltic Corner Supports Smoking Ban

Last updated on 2011.01.23

South DaCola notes that nanny-state whiners need to take one more example off their list of ills purportedly caused by the smoking ban approved by 64% of South Dakota voters. An article in last Sunday's edition of that Sioux Falls paper cited anecdotal evidence that business at Baltic Corner was suffering:

Ken's Korner is not the only place to see business fall off since the ban. Ralph Allen, 80, plays in a Monday pool league.

"We were up at Baltic Corner last Monday. There were only two people in the place besides the pool players," he said. "The bartender said last week, there were no more than four people in there at any time" [Peter Harriman, "Ban Changing Bar Culture in S.D.," that Sioux Falls paper, 2010.12.26].

Baltic Corner owner Elizabeth Rogers hits the editorial page Friday to correct this erroneous secondhand information:

We have not seen a decline in business since the smoking ban has been in place. As far as our lottery casino is concerned, we have stayed the same. We are not an establishment in which people come to sit at the lottery machines and smoke for hours on end. In fact, before the ban the majority of our regular lottery players were not smokers.

Ralph Allen, who was quoted in the article, is not a spokesman for our bar, not a regular customer of ours and has been inside of our bar maybe a handful of times at best - and this is only because he comes to our bar to play against our pool team, which is in the same league as his team.

His so-called conversation with one of our bartenders is an unreliable source, and I would think that before publishing an article about an establishment, you would contact the owner, not some unreliable third party putting in his two cents [Elizabeth Rogers, letter the the editor, that Sioux Falls paper, 2010.12.30].

Rogers and her husband support the smoking ban.

Related: Spain today enacts a smoking ban in bars, restaurants, casinos, airports, and discotheques, as well as outside entries to schools and hospitals and outside in children's playgrounds. The Spanish Federation of Hostelry freaks out, saying the ban could eliminate 350,000 jobs. However, says smoker Angel Pena, "We have to start being civilized.... No one should have to put up with secondhand smoke."