Bars Are Not Health Clubs

RECEIVED Wed., Nov. 19, 2003

To the editors,
   Apparently, many supporters of the smoking ban have confused clubs and bars with health clubs. They are not, and never have been for those who wish a pure, healthy lifestyle. Traditionally, they have been there to provide a space for adults to indulge in perfectly legal adult vices. Drinking and smoking are at the core of what bars and even clubs are about (entertainment was offered to get people to come smoke and drink at your place rather than the competition). Now, the new puritans come along and in the name of "health" want to close these venues to smokers so they can dominate without the nastiness of smoking. They claim that only smokers are selfish because their smoke affects others. Well, I say those who do not believe adults should have anywhere to indulge in legal vices are the new lifestyle fascists. Either support a compromise whereby everyone has places to go (for example, by offering limited amounts of "smoking licenses") or else, if you healthy types can't abide occasional smoke, then if you want music in a healthy environment go put on a show or have a sock-hop at your health club! By the way, have any of you selfish puritans noticed how much car exhaust we have in town? If you want a cleaner, purer, healthier world, do something about that and you'll go a lot further in sanitizing Austin to meet your lifestyle needs.
   P.S. And by the way, doesn't it occur to the puritans that the reason club owners oppose a ban is because they know that the hardcore supporters who spend heavily are not the one- or two-drink, nonsmoking yuppies and club tourists, but rather are the nasty party animals who are generally smokers?
Thomas Boggs
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