Dear Editor, When Rodney Ahart says that people are "more dedicated to the performers than to cigarettes” [“Where There's Smoke ...,” News, April 15], I'm forced to ask where he gets his information from. I think if you ask the Backstreet Boys how their merchandise is selling now compared to how it sold in 1999, and then ask Philip Morris the same question, you will find that fan loyalty hangs on the whim of a fickle public, and smoking, well, let's just say that it's easier to quit the Backstreet Boys. But just who is Onward Austin getting its information from anyway? I am a local musician, as are most of my friends. I've never been consulted, and neither have they. Are they asking people whom this ban will effect, or someone who thinks that Beerland is a theme park in Shiner? Did they do a survey on Red River, or randomly over the phone or around town. I don't presume to know the answer to that; however, one could find it easy to speculate. They say that it's simply a public health matter, but there are far more nonsmoking bars than ones that allow smoking. What is wrong with those places? And yes, there are live music venues that have nonsmoking shows. If you had shown up to them, this whole issue would be dead. What about the bar staff? There are other places to go for them as well. Go tell a coal miner how hazardous your job is. Why are former ban-hating bars now for the ban? Because they are getting killed. Don't tell me that there is this big consensus that will crawl out from their hiding places like a bunch of oppressed villagers with an Anne Frank complex. People that won't go to these bars will be making decisions for them.