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Smoking Ban Starts Early in Some Oregon Bars

Chris Lehman
09/04/2007

A ban on smoking in Oregon bars won't go into effect until 2009. But some bar owners aren't waiting that long. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman explains.

THE OREGON LEGISLATURE PASSED THE BAN THIS YEAR. IT ADDS BARS AND RESTAURANTS TO WHAT WILL EFFECTIVELY BE A BAN ON SMOKING IN ALL PUBLIC PLACES. SOME BAR OWNERS OBJECTED. THEY SAID THE BAN LIMITS THE FREEDOM OF PEOPLE WHO JUST WANT TO LIGHT UP WHEN THEY HAVE A DRINK. BUT JIM EASTRIDGE, THE OWNER OF MAGOO'S SPORTS BAR IN SALEM, SAYS CHANGE IS INEVITABLE, SO HE'S SNUFFING OUT SMOKING STARTING NOW:

EASTRIDGE: "I think we're at a point where people now especially appreciate a no–smoking place. So I finally decided to do it and make the change and get it over with."

EASTRIDGE SAYS SOME CUSTOMERS HAVE BEEN ASKING FOR SUCH A MOVE FOR YEARS, AND NOW HE'S AFRAID OF LOSING THEM AS SEVERAL OTHER LOCAL BARS HAVE ALREADY BANNED SMOKING. BUT THE NEW POLICY IS DISAPPOINTING FOR LONG–TIME MAGOO'S CUSTOMER JIM NEIDIG. HE SAYS HE AND HIS FRIEND WILL HAVE TO FIND SOMEWHERE ELSE TO SMOKE:

NEIDIG: "I guess it's a little sad because we've been coming here to smoke cigars for almost 30 years, so I'm kind of sorry to see it go. But I understand the need for it. A lot of people find it offensive and that's the way it is today."

THE LAW DOES ALLOW FOR OUTDOOR SMOKING AREAS. MAGOO'S PLANS TO OFFER A COVERED PATIO, SO SMOKERS WILL STILL BE ABLE TO LIGHT UP WITH THEIR BEER. I'M CHRIS LEHMAN REPORTING.

℗ Copyright 2007, N3 News

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