Clearing the smoke 

Perhaps you've recently had this happen: At a bar, somebody sitting next to you taking a drag from a cigarette has said ruefully, "You know, they're going to ban smoking in bars soon." The real story isn't quite that extreme. A bill introduced in the state House by a Gainesville Republican will gradually increase the percentage of nonsmoking seats that restaurants must offer.

Right now, a restaurant can allot smokers up to 65 percent of its seating. The new bill would allow only 50 percent of a restaurant to be smoking as of Oct. 1, and the following year the amount of smoking seats could be no more than 35 percent. And even small establishments would be required to comply.

This is nothing like California's total ban of smoking in bars and restaurants. Or is it? California also went through a similar gradual reduction of smoking sections before enacting the ban in 1995.

Tags: ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

April 14, 2021

View more issues


© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation