BARS GO SMOKELESS
Some Waterloo Region bar owners are making the best of "World No Smoking Day" a global initiative of the World Health Organization marked this year on May 31st.- 30 -
By offering their customers Smokeless Cigarettes, they hope to convince their customers to make the switch to a product that conforms to local no smoking bylaws.
Cal Dicks, the former owner of the Mayfair Hotel, whose new establishment, Frankie's Pub, opening just down the street, is happy to give his customers some choice. "It's ironic," he says, "that bar owners are taking this initiative and our own public health department, who have constantly been harassing us, are not acknowledging World No Smoking Day and have no events planned."
Several local bars have picked up the product after facing heavy smoking bylaw violation fines which charges the owners of the establishments if their customers are caught smoking. "We've been fighting a loosing battle against quite a challenging bylaw," comment Mr. Dicks, who nonetheless has been doing everything in his power to avoid the heavy fines. "The enforcement officers have been quite zealous. Imagine if a homeowner were charged every time a stranger's car was speeding on his street. I'm hoping this smokeless cigarette can give our customers what they want and still conform to the bylaw."
The Smokeless Cigarettes are distributed under the brand name of Ciganot by the Waterloo, Ontario company of the same name. Says Ciganot president Charlotte Whaley, "they look and feel like a real cigarette, but you don't light it so it conforms to the regional by-laws. It can really help satisfy smokers' needs when they are in a public situation such as bars and restaurants. Ciganot occupies the fidget-factor experienced with the hands and when you draw on it you get a tobacco flavor. Both of these things helps soothe the oral addiction."
The World health Organization sponsors World No Smoking Day each year in an attempt to promote the real dangers of second hand smoke. More on the events planned can be found on the web at http://tobacco.who.int/en/advocacy/wntd2001a.htm. The Health Unit for the Region is not participating.