Southern Illinois Bars Prepare for Smoking Ban
By: Carly O'Keefe
WEST FRANKFORT, Ill. - The theme for New Years Eve 2008 at the Casino Tavern in West Frankfort might just be smoke 'em if you've got 'em, because New Year's Day--it's butts out.
"I want these ashtrays to get as much use as possible on that last night," said West Frankfort Bartender Jason Price.
The Smoke Free Illinois Act goes into effect midnight New Year's Eve. Some health departments urge bars to start their New Year's Eve festivities completely smoke free. That way, the establishments will be in compliance with the new law the second it goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. New Year's Day.
Lola's Uptown Restaurant in West Frankfort will also pull its ashtrays New Year's Day, but that doesn't mean the restaurant patrons plan to quit cold turkey. Some are trying to warm up to the idea early.
"A couple customers I spoke with have been going to non-smoking restaurants to get ready to come here and not smoke. They're regular customers here, and that's how they're preparing," said Lola's waitress Kelly Sieveking.
Price is also mentally preparing himself for the difficulty of telling folks they can't light up indoors.
"They'll come in and light up and I'll tell them ‘no', and they'll leave and be mad and it'll just take some time," said Price.
In the meantime, Price does have a plan for all those ashtrays.