Like many communities, smoking bans are currently being debated in Coles County. I typically fall under the ‘government shouldn’t tell a private business what they can’t allow’ crowd. But I also admit, I would frequent more restaurants if a ban were in place.
While researching smoking bans I found that instead of smoking bans, some communities offer incentives to businesses for going smoke free. I wonder if this could be taken a step further and argue anti-smoking incentives could spark economic development.
The non-smoking crowd is currently being underserved in this area. An extra tax-credit for being smoke free may be the push someone needs to start a new business. Or maybe if a new liquor license was created with the requirement that the establishment be smoke free. This seems like a win-win. It gives an entrepreneur a chance to open a business, the city will collect tax revenue, non-smokers will have a place to go, and existing business won’t be affected.
Has anyone ever taken this approach? Or is it way off in left field?