Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate January 2002

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"Good evening. Welcome to (name of restaurant) . . . Smoking or non-smoking section?" Doesn't this sound like your typical conversation with the receptionist at a restaurant that allows smoking? Yes, I myself have heard this before. Do take in consideration, however, that receptionists shouldn't have to say this. Rather than giving the customers a choice, I think restaurants should ban smoking in their facility permanently! Live life to the fullest. I remember hearing this advice not just once, but over and over again in my 16 years of living. So how am I suppose to follow this advice when I enter restaurants with a smoking area? I, along with other customers, can inhale that toxic smoke floating around in the air. Yes, even if I choose to sit in the non-smoking area, there are many ways for that smoke to enter my system. But enough of my health conditions.

How about the employees working in the smoking section? It's bad enough that waiters and waitresses have to smell smokers' bad breath and filthy clothes when they take their orders, but inhaling it secondhand is even worse. According to a recent study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, having to work day after day in smoke-filled rooms are attributed directly to increased death rate. This study shows that California's waitresses die from higher rates of lung and heart disease than any other female occupational group. Think about it, if that situation is happening in California, what difference will it be if it's in a different state, such as here in Hawaii.

No smoking means less customers. WRONG! According to founder and chairman of the Wisconsin Initiative on Smoking and Health, Jack Lohman, a restaurant will gain two non-smoking customers in exchange for every smoking customer...