Smoking bans takes effect on Friday

By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun

On Friday, smoking indoors will be banned in public businesses in Tucumcari and across the state of New Mexico.

“It is very important to the health of everyone that this law was passed,” said Quay County Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention project manager Susan Lease. “We are promoting the new law with a public awareness campaign. We will be giving out table tins and place mats to all the area restaurants with literature about the no smoking law printed on them.”

The Dee Johnson Indoor Air Act was signed in March by Gov. Bill Richardson. The law, House Bill 283, prevents customers from smoking inside businesses such as restaurants and bars. It also bans smoking near entrances, windows and ventilation systems.

Area business owners have mixed reactions to the new law.

“Overall, I feel it will increase our business,” said Yvonne Braziel, manager of Del’s restaurant. “We only allowed smoking in the front of the restaurant during the day and we have special charcoal filter fans that cleaned the smoke from the air.”

“It’s a state law and we will just have to adjust the best we can, I just wish it could have come a week later,” said Roy Dumas, Pow Wow Lounge and Restaurant manager. “We have the Mother Road Rally happening this weekend and I think well have some complaints. Our restaurant business should not be affected as much but our lounge will suffer during the weekends.”