Today we ate at one of my favorite restaurants, T.G.I. Friday's, just outside of Douglas County in Omaha. We once had a Friday's here in Lincoln, but to my disappointment it closed several years ago. I decided that after Tyler's baseball game today we would have lunch somewhere in Omaha that we cannot eat at in Lincoln, so Friday's was a great choice.
Then we walked about two feet into Friday's when it hit me....cigarette smoke! Gasp, gasp, cough, cough! Ugh, I instantly realized that smoking is still allowed here until the statewide ban goes into effect mid-June. Now this is not true for businesses in Douglas County, but this holds true for this restaurant that is just blocks outside the jurisdiction of the ban. Wow...I realized quickly how nice it is to live in Lincoln. Lincoln has had it's smoking ban since January 2005. We thought it was just two years ago that this changed, but I "googled" it and it's been over four glorious smoke-free years! Hallelujah!
Do you recall the outcry in 2005 from local businesses, bar owners and smokers that we were taking away their civil rights to smoke? Or when they said that we would be putting lots of bars out of business because smokers would go out of town to drink and smoke? Outlandish? Justified?
As an asthmatic, I truly love the fact that Lincoln is a smoke-free community. I feel blessed that I can walk into any business without needing to grab my inhaler, feel the burn in my eyes or having my clothing smell like an ashtray! So, a belated thanks to the 62% of Lincoln voters who made it happen!