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RAMW's Smoking Ban Statement

July 21, 2006
As you may be aware, two new smoking-related proposals impacting the hospitality industry were introduced this week before the DC City Council. RAMW is closely monitoring these recent developments. RAMW is emphatically not pro-smoking but pro-choice for businesses, consumers and employees on smoking. RAMW has been the lead advocate in fighting a mandatory city-wide smoking ban since the battle began over two years ago, and our General Counsel, Andrew J. Kline was successful in keeping a smoking ban initiative off the November 2004 ballot.

RAMW continues to be an outspoken advocate of freedom of choice on smoking. RAMW is working with members of the DC Council on this issue and emphasizing our concern that a mandatory smoking ban will have a negative economic impact on the hospitality community. RAMW continues to question these proposed limitations of our civil liberties. RAMW continues to be concerned about the unintended consequences of a smoking ban, particularly its effect on street noise and litter. And with now 4 smoking related bills before the council, we wonder if our legislators should not be focusing their energies on more pressing issues affecting the quality of life in DC?

Much attention has been recently directed to the activities of the pro-ban zealots, we continue to have our supporters on the Council. We remain confident that a total ban on smoking in our hospitality establishments has little chance of passage. We do, however, need your support in letting everyone know, friends and foes alike, that we have not given up this fight so that we might have maximum influence over any bill that might eventually pass. The negatives flowing from a total ban are very real, and will adversely affect your businesses and the entire hospitality industry in the District.

Our immediate focus is the June 14 hearing at the Wilson Building. Please plan on attending to show your support and/or presenting testimony. Please call Patrick Horn in our office to sign up or with any questions you may have.