Clearing the Smoke: More on Cigs in the City

By Lola

The other day I posted something about the imminent demise of smoking in Mexico City restaurants. Here’s a bit more on the subject:

A few days ago, Francisco Mijares Noriega (president of CANIRAC, the National Chamber for the Food and Restaurant Industry), proposed that each restaurant choose whether it wants to be a smoking or a non-smoking establishment, and let the patrons decide for themselves which one they want to patronize. Seems logical to moi.

His reasoning is as follows: it would be impossible to ask the nearly 35 thousand city restaurants to comply, because many of them would be forced to shut down, thereby adding some 10 to 15 thousand mexicanos to the ranks of the unemployed. Not good.

Mijares Noriega explained that a whopping 98 percent of restaurants are micro and small establishments–mainly family businesses with single owners. He stressed that CANIRAC does not defend smokers, but that the organization would simply like a “just and equal” application of the law. He also made it clear should the ban go into effect, CANIRAC would accept the new law.

In other words: if you want tobacco with your taco, go right ahead. If not, go somewhere else–and believe me, there will be plenty of places to enjoy a smoke-free sope. We all have rights and no, I’m not a bleeding heart. But I do agree with Mijares Noriega, though, that restauranteurs–and patrons–should be given a choice.

So there.