Measure 4 Impacts on Williston | VideoEvan Kruegel | 11/5/2012
"50 to 60 percent, and it actually might be a lot higher than that."
Though studies have shown otherwise, Eide says a smoking ban would hurt his business.
"It will, it will significantly affect it."
But he also knows the health of his employees is important. Family physician Shu-Ming Wang says the exposure at bars in Williston to secondhand smoke is higher than people think.
"People who work in the bar, in an eight hour shift, the bartender Is exposed to as much smoke and nicotine as they would if they smoked about half a pack of cigarettes."
That adds up to two and a half packs a week, or 130 packs a year. That means a non-smoking employee working full time at a bar, could take in the equivalent of over 2,000 cigarettes in a year.
"That`s a large amount of exposure, and that would definitely affect health issues down the road for people who work in bars for a long time."
Wang says 40,000 people die in the United States each year from secondhand smoke exposure, and the health dangers are well documented across the board.
"The most obvious is the risk for lung cancer in people who are exposed to second hand smoking, but there`s also a very high increased risk of heart disease as well as sinus problems"
While Eide knows the dangers of secondhand smoke, he`s quick to point out that it`s the patronís choice to visit his establishment. There are bars in town that are smoke free, so if people don`t want to deal with the health risks, they should simply go elsewhere.
"Our feel is that we`re going to do what the state tells us to do, but we don`t necessarily agree with government, even state government, being involved in a private business."
Studies in other communities have shown that business at bars that go smoke free does not decrease but remains about the same.