September 26, 2003

N.Y. State Bans Smoking in Bars

Print More

A New York State law enacted on July 24 has altered the experience of bar-hopping as many students know it.

The law, which prohibits smoking in bars and restaurants, could have had one of two potential effects on Cornellians: it could have angered them, driven them from the bars and added to the ever-quieting atmosphere of Collegetown; or it could have been a mild inconvenience that student smokers would learn to get used to.

Luckily for Collegetown’s sake, the latter of the two applied. Although initially worried about the anti-smoking law, Leigh Ulrich, owner of Rulloff’s in Collegetown, explained that it has barely had an effect on business at all.

“I feel lucky because it’s a college bar, though,” Ulrich said. “People who come are not hardcore smokers. They’re just out so they smoke. Other [non-college] bars are having significantly more of a problem, though.”

According to Jeanie Um ’05, the law has affected different types of bars in diverse ways. In her opinion, bars like Johnny O’s where people go to dance have not been greatly affected. She feels that bars like Stella’s have been affected because people who would usually go to the lounge to smoke now don’t even bother to come.

A bartender from Stella’s agreed.

“There are a lot of people who don’t come into the caf