[Excerpt] "The need for a strict statutory scheme prohibiting or effectively segregating tobacco smoke in restaurants and public buildings in New Hampshire is compelling. One evening, during the summer of 2003, I took my wife and daughter to a restaurant in New Hampshire for dinner. When the time came to be seated, the waiter asked if we preferred to be seated in the smoking or non-smoking section. At our request, he led us to the non- smoking section. Over the course of dinner, I considered the irony of why the restaurant even had a non-smoking section. Smoke was coming over the low wall next to us and hovering throughout the area during our entire meal. This low wall was all that separated us from the smoking section.
At one point, my two year old daughter told me that she did not like the restaurant. When I asked her why, she replied, “It’s stinky.”
This scenario is illustrative of the problem faced too often by people in New Hampshire who wish to dine in a smoke free restaurant. The purported safeguards created by New Hampshire’s Indoor Smoking Act are simply ineffective in application. In small towns it can be especially difficult to find a restaurant that is completely smoke free. The statutory scheme, as applied, offers very little protection from second-hand smoke, forcing patrons to choose between two sections: one with a lot of smoke and one with only some smoke. Without better segregation, the ability to breathe smoke free air is impaired. Therefore, one is forced to choose between dining at home and dining in a smoky restaurant.”
Jody Hodgdon, Live Smoke Free or Die: The Battle for Smoke Free Restaurants in New Hampshire, 3 Pierce L. Rev. 49 (2004), available at http://scholars.unh.edu/unh_lr/vol3/iss1/5