Ya gotta admire her spunk. Florida just passed a law banning restaurants from letting their patrons smoke a cigarette.
Wava Saunders, a 57-year-old grandmother with 11 grandchildren, owns a Tampa restaurant with her husband called Grandma’s Kitchen, right off Interstate 4. Despite the new law, Saunders says if you want to smoke, come on in. Her civil disobedience has made her a folk hero among two-pack-a-day truck drivers. It’s not as if non-smokers don’t get fair warning. There’s a sign on the door that says, “There is smoking on these premises and feel free to go to a non-smoking establishment if it bothers you.” “Anyone who smokes knows a cigarette tastes better right after you eat,” says one trucker, who says he passes up another restaurant down the road so he could light up at Grandma’s. Like other truckers, he’s spreading the word about the smoker-friendly policy. “I’m definitely proud of them, and I support them,” he says. Another trucker says, “I think it’s great. They’re standing up for their rights. I enjoy smoking. I do it at home, I do it in my truck, and I’ll do it here.”
Mr. and Mrs. Saunders just got socked with a citation. And the enforcers are warning them that expensive fines are on the way if they don’t back down. They don’t intend to. They say the worst that could happen is they’d end up having to close the place down. They say they’re willing to pay that price, if they have to, for the luxury of standing up for their rights. Good for them and let’s hope they don’t have to.
This is Common Sense.Â I’m Paul Jacob.