Owner says patio smoking ban will hurt business

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MONTREAL – The owner of more than 40 bars and restaurants is predicting business will drop by as much as 15 per cent if Quebec goes ahead with a bill to ban smoking on outdoor patios.

Bill 44 comes a decade after Quebec first prohibited smoking inside eating and drinking establishments.

Montreal bar and restaurant owner Peter Sergakis says the proposed legislation is totally stupid and can’t believe smoking outdoors is a problem.

He says people will stop coming to restaurants and stay home to smoke.

The bill revamps Quebec’s tobacco legislation by having electronic cigarettes under the same rules as other tobacco products and increasing fines.

Sergakis says if smoking kills 10,000 Quebecers a year, as the government suggests, the government should stop the hypocrisy and move to ban cigarettes altogether.

But he adds that is an unlikely scenario given the tax revenues cigarettes generate.