New Mexico Workplaces Smoke-Free

Some business owners in New Mexico who cater to smokers worry that they may lose customers when the ban takes effect, but others think that simply won't be the case. 

NewsChannel 10 took a trip to Curry County where business owners say the controversial ban may not make that much of a difference. 

Cigarette Express in Clovis averages about 350 customers a day, or one every one and a half minutes.  The shop's owner David Gibbs says he's not afraid his clientele will quit just because the places where they can light up are limited. 

"People who are gonna smoke are gonna smoke, whether they do it at home, or at the bar of at a restaurant or whatever.  They're still going to come here and buy their tobacco products," says Gibbs.

At Kelley's Bar and Grill just down the block they have a lot of customers who enjoy eating, drinking and smoking indoors at the bar, but part of their outdoor property may end up being profitable. 

Kelley's does have an advantage over other local bars and restaurants.  It has an outdoor patio that may be able to accomodate smokers who also like to dine and drink.  Right now the Clean Indoor Air Act says smoking will be illegal in enclosed outdoor areas, so the bar may have to make a few minor changes to separate them from their competition. 

Manager Nathan Freeman added, "We're looking at options of maybe doing some expansion on [Kelley's] and giving people a designated area to smoke; that's one of our options.  We'll definitely look into it and just kind of figure out what we need to do where we do have a place to make everybody happy".

In order to keep customers smoking in their bar and grill they'll have to make those changes before the ban goes into effect on June 15th.