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Wrangell bar goes smoke-free


WRANGELL (AP) — There’s only three bars open year-round in Wrangell, and one of them has gone smoke-free.

Wrangell isn’t the type of town where going smoke-free would be an obvious choice. When people walk into a bar, you'd see a cigarette in the hands of customers, sometimes the majority of customers’ hands, KSTK reported.

But Reme Privett, the owner of Rayme’s, said the bar went smoke-free on New Year’s Day.

“It’s more of a trend. It had nothing to do with health. My employees down there, they’ve never voiced an opinion either way,” he said.

“You know, it’s just kind of the way the world's going. I think very shortly you're going to see that the state of Alaska is going to do this,” he said.

Privett said he does worry about losing old customers, but notes he's seen new faces in the bar since the ban went into effect Jan. 1.

“Right now, we’re just asking people to step outside and have a cigarette. In other towns, you have to be 20 feet away from any opening,” he said.

“We’re not police, we’re just bartenders. We’re just trying to make it so everybody can enjoy it,” he said.


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