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Smoking Bans
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Smoking Ban Links

Nicotine Nannies claim smoking bans are good for business. But if that were the case, could this list exist, and could it be so huge? (Please note, this is only a small sample of articles available on the subject.)

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Archive for 2003

The Smoking Ban: Clear Air, Murky Economics

Sunday, December 28th, 2003

Nine months later, the impact is hardly so clear cut. An examination of government data, public polls, private surveys and interviews with customers, employees and owners of more than three dozen bars and restaurants around the city shows the law having an impact on some businesses, but certainly not on all.

Many bar owners and managers say the smoking ban has hurt business, eroding profits and, in some cases, forcing them to cut back hours or lay off workers. Others say they have seen virtually no effect.

Happy-hour sales on Friday nights at the Whiskey Ward on the Lower East Side have dropped to barely $100, from $600, a co-owner says, and regulars have disappeared along with the ashtrays.

A co-owner of Patroon, a steakhouse in Midtown, says he no longer sees much of a cigar-puffing, after-dinner crowd. And in the meatpacking district, the owner of Hogs & Heifers, where Julia Roberts was once enticed to dance on the bar, says she is considering laying off four employees.

”It’s harder to keep track of everybody going in and out,” said Chuck Zeilfelder, a bartender at Bourbon Street in Bayside, Queens, who opposes the ban. ”It’s common for people to leave money on the bar, and that becomes an issue — how much they left. Also, people leave their drinks on the bar and go out. The drinks get thrown out, and then you have to buy them another round on the house.”

The city chapters of the New York State Restaurant Association mailed out a survey to more than 900 members and found that 88 of the 115 city businesses that responded said they had a decline in bar sales since the smoking ban, and 58 said they had a decline in food sales. In addition, 76 reported that their employees had an unfavorable reaction to the ban, while 18 reported a favorable reaction.

Similarly, an October study commissioned by the Vintners Federation of Ireland interviewed 300 bars and nightclubs in the New York region and found that 66 percent reported fewer customers since the smoking ban, while 15 percent reported more. In all, 78 percent said the impact of the ban on their businesses had been negative.

Sales representatives for wine and liquor companies say the impact has trickled down to them. They say business has dropped between 20 percent and 40 percent since the smoking ban. Similarly, an association for operators of jukeboxes, pinball machines and other games says that revenues have fallen between 10 and 25 percent at bars and nightclubs in New York City.

Owners and employees reported selling fewer drinks and losing customers before dessert. They complained of the need to watch over drinks and money left on the bar and seats left unoccupied by patrons heading out for a smoke. And bartenders said that tips were down, as were overall tabs, and that longtime customers were resorting to alternatives — hotel rooms, private homes and parks — to indulge their smoking and drinking.

Amy Sacco, owner of Lot 61 and Bungalow 8 in West Chelsea, said she had to hire an extra security guard just to make sure the smoking crowd outside does not become unruly. ”It makes the job very unhappy,” Ms. Sacco said. ”Next thing you know, it’s prohibition for cocktails. We’re all responsible for policing it. It’s such a drag.”

Source: New York Times. Link

Smoking ban hurts local business

Monday, December 15th, 2003

Since the state’s smoking ban took affect in July, there hasn’t been a lot of laughs at Viva Debris Comedy and Magic Club. Business is down, way down.

“We have lost about 30% of our business which includes 30% of our staff,” said owner Joe Delion.

Source: News 10 Now. Link Expired.

NYC busts shop owner for ashtray

Saturday, November 8th, 2003

A business owner who left an ashtray sitting out in his shop has been fined $6,000 by New York City’s health inspector, who was enforcing the city’s tough, new anti-smoking law.

On the ticket, health inspectors M. Dundas and S. Holloway reported: “One (1) ashtray with cigarette butt, and ashes, was seen on the counter of the establishment.”

The ashtray was there, he said, because a customer came in the store with a cigarette. Rather than make her go back outside, Arno let her snuff it out in the ashtray.


Another NYC bar closes

Tuesday, September 9th, 2003

I just closed my bar in lower Manhattan about two weeks ago. I felt bad laying off seven workers. Most of them had been with me during the five years Swan’s was open. None of them had ever complained about secondhand smoke. Taverns are dropping like flies, but not from smoking or cancer.”

Source: Caledonian Record. Link Expired.

Mills calls for repeal of smoking ban

Tuesday, September 9th, 2003

State Assemblyman Howard Mills of Hamptonburgh yesterday urged county officials in the Hudson Valley to grant waivers to businesses that are being negatively impacted by the new state indoor smoking ban.

Many restaurants and bars are reporting a severe decline in business since the law went into effect.

If Mills had his way, he would do away with the law all together. “It’s not that I’m pro-smoking, I’m not a smoker myself, and it’s not that I’m not concerned about the public health,” he said. “It is a matter of personal choice. I think we need to be very careful in this day and age that government does not go too far and I think the smoking ban is one of the most over reaching and big brother bits of legislation that I have seen I went to Albany four years ago.”



Monday, July 28th, 2003

A page that documents dozens of closings, as well as incidents of smoker harassment. This is a very old page and unfortunately, most of the links have expired.


Smoke and Mirrors

Monday, July 28th, 2003

The health department’s stats on jobs and the smoking ban don’t add up.

I couldn’t help thinking of Disraeli’s comment when I saw the report issued by the city’s Department of Health last week claiming that Mayor Bloomberg’s controversial new anti-smoking law is having no effect on employment in Gotham’s restaurant and bar industry, despite howls from owners that their business is slowing down.

There are so many things wrong with this “report,” it’s difficult to know where to begin, but let’s start with the actual number of restaurant jobs in New York from March through June. First, we need to know that the government’s monthly employment data for New York City are not based on an actual count of jobs, which would be too burdensome to do every month, but on a projection made from a limited survey of local employers.

Moreover, the health department report says that the job numbers are “seasonally adjusted,” which adds yet another level of fiddling to what are already massaged data.

To get a somewhat more accurate picture of what may be happening in the business right now, it makes more sense to look at the jobs data that are not seasonally adjusted from this year and compare each month to the same month last year, which reduces the impact of the seasonal hiring. Those figures show that in every month from March to June, the city had fewer restaurant jobs this year than it did in the same month last year. By contrast, in both 2000 and 2001, two years when the city’s restaurant industry grew, in every month from March to June restaurants recorded substantially more employment than for the same month the previous year.

Read the Rest Here.

For Bart’s, ban on smoking is a killer

Thursday, July 3rd, 2003

Rocky Mountain News

Smoking killed it. Rather, it was the lack of it that forced its quick demise.

Less than a year after the city of Louisville enacted a no-smoking ordinance in all restaurants, Bart’s, a fixture in the town for nearly three decades, shut its doors last week.

It had in recent months become a deserted shell of its former self. The bar, like many in Louisville restaurants these days, stood empty all day.

Robert Mannion had lost 99 percent of his smoking clientele after the ordinance passed, he said, the folks who once filled the place on Fridays, on the weekend and, particularly, on game days.


Niagara County Bars experience 17% loss due to ban

Tuesday, May 20th, 2003

Bars and restaurants in Niagara County estimate a 17 per cent loss of business is on the low end since the smoking ban went into effect. I’m told business at some establishments is down by 50 per cent and more.

Source: WIVB TV. Link Expired.

No Smoking? No Customers

Tuesday, May 20th, 2003

Tony Almeida, co-owner of Eightball VIP Sports Cafe in Chatham, said the bylaw has had a “drastic impact.

“I would say sales have been impacted to the tune of 40 per cent or more,” he said.

Source: Chatham Daily News. Link Expired

Mattydale bar closes after smoking ban

Tuesday, May 20th, 2003

It may have looked like a party, but patrons were saying their good-byes to Cam Nel. The bar closed its doors Sunday after more than 50 years of serving the Mattydale community.

Source: news10now.com. Link Expired

Effects of ban in NYC

Tuesday, May 13th, 2003

A few miles away, in downtown Manhattan, the waitresses at McCann’s restaurant pub have given up waiting for a lunchtime diner. “No one’s coming to eat here from work,” says the bartender, Luke Sullivan. “There’s a deli downstairs. They get their sandwiches from there and eat them outside, where they can have a smoke as well. Waitresses pay their rent with tips. Now they’re not getting any.

Source: Telegraph.co.uk. Link Expired

Bingo Halls Want NYS To “Butt” Out

Sunday, March 2nd, 2003

Workers say profits are down 50 percent this month. On a Tuesday night in September 2002 about 143 people played at Bingo World in Greece. Only 79 showed up on the same night this year.

Source: Channel 13 News. Link Expired

Bingo revenues go up in smoke

Sunday, March 2nd, 2003

“Some of the charities are hurting, significantly,” he said, adding, “we’re seeing a decrease in charity dollars in the vicinity of $35,000 to $40,000 a month.”

Source: Chatham Daily News. Link Expired.

Driving home perils of smoking

Sunday, March 2nd, 2003

A proposed state law takes California’s smoking debate to the final frontier: the home.

Promising to spark a debate over government’s role in people’s personal lives, the bill would allow neighbor to sue neighbor to rid apartment and condominium complexes of wafting tobacco smoke.


Dallas Ban Costs Hotels a Million Dollars in Lost Revenue

Friday, February 14th, 2003

At the Hyatt Regency Dallas, general manager Steve Vissotzky says the Hyatt has lost more than $750,000 in ’03 sales because the ban includes hotel meeting rooms. Cigar Aficionado magazine canceled a March event there, and Philip Morris nixed a meeting in August. Over at the Fairmont Hotel, meanwhile, GM Frank Naboulsi says ban-related cancellations total $250,000 so far.



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