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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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Smoking ban burns businesses

Wednesday, April 14th, 2004

To see how well the smoking ban here is working out, join Tracy Willows at the end of her shift, when she is shaking her head at the 20 bucks — if she’s lucky — in her pocket and wondering if her pay will be enough to fill her gas tank, much less put food on the table or buy gym uniforms for her two kids.

“I can’t even pay my rent. My parents have been making my car payments for me, but they can’t do that anymore,” she said this week from a booth at the Grand Central Casino, where she is a waitress.

This casino has laid off 15 employees since the Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health’s new smoking regulations went into effect in earnest Feb. 26. And managers say they will lay off 40 to 50 more if the business slump, which they blame on the ban, continues.

My tips have gone down from $70 or $80 a day to less than $20,” Willows said.

Other bar and restaurant owners say they have fired employees or cut back hours because of sudden drops in revenue.

The Grand Central Casino in Lakewood says its gambling take since Feb. 26 is down 35 percent from what it had projected. Its liquor sales dropped by 42 percent, and its food sales are down 25 percent, said regional manager Greg Bakamis.

In contrast, the company’s casino in Tukwila, King County, which allows smoking, has met or exceeded projections during the same period.

In the meantime, Dawn Forsman, a card dealer at Freddie’s Casino in Fife, says her job is on the line. She told the Board of Health this week that her pay has been cut in half during the ban.

“How many people have to lose their cars and their jobs and their homes before you see that trying to protect my health is endangering my livelihood?” she said.


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