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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.)

This page uses blogging software to make it easier to search. Each post contains excerpts from the original article. Our comments are in italics. More detailed information is available here.

Archive for August, 2005

‘Thirsty Dog’ to close; ban on smoking cited

Friday, August 26th, 2005

The area’s only on-site beer-making establishment, Thirsty Dog Grille and Brewery, will close today at midnight.

A steep drop in business the past several months was cited Friday night by the restaurant’s general manager, Bill Burns, a direct result of the city’s smoking ban that went into effect April 4, he said.

Source: Dayton Daily News. Link Expired

Smoking Ban Damages Bingo Profits in Edmonton

Friday, August 26th, 2005

Last year’s bingo proceeds at the Association of Evergreen Youth in the Canadian city of Edmonton, Alberta, reached $91,000. However, the non-profit organization’s bingo profits this year have only reached slightly over $30,000.

Many hands point an accusing finger at Edmonton’s smoking ban, which took effect on July 1st of this year. Although the law has removed the nicotine clouds that floated through the city’s bingo halls, it also lowered the financial standings of civic organizations and charities that use bingo in order to raise money.

In addition, the ban has apparently helped neighboring towns profit – bingo halls in Spruce Grove and Wetaskiwin, which do not have a smoking ban in effect, seem to be smokier than ever and, have in fact reported up to 40 percent increases in profits.

Source: Bingo.com. Link

Downtown bars report suffering from smoking ban despite student clientele

Friday, August 26th, 2005

“My business has been down at least 30 percent,” said Dave Wiganowsky, owner of Wiggie’s, 1901 Aberg Ave. “By implementing this ban, the city has kicked the spokes out of my wheel that I had spinning very nicely for 25 years.”

Source: dailycardnal.com. Link expired.

Charities: Smoking Ban Affects Charitable Gambling

Friday, August 26th, 2005

Bemidji, Minn. (AP) ― Bar owners have long criticized smoking bans for costing them customers. Now, some charities are arguing that fewer customers also mean less money for charitable gambling.

“I can’t dispute that smoking is a bad health problem,” said King Wilson, executive director of Allied Charities of Minnesota, “But smoking bans are hurting charitable gambling operations.”

“In looking at pull tab and other charitable gambling activities for April and May in Hennepin County, sales are down 20 percent,” Wilson said.

Source: wcco.com. Link

Appleton Bar for Sale, Owner Blames Smoking Ban

Friday, August 26th, 2005

The owner says the smoking ban has cost her customers and made it a struggle to stay afloat, so bar owners held a rally to vent some frustration over the citywide workplace smoking ban.

Those who normally compete against Kraft are now wishing her the best. “It’s a little scary,” she says, “having everyone come here to say good-bye to us. I didn’t really think it would end this way.”

Kraft made the decision to close after losing 65 percent of her customers, she said, entirely because of the smoking ban.

“It’s extremely sad to see someone who has put their heart and soul into this business for so long. It’s her dream and now it’s gone,” Johnson said.

Source: wbay.com. Link

Bars show smoking ban hurts

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2005

Her records show a revenue drop of nearly $57,000, or 28 percent, for the last half of 2005 versus 2004.

“And January was worse. We were down 40 percent, over $18,000 in sales,” Roepcke said.

“Our sales had been increasing, but when the smoking ban hit it was devastating. We were losing 30 to 40 percent a month.

“Our profit margin is gone. I’ve had to take $40,000 out of my own pocket since July to cover our losses.”

Roepcke said he has cut his staff of 14 employees by half.

“The seven employees we have left have had their hours cut back,” Roepcke said.

“Last month alone we were down 50 percent in Budweiser sales from the year before,” Roepcke said. “If the exemption doesn’t pass, I don’t know what a lot of the bars are going to do. Right now, we are borrowing, cutting back and not taking a salary ourselves just to stay in business.”

Source: Post Crescent. Link Expired.

Party survey reveals true effect of smoking ban

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2005

If one accepts the latest Smokefree Coalition figures indicating trade in bars has picked up in the June quarter, compared to the same period last year, then one would accept also that Elvis is still in the house and the Easter Bunny is for real.

In an August 17 media release, Smokefree Coalition Director Leigh Sturgiss says that monthly sales for bars and clubs increased 2.2 percent for April, stayed the same for May and increased 7.5 percent for June, compared with the same months in 2004.

Sturgiss says that the latest figures indicate that fears about loss of profits following the smoking ban appear to be unfounded and that the latest figures show sales have rebounded, following an initial downturn.

The same release quotes ASH Director Becky Freeman as saying the latest figures are a sign that New Zealand is seeing similar results to other countries and jurisdictions that have introduced smokefree bars.

The release also quotes Freeman as saying sales tend to dip initially, but quickly recover, and that is what seems to be happening in New Zealand.

Freeman goes on to say while a few smokers may initially stay away from bars, they soon start coming back, and that bars have attracted new patrons from the 75 percent of New Zealanders who don’t smoke and who used to stay away from smoky pubs.

“If the 75% of New Zealanders who don’t smoke, and who stayed away from smoky pubs were now taking advantage of the smokefree bars, the majority of licensees would be laughing all the way to the bank”, says WIN Party spokesperson Dave Clarke.

“Unfortunately, in the real world, where Sturgiss and Freeman obviously do not reside, licensees heading to the bank are not laughing. They go to the bank with not even a smile, looking for overdrafts to keep their ailing businesses afloat”.

“We have not witnessed the increased patronage as promised by Sturgiss, Freeman and other anti-smoking lobbyists when bars became smokefree on 10 December 2004”.

“What we have seen is an industry fall into decline, with job losses, cutbacks in working hours, hotel closures, businesses up for sale and varying profit losses”.

Results from 687 bars responding to a nationwide WIN Party survey revealed that for the six-month period following the bans introduction, as compared to the same period the year before, two hundred and twenty-one bars (32%) have not been adversely affected, with some recording profit increases.

One hundred and eighty-three bars (27%) indicated a less than 5% drop-off in profitability, one hundred and eleven bars (16%) recorded losses between 5% and 9%, and seventy-three bars (11%) recorded decreased profits between 10% and 19%.
Forty-seven bars recorded losses between 20% and 29%, twenty-six bars have suffered losses between 30% and 39%, eighteen bars had losses of between 40% and 49% and eight bars recorded profit losses of 50% or greater.

“Our survey result reveals the true effect the smoking ban has had upon the hotel, tavern and bar industry nationwide”, says Clarke, “and it’s a result not distorted by ‘seasonally adjusted figures’ or the aberration of the Lions Tour”.

“While the licensed bar industry struggles to survive in rural areas, the illegal bar trade is booming, as opportunists cash in on the smoking ban that’s driven many smokers to find alternative social venues”.

“At one unlicensed bar in the Wairarapa, in operation prior to the bans introduction, trade has doubled, and while police are aware of its existence, they have not shut it down”.

“If the indicators of a ‘successful’ smoking ban are job losses, bar closures and proliferation of unlicensed bars, then yes, New Zealand’s smoking ban is a monumental success”.

Source: Scoop. Link

VFW Post Blames Low Business On Smoking Ban

Friday, August 5th, 2005

Hopkins, Minn. (WCCO) ― VFW Posts are more than just places where veterans socialize. The posts are also major charitable contributors, but some posts said they are putting the donations on hold.

The reason some posts give: the Hennepin County smoking ban.

The VFW Post 425 in Hopkins, Minn. has seen a 20 percent decline at the bar in recent months.

“I knew it was gonna be bad,” said Mark Peterson, the VFW gambling manager. “I didn’t think it was gonna be this bad.”

“And you’re telling me a 91-year-old vet of World War II shouldn’t be able to smoke a cigar at his own post?” asked VFW bartender Carolyn Dreeszen. “That’s ridiculous.”

The real bad luck is at the pulltab counter, where business is down nearly 30 percent. That money should be going to charity.

“We’ve suspended all of our donations right now, until we find out how well we’re gonna weather this,” said Peterson.

The post planned on donating another $30,000 to scholarships, school groups and baseball teams, but now, the vets have a bigger worry.

“What’s in jeopardy is closing the doors of the building,” said Peterson.

Source: wcco.com. Link

Bar owners say no-smoking ban is choking them

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005

It is about health, but for bartender Lucy Cuccia it’s also about paying the bills. Like a lot of service people, Cuccia makes money mostly on tips.

No customers, no tips.

No tips, no rent money.

I’m down at least a third,” said Cuccia, who works at Tail Gators, near the corner of East Washington and Stoughton Road, and at the Locker Room, located in the parking lot of Oscar Mayer’s. Cuccia’s boss at the two bars, Dale Beck, has already laid off six night bartenders and the day cook, after seeing his business plunge 60 percent.

Joe Klinzing, who owns South Towne Lounge, showed me figures indicating his sales are down 33 percent compared to July 2004. That’s bad for Klinzing, and bad for his bartender, Stephanie Hall.

“They wanted to look out for my health,” she said. “I wonder if they’ll pay my rent?”

It’s also bad for the beer saleswoman who stopped by while I talked to Klinzing. He told her he couldn’t reorder. She didn’t want to give me her full name but said she’s been to some Madison bars that haven’t ordered liquor or beer since mid-June.

No beer, no commission for her.

Source: Wisconsin State Journal. Link Expired.

Smoking ban foes mobize

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005

With allies such as former Mayor Paul Soglin and reports from 73 bars that business in July was off by roughly one-third, a new coalition says it is prepared to overturn Madison’s smoking ban.

She reported that business in her bar, at the edge of the city on the southeast side, was down 23 percent compared with last July and that they have gone from three bartenders on a Friday night to one. Additionally, her beer orders have plummeted. She used to order 100 cases of beer per week from each of two main distributors. Now she said she orders 25.

Source: Madison.com. Link expired.

Minimum wage hike and smoking ban: a double whammy for bars and restaurants?

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005

If you haven’t been out to a restaurant or bar in the Twin Cities lately, you might notice a few things are different. The ashtrays may be gone, the prices on the menu might be a bit higher, and fewer customers may belly up to the bar for “last call.” The changes are the result of recent laws, some of which started Aug. 1, that deeply affect the service industry. Proprietors in St. Paul have mixed reactions to those laws.

St. Paul, Minn. — The recent slate of laws started back earlier this year, when smoking bans forced many Twin Cities area bars and restaurants to go smoke-free. Ramsey County’s smoking ban affected restaurants primarily. Some proprietors say that’s led to a drop in patronage.

“The restaurant industry is at a dangerous crossroads,” Day says. “There are a lot of business owners throwing up their hands saying, ‘Why should we operate in Minnesota anymore?'”

We had to fire six or seven waitresses and two cooks,” Theodorakakos says. “We used to be open till 9 o’clock at night. We close at 3 now.”

{Unemployment} “Claims in the food service sector are up 10 to 15 percent, and that comes at a time when claims overall have been on the decrease,” Hine says.

Source: Minnesota Public Radio. Link


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