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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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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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