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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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Hennepin County board considers exemptions to smoke ban

 
Tuesday, December 13th, 2005

Minneapolis, Minn. — The dining room in American Legion Post 600 in Champlin is large enough to fit more than 200 people. It features a small stage in the corner for live music, a couple large screen televisions and arcade-style video games. But during lunchtime on a recent weekday, only four customers are present.

Legion managers say business is down 25 percent since the smoke ban took effect in Hennepin County. As a result, they’ve had to layoff one of their 30 employees. Bartender Mary Voss says in her 34 years at this this Post, she’s never seen business so bad.

Voss says business started dropping soon after commissioners enacted the ban in April. The post is located just across the border from Anoka County where there is no ban. Voss says that’s where a lot of the smoking customers have gone.

“And they’ve taken all of our non-smoking customers with them,” she says. “Because our smoking customers and the non-smoking customers are friends, they all hang out together. If they don’t go across the river, they stay home.”

“You can see the business has gone down a lot,” says Voss. “It’s tough.”

Voss says business started dropping soon after commissioners enacted the ban in April. The post is located just across the border from Anoka County where there is no ban. Voss says that’s where a lot of the smoking customers have gone.

“And they’ve taken all of our non-smoking customers with them,” she says. “Because our smoking customers and the non-smoking customers are friends, they all hang out together. If they don’t go across the river, they stay home.”

Data from the Minnesota Department of Revenue shows a decrease in total taxable sales for establishments that sell liquor in Champlin over the past year. In 2004, for the months of April, May and June, Champlin establishments made $1.63 million in total taxable sales. In 2005, that number fell to $1.46 million.

Taxable sales have gone up for establishments in Coon Rapids, which is just across the border into Anoka county.

“Right after the smoking ban took effect, I had a young man come in in his cammies and his dad came in and they each ordered a beer,” says Voss. “He went to light up a cigarette and I told him he couldn’t smoke. Do you know that poor man just came in from Baghdad that day? Does anybody know what it’s like to have to tell someone who’s fighting for us that they can’t even smoke in their own club? That just made me sick.”

Source: Minnesota Public Radio. Link

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