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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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Archive for November, 2007

Smoking ban is a killer

 
Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

I AM a professional musician of some 30 years, playing in bars and clubs, and have been dismayed by the effect of the smoking ban. Whereas we were promised that the grateful customers would flock to premises providing a smoke-free environment, the reality has been that I have been playing in mostly empty bars, while the few customers left have been shivering outside in the rain and cold.

I have never seen such a collapse in trade, which happened immediately after the ban and has not improved since. This ill thought out law has destroyed social life in this country at a stoke, as people decide to stay at home, guzzling cheap supermarket alcohol and no doubt smoking in front of their children. I have no problem with restrictions on smoking in shops and other public places, but a total ban in pubs, forcing people to sit outside in the wet and freezing cold, while being denied adequate shelter is surely unreasonable.

Most people I know are upset and angry about this ban, and if it is not reversed it will lead to the demise of many premises which have previously been the hub of the community.

Source: Gazette, Internet Edition. Link

Smoking Ban Affects Bottom Line

 
Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

It’s been nearly two months since the Minnesota statewide smoking ban took effect. As Chris Buckley reports, it’s having an impact on bar business on the Iron Range.

Palmers Tavern in Hibbing has been in business nearly fifteen years. Owner John Larson says he’d expected business to take a hit after the new law went into effect and he did immediately.

He says this October he sold nearly thirty percent {less} product than October of 2006.

And the biggest hit was the weekday afternoon crowd.

“The people getting done with work that want to have a couple of beers, a couple of cigarettes, and go home.

These people don’t go out at night, they don’t go out on weekends, this was the only time we’d see them, and many I haven’t seen since October first.”

Our reps have said they’re at least 30 to 35% down in sales, I do know of a place in Orr that’s already begun laying off people because of it.”

He says pull tab sales are also nearly thirty percent lower than normal.

“I see the same regular players but don’t see them gambling as much, some would spend several hundred a night, and now instead of playing for three hours they’re here maybe an hour.”

The non-smokers who frequent the bar, he says, are happy with the new rules.

But those are people that are there several times a week. He hasn’t seen any new customers taking advantage of the smoke-free environment.

“I’d be interested in asking the non-smokers that say they haven’t come out in ten, fifteen years that stood in front of the county and said, we’re ready to go out. Geez, I’d like to see it – we’ve been here for 15 years, now we’re smoke free, you wanted it so here it is!”

Source: Northland News Center. Link

Letter to Lake St. Louis

 
Sunday, November 25th, 2007

In a June 28th Suburban Journal article, the owners of El Maguey Mexican restaurant and Donatelli’s Bistro expressed concern that a Lake St. Louis smoking ban would harm their businesses. They are right to worry. Elsa Barth, owner of the Seventh Inn restaurant in Ballwin, says her restaurant experienced an immediate 35 percent decline in business due to the Ballwin smoking ban. She explained that if a dinner party included even a single smoker, it would choose an alternate establishment that allowed smoking.

Source: Keep St. Louis Free Blog. Link

Smoking ban killing pubs

 
Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

Beer sales in pubs are down 22 per cent because of the smoking ban say the British Beer and Pub Association.

The Labour manifesto promised smoking pubs and non-smoking pubs but after the election they changed their minds and chose to ban smoking almost everywhere.

Some village pubs are saying that sales are down by 50 per cent which means they cannot continue in business.

Smoking ban leaves some bars smoldering

 
Sunday, November 18th, 2007

In the first month of Ohio’s public smoking ban, the little bar in a blue-collar Summit County neighborhood lost $1,000.

The reason was obvious: The bar’s owner followed the law, telling customers they couldn’t smoke. The bar’s competitors didn’t, and some even ”rented” ashtrays to customers, with the money going into a kitty to defray any smoking-violation fines.

The bar-hopping customers stopped hopping into the little bar. And the regulars, although they kept coming, were buying fewer drinks.

They’d spend 20 minutes at the bar drinking a beer, then 10 minutes outside smoking,” said the owner, who spoke anonymously to protect himself from health department inspectors. ”Instead of drinking five or six beers, they were drinking one or two.

After losing a grand in May, the bar owner changed course in June.

”I figured if that pace kept up,” he said, ”I’d be out of business before anyone else. So I said, what I’ll do is I’ll let them smoke until we get caught. The next month, instead of losing $1,000, we made $2,500 more.”

And he hasn’t been caught.

”I had to make a decision,” he said. ”I just decided to break the law and be done with it. It’s like speeding on the highway — you’re breaking the law, but until you get caught, you’re going to keep speeding, I guess.”

In Akron, Corky’s Thomastown Cafe on South Arlington Street has drawn the most complaints: 37.

Owner Billy McFrye is facing a $100 fine, on top of a loss of customers.

”People aren’t coming out,” he said. ”I’ve got numbers from last year to this year, and you can see it. It’s unreal. It’s gross. It’s down at least 25 percent.”

He remembers hearing the argument that nonsmokers would come out to take the place of smokers who stay home. But that hasn’t happened at Corky’s.

”Nonsmokers don’t go out anyway,” McFrye said. ”They’re the cheapest people breathing air. I’ve been in business 23 years, and I know there’s nothing cheaper than a nonsmoker. I’m really upset with it. I wish the people who voted for it would get cancer, that’s how pissed I am about it.”

McFrye built a patio for smokers so they could go outside and smoke without having to deal with rain, wind and snow. The health department, however, told him he couldn’t allow smoking on the patio because the patio’s roof and walls make it an enclosed space — and the law prohibits smoking in enclosed public spaces.

McFrye has an attorney fighting his fine and the health department’s ruling on the patio. In the meantime, he’s going to continue to let customers light up.

”I’ve got the signs up and ask them not to,” he said, ”but I’m not going to fight with anyone over smoking.”

Christ has heard that before.

”I’ve had owners tell me that as long as they’re open, they’re going to allow their customers to smoke,” she said. ”The next fine is $500. That might have a little bearing on that decision.”

At the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church on Portage Trail in Cuyahoga Falls, {bingo} business dropped by 25 percent after the smoking ban went into effect, parishioner Matt Pagni said.

Instead of breaking the law to allow smoking, the church bought propane heaters to put just outside the gym doors, along with free coffee. This spring, the church built a patio with chairs, ashtrays and an awning. Volunteers will play patrons’ bingo cards if they have to slip out for a smoke.

Now the church’s bingo business is back to at least 95 percent of what it was before the smoking ban. (So after all that extra expense, they’re still making less money.)

Bars, though, are in a different situation, said Jacob Evans, spokesman for the Ohio Licensed Beverage Association.

”We’re hearing from a lot of bars who are talking about drops in sales ranging from 30 to 40 percent, some 80 percent,” he said. ”And some say they’ve had a 100 percent drop because they’ve had to go ahead and close their doors.”

And, now, winter is on the way.

”What’s going to happen now when people have to step outside (to smoke)? If it’s bad now,” Evans said, ”it’s going to be devastating with the cold weather.”

Feeling the Effects of Kanawha Smoking Ban

 
Friday, November 16th, 2007

Nationwide, 15 states have laws banning smoking in all bars and restaurants. Kentucky’s Annual Economic Report did a study about 100 percent smoking bans.

One portion found banning smoking in bars means reducing the number of jobs in bars by 17 percent, which is nearly one in five jobs. Another study done by two smokers with their own money, says that smoking bans hurt bar and restaurant business 80 percent of the time.

Source: WSAZ.com. Link

Smoking ban fuels quarterly loss for Herbst Gaming

 
Friday, November 9th, 2007

LAS VEGAS, Nevada — The acquisition last spring of three casinos in Primm helped Herbst Gaming significantly grow its overall net revenues. Nevada’s 10-month-old ban on smoking in bars, restaurants and taverns, however, continued to eat away at the company’s profits
.
Herbst Gaming reported a net loss of $28.9 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, reversing net income of $8.2 million a year ago. Revenues in the period, however, were $219 million, a 58.6 percent increase compared with $138.1 million in the third quarter last year.

“There is no question the smoking ban had a dramatic impact on our route operations and has fundamentally changed the slot route industry,” Herbst Gaming President Ed Herbst said in a conference call with analysts.

Source: Casino City Times. Link

Bar owner says Minnesota smoking ban put him out of business

 
Friday, November 9th, 2007

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. (AP) A Detroit Lakes area bar owner is blaming Minnesota’s new smoking ban for putting him out of business.

Kent Tweten (TWEE’-ten) owned T-F Boonies south of Detroit Lakes. Tweten says he’d owned the bar for only a few months and was working to build a customer base when the statewide smoking ban took effect October First.

Tweten says his “happy hours” were growing when the ban hit, but after that his after-work business shrunk to nothing.

Tweten, a former Moorhead bar owner, says most established bars may be able to hang on but he predicts some will have no choice but to close because of the smoking ban.

Source: KSMC News. Link

Minnesota bars feel the pinch of smoking ban

 
Sunday, November 4th, 2007

Winona, Minn. — Winona bars are reporting a steep decline in business a month after a statewide smoking ban went into effect.

At the 500 Club, bartender Becky Brinkmeyer has noticed some regulars aren’t staying as long. Others aren’t coming in at all. “People used to come in here because they can’t smoke in their car or home,” Brinkmeyer said. “Now they can’t smoke here.”

Bar owners throughout the state are reporting a drop in business as a result of the smoking ban, and with winter coming, they fear it could get worse.

The Winona American Legion has seen a similar decrease in sales, and not just alcohol. Bartender Barb Schewe says pull-tab charitable gambling sales are way down.

“We get the same people. They just don’t stay,” Schewe said. “Once it gets cold, I think it’ll be worse.”

The same story is playing out across the state, said Tavern League of Minnesota director of communications Sue Jeffers. “We’re feeling the pain everywhere,” Jeffers said.
Early estimates indicate an average loss of 20 to 30 percent in bar sales, Jeffers said. Places that also serve food are fairing better. Jeffers, a former bar owner, said a 2005 smoking ban in Hennepin County contributed to 137 bars closing.

The real test to for Winona bars will come in about six months, said Tom Overland, owner of The Bar and the Mankato Bar. He said both businesses have experienced about a 20 to 30 percent loss.

Source: :LaCrosse Tribune. Link

Smoke ban forces pubs to hire strippers

 
Thursday, November 1st, 2007

More pubs are resorting to strippers and exotic dance nights to pull in badly-needed trade as the economy worsens and the smoking ban begins to bite.

Striptease and entertainment agencies say enquiries from pubs and clubs have significantly increased over the past six months.

Dawn Pugsley, from Angels Exotic in Windsor, Berkshire, said hard-pressed hosts were turning to strippers to entice drinkers through the door.

“We are getting a lot more enquiries from pubs and the numbers have risen sharply over the past few months or so. Licensees are telling me they are being forced to look at alternative forms of entertainment because they are struggling so badly,” she said.

“More licensees are looking at these sort of nights, especially since the smoking ban began to hit trade.”

Source: Morning Advertiser. Link

SMOKING BAN BLAMED FOR BINGO HALL CLOSURE

 
Thursday, November 1st, 2007

A bingo hall has been forced to close after 37 years in business.

The Bingorama club in King Street, Belper, closed its doors for the last time on Tuesday.
The club’s operator, Stylus Sports, said that current pressures facing the bingo industry, such as high taxation and the smoking ban, made Bingorama economically unviable.
Managing director Peter Hargreaves said: “I have worked in the bingo industry for nearly 30 years and the current climate is the most difficult I can recall.

“If the Government continues failing to address the inequality of trading position that bingo clubs currently face, many local communities will see a familiar social facility disappear from their towns for good.

“It is with much regret and sadness that we have been forced to close Bingorama with the resulting loss of jobs and social facilities for local residents.

“I should like to thank all our staff and customers for their support over the years.”

Source: Evening Telegraph. Link

More pubs face action over smoke ban

 
Thursday, November 1st, 2007

Pubs across the country are facing legal showdowns with councils over issues arising from the smoking ban.

Following The Publican’s exclusive story last week on Chelmsford licensee Jeff Castledine, more licensees have come forward telling of their harsh treatment from their local authorities.

Noise from smokers outside pubs is the main issue causing licensees headaches.

The letter sent to Ashley states: “As the interview will be tape recorded in accordance with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 you may bring a legal representative/solicitor with you. The maximum penalty for breaching license conditions is £20,000 and or 6 months imprisonment.”

Another licensee, who wished to remain anonymous, has been sent a letter by his council saying it is “monitoring the situation” over noise outside his pub.

He said he is facing a “catch-22” over what do to with his outdoor area. “I’m being challenged to put in heaters outside, but I’m loath to make the area more comfortable because there is more chance of noise,” he said.

Source: The Publican. Link

 

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