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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 February, 2008

‘Robbed’ of the right to smoke

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

The ban on smoking in enclosed public places has caused controversy, but what if you couldn’t smoke in the place where you lived?

Life in a typical mental health unit is not exactly festooned with luxuries. Like all hospitals, they can seem cold, clinical and austere places to many patients.

And life is about to get worse for many of those held in a unit. By 1 July 2008 they must all be smoke-free. Prisons, on the other hand, will remain exempt from the smoking ban.

The move is likely to anger many patients, who are not allowed to leave the unit and are not being punished for any crime. Already three are taking legal action over their right to smoke.

The patients argue the hospital is effectively their home and therefore they should be able to smoke. The new rules even prevent them smoking in the grounds.

“You have the choice to smoke in prison, but not in a mental hospital,” he says. “But prisons are there for punishment, and hospitals are there for treatment.”

“People who use mental health services are twice as likely to smoke as those who do not, and some may use this as a means of coping with distress,” she says.

And there is even an argument that suddenly being made to give up smoking could worsen their problems, suggests Dr Chris Allen, a consultant clinical psychologist.

“If they’re using smoking as a way of assistance to cope with their mental health problems, and then that’s taken away, that could lead to problems being exacerbated.”

Source: BBC News. Link

Smoking ban takes center stage in bars across the state

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

(Some bar owners, devastated by declining revenues as a direct result of smoking bans, have come up with a clever way to win back their smoking patrons. They declare everything that happens in a bar is a performance, and everyone inside is an actor. The state law allows actors to smoke on stage.)

It’s not exactly the venue you’d envision for a Saturday night performance. But Bugg’s Bar in South St. Paul has become the latest stage for a statement.

“We’re doing it because we’ve lost so much business, and we’re trying to get people back out, trying to get them back in the community, trying to get them back in the bars,” said Crystal Bentson, Manager of Bugg’s Bar.

Patrons at Bugg’s Bar paid two dollars for a sticker entitling them to a role in the bar’s production Saturday night. It also gave them an opportunity to light up, if they desired.
You can call it the second act in an ongoing drama. Turns out, dozens of bars across the state are now treating the smoking ban like a brief intermission.

Kenn Rockler of the Tavern League of Minnesota said he’s heard from more than a hundred bar owners looking for the latest way to deal with a ban they say is bad for business. They think they’ve found it, in a once little known exemption in the state smoking ban that allows smoking in theatrical productions.

“Maybe the people who did the exemption weren’t aware what would happen with it,” Rockler said. “But again, those people are the same people that said businesses wouldn’t suffer.

Rockler estimates more than four thousand people have lost their jobs since the ban went into effect on October 1, 2007.

State Senator Kathy Sheran sponsored the law last year, she said the current activity undermines the intention to “protect people from smoke in all of these places.”

“It’s creative, it’s clever, it shows us a loophole in the law that people will want to find their way through,” she said. “But it will require us to find resources to go back.”

(Yeah, damn those hard working business owners who refuse to go out of business. We must punish them!)

Source Kare11. Link

Smoke ban shuts Blackpool club

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

A SECOND social club in Blackpool has closed blaming the smoking ban for driving members away.

And its owners today warned others will follow.

The curtain will come down on the Claremont Theatre Club on Friday after two decades.

It follows the shock closure of the Central Club in Kent Road.

Claremont owner David Hall said in its heyday his Sherbourne Road club boasted 1,000 members. Numbers have now dwindled to just 100.

He said: “I’ve had days recently when I’ve only taken £20 all day and you can’t survive on that. The smoking ban has crucified my business, and it’s doing the same to everyone.

He said: “I’ve had days recently when I’ve only taken £20 all day and you can’t survive on that. The smoking ban has crucified my business, and it’s doing the same to everyone.

The Central Club closed just a few weeks ago.

A statement from management at the once hugely popular venue said: “We regret that due to increased running costs, government legislation and the smoking ban we are now closed.”

Julie Sandwell, of Blackpool-based Sandwell Entertainments which books acts for venues including social clubs, said business was the toughest it had ever been in the agency’s 27-year history.

She said: “It’s a real shame the Claremont Theatre Club is closing. I have definitely noticed quite a drop in business because of the smoking ban.

Meanwhile, there are a number of pubs in the resort currently shut including The Bloomfield on Ansdell Road, the Oxford in Oxford Square, the former Lionel Vinyl’s in Clifton Street, the Royal on Marton Drive and the Cedar Tavern in Cedar Square.

Source: Blackpool Gazette. Link

Smoking ban for post riles veterans

Sunday, February 24th, 2008

Cohasset health officials are trying to ban smoking in the George Mealy American Legion post – the last private club in town where smoking is allowed – but some veterans say that, after serving their country, they have earned the right to light up if they wish.

“My personal feeling as a veteran is we deserve something a little bit special,” Vietnam veteran Bill Van Note said. “It’s nice to come in here and smoke and share our stories. At one point in time, we were willing to pay out with our lives for this country. Give us a break. Let us have our piece of the world.”

Van Note said the meeting with selectmen on March 10 is “meaningless” in his opinion. “The handwriting is on the wall. This is knee-jerk anti-smokers who never paid the price to belong here.”

(Yep, you guys litteraly risked your life for freedom, and the nicotine nannies are using that freedom to kick you out of your own place.)

“I think any veteran who wants to come in here and have a cigarette or cigar should be able to,” Dolan said. “We have a veteran who is 82 years old. He comes in and has a drink and smokes his pipe. People know what’s involved here when they walk through the door.”

(Sorry, old man. You once risked your life for your country, but you’re an evil evil smoker, so you must be kicked out in the cold and the rain. Otherwise, it would annoy a nanny, who would never visit the club, and we can’t have that, can we?)

Source: Boston.com Link

Bars Turning To Theatre To Beat Smoking Ban

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

DALBO, Minn. (WCCO) ― A growing number of bars are turning into temporary theaters to take advantage of a loophole in the smoking ban law.

The Dusty Eagle is the only bar in Dalbo. Since the smoking ban, business has gone down there 30 to 40 percent. The owners are trying something new to attract business. They’re taking a cue from an old TV show to bring back some familiar faces. Last Saturday night, an actual local mail carrier was playing “Cliff Claven” from “Cheers”.

Though there is some performance, no one there at “theater night” is a professional actor. For last Saturday night, the entire bar was being considered a stage and pretend “actors” were smoking as part of the “show”. The Dusty Eagle is just one of the bars using “theater night” to get around the smoking ban.

Judy Cassman, the bar’s owner, is quick to clarify her position.

“We’re not trying to be vindictive, we’re not trying to be sneaky. We’re trying to draw some business and keep a family business going,” said Cassman.

Source: Wcoo.com. Link

Smoking ban kills Lynn Hogshead

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

THE first pub in Lynn has fallen victim to the smoking ban with news that the Hogshead is to close.

Laurel Pub Company yesterday confirmed that the Hogshead, opposite Debenhams, would be closing on Tuesday.

“We are working to try to relocate our eight employees where possible, however in some cases this will lead to redundancies.(What a nice way of saying they’ll be losing their jobs.)

Lynn’s club and pub scene is about to change with Presnell’s Club in Millfleet closing within the next fortnight.

Source: lynnnews.com. Link

10% profit drop since smoke ban for hosts

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

The smoking ban has reduced the profit of the average tenanted licensee by 10%, analysts at Goldman Sachs have claimed.

Source: Morning Advertiser. Link

Smoking in bars just an act?

Saturday, February 16th, 2008

(If smoking bans were good for business, would owners take such elaborate measured to get around them?)

Minnesota bar patrons are lighting up once again in the tavern, in the name of theater. It’s been months since smokers could puff away inside the bars, but a lawyer says a lit cigarette is nothing more than a prop as thespians act in “The Tobacco Monologues.”

Mark Benjamin was dressed in full renaissance garb as he inhaled his Marlboro. “Some of my friends in the VFW’s and legions were suffering as a result of the smoking ban. I thought I would research the law to determine if there was a way I could help my friends,” Benjamin explained. “I found the exception. The way it was written. I realized if we can have Shakespeare in the park, we can have Shakespeare in the bar. It was written just that way, there was no definition of theatrical productions,” the criminal defense lawyer by traded, added.

Staff members at Barnacles Resort on the north shore of Mille Lacs passed out play bills for good measure Saturday night. A sign on the door warned bar customers that “actors would be smoking.”

Jeanne Weigum, Executive Director of the Association for Nonsmokers told the Star Tribune, “This is pretty lame. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. And if it looks like a bar, it’s a bar.”

Benjamin says at least six bars in the state “put on plays” Saturday night. He hopes more bar owners will stand up and take advantage of the theatrical production exception. The State Attorney General’s office is looking into the loophole.

Source: kare11.com. Link

Bars: Smoking ban hurts business

Saturday, February 16th, 2008

CARBONDALE – About six weeks after it went into effect, many local bar owners say the statewide smoking ban is burning their bottom line.

The ban was touted as means of protecting employees from second-hand smoke and attracting business from non-smokers. But throughout the region, bar owners say the ban has kept smokers away and non-smokers have not filled the void.

“Hopefully we are going to get a new generation of nonsmoking alcoholics; it’s all I can hope for,” joked Ely Lane, night manager at PK’s bar in Carbondale. “We are in a pretty bad situation here. It (business) is down about 30 percent. We don’t own the property so we can’t erect a second area like a smoking gazebo. We don’t know what we are going to do so we are hunkering down and hoping for better times.”

At the Perfect Shot in Herrin, part-owner Traci Drew said business during the week has been cut in half; the bar is offering more drink deals to boost business.

At The Cellar in Carbondale, owner Paul Stokes said business is down about 20 percent so far this year. At Mugsy McGuire’s, owner Matt Maier said last January was the worst he’s had in 10 years.

Da-Nite Bar in Murphysboro is reporting similar returns so far, said Manager Julie Crabtree.

“We had folks that used to come in at 3 and stay until six. Now they come in and stay for an hour,” she said. “Some of our regulars are just not coming in at all. I’d have to say I’ve lost at least 15 of my regulars.”

Crabtree added: “It’s cut down on business; it’s also fewer tips for the staff and less money coming in for the owner.”

At Pinch Penny Pub in Carbondale, General Manager James Karayiannis said the ban has
“affected business for the negative” and agreed with Lane at PK’s that non-smokers have not replaced smokers.

“There are some shifts, say Friday afternoon, when we see some new faces; but the week as a whole, there are more people staying home and no one replacing them,” he said. “Certain behaviors go with other behaviors and I think the person who wants to go to a bar during the week was more likely to tolerate smoke.”

Source: SouthernIllinoisan.com. Link

Smoke ban forces Gala to close bingo halls

Sunday, February 10th, 2008

Gala Coral is the latest bingo operator to close a handful of its clubs after the smoking ban and new gaming laws ravaged the number of punters, forcing the industry into a major rethink of strategy.

The company, which owns 169 clubs, will close the doors for good at five of its worst-performing sites this weekend.

West Granton in Edinburgh, Winton in Bournemouth and Bedminster in Bristol will be among the clubs closed.

Last year, Gala’s rival, stock market-listed Rank, closed 17 clubs.

Source: This Is Money. Link

It’s game over as smoking ban kills off city bingo hall

Friday, February 8th, 2008

THE number’s up for an Edinburgh bingo hall that has been forced to close after an 80 per cent drop in players since the smoking ban.

Gala Bingo, in West Granton, once boasted around 8000 customers a week – but numbers have slumped to as low as 1500 since the ban came into force.

On Saturday night, the decision was finally taken to close the club, which opened 12 and a half years ago.

The Bingo Association, the body representing the game, said around 40 clubs across the UK had closed in the past year.

Paul Talboys, the association’s chief executive, said 189 clubs across the UK are currently under the threat of closure.


Prisoners can smoke after riot over ban

Friday, February 8th, 2008

Quebec’s public security minister is denying he backtracked on a smoking ban in light of a small riot that broke out at the Orsainville detention centre late Thursday night.

A law prohibiting smoking both inside and outside of Quebec’s 18 prisons went into effect on Tuesday. Just before midnight on Thursday between 30 and 50 prisoners began fighting and set fire to a wing of the Orsainville detention centre just north of Quebec City. The section was evacuated for about an hour while firefighters put out the fire. There were no injuries.

0n Friday, Public Security Minister Jacques Dupuis issued a statement saying prisoners would be allowed to smoke outside – an activity that was prohibited under the ban.

Source: Canada.com. Link

Metropolis officials blame smoking ban for gambling drop

Friday, February 8th, 2008

Officials of Harrah’s Metropolis riverboat casino claim Illinois’ new smoking ban has resulted in the layoff of about 30 jobs at the casino.

Casino officials claim guests are spending less on entertainment and making fewer trips because of the ban and the casino suffered a drop in visitation compared to the previous six-month average.

Metropolis Mayor Billy McDaniel pointed out Thursday that he predicted when the smoking ban went into effect January 1, that it would have negative consequences on the local economy.

Source: WQAD.com. Link

Illinois Smoking Ban Drives Away Casino Gamblers

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

Harrah’s Metropolis Riverboat has been forced to lay off over thirty workers in response to declining business. According to casino management, customers of the casino are visiting less frequently and for shorter stays since the smoking ban was enacted.

As casino revenues drop, so do payments to states, revenue which is desperately needed to fund budgets across the country. Can’t the would-be do-gooders relax for once, and allow people freedom of choice?

Source: Online Casino Advisory. Link

Regent Inns Profit Falls 71% After Ban on Pub Smoking

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

Feb. 5 (Bloomberg) — Regent Inns Plc, the U.K. owner of the Walkabout pub chain, said first-half profit fell 71 percent after an English ban on smoking in bars and pressure on incomes hurt spending.

Net income dropped to 599,000 pounds ($1.2 million)
, or 0.5 penny a share, in the 26 weeks ended Dec. 29 from 2.06 million pounds, or 1.8 pence, a year earlier, the London-based company said today in a statement. Sales rose 4.2 percent to 76 million pounds and fell 3.8 percent at outlets open at least a year.

Source: Bloomberg. Link

Smoking ban fuels street violence

Saturday, February 2nd, 2008

Violence in pubs in Preston city centre is being pushed on to the streets because of the controversial smoking ban, police warned today.

Insp Steve Evans said the sudden increase of smokers lighting up outside pubs and restaurants since the ban on July 1 last year has “provoked” trouble in the city centre.

He warned innocent smokers could fall prey to yobs intent on causing trouble by picking fights in the street.

And today, Lancaster police chief, Chief Supt Tim Jacques, said the ban has meant more people are staying at home to drink, sparking more violence in homes and neighbourhoods in the city.

“It stands to reason. If there are 20 people stood outside in the street, someone walking the streets looking for trouble has more people to encounter and a bigger choice.”

He added: “We are not saying smokers are responsible for violent behaviour – but those people stood outside having cigarettes would normally have been in pubs and not encountered the troublemaker.”

Ronnie Fitzpatrick, landlord of the Dog and Partridge, Friargate, Preston, said: “I think there is less tension in pubs because there is more room – the smokers are outside so not as many people bump into each other, which was often a source for trouble.”

Source: Lep.co. Link

Illinois smoking ban sours campus bar culture

Friday, February 1st, 2008

“I’ve been loving every minute of it,” said third-year Ashley Meyer wryly as she puffed on a cigarette outside Bar Louie. “You’re drinking your beer, and you have to leave it and go outside into this freezing blizzard.”

“I just don’t get this law,” she added. “I mean, people don’t go to bars for their health.”

Another frequent complaint among students has been the loss of a smoker culture that, until recently, cheerfully lived on in Chicago’s bars.

“It makes for a particular social bond, but now everyone’s having fun and you have to go outside in a self-imposed exile for 10 minutes. Sometimes you feel pathetic,” fourth-year John Elias said. (That is the real purpose of the ban, John.To make you a pariah and feel like a second-class citizen.)

The Cove has also seen a decrease in patronage as a result of the new act. Shawn Sleeper, a bouncer at The Cove, said the ban has resulted in a 25 percent decrease in sales at the bar, a number he attributes to patrons being less inclined to smoke out in the cold. But new problems may arise come summer.

“There’ll be more people out here, smoking, laughing, making noise and then the neighbors start complaining and that’s bad for business,” Sleeper said. He added that the Cove has already been hit with a number of fines for similar reasons in the past few years.

Christopher, a second-year who declined to give his last name, is an occasional bartender at The Cove and a frequent customer of neighborhood bars.

“Before, there were plenty of bars that were non-smoking,” he said. “And that was a choice you made before you went out. Unfortunately now, [the state] has taken the choice away from us.”

Lawmakers in other states have said they passed these laws out of concern not only for the non-smoking patrons of bars and restaurants but for the waitstaff and other employees who were forced to inhale the smoke of others. The latter claim in particular is one with which Christopher takes issue.

“Most people who work here smoke,” he said. “When I did bartend, I smoked a fair amount while I was working. It’s something that most employees participate in.”

But fourth-year Josh Hemley sympathizes with both sides of the debate.
“It’s nice to be in a bar without smoke in your face,” he said. “But I smoke too, so it’s like your mother telling you to eat your vegetables: It’s good and it’s bad.” (No, it’s just bad. It’s good when your mom does it. It’s bad when Big Brother Does it.)

Source: Chicago Maroon. Link

Two million adults going to pubs less after smoking ban

Friday, February 1st, 2008

Two millions adults are going out to pubs and bars less as a result of the smoking ban, according to new research.

The survey of 2,098 adults warned that the “drinking man’s pub” was under threat with 16% of those surveyed admitting to going out less due to the smoking ban.

Mintel says the sample equates to two million of the adult population shunning their local boozer to smoke at home.

“Those that are being worst hit are bingo halls and the smaller independent, more traditional pubs because their customers are amongst those who are most likely to smoke.”

Cater Research. Link


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