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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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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

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