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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.)

This page uses blogging software to make it easier to search. Each post contains excerpts from the original article. Our comments are in italics. More detailed information is available here.

Archive for April, 2008

Smoking ban creates unintended consequence of littered cigarette butts

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

However, there turned out to be an unintended consequence. Cast outside to huddle in alcoves, crouch under awnings, and shiver in the rain, Huntington smokers have to do something with the remnants of their last drag.

Before the new ordinance hustled smokers outside, there were ashtrays inside. Now, even the most environmentally sensitive of smokers revert to a familiar strategy: drop butt to sidewalk, grind with foot, and walk away. For affected merchants, it is an extra burden to clean up the mess that falls onto the gray area (literally) of city sidewalks.

Source: Herald Dispach. Link

Smoking Bans Clear Out Bingo Halls

Monday, April 28th, 2008

Charity bingo games are being hurt by bans on indoor smoking, with attendance dropping as patrons turn to casinos where they can still light up while playing, the New York Times reported April 24.

Charity gambling revenues fell 13 percent after Minnesota adopted a statewide indoor-smoking ban, with the smoking prohibition blamed for half of the decline. Bingo players who once flocked to the American Legion post in Fergus Falls, Minn., now go to casinos or cross the border to North Dakota, where veterans’ groups are exempt from the state’s smoking ban. “It’s had a profound effect on us here,” said Charlie Lindstrom of the American Legion post. “We’ve sponsored several baseball teams here in the past, but we can’t give as much now because the smoking ban has really reduced our revenue.”

Charity officials in California, New Jersey, New York, and Washington also report that smoking bans have hurt attendance and revenues on bingo nights. Some say that smokers typically outnumber nonsmokers three to one at bingo games, and despair of finding nonsmoking players to replace the departed smokers.

Source: Join Together. Link

After the Smoke Cleared, Where Did All the Bingo Players Go?

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

In Minnesota, which adopted a statewide ban on smoking in all indoor workplaces in October, revenue from all charity gambling dropped nearly 13 percent in the last quarter of 2007, compared to the same quarter the year before, according to state officials. More than half of the drop — the equivalent of about $100 million annually — was attributed to the new law, they said.

On a good night, Mr. Lindstrom said, bingo at the post used to attract 50 to 75 players. Nowadays it is more like 30 or 40.

“It’s had a profound effect on us here,” Mr. Lindstrom said. “We’ve sponsored several baseball teams here in the past, but we can’t give as much now because the smoking ban has really reduced our revenue.”

Still, revenues are down. In 2006, the bingo operation at the children’s center, which then belonged to Big Brothers Big Sisters, generated about $325,000 a year, after expenses, and employed 17 people. A year later, under the auspices of the center, it produced $150,000 and employed 13 people.

Washington used to be home to 100 bingo halls that raised money for charity. Now there are fewer than 20.

Source: The New York Times. Link

Punch Profit Declines 24% as Smoking Ban Hurts Sales

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Punch Taverns Plc, the largest U.K. pub landlord, said first-half profit declined 24 percent after the company sold outlets, a smoking ban kept drinkers at home and consumer spending slowed.

The company had never posted a first-half profit decline since its 2002 initial share sale. Rivals Enterprise Inns Plc and J.D. Wetherspoon Plc have also suffered since England banned smoking at bars and other public places in July.

Punch said today it has reduced the number of pubs it owns by 9 percent to about 8,450 since the first half of last year.

Source: Bloomberg.com. Link

Pubs blame smoking ban for crisis

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

Sixty-four per cent of pubs in England are losing trade since the smoking ban was introduced, according to a survey published by YorView on behalf of pro-choice group Freedom to Choose. Of those establishments, 98% blame the smoking ban for some or all of the loss of trade.

Many landlords report that they have cut staffing levels or opening hours. One landlord commented “the smoking ban is just driving people out of pubs.”

Godfrey Bloom MEP, author of the foreword to the report, said: “With over 20 pubs a week closing, I feel a major cultural platform is being removed from the British people.”

Smoking ban putting clubs at risk

Friday, April 18th, 2008

Mick Hudson, treasurer of Seaton Carew Social Club, said: “We are £18,000 down on beer sales in the last six months – and we are one of the clubs that is just about coping.

“When you look at the membership, our figures have dropped from about 450 to around 300 in the last year, so we have lost a third of the members.

“People can buy cheap drink in the shops and stay at home, they don’t want to be standing outside in the cold, smoking. When the members drop, there is a knock-on effect everywhere. The money over the bar drops, we have to put prices up, we don’t make enough to cover the costs of putting entertainment on and so on.

Source: Hartlepool Mail. Link

Smoke ban threat to social clubs

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

because of a chronic shortage of customers.Up to 15 working men’s clubs in County Durham could be forced to close over the next 18 months.

A combination of the smoking ban and the availability of cheap booze in supermarkets is being blamed.

“The smoking legislation is having a serious effect on our clubs. Some of our clubs are up to £1,500 a week down.

Source: BBC News. Link

Snooker halls facing final frame decider as smoking ban kicks in

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

With memberships in decline, once-busy clubs are closing as owners struggle to break even.

But the clubs are not as crowded as you might expect. In fact, if you can find one still open, you should be able to breeze in for a frame pretty much any time.

Club owners warned this week that traditional snooker and pool halls across the country are shutting up shop after a downturn in trade. Many believe the decline is an unforeseen by-product of the smoking ban, now nearly one year old.

Kentish Town Snooker in Holmes Road – once thriving with 18 tables across two floors – closed last year, and next to disappear of the map is the Camden Snooker Club in Delancey Street, Camden Town.

It faces demolition this summer after its regulars were unable to convince a planning inspector – despite a 500-strong petition – that there was enough interest to save it from the bulldozer.

“We have just found out that 50 clubs have closed in the past two years.”

“The whole snooker scene is quieter these days. It is definitely much quieter since the smoking ban. There are fewer young people too.

Source: Camden New Journal. Lin

Casinos Report Revenue Down After Smoking Ban

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

Revenues Down 15% From Last Year

DENVER — Revenues at Colorado casinos took their biggest hit in year-to-year comparisons since the inception of the statewide smoking ban in January.

According to the Colorado Division of Gambling, casinos made $63.3 million in adjusted gross proceeds in March, down 15.2 percent from $74.5 million in March 2007.

Revenues for January were down 3.6 percent and 10.1 percent in February as compared to last year.

Source: The Denver Channel. Link

The invisible damage done by Charleston’s smoking ban

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

Kevin Young has been a bartender at A.C.’s Bar & Grill on King Street for over a decade. He is a non-smoker who has worked in a smoking environment for most of his adult life, until now. Since the smoking ban went into effect, Young has consistently worked eight hours longer than he used to each week and earns roughly $200 dollars less each week. Visiting my friend Kevin at work in the early evening is much easier these days, because the ban has literally cut his bread-and-butter happy-hour shift in half. He says, “Bring back the smokers.”

His boss agrees. Says A.C.’s owner Jim Curley, “Profits in 2007 were down 80 percent compared to 2006, and that’s with the smoking ban being in effect for only half a year.” Jim admits there are other factors for the loss, but the smoking ban is unquestionably the “primary factor.”

Frankly speaking, more than a few experts agree that former Surgeon General Richard Carmona’s contention that exposure to secondhand smoke is as damaging as inhaling a pack-a-day ranks right up there with President Bush’s assertion that Saddam Hussein had WMDs.

As I write this commentary, I’ve actually been sitting in A.C.’s, simultaneously gabbing with Kevin behind the bar who has had only one other customer for the last hour — and that customer just went outside to smoke. It wouldn’t have bothered Kevin or me in the least if he had remained in the bar to enjoy his cigarette, but the government has already made that decision for us. As a grown man, it’s a bit offensive. As an American, it’s a little disheartening. And as a citizen, it’s ridiculous.

There was a time in this country when most Americans would have agreed, even those who hated smoking,
believing that government should have reasonable limits. But in an increasingly unreasonable world, such arbitrary power promises to become increasingly limitless, undermining and overtaking even the most basic American notions of property and principle.

Source: Charleston City Paper. Link

Pub smoking ban ‘blighted couple’s home’

Monday, April 7th, 2008

A couple say their home next to a village pub has been “blighted” by the smoking ban and are claiming up to £50,000 for the effect on its value.

Neil and Rachel Mutter moved out of the one-bedroom property behind the Silverton Inn, in Silverton, Devon, claiming “stress and exhaustion”.

Their home, The Old Lodge, can only be reached via a partially covered yard beside the pub – which landlord Shane Radmore turned into a smoking area when the new smoking law came into effect last summer.

But when they decided to leave their home and put it on the market for £185,000 they claimed they were unable to sell it because of the situation which followed the smoking ban.

Mr and Mrs Mutter, who moved out to live with relatives, have now made a county court claim for up to £50,000 for the “diminution in value” of their property.

The couple could not be contacted today, but in a county court statement Mrs Mutter said after the smoking law came into effect, up to 15 people gathered in the yard to smoke.

That happened throughout the pub’s opening times and sometimes past midnight, she said.

To get to their home they had to negotiate a crowd of people, around furniture and a cloud of smoke.

Mrs Mutter aid in her statement that they finally moved out because of the “noise, smell, cigarette butts and smoke”.

Source: 24dash.com. Link

Pub profits down 15% since smoke ban

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

The dire financial state of many pubs is revealed in a survey of 500 tenants carried out by the MA.

The most startling statistic is that 10% of pubs are operating at a loss or zero profit.

Also, as many as 78,000 full and part-time jobs may have been lost if the survey results replicate the situation across the 50,000 pubs in England and Wales.

The survey found the average profitability of a pub had slumping by almost 15% in the past year to £24,180.

Of equal concern is that more than half of survey respondents (54%) predicted profitability falling even farther over the coming year.

Nearly six out of 10 pubs (57%) had been forced to shed staff, with an average of 2.75 redundancies per pub.

Pubs where trade was down reported falls ranging between 5% and 40% with the average drop being 18%.

The figures indicate that claims about pubs being repatriated by non-smokers after the ban were over-optimistic.

Source: Morning Advertiser. Link

St. Paul, Minn. — The state Gambling Control Board said pull-tab sales in bars were down nearly 13 percent during the fourth quarter of 2007. That’s a $40 million decrease in receipts from the same period the previous year.

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

A ban on smoking in American bars has increased the number of accidents apparently caused by drinking and driving.

US jurisdictions with a smoking ban have seen, on average, a nearly 12 percent rise in the number of drink-related accidents at the wheel, researchers say in a paper published in the Journal of Public Economics.

Researchers found that instead of heading to their local bar for a drink and a puff, smokers ventured farther afield in search of a place where lighting up is still allowed.

They may not be drinking more than before but they are certainly driving more – and that’s what is increasing the risk of a crash.

“Our evidence is consistent with two mechanisms — smokers searching for alternative locations to drink within a locality and smokers driving to nearby jurisdictions that allow smoking in bars.”

Source: Motoring.co.za. Link

Minnesota smoking ban singes charitable gambling

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

Affirming what American Legion hall operators and mom-and-pop bar owners had warned, a new report shows that Minnesota’s statewide ban on smoking appears to have cut into charitable gambling revenues from bar-game pull tabs and bingo.

Gross receipts from charitable gambling were down 12.8 percent in the last three months of 2007, which correlates with when the statewide smoking ban took effect. Even taking into account a weakening economy, the ban is likely to be responsible for a decline in gross receipts of 7.5 percent to 8 percent, or a loss equal to $95 million to $105 million a year, the report noted.

The nearly 13 percent drop represents the largest decline in receipts since lawful gambling was first regulated in the state in 1985, said the report released Monday by the State Gambling Control Board, which
regulates the industry.

Charitable gambling plays a unique part in the fabric of Minnesota life. The state’s charitable gambling industry is by far the nation’s largest, with $1.2 billion in gross receipts a year. It funds such nonprofit organizations as youth sports, veterans groups and volunteer firefighting organizations. There are more than 1,400 licensed charity organizations and 3,000 locations where charitable gambling takes place.

Charitable gambling officials predict revenue declines of 16 percent to 18 percent through this year. Anticipating the effect, the industry has been pushing for several pieces of legislation that would give them more flexibility in their operations.

Wilson said that many organizations terminated their licenses because of funding problems last year and that the number is likely to increase this year.

Source: Scripps News. Link


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