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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 has cleared the air, but businesses suffer

 
Thursday, November 13th, 2008

“It’s miserable,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter works part time at the Legion. He said the smoking ban has driven away business. Pull tab receipts are down and people who used to be regular customers don’t come around as often and they don’t stay as long. Carpenter said veterans especially, should have a right to smoke in their own club.

“They’ve served their country, and a lot of them are older veterans,” Carpenter said. “They’re not going to stand outside in 35 below zero weather and smoke. I mean, they’ll sit at home and smoke.”

The Bemidji American Legion has been smoke free longer than most bars in the state. That’s because Beltrami County passed a smoking ban ordinance a full two years before the state did. Club manager Bill Rice said the ban is largely to blame for cutting the club’s business in half.

“We were doing two and a half million in business in gross sales a year,” Rice said. “We’re down to a little over a million this year.”

Rice has had to cut three jobs at the Legion since the smoking ban took effect.

There’s no clear data yet to fully assess the economic impact of the smoking ban. Over the past year, Minnesota lost about 1,000 jobs in bars and restaurants. That’s significantly more lost jobs than the national average. But state employment analysts say it’s not clear whether the smoking ban was a factor.

Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association interim director Tony Chesak said it’s clear to him the ban is causing bars across the state to fail.

“I’d say, realistically, 200 to 300 licensed establishments, at least, have closed,” Chesak said. “I would think that would be a conservative number.”

Membership in the association dropped about 25 percent this year. Chesak said the promise of non-smokers frequenting bars more often because of the smoke free law hasn’t panned out.

“All the anti-smoking folks had said, you know, you get smoking out of your facilities and we’ll come in droves,” said Chesak. “Well, those droves didn’t come out.”  {They never do.}

Source: Minnesota Public Radio.  Link

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