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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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Across France, Cafe Owners Are Suffering

 
Thursday, December 4th, 2008

The plight of Ms. Guérin is being replicated all over France, as traditional cafes and bars suffer and even close, hit by changing attitudes, habits and now a poor economic climate. In 1960, France had 200,000 cafes, said Bernard Quartier, president of the National Federation of Cafes, Brasseries and Discotheques. Now it has fewer than 41,500, with an average of two closing every day.

The number of bankruptcies filed by cafe bars in the first six months of 2008 rose by 56 percent over the same period a year ago, according to a study by Euler Hermes SFAC, a large credit insurance company. No reliable figures are available for the latter part of this year, when an economic slowdown here has been accelerated by the general financial crisis, a collapse in consumer confidence and the quick tightening of credit.

Not only are the French spending less, and drinking less, cutting down on the intensity and quality of the debates, but on Jan. 1 of this year, after much huffing and puffing, France extended its smoking ban to bars, cafes and restaurants.

Marco Mayeux, 42, the bartender of Le Relais, a Paris cafe in the 18th Arrondissement, said the ban alone had cut his coffee and bar business by 20 percent.

“A place like mine doesn’t appeal to everyone; it’s very working-stiff,” he said. “There is a coffee-at-the-counter feel that isn’t attractive anymore.”

Before, clients would go inside a cafe, have a coffee, a cigarette and another coffee. But now they go out to smoke, and sometimes they do not come back, many cafe owners said.

In Paris, Mr. Picolet, of Aux Amis du Beaujolais, said simply: “The bar-cafes? They’re finished. Twenty years ago, people would go in the morning before work for a coffee and a cigarette. And now, it’s over. Young people don’t drink during the day, and when they drink, they drink to get wasted. Smoking is forbidden and they eat en route, with coffee in a paper cup. They smoke and drink at home.

Source: The New York Times.  Link

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