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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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Residents protest smoking ban, bars left empty

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

“I think you will see a lot more people at home sitting on their patios this time of year, being able to light up, drink beer and not put their money back into the community, and it’s just sad,” she said.

One rule of the ban is if you are smoking outside, you must be 20 feet from the property, and a server or employee cannot be working in the area, Oakes said.

The bars that will suffer the most are the ones with a large clientele of smokers and don’t have anywhere for the customers to smoke, she said.

“On Fourth Avenue, people will have to go outside and across the street to smoke a cig to comply with the 20-foot regulation,” Oakes said.

“We are seeing an impact, and it is only the first day,” said Chelsea Elmore, bartender at Maxie’s Lounge. “All weekend it was dead.”

Maxie’s is usually full in the evenings, and the video lottery machines are usually all being used, Elmore said. There have only been a couple people in the place all day, and nobody was occupying the machines.

“Basically our business is gone,” Elmore said. “People are staying at home or going somewhere else. Whatever they are doing, they are not coming here.”

The majority of the gamblers are chain-smokers and do not like to leave their machines, she said. Although smokers can go outside and reserve the chair for 10 minutes, they don’t want to.

“Reserving chairs is not a problem because nobody is even coming in,” Elmore said.

The city of Huntington is also being affected by the ban with the expected decrease in video lottery revenues, said Deron Runyon, director of finance. A council member asked the finance department at the budget session on Saturday if they had considered the effect it was going to have.

“I did a little research and looked at how Charleston and Kanawha County were effected when they implemented their smoking ban in July 2008,” Runyon said. “It was pretty consistent that there was a 15 percent reduction in video lottery revenue.”

In the proposed budget for the 2010-2011 fiscal year the city has estimated $251,180 in video lottery revenues. If Cabell County and the city of Huntington have the same drop as Kanawha County, the city will have to cut around $40,000 from the budgeted revenues, Runyon said.

Source: The Parthenon.  Link

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