"Just the facts, Ma'am" - Sgt Joe Friday

The Numbers


Smoking Bans
And Businesses

Odds and Ends


Smoking Ban Links

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 the ‘Other Problems’ Category

Smoke ban forces pubs to hire strippers

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

More pubs are resorting to strippers and exotic dance nights to pull in badly-needed trade as the economy worsens and the smoking ban begins to bite.

Striptease and entertainment agencies say enquiries from pubs and clubs have significantly increased over the past six months.

Dawn Pugsley, from Angels Exotic in Windsor, Berkshire, said hard-pressed hosts were turning to strippers to entice drinkers through the door.

“We are getting a lot more enquiries from pubs and the numbers have risen sharply over the past few months or so. Licensees are telling me they are being forced to look at alternative forms of entertainment because they are struggling so badly,” she said.

“More licensees are looking at these sort of nights, especially since the smoking ban began to hit trade.”

Source: Morning Advertiser. Link

More pubs face action over smoke ban

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

Pubs across the country are facing legal showdowns with councils over issues arising from the smoking ban.

Following The Publican’s exclusive story last week on Chelmsford licensee Jeff Castledine, more licensees have come forward telling of their harsh treatment from their local authorities.

Noise from smokers outside pubs is the main issue causing licensees headaches.

The letter sent to Ashley states: “As the interview will be tape recorded in accordance with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 you may bring a legal representative/solicitor with you. The maximum penalty for breaching license conditions is £20,000 and or 6 months imprisonment.”

Another licensee, who wished to remain anonymous, has been sent a letter by his council saying it is “monitoring the situation” over noise outside his pub.

He said he is facing a “catch-22” over what do to with his outdoor area. “I’m being challenged to put in heaters outside, but I’m loath to make the area more comfortable because there is more chance of noise,” he said.

Source: The Publican. Link

Hospital’s smoking ban has locals fuming

Saturday, October 6th, 2007

Whitby mental health patients forced offsite, leading neighbours to complain about loitering

He’s 53, with sad eyes and not much to look forward to. One of his few pleasures in life is a coffee and cigarette.

But the Whitby Mental Health Centre, his home for the past 10 years, wants to deny him that in the interests of “recovering best health.”

Translation: no smoking anywhere in the hospital or its 32-hectare waterfront property.

“It’s very, very frustrating,” he says, cigarette in one hand, foam cup in the other, in a small, town-owned parking lot a five-minute walk away.

“They’re telling me to quit. I don’t want to. I’ve been smoking for 40 years.”

He says he makes the long walk across the grounds 20 to 30 times a day. “I’ve got nowhere else to go.”

The smoking ban, implemented last June, has raised the ire of area residents and the Whitby Yacht Club, whose driveway runs past the parking lot where patients and staff congregate.

They complain of litter, butts and public urination. Some are intimidated by the “crazies,” as one sailor described patients.

“It’s a little bit threatening when it’s a whole load of people loitering around out there,” says the club’s vice-commodore Jim McMaster, adding they have concerns over fire risks and their boats’ security.

“Something has to be done. I understand … that they don’t want people smoking but you don’t force them off your property and onto someone else’s because you can’t figure out how to deal with them.”

The ban, imposed on the hospital’s 330 in-patients, 1,000 staff members, outpatients and visitors, is part of their mission to help patients become healthy and reintegrate into the community, says president and CEO Glenna Raymond. She adds statistics are “staggering” for smoking-related illnesses in the mental health sector.

“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” Raymond says of the no-smoking policy, put in place after months of study.

“But it was the right move to make.”

(Yeah, why should your mentally ill patients be allowed any comforts that aren’t politically correct?)

An “unintended consequence” was the stigma around mental illness that’s surfaced in the community, Raymond says. Patients may not be ready for independent living but they pose no threat and “there’s no reason to confine them.” They have as much right to smoke in the community as anyone, she says.

That stance angers Whitby Councillor Elizabeth Roy and the “numerous” residents who have complained about encounters with patients near their homes, in a park and along a waterfront trail. Their quarrel is with the facility, not its occupants, she says.

“The fault goes back to the hospital, which is pushing patients and staff away from the facility into the community,” says Roy. “The solution is to give them a designated area” as other health facilities do.

That won’t happen, says Raymond. While the hospital is “committed to being a good neighbour,” a smoking shelter would run “contradictory to the aims of the policy.”

(Her policy of being a sanctimonious nanny, no doubt.)

But one patient says it’s difficult to concentrate in his group therapy when he’s worrying about when he’ll get his next cigarette.

Then there’s the problem of the cigarettes themselves. “They’re confiscated if we have them in the hospital. We’re supposed to hide them outside, off the property.”

It all combines to make a difficult life that much more trying, says a heavy smoker.
“We just want to have a cigarette.”

(Does this strike anyone else as just being nasty for the sheer joy of it? Evidently Glenna Raymond, needs to feed her power trip on the backs of the mentally ill patients she’s supposed to care for, but obviously doesn’t care about.)

Source: The Star.com.  Link

Cigarette litter surge follows smoking ban

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

ALMOST 70 per cent of North West councils have suffered a surge in cigarette litter on their streets since the smoking ban was introduced.

That’s according to Keep Britain Tidy, which today revealed the amount of cigarette ends blighting our streets shot up by 43 per cent since the start of the ban.


How the smoking ban could be contributing to skin cancer

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

Since the smoking ban came into force on July the 1st, smokers are spending over 20 extra hours outside each month so putting themselves at greater risk of skin damage.

Research from Boots shows that an alarming 60% of British sunburn cases occur on home turf, a figure set to rise with the smoking ban taking more people outdoors.

To help prevent the Smoker’s Burn phenomena, the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer has teamed up with the Laurel Pub Company to offer £300,000 worth of free sun cream to punters across the UK.

Since the smoking ban came into force on July the 1st, smokers are spending over 20 extra hours outside each month so putting themselves at greater risk of skin damage.

Research from Boots shows that an alarming 60% of British sunburn cases occur on home turf, a figure set to rise with the smoking ban taking more people outdoors.

(I consider this a very silly story, and published it here just for fun. It does, however, show how nannies of all flavors freak out at the tiniest increase in any risk.)

Source: GMTV. Link

St. Margaret neighbors upset over smoking ban

Monday, September 3rd, 2007

Peggy Silvasy, a Delafield Road resident, on Monday signed a petition to lobby for a smoking shelter on the St. Margaret campus.

“They’re in front of the house all hours of the night,” said Silvasy. “Let them go back to the hospital and smoke.”

All 18 UPMC facilities on July 1 went smoke-free, clearing the campus of smoke, ashtrays and cigarette butts scattered about. That sent nicotine addicts into the neighboring community, walking the streets to have a puff.

At the same time, it enraged residents who now say they are being suffocated by strangers and their second-hand smoke.

(I understand them being angry about cigarette butt litter, but “suffocated” by someone smoking on the street? Hyperbole, anyone?)


Toilet crisis feared as smoking ban is applied to German trains

Saturday, September 1st, 2007

Berlin – A smoking ban that began Saturday on trains operated by Germany’s main railway company, Deutsche Bahn, may trigger a crisis, with toilets constantly occupied by surreptitious smokers, a passenger lobby warned Saturday.

“Heavy smokers will head for the toilets,” he said in an interview. “That is what happened when the smoking cars were abolished (on July 1) on regional trains. You have to accept that. It’s a fact whether you like it or not.”

Naumann predicted that about half the people who have used railway smoking cars to date would stop traveling by rail and go by road.


Landlords to challenge smoke ban

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

DISGRUNTLED pub landlords in Nuneaton are set to challenge the government over the new smoking laws.

They say the smoking ban is doing more harm than good – and is threatening Britain’s pub culture.

He said: “It is causing a mass of problems – noise, mess, glass and bottles on the street, crowds of people drinking outside pubs rather than inside, and many other issues.”He said: “Noise is a big problem, because the doors are onstantly open there’s noise from inside and outside the pub.

Mess on the streets is another problem.

Mr Burlingham said: “At least inside the pub you can keep emptying ashtrays to keep the place clean.

“When you go outside at the end of the night, it looks like all the ashtrays have been emptied in one place.”

He said pub landlords feel the ban is changing the British way of life.

“Where pubs have created designated smoking areas, people are being herded into one place to smoke – but non-smokers are joining them, leaving the pubs half empty.

“Like it or not, Britain has a pub culture.

Source: Coventry Telegraph. Link

After the smoking ban – the bars that emptied

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

The smoking ban has already produced some surprising consequences. Take smells. Tobacco smoke may have been unpleasant but it masked a myriad odours. Since the ban, hundreds of pubs have been forced to steam-clean carpets stiff with years of beer spillage and other deposits. Nightclubs are now pumping perfume into their air-conditioning systems to mask the body odour given off by dancers.

There is a topsy-turvy feeling to many British pubs today, with scores of people crowding outside while bar rooms lie empty – even in cool weather.

In Ireland, which pioneered the smoking ban, the effects were far worse. Hundreds of pubs closed, particularly in rural areas.

Some pubs have gone already. Deejay Royall spent thousands of pounds transforming the interior of The Bush, in Wigan. He decided to pre-empt the ban and steal a march on rivals by prohibiting smoking from February. The result was a catastrophic fall in customers.

“People started to go to other pubs that hadn’t introduced the smoking ban, and then, when it came in last month, they stopped going out altogether. They are staying at home, buying cheap booze from the supermarkets and sitting in with their friends, smoking their heads off.”

Paul Jones, the landlord of the New Inn in Lower Cwmtwrch, in south Wales is another victim. “I’ve sold my lease because I can’t continue,” he laments. “About 40 per cent of our trade was cut by the smoking ban.”

Unless smoking in the open air is banned, Britain had better get used to night-time crowds. Terry Archer, the manager of the Lamb and Flag in London’s Covent Garden, has no option but to let his customers drink on the street.

Source: Tellegraph UK. Link

Street drinking threat from smoking ban

Thursday, August 9th, 2007

SMOKERS who are forced to pop outside pubs for a puff because of the smoking ban could be breaking street drinking laws, it has been claimed.

The new ban has also created a nuisance for people living near town centre pubs, who have complained about groups of smokers congregating on the streets.

People living in the town’s historic core said their lives had been blighted by smokers noisily congregating outside neighboring pubs with drinks in hand, which could break street drinking laws.

Source: EADT. Link

Hawaii Tourism Slumps on Heels of Smoking Ban

Friday, September 1st, 2006

According to Travel Hawaii LLC, Hawaii’s tourism industry is in a slump, with overall January arrivals down nearly 6 percent from January 2006 and the lucrative Japanese market down over 12 percent. The decline comes on the heels of Hawaii’s strict new smoking ban, which went into effect in November, and some in the tourism industry wonder whether the smoking ban is chasing away a good portion of Hawaii’s traditional clientele.

Japan is considered a “smoker’s paradise” relative to the U.S., and some observers feel that the cigarette-puffing Japanese tourists are being deterred from visiting Hawaii, in favor of more smoker-friendly destinations. “We’ve had several Japanese clients with pre-paid bookings cancel their reservations because they couldn’t get a smoking room,” said Chris Freas, Sales Manager at Travel Hawaii, a Hawaii-based Internet retailer

Source: eNwesChannels. Link Expired

Smoking Ban Hurting Small Taverns?

Saturday, August 26th, 2006

Lawyers for Colorado bar owners say the eight-week-old statewide smoking ban has devastated some smaller taverns, slashing their incomes by up to 80 percent.

In a court filing Friday, the lawyers also said the ban has triggered layoffs and caused fights among patrons who go outside to smoke.

The state also argues the Legislature had valid reasons for exempting casinos, including the 100 million dollars they generate for the state every year.

Source: kktv.com. Link

Bonanza for nicotine gum and patches as millions try to quit

Saturday, July 8th, 2006

The surge in would-be quitters has brought windfalls for pharmacists and other retailers who have enjoyed massive surges in sales of nicotine replacement therapy products, including patches, chewing gums and inhalators, since July last year.

Market analysts Mintel say that £100m has already been spent on smoking cessation products this year, and the market will be worth £140m by 2011.

Asda has reported a 415 per cent rise in purchases of nicotine patches compared with July last year, and made five weeks’ worth of sales in 24 hours last Sunday when the ban came in. Also compared against sales figures for July last year, Sainsbury’s reported a 234 per cent increase and Tesco said sales had trebled.

Phil Wells, head of smoking cessation at Superdrug, where sales are up 400 per cent from July 2006, estimated that 2 million smokers were trying to give up a year ago, but said that figure had risen to 7.5 million.

He said 10,000 smokers a week were joining the store’s rewards programme, in which customers earn gift vouchers for repeated purchases of certain products.

Lloyds Pharmacy has doubled sales of stop-smoking products as well as bookings for its cessation clinics, which are run in conjunction with the NHS.

At Boots, sales have risen 195 per cent since July 2006. “We have experienced a significant growth in customers taking up the free smoking consultations with our trained pharmacists and health advisers since the ban came into force,” a spokesman said.

Other smokers have not reacted so positively to the ban – British Transport Police ticked off the former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy after he was spotted having a cigarette on the London-to- Plymouth express on Friday. He told officers he thought he was smoking legally as he was leaning out of the window.

A secret smoking den in the Palace of Westminster was rumbled on Thursday. Informing the Leader of the Commons, Harriet Harman, that the ban was already being abused, Betty Williams, Labour MP for Conwy, did not reveal who had been sneaking a crafty cigarette, or where. But as she finished, several MPs blurted out “in the Division toilets”.

And a man in North Yorkshire became the first to be locked up for flouting the ban when he lit up for a protest chain-smoke at his local pub, only to spend Monday night in the local police cells.

Police called to Riskers pub in Scarborough initially ordered 42-year-old decorator Martin Whisker to go home, but eventually arrested him. He was given an £80 fixed penalty for being drunk and disorderly. “I made my protest to make a point,” he said.

Pub owner Barry Risker said: “I can understand how he feels – I think it is a crazy ban. A police officer ended up taking a cigarette out of his mouth and stamping it on the floor. We had to tell him to stop smoking because otherwise I could be fined up to £2,500.”

Higher numbers of pub-goers standing outside on the pavement to smoke did not appear to have increased drunk and disorderly behaviour, although many police forces have warned smokers to be mindful of laws regarding drinking in public places and to keep the noise down.

Superintendent John Boshier, of Surrey Police, said: “We are not expecting the smoking ban to spark an increase in town centre violence. But for pub-goers who are now going outside to smoke, I’d ask them to bear in mind the local community, especially by keeping quieter at night, and to remember that glasses and bottles should not be taken on to the streets.”

A Cumbria police spokesman said: “We do not want to see increased disorder and noise nuisance from licensed premises. The basic rule for licensed premises is that there should be no smoking inside and no drinking outside, except in privately owned areas or beer gardens within areas covered by the premises’ licence.”

(Most lobbying for smoking bans is funded, quietly and behind the seines, by Big Pharma and their front groups, like the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This story explains why. Bans result in huge sales increases for their very profitable, and mostly infective, smoking cessation products.)

Source: The Independent. Link


Sunday, April 24th, 2005

Brooklyn Democratic Assemblyman Felix Ortiz said his legislation would immediately require public housing complexes to make 50 percent of their apartments smoke-free.

By 2010, smoking in the projects would be outlawed completely, Ortiz said.

(Once again, the nicotine nannies are trying to make it illegal for people to smoke in their homes.)

Source: New York Post. Link expired.

Minnesota Diary Of A Disaster

Thursday, March 31st, 2005

(Sue Jeffers kept a diary of the devastating effect a smoking ban had on her business, Stub and Herbs. These are just a few excerpts. We recommend reading the entire articleto get a feel for just how badly smoking bans hurt hard working small business people.

She also documents how nearby towns, who didn’t have a ban, were seeing their business flourish as smokers and their friends flocked to smoke friendly venues. This always happens when bans are enacted, expose the nannies “good for business” bleat as an intentional lie.)

Half of our regular Thursday lunch customers didn’t come in for lunch.

We have made it through the first weekend of the smoking ban. Sales at my bar were down each day by about 25% from the week before. Our Sunday food and liquor sales were reduced by 50%. One VFW was down 65%.

Customer reactions have been consistent. Most customers, smokers or not, are angry. Some stayed for shorter periods of time, some refused to patronize Minneapolis, some stayed home. My smoking customers are not buying a beer when they are outside having a smoke.

Being so close to the University my bar has customers visiting from out of state. These customers visiting this weekend stayed for one beer and left, they did not order food or another round of drinks. They informed us they will not be back, ever. Even some of my “regulars” are now informing me they will be going to a nearby county to drink as they become someone else’s “regular” customer.

I spent some time in the small bars in NE Minneapolis this weekend, two bars had zero customers. One of the larger NE bars had many people outside smoking, angry customers who said they will not be back and would not stay as long as usual, keep in mind the weather was nice as they stood outside and smoked.

Bar owners around town compared notes…one bar in St. Paul was empty on Thursday night but after receiving a waiver on Friday noticed customer counts were well above average when smoking was allowed again. A bar in Anoka County (a county that just voted no ban) was crowed with transplants (customers and staff) from Ramsey County businesses who could no longer allow smoking. Versions of this were heard over and over again.

A small group of the smoke haters feel they need to visit my bar or send me an anonymous letters, telling me how stupid I am. One drove all the way from Burnsville to gloat and antagonize my customers. These gullible and uninformed people usually list inaccurate facts and are terrified SHS will kill them if they are exposed to a whiff of smoke. They do not realize SHS levels in bars with ventilation test at 150 times BELOW the OSHA safety limits. They do not understand the concept of private property rights and personal freedoms but they do exercise their freedom of speech rights. They are lucky some of my customers did not beat them up, my staff is well trained.

Bars in St. Paul with waivers recorded record sales this past weekend. One particular bar owner who did not receive a waiver in time for the first day of the ban reported sales “$ucked” on Thursday. However, Friday, with his waiver, he had record high sales.

Comments from bar owners over the weekend across the city and county reported sales down up to 65%. On Saturday evening, two NE bars had zero customers. Another NE landmark reported sales down 40%. One VFW reported sales down 65%. A pull tab organization reported sales down 33%. A St. Louis Park bartender made $50 instead of the usual $200 she makes. The Anoka County bar I stopped into was full of Ramsey County residents who decided it was worth the mile drive to be able to smoke.
Enforcement to keep drinks inside and cigarettes outside has caused problems with noise, litter, vandalism, fights and drugs.

Bar sales are still the number one concern. A NE landmark lost a banquet of 125 because the party could not smoke.

Several violent incidents have occurred.
A bar owner in St. Paul spoke out publicly today warning women not to leave drinks unattended while they go outside to have a cigarette. The drinks have been drugged. Another bar owner on West Bank reported an altercation with the smokers and local gang members that got out of hand. A downtown club had a patron violently assaulted after going outside for a smoke. Several bars reported drug and alcohol use while customers are outside.

Every day I hear from more and more business owners telling me the problems they are experiencing thanks to the smoking ban. I have heard staff is quitting because of reduced hours and lost tips, assaults and drug and alcohol use while customers are out smoking have increased, and city streets are a mess. I have heard revenue losses in Bloomington, Minneapolis, and Hennepin County down anywhere from 13% to 65%. One VFW has already informed their city they will no longer be donating charitable gambling revenues to the city coffers.

All the while, surrounding cities and counties report record sales.

We are entering the third week of the ban. It is heartbreaking to hear the stories. Today I heard about 2 well established businesses who decided to stop serving lunches, more lost revenues and lost jobs. I heard about a NE Minneapolis nightclub who lost $20,000 in sales last weekend and tomorrow will lay off 20 employees.

After just one month of a smoking ban the bars and restaurants in Minneapolis have proved the bar owners right and the smoke haters lie. Business has not increased, our staff and customers are not healthier and some businesses will not remain in business much longer. The nonsmokers are not coming out and spending more money, in fact they are leaving with their smoking friends to surrounding cities and counties with no bans.
Businesses in those cities and counties continue to thank our foolish city council.
Revenue declines range from 10-65%. Businesses have cut staff and hours, some businesses have laid off up to 25 employees. Businesses that serve the hospitality industry have lost revenues as well. This includes the beer and liquor companies, the pop companies, food distributors, vending, charitable gaming organizations, and others all report declining revenues in Minneapolis. We estimate the first month has cost our city 614 jobs and over a million dollars in lost revenues. And that estimate is low.

After 6 weeks we have had 3 bars close their doors, more are barely hanging on. Every single statement the smoke haters said has been proven a lie. Bar owners have been proven right but no one seems to care about the small business owner, lost revenues, and lost jobs.

Bar owners in surrounding counties without a ban continue to do a thriving business as do those exempted in the next county.

In Minneapolis, 29 businesses have closed, most attribute it mostly to the smoking ban. One owner has laid off his entire kitchen staff and he cooks from open to close. Another owner is bartending open to close just to keep the doors open. A night club has reduced hours to 4 nights per week and is offering free drinks, sometimes until midnight just to lure customers.

Especially powerful was a list the VFW read of all the organizations they donate their charitable gambling revenues to. These organizations have now received letters explaining that the ban has cost significant revenue losses and they will not be receiving contributions similar to last year, if at all. All thanks to the smoking ban.

Again, the list of heartbreaking stories were told by some of the biggest bars in the county. Some own bars in both Hennepin and Ramsey County (St. Paul and surrounding cities with a partial ban). Also included were damages to Kuether Distributing, our Budweiser distributor with accounts mostly in Hennepin County. They have eliminated one entire route and are down 16%. Carbonic Machines, who for 50 years has serviced our bars and restaurants, is down 27%. Vending, food and other hospitality industry related businesses reported losses from 15-50%. Bands do not want to play our venues, they can’t smoke and the customers are all gone anyway.

We also heard the stories about vandalism, noise, litter, and drug and alcohol use as smokers went outside to our sidewalks or parking lots. Bar owners are worried that it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt or killed. One bar owner, down 65% compared to last year, had left a customer running her bar so she could come down and speak to the commissioners.

We met at a south Minneapolis bar/restaurant whose business is down over 30%. Eight years and he could not pay his property taxes in May and can not get any additional financing. He said he won’t last much longer. The three new customers he gained with the smoking ban have not begun to replace the lost ones.

Bloomington has been receptive to the concerns of the bars and private clubs. They DID notice 2 businesses closed in the Mall of America. They noticed the Minnesota Department of Economic Security reported a loss of 1400 jobs in the hospitality sector for May and another 700 in June. (Wait until the minimum wage increase hits in August.) They also noticed their private clubs were down $250,000 the first three months of the ban. Money that will not be donated to worthy causes in their community. Liquor revenues continue to plummet in all size bars as the losses now total millions of dollars.

As we enter the 4th month of the smoking ban we continue to see lost revenues, jobs and more closed businesses. Minneapolis Hospitality Association can document the city of Minneapolis is losing a million dollars a month in lost revenues compared to the year before. We can document 1200 lost jobs. Charitable gambling losses are down on average over $100,000 per month per establishment. More money that will not go back into the community.

The smoke haters in Hennepin County call this “dip” in business: temporary. A dip that Hennepin County and Minneapolis assured us would never happen, as the nonsmoking customers flocked to our businesses. If you assume this trend will continue, Hennepin County will lose an estimated $1,632,000 in annual tax revenues in just charitable gambling losses. The City of Minneapolis charitable gambling is down 24.26% totaling $1,894,585.99, in just two months.

The job losses continue to mount and the liquor revenues are devastating as well. Food sales appear to be flat. Twenty businesses have closed in Hennepin County since the beginning of the ban. In researching other communities in similar size who have chosen to trample on property and individual rights, we expect another 80 to go under if the ban continues.

Friday is another fundraiser for a bar who can no longer pay their bills. Porter’s Bar, in business for 70 years is ready to close. Kathy and John are two of the finest people I have ever met, caring, hard working, honest and they have been put out of business by yet another regulation to our industry as our elected officials try to legislate “healthy” behavior while ignoring facts, science, and negative economic impacts.

The fact remains 23 businesses have closed that I know of… there could be and are more, over a thousand jobs have been lost and millions in lost revenues have been documented.

Source: The Smokers Club. Link

Smoking ban splits bowling fans

Friday, February 25th, 2005

According to the Connecticut Bowlers’ Association 49 percent of bowlers light up. Since the ban, business has bombed.

I’m down 25 to 50 percent because of the smoking ban and that’s a big chunk of my business” says Izzi.

There’s also another hazard for smokers and it has nothing to do with the air. When smokers take a break and don’t change to their street shoes, the shoes will get wet, stick and people could hurt themselves.

Besides injuring themselves they track in dirt and gravel which rips up the wood floors and ruins it for everybody.

Source: wtnh.com. Link

New noise plan silent on smoking law’s impact

Thursday, September 9th, 2004

With smokers now relegated to the city’s sidewalks in the wake of the mayor’s 2003 smoking ban, their voices have drifted into neighboring apartments, causing many a sleepless night. To the dismay of residents, new noise legislation — also drafted by the mayor — does not address noise created by people, except in instances of disorderly conduct.

Bar and club owners, still reeling from the lost income following the smoking ban, fear that the new noise law, because of its subjective nature, will penalize them for attracting loquacious smokers. Residents, meanwhile, fear that no one will be held accountable at all.

According to Bookman, 50 percent of all noise complaints to 311, the city’s non-emergency complaint hotline, are people reporting annoying neighbors, a dilemma not addressed in the new legislation.

“We have people hanging outside of bars, they talk, they make a lot of noise,” said Jean Standish, a 30-year E. Sixth St. resident.

“Bar owners aren’t taking responsibility for the areas in front of their bars and they could do that,” said Standish. “They should be penalized for loud crowds on their sidewalks. They’re terrible neighbors.”

(So the government creates the problem, and then the bartenders are obligated to solve it?)

“[The smoking ban] has helped create an antagonistic environment between the community and the clubs,” said Bookman, attorney for the Nightlife Association.

For Wright, the problem reaches beyond smoking or noise. “[The Bloomberg administration] is on a mission to close the city down early and quiet everything up,” she said.

Source: The Villiger.com. Link

“We are starving.” O’Keeffe On The NYC Smoking Ban

Friday, July 9th, 2004

To illustrate his feeling that the government has overstepped its bounds and decimated New York nightlife, he recounted a conversation he had had with a woman who supports the ban gleefully, who quipped obliviously that “my hair doesn’t stink, my clothes don’t stink, and there’s so much room at the bar.

Despite what naobobs like Dr. Gemson and Assemblywoman Glick seem to think, the smoking ban has done far more to harm small business than it has to prevent smoking. An entire underground economy has sprung up around the ban to provide places for smokers. Knights of Columbus halls and private smoking dens are common, and bars spill crowds of smokers into the streets. Since the ban has been enacted noise complaints have skyrocketed, providing headaches to precinct captains citywide and proving a serious detriment to residents’ quality of life. Rarely noticed, bar owners in lower Manhattan still suffering from 9-11’s aftershocks are now victimized by thoughtless laws.

I spoke to Sandee Wright, owner of Whiskey Ward on Essex Street and a fierce opponent of the ban, put in place, ostensibly, to protect employees from the dangers of second hand smoke. Standing 5’3” with pink highlighted hair and a black skull and bones tank top, Sandee hardly fits the role of Dickensian wage master. When asked about the issue of employees’ health she retorted that “it’s not all that healthy when bartenders can’t afford their rent.” So far falling profits have led her to let go of two employees and cut back shifts. Often times her husband Max works the door to eliminate costs. When unemployment hits “health insurance is the first thing to go,” she said.

Whiskey Ward has seen profits drop by at least 20% since the ban hit. Manhattan Beer Distributors concurs. Stagnant sales have led to a 7% drop in beer demand citywide, and a 19% drop citywide to clubs.

Source: New Partisan. Link

Village Inn seeks relief from ban

Monday, June 21st, 2004
He estimated that sales are off by as much as 37 percent in daytime business…
“Since I last appeared at a board meeting in July of 2003,” he said, “the Village Inn has been forced to lay off six employees and my payroll has gone from $47,000 to $25,000 per month,” he said.Source: Pioneer Press. Link expired.

New noise plan silent on smoking law’s impact

Saturday, June 5th, 2004

[NY Nanny Mayor Boomburg has proposed forcing bars to close at 1 AM, which for many is their most profitable time. The problem? His ban is forcing patrons out on the street where the noise is bothering the neighbors.]

“It’s an irresolvable problem that the city’s created,” said Robert Bookman, attorney for the New York Nightlife Association, of the noise pollution created by the smoking ban. “Short of [citing someone for] disturbing the peace, there’s nothing you can do about people out on the street. It gets into a difficult constitutional problem: you’re allowed to be on the street.”

If nothing else, the smoking ban has increased animosity between bar owners and residents, and it is unclear whether the new noise legislation will alleviate or exacerbate the problem. “[The smoking ban] has helped create an antagonistic environment between the community and the clubs,” said Bookman, attorney for the Nightlife Association. “The music has never been a big problem. I can count on my hands the number of times an establishment has gotten a repeat violation for music.”

Source: The Villager Link

The Smoking Ban: Clear Air, Murky Economics

Sunday, December 28th, 2003

Nine months later, the impact is hardly so clear cut. An examination of government data, public polls, private surveys and interviews with customers, employees and owners of more than three dozen bars and restaurants around the city shows the law having an impact on some businesses, but certainly not on all.

Many bar owners and managers say the smoking ban has hurt business, eroding profits and, in some cases, forcing them to cut back hours or lay off workers. Others say they have seen virtually no effect.

Happy-hour sales on Friday nights at the Whiskey Ward on the Lower East Side have dropped to barely $100, from $600, a co-owner says, and regulars have disappeared along with the ashtrays.

A co-owner of Patroon, a steakhouse in Midtown, says he no longer sees much of a cigar-puffing, after-dinner crowd. And in the meatpacking district, the owner of Hogs & Heifers, where Julia Roberts was once enticed to dance on the bar, says she is considering laying off four employees.

”It’s harder to keep track of everybody going in and out,” said Chuck Zeilfelder, a bartender at Bourbon Street in Bayside, Queens, who opposes the ban. ”It’s common for people to leave money on the bar, and that becomes an issue — how much they left. Also, people leave their drinks on the bar and go out. The drinks get thrown out, and then you have to buy them another round on the house.”

The city chapters of the New York State Restaurant Association mailed out a survey to more than 900 members and found that 88 of the 115 city businesses that responded said they had a decline in bar sales since the smoking ban, and 58 said they had a decline in food sales. In addition, 76 reported that their employees had an unfavorable reaction to the ban, while 18 reported a favorable reaction.

Similarly, an October study commissioned by the Vintners Federation of Ireland interviewed 300 bars and nightclubs in the New York region and found that 66 percent reported fewer customers since the smoking ban, while 15 percent reported more. In all, 78 percent said the impact of the ban on their businesses had been negative.

Sales representatives for wine and liquor companies say the impact has trickled down to them. They say business has dropped between 20 percent and 40 percent since the smoking ban. Similarly, an association for operators of jukeboxes, pinball machines and other games says that revenues have fallen between 10 and 25 percent at bars and nightclubs in New York City.

Owners and employees reported selling fewer drinks and losing customers before dessert. They complained of the need to watch over drinks and money left on the bar and seats left unoccupied by patrons heading out for a smoke. And bartenders said that tips were down, as were overall tabs, and that longtime customers were resorting to alternatives — hotel rooms, private homes and parks — to indulge their smoking and drinking.

Amy Sacco, owner of Lot 61 and Bungalow 8 in West Chelsea, said she had to hire an extra security guard just to make sure the smoking crowd outside does not become unruly. ”It makes the job very unhappy,” Ms. Sacco said. ”Next thing you know, it’s prohibition for cocktails. We’re all responsible for policing it. It’s such a drag.”

Source: New York Times. Link


© 2000 - 2011 Dave Hitt

Permission is granted to use this information, in whole or in part, however you like.
Attribution and Links are appreciated but not required.

WordPress Theme Designed By (dasmetech developers, dasmetech@gmail.com)

Home | Contact Us

Like this? Find more at DaveHitt.Com