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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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Archive for the ‘North America’ Category

Bill would ease smoking ban

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Senate Bill 346 would exempt family-owned business, outdoor patios and private clubs from the current smoking ban.

“The time has come to take this step,” Cates said. “Why? Because this measure is hurting business in Ohio.”

The Moose Family Center has experienced a dramatic drop in business, which management blames on the smoking ban.

Revenue for the lodge is down at least 60 percent since the ban, said Larry Turner, govenor of the lodge. To be successful, they need to bring in about $28,000 a week; last week they brought in $16,000, Turner said.

Turner dismisses claims from the American Cancer Society and other pro-smoking ban groups that have said more customers would be attracted to places where smoking is banned.

“It’s a damn lie. It’s not happening. You can’t find that anywhere in Ohio,” Turner said.

“The law ensures that all business will operate on a level playing field with one fair, statewide standard that is easy to enforce. Furthermore, the intent of the law—to protect all workers from secondhand smoke— was clearly communicated to Ohio voters,” [American Cancer Society Nanny] Hoctor said.

(Ah yes, the famous, favorite line of the nannies, a level playing field. They still haven’t figured out their constant use of the phrase reveals the lie of bans being good for business. If they were, there would be no need for their cherished “level playing field.”)

Source: Cincinnati.com. Link

Smoking ban slows bar business in Grand Island

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

No citations so far, but a lot of bar owners say the ban is killing their business.

I have seen business drop way down – up to 30%,” said Chada.

Source: News 5, KHAS TV.  Link

Fallout: Smoking ban’s 1st birthday

Sunday, June 1st, 2008

More than a dozen bars and taverns have shut their doors since smoking was prohibited in almost all businesses, and owners of some bars that remain say revenues have plummeted. Tax receipts on food and drink purchases countywide, however, have increased slightly over the past year, and several clubs have invested heavily to install outdoor beer gardens and patios.

Councilman Tom Didier, R-3rd, disagrees with his former colleague. Didier, who sells food to restaurants and bars, said he’s seen how the ban has hurt mom-and-pop places throughout the city.

“It’s been difficult,” he said. “There are still customers today that are hurting.”

Source: Journalgazette.net. Link

Casino revenues drop for 4th month since smoking ban

Friday, May 16th, 2008

Colorado casino revenues in April fell for the fourth straight month since the smoking ban took effect in January, dropping 7.1 percent from March and down 12.5 percent from April, 2007.

It was the second-biggest year-to-year decrease ever, behind March.

In Cripple Creek, revenue fell 6.4 percent to $10.7 million in April, off 13.3 percent from
April, 2007.

Cripple Creek casinos have brought in a total of $42.6 million in 2008, off 14.7 percent from this point in 2007.

Source: The Gazette. Link

Illinois casino revenues down again; smoking ban blamed

Friday, May 9th, 2008

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois casino officials continue to blame the state’s indoor smoking ban as riverboat gambling revenues have fallen for the fourth straight month, a report shows.

Each of the state’s nine riverboat gambling sites took in less money in April than they did in the same month last year, for an average loss of about 19 percent, according to the Illinois Gaming Board’s monthly report. Each casino also saw its revenues and attendance drop from March to April.

Revenue drops between April and the same month last year range from a nearly 27 percent drop in Alton to a 5 percent decrease in East St. Louis. Casino Rock Island posted a loss in the same period of 17 percent. Metropolis showed a 25.5 percent loss. The Empress Casino in Joliet lost about 26.5 percent in revenue over last April and Harrah’s Casino in Joliet lost almost 18 percent.

Source: jg-tc online.  Link

Grandma’s restaurant will close its doors on Minneapolis’ west bank

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

Alatus Management, a Minneapolis-based developing company, purchased the building a year and a half ago. After spending 27 years in its current location, it was the decision of Grandma’s corporate office to close the restaurant at the beginning of this summer.

Peterson said she is disappointed that the restaurant is closing because she is finishing finals and now has to find another job.

The president of Grandma’s Corporation, Brian Daugherty, said legislation like the smoking ban has deteriorated the state of hospitality jobs in Minneapolis.

Source: Minnesota Daily. Link

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

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

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

Gambling revenues decline after smoking ban

Monday, March 31st, 2008

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.

Source: Minnesota Public Radio. Link

East St. Louis casino blames smoke ban for revenue decline

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) – The Casino Queen in East St. Louis is reporting that its business is down, and executives are blaming Illinois’ smoking ban.

Initially, the $92 million new casino,which opened last summer, saw revenues increase from the smaller boat,but business has declined since January 1st when the state’s ban on smoking in public places took effect.

Casino manager tom Monaghan says the drop in business has been devastating. He says because of the smoking ban, he fears gamblers are going to new nearby competing casinos across the river in Missouri, where gamblers still can smoke.

Source: WTHITV. Link

Mark W. Benjamin: Statewide smoking ban gave no thought to mental health

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

Theater night protests are a challenge to a mean-spiritied, shortsighted law.

Your March 16 editorial panned our Theater Night performances in bars as “a clever but wrongheaded protest” against Minnesota’s smoking ban and sniffed that this is a medical, not economic, issue. We disagree. Your editorial focused on physical health and made no room for mental health.

After the smoking ban took effect Oct. 1, many small bars, Legions and VFW posts experienced a precipitous drop in income. Bar owners laid off waitresses they had known since childhood. Bartenders quit school after losing hours and tips. Former customers retreated to ice shacks
on frozen Minnesota lakes to drink and smoke alone.

Public health is more than physical health — clean air and pink lungs. It is also about mental health — keeping company and green wallets. People who drink and smoke alone, who lose their jobs and businesses do not live as well or as long. They need help, not ridicule. These people are socially isolated and financially stressed. Social and financial health deserves to be part of our public health

Public health pundits grumble that Theater Night disrespects the law and violates its “spirit.” But this law is mean-spirited and disrespects our veterans and small-bar owners. It makes no accommodation for them.

Last spring, the veterans and small bar owners worried they would lose customers. The Legislature assured them they would see more customers when their businesses were smoke-free, a rosy prediction that turned out wrong.

Theater Night is a blessed respite from the economic desert in which some of our small bars were dying. We now have time to address the mistaken assumptions of last spring. We recommend two healthy accommodations for our veterans and small bar owners.

First, our veterans deserve an exemption. They performed valiantly overseas and continue to perform for their communities through charitable giving. But their revenues dried up after Oct. 1. Granting them an exemption will restore those revenues and their charitable giving.

Second, the smoking ban lets scientists study the effects of tobacco smoke as long as their laboratories are ventilated at the rate of 60 cubic feet of air per minute per person. This is a safety standard that our small bar owners are willing to adopt, even at great cost. Granting such an exemption will give them a chance of survival.

Some may be upset by our approach. But all we ask is to be heard on the subject of mental health as an integral component of public health. Until that day, our show will go on.

Source: Start Tribune. Link

Restaurant owner blames smoking ban in part for closing

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

LEBANON — Wild Bill’s New American Grille, 20 E. Silver St., has closed its doors permanently, and its owner says the smoking ban played a significant role in the closing.

“We’re heartbroken about it,” said Bill Schroeder, who operated the restaurant with his wife Gayle.

The Schroeders first closed their restaurant briefly in February 2007, blaming a one-two punch of a mandated hike in minimum wage and the smoking ban that took effect in January 2007 and which, Schroeder said, cost him about 30 percent of his business. But based on e-mails and pleas from customers, the couple reopened the restaurant in the spring.

After the smoking ban took effect, “We never saw a lot of our smokers again,” he said. “I expected families to pick up after the ban, but I didn’t see too much of that.”

The restaurant closed March 1.

Source: Dayton Daily News. Link

Smoking ban takes center stage in bars across the state

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

(Some bar owners, devastated by declining revenues as a direct result of smoking bans, have come up with a clever way to win back their smoking patrons. They declare everything that happens in a bar is a performance, and everyone inside is an actor. The state law allows actors to smoke on stage.)

It’s not exactly the venue you’d envision for a Saturday night performance. But Bugg’s Bar in South St. Paul has become the latest stage for a statement.

“We’re doing it because we’ve lost so much business, and we’re trying to get people back out, trying to get them back in the community, trying to get them back in the bars,” said Crystal Bentson, Manager of Bugg’s Bar.

Patrons at Bugg’s Bar paid two dollars for a sticker entitling them to a role in the bar’s production Saturday night. It also gave them an opportunity to light up, if they desired.
You can call it the second act in an ongoing drama. Turns out, dozens of bars across the state are now treating the smoking ban like a brief intermission.

Kenn Rockler of the Tavern League of Minnesota said he’s heard from more than a hundred bar owners looking for the latest way to deal with a ban they say is bad for business. They think they’ve found it, in a once little known exemption in the state smoking ban that allows smoking in theatrical productions.

“Maybe the people who did the exemption weren’t aware what would happen with it,” Rockler said. “But again, those people are the same people that said businesses wouldn’t suffer.

Rockler estimates more than four thousand people have lost their jobs since the ban went into effect on October 1, 2007.

State Senator Kathy Sheran sponsored the law last year, she said the current activity undermines the intention to “protect people from smoke in all of these places.”

“It’s creative, it’s clever, it shows us a loophole in the law that people will want to find their way through,” she said. “But it will require us to find resources to go back.”

(Yeah, damn those hard working business owners who refuse to go out of business. We must punish them!)

Source Kare11. Link

Smoking ban for post riles veterans

Sunday, February 24th, 2008

Cohasset health officials are trying to ban smoking in the George Mealy American Legion post – the last private club in town where smoking is allowed – but some veterans say that, after serving their country, they have earned the right to light up if they wish.

“My personal feeling as a veteran is we deserve something a little bit special,” Vietnam veteran Bill Van Note said. “It’s nice to come in here and smoke and share our stories. At one point in time, we were willing to pay out with our lives for this country. Give us a break. Let us have our piece of the world.”

Van Note said the meeting with selectmen on March 10 is “meaningless” in his opinion. “The handwriting is on the wall. This is knee-jerk anti-smokers who never paid the price to belong here.”

(Yep, you guys litteraly risked your life for freedom, and the nicotine nannies are using that freedom to kick you out of your own place.)

“I think any veteran who wants to come in here and have a cigarette or cigar should be able to,” Dolan said. “We have a veteran who is 82 years old. He comes in and has a drink and smokes his pipe. People know what’s involved here when they walk through the door.”

(Sorry, old man. You once risked your life for your country, but you’re an evil evil smoker, so you must be kicked out in the cold and the rain. Otherwise, it would annoy a nanny, who would never visit the club, and we can’t have that, can we?)

Source: Boston.com Link

Bars Turning To Theatre To Beat Smoking Ban

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

DALBO, Minn. (WCCO) ― A growing number of bars are turning into temporary theaters to take advantage of a loophole in the smoking ban law.

The Dusty Eagle is the only bar in Dalbo. Since the smoking ban, business has gone down there 30 to 40 percent. The owners are trying something new to attract business. They’re taking a cue from an old TV show to bring back some familiar faces. Last Saturday night, an actual local mail carrier was playing “Cliff Claven” from “Cheers”.

Though there is some performance, no one there at “theater night” is a professional actor. For last Saturday night, the entire bar was being considered a stage and pretend “actors” were smoking as part of the “show”. The Dusty Eagle is just one of the bars using “theater night” to get around the smoking ban.

Judy Cassman, the bar’s owner, is quick to clarify her position.

“We’re not trying to be vindictive, we’re not trying to be sneaky. We’re trying to draw some business and keep a family business going,” said Cassman.

Source: Wcoo.com. Link

Bars: Smoking ban hurts business

Saturday, February 16th, 2008

CARBONDALE – About six weeks after it went into effect, many local bar owners say the statewide smoking ban is burning their bottom line.

The ban was touted as means of protecting employees from second-hand smoke and attracting business from non-smokers. But throughout the region, bar owners say the ban has kept smokers away and non-smokers have not filled the void.

“Hopefully we are going to get a new generation of nonsmoking alcoholics; it’s all I can hope for,” joked Ely Lane, night manager at PK’s bar in Carbondale. “We are in a pretty bad situation here. It (business) is down about 30 percent. We don’t own the property so we can’t erect a second area like a smoking gazebo. We don’t know what we are going to do so we are hunkering down and hoping for better times.”

At the Perfect Shot in Herrin, part-owner Traci Drew said business during the week has been cut in half; the bar is offering more drink deals to boost business.

At The Cellar in Carbondale, owner Paul Stokes said business is down about 20 percent so far this year. At Mugsy McGuire’s, owner Matt Maier said last January was the worst he’s had in 10 years.

Da-Nite Bar in Murphysboro is reporting similar returns so far, said Manager Julie Crabtree.

“We had folks that used to come in at 3 and stay until six. Now they come in and stay for an hour,” she said. “Some of our regulars are just not coming in at all. I’d have to say I’ve lost at least 15 of my regulars.”

Crabtree added: “It’s cut down on business; it’s also fewer tips for the staff and less money coming in for the owner.”

At Pinch Penny Pub in Carbondale, General Manager James Karayiannis said the ban has
“affected business for the negative” and agreed with Lane at PK’s that non-smokers have not replaced smokers.

“There are some shifts, say Friday afternoon, when we see some new faces; but the week as a whole, there are more people staying home and no one replacing them,” he said. “Certain behaviors go with other behaviors and I think the person who wants to go to a bar during the week was more likely to tolerate smoke.”

Source: SouthernIllinoisan.com. Link

Smoking in bars just an act?

Saturday, February 16th, 2008

(If smoking bans were good for business, would owners take such elaborate measured to get around them?)

Minnesota bar patrons are lighting up once again in the tavern, in the name of theater. It’s been months since smokers could puff away inside the bars, but a lawyer says a lit cigarette is nothing more than a prop as thespians act in “The Tobacco Monologues.”

Mark Benjamin was dressed in full renaissance garb as he inhaled his Marlboro. “Some of my friends in the VFW’s and legions were suffering as a result of the smoking ban. I thought I would research the law to determine if there was a way I could help my friends,” Benjamin explained. “I found the exception. The way it was written. I realized if we can have Shakespeare in the park, we can have Shakespeare in the bar. It was written just that way, there was no definition of theatrical productions,” the criminal defense lawyer by traded, added.

Staff members at Barnacles Resort on the north shore of Mille Lacs passed out play bills for good measure Saturday night. A sign on the door warned bar customers that “actors would be smoking.”

Jeanne Weigum, Executive Director of the Association for Nonsmokers told the Star Tribune, “This is pretty lame. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. And if it looks like a bar, it’s a bar.”

Benjamin says at least six bars in the state “put on plays” Saturday night. He hopes more bar owners will stand up and take advantage of the theatrical production exception. The State Attorney General’s office is looking into the loophole.

Source: kare11.com. Link

Metropolis officials blame smoking ban for gambling drop

Friday, February 8th, 2008

Officials of Harrah’s Metropolis riverboat casino claim Illinois’ new smoking ban has resulted in the layoff of about 30 jobs at the casino.

Casino officials claim guests are spending less on entertainment and making fewer trips because of the ban and the casino suffered a drop in visitation compared to the previous six-month average.

Metropolis Mayor Billy McDaniel pointed out Thursday that he predicted when the smoking ban went into effect January 1, that it would have negative consequences on the local economy.

Source: WQAD.com. Link

Prisoners can smoke after riot over ban

Friday, February 8th, 2008

Quebec’s public security minister is denying he backtracked on a smoking ban in light of a small riot that broke out at the Orsainville detention centre late Thursday night.

A law prohibiting smoking both inside and outside of Quebec’s 18 prisons went into effect on Tuesday. Just before midnight on Thursday between 30 and 50 prisoners began fighting and set fire to a wing of the Orsainville detention centre just north of Quebec City. The section was evacuated for about an hour while firefighters put out the fire. There were no injuries.

0n Friday, Public Security Minister Jacques Dupuis issued a statement saying prisoners would be allowed to smoke outside – an activity that was prohibited under the ban.

Source: Canada.com. Link

Illinois Smoking Ban Drives Away Casino Gamblers

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

Harrah’s Metropolis Riverboat has been forced to lay off over thirty workers in response to declining business. According to casino management, customers of the casino are visiting less frequently and for shorter stays since the smoking ban was enacted.

As casino revenues drop, so do payments to states, revenue which is desperately needed to fund budgets across the country. Can’t the would-be do-gooders relax for once, and allow people freedom of choice?

Source: Online Casino Advisory. Link


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