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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 ‘Bars/Taverns’ Category

Restaurant association survey: Sales down since smoking ban

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

The Michigan Restaurant Association recently released results of its first survey on the impact of the smoking ban on restaurants and taverns, indicating that establishments have been more than 2.5 times more likely to experience a decrease in sales than to have experienced increased sales.

According to the survey, about 43 percent of restaurant and tavern operators have reported no change in their sales or the number of visitors to their establishments since the smoking ban took effect May 1. However, while 14.8 percent report an increase in their sales since the ban took effect, 42.4 percent state that their sales are down since the ban was enacted. Additionally, 16 percent of establishments report that the number of visitors to their establishments has increased, while 41.2 percent say that their traffic is down.

According to MRA president and CEO Rob Gifford, while most restaurant and tavern operators have seen little or no benefit from the ban, there are far many more operators who have been hurt by the ban than have benefited.

Despite the claims of proponents that smoking bans lead to increased business, this clearly has not happened,” said Gifford. “In fact, nearly three times as many restaurants and taverns have been hurt by the ban as have been helped by it.”

In July, the MRA conducted a survey of its members asking for their input on if and how the new statewide smoking ban law has affected them. The survey found:

The majority of restaurant and tavern operators (55 percent) opposed the proposal to ban smoking and continue to do so, despite attempts by some to publicly call the ban an economic success.

The biggest percentage of restaurant operators (43 percent) have seen no change in the number of visitors to their establishments, the length of their patrons’ stays, or in their sales.

Of the restaurant operators who said that the smoking ban has had an effect on the number of visitors, length of stays, or in sales, the number of operators who report a negative impact is more than 2.5 times greater than the number who reports a positive impact.

Source: Heritage.com  Link

Smoking ban dries up business

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

On some weekend nights, there used to be seven waitresses working the crowd at Perfect Pitcher Sports Pub in Taylor.
But since Michigan’s smoking ban went into effect May 1, Natalie Samu, the soon-to-be ex-owner of the bar, has just one or two waitresses serving the dwindling crowd.

Our business is down over 50%,” said Samu, who sold the bar earlier this month but will stay on as manager. “I know things go down in the summer, but it’s never been this bad.”

A survey by the Michigan Restaurant Association backs up Samu’s woes. More than 42% of responding restaurants said their sales have declined since the ban went into effect, while nearly 15% said their sales have increased and 43% said they have seen no change.

Employees have been laid off; hours have been cut for others, and the tips have shrunk for the waitstaff and bartenders who are left, said Bo Burton, general manager of the Blarney Stone. Even the bands that get hired for entertainment are losing business.

“My smokers who still come in have one or two (drinks) and then go outside for a smoke,” Burton said. “Food sales are about the same, but alcohol sales have tanked.”

The Michigan Lottery also is hurting from the loss of revenues from Keno and other games that are played in bars, spokeswoman Andi Brancato said. Revenues are expected to be down about $35 million this fiscal year over last year.

“That means a $10-million loss to the school aid fund,” Brancato said. “There are certainly different factors that contribute …but the smoking ban is definitely a factor.”

Source: Freep.com.  Link

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

Economy, Smoking Ban Hurt Montana Liquor Sales

Friday, March 5th, 2010

BILLINGS – Growth in liquor sales was tempered in 2009, likely due to the economy and the indoor smoking ban that took effect for bars and casinos in October, state officials said.

Figures from the Department of Revenue’s Liquor Control Division show liquor sales grew 1.9 percent in 2009 after growing at least 5 percent a year over the past decade. The worst month was October, when liquor sales were down $1.5 million compared with the same month in 2008.

“It’s undeniable across the board that the smoking ban had a negative impact on licensed premises,” said Mark Staples of the Montana Tavern Association.

In Yellowstone County, October liquor sales were off 20 percent compared with October 2008.

Source: Flathead Beacon.  Link

The Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act, (smoking ban), and its effect on Billy’s Inn.

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

While all this was going on I went back to the people who made the second offer and asked them if they still wished to buy Billy’s Inn. If so make me an offer. It is well known by now that there was going to be a ban. An all inclusive ban. In April of 2006 the people who made the second offer came back with an offer of $600,000.00. We just lost $225,000.00 due to the ban.

First off we stopped taking wages and started using our savings to live on. Then we re-wrote the mortgage on our house and opened a home equity line of credit.

Six months into the ban our business had dropped off by 41%.

By November of 2006 we had to drop our Liquor License Insurance (Dram shop), because we could no longer afford it. At the end of our fiscal year the business was down by 26%. The ban had been in effect for only 4 out of 12 months.

Our adjusted gross income for 2006 was $914.00.

We went from a comfortable life style to zero in less than a year.

In 2007 we saw our business continue to fall off. We sold off other property at a loss and used the money to go on. We dropped our property insurance because we could no longer afford to pay that. We ran the last year of business without any insurance of any kind.

On January the first we celebrated our 40th. Anniversary at Billy’s Inn. My wife’s father ran it for 19 years. In 1985 I left the unions because I was tired of rebels dictating policy in my life. I swore no one would ever dictate policy in my life again. I started running the business in 1985 for my father-in-law. In 1987 we took over the business and have been there ever since. Twenty three years down the drain. I am now sixty two years old and I have to find a job till I can retire at sixty six. Little did I know that the next rebel would be in our own legislature.

After the sale of the business our government taxed us 21% on what we could sell.

Then our government penalized us 25% because we retired three years to soon.

Since closing. One of my bartenders has a wife and four children. He has been homeless since the spring of 2008. In February of 2009 they got into a two bedroom apartment. With four children that is real cozy.

One of the other bartenders, (An unwed mother of two), is also now losing her home. Her new job at Walgreen’s does not pay what she received as a bartender.

Another had a killing outside the bar while they were smoking. Two families destroyed by the smoking ban. There was no bartender or owner outside to intervene.

63 bars, 478 employees, 1 casino, 62 employees, 2 nightclubs, 46 employees, 1 bowling alley, 3 pool halls, and 16 bingo halls all closed. Number of employees un-known.

Venders such as Fender Entertainment gone. Lisa Fender booked entertainment for bars and taverns. Businesses could not afford the entertainment venues so it cost her the business.

In 2006 there were 44 bingo halls, now there are 28 left. The non-profits, who could least afford it, are the biggest losers. The losses are in the millions.

What ever happened to love thy neighbor? Or live and let live. Is this truly the American way?

Source:  Letter to The Smokers Club.  Link.

Additinal Source: The Denver Post.  Link.

Pub closures survey: it’s grim up north

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

The West Midlands and Scotland have been hit hardest in the national pub blight that sees six pubs close per day.

that’s a key finding of CGA’s survey of recent closure rates nationally.

The figures are broken down by Parliamentary constituency as part of the campaigns by the British Beer & Pub Association, the Campaign for Real Ale and the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group to show politicians the scale of the closure crisis.

It compares pub numbers in February 2009 with figures from June 2007, just before the English smoking ban, and data from the last general election in 2005.

More than half of constituencies with fastest closure rates since 2007 are in the West Midlands and Scotland. Dudley South lost the greatest proportion of pub stock — 28% (29 pubs).

Big job losses in the West Midlands, and the fact that many of the pubs are smaller and landlocked, have been given as reasons for closures in that region.

The early smoking ban and fears of costly licensing reform have been blamed for above-average closure rates north of the border.

Other reasons given for closures have been a move towards change-of-use, over-regulation and rent levels.

The Cities of London & Westminster has seen the biggest number of closures since June 2007, 30 from a pub stock of 949.

Manchester Central has seen the biggest fall in numbers since the 2005 election, with 50 fewer pubs.

Overall, the study shows there were 61,677 pubs in England, Scotland and Wales in February 2009, down 3,037 in 20 months and 4,271 fewer than in June 2005.

Smoking ban cited in reduced VLT cash

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

The province’s take from VLTs continues to slide, with gaming officials and bar owners saying smoking bans could be a factor.

And the province has made allowances for bars hosting VLTs whose machine revenues might be undermined by butting-out laws.

Revenue from VLTs in 2008-09 are forecast to fall $60 million from the province’s prediction earlier this year to $619 million.

That’s down from $703 million in 2007-08 and $735 million the year before that.

Machines are located in bars and lounges, which were forced to adhere to earlier smoking prohibitions in Calgary and Edmonton and a blanket provincial ban a year ago. It’s hard to explain the trend, said Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission spokeswoman Lynn Hutchings-Mah, adding a butt ban could be a factor.

“If you have a smoking ban or a cold snap, that could drive business down,” she said.

Calgary’s two-year-old smoking ban has cut VLT use, said Sherry Morrison, owner of Shuckaluck’s Public Ale House, 11440 Braeside Dr. S.W., adding the take from her machines has fallen 15% to 20%.

Source: Calgary Sun.  Link

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

Check before you spend on catering for the smokers

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

There has also been a significant impact on the licensed premises in the wake of the ban. A survey carried out by the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), showed that 74% of landlords felt that the ban was bad for trade, with 47% directly attributing it to staff redundancies.

It is certainly a fact that 175 million fewer pints were sold in the nine month period from the start of the ban. But, it would be naïve to attribute this decline to just one cause.

Source: NeBusiness.  Link

Pub campaigners bid to alter smoking ban

Monday, November 24th, 2008

CAMPAIGNERS fighting for the future of the Great British pub are today attempting to alter the controversial smoking ban.

Even the government accepts the legislation has had a huge impact on trade and is allowing bars to claim business rate reductions.

The ban is often cited as one of the prime factors killing pubs – and now a campaign has been launched in Suffolk to try to amend the law.

Jim Adams is behind the bid and is urging regulars at pubs all over the country to sign a petition.

“The smoking ban should be replaced with a rule that would require all public houses to have a room set aside for smokers instead of the really stupid overall ban,” said Mr Adams, who runs Jim and Donna’s Barbers in Hamilton Road, Felixstowe.

“The ban is killing the pub trade and removing from the English way of life one of the most sought after features for tourists coming here. There is no justifiable reason to stop those who wish to smoke from so doing.

“If there is another part of the pub which is a smoking area then the folk who wish to smoke may so do, and those who want a smoke-free area may have the rest of the establishment – including the food area – to themselves.”

The Evening Star is highlighting the loss of pubs in the area – more than 100 have closed in living memory – and the threat many are now facing to their future.

Kate Nicholls, head of communications at the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), which represents pubs and bars, said: “Last summer’s bad weather and the smoking ban were to blame for a number of closures.

“People are not going to want to stand outside and smoke when the weather is unpleasant and with extremely cheap supermarket drink deals available. It just gives people a reason to stay home.”

Source: Evening Star.  Link

Owner: Smoke Ban Forced Me To Close My Bar

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

JOHNSTON, Iowa — After a decade in business, the Nest Bar and Grill in Johnston is empty.

The owner, Rich Marx, said the smoking ban drove him out of business.

“We just celebrated our 10 year anniversary last Wednesday and then shut the doors three days later,” Marx said.

“Since the smoking ban went into effect July 1, we’ve lost just over 40 percent of our business,” he said.

Source: KCCI.  Link.

Smoking ban puts 300 pubs in tax bind

Monday, November 17th, 2008

THREE hundred NSW hotels have applied to defer payment of $18.6 million tax on gambling machine revenue, which has plummeted since an indoor smoking ban was introduced last year.

A hardship scheme that was available only to registered clubs suffering more than a 15 per cent downturn in poker machine revenue was extended to pubs in September.

The eligible hotels have experienced an average 24.5 per cent decline in gambling machine revenue in the 12 months to September, compared with the 12 months before the smoking ban came into force. The average drop across the state’s 2084 hotels was 12.58 per cent.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald.  Link

Smoking ban has cleared the air, but businesses suffer

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

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.

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.}

A poll conducted in September shows Minnesotans support the statewide smoke-free law by an overwhelming 77 percent. Gordon said national studies have found that smoking bans don’t hurt businesses in states that have bans in place. {That’s only true of studies conducted by nicotine nannies or the governments that passed the law. The few studies funded by tavern associations show the real, devastating effects.}

Source: Minnesota Public Radio. Link.

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

Pubs to go as Punch reports loss

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Pubs group Punch Taverns has reported an annual loss as the consumer slowdown and smoking ban hit its business.

The pub group said it made a pre-tax loss of £80.2m in the year to August 23, down sharply from a profit of £304.7m a year ago.

To strengthen its business, Punch wants to sell about 500 less profitable pubs.

The group’s share price has fallen 80% over the past year as a result of concerns about the firm’s financial position.

This was “brought about by the change in the consumer market following the first full-year of the smoking ban” and “a weakened consumer environment,” Punch said.

Source: BBC News.  Link

Smoking-ban insurance claims rejected

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

Three establishments challenged ordinance over drop in revenue
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A strip club, a gambling parlor and a bar recently filed insurance claims against the Kanawha- charleston Health Department, alleging that the agency’s expanded smoking ban has financially damaged their businesses.

A state agency, which insures the Health Department, has rejected the three claims.

Just because they lost profit, it doesn’t mean the Health Department is liable,” said Charles E. Jones, director of the state Board of Risk & Insurance Management, which denied the claims earlier this month. “The Health Department is enforcing a statute and ordinance.”

Sheer Fantasy’s video lottery sales dropped 30 percent last month compared to June, the month before the smoking ban took effect. Poker machine sales also were off 60 percent last month compared to September 2007.

Source: Charleston Gazette.  Link

Smoking ban killing business, say pubs

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

Kath Duffy, landlady of the Newcastle Packet and president of the Scarborough branch of the Licensed Victuallers’ Association, said: “The council might think the ban is wonderful but we don’t. Pubs have lost a lot of trade, the summer’s not been too bad but the winter when people have to stand out in the cold will really hurt us. We saw a definite drop in trade last winter. People just aren’t coming to pubs like they used to before the ban.”

Laurin Mainprize, landlady of the Britannia, said: “I reckon business is down 40 per cent on last year. Smoking isn’t illegal and people shouldn’t have to stand outside in the cold to smoke. Why can’t we have smoking and non-smoking establishments so people can make up their own minds?

“The local pub’s a dying breed and the ban’s one of the main reasons.”

And customers agree.

Lindsay White, a regular in the Black Swan, said: “My husband’s a smoker and he just won’t come to the pub any more – he says there’s no pleasure if he can’t have a smoke with his pint.”

Source: Scarborough Evening News.  Link

Kanawha Smoking Ban Impacting Bars’ Business

Monday, September 8th, 2008

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) – No smoking, no business – Kanawha County bar owners said they have the numbers to prove it.

They blame the economic slide on an extended smoking ban, which went into effect on July 1, forbidding smoking in bars and gambling parlors.

“It’s not just an inconvenience,” said Greg White of the Nitro Moose Lodge. “It’s crippling us. …It has actually crippled everything we do.”

White said the extended smoking ban is taking a toll on his bottom line.

But Brenda Isaac, an official with the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, said smoking in public establishments is harming others’ health.

“It’s never a goal to shut down businesses, but it’s our goal to make businesses safe,” she said. 

{Not their goal, but quite often the result, despite their constant denials of this fact.} 

White estimates that his establishment lost as much as $65,000 in August alone.

“We’re considering all kinds of options right now,” he said. “But when you don’t have the dollars to make the bills …there is very little option left. It’s driving everybody out of business.”

Source: WSAZ.  Link

Brewery in administration

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

The Dusanji brothers – Sudarghara and Ajmal – blamed the smoking ban for the failure of their Liverpool-based Cains’ Brewery which has an estate of 100 pubs, including several in Greater Manchester.

They took over the Robert Cain & Co brewery in July, 2002, promising to return it to its former glory after years of under-investment.

But Sudarghara, the chief executive, said that since last year pub sales had dropped by between 15 and 20 per cent because of the smoking ban, and added that the credit crunch had also helped to “cripple the business”.

Source: Asian News.  Link

Tavern League Looks for Exemption on Eau Claire Smoking Ban

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

“It has hit them very hard. Some of them are down 70 percent,” says Eau Claire Tavern League President Sally Jo Bitzer.

Bitzer also manages the bar at Wagner’s Lanes on Brackett Avenue.

She says before the smoking ban, the place was packed on a Saturday afternoon. Now, just a few loyal customers are left.

“People just aren’t coming in, and sitting there and socializing and smoking a cigarette,” she says.

Julie Johnson, the owner of the Five O’Clock club down the street says she’s seen much of the same trend since the ban took affect in July. She also says she feels like the city’s taken her rights as a business owner away, by banning smoking. Both Johnson and Bitzer say the ban hasn’t attracted any new customers.

“When they first came out,” Bitzer says, in reference to the ban, “They said, ‘Oh, there’s so many non-smokers out there that don’t come to the taverns because they don’t want to be affected by the secondhand smoke.’ They’re not coming.”

Source: WEAU.  Link

moking ban results in 11.7pc downturn for local clubs

Friday, August 8th, 2008

As of July 2007, smoking in enclosed areas of pubs and clubs across NSW has been banned.
ClubsNSW, which is the peak body for venues across the state, said clubs suffered their worst financial year ever, with overall club income falling by $385 million in the last financial year.

Figures from Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing estimate a revenue downturn of $26,052,814 in the Parramatta area – a fall of 11.7 per cent.

Source: Parramatta Sun.  Link

Smoking Ban Hits Close To Home For Senator

Saturday, August 2nd, 2008

August 2, 2008–State Senator Jack Hatch helped push the smoking ban through the statehouse, and now he’s dealing with an unexpected and unpleasant result.

Smokers at Carl’s Place in Des Moines’ Sherman Hill neighborhood have to take their butts outside. It just so happens that “outside” is right across the street from Hatch’s home.

“I look over there every once in a while expecting somebody to shout something at me, but they don’t. They’re polite,” said Hatch, one of the biggest proponents of the ban.

The irony is as thick as the smoke. A gaggle of noisy smokers abiding by Hatch’s law, but making an eyesore for him in the process.

“I don’t think they know it actually, but I do. And it’s nice for me to be behind the bar and watch out these two big windows and see thirty to forty people out there having a good time and smoking cigarettes,” said bartender Scott Renaud.

Renaud claims he’s lost thirty to forty percent of his tips due to the smoking ban, but he won’t find sympathy across the street, where Hatch says the smokers will come back around. “If someone is really going to be bothered because they can’t smoke, then that’s because that person’s really addicted too badly. I think people will settle into something very comfortable,” Hatch said.

Court reviews smoking ban, upsetting businesses

Friday, August 1st, 2008

Brian Froehlich, president of the Iowa Bar Owners Coalition and a plaintiff, testified that the month-old ban has already slashed sales in bars across the state by 25 percent to 30 percent and as much as 50 percent for some establishments.

“I’d say 80 percent of them are still allowing people to smoke in their bars because if they don’t, they won’t have anybody in there,” Sturgis said.

Pubs Under Pressure

Monday, July 28th, 2008

New figures show pubs are closing down at their fastest rate ever and in a special investigation, the Guardian’s KARL HOLBROOK looks at how the smoking ban, longer opening times, rising taxes, cheap supermarket booze and changing attitudes have hit Leyland pubs.

Anyone thinking about running their own pub in Leyland has been spoilt for choice lately.

That’s because there are currently three pubs on the market and two others have been taken over by new landlords in recent weeks.

Also, rumours have emerged that other pubs are close to being put on the market and local landlords say they are struggling to survive.

“A pub is now closing every six hours in this country and nobody is doing anything to stop it.

“The government keep putting taxes up, levies get harder from the breweries, the smoking ban took about 20 per cent of trade away and supermarkets under-cut everyone with cheap booze promotions.

Paul Fields, who runs the Dunkirk Hall in Dunkirk Lane, is another landlord who is quitting the business because of slumping trade.

The experienced publican blames the introduction of the smoking ban, which came into force on July 1, last year.

He said: “I’ve been brought up around pubs and it saddens me what is happening. The smoking ban has hit everyone hard.

“Last year I had to spend about £3,000 preparing for the ban with smoking shelters and things, but it didn’t make a difference.

However, landlord Dave Sutherland said he quit the Broadfield Arms, in Leyland Lane, earlier this year because the ban wiped out 30 per cent of his trade.

“The fact of the matter is that we have lost an awful lot of local pubs and we are going to lose a lot more.

According to Mr le Clercq, 1,400 pubs closed across England last year, compared to just 255 the previous year.

Source: Leland Guardian.  Link

Smoke ban: ‘There will be no pubs left’

Saturday, July 12th, 2008

Nicholas, aged 44, is a smoker and said he hardly goes to the pub anymore.

“I can get eight cans for a fiver, so I stay at home more now. I think the ban is a negative thing, there will be no pubs left here soon. I can’t see how they will survive. It’s against human rights,” he said.

However, 31-year-old Rebecca, also a smoker, doesn’t mind the ban, and prefers eating out in smoke-free pubs.

She said: “It’s a better environment for people to eat, especially for the little ones.

“But I do think it’s bad in a business sense. I work across the road from a pub and they have been dead since the ban.”

Source: Wales Online. Link


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