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Key Restaurant and Business Leaders Support Smoke-Free Laws
Members of the business community, including restaurant and bar owners, are becoming increasingly supportive of smoke-free laws, recognizing that these laws can have a positive impact on public health and the health of their business.28
The 2008 Zagat Survey: America’s Top Restaurants of 132,000 Americans noted that, “The verdict on smoking is overwhelming with 77% of diners saying they'd eat out less if smoking were permitted in local restaurants, and only 2% saying they’d dine out more.” 29 In 2009, the release of the Zagat Report remarked, “In New Orleans and Las Vegas, two of the last major cities not to have banned smoking, this is still a major issue. Recent smoking bans will offer welcome relief to health-conscious diners.” 30
In October 2010, Nicole Griffin, Executive Director of the Connecticut Restaurant Association remarked to WestportPatch Online that the smoking ban was a big issue for restaurateurs when it was implemented in October of 2003, but that today, “[t]he smoking ban is not an issue at all for restaurants.” She continues, “When it first passed, restaurateurs were really nervous that once the ban was put into effect people wouldn’t come out to eat and drink, and that’s not what happened. Seven years later, customers are really happy to go out to bars and to eat and drink and not be in an atmosphere of smoke.”31
Support for New York’s law has grown even among bar and restaurant owners. James McBratney, President of the Staten Island Restaurant and Tavern Association, was quoted in the Feb. 6, 2005, issue of The New York Times saying ''I have to admit, I've seen no falloff in business in either establishment [restaurant or bar].'' According to The Times, “He went on to describe what he once considered unimaginable: Customers actually seem to like it, and so does he.” 34
Across the country, state and local chapters of business associations like the Chamber of Commerce are endorsing smoke-free laws. Chambers of Commerce in a number of states and communities, including Kentucky, Washington, Utah, Anchorage (AK), Beaumont (TX), Philadelphia (PA) and Manchester (NH) all supported smoke-free laws. In January 2011, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Dave Adkisson joined state legislators and health advocacy groups to speak in favor of a statewide smoking policy. In a survey of Kentucky Chamber members, 86 percent of respondents said they favored a smoke-free policy for public buildings in Kentucky. “Smoking is not only killing us in Kentucky, it's bankrupting us,” Adkisson said at the Capitol. “Business leaders have come to the conclusion that we have got to discourage smoking in this state.” In announcing their position, Chris Williams, Vice President of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, stated, “Over the past two months, an overwhelming number of our members have told us that they support a statewide smoking ban and believe the Chamber should publicly support it as well. What you may find interesting is the fact that 75% of our restaurant owners who are Chamber members agreed with this school of thought.” Williams said that the Chamber of Commerce supported a statewide smokefree law because, “The health of our employees is important to us as business owners” and “The economic health of the restaurant industry will not suffer from a smoking ban.”35 See www.nosmoke.org... for additional information on business leaders supporting smoke-free laws.
To be sure, it is also a possibility that any ban will lower smoking patrons’ demand for the services of bars, restaurants and gaming establishments where smoking is not permitted. Basic economic theory maintains that such lower demand could lower the profits of any bar or restaurant subject to such a ban.
Tavern and bar owners have been among the most vociferous opponents of 100 percent smoking bans. As a result, many ordinances include exemptions for stand-alone bars or other establishments with a high proportion of revenue from alcohol sales. In some ordinances, exemptions also exist for casinos, bowling alleys, bingo halls, fraternal organizations, etc. These political compromises arise in response to the economic pressures that drive particular businesses to be vocal in opposition to smoking-ban ordinances. Those who are most threatened by a public policy proposal tend to be more adamant in their opposition and are more likely to have their interests accommodated in final legislation. Exemptions represent something of a second-best outcome (achieved through the political process rather than through market mechanisms) for mitigating the most economically disruptive effects of a proposed public policy. The prevalence of such exemptions in existing smoking ordinances raises two important points: First, exemptions reflect underlying economic pressures that provide indirect evidence of the potential adverse effects of comprehensive smoking-ban proposals. Second, since many existing smoking ordinances have included exemptions, data from case studies cannot necessarily be extrapolated to evaluate the effects of more comprehensive or restrictive proposals in other communities.
originally posted by: TiredofControlFreaks
a reply to: blupblup
Can you name one pleasurable activity that is completely safe and has no risks at all?
Tired of Control Freaks
With 10 years experience with total bans and partial bans, don't you think that the business owners themselves are in the best position to determine if a smoking ban will help or hinder their profitability?
N o n c o m p l i a n c e d a t a i n d i c a t e t h a t s m o k i n g b a n s i m p o s e e c o n o m i c h a r m o n s o m e b a r s , r e s t a u r a n t s , a n d o r g a n i z a - t i o n s , w i t h c o n t i n u e d n o n c o m p l i a n c e m o s t l y i n b a r s a n d o r g a n i z a t i o n s . C a s e s o f c o n t i n u e d n o n c o m p l i a n c e a p p a r - e n t l y i n d i c a t e w h e r e s m o k e r s c o n g r e g a t e a n d c o n t i n u e t o s m o k e i n t h e p r e s e n c e o f t h e b a n . P r e v i o u s s t u d i e s u n d e r e s - t i m a t e d h a r m t o t h e d e g r e e t h a t c o n t i n u e d n o n c o m p l i a n c e i n d i c a t e s h i g h e r l o s s e s f r o m g r e a t e r e n f o r c e m e n t . P u b l i c h e a l t h a u t h o r i t i e s r a r e l y p u b l i c l y c o m p l a i n a b o u t n o n c o m - p l i a n c e , s i n c e d r a w i n g a t t e n t i o n t o t h e s e o w n e r s i s i n c o n s i s - t e n t w i t h c l a i m s t h a t b a n s d o n o t c a u s e e c o n o m i c h a r m . P u b l i c a i r i n g o f c o n t i n u e d c i t a t i o n s m i g h t a l s o e m p o w e