mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Study finds smoking ban hurts business...

A study by a couple New York resturant and bar groups shows that the NY smoking ban hurts their business. This doesn't surprise me - I am an occasional cigar smoker, and I pretty much only smoke either when I'm at a bar, or at home with a beer in one hand and a cigar in the other. I think that there are a lot of other people who are "social smokers" who smoke when they go out.

I'm a big fan of personal choice, and I think people should be able to choose if they want to patronize a resturant that allows or does not allow smoking, and the people who own resturants and bars should be able to choose if they want to allow people to smoke in them. The ban has frequently been cast as a public health benefit to employees of these resturants - but once again they choose to work there knowing there is smoking, and I know a ton of bartenders who smoke themselves and thus really don't mind secondhand smoke.

One really interesting thing from the article I mentioned above - it contrasts with a NY State study that showed increased profits after the smoking ban - but the NY study included resturants that never allowed smoking in the first place, such as McDonalds and Starbucks.

The way I see it, I would trust the bar trade group's study more - all they want to do is make money, while the state wants to prove that their law helps people, and to control yet another part of our lives.


At 6:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree with u. I personally do not smoke but I think that taking smoking out of certain places is wrong. Smokers have rights too. I say if u don't like being around smokers then don't be. As for smoking in restaurants I think it's fine the way it is. They have smoking sections for a reason. If u don't like it sit in the nonsmoking section

At 2:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the concern here is that the ban on smoking takes a monetary toll on businesses then consider these statistics from the National Committee for Quality Assurance:
- In 1993, the cost of tobacco-related health care in the U.S. was $72.7 billion - 12% of all medical costs.
- The estimated total economic impact of smoking (direct medical costs and lost productivity) was $100 billion in 1990.
- Birth complications due to smoking cost $1.4 billion per year.
- Lost productivity and forfeited earnings due to smoking related disability cost $47 billion per year.

These costs are not only supported by the business persons we are concerned about but by all tax payers.

Also, before the smoking ban here in Los Angeles, nearly-hand smoke had very few choices. And non-smoking sections don't work; the tobacco smoke is only less concentrated in the non-smoking areas, (not only that, but once I went to a restaurant who's non-smoking room suddenly became the smoking section during my late breakfast).

Not all smoke related medical problems take years of breathing heavily concentrated second-hand smoke before they manifest. Asthema, allergies, diabetes, headaches, sinusitis, hypoglycemia, and some thyroid conditions are either greatly aggrivated or triggered by second-hand smoke, even in small quantities. And I can speak from experience: these things don't go away when the smoke does. At times I have been ill for hours or in some cases days before the smoke related illness subsided, despite medication.

The assertion that this law exists only so that the government can control our lives is like saying that streets have lower speed zones compared to freeways so the government can control our lives. Both ,(bans on smoking and speed zones), exist for the purpose of preventing injury to those who share public spaces. If you choose not to have that protection, then by all means, help yourself, only don't rob anyone else of their choice when you do.

People have the right to choose to smoke - or not to smoke. Non-smokers are not given that choice when smoking is allowed in public places.

Also, choosing to believe a study from a group that "only wants to make money," is very short-sighted. After all, what more than making money sways people to support something that is to their benefit even at the cost of others?

At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correction to the above entry:

"Also, before the smoking ban here in Los Angeles, nearly-hand smoke had very few choices," should have read:

"Also, before the smoking ban here in Los Angeles, nearly all non-fast food restaurants allowed smoking. This meant that those of us who did not want to breath second-hand smoke had very few choices."


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