Another smoking thread. Anti-smoking. Or something. Can anyone explain what these two

Another jab at the anti-smoking cabal. This time with a twist. No immediate attacks, no name calling, just looking for an explanation to this sales pitch. Placing this in the Pit so I can come back and spit vitriol if the mood strikes me. :slight_smile:

I’ll skip over the mention of Bingo halls, and will gladly provide cites about the serious hurt charities are suffering dueto the smoking ban in place for just over a year. Actually, that’s a Pit thread in itself. For now, I’m just hoping someone can explain this logic.

In today’s edition of the daily fishwrap, there’s an op-ed piece written by 2 doctors about making the ban universal.

They’re members of one of a hundred tobacco groups, so I expect them to attempt to make a case for banning smoking everywhere, whether the businesses want to go smoke-free or not. That’s understandable, they don’t care about choice, they’re going to save us from ourselves. Commendable, I guess.

Here’s where they lose me.

So after the ban, restaurant/bar business gained a net increase of 12%. Pretty good, huh?I don’t know many shopkeepers that would scoff at a 12% increase in business over 1 year. We should all be so lucky.

But they continue.

Level the economic playing field? What the fuck does that mean? You just pointed out how economically beneficial the ban is. This can only mean those places that still allow smoking are too damn dumb to realize the cash they’re losing and need you to step in and “correct” them.

Some of these people have become such caricatures that even I can’t find reason in it. And that’s saying a fucking lot.

So what is the point of the cited argument? They say smoking bans are economically wise, but the playing field is unfair unless every business is smoke-free.

No, it doesn’t.

78% of people eat out the same frequency.
Add 17% who eat out more frequently - 95%.
Minus the 5% who eat out less - 90%.

It’s a loss of 10% of frequency of business.

You went to public school, didn’t you? (Monty Python reference.)

90% minus 78% equals 12%. Or is there yet another new math?

I’m torn on this issue.

I agree that it’s not the government’s job to save us from ourselves. People should be able to smoke if they want to (they shouldn’t be able to sue for damages for the choice they thmeselves made though).

And I think a business owner should be able to cater to the smoking demographic if he or she chooses to.

OTOH, there is nothing nastier than walking into a restaurant that allows smoking indoors. Smokers do not realize how much they stink. And I say this as a former 3 pack day man. It’s nice not to have to put up with it here in Sunny California.

Still, I have to scratch my head wondering why people can’t smoke in a bar. They’re in there intentionally killing brain cells, why not let 'em smoke?

I’m lost. Where are you getting the 90% from?

For the safety of the employees (as well as non-smoking patrons). If a bar has a smoking room, then that means employees are required to serve and clean these rooms. That means they are exposed to smoke. Some might not care, but what about the ones that do? Would they lose their jobs? Would they be forced into an unsafe work environment (exposure to smoke) against their wills for fear of being fired, or not hired in the first place? Suddenly “non smoker” becomes available as a class to discriminate against by business owners and managers. I think we can agree that that’s not a good thing.

As for choice… AFAIAC, you (general - not directed at any given poster!) have the choice to smoke. You have the right to smoke. What you don’t have the right to do is choose for someone else. You do not have the right to send the smoke into someone elses lungs. Unfortunately, no one has found a way to smoke so that nothing enters someone elses’s space/body. Even strong ventilation in a smoking room just isn’t good enough - employees walking through are exposed, and a cloud of smoke does collect in the room. If that problem could be solved, then go ahead, light up in public places (bars, malls, restaurants, etc.). Until then, please respect non-smokers choice to not be exposed to the smoke. That’s all we’re asking (well, that’s all I’M asking…!)

Actually, I lied. I’d also ask that smokers not stand directly in front of doors (please let everyone through with a minimal amount of exposure) though I won’t go out and make you’re you’re exactly 6 or 9 or whatever ft away! Also, use ashtrays. Dropping butts on the ground or out the window ruins the environment for you as much as it does for me.

(For the record, I’m a non-smoker who just left Ontario, a province with a strict anti-smoking law, to Québec, which is partway there, and I have never been happier going out to dinner and bars and being able to breathe and enjoy my food and drink without everything tasting and smelling like ashtrays!)

I guess that doesn’t address the OP, but I guess it gets many of the arguments out there for the rest of this thread!

You’re counting the the 17% who eat out more frequently as though they eat out the same as they did before, while the 5% who eat out less frequently don’t eat out at all. duffer’s not quite right in assuming a 12% increase in business, as it depends how much more people eat out compared to before, and a whole bunch of other information that’s not contained in the article. Still, there’s probably at least some increase in business if those numbers are right.

You’re missing the point that it’s not the government protecting you from yourself. It’s the government protecting people from other people.

The minority of businesses (vast minority of them) allow smoking. I’m guessing there are enough smokers that are also looking for wait-bartending jobs to accomodate all.

Of course, this doesn’t work well with the given “studies”. But then, there haven’t been any studies to determine if there are enough people (smokers, yes we’re still people) that are more than willing to work in a smoking environment.

Nope. No smoke for you!

Damnit, sucked into a side argument.

The OP, as I recall, was asking for how the 2 quoted pieces make sense.

Leveling the playing field? How does this make a reasonable argument for banning all smoking?

I used to smoke. Minimum a pack a day.

Banning smoking and giving me a hard time about it just made me resent the people who made the rules.

Watching Mom choke to death on chunks of her own cancer-ridden lungs? THAT made a difference.

Nothing else did.

WAG regarding the two statements in the OP:

The study cited (quote 1) appears to be a study that doesn’t distinguish between bars and restaurants. Presumably, the question is along the lines of “Do you go out to bars and restaurants a) more frequently b) as frequently or c) less frequently since the new law has taken effect 1 year ago”. I think that might be skewed somewhat towards restaurant-goers, since people probably go to food establishments more often than bars which don’t offer food (and I admit I’m guessing about North Dakota’s law being one which bans smoking in places that serve food). So it’s a fairly broad study.

The second quote (and the entire article) refers to the fact that bars are currently exempt from the law. I know nothing about economics, but if overal patronage of restaurants has gone up, the law as it stands doesn’t allow bars to take advantage of the same economic benefits. Also, as was my point about jobs earlier, bars being smoking zones creates a preference for smoking or smoker-tolerant employees, which is economically unfair to non-smokers or smoking-intolerant people. It’s a double-standard, and that has to have some sort of effect on businesses! (Does it show that I’m not an economist? :D)

I think employee health is really more important than most people give it credit for, and I’d hate to find out that I couldn’t get a job in my neighbourhood dive because I choose to not poison myself with cigarettes.

Banning smoking “completely”? No. Just keep it out of my face. Your car, your house, in the open air, fine. Just not in my workplace, not near my food, not in my lungs. AFAIAC, your rights end where mine begin. I’ll try and not be in your way, if you agree to stay out of mine.

Re-reading the article, I think my first point is more valid - the 78/17/5 statistics refer to EATING OUT, not just going out. Nothing to do with bars at all.

My second point is still muddled, but overall, employee health, employability, and just no more double standards seems like enough reason to me.

I need to stop watching Mythbusters while posting!

duffer, ordianrily, I’d be right with you on this, but the last time I got into one of these threads I started smoking again, so you’re on your your own. I will say that I worked in the hospitality industry for a long time, and the smoking regulations have been successful chiefly in making the employees wait until the place closes before they light up. Thank God we’re protecting them from secondhand smoke!

Two things that may explain the discrepancy you see:

  1. The first quote refers to “going out”. People may go out just as often, or even more often, but go to different types of places. If some people switched to going to non-smoking restaurants instead of smoking bars, that could explain this.

  2. People could be “going out”, but to different locations, in a different state. (Much of North Dakota’s population lives within a reasonable drive of the Minnesota border.) So people who object to non-smoking restaurants in North Dakota could be driving across the border to restaurants in Minnesota where smoking is still allowed.

[This is a common situation when smoking regulations in one city or county are stricter than the regulations across a boundry. It’s commonly reported by bars or restaurants near the boundry that they are losing business to competitors across the boundry who don’t have the same smoking regulations.]

I’m not sure if this is what they meant or not, but banning smoking creates a level economic field WRT smoking. With bars at least it’s very difficult to ban smoking when the bar next door allows it. The expectation is that you will lose the smoking population, and an increase in other patronage won’t cover your losses. A universal ban means you keep the vast majority of smokers, at least there isn’t a reason for them to go next door.

It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me to talk about “leveling the economic playing field” in this instance.

Then again, it doesn’t make sense for business lobby groups to keep yowling about loss of business due to bar and restaurant smoking bans, when study after study shows either no effect or a small positive one after the restrictions go into effect (in the latest instance, there was a news brief in USA Today this past week about restaurant business in Cheyenne, WY increasing after their smoking restrictions went into effect).

Nor does it make sense for the smoking population (about one-fifth of all adults) to have as much influence as they do on a public health threat (secondhand smoke) that kills nearly 50,000 Americans a year.

Go figure.

A bit irony-impaired today, are we duffer? :dubious:

Just a comment. Some people do the fake cough thing as they pass the somokers outside, then stand at the bus stop happily inhaling car/bus fumes.

Whenever Hubby and I go to the city (which has banned indoor smoking), we drive to the suburbs to go out to eat. Our hometown has two non-smoking resturants. Neither of them get our business.

Last time we were in the city, we stayed in a hotel. I went down to the bar to get a Coke and was surprised to find the place empty on a Friday night. The bartender explained that we were right on the edge of the city line-- the bars across the street allowed smoking.

The resturant thing doesn’t bother me quite as much as the recent decision by Marriott to make all of their hotel rooms non-smoking. I wrote to Marriott to tell them about my displeasure and they assured me that outdoor smoking areas would be provided. Yeah, like I want to go outside in my pajamas.

I can understand the point of non-smokers’ objections to smoke in resturants because of the wafting clouds of smoke, but I don’t understand it when it comes to hotels. Marriott claimed that a majority of its customers wanted it that way. Why?

It’s not to protect the housekeepers’ health because unless the guest smoked right before they left the room and the houskeeper entered instantly afterwards there wouldn’t ba a second-hand smoke issue. The only things I can guess is that they don’t want to catch a whiff of smoke if they happen to get off the elevator on the wrong floor, or be forced to accpet a smoking room if all of the non-smoking ones are taken.

It’s because when you smoke in the room, it reeks to holy hell. It gets in the carpet fibers. It gets into the bedspreads. It gets in the curtains. It changes the color of the walls. It makes the room smell BAD.

I never noticed when I smoked. Now I have my sence of smell back.