Apparently, though, it's never the fault of the ban itself. When the English ban began, the drop in trade was attributed to the 'poor summer' (no recession back then, you see). The subsequent increase in pub closures was then blamed on everything from the recession and cheap supermarket booze, to England's football failures, as the righteous desperately tried to shift attention away from the obvious, like some kid shouting and waving at Dad while their sibling pinches a couple of choccie digestives from the biscuit jar.
For example, the fact that Punch Taverns have almost been wiped off the financial map is nothing to do with the ban at all, despite their share price having tumbled from £13 to mere buttons in the 18 months following July 2007.
See, while the blanket ban is a nationwide abomination, there is no control group with which to compare. Sure, the Scottish ban started a year before the English one - and pub closures began there, err, about a year earlier - but that was put down to a freak herd of marauding killer giraffes or some such nonsense. Anything but the ban. Any lie will do.
What is sorely required is some way of comparing two similar businesses under different constraints as regards smoking policies. Step forward the United States and their non-federal approach to legislation.
Obama's home state, Illinois, inflicted a smoking ban on its casinos back at the beginning of 2008, and the results are just in compared to those states that haven't followed suit.
Source: St Louis Fed
My, my. How could this possibly happen? After all, Wikipedia, who never publish without checking their sources, tell us that ...
A 2003 review of 97 such studies of the economic effects of a smoking ban on the hospitality industry found that the "best-designed" studies concluded that smoking bans did not harm businesses.Until you check the source and find it was produced by the most insane anti-tobacco nutter in the
I know what you're thinking. This graph must have been paid for by tobacco companies. Because they are the only ones who raise doubts about smoking bans, or so we're told.
Well, not really, no. Unless one counts the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis as a tobacco manufacturer, of course. They go on to flesh the graph out with some interesting numbers, too.
Changes (in one year) in Illinois casinos due to the smoking ban:Not great news for a state which is suffering quite appalling financial difficulties.
Revenue: down $400 million (20%)
Attendance: down 12%
Casino tax revenue to the state government: down $196 million
Casino tax revenue to local governments: down $12 million
[Illinois’s comptroller, Daniel W. Hynes] picks the papers off his desk and points to a figure in red: $5.01 billion.Indeed. How he must rue the loss of $200m+ income per year to help out, eh?
“This is what the state owes right now to schools, rehabilitation centers, child care, the state university — and it’s getting worse every single day,” he says in his downtown office.
Mr. Hynes shakes his head. “This is not some esoteric budget issue; we are not paying bills for absolutely essential services,” he says. “That is obscene.”
Hang on. Are we not also experiencing a bit of a deficit ourselves? I'm sure I read it somewhere. Didn't that nice fresh-faced boy mention it a couple of weeks ago?
I dunno, maybe something like an amendment to the Health Act 2006 might help. Just a thought.
Whaddya say, Nick?
H/T American Thinker