Tuesday, 6 July 2010

An Inconvenient Truth

One rather inconvenient problem for anti-smoking lunatics is the inescapable fact that when businesses are forced into such measures, a disastrous collapse in their profits invariably follows.

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 world universe. Nice rigour there, Wikipedia.

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:

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
Not great news for a state which is suffering quite appalling financial difficulties.

[Illinois’s comptroller, Daniel W. Hynes] picks the papers off his desk and points to a figure in red: $5.01 billion.

“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.”
Indeed. How he must rue the loss of $200m+ income per year to help out, eh?

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


12 comments:

Twisted Root said...

Our local club was flooded out at the beginning of July 2007 and was closed for six months. Since it reopened bar sales have never recovered. But here's the killer - the insurance company successfully had the loss of trade profits claim for that six months reduced by 40% citing the smoking ban as the reason.

Kevin said...

interesting piece

so what would your ammendment to the 2006 act be then ?

i loathe smoking. both my parents smoked and i can say that there is nothing worse as a child being trapped in a car with two smokers on a long journey. i dont want to breathe in their filthy smoke. so why should i be forced to.

the same goes for pubs and resturants now i am an adult. i dont want to breathe in other peoples smoke. and why should i have to ? the simple fact is I would no longer patronize any establishment that allowed smoking in my presence.

having said that i would agree that the smoking ban has proabably effected trade in the hospitality industry. it would be foolish to suggest it has not.

the real question is one of clashing rights. the right to breathe clean air against the right to smoke.

i have aways felt the solution would be 'smoking rooms' in pubs clubs and bars etc. these would be fully ventilated and that no member of staff had to work in if they didnt want. ok it would cost money to set up. but it would be a compromise.

the success of the smoking ban (in so much that the act was put into practice with very little protest) is an indication that it would be very hard to go back to the old ways now. moreover for every smoker you would please if you changed things back, i would reckon there will be 3 non smokers you would upset.

therefore were you to allow smoking again there is just as much chance you would push the non smokers away as attract the smokers.

Anonymous said...

What non-smokers?

Anon1 said...

“any establishment that allowed smoking in my presence.”
To your Royal Highness Kev – you’re a brainwashed git! Did you know, Kev, that Hitler insisted on the same requirement. Hey people, don’t smoke in the presence of his Highness, Kev.

“moreover for every smoker you would please if you changed things back, i would reckon there will be 3 non smokers you would upset.”
They wouldn’t be upset if they began to understand the con job that has been done on them over the last three decades. With all due respect, Kev, at the moment you’re about 100 years behind. Have a quick read of a brief history of antismoking.
http://www.americanheritage.com/articles/magazine/ah/1981/2/1981_2_94_print.shtml

Kev, the first thing you will notice, is that antismokers have justified murder, maiming, and jailing of smokers. And this all predates even a semblance of scientific enquiry. The historical record indicates that antismokers are pathological liars, amongst other considerable mental dysfunction. They promote irrational belief, fear and hatred (bigotry) whenever they are let loose on society. The intent is always to outrage, through outrageous claims, nonsmokers so that “banishment action” can be taken against smoking.
The antismoking (and anti-alcohol) crusade of early-1900s USA was eugenics-driven. Antismoking popped up again in the Nazi regime – a continuation/extremizing of eugenics.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-tobacco_movement_in_Nazi_Germany
http://www.bmj.com/archive/7070nd2.htm

There was a very close connection between USA eugenics and Nazi eugenics, e.g.,
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2003/11/09/ING9C2QSKB1.DTL
The current crusade is also eugenics-driven – a further continuation, but by other names such as healthism and lifestyle epidemiology. And, again, it is based on a plethora of lies – see the Godber Blueprint for an insight into the “political activism”, “media advocacy”, and bigotry that the current crusade has been run on (www.rampant-antismoking.com )

The question you should ask yourself, Kev, is why you’re not aware of this highly relevant history? Why do antismokers never refer to this damning history? Why do you never hear of it in the media?

Anon1 said...

“any establishment that allowed smoking in my presence.”
To your Royal Highness Kev – you’re a brainwashed git! Did you know, Kev, that Hitler insisted on the same requirement. Hey people, don’t smoke in the presence of his Highness, Kev.

“moreover for every smoker you would please if you changed things back, i would reckon there will be 3 non smokers you would upset.”
They wouldn’t be upset if they began to understand the con job that has been done on them over the last three decades. With all due respect, Kev, at the moment you’re about 100 years behind. Have a quick read of a brief history of antismoking.
http://www.americanheritage.com/articles/magazine/ah/1981/2/1981_2_94_print.shtml

Kev, the first thing you will notice, is that antismokers have justified murder, maiming, and jailing of smokers. And this all predates even a semblance of scientific enquiry. The historical record indicates that antismokers are pathological liars, amongst other considerable mental dysfunction. They promote irrational belief, fear and hatred (bigotry) whenever they are let loose on society. The intent is always to outrage, through outrageous claims, nonsmokers so that “banishment action” can be taken against smoking.
The antismoking (and anti-alcohol) crusade of early-1900s USA was eugenics-driven. Antismoking popped up again in the Nazi regime – a continuation/extremizing of eugenics.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-tobacco_movement_in_Nazi_Germany
http://www.bmj.com/archive/7070nd2.htm

There was a very close connection between USA eugenics and Nazi eugenics, e.g.,
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2003/11/09/ING9C2QSKB1.DTL
The current crusade is also eugenics-driven – a further continuation, but by other names such as healthism and lifestyle epidemiology. And, again, it is based on a plethora of lies – see the Godber Blueprint for an insight into the “political activism”, “media advocacy”, and bigotry that the current crusade has been run on (www.rampant-antismoking.com )

The question you should ask yourself, Kev, is why you’re not aware of this highly relevant history? Why do antismokers never refer to this damning history? Why do you never hear of it in the media?

Sam Duncan said...

“so why should i be forced to.”

Who's forcing you? Your parents may have, as a kid, but not now:

“the simple fact is I would no longer patronize any establishment that allowed smoking in my presence.”

See? No force.

“therefore were you to allow smoking again there is just as much chance you would push the non smokers away as attract the smokers.”

And yet the figures, as presented by Dick here, say otherwise.

Look, I'm a non-smoker myself. But the fact is that the smoking ban is an outrageously illiberal piece of legislation that should never have been countenanced by a country that claims to be free. And it's killing people's livelihoods.

Anon1 said...

Here’s a solution, Kevin. Establishments can determine whether they will be smoking allowed/not allowed. You can then decide which you’ll go to/not go to.

Furor Teutonicus said...

We have a mixture of the two here, in Berlin.

The landlord, so long as they serve no food, can choose whether they are a smoking or non-smoking pub.

Two cases. At the top of our Road was a very popular pub, which was always full to overflowing. Over the road was another pub which was not quite so busy, but not doing to bad.

Come the "smoking ban", the REALLY busy pub turned "non smoking".

NOW the one over the road, that stayed a "smoking pub" has had to apply to extend it's premesis to the next house, whilst the other, which was by FAR the busier of the two, is considering having to close down due to lack of custom.

Nothing else has changed in either of them. The one that was full is EXACTLY as it always was, as is the one over the road. They have NOT employed Heidi Klumm as a topless bar maid, nor have they dropped the beer prices through the floor.

The ONLY difference is which allows smoking.

I am a non smoker, but I can tell you for bloody SURE it is not the non smoking pub I go to.

Furor Teutonicus said...

Follow ups on a post card, cus Google won't bloody send me them.

OH AYE! And Byern/München have just voted for a TOTAL ban. INCLUDING in the tents at the Oktober Fest. Apparently this year will be allowed, next year not. It will be interesting to compare the sales.

Anonymous said...

Dick, the wp page on smoking bans is controlled by Mastcell, who is also one of the controllers of the wp passive smoking page. The discussion page of a wp article is often more informative than the article itself.

Anonymous said...

For 500 years untill 2007 the
taverns of England had the choice of smoking or non smoking.
99.99% chose freedom of choice ,
simply the customer deciding
whether to enter the pub or not.
The problem with most anti smokers
and non smokers they became habitual liars on the issue and have been unable to face the truth,
their lies to often sunk in a
shroud waving pit of myths and
deceptions.Pubs for non smokers and pubs for smokers,let
democracy have it's say
What are antis scared of ,the truth.

PS Our fresh air loving Kevin,
hope you dont have a car ,this non driver aint to keen on inhaling
the toxic shit from your exhaust.
Get yourself a greenhouse with
polycarbonate panes, Please.


The Free Corps

Dick Puddlecote said...

FT: Interesting anecdote. I think that was the fear of anti-smokers over here. They knew full well that a hell of a lot of pubs would sweep out their food provision overnight to fit in with the original arrangements ... so Hewitt hit upon the blanket ban wheeze.

Anon @ 11:56: I know. I've read all the discussion pages there. The wriggling and contortion of logic employed to keep out links to unfavourable (to some) studies etc is laughable. From that, it's not hard to see why Wikipedia is considered by many as a bit of a joke.