Sunday 26 March 2017

Bans Destroy Businesses, Why Lie About It?

Following on from yesterday's article about attitudes to the smoking ban in Wales, one of the biggest lies (of thousands) that the tobacco control industry has ever told is that hospitality businesses are not affected by smoking bans. In fact, it is laughably claimed that they flourish.

The advance notice of the tens of thousands of pub closures we have now seen due to the smoking ban in the UK were blithely dismissed by Linda Bauld back in 2011 (her 'review' is neatly filleted here). Apparently there was no evidence whatsoever that it had happened, or would happen ... even though there was tons of it at the time which was ignored.
If ASH had the slightest interest in seeking the truth, they could easily have consulted figures from the British Beer and Pub Association which show that over 4,000 pubs have closed since the ban came in.
Or they could have looked at the survey from the British Institute of Innkeeping, which found:
  • The proportion of smoking customers dropped from 54% to 38%;
  • 66% reported that their smoking customers were staying for shorter periods;
  • 75% reported that smokers were visiting less frequently;
  • 47% of businesses had laid off staff, although 5% had recruited additional staff;
  • Income from drinks fell by 9.8%;
  • Income from gaming machines fell by 13.5%.
They didn't do any of this. Would it really hurt them to at least acknowledge that thousands of pubs have closed? Do they really have to deny everything?
Likewise, the collapse of bingo halls which just happened to have occurred after July 1st 2007 was just a sad coincidence.

The same happens in the US with their casinos. Here, for example is one such {cough} thriving establishment in 2015 where a picture tells a thousand words.

But it's never the smoking ban which did it. Oh no sirree!

So it's not a surprise that Harrah's in New Orleans is reporting more of the same.
Caesars Entertainment president and CEO Mark Frissora said Harrah's in New Orleans lost about $70 million in revenue during the two years following the start of the smoking ban in New Orleans in April 2015. He and other executives spoke to the task force Tuesday (March 21) at the Capitol. 
Frissora said the ban makes it difficult to compete with venues in the surrounding area, because it only affects Orleans Parish. 
"It's not fair because everyone else around us doesn't have the smoking ban," Frissora argued.  
Task Force chairman Ronnie Jones pointed out that revenues for neighboring properties were decreasing before the ban, and now the reverse is happening: revenues at the New Orleans' location are decreasing as the neighboring properties are increasing.  
"I'm not a scientist," Jones said. "But I think the smoking ban had an impact."
No shit!

Erm, isn't that whole people-voting-with-their-feet thing supposed to be happening in the opposite direction? Shouldn't grateful gamblers be gravitating towards the Utopia of New Orleans casinos instead of the other way around?

In every jusrisdiction, in every country, in every single case, the hospitality industry suffers smoking bans and is collectively forced to spend fortunes (which is eventually borne by the customer) in order to re-attract some of the customers it has lost.

All to protect against the 'problem' of secondhand smoke which is the biggest lie tobacco control has ever told.

There is something of an irony in the fact that the UK is now seeing vaping bans running like wildfire through the private sector which has been conned by the apparent 'success' of smoking bans; after all, vapers merely have to step outside as smokers were told back in 2007, no biggie is it?

Except that it was a mythical 'success' which was helped along by the aforementioned Linda Bauld who is now a champion of vaping. Be in no doubt that without the confidence trick the smoking ban played on pubs, clubs, bingo halls and sports stadia in the past decades, there would be absolutely no appetite in 2017 for treating customers like shit and excluding them for something as inconsequential as vaping. One of the many architects of the smoking ban is responsible for that and is now valiantly trying to stem the tidal wave of bullshit her 'review' helped to encourage.

I suppose what I'm trying to say is that I truly wish tobacco controllers had the courage of their convictions to declare that, yes, bans do destroy businesses (which they damn well know), but that they will eventually adapt to something close to what they were before. But sadly tobacco controllers are too timid to try that approach in case they don't get their illiberal legislation bullied through and subsequently lose funding from our taxes. Lying to politicians is their product and one of the biggest porkies they have ever told is that - against all credible evidence - bans benefit businesses. They don't, and some who created that mistaken belief are now finding out how damaging to everyone such deceitful self-interested spin can be.

Perhaps some might be better served admitting that there most certainly is a slippery slope, and they should be very wary about liberally greasing it in case it comes back to claim them one day too. 

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