Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » SMOKING STATS

    Filed at 4:10 am under by dcobranchi

    The Univ. of Delaware has released (and the News-Journal trumpets) a study that purports to show that the state-wide smoking ban is the best (and most popular) thing since sliced bread.

    28 percent of respondents said they were more likely to dine at local restaurants, while 9 percent said they were less likely; and 15 percent said they were more likely to visit bars, while 11 percent said they were less likely… 40 percent of everyday smokers said they would use restaurants less, and 48 percent said they would go to bars less.

    Very impressive-sounding but quite meaningless. First, people can easily say they’re more or less likely to perform an act, particularly when the overall purpose of a study is known. In other words, they can attempt to please the surveyor.

    Then, the survey was skewed against the people who actually frequented bars, pre-ban. Ask anyone who had ever been in a bar or taproom- a large percentage of patrons smoked. So, even if the vast majority of Delawareans are in favor of the law and claim they are more likely to go out now, the people who actually did go out pre-ban are significantly less likely to do so now.

    A better survey would have been to call up bar owners and restauranteurs to actually find the effects of the ban. Did revenues go up or down? The state of Delaware will have the relevant data when businesses file their gross-receipts taxes. I predict two things: 1) Revenues for bars and taprooms will be way down and 2) The Minner Administration will never voluntarily release those data; the governor has invested way too much political capital in the ban to allow it to be undercut.

    A smart Republican or Libertarian candidate could generate a lot of interest (and donations from the business community) by pressing the governor on this issue.

    5 Responses to “SMOKING STATS”

    Comment by
    November 7th, 2003
    at 3:39 pm

    I really don’t think it hurt the true restaurants that much because it’s still almost impossible to get table in NCC without a 20min wait week days & 45min weekends if it’s on either side of a regular meal time.

    And I know our local bowling alley has actually added a large morning league. Last year they were struggling to fill teams. While the majority of us didn’t smoke anyway,I’ve noticed that I’m not struggling to breathe halfway through our 3 games since the ban went into effect.

    I had wondered what was different & I think it’s the absence of second hand smoke even from the night before. I’ve picked up 18 pins on my ave.

    It’s really too bad that good business & good manners couldn’t have avoided this whole mess.

    Good Business-meaning that business have adequate ventilation between smoking & non smoking areas. Yes I do know it costs more
    but now so does losing customers.

    Good Manners-Smokers realizing that some of us share the air too. Can they tone it down bit with the heavy smoking in public places? please

    Since the DE ban I’ve eaten a few PA & MD diners & notice the difference in smells & taste right away. Plus now that I can sit in the old smoking section in DE places I can really see how yellowed the walls & ceilings are from past smokers. Yuck

    Even my lil sis(a PA bartender & smoker herself) appreciates a break while visiting in DE bar or restaurant that’s not filled with smoke.

    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    November 7th, 2003
    at 3:58 pm

    Well- shouldn’t the business OWNERS have the right to decide if they want to allow smoking or not? Let’s repeal the stupid ban. If it really is good for business to prohibit smoking, smart business owners will voluntarily continue it in their establishments. I don’t like the government dictating.

    It’s a freedom issue- kind of like homeschooling.

    Comment by
    Skip Oliva
    November 7th, 2003
    at 7:01 pm

    Montgomery County, Maryland, which borders the District if Columbia, recently enacted a smoking ban. The results were immediate and verifiable: A sharp decline in bar and restaurant business, coupled with an increase in business for D.C. and Northern Virginia establishments. The law of competition at work: When people can’t get what they want in one area, they find it from a competitor.

    Naturally, some District leaders have reacted to this boon in local business by calling for a smoking ban here, presumably to level the playing field with Montgomery. If enacted, this will just drive business to Northern Virginia–and rest assured, no Virginia jurisdiction will be enacting a broad-based smoking ban anytime soon.

    Comment by
    November 10th, 2003
    at 10:53 am

    Well- shouldn’t the business OWNERS have the right to decide if they want to allow smoking or not?

    Here is the confusing part to me, the government has sued the tobacco companies and gotten billions of dollars because smoking is a health hazard. Smokers, or their survivors, have sued the tobacco companies and won lawsuits. Given the validity of the previous two statements, how could smoking be legal in public? I am not making an arguement on whether or not smoke should be legal, I am just saying that if smokers are not responsible for their OWN smoking, and the States know for a fact that tobacco smoke is a public health hazard, then how can it be legal to smoke in public?

    I am a non-smoking Libertarian. I believe you have the right to smoke and I have the right to not have to breath your smoke in public. A bar is not in public.

    My answer, deeply flawed but reasonable ;-), is to prohibit smoking anywhere children are permitted. If you want to have a restuarant or club that allows smoking, nobody under the age of 18 is allowed on the premises (or whatever the legal age to buy tobacco is in the state enacting the law).

    Comment by
    January 9th, 2004
    at 1:20 pm

    i think that smoking in public should be legal but if you smoke by someone who don’t like it, you should be able to kick his/her ass