The negative effect of smoking bans

Not only do smoking bans violate the right of property owners to use their property as they see fit, they also cost them their income.

The restaurant association of Maryland reports smaller establishments have seen total sales fall as much as 30% during the week and 50% on weekends.

The truly selfish person is the non-smoker who imposes his preferences on a piece of property he does not own for the 'good' of people he does not know, resulting in a loss of livelihoods and an inability to choose.

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Unfortunately this sort of

Unfortunately this sort of nonsense is due to hit London very soon. It seems that smoking, along with driving privately-owned vehicles, is one of 'Red' Ken's pet hates and he seems pretty determined to force his personal preference on everyone in London, even if he doesn't legally have the power to do so.

Ken seems to believe that restaurants and bars are 'public places', despite having private owners, who we used to think have the right to exercise authority over their own property.

If you've not seen it already you might like to take a look at the taxpayer-funded website about the apparent 'debate' going on in London over smoking: www.thebigsmokedebate.com. The online survey questions demonstrate just how much of a farce this supposed debate is (especially when you reach the ones asking what your ethnic origin is and for the level of your annual income).

I'm a little torn on this

I'm a little torn on this one. Although I hate the way Montgomery County approached the smoking issue, I do have to say I personally enjoy it.

This weekend I went to Strike Bethesda, a snobby bowling alley that seems more like a club. Anyway, after a few hours I finally noticed there was no smoking going on and how nice it was for me, a non-smoker. Now I have always accepted the fact that if I go to a bar or club that others will smoke, and I go anyway. I think the strategic mistake that Montgomery County made was that they didn't wait for DC to implement the ban first. So basically any smoker can drive 5 minutes into DC or Northern Va and light up, taking their beer, food, and cigarette money with them.

I'm a little torn on this

I'm a little torn on this one. Although I hate the way Montgomery County approached the smoking issue, I do have to say I personally enjoy it.

Yeah, but doesn't right and wrong take precedence over what *you* prefer?

And what are you doing in a snobby bowling alley anyway?

Anyone interested in

Anyone interested in opposing smoking bans ought to visit our DC anti-smoking-ban group "Ban the Ban" at www.bantheban.org. We did a pub crawl last Friday and got local TV and newspaper coverage in the DC area. If smoking bans *can* be stopped -- and I'm not entirely sure they can -- we're going to do it here in DC. And hopefully any success we have will be replicated in other major cities. The next battle: I'll be speaking at the DC city council meeting on Dec 3, along with several other Cato staffers. Should be a real smackdown -- all the labor unions reps will be there in force to oppose us. Put on the gloves...

The effect of overregulation

The effect of overregulation is always to make it harder for smaller businesses to continue to exist. Smoking bans aren't any different from any other regulations, so it's not surprising to see small restaurants being the hardest hit in Montgomery County. The fact that the county is costing itself money (in the form of lost income from its taxation of beer, wine & liquor) is poetic justice.

So far as the snobby bowling alley goes - I'm sure you did enjoy it, but having it smoke-free by government regulation is the wrong way to go about enjoying a bowling alley. Why should those who don't care at all about smoke be forced to go along with those who are bothered by it? If there are really that many people out there who want to bowl but don't want smoke around them, some bright entrepreneur should start up a smoke-free "family" bowling alley and rake in the cash as fast as people will pile it up. That way the rest of us who either enjoy lighting up or have companions who do can bowl the way that we like to as well, and everyone can go home happy.

I've seen many claims that

I've seen many claims that smoking bans have hurt business in the hospitality industry, but no statistical data or real evidence supporting these claims. Instead, I've found evidence and studies concluding smoking bans do NOT effect business.

I've seen many claims that

I've seen many claims that smoking bans have hurt business in the hospitality industry, but no statistical data or real evidence supporting these claims. Instead, I've found evidence and studies concluding smoking bans do NOT effect business. Just do a google government search for "smoking ban."