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Still more on the San Antonio smoking ordinance

Here’s an Express News article from last Sunday about the effect that municipal ordinances that have banned smoking in bars and restaurants have had on those establishments. Interestingly, the main place it goes for anecdotal evidence is Houston.

Lizzard’s Pub, a bar tucked away in the River Oaks neighborhood on this city’s near West Side, hasn’t been quite the same since the City Council banned smoking in bars three years ago, owner Elizabeth Knox says.

“In the first three months, business dropped a good 30 percent because people were angry,” Knox said. “Now, those people ended up coming back.”

Others in the Houston bar industry said their customers didn’t waver when the city went smoke-free — a step San Antonio’s City Council could soon take.

“I don’t think it affected too many places in Houston,” said Joe Jackson, general manager of the Ginger Man, a beer-and-wine pub in Rice Village. “We knew we’d be OK.”

In September 2007, when Houston banned smoking in bars, Jackson said he didn’t see a drop in sales.

“Once you get used to it, it’s not that big of a deal,” he said. “It didn’t affect a lot of the places that thought they were going to be affected by it.”

This totally doesn’t surprise me, but then I support these ordinances, so take that with whatever amount of salt you like. The story notes a number of economic impact studies cited by the pro- and anti-smoking forces, and again to my subjective perspective, the anti-smoking side seems to have the better of it. It was amusing to me to see the pro-smoking forces come out in droves in the comments to my previous post. I don’t know about you, but I don’t see them scoring a whole lot of victories in recent years. They’re fighting to not have to retreat any more, and there’s not a whole lot of friendly turf for them. It’s not just a matter of legislation, it’s a matter of society. Smoking isn’t acceptable to a large portion of the population, and that isn’t going to change.

But who knows, maybe they’ll hold serve in San Antonio, at least for now. I still believe that a statewide ordinance will pass sooner or later, so as far as that goes I’m not too worried about it. Cary Clack and Veronica Flores-Paniagua, both of whom discuss the racial aspect of these protests that was raised by LULAC and the NAACP, have more.

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8 Comments

  1. harleyrider1978 says:

    Come november your gonna see what the mass majority of americans cant stand………..big over bearing govmnt and the liberal progressives kicked to the gutter where they came from………What part of private property rights dont you understand my nazi opponent………and what part of the made up lie of second hand smoke dont you understand……….Smoking bans arent about health they are about control…….today a town is concidering that it will outlaw smoking in privately owned apartments not government federal projects housing but private owned apartments…….If that doesnt turn your american freedom loving mind then your obviously not an american………http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20100718/ARTICLES/7181050/0/BUSINESS01

    Sebastopol to consider smoking ban for apartments

  2. John Smith says:

    I think it’s disingenuous to label those against these smoking bans as “pro-smoking”. If they were pro-smoking, they would campaigning to permit smoking everywhere. I don’t here anybody demanding to smoke where the property owner objects, but only that the owner of the property should be making the decision. A simple sign posted on the door solves the entire problem.

  3. dmcnuggets says:

    Most studies that show alleged increases in revenue under smoking bans have a unnecessary bias towards restaurants with little alcohol sales, and don’t properly separate bars and other adult establishments from restaurants. Those on the anti-smoking side NEVER fail to amaze me in their stupidity when it comes to supporting smoking bans. Where does the slippery slope ever end, once people like you bully local and/or state governments to unnecessarily take away private property rights from business owners, including MANY that anti-smokers like you, Kuff, will never visit. And major shame on the San Antonio city council for wanting this potential ban to cover outdoor areas like the Riverwalk, of all places!

    What’s so darn wrong with a balance between smoking and smoke-free businesses, and voting with your wallet if you want more businesses to go smoke-free? It annoys me that I constantly see and/or read accounts of businesses defy bans under places with strict no-exemptions bans(google Smoke Choke Ohio), and seeing non-smokers fail to properly support smoke-free bars in many communities lucky enough to not have a strict ban(including hearing accounts about at least one or more failing in Milwaukee, Bloomington, IL, and Saint Louis before local bans took effect). Finally, I’ll add that I wouldn’t oppose a law requiring San Antonio businesses to post exterior signage at their main entrance stating if the business was a smoking establishment and/or had a sealed-off area for smoking, and for businesses to disclose to potential employees on both applications and during interviews that the business was a smoking establishment.

  4. dmcnuggets says:

    Erm, the last part should’ve said that businesses should disclose to employees on applications and in interviews if the business allows indoor smoking in any way regardless of policy, and that potential employees should be allowed to opt-out on applications of working areas where smoking was permitted. I understand that would knock non-smokers off of working at the minority of places choosing to be entirely smoking establishments, but it’s not like it’s impossible in today’s world to find a non-smoking job, unlike say 20-25 years ago!

  5. justus says:

    Put me in as one of the pro-“anti-smoking” types. Admittedly I grew up in California, but I was also a smoker for ten years (I still drink my coffee outside, even in the middle of summer, cause that’s how I’ve always done it)…so deal with it, just step out the door and light up. Its not the end of the world.

    Personally, I think the slippery slope starts a little farther along the restriction scale – like those new historic preservation ordinances.

  6. Cb says:

    It has been known to the public for decades that smoking injures and kills, and for probably the last 10 years that second hand smoke injures and kills. If someone wants to poison themselves and their family they have the freedom to do so in their own homes. Smokers should have no right to poison others in public.

  7. dmcnuggets says:

    Cb, that is not true at all. You should realize that anti-smoking groups only want to deceive the public by publishing all those “even a brief wisp of secondhand smoke will kill you later in life” studies. If anything, virtually all studies that have investigated these claims have all proven them to be an absolute joke, and all very dishonest claims. If you’re foolish enough to believe that nonsense, I have some Pacific oceanfront property in Arizona to sell you.

    I disagree with justus’ claim about the slippery slope going all the way to include historical preservation ordinances, since at least such laws do have merit in that they preserve historical structures. Smoking bans do NOT have any merit whatsoever, since they are COMPLETELY based on lies and very deceptive claims on saying non-smokers are widely dropping dead from even brief SHS exposure outdoors. Not to mention, the slippery slope more has to do with controlling behavior and any consumption habits they view others having in contempt(whether it’s fattening foods, smoking a cigar or cigarette, increasing taxes on soda and other sugary drinks such as New York state governor David Paterson’s failed proposal to create a high soda tax, etc.), rather than historical preservation.

    Back to the subject of debunking fraudulent SHS studies, Helena, MT claims disproven:
    http://pasan.thetruthisalie.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=10

    Acute myocardial infarction deaths actually ROSE after the Pueblo city ban took effect(plus, this is a great page that debunks many other studies as well, a must read article):
    http://www.smokershistory.com/etsheart.html
    Lyon, France study, ETS exposure during childhood was not associated with an increased risk of lung cancer. The OR for ever exposure to spousal ETS was 1.16. No clear dose-response relationship could be demonstrated for cumulative spousal ETS exposure. The OR for ever exposure to workplace ETS was 1.17, with possible evidence of increasing risk for increasing duration of exposure. No increase in risk was detected in subjects whose exposure to spousal or workplace ETS ended more than 15 years earlier. Ever exposure to ETS from other sources was not associated with lung cancer risk:
    http://www.data-yard.net/2/11/jnci.htm (page includes a more in-depth free PDF link)

    I’ll finalize this post by saying in a perfect world, private establishments would always post clear exterior signage at entrances stating whatever their indoor smoking policy is, there would be clear disclosure on job applications and during job interviews that a business allows smoking(for asthmatics that are truly sensitive to smoke and would be affected by exposure to SHS), and that both non-smoking and smoking businesses would be available for both those wanting to gather in smoke-free environments, or a smoking environment. The movement to ban smoking was always based on fraud, and anti-smokers have always known this deep down, but won’t publicly admit it.

  8. […] revised San Antonio smoking ordinance has made it out of Council committee and will be voted on, in some […]