Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Most reasonable pro-smoking letter - Put your money where you mouth is.

It is interesting to read about the Carbondale non-smoking discussion. Here is the best letter I have seen against the smoking ban so far.


Gary Walkup said...

I don't smoke and I vote with my wallet.

Even though I like the atmosphere and food at Mary Lou's on Illinois Ave, I'd only rarely go there, because some smoker sitting next to me would invariably flick ashes in my biscuits and gravy or envelop me an an acrid cloud of poisonous fumes. How appetizing! Now that Mary Lou's is smoke free, I go there once a week or so. Multiply that times the "lifetime business" that I might do there (allowing for vacation time and Harbaughs) and I can reasonably be expected to spend some $10,800 over the next 20 years. That's about $10,000 MORE than I'd spend there if smoking was allowed. A pretty good vote for smoke free dining? Now consider smoking at bars. My favorite local music group, "The Bourbon Knights" ONLY plays at Hangar 9. I have a protocol for going there. Prior to leaving the house, I pre-position my bathrobe out on the back porch. When I arrive back at home after a couple hours at Hangar, I walk around (not through) the house, and completely remove ALL my reeking clothes. If the pool is open, I'll dive in and rinse off, and don my robe, go inside and take a soapy shower. If the pool isn't open, I'll don my robe and RUN to the shower. Considering cover charges and the price of a decent import or microbrew beer, I'll spend $30 on an average night watching the "knights". How much more would I spend if I was a more frequent visitor to Hangar 9..which I would certainly be if smoking wasn't allowed. Perhaps twice a month rather than twice a year? Non-smoking $14,400.
Smoking $1200

Perhaps the owners of the local clubs and taverns have done the same math and come up with different answers. And it's their business, and if it's legal, they ought to be able to make their own business decisions.

Peter in Carbondale said...

Thanks for writing this up Gary. I now completely agree with both the letter writer and with you.

If you are a smoker and want to run Hanger 9 as a smoker haven, it is hard to argue that it is wrong. If you don't want to go to a place with smokers, don't go there.

I never go to any of the Carbondale bars because of the smoke. I never go to Bobby's anymore, because if one employee is smoking the whole place reeks. I do like El Greko's and wish they would stop smoking in there.

The problem you have with a smoking ban, in a small city, in a rural area, is there are no documented cases that I have found where sales go up in total. In big cities and Statewide bands, the sales totals go up.

In summary, after doing some research, it looks like the pro-smoking, pro-business crowd is correct. The bars in Carbondale can expect to have their business damaged if a smoking ban goes into effect only in Carbondale. They can also expect receipts to go up if there is a Statewide ban.

My feeling for sometime is that the Anti-smoking crowd is morally correct, but they don't have the documentation on the business case. If they could show a comparable city with a ban where sales went up, they would have done so.

Sure would be a lot easier if the State passed a ban.

Anonymous said...

There is a flaw in that letter to the editor, IMO. The writer uses the argument for capitalism and free market while ignoring that we all pay regardless of our patronage to said establishments. How? Glad you asked...

Medicare and Medicaid. When John Q Smoker gets cancer, emphysema, poor circulation, hardened arteries, or any other of the number of smoking related diseases and doesn't have insurance, I - you - we all pay for his treatment. So we are putting our money where our mouths are - involuntarily. So perhaps that gives me a right to decide where said smoker should light up?

Or, let’s nix these two programs, return the money to the tax payer and really let free market take over.

Just a thought.

Bill up in Barrington said...

What is wrong with having smoking and nonsmoking establishments? If you don't like smoke, you go to the nonsmoking place. Same idea as going to an Italian restaurant because you don't like Mexican food.

As far as everyone pays the health care costs for the smoking uninsured, how about the overweight uninsured fast food eater? Your next on the political feel gooder's list.