“Smoking bans are bad for business”

A letter with the above title was published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and appeared in their on-line blog on 02.26.2009 @ 5:28 pm [URL: http://tinyurl.com/cmwcwk]. By 12:04 am on 03.02.2009 it had attracted 145 comments, both pro and con!

E.g. EJ Rotert: “What about non-smokers who already don’t go out because there isn’t a smoking ban?”
superdave: “If I own but (sic) business I have the freedom to make up my own rules.”

Here’s the letter that attracted all this buzz, written by Tony Palazzolo
, St Louis:

“In reference to recent articles on smoking bans.
Smoke-Free St Louis is pushing a ban in St Louis City. Restaurants, bars and casinos are all effected by smoking bans economically. Illinois enacted a ban starting January 1st. Casinos in Illinois were down 21.4% for all of last year. They lost over $400 million in gambling revenue. Missouri in the same time frame was up 5% with St Louis area casinos up 13%. Missouri and Illinois have similar economies. There can be no doubt that smoking bans negatively affect hospitality industry revenue.”

One response to ““Smoking bans are bad for business”

  1. On March 2, I happened to catch an interview on KTRS Radio 550 with McGraw Milhaven talking to Steve Smith, the owner of The Royale. The Royale is an old Southside St. Louis bar which has been around since the end of prohibition. Steve VOLUNTARILY went smoke-free after exhaustive research with his clientele. Even though more than half were smokers, he decided because he believed he’d make MORE money going smoke-free. He said it was a business decision, not an emotional one. Steve’s own attitude, he said, is “You want to smoke? Great. Just step outside so others don’t have to smoke with you.” Even though Smith said he was a little worried about losing business, but just the opposite happened. Patronage is up (and he has a younger crowd). Go grab a burger from this trail blazer!!! http://www.TheRoyale.com

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