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Friday, May 02, 2008

Smoking Ban Closes Bars

Exactly one year ago (from May 1st), Northern Ireland was the victim of the wave of smoking bans as theirs took effect. And the effect has been great - but not in a positive way at all. It's led to the closing of 100 bars. That's 7% of Northern Ireland's pub count, according to the Federation of Retail Licensed Trade, which represents about 1,100 pubs, hotels and restaurants in Northern Ireland.

The whole reasoning behind the smoking ban was so that non-smokers would be rushing to these locations now that they contained a smoke-free environment. That is obviously not the case, as 100 locations have gone out of business and Steve Kelly, the chief executive of the Federation of Retail Licensed Trade "expects another 100 to close next year."

Isn't this proof-positive that the smoking ban is USELESS, especially in bars?

I mean the whole "argument" (if you can call it that, since there are scientific studies that support it and scientific studies that counter it) was that non-smokers wanted to cease the attack of secondhand smoke on them while they were trying to get a pint. So now that they got their wish and the smoke is gone, they're not drumming up enough business for the pubs to keep them even afloat!

This is just an obvious example of people who shouldn't have a say in the OPERATION of a business because they aren't CUSTOMERS of that business. If there were a bar with 100 regular customers and 50 of them were planning to stop coming because of an establishment policy (or lack thereof), the business can decide to do what it must in order to maximize their customer satisfaction or their profits (maybe the other 50 are twice the profit as the complaining 50). It's when people who are NOT customers start raising a fuss that problems occur. Changing the business' practices and policies won't mean a thing unless the result is more patronage or more profitability!

Sure, you can argue all you want that the protesters who caused the smoking bans to come into play were "thinking about the greater good" and "wanting to protect your lungs" or something. I still don't understand why it's a "libertarian" view to take away the business's liberty of choosing policies in favor of the potential customer's liberty of not breathing secondhand smoke. If you ask me (and you didn't, but I'm telling you anyway), the REAL libertarian view should be that the potential customer DOES have the liberty of not breathing potentially-harmful secondhand smoke - and that businesses should have the liberty to say that those potential customers have every right to find somewhere else to enjoy that liberty, because that business has chosen to protect the liberty of those who want to smoke.

Northern Ireland bar owners lost that liberty to choose their own smoking policy. And the result was that 100 of them also lost their businesses. And 100 more are probably going to lose their businesses next year.

If we can't even get enough IRISH people into PUBS to keep them in business with this smoking ban, what chance do any bars have in general to survive this idiotic smoking ban?

Once again, I am NOT a smoker. And yes, I find smoking to be a disgusting habit and I hate the smell of secondhand smoke. But I also think that smokers have the right to EXIST and to SMOKE - especially in bars.

What do you think?

(The sad story about the pub closings)


1 comment:

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