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RSS icon Comments on Smoking Ban Had "Minimal Effect" on Bars


And the rest of us too, I suppose, including myself.

I'm not so sure it brought in new business, so much as the smokers didn't really go away... like they were gonna go anywhere else.

Posted by Gomez | June 12, 2007 11:36 AM

Exactly. Smokers still like bars and can deal and some people came out more often after the ban.

It always feels good when the facts confirm what you thought would happen.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 12, 2007 11:43 AM

What really is annoying me now are all the smokers who have been dumped out onto the sidewalk. I run in the downtown core, and when running, I take deeper, more powerful breaths.

Now that all of the smokers have been dumped onto the sidewalks, I get lung-fulls of smoke every couple of blocks as I run.

I think I'd rather have the smokers inside in a business where the owners can decide if they want to provide that type of environement or not. Either way, I don't think having all the smokers on the sidewalks is working very well either.

Another change coming soon?

Posted by Timothy | June 12, 2007 11:52 AM

Anyone check how the various cigar lounges that got put out of business are doing?

Hint: They are out of business!

Why there isn't an exception for cigar bars, I don't have a clue. No one goes into a cigar lounge if they don't enjoy cigars (or pipes).

Posted by ecce homo | June 12, 2007 12:06 PM

Deeper. More powerful. Breaths.

Posted by smiles | June 12, 2007 12:06 PM

I thought The Stranger recommended voting against the smoking ban because you were afraid of selective enforcement, not because of a possible economic impact. Have there been many issue with selective enforcement?

I was completely for the smoking ban, so it's nice to see yet another study that shows that smoking bans are not economically damaging (with the obvious exception of those cigar lounges, @4).

Posted by Julie | June 12, 2007 12:19 PM

3. Part of the reason bars didn't lose the smokers' business is because they can smoke outside, so unless you want the feared losses to fully manifest itself by outright banning curbside smoking and/or strictly enforcing the 25 foot rule, I suggest you get over it.

Also, as for smoke getting in your face... the smog of hundreds of thousands of motor vehicles, including the ones that drive by you opn the sidewalk every day, say hi.

Posted by Gomez | June 12, 2007 12:25 PM

@3. yes. a gym membership in your future. (BTW, doesn't exhaust fumes from the cars and tractor trucks on the street bother you more and more often then when you deep breath tobacco smoke, I'm just say'in?)

Posted by phenics | June 12, 2007 12:30 PM

I LOVE coming home from a bar NOT smelling like I came from a Phillip-Morris company Christmas party.

NOBODY obeys the 25 ft. rule.

Cigar bars should become members only clubs and then they can do whatever the hell they want.

Posted by monkey | June 12, 2007 12:32 PM

I'm one of the non-smoking masses who now will visit all the bars and bistros that I used to avoid due to the smoke-filled environments.

Before, I had to think twice about subjecting myself to being stunk up, having to air out my jacket, and take a shower.

Now, if I'm in the mood, I just pop in and have a beer or cider, when the mood hits me.

And I can feel free to invite my friends into any place after we go see a movie - before I had to remember where the few places were with decent air conditioning and non-smoking sections.

Now we just get food and drink.

Oh, and that Hookah place on Roosevelt is still going strong, so I don't see what your point was, @4.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 12, 2007 12:38 PM

Totally agree, monkey and Will. Love not having to reek of smoke or carefully plan where to go out.

Posted by Julie | June 12, 2007 12:42 PM
Also, as for smoke getting in your face... the smog of hundreds of thousands of motor vehicles, including the ones that drive by you opn the sidewalk every day, say hi.

Agreed... I've vomited on the side of the road while waiting for a bus on a busy street on the eastside because of the ridiculous amount of car exhaust. Smoking is the pollution equivalent to a burger wrapper in a massive oil spill.

Does anyone want to help me get an initiative on the ballot for a 25-foot rule for cars?

Posted by jamier | June 12, 2007 12:55 PM

Not going to debate the merits of the ban itself, but just to return to the OP for a moment: did anyone actually expect a report from the government on an act of the government to do anything but validate itself, especially in terms of regulations and revenue?

Posted by torrentprime | June 12, 2007 12:56 PM

Well I certainly wouldnt expect it to validate a law that voters passed just for hoots.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 12, 2007 1:03 PM


Well, it was an initiative, not a law proposed and enacted by the legislature. It's entirely possible that a small business lobby might put pressure on the state government to come up with a reason why the ban should be overturned.

Posted by keshmeshi | June 12, 2007 1:04 PM

@14. exactly.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 12, 2007 1:06 PM

whoops i meant 15.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 12, 2007 1:10 PM

I LOVE THE SMOKING BAN! @10 has it right. I just go wherever I want because I don't have to calculate how nasty it will be inside. Before a night on the town meant that I would be congested the next day due to my smoke allergies. Now the only thing that messes me up comes in drink form.

The interesting part for me is seeing how many times a given person will go outside to get their fix over an evening out. They don't look like they want to do it, but their body wants more more MORE! Even more interesting are the smokers that pressure other smokers to join them. Actually I think those people are dicks.

I always forget just how good we have it until I go to portland. UGH. I can't stand it now. Even being out at sasquatch was pretty nasty. The ratio of cig/pot smoke was not in my favor.

Posted by drew | June 12, 2007 3:51 PM

I think it's great not only because I don't have to worry about smelling like crap, but because the workers at the bars don't have to cough out their lungs after working a shift.

Posted by Ebenezer | June 12, 2007 5:40 PM

ECB - this study actually doesn't counter what many against the ban said. First, take it with a grain of salt, as there has been a yearly growth in bar sales almost every year.

There are many more restaurants with bars than just bars alone, due to how the liquor laws in Washington are set up. We all figured business in eateries would increase with the smoking ban. We saw evidence of this in Pierce County when they did their ban. And it totally makes sense that many people who are going to eat don't want to breathe in smoke. What the numbers don't show is how small old school bars were effected and this was our worry. I know for a fact sales went down in at least a few of these types of bars around Seattle. Until someone studies them we won't know. What is hard to see from a study like the one you point to, is that while small old timer bars maybe have slowed in say a neighborhood like Ballard, new bars opened up that draw a different crowd and so overall sale in that hood may be up. But again, the concern was over a particular type of bar.

Bottom line is that restaurants could have made this decision without a nanny state law. Too bad they didn't do it earlier, we'd all be happier. But enforcement of the 25' rule has been nill as we predicted, so it hasn't be selective which is great. And I for one certainly like going into bars without the smoke.

Posted by Meinert | June 13, 2007 10:27 AM

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