Here is a big article about a rural bar in Montana that says the state’s smoking ban, implemented 18 months ago, is driving it out of business. The business completely ignored the state’s smoking ban, racked up thousands of dollars in fines, and then finally was forced to start complying. But, now the bar owner says the ban is driving her out of business.
I gotta call bullshit on this, I really do. I am on record as saying I can believe smoking bans hurt certain kinds of bars — sleazy little corner taverns and maybe little country bars, but to completely destroy your revenue. Whenever I hear these horror stories, I really want to say, “I want to see your books.” I suspect that most of the time these bar owners make these doom and gloom pronouncements about smoking bans, they aren’t lying per se, but they are exaggerating.
I also had a bit of a hard-ass attitude that perhaps some bars will be driven out of business by smoking bans — perhaps. But, there’s no one making money anymore making asbestos roof shakes. No one makes money anymore making mercury thermometers. Why? Because they were UNHEALTHY. Economies change. They evolve. They just do. Sometimes people get hurt. Smoky bars are a thing of the past and people just need to accept that. It’s not going to change.