Monday, March 02, 2009

Smoking ban hurts social life at small-town bars

"Small-town and working class bars are supposed to be a bit irreverent, dimly lit places to escape the bully boss, pending divorce or the drudgery of a Working Joe life," Douglas Burns of Carroll, Iowa, writes for the Daily Yonder. "Smoking is a part of this for many Iowans – or it least it was (legally) until last July 1, when bars were included (by one vote in the Iowa House) in a sweeping indoor smoking ban."

Some view a smoking ban in rural Iowa bars as a disruption of the social life of many small communities, Burns reports. Bar owners in many rural communities say they have seen as much as a 40 percent drop in business, and attribute that drop to the impact of the smoking ban. "Unlike in the suburban chain eateries or urban centers," Burns writes, "there isn’t a replacement class of patrons flocking to the fill the stools left behind by dispirited smokers."

Paul Lasley, a co-investigator of the Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll and chairman of the sociology and anthropology departments at Iowa State University, said that the anger being directed at the smoking ban may be part of a larger problem. “I suspect that part of that is the acknowledgment that it’s not the same anymore,” he said. (Read more)


Anonymous said...

The big city neighborhood "shot and beer" bars can easily ignore the ban. Real crime is an issue. Police (many are patrons when off duty) have too many problems with groups of smokers attracting undesirables and causing problems on the PUBLIC street, where the bar owner has no control. In rural areas, maybe the number of "bar checks" can be a guide to the level of money being spent for police officers, obviously bored and needing something to do.

Marlene said...

Since smoking bans are based on nothing more than propoganda from the big pharmaceutical industry, they get to sell more smoking cessation products and have spent over a BILLION dollars toward this agenda, private property rights have gone down the tube. It's time all owners get involved to overturn these laws! If these bans DON'T get overturned, there are other rights that will soon follow. There is a bill in the Mississippi legislature banning restaurants serving anyone who appears obese. Google it and find out. Just look at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's agenda page. After all, they own most of Johnson and Johnson, RWJF is the one that has spent the billion dollars. Wake up World!