Minnesota bars beat smoking ban

by thoughtfulconservative

UPDATE: Jo Egelhoff at FoxPolitics has a different view of a smoking ban.

This is hilarious.

The smoking ban, passed by the Legislature last year, allows actors to light up in character during theatrical performances as long as patrons are notified in advance.About 30 bars in Minnesota have been exploiting the loophole by staging the faux [Ed.-My readers will know I think that this is pronounced “foh” and not as liberals think it is pronounce “fox.” Or, perhaps, they think we don’t know how to pronounce it since one local blogger made the mistake of spelling “voilá” wrong.] theater productions and pronouncing cigarettes props, according to an anti-smoking group.

Legislators just love these little loopholes which more often than not come back to bite them in the butt. Yet they continue to do it. Then they have to close these loopholes which lead to more loopholes and this is why we have 200 page bills that legislators then do not have enough time to read.

“It’s too bad they didn’t put as much effort into protecting their employees from smoking,” grumbled Jeanne Weigum, executive director of the Association for Nonsmokers.

Well, let’s see. If they don’t want to work in this environment, they should change jobs. Isn’t this what we told pharmacists who wanted conscientious exemptions from filling certain prescriptions and doctors who, in conscience, couldn’t perform abortions? What’s the difference?

The Health Department this week vowed to begin cracking down on theater nights with fines of as much as $10,000.

“The law was enacted to protect Minnesotans from the serious health effects of secondhand smoke,” Minnesota Health Commissioner Sanne Magnan said. “It is time for the curtain to fall on these theatrics.”

Theatrics? Sounds like the pot calling the kettle black. I hope somebody takes these fines to court and wins.

Proving anew there’s no business like show business, Anderson said her theater-night receipts have averaged $2,000 — up from $500 right after the ban kicked in. Similarly, Bauman said revenue at The Rock dropped off 30 percent after the ban took effect, then shot back up to normal once the bar began allowing smoking again.

Wait, wait, wait. Did I read that correctly? They lost money? I thought smoking bans were supposed to be a boom for business.

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5 Comments to “Minnesota bars beat smoking ban”

  1. So I take it you are anti-smoking ban?

  2. How’d you guess? 🙂

    Look, I’m a non-smoker. I don’t like cigarette smoke particularly. It makes food taste bad and gives me a headache long term. I sympathize with other non-smokers who would like to avoid it. I do.

    Governments can and do intervene in businesses for the public good. Well, most of the time any way. And I’m not saying they’re wrong to do so all of the time. But with thousands of bars in downtown Waukesha alone (sometimes it seems like it anyway), surely there are bars (and there are) who can go smokeless as a come on for non-smokers.

    If smoking is so bad, why not ban it altogether? No, that won’t happen. In fact, here in Wisconsin a recent cigarette tax supposedly was less for cigars. Any guess as to the reason why?

  3. I echo our host here.

    I don’t smoke. Never have. Find it a disgusting habit. However, it *is* still a legal activity – and a lucrative one for government via taxes.

    But to “ban” smoking in bars while profiting off the taxes is just hypocritical.

  4. I’ve lived in areas where they have banned smoking in all public buildings and bars, restaurants, etc have made MORE money after they’ve gone smoke-free. One restaurant in particular went smoke-free before the ban and had to enlarge their space to accomodate the number of patrons who wouldn’t dine-in before because of the smokers. Ask them for yourself! (michelbobs.com)

  5. Completely agree, Dean.

    I’m a non-smoker, these days (I’ve smoked occassionally, socially, but very rarely). I’ve never understood why they couldn’t let some restaurants and bars make their own decisions on this question. Surely smoking can be allowed in some public places rather than making this decision for all adults rather than letting adults settle this question between themselves.

    And, just for the record, I have always believed that that pharmacists and doctors should be able to follow their consciences. Makes no sense to me, at all, that people cannot just have the decency to go to another pharmacist or another doctor if they want a certain drug or a procedure performed if the person they have come to cannot offer it in good conscience. And that is my same feeling on this question. If you don’t like the smoke, go somewhere else.

    We have a smoking ban here in Lawrence. And it always means that my friends want to go outside the city limits to go somewhere where they can smoke. Or we end up at someone’s apartment, because people want to smoke.

    I don’t know why people just can’t respect one another’s freedom and good will to resolve these things between one another as adults rather than always going to their city council or police departments to settle it for them. Just doesn’t seem grown up to me.

    I’m not sure that we act like grown ups, much of the time. And I’d give up expecting people to be grown-ups, if it weren’t so important that we learn to do so.

    That’s my thoughts on it, at least, when I’m not holding my tongue:).

    Thanks for your thoughts, Dean.

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