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.