Smoking Ban is coming. Bar owners weigh in.

Read an interesting article in the Big O today about the upcoming smoking ban, and bar owners thoughts about smoking in their venues. The owners of Kell’s (who went smoke free in 2000) cite the obvious health risks of employees working in confined smoky areas as one of the main reasons they went smoke-free. One of the owners of Concept Entertainment says that other than Grand Central Bowl, their bars will remain “smoking” until the ban. The reasoning is that they will lose business to bars that allow smoking.

Me? I support the ban. While I can appreciate the “fun” of going into a smoky dive bar (ala Yamhill Tavern) or English pub (ala The Horse Brass), I really don’t dig hacking up a lung as I leave, nor the scent of smoke that permeates my clothes in such a place. The health effects of secondary smoke are well-known by this point, and I think that the risks far outweigh any kitsch value in a smoky bar. As for the “authentic English pub” experience – England has already passed its own smoking ban.

And as a musician, playing non-smoking venues is much nicer than playing a smoking venue. After the gig, the stale smoke gets into the mesh on my amplifiers, making them (and the car I drive them home in) smell just as smoky as my clothes. And the following morning it always feels as if I’ve been gargling with gravel.

Just my .02. What do you think?

8 Comments so far

  1. daaaaave on March 18th, 2008 @ 8:05 am

    What’s more important? The right for a patron to go to any bar he/she wants to go to without the hassle of secondhand smoke? Or the right of a pub owner to cater to the clientele of his/her choosing?

    I tend towards the latter. There’s a lot of non-smoking bars/venues around town. Non-smokers should support those establishments and leave the rest for the smokers.

  2. sabernar on March 18th, 2008 @ 9:59 am

    YAY! No smoking! Bars here in Decatur, GA went smoke free years ago and they are just as crowded now as they were before then, if not moreso. And keep in mind that neighboring Atlanta does not have a smoking ban.

  3. dongle on March 18th, 2008 @ 3:44 pm

    daaaaave, do you also support the right of bar owners to paint their walls with dioxin if they so choose?

    If so, would you go there?
    If not, why not?

  4. matt on March 18th, 2008 @ 4:25 pm

    Eddie Izzard did a bit on the smoking ban in bars in CA – He said pretty soon they’d ban drinking and talking in bars too.

    I tend toward a libertarian viewpoint on most things, but I’ve gotta say that the smoking ban in CA worked remarkably well. The number of smokers dropped like a rock and bars and nightclubs stayed in business just fine.

    The only problem I saw was with cigar bars, which I felt got something of a raw deal.

  5. etnmarchand on March 18th, 2008 @ 10:35 pm

    I lived through this transition in Eugene some years back. All the bar owners cried foul and moaned about how it would hurt their business. All the smokers were up in arms about it too (and I am a smoker – eternally in the process of quitting). Funny thing is – after the ban took effect – I didn’t notice attendance at bars drop off at all. Every bar that could built patios and smoking decks with elaborate systems for heating the area in the winter. Many locations would fill up both the non-smoking inside area AND the outdoor patio areas. I as well as all the other smokers adapted to it and it became the norm. When I first moved to Portland about 2 years ago… I went out to a club and just about DIED gagging on all the smoke in the bar! So this smoker is VERY happy smoke free bars are coming.

  6. daaaaave on March 19th, 2008 @ 7:16 am

    Don’t be a douchebag, dongle. Grownups are talking here.

  7. butthuntpdx on March 27th, 2008 @ 8:45 pm

    I fear that with the ban we will notice an increase in the number of cigarette butts on our streets and in our rivers. Other cities have had this issue when they have banned indoor smoking. Rather than let this happen, I have rallied a team to create an awareness / education campaign about my concern. Check out our website and join the hunt.

    Butts is not an anti-smoking thing, its an anti-litter thing. Butts are toxic litter. It should not be acceptable to drop them on the streets!!!

    Spread the word!

  8. pappasmurf on March 28th, 2008 @ 10:25 pm

    Ok, dumb question, but to keep the atmosphere smoky could they put in a smoke machine like used for special effects, or is that banned too? What about scented candles, or candle lit dining is this anti-smoke or just anti-cigarette. What about cigar shops?

    rambling smurf.

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