Interesting to note the following comments in our local paper, the Whig-Standard supporting smoking bans in pubs:
Several bar owners say business has rebounded since the cityï¿½??s smoking bylaw went into effect nearly two years ago. Their experience contrasts the findings of a study released this week that contends smoking bans cut bar sales nearly 25 per cent in the Limestone City and almost as much in three other major Ontario centres. "I chuckled when I read that [in the newspaper]," said Dan Clarke, who owns the Loyal Oarsman pub in the city's west end.
The study, conducted for the Pub and Bar Coalition (PUBCO) and the Fair Air Association of Canada, reported that local smoking bans cut bar sales by 24.3 per cent in Kingston, 23.5 per cent in Ottawa, 18.7 per cent in London and 20.4 per cent in Kitchener. Clarke said though his sales dropped about five per cent immediately after the ban went into effect May 1, 2003, business is now better than ever. "I wouldn't allow the smoking back in," he said. "I would lose business first to tell you the honest truth - We see a lot of new faces."
Clarke isn't alone. The Whig-Standard canvassed the owners of about 10 bars in the downtown core and in the city's west end. More than half of those establishments reported a rebound in business since an initial slump after the smoking ban. Bruce Clark, who owns the Toucan and Tango downtown, has watched his sales steadily climb over the past 18 months or so to the point where he does more business now than he did before the ban. "My business is up, although it is a little different - [The smokers] still come and they do spend money, though maybe not as much, and I've got a whole bunch of new customers," he said.