Sunday, July 3, 2011
Wisconsin's Smoking Ban: Point/Counterpoint
A year later, statewide smoking ban's impact on business minimal. (Sheboygan Press, 7/2/2011)
Excerpt: Like most tavern owners, Pat Nohelty was more than a little worried when Wisconsin's statewide smoking ban went into effect last July.
With half his patrons dedicated smokers, Nohelty assumed ending something as integral to Wisconsin bar culture as booze itself would be bad for business.
But when the smoke cleared, it turns out he was only half right — while he's lost some business at his Kim's 5 Corners Tavern in rural Sheboygan Falls since the ban started, he's also been gaining dinner customers, no doubt because of the fresh air.
"The nonsmokers are bringing in their wives and kids, when they wouldn't have before," said Nohelty, a smoker who remains ambivalent about the new law. "We're not doing as well as we did with smoking, but it's coming back with our food sales."
According to industry officials, Nohelty is not alone, as fears that the smoking ban would damage a business sector already hampered by the recession are proving mostly untrue.
One year later, smoking ban gains popularity, but Tavern League says it’s bad for business. (La Crosse Tribune, 7/1/2011)
Excerpt: Brown said there are 11 bars in the county that may be closing this year, at least in part because of the smoking ban. At his Logan Bar, he said business has bounced back from last summer when the first months of the ban were the worst in a decade.
“A lot of our members say it’s hurt business up to 20 percent,” he said. “I’m not saying it’s the only reason bars are going out of business, but it’s hurt a lot.”
Brown said bars that serve food have fared better under the smoking ban.
Sales are down at Chucks Bar on La Crosse Street, but owner Tom Hudson said he can’t blame the smoking ban.
“With the economy, you couldn’t tell anyway,” he said. “I put it toward the economy.”