Some say smoking ban a bummer for business

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Michael Allen predicted the city of Aiken's smoking ban would hurt his downtown business and others like it.

A year later, he says he was right.

"I'm losing about $10,000 a month," said the owner of City Billiards restaurant and pool hall. "It's quite significant."

Aiken approved the indoor smoking ban in July 2008 but didn't implement it until January. North Augusta's version began in August 2008. Both followed Aiken County, which initiated its ordinance in June 2007.

Though Mr. Allen and some other business owners say they're unhappy with the ban, city and county officials say they feel it has benefited people's health, and they haven't had any major enforcement problems.

"In our opinion, it's been very effective with the city," said Aiken City Manager Roger LeDuc.

County Administrator Clay Killian said there have been a couple of warnings issued but no citations, and he doesn't think any restaurants have been hurt by the ban.

"Most studies have shown that their business goes up if they stop allowing smoking," he said.

Mr. Allen said he thinks more customers have been going outside Aiken city limits to county locales, where he said the ban doesn't appear to be enforced as strictly.

"We've seen a drop in revenue from 3 to 5 p.m. on to closing where someone wants to come to sit down and have a beer and cigarette, or shoot some pool and smoke," Mr. Allen said. "It's drastically dropped off the night business."

City Billiards also doesn't have a patio like The West Side Bowery, an Aiken restaurant. Bans in the county and North Augusta don't allow smoking within 10 feet of a nonsmoking facility, but the city of Aiken allows smoking in public areas that are at least 50 percent exposed to the outdoors.

Sam Erb, the owner of The West Side Bowery, said that before the ban his restaurant allowed smoking only at its bar.

"I don't think it's really affected us," he said of the ban, but he added, "I'm just getting tired of the government trying to tell me how to run my business."

North Augusta Mayor Lark Jones said before the smoking ban that businesses across the state with such restrictions had reported an increase in customers.

David Drakeley, the owner of The Highlander in North Augusta, said that hasn't been the case for his business because his city's ban includes bars.

"We've lost a few (customers)," he said. "They go across the river where they can enjoy a smoke with beer."

Georgia has a statewide indoor smoking ban, but it provides an exception for bars that serve little or no food.

Mr. Jones said his city hasn't issued any citations. He believes the ban hasn't caused people too much heartburn.

"I think it's just slid right through with very little confusion or very little people being upset," he said.

Reach Crystal Garcia at (706) 823-3409 or Preston Sparks at (803) 648-1395, ext. 110.

NO SMOKING ALLOWED

AIKEN COUNTY

Off limits: restaurants; banks; educational, convention, entertainment, health care and adult or child day-care centers; elevators; stores; within 10 feet of any entrance or exit to an enclosed area where smoking is banned

Allowed: In enclosed rooms of restaurants and bars with separate ventilation systems; in bars and dining establishments that do not serve or employ anyone 18 or younger
Penalty: $200 fine or 30 days in jail

NORTH AUGUSTA

Off limits (indoors): Galleries, libraries and museums; professional offices, banks, laundromats, hotels, and motels; bars; bingo facilities; conference centers and exhibition halls; educational facilities; elevators; health care facilities; hotel and motel lobbies; licensed child care and adult day-care facilities; lobbies, hallways, and other common areas in apartment buildings, condominiums, trailer parks, retirement facilities, nursing homes and other multiple-unit residential facilities; polling places; private clubs when they are being used for a function to which the general public is invited; public transportation; restaurants; retail stores, service lines, malls and public meeting places

Outdoors: Amphitheaters; ballparks and stadiums in use for competitions and public performances; parades; dining areas in public, such as sidewalks

Allowed: 10 feet from any entry to an enclosed area where smoking is prohibited; private residences; designated hotel and motel rooms; retail tobacco stores; some outdoor areas at places of employment

Penalty: Fines from $10 to $25. Repeat violations could result in suspension or revocation of occupancy permit or business license.

CITY OF AIKEN

Off limits: Galleries, libraries, and museums; professional offices, banks, laundromats, hotels and motels; bars; bingo facilities; conference centers and exhibition halls; educational facilities; elevators; health care facilities; hotel and motel lobbies; licensed child care and adult day-care facilities; lobbies, hallways, and other common areas in apartment buildings, condominiums, trailer parks, retirement facilities, nursing homes and other multiple-unit residential facilities; polling places; private clubs when used for a function to which the public is invited; public transportation; restaurants; retail stores, service lines, malls and public meeting places; enclosed areas within places of employment

Allowed: Outside areas not posted as nonsmoking areas; private residences, unless used as a day care or health care facility; hotel and motel rooms designated as smoking rooms; retail tobacco stores; requested private and semiprivate smoking rooms in long-term-care facilities; private clubs except for events that admit the general public; outside designated areas; theatrical stage productions when smoking is essential to the performance; personal vehicles, including when used for employment purposes

Penalty: Fines from $10 to $25. Repeated infractions could lead to suspension or revocation of permit or business license.

SOUTH CAROLINA LAWS

In 2008, South Carolina passed or strengthened 12 city or county smoking ordinances, which was more than any other state. The state received the Smokefree Challenge Award on June 9 at the 2009 National Conference on Tobacco or Health in Phoenix, Ariz. There are now 27 smoke-free ordinances in the state.

Source: Dan Carrigan with Smoke Free Action Network

Comments (34) Add comment
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Dixieman
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Dixieman 08/03/09 - 04:29 am
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Nanny State and its willing

Nanny State and its willing accomplices in the media strike again! Let people choose whether to patronize or work in establishments which allow smoking, and then smoking and non-smoking restaurants, bars, etc. will proliferate across the land and everyone can choose.

opiner
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opiner 08/03/09 - 05:31 am
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If tobacco is so dangerous,

If tobacco is so dangerous, which it is, it should be made illegal. There'd be no problem with "smoking business /non-smoking business". Since it's not illegal, allowing smoking in clearly marked, "private club" type businesses would allow the indulgence without exposing the general public.

omnomnom
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omnomnom 08/03/09 - 05:42 am
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billiards, beer, and smoking

billiards, beer, and smoking go hand in hand in hand. I know smoking is bad for me. Just the same as driving without a seatbelt, biking without a helmet, voting for the lesser of two evils. There's no law against stupidity (but our "protectors" in Washington are doing their damnest to try). I'll quit when my insurance company jacks up my monthly premium (which they are in December)

Riverman1
82431
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Riverman1 08/03/09 - 08:00 am
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Smoking is bad for

Smoking is bad for everything.

curly123053
4570
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curly123053 08/03/09 - 09:31 am
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I do not smoke and I never

I do not smoke and I never chose my place to go get a meal strictly for it's smoking policy. But, I avoided the places that would leave that nasty stench of smoke all over my clothes and body. All places that allowed smoking were not very bad though and if they served good meals and had an ample no smoking section where my clothes were not ruined I patronized them....On the same subject, I have a friend who worked as a bartender in Greenville who never smoked, but last year she was diagnosed with emphysema caused by breathing in the 2nd hand smoke of others at the bar. This happening to a good friend kinda gives me mixed feelings about the smoking bans for bars even though I do not smoke. I think it is not good when government tries to take to much control of private business.

mable8
2
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mable8 08/03/09 - 09:39 am
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I wonder where "across the

I wonder where "across the river" Mr Drakeley is talking about; there is a ban on smoking in any establishment in GA and for some "establishments" you can't even smoke in the parking lot unless you are in your car with the windows up. Think about it; if government can tell you what, when,and where you can ingest anything, imagine what the big O's "healthcare plan" will be like. According to the big O's agenda, you will only receive the medical care that the government approves, not what your doctor considers appropriate. If you don't believe it, then take the time to read it on the whitehouse website; it takes awhile to get to it, but it is an eye-opener, that's for sure.

Antlion
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Antlion 08/03/09 - 09:51 am
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Curley, I also, have lung

Curley, I also, have lung problems because of breathing second hand smoke as a child (my Dad's Camel cig.) nothing I can do about it now. Sitting around smokers and breathing their smoke could put me in the hospital. Parents know now that the smoke can shorten their kids lives, but some still choose to do it.

sugar babe 74
0
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sugar babe 74 08/03/09 - 12:17 pm
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I dont mind following the

I dont mind following the rules on smoking,but heres what makes me mad,they want to run taxes way up on cigaretts but noone ever says anything about drinking,at least the people that smoke,it dont cause them to drive on the wrong side of the road,or run stop signs and red lights and kill people,but do you hear anything about heavy taxing on the beer and liquor,no.I had rather my child smoke than drink,at least he,s in charge of all his actions,and knows what he's doing,so for my part I'm for raising taxes on beer and liquor,and leave cigarettes along for a while

mad_max
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mad_max 08/03/09 - 02:41 pm
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The Politically Correct

The Politically Correct Enviro-Terrorists do not care if they kill a man's business as long as they stomp out whatever is being demonized at the time. They will eventually be telling you what to eat, drink, do, and drive. Cap and Trade is their next assault on the public. Because all of the Enviro-Terrorists are Democrats, Cap and Trade plays right into the Obama/Pelosi plan because it appeases their Enviro-Terrorists constituents AND raises a boat load of money for the Democrats to spend. They do not care if they ruin a few business or they entire US manufacturing sector. It's "for the cause". And they will use any piece of junk science to justify doing it. Always have, always will. Hold your local politicians and health boards accountable for being the Nazis that they are.

sambora
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sambora 08/03/09 - 04:04 pm
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Another thing that irks me to

Another thing that irks me to no end is how the "medical facts" about smoking and secondhand smoke have been grossly distorted by the anti-tobacco fanatics, including those in the medical profession. But consider this, that we didn't have the explosion of cancer and other "smoking related" diseases to any great degree before the 1940s and '50s. What happened then was that Big Tobacco began manufacturing their cigarettes with a huge variety of chemicals, all of which are bad for us. Another thing that happened about that time was the explosion of processed foods and personal (body care) items of all descriptions, also made with chemicals. The combination has been a knockout punch to American health. But I don't know of any tobacco study that has been done with tobacco relatively free of all these chemicals, and most of them only observe the effects of chemical-laden commercial cigarettes. I studied the original Surgeon General's report on smoking, and I didn't find even one carcinogen or toxic chemical in it that is naturally found in tobacco. Even nicotine is non-carcinogenic. It's the artificially added chemicals that are the real killers.

sambora
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sambora 08/03/09 - 04:18 pm
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About 7 years ago I switched

About 7 years ago I switched to a high quality Danish halfzware, a finely cut tobacco processed without chemicals, with the stems removed. (Pesticides the plant is grown with are most highly concentrated in the stems, so removing them is a huge plus.) And I began to notice a number of very good things. First, I had been a 5-6 pack a day smoker of commercial cigarettes (Marlboros), and practically overnight I became a less than one pack a day smoker. This wasn't from any deliberate effort on my part to cut down, it just happened. My smoker's hack disappeared, my lungs cleared out, and I'm able to breathe freely clear down to my diaphragm. I used to have to wash my windows every few months because of the brown globby drops of tar that would stream down them. Now, I haven't washed my windows for years, and I'm just starting to see a faint film on them. And when I go to see doctors I don't tell them I smoke anymore, and they can't tell that I'm lying. And there's another can of worms. The main reason I started lying to them was because, once they know you smoke, they stop thinking about what's really wrong with you. It's the smoking, end of story.

sambora
0
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sambora 08/03/09 - 04:29 pm
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That's why I'm highly

That's why I'm highly suspicious of all the medical research on smoking that's been done to date. First, they're only studying smokers of American commercially manufactured cigarettes, and labelling the results as applying to tobacco in any form. Second, I'd really like to know how they determine that someone contracted a "smoking related" illness. I think they take the easy way out, and if the person smokes or is exposed to secondhand smoke, then it's "smoking related". Do they do any other tests to see if there might be some other cause? I doubt it. And with all the chemicals and pollution we're awash in, it's easy enough for me to see that there could be many other culprits. What about all the non-smokers who get lung cancer and emphysema? They didn't get it from smoking, and there's starting to be more of them all the time.

A little more science and logic, and a little less fanaticism, please.

Boogaloo
1
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Boogaloo 08/03/09 - 05:58 pm
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Smoking cigarettes is good

Smoking cigarettes is good for you and it doesn't make you stink either. Health professionals don't know what they are talking about when they say smoking is harmful. We need to encourage our children to smoke as soon as they are able to purchase tobacco.

sambora
0
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sambora 08/03/09 - 06:22 pm
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Spoken like a genuine

Spoken like a genuine fanatic. Wild exageration, obvious ignoring of evidence and logic presented, sneering and sarcasm. Well, well. No wonder this country is in such dire straits.

TakeAstand
13
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TakeAstand 08/03/09 - 06:46 pm
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Look at how bad drinking is

Look at how bad drinking is for you health wise, it makes people fight and aggressive, and all the dui related deaths and injuries. Most of those injured are innocent parties who wasn't even doing the drinking. If you dont drink, dont go to the bar, if you dont smoke don't patron a smoking establishment. But an individual business owner should be able to make that call on how he wants his business ran in that aspect. It is no worse than the serious consequences of drinking, yet they allow it and ban a businessmans right to have smoking.... maybe its becuase they don't make anything extra by letting people smoke in them like they do with taxing booze and license fees. Do smoking the same way, get licenses and things. Look at the laws punishment for dui, pathetic, mostly fines. The gov't will screw one man out of his right to run a business like he wants and protect you from second hand smoke and dying of cancer 30 years later to the best of their ability with no compromise, but screw you and your family, fend for yourself against drunk drivers, as long as they keep geting paid for it through taxes and fines they will leave them out to be menaces. Makes a lot of fricken sense!

sambora
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sambora 08/03/09 - 06:58 pm
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Actually, one of the biggest

Actually, one of the biggest dangers of letting the anti-tobacco fanatics win this one is that it is already putting us on a slippery slope. Today it's tobacco, maybe tomorrow it will be fat people and all the things that make them fat, maybe next will be alcohol, after that how about car polution - slap a $1000 per year tax on anyone who operates a motor vehicle, then there's all those expensive AIDS and STD patients - outta start regulating sexual behaviors and fine the miscreants. Then, how long will it be before they don't need a health reason to restrict behaviors, tax the beejeesus out of them and punish any offenders? There's just no end to the fun government can have by taking away people's liberties.

imdstuf
10
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imdstuf 08/03/09 - 07:51 pm
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For those who think smoking

For those who think smoking is not unhealthy due to some organizations (funded by Big Tobacco) who have done studies to say otherwise, get a clue. Now as far as the smoking ban, I do not smoke and did not mind some smoke in bars. I just kind of expected it and figured the little time I spent there would not be that risky. Plus I drink some beer at bars and that is not healthy anyways. Right now part of why bars are hurting though may also just be the economy. I know plenty of non-smokers who have cut down on going out due to financial issues.

harleyrider1989
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harleyrider1989 08/03/09 - 07:59 pm
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sambora =====here ya

sambora =====here ya go.....they are trying to outlaw the obese from public places......

Mississippi Legislature
2008 Regular Session
House Bill 282
House Calendar | Senate Calendar | Main Menu
Additional Information | All Versions

Current Bill Text: |

Description: Food establishments; prohibit from serving food to any person who is obese.

Background Information:
Disposition: Active
Deadline: General Bill/Constitutional Amendment
Revenue: No
Vote type required: Majority
Effective date: July 1, 2008

History of Actions:
1 01/25 (H) Referred To Public Health and Human Services;Judiciary B

----- Additional Information -----

House Committee: Public Health and Human Services*, Judiciary B

Principal Author: Mayhall
Additional Authors: Read, Shows

harleyrider1989
0
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harleyrider1989 08/03/09 - 07:59 pm
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title: an act to prohibit

title: an act to prohibit certain food establishments from serving food to any person who is obese, based on criteria prescribed by the state department of health; to direct the department to prepare written materials that describe and explain the criteria for determining whether a person is obese and to provide those materials to the food establishments; to direct the department to monitor the food establishments for compliance with the provisions of this act; and for related purposes.

----- bill text for all versions ----
| as introduced (current)

information pertaining to this measure was last updated on 01/29/2008 at 11:24
end of document

Mudfish
0
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Mudfish 08/04/09 - 12:16 am
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Mable8: one of the across the

Mable8: one of the across the river locations is the pool hall on the lower end of Broad Street that sells the great hamburgers. The last time I went in there, there were several at the bar eating hamburgers, drinking beer and smoking. Nothing was ever said to them by the management. I figured that since it was a pool hall there was an 18 or over rule and they could allow smoking. I know that after a certain time of day only the older crowd is allowed in some eating establishments with bars and smoking is allowed.

TakeAstand
13
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TakeAstand 08/04/09 - 01:21 am
0
0
Yeah at least Richmond county

Yeah at least Richmond county bends a little. I can agree with that law, no one under 18 allowed in the smoking places. But at least give them a choice to do that. Evidently Aiken and Columbia counties disagreee. lol

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