The case against smoking ban laws....Update 3/2008:
1) Implementing a smoking ban is the most anti-business stance a local government can make.
In the Twin Cities of Minneapolis & St. Paul, MN. after barely 12 months of smoking bans 73 hospitality businesses closed, and with an average of 30 employees; that's over 2,000 lost jobs. Yet during the same period in 2004, before metro wide smoking bans existed (according to a Minneapolis Star Tribune article) only 15 hospitality businesses closed.
Update: over 500 Twin Cities area bars & restaurants have closed since smoking bans were enacted in Minnesota (see link below for list) (there were only approximately 1,100 Twin Cities liquor licensed establishments when smoking bans were first imposed, obviously now there are far fewer)
To combat the fact that smoking bans destroy businesses and jobs, many local governments and those who support smoking bans put together "economic studies", designed to deceive lawmakers and the public, which show that there has been no harm financially since the implementation of smoking bans. However, those studies are always fraught with omissions and statistical errors to minimize the truth. In Minneapolis for instance their study claimed that there had been a modest increase in business since the smoking ban. Until one digs a little further into the truth to find that the study accounted for only 353 of the 618 establishments affected by the smoking bans. And worse yet the majority of the revenue accounted for was from hotels. Hotels are unaffected by smoking bans...... did you know to this day you can still go to nearly every hotel in California and book a room which allows smoking?
Update 2008: New official MN Auditor's Office report proves smoking bans destroy the hospitality industry and jobs.
The lobbyists and local governments know that the "risk" of secondhand smoke is too trivial and insignificant to push hotels into compliance, for they know the unions would challenge smoking ban laws.....and easily win.
I say too trivial because the American Cancer Society proved secondhand smoke is 532 - 25,000 times safer than OSHA regulations for secondhand smoke.
2) Numerous organizations have conducted scientific air quality testing of secondhand smoke and determined that the "purported health risks" of secondhand smoke are so insignificant as to be laughable.
The American Cancer Society conducted air quality testing and the results show secondhand smoke is 532 - 25,000 times safer than OSHA regulations for secondhand smoke. What makes the ACS results so laughable is that the results had to be measured in nanograms, that's 10 (-9) or 0.000000001.
The California EPA Air Resources Board AQ testing of SHS outdoors, being used to justify outdoor smoking bans, returned test results which were 50,000 times safer than OSHA regulations for secondhand smoke components.
The Environmental Health Department of St. Louis Park, MN. also recently conducted the same AQ testing and found SHS so much safer than OSHA regulations that the argument "....protecting the health of employees....." holds no valid claim.
3) Once you realize the organizational ties to special interest groups which fund smoking ban legislative efforts, you begin to see why the "tobacco control" groups will resort to lies, omissions, and deceipt in order to attain their goals.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funds most of the groups which lobby for smoking ban legislation. The American Lung Association, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, the American Medical Association, American Non-Smoker's Rights, the Center for Tobacco Free Kids (of which Action on Smoking and Health, ASH is a member) etc. etc. all have received funding from RWJF which benefits financially when smoking bans are passed; making them highly suspect to say the least.
Meanwhile RWJF owns $5.4 billion worth of stock in the Johnson & Johnson Company, the manufacturer of Nicoderm & Nicoderm CQ (thru its subsidiary ALZA). (if you're asking yourself why a pharmaceutical nicotine manufacturer would want to ban tobacco nicotine use, you're apparently too naive to understand; but the marketing department at J & J understands)
4) The best way to combat these special interest groups and send them packing for good, is to have state legislators pass pre-emption laws, which essentially say....we the state already have clean air quality laws in place to protect workers, patrons, citizens, and backed by OSHA regulations are confident in these measures. Therefore in as much as smoking ban laws are financially devastating to local businesses and jobs; no local entity may pass laws which are more restrictive than current state air quality laws.....including smoking bans.
It is time to bring common sense and facts back into the smoking ban debate, once that happens; smoking bans and the special interest groups which fund them will become a thing of the past.