Sunday, July 01, 2007

Smoking ban Victoria - avoiding the chook's bum

The smoking ban in Victorian pubs, clubs, bars and gaming houses (except for Crown’s high-roller rooms) came into place last night. An on-the-spot fine of $110 is levied on both smoker and bar-owner for an offense – it increases to $550 if the offender takes the matter to court and loses.

I don’t often go to these types of ‘entertainment venues’. I generally get more pleasure out of watching paint dry or ‘Karate Kid’ movies than going to a smelly bar that serves poor quality wines. If I do go to a bar I always do notice the offensive stale tobacco odours. Of course great wine bars, like Walters on Southbank, are notable exceptions - no smoke and fine wines.

I went to a Flinders Lane bar last Wednesday and I’ll try the same place again this week to see the short-term customer response. My guess is that bar patronage will improve. Smokers will step outside for a fag and non-smokers (now 83% of the adult population and only 10% of youth now take up the habit) will feel free to breathe again. As most smokers would prefer to quit this policy helps them in that regard. Indeed today's Age confirms that 60% of smokers favour the ban.

Bar staff who have no longer to inhale filthy fumes will clearly be better-off provided jobs are not lost. To the extent that smoking and cigarette consumption are complement goods, bar sales from smoking customers might drop off a bit but this will be offset by new customers.

The casinos and poker machine venues will lose – players will have to leave the machines to have a fag and might then regain their sanity - but as I would prefer to see these anti-social institutions bankrupted that won’t cause me grief.

And, yes, to those young homeless lovebirds - yes I wish I was one - seeking a smooch in a dark alley after imbibing a belly full of grog in a bar. It must be pleasant, for a change, to taste some real human saliva rather than to suck on an orifice that tastes like a chook's bum. Put down any increased osculatory pleasure to the smoking ban.


Casinos open to USA said...

A smoking ban in entertainment venues? If at all something, at least leave 'certain designated smoking area's' in place

Come on. You see, this is what will bring online casinos for instance, more into the spot light. (Wich is not a bad thing, they are very enjoyable)

Where is it that you will experience more comfort while enjoying real exciting gambling than from the comfort of your own home? I tell you this much:
There ain't nobody in my home telling me what or what not to do while playing my faforite casino games! I can smoke what ever I like. Do not have to drive to get to a casino and it don't matter if me and my friends get absolutely sh*tfaced drunk while gambling in an online casino.

This is crazy. Adding this rule to for instance the law that makes it illegal to dance after two at night in certain parts of the country.. (New York - this is true, due to an old law, you supposedly are not allowed to dance after two, night time, in the whole of New York) Yet, I can buy a deadly wepon on nearly every corner of the street nearly anywhere in the whole of the United States.

I don't know about any of you guys, but what do you think of this:

I never seen any student storm into an University or school with a belt full of mp3 music files and a mp3 player with the intention to dance everybody to death or harm any person while dancing..

I have not a clue why these laws are so messed up..

Sam Ward said...

"My guess is that bar patronage will improve."

Care to put some money on it Harry?

Sam Ward said...

Or do you just to prefer to gamble with other people's money?

hc said...

Sam, You'd have to define the gamble. My local bar here in Eaglemont got much higher patronage when it voluntarily cut out smoking.

83% of adults don't smoke and generally don't enjoy second hand smoke. Their demands should grow quite a bit. And, as I say, the 17% who do smoke can go outside. 60% of those patrons supported the ban.

I'd hate to take your money away from you.

I am teaching in the city tomorrow night so I'll give the bar I mention a glance.

Yobbo said...

HC: You do research in the health industry, you know better than anyone that the correlation between "smokers" and "heavy drinkers" is much, much higher than 17%.

Smoking bans have been a disaster for WA bars, and everywhere else in the world they have been brought in.

Everyone knows this, it's not a secret. Why else do you think the WA tourism authority started a half a million dollar advertising campaign to boost pubs when the legislation went through?

3 pubs that I used to visit in my area have closed since this legislation have come in, 2 of them having been established for over 40 years.

Yobbo said...


By the way, the gamble is very simple. Smoking bans will cause a net loss in revenue for the hospitality industry, which will be picked up by increased sales for the pre-packaged liquor industry.

In other words, a huge boon for Coles Myer at the expense of single-operator pubs and Sporting Clubs.

And accompanying the hit to the hospitality industry, an onflow effect to all other tourism-related businesses.

Kartar said...

*falls off chair*

Fancy that. Me agreeing with Yobbo. That damn sure convinces me that this is a damn bad idea. :)