I learnt from Hoyden that the ban on smoking has improved business in NSW bars. I forecast that it would – there is prior US evidence – but even I was surprised at the scale of the increase.
That business improves when smoking is eliminated is scarcely surprising. Around 83% of adult Australians don’t smoke and, in Victoria, 60% of smokers in bars said they favoured the restriction. A comparable change in Victoria also induced record activity in Quit services as the user cost of smoking rose in yet another area. The only 'adverse' effect seems to be on the revenues accruing to the poker machine operators which drop when smokers have to go outside for a smoke. By so doing they often recover their senses and don’t return to play the pokies.
Loss of revenue to poker machine operators and machine vendors is, of course, something we should celebrate - not something to worry about. Bankrupcies please!
Restrictions on smoking prevent deadly problems of passive smoking associated with the inhalation of secondary unfiltered tobacco smoke. They also increase the pressure on smokers to abandon this dangerous and stupid habit.
I do not follow Tim Blair and support giving bar-owners the right to operate smoking-accepted areas since (i) the secondary smoking problems continue to arise for bar employees - these are often unskilled workers who don't have much choice in accepting such working conditions - and (ii) the point is very much to increase the incentive of smokers to quit. Smoking is an irrational, destructive form of behaviour that the repressive, nanny state should gradually work to eliminate.
No, I am not a supporter of the Australian Libertarian Party!