Gaming establishments are taking it especially hard, and so are spots where smoking bans are enforced and people go mainly for drinks and mingling.

Less affected: places where food is the main attraction, places in jurisdictions where bans are flouted, or where there are terraces where people can smoke.

It’s a mixed bag, but after studying US government data on the economic impact of smoking bans, and scrtuinizing how a number of influential studies on economic impact were actually conducted, researcher Dave Kuneman of the Smoker’s Club says, "The cat’s out of the bag. Let’s face it and be honest about it. There have been way too many juridictions that have enacted bans now for their ill effects to be ignored. These owners are talking amongst themselves, and communciating with owners yet to be subject ot bans. Everyone now knows bans hurt business…."

Finally, the hospitality industry is in a position to start gathering up and criticially examining the evidence from years of smoking ban legislation. They are in a position to start presenting politicians with the real deal on how neo-prohibitionist policy is eroding their livelihoods — and to take political action against it.

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