Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

NYC Smoking Ban


Jaymes
 Share

Recommended Posts

=mark: cutesy dude spelling mon ami  :raz:  didn't know that phonetics r so hard 2 read  :biggrin:

elyse: ditto  :cool:

jeunefille: sort of like hitting your head vs. a wall, n'est-ce pas? why keep going 2 bars when everytime u experience sinus problems??????????????????

i actually avoided bars in college and started going to expensive restaurants instead

"Is there anything here that wasn't brutally slaughtered" Lisa Simpson at a BBQ

"I think that the veal might have died from lonliness"

Homer

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So the short answer is, you don't know where they went.

The Bennigans / TGIF alternative doesn't make much sense.  Why would they avoid their old comfortable gin mill because it's non-smoking and transfer their allegiance to an ersatz McPub which is also smoke free?

my short answer is/was "NJ". don't discount it. it's happening. and it's been documented in the new york times as well (so, you know, it *must* be true).

The ones that are going to NJ undoubtedly live there. I just can't see NYers schlepping out to NJ just for the privilege of getting all liquored up in a smokey bar. The trip back would be a bitch.

Besides, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the NY smoking ban creates pressure for NJ to follow suit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The ones that are going to NJ undoubtedly live there.  I just can't see NYers schlepping out to NJ just for the privilege of getting all liquored up in a smokey bar.  The trip back would be a bitch.

you make it sound as if people who don't live in manhattan don't provide a good chunk of income for bars. it doesn't matter where they live. what matters is they're stopping for happy hour, and having business dinners, in NJ rather than in midtown.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

you make it sound as if people who don't live in manhattan don't provide a good chunk of income for bars.  it doesn't matter where they live.  what matters is they're stopping for happy hour, and having business dinners, in NJ rather than in midtown.

Another positive: NYC will be both smoke and B&T free!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And my post detailing one working class bar, one waitress, one strata of people in New York City (unfortunately the same strata I've drank with and hung out with for my whole drinking life) is indeed "totally without merit from a statistical point of view" . Exactly. Donald Rumsfeld couldn't have said it better.

Talk about hitting below the belt. :wink:

While I don't pretend to have all the answers (just a large percentage thereof :biggrin: ), it seems that the pro-smoking lobby as eschewed statistical data in favor of anecdotal evidence. The problem is that the pro-smoking lobby is trying to make a macroeconomic point, but relies entirely on evidence best suited to a microeconomic analysis. A broad policy such as this deserves full macroeconomic treatment -- the policy will be a success if on balance, restaurants and bars do not lose money. The fact that some -- and perhaps many -- businesses will suffer is really besides the point. The greater good is what is at issue here, and by focusing our lens to narrowly, we lose sight of this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The greater good is what is at issue here, and by focusing our lens to narrowly, we lose sight of this.

As J.S. Mill pointed out long ago, "the greater good" often operates as a euphemism for "tyranny of the majority."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

you make it sound as if people who don't live in manhattan don't provide a good chunk of income for bars.  it doesn't matter where they live.  what matters is they're stopping for happy hour, and having business dinners, in NJ rather than in midtown.

I'm not saying NJers don't count - they are a very important part of the commercial life of NYC. What I'm saying is that the potential long term impact on the NY bar and restaurant scene is restricted to NJ *smokers*, a 30% fraction of a group that is already a minority. And even that effect is likely to be diluted.

I am told by experts that some NJers actually are friends with people from NY and see them socially from time to time. These meetings will most likely continue to occur in a place that is the most convenient to the widest number of people. The afterwork crowd composed of a mixed group of NYers, CTers, LIers, and NJers is extremely likely to tank up at the pub that is just down the street from their office. The NJ smoking contingent in the group will go outside for the occasional smoke and go back in to rejoin their friends at the bar.

And BTW, I live in Brooklyn so feel free to bash Manhattan any time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3.  The idea to create both non-smoking and smoking bars is remarkably naive.  How is this going to happen?  Are certain bar owners going to be forced to convert to non-smoking, or is it a voluntary thing?  Banning smoking is an all or nothing proposition.  Either it is banned in all bars and restaurants or in none (those pesky constitutional rights and all).

how so?

the idea that govt must step in to regulate everything is fallacious.

govt should step in as a last resort, and even then precariously. if they would arrange a structure which allows the market to decide, it would be much easier on us all.

non smoking bars should happen by choice. as a perhaps future bar owner, i would have no problem owning 2 bars, one for the smokers, one for the nonsmokers.

all or nothing is completely ridiculous. like killing a fly with a sledgehammer.

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The greater good must be the focus of all reasoned policy-making in a democratic society. The rights of the minority are adequately protected by the Constitution. Surely, this must have been made clear to you in a basic political science class. The legislative branch in our government is designed to respond to democratic urges -- and thus reflect the desires of the majority (here, non-smokers). To the extent minority rights are trampled, smokers/business owners etc. have the right to appeal to the courts for protection. As such, tyranny of the majority is checked in the US by the courts' enforcement of consitutional rights.

And your pithy comments comparing my stance to Hitler, Stalin, Rumsfeld, and Moses do not change the fundamental policy point here -- banning smoking is good policy, as it drives down health care costs without any offsetting costs associated in lost business profits to bar/restaurant owners or lost tourism (see the California studies).

I'm sorry if this policy ends up putting some people out of work, but in the final analysis, that outcome is a whole lot better than putting many more people in a grave.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Banning (or strictly limiting) asbestos put a lot of people out of work. Switching to clean burning fuels put a lot of people out of work. These were all good, hard-working people who just wanted to earn money, raise families, and drink a cold Pabst Blue Ribbon with gonzo-gastronomes at the seedy-hip bars in the village. But unfortunately for them, the career they were stuck with resulted in a lot of people's death. So too, tobacco farmers should be figuring out how to plant something else.

Referring to the anti-smoking lobby as "tyranny of the majority" is a wonderful thing. 50 years ago, anti-smokers were quite the minority. I still find it odd that the liberal-elite who are pushing anti-smoking bills (compared to conservative-Republicans who subsidize the tobacco farmers while dropping bombs on cocaine farmers), are considered by anyone the majority.

Edited by Stone (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

And your pithy comments comparing my stance to Hitler, Stalin, Rumsfeld, and Moses do not change the fundamental policy point here

Actually, I'm the one who brought up Hitler and Stalin (I was a joking of course.) Bourdain is responsible for the Rumsfeld and Robert Moses references. (Very nice BTW - Moses gets far too little credit when it comes to crushing the little guy.)

I'm surprised no one has invoked the Giuliani bogeyman. He's only been gone for 18 months and already he's been ommitted in a slanging match on political oppression. He would not be pleased.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The greater good must be the focus of all reasoned policy-making in a democratic society.  The rights of the minority are adequately protected by the Constitution.  Surely, this must have been made clear to you in a basic political science class.  The legislative branch in our government is designed to respond to democratic urges -- and thus reflect the desires of the majority (here, non-smokers).  To the extent minority rights are trampled, smokers/business owners etc. have the right to appeal to the courts for protection.  As such, tyranny of the majority is checked in the US by the courts' enforcement of consitutional rights.

And your pithy comments comparing my stance to Hitler, Stalin, Rumsfeld, and Moses do not change the fundamental policy point here -- banning smoking is good policy, as it drives down health care costs without any offsetting costs associated in lost business profits to bar/restaurant owners or lost tourism (see the California studies).

I understand what mogsob is saying; however, I disagree.

The quoted material contains several declarative statements of "fact" that simply are not "facts."

mogsob: "The greater good must be the focus of all reasoned policy-making in a democratic society."

This is a statement rising from a utilitarian theory. There are competing theories concerning justice.

mogsob: "The rights of the minority are adequately protected by the Constitution."

This is a hypothesis. Constitutional theorists would argue that the Constitution alone is not sufficient to protect minority rights.

mogsob: "Surely, this must have been made clear to you in a basic political science class."

This statement attempts to make an ad hominem argument. Irrelevant.

mogsob: "The legislative branch in our government is designed to respond to democratic urges -- and thus reflect the desires of the majority (here, non-smokers)."

Again, this is a "factual" statement that derives from a utilitarian theory.

mogsob: "To the extent minority rights are trampled, smokers/business owners etc. have the right to appeal to the courts for protection. As such, tyranny of the majority is checked in the US by the courts' enforcement of consitutional rights."

Historically, the US courts have not always protected minority rights in a timely manner. Tocqueville--the originator of the phrase "tyranny of majority"--held a more nuanced view, a view that ultimately looked to civil society as a complex network of relationships (both formal & informal) that seek & engender societal justice.

mogsob: "And your pithy comments comparing my stance to Hitler, Stalin, Rumsfeld, and Moses"

No one claimed that!

mogsob: "banning smoking is good policy, as it drives down health care costs without any offsetting costs associated in lost business profits to bar/restaurant owners or lost tourism (see the California studies)."

"See the California studies." This is an appeal to authority.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So many wagging tounges, so little reason or knowledge:

1.  Independent studies conducted in California have concluded that the statewide smoking ban in that state (a) has resulted in a net increase in tourism, (2) has resulted in increase profits for restaurants, and (3) has not effected bar owners one way or another.  While NY is different than California in many respects, the opponents of the NYC and NYS smoking bans cannot present similar evidence to support their arguments.  The message here is simple:  smokers are a minorty, who engage in a filthy habit that by its nature affects others.  When smokers are forced to abandon their habits in public, those public spaces (be they offices, restaurants, hotels or bars) benefit.

2.  Since the introduction of the CA smoking ban, the rate of heart attacks in that state have fallen dramatically.  Given the close association between smoking and heart disease, it is not unreasonable to believe that the smoking ban has, in fact, had a positive effect health-wise.

3.  The idea to create both non-smoking and smoking bars is remarkably naive.  How is this going to happen?  Are certain bar owners going to be forced to convert to non-smoking, or is it a voluntary thing?  Banning smoking is an all or nothing proposition.  Either it is banned in all bars and restaurants or in none (those pesky constitutional rights and all).

4.  Mr. Bourdain's study of one bar is simply not compelling evidence.  Nice story (particularly that bit about the single mom and all), but totally without merit from a statistical point of view.

The fact is, the NY smoking ban is here to stay.  Smoking bans will continue to be enacted throught the US and Europe.  Indeed, a smoking ban is going into place in Ireland this summer and is being debated presently in the UK.  As I see it, banning smoking in public places can only be a good thing.  The rights of the majority non-smokers have finally been protected by law.  Food-service and bartending staff no longer have to fear that their jobs put them at risk from second-hand smoke.  Moreover, by giving people fewer opportunities to smoke socially, so-called social smokers will smoke less often and fewer people will start smoking.

For someone who claims to be so knowledeable concerning statisitics and economic analyses, let me point out a few flaws in your arguements. I hold a Masters and PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago. First, anyone who has taken any elementary statistics knows there is a distinction between causality and correlation. Your citations regarding both the increases in tourism as well as the decreases in heart attacks are indications that there is some correlation occuring, but not necessarily that the smoking ban has had a direct causual relationship. While I have no direct knowledge of the studies you cite, there might be some serious omitted variable bias or time bias. For example, the California smoking ban has been in effect some time, before the good times of the late 90's, so how much weight can you place on the smoking ban having a DIRECT causation when in fact it might be that California being the center of the technology/internet bubble, some of the increase in tourism can be attributed to that? It's a specious arguement at best. Second, the creation of both smoking and non-smoking bars is not necessarily a naive concept. There is a great thing called "the market" and as any Neo-Classical economist knows, the market does best when not interfered with. That is, to put the arguement in a nutshell, if smoking bothers you so much, then go somewhere else. Wherever market opportunites exist, there will be suppliers for that commodity. This, in fact, would be the most welfare maximizing option.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So much to respond to . . .

1. I tried to appeal to political theory, but failing that, let's turn to law. Smoking bans, passed by the legislature and signed by the executive, are presumptively legal unless they violate a consitutional right. There is no consitutional right to smoke in public. End of story.

2. Your appeal to tyranny of the majority is specious at best and, just like my post, and appeal to political theory. The Court's civil rights jurisprudence IS the sole check on majority excess in our government. We have made a political judgment in this country not to infringe on certain rights -- the right to smoke in public is not one of them.

3. If you read my original post, I never said that smoking bans spur economic growth. I cited the California studies only to show that the argument that the smoking ban will have a negative economic effect is without merit. Certainly, causation has not been established. But there is a correlation here -- particularly among staff working in bars in California, who have displayed a dramatic reduction in health complaints since the ban went into effect. But the point is that those who oppose the NY smoking ban have not cited any statistical studies in their defense. They just make conclusory statements based on irrational addictions or fears.

4. While this is not a place to discuss the dubious merits of the Chicago school, I'm sure we can all agree that the US markets have been subject to heavy regulation for at least the last 100 years. Free market theory went out with Adam Smith, and with due respect to Uncle Milton, free market economics is a nice theory, but not so good in practice.

This is really turning into a very interesting debate, no?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Wagging tongues"? "Little knowledge"? "Greater good"?

The antismoking bans are, all of them, utterly based on BS:

From an anti-smoking groups (referring to NYC law):Warning: Overstating the Case Against Secondhand Smoke is Unnecessary—and Harmful to Public Health Policy

Given that all bans are based on the EPA assigning a statistical "risk" factor to second-hand smoke of 1.19, is second-hand smoke statistically dangerous to those not already pulmonarily impaired?

From the American Cancer Society (on breast cancer risk from abortion):

"Epidemiological studies in general are probably not able, realistically, to identify with any confidence any relative risks lower than 1.3," Dr. Calle noted. Since epidemiologists normally take seriously only risk factors of 3.0 or greater, Lynn Rosenberg of the Boston University School of Medicine agreed with most scientists that the breast cancer study was "far from conclusive, and it is difficult to see how {it} will be informative to the public." ...  Those who choose to have a cigarette, however, aren't so lucky. The same risk ratio that was so widely pooh-poohed by scientists as insignificant and inconclusive when it comes to abortion was deemed by the very same scientists an intolerable health menace when it comes to secondhand smoke. Actually, that's not quite true. The 1.3 risk factor for a single abortion was significantly greater than the really hard to detect 1.19 risk ratio for intensive, 40-year, day-in-day-out pack-a-day exposure to secondhand smoke (as figured by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).

Cato Institute

From the National Cancer Institute:

]"[R]elative risks of less than 2 are considered small and are usually difficult to interpret ... Such increases may be due to chance, statistical bias, or effects of confounding factors that are sometimes not evident." (NCI release, 10-26-94, as reported in the Competitive Enterprise Institute newsletter, CEI Update, February 1995, p.8)

Forces.org

You want to protect workers with a smoking ban? Fallacious.

Morph into: you want to legislate the protection of public health via, e.g., a smoking ban? A most slippery slope.

I smell potential for a successful constitutional challenge, if smokers could stand up to the PC crowd. It needn't be that all tavern/restaurant owners have suffered harm through a law based on bogus science; Bar X oughta suffice for the beginnings of a class-action suit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3.  If you read my original post, I never said that smoking bans spur economic growth.

What are you smoking now!??!?! In your original post, you are, without ambiguity, stating that smoking provides economic benefit! Copying verbatim:

"...Independent studies conducted in California have concluded that the statewide smoking ban in that state (a) has resulted in a net increase in tourism, (2) has resulted in increase profits for restaurants, and (3) has not effected bar owners one way or another".

If I'm reading your statement correctly, if smoking ban, then "benefit" (a), "benefit" (b) and so on...

In addition, you've conceded the point that there is only correlation occuring between boom times and the smoking ban, but this is not necessarily an arguement that businesses will not suffer because of the smoking ban. Of course, if your sample period is 97-01 and you see how bars are doing in California ex post the smoking ban, you'll see bars are doing very well. But this doesn't mean bars in NY won't suffer in 03 till whenever this one-term mayor gets booted because of the smoking ban. There are too many factors and interactions involved to without hesitation claim it goes one way or the other. Going back to your original studies, what was the time frame? how many sample observations where there? You condemn those who provide no statistical evidence that the smoking ban will adversely affect businesses, but the studies you yourself cite seem to me to be heavily flawed and lack a full characterization of the situation.

I'm not trying to argue with you about the fact that you don't like smoking. If it bothers you, it bothers you. But there are those among us who smoke or who don't mind smoking, and all I'm saying is there should be places for both of us. Let the market work.

Your comments regarding the University of Chicago are not worth responding to... :angry:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1.  I tried to appeal to political theory, but failing that, let's turn to law.  Smoking bans, passed by the legislature and signed by the executive, are presumptively legal unless they violate a consitutional right.  There is no consitutional right to smoke in public.  End of story.

2.  Your appeal to tyranny of the majority is specious at best and, just like my post, and appeal to political theory.  The Court's civil rights jurisprudence IS the sole check on majority excess in our government.  We have made a political judgment in this country not to infringe on certain rights -- the right to smoke in public is not one of them.

As far as (1) . . .

Hardly end of story. :biggrin:

Constitutional rights specifically aim to establish justice for all citizens. Thus, law & political theory can be distinguished but not separated if one aims for a liberal constitutional democracy. Given that, the fact that a law is "presumptively legal" does not establish that said law is just. The story continues. (I.e., where's the justice in closed down working-class bars?)

As far as (2) . . .

I'm unclear concerning the "specious" quality of my invocation of "tyranny of the majority." Nor am I clear on the remainder of this point. More light & less heat, please?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The studies did conclude exactly what I said they did. I cited them as support for my argument that there is no proof of the supposed economic harms of smoking bans. I never said there was causation. But that is semantics -- to the extent my argument was unclear, my subsequent post clarified my statement.

But the more interesting point is the free market issue you bring up. Despite the fact that a majority of NYers supported banning smoking in restaurants, it took a law to make it happen. That's responsive democracy at work. The same thing is going on with the new smoking ban. The problem with the free market theory is that it assumes that restaurant/bar owners respond perfectly to the market. Well, just take a look around to see the flaws in that theory. Restaurant/bar owners do not always operate in a logical manner. Sometimes, regulation is needed to push them in the right direction.

As for the health issues, while the merits of the second-hand smoke risk are indeed not altogether clear, there is no doubt that bartenders in CA are feeling much better. CNN Article

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I smell potential for a successful constitutional challenge, if smokers could stand up to the PC crowd.  It needn't be that all tavern/restaurant owners have suffered harm through a law based on bogus science; Bar X oughta suffice for the beginnings of a class-action suit.

You have discovered something new - a constitutional "right to stink".

I have no idea whether 2nd hand smoke is hazardous or not but I *do* know that it smells bad. Normally an individuals' rights extend up to the point that they begin to infringe on the rights of others, in this case the right of other patrons to not smell something which the vast majority view as foul. Does your "right" to emit an odor trump our "right" to clean air?

I've got another test case for you. Chew 12 cloves of raw garlic. Have a friend forgo bathing for a week while visiting the gymn regularly. Have a third friend mousse her hair with rancid fish oil. Then visit a bar as a group and see what happens.

When they kick you out, sue. I look forward to hearing the results of your day in court.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You have discovered something new - a constitutional "right to stink".

...

I've got another test case for you.  Chew 12 cloves of raw garlic.  Have a friend forgo bathing for a week while visiting the gymn regularly.  Have a third friend mousse her hair with rancid fish oil.  Then visit a bar as a group and see what happens.

When they kick you out, sue.  I look forward to hearing the results of your day in court.

so i can kick someone out of my bar if they wear a lot a perfume? cool. i hate perfume. it stinks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...