no smoking istock1 e1282168568301 Smoking Ban Survey Shows Decrease In SalesIs the smoking ban truly bad for business? A new survey out Wednesday concerning the impact of Michigan’s smoking ban shows restaurants and taverns have been more than 2.5 times more likely to experience a decrease in sales than to have experienced an increase.

The numbers were collected by the Michigan Restaurant Association and spokesman Andy Deloney said they have no hidden agenda.

“We’re not gathering signatures to repeal it, what we really wanted to find out was what has been the impact since May 1st,” Deloney said.

The survey shows that about 43 percent of the restaurant and tavern operators have reported no change in their sales or the number of visitors to their establishments since the smoking ban took effect May 1.

Although 14.8 percent reported an increase in their sales since the ban took effect, 42.4 percent state that their sales are down since the ban was enacted.

Deloney said pre-ban promises weren’t met.

“We’re not the ones promoting this,” Deloney said.  “The ones who were proponents of this and the ones who passed this are the ones who are saying we need to do this and it’s good for your industry because you’re going to see all kinds of higher sales and traffic.”

According to MRA president and CEO Rob Gifford, while most restaurant and tavern operators have seen little or no benefit from the ban, there are far many more operators who have been hurt by the ban than have benefitted.

“Despite the claims of proponents that smoking bans lead to increased business, this clearly has not happened,” said Gifford.  “In fact, nearly three times as many restaurants and taverns have been hurt by the ban as have been helped by it.”

The Michigan Restaurant Association will continue to conduct periodic surveys of its members to gauge their attitudes over time towards the Michigan workplace smoking ban law.

 (Copyright 2010 by WWJ Radio  All Rights Reserved.)

  1. harleyrider1978 says:

    LM biker AO…………………………TRUTH FOR A CHANGE.

  2. Doug says:

    Finally, some truth. Its killing my bar!

  3. dentallin says:

    It’s about time that the TRUTH is reported. This ban is killing the mom and pop restaurants, bars and private clubs in this state. All the politicians say “wait and see” and the owners of these business’s CAN’T wait and see. Neither can their employees!!! It needs to change NOW

    1. marlc says:

      I know of several small bars and private clubs that has been hurt bad by the ban. They are losing everything they have worked for all their lives, bars, restaurants, homes and all their employee’s are also losing everything and to me it seems like the government doesn’t really care what happens to them,as long as the casino’s stay opened and can allow smoking they are bringing in more money for the government than these small business’s can. We already had a lot of non-smoking business’s where a person had a choice to go anywhere they wanted to but that choice was taken away from our small business’s and they need their rights back so they can decide for themselves what they want or don’t want. They need something done about this ban now, not 6 months from now as they will be closed forever by then and it will be to late .

  4. Mr Bojangles says:

    Thank you WWJ for telling the truth!! Small Owner/Operators are cutting hours, cutting staff and many have closed permanently. This has been a major hit to the Michigan Economy, and an amendment has to happen now. Please call your State senators and Reps and ask for action. My reps have stated they plan to take a “wait and see” approach. With Winter coming, hundreds of businesses will be gone and thousands will be unemployed. Please act!

  5. David says:

    This whole thing should have been left up to the owners; to ban smoking or not from their place of business. As for the state’s contention they are looking out for the employees of these places that allowed smoking, the employee does not have to work in places that allow smoke; it is their choice. However, now the owner’s of every one of these establishments is being penalized EXCEPT for the 3 downtown casinos. I wonder how many pockets in state government got lined for including that exception in the bill!!!!!!

  6. JK says:

    People are not going to stop going to bars and restaurants just because they can’t smoke in them. They go to movie theaters, don’t they? I have been to Arizona where the bars and restaurants have been smoke free for years and they are packed. I am so thankful that I can finally go out and not have to smell tobacco smoke when I am trying to eat. There are many people who are alergic to smoke or have medical conditions that make it impossible for them to be around it. Also, second hand smoke is a known cancer causing agent which no one should be subjected to against their will, especially children. My sister is a bar maid and said they had a few unhappy customers for the first week and now everything is back to normal. Maybe these bars who are losing business should come up with better ways to attract new people to their establishments.

    1. Moe says:

      ” I have been to Arizona where the bars and restaurants have been smoke free for years and they are packed”

      Yeah, now that they are fewer.

      ” Also, second hand smoke is a known cancer causing agent which no one should be subjected to against their will, especially children.”

      Not true,

      “I am so thankful that I can finally go out and not have to smell tobacco smoke when I am trying to eat.”

      Why were you using the smoking restaurants when most were already non smoking?

  7. angelo says:

    I agree with David… why did we let the casinos off the hook..There are many states that have the NO SMOKING at all. Illinois for instance is no smoking in the casinos or for that matter no bars, eateries, etc, etc… and they are still surviving things may be slow because of the unemployment but certainly not for smoking or not… DON’T HAVE ANY EXCEPTIONS.. MAKE EVERYTHING NO SMOKING…

    1. Dan says:

      I am from Sterling Heights, but now live in Chicago. The new smoking law in MI is FAR more restrictive than it is in IL, or anywhere else. Whats worse, is the economy in MI is so weak now that business CANNOT afford to have a weak month. The IL economy while not great, is still much deeper and stronger. The business where able to take a hit for 6 months while people got used to it. About 80% of the bars in MI cannot afford that. Non-Smokers keep telling smokers to quit. Do you have any idea how much smokers is keeping MI alive? The tax revenues are MASSIVE. With less people smoke where is the money going to come from to make up for that? The reason I left the state was because of the nazi socialistic government that has taken over and this proves it. More people are going to abandon the state you can bet on that. In 10 years MI will be dissolved into IL, IN, and OH. Or USA will just give it to Canada. I can’t believe anyone can argue that this is a good thing as the law stands.

  8. John Smith says:

    JK, your comments don’t make sense. Michigan has passed the most restrictive smoking ban in the country. Michigan has outlawed smoking in all places, including Restaurants, Bars, Taverns, Private Clubs, VFW halls, Elks Clubs, Retirement Homes, Hospice Centers, Hotel Rooms and the list goes on and on. The ban even goes so far to outlaw smoking OUTDOORS at these places. The vast majority of smoking bans in the US have exempted certain businesses (Bars/Taverns), allowed Private Club exemptions (like VFW/Elks), and otherwise have allowed small business owners to cater to smokers such as outside, in separate ventilated rooms, etc.

    The way the law was written forbids business owners from catering to a smoking clientele, period. This has had a dramatic impact on business. It also forces private clubs to ban smoking and forces people in retirement communities and hospice centers to go outside. I for one don’t want to tell the veterans how to run their private club, and certainly don’t want veterans (or anyone) in Retirement homes going out in the cold when many facilities already have separate, ventilated smoking rooms that protect non-smokers. These guys fought for our rights, they should have a choice.

    I would support banning smoking in some businesses, including restaurants. But a clear exemption for Bars, Taverns, Private Clubs, VFW halls, Elks Clubs, Retirement Homes, Hospice Centers, Hotel Rooms and OUTDOOR areas is needed. And yes, believe it or not, smokers are going home where they can enjoy a beer and a cigarette, rather then visiting the local watering hole where they can’t. Just ask the hundreds of business owners that are suffering, and several that have already closed: Fiber McGee’s in Wixom and Players Pub in Farmington are two that I know of for sure. By winter, this list will reach in the hundreds with thousands of people unemployed. An amendment is needed immediately!!

    1. Danica Soulsby says:

      I agree with you John. I am a smoker and since the ban went into effect, I have saved between 250-300 dollars a week not going out. I use to go out to restaurants, bars and bowling alleys. Now I stop at the store, pick up some liquor and beer and have friends over where we can smoke. I refuse to go out til this ban is amended. My husband and I saved over 3600.00 in 3 months and were just 2 people. Think of everybody that thinks like us. Now your talking about millions of dollars a year being lost due to this ban.I have been in the restaurant business for 26 years and 70 to 80% of the employees were smokers and I always had to wait for a table to open up in the smoking section. I’m not saying to end the ban, I’m saying we should have choices. If you don’t want to smell smoke or be employed at a smoking place, that’s fine.Were not making you go in there.We just want to be able to have our places too.

  9. Davey says:

    Give me a break! The savings in healthcare costs will more tan offset any loss in sales. Is money more important than peoples health and peoples lives!

    I work as a bartender in Detroit, an while sales may be somewhat down, I appreciate the ability to work in a safe environment.

    Like everywhere else in the civilized world, the drop in business will most likely be temporary.

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