Letter to the editor sent to the Houston Chronicle and the Byran-College Station Eagle.  Read the Eagles comments on the ban (link below).
Dave Pickrell-SFD
Letter to the editor: The Eagle  letterseditor@theeagle.com
Editorial on Smoking Ban: www.theeagle.com/opinions/editorials/021801smokingban.htm

Smoking Ban will Send Profits "Up in Smoke"
There is no doubt about it.  Businesses fear over-regulation. It zaps profits, it puts others who could care less in control of their fate and in some cases makes it almost impossible to succeed with the new set of "rules" given.

A 1996 survey by the National Licensed Beverage Association determined that over 50% of bar and restaurant owners fear the outcome of smoking bans that are mandated by government.  91% of the bar owners and 72% of the restaurant owners said they would prefer to make decisions on the smoking issue themselves.[1]

Studies done on smoking bans in restaurants (especially in California) that state that little or no loss of business will occur have had major flaws and have been misrepresented in the media.  First of all fast food restaurants and full service restaurants have all been lumped together for analysis.  Smoking bans do not effect fast food restaurants near as much as full service restaurants because a high percentage of consumers never even enter because of drive-up windows. Also In many parts of the state restaurants were given a grace period of "years" before enforcement was demanded.  Smoking went on as usual because of the resistance to it.  Also many cities reported by the authors to be "smoke free" were indeed not.[2]  The tale that the California State Board of Equalization (the agency that issues permits for restaurants and bars) tells is quit a striking one.  For the years 1994-1999 fast food permits rose by 12.7%, but permits for full service restaurants and bars fell by 1039. 1039 bars and restaurants closed during a time when the economy was red hot.  This is more than triple the rate of failures (293) in the not as good economy from 1989-1993.[3]  Smoking bans are the main reason.

In Canada's British Colombia Provence, Last year (2000) smoking was banned for 80 days virtually everywhere. About the only exemption was private homes and vehicles.  The Coalition of Hospitality Organizations there reported 730 jobs lost, 9 business that went bankrupt and $100 million in lost business, in less than three months![4]

Smoking bans in bowling alleys and bingo halls have another story to tell.  It was reported in the Dallas Morning News (8-3-95) that due to a smoking ban in Plano, the Super Bowl bowling alley was loosing $15,000 a week and had laid off 18 of 63 employees.[5]
From Waterloo, Ontario, Canada and New York state come stories of massive losses for charities due to smoking bans in bingo halls and churches.  The Catholic Charities bingo income in Staten Island fell from $7 to 8 thousand a week to about $4400.  School tuition will have to be raised.  In Oakwood 190 players a week have fallen to 120 and the church is at break even.  They may shut down the bingo operation altogether.[6]  In Waterloo, Ontario the Cambridge Bingo Centre lost $100,000 in January 2000 alone for area charities.  Losses were expected to hit $3.6 million by the end of 2000. Close to 90 charities were hit with up to a 30% fall in income due to the smoking ban.[7]

Here is the bottom line. All these massive losses are due to a "social movement".  This movement has high government connections and a favorable press who, for the most part look the other way when something comes along to discredit it. The "dangers" of passive smoking can be explained away easily.

Smoking bans are "zero tolerance" for the trace amounts of carcinogens that tobacco smoke puts into the air.  Other carcinogens are in the air we breath from many sources, in the water we drink and in the foods we eat. There are ten of thousands of them and can be found almost everywhere.  If all sources of carcinogens were judged in the same manor as passive smoke, modern life as we know it would not be possible.  The short list of what would have to be banned is coffee, water, wine (or any fruit or vegetable drink) apples, strawberries, cauliflower, cabbage, peaches, celery, lettuce, potatoes, carrots, broccoli and mushrooms. This only the short food list.[8]

Smoking and smokers have been singled out for attack and are judged by different standards than is the scientific norm.  The premise that passive smoking can cause anything more than irritation forgets that people have immune systems and that the dose makes the poison.  Every study ever done on the risks of passive smoke points to the fact that no harm is a good possibility to a small risk that was a concern to no one before science got bastardized into serving the needs of trial lawyers and those who wish to scare us into regulation.

It would seem at times that the major media in this nation is but a PR firm for anti smokers.  Many significant studies and analysis of the passive smoking issue that destroys the "health risk" aspects of the argument have been ignored by them. For instance The World Health Organization, the very people who are exporting smoking bans and excise tax increases to most of the nations of world have had major studies that state neither the dangers passive smoking or smokings relationship to causing heart disease is as major as claimed.[9]  Do you read this in the pages of your newspaper?  There are more studies that point to examples of "outright falsification".[10]  The science and the motivation that the EPA used to  kick start most smoking bans to begin with was VACATED in US District Court in 1998.[11]  In other words annul, set aside, rescind, render a act or judgement void. [12]  Are we clear?  Are there any questions?

If anti-smokers, politicans and public health officials want smoke-free restaurants, bowling alleys and bingo halls, it is time for them all to dig deep into their own pockets, put up the money and build it themselves.  Find the people who will support such an establishment, and live and breath happily ever after.

Dave Pickrell-President and founder
Smokers Fighting Discrimination, Inc.
A not for profit organization
P O Box 5472
Katy, Tx 77491
Phone/Fax: 281-347-8780
E-mail: sfdsmoke@hal-pc.org
Web: www.geocities.com/sfd-usa/main

SFD is 100% Grass-roots funded


1. Smoking ban plan worries many firms, Houston Chronicle, 10-25-96

2. National Smokers Alliance Press Release, 4-23-97 At Issue: The Meaning of "Smoke-Free"

3. California State Board of Equalization

4. WBC must undertake economic impact study on new smoking regs: Mc Phail, Yahoo Finance, 8-25-00

5. Restaurants say smokers, business returning, Dallas Morning News 8-3-95

6. Bingo profits fading like smoke, Staten Island Advance 12-30-99

7. No smoking bylaw costing us thousands, charities say, Kitchener-Waterloo (Ontario, Canada) Record 1-28-00

8. The Perils of Risk-Free Cancer Policy, Malcolm Ross, EPA Watch, 2-28-95

9a. Study Fails to Link Passive Smoking with Cancer, London Daily Telegraph 10-11-98

9b. Study Casts Doubt on Heart "Risk Factors", London Daily Telegraph 8-25-98

10. Environmental Tobacco Smoke and Coronary Heart Syndromes: Absence of an Association, Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology 21, 281-295 (1995)

11. & 12. FORCES  Evidence - The EPA ETS Fraud