Smoking bans most often stink of special interests and anti-liberty agendas. We should probably have an entire story dedicated to the debate of smoking bans as it’s a very controversial topic amongst political circles, both left and right. This particular story, though, is dedicated to a new approach to pushing back.
You see, a group of about 500 Michigan businesses are lashing out against state lawmakers for banning smoking in bars and taverns. How so? By banning lawmakers who supported the smoking ban… from their bars and taverns!
Small bar owners angered over losing their butts to the statewide indoor smoking ban plan to give lawmakers the boot.
A newly formed group, Protect Private Property Rights in Michigan (PPPRM), has organized an effort to ban lawmakers from their establishments in protest against Michigan’s smoking ban. This lawmaker ban is scheduled to start Sept. 1. PPPRM, which claims to have a membership of about 500 businesses, argues that the smoking ban has been disastrous for Michigan’s small bar owners and their employees.
“We’re not smoking advocates or advocates for tobacco use,” PPPRM Executive Director Stephen Mace said. “We ‘re just people who believe in private property rights and are trying to speak out against this law that’s hurting us and our employees. It has already put some of us out of business.”
This issue is a bit close to me as I have a friend in Carson City, Nevada who lost his bar to the smoking ban a few years back. His bar was within walking distance of a casino and most of his revenue came from bar top keno/poker machines. When the Nevada casino lobbyists successfully convinced Nevada voters that the ban was “for the children,” smoking was then only allowed in casinos.
Guess where the customers went? And guess who went out of business?
Ironically, children are allowed to walk through casinos, but not through my friend’s private bar. But I digress…
Back to Michigan. Not only is the smoking ban apparently shutting down bars, it’s also crushing state revenues. According to the PPPRM website, the ban is costing the state $80 million in revenue off of Keno alone!
How damaging is the smoking ban to Michigan bars and taverns? On-Premises sales of distilled spirits tanked more than 20% after the smoking ban. That drop represents closed businesses, lost jobs, lost money in the state economy, and lost tax revenue for the state.
But it’s alright because they did it all for the children, right?
Good for them