Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Confirmation of my letter

My definition of short-term success for a business (once a smoking ban begins) is that time period when the local media is in a business within the first few days. Where they interview folks, give the owners money, and they want antis to say "See? This ban is working already!"

It's working already because you're giving the business actual money support, albeit for just one day.

But when the media leaves the business, that's when the antis leave the business, and they never go back to the business to help give the owner support!

The only mistake I see in that letter I wrote is using "several" weeks instead of "few" weeks. I can see several weeks implying that it takes a few months for a ban to hurt businesses, and "few" would've been a more accurate word. Because even I know it doesn't take months for a ban to hurt businesses. It takes a few days or a few weeks. A few weeks to me would be like 2-3 weeks, which is less than a month.

And a lot of businesses who don't get media attention on the ban's first day don't have that convience of a "short-term" success of antis visiting and supporting the business for just one day. Those owners of the smaller businesses start suffering as soon as the first day of the ban.

The editor herself is the one that is really misinformed. Her opinion of "Smoking bans don't hurt businesses in all places with the actual smoking bans" is based on her likely visiting just ONE business in Arizona. I guess the AZ ban doesn't hurt that business you visit every day, since you keep spending lots of money in there. But did you bother visiting OTHER Arizona taverns/restaurants regularly?

Just because one business is doing "well" doesn't mean the other businesses are succeeding too. That one businesses is doing well because you keep supporting it, silly! Where would those workers be without your regular support? They would be collecting unemployment checks. For their sake, I hope you allow them to stay in business by going back there with money 7 days a week.

It's also stupid to assume that all businesses in the world ain't suffering with smoking bans. You need to surf the net and read articles about businesses closing down within a few days (let alone a few weeks) of a new smoking ban. I can guarantee you it will take less than a month for EVERY business to start seeing negative changes once a ban goes into effect. Small businesses will see those effects immediately. Since antis and the media don't find anything good about visiting a small tavern even for just one day.

My first-ever letter to a newspaper journalist

Hello Kathleen,

I'm Jay. And although I'm not an Arizona resident, I still feel I'd like to share my opinions with you on your June 19th article entitled " Despite the naysaying, Arizona's smoking ban has worked."


In this article, you said "In fact, some places are getting new customers who had been put off by the smoky environment. Surprise, surprise. The experience has been similar in every place that's snuffed out smoking in public places."

When I first heard of smoking bans in cities other than CA, those were Canadian cities with smoking bans that were enacted in 2000. And during that same year, I read about mom-and-pop Canadian taverns being forced to close down for good within a few months. And the owners blamed their province's smoking ban, for the reasoning behind the closure. They blamed the ban because fewer people were entering those taverns, ever since the ban went into effect. Fewer customers means less revenues for the owners. And less work for the tavern employees as well.

If you want a better idea on how many businesses have closed down in US cities with smoking bans, feel free to view this chart. Please take note on how many businesses in MN alone have closed down because of smoking bans.

Businesses have TEMPORARY success when a smoking ban first goes into effect. That's because the local media usually interviews customers on the first day of a new smoking ban. And nonsmokers want to tell the media "See? The smoking ban isn't hurting this business." But don't expect nonsmokers to visit hospitality businesses on a regular basis. Smokers are the ones who visited taverns and restaurants frequently. But once these places become smoke-free, the smokers will stay home and/or buy their drinks from stores instead.

Did you know smoke-free bowling alleys have this issue of bowlers who smoke going outside in their bowling shoes? One bowling alley owner in my home state of Illinois said "Bowling shoes are not meant to be worn outside. And a smoking ban will force me to spend more time cleaning these shoes the smokers wear outside." He also pointed out there's also the risk of bowling shoes no longer being wearable if the smoker steps outside in say mud and dirt while smoking.

You gotta wait for several weeks to pass, before you can determine if a smoking ban does not hurt businesses, as you claim. Sure, it's not gonna hurt owners in the short-term. But the ban WILL hurt the owners' revenues in the long-term due to a loss of regular customers. And I hope this chart serves as a wake-up call for you. Since you're under the impression all businesses are having success in other states and cities with smoking bans.

Have a good day.


Monday, June 18, 2007

A classical essay-like post

As much as I like the idea of posting at least once per day in here, that's impossible. But before taking a break from blog posting, I do want to post one of my "classical messages" within the smokers rights community. I know there's a smokers rights meeting coming up in my state this weekend I wanna focus on.

But as I said, here's an old essay-like message of mine I wanted to always post in here. I finally found it. Maybe twice a week can be my new blog-posting goal.

Smokers are better people than what antis think. To an anti, a smoker is filthy, and only cares about himself/herself. But based on the smokers I've met at offline group meetings, none of those ladies (and guys) were filthy to me.

When I walked in for offline activities with the smokers, I saw a group of smokers socializing with each other, and they had smiles on their faces. Just talking and smoking inside. That alone is one aspect I miss in the real world with the smoking bans.

And whenever someone saw me enjoying my cigs alone, the guy or lady would smile at me and say "Hello" and we would introduce ourselves to each other. If it was a lady, she would be sweet enough to light up her own cig and spend a few minutes talking and smoking with me. In the real world, if someone sees me smoking alone in public, that person will ask or buy a cig from me. And then that person would say "Thanks bro/sir" and then walk away. I bet during the days before I was born, when people used to approach smokers, that person would usually end up lighting up too, and the two would socialize (just like with what I experienced at those offline meetings).

I'm sure the bans have a lot to do with seeing fewer smokers socializing with each other even while outside. Because based on how smokers are portrayed in today's society, I guess more people are too shy to smoke in public, or they're worried if they smoke, they'll attract a lot of folks who will attempt to bum. It's my belief this country would be a lot better without smoking bans, because a lot more people would be open smokers in public (without the bans). And you would see more smokers socializing with each other in public.

The smokers I met offline care about each other, myself included. I remember at one meeting, Rose and Garnet both offered me Revel packets to try, when I was initially mad at the new smoking rule for Wrigley Field workers. They wanted to help me out so I can continue to be Jay on the job. And this Jay is more than just a young and mature American. This Jay is a serious lover of tobacco, which is part of my life.

If smokers only care about themselves, both of those ladies would've told me:

"Sorry to hear about the new rule. I guess you'll either have to accept the new rule, or just quit the job."

(But what can I do to help myself by being a good person on the job, without making myself suffer mentally? Is there at least smokeless tobacco you recommend, since you're a more exprienced smoker than me?)

"Well, there's the snuff and smokeless tobacco you could try. I got some of these packets I use when I fly on planes."

(OOOO! Can I try any spare ones you have, please?)

"Sorry. I can't help you there. You'll have to buy your own packets."

That's what antis think smokers are like in that dialogue. But those ladies didn't talk to me like that. They showed care for me by helping me out, and by giving me samples of the packets. I even remember at the Heartland meeting, either Rose or Jim asked if I'd be ok in getting back home. And I said "I'll be fine, thanks." If smokers in this world only cared about themselves, those two smokers wouldn't have shown concern for my safety at night.

And oh yes! The days of when smokers would socialize with each other more openly and offer each other cigs without asking for a little change! Those days may be over in the real world, but I got a taste of it at the offline meetings. I've been offered cigs to try from several ladies and guys, it made me smile on the inside. I even remembered being offered snuff once at one meeting. Those cigs they offered me also allowed me to try different types of MYO cigs. Maybe if this world wasn't taxing tobacco so much, more smokers in the real world would be sweeter in offering cigs when someone asks for one. Instead of the smoker saying "I'll give you one if you gimme a buck." Those smokers weren't expecting me to give them money in exchange for free cigs. They wanted me to be me at those meetings, and enjoy the freedom of being a smoker in America!

I certainly didn't miss hearing the criticism I'd normally hear from real world people (as I smoked with them at the meetings) either! Those people understand my feelings and needs as an American smoker, and they certainly didn't make me feel bad on the way I live as an disobedient smoker in public at times. An anti wouldn't understand why I ignore smoking bans. But those smokers understand, since we're all in the same boat.

Smokers are not selfish or filthy. They're sweet ladies, nice guys, and they're paying lots of taxes like everyone else. And how does America pay smokers back? With smoking bans, heavily taxed tobacco, and I'm very sorry those wonderful ladies and guys I met are getting a taste of the same type of treatment I receive myself for just being an American alone. I can help them understand what second class treatment is like and in its many forms. But we all have to fight the second class treatment together! That's what older generations of my type used to do....fight together for years in order to eventually be recognized as Americans!

Now smokers need to work together and fight if they wanna be recognized as Americans themselves. We won our battle in the old days. Who said intelligent and mature smokers can't win a modern battle of their own?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

No smoking outside of an airport, not even while driving around

I recently heard that the major airport in Indianolis is the first airport to ban smoking outside of the airport. This has gone WAY too far! I even read online you can't even smoke in your car while driving around on the airport grounds.

Banning smoking outside of an aitport is a clear violation of smokers' personal rights. I know I never heard of people dying outside of an airport from smelling SHS. I wonder what's gonna happen to a smoker flying into Indianapolis, and he/she gets a huge ticket for smoking at an airport withnout knowing smoking is banned outside on airport grounds. I'm sure some folks don't pay attention to NO SMOKING signs. Particularly tourists from other countries visiting Indianapolis.

Traveling by plane is a pain in the butt for smokers anyway. You gotta go through security checks, and I hear these security checks are VERY long. It's not like security checking your coat upon entering a sports stadium (which only takes a few seconds). And of course, you can't smoke inside of airports or on planes themselves. Although I hear some airports have shelter-like rooms for smoking passengers. I definitely know O'Hare is a 100 percent smoke-free airport indoors. Midway is likely the same way.

I can NEVER imagine myself even visiting an airport that is smoke-free outdoors. Sounds like Indianapolis doesn't respect airline passengers' freedom of choice when it comes to smoking. This decision can't be about health. Since the SHS goes away a lot faster while smoking outdoors.

Maybe if that Indy airport experiences a significant decrease in the avg number of daily passengers, they can blame their decision (of banning smoking outside, including in cars) for that. At least smokers can take breaks outside of buses when Greyhound bus drivers take stop breaks.