Despite the recent smoking ban legislation in Minnesota, some bars have fought the ban in a very creative way.  There is a provision in the ban that allows for participants in theatrical productions to smoke in restaurants and bars.  The bars are working around the legislation, legally, "by printing up playbills, encouraging customers to come in costume, and pronouncing them ‘actors’."  (see the full article on

Again, this demonstrates that there is a segment of the population that looks forward to smoking in public and they will go out of their way to frequent establishments that cater to their wants.  Those that prefer non-smoking restaurants and bars have demonstrated that there is also a market for their wants, as well.  The local market has responded with a number of alternatives for smoke-haters — and I think that’s wonderful!

I applaud the efforts of the Smoking Resistance in Minnesota, and I hope that their results are instructive to the rest of the country doesn’t fall on deaf ears.  Here is a quote from the article that demonstrates the desire for smoking establishments, and the harm that a smoking ban can do to the livelihood of anyone that gets in the way of the anti-smoking groups:

Proving anew there’s no business like show business, Anderson said her
theater-night receipts have averaged $2,000 _ up from $500 right after
the ban kicked in. Similarly, Bauman said revenue at The Rock dropped
off 30 percent after the ban took effect, then shot back up to normal
once the bar began allowing smoking again.

Here’s a message to the Virginia legislature regarding the *thankfully* failed smoking ban from this year and last yearKeep your mitts off!  The free market is working in this case, and there is no need for legislative agendas/egos to get in the way of that.

So you don’t like smoke getting into your clothes? 
-Neither do I, but if I want to go to a smoky bar then who are you to say that I can’t?

Protection for the employees?
-Then why isn’t air quality the issue instead of what people are legally consuming?

I don’t really like special interest groups (then again who does unless they agree with you?), but on this one I hope the smoking lobbyists keep fighting the good fight.

I don’t smoke, and neither does anyone in my immediate family.  I don’t encourage smoking, but dammit it’s a perfectly legal activity.  If you can’t stand the thought of anyone smoking, then go for a full prohibition.  At least then you’re being honest.  (Not that I think prohibition would work, but it would be funny to see it tried.)

Thanks to Vivian J. Post’s blog for the heads up on the article!

2 Thoughts on “How Minnesota bars are still smoking-friendly”

  • Smoking bans are the real threat
    The bandwagon of local smoking bans now steamrolling across the nation –
    from sea to sea- has nothing to do with protecting people from the supposed
    threat of “second-hand” smoke.
    Indeed, the bans themselves are symptoms of a far more grievous threat; a
    cancer that has been spreading for decades and has now metastasized
    throughout the body politic, spreading even to the tiniest organs of local
    government. This cancer is the only real hazard involved – the cancer of
    unlimited government power.
    The issue is not whether second-hand smoke is a real danger or a phantom
    menace, as a study published recently in the British Medical Journal
    indicates. The issue is: if it were harmful, what would be the proper
    reaction? Should anti-tobacco activists satisfy themselves with educating
    people about the potential danger and allowing them to make
    their own decisions, or should they seize the power of government and force
    people to make the “right” decision?
    Supporters of local tobacco bans have made their choice. Rather than
    attempting to protect people from an unwanted intrusion on their health, the
    tobacco bans are the unwanted intrusion.
    Loudly billed as measures that only affect “public places,” they have
    actually targeted private places: restaurants, bars, nightclubs, shops, and
    offices – places whose owners are free to set anti-smoking rules or whose
    customers are free to go elsewhere if they don’t like the smoke. Some local
    bans even harass smokers in places where their effect on others is obviously
    negligible, such as outdoor public parks.
    The decision to smoke, or to avoid “second-hand” smoke, is a question to be
    answered by each individual based on his own values and his own assessment
    of the risks. This is the same kind of decision free people make regarding
    every aspect of their lives: how much to spend or invest, whom to befriend
    or sleep with, whether to go to college or get a job, whether to get married
    or divorced, and so on.
    All of these decisions involve risks; some have demonstrably harmful
    consequences; most are controversial and invite disapproval from the
    neighbours. But the individual must be free to make these decisions. He must
    be free, because his life belongs to him, not to his neighbours, and only
    own judgment can guide him through it.
    Yet when it comes to smoking, this freedom is under attack. Cigarette
    smokers are a numerical minority, practicing a habit considered annoying and
    unpleasant to the majority. So the majority has simply commandeered the
    power of government and used it to dictate their behaviour.
    That is why these bans are far more threatening than the prospect of
    inhaling a few stray whiffs of tobacco while waiting for a table at your
    favourite restaurant. The anti-tobacco crusaders point in exaggerated alarm
    at those wisps of smoke while they unleash the systematic and unlimited
    intrusion of government into our lives.
    We do not elect officials to control and manipulate our behaviour.
    Thomas Laprade
    480 Rupert St.
    Thunder Bay, Ont.
    Ph. 807 3457258

  • Thomas: Thank you for the passionate comment. I completely agree with your statement about how we make decisions every day about the risks we decide to take, and I’m shocked that this point isn’t brought up more often and more pointedly when the issue of smoking bans are addressed.
    Apparently, the public is assumed to be too stupid regarding cigarettes to make their own decisions — and magically the public is able to be trusted when it comes to motor vehicles. The logic escapes me.

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