Following last week's discussion of the current state of smoking ban, it seemed prudent to check in with a few different club owners to gauge their willingness to pay the city for the right to allow smoking in their venues. The owners asked to remain anonymous to not draw the ire of city agencies, and while they all proclaimed to strictly enforce the law, many seemed willing to pay for the privilege of allowing their customers to smoke. One well known owner responded, "Yes, I would pay for an annual license. It's a bar for Christ's sake. People want to enjoy themselves in a bar, if others don't like it, they can go somewhere else." But more than just the customers, this owner was more concerned about a room's all important vibe.
The owner reasons that the smoking ban impacts the quality of a night out, saying "it messes up the vibe of a room when your sitting with a nice group of and then half leave every 15 minutes to go outside and smoke,and it sucks for the customers when its freezing outside." While this may be true, the smoking ban was created to protect the quality of life for the non-smoking majority, allowing them to go out for some pops without having to breathe in 20 packs of second hand smoke. Is it really that big of an inconvenience to step outside for a smoke?
Besides some owners, it seems the only people who are against the ban are a small section of smokers who demand to smoke anywhere they please and the anti-Bloomberg crowd crowing against the Disneyfication of New York City. An unscientific review of reader reactions to the original post found that a majority of the bar going public truly enjoys the smoking ban, as many believe it has actually improved nightlife. One commenter perfectly summed it up, saying, "I don't want to smell like smoke when i get home and get into bed." Yet, the illicit smoking continues. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds over the coming months, because it's clear that either the law or the city and bar's enforcement of the law need to be tweaked.
· Six Years After Ban, Smoking Returns to NYC Bars and Clubs [~ENY~]