Friend of Unfair Park "Peterk" forwards along this item from this morning's National Review Online, which excerpts a Friday story from the Financial Times concerning the "law of unintended consequences" created by smoking bans -- like, ya know, the one the Dallas City Council passed two weeks before Christmas. Writes Matthew Engel in the FT, sure, politicians who pass anti-smoking ordinances may indeed be "well-meaning," but their care comes at a cost:
In Britain, where smoking in enclosed public places became totally illegal in 2007, beer sales are down by 10 per cent; analysts attribute half of that to the smoking law. Pubs are now closing at a record rate of 36 a week. ... In France, more than 500 of the 40,000 cafés and bars disappeared last year. Again, the ban is largely blamed. And in France, the climate is more conducive to sitting outside with a Ricard and a Gauloise.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the Observer's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Dallas's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
NO's Andrew Stuttaford says it hasn't been quite that bad in New York, where the New York City Smoke-Free Air Act of 2002 went into effect in March '03. But he has a theory about that, which is: NYC's reliency thus far "probably reflect[s] the fact that many of the anti-smoking fatwas were introduced at a time of economic strength." Or, the opposite of the environment in which Dallas passed its anti-smoking law, which goes into effect April 10. --Robert Wilonsky