I have now rethought my position on the smoking ban legislation in Philadelphia. Being a non-smoker, I used to think that if I chose to go into a bar or night club, I just have to accept the smoking enviornment. I have always felt that bars and clubs is the one place that people should have the right to smoke in. My opinion has always been that this right should not be taken away from smokers in these particular establishments. And I have bought into the idea that by banning smoking in bars and clubs that the business would decrease substantially and put bars and clubs out of business.
However, after spending the weekend in New York City, which has had a ban on smoking in all public places including bars and clubs for a few years, I now realize that a smoking ban does not substantially hurt businesses. And people still go to the bars and clubs despite not being able to smoke. I visited a dance club this past Saturday night, as I have during other trips to NYC since the ban on smoking, and the clubs are always packed. It sure doesn't appear to me that smoking ban slows business down. Sure, maybe prices have been raised a bit to make up any difference for any loss to the business, but I am sure the bars and clubs do not suffer all that much. Believe it or not, people will still go to bars and clubs, and they will adjust to not being able to smoke a few hours. Or, they will go outside to smoke if they need to.
I do have to say also that for a non-smoker, it is so much nicer being able to leave a bar or club and not smell like an ashtray. And I'm sure it's much better for my lungs and everyone else in the place.