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No respite for drinking establishments

Long recognized as a smokers’ paradise, in 2006 Québec launched a tobacco control law which is among the most restrictive in the world.

tabacThe announced objective was to significantly reduce the number of tobacco consumers. However, the balance sheet is mixed. According to certain pressure and interest groups, the number of smokers in Québec still figures around 20% of the population. And bar-keepers have largely borne the brunt of these ineffective measures.

Worse: there is no respite in sight for tobacco control laws in our institutions. Anti-smoking groups, who form a powerful lobby, have access to all kinds of statistics. They do not hesitate to interpret according to their interests. And they endlessly claim still more stringent measures against the use of this product.

It is, therefore, important for resisters to close ranks around their corporation and to develop the necessary means to block the anti-smoking groups. In a democracy, the balance between the parties is of paramount importance. In Québec, operators of bars, pubs and taverns have had recourse to the CPBBTQ, which emerged from all tobacco debates to protect their economic rights and individual rights, in general.

Some groups use disinformation or manipulation of information to advance their ideas.  Take, for example, some non-smoking associations that claim that smoking no longer occurs in any public place in Europe or North America. However, this is completely false: you can still smoke, namely in bars in Florida.

‘’In a democracy, the balance between
the parties is of paramount importance.’’

Several countries are still anxious to preserve economic and individual. In Europe, for example, several countries allow operators to install separate and well-ventilated rooms for smokers. The system works, because the rules are strict and fines are very high in the event of infringement.

A new clientele that never materialized

Politicians from all countries have promised that a new type of customer would frequent drinking establishments because of the smoking ban. This promise never materialized and business turnover of establishments everywhere fell by 10-15%, in Canada, France or the United States.

Despite broken promises and lost revenue, merchants have adopted exemplary behaviour and have scrupulously respected the law and its constraints. Today, nobody seeks lifting the smoking ban wherever it is applied.

Terraces: necessary compensation

Tobacco laws have considerably changed the drinking establishment business model. In order not to lose smoking customers, operators have banked on terraces, where the ban does not apply. In France, for example, terraces increased from 30,000 to 45,000 in two years only (2007-2009).

‘’Several countries are still anxious to preserve economic
individual freedoms’’

Proportionally, we experienced the same phenomenon in Québec. At present, many drinking establishments are obtaining 40-50% of their business turnover through terraces. New measures prohibiting smoking in those places would have a catastrophic impact.

It is, therefore, even more important than ever to oppose any new restriction and unite to give more weight to our demands.

By Richard Poirier

Par: admin

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