I’m keeping an eye on New Orleans, where Latoyah Cantrell is trying to introduce a smoking ban, the proposal for which comes before the city’s Community Development Committee on Wednesday.
H/T Harley, the Louisiana state police:
…the state police says New Orleans will lose $86 million in two years in revenue if a smoking ban ordinance is passed by the Metropolitan City Council.
To be exact, the state police report concluded that in two years New Orleans would lose $86.4 million from gaming revenue sources and another $17.4 million in fees.
The report by the state police is solely based on projections in other states, which have seen a decrease in revenue thanks to overreaching smoking ban ordinances.
For instance, in Delaware, the state police said the state saw a 12 percent decrease in revenue after a smoking ban was enacted. And in Atlantic City, a 24 percent decrease has taken place over two years thanks to a smoking ban.
Already, Louisiana’s revenue is down 24 percent from a 2007 state-wide smoking ban in all restaurants. And for bars and hotels, revenue is down 10 percent since 2007, according to the state police report.
And from a New Orleans attorney a week back:
If there is one thing New Orleanians should take from this history, it’s that we need to ignore the killjoys, people who are constantly nit-picking every vice and activity. The killjoys aren’t good for New Orleans and they never have been. The killjoys care about their own sedate enjoyment, and they readily turn to the power of the state to enforce it.
The past few years have seen a marked increase in killjoy operations. We are now debating a broad indoor smoking ban that applies across-the-board to all bars, including hookah lounges and cigar bars, and even regulates smoking anywhere near a regulated a business. It even includes e-cigarettes, which have no serious verified health impacts.
Why the overly expansive regulation? Because killjoy, that’s why.
Killjoys are certainly making their voices heard, and it’s a problem. They divert scarce enforcement resources away from the areas where they are needed, instead using them to fight their pet Puritanical causes. Sometimes killjoys use our Byzantine myriad of laws and zoning restrictions to get their way. Other times they want new laws. In all cases, they want the city to have their back.
New Orleans needs to be a killjoy-free zone. It goes against our nature to keep everything sedate, sober, and synchronized. It doesn’t come within our scope of experience, and it’s not the type of thing we’re begging for instruction in. Sure, we all have a tendency to become cranky and oversensitive at times (particularly as we age) but that’s not an excuse for collectively raining on everyone’s parade.
I hope the Community Development Committee meeting gets a large public attendance on Wednesday – a bit like in Westminster, Connecticut.