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Is GASP.org math challenged?

Here’s one for you. Maybe someone can help me understand it.  In an attempt to make us believe that smoking bans are not harmful to the economy, GASP has reprinted an article. This article states that in a survey of non smokers nearly half avoid smoking restaurants. The thing they didn’t mention is just how many is nearly half.

I decided that it might be nice to take a look at the numbers they are avoiding. About 78% of dinners are non smokers. Let’s give them a break and call it 80%. Now they say nearly half, let’s give them another break and say 50%. That gives us a total of 40% of dinners that feel non smoking is a must have.  This leaves us with 60% that will eat in smoking restaurants.  That is the other non smoking 40% plus the 20% smokers. I have found that many non smokers will use the smoking section of restaurants even when they are not with smokers.  I think most business owners understand the need to target the bigger market.

 There is more to it, however. It’s also a matter of supply and demand. In the state of Virginia there are about 17,000 restaurants. Of these less than 400 offer smoking. As you can see this falls way short of demand. For more business to occur that demand (for smoking restaurants) must start being served. If I was trying to make their case, I’m sure I would have never published this article. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

 I don’t envy them, imagine finding yourself in the position of convincing folks that the suppression of free market forces doesn’t hurt the economy.

 Good luck with that!

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