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Joe’s Inn, a Turn for the Worst.

The trend since the start of this ridiculous smoking ban in Virginia has been toward more smoking restaurants not less. Granted it has been slow, but at least, with very few exceptions things have been moving in the right direction. One of these exceptions was Sammy G’s in Fredericksburg, but that was because of a change in ownership.

Joe’s Inn in Richmond on the other hand has been a great benefactor of smoking clientele. The smoking section packs it in and it can sometimes be hard to find a table even at lunch time. The non-smoking section also does well, but not quite like the smoking side. This is about the last place you would expect to go nonsmoking.

The nonsmoking side fills the need of the nonsmoker while smokers (spending many dollars) pack the smoking side. I believe it is safe to say that they account for at least half the business while at the same time creating no down side for the nonsmokers.

Today I went to Joe’s for lunch. When the waitress saw me reach for a e-cigarette, she told me I could not smoke until after 10:00 pm. I informed her that that was a little late for lunch. I find this completely mind boggling, but at least explains why the place was nearly empty at 12:10 in the afternoon. There is one thing I will say for the place; it’s now so quiet and peaceful without all those pesky customers.

 

 

The Gost Town Formally know as Joe's Inn.

There is weather they know it or not,  plenty of area restaurants ready to take these displaced smoking customers that Joe’s no longer wants.

 

Having a great lunch (and a e-cigarette) here at Mulligan’s.

 

(lets all try to keep Joe’s looking like their photo until smoking is reinstated.)

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What’s Next ?

Some say that smoking bans won’t pave the way to too much government control over our lives. They say these bans are reasonable. But little by little more rights will be taken away from all of us , not just smokers. Each time a little more far reaching, until no one will be in a position to oppose anything the government wants. For America to see it’s future it need only look to those that have had smoking bans longer than us.

Here is your future, America….no don’t turn away , look at it! It’s just the beginning.

Happy Birthday to us.

Celebration Logo

On October 9, 2009 smokefreelyva.com arrived on the scene. When I first learned of the smoking ban I thought, someone should do something. Then I thought just how many times in my life I had thought that for one reason or another. Then I thought that maybe this time I should take a turn at being that someone.

Before I even knew of any restaurants that were planning to take advantage of the exception for separate smoking rooms I had already outlined what I was going to do. What I didn’t know was what level of success (if any) I could expect.

We are now listing about 250 restaurants statewide. This may not seem like many, but it’s a far cry from the few we started with. The good news is that they are still steadily being added. Am I happy? Yes. Am I content? No. When will I be content? When I have caused my own obsolescents.

There are about 17,500 restaurants in Virginia. Prior to the ban about 20% of them permitted smoking. These restaurants were in use by the 23% of us in Virginia that smoke. Funny that when left to its own resources the free market has a way of working things out perfectly. Unfortunately, Tim Kane felt the need to tinker. So now we have only less than 2% left to serve the needs of the 23% of restaurants goers. So yes friends, we have our work cut out for us.

Here is the most surprising thing I have learned over the past year. I would have believed that the longer a smoking ban is in place the more people would come to except it. I’m thrilled to say that I could not have been more wrong. By observing global trends and those across the U.S. I have discovered the opposite to be true. You would think that at my age I would have finally learned to look to history to see the future. If one wants to know the future of smoking bans all one needs to do is look to the fate of prohibition.

Bans are coming apart across the globe. The U.S. is a relativity new comer to smoking bans so we are not seeing as much of it here yet, but it is beginning.

It is your responsibility to use the force of the free market to effect change. It is my responsibility to help you do that. Every ban like this that is allowed to stand erodes freedom and liberty for all Americans, not just smokers.

I am most grateful to all of you that have contributed restaurant suggestions to us. I would also like to thank WTVR TV, Style Weekly and The Richmond Time Dispatch for their fair and dignified reporting. They have help make many aware of our web site.

I will be letting you know about some of our future plans as time goes on, as for now I just want to say, Happy Birthday SmokeFreelyVa

To all of you that have helped, Job Well Done.

SmokefreelyVa’s everything we web.

Web Resources We Own.

SmokeFreelyVa.com

Main Site: contains confirmed list of Virginia’s smoking restaurants and important information for smokers.

https://smokefreelyva.wordpress.com/

Smoking ban information, news and opinion (my rants). Tracking smoking bans across the world and their local impact.

http://smokefreelyva.yuku.com/

Our Message Board: Join us and get it off your chest. Meaning full conversation to help prevent greater smoking bans in Virginia or to lessen the one we have.

Talk about it here

http://twitter.com/getsmoke Underdeveloped at this Time

SmokefreelVa on Facebook

Our Facebook page. Short banter and sharing info from other great facebook pages.

Web Resources We Administer.

The Following Facebook pages…
Places you can smoke at in Petersburg, Hopewell, and Colonial Heights, VA,
Places you can smoke at in NOVA,
Places you can smoke at in Fredericksburg, VA,
Places you can smoke at in Charlottesville, VA,
Places you can smoke at in Virginia Beach and
Places you can smoke at in Richmond, VA

Thanks to Kulture for creating these pages and  for your faith in Smoke Freely Va. to Administer.

New, not just newly discovered.

I just wanted to say something about this because I think it is important. As you know we are continually adding restaurants to our list. The one thing you may not be aware of is that not all of these are simply restaurants that have been smoking and we are just now finding them. Many of them are restaurants that have only recently become smoking restaurants. Believe me friends, this is a good sign. They did not just jump right on board; instead they waited to see what impact going non smoking would have on their business.

They waited for free market forces to show that offering a smoking option would have a positive impact on the health of their business. This is good for two reasons, first it means that we can expect this trend to continue for some time and that the overall numbers will increase. Also it proves you can have an impact.

Keep up the good work. Use the list (smoking restaurants) as much as you can. Pass the word on to friends and family. If you know of anything not on the list that should be, please let me know about it.

For inspiration, here’s a reprint of an email from one of our most regular contributors.

Moe– Heard that Kelly’s Tavern near Hilltop in Virginia Beach had converted an area for smoking… went in this afternoon while on a trip back from the grocery store and lo! and behold! they had converted their entire bar and gaming area plus a number of adjacent booths and tables to a smoker-friendly area (about 60% of the restaurant).
What makes this especially significant is that they operate about a dozen locations in Hampton Roads.  I talked to the manager-on-duty and she informed me that they are reviewing all of the other sites for similar re-modeling although she feels a few won’t be able to meet the state criteria.  The Hilltop location, while not their oldest, is their flagshp operation and also their corporate HQ.
Kelly’s has been the consistent winner for years of the “Best at the Beach” award given by the Virginian-Pilot for best hamburger.  They offer a full-service menu and could be considered a destination for dining out by many.
Parenthetically, while the smoking area was jam-packed, there wasn’t a soul in the non-smoking area….
Their information for The List:
 
Kelly’s Tavern
1936 Laskin Road #201
Virginia Beach, VA 23454
(757) 491-8737
Hours: 11AM-2AM Sun-Sat

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!

Breathe Easy, Virginia’s Attorney General Reels in Rogue Health Department.

July 8, 2009

Everyone should have a hero and now even “Vapors” (e-cigarette users) have their own. She is Saint Alice of the Virginia Smokers Alliance.

Alice contacted her representative to question the enforcement of the Virginia Smoking Ban with respect to e-(electronic) cigarettes. Representative Peace then contacted the Attorney General, Kenneth Cuccinelli to look into the matter. Here are the Attorney Generals findings.

All of this is good news,  however is anyone else perplexed as to why the Health Department would even try to get away with a stunt like this?  It is more then obvious that an e-cigarette is in no way banned under Virginia law. So why would the Virginia Health Department behave as a self ordained legislative body. For that matter, why would Keenan Caldwell of the American Cancer Society say “”Allowing them (e-cigarettes) would really be turning back the clock on what we’re trying to do in Virginia to create smoke-free workplaces and environments that promote health,”

Here’s the thing, smokeless tobacco products are not banned under the law, so why should it come as any surprise that a tobaccoless, smokeless product would also not be banned. To fully understand the opposition to e-cigarettes by ban proponents one must examine their mission. Now here where the confusion starts, I said their mission, not their stated mission. There is a huge difference. Their stated mission is to protect the public from the supposed dangers of secondary smoke. But let’s take a moment to look at the real mission.

The mission is to capture the occupants of an enemy encampment. Let call the enemy smokers. You have the resources to set up one trap and you decide to set it at one of the three  bridges leading out of the encampment. The name of this bridge is Chantex.  Now all you need do is light the camp on fire, let refer to this fire as smoking ban. The fire also destroyed the bridge known as cigarettes but left standing the one known as e-cigarettes. The obvious problem is that some of the enemy (smokers) may avoid the drag net set up at bridge know as  Chantex and escape across e-cigarettes. You must find a way to make the fire (smoking ban) also consume the other bridge known as e-cigarettes.

If successful, it could mean $$$$ from grateful big Pharmaceutical Companies waiting to pick off ban refugees.

The truth is that secondary smoke does not pose an appreciable health risk to the public at large. The truth is that they need you to believe in the risk in order to justify the violation of liberty of American Citizens.  The truth is that charitable societies and politicians don’t really care one way or the other about your health. Why else would they waste their time with e-cigarettes?

Big Tobacco is simply no match for the influence of Big Pharmaceutical.

Always follow the money!