Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Tobacco Use Win-Win

Barack, the smoker!
Gadabout has been keeping his keen eye on the dwindling number of restaurants and pubs that allow smoking. Some establishments self impose non smoking guidelines in pursuit of patrons turned off by smelly, smoke filled rooms. More often, though, state and municipal regulatory statutes clamp down in efforts to protect society from the effects of second-hand smoke, and to thwart destructive smoking habits. Gadabout buys into both programs.

The public should be offered smoke free environments for dining and drinking. Few would challenge this position, but there are those who desire to smoke and drink since smoking and drinking are closely related. So my question is why haven’t state and local governments seen the revenue potential of smoking in bars? We tax alcohol and tobacco at the retail level, but we only tax alcohol at bars and restaurants in the form of liquor licenses. Why not sell smoking licenses for drinking establishments? Hey, an indoor smoking license might fetch upwards of $20,000 for a large, high volume operation!

Yes, the cost of beer, wine and spirits would increase in “smoking” venues, but I don’t think smokers would care much. Add on an extra 25 cents for a beer and move on with business. Governmental decision makers could easily control the number of smoking licenses to ensure a balanced selection of smoking and non smoking locations for citizens. Money is to be made here. Non smokers would benefit from increased tax revenues, and smokers would win from not being forced out onto streets and into alleyways.


Alusna said...

Wonder how much the avg liquor license costs?

Gadabout Jack said...

Good question. A little help here!