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Hotel owners defying smoking ban


Hotel owners defying smoking ban.

Rotorua MP Steve Chadwick, architect of the smoking ban in bars, states the ban is becoming more popular and that there will be “no turning back”.

This is of no comfort for those hotel owners who have not experienced Chadwick’s “much trumpeted about” benefits the smoking ban would deliver”.

A WIN Party nationwide survey of hotels, taverns and bars has indicated many establishments in central city and inner suburban areas have not suffered any significant downturn in trade following the bans introduction in December 2004. Results of the survey are due for release on 10 August.

Feedback from hotels in country areas however, has revealed some disturbing facts. Numerous establishments have recorded profit declines in excess of forty percent for the six months following the bans introduction, as compared to the same period the year previous.

“Small business cannot withstand losses of this magnitude”, says WIN Party leader John van Buren, “and it’s only a matter of time before we begin to see the ban force hotel closures and job losses”.

“You can judge the degree of the bans popularity by the growing number of hotel owners who are choosing to discretely defy the smokefree laws in order to keep their businesses afloat”.

“Their obvious defiance of the smokefree law does not go on unreported to authorities without consensus from patrons, including non-smokers, that they do not support the ban”.

“Some hotel owners are making an informed decision to discretely allow smoking in their bars, and their patrons have made an informed decision to patronise these ‘smoke friendly’ environments”.

“Not a single person is being forced to work or socialise in an environment they do not want to be in. They are there because they choose to be there. They are exercising their freedom of choice”.

“Freedom of choice is something the present government is trying to suppress. This policy of suppression however, appears about as popular as their smoking ban”.

ENDS

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