Pretty much every country that has instituted smoking bans has found them highly popular, great for public health, and with minimal impact on sales at bars and pubs. Given this, it was somewhat curious to see a report by IEE in Madrid claiming that the upcoming Spanish ban would cost 50,000 jobs (as seen in The Reader). The report itself was somewhat strange, since it spent the first 3/4 just talking about the importance of the hospitality industry in Spain. The meat of the report was just two pages (38 and 39) that claim that international experience shows a negative impact on bar and restaurant sales. In Ireland, the report claims that the law decreased sales by 3.8% when the law came into effect in 2004.
For the Irish experience, he quotes a study by Fenton Howell, which he cherry-picks to reach the desired conclusion. If you look up the actual report (“Smoke-free bars in Ireland: a runaway success”), you would come up with a slightly different conclusion.
The conclusion of the report starts to channel Ayn Rand and makes you wonder about the report’s objectivity:
Public policies are a radical intervention against sovereignty consumer freedom of choice of the individual, can generate effects economic evil to go against free enterprise. Thus, whenever there a clearly defined property rights over the air of the place no better than its owner, ie the owner of the restaurant, bar, café ... to decide how, when and where smoking is allowed and is obviously more interested in maximize the welfare of their customers may freely compensate their workers having to inhale second-hand smoke and they remain free to accept such compensation or change jobs.
The intrusion into the sphere of privacy that can make these policies tobacco control interventions that go beyond informing and warning on the dangers of tobacco and regulating sales to minors, violate not only against consumer sovereignty, but against free enterprise.