'Go Bears,' the Mayor Added


The Chicago Tribune reports that three adjoining Illinois towns that recently enacted smoking bans may temporarily repeal them in response to complaints from local bar and restaurant owners who say they are losing business to competitors in more smoke-tolerant jurisdictions:

Bar owners in Oak Forest, Tinley Park and Orland Park complained this week that their business sank as much as 50 percent because the towns banned smoking in public places effective Jan. 2.

"Given the success of the Bears, there should have been a spike in business, especially at sports bars," beer distributor Jerry Michler told Tinley Park board members this week.

So, after just two weeks, the three suburbs may be poised for a smoke break. All three towns have called emergency board meetings for 5 p.m. Friday to reconsider the bans—in plenty of time for the Bears' 2 p.m. Sunday kickoff in the NFC title game against the Saints. The bans would be delayed until March 14, well after the Super Bowl….

"It [allowing smoking during the playoffs] is a big point for our businesses, especially with the Bears involvement, " [Oak Forest Mayor JoAnn] Kelly said.

"Go Bears," the mayor added. 

Even if the towns decided to let bar and restaurant owners set the smoking rules on their own property past March 14, a Cook County smoking ban that takes effect the next day would prohibit such magnanimity.  

[Thanks to Russ Dewey for the link.]

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  1. Who’d a thunk it? At a sports bar, during a football game, you could be exposed to nasty evil tobacco smoke. I am certainly outraged that Sister Mary Ellen, Pollyana, and Gertrude just off the pickle boat, may possibly be exposed to the aforementioned evil. How could they possibly be expected to know that smoke is common in drinking establishments and that it is probably not conducive to their continued good health?

  2. [sarcasm]Easy solution: ban smoking in bars nationwide, and non-smoking bars wouldn’t face any unfair competition anymore.[/sarcasm]

  3. One of the benefits of local ordinances vice state or federal ones is that people can more easily vote with their feet.

  4. J sub D,

    Not from Chicago, huh? Sister Mary Ellen herself is probably seated at the bar smoking.

    And, uh, go Bears! Screw you, N’ahwlins!
    (It’s mandatory in Chicago right now to end every exchange with “Go Bears.”)

  5. How merciful of those benevolent municipalities, blessed be their name…

  6. Notice how the reporter refers to the businesses as “public places”. I think that’s the root of the problem right there.

  7. I wonder if the bars in Vancouver Washington has seen a steady decline in business do to the proximity of Portland Oregon which allows smoking in its bars.

  8. So I was leaning across da nachoce to get another cheese brat when I felt dis pain in my chest.

    I blame da second hand smoke in dere.

    Go Bearce!

  9. Jozef,

    You’re sarcastic, but I think that’s exactly what a lot of smoking ban proponents would think! And in fact, supposedly there’s little to no measurable effect on business from smoking bans where alternatives are not so readily available. Stark examples such as these where alternatives are readily available makes me think that the adverse effect on business is always there but maybe just too overwhelmed by the normal, ever changing ups and downs of business to show up statistically. Clearly there’s more smokers who would avoid nonsmoking bars if at all possible than there are nonsmokers who’ll come out of the woodwork to patronize bars once their air is cleared, just as bar owners suspect.

  10. people had the same sort of complaints when columbus, ohio, enacted their city-wide smoking ban, and what we got in return was a state-wide smoking ban to “level the playing field”

  11. Yeah, I remember Sister Mary Ellen. She used to like to pick me up by my earce when I messed up in math class.

    I wace only 245 back then in middle school. She was a nice lady.

    Go Bearce!

  12. Back den, joe. Den.

  13. Dat’s right, “den.” Like where a Bear lives.

    Go Bearce!

  14. joe,

    Youse guys making fun of da sout side ak-sent?
    I wouden do dat if I was youse.

  15. I don’t know what happened to Chicago since I’ve been gone. It used to be a fun town, if a bit rough around the edges. I remember seeing businesses shaken down by the cops, being told (as a 19 year-old) to get off the street and go down to the local bar because “there’s tons of good-looking bitches out front.” It was the kind of place where you could be on a first-name basis with the local beat cop and the local drug dealer. (I didn’t buy drugs from the dealer, but everyone knew who he was). While I didn’t want to spend my life there, Chicago had a rough-and-tumble, gritty sort of charm. Now…well, I don’t even know any more. I’ll feel better if I find out that the local beat cop is taking bribes to ignore smoking in bars.

    You know…the Chicago way.

  16. Told to go to the bar by the beat cop, I should have said.

  17. [sarcasm]Easy solution: ban smoking in bars nationwide, and non-smoking bars wouldn’t face any unfair competition anymore.[/sarcasm]

    In five years when smoking will in fact have been banned in bars nationwide, and forces will be gathering to criminalize it altogether, we’ll fondly recall this little bit of na?vet? with a chuckle and raised glasses of synthahol.

  18. Synthahol. Funny. It’ll probably have the brand-name “Absynthahol”, too.

  19. The playing field won’t be level until they ban drinking, or ban smoking, at home. Or until they ban drinkers from smoking, or smokers from drinking.

  20. The problem is that non-smokers inhale smoke from smokers’ cigarettes. The simplest legislative solution is this: Ban breathing.

  21. This whole thing reminds me of when the Catholic Archdosese of Chicago okays eating meat on Friday during Lent if March 17 falls on a Lenten Friday.

  22. – We both did. She went to college, too.
    – I went to Normandale for about a year.

    – Yah, that’s where we met.
    – I dropped out.

    – Yah, she dropped.
    – Yah.

    – So where are you girls from?
    – Chaska.

    Le Sueur, but I went to high school
    in White Bear Lake. [waves fist] Go, Bears.

  23. Thank god there are still local bars that allow smoking in New York.

    I think ever law making yet more law abiding citizens scofflaws will eventaully bring down this repressive nanny-state government.

    In a hundred years, maybe?

  24. Russ — People eat on St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago?

  25. Warren,

    Loved that scene, but no one her age from Chaska would have that much of an accent.

    The Le Seuer girl, maybe. But if she went to high school in WBL? Questionable.

    Normandale “College” really cracked me up.

    Well, the liitle guy, he was kinda funny lookin’.

  26. I have a small piece of Polish Sausage, lodged in the lining of my heart.

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