Did you notice something different last time you went out to your favorite bar?Â No?Â Well, if you didnâ€™t pick up on the change when you were out, you should have noticed when you got home.Â Something was missing from your clothes, from your hairâ€¦what you may ask?Â The ubiquitous smell of smoke.Â You came home and didnâ€™t reek of smoke.Â
It seems Wilton Manors has jumped on the smoke-free bandwagon.Â Georgies Alibi, Mattyâ€™s and The Manor are all smoke-free and more recently, Sidelines have announced they will prohibit smoking inside the bar.Â The fears of plummeting revenues and deserting patrons initially made bar and club owners skittish ofÂ implementing the prohibition, but turned out, they had nothing to fear. Thankful for not having pigpen clouds of smoke following them, non-smokers ventured out more and made up for any lost business.
But thatâ€™s not to say that all bars have turned smoke-free.Â Smokers can still find refuge at Atomic (formerly Boom), Ramrod and Torpedo.Â Those bastions of smoking are still holding out.Â
So what are the economics of being smoke-free?Â Is it profitable?Â Why should a bar or club â€œclear the air?â€Â First of all, smokers make up less then 25% of the population.Â If you apply that stat to your customer base, you have the potential to gain more non-smoking customers then smoking ones.Â Secondly, that percentage is constantly decreasing because more and more smokers are quitting.Â But more importantly, the health factor of being smoke-free is immeasurable.Â By providing smoke-free environments, bars and clubs greatly reduce the negative consequences of second hand smoking.Â And lastly, going smoke-free helps reduce water consumption.Â Just thinkâ€¦people will take fewer showers to get rid of thesmoke smell.Â
Relegated to smoking areas or outside, smokers have complained about their treatment as second-class status.Â Itâ€™s not easy to appease both sides, but like all behavioral changes, time brings familiarity. And as customers become more health conscious, being smoke-free is turning out to be less of a trend and more of a standard.Â Itâ€™s up to businesses to determine if thatâ€™s a standard theyâ€™re willing to accept.Â
So what convinces a business to go smoke-free?Â Economics definitely is important but no doubt social and personal opinions are important determinants as well.Â But if this trend picks up more momentum, Florida will follow the likes of New York and California and smokers be warned, your days of smoking in a bar will be limited.