Out of Control Policy Blog

Some things are still sacred

A brief reprieve from the bleak march of smoking bans, discussed here just a couple of days ago: Three Chicago-area towns have suspended bans on smoking indoors at bars and restaurants until after the Super Bowl.

The Chicago Tribune reports:

The southwest suburbs took the emergency votes after bar owners complained bitterly that since the ordinance took effect Jan. 2, smokers were patronizing competitors in towns without bans to enjoy the playoffs. Several claimed business was off as much as 50 percent despite the Bears playoff run.

To put the risk of inhaling secondhand smoke in a sports bar during the Super Bowl in perspective, studies suggest that disappointment and fatigue felt by fans of losing football teams causes an increase in driving fatalities after the game, while emotional stress from watching the game on TV is implicated in increased incidence of heart attacks among sports fans.

Skaidra Smith-Heisters is Policy Analyst


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