In Ierland, waar men zich opmaakt om alle pubs per januari 2004 rookvrij te maken, wordt de strijd steeds heftiger. Gisteren zag een rapport van de Ierse horeca het licht waarin werd aangegeven dat een rookverbod 65.000 ontslagen en grote verliezen zou opleveren. Dat rapport werd meteen weggehoond door de gezondheidsindustrie: er was nooit ergens uit onderzoek gebleken dat rookverboden slecht zijn voor de horeca, was de algemene reactie. De horeca vereniging werd ‘scaremongering’ verweten: angstzaaierij.
Vandaag voegde een gezondheidsadviseur van de regering zich bij de kritiek door aan te geven dat de regering geen enkele uitzondering mag toestaan…
De uitspraken van de gezondheidsindustrie staan, zoals gewoonlijk, in schril contrast met de werkelijkheid. Een analyse van de economische effecten van rookverboden in de horeca op deze site toonde dat al eerder aan. De uitspraak over winst aan banen in New York is gebaseerd op een twijfelachtig onderzoek dat onder andere geen vergelijking trok met de groei aan banen in de horeca op plaatsen waar géén rookverbod van kracht was.
De gebeurtenissen in Ierland laten zien waartoe de anti-rokenlobby met haar fanatisme in staat is. Het zal niet lang meer duren of dezelfde taferelen zijn in Nederland waar te nemen.
Report dismissed as ‘scaremongering’
Source: Irish Times
Publication date: 2003-08-22
The report commissioned by the hospitality industry on the economic impact of banning smoking in workplaces has been described as scaremongering and speculative by trade unions, politicians and other supporters of the proposed ban.
The MANDATE trade union’s spokeswoman, Ms Mandy Kane, said objective economic evidence – from those areas which had introduced such laws – showed conclusively that smoke-free workplaces had, at worst, a neutral economic impact.
In some cases, such laws had actually helped business, she added.
“The Irish Hospitality Industry Alliance’s scaremongering tactics mirror exactly those used by the industry in other countries. As is usual in these circumstances, the dire estimates and predictions were later proved wrong by real studies based on tax data,” she said.
Prof Luke Clancy, respiratory consultant at St James’s, said his main concern was to protect the health of the bar workers.
Anywhere there had been a ban, there had been an improvement in the economy in terms of sales and jobs, he said.
He did not believe that tourists would not come to Ireland because there was no smoking in pubs. In fact, there was evidence that people asked for non-smoking hotels and bars.
“It is easy to make claims when something hasn’t happened,” Prof Clancy said. When the cinemas banned smoking, there were predictions that it would be the end of them, but now more people went than ever, he added.
“I am concerned with people’s health. Bar workers won’t be exposed to smoke. If there is no smoking, then people will smoke less and young people are less likely to start and they usually begin in pubs.
“There can be all sorts of arguments made regarding economic effects, but there is no doubt about the health gains,” Prof Clancy stated.
Labour senator Ms Kathleen O’Meara said of the IHIA report: “I think it’s scaremongering. We don’t know what will happen. We can’t predict it.” Dire predictions had been made in other areas and these had not materialised. The smoking ban, in fact, would enhance the hospitality sector, as more non-smokers would use centres such as pubs, she said.
The Labour Party was in favour of the ban but the Minister needed to talk to the hospitality sector, prisons and psychiatric hospitals to see how it was to be implemented. But there must be a blanket ban, Ms O’Meara said.
A Department of Health spokesman said that where there were smoking bans abroad, there had been similar speculative claims which were not borne out. For example, in New York, there were increases in the numbers employed in the hospitality sector.
Recently the Department of Tourism commissioned a report which concluded that there would not be a negative impact.
© 2003, YellowBrix, Inc.