Photo: Getty Images

The City releases information that the smoking ban did not affect the restaurant and bar business, but, of course, that's the City's opinion. Increases for liquor licenses, restaurant & bar jobs, and tax payments, make it seem that the ban had no effect. However, other groups point out that information is flawed because it does not separate restaurants and bars. As David Rabin of the New York Nightlife Association says, "There's no separation between Starbucks and McDonald's and the nightclub and bar industry." Plus he points out that some bar wokers might have had to take on second jobs, to make up for lost tips. Health Commissioner Thomas Friedman says that stand-alone bars around the country aren't doing well, so one cannot be sure where the downturn in bar business may stem from. The City will present the data today.

One bar owner complains that pre-smoking ban, a person could drink and smoke at his bar for 6 hours. Now a person will drink for just (JUST) 4, and then smoke for 2 hours. Which might be an interesting twist in the smoking ban: You may be more sober at the end of the night, thus making less rash decisions to drunken dial that idiot who said he was going to call you after your last date but now it's been a week and where the hell is that phone call. You'll still be getting lung cancer, emphysema, and all other smoking-related illnesses, but hey, you only live once and you might as well have your dignity intact by not drunken dialing.

Smokers at Luke & Leroy; Photo: NY mag

The Daily News looks at how some establishments are getting around the smoking ban: Caffe on the Green in Bayside, Queens, has a tent called the "Butt Hutt"; Luke & Leroy has a fake sidewalk with fireplace (named best smoker's retreat by NY magazine); and davidburke & donatella has a 41-foot Ford Excursion (no, it's not for a bunch of prom-minded Long Islanders!) that is a smoking lounge.

Gothamist on the smoking ban's first anniversary. And today's Gothamist Interview with Tom Vaught, a bartender, has this timely quote: "I don't go to gyms to get drunk and I don't go to bars to get healthy." Read more.