The smoking ban in bars, which turned two in March, seems to have worked a-okay, according to a study by the NY State Department of Taxation and Finance. The Post got a copy and says that business has rebounded steadily since early days of the ban. In fact, business seems to have grown faster at bars than restaurants. But the Empire State Restaurant and Tavern Association thinks that figure is skewed because of the increase in sales tax, which caused some bar owners to hike their prices. Still, the article has a bevy of quotes from bartenders and bar patrons alike that show they've learned to deal with the smoking ban ("I still see a lot of smokers coming out. They go outside, and it's become a very social thing."). The manager of Red Bench Bar in Soho told the Post, "It was quiet for a while, but now a majority of my customers are nonsmokers." Excellent, turning smokers and nonsmokers alike into drunks.
After two years, what do you think of the smoking ban? Plus, Gothamist's older posts on the smoking ban, the first of Mayor Bloomberg's big quality of life initiatives.