The Restaurant owners should be compensated for loss of income

Popkiss and Council should pay for fascist anti-smoking legislation

Jaco Strauss
The Cape Argus
26 April 1996 E-Mail this page to a friend

I wrote this letter in the run-up to the local council elections of 1996, in which I stood as a ward candidate for the Helderberg Action Association, a ratepayers organisation. The letter was published in the Cape Argus.

I also include a reply by a Dr Sanders as well as my answer to that.

12 January 2003

PS On 27 March 2011 I introduced the voting buttons so that readers could evaluate the arguments presented....

Restaurants are private establishments...
The current debate between Fedhasa and the Cape Town City Council regarding demarcation of smoking and non-smoking areas deserves comment.

A city council, as a level of government, does not create wealth, but generates income through taxation and provides services to the community. The restaurant owners are part of that community and moreover contribute substantially to the fiscus through rates and taxes. Apart from that, they also have a positive effect on tourism and trade, which further benefit the fiscus.

The most important point to note, however, is that restaurants are private establishments, created by private businessmen, with private capital and are dependant on the market forces for survival. It is therefore an audacity for officials, such as Cape Town's CHO Dr Michael Popkiss, to prescribe to these members of the private sector how they should run their businesses.

Restaurateurs should have the right to choose how they wish to run their establishments.
As all patrons have the right to freely choose which restaurants they wish to frequent, so too should the restaurant owners have the right to choose the manner in which they wish to run their establishments.

All restaurant owners should keep record of those people they have to turn away due to no vacant "smoking" areas, while they still have "non-smoking" areas available. They can then work on average "profit per person" for the restaurant and send Dr Popkiss and the Cape Town City Council invoices for the monies lost. Officials and councillors are personally liable when irresponsible financial decisions are taken.

Voters in the upcoming elections must be wary of supporting candidates who have supported the implementation of Dr Popkiss's fascist measures!

Jaco Strauss
Candidate Helderberg Action Association
Helderberg Ward 16

How do you rate the views of Jaco Strauss?
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Not yet enough votes for a realistic average ...

I was grateful someone replied to my letter as it afforded me another opportunity to expose the empty arguments of those who currently hold the moral high ground.

Mr Strauss is ignorant about the law and the facts

Dr F N Sanders
Sea Point
6 May 1996

The letter from Jaco Strauss (April 26) refers:

Mr Strauss betrays his supreme ignorance of both the law and of the facts. Firstly, his notion that a restaurant is a private establishment is patently incorrect and bears no further argument.

Secondly, his assumption that that restaurants will automatically lose money by declaring certain areas of their establishments smoke-free is erroneous. A study conducted in Texas, and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, proved that in an 18-month period there was no loss of income in restaurants that were declared totally smoke-free.

My feelings about Mr Strauss are ambivalent.
Finally, Mr Strauss apparently does not consider the health and comfort aspects of smoke-free restaurants, which have been stated, repeated and reinforced many times in your columns. This is an anachronism and out of place in a modern candidate for any local authority considering the strong evidence for the causal relationship between smoking (both active and passive) and many fatal diseases.

With regard to his point about tourism, many tourists from overseas will avoid local restaurants which are not smoke-free, and express amazement at the fact that smoking is still permitted in these places.

My feelings about Mr Strauss are ambivalent. On the one hand I am glad I do not live in an area where he stands a chance of becoming a councillor. On the other, I wish I did live in the Helderberg so that I could vote against him.

How do you rate the views of Dr FN Sanders?
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Not yet enough votes for a realistic average ...

Since 1996, the laws became more draconian and I believe my arguments are as valid now as they were back then

Restaurants will adapt and cater to their own markets

Jaco Strauss
14 May 1996

We have had many funny laws in our country in the past...
In response to Dr Sanders's reply of May 6 to my letter of April 26, I would like to take issue with him as it is clear that he did not properly read and/or understand my letter.

Firstly, his notion that a restaurant is not a private establishment illustrates that he is either ignorant about free market principles, does not support them or blindly believes that all laws are divinely inspired and above criticism. I am actually, unlike his unfounded and ridiculous deductions, not ignorant about the law. But I don't believe that laws passed by parliament can make the sun go around the earth and turn the moon into cheese.

We have had many funny laws in our country in the past. I don't know about Dr Sanders, but I didn't believe they were right, solely on the grounds that they were "laws". Therefore, a law (incidentally initiated by the former government) which defines restaurants as public amenities, does not make them that. Private capital creates private establishments and public funds (generated through the taxation of private individuals and concerns) create public establishments. It is actually quite simple.

His second point clearly illustrates just how badly he missed the point of my letter.
His second point clearly illustrates just how badly he missed the point of my letter. I never implied that restaurants will automatically lose money if non-smoking areas were to be demarcated. The point was that the restaurateur, who made a substantial investment in the restaurant, would be in a far better position to decide on the most economical demarcation, if any, than any city council. And incidentally, I would not care if all the restaurants in the world were to be smoke-free, but then the market should direct them in that way. They will always follow market trends.

For Dr Sanders to quote a Texas study as proof that prescribed demarcation by Cape Town City Council would be beneficial to restaurants is laughable. For every report that "proves" what he wants to prove, there are studies and reports that prove the opposite. If Dr Sanders really believed the Texas report, why did he reply negatively to my letter? I merely requested the city council to compensate the restaurants for the monies they lose through prescribed demarcation. As the Texas report "proves" they will not lose money, why not just support my request and ask the restaurants to give council a cut of the extra profits they are going to make?

Dr Sanders's letter also left me ambivalent.
The restaurants would gladly cough up, as it would be an absolutely unprecedented situation where a city council proved to be more in touch with the market place than the local private businessmen!

On the health issue, suffice it to say that if tobacco products are really so dangerous they should be banned totally. Failing that, it should be left to adults to decide whether they want to smoke, or whether they want to stay away from people who do and the places in which they do so.

It is time for the non-smokers for whom it is an issue to start avoiding restaurants that allow smoking. And it is time for the city council to leave the market place alone and concentrate on the issues for which councillors were elected in the first place. Restaurants will adapt, if necessary, and continue to cater for their specific target markets.

Dr Sanders's letter also left me ambivalent. On the one hand every vote counts, but on the other I would have been very concerned if an ignorant socialist gave me his support.

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Average Score: 80.56

Previous Visitor Comments

Name Email Subject Location
well I’m in the same boat as you. I am trying to lose about 40 poduns, and I thought I would quit smoking too, you know get healthy all at once. My experience has been this, but yours might be different: When I quit smoking I started PACKING on the poduns. It’s not that I ate more, I was still trying to eat healthy, exercise, etc. but for some reason I just started gaining weight when I quit. I went back to smoking, and I found that a cigarette takes the edge off my hunger, when I’m hungry, I light up. I know it’s not good, but I guess I will try to quit again when I’m skinny. Smoking is bad for you, but so is excess weight. It all depends on what is more important to you right now, and for me, losing weight is the most important goal in my life at this moment. So I smoke. And smoking hasn’t hurt my endurance any either. (it probably doesn’t HELP, but I don’t notice that I’m out of breath a lot)

Jaco functionality
Ive now added the functionality to rate this page, as I feel it is still an interesting read.

The question of the nanny state ruling our lives is also still as relevant today as it had been then.

Please take the time to so!



acidgopAnonymousJohann Nothnagel
Hello johann nothnagel, kan ek een noot kry asb?

Johannjohann_at_maxiprest.comNie rook wetgewing
Jaco Kan jy my asb verwys na 'n webtuiste waar ek die wetgewing oor rook kan kry. Dankie Johann Nothnagel (NS Is jy in Strand Hoerskool gewees?)

Lynnrvrlynn_at_yahoo.comNazi - Facism
Hi, Thank you Jaco for fighting back! I hope you had some success. I am a full time RVer. I have been to 29 states in the last year. I found it interesting that the Dr. sited a study from Texas restaurants. I was in Texas for 3 months in '03. I only ate out about 3 times & only at those establishments that had smoking sections. I smoke, or I don't, when & IF I choose. I made the decision that FOR ME & MY MONEY, if they don't offer smoking, I go elsewhere. That "elsewhere" is more often than not, to a grocery store & back to the motorhome to cook. I have been across the U.S. from the Atlantic to the Pacific & back. Oddly enough, the red state, blue state mentality applies to the smoking issue as well. The most liberal, depraved, anything goes areas are oddly, the most stringent regarding the smoking issue. It is obscene. I am by myself so it is easier to eat out than cook. On the bright side, I have been saving LOTS of money. It is nice to be back in the red states where there are still plenty of places that offer smoking. I have been smoking most of the time for the last 30 years. I am healthier than most people I know, regardless of their age. Don't tell me I am costing you money for health care! I haven't even been to a doctor in 18 years. There's the real story...I am not taking all the prescription drugs that are being handed out like candy. Dr. what's his name can sight any study or supposed "scientific research" he can find, & I can counter with other, equally "scientic research" to disprove it. People need to start THINKING for themselves & researching for themselves. For instance, the infamous EPA report that makes the audacious claim that 400,000 people die every year from smoking etc. is defunct. It was ruled fraudulent & thrown out. Also, the World Health Org.'s report is tainted. SEARCH-you'll find it to be true. We have all been sold a bill of goods & it's all lies. It is all out there, all you have to do is look! FYI: it is a Nazi Facist principle...DO THE RESEARCH! Thank you for providing this forum.

It is so funny. When rumours about this law started to surface, I was up in arms. Nobody is going to tell me what to do. I started smoking when I was 14 and I am now 49. I smoked 40 a day. On the 1st of April 2004 I stopped. Just like that. Now I am an ex-smoker. But I am not the pain-in-the-arse type. If you smoke around me, do so. If I go to a restaurant and they ask: "smoking or non-smoking?", I reply: "it does not matter." What I did notice, is that the smokers are indeed a dying breed. I travel extensively and now that I do not smoke anymore, use my time to watch people while sitting in traffic jams. Best decision I ever made. To those who still smoke, although I pity you, I do respect your decision to smoke. Enjoy it!

Philfreedom_is_at_stake.comhey kids, smoooooooooke yummy cigarettes
Let's hear it for freedom, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Everyone has their own opinions, and everyone has the RIGHT to do what they please. I like to smoke. I'm going to continue to smoke whether it's "legal" or not. Remember prohibition / bootlegging? You anti-smokers don't have to smoke just because I do, and if you don't like second-hand smoke then you don't have to hang around me. You're inhibiting my right to choose for myself, to make my own decisions. Fuck off, goddamn fascists. Start your own non-smoking bars and nightclubs. I won't go to them. They'll be smoke-free. Tourism will drop in cities that ban smoking. Just keep your nose out of my business. I don't tell you how to take a piss. I will live my life the way I want to. Try and stop me.

Involuntary SmokerAnonymousPlease Help Protect The Kids!
Please help protect children from Second Hand Smoke

garth meyergarthme_at_iafrica.comsmoking players
jaco, who are the big players, government and private, who fund the anti-smoking campaigns and drives in south africa? thanks, garth

Simon Growcottsimon.growcott_at_btinternet.comFascist?
The only fascists involved here are those who force others to put up with their filthy habit of smoking and expecting the health care system to look after them when they fall foul of any one of a raft of diseases caused by the habit. Read the list of chemicals that cig. smoke contains. In the work place we wear masks and gloves for protection against many of them. Visit a respiratory disease unit and see the reults- let's get real! I look forward to the day when the UK follows California (and recently the Irish Republic) and frees us all from this scourge.

Simon Mooresimon.moore_at_dsl.pipex.comSmoking laws
The problem with the current anti-smoking proposals is that the owners of restuarants are not even permitted to install physically segregated areas for smokers - areas that would totally prevent smoke from passing into the "non-smoking" areas. On that basis the proposed laws give the impression that they are not simply to protect non-smokers, but to restrict the personal choice of smokers. On that basis I would agree that it is a fascist concept.

Juanita GO!!!
The whole smoking thing is just another way of finding someone else to pick on. If it's not racism it's homophobics and all of them have "rights activists". Smokers are left in the cold and non-smokers are now complaining that we have too many breaks in the day...frankly it's pathetic...I WILL NOT support a restaurant who does not have a smoking section!!!

Jaco in Restaurants
Hi Scott and thanks for the comments. I don't believe California's prosperity is the result of banning smoking in restaurants and I think you would agree with that. I would also not refer to California as a fascist state. I used the word 'fascist' in order to illustrate that government intervention always share certain fundamental principles; whether the intervention itself was inspired by the left or the right.

Here we can see another perfect example of elected officials eroding individual and business rights on the pretext that it is for the common good. You claim the right to a smoke free environment and I support that, but I don't think you'll find anything above in favour of compulsory smoking areas anywhere. Everyone can vote with their feet (and wallets) and support establishments they feel comfortable in.

You talk about the cost of health care. Smokers already pay a premium on private medical schemes and if it is found to be inadequate the actuaries aren't doing their jobs. Emission from cars and factories are arguably more detrimental to one's health (than secondary smoke) and yet, unlike the opportunity to go to a smoke-free restaurant or living in a smoke-free house, the former can't be avoided.

Once we accept the principle that government can regulate smoking in private businesses, how can we prevent them doing the same in private homes? And once that principle is established any other infringement on personal liberty might be next!

Scottscarab21316@aol.comSmoking in Restaurants
I am a little disturbed to see anti-smoking laws in restaurants referred to as fascist. If this is so, then I must inhabit the most fascist region of them all. In the area where I live, smoking in restaurants is not permitted. Some municipalities have gone so far as to ban smoking in every place except perhaps one's home or car. While smokers may feel as though their rights are being infringed upon, one might suggest that they are also infringing on another person's right to breathe clean air. I believe the main purpose of your site is to encourage a socio-political attitude that everyone should be free to do as they wish as long as they do not take freedoms from others wishing to do the same, and I think this smoking issue could be such an example. By the way, I agree that business should have the benefit of market freedom with little government interference, but public health must take precedent over business convenience. In addition, the public costs incurred due to smoking and second hand smoking related illnesses would warrant intervention. Finally I am happy to report that the area where I live has not allowed smoking in public areas for years with no ill effects, rather we are more prosperous than most complete nations, while only one of 50 states. Signing off from totally fascist California!

Hi, I am a non-smoker, but I do feel that is of every individual's choice whether he / she would like to smoke or not...restaurants with nonsmoking & smoking areas have the right to have these areas...I would just like to add that I do also feel that restaurants who do decide to have these areas must have the set out rules to apply with it as well, for example proper ventilation, proper deviding of the two areas...otherwise I have as a non smoker NO PROBLEM with smokers in a restaurant...

Rebecca 12 student needs help
hello, i am a non-smoker. For my subject tourism i have an independant study. this is of your own choice and can be on whatever you wish, as long as it relates to tourism. The topic i have decided to focus on is "What effect does non-smoking laws have on tourism?" i was wondering if you could help me with this topic as you seem to know a lot about this topic. It would be a great help if you could send me any information about this topic. Thankyou very much for your time. Much appreciated:)

Leonora van Stadenleonora007@hotmail.comSmoke
'n Restaurant is in effek 'n kleinhandelaar. Daarom stem ek saam met Mnr. Strauss dat 'n restaurant ook die reg het om vir hulle eie teikenmark voorsiening te maak. Nes dit verskillende mense is wat by Woolworths en by Diesel klere koop, is daar ook verskillende mense wat by Pickwick's en by Primi Piatti eet. Dus het restaurante die volste reg om die fasliteite so aan te pas dat dit die teikenmark geval. Die musiek in 'n YDE winkel is bv. anders as die in Edgars. Rook is 'n persoonlike voorkeur op afkeur. Aangesien die regering geen s het in watse musiek mens luister nie, behoort hulle ook geen s te h in wat mens met jou lyf doen nie. Om rook te verban is so goed soos om seks sonder 'n kondoom te verban.

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