"You Mean You Can Smoke There? Let’s Go!"

According to the NY Post, smoking is back in a big way in the city’s hippest restaurants and nightclubs. The story described Smoking Speakeasies, where if you’re rich or famous enough, you can puff away with impunity. Shannen Dougherty, for example, was seen puffing away, (“ashing” is the new verb to describe illicet cigarette smoking, it seems) in a famous restaurant just last week.

The article logically states that the mere $200 NYC fine is outweighed by being able to sell three figure bottles and expensive cocktails, justs for the joy of letting people light up. It’s prohibited, so it must be more fun, they reckon.

“Admittedly, it’s not the easiest thing in the world to police your patrons, particularly when they’re celebrities seeking to take the very decadence you’re promoting one step further. Former MisShapes doorman turned publicist Thomas Onorato is sympathetic to bar owners and argues the ban has created a “no-win” situation for many of them. “Certain exclusive venues could turn a blind eye to it within reason, especially if they are dealing with famous or influential people,” he explains. “Taking into account the current economy and [the fact] that most venues are set up to primarily do bottle-service business, anything to keep the cash flowing and keep important customers happy makes sense to some business owners.”

Brian Miches, of Circa Tabac, where smoking is ok, says “It’s the Depression-era kind of thing, sure,” Brian says. “When things get bad in the world, liquor and tobacco sales go up. The economy goes down, bankers rob the country and people get frustrated and resort to‚Ķvices.” Indeed, a 2002 University of Michigan study estimates that cigarette consumption goes up by nearly 10 percent in stressful times, such as after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.”