Smoking could be part of the problem too...

bes

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Back in the day, it seemed like everyone smoked, and that smoking, and hanging out in smoky places was acceptable if not the norm. By acceptable, I mean to parents of kids as well as to the general population.
I never smoked, but was unavoidably around it most of my early life. People smoked everywhere, and that is just the way it was.

Even today, there is a pretty strong smoking culture associated with pool. I think this is something that might hurt pool. I think it is especially true for junior pool.

What percentage of parents today would be OK with their kids spending time in smoky pool halls? Doesn't matter if it is while learning the game, playing junior leagues, or just hanging out... I'm thinking lots wouldn't be, and those that are shouldn't be. I wouldn't want my kids to a) be exposed to second hand smoke, b) be exposed to a strong smoking influence, or c) start smoking themselves. I know kids are kids, but why tempt fate.

I feel lucky to have a non-smoking room nearby - it is the only one in town, and might be the only one in the state. It is common to see parents, grandparents, or other "family" bring kids into this room. Much of the time the kids are instructed, or at least encouraged to play, but others are just in to watch their folks play. I almost never see this at other rooms - all of which are generally smoke filled.

Is this the busiest room in town? Nope! But it is the only one I frequent, and the only one where I commonly see families. I think this could be parlayed into some $$$, but it would take some doing.

Getting juniors involved would (could?) help build up pool's popularity. Having junior friendly (I don't mean "lily-white" necessarily, just not "seriously shady" and not smoke filled) establishments would be a first step. Getting Junior leagues, group lessons, tournaments, etc. will take some effort, creativity, marketing, and persistance. But it would probably be worth it for room owners - the kids AND their parents would buy food and drink. Aside from table time, they would need equipment and probably coaching too. I think that junior leagues in particiular - maybe even school teams - could be money makers.

I know it is hard to change things, but the smoky, somewhat shady image of pool that seemed so cool in the "Hustler" doesn't work so well today. My previous favorite room is frequently packed with 18 - 25 year old power smokers. That basically drove me away. I like the kids but can't stand the smoke.

Just some thoughts from the "other side".

p.s. I think pool also suffers from the economy, competition (poker, casinos, ponies, video games (kids), Cable, Reality TV, and all sorts of other time and money eaters), rising real estate and rental costs, taxes, fees, etc., as well as "image".
 

bgood

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Well i would think your right about this....except in NY there is no smoking in any room any more, which i personally know for a fact hurt the pool rooms here.
 

tjohio85

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Well i would think your right about this....except in NY there is no smoking in any room any more, which i personally know for a fact hurt the pool rooms here.

no smoking anywere in Ohio either, its definately altered business for the worse here also.
 

kybill9

Banned
no smoking anywere in Ohio either, its definately altered business for the worse here also.

There's no smoking in California, either, but that is not what is hurting pool. What is hurting pool and all of America is the wage attack on middle class America. You see people being outraged that someone with a college degree and many years of experience making $40K. You see companies taking away vacations, pay, benefits, so stockholders and CEO's can have higher returns. You see a whole political party trying to take away the right to earn a living in America. With wages being depressed systematically for forty years, is it any wonder any business like individual pool rooms survives? You have religious groups setting the political agenda for a secular government and it doesn't work. Before you start screaming SOCIALISM, look up the definition. It's about corporate greed and the subjugation of the worker. You have been pissed on and still think its water, 40 years of trickle down.:cool:
 

doitforthegame

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Here in Mass. the change in smoking law did in fact hurt pool. within two years of the implementation of the law almost every pool room closed its doors. So, the non smokers were protected because the government felt it knew better. You know, an adult that didn't want to be exposed to "second hand smoke" could make a decision to enter the pool room. But the government didn't feel he was smart enough to do it, so it made the decision for him and everyone

Bob
 

KMRUNOUT

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I hear a lot of people saying a lot of poorly researched and downright illogical things about the state of our economy and the causes.

LET'S ALL BUY TAR 24!!! I think Justin's small business is doing something that directly benefits our sport. So let's support a nice, honest small business in this country. The real beauty of this one is that if you want to kill yourself with smoking, YOU CAN! You can crank out as many butts as you like in the comfort of your own home, and can have that warm fuzzy feeling I know everyone gets when they realize they didn't pollute someone else's lungs!

This way we can speak with our dollars, rather than our bottom tier socio-economic armchair political philosophies, to help support our great game! (Quoting another poster here...)

So what do you guys think? Maybe we could have a contest among the smokers...who can smoke the most during the match...or like everyone lights up when the score is tied, etc. It could be fun. The non-smokers can count the people smoking in their house while they watch...it will be just as fun.

I am obviously kidding, but I'm totally serious about supporting the game with this purchase. Who's in?

KMRUNOUT
 

KMRUNOUT

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Here in Mass. the change in smoking law did in fact hurt pool. within two years of the implementation of the law almost every pool room closed its doors. So, the non smokers were protected because the government felt it knew better. You know, an adult that didn't want to be exposed to "second hand smoke" could make a decision to enter the pool room. But the government didn't feel he was smart enough to do it, so it made the decision for him and everyone

Bob

I'm from that area and used to go to Pockets. I only went AFTER the smoking ban, because I found the air quality horrible in there. I only knew of Breckenridge and Country Club USA very close by. Breckenridge is still there (for the moment) and CC USA finally closed up about a year or so ago. So I'm curious which other *pool halls* in the area closed? Golden Cue?

Interested,

KMRUNOUT
 

doitforthegame

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I'm from that area and used to go to Pockets. I only went AFTER the smoking ban, because I found the air quality horrible in there. I only knew of Breckenridge and Country Club USA very close by. Breckenridge is still there (for the moment) and CC USA finally closed up about a year or so ago. So I'm curious which other *pool halls* in the area closed? Golden Cue?

Interested,

KMRUNOUT

Hey! Thanks for the business! I agree the place was a whole lot cleaner and the air fresher after the ban. I liked it myself. I am a non smoker. Off the top of my head River City; Pockets; (there were 3 rooms in Haverhill I forget the third name--it was downtown) Breakers; Elite Billiards; Golden Cue. There was a room in Tewsksbury; There were 3 rooms in Salem.

My problem was Haverhill passed a smoking ban 1 1/2 years before the state of Mass. They would just go up to Salem or somewhere else.

Like I said, we were heading down anyway. But I had made changes that let me hold my own. I put in the bar-- sold beer and wine--and snack food. The smoking ban was the last straw that put us out all together.

Bob
 

bes

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Anyone made a serious effort to attract a new segment or segments that might have oppened up due to the smoking ban? Youths, families, other smoke-free fans?

Smoke-free leagues might work. The home-away thing is, or could be a problem though.
 

justadub

Rattling corners nightly
Silver Member
Anyone made a serious effort to attract a new segment or segments that might have oppened up due to the smoking ban? Youths, families, other smoke-free fans?

Smoke-free leagues might work. The home-away thing is, or could be a problem though.

It works just fine if there is no smoking in the entire area. Our state has been non smoking for almost a decade, and the leagues at least are doing fine. 100 to 150 players every week, and this ain't a big city....
 

doitforthegame

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
It works just fine if there is no smoking in the entire area. Our state has been non smoking for almost a decade, and the leagues at least are doing fine. 100 to 150 players every week, and this ain't a big city....

Now I remember when Maine went (before Mass if memory serves....which is a challenge nowadays) that several rooms did close up. Seems like there were a few around Portland. Is Kerry's room still around?

Bob
 

tedkaufman

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Well said, Bill. You hit upon the exact problem. People don't have as much discretionary cash as we did 40 years ago. Trickle down, or in GHWB's words, "Voodoo Economics," has devastated middle class economic security, funneling money up, such that damn little trickles down. And there will be more of the same, or worse, if we put the corporate raider Mitt Romney in office.

There's no smoking in California, either, but that is not what is hurting pool. What is hurting pool and all of America is the wage attack on middle class America. You see people being outraged that someone with a college degree and many years of experience making $40K. You see companies taking away vacations, pay, benefits, so stockholders and CEO's can have higher returns. You see a whole political party trying to take away the right to earn a living in America. With wages being depressed systematically for forty years, is it any wonder any business like individual pool rooms survives? You have religious groups setting the political agenda for a secular government and it doesn't work. Before you start screaming SOCIALISM, look up the definition. It's about corporate greed and the subjugation of the worker. You have been pissed on and still think its water, 40 years of trickle down.:cool:
 
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