When Maryland’s ban on smoking in bars and restaurants takes effect next year, patrons and bar-owners could be in for an unpleasant (smelling) surprise. British media outlets are reporting that a recent smoking ban there had the unintended consequence of unleashing foul odors that were heretofore masked by the strong smell of tobacco smoke.
The Sunday Times of London reported this week that many pub managers have resorted to using air fresheners to cover up bodily and bar-related scents that previously went unnoticed.
Oliver Devine, a marketing manager at Mitchells & Butlers pubs tells the Times that it hasn’t been all bad, but something had to be done. His pubs now smell of artificial grass clippings and ocean breezes.
“Appetizing food smells have increased but others are less attractive, such as stale food and beer, damp, sweat and body odor, drains and — how do you put this nicely? ” Devine said, “flatulence.”
Could this be enough to drive Maryland’s customers into the waiting arms of nearby states that still allow smoking? What would you rather inhale? Cigarette smoke or … um, something else?
-ANDY ROSEN, Daily Record Business Writer