It is almost 9 p.m. on a Friday. As per usual, I push open a white, metal door and walk into the bar at which I work.
A bleach blonde, my fellow dancer, is standing behind a showcase consisting of vape pins, sex toys and other items for sale.
The smoke from her cigarette wafts in my direction. It smells like a mix of pine and burning paper, which creates a forest fire-like aroma.
This is the only place in which I have been, since the Smoke Free Illinois Act went into affect, where someone can light up and purchase a vibrator at the same time.
I think the reason the bar has disregarded the laws regarding smoking has to do with a combination of management’s lax attitudes and the culture of places like this.
All of the bosses smoke at least a pack a day, making it difficult for them to enforce rules saying no one can smoke within 15 feet of the bar.
Additionally, many patrons who visit locations such as this smoke cigarettes, so telling them they are not allowed could deter a large portion of customers
Of course management doesn’t want to have to go far to smoke nor lose business, and that is why it is as regulated as the amount of clothes a dancer wears in the VIP room.
However, if an employee is smoking in the dressing room, she will be fined a small amount.
Based on the very few regulations on smoking in general and complete disregard of Illinois laws, I believe said fines are meant to generate more revenue for the bar.
Management likely does not want to deter dancers from smoking outside of the designated area, but rather collect money from them when they do so.
However, going about it in this fashion will only result in fewer dancers and potential tickets issued by the state for allowing people to smoke inside and within 15 feet of the establishment.