Ohio’s non-smoking laws which also apply to private clubs are killing the VFW’s in the state.
We have the same problem here in Iowa with the American Legion. Also, we have trouble attrating young vets for some reason. They passed that non-smoking law here in the past year. You can smoke in the casino’s though.
Florida’s anti-smoking law has an exception for private organizations like the VFW and American Legion so it has actually helped attract members and increased club attendance in many places.
But the exceptions are constantly under attack by the do-gooders.
Smoking was the number one reason I did not continue my membership. I had far better places to be than siting inside an ashtray.
But there are other, just as important reason the clubs aren't attracting new members. When I was young we head about the 'Generation Gap' and it's back.
What veteran of the Gulf War, Iraq or Afghanistan wishes to got to a bar where the band is playing 'All your favorites from the 50's 60's and 70's!!'
There are more, but the these illustrate that the problem isn't simple. The smoking issue alone (Even as moot as it is now in Ohio) is a blade cutting both ways. Don't and you chase away smokers, do and the non-smokers don't show up.
Today the only ones able to make the changes aren't so willing to include HipHop, Modern R&B and Metal bands, or a DJ mixing top 40 hits into 'High energy thumping music never stops' versions inside the door because it may alienate the current (however small & shrinking) membership.