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Fact Sheet on Secondhand Smoke (cont.)

James. Repace, MSc., Physicist

Ichiro Kawachi, PhD, Associate Professor

Stanton Glantz, PhD., Professor


Smoke-free Restaurant Laws

Smoke-free restaurants and bars are universally mandated in the State of California, and they are working well and are spreading to other States and localities in the U.S.A. Studies in the U.S.A. on the economic impact of restrictions on smoking on restaurant sales for 81 localities in six states, 67 of which are 100% smokefree in restaurants, based upon objective sales tax data, indicate that smokefree restaurant laws do not affect restaurant business (Glantz and Smith, 1994; 1997; Glantz, 1999). Smoke-free workplaces are necessary primarily to protect the workers, and secondarily to protect the public from SHS. The tobacco industry has fomented fear of economic losses among restaurant owners, who often oppose restrictions on economic grounds, fearing a loss of business by smokers. However Biener and Fitzgerald (1999) have documented that many individuals avoid restaurants and bars because of SHS.

In a series of articles in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, the impact of smoke-free restaurant laws was examined in New York City and in the State of Massachusetts. These studies are providing convincing evidence of the feasibility, acceptability, and economic viability of smoke-free public places. For example, Bartosch and Pope (1999) compared local tax data before and after the imposition of smoke-free restaurant policies in Massachusetts, and found that there was little or no impact on the communitiesí restaurant industries. Hyland et al.(1999) studied taxable sales for eating and drinking places and hotels in New York City before and after the imposition of restrictions on smoking in 1995; they found that sales increased after the smoke-free law was implemented, by 2.1% for eating and drinking places, and by 37% for hotels, compared with modest decreases in the rest of the State, which did not adopt such a law. The series of articles argues convincingly that smoke-free dining areas do not impose economic hardship on proprietors (Novick, 1999), as well as protecting worker and public health.

The tobacco industry has argued that the smoke-free restaurant law in California has resulted in a 30% decline in revenues for this industry. In science, a statement like this is called a lie. Data from the California food service industry are reproduced in Figure 10:

Figure 10.

Click a link below to continue reading the fact sheet:

[ Abstract ] [ Introduction ] [ Secondhand Smoke and Cardiovascular Disease ] [ Secondhand Smoke Exposure ]
Smoke-Free Restaurant Laws [ SHS Lessons from California ] [ Conclusions ] [ Technical Appendices ]