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Bars, restaurants see no significant employment change under smoking bans in 2 cities
Date:6/29/2010

COLUMBUS, Ohio The passage of smoking bans in two large Minnesota cities was not associated with job losses at bars and may in fact have contributed to higher employment in restaurants, according to new research.

The study is the first to examine the economic effects of clean indoor air policies on bars and restaurants as independent types of businesses, the researchers said. Consistent with previous published studies of the economic impact of smoking bans, this analysis did not find significant economic effects on the hospitality industry as a whole.

In both Minneapolis and St. Paul, the policies were associated with an increase of at least 3 percent in employment at restaurants over a 2 -year span following adoption of a local clean indoor air policy. Employment in Minneapolis bars increased more than 5 percent after passage of that city's smoking ban, while in St. Paul, bar employment had a nonsignificant decrease of 1 percent a decrease that cannot be statistically distinguished from zero, or no change in employment.

The researchers noted that the broad look at total bar and restaurant employment at the city level over time means that this study is not able to describe potential changes at the neighborhood or individual business level. Opponents to smoking bans have argued against enactment of these policies with predictions of large revenue losses, worker layoffs and business closures in the hospitality industry, and at bars in particular because of known correlations between drinking and tobacco use.

Proponents of such policies say smoking bans promote a healthful workplace atmosphere for workers and patrons. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, exposure to secondhand smoke increases nonsmokers' risks of developing lung cancer, heart disease, respiratory conditions and other diseases.

"These clean indoor air policies are designed to protect workers from exposure to secondhand smok
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Contact: Elizabeth Klein
eklein@cph.osu.edu
614-292-5424
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

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