Indianapolis, IN (PRWEB) August 07, 2013
Smokefree restaurant and bar laws are good for health, and a new study published in the scientific journal Preventing Chronic Disease reports that an Indiana smokefree law would not harm the restaurant and bar industry. This finding is based on an analysis of data from local jurisdictions in nine states, including Indiana.
“Smokefree laws save lives, and this study is further proof that they don’t hurt business,” said Richard Feldman MD, member of the American Lung Association Local Leadership Board and Director of Medical Education and Residency Training for Franciscan St Francis Health. There are 19 communities in Indiana that have made great strides in protecting workers and the public from secondhand smoke, but too many Hoosiers continue to be exposed to secondhand smoke on the job and in public places."
The study, called The Economic Impact of Smoke-Free Laws on Restaurants and Bars in 9 States (http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2013/12_0327.htm) and released on August 1 by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Foundation, analyzed the potential impact of a statewide smokefree law on employment and taxable sales revenues in nine states—Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia. For North Carolina, the study examined the impact of a 2010 statewide smokefree restaurant and bar law. The other eight states each have a number of communities with local smokefree restaurant and/or bar ordinances, but no statewide smokefree law.
The study, funded by Pfizer Inc. through a grant to the CDC, found that smokefree laws in eight of the nine states included in the analysis had no significant effect on restaurant or bar employment or revenues. These eight states included North Carolina, the only state in the analysis with an existing statewide smokefree restaurant and bar law. In the ninth state, West Virginia, the analysis found that smokefree laws were associated with a small increase in restaurant employment, and were not associated with a change in bar employment.
The study complements a video featuring restaurant and bar owners from Indiana, who reported that despite initial reservations, they have come to appreciate the benefits of going smokefree. Their testimonials share personal experiences with smokefree laws from a business perspective.
“Our restaurant and bar owners are a vital part of our community. That’s what makes this report so exciting. Some owners have expressed concerns about the possible economic impact of smokefree laws – this new study can help put those fears to rest,” added Feldman. The smokefree videos may be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/smokefreebusiness.
These results are especially notable, because the data come from states with high smoking rates and traditions of tobacco growing and manufacturing. The results of this new study are consistent with the results of previous peer-reviewed studies indicating that smokefree laws do not have a negative economic effect on hospitality venues. This study is unique in that it is the largest of its kind, aggregating all the available data from local jurisdictions in the nine states included in the study. Secondhand smoke—the combination of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette and the smoke exhaled by smokers—contains more than 7,000 chemicals, including about 70 that cause cancer. Prohibiting smoking in bars and restaurants protects the health of employees and patrons and provides a clean atmosphere where customers can appreciate the taste and aromas of their meals.
A statewide survey commissioned by the American Lung Association and other statewide health groups found that seventy percent of Hoosiers prefer smokefree venues when they go out to eat or have a drink. The poll of 500 registered voters from across the state was commissioned in 2012. Allowing smoking has hidden financial costs including higher cleaning and maintenance costs and increased sick days among employees.
More information about secondhand smoke is available at http://www.in.gov/isdh/tpc/index.htm
About the American Lung Association in Indiana
Our mission is to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is "Fighting for Air" through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit http://www.LungIL.org.
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