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Supporting Smokefree Air & Tobacco-Free Lives

Study confirms smokefree air laws do not hurt restaurant and bar business (CDC)

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In August 2013, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published the results of a new study, The Economic Impact of Smoke-Free Laws on Restaurants and Bars in 9 States. The CDC studied whether there is economic impact from smokefree air laws. The results suggest that smoke-free laws did not have an adverse economic impact on restaurants or bars in any of the states studied, and that they provided a small economic benefit to West Virginia. The study estimated the economic impact of local smoke-free laws in 216 communities in 8 states that did not have statewide smoke-free laws: Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia. In West Virginia, restaurant employment increased by a significant 1% after implementation of a smoke-free restaurant law. We also examined the association of a statewide smoke-free restaurant and bar law on employment in North Carolina. We found no evidence that North Carolina’s statewide law had affected restaurant or bar employment. Findings were consistent with previous studies and the conclusions of the US Surgeon General. The study also discussed that smokefree laws improve both employee and population health. Smoke-free laws that completely eliminate smoking in indoor public places and workplaces (including restaurants and bars) reduce secondhand smoke exposure among nonsmoking hospitality workers and the general population of nonsmokers, reduce sensory and respiratory symptoms and improve lung function in nonsmoking hospitality workers, help workers who smoke to quit, and may reduce smoking initiation among youth.