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Friday, August 2, 2013

Largest Study to Date Finds State Smoke-Free Laws Would Not Hurt Restaurant and Bar Business

Smoking is a major cause of disease and workers' compensation claims. Tobacco usage in restaurants and bars is a danger to both the employees and the guests. Banned in some jurisdictions, this study confirms that prohibiting smoking in restaurants and bars is not an economic detriment to businesses. Today's post was shared by RWJF PublicHealth and comes from

A study conducted by RTI International in nine states concludes that statewide smoke-free laws would not be expected to have an adverse economic impact on restaurants and bars in these states. The study, which was supported by the CDC Foundation, was released today in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease.

The findings of the new analysis are consistent with the results of previous peer-reviewed studies. However, this study ( is unique in that it is the largest of its kind, aggregating all the available data from local jurisdictions in the studied states.

The nine states were selected because they lack comprehensive statewide smoke-free laws, have enough local smoke-free laws to allow for an aggregate analysis, and are located in or adjacent to the Southeast.

“Our research found that smoke-free laws do not have a negative economic impact on aggregate restaurant or bar employment or revenues,” said lead author of the study Brett Loomis, a research economist at RTI International, an independent, nonprofit research institute. “Our findings suggest that a statewide smoke-free law in the states examined would not be expected to have an adverse economic impact on restaurants and bars in those states.”

Research has shown that smoke-free policies that prohibit smoking in workplaces and public places, including restaurants and bars, have a number of clear health benefits: they...

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