Report finds smoke-free Legislation doesn’t hurt bars or restaurants; gaming industry impact unclear

May 28, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Smoking bans have not negatively affected revenues of restaurants and bars, but the impact is less clear at gambling institutions, a new University of Michigan report indicates.

In the first of a series of research briefs, the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) at the U-M Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy analyzes the proposed legislation in Michigan to prohibit smoking in all workplaces, which has been opposed by some in the hospitality industry.

Separate bills have passed in the Michigan House of Representatives and the Senate, but the provisions differ. The House bill under consideration would ban smoking at most workplaces, including bars and restaurants, but not casinos and shops. The Senate favors a bill that would ban smoking without exceptions. Both government entities would have to agree on a version of the ban for it to become law.

Twenty-four states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico have passed smoke-free workplace legislation.

Two major issues surrounding the proposed legislation are health hazards of second-hand smoke and the economic consequences of smoking bans for restaurants, bars and casinos.

“Beyond the economic arguments, some opponents also believe the legislation is an intrusion on the rights of private business owners, represents unnecessary government meddling in the private market, and raises concerns about equitable enforcement of the legislation,” said Tamara Wilder, a Research Fellow at CLOSUP.

On the economic front, however, most research shows smoke-free legislation had either no effect or a positive effect on hospitality industry revenues. Wilder said other studies that found negative effects from the legislation were poorly designed and didn’t factor economic conditions, which is important to determine what causes revenue decreases.

Among the strongest opponents have been Detroit’s three casinos, which contend they would be at a disadvantage with Michigan’s 18 tribally owned casinos. The latter casinos would not be covered by the legislation.

CLOSUP officials researched how other states’ revenues were affected by the smoke-free legislation. For instance, Delaware’s racinos, which are racetracks with video lottery terminals, saw revenues dip after a was implemented. In Massachusetts, smoke-free ordinances did not affect the revenues of gambling sponsored by charitable organizations, such as bingo.

Despite the public health concerns and economic factors, Wilder points to the political questions that must be debated regarding the role of public sector versus the private market in determining smoke-free zones.

CLOSUP helps scholars conduct policy-relevant social science research. It functions as an information resource for academics, policymakers, the media and the public. The center works to foster effective communication between academic researchers and the policymakers dealing with today's state, local, and urban policy problems.

The smoke-free legislation analysis is one of a series of research briefs that will be published this summer. Other topics include business taxes, transportation funding, corrections expenditures, economic development and college scholarships, and the individual health insurance market.

More information: closup.umich.edu/

Provided by University of Michigan (news : web)

Explore further: Case links death to environmental tobacco smoke

Related Stories

Case links death to environmental tobacco smoke

February 8, 2008

A young asthmatic woman who collapsed and died shortly after arriving for her shift as a waitress at a bar may be the first reported death to be reported nationally from acute asthma associated with environmental tobacco ...

Smoke-free laws have no impact on employee turnover

May 6, 2008

Supporting the argument that smoke-free laws do not damage the hospitality industry, restaurants that ban cigarette smoking haven’t suffered from increased employee turnover, according to a new report published in the current ...

Smoke-Free Policies Very Effective in Reducing Heart Disease

June 30, 2008

Research reviewed by an international team of experts called together by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that smoke-free policies are “extremely effective” in reducing the health hazards ...

Recommended for you

Earliest evidence of reproduction in a complex organism

August 3, 2015

Researchers led by the University of Cambridge have found the earliest example of reproduction in a complex organism. Their new study has found that some organisms known as rangeomorphs, which lived 565 million years ago, ...

French teen finds 560,000 year-old tooth (Update)

July 28, 2015

A 16-year-old French volunteer archaeologist has found an adult tooth dating back around 560,000 years in southwestern France, in what researchers hailed as a "major discovery" Tuesday.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.