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: Less-numerate investors swayed by corporate report presentation effects

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Smoke-free laws have no impact on employee turnover

May 06, 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

Jun 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 ...

Case links death to environmental tobacco smoke

Feb 08, 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 ...

The Web: WTO's gambling deadline missed

Apr 19, 2006

A deadline imposed by The World Trade Organization for the Bush administration to clarify its stance on online gambling passed earlier this month, without a public response from the government, gaming experts are telling ...

Recommended for you

Migrant employment on the rise

Oct 20, 2014

Skilled migrants are enjoying better jobs and higher levels of employment thanks to a shift in policy, according to a new study by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research at the University ...

User comments : 0