Effect of Smoke-Free Laws on Bar Value and Profits

Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, Department of Medicine (Cardiology), University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143-1390, USA.
American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 4.55). 09/2007; 97(8):1400-2. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2006.095315
Source: PubMed


The tobacco industry has claimed that smoke-free bar laws caused bar revenues to decline by 30%. After we controlled for economic variables, we found that bars located in areas with smoke-free laws sold for prices that were comparable to prices for similar bars in areas with no smoking restrictions. Other studies have reported that sales did not decline, and we also found that neither price nor sales declined. Therefore, bar owners' concerns that smoke-free laws will reduce the value of their bars are unfounded.

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Available from: Stanton Glantz, Dec 15, 2014
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    • "In fact, these economic-related objections were nothing new to the tobacco control effort since similar issues emerged when California first enacted the indoor smoke-free workplace laws that regulated restaurants [9] and later bars and taverns [10]. In these previous cases, while the initial outcry from the business community garnered media publicity, studies found that there was virtually no negative economic impact for both the restaurant and bar industry once these laws were implemented [11, 12]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Although California communities have been relatively successful in adopting and implementing a wide range of local tobacco control policies, the process has not been without its setbacks and barriers. Little is known about local policy adoption, and this paper examines these processes related to adopting and implementing outdoor smoke-free policies, focusing on the major barriers faced by local-level tobacco control organizations in this process. Ninety-six projects funded by the California Tobacco Control Program submitted final evaluation reports pertaining to an outdoor smoking objective, and the reports from these projects were analyzed. The barriers were grouped in three primary areas: politically polarizing barriers, organizational barriers, and local political orientation. The barriers identified in this study underscore the need for an organized action plan in adopting local tobacco policy. The authors also suggest potential strategies to offset the barriers, including: (1) having a "champion" who helps to carry an objective forward; (2) tapping into a pool of youth volunteers; (3) collecting and using local data as a persuasive tool; (4) educating the community in smoke-free policy efforts; (5) working strategically within the local political climate; and (6) demonstrating to policymakers the constituent support for proposed policy.
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    • "For instance, Luk et al. [14] showed that the law on smoking did not have an effect on revenue, but this was for the hospitality industry as a whole since “bar and licensed restaurant sales could not be analysed separately.” Analysis on bar revenues in the United States has also showed no statistically significant effects of smoke-free laws for bars [17, 18]. "
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    • "As such, a smoking ban might have only minor repercussions on bar business. Nonetheless, owners of bars and restaurants worldwide are concerned about losing business after a smoking ban (Alamar & Glantz, 2007; Eriksen & Chaloupka, 2007). "
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