Minnesota: Study finds no adverse employment impact from smoking bans
The Ohio State University study, published in the Journal of Public Health Management Practice, found that in Minneapolis, the comprehensive smoking ban was associated with a 3 percent gradual permanent increase in employment at restaurants and an increase of between 5 percent and 6 percent employment in bars. In St. Paul, the clean indoor air policy was associated with a 4 percent increase in restaurant employment. Bars, which were not subject to the smoking ban until a year later than restaurants in that city, saw no statistical change in employment after the smoking ban took effect.
Researchers said the findings should qualm fears about potential economic repercussions for bars and restaurants in states considering implementing smoking bans. Opponents have argued that these policies lead to large revenue losses, worker layoffs, and business closures in the hospitality industry.
"These clean indoor air policies are designed to protect workers from exposure to secondhand smoke," said Elizabeth Klein, assistant professor of health behavior and health promotion at the university and lead author of the study. "We are evaluating business employment because employment is an objective measure of the overall economic health of these businesses. What we have found is that there isn't a significant economic effect for bars, and in fact for restaurants, there is some positive change in employment. These findings underscore that nothing economically catastrophic happened for bars or restaurants in the Twin Cities as a result of banning smoking in these environments."
Klein said that these findings are consistent with previous research that has examined the economic effects of smoking bans on bars and restaurants in California and in cities in Canada and Australia.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
August 30, 2010
Copyright 2010© LRP Publications