Tuesday, June 10, 2003

A Month and Two Weeks Before We're Smoke-Free


New York State will be smokefree in the workplace, including bars and restaurants, starting on July 24th. There are a lot of opponents, mostly bar owners, to this new law and they keep saying that they'll lose business and it will be bad for the economy. Joe Cherner, president of SmokeFree Educational Services, Inc, wrote an article with substantial bibliography regarding this (Full Article Here):

"Four states (CA, DE, NY, and CT) have enacted smokefree workplace legislation for ALL workers (including office, restaurant, bar, bingo, bowling, casino, tavern, pub, and nightclub workers). Three states (ME, RI, and MA) are expected to join them shortly.

California was the first state to enact smokefree workplace legislation, and it is the only state whose law has been in effect long enough to have meaningful sales tax data. Other smokefree state laws have been in effect less than a year, and it usually takes about two years before sales tax data is available. Tobacco interests know that they can make unsubstantiated claims about lost revenue until sales tax data is available. Then the truth is known.

In California, which eliminated tobacco smoke in restaurants in 1995 and bars in 1998, those industries have continued to grow according to state statistics. By the end of 2001, revenues from restaurants and bars in California had jumped to $36.8 billion, up from $25.5 billion in 1995, according to the California fiscal agency which tracks taxable transactions. Also at the end of that five-year period, more restaurants and bars were operating in California than before smokefree laws-- 140 more bars existed in 2001 than in 1997, right before the smokefree law took effect for bars and taverns."

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