Friday, August 9, 2013 (Last Updated: 08/12/2013)FRIDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Smoke-free laws do not have an adverse economic impact on restaurants and bars, according to a study published online Aug. 1 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease.
Brett Loomis, from RTI International in Research Triangle Park, N.C., and colleagues estimated dynamic panel data models for employment and sale in restaurants and bars using quarterly data from 2000 through 2010. The models controlled for seasonality, cigarette sales, general economic activity, and smoke-free laws. Data were obtained from 216 smoke-free cities and counties, including North Carolina, which was the only state with a statewide law banning smoking in restaurants or bars during the study period.
The researchers found that smoke-free laws correlated with a significant increase of about 1 percent in restaurant employment in West Virginia. There were no significant associations between smoke-free laws and employment or sales in restaurants and bars in the remaining eight states.
"Consistent with similar studies, this study found no significant adverse economic effects on restaurants or bars from laws prohibiting smoking in those venues," the authors write. "Rather, all citizens would enjoy the health benefits of being protected from exposure to secondhand smoke while patronizing or working in restaurants and bars."
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