A new study suggests a statewide law banning smoking in public places would not harm the restaurant and bar industry and the people who work in it.
The study has been done in North Carolina, the nation’s leading state for tobacco production. It is the home of major tobacco companies including the nation’s largest one, Phillip Morris. It’s also the home of RTI International, a think tank that has explored various health issues including those that are smoking-related.
Missouri is one of eight states without anti-smoking laws that has been studied by RTI. The lead author of the study, Brett Loomis, says the findings are straightforward. He says local smoking ban ordinances in Missouri “were unrelated to any changes in restaurant and bar employment in those communities and revenues in eating and drinking places also were unaffected by the law.”
RTI looked at eleven years of employment and revenue records for Missouri bars and restaurants, the businesses most often targeted by local ordinances approved in almost cities–and the businesses most likely to oppose local ordinances.
The study has been indirectly underwritten by Pfizer, which makes an anti-smoking drug. Loomis says the company attended no meetings, had nothing to do with gathering and analyzing information. He says it had no influence on the findings.
Full report: cdc.gov/ped/issues/2013/12_0327.htm