Economic Impact of Smokefree Laws: Case Studies

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May 2005

All legitimate economic impact studies on business show either no economic effect or a positive one after a smokefree law goes into effect. When the issue of smokefree air arises, the tobacco industry will work hard to create dissent and fear. Their goal is to convince business owners and residents that the sky will fall if a smokefree law passes. Since 1987, the tobacco industry and smokefree opponents have consistently claimed that smokefree laws lead to a decrease in business in restaurants, bars, bingo halls, and billiard halls, usually by 20-50%, with an accompanying decrease in employment. These claims are totally unfounded. On the contrary, the number of peer-reviewed economic studies showing that smokefree laws have either no economic effect, or a positive one, continues to mount as more communities pass and implement strong smokefree laws. Going smokefree is good for health and good for business. Period.




© Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights, revised 2002, 2004, 2005.


  1. Dai, C., et al, "The Economic Impact of Florida's Smoke-free Workplace Law," Bureau of Economic and Business Research, Warrington College of Business Administration, University of Florida, June 25, 2004. Download at Economic Impact Final Report.pdf.
  2. RTI International, "First Annual Independent Evaluation of New York's Tobacco Control Program," New York State Department of Health, November 2004. Accessed on November 29, 2004. Download at
  3. California State Board of Equalization: California Department of Health Services, Tobacco Control Section, November 2002; State of California, Employment Development Department, Labor Force Statistics, November 2003.
  4. Alamar, B., et al., "Effects of a smokefree ordinance on Delaware gaming revenue," American Public Health Association, November 9, 2004. Download at
  5. [n.a.], "Delaware's Clean Indoor Air Act: The 1st Anniversary Story," Delaware Division of Public Health and Delaware Division of Revenue, 2004.
  6. Connolly, G.N.; Carpenter, C.; Alpert, H.R.; Skeer, M.; Travers, M., "Evaluation of the Massachusetts Smoke-Free Workplace Law: a preliminary report," Division of Public Health Practice, Harvard School of Public Health, Tobacco Research Program, April 4, 2005. Download at to
  7. [n.a.], "Assessing the Economic Impact of the Fayetteville, Arkansas Smoking Ban," Center for Business and Economic Research, Sam M. Walton School of Business, University of Arkansas, May 2005.
  8. Hahn, E., et al., "UK Study: No Significant Economic Impact from Smoke-free Law on Fayette County Restaurant and Bar Business," University of Kentucky, April 18, 2005. Download at and
  9. [n.a.], "Impact of a smoking ban on restaurant and bar revenues - El Paso, Texas, 2002," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 53(7): 150-152, February 27, 2004.
  10. Huang, P., "Comments on the Weinstein and Clower Study," Texas Department of State Health Services, [n.d.]. Download at
  11. Shope, T., "Poll: Revenues up since smoke ban," The Albuquerque Tribune, February 14, 2005. Accessed on March 16, 2005. Downloaded at,2564,ALBQ_19858_3546849,00.html.
  12. Shanahan, C., "New York bars and restaurants 'not hit by smoking ban'" Irish Examiner, January 7, 2004; New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, "Initial effects of New York City smoking ordinance," July 23, 2003.
  13. Moseley, F.; Buettner-Schmidt, K., "The Economic Impact of Minot's Smoke-Free Restaurant Ordinance," Minot, North Dakota: Minot State University, College of Business & ND Center for Persons with Disability, June 5, 2003.
  14. Styring, "A Study of the Fort Wayne (IN) Restaurant Smoking Ban: Has it Impacted the Restaurant Business?" May 2001.
  15. [n.a.], "Boulder's Smoke-Free Ordinance Makes Good Cents for Restaurants and Bars," GASP of Colorado, 2000.
  16. Dresser, Boles, Lichtenstein and Strycker, "Multiple Impacts of a Bar Smoking Prohibition Ordinance in Corvallis, Oregon," Pacific Research Institute, [n.d.].
  17. Sciacca and Ratliff, "Prohibiting Smoking in Restaurants: Effects on Restaurant Sales," American Journal of Health Promotion, 12(3): 176-184, January/February 1998.
  18. Hinderliter, de Llamas and Associates, Glendora, CA, November 8, 1991.
  19. Glantz and Smith, "The Effect of Ordinances Requiring Smokefree Restaurants on Restaurant Sales," American Journal of Public Health 84:1081-1085, 1994.
  20. [n.a.], "The 30 Percent Myth," Consumer Reports, May 1994.
  21. Pacific Analytics Inc., "The Economic Impacts of the Proposed Amendment to the ETS Regulation," The Workers Compensation Board of British Columbia, February 2001.