Smoke-free rules may be good news for business

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Restaurants and hotels that go smoke free will not lose dollars by doing so -- contrary to popular beliefs -- and some may even gain revenues, according to a new study published in a Cornell University journal this month. State taxpayers and hospitality industry employees may also be beneficiaries, the study reveals.

The study, "New York's Smoke-free Regulations: Effects on Employment and Sales in the Hospitality Industry," shows that smoke-free regulations were not associated with adverse economic outcomes in New York restaurants and hotels. Published in the June 2003 issue of the Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, the study's summary is a featured article at this Web site: http://www.hotelschool.cornell.edu/publications/hraq/feature .

The study's lead author, cancer research scientist Andrew Hyland, said: "This study demonstrates that business managers need not fear loss of patronage by going smoke free and should welcome the opportunity to protect the health of their workers and patrons."

Hyland is associated with the Department of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) in Buffalo, N.Y., and two co-authors are also Roswell affiliates.

Hyland and his co-authors assessed changes in taxable sales and employment in restaurants and hotels in five locations in New York state that have implemented smoke-free dining regulations since 1995. They evaluated data from jurisdictions that represent 63 percent of the state's population: Erie, Monroe, Suffolk and Westchester counties and New York City's five boroughs, which the researchers treated as a single jurisdiction.

The most positive finding, for restaurateurs, the state and taxpayers: The smoke-free regulations were associated with statistically significant increases in eating and drinking and hotel taxable sales in the counties. The

Contact: Linda Myers
Cornell University News Service

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