Analysis shows ordinances enacted before state law did not harm hospitality industry
Roughly six months into Wisconsin’s statewide smokefree law, a new study offers further proof that getting the smoke out is good for health and good for business.
The study, done by the UW Carbone Cancer Center, compared economic data between five Wisconsin cities that enacted smoke-free ordinances before the statewide law and similar cities where workplace smoking was still permitted.
The results showed bars and restaurants in the smokefree cities continued to do well under the ordinances. In fact, in virtually every smokefree community the number of Class B alcohol licenses increased after the ordinances took effect and employment remained strong despite the recession.
“This is excellent news for employers and employees in the hospitality industry,” said Gail Sumi, Wisconsin Government Relations director for the American Cancer Society.
“This study, like dozens of similar studies nationwide, offers more proof that going smoke-free does not pit business against health, but rather is a common sense health law that keeps workers and employers both physically and fiscally healthy.”
The study looked at a number of factors in Madison, Appleton, Eau Claire, Marshfield and Fond du Lac including:
- The number of alcohol licenses issued to bars and restaurants
- The number of establishments operating before and after the ordinance
- The number of employees in the year before the ordinance took effect and the following years after
Despite the significant economic recession of 2008, the study found the hospitality industry to be the most economically successful industry in the smoke-free cities. Employment in the industry remained high and overall there were no significant differences in economic trends between those with and without smokefree ordinances.
“Today’s study coupled with state data showing widespread compliance with the new law is encouraging. It shows the law is working to protecting workers from the serious health effects of secondhand smoke exposure while still enabling businesses to adapt and thrive,” said Sumi. “Wisconsin really is better smoke-free.”
To see the full study please visit: http://sep.uwcarbone.wisc.edu/