A few years back, the Kansas City metro area saw smoking bans go into place in various ways across almost every county in the metropolitan area. As these bans were coming into existence, many in the bar and restaurant industry were worried about how the ban would affect their business. A new study recently released by the Kansas Health Institute addresses this exact economic impact. Here is the article about it in the Kansas City Business Journal.
The Kansas Health Institute has released an analysis saying the statewide smoking ban has not had an overall negative effect on the restaurant and bar industry, as some initially feared.
The ban, implemented in July 2010 as a public health initiative, was intended to reduce the public’s exposure to secondhand smoke.
KHI has compared sales and liquor license data for the eight years before the ban’s implementation as well as for the two years following.
The analysis does note that individual businesses may have been positively or negatively affected by the ban, but that the industry as a whole did not suffer any negative consequences. Sales increased each year except for a slight drop in 2010 before the ban was implemented, and then they increased each year after the ban took effect.
“We undertook this analysis so that policymakers could consider the evidence on the law’s economic impact if and when they choose to discuss the future of the Kansas Indoor Clean Air Act,” Duane Goossen, KHI vice president for fiscal and health policy, said in a release.
Last year, the House heard testimony on a bill that would have rolled back some provisions of the ban, allowing business to permit smoking if no one younger than 21 was allowed on the premises as a worker or customer. The bill eventually died in committee, but Goossen said in an interview that it’s possible the bill would be reintroduced this year. The makeup of the Legislature has since changed, with dozens of new members, so he said he was unsure whether it could pass this time around.