KCUR News
12:22 pm
Mon January 24, 2011

New Study: Business Not Affected By Smoking Ban

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas City's smoking ban has had little, if any, impact on business at area eating and drinking establishments. That's according to a new study, which looked at sales data before and after the ban was enacted in 2008.

John Taurus, an economics professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago, coauthored the study. He says any changes in sales that did take place were related to the overall economic climate.

"So when economy is doing well, taxable sales in restaurants and bars go up," Taurus says. "And when the economy is in a downturn, taxable sales in restaurants and bars go down. But there's no significant relationship whatsoever with the smoke free air law."

The study also looked at other places with smoke-free ordinances across Kansas and Missouri and found similar trends.

Local businessman Bill Nigro, however, says he saw some local bars suffer after the ban took effect. He says exemptions to the ban, such as for casinos, made it harder for some places to compete.

The Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City, which funds health reporting at KCUR, commissioned the study.

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