Supporters of the statewide smoking ban say bars and restaurants shouldn’t worry about customers disappearing.
With workplaces across the state going smoke free, some bar and tavern owners have expressed concerns that they’ll be losing business. However, Allison Miller with the American Cancer Society says a recent study suggests they may not have much to worry about.
The study in Washington State looked at 24 quarters of inflation adjusted receipts from bars and restaurants. It found revenues actually increased in the two years after a statewide smoking ban started.
Miller says several other studies in recent years back up those results, with other states showing smoking bans are supported by the public and customers who don’t smoke.
In communities across Wisconsin that already had a local ban in place, Miller says most businesses have managed to stay open. Even in more rural areas, where some owners worried customers would drive to places that still allowed smoking.
Miller says smokers have just learned to adapt and step outside instead.