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Study: Bars And Casinos Can Survive Smoking Ban

Last updated on Wednesday, March 25, 2009

(BLOOMINGTON) - An Indiana University review of state and local smoking bans concludes bars and casinos have nothing to fear economically, and might even benefit.

IU didn't conduct its own study, but examined 49 past peer-reviewed studies of the effects of smoking laws from New York to Fort Wayne. 47 of them found no economic harm to business.

Center For Health Policy Director Eric Wright says the sample was skewed in one of the two exceptions, while the other reviewed smoking bans passed in tandem with other laws. He says there's no reason to expect anything similar to interfere with the results of a smoking ban in Indiana.

Wright says smoke-free businesses can save one-to-two-thousand dollars per employee in health costs, and 19 dollars per 100 square feet in cleaning costs. That's on top of the increased customer traffic he says many establishments enjoyed, from a three-percent uptick in Lexington, Kentucky, to a 39-percent surge in the first month after Fort Wayne passed its smoking ban.

A smoking ban exempting bars and casinos has passed the house and is awaiting a hearing in the Senate.

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