Smoke free bars still make money in the US – why not here?

Tuesday 04 November 1997

ASH/ Press releases/


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Press release4 November 1997 ASH
Action on Smoking
and Health

4 November 1997

Smoke-free bars still make money in the U.S – why not here in the UK?

A study released today in the United States shows that banning smoking in bars causesno adverse impact on trade [1]. Many localities have now banned smoking in restaurants andbars in the light of concern about the health impacts of passive smoking, but smoke-freebars barely exist in the UK, partly because of fears about loss of trade.

What seems to happen is that non-smokers that were previouslyput off by clouds of cigarette smoke replace the smokers that decide to stay away“,said Clive Bates, Director of ASH – Action on Smoking and Health.

ASH believes that workers and the public in bars and restaurants have aright to be protected from routine passive smoking, and that the public will mostlywelcome it. Over 80%of adults drink, but just 27% smoke.

The majority of non-smokers are either forcedinto passive smoking or forced out of the pub.” said Bates.

Passive smoking has been shown to be a cause of heart attacks and lungcancer in adults (and numerous respiratory effects in children).

The evidence on passive smoking is now sostrong that bars and restaurants cannot get away with ignoring it. The US studies showthat banning smoking is not going to cause the crisis that some in the British trade wouldhave us believe.” said Bates.


Notes to editors

[1] Glantz SA and Smith RA. American Journal of Public Health 4 November 1997.The study examined bars in seven locations in California with smoking bans and comparedthese to locations with no smoking ban. Sales tax data from 1991 revealed no economicimpact as a result of banning smoking. The authors also updated an earlier study examiningrestaurants, and again showed no economic impact.

Contact Clive Bates, Director (020) 7739 5902
Amanda Sandford, Communications Director (020) 7739 5902

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