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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2004 Feb 27;53(7):150-2.

Impact of a smoking ban on restaurant and bar revenues--El Paso, Texas, 2002.


Smoke-free indoor air ordinances protect employees and customers from secondhand smoke exposure, which is associated with increased risks for heart disease and lung cancer in adults and respiratory disease in children. As of January 2004, five states (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, and New York) and 72 municipalities in the United States had passed laws that prohibit smoking in almost all workplaces, restaurants, and bars. On January 2, 2002, El Paso, Texas (2000 population: 563,662), implemented an ordinance banning smoking in all public places and workplaces, including restaurants and bars. The El Paso smoking ban is the strongest smoke-free indoor air ordinance in Texas and includes stipulations for enforcement of the ban by firefighting and law enforcement agencies, with fines of up to $500 for ordinance violations. To assess whether the El Paso smoking ban affected restaurant and bar revenues, the Texas Department of Health (TDH) and CDC analyzed sales tax and mixed-beverage tax data during the 12 years preceding and 1 year after the smoking ban was implemented. This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which determined that no statistically significant changes in restaurant and bar revenues occurred after the smoking ban took effect. These findings are consistent with those from studies of smoking bans in other U.S. cities. Local public health officials can use these data to support implementation of smokefree environments as recommended by the Task Force on Community Preventive Services.

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