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Nicotine Tob Res. 2012 Jan;14(1):111-5. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntr123. Epub 2011 Jun 20.

Economic effects of smoke-free laws on rural and urban counties in Kentucky and Ohio.

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School of Business, College of Charleston, 5 Liberty Street, Suite 400, Charleston, SC 29401, USA.



Numerous empirical studies have examined the influence of smoke-free legislation on economic activity, with most finding a null effect. The influence could possibly differ in rural areas relative to urban areas due to differing rates of smoking prevalence and access to prevention and treatment programs. Furthermore, the discussion of the effectiveness of smoke-free laws has been extended to consider local ordinances relative to statewide laws. This study examines these issues using 21 local laws in Kentucky and the Ohio statewide smoke-free law.


The number of employees, total wages paid, and number of reporting establishments in all hospitality and accommodation services in Kentucky and Ohio counties were documented, beginning the first quarter 2001 and ending the last quarter of 2009. A generalized estimating equation time-series design is used to estimate the impact of local and state smoke-free laws in Kentucky and Ohio rural and urban counties.


There is no evidence that the economies in Kentucky counties were affected in any way from the implementation of local smoke-free laws. There was also no evidence that total employment or the number of establishments was influenced by the statewide law in Ohio, but wages increased following the implementation of the law. Furthermore, there is no evidence that either rural or urban counties experienced a loss of economic activity following smoke-free legislation.


The study finds no evidence that local or state smoke-free legislation negatively influences local economies in either rural or urban communities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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