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Issue Date: Vol. 52, No. 10, October 2012, Posted On: 9/26/2012

Michigan Smoking Ban Hasn't Hurt Bars, Claims Government Study

Marcus Webb
TAGS: Michigan smoking ban, Michigan Department of Community Health, Michigan smoking ban study, Michigan bar sales, coin machine business, smoking ban effects on bar business, jukebox, coin-op machines

LANSING, MI -- Michigan's statewide smoking ban, now more than two years old, has had "no significant negative effect" on bar and restaurant sales, according to a study released Sept. 17 by the Michigan Department of Community Health.

The study was performed for the state government by a social scientist at the University of Michigan-Institute for Social Research, using data from the state's Treasury Department. | SEE STUDY

The study compared bar and restaurant tax revenues from 2006 to 2011 to see whether sales were lower after the ban took effect than they would have been based on historical trends.

Michigan's Smoke-Free Air Bill took effect in May 2010, making it the 38th U.S. state to ban bar and restaurant workers and the public from exposure to secondhand smoke. Cigar shops, casinos and certain other venues are exempt from the ban.

Some bar and club owners disagreed with the study, saying smokers stay for shorter periods and spend less under the ban, according to local press outlets.

In May 2011, Vending Times reported that one year after the ban took effect, many taverns and restaurants were experiencing 20% to 30% drops in customer traffic; food and beverage sales revenues had dropped by 50%. | SEE STORY

In a compounding effect, revenues for keno and pull-tab devices in these locations were also spiraling downward, according to a leading Michigan newspaper. Music and games operators who had equipment in Michigan bars were believed to be experiencing similar negative effects from the smoking ban.

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