Study: Smoking bans do not causes job loss

May 18, 2009 at 2:51 PM
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COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 18 (UPI) -- Clean indoor air policies -- bans on smoking -- do not lead to a reduction in hospitality jobs, U.S. researchers found.

Lead author Elizabeth Klein of Ohio State University in Columbus examined employment trends over three years in eight Minnesota cities with different types of clean indoor air policies and two cities with no laws restricting smoking.

Of the smoking policies studied, some were comprehensive bans prohibiting smoking everywhere, while others banned smoking in most public places and businesses, but exempted bars.

"In the end we can say there isn't a significant economic effect by type of clean indoor air policy, which should give us more support for maintaining the most beneficial public health policies," Klein said in a statement.

"The public health benefit clearly comes from a comprehensive policy where all employees are protected from exposure to environmental tobacco smoke."

Secondhand smoke exposure increases non-smokers' risks of developing lung cancer, heart disease, respiratory conditions and other diseases, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has said.

Fifteen states and Puerto Rico have comprehensive laws prohibiting smoking in the workplace, restaurants and bars, the American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation said.

The finding is scheduled to be published in the June issue of the journal Prevention Science.

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