No employment loss after smoking ban

June 30, 2010 at 5:53 PM
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COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 30 (UPI) -- Smoking bans in two Minnesota cities were not linked to job losses in bars and may have increased job in restaurants, researchers say.

Lead author Elizabeth Klein of Ohio State University, and co-authors Jean Forster, Darin Erickson and Leslie Lytle of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and Barbara Schillo of ClearWay Minnesota, said the study examined employment trends before Minnesota adopted a comprehensive statewide clean indoor air policy in late 2007. A comprehensive citywide smoking ban took effect March 31, 2005, in Minneapolis and on March 31, 2006, in St. Paul.

In Minneapolis, bar jobs increased more than 5 percent after passage of the city's smoking ban, while in St. Paul bar employment had a statistically insignificant decrease.

"These clean indoor air policies are designed to protect workers from exposure to secondhand smoke," Klein, an assistant professor of health behavior and health promotion, said in a statement.

"We are evaluating business employment because employment is an objective measure of the overall economic health of these businesses."

There hasn't been a significant economic effect for bars, and in fact for restaurants, there has been some positive change in employment, Klein said.

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