Study lends support to smokefree law

Smokefree laws do not have a negative economic impact on rural or urban communities, according to a recent study published in Nicotine and Tobacco Research. The study, titled “Economic Effects of Smoke-free Laws on Rural and Urban Counties in Kentucky and Ohio” was conducted to examine the potential differential impact of smokefree laws in rural and urban communities given that some studies find that smoking prevalence varies in rural versus urban settings with most finding a higher prevalence in rural communities. The study found no evidence that smokefree legislation negatively influenced local economies in either rural or urban communities regardless if the legislation was a local ordinance or statewide law.

The study examined 21 local laws in Kentucky and the Ohio statewide smoke-free law. The study measured the number of employees, total wages paid and number of reporting establishments in all hospitality and accommodation services in Kentucky and Ohio counties from 2001 - 2009. The study found that the economies in Kentucky counties were not affected in any way due to the local smokefree laws. There was also no evidence that total employment or the number of establishments was impacted by the law in Ohio, wages actually increased following the implementation of the law.

A study conducted in 2010 by the IUPUI Survey Research Center Indiana found that two thirds (66 percent) of adults in rural Indiana would support an ordinance that prohibits smoking in all workplaces including bars and membership clubs.

“This new study along with the strong support of residents in rural communities is further proof that Indiana is ready to be smokefree.” says Kevin O’Flaherty, Co-Chair of the Indiana Campaign for Smokefree Air. “The Indiana Campaign for Smokefree Air encourages the Indiana Legislature to take responsible actions and pass REAL smokefree legislation that is on par with the other 23 states that do not allow smoking in any workplace, restaurant or bar.”

About the Indiana Campaign for Smokefree Air
The Indiana Campaign for Smokefree Air (ICSA) is a statewide coalition of nearly 400 state and local health organizations and countless individuals and businesses committed to protecting all workers from exposure to secondhand smoke by working toward the adoption of a comprehensive smokefree air law that covers all Indiana workplaces.

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