Are there bars in San Francisco that are violating the smoking ban?
If Congress chose to go that way, that would be up to them," he said. "But I see no need for any tobacco products in society."
The economic impact, however, is only one aspect of Ontario's smoking debate. The other is the health of employees who are exposed to tobacco smoke in the workplace environment. The province of British Columbia has addressed this issue directly with objective, science-driven legislation administered by its Workers' Compensation Board (WCB).
British Columbia tried a province-wide smoking ban in 2000 but in the end replaced it with WCB regulations that set a provincial standard for the construction and operation of DSRs. These rooms are separate from the rest of the facility and must meet a ventilation standard set by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). Customers outside the designated smoking room are protected from exposure to tobacco smoke. Employees have the right to refuse to work in the designated smoking room and those that choose to do so must limit their time there to no more than 20% of their shift.
B.C.'s legislation proved to be a major step toward making the province's hospitality operations smoke-free, since 92% of establishments chose not to make capital investments in DSRs. The vast majority of businesses that did install DSRs are pubs, bars, taverns, legions, bingo halls and nightclubs: adult-oriented establishments that tend to have a significant smoking clientele.
In studies concluding a negative impact, the odds of using a subjective outcome measure was 4.0 times (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.4 to 9.6; p = 0.007) and the odds of not being peer reviewed was 20 times (95% CI 2.6 to 166.7; p = 0.004) that of studies concluding no such negative impact. All of the studies concluding a negative impact were supported by the tobacco industry. 94% of the tobacco industry supported studies concluded a negative economic impact compared to none of the non-industry supported studies.
Conclusion: All of the best designed studies report no impact or a positive impact of smoke-free restaurant and bar laws on sales or employment. Policymakers can act to protect workers and patrons from the toxins in secondhand smoke confident in rejecting industry claims that there will be an adverse economic impact.
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