In a recent study published in Nicotine and Tobacco Research , Ellen Hahn, professor in the University of Kentucky College ofNursing and Mark Pyles, assistant professor of finance in theSchool of Business at the College of Charleston, found smoke-freelegislation does not negatively influence local economies in eitherrural or urban communities. This is true regardless of whether thelaw is enacted at the state or local level. The report, "Economic Effects of Smoke-free Laws on Rural and UrbanCounties in Kentucky and Ohio," documents the number of employees,total wages paid and number of reporting establishments in allhospitality and accommodation services in Kentucky and Ohiocounties beginning with the first quarter of 2001 and ending withthe last quarter of 2009. The primary purpose of the study was toexamine potential differential impact of smoke-free laws in ruraland urban communities since some studies find that smokingprevalence differs in rural versus urban settings with most findinga higher prevalence in rural communities. "Smoke-free laws are a known public health vaccine, protectingworkers and the public from deadly heart and asthma attacks," according to Ellen Hahn, the study's co-author. |
"Ourstudy shows that smoke-free laws are good for business, regardlessof whether the business is located in a rural or an urbancommunity, or if it is located in a place with a statewidesmoke-free law or in a city or county with a local policy." In April 2009, Lexington-Fayette County implemented the firstsmoke-free ordinance in Kentucky. Since that time, 30 additionalKentucky counties have enacted smoke-free city or county laws orBoard of Health regulations. In 2010, a bill was filed in theKentucky General Assembly to prohibit smoking in all workplaces andpublic places, but it was not called for a vote. The state of Ohioimplemented a smoke-free law in November 2006 covering allworkplaces, restaurants and bars in all areas of the state. According to the Americans for Nonsmokers Rights Foundation, as ofJuly 1, 2011, approximately 48 percent of the U.S.
population wasprotected by local or statewide smoke-free laws that covervirtually all indoor worksites including bars and restaurants.Twenty-three states, along with Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.,and 468 municipalities have comprehensive smoke-free legislationcovering all workplaces, restaurants and bars. Additional References Citations.
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