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Is the smoking ban truly bad for business? A new survey out Wednesday concerning the impact of Michigan’s smoking ban shows restaurants and taverns have been more than 2.5 times more likely to experience a decrease in sales than to have experienced an increase.
The numbers were collected by the Michigan Restaurant Association and spokesman Andy Deloney said they have no hidden agenda.
“We’re not gathering signatures to repeal it, what we really wanted to find out was what has been the impact since May 1st,” Deloney said.
The survey shows that about 43 percent of the restaurant and tavern operators have reported no change in their sales or the number of visitors to their establishments since the smoking ban took effect May 1.
Although 14.8 percent reported an increase in their sales since the ban took effect, 42.4 percent state that their sales are down since the ban was enacted.
Deloney said pre-ban promises weren’t met.
“We’re not the ones promoting this,” Deloney said. “The ones who were proponents of this and the ones who passed this are the ones who are saying we need to do this and it’s good for your industry because you’re going to see all kinds of higher sales and traffic.”
According to MRA president and CEO Rob Gifford, while most restaurant and tavern operators have seen little or no benefit from the ban, there are far many more operators who have been hurt by the ban than have benefitted.
“Despite the claims of proponents that smoking bans lead to increased business, this clearly has not happened,” said Gifford. “In fact, nearly three times as many restaurants and taverns have been hurt by the ban as have been helped by it.”
The Michigan Restaurant Association will continue to conduct periodic surveys of its members to gauge their attitudes over time towards the Michigan workplace smoking ban law.
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