Good Reasons To Become A Smoke-Free Restaurant Today
- Smoke-free policies do not hurt business and sometimes boost it according to many recent studies based on sales tax data and sound research methods. Smoke-free policies increase patronage by nonsmokers and compensate for any initial drop in patronage by smokers by almost 2.5 times (Cornell School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration.) Tourist volume and hotel revenue did not drop in cities with smoke-free restaurant laws (1999 JAMA.).
- Most smokers accept smoke-free policies since 70% of all smokers want to quit smoking (National Cancer Institute. Most smokers don't have difficulty refraining from smoking for an hour or two. Most smokers continue patronizing smoke-free restaurants (according to surveys in California, New York, Wisconsin, and Texas.)
- More than half of all Americans choose smoke-free restaurants over ones that allow smoking ( National Restaurant Assoc. Survey, 1993.)
- Furniture lasts longer -- no more burn holes in tablecloths, carpets or booths. You no longer have to repaint ceilings, walls, and window coverings yellowed by tobacco smoke.
- You never have to buy or clean ashtrays again!
- You have less risk of lawsuits from employees who become ill from working in the smoking section and less risk of disability claims (National Restaurant Association.)
- It may be easier to obtain insurance because some insurance companies look more favorably on smoke-free policies.
- You have less frequent cleaning and replacing of draperies, carpets, and air conditioning or heating filters. Clearing and cleaning dirty dishes is easier and faster.
- No more cigarette butts in your potted plants. No more butts sticking to a dish and being served to an unsuspecting customer.
- No markdowns from health inspectors who catch employees smoking in the kitchen.
- Restaurants that allow smoking may violate the Americans With Disabilities Act because people with respiratory problems are unable to eat in smoky restaurants.
- People with asthma, allergies, and other respiratory problems (including many seniors) will become more loyal patrons.
- Parents concerned about protecting the health and safety of their children will more likely patronize smoke-free restaurants.
- Waiters and waitresses have a 50-90% increased risk of lung cancer that is most likely caused by restaurant tobacco smoke (JAMA 1993.) After California law banned smoking in workplaces, bartenders reported a significant drop in respiratory problems and showed improved lung function (JAMA 1998.)
- Nonsmokers exposed to tobacco in a very smoky bar had ten times more NNK (a metabolic product of a tobacco carcinogen in their urine than before their exposure to tobacco smoke (Consumer Reports 1995.)
- Restaurants that allow smoking can have six times the pollution of a busy highway (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)
- Seventy-six percent of the adult population in Wyoming does not smoke (1999 BRFSS).
- Trying to segregate tobacco smoke pollution in a restaurant is like trying to have a non-chlorinated section in a chlorinated pool. When restaurant smoking is allowed, it often is recirculated through the ventilation systems and drifts into other areas. Ventilation systems will not remove many of the toxic and cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco smoke (National Institute on Occupational Health & Safety.)
Portions reprinted by permission of GASP of Colorado