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Study: Negative Effects Minimal From Smoking Ban

LANSING (WWJ) - It's been over two years since Michigan imposed a ban on smoking in restaurants and bars. How has it affected business?

According to a new study from the Michigan Department of Community Health, there has been no significant change in sales.

MDCH spokesperson Angela Minicuci told WWJ Newsradio 950 they are happy with the study results.

"Overall we really wanted to make sure that this law was doing what was best for the state of Michigan in that was protecting the air quality but was not negatively impacting bars and restaurants, and that is what we've seen," Minicuci said. "I think it's important that we continue to monitor to make sure that laws like these are actually doing what's best for the state."

MDCH commissioned the University of Michigan-Institute for Social Research, Professor Helen Levy, Ph.D., to conduct the study using data from the Michigan Department of Treasury.

An analysis of the economic impact was conducted using sales tax collections from Michigan retail eating and drinking establishments as well as from Club Keno sales. Data was evaluated from 2006 to 2011 to see whether sales were lower after the ban took effect than they would have been based on historical trends.

Adriane De Ceuninck from the Michigan Restaurant Association said the results pretty much balance each other out.

"We have found that the smoking ban kind of breaks down into thirds in how it has affected our members," De Ceuninck said. "A third of them were actually already smoke-free, so it really didn't impact them at all; a third of them actually saw some positive effects from the law; and a third of them saw some negatives."

Michigan, in December 2009, became the 38th state to sign such a bill into law. Enforcement of the law began on May 1, 2010.

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