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"After a short period of adjustment most businesses get back to their usual level of sales and many even increase sales, based on a whole new market of people who were staying home because they don't like smoke-filled rooms."
-The Business Case for Going 100% Smoke-Free
-The Business Case for Going 100% Smoke-Free
- The Ottawa Citizen, December 6, 2001:
Ottawa hospitality industry is not suffering as a result of the smoking ban, according to a KPMG report commissioned by the city. The firm
was hired by the city's health department to conduct a year-long study into the economic impact of the smoking ban. Yesterday, the first of
four quarterly reports were released.
The data collected since the ban took effect at the beginning of August shows a hospitality industry stronger than it was in the past two
years. Employment insurance claims in the food service industry actually declined by 5% in August compared to August 2000.
- Ottawa Public Health, January 31, 2001: Second-Hand Smoke in Public Places: The Business Case for Going 100% Smoke-Free
by SHERI LEVINE, Ottawa Sun
As a fire prevention officer, it helps to have a bylaw against smoking on your side.
Since the city's non-smoking bylaw was passed last August, there have been fewer fires to put out. This has Andre Vermette, Ottawa's assistant chief of fire prevention, extremely pleased. "Since the non-smoking bylaw, it's been easier to prevent fires and as a result there have not been nearly as many fires in restaurants and hotels," said Vermette.
He also believes there will be fewer fires not just in Canada, but also in the U.S,. and credits smoking bans and public education. Vermette was relieved when Ottawa's smoking ban passed because he knew it would help the city's fire prevention team. He said there aren't as many accidents when people smoke outdoors because cigarettes are extinguished properly. Indoors, there's a greater threat of something catching on fire. "It's always a challenge getting people to understand the dangers of fires and that they can occur in any building," Vermette said. "So it helps if people aren't allowed to smoke inside a building."
- City of Ottawa, April 23, 2003:
A total of 181 new and expanded bars and restaurants have opened since the City of Ottawa's Smoke-free By-laws were enacted in
September 2001. The hospitality sector has clearly adapted and is continuing to expand. The City staff report, released today, includes the list of bars and restaurants that have been newly built, purchased, or expanded. This list contains new establishments and establishments where a new owner has invested in creating a new business.
"This continued and substantial growth just proves what a vibrant and confident group of entrepreneurs operates our hospitality sector," Says Councillor Dwight Eastman. "These results, along with the virtually one hundred per cent compliance, are further evidence that clean and safe public and work places are now a fact of life in Ottawa." This latest report adds further confirmation to the results of a KPMG study released last fall on the economic impact of the Smoke-free By-laws on the hospitality sector. That report claimed that, despite tough economic times, the Ottawa hospitality sector is in sound economic shape and continues to expand.
For further information:
City Councillor Dwight Eastman
- The Ontario Tobacco Research Unit, The Economic Impact of a Smoke-Free Bylaw on Restaurant and Bar Sales in Ottawa, Canada, June 2003:
"When the City of Ottawa implemented a 100 per cent smoke-free bylaw, without providing for separately ventilated designated smoking areas, strong opposition came from bar and restaurant owners saying that such a ban would severely impact their business," says Dr. Roberta Ferrence, director of the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit and a professor of public health sciences at U of T. "We decided to examine those claims to see if there was a link between a full smoking ban and sales at restaurants and bars. We found no evidence of such a link." Ottawa implemented its non-smoking bylaw in all work and public places Aug. 1, 2001. Enforcement began in September, with the city achieving a 95 per cent compliance rate. Using data from the Ontario Ministry of Finance (March 1998 to June 2002) detailing provincial and GST taxable sales of licensed restaurants and bars and unlicensed restaurants, the researchers adjusted sales for inflation. They also controlled for Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and other factors.
They found that, relative to rising retail sales, bar and restaurant sales in Ottawa have remained relatively constant since early 2000. (The bylaw was instituted at a time when the ratios of restaurant and bar sales to retail sales were already in decline.) "If the concerns expressed by hospitality owners were true [that food and drink sales would decline], we would expect to see a downward shift in the ratios of restaurant and bar sales relative to retail sales after the implementation of the bylaw," notes Ferrence, a senior scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. "In fact, what we observed when we factored in this declining trend and seasonal variations, was no statistically significant impact on bar and restaurant sales."
This finding is consistent with previous research, she says. Jurisdictions in Canada, the US and Australia have also found that smoke-free bylaws do not adversely affect restaurant and bar sales. Since the Ontario Tobacco Control Act was passed in 1994, 73 of 446 municipalities have implemented smoke-free bylaws in restaurants alone or in restaurants and bars, she says. However, in many communities, the public remains unprotected in these locations. "This is a very clear message that has been shown time and time again - eliminating smoking in bars and restaurants will not negatively impact on sales. And when we include the reduction in health and labour costs with the elimination of smoking in public places, it's a win-win for everyone." Ferrence's fellow researchers are Rita Luk, research officer at the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit, and Dr. Gerhard Gmel, senior scientist and co-director of research at the Swiss Institute for the Prevention of Alcohol and Other Drug Problems.
This study received funding from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The principal sponsor of the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit is the Centre for Health Promotion in U of T's Department of Public Health Sciences. Other sponsors include the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and the Universities of Ottawa and Waterloo.
U of T Public Affairs
Dr. Roberta Ferrence
Ontario Tobacco Research Unit
416-535-8501 ext. 4482 or 416-595-6888
Cell: 416 577-5559
Ontario Tobacco Research Unit
416-535-8501 ext. 4727
- The Edmonton Journal, July 28, 2003:
As Edmonton City Council struggles with food and beverage industry concerns over smoking bans, Ottawa's experience may provide some lessons. Hospitality industry officials say that bars and restaurants with good food and a pleasant ambience have thrived in Ottawa, where smoking indoors in public places was outlawed two years ago. Hardest hit have been some traditional taverns and pubs, where smokers go to drink. But the industry collapse many predicted has not happened, said Steve Monuk, a managing partner of eight Ottawa-area restaurants and bars. In fact, before this summer's dramatic decline in tourism, Monuk's business had exceeded pre-ban sales figures. "That has hurt us more than anything," Monuk said. The SARS scare, the war with Iraq and the weakening U.S. dollar have all contributed to a dearth of
tourists in Ottawa this year.
- The Ottawa Citizen, July 28, 2003:
Ottawa's no-smoking bylaw is giving the city a competitive advantage in drawing multi-million-dollar conventions, as national organizations look solely to smoke-free cities. Each convention can pour up to $1 million into Ottawa's economy through spending on hotels, retail
shopping and restaurants. And Ottawa has one up on its two biggest rivals, Montreal and Toronto, where smoking is still allowed in some
indoor public places.
Ottawa's no-smoking bylaw, which took effect Aug. 1, 2001, prohibits smoking in all workplaces and public spaces. The Canadian Paediatric Society decided last month to limit venues for future meetings to cities that have completely butted out in public places. The decision followed a similar move by the Canadian Public Health Association earlier this year.
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