4010.0: Tuesday, November 14, 2000 - Board 9

Abstract #15542

The economic impact of the smoke-free bar law in California

David W Cowling, PhD1, Eric Suess, PhD2, and Greg Oliva, MPH1. (1) Tobacco Control Section, California Department of Health Services, P.O. Box 942732, MS 555, Sacramento, CA 94234-7320, (916) 327-4446, dcowling@dhs.ca.gov, (2) Mathematics Department, CSU Hayward

A smoke-free bar law was enacted in California on January 1, 1998. Even though the research literature is extensive on the harms of secondhand smoke, the tobacco industry and some restaurant groups have asserted that it has dramatically reduced the sales receipts of bars and bar-restaurant combinations. Researchers have concluded that taxable sales data are the best approach to examining the impact of smoke-free laws on these businesses. Several studies have used taxable sales receipts to show that smoke-free restaurant laws have no economic impact. Using taxable sales receipts and a time series model, we argue that the smoke-free bar law had no economic effect on stand-alone bars in California.

We use taxable sales receipts from eating establishments that serve all types of liquor, which is made up of about 30% stand-alone bars, to examine the economic effects of the smoke-free bar law. The smoke-free law would have affected the remaining establishments on January 1, 1994. We adjust the taxable sales receipt data using the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers in California. In addition, we control for seasonal effects and the underlying economic environment by using retail sales. By applying these adjustments in a straightforward time series model, we are able to exclude inflation and the growing retail economy in California as possible explanations for the increase in taxable sales receipts. This procedure provides compelling evidence that the January 1, 1998 smoke-free bar law has had no impact on the taxable sales receipts for bars in California.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant will be able to: 1) Recognize that the smoke-free bar law in California did not have an economic impact on stand-alone bars. 2) Analyze taxable sales data to exclude other possible confounders. 3) Apply and defend smoke-free bar policies in their area

Keywords: Tobacco Policy,

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA