Preliminary Assessment of the Impact of Smoking Ban on Restaurant and Bar Revenues in Lubbock

July 10, 2006
CONTACT: Suzanna Cisneros Martinez,
(806) 743-2143

LUBBOCK – A preliminary study shows the economic impact of the 2004 city of Lubbock smoking ban on restaurants, including restaurants with bars.

In July 2004, the city of Lubbock implemented a municipal ordinance banning smoking in public places.

Donna Bacchi, M.D., MPH, director of the Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, said at the time of the ordinance many argued that a ban on smoking would cause a significant decrease in revenues, but this study proves otherwise.

“We have found that sales since the ban have shown a significant increase in gross restaurant and restaurant bar revenues of approximately $3.8 million associated with the ordinance,” Bacchi said. “The numbers show that there have been no adverse changes in their revenues since the ban was implemented.”

Quarterly data, from the first quarter of 1987 through the first quarter of 2000, for taxable restaurant sales and total retail sales were obtained from the Texas State Comptroller’s Office for Lubbock.

Bacchi added that these findings are consistent with prior reports on the impact of smoke free indoor air ordinances on restaurant revenues in other cities in Texas and across the United States.

The study was compiled by the Philip Huang, M.D., MPH, of the Health Promotion Unit of the Texas Department of State Health Services, along with Bacchi from the Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control.

“All of the scientific information we had then and now shows that secondhand smoke is dangerous to an individual’s health,” Bacchi said. “Environmental tobacco smoke is now classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a Group A carcinogen. There is a need to protect us all from the health dangers of cigarette smoke and this is a great first step.”