News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

No Drop In Bar Sales Following Smoking Ban


Study Finds No Drop In Bar Sales Following Smoking Ban

12-months after the ban on smoking in bars, a report has found no downturn in bar retail sales, tourism or employment. This is contrary to the predictions of opponents, who said that smokefree bars legislation would have serious economic consequences for the hospitality industry. Workplaces in New Zealand, including bars, restaurants, clubs and casinos were required to be smokefree inside from 10 December 2004.

The report, published today by the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation, considers a number of indicators post implementation of the ban, including smoking behaviour, public opinion, economic data, and compliance levels.

Smokefree Coalition director Leigh Sturgiss says that it comes as no surprise that the report finds retail trade figures for bars and clubs remain the same overall since the introduction of the Act.

“While there was an initial downturn in bar and club sales in March 2005, this quickly rebounded, with sales up three percent in the June 2005 quarter and almost one percent in the September 2005 quarter over the same period last year.

“This is consistent with results from other jurisdictions that have gone smokefree in hospitality venues, and shows that dire predictions from the hospitality industry about the financial effects of smokefree bars were totally unfounded.”

Figures from the Household Labour Force Survey show increased employment in pubs, bars and taverns in each of the March, June and September quarters of 2005, compared to the same periods in 2004.

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) director Becky Freeman says that the report found high compliance with the ban, a fact that she puts down to strong public support for the measure.

“With nearly 70 percent of the population supporting smokefree bars, compliance becomes far less of an issue. Opponents to the legislation warned that we would see ‘smoke police’ bursting into premises to see if anyone was smoking. In reality, bar workers and patrons alike appreciate breathing smokefree air, and compliance is at 97 percent.”

The report also found that there has been an increase in the patronage of bars and cafes by non-smokers, suggesting that they have been attracted to these venues by the smokefree environment.

Findings include:

retail trade figures for bars, clubs, cafes and restaurants remained strong for the March, June and September quarters of 2005

strong public support for smokefree bars and restaurants, with 67 percent supporting a complete ban on smoking in bars and pubs, compared to only 38 percent in 2001; and 80 percent supporting a complete ban in restaurants

high compliance with the legislation, with 97 percent of bars and taverns being smokefree in the latest survey

increased employment in pubs, taverns and bars, and in cafes and restaurants in the March, June and September quarters of 2005, compared to the same periods in 2004

an increase in overseas visitor numbers by four percent compared with the year ended September 2004

a decrease in socially-cued smoking between 2003 and 2005, suggesting that smokers smoke less when they are not able to smoke indoors in a social setting

increased calls to the Quitline in December 2004 and January 2005, suggesting that many people were prompted to quit as a result of the legislation

no further decline in the quantity of tobacco and cigarettes released for sale by tobacco companies, but a continuing decline in the amount of tobacco and cigarettes actually sold.

A copy of the report can be viewed on the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation website: www.asthmanz.co.nz.

Note: A celebration of 12 months of smokefree bars will be held at Mini Bar, Courtney Place (between Blair and Allen Sts), Wellington at 6pm, Thursday 8 December. Smokefree Coalition director Leigh Sturgiss and Maori Smokefree Coalition director Shane Bradbrook will be attending, and will be available to make comment to the media.


A BAR OWNER’S EXPERIENCE

Mike Brown (Ngati Porou)

Co-owner of Jet Bar, GoGo and Mini Bar in Wellington

“In terms of customer numbers and takings, there’s been almost no change,” says Mike Brown.

“The best thing is the benefit for staff who no longer have to work in an unhealthy environment. It also means we can invest more in the interior of our bars, without worrying about things like drapes and furniture getting dirty.”

Mike says that his partnership of four owners anticipated the introduction of the legislation, and were well prepared.

“Jet Bar already had a pavement area. We put in a balcony area for smokers in GoGo, and at Mini Bar it just meant that we had to apply for a pavement license.”

“Having a lot of people outside actually works in our favour, because it makes it more inviting for people to come in.”

Even though they were unsure of what would happen, these bar owners are reasonably happy with the way things have worked out.

The only thing punters have complained about is the increase in “human” smells: body odour, bad breath and flatulence. This has lead some to spend more of their spare cash on mints, breath spray, deodorants and cologne!

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>


Howard Davis: Benjamin Ree's The Painter and The Thief

The Norwegian filmmaker had long been fascinated by art thieves who commit high-stakes crimes with a delicate touch when a chance Google search in 2015 uncovered a botched heist in Oslo. More>>


Howard Davis: Anna Coddington Beams

Anna Coddington's thin, wispy vocals fit her songs beautifully, providing a wonderful lilting quality that pervades her latest album, producing instant ear worms. More>>


Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>


Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks in Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>


Howard Davis: Avantdale Bowling Club

Auckland rapper and MC Tom Scott brought his stunning jazz-infused Taite Music Prize-winning project Avantdale Bowling Club to the Opera House headlining Wellington's 2020 Jazz Festival. More>>

Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland