, Volume 57, Issue 6, pp 861-866
Date: 22 Aug 2012

Effect of smoke-free legislation on Ticino gastronomy revenue

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Abstract

Objective

To provide evidence on the effects of smoke-free laws on gastronomy revenue in a European setting based on objective data. Damage to gastronomy revenue is a widely used argument against smoke-free legislation.

Method

Gastronomy revenue in Ticino is compared with the rest of Switzerland before and after Ticino banned smoking from gastronomy in April 2007, being the first (and at the time of the study only) Swiss canton to do that. The study uses breakdowns by cantons of taxable revenue of gastronomy branches and retailers (for comparison) provided by the Swiss tax authorities for the years 2005–2008.

Results

Revenues of restaurants and bars were not damaged by the Ticino smoke-free law. Decreases in Ticino happened before the smoke-free law came into effect. Evidence for night clubs is inconclusive.

Discussion

The absence of detrimental effects on restaurant and bar revenue corroborates the gist of research on the subject from other countries. The argument that the decline of bar and restaurant sales prior to the implementation of the ban might have occurred in anticipation of the new regulation is not considered tenable.