Smoking Ban Impact On California Restaurants

Forces International

Back to The evidence



Back to main page

After obtaining data on "Taxable Sales in California" (Sales and Use Tax), I analyzed the Periods of 1989 to 1993 (Pre-smoking ban year), and 1994 to 1999 (Post smoking ban). The media, with furnished information from the anti-smoking industry, wants to tell us that everything is fine, there is NO damage to the restaurant industry.  In fact they tell us that the restaurants are doing better than ever since the ban and there is no cause for alarm. 

When you look at those two periods, you also have to consider the overall economic tendencies ­ 1989 to 1993 was at the tail end of a recessionary period, with ZERO growth. The "Eating and Drinking" group contains eating places where no alcoholic beverages are sold; eating places where beer and wine is served; and eating places where all types of liquor is served.  I call the first group FAST FOOD or FF, and combine the two remaining groups into RESTAURANTS AND BARS or RB. 

The analysis I conducted shows the following:

Even though there was Zero growth, the FF sector showed an increase in sales of 11.7% Whereas the RB showed a modest gain of 1.2%. Another interesting feature of the report issued by the Board of Equalization is the number of permits issued in the various categories. The permits for the FF sector increased during this period by 15.7%, while the permits for the RB group declined by .9%, or 293 fewer RB.

Looking at the period from 1994 to 1999, the overall economy (taxable sales statewide) increased by an incredible 31.9%. Looking at the sales for FF and RB I found that they increased also, with FF sales outpacing the overall figure at 38.4%, while the RB sales were below the overall economy figures, at 28.6%. However, the clincher, and what the Media and the anti-smoking industry does NOT tell you, is that the number of permits issued for FF rose by 12.7%, whereas the number of permits for RB DECREASED by 3.3%, which means that there were 1,039 fewer RB’s in California. In other words, during a period in which we saw a tremendous increase in the overall economy, 1,039 restaurants or bars went out of business. 

That is the real impact of the smoking ban. So if you hear of anyone saying that the smoking ban in restaurants and bars does not hurt anybody, you can quote my figures, which are based on the official reports issued by the State Board of Equalization here in California.

Otto J. Mueksch
President, Californians For Smokers Rights 

FORCES is supported solely by the efforts of the readers. Please become a member or donate what you can.

Contact Info
Forces Contacts
Media Contacts
Links To Archived Categories

The Evidence
Inside Forces
About Forces
Book case