Try to find some research explaining a
smoking ban's economic impact on bars and
restaurants, and "science" quickly becomes
Each side of the smoking ban debate
trashes the other side's research.
Smoking ban supporters say scientific
studies show no negative hospitality industry
effects - and in some cases, an economic
upside. They say the tobacco industry
secretly funds studies showing economic
harm - a bias that undermines the results.
Smoking ban opponents say scientific
studies show bans clearly hurt some businesses.
They say results that focus on the
overall hospitality industry - instead of
nightclubs and bars that depend heavily on
smokers who drink - are misleading.
Comments made by Tom Day, vice president
for government affairs for Hospitality
Minnesota, typify the issue's animosity and
loaded language. Day opposed a smoking
ban at the June 7 public hearing of the Minneapolis
City Council's Health and Human
"These [smoking] prohibitionists will tell
you that the economic impact for this government
mandate on the industry will be
minimal, with self-serving surveys from their
groups and the biased CDC [Center for Disease
Control] that have given them the
results that they wanted," Day said.
(The American Cancer Society, the American
Heart Society and the American Lung
Association funded at least one study ban
proponents use, from Helena, Mont. [see
Added Day, "There are also stacks of studies
from other academia and business
groups that show profoundly negative
effects to the industry."
After the meeting, Skyway News asked
Day for the strongest piece of research to
support his argument that smoking bans
hurt business. He cited a Deloitte & Touche
study done for the National Restaurant
Day said he could not provide a copy
of the Deloitte & Touche study, and
referred questions to the National
Brad Dayspring, the National Restaurant
Association's manager of media relations,
provided a one-page executive summary of
the Deloitte & Touche study and a one-page
summary of its methodology. The association
said the research tracked economic
data on hundreds of restaurants over a 10-
It concluded that restaurants sales felt "a
temporary negative impact" where countywide
100 percent smoking bans were in
effect (excluding bar areas). "The estimated
declines in annual sales ranged from roughly
49 to 55 percent at restaurants where
such bans were enacted two to three years
prior to the survey," it reported.
The association declined to provide the
detailed study; Dayspring said it was proprietary
information. The association never
published the study's results in any trade or
The two-page summary "is more than we
have ever given any other member of the
press since that study was done," Dayspring
Critics of the Deloitte & Touche study
include Dan Kelly, grassroots and community
affairs coordinator for the Minnesota
Smoke-Free Coalition. The study's flaws
include the lack of peer review, he said.
(Peer review uses professionals in the same
field to review scientific research, critique it
and ensure its credibility.)
Prof. Stanton Glantz, director of the center
for tobacco control, research and education
at the University of California-San Francisco,
also panned the study. (He got a draft
copy of the study - he doesn't recall how
- and posted it at his "tobacco scam" Web
Glantz wrote that Deloitte & Touche study
used an overly complex model with 51 variables,
effectively manipulating the data to
justify the conclusions its client wanted.
"None of the 'findings' of the Deloitte &
Touche study refute the large peer-reviewed
literature on the subject that finds that
smoke-free ordinances do not have negative
effects on the hospitality industry," he
Glantz's Web site includes the National
Restaurant Association on its list of "tobacco
allies and fronts."
The Web site has a link to a copy of a
$75,000 invoice from the National Restaurant
Association to Phillip Morris U.S.A. for
"restaurant industry research on economic
impact of smoking bans," an apparent reference
to the Deloitte & Touche research.
The document, dated Dec. 11, 2001, was
released as part of a tobacco lawsuit.
Skyway News sent copies of Glantz's
critique of the Deloitte & Touche study
and the tobacco-related invoice to the
National Restaurant Association and
The association chose not to respond.
"We have pretty much gone as far as we
are going to go," Dayspring said. "The comments
that we sent you are pretty much all
that we have."
Glantz's Web site also names the local
Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association
on its list of tobacco "allies," based on
Tobacco Institute contributions it received
in 1995 and 1996.
The Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association
has taken an active role in trying to
shape the Minneapolis smoke-free ordinance
and has opposed a strict workplace
ban. Mike Jennings, its president, is a member
of a city task force crafting proposed
Jennings and the association's Executive
Director, Jim Farrell, both say they want to
steer clear of tobacco money.
Jennings, a Warehouse District bar owner,
said he became president this year. The
tobacco donations predated his tenure, and
he would not accept them in the future.
Farrell, a former state representative,
became association executive director Jan.
1, 1999. He said the only time the association
took money from tobacco during his
tenure - $2,500 from Phillip Morris in 2000
- was when he thought the company was
paying associate fees for Miller Brewing,
which Phillip Morris owned.
He is militantly opposed to accepting
tobacco money, opposes tobacco industry
efforts to push better ventilation as the solution
to second-hand smoke and won't meet
with industry representatives, Farrell said.
Jennings said the association is "absolutely
not" a tobacco ally.
"If I could snap my fingers - and I could
be God for one moment - I would have a
statewide smoking ban," he said.
Smoking ban task force meetings aren't public
The decision won't get made in a smokefilled
room, but the task force drafting a
new Minneapolis smoke-free ordinance is
meeting behind closed doors.
The city-appointed group met for the
first time June 28 in Room 333 City Hall. It
plans two more meetings, Tuesday, July 8,
2:30-4:30 p.m. and July 19, 3-5 p.m. It will
forward its report to the City Council for
its July 23 meeting.
Rocco Forte, former Fire Chief now
assistant city coordinator, chairs the task
force and made the call to close the meetings.
"I want the people on the task force to
be comfortable to say whatever they want
to," he said. "They may not be [comfortable]
with the press in the meetings."
The meeting's starting point was the
comprehensive smoking ban proposed by
City Councilmember Dean Zimmermann
(6th Ward), Forte said. The group also discussed
other possible language, looking at
smoke-free ordinances from Minnesota's
Olmstead County; Duluth; Madison, Wisc.;
Boston and New York.
Task force members could recommend a
specific ordinance, or they could ask for
more time, Forte said. He expressed confidence
the group would have options for
the Council by July 23.
Hennepin County Commissioner Gail
Dorfman, a task force member, said the
county might create its own ordinance
after the city vote. Some mayors have
already requested that the county create a
"level playing field" among area bars and
restaurants, and Dorfman expects some
city councils to pass resolutions to that
"I suspect after the Minneapolis vote,
we will bring some countywide measure to
the board and see what happens," she said.
"I don't know what it will look like yet."
The City Council charged the task force
to "develop recommendations for an ordinance
that would eliminate unwanted customer
and employee exposure to secondhand
smoke" in restaurants, nightclubs,
coffeeshops and amusements venues.
The Minneapolis task force members
Councilmember Dean Zimmermann (6th
Ward), who authored the original smokingban
ordinance; Councilmember Robert Lilligren
(8th Ward), who is considered a
swing vote; Mayor R.T. Rybak (or
Gretchen Musicant, Minneapolis Department
of Health and Family Support; Jack
Davis, president of the Hennepin Medical
Society; Kim Bartmann, owner, Bryant
Lake Bowl 810 W. Lake St., and Caf
Barbette, 1600 W. Lake St. (Bartmann has
supported a citywide bar/restaurant
Mike Jennings, owner of three Downtown
bars and president of the Minnesota
Licensed Beverage Association (MLBA);
Jeff Moritco, owner, Mayslacks Bar, 1428
NE 4th St.; Greg Ortale, president of the
Greater Minneapolis Convention and Visitors
Association. All three have expressed
concerns about a ban.
Joe and Bonnie Hesla, residents living
near a bar who are of split opinion on the
smoking ban; Jay Rykunyk of the Hotel,
Entertainment and Restaurant Employees
Union; Dr. Ed Ehlinger, director of the University
of Minnesota's Boynton Health Service;
Corrine Ertz, a tobacco control advocate
for the American Cancer Society and a
designee from the Community Prevention
- Scott Russell