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Pubs and bars to get a boost from smoking bans: Over 25% of people to go more often

Friday 7 October, 2005

Pubs and bars to get a boost from smoking bans: Over 25% of people to go more often

The local watering hole can expect a boost to business over the next two years, with a new study revealing that patronage of bars could increase when total smoking bans are introduced.

The findings, from The Cancer Council Victoria, show that over one-quarter (26%) of people who usually go to a bar at least once a month will visit more often once smoking bans are implemented.

Executive Director of Quit, Mr Todd Harper, said the results of the study provided even more incentive for Victorian bars and clubs to go smokefree as soon as possible, beating the July 2007 deadline.

He said a number of Victorian clubs and bars have already gone smokefree ahead of the July 2007 legislation banning smoking in pubs.

Mr Harper said 65% of patrons said the introduction of smoking bans would make no difference to the number of times they frequent bars.

Six out of 10 smokers said, either the bans would make no difference to them, or they would go to bars more often if smoking bans were introduced.

'With such encouraging community support for smokefree environments, bars and clubs would be doing themselves a tremendous favour by going smokefree sooner rather than later,' said Mr Harper.

CEO of VicHealth Dr Rob Moodie said almost 30 bars and nightclubs had already gone smokefree. Details of these venues can be found at a new website : http://www.smokefree.org.au/.

Dr Moodie urged Victorians to 'vote with their feet' and support venues that are smokefree.

The Manager of Public House in Richmond, Julian Gerner, said being smokefree has been an overwhelming success. 

'Our feedback and popularity suggests that being smokefree has had a positive impact on trade,' Mr Gerner said.

'The argument that smokefree laws are bad for business has been discredited in numerous studies; in fact research suggests that smokefree laws appear to be good for business and do not have a negative effect on patronage or revenue,' Dr Moodie said.

'The decision for pubs and clubs to go smokefree would be popular amongst patrons and staff with a survey released earlier in the year revealing almost four out of five Victorians support total smoking bans in bars and clubs,' Mr Harper said.

'Over 60% of smokers claimed either that smokefree bans would make no difference to them or they would go to bars more often if they were smokefree, so any notion that the push for smokefree environments has been driven solely by non-smokers is a complete fiction.' says Mr Harper.

'The tobacco industry and hospitality industry have collaborated for years, delaying smoking bans by citing a potential downtown in business, but now with research suggesting smoking bans mean a healthy increase for bar business, these outdated arguments no longer stand up.'

Patronage of licensed bars* if total smoking bans in bars are introduced, by smoking status

Response

Total

Tobacco smokers

Former smokers

Never smokers

(n=1326)
%

(n=312)
%

(n=374)
%

(n=640)
%

More often

25.9

  3.8

22.7

38.4

Less often

  9.1

36.2

  0.8

  0.8

Would make no difference

64.8

59.3

76.2

60.8

Don't know / Can't say

  0.2

  0.6

  0.3

  0.0

* Respondents include those who visit bars at least once a month.

* Germain D. Public opinion about the Victorian Government's proposal to ban smoking in hospitality venues by 1 July 2007.  CBRC Research Paper Series No.x. Melbourne, Australia: Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer, The Cancer Council Victoria, March 2005.

Smokefree Victoria is supported by The Cancer Council Victoria, the Heart Foundation, VicHealth, Quit Victoria, The Jean Hailes Foundation, the Australian Health Promotion Association, the Australian Lung Foundation and the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand.

ends

Edwina Vellar,
Media Manager
ph: (03) 9635 5400
mob: 0417 303 811
email:
Edwina.Vellar@cancervic.org.au

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